Home prices continued their unfettered descent across the nation. In March 2009, the nominal national home median price was equal to that in the fourth quarter of 2002. In the first quarter of 2009, the National Home Price Index dropped an unprecedented 19.1%. 15 of 20 major national metropolitan areas suffered price declines in excess of 10%, with major California cities among their Sun Belt brethren as some of the most heavily impacted areas.

first tuesday take: The forecast for the near future is equally gloomy: with unemployment pummeling buyer-psychology and foreclosure moratoriums scheduled to soon end, California has a long, tortuous road to recovery, lurking somewhere in 2013. With the nation in poor-to-very poor economic condition, California will benefit by the migration of those who always wanted to come west, but now have the compulsion to do so. We can use their energy and talent, especially the adventurous and curious nature they will bring, as well as the additional local revenue.

In the meantime, there is an abundance of ways to earn a living based on real estate training and knowledge: sales of various types are to be negotiated, properties are to be managed, private loans are to be made, broker escrowing is to evolve, loan discounts are to be arranged (when congress shrugs off lenders and gives the authority to bankruptcy judges), investments are to be made by agents and brokers, and real estate purchase syndicates are to be formed.

The market is ripe with possibilities and you do not want the fertile soil of a crisis to go to waste.

Re: “Home Prices Continue Downward March,” from the Wall Street Journal.