Hope springs eternal, however this spring, hope for the housing market is in short supply. Instead , the market is being crushed by an avalanche of bad news stories.

• The housing construction industry is sliding into recession. Housing starts are currently running at a rate of about 1.5 million, similar to those of 2003. Housing starts had peaked in mid-2005 at a rate of 2.1 million

• D.R. Horton - the largest U.S. homebuilder - said this week that orders for new homes tumbled 37 percent last quarter and that the spring housing season has been much slower than usual.

• The National Association of Realtors finally admitted what everyone knew for at leat a year – the bubble is over. The NAR now expects the median price of existing homes to drop this year, with its index of home values set to drop for the first time in nearly 40 years.

• Countrywide Financial, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said last Thursday that the proportion of mortgages in its portfolio that are in foreclosure nearly doubled.

• The mortgage-implode-o-meter is now at 56.

Can it get worse? Just wait until summer.