Is it Secular?
The U.S. Case-Shiller 20 City Composite housing data to July 2014 were released and looking at the M/M and Y/Y charts it's easy to see that seasonal buying has again collapsed as we batten down the hatches against the coming winter.
The 2014 M/M peak failed to breakout from under the 2013 M/M peak and the 2014 Y/Y momentum has been in a down trend since 2013 as well.
The downturn is seasonal for sure and looks like a cyclical down trend as well with lower highs being put in after the run up out of the 2009 Pit of Gloom.
If U.S. housing is in a secular down trend, it began way back in 2004 (see the Y/Y data) and we should see momentum attempting a test of the Pit of Gloom. That would take a big shift in sentiment in the animal spirits.
What could cause that?
Doctor Who "Gridlock" Scene 6
Left, Right or Down
The national wire service press subscribers refer to the Broadbent Institute's September 2014 study "Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics" Edited by Keith Banting and John Myles (see the quoted paragraphs and link to the source material below) as being "left leaning" I am willing to bet that the bottom quintiles of earners are more concerned with the direction of "down".
Deep and Persistent Wealth Inequality in Canada
Bill Maher - Wealth Inequality in America
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History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense
"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." Jane Austen spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey'