Even though consumer confidence is by some measures at its highest level since October of 2000, the housing market is not going gangbusters. Unemployment is microscopic, pay is up, and GDP growth is strong. Yet housing slumps. Pending sales are down year over year for seven straight months, existing sales have fallen four months in a row, home price increases are slowing, as are starts, home builder share prices are struggling, and inventory looks to be finally bottoming. This last element, lack of inventory, seems to be the main reason home sales are not higher.? This lower inventory has caused rising prices and these rising prices are squeezing demand.