HOUSING BUBBLE UPDATE….The housing market in Southern California continues to deteriorate:

Default notices jumped 145% in the last three months of 2006, accelerating a trend that began in late 2005 as home sales started to cool. It was the largest number of default notices in any three-month period since 1998.

….”So far, this isn’t alarming,” said John Karevoll, chief analyst at DataQuick Information Systems, which compiled the data. But if default notices “keep going up at this rate, it could get nasty fast,” he added.

I dunno. Foreclosures are now running at the same rate as the early 90s, when our last real estate bubble burst, and are increasing at a much faster rate. That seems fairly alarming to me. And if I had purchased a home in the past few years using some weird negative interest mortgage, or whatever it was the loan wizards were touting in 2005, I’d be very alarmed. I guess it depends on your point of view.