In a press statement released earlier today, Fitch Ratings said that continued housing pressures coupled with possible tightening of the conforming loan market segment painted a 'dismal' 2008 for U.S homebuilders. Don't miss the second part of that lead -- "possible tightening of the conforming loan market." That's something HW readers likely know well is coming, given that this site originally broke the story on Fannie's "adverse market" delivery fees in early December. "Considerable inventories of new and existing homes for sale boosted by foreclosures will also exacerbate the already dismal forecast for housing this year," said Fitch Ratings managing director and lead homebuilding analyst Robert Curran. Fitch said that it expects both operating and financial performances to remain weak in the upcoming fourth quarter earnings reports, noting in particulat that tangible net worth covenants "have been and will be challenged." For more information, visit