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U.S. Housing Market Continues To Be An Economic Disaster

March 3rd, 2011

Ground zero of the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, the collapse of the U.S. residential housing market, remains in critical condition. Despite trillions of dollars in public debt utilized as a backstop for the mortgage industry and gimmicks like tax credits for new home purchasers, the stream of date shows that the overarching trend in the United States is continuing home price deflation, as a rising proportion of outstanding mortgages  are under water.

One recent survey indicates that in January of this year 27 percent of all American mortgages were under water (balance of mortgage exceeds market value of home),compared with 20 percent in August 2010. The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index most recently has tracked downward movement on home sales, and prices in most parts of the United States continue to decline.

With a weak housing market in the U.S. seemingly immune to massive injections of borrowed public money, no wonder Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is printing money like a crazy man on LSD. His most recent bout of quantitative easing does not seem to have stimulated the domestic housing market at all, though it has pumped up the Dow Jones index to absurd ratios of price to earnings. However, as 2008 demonstrated the centrality of housing to the U.S. economy and not its hyperbolic stock market, the continuing weakness in this core sector does not bode well for a sustained recovery, both in America and throughout the global economy.

 

 

 

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