So much for a recovery in the real estate market. The way things are going, we’ll be out of Afghanistan and Iraq way before the value of your home is likely to go up again to any significant degree.
The latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of home prices in twenty metro areas shows home prices continuing their declines in 18 of the 20 major cities surveyed.
The bet is, with more foreclosures on the way, we are likely to see this downward trend continue for some time to come barring some action by the government similar to the tax credits for homebuyers that have ended, leaving no other real incentive–other than lower prices—to get people buying homes again.
And, of course, people aren’t able to take advantage of these lower and lower prices because they have no job or the job they have no longer pays what it once did.
The 20 city index shows home prices falling 0.7 percent in September from the month before.
If you don’t live in Cleveland, you may want to send sympathy cards to residents there—that city had the largest decline in home prices, according to the index. And, if you happen to live in Cleveland….well, antidepressants might be a viable option for you? (You may even be able to get a drug company to pick up the tab).
Even cities that had had some modest price increases earlier in the year—Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego—saw a drop in September as well.
Of course, there will always be parts of the country where things are doing somewhat better—-in the current survey, Las Vegas (Yes, Las Vegas!!!) and Washington actually showed price increases. But trends are set by the major urban centers in this country, and the bottom line from this latest report is not encouraging.
If you are keeping score–and you ought to be—so far, since the “end” of the Great Recession: major banks have recovered; Wall Street brokers are again thriving; Fortune 500 companies are saving more and more money while refusing, for the most part, to hire more and more people; and even the big three Detroit car makers seem firmly set on the comeback trail.
For the rest of the country? Well, the number of Americans now out of work or underemployed could easily populate one of those distressed Euro Zone countries; and, the old truism that there is always security in real estate (think “Gone With The Wind” here) has been turned on its head.