Seattle area home prices hit a new low in November 2011, according to the latest Case-Shiller home price data reported in the Seattle P-I.
That’s just one bit of news from that data. Home prices in most major U.S. real estate markets are still in the doldrums, and the story quotes one economist as saying that weak demand and foreclosure sales, among other things, could push prices down another five or 10 percent nationally.
Locally, online information from the Whatcom County Assessor shows that for 2011-12, Fannie Mae owned 46 Whatcom County homes and Freddie Mac had 26. That’s just a snapshot, because these two financial institutions are constantly unloading some homes while acquiring others through foreclosure. Still other homes are owned by banks or other lenders through foreclosure.
What’s all this doing on the politics blog? Well, to me it seems evident that the housing market and the new housing industry–key engines of job creation for the U.S. in past years–are not going to revive any time soon. The housing boom that lasted long enough to seem like “the new normal” was actually anything but. It was a bubble, based on unsound lending practices.
Here’s more on national home price data from Associated Press.
Efforts to revive the economy and return to pre-bust levels of employment are not going to enjoy quick success. That’s a political problem for Barack Obama. If voters decide to replace him in 2012, it will also be a problem for his successor, it seems to me.
What do you think?