Forget the election year hype, the truth is in the data, and it shows U.S. housing is still in decline and no real turnaround is projected until 2015. This unfortunate situation will favor Republicans who stay on message (Romney). The only way out is to revive the economy (i.e., increase private sector employment)--see last sentence in excerpt below. Issue #1 come November, 2012, voters will ask: "Who will do a better job reviving the economy in the next 4 years, Obama or Romney?"
Home prices dropped in November in most US cities - National Business - MiamiHerald.com: "WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices fell for a third straight month in nearly all cities tracked by a major index. . . . Prices dropped in November from October in 19 of the 20 cities tracked, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index released Tuesday. The steepest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Phoenix was the only city to show an increase. . . Still, prices fell in 18 of the 20 cities in November compared to the same month in 2010. Only Washington and Detroit posted year-over-year increases. Prices in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa fell to their lowest points since the housing crisis began. And prices have fallen 33 percent nationwide since the housing bust, to 2003 levels. "The trend is down and there are few, if any, signs in the numbers that a turning point is close at hand," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P's index committee. . . . The November data are the latest available.. . .a large number of vacant homes are sitting idle on the market, which means prices will likely stay unchanged for several years, said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. "The most likely scenario in the U.S. is that in 2012 prices will bob around a bit, with one month's gain being reversed the next month," Dales said. "But in general, over the next couple of years, house prices will do nothing more than remain broadly stable." Dales said prices might not rise consistently until 2015. He said lower unemployment and better pay raises are essential to a full housing rebound. . . ."