A Slim Recovery for Housing
The economy will not recover until the housing market recovers, and the housing market will not recover until the broader economy recovers — a chicken-and-egg problem reflected, once again, in national housing figures.
Sales of new and existing homes rose in July, propelled by low prices and low mortgage rates, according to government and industry data released this week. But even with a 25 percent year-over-year increase for new-home sales and 10 percent for existing homes, the pace of sales is still far below that of a healthy market.
High unemployment, poor jobs, stagnating wages and tight lending standards keep buyers away, while many sellers — especially the estimated 13 million homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth — are waiting for a price rebound.
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