|By Alan J. Heavens, The Philadelphia Inquirer|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
I'm not inquiring about your health, well not in this case, at least.
The question is about the economy, specifically as it relates to housing, because the
Just when you think it's safe to dream, someone reminds you how quickly it can turn into a nightmare.
I spent the years 2007 to 2012 writing about how record foreclosure levels -- 2.9 million properties in 2010 compared with 500,000 in the real estate boom year of 2005 -- affected area homeowners.
No matter how much I wrote, the stories kept coming, to a point when, in 2009, a reader begged me to "start writing about hammering nails again."
In this region, the data show that the decline in home prices that began in
Today, the inventory of homes for sale remains low. Multiple bids simply get sale prices to list price or a bit above, and even those asking prices are nowhere near what would be realized in normal -- as opposed to boom -- times.
"Where are they going to go?" asked
If someone is planning to downsize, that's one thing, but it's tougher, with trillions of dollars of lost equity, for many people to move up to bigger houses.
And first-time buyers?
Even when first-timers get their ducks in a row, clouds get in their way.
A TD survey of 2,000 people who have bought in the last 10 years found that millennials requiring PMI felt "most impacted in home-purchasing decisions, such as delaying the purchase of a home or purchasing a smaller home," Copley said.
PMI, costing an average of
Though economists and experts say the crisis is behind us, the public is not feeling relieved, the
"Concern and insecurity about the ability of middle-class Americans to maintain their footing and for people to rise up into the middle class is a central theme in America today," said
"This research," he said, "shows that housing is front and center in these concerns."