Why the housing recovery will be such a slog

housing5.jpg Check out the lower left corner of this chart (via Business Insider) - specifically the blue line that's made up of various housing datapoints for the state of California. The line is nearly flat from 1992 - around the time the nation was starting to recover from the 90-91 recession - to 1997. Then it inches up gradually over the next few years, at which point another recession hits in 2001. In other words, it took eight to 10 years for the California housing market to begin a significant recovery - and that 90-91 downturn, while destructive in many parts of the state, did not involve a once-in-a-generation global debt crisis. Now all recessions are different, as are all recoveries. And the current upswing in sales and prices should not be overlooked - clearly the real estate market is turning around, as seen by July's increase in pending home sales. But look at the chart - look at where the blue line peaks in early 2007 and where it is now. Is there any economic gusher that will suddenly speed up this slow-go housing recovery? Doubtful.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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