The systematic destruction of the average American family’s wealth continues apace.
Homeowners with negative equity increased from 22 percent a year earlier as home prices slumped 8.2 percent over the past 12 months, the Seattle-based company said. About 27 percent of homes were “underwater” in the fourth quarter, according to Zillow, which runs a website with property-value estimates and real-estate listings.
Home prices fell 3 percent in the first quarter and will drop as much as 9 percent this year as foreclosures spread and unemployment remains high, Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said. Prices won’t find a floor until 2012, he said.
Americans are now spending on average 9% of their incomes to buy gas. Inflation is hitting food prices. Unemployment is at 9%. Homes are worth less now than when more than a fourth of Americans bought them. And thanks to Obama policies, the normal recovery dynamic has been disrupted.
Prices were propped up in 2009 and early 2010 by federal stimulus programs, such as tax credits worth up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers, Humphries said. That program “was stealing demand from the future,” weakening shoppers’ appetites now even as housing affordability is at its three-decade high, he said.
“In the past, people felt more bullish in a post-recession recovery,” he said. “They’d go out and spend more on homes and that would ignite hiring in construction and the mortgage industry. And they’d start to get the flywheel moving more quickly. Unfortunately, now, that flywheel is broken.”
In the teeth of all this, Obama’s NLRB is attacking the creation of jobs by Boeing in South Carolina, to empower Big Labor, tear up right to work laws and continue to damage job-creating US industry. The NLRB is also going after Arizona for ratifying a secret ballot provision regarding unions to its constitution. This administration’s policies across the board are kneecapping the engines of our economy while propping up corrupt unions. And note that that’s two lawsuits now by the Obama administration against Arizona, one for trying to secure its border with Mexico, and one attacking voters’ clear wish to protect the rights of workers to choose whether to join unions or not. The Obama administration is waging lawfare against Arizona on behalf of the unions and the open borders agitators.
Simple question: Are you better off now than you were two years ago? For most Americans, the answer to that question is a resounding “No.” Our dollars don’t go as far as our president’s overspending ambitions, and we are all suffering for his excesses while he pursues policies that benefit his Big Labor friends at everyone else’s expense.