Even during balmy days it is difficult to fully comprehend economic news. These days are neither sunny nor balmy; the economic weather is bad. Much of the so called good news trickling in refers to a small number of people in USA. The bad news is about pain and suffering of the majority.
The statistics from the housing market illustrate this point. For four months the people are being told that a corner is being taken. The asset markets are roaring and the spirits of many have without doubt lifted. The problem is that the improvement has been largely confined to the upper layers of the socio—economic structure. Their health is hogging the attention of the media and subsequently public consciousness.
It has resulted because of an obsession with celebrities and sports characters with an equal amount of disinterest in the material conditions of the man in the street. The lower layer of society comprising of 80% of the Americans are in distress; their children are in distress. In this layer there has been no improvement. Ultimately this spells disaster. This wide gap in fortunes was responsible for the recent crash that started in 2007.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released the July figures of sales. It increased by 5% over July 2008 – the lead being taken by deals in condominiums and cooperatives. One third of the units that were sold came from the foreclosure zone. The average price of houses fell by 15% dropping to $178,000 from $210,000. This bit of news caused stock prices to soar. The number of foreclosures increased by 32% from July 2008 to July 2009.
In Florida the foreclosure rate stood at 1:154. In California and Nevada the proportion was 1:123 and 1:56 respectively. In July 2009 foreclosure notices were served to 361,000 homeowners. 35 million persons were availing of food stamps – it being a record. Most of the distress is because of the grim employment scenario.
In July the jobless rate from 15 states and Columbia district was 10%. Michigan ranked first in unemployment figures at 15%. Rhode Island came a close second with 12.7%. In Nevada, California and Oregon the unemployment numbers were 12.5%, 11.9% and 11.9% respectively. South Carolina noted 11.8%.
The cash-for-clunkers programme was a great triumph. The people are rushing to purchase new cars, houses and co-ops lured by the low interest rates and the discounts being offered by the government. But the problem of mass unemployment in the country remains untouched.
Karen Anne, has been working on ForeclosureWarehouse.com studying the foreclosures market, helping buyers on the finer points of foreclosures for sale . Try to visit ForeclosureWarehouse.com and search foreclosed homes .