The adage is that as the housing market goes, so goes the economy (and vice versa). So, economists woke up to some bad news this morning when the S&P/Case-Shiller report indicated that home prices fell more steeply than expected in November, showing that there are many more hurdles to clear before an economic recovery.
Additionally, a report from The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 61.1 in January from a revised 64.8 the month before.
As a result, Wall Street erased its Monday gains, leaving stocks trading flat at mid-morning.
Gerald Hunter keeps a very close eye on the housing industry. As president and executive director of the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, he oversees a $3 billion portfolio of home loans, while partnering with dozens of non-profits to assist Idaho's homeless. Hunter said the "great recession" has put a glut of foreclosed homes on the market.
"That's an unfortunate outcome of our unemployment rate," said Hunter, "It savaged a lot of Idaho families in terms of their ability to have decent, safe affordable housing."
But Hunter has reason for optimism. In tomorrow's Boise Weekly, we talk with Hunter about a new uptick in Idaho home sales and how his agency helps thousands of Idahoans stay in their homes, in spite of the economic downturn.