Consumer Confidence Drops Along With Home Prices


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.