Can housing stand on its own two feet?

… That is, without the benefit of the $8000 Homebuyer Tax Credit? According to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies latest report, the prognosis is doubtful at best. Why? Because the key to a housing market recovery is jobs, jobs, and more jobs… and, national employment growth remains tepid at best.

For those Americans with jobs, we still have the case where too many spend half of their income or more on housing. “Incomes simply aren’t keeping up,” says Dan McCue, an analyst at the Harvard housing center.

And then there’s those foreclosures: nationally, more than 2 million loans are in the foreclosure process – four times the number only three years ago. Government programs attempting to help have hit a major wall: unemployment. “It’s difficult to give enough help to a household that has no income,” said Eric Belsky, the center’s executive director.

Ah yes, which brings us full-circle… back again to jobs, jobs, jobs. Realistically, a housing ‘recovery’ remains quite problematic until we see job growth.

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