My personal resources are split almost equally between real estate and equity investing. In my research, it's getting progressively more difficult to find any reference among economists and analysts to housing as a significant component of our national economy.
It seems that housing and the people who have been destroyed by its crash are expendable. The carpenters and plumbers and excavators and electricians are apparently doing just fine bagging groceries and driving school buses. The entire generation of folks who used their inflated home equity for cash out financing are lost, and we are trying desperately to forget them.
Yes, many folks used their homes as ATM's to buy stuff they could have lived better without. Yes, they made some poor decisions. Yes, they were the consumers who grew our economy way beyond its logical limits. Yes, many of them will never recover from their mistakes. They are the forgotten, or let's try to forget them, generation.
There were very few people who expected the real estate crash, and fewer who took action to defend themselves from substantial loss. The degree of loss is mostly the result of where one was in their life's progress than good planning. It was either good fortune or bad fortune. Those of us who have avoided financial devastation probably have to admit that fortune was the main driver.
Anyway, the situation is what it has become, and now we have a generation, more or less, that is never going to recover from the housing crash. They have neither the time, nor the resources to pull themselves back to respectability.
Watch CNBC or one of the other financial channels. Count the times anyone mentions housing and the need to make a commitment to bring housing back on line. I guarantee that you will not need to take your shoes off to keep tally. As a matter of fact, I doubt that a few missing fingers will hinder the count.
Will we put America back to work without significant gains in the housing industry? Yes, we will. Next time you're in the grocery store or Home Depot, ask the bagger or the stocker what they did before they got their current job. You probably won't be surprised when they tell you that they were a tradesman in the building industry, or maybe a real estate professional.
Yes, the housing industry is the ugly step-child of the nation's economy. America is trying to forget that there is a generation of homeowners and tradesmen who will never be able to contribute significantly to our economy again.