Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shattered Dreams

The American dream almost always involves owning a home. There's nothing wrong with it. I think it's not too unreasonable to expect to have a place a person can call home, if they can afford it.

Some of you may remember this little snippet from the election campaign last year:

That was then, this is now:

Minorities gained the most but now have lost the most from a historic homeownership boom that turned to a bust.

The number of Americans who own their homes rose to 69 percent in 2004 from 64 percent in 1994, the fastest growth since just after World War II.

During that recent housing boom, "minorities and immigrants were key parts of the story line," chipping away at long-standing racial and ethnic housing disparities, said Rakesh Kochhar, a researcher with the Pew Hispanic Center.

But as the economic crisis caused homeownership rates to drop back down to 67.8 since 2004, African-Americans and native-born Latinos were the hardest hit, eroding some but not all of the gains they made in the past 15 years, according to a report released Tuesday by the center.

And it's not just minorities who are losing their homes. According to Bloomberg, the overall rate has just hit a record for the second straight month.

Foreclosure filings in the U.S. rose to a record for the second consecutive month in April as banks increased efforts to seize homes from delinquent borrowers.

A total of 342,038 properties received a default or auction notice or were seized last month, RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, California, said today in a statement. One in 374 households got a filing, the highest monthly rate since the property data service began issuing such reports in 2005.

“What you’re seeing is the inevitable result of severe job losses,” Nicolas Retsinas, director of housing studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in an interview. “Until we stem the job losses, we can expect to see continuing foreclosures.”

Now that it has been over 100 days, since the man who was to save the nation from default (and deliver the people from certain disaster) took office, I wonder how many of those people voted for him based on the misconception that they would not lose their home? I wonder, how many people really are better off today than they were in November?


Darth Rob said...

I don't think anybody is better off today. I knew this would happen, what goes up must come down. As for people thinking that Obama was going to pay their mortgage, well I think they were swayed by his hypnotic talk of change. They allowed themselves to be deluded.

Anonymous said...

Wha? Bama man ain't gonna pay ma dam hous pament?



Chuck said...

That will be the question in 2010/2012 won't it? Are you better off today than you were 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

No, Chuck. I think the question will be, "Are you better off now than you were two minutes ago?"

Okay, so I lack optimism ... but this has only been a recent change from my previous boyant personality. It all began to change last November when I met Sunset for the first time.