Most economists have declared September as the mark for two successive negative GDP growth quarters. That means of course another recession has dropped on the US. Are things getting worse or better? Well if we look at stats that are an indicator of economic health we should be able to get an idea. Take the largest state in the US–California–and their housing issue. If things are still bad in the job sector (which they are) then we should still trouble in the housing market.
Foreclosure data for California for the first six months of 2011 (and all months prior to 2007) look like this:
The data doesn’t really provide a good indicator of where the economy is going or how it has faired in the previous quarters. The number of foreclosures still remains abnormally high, that much remains true, but picking out any upcoming trend doesn’t appear to be possible.
The tail end of 2010 saw pre-2008 levels of foreclosures, yet the number spiked again in the New Year. From then on in 2011 the numbers are up and down, trading off every quarter.
Once we receive the latest solid figures for the Summer months we’ll update our graph. In the meantime, many media outlets are reporting unsettling foreclosure numbers across the US, California among the states with dangerously high percentages of foreclosures.
Significantly higher (55% for California) foreclosure numbers were recorded in August, yet were reported to be lower than 2010. That sounds a bit like media spinning because last year’s numbers aren’t that much higher than 2011.
So far it seems the road to recovery hasn’t trickled down to those faced with the dire consequence of losing their home. Conversely, there doesn’t appear to be the kind of housing collapse on the horizon seen in early 2008. Nevertheless, the numbers of people filing for first time foreclosure remains exceptionally high.
Data numbers from RAND California.