All Houses Are Not Made Equal

Ryan Avent thinks we are approaching a housing bottom, in some places:

The tricky part of the equation is the unemployment effect. These days, job loss is the principle driver of defaults and foreclosures. A great many owners who had determined to continue paying the mortgage on an underwater home are finding themselves unemployed and unable to pay or sell for enough to settle the debt. And heavy foreclosure activity translates into steadily falling prices. Current and future divergence in housing prices across cities is going to have a lot to do with the job markets in question. In places where job losses are beginning to plateau and decline, housing will bottom earlier. In places where job losses continue to grow say, in the industrial Midwest, where automaker bankruptcies are taking a toll additional waves of foreclosures with consequent price drops are likely.

Some metropolitan areas are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Others have years of darkness left in front of them.