Top 10 Real Estate News Stories of 2009

Economy, tight lending, foreclosures dominate

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In past recessions, unemployed workers and the housing sector were like two climbers roped together on the side of a mountain face in a fierce gale.

When investment in new-home construction picked up, that would create jobs and boost spending, spurring more homebuying and construction and helping lift the economy out of the doldrums.

This time around, with homes continuing to enter the foreclosure process at an alarming rate and adding to the real and "shadow" inventory of homes, few economists expect new-home construction to drive down unemployment or ignite a recovery.