Why isn't housing recovering?

Perspective: Real estate's May report card

For nearly two years, corporate profits have been surging, gross domestic product has been growing, and the majority of the key indicators we track have been moving in the right direction. Yet, home sales have remained in the dumps.

The indicators that hit closest to home (pun intended) are the ones that housing needs the most. These are the day-to-day realities that keep us feeling glum:

Job growth is slow

  • Job growth is back, but it has lagged corporate profits as corporations find ways to do more with less. Worker productivity has increased eight of the last nine quarters, which is great for companies but not so great for the unemployed.
  • Even with recent job growth, we still have 7 million fewer people employed today than at the peak in 2008, and the unemployment rate remains high at 9 percent officially, but a whopping total of 15.9 percent are underemployed or have given up their search.