Explaining Southern California's economy

Why the Obama administration thinks the housing market is improving



An improving housing market is bringing buyers back.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department just released their October "Housing Scorecard," a rundown of all things housing and housing-related in the U.S. economy.

The October Scorecard contains a huge amount of housing data, but the really good news has to do with prices — and although there's a limited amount information related to Southern California and Los Angeles, the news is fairly positive. After crashing during the financial crisis and stumbling further in 2011, they’ve begun to steadily move up this year.

Even better, expectations for rising home prices are more optimistic. 

They never dropped as far as feared back in 2009. Rather, prices have bumped along, rising and falling, for three years. Now they appear to have formed a bottom and are projected to resume a trend of price appreciation that was completely distorted by the bubble that inflated between 2003 and 2007. Check out the two charts above in the short slide show. They tell a reasonably happy story.


Visual Aid: Why another financial crisis isn't likely

The financial industry is less vulnerable to shocks than before the crisis

U.S. Department of the Treasury

The financial industry is less vulnerable to shocks than before the crisis.

Another downturn or recession might hit us in the next few years, as a natural consequence of the business cycle, but we're unlikely to have another Great Recession or major crisis. At least in the U.S. And here's why.

The Treasury Department released a whole bunch of very nice charts last week that summarize in glorious visual detail the government's response to the crisis. My personal favorite is above.

What put the "crisis" in financial crisis was actually the "financial" part: the nation's "too big to fail" banks all had to be bolstered with taxpayer bailouts (some reportedly against their will). A couple of investment banks went down. A couple more had to seek emergency deals and call in favors through the backdoor — and stop being true investment banks, but rather "bank holding companies" so that they could get more money from the Federal Reserve.