A star today and a bust tomorrow

A foreclosure sign hangs in front of a home for sale.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The Census Bureau comes out with some new figures on the housing market today. They'll show us where the most growth occurred between 2005 and 2006. I can tell you the answer already: In the South and the West, places like Florida and Arizona. Those just happen to be the same places that are now seeing record numbers of foreclosures. Here's Jeremy Hobson.


Jeremy Hobson: Two years ago, Pinal County, Arizona, just outside Phoenix, had the nation's highest percentage growth in new housing units. More than 16 percent.

Jay Butler: It was a good time back then.

That's Jay Butler, director of Realty Studies at Arizona State University.
He's thinking about the good old days because today, according to Foreclosures.com, Pinal County has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.

Butler: The problem is when the market swings, it tends to swing widely in the same sections. You know, it's a star today and a bust tomorrow.

If the Census numbers are a snapshot of the height of the housing boom, Moody's Economy.com's Mark Zandi says they offer a grim picture for the future.

Mark Zandi: The bust is going to be quite lengthy and painful, because it's going to take quite some time to sell and work off all those homes that were slapped up during the boom time.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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