The voices of Urban Institute's researchers and staff
September 2, 2011

Does Today’s Housing Market Slump Signal Tomorrow’s Double Dip Recession?

September 2, 2011

The media’s recent fascination with the possibility of a “double dip” recession that would rock metropolitan economies anew should register with those of us who watch housing prices and availability. The latest MetroTrends spotlight on Philadelphia explains the housing market’s role in exacerbating or mitigating this possibility.

In Philadelphia, neighborhoods with high rates of subprime lending correlate strongly with areas of high mortgage foreclosures. That means that rates of subprime lending could, helpfully, predict coming housing market trouble.

Yes, it’s not that simple. High unemployment and other factors also drive both housing market health and overall economic performance. Philadelphia’s high job loss rates, reflected in national trends too, suggest a broader picture.

What do these Philadelphia trends tell us about housing market recovery? What could weak labor markets paired with still-troubled housing markets spell for the overall economy? To get the whole story, read the latest MetroTrends spotlight.

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