6 of 7
BACKNEXT
Housing
The underlying cause of the Great Recession was a bursting of the housing bubble back in 2007. Home prices plunged, sparking significant financial losses that shook the globe's major financial institutions as well as the wealth of individual Americans. That's why a pickup in home sales and rising housing prices are critical for an economic recovery.

Fortunately, sales have steadily improved throughout much of this year and it appears that home prices may have finally hit bottom. Yet, some argue that housing prices remain too high in relation to income, suggesting there is still room for prices to decline. A federal tax credit for buyers and lower mortgage rates may also be helping the market -- and neither is certain to continue.

There are also worries about a so-called shadow inventory of homes that have gone into foreclosure that have yet to hit the market. Once they do, that could put further downward pressure on prices. That's why many think the housing market is still in a fragile state. And if the improvement in housing proves to be short-lived, so will the broader economic recovery.

NEXT: Stocks

Last updated November 16 2009: 12:08 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More
7 up-and-coming foodie destinations These seven cities are seeing a growing interest in local food boost the economy -- and produce some seriously tasty eats. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.