It seems as though the prediction I made Wednesday afternoon was correct: In a two-hour GOP presidential debate on CNN, not a single question was asked about housing — even though Arizona has one of the worst housing markets in the country.
Instead, the debate flared with personal attacks and scathing critiques on pork barrel spending and social issues. It seems to me that the candidates are ignoring anything that really matters.
More than 250,000 homes in Arizona have been lost to foreclosure, and right now half of homeowners in the state find themselves underwater on their mortgages. Home prices in Phoenix have plummeted to 1999 levels, almost 50% from the housing bubble in 2006.
Fewer that 7,000 homes were built last year in the Phoenix area, compared to an annual average of 35,000. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Arizona’s once behemoth construction industry shrank from $20 billion in 2007 to only $12 billion in 2010.
But yet, CNN moderator John King didn’t ask about housing. In all of the talks about “building a wall,” he didn’t say a word about a problem that affects the vast majority of the citizens of Arizona. What a shame.
This comes as no surprise in a GOP race that has all but ignored the stagnant housing market in favor of talking about who is more Christian, who wants to throw out illegal immigrants and who can one up Obama.
It’s time to wake up to a problem that has been plaguing the United States since 2006.