Yes, it is a powerful force in our market -- particularly in a community like Laveen, where we have grown so rapidly in the last five years, and then seen our property values decline due to foreclosures and short sales. Those housing bubble years are having a devastating impact on our home values, as has been officially reported by the Maricopa County Assessor.
But another debate has also arisen out of this situation, and that is whether it is acceptable to strategically default on a home loan that you could otherwise afford but choose not to any longer. Recently, a UA law professor wrote a paper titled "Underwater and Not Walking Away: Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis," which raised the question of why more Americans are not behaving in their rightful economic best interests.
I find this debate absolutely fascinating, and furthermore see it as the necessary dialog that can foment a true recovery, not just reestablishing growth but also promoting the right kinds of value-creating behavior for a sustainable economy. That's why I've started cataloging my various discussions on the matter over at my other oft neglected blog. Please click the link and let me know your thoughts on the matter. There's some great stuff there, including links to the Motley Fool's compelling coverage, along with that of ABC News and our own AZ Republic.