The Great American Wealth Transfer

Home prices around the country remain significantly below their housing bubble peaks, but some areas have fared far worse than others.

In Detroit, for example, which once represented the heart of the U.S. manufacturing industry, property values are nearly half of what they were back in December 2005, and are just 14% above the levels that prevailed two decades ago.

But it’s a different story in Washington, DC., the seat of our nation’s government. There, prices have only dropped by a quarter from their May 2006 peak, but are still more than twice as high as they were back in 1991.

While some might argue that myriad idiosyncratic influences account for the disparity, I reckon the differing fortunes of those two regions serves as an apt metaphor for what has happened to our nation as a whole.