On Eve Of State Of The Union, The Housing Market Is Hitting The Skids

01/25/2011 04:59 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

As we already noted, it took Peter Baker several thousand words to say nothing at all about the overall decline of the housing market that lies at ground zero of the economic collapse. Tonight, the president himself will have the opportunity to say several thousand more words about matters of great import to Americans. Will he mention anything about housing? We'll see, but we're guessing that he probably does not want to say something like, "The state of our union is in peril, because its citizens reside mainly in a bunch of shanties that are rapidly declining in value."

The Washington Post's Dina ElBoghdady, thankfully, minces few words in a piece titled, "Home prices fall in nearly all major cities, heightening fears of double dip." And the picture she paints is not pretty:

From October to November, prices fell in 19 of the 20 metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, widely considered a gauge of the housing market's health. The only exception was San Diego, where prices were basically unchanged.

Only four areas posted year-over-year gains in November, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and the Washington region. But in the aggregate, prices dipped 1.6 percent in November from the same time a year earlier, falling in 16 cities.

You should note that the fact that "the Washington region" is doing quite well. In fact, ElBohghdady reports, the region "has bucked the trend" because of its "healthy job market." By "trend", she means the "trend" of home prices declining to the point of a "double dip" because the market is being dragged down by the twin maladies of mass unemployment and widespread foreclosures. Included in that "healthy job market" are the many politicos and lobbyists and media figures who gather here to cavort together in a bubblicious orgy of high self-regard. But I'm sure doesn't obscure coverage of this issue at all.

Here's a fun fact! Among the nine cities that have "hit their lowest annual levels since the housing bust" are Tampa and Charlotte, the confirmed and all-but-confirmed locations of the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, respectively. So the good news is that D.C.-based politicians and media figures may, at some point in the next two years, have the opportunity to become intimately familiar with the crisis they are not in any way addressing.

In the meantime, everyone should start reading Dina ElBoghdady, okay?

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