BluefoxToday blog : Real estate jam helps cure marital troubles

Real estate jam helps cure marital troubles

Las Vegas NV homeThe housing market is a mess. The home loan industry is limping along. The economy is on an IV drip. Bernanke makes Time magazine's Man of the Year. Tiger, well, nuff said.

But there are also some goods news sprinkled in somewhere there. Here's one.

The real estate meltdown is now credited with bringing down the U.S. divorce rate. That's right. The National Marriage Project just reported that last year this important statistic dropped 4%. See, couples on the ropes in the past used to quarrel over who gets to stay in the house and how to split the accumulated equity. When money is in play, there usually is a fight. But now so many married homeowners have no equity to battle over, so they decide to hang onto the holy matrimony and sail through the storm together while holding hands. When the housing market eventually comes back - could be a long wait in some areas - they can then drop the gloves and go at it. Or they may have managed to work things out during this cooling-off period and will stay hitched after all.  

Las Vegas valley - including Henderson, Mountains Edge, Anthem, Spanish Trail, Southern Highlands, Summerlin and Rhodes Ranch - homeowner couples with mortgages are probably staying together in greater numbers because the housing market here is a nightmare. The divorce rate in Southern Nevada must've sunk double the national figure of 4%. If not more. And any realistic recovery here will likely take longer, allowing feuding couples actually extra time to work on their people skills. This theory may also hold water in the other mauled states like California, Florida and Arizona.

There are other avenues to explore for couples in trouble and underwater besides waiting the real estate market out. Short sale is now becoming more acceptable to mortgage lenders, renting the home out for the time being and the latest trend is to pull a strategic default. So, there are alternatives.

The mortgage and real estate mayhem has caused a lot of trouble to homeowners in many different ways, but it has also brought on some unintended, positive consequences. Like the lower divorce rate. Who would have thought that? The winners really are the kids whose squabbling parents are kind of forced to come up with workable solutions and tone things down, at least temporarily.

Photo by jdiggans


Provided by: 

Esko Kiuru
Mortgage, real estate and apartment industry analyst - syndicated mortgage, housing and property management blog
My cell: 702-499-1006

Comment balloon 13 commentsEsko Kiuru • December 21 2009 11:06PM




I enjoyed this post and reading it so much that I am going to reBlog it! Thanks for the great info and for your blogging work through the years. MUCH appreciated!

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 9 years ago

I'm not sure that "sqaubbling parents" are going to tone it down just because they can't sell their homes.  Therefore, I suspect there are even more troubles at home...especially for kids....than before the mortgage meltdown.

Posted by Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country (Pacific Union International) almost 9 years ago

I guess that is good news that the the divorce rate is down---wonder if time in therapy is up?  How about domestic violence-- or gambling?  Tough to measure that one--- Thanks for the blog!  kathy

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) almost 9 years ago

I think you are right, my last divorce listing where people actually squabbled over equity was a year and a half ago.

Kathy could be right - there could be more people turning to complacency or vices to cope and therapists may be making out better than REO list agents!

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) almost 9 years ago

Esko: Thanks. That's probably true nationwide. I know couples who are separated but haven't filed. I suppose this is a good thing. No one would want to go through a divorce in my mind.

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) almost 9 years ago

Not to be a wet blanket but is the real estate jam creating shadow inventory for divorces, eventually increasing the statistics?

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

Esko so instead of Marital Counciling we just send them into a bad Real Estate Martet .......... LOL

Hey whatever works .......... LOL

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 9 years ago


Thought a little different direction might lighten my blog output. Thanx for the reblog.


Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 9 years ago


Maybe, maybe not.

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 9 years ago


There could be lots of possible side effects, true.

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 9 years ago


Equity squabbling is likely very rare in Vegas nowadays, for lack of equity.

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 9 years ago


It can be a traumatic experience, equity or no equity.

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 9 years ago


Exactly, free counseling.

Posted by Esko Kiuru almost 9 years ago