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Housing Crisis Produces Stress

[Dec 18, 2007.]


It's apparent that the current housing crisis in the U.S. is having a decisive impact on banks, home buyers, home sellers, and investors.

But in addition to producing financial stress on both Main Street and Wall Street, there's new evidence that the housing slump is also giving rise to emotional stress.

A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 51% of those Americans polled say that the housing crisis has become a leading source of stress. They say that high rent and mortgage costs are both taking a toll on their psyches.

Of those surveyed, one-third said they are living with extreme stress and nearly half say that their stress level has increased in the past 5 years. The stress also appears to be having an impact on health, relationships, and workplace productivity.

Meanwhile, 75% of the respondents said that money and work are the leading cause of stress. Only 59% of respondents gave a similar answer in the year 2006.

The survey represents part of the American Psychological Association's Mind/Body Health Public Education Campaign.

In a written statement, the group's executive director for professional practice, Russ Newman, stated, "Stress in America continues to escalate and is affecting every aspect of people's lives, from work to personal relationships to sleep patterns and eating habits, as well as their health.

"We know that stress is a fact of life and some stress can have a positive impact, however, the high stress levels that many Americans report experiencing can have long-term health consequences, ranging from fatigue to obesity and heart disease."

The stress from the housing crisis may increase in the coming months, since foreclosures are expected to skyrocket. In fact, housing experts predict there will be no turnaround in the housing market until the middle of 2008. However, it's unclear whether the housing slump will result in a full recession.

Julie Ann Amos
December 6th 2007

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