This Marketwatch article argues that the answer is yes. Of course, it is Marketwatch, so the article is primarily highbrow click bait.
Nonetheless, the question is still worth pondering.
I find some merit in the argument. Years after the initial housing meltdown, what happened to all those "toxic assets"? Have they been liquidated?
Not really. The high delinquency rates in the article indicate that the market has not cleared. Lenders are loathe to foreclose and turn a paper loss into a real loss. Gov't is loathe to let the markets clear because crashing home prices (and the deflationary effect on our fragile economy) would be politically undesireable.
So the charade continues. All the major players of consequence to the residential real estate market-- sellers, buyers, lenders, and regulatory oversight-- have the same interest in perpetuating the myth. Lenders keep the losses unrealized. Homeowners get to keep their homes, but free of the risk of foreclosure, get to live there for free. Political overlords get to avoid the consequences of their ill-advised market manipulation.
On the whole, I'd say the article is closer to right than wrong. There's no reason to think that housing will have a good, honest recovery any time soon because housing lags the economy. True housing recovery cannot come with real wages falling and net spending low.
Economic data indicates that the fraction of personal income going to service debt obligations is the lowest it's been in the available data. So where is all that other money going? If the money isn't going towards servicing debt, then it MUST either be going to investment or to consumption.
But we see no spike in consumption. Instead, we just see the steady wave of money printing the Fed has undertaken.
Which leaves investment. That means we should be creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs and have a roaring economy that would cause the Fed to raise rates and everything would get back to normal.
But that's not happening. Job market is still stagnant, as labor force participation remains mired at 1978 levels:
The real economy-- those millions of small transactions the build a broad base of economic growth-- is nearly flat. The stock market highs represent economic stagnation, because all the money that WOULD be going to wages and to personal consumption and is instead getting pushed into the one place where people can make money.
When the economy starts to grow, the stock market indices will move lower, not higher, as the money moves out of the stock market and into other investments.