Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Media Starts To Get It: Housing Should Be Affordable

The housing bubble is bad for business, for families, for communities, tax districts, urban planners, the environment, etc. And the media is starting to see through the chamber-of-commerce spin. Case in point; this study put out on the Portsmouth Herald site.

"A study confirmed what most business people have felt for some time: The lack of affordable housing is hurting the ability of business to thrive and expand. New Hampshire loses between 1,300 and 2,800 jobs, and between $21 million and $33 million in state and local taxes, annually because of the problem."

"Since 2001, the increase in the cost of housing has outstripped the increase in family incomes by 10 times."


At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truthfully, they aren't getting it all yet or they'd be yelling "SELL" ! The media isn't even close at all to "getting it".

This whole situation is stupid. We are running a government deficit and a trade deficit. Interest rates are rising. Our dollar is falling. The DOW is falling every day and the NASDAQ hasn't even started to recover from the 2000 crash. Employment is sketchy at best and household debt is at an all time high. Gasoline prices are at an all time high and GM is destined for bankruptcy.

Why should housing be rising 40% year after year ??? Does it make any sense at all ??? When are people going to wake up and smell the bubble ?

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Ben Jones said...

Anon, Overall, you are correct. Its really just a handful of bloggers that pull no punches. This story was fairly unique.

Speaking of sell, did you see the home builders stock today?

It is stupid; thats the beauty of instant publishing, we can call attention to absurdities that big media can't/won't.

When the layoffs boom, I suspect we'll hear from them. Thanks for commenting! Ben

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous simcha said...

This is an interesting and important angle on the housing situation.

As we can see from history, it is common in the US for housing "bubbles" to follow closely behind stock market fiascos---happened in the early 20s (yes, the stock market crashed 50% in 20-21, the late 70s, the late 80s and, of course, the last few years.

So what is happening, to some degree, is an asset allocation switch. Folks are scared of the market so they pour money into real estate.

The problem now is that it has gone too far and is hurting businesses and siphoning money away from other asset classes. And Greenspan doesn't want to keep all these bubbles blowing at once.

My guess is that the Fed is quite eager to burst this housing bubble---as best it can and as gently as it can---so that some of this misallocation of capital can flow back into other asset classes.


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