"the great housing reset" - discuss

3 Replies

It really bothers me to read all these articles that make private investors and investment firms out to be the bad guy and the driving force behind the growth in wealth inequality, high rents, housing costs etc.  The trend is to make capitalism look like it's the source of all our economic problems and now politicians are trying to use that to convince America the government should oversee housing, rents, and a whole host of other things that I'll leave out so as not to deviate from the RE perspective.  Capitalism responds to economic policy and these crazy low interest rates are part of what is driving investors to flood the housing market and take advantage right now. As long as you can borrow long-term debt at ridiculously low interest why wouldn't you lock that in?

I also have a slightly jaded view on millennials not being able to afford housing because I talk with many people in my job and I can't count the times I hear about how people can't afford to buy a house when in subsequent conversations I find out they collect premium shoes and have a whole closet dedicated to them, go out to eat/the bar 3-5 times per week, and have high end phones, TV's etc. As a whole, there is such poor financial discipline and sacrifice to save for things that I can't help but feel that is also a big reason for the lack of ability to afford a house. I know there are many out there who don't fit this category, but in my area this is what I'm seeing. 

@Scott Passman . As you state there is much to disagree with in this article. No mention of government's role in the financialization of real estate with FNMA and FHA. No mention of 125% LTV and no income verification loans being offered and packaged as investment-grade investments leading up to 2008 and government's oversight failures in this area (can you say Barney Frank?). No mention that corporate interests coming into the real estate market as buyers when prices are depressed helps owners and helps prevent values from falling further. No mention of government's role in restricting development of additional housing units increasing scarcity in high end markets. No mention of sound personal financial practices, such as putting down 20% and having an emergency fund. No historical perspective that prior to WWII you had to put down 20% and amortize over 5 to 10 years, that the 30 year mortgage is a more recent phenomenon and not a sound plan for many people. Stick to reading books and writing articles professor, you might not be cut out for actually jumping into the arena to live or die.

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