8/24/2006

What Caused This Market Anyway?

If you're looking for a fresh explanation for your buyers who are afraid they're buying at the wrong time and you're looking for solved real estate mysteries late at night, like how did the subprime mortgage market and our technologically driven society affect real estate, this 44 page article by two economists might have some answers: ..."the housing boom has not been driven by unusually loose monetary policy [i.e., not the Federal Reserve's low interest rates for the last several years]. This is not to say the monetary policy has not been unusually loose, but that to the extent it has been loose, this is not what has been driving spending on housing. Second, the current levels of spending on new housing are largely explained by technology-driven wealth creation over the previous decade. Third, changes in the demographic, income, educational, and regional structure of the population account for about one-half of the increase in homeownership. That is, without any other developments, the homeownership rate is likely to have gone up anyway, but not by as much as it has done. The last finding is that substitution away from rental housing made possible by developments in the mortgage market, such as subprime lending, could account for a significant fraction of the increase in residential investment and homeownership." --From "The great turn-of-the-century housing boom" by Jonas D. M. Fisher and Saad Quayyum.

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