Wednesday, May 04, 2011

What is Wrong with this Article?

"New Households Form at Fastest Rate Since '07 in Resurgent U.S.," headlined a recent Bloomberg article. The premise of the article: pent-up demand for independent households among young adults who have been doubling up with mom and dad is going to boost housing starts in the near future.

No doubt there is pent-up demand for independent housing among young adults, but at best they will become renters not owners. The market for new homes is not likely to recover anytime soon and perhaps not in our lifetime. Unemployment, student loan debt, and depressed wages have shaken the middle class, and the epicenter of the quake is among young adults. At this point, we are only beginning to see the extent of the destruction, and the ground is still shaking.

Yet the experts insist that business as usual is just around the corner. Comments one economist in the Bloomberg article: "The demographic component of housing demand is strong: it's just the economic and psychological components that are holding things back." So, it's just the money and the abject terror--no biggie.

"At some point, housing starts will likely take off in a big way," comments another expert. "I just do not think that Americans will settle for living in more crowded homes."

Settle? Settle? Do they think money grows on trees? Until the housing industry wakes up to the fact that its interests and the interests of union-busting politicians, stingy corporations, greedy universities, and predatory financial institutions are not the same, there is no hope of a return to business as usual in the housing industry.

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