Monday, October 19, 2015

Financial reporter says mortgages and federal backing are a necessary "evil" in housing policy; home ownership helps offset high rents

Bethany Mclean has a disturbing op-ed on p B4 of the Sunday Washington Post Outlook, “The next housing crisis: No one can afford a place to live”, link here  Online, the title is “Government-backed mortgage lenders are awful, and essential”  (a “Weekly Reader best title”).

McLean dutifully points out that a big problem is that consumers used their houses as ATM’s before the 2008 crash (“The House Is Not a Credit Card”, New York Times, Nov. 13, 2014)  .  But it seems pretty much common sense that real estate sales people, in the middle 2000’s, felt the pressure (“Always Be Closing”) to put consumers in more house than they could really afford.  The pressure to get something for nothing behaves collectively.
It does appear that all new apartments around many areas rent for more than most people can afford.  That tends to drive people to borrow money to buy, and to be responsible for mortgages that could go upside down.  Single young adults often get together to rent houses, often cheaper than new apartments.

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