Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Americans still overrate homeownership

Some people never learn: Polls show that Americans still view their homes as the best and safest place to invest their hard-earned cash.

Gallup asked Americans this month to choose the best “long-term investment.” Real estate was the most common pick, ahead of mutual funds, bonds and other options. Similarly, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey asked Americans to assess whether various kinds of assets amounted to a “safe investment with a lot of potential.” As has been the case since before the financial crisis, “buying a home” beat out all the alternatives.

The fact that Americans still financially fetishize homeownership baffles me. Never mind that so many people lost their shirts (among other possessions) in the recent housing bust. Over an even longer horizon, owning a home has not proved to be a terribly lucrative investment either. Don’t take my word for it; ask Robert Shiller, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in economics who previously became a household name for identifying the housing bubble.
Read the rest here.


Fr. George said...

It only works if there is an expanding population.

Anonymous said...

The housing bubble was a direct result of government involvement in the creation of artifical lending conditions to 'benefit' the poor which resulted in three things: a huge initial bubble of profitable activity for those folks politically connected, artifically high real estate prices sucking in more activity, followed by The Hurt when the bad debts were sold off by financial institutions and individuals trying to avoid having to pay for that six hundred dollar toilet seat.Yes, banks can be the enemy - but banks colluding with the pols are always the enemy.

And the poor, we will have with us always.