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Housing Recovery Ripples Through Economy

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This story could be headlined, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” It is a celebration of all things rising. “Home prices are rising, demand is back,” we are told. Clearly rising prices and demand are good news for sellers. But what about buyers? Some are surely priced out of home ownership by these price increases. This is conveniently omitted from this “good news” story. CNN reporter Christine Roman showed up for cheerleader tryouts rather than news reporting on this one.

Plus, the benefits of increasing prices and demand, we are told, have benefits way beyond the sellers of housing: “When you buy a house, or build a house, you are fueling an entire industry, and making opportunities for investing.” The report details how people who buy houses also buy cars, so auto manufacturer stocks are attractive. Companies making the computer chips for the appliances in those houses are also good investment opportunities.

Housing boom stories like this one inevitably ignore the fact that every new subdivision is a decrease in habitat for other species, and every house built takes another bite out of a forest. Increasing demand begets rising prices, and that means someone can make money. Tomorrow CNN will run a story about efforts to make affordable housing available, but that is a subject for another day. We don’t want to interfere with this report’s jubilation over rising prices.

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Guest Sunday, 14 February 2016

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