04 March 2010

Resist the Housing Cult

A blog at the WSJ, says that using Federal Stimulus money to reestablish housing construction as the basis of our economy should be resisted:
....The U.S. economy is in transition, reconstituting itself into something that isn’t yet clear. But here’s what is clear: we just don’t need many new homes.

Consider the following. The U.S. has about 131 million housing units... Of that only 112 million are occupied. That means 19 million or a staggering 14.5% of all available housing is empty.

...It seems that the only Americans who really need more new houses are the American home builders.

2 comments:

Quim said...

jeezle, these guys are just figuring this out? It's just market saturation.
Any idea how important the housing industry was prior to WW II & WW I ?

Paul Wilham said...

I'd like to see the figures for Cincinnati. Given we lost 170,000 people between the depression and now in the "City Proper".

Although if we had an automatic downzoning when houses went vacant. In other words all the illegal 3-4 plexes have to go back to single family. Would certianly make Urban Neighbohroods more desirable. Less cars per house.

We also need more incentives to restore. Maybe reduced permits when you buy a urban foreclosure or a facade grant program.

We need a regional 'smart growth' initiative to slow suburban growth.