Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cheaper House Prices are a Good Thing

Whenever the housing market takes a turn, how you feel depends on where you stand. There are buyer’s markets and seller’s markets; what’s good news for buyers is bad news for sellers, and vice-versa.

So a slow housing market is framed in hand-wringing headlines, like this one from Friday’s Boston Globe: ‘Housing slump may rival late ’80s.’

“If you are struggling to buy a home, that sounds like good news, not bad. It’s also good news if you consider the long-term needs of the state economy.

Lower home prices ‘are healthy for the economy,’ said Alan Clayton-Matthews, the UMass professor who authored the study.
I'm glad to see this message finally starting to seep into the main stream media. I've said many times before on this blog, and I've been severely criticized for it, that lower housing prices are a good thing for the economy, our communities, and the environment. Cheaper house prices may not be good for your specuvestor pocketbook, but it is better for the overall stop thinking about yourself.

Fortunately there are a significant number of people in Marin who understand that affordable housing is a good thing and worth striving for even if it means reduced property values. But unfortunately our local inward looking and protectionist forces have been able to dictate policy.

It seems to me that Marin can either do the right thing and do it well or it can have someone force it down our throats, do it for us and probably not do it at all well.


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