This 2006 Liberty article by Randal O'Toole is absolutely fascinating! Its a must read if you ever wondered why housing prices in the US ever got so high and so out of reach for the average American citizen, and why housing inflation is related to the current economic collapse of the world economies :
Why Do Houses Cost So Much?
by Randal O'Toole
For decades, planners have worked at raising the price of housing. When prices go down, they may take the rest of the economy with them.
Housing prices have soared in most of the developed world over the past five years. Increased spending on homes and spending out of loans against the increased equity in homes have kept the world economy afloat despite slow growth in Europe, stagnation in Japan, and the dot-com and telecommunications crashes in the United States.
But the increased prices have also brought speculators into housing markets, creating numerous housing bubbles. When these bubbles deflate, it could result in a deep recession. "The whole world economy is at risk," claims The Economist, which estimates that "two-thirds (by economic weight) of the world . . . has a potential housing bubble." "It is not going to be pretty," concludes the magazine.....
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