Any time a major industry struggles, factions seem to square off, and housing is no exception. The argument being bantered around in circles today is whether buying a home is a smart investment or just another staple.
The New York Times reports that economists are taking sides on this issue. One side believes housing is a luxury good, meaning home prices will rise nearly as fast as incomes in the long run. The other party theorizes housing has become a staple and prices will rise slowly with general inflation, like food.
In a recent article in Time titled “The Case Against Home Ownership,” the writer made some stirring observations for not owning a home. That struck a nerve with the National Association of Realtors, prompting President Vicki Cox Golder to fire off a letter responding that “recent attacks on the value of homeownership are knee-jerk reactions to current economic conditions.” The letter stated: “The positive impact of homeownership on society has been well documented; extensive research from government agencies, industry, and academia has shown that homeownership contributes to stable communities, helps reduce crime and improves academic achievement.”
And finally, there are those who have been touting the advantages of renting as opposed to buying, like freedom from debt and more leisure time with family, as reported in the August 27 issue of The Hestia Report.