The economy has peppered political speeches for much of the presidential campaign. But talk of creating jobs has stolen thunder from the housing market.
The epic housing collapse four years ago was a key ingredient in creating the Great Recession in the first place. Plus, boosting the housing market can be a boon for overall economic recovery.
Beginning A ‘Long-Term Cycle’
Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, follows the housing market. He says housing is a major driver of the overall economy because it impacts multiple sectors. When you buy a home, for example, you also buy things to put in it. When companies notice that kind of activity, they respond, he says.
That knock-on effect is boosting stocks at Home Depot and Lowe’s; they’re trading at their highest prices in a decade. That, in turn, lures investors.
Brian Peery of the California investment firm Hennessy Funds says he’s hopeful.
“I think we’re actually just beginning a long-term cycle here,” he says. “I think if you look at the home builders and the construction companies themselves, they’re not quite optimistic yet, but they’ve certainly become less pessimistic.”
Denver real estate agent Victoria McCaskill, meanwhile, certainly is optimistic.
“What we’re seeing now is low inventory … lots of buyers in the marketplace, rents are up” she says, “and we’re seeing a situation where it’s almost difficult to find a home as a buyer. It’s a multiple-bid situation in a lot of instances.”
Still, a number of false starts in the economy over the past few years have fallen flat. This time, according to Thompson, the growth is real — if halting.
by NPR STAFF