Homebuyers and economists alike thought cities like Seattle, Minneapolis, and Atlanta were "immune" from the plummet in housing prices that devastated Florida and the Southwest, says David Streitfeld in The New York Times. Not anymore. In fact, home prices in "bubble markets" like Las Vegas, Miami, and Phoenix are finally stabilizing, while "stable" cities where the housing bubble was "relatively restrained" are feeling the pain, Streitfeld says. What's the lesson here?
Life isn't fair: Everyone who blamed the whole housing crisis on fools who "paid $1.3 million for a particleboard McMansion in the middle of a desert and/or swamp" just got a big lesson, says Hamilton Nolan in Gawker. No matter what you do, "Playing By The Rules and Doing All The Right Things" isn't a guarantee that "your happy stable community" will stay happy and stable. Even the "nice cities" are in trouble. "Sorry, American dreamers!"
"Real estate market collapse: Now coming to the nice cities"
Streitfeld's whole premise is wrong: Who says there was no bubble in Atlanta, Seattle, and Minneapolis? asks Ken Houghton in Angry Bear. Not "anyone who was paying attention." In fact, all three cities were correctly identified as "prime examples of housing bubbles," which makes Streitfeld's whole argument bogus.
"David Streitfeld knows better than this"
The problem is wages, not location: Our housing mess may have been caused by "unsustainable bubble in house valuations" in Florida, Las Vegas, and elsewhere, says Matthew Yglesias in Think Progress. But it's spreading because the Great Recession drained our purchasing power nationwide. When people can't afford homes, that creates "serious housing problems" even in places that never saw "noteworthy construction booms."
"If nobody has money, houses have to be cheap"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- What if The Purge was real?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
Subscribe to the Week