Homes Look Cheap

Wow.  Over 30 years median rent has increased 300% (nominally) and the median mortgage payment has increased less than 20% (also nominally).

As Catherine Rampell says, this is a little bit misleading because down payments and maintenance costs have probably increased on par with rent, or perhaps even a bit more.  Perhaps the mix of homes has changed a little, making medians less comparable.

But still.  If you're investing for the long term, it's hard to see how buying a home wouldn't have a good return.

The fact that no one is buying suggests to me that we live in a fear-driven economy that is seriously detached from economic fundamentals.  This is a bizarre, severely credit-constrained equilibrium or no equilibrium at all.

Update:  Martin Feldstein has an interesting idea to keep home prices from falling further.


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