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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Home Ownership and the Housing Market (Part 1)

By Andrew Robbins

 CSMS Magazine Staff WriterKnowing the fact that the housing market is going through its worst moment in history, and, according to the experts, the forecast for a quick recovery is not on the horizon, our staff writer Andrew Robbins has put together a three-part article designed to help our vivid readers understand the underlining factors at the root cause of the problem. Today, we’re presenting part one.    Start a conversation pertaining to the failing real estate market and immediately homeowners inject escalating property taxes. To the Wall Street billionaire’s dismay, it is not the cost of borrowed money (rate of interest) that has resulted in the current housing crisis. It is property taxes. Lowering the Federal Funds Discount rate will not solve the U.S. housing problem as it ignites inflation, fuels burdening debt, and further devalues the U.S. dollar.            The problematic housing market has multiple facets. First, many corporate employers implemented two-tiered labor packages. They required new workers to accept less pay and reduced retirement benefits for identical work. In addition, an influx of undocumented workers into the U.S. labor market provided an abundant supply of inexpensive labor while depriving domestic workers of higher wages. The result is less disposable income for home ownership.             Second, along the coastal storm paths, residential insurance premiums have risen as much as 400 percent from one year to the next.            Third, there is a glut of housing. Low interest rates encouraged a speculative building boom. And, many of the seventy million baby boomers now desire to sell the big-box houses they called home. Plus, in better times, one million families purchased second homes each year. Those nearing retirement often own multiple homes. Soon they will want to liquidate those structures too, further fueling the oversupply.            Fourth, skyrocketing property taxes are the result of excessive municipal spending. Town governments spent more money than they collected. They mortgaged their community’s future by issuing municipal bonds. And in Indiana, to further finance their addiction to excessive spending, they lobbied the state legislature gaining approval to involuntarily annex and tax properties. Throughout Indiana real estate taxes jumped 50 to 100 percent.            The U.S. housing crisis is the result of wage containment, higher insurance premiums, oversupply of housing, and out-of-control municipal spending. The combination of these four factors has priced many homebuyers permanently out of the housing market.Also see The Interest Rate CutNote: Andrew Robbins is a staff writer for CSMS Magazine and the author of It Took My Breath Away: One Man’s Experience May Save Your Life.

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