the housing crisis is a demographic crisis

I was just getting my morning shot of Bubblevision when Josh Rosner told Joe Kernan that the real problem in home prices is that the traditional postwar level of home ownership (estimated at 60%) has ballooned to 70%, and that given the baby bust there's simply no way out of this mess (other than to raze homes).

This is shrewd analysis.  On the one hand, you could see a scenario where the boomers keep these second homes and their underwater mortgages through thick and thin, passing them on to their kids for use as weekend getaways.  One hopes the general level of prosperity will rise enough so that having a second home will be as commonplace here as it is in the English landed gentry (who would prefer to jet off to Ibiza, but will settle for Sussex or the Lake District).  Given the government's apparent preference to guarantee the unlimited appreciation of asset prices, this is a likely scenario.

But what about The Angry Renter?  I know that homeownership is all well and good, but couldn't you make the case that a nation of renters makes for a more fluid economy, where labor is free to pack up and move according to economic conditions?

What Durham needs is a state income tax deduction for rental payments, similar to what they have in Massachusetts.  This is the true progressive position.

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