Housing

Modern-day Luddites

Modern-day Luddites oppose a different type of progress—gentrification.

Building Safely without Government Building Codes

Most people accept building codes as a necessary government intervention. One Website states: Codes provide minimum standards for building construction in order to safeguard the public’s safety, health, and welfare. Another Website states: If we searched we could find...

Zoning and Tyranny

In 2007, I served as a consultant to a group of citizens opposed to an attempt to bring zoning to Hobbs, New Mexico. During that time, I wrote a series of articles that were published in the local newspaper. This is one of those articles. In a referendum, zoning was...

The Nature of Zoning

In 2007, I served as a consultant to a group of citizens opposed to an attempt to bring zoning to Hobbs, New Mexico. During that time, I wrote a series of articles that were published in the local newspaper. This is one of those articles. In a referendum, zoning was...

Rent Control Hypocrites

Those who benefit from government coercion seldom like it when the gun is turned around and pointed at them. They have no hesitation to demand that government use compulsion for their benefit, but complain when compulsion is directed at them. As an example,...

Nuisance, Zoning, and Property Rights

One of the primary justifications for zoning is to prevent “incompatible” land uses, such as keeping industrial facilities out of residential areas. Such “incompatible” uses are regarded as an inherent nuisance, and rather than wait for the nuisance to occur, the use...

Out of Order

While JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been credited for a confident and feisty performance today in front of Congress, he was careful to not criticize their efforts thus far to regulate the financial services industry. Given that JP Morgan has been on the receiving end...

Rent Control: The Most “Peaceful” Way to Destroy a City

Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck once wrote, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.” In the late 1970s, a poll of American economists found that ninety-eight percent agreed that “a...

America Mortgaged at an Adjustable Rate

The Federal Reserve ran another "stress test" on major financial institutions and has determined that 15 of the 19 tested are safe, even in the most extreme circumstances: an unemployment rate of 13%, a 50% decline in stock prices, and a further 21% decline in housing...

Housing Will Remain a Government Program

Recently, the Obama Administration seemed to flash a rare sign of laissez-faire thinking when it issued a report calling for the “winding down” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two taxpayer-guaranteed institutions now responsible for backing at...

Economics Alone Doesn't Explain the Housing Market Collapse

Economist Peter Schiff writes: "How has the [housing] market found the strength to stop its descent? No one is making the case that fundamentals have improved. Instead, there is widespread agreement that government intervention stopped the free fall. The home...

The Housing Boom and Bust

Hot off the press is my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell's 43rd book, "The Housing Boom and Bust." The book is an eye-opener for anyone interested in the truth about the collapse of the housing market that played a major role in our financial market crisis....

The Housing Boom and Bust

In the spirit of bipartisanship, my newest book-- "The Housing Boom and Bust"-- shows how both Democrats and Republicans ruined both the housing markets and the financial markets. Like so many disasters, the current economic crisis grew out of policies based on good...

False Solutions and Real Problems: The Housing Crisis Revisited

Someone once said that Senator Hubert Humphrey, liberal icon of an earlier generation, had more solutions than there were problems. Senator Humphrey was not unique in that respect. In fact, our present economic crisis has developed out of politicians providing...

Obama’s “Logic” on the Mortgage Crisis

In his "Remarks by the President on the mortgage crisis" on February 18, Obama stated: Our housing crisis was born of eroding home values, but it was also an erosion of our common values, and in some case, common sense. It was brought about by big banks that traded in...

Lured To Disaster by “Affordable Housing”

Behind the housing boom and bust was one of those alluring but undefined phrases that are so popular in politics-- "affordable housing." It is hard for me to know specifically what politicians are talking about when they use this phrase. But then politics is about...

Was the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis Caused by Lack of Regulations?

Did lack of regulation create the subprime mortgage crisis? I am asked this all the time. The short answer: Of course not. Nowhere close. Not a chance. Here is the long answer. What regulations have we had? The mortgage originator (your local bank or mortgage broker)...

The Housing Bubble and the Credit Crunch

The turmoil in the credit markets now emanating from the collapse of the housing bubble can be understood in the light of the theory of the business cycle developed by Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek.

Sub-Prime Politicians and Mortgage Loans By People Buying Homes

Amid all the hand-wringing and finger-pointing as housing markets collapse, mortgage foreclosures skyrocket, and financial markets panic, there is very little attention being paid to the fundamental economic and political decisions that led to this mess. The growth in...

Recycled “Racism Gap” in the Mortgage Market

One of the things that happens when you get old is that what seems like news to others can look like a re-run of something you have already seen before. It is like watching an old movie for the fifth or sixth time. A headline in the September 14th issue of the New...

The Human Price of California’s Statist Housing Policies

They say time is money but a lot depends on whose time and whose money. For example, in California the San Mateo County Planning Commission has spent five years deciding what can and cannot be done with the site of an old racetrack that is no longer economically...

Housing Bubbles

The blazing-hot topic at suburban cocktail parties this spring is whether there's a bubble in the residential housing market. No wonder. In 2004, existing home prices rose faster than in any year since the 1970s. Some markets are going bonkers. Alexandria, Va., is up...

Housing Hurdles: The Solution?

Once, after giving a talk, I was confronted by a lady in the audience who asked what some people regard as the ultimate question: "What is YOUR solution?" "There are no solutions," I said. "There are only trade-offs." "The people DEMAND solutions!" she shot back...

Housing Hurdles in California

A new study shows that you need an income of about $104,000 to buy an average home on the San Francisco peninsula with a 20 percent down payment. Since the average price of a home in this area is more than half a million dollars, the 20 percent down payment itself...