Home Prices May Still Be Too High — New York Real Estate

Home Prices May Still Be Too High

by John Tayeb on January 27, 2010

Adjusted for inflation, housing prices are still 15 percent to 20 percent higher than they were in the mid-1990s, calculates housing economist Dean Baker, co-director of the nonpartisan Center for Economic and Policy Research.

“There’s no plausible fundamental explanation for that,” he says.

Baker believes economic fundamentals translate to a weak recovery at best. “People who say this is a temporary story, there’s no real reason to believe anything like that,” he says. “If anything, I expect housing to be weaker than normal rather than stronger over the next decade.”

Baker is opposed to the housing tax credit.

“As a matter of policy I can’t see that we want people to buy a house in 2009 that’s 10-20 percent higher than it would sell for in 2011,” he says. “In so far as the FHA was encouraging people to buy homes in bubble markets that were not deflated, that’s not good for the FHA and you didn’t help the home owner. We didn’t do those people a favor.”

Source: Bloomberg News, Nick Timiraos (01/26/2010)

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