Is It A Good Time To Buy A House?


Felix Salmon thinks so:

[W]e can now take advantage of long-term fixed financing (thanks, Uncle Sam!) to own a home for a monthly payment less than the cost of renting. Which doesn’t mean that prices won’t fall further, of course. But at least there’s a good chance that if you do buy a house right now, with a fixed-rate mortgage, then if push comes to shove you’ll probably be able to rent it out and more than cover your mortgage payments.

Yglesias agrees:

Now before you go buy a house, do make sure to check against local conditions. My understanding is that this math doesn't necessarily add up in Hawaii, the New York area, or the vicinity of San Francisco. But if you've never owned a home you should take a hard look at the local math.

Along the same lines, Felix Salmon takes a close look at Manhattan's housing market. Kevin Drum adds a grain of salt:

The question is: what does this mean? Option 1: housing prices have overshot on the downside and are now due to rebound. Option 2: We're not building enough rental units to meet demand. Option 3: There are so many foreclosed and underwater houses on the market that this is just the way things are going to be for a while. That's the problem with data like this: it can mean a lot of different things, so it's hard to say what its predictive value is.