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The Government and the Housing Market

by Rina Monday, Apr. 11, 2011 at 7:35 AM

The housing market has long been the measuring stick of how well the economy is doing or how badly it is doing.

The housing market has long been the measuring stick of how well the economy is doing or how badly it is doing. When the economy is good houses are being built, banks are lending money, and people are buying houses. When the economy is bad houses are not being built, banks are not lending money and people are not buying houses.

When houses are not being built there are a lot of people affected. People in construction are not hired and therefore they do not make money to support themselves or their families. Companies that sell material to build houses do not make money so they cannot hire more people.

The companies that manufacture house building materials do not get orders so they have to lay off people in their manufacturing plants. Banks do not lend money so they have to keep their interest rates high. With higher interest rates people do not borrow as much money and this makes it hard for people to get a loan and then people cannot buy houses.

So it becomes a self defeating cycle. So much of our economy is based on the house market. But as it is said in the real estate field, the housing market goes up and it goes down. The government is so involved in the housing market that it has many regulations in place to try to control the market. They control everything from the construction of houses to the lending of the money to buy the houses.

They control the bank's part and the mortgage broker's part. The government controls the real estate agents involved in the sale by enforcing rules they have to abide by. The government can try to build up home sales by offering income tax credits to first time home buyers. The government encourages home ownership by providing income tax savings by allowing people to write off their interest payments off their taxes.

This is an age old reason why people want to own a home, so they can pay less tax. We simply take for granted this benefit when in reality it is a major way government controls the home market. There are many factors involved in our economy but no other area is controlled or determined by the government than the housing market.
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Perhaps because the government knows that there is stability in home ownership. Or perhaps they know that if people own homes they have to keep busy trying to keep their homes so they have no time to worry about what the government is doing. Or maybe the government believes so much that home ownership is part of the pursuit of happiness and all that.

Whatever the reason the housing market is the government. And whether that is good or bad depends on how you look at it. The housing market will always have its good times and its bad times. It will always have people who try to make a killing in the market and those who simply want to own a home and raise their family. And the government will always be there controlling the market.
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