an interesting take on the desirability of homeownership as a national value by the economist, sort of tagged on to the end of an article discussing the problems of fannie mae and freddie mac:
When jobs move people should follow them. But homeowners, rooted in their neighbourhoods, are also rooted to the spot. They cling to the side of a sinking neighbourhood, long after the jobs have jumped overboard. As Andrew Oswald, an economist at the University of Warwick, in England, points out, West Virginia has one of the highest homeownership rates in the Union; it also tends to have one of the highest rates of unemployment.
i think this will remain a big issue over the coming years. combine this with, as i heard it succinctly put the other day, the fact that the chinese are loaning us money to take our jobs. people are probably going to need to move around more in the coming years to follow the jobs.
i wonder what is going to happen to places like the bay area, where the job market has still not recovered from the dot com bust. outsourcing and offshoring are trends that are just warming up, and will be accelerating for the next foreseeable very long time. how will someone living in a $1.5 million condo be able to compete jobwise with someone living in a $10,000 condo? it still doesn’t add up to me, and i’m still willing to bet money that something has to give. i just can’t seem to pin down the “when” part.