If there is one thing that’s clear from current commentary on the housing market, it’s that the progress and stability of the housing market is unclear. Every article has a differing opinion. Some ride the pendulum swing to its most positive outlook (“Everything is great!”), while others hold fast to the other end of the spectrum (“We’re never digging out of this hole.”). Even more confusing is that both sides have theories and numbers to seemingly support what they’re saying.
Lynn Effinger’s commentary in this article is skeptical of positive talk about the housing market, citing an increase in the percentage of homeowners with negative equity during Q4 of 2014 and the rumored reemergence of the sub-prime market. Regardless of your agreement or disagreement with Lynn, his comments toward the end of the article should be considered by everyone:
Among the best cures for our economic ailments is the opportunity for more and more Americans to find meaningful, well-paying jobs; wages to keep up with ever-rising prices, and for our young people to not fall prey to the belief that a college degree is in itself a ticket to prosperity, only to discover that they are hopelessly in debt upon graduation because of exorbitant student loans and cannot begin to think about purchasing a home anytime soon.
Of particular note are his comments about college degrees. Unthinking adherence to the idea that university education is the answer to a great job and sustainable income can be damaging, first and foremost to the prospective student, but secondarily to the economic opportunities that student would be involved in were it not for the crushing weight of student loans. For many, college is a useful gateway to incredible opportunities; for others, it can turn into an unbearable yoke with a widespread effect.