To Save the Housing Market, Tear Down Houses

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The economic recovery is in a bad way. To get it back on track, the housing market will need revival. And yet, three years after the economic crisis (and after bailouts, multiple rounds of stimulus, and much toiling over the national debt) housing numbers are getting worse.¬† That saps consumer demand and drags down economic growth. Consumer real estate debt is still triple what it was in 1999, despite falling 10% from its 2008 record. The solution? Tear down houses. That’s the subject of Massimo Calabresi and Stephen Gandel’s feature story in this week’s magazine. They discuss four big ideas, including razing houses and refinancing home mortgages at today’s low rates, being bounced around to save the housing market.

Razing houses, officials say, will increase competition for the remaining homes, driving up real estate values. That, in turn, will make it easier for home­owners to refinance to cheaper loans, freeing up spending and boosting consumer confidence.

Read the story here.