Housing Market Performance in the United States

Housing Market Performance in the United States

Housing Market Performance in the United States

Housing Market Performance in the United States

Excerpt

This book on the performance of urban housing markets arose out of a series of conversations beginning in May 1973, at the May- flower Hotel meetings of the American Association of Real Estate and Urban Economics. Dr. Fisher and myself had been hard at work on housing policy matters: one of us at the U.S. General Accounting Office, the other in a wide-ranging study of the roots of such policies. Policy, we agreed, had to be based on more than assertions, political platforms, or inadequate statistics. This book, then, is an attempt to put together the record of a century of performance in key housing markets around the nation. The data are used to assess both the overall market and the specific targets of past and current policy.

In many ways, this is a pioneer enterprise. It ought to be followed by far more intensive and probably localized studies of performance. There will be some disagreement about our choice of performance criteria. We welcome such discussion and feel that it will have served our purposes well if, from these ideas, a far better matrix of assessment of performance is developed.

We freely acknowledge that we have picked the brains of many of our friends and associates. We have benefited greatly from discussions and from long years of observation. But what is presented here is ours in a sense that requires a statement of willingness to accept blame for any errors as well as a confession that sometimes we have been very stubborn in the face of good advice and worthwhile suggestions.

The "junior" author of this book, in his more than 50 years of professional development has acquired a healthy respect for facts, but his contribution to this work is an assessment of policy. The facts, the theories, and the programs, he has left to his "senior" author. Yet this is a joint effort in every sense, since it reflects our efforts to lay a foundation for a better understanding of very complex matters.

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