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The words used are housing correction.  It means prices are dropping.  Or at least in some parts of the western United States.  I don’t know that Idaho has seen the plunge in prices that some neighboring states are seeing, but a story in Fortune magazine points to a double-digit drop.  In fact, one seller lost more than 15 percent of the previous purchase price.

The hike in interest rates is probably a major factor.  Fewer buyers mean fewer shortages of lumber, wiring, and shingles.

I don’t believe we’ll see prices drop far enough to make new homes more affordable for young working people.  A trend has been Wall Street robber barons snapping up entire neighborhoods and then renting the properties to the newly created class of serfs.

In early 2015, I had an opportunity to buy a two-bedroom ranch house in Kimberly for 160,000 dollars.  I passed.  A year ago the comps in that neighborhood almost took my breath away.  An old coworker saw a house she bought in Twin Falls appreciate by 100,000 dollars over half a dozen years.  The city is now seeing a drop in new housing construction.

Where does it go from here?   Look, even if inflation falls and we see a drop in interest rates, I don’t believe the dream of home ownership will be available to a majority in the future.  Unless they’re living in a box.  Neighboring Montana is easing building restrictions in the belief more homes will lower costs.  I’m sure it will for the professional class, but no such luck for the mass of the working poor.

My parents bought their first home 62 years ago.  Four bedrooms, two baths, and 1850 square feet.  They paid 6,000 dollars.  They sold it for 8,000 dollars in 1970.  In 1980, my dad and I built a house on property we already owned.  We did it for under 15,000 dollars.  Those days are long gone.

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