Chart of the Day: Housing Boom, Housing Bust

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Via Brad DeLong, this chart shows how much housing was “overbuilt” during the aughts compared to how much it’s been underbuilt since the collapse of the housing bubble. As you can see, on net, we’re now way, way underbuilt, which means we should be all set for a renaissance of housing construction. Assuming anyone still has the money to buy a house, that is.

Of course, there’s another way to look at this: why did home prices rise so furiously even though we were building lots of homes? That’s odd, no? Simple supply and demand suggests that when the supply of something goes way up, its price should go down. But it didn’t — and it’s not because the fundamental demand for housing suddenly skyrocketed. It was because Wall Street could make a lot of money from a housing bubble, so they invented the financial artistry to get one. Thanks, guys!

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate