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ONE GOOD READ: Current housing boom different from one in early 2000s


The pandemic has ignited a housing boom, but it’s different from the one that occurred in the early 2000s, writes Nicole Friedman for the Wall Street Journal. The current housing boom is more stable than the last one and poses fewer systemic risks, economists say. But a downside exists: There are more barriers to entry, and it’s more difficult for buyers who aren’t already homeowners to make that first purchase, Friedman writes. U.S. house prices soared 10.8% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, the biggest annual increase in data going back to 1992, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The median purchase price of a home in the U.S. climbed above $300,000 last year for the first time. Nearly 1 in 4 homebuyers between April and June bought houses priced at $500,000 or more. Less expensive homes became harder to find, writes Friedman. “The economy seems to have officially split in two,” Glenn Kelman, chief executive of real estate brokerage Redfin Corp., told Friedman. “There is so much hardship in one part, and then there’s just an absolute mad dash to buy houses in the other part.”

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