The ups and downs in housing markets over the past two decades are without precedent, and the costs —financial, psychological, and social —have been enormous. Yet Americans overwhelmingly still aspire to homeownership, and many still view access to homeownership as an important ingredient for building wealth among historically disadvantaged groups.
Authors: Frederick Abernathy, Kermit Baker, Kent Colton, David Weil
Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better examines the performance and operation of the US homebuilding sector based on a detailed survey of large home builders conducted by the authors in the period of the great building boom of the 2000s. In contrast to the many books that have focused on the financial side of the housing sector prior to the Great Recession, the book examines the operational side of the industry and what did, and, more importantly, what did not, happen during the period of unprecedented growth.
The recent collapse of the mortgage market revealed fractures in the credit market that have deep roots in the system's structure, conduct, and regulation. The time has come for a clear-eyed assessment of what happened and how the system should be strengthened and restructured. Such reform will have a profound and lasting impact on the capacity of Americans to use credit to build assets and finance consumption.
Americans are awash in debt. Credit undergirds daily life more than ever before—it is one of the defining aspects of life in the United States today. The damage from a depressed housing market is exacerbated by the subprime lender implosion, sending shock waves through the financial sector, international economies, and the presidential campaign. Most low- or moderate-income people borrow, but they are doing it to stay afloat rather than to keep up with the Joneses. How did things go so wrong?