Buying and Selling a Home Does not Strengthen the Housing Market

In a measure of ungodly stupidity Congress extended the first-time homebuyers' tax credit to existing homeowners. Somehow, it didn't occur to them that if someone sells their home to buy a new one it does not provide a net boost to the housing market. (One more home is purchased, one more home is put up for sale.) Somehow this simple logical point escaped the reporters who cover the issue as well, as they are still waiting for the credit to provide a lift to the housing market.

--Dean Baker

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