Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.
The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.
Amid all the economic uncertainty over the credit crisis in Europe and slow job growth in the U.S., one sector may be looking up. The U.S. housing market is finally showing more signs of recovery, according to a report being released Thursday by Harvard University.
Harvard comes out with this study once a year, and this time around, it's painting a much brighter picture.
Kristi Taylor can pinpoint the precise moment she let go of the dream of homeownership. It was a few months ago, as she and her husband and infant son were driving through a neighborhood of homes near their apartment in Athens, Ga.
"As we were passing through, I realized that I don't really look at houses like I used to, when we would point out homes and say, 'That can be ours someday,' " says Taylor, who is 28. Now, she says, "the idea of homeownership is so vague, it doesn't even strike me as something that's in our future."
We're going to hear now about some surprising consequences of the weak housing market in this country. It turns out that the value - even on a paper - of a home can affect the college choices that a family makes.
NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to discuss social science research. He's here this morning to talk about those new findings. And good morning.