If we learn nothing else with this "economic crisis", which by the way is a GOVERNMENT INDUCED ECONOMIC CRISIS, let it be that the housing market was ruined because of government intervention in the market place. Read the economist Thomas Sowell at Capitalism Magazine.
It was precisely government intervention which turned a thriving industry into a basket case.
An economist specializing in financial markets gave a glimpse of the history of housing markets when he said: "Lending money to American homebuyers had been one of the least risky and most profitable businesses a bank could engage in for nearly a century."
That was what the market was like before the government intervened. Like many government interventions, it began small and later grew.
The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 directed federal regulatory agencies to "encourage" banks and other lending institutions "to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered consistent with the safe and sound operation of such institutions."
That sounds pretty innocent and, in fact, it had little effect for more than a decade. However, its premise was that bureaucrats and politicians know where loans should go, better than people who are in the business of making loans.
The real potential of that premise became apparent in the 1990s, when the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) imposed a requirement that mortgage lenders demonstrate with hard data that they were meeting their responsibilities under the Community Reinvestment Act.
What HUD wanted were numbers showing that mortgage loans were being made to low-income and moderate-income people on a scale that HUD expected, even if this required "innovative or flexible" mortgage eligibility standards. (read)