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Housing market is robust but talk of shortage is off-base | READER COMMENTARY

Millennials who once eschewed home ownership are taking advantage of low interest rates and lack of debt by purchasing homes. (Suzanne Baker/Chicago Tribune).
Millennials who once eschewed home ownership are taking advantage of low interest rates and lack of debt by purchasing homes. (Suzanne Baker/Chicago Tribune). (Suzanne Baker / Naperville Sun)

Well done to Hallie Miller for her recent article, “Baltimore-area housing market sees continued demand, high prices one year into coronavirus pandemic” (April 14). It contained well-timed good news that offered an optimistic forecast on the local housing market, at least for those selling a home. One issue I would take with her report stems from the comments of Elliot Eisenberg, the consulting economist to Bright MLS. He is quoted as saying, “There just are not enough homes being built as prices remain high. We downplay the severity of this problem. We need millions of homes built.”

Such a perspective epitomizes that of a short-sighted profit-motivated developer with a selective short term memory. He seems to have forgotten, or never learned, that it was just a decade ago that the U.S., including Baltimore, was struggling to crawl its way out of a recession fueled by out-of-control housing construction and financing industries. How cavalier and casually it is that Mr. Eisenberg forgets about the thousands (perhaps millions) of homes lost due to foreclosures and reclaimed by banks only to be sold dirt cheap by the very same profiteering developers and over-eager financial institutions that originally gambled on funding and bundling those mortgages. And when those industries were about to go over the financial cliff themselves, it was the American taxpayer who bailed them out. Anybody suggest we should try that again?

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If Mr. Eisenberg is sincere in his anxiety over the housing shortage — although failing to address the need for affordable housing over high-end speculative properties — I can only hope that the “millions of homes” he believes we need built are to constructed near where he lives.

Michael E. Flinton, Towson

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