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Yup, home builders are feeling pretty crummy. New homes sales figures show that “four out of five metropolitan areas saw home prices drop in the third quarter compared to the year before. Meanwhile, sales of existing homes fell in 32 states,” according to NPR. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index sank five points to 9, the lowest level recorded since the series was created in January of 1985, according to the NAHB’s website. Here are some suggestions provided by the organization about how to handle the crisis:
“The housing downturn has already cost America three million jobs in construction and related industries, and this downward momentum cannot be stemmed without substantive government intervention,” agreed NAHB’s new Chief Economist, David Crowe. “Congress should consider significant consumer incentives such as expanding the first-time home buyer tax credit and providing a government buy-down of mortgage interest rates for home purchasers. Both policies were successfully combined in the ‘70s to stimulate home buyer demand, and could get housing and the national economy moving again.”