HOUSING: Back to 1920?

What was happening to the building boom? By last week there were plenty of signs that in many cities it was turning into something resembling a bust. Although the construction industry has figured that there will be enough materials for a million new houses in 1947, the Department of Commerce now estimates that only 700,000 to 800,000 will be built. And this seemed highly optimistic. Fewer permanent new houses (133,500) were started in the first three months of 1947 than in the same period last year.

The trouble was building costs. They had soared so high that they had scared...

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