Housing: It Will Cost More

The nation's most ramshackle major industry—housing—had hoped to rebuild this year, but it appears that the roof is still caving in. Reason: mortgage credit has grown scarcer and costlier since the Federal Reserve Board's recent increase in the discount rate. The board's overall purpose was to prevent inflation. But, the predictable side effect on housing of its move was to inflate prices and discourage buyers in a $25 billion-a-year business that has been slumping since late 1963, despite unprecedented prosperity throughout the rest of the economy. "The general tightening in mortgage markets," declares the National Association of Home Builders,...

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