Cover story: Housing and the Economy
The start of a new calendar year is welcomed with parties, well-wishing and an eye toward new beginnings. But in the business and finance world, most people rang in 2019 fixated on endings.
The business cycle, the bull market, home sales, price growth — so many economic indicators and financial models ended 2018 on a sour note. At the same time, the typical hallmarks of a coming recession, like unemployment rates, economic productivity, consumer spending and others, were strong as ever. Rather than reassure anxious minds, this constant stream and good and bad news has only generated confusion, not confidence.
For the last year or more, the story of the United States economy could be told, convincingly, through one of two competing narratives: one of growth or one of contraction. But how well do either of those narratives hold up on a local level? Joshua Stephens, vice president at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential, said that he has certainly noticed a sense of change in the Boston housing market, the strength of the local economy and other factors meant it was no cause for alarm. “The pendulum has definitely swung the other way, which was bound to happen soon,” Stephens said. “Buyers …
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