Jan 2, 2018

The Cloud Above Allentown's Good News


Often when I read articles praising Allentown's revitalization I wonder on what planet the author lives? But I can understand how the out of town cub reporters can misinterpret the construction boom occurring in center city. After all, who could imagine an incentive program like Reilly's NIZ? Recently, Allentown was featured in an article noting its increase in home ownership. Once again,  I'm afraid that there is a gap between the article's conclusions and the local reality.

The housing bubble burst in 2008 because far too many unqualified buyers were being approved for mortgages. In today's center city housing market there is another time bomb, seller's assist. People are buying homes with absolutely no skin in the game. There is a school of thought where urbanists think that homeownership provides the marginally qualified with roots. I'm not sure if that philosophy really helps a city in the longterm, but we seem to be inadvertently embarking down that path.

2 comments:

Fire the incompetants said...

In 2010 I was the recipient, as a beneficiary, of a home fully refurbished in the 900 block of South Poplar Street. It was appraised at $130,000 and I would have let it go for $120,000 just to get it off my back. In the two months I had it on the market, only minorities visited, making significantly low bids, and were unqualified for a mortgage without some type of assistance. I finally sold it at such a low price with seller's assist and took a great loss in my inheritance. Seeler's assist is nothing but another vehicle to get unqualified people into home ownership with practically no skin in the game. This however props up purchases and looks good for the record, but it is another sham, produced by the entitlement system, to further sink qualified buying!

Jamie Kelton said...

Those who ignore history tend to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Happy new year Mr. Molovinski. I enjoy your posts of Historical Allentown.