Experts at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, who have long touted the current housing boom as a bubble, have selected the winner of an essay contest aimed at bursting their bubble theory. Hilary Croke, a Federal Reserve Board employee, wrote a four-page essay expressing her personal view that while the inflation of housing costs is expected to decelerate, "a collapse commensurate with previous asset price bubbles is unlikely." The Center for Economic and Policy Research, which focuses on economic and social issues, launched the essay contest in January. Entrants were asked to explain: "Why there is no housing bubble." Croke's essay, which includes accompanying charts and tables with housing statistics, notes that demand for housing "has increased substantially," housing inventories are low, and tax incentives, low interest rates and a growth in the mortgage lending industry have made home ownership more accessible. Also...
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