What's Holding Up Housing?

Somehow, this big chunk of the economy has fared quite well despite the downturn. Help us figure out why

It would be hard to find an industry that has weathered the weak economy better than housing. Demand has held up, prices have risen 10% from a year ago, and homebuilders are busier than ever (see BW, 3/11/02, "The Homes Keep Selling" and "They Can't Build 'em Fast Enough"). Despite the risk of jinxing all that, it's tempting to claim that at the moment the real estate market appears recession-proof, a pleasant change from past economic slumps.

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