It’s hard to believe—now that we know better—how widely that assumption shaped the last decade.
It informed the decisions of everyone from top-level policymakers and Wall Street bankers to real-estate agents, mortgage brokers, and homebuyers.
Housing was safe. It was stable. We had seen the stock market soar and plummet, but the United States hadn’t experienced a nationwide housing crash since the Great Depression. The country binged on credit and got drunk off of rising home prices. When the party was over, we woke up to a real-estate mess that threatened to take down the nation’s entire economy.