Phobias

They are said to be irrational fears. They are often misconstrued or misunderstood. I heard somebody actually define homophobia as the fear of owning a home. Close enough some might add, with enough evidence in play this week to dispute any notion that lumber super cycle delays stem from a lack of household formation rooted in fears of owning a home.

A report today at HousingWire.com quotes Realtor.com’s chief economist Jonathan Smoke: “The story about millennials not forming households and getting into homebuying is more of a 2012 and early 2013 story. It’s outdated. Our view of 2015 is informed by strong trends and indicators of what’s happening today with millennials.” CNBC confirms millenials are indeed flying the coop. “If you see these numbers with what we saw in household formation at the end of the year, we’re starting to see millennials spread their wings and fly,” said Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial’s chief economist. “We saw household formation at the end of 2014 surge 1.7 million units after being below 400,000 for much of the recovery. Household formation is key to getting more spending in the U.S. economy.” Meanwhile on this side of the border, The Globe and Mail reports only in Greece do households have more debt than in Canada.

Where’s the evidence of phobia or fear of debt in all this we might ask. I couldn’t actually find a “phobia name” for financial fears. Closest might be “peniaphobia”, which is the irrational fear of poverty. What’s irrational about that, some might question. I’ve heard it said that the fear of debt is called experience. Lumber traders have been known to find peniaphobia to be an effective motivating factor in marketing of lumber – even overcoming any indications of hylophobia, that irrational fear of wood…

household formations

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