Recently upon my visit to the U.S., when I visited Los Angeles and Las Vegas, I tried to gather some anecdotal evidence whether people are buying houses and what they think of it.
The first one was a taxi driver. He was Armenian, like the Kardashians. Yes, his family have bought a 3-bed house on the outskirts of L.A., and drive to supermarkets downtown because things are cheaper there. Most of the distances are pretty long. Anyone living there needs to drive; taxis would be out of the question, only visitors use them, they are that expensive. Bus services are pretty good, about every half an hour. But I saw few buses, and didn't ride on them, much as I would have loved to, because of time.
The second was also a taxi driver. He's bought a house, 3-bed, in La Mirada, which has a nice Spanish feel. He is from Mexico. A 3-bed 2-bath house there is about 400,000 and a family needs to have an income of 80,000 to qualify getting a mortgage. People work hard, and they are on their first property in California. Like the Armenian, the Mexican also drives downtown for the weekly shopping.
Mortgages are costing about 3.5 percent, from Bank of America or one of the regional banks, although I did not ask the rates the taxi owners were paying.
In Las Vegas, the houseman who made the bed and cleaned the room said his family had bought their first house, after being in the States for five years. It had cost them $180,000, both husband and wife and one son were working to meet the $1,100 monthly payment. But they were happy working hard and seeing their own house as an earned reward. These people work hard and have a great attitude.
With such people, the country will prosper.
Whilst in Las Vegas, I met a Gujarati scientist who was attending a conference at the MGM Grand.
She and her husband have been in Texas for five years, and also had bought their house. He's an I.T. specialist.
All these people were from overseas or second generation, and had decided to make the U.S.their home. They were all hard working, were positive and happy in their disposition, and it was a joy meeting and chatting with them.
Anecdotal evidence to me suggests that people are willing to work hard, and if they get a mortgage, they are happier still. They feel pretty positive about future in the U.S. I feel there is great scope for continued improvement in the housing sector, as well as in extension of railways, building of more neighbourhood shops, more buses and so on. In America, the future is bright.