News In Brief

Asking Fannie and Freddie whether to rent or buy

Kai Ryssdal Dec 14, 2010

This final note today, which comes with a shout out to our friends at Planet Money. Ever wonder why the American real estate market is so messed up?

Here’s one: Fannie Mae has a calculator on its website that helps people decide whether it makes sense to rent a place or to buy a house. You enter your data, it spits out the answer. Which is great, except for this: Until just recently, the calculator assumed home prices would never go down.

It’s been fixed.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.