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The following appeared in The Homebuilder magazine, a local publication with a focus on construction and sale of real-estate properties:
“According to the most recent survey of our readers, nearly 70% of the respondents indicated that they are planning to build or purchase a new home over the next 2 years. These results indicate that the growth in the construction industry is likely to accelerate in the near future. Therefore, this industry continues to offer lucrative opportunities for investment.”
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.
The argument that there is likely to be an accelerated growth in the construction industry which would continue to offer investment opportunities omits some important points that must be addressed to substantiate the argument. The statement makes a conclusion on basis of a survey which alone will not constitute a logical argument in favour of the growth of the construction industry or provide sufficient support to the main argument.
Most conspicuously, the argument relies on the results of a survey carried out by a magazine, the results of which are generalized for all investors. The local publication has flawed in making an emphatic conclusion on basis of this unsubstantiated premise. It could be plausible that the sample size of the population incorporates a specific strata of the society. This could result in the survey based on the middle class and high class individuals who have the accumulated wealth to invest and ignores the larger part of the population which seldom includes people from the upper strata.
In addition, the publication makes certain assumptions that remain unproven. It assumes that the market conditions over the next two years will not fluctuate drastically and the financial well being of the prospective investors is likely to increase if not remain the same. This is a major shortcoming as there is no means to predict the health of an economy especially nowadays with major part of the globe having witnessed the second recession phase in less than half a decade.
While the author has several key issues in his argument, which is not to say that the entire argument is without base. 70% of the respondents incorporate a huge proportion of its readers. However, additional information would have strengthened the above case. Providing information on the predicted market scenario and the financial background of the readers who responded to the survey could have better substantiated the argument.
In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. In order to assess the merits of the prediction of the accelerated growth of the construction industry, having full knowledge of all contributing factors is essential. Without this, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.