Housing Bubble 2.0: The Perma-Bears Respond

Ben Jones, who has been blogging about the housing bubble from down in Arizona since late 2004 at The Housing Bubble Blog linked to my “Welcome to Housing Bubble 2.0” post yesterday, prompting an interesting discussion in the comments.

Here’s a selection from the conversation that ensued:

Comment by Ben Jones

I’ve called this the ‘it’s not 2000-pick your year’ excuse. Sure, house prices are up up UP! There are people camping out for pre-construction houses, multiple offers over asking, investors running wild. Shortages, man, shortages! But; there are not the exact circumstances of the pick your year.

The bubble is in the minds of the participants, and it couldn’t be more clear. All the proof you need is in the prices. It doesn’t matter how you get there.

I disagree with the premise that “all the proof you need is in the prices.” If that were true, then New York and San Francisco have basically been in a perpetual housing
bubble since the middle of the twentieth century. There is a lot more to recognizing a housing bubble than just the prices.

Comment by bink

“more all-cash buyers, almost no zero-down buyers”

Since home price increases aren’t being built on top of suicidal financing like last time, we’re not likely to see a dramatic burst when things finally slow down.

So he thinks that those all-cash buyers will just sit things out instead of stampeding towards the exits like a stock market crash? At least with mortgages the home owners can’t just liquidate. They need to find a new place to live. “Investors” do not.

First, many all-cash buyers are purchasing a home to live in themselves, not as an investment. Those buyers would have no reason to “stampede toward the exits” if the housing market were to soften again.

As for investors, the only reason they would be looking for a way out would be if rents were to also take a dive, which is only likely in the case of another overall economic crash. I’m not saying that we definitely won’t see another economic crash, but if we do, where would these investors be moving their cash to? Certainly not back in the stock market…

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle

From the comments:

“Something else that’s different this time around is that the price to own has not diverged as much from rents. Rents have been growing at double digit rates in neighborhoods near downtown Seattle like Capitol Hill for a couple years now. During the last boom, home prices were about the same but I’d guess rents were 60-70% of what they are now.”

Doesn’t this scream out to anyone that we are in a much worse bubble than we were 10 (wow, has it been that long?) years ago?

Comment by Rental Watch

Doesn’t it scream that we have a shortage of supply?

If both rents AND homes prices are going up substantially faster than inflation or wages, doesn’t that seem to be evidence that there is not sufficient supply of any type of housing?

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle

I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that I’ve started writing letters to “owners” of vacant houses in Portland. What I’m finding is that they are everywhere if you look closely, here in a supposedly low inventory, “everyone is moving there” city.

I would love to see some actual data on these supposedly empty homes that are “everywhere.” I realize the commenter was talking about Portland, but this is the same old discredited “shadow inventory” myth that perma-bears have been clinging to for years. If you had a vacant house to sell right now, what possible rational reason would you have not to sell it in this market?

For perspective on where Ben and most of his commenters are coming from (and to explain my use of the term “perma-bears”), in early 2012 when I was saying that “I suspect that we’re basically at ‘the bottom’ for home prices,” here’s what Ben was saying:

It’s difficult to understand where we are with the global housing bubble, because the media ignore it. So anyone interested has to glean what they can from various sources. IMO, many countries or entire regions are either at all time highs, or just barely off the peak. I don’t have time or space to post them all…

I read the NAR economists saying prices were up in the US in almost every state. I don’t know about that, but even if it’s true, they are up in Jakarta too. So what? What should matter is are house prices too high. Are lending standards where they need to be. Again, if ‘affordability is at an all time high’ as the NAR says, how come the govt is doing all the lending at under 4% with little to nothing down?

I don’t see how this situation isn’t ringing alarm bells around the world. I guess it is, but not many are listening.

The focus of Ben’s blog is typically on the “global housing bubble,” which he seems to believe is still going strong. I’m not making any particular claims about anything global since the focus of my blog is local, but I do try to do my best to stay aware of what’s going on in the big picture.

To reiterate my point, I do think we are currently in the beginning stages of another housing bubble. However, I think that it is building up very differently than the one that inflated 2004-2007, and will therefore have a very different outcome than the last one. I don’t yet know what that will look like (no one does), but I strongly suspect it will not include a dramatic increase in inventory, a flood of foreclosures, and rapid decreases in home prices.


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

42 comments:

  1. 1
    A says:

    The price volatility we saw in the last seven years also occurred in the context of a very tight monetary policy in 2008, and a subsequent commitment to a 2% PCE inflation target, which evolved into a 2% ceiling. When nominal GDP falls by 3.2% YOY, and then recovers below the previous trendline, you get some wonky repricings in levered real assets. The bears may or may not be right in their assumption of mean reversions in price/rent/income, but they are forgetting that other things happened in recent history.

  2. 2
    sleepless says:

    Since the Greenspan 2000 bubble, now housing market is = stock market. Who are the “all cash” buyers, they are not the regular Joe buying a new home with a mortgage. The home ownership rate is at the generational lows, where are the rental occupancy is at the historic highs. So, the Joe is renting now, not buying. Who is buying the stock market? It is not Joe either. The regular Joe is too poor to buy stocks, he lives check-to-check it payday loans, which are at the historic highs, or credit cards debt, same as the payday loans. Now, the FAKO score is loosening it standards, so Joe can get even more debt since he cannot repay the old debt. Now, you call it what it is – the asset bubble. The same “force” that drives the stock markets, does the same thing with the housing market. You can tell this time is different, how exactly is it? Same old sh!t, different ass!

  3. 3

    To Make It Short

    Look at your 1040 Instruction Manual from the IRS. Look at the end of the manual and you’ll see a pie chart of the federal budget….about 15% to pay interest on what we’re borrowing, federal debt.

    That’s at about 0% treasuries, imagine them at say 5%? the 15% becomes 40-60%?

    What are we going to butcher ax? Everything?

    Where will all wages go then? Housing prices too.

  4. 4
    sleepless says:

    By softwarengineer @ :

    That’s at about 0% treasuries, imagine them at say 5%? the 15% becomes 40-60%?
    What are we going to butcher ax? Everything?
    Where will all wages go then? Housing prices too.

    … and that’s exactly why we will never see the interest rates increase, ever! When Felon Yellen says she will be patient, she really means it. Expect QE4 any time soon, lets just get a couple of quarters of the bad (fake) GDP numbers, and the QE4 will be at full swing… forget about “higher” interest rates, it never happens in our life times.

  5. 5
    ronp says:

    World housing bubble? What a troll. There is no data demonstrating that. Hell, there are a couple billion people on the planet living in shacks or in cardboard boxes.

  6. 6
    A says:

    RE: sleepless @ – That is a pretty common statement, but it doesn’t really mean anything by itself. Do you mean that the Fed will for some reason maintain low inflation expectations? Or they will somehow decrease the term premium enough to compensate for rising credit spreads in the case of inflation? If you work through how exactly you think the Fed controls long-term rates, it’s not clear how or why they would keep long-term rates low.

    You might be confusing long-run/short-run with long-term/short-term.

  7. 7
    Rudolfo says:

    I believe what we are seeing is more analogous to what has happened in SF and NY.
    Growing high-margin businesses, influx of residents, wealth building, new development obstacles are all major forces that increase demand and reduce supply. Prices can only rise.
    I shake my head when I see what has been happening in these cities over the past few decades, but there has been no dramatic crash.
    I do not think we are seeing a bubble. I think we are seeing a new reality in this town.

  8. 8
    redmondjp says:

    By Rudolfo @ :

    I believe what we are seeing is more analogous to what has happened in SF and NY.
    Growing high-margin businesses, influx of residents, wealth building, new development obstacles are all major forces that increase demand and reduce supply. Prices can only rise.
    I shake my head when I see what has been happening in these cities over the past few decades, but there has been no dramatic crash.
    I do not think we are seeing a bubble. I think we are seeing a new reality in this town.

    As one of the former bears, I am slowly coming around to this viewpoint myself. There is so much foreign money coming into the Eastside as well – that is another difference from the last time. I suspect that a lot more of the purchases are all-cash than before. Those people will not sell if the market corrects.

    The subduction zone earthquake (like the one the entire PNW experienced in 1700), when it happens again, could seriously change things however. It could essentially destroy our entire region to the point that it would take decades to recover if at all. But I suppose one really can’t worry about that kind of thing.

    We certainly do live in interesting times. And you can all complain about how unaffordable it is here and you would be correct, but be thankful that you aren’t in Detroit or other places like it.

  9. 9
    Rental Watch says:

    With resale housing prices 300% higher than production costs and millions of excess empty and defaulted houses, housing prices have a long way to fall.

  10. 10
    BellevueTheLivable says:

    The thing people are missing is that many defaulted home loans weren’t always because of lending standards aka liar loans. Of the people I know who “lost their homes” it was a calculated decision based on the fact that the house was already underwater and they have finite resources. They rode it out as long as possible and stashed away money before finally getting the boot. But the point is, the more people stretch themselves into loans, the less resilient the housing market will be to general economic misfortune.

    Say, for example, I buy a house with 5% FHA loan and immediately lose my job. I love my family more than the bank so I decide food is where the unemployment checks will go, and I stop making mortgage payments, and probably even stash some money away. Eventually, my house is short sold below market value and we get the boot. If this happens on a scale of even less then 1% of homes, that could be the trigger a tightening of lending standards which would effectively eliminate millenials from the buyer pool. Conceivably, once prices fall for people on these FHA loans, they have no inventive to continue to pay into the 20-1 bet that they already lost.

    Seems like we are in the peak of the current businesses cycle, whatever that means. My bold prediction is that the stock market will eventually correct. Next, the job market will level out and upward pressure on wages will stagnate. Finally, the housing market will be the most trailing indicator and will take a nosedive. I believe this because the fed kept the pedal to the metal for too long and because I just don’t see wages ever having a prolonged upward climb.

    As for timing, the housing correction is probably years away. Maybe millenials pay off their student debt and can start helping prop up the housing market. That would prolong the inevitable. Maybe we have another 15% year or two. It will only make the fall more dramatic. Eventually the employment market will give.

  11. 11

    RE: ronp @
    Yes ronp:

    A snippet: from a 2014 Forbes article calling out 2015 real estate sales deterioration in China too:

    “..Hangzhou’s market has not yet collapsed. There are still secondary sales, for instance. Singapore’s Straits Times reports Allen Zhao, a businessman, has been looking to sell his two-bedroom flat in Hangzhou for 2 million yuan. His neighbor just let go a similar unit for 1.7 million. If Zhao also sells for that amount, he will make a profit, but he will be disappointed. “That is not much more than the price I paid in 2012,” Zhao told the paper. “Now I’m regretting not selling earlier—more bad news about the property market keeps coming in every day.”

    New homes also face price pressure. Developers in Hangzhou are now offering deep discounts, and investors and owners are noticing. And not just in that city. “It seems that the 30% price cut in Hangzhou really changed the way Chinese people think about real estate,” writes Anne Stevenson-Yang of J Capital Research, “and I doubt there is any turning back from here.”…”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonchang/2014/04/13/china-property-collapse-has-begun/

    The article doesn’t say, but the bottom line is Americans are spending less on Chinese stuff lately:

    “… While few outside of Texas and North Dakota are complaining about this huge savings that consumers have enjoyed since energy prices began falling last summer, economists have been stumped recently trying to figure out exactly what consumers are doing with the windfall.

    They have not gone on a shopping spree at the mall or online. Results at many retail chains have been mixed, and some stores that are middle-class fixtures, like Sears and J.C. Penney, continue to struggle.

    One hint at what consumers might be thinking came Monday, when new government data on the economy showed a healthy gain for wages and salaries in January, even as spending by consumers inched lower for the second month in a row. As a result, the savings rate ticked upward to 5.5 percent, the highest level in just over two years….”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/business/economy/consumers-save-on-energy-yet-retail-spending-stalls.html?_r=0

    The yardsticks for retail activity have been surprisingly lackluster lately. Even when the effect of lower gas prices and therefore less spending at service stations is stripped out, core retail sales were flat last month and actually dipped 0.2 percent in December.

    .

  12. 12
    Weasel says:

    Usual story, those gaming the property market for profit are crying a river over it.

  13. 13
    Deerhawke says:

    I am not a perma-bull, but I think the perma bears have it wrong.

    If you ever have a chance to look at 70’s era cinema set in New York, it is grimly instructive. Terrible crime. Decaying infastructure. Truly awful (and also dangerous) public transportation. AIDs wiping out parts of the city. Go back and watch The French Connection. New York then was like something out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Is that a city you would invest your hard earned money in?

    My wife and I arrived in New York in 1983. The place looked terrible but already the city was rebounding and a condo/coop conversion boom had swept up the island. My wife and I lived in married student housing in the Columbia neighborhood and had a truly tiny efficiency. We learned that there were 2 two-bedroom units going condo across the street selling for $30,000 each. We thought about buying, because the payment on a 2-bedroom, 800 sf condo would only be about 15% more than renting a 380 sf efficiency. We also thought of buying both adjoining units so we could rent one out and actually make a bit of cash.

    Then, we looked at the junkies and prostitutes down the street, the grifters on the corner, the grafitti on every surface and just decided to pay the rent instead. A doctor swooped in and bought them both up and rented them out for a sum that shocked us. A little over a year later, he sold the units for $150,000 — each.

    Yes, I still kick myself.

    Of course everyone said it was a housing bubble. Of course, everyone said the price would plummet back to normal. But now those 2 bedroom walk-ups are worth north of $600,000 apiece.

    What happened?

    Part of it was that the financial industry in the 80’s grew out of all proportion to what seemed possible. This was the era of Liar’s Poker and Bonfire of the Vanities. The money was just gushing through the city. The restaurants, clubs, shopping, studios, and galleries all stepped up to satisfy the lavish new pattern of demand.

    But a part of it was also that the ability to work in New York and live in nice suburbs had stopped being realistic. The transportation system had gone beyone carrying capacity and then just clogged. A normal, reliable 45 minute commute out to Long Island became 60 and then 75 minutes and then there were days (kind of like our fish truck incident last week) where the commute became 4 hours. People got fed up and started moving back into the city.

    And once the momentum started, it was hard to stop. In a decade, New York went from being a place to flee from to being a place to run to. Even Brooklyn went from being the butt of jokes to the new hot lifestyle choice. Real estate in New York has had a few dips over the years, but the trend line has been pretty clear. More expensive, less affordable.

    If you read between the lines, you see something similar here. The tech boom here is like the financial boom in NYC. Lots of jobs and lots of spin-off spending. And the combined effect of the Growth Management Act and our poorly planned transportation system makes I-5 more and more like the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. And every time I talk to some teenager or 20-something in the heartland, they tell me how much they are dying to move to Seattle.

    We may see periods of boom and retrenchment here, but I think our trend line is like New York’s in the 80’s and 90’s. Sometimes there is a lasting, secular change in a market and things do not go back to the way they were before.

    Emmett Watson (for those of you who even know who he is) would be rolling in his grave.

  14. 14
    Joe M says:

    RE: sleepless @

    Hey, how’d you know I was a renter?

    But you’re wrong. This time is different. Now The Tim owns.

  15. 15
    boater says:

    RE: Deerhawke @
    Emmett would. I tend to think you’re right. As the commute lengthens and the density builds the amenities in the city grown until the suburbs just can’t compete.

    There is only one thing I see that could potentially counter this trend. I believe we will see in my lifetime fully automated electric cars and freeways. I see a day when you tap on your phone and a car comes to pick you up in short order. It will remove the need to own cars and vastly increase the capacity and speed of freeways. It might not happen but I see far too many things conspiring to make it happen. If you can unlock the strangle hold of parking, road capacity and convenience then you have a chance or making the suburbs desirable again.

    Baring that I’d buy any damn property you can afford in the heart of the city.

  16. 16
    Deerhawke says:

    Boater, if you are the kind of guy who thinks about self-driving robotic cars, I am guessing you are not really a guy who would really love the suburbs anyway.

    If you look at things from a historical perspective, we are going back to the way things always were. The rich have always lived in the center of the cities where the money, power and amenities are. The poor have always clustered around the margins or lived out in the country.

    In the US, there was a brief inversion in the historical pattern after World War II. It was caused by cheap gas, inexpensive cars, a new highway system funded by defense dollars and panicked white flight from the blacks who had moved into northern cities fleeing Jim Crow. The suburbs worked fine for those who didn’t mind white and bland during the Donna Reed and Father Knows Best era. Now GenXers and Millenials hate the burbs and want the amenities and lifestyle of the cities.

    So, yeah, I am putting my money where my mouth is. I am buying up all the golly property I can within a short commute of downtown and South Lake Union.

  17. 17
    wreckingbull says:

    The ‘suburbs are dead’ dogma here always amuses me, usually perpetrated by those who have a fiscal interest in in-city real estate. Throw in a few sweeping generalizations what Millennials want for good measure, and you have a snappy narrative.

    It’s a nice story, but the census disagrees.

  18. 18
    Ithinkimgonnabarf says:

    I recognize the build up of high paying jobs and increased rental rates but find it hard to understand the whole-hearted support for the “full speed ahead” seattle real estate market mentality. We are in uncharted territory with interest rates. Momentum can cause big corrections in prices. I would be fearful to purchase before that impending correction.

  19. 19
    redmondjp says:

    By Ithinkimgonnabarf @ :

    I recognize the build up of high paying jobs and increased rental rates but find it hard to understand the whole-hearted support for the “full speed ahead” seattle real estate market mentality. We are in uncharted territory with interest rates. Momentum can cause big corrections in prices. I would be fearful to purchase before that impending correction.

    But what does impending mean, and what does correction mean?

    Just look at Japan’s economy as an example. They have been can-kicking for over a couple of decades now.

    We can potentially extend and pretend for several more years – too hard to afford a house in perma-high Seattle? Let’s go to those 40-year and 50-year mortgages (or longer), as Japan has. I’m not saying that we should do this; just that it is possible.

  20. 20
    Ithinkimgonnabarf says:

    Did Japan have fed intervention as we do ?
    RE: redmondjp @

  21. 21
    whatsmyname says:

    By Ithinkimgonnabarf @ :

    Did Japan have fed intervention as we do ?
    RE: redmondjp @

    Of course they did. It’s called the Bank of Japan. Don’t they have internet where you are?

  22. 22
    Erik says:

    RE: boater @
    You can tap on your phone and be picked up now and never have to go through the motions of paying. Look up uber. I can get from Capitol Hill to alki beach for $16. That’s the price of 2 drinks.

  23. 23
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @
    You should have bought that condo! I would kick you myself if we were face to face.

    I have mega conservative engineering friends that complain because that can’t afford much and are only willing to get a 15 year loan because they did the math and it makes sense to them. I tell them to wise up because now is the time to buy more. South seattle is going to increase every year until they stop putting in computer businesses there. These businesses will expand and prices will go up.

  24. 24
    Erik says:

    RE: Rudolfo @
    Truth!

  25. 25
    Guy says:

    RE: Deerhawke @
    The techboom here is real. Anybody from here can tell you the change the Eastside went through since the 70’s after Microsoft moved in.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/techflash/2015/03/alibaba-likely-to-choose-seattle-for-u-s.html

  26. 26

    Predictions, Predictions

    In my book, a big mortgage payment is a good way to save a hades of a lot less money. Bidding wars for downtown real estate at $500K+ price tags and some condos with $2K/mo HOA fees too, makes assuming you have secure jobs [plural, not single] for the mortgage and fees nooses, sound far more risky than putting it all the stock market today.

    Low inventory is not an incentive to accept the risky investment because of a handful of supposed desperate buyers that somehow have endless funds or loan qualifications. Desperate buyers are the worse kind of financial advisors I could imagine, and this current paradigm is not only short fuse in my book, but thin ice too.

  27. 27
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @
    The quicker payment is a sure thing. There is a bigger upside and more risk playing the appreciation game. South lake Union, capitol hill, and even west seattle seem to be undergoing a growth period where prices should increase. But you are right, it could fall apart.

  28. 28
    Mike says:

    The rent costs are the biggest difference now it seems. We bought in 2013 in Seattle after our rent on a 3br+den house was going to be raised for the third time in a row for about a 10% increase over three years (that was at just the start of this crazy rent period). It was in a nicer but not trendy part of N. Seattle but the house itself was very dated and the landlord had no interest in fixing things beyond doing temporary patches. At the time we were able to buy a 3br+den a house in a different but similar quality neighborhood with a P&I component that was under the new rent rate. Taxes, insurance, maintenance are all extra costs, but we get a tax deduction and overall our costs are about the same except that about $1k goes to paying down principal every month and taxes and insurance have not risen materially so far.

    That parity between renting and buying probably wouldn’t have been true in the early-mid 00’s bubble period. That seems to be a very big difference between buying where you are justifying it based on anticipated appreciation (“I’ll be priced out of owning, oh my!”) and where you justify it based on an expectation that rents won’t be plummeting back down anytime soon (“Expedia just moved and I’ll be priced out period to somewhere with a 2 hour commute, double oh my!”).

    All that said, I’ve posted on here before that “Seattle” is not a uniform market and that things in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue proper are going to be priced and impacted a lot different than out in the other “burbs”. Commuting here sucks and the high paying jobs are concentrating in places that are hard to get to. Unless and until businesses start moving high paying jobs out to the burbs, we get a magical transportation solution or developers start building more than studio and 1br apt, there is going to be commuting cost driven housing inflation (rents and prices) in the near-in areas that will outpace the overall increase in King County wages.

  29. 29

    RE: wreckingbull @
    Telework

    Makes it a totally moot point too.

  30. 30

    RE: Erik @
    Erik, You’re the Best Flipper I know on Seattle Bubble.

    BTW, I have a Mechanical Engineering degree with Nuclear Engineering too. You and I totally relate.

    Sounds like you’re younger and can build your wealth the honest way; albeit luck, hard work and patience are the keys. Your contract engineering work means much higher $/hr, albeit no benefits or retirements. Try to save half of it if you can. I’m retiring, but plan on a 30-50% savings rate then too, to stretch my annuities past age 80 [God willing I live that long]. I have my health, retired about 5 years earlier than planned [lucky stock market gambling] and am single too [no divorce to worry about and wealth I earned possibly going to my ex after a possible divorce]. Stay single as a Flipper, most spouses don’t like that life style and wealth sharing with a divorced spouse can set your financial plans back 15 years, like it did mine.

    You’ll be a rich single SWE in no time, LOL.

  31. 31

    Happy Easter Bubbleheads

    I know its a faith thing, but even atheists can’t argue that prayer does work [like tumors suddenly disappearing after a recent x-ray treatment]. Do we have a soul that lives forever? Can’t prove that, it takes faith.

    I will say this as a Christian scientist, they weighed a man just before death and 1 1/2 grams reduced on the scale at the point of death. Was that the soul? Lord only knows.

    He is risen!

  32. 32
    boater says:

    RE: Erik @
    I know what Uber is. What I’m talking about is traffic moving as efficiently as possible because no jackass is sitting there fiddling with his phone or radio. I mean every vehicle moving at speeds and density that allow much greater utilization than currently possible. What you’re talking about is a meager improvement on the taxi.

    As to early repayment of a home loan. Why? At the interest rates they are charging right now it’s hard for me to justify not using the extra money to invest in something with a higher return than paying down a cheap mortgage.

    RE: Deerhawke @
    Well I live on Mercer Island so you can decide for yourself if I live in the city or the suburbs. It sure feels like the burbs here. Nice but lacking many of the options of city living. If I didn’t have kids or waterfront I’m not sure I’d have moved here but it’s a nice community and close to Seattle and Bellevue.

    The rich have generally had both city and suburbs houses as I recall. It’s the middle class that moves between the city and the suburbs.

  33. 33
    m-s says:

    Hi-
    Off topic, Tim, but I sure miss this (last) month’s Case-Schiller analysis. Just sayin’.

  34. 34
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @
    I did mechanical engineering because I’m good at math and physics. I suck at chemistry, so nuclear engineering would be difficult for me.

    Hopefully I end up like rich single swe.

  35. 35
    Jay says:

    RE: Erik @ – “Hopefully I end up like rich single swe”, that sounds like an AWFUL life to me!

  36. 36
    ronp says:

    Interesting socio-cultural perspective in this blog post — http://capntransit.blogspot.com/2014/06/five-migrations-in-gentrification.html

  37. 37
    ronp says:

    RE: ronp @ – at least in the North American context.

  38. 38
    whatsmyname says:

    By Erik @ :

    Hopefully I end up like rich single swe.

    I never thought of it that way before, but I like your chances.

  39. 39
    Jonness says:

    By softwarengineer @ :

    Stay single as a Flipper, most spouses don’t like that life style and wealth sharing with a divorced spouse can set your financial plans back 15 years, like it did mine.

    You know, there are plenty of women out there who have ambition and careers.

  40. 40
    Shoeguy says:

    By ronp @ :

    World housing bubble? What a troll. There is no data demonstrating that. Hell, there are a couple billion people on the planet living in shacks or in cardboard boxes.

    Uh, yea. Global markets are all interconnected, and investors worldwide will chase yield in a similar fashion.

    Whoda thunk it?

  41. 41
    Shoeguy says:

    Math is math is math.

    Mortgage demand is at 1995 levels, meanwhile house prices have climbed 30% in the same timeframe that incomes have risen about 4% and cash is still king.

    I fail to see how any of this ends in anything other than disaster once interest rates start climbing above 5% and then 6%.

  42. 42
    Erik says:

    RE: whatsmyname @
    Hahaha!!!! Good one.

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