The Great Housing Crash of ’07
This month’s figures prove that the so-called “housing bubble” is not only real, but that its cratering faster than anyone had realized. As the UK Guardian reported a couple of days ago, “the orderly housing slowdown predicted by the Federal Reserve will (soon) become a full-blown crash.”
Madison – Housing bubble has burst; prices will tell you why
To hear the real estate agents tell it, the housing market has “lost steam.”
What they really mean, of course, is that it’s hit a wall – though you won’t get them to admit that publicly. And from all indications it’s not going to improve any time soon.
Just after posting below I came across this: Stephen Roach: Bursting Housing Bubble A Very Big Deal ,
If the US consumer slows, the demand expectations that typically drive capital spending will also weaken. So, too, will the growth dynamic of America’s export-led trading partners — thereby undermining support for US exports, as well. In short, for a wealth-dependent US economy, the bursting of another major asset bubble is likely to be a very big deal.
Housing bubble is finally at bursting point
When the air is expanding inside a speculative balloon, stretching the film of credibility that contains it to an ever-more improbable thinness, you can always find someone to explain why this time it’s different — why technological/demographic/astrological factors justify valuations today that have always proved historically unsupportable.
Until the bubble actually starts to deflate or burst, there’s just enough doubt about whether prices really will revert to their historical mean to keep us all guessing. Even the most convinced sceptic can never say with any certainty when a bubble will collapse, and so the science of identifying bubbles is an inherently retrospective activity.
But it looks now as though we can say with some confidence that the long American housing bubble is over.
So what might happen next?
All of a sudden, lots of bad news. Except that some of us have been talking about what’s coming for some time now. The signs were all there.
How much of the seeming prosperity of recent years was based on borrowed money? People were refinancing their houses as prices rose, and using the money to buy SUVs, etc. But now we have the opposite situation – these people now owe that money yet prices are falling. And with prices falling few new people will be refinancing. Meanwhile the government has borrowed massive amounts of money and pumped it into the economy – something usually done only to get us out of downturns – so if there is a downturn they won’t be able to borrow money to pump into the economy. Bush has used up that trick during the good times when we should have been paying off debt. (Clinton paid off debt, which is what allowed Bush to borrow so much…)
Here are a few of today’s stories:
How a Housing Slowdown Will Cause a Recession
The news has been universally bad: inventories are rising to 10-year high levels, buyers are already saddled with massive amounts of debt, homebuilders are cutting profit projections and overall investment is negative. And here is more from Nouriel Roubini: housing is already in free fall and will cause a recession by the summer of 2007.
It’s becomming “the story.” This has to go on for a while, for the news to filter out to “the masses.” In a few weeks it will be generally understaood that housing prices are heading down. Next will be stories about how fast prices are dropping, and then about people being hurt by this. Each will feed the next phase.
Selling In Slowing Housing Market, Expert Offers Uncommon Tips To Help – CBS News
How do you know how to price your house? Fletcher says, “Look at what other similar houses in the neighborhood are selling for and then set your price at 10 percent under the market.
If you want the house to sell, price it lower than the last one that sold. This is necessary – if you want to or have to sell – but feeds the drop.
Washington Post: New-Home Numbers Add to Housing Woes
New-home sales fell more steeply in July than economists forecast, and the number of unsold houses climbed to a record, deepening a slump in an industry that fueled economic growth for five years.
New York Times: Housing Reports Reveal a Slowing Market
A backlog of unsold new homes continues to pile up. Last month there were 568,000 new homes on the market — enough that it would take 6.5 months to sell them all at the current sales rate. That is the most in more than a decade.