Welcome to the Vitus Capital Blog!
Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dean Baker susinctly explains the housing situation

It seems that the Post still doesn't understand that there was a housing bubble. This means that prices fell from bubble-inflated levels and that they are not coming back. This is just like the NASDAQ which peaked at over 5000 in March of 2000. More than 10 year later it stands at less than half this level.

It's the same story with house prices. They peaked at levels that were more than 70 percent above their long-term trend [Vitus:  See chart below]. They still have not fully returned to their trend levels, having about 10 percent more to decline. There is absolutely zero reason to think that nationwide house prices will rise from current levels.

There continues to be an enormous excess supply of housing which can be most directly demonstrated by the fact that the housing vacancy rate remains near the record high set in 2010. There is nothing in the fundamentals of the supply and demand of the housing market that would indicate that we should expect house prices to rise from their long-term trend.

This means that when the Post or anyone else refers to "speeding a housing recovery" in a way that implies higher prices, they are trying to tell you that they know nothing about the housing market.
---source (Vitus emphasis)

Here is a chart of the data Baker is referring to.  Vitus's take:  Prices may not go down to and hug the long-term trend line, but the point remains that there's no reason to think prices are going up in the near or medium term.  Ie, for 10-ish years, maybe more.

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