July 16, 2024

housing market - Great DepressionIn a Yahoo Finance interview with Yale professor and MacroMarkets chief economist Robert Shiller he made some grim housing forecast while promoting his book The Subprime Solution. Three points Shiller made are:

  • Home price declines are already approaching those in the Great Depression, when they plunged 30% during the 1930s. With prices already down almost 20%, it's not a stretch to think we might exceed that drop this time around.
  • There are about 10 million homeowners whose debt is higher than their home value, which has broad implications for how Americans feel about their wealth and spending habits (read: more pressure on consumer spending).
  • The current hopeful consensus — that house prices will bottom soon and then begin to recover — is most likely a dream. Housing markets don't usually have "V-shaped" recoveries. And even if house prices stabilize in nominal terms, after adjusting for inflation, most homeowners will continue to lose money.   
  • A few of our prior posts about professor Shiller:

San Diego Home Values Fall 16.7%

Standard & Poor’s Index Shows Home-Price Declines As The Largest on Record

50% Home Price Declines Possible?

National Home Price Index is @ It’s Lowest Point in Its Reported History

Housing Bubble … Investors Opinion

Yale economist Says San Diego Home Values Down 10% From One Year Ago!

Home Prices — Largest Drop in 16 Years!

5 thoughts on “Yale Professor … House Price Decline Could Be Worse than Great Depression

  1. Home prices do not double in price on average every ten years. There is no evidence to support sucha statement. S&P case shiller home index which goes back to 1890 found that SFR price’s went up at the rate of inflation over time. If they do double in any short period its called a asset bubble and values return to medium as the bubble implodes. OFHEO also shows long term prices run with inflation and return to normal price levels rather then continuing to rise. In order for RE to double every 10 years average income would also need to rise with it, which if you hav’t noticed doesn’t happen and when it does as during the 70’s yield on bonds jump into the teen’s and the FED pushes up interest rates causing home prices to decline.

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  2. We’re only seeing the last of the 1 and first of the 3 year ARMs getting their bumps now. Remember that even though housing was slowing refinancings were very strong. Not only that but most people that played that game pulled equity out too which means they essentially lump themselves in with the last of the buyers. Even if you say the top was at the end of ’06, and it wasn’t, we still need to get through all of ’09 just to clear out the last of the 3 year ARMs. And the only way those people don’t get hit hard is if property values not just stabilize but actually rise a bit as lending standards are tighter and they will have to come up with some equity.

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