Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shiller: Difficult to predict when "biggest bubble in history" will hit bottom

Yale University economist Robert Shiller thinks the outlook for housing is hazy:
It is very difficult to predict when U.S. housing prices will hit bottom because the economy is deteriorating so quickly, economist Robert Shiller, co-creator of the S&P/Case Shiller index, told Reuters on Friday.

The housing market is experiencing its worst downturn in modern history. On a national basis, homes have lost about a quarter of their value, and economists foresee at least an additional 10 percent decline.

What the future holds depends on what sort of traction government programs gain to help stem foreclosures, Shiller said.

"It's hard to predict this market because we've just been through the biggest bubble in history and it's at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression," he said in an interview with Reuters television.

Shiller noted that prices have been falling quite rapidly every month, adding, "That has a good chance of continuing."

31 comments:

  1. This is interesting because I believe Shiller was prediction a bottom to the housing market this year a couple months ago. Now he seems to be getting more pessimistic.

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  2. What on earth does he mean when he says it is hard to predict the bottom? He obviously doesn't know half what lance does...

    "John, it's not often you and I agree ... But in this case we do. Chances are that there will be buyers at higher prices now that we're past "the bottom". David [Learah] was right, David J. wasn't. We've bottomed out and prices are on the move up. This makes no difference to us homeowners who already locked in ... But all those BHs who held off waiting for magically drastically lower prices? They're screwed ..." - Lance 5 April 2007

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  3. As much as I disagree with Lance, I get sick and tired of people who quote him in almost every post in this blog. At least save it for when he comments in posts! Its getting old guys.

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  4. Is lance really a real person? can someone so ridiculous exist? I imagine reading his posts is like seeing a duck billed platypus the first time. You can't believe they really exist, but I guess both do.

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  5. i think we will hit a bottom. Our market has too soon. Now i do think we will just move sideways for a while

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  6. "Is lance really a real person? can someone so ridiculous exist? I imagine reading his posts is like seeing a duck billed platypus the first time. You can't believe they really exist, but I guess both do."

    Yes, he exists.

    You can even look up his house in DC to see what he paid for it back at the top of the bubble.

    ...which pretty much explains his inability to accept reality.

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  7. Without "Arlington" and "Lance" this would be a terribly uninteresting comment section.

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  8. reminds me of upton sinclair's aphorism "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it". For some i guess difficult approaches impossible.

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  9. In some sense you want a "lance" so its not all groupthink and a bunch of guys all agreeing with each and telling us how smart we all are. Problem is we need a Lance, ie someone with opposing viewpoints, who actually makes sense and has reasonable logic and evidence to support his opinions. Not a guy who has a long history of baseless predictions and claims later shown to be totally false, but who never alters his views to comport with the facts. But yes, he does lend a bit of comic relief.

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  10. Businessweek says, "Lance is right!"


    Companies such as Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC (SAI), and Booz Allen Hamilton employ tens of thousands of people in the Washington area and continue to expand. Even before the current crisis, professional and business services, which include private-sector lawyers, accountants, engineers, and consultants, made up 21% of metro Washington's annual economic output, even more than the 20% made up by government itself, according to a BusinessWeek estimate based on government data. The financial crisis "creates opportunities for companies like ours" to provide expert assistance, says David Booth, Computer Sciences Corp.'s president of global sales and marketing.

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  11. "can someone so ridiculous exist? "

    Never heard of David Lareah?

    In Florida, Arizona or California there were lotteries offered to buy a house, essay contests with the winner getting the chance to buy a house, buyers running red lights etc to get to open houses, so yes someone so ridiculous can exist and in this case it was thousands of them.

    "There's a sucker born every minute" attributed to P T Barnum,
    but, of course, the birth rate was much lower back then.

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  12. "In some sense you want a "lance" so its not all groupthink and a bunch of guys all agreeing with each and telling us how smart we all are. Problem is we need a Lance, ie someone with opposing viewpoints, who actually makes sense and has reasonable logic and evidence to support his opinions. Not a guy who has a long history of baseless predictions and claims later shown to be totally false, but who never alters his views to comport with the facts. But yes, he does lend a bit of comic relief."


    You are correct, it would be nice to have a well reasoned viewpoint from the other side, but instead we got lance.

    We don't need someone to waste our time trying to claim there wasn't a bubble or anything as stupid as that, what would be worthwhile is someone to argue that things aren't as bad as they might be, but lance just isn't equipped for such a task.

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  13. "You are correct, it would be nice to have a well reasoned viewpoint from the other side, but instead we got lance. "

    The other side?

    Lance is a paragon of reason compared to the irrational, fearmongering (It's coming inside the beltway to your street and house), the weak math (Renters RULE, Landlords LUZ).

    There is an economic mess but to those who live in North Arlington, Del Ray, in the City, and dozens of other areas, prices have gone flat; they haven't crashed.

    Once the incentives kick in, there could be a nice round of inflation.

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  14. "In some sense you want a "lance" so its not all groupthink and a bunch of guys all agreeing with each and telling us how smart we all are."

    I didnt say I dont enjoy Lance posting and debate. Im just sick of every post having a guy quoting something Lance said 2 years ago. I meant, if you want to argue with Lance, argue with him WHEN he posts.

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  15. "Businessweek says, "Lance is right!"


    Companies such as Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC (SAI), and Booz Allen Hamilton employ tens of thousands of people in the Washington area and continue to expand."

    Yep, I do work for CSC (5 year contract with CSC and have other contracts with other primes and subs) and my office is near gaithersburg. Which is why I wont move to the alphabet streets in downtown.

    Just cause CSC has lots of positions and money, doesnt mean they are all downtown.

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  16. "Which is why I wont move to the alphabet streets in downtown."

    Hey, it works for you.

    I work contract too and my prime and client are near the beltway at different exits.

    I enjoy a reverse commute to them.

    Other subs come in from Manassas, I still can't figure out why they torture themselves commuting. Especially since they lost big money on their places.

    Close in works for me.

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  17. "I meant, if you want to argue with Lance, argue with him WHEN he posts."

    A big part of the problem with lance is that he is a habitual liar.

    Over and over again he has changed his story so he can claim he was right all along. Even when presented with his own quotes he refuses to acknowledge his mistakes.

    He is useless as an opposing viewpoint. He doesn't understand enough about what is happening to offer anything like an informed stance, and he doesn't particularly care. He just makes up bullshit over and over again.

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  18. Anonymous said...
    "Is lance really a real person?"

    Lance is a character David and I made up to keep people interested in the blog. Arlington is a county we make up for the same purpose.

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  19. "my office is near gaithersburg."

    Gaithersburg is teh sex.

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  20. Ha. That was funny. I'm glad I made my "Is lance real?" post just because it sparked some funny replies. Also, I am lance. and Lance is James. And #6 is really #1.

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  21. "Yep, I do work for CSC (5 year contract with CSC and have other contracts with other primes and subs) and my office is near gaithersburg."

    On the client site? If not, did you enjoy being furloughed recently?

    What client sites are up there, anyway? Dept. of Fisheries?

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  22. gaithersburg is teh sex or teh sux? I used to work there many moons ago and concur that it was teh sux, but never saw much in the way of teh sex except on teh interwebs.

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  23. G'burg is teh sux.

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  24. "but never saw much in the way of teh sex except on teh interwebs."

    Yeah not as many streetwalkers or asian massage parlors out in gaithersburg. Now that you live on an alphabet street, you dont need use the net to find sex, you can walk up to your corner crackhead.

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  25. " Now that you live on an alphabet street, you dont need use the net to find sex, you can walk up to your corner crackhead."

    Nah. There are plenty of attractive, intelligent, eligible women on "alphabet streets". They are lawyers, diplomats, economists, environmentalists, executives, etc. To be single in G'burg is to commit social and sexual suicide.

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  26. "To be single in G'burg is to commit social and sexual suicide."

    haha. that's the truth. my buddy moved in gburg and i just don't understand it. he never meets women, there's no good bars, and the metro sucks late night and weekends. i'll prob move to the burbs when i have kids but as a single guy with the income to afford it, i think he'd have a lot more fun on the "alphabet streets", although that's a really lame term.

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  27. "he never meets women, there's no good bars, and the metro sucks late night and weekends"

    Yeah, but at least when he wakes up on a Sunday morning, he's got.... nothing to do unless he drives to a strip mall or something. But I bet he flips on the TV instead. That's good living right there.

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  28. "there's no good bars, and the metro sucks late night and weekends. i'll prob move to the burbs when i have kids but as a single guy with the income to afford it, i think he'd have a lot more fun on the "alphabet streets", although that's a really lame term."

    absolutely. Like I said, lots of streetwalkers, asian massage parlors and stripclubs on the alphabet streets. Its a great place to find some party favors too!

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  29. ""he never meets women, there's no good bars, and the metro sucks late night and weekends"

    Yeah, but at least when he wakes up on a Sunday morning, he's got.... nothing to do unless he drives to a strip mall or something. But I bet he flips on the TV instead. That's good living right there."

    Thats pretty simple minded. You cant think of anything fun to do other than watch tv or go to a bar? Pretty pathetic even for a single guy in his 30s living on alphabet street.

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