On June 30, MacroMarkets launched the first products that let investors make a pure directional bet on home prices. Called MacroShares, they trade on the New York Stock Exchange; their value is derived from changes in the Case-Shiller 10-city home-price index. If you expect home prices to rise, you'd buy the Up Metro Market (UMM); bears can buy the Down Metro Market (DMM). On the first day of trading the bears held sway: Investors bought 14,756 DMM shares, vs. only 6,204 of UMM.These are ETPs (exchange traded products). There are fact sheets about them here and here. These seem more friendly to small investors than the housing futures because they require a smaller minimum investment and you can buy them just like stocks.
"UMM and DMM will be the indicators that people will turn to when they want a snapshot of home-price sentiment," says Masucci. Shiller thinks they will have real practical value for homeowners. If you buy the DMM and the price goes down, the money you make on the investment will offset your lost home value. If prices go up, you lose money on the DMM, but your house will be worth more.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
How to hedge the value of your home
Robert Shiller has a new way to bet on housing prices: