Saturday, April 28, 2012

Why did America's housing bubble decline more than in other countries?

Much of the developed world (especially America and Europe) had a housing bubble. The Economist asks why America's fell so much faster than the bubbles in Europe:
Perhaps the difference is institutional. American banks had poorer lending standards and have been quicker to foreclose on properties; borrowers have been readier to walk away from their homes. In European countries, owners have been able to sit tight in the hope that prices will recover. European markets are certainly a lot less liquid. Irish transaction volumes dropped by 83% from their peak and Spanish ones by 64%, but American deals fell by just 46%. Europe is going in the same direction as America. It is just getting there more slowly.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated housing graphs

I have updated my national housing bubble graphs to reflect the latest data available. It covers home prices from 1970-2011. It looks like U.S. home prices are fairly valued, although it varies by metro area. As I said in the past, I don't expect any significant overshooting nationally. I stick by that prediction.

Here, the red line represents inflation-adjusted housing prices, and the blue line reflects nominal housing prices:

The graph below compares the change in home prices to the change in owner-equivalent rents over time. Without any bubbles, they should increase at roughly the same rate over time: