Is the Bull Market in Housing a Bubble?

  The answer depends on your definition of “bubble”… and the market under the microscope. “House prices differ widely across OECD countries, both with respect to recent changes and to valuation levels,” the OECD advises in a report on residential real estate around the world. Measured by the recent price-to-income ratio (a measure of affordability) relative to […]

Will the Weak Housing Market Pinch the Economy?

The latest batch of housing numbers offer a mixed view at best for this key sector. The March data for new housing starts and residential building permits are above their recent lows, but the gains are sluggish compared to the rates of increase from 2011 through early 2013. And that’s the good news vs. home […]

Housing Starts Tumbled in January

It’s not a crash, but it sort of smells like one. Housing starts and newly issued residential building permits dropped sharply in January, the Census Bureaureported this morning. The declines, which came in well below expectations, follow a pattern of late: disappointing economic news for the US. But once again there’s also the routine of analysts […]

U.S. Housing Starts: Jan 2014 Preview

Housing starts are expected to total 997,000 in tomorrow’s update for January, based on The Capital Spectator’s median econometric forecast (seasonally adjusted annual rate). The projection represents a slight decline vs. the previously reported 999,000 for December. Meanwhile, the Capital Spectator’s median estimate for January is moderately higher vs. a trio of consensus estimates based […]

Back to Housing Bubbles

It is widely agreed that a series of collapsing housing-market bubbles triggered the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, along with the severe recession that followed. While the United States is the best-known case, a combination of lax regulation and supervision of banks and low policy interest rates fueled similar bubbles in the United Kingdom, Spain, […]

Why Was the Housing-Price Collapse So Painful? (And Why Is It Still?)

Foresight about the disaster to come was not the primary reason this year’s Nobel Prize in economics went to Robert Shiller (jointly with Eugene Fama and Lars Hansen). But Professor Shiller’s early claim that a housing-price bubble was full on, and his prediction that trouble was a-comin’, is arguably the primary source of his claim to fame […]

US Housing Starts: September 2013 Preview

Tomorrow’s report on US housing starts for September will likely be postponed due to the government shutdown. When (if?) this update is published, US housing starts are expected to total 891,000 (seasonally adjusted annual rate), according to The Capital Spectator’s average econometric forecast. The projection represents a modest decline vs. the previously reported 891,000 total […]

Dutch Domestic Demand Dragging Real Home Values

Today Statistics Netherlands (CBS) warned “House Prices Nosedive“. Prices of existing owner-occupied dwellings sold in July 2012 were on average 8.0 percent down from July 2011. This is the most substantial price drop since the price index of existing residential property was first recorded in 1995. In real terms and indexed to 2005, home values are […]