Thursday, July 03, 2008

Housing: have we reached the "point of maximum pessimism"?

Blanche Evans of Realty Times thinks the most of the bad news in housing has already been built into the market; she was interviewed on iTulip a couple of years ago, predicting a downturn but also saying that housing would be supported by the government, to some extent.

Benjamin Graham said we should “buy from pessimists and sell to optimists”. The smart money has done the second part, maybe it should look out for the first soon.


Ryan said...

Blanche Evans of Realty Times says "I will say anything to keep myself in a job right now"


Yes, I'm more of the mind that houses ought to be priced at 3-4 times earnings, in which case the sooner we find a buyer for ours, the better.

But Keynes observed that "wages are sticky downward" and so, I think, are house prices. Owners won't be keen to realize a loss, so I expect a shrinking of the market as people sit tight, and the result should be stagnation while wages catch up. Against that is the possibility that real (post-inflation) wages may continue to fall, since power and food inflation are externally influenced and our government's handling of the economy means we're not making much that the rest of the world wants to buy. So it could be a very long stagnation, and still a fall in real terms.

Does that make sense, sound right, to you?