Sunday, July 9, 2017

A New Housing Bubble?

From an article in Business Insider:

...The other day, Zillow reported that the national median home value in April rose 7.3% year-over-year to $198,000. It too beat the peak of Housing Bubble 1 ($196,600) set in April 2007. “It only took a decade,” Zillow said.

 The National Association of Realtors reported that the median price in April hit $246,100, which is 6.8% above the peak of Housing Bubble 1 ($230,400 in June 2006).

 The Case-Shiller Index appears to have more stature at the Fed than Zillow or the NAR. So we’ll use it here in our visual aids for the Fed.

 It is based on a rolling-three month average; hence, today’s release was for January, February, and March data. So it’s always behind. Instead of median prices, it uses “home price sales pairs,” for example, a house sold in 2011 and then again in 2017. Its algorithms adjust this price movement over the years and numerous other factors into a data point that becomes part of the index. The index was set at 100 for January 2000. So an index of 200 means prices have doubled in the past 17 years.

 Housing is local. Therefore housing bubbles are local. But if enough of them come together at the same time, the housing bubble takes on national proportions. This is the phase, as the above chart shows, that the US has now reached: In some metros, prices are still below the peak; in other metros, prices are setting new records. Overall, prices have surpassed those of Housing Bubble 1.

 So dear Fed Governors, please have a look at some of the beautiful housing bubbles around the country. As you’ll see, they’re really not “hard to spot.”

 This is the Boston metro, where the current home price index is now 9% above the peak of Housing Bubble 1 (Nov 2005):

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