Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pop goes the housing bubble

Figure via Calculated Risk. Larger version here

I believe the outlines of the bust are becoming as visible as the bubble itself was to any astute observer a few years ago. But no bottom yet! If I had to guess, I'd say we are going to give back most of the integral over the curve from 1997 to 2007 or so, net of overall inflation during that period (say 20-30%). In other words, extend the blue trend line beyond the early nineties, and integrate your favorite curve minus this trend line from 1997-2007 to get the overvaluation. (Note the graph is of year over year price changes in nominal dollars, not absolute price.)

Or, just look at the figure below to see that prices might have to drop 30-40% to return to consistency with the long term trend.

As we've discussed before, house price increases tend to be quite modest if measured in real dollars. (Except, of course, for bubbles and special cases :-)

The Case-Shiller national index will probably be off close to 12% YoY (will be released in earlylate May). Currently (as of Q4) the national index is off 10.1% from the peak.

The composite 10 index (10 large cities) is off 13.6% YoY. (15.8% from peak)

The composite 20 index is off 12.7% YoY. (14.8% from peak)

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