Is Housing a Bubble That’s About to Crash? By Charles Hugh Smith

The housing market this time around isn’t as absurd as it was before the last crash 2006 through 2008, when anybody who could write his name could get a mortgage, but that’s not to say it isn’t a bubble. From Charles Hugh Smith at

We are all prone to believing the recent past is a reliable guide to the future. But in times of dynamic reversals, the past is an anchor thwarting our progress, not a forecast.

Are we heading into another real estate bubble / crash? Those who say “no” see the housing shortage as real, while those who say “yes” see the demand as a reflection of the Federal Reserve’s artificial goosing of the housing market via its unprecedented purchases of mortgage-backed securities and “easy money” financial conditions.

My colleague CH at recently posted charts calling this assumption into question. The first chart (below) shows the U.S. population growth rate plummeting as housing starts soar, and the second chart shows housing unit per capita, which has just reached the same extreme as the 2008 housing bubble.

Demographics and housing do not reflect a housing shortage nationally, though there could be scarcities locally, of course, and other factors such as thousands of units being held off the market as short-term rentals or investments by overseas buyers who have no interest in renting their investment dwellings.

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