March 26, 2007
This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by Political Calculations (of calculate your own recession probability fame). In addition to PC's usual dazzling display of cool scripts, Ironman had the excellent taste to designate Econbrowser's Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble as "The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere". Which maybe gives y'all a chance to start a new thread for discussion of just what's been driving the housing market.
Posted by James Hamilton at March 26, 2007 11:51 AMdigg this | reddit
This just in, from Dennis Gartman:
"Knowing when something has gotten cheap is an art reserved to either the very wisest among us, or the very lucky, or at times the very stupid. It is not an art we are given to, although clearly we have some acquaintance with the latter. But sometimes even we can know when something has gotten cheap.... even very so, and it would appear that housing in Detroit, Michigan has gotten very, very cheap. Allow us to explain.
"We were sent an article yesterday from Yahoo! News detailing the levels to which housing prices in Detroit have fallen, and they have fallen very far indeed. Apparently last week, a Texas auction firm was commissioned to sell off a number of homes there. The prices were unbelievably cheap, with 'house after house [selling] for less than the $29,000 that it costs to buy the average new car.' The auctioneer became so exercised that he enjoined the audience with the simple statement that 'Folks, the ground underneath the house goes with it. You do know that, right?' Several houses that went by the boards sold for less than $10,000... some even for less than $7,000. As one participant said, 'You cannot even buy a good used car for that!'
"He's right. One gentleman, who a year ago thought he was buying a series of 'bargains' when he paid $70,000 for a number of houses, only to watch as houses of the same relative value in the same neighborhood sold over the weekend for half that. The gentleman in question apparently was not prepared to average down.
"Sadly, these 'bargains' are not only in seedy, run-down depressed portion of the city. We read where a house in Bloomfield Hills, an area of the city we've been to several times in the past two years and is really very, very nice indeed, which had been listed for $525,000 sold for $130,000! Five years ago, at $525,000 the house was a bargain; at $130,000 it is even 'bargain-er.' However, when nice, tidy, small houses begin to sell for less than the price of a nice, tidy, used car, either cars are expensive or houses are inexpensive... or both. Now, how do we do the arb?"
Posted by: Alex Khenkin at March 26, 2007 12:55 PM
I found the answer, professor, to your question as to what caused the housing bubble: from Marketwatch
Posted by: NoVA DMD at March 26, 2007 02:52 PM
Which maybe gives y'all a chance to start a new thread for discussion of just what's been driving the housing market.
Glad to oblige!
Posted by: Ironman at March 26, 2007 03:59 PM