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Housing: The Final Fury

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This time, it's different

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Remember this magazine cover?

The Economist Magazine, June 18, 2005

Back in June when it appeared, we decided the concept of "House Prices: After the Fall" might be a bit presumptuous. After all, when was the last time you read about a timely investment or trading idea in a magazine cover story?

Of course, this is not because magazine writers and editors are not very smart people. Many are. It's simply due to the way the editorial process works. News, almost by definition, is popular when it reflects consensus opinion, and unpopular when it fades consensus opinion. It is not a negative reflection on the editorial standards of a magazine when it runs cover stories that coincide with the culmination of specific positive or negative financial events. Rather, it's a positive reflection on their ability to discern the most wide-ranging interests of their target markets.

Since the magazine cover appeared last June, talk of a housing bubble has not disappeared, but it has shifted a bit. I wrote last June, "I have no doubt that housing will again grace the covers of newspapers and magazines before this is all over, but I expect the headlines to be far different than the negative take via the Economist. Maybe something along the lines of this:
"Housing: The market that can't be stopped," or,"Real Estate: The Bubble Who Cried Wolf," or, "Housing Resilience Astounds Economists!""

Well, looks like that time has finally arrived. Sunday morning, as I was catching up on news from my hometown, I came across this headline in the Lexington, KY Herald Leader newspaper:

But wait, there's more. Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look around with the Google News Search (it was free) and see if there was any noticeable sentiment apparent in the headlines from other parts of the country. Just type "housing," "housing bubble," or "real estate" into Google News and you'll see that with but a few exceptions, people don't seem so worried about housing outside of a few parts of CA and FL.
See these 20 examples lifted from the past three days of news.

Housing bubble not ready to pop
Newsday, NY - 3 hours ago
Despite widespread fears of a housing bubble ready to burst and prices ready to plummet, a Newsday analysis of 25 years of Long Island sales data finds little ...

There is no housing bubble, says senior economist
Virginian Pilot, VA - Jan 18, 2006
... "Everybody is looking for evidence of a housing bubble," he said. "There is not a housing bubble. The supply had not kept up with demand.". ...

Housing Bubble or Slow Deceleration of Housing Market?
MortgageNewsDaily.com, AZ - Jan 19, 2006
... Office of the Chief Economist took on the doomsayers in its January 2006 Economic Outlook released late last week and concluded that the housing bubble is not ...

Housing market sets future of golf courses
Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC - 12 hours ago
"If I was shooting craps today, I would shoot craps with housing rather than with golf," said Causey, who sold his beloved course a few months ago to a national homebuilder. "When I first thought of building one, golf courses were liquidating themselves in eight to 10 years back in the '80s. Now I don't think you could liquidate one in 20 to 25 years. The term is too long, and the yield per golfer is not there."
Real estate keeps truckin'
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH - 9 hours ago
Analysts have been nervously writing year-end epitaphs for real estate for the last couple years, but the sector has kept outperforming the overall market. ...
Real estate funds looking good Myrtle Beach Sun News

Plum poised for housing growth
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA - 19 hours ago
Greg Bachy, borough planning director, updated council's economic development committee this week on those developments. Of the ...

Study Finds "Very Dramatic" Improvement in Phoenix Housing in Last ...
EVLiving - 23 hours ago
In a study researchers call "stunning," housing conditions in the city of Phoenix have improved dramatically since they were last surveyed in 1994, especially ...

Boomer Retirees to Sunshine State Sustain Strong Housing Market
The Ledger, FL - Jan 21, 2006
Housing sales may be cooling off, but that hasn't stopped developer Mark Hughes from moving ahead with plans for a new subdivision in Myakka City. ...

Cashing in on the real estate boom
Toronto Star, Canada - 14 hours ago
The couple also has a sideline business, buying and selling real estate in the fast-growing bedroom communities outside Toronto. ...

Booming Scottsdale real estate scene spurs choice for home buyers
East Valley Tribune, AZ - 6 hours ago
... "It's sort of the hot thing to do at the moment," said Jay Butler, a professor and director of the Arizona Real Estate Center at Arizona State University ...

Money matters: Using your IRA to buy real estate can be tricky
Sacramento Bee, USA - 9 hours ago
... prohibits "selling property" to it and "buying property for personal use." If the transfer were not for personal use but rather a real estate investment, would ...

Local real estate market looks good
Enid News & Eagle, OK - 12 hours ago
By Robert Barron, Staff Writer. Although there are fewer houses than normal on the market locally, the next few years are looking good in Enid. ...
Real estate prices skyrocket in Wallowa Co.
kgw.com (subscription), OR - 22 hours ago
... And go figure: while many residents continue to scrape by on part-time and seasonal employment, a near-unprecedented real estate boom is taking place. ...
The Kalamazoo Promise is Promising for Real Estate
WZZM, MI - Jan 20, 2006
... Real Estate Agent Gayle Zientek says, "The Kalamazoo Promise just came around at the right time for us." She raised her three children in a home on Douglas ...
Valley's real estate future solid
Whittier Daily News, CA - Jan 21, 2006
INDUSTRY - As populations grow in the San Gabriel Valley, so do opportunities for creative real estate and business models, industry experts say. ...
Commercial real estate is sizzling
Orlando Sentinel, FL - Jan 21, 2006
Florida's housing markets may finally be cooling, but investor interest in commercial properties remains strong, a broker said Friday during a forecast meeting ...
Tech won't hurt office space, expert says Tampa Bay Business Journal

Real estate business resounds
Charlotte Sun-Herald, FL - Jan 20, 2006
... Nelson was an agent with another real estate business in town having absolutely no intentions of getting his broker's license or ever owning his own business ...

Overseas real estate boom lures Asian-American buyers
San Jose Mercury News, USA - Jan 19, 2006
... Investments by Asian-Americans are helping fuel sizzling real estate markets thousands of miles away. Stymied by nosebleed California ...

Real Estate: Buy, sell, hold?
CNN International - Jan 19, 2006
Every homeowner must adjust to the new realities in real estate. ... The good news is, there aren'ta lot of sound reasons to think real estate is ready to bust. ...

Real estate investors gain ground in virtual worlds
TMCnet - Jan 18, 2006
... Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Jan 18, 2006 (Inman News Features via COMTEX) --Editor's note: This story kicks off our three-part series on virtual real estate worlds ...

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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