Friday, March 07, 2014

A new housing crisis looms. A shortage.

The housing meltdown was pretty traumatic for me. The scabs still have not healed. And I didn't even lose my stuff. The only thing that got me through it was knowing what houses cost when I was a kid. A couple of my neighbors are also original owners and they confirmed what I remembered. Even so... it was a pretty deep dark pit for a very long time.

Now there isn't enough inventory. In my neighborhood - there isn't a single house for sale. I've never seen that before. Sure shortages can be cured easily. If they have the money to build. During the boom years we were building 2.4 million units a year. In the deep recession years, they were only building 500.000. Now they are building 1 million units. 2.4 was too high obviously, and 500,000 units for 5 years is also way too low.

It will be interesting to see how that works with the banks. I finally figured out when the top was. 2004. And prices are back to 2007 levels. A lot of people still talk about shadow inventory, but I'm skeptical. If you manged to keep your house from 2004 - now, you have a lot of skin in the game. They are also a bit trapped still. Those owners are in stasis.

With very few houses for sale, and 20% of people still stuck, not to mention the refi boom is pretty much over I think banks will be curling up in a ball soon.

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