Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Housing bubble? Nah! It's a baloon (that's about to burst -- oh, gosh, no!)

Freakonomics Quorum: Is It Time to Believe in the Housing Bubble? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog
Bubble is the wrong imagery for today’s housing markets. Bubbles inevitably “pop.” A more useful image for the housing markets is a balloon. Balloons expand and deflate. It is clear that air has come out of a number of local balloons across the nation, particularly in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and some selected metropolitan areas in the Midwest and Northeast regions.
This is a great way to think of real estate and other so-called "local" market economies (I guess like ice in Phoenix AZ versus ice in Alaska).

The balloon can pop, but most likely it inflates or deflates. That is healthy. Bursting is unhealthy (and in the near-term is a zero-sum game, where there is a winner and a loser).