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Price Trends / WAR OF THE WORLDS: If you use a 20-year time horizon, and assume prices will return to the trend line, then our residential property bubble will bottom after values fall over 40% from current levels (see above (c) aka “(y) - (z)” aka “Loss Today to Bottom”). I make no predictions. I do watch numbers. The chart shows a catastrophe of falling real estate values loaded up on top of our current catastrophe in real estate values.
No one would question these numbers absent The War of the Worlds. The War of the Worlds is the United States Government versus aggregate borrower income. Uncle Sam is funding every new mortgage – high, low and in between (see chart below--the blue and red represent government-backed loans and the private market is the yellow and green). It takes very little imagination to see the world of real estate prices vaporizing without government support. If that support was lost, values would crash down faster than a big rock dropped into a shallow puddle.
While the federal government has deep pockets, at some point the persons who take out the mortgages will have to pay them. At that point the market should follow the pattern described above by the trend line. Reality bites. Prices for real estate are ultimately determined by our income, and if the trend represents a match of income and price, then the picture of the trend line is the picture of our future.
For a more complete picture of future residential values, please click here for “Property Values: 10 Key Charts”.