Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

US Housing Bubble Index

|Includes: SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), GLD, QQQ, SPY, USO, UUP
US Housing Market Bubble Index

It's Not a Housing Bubble, It's Just Expensive By Bloomberg

Home prices have hit record highs in some major U.S. metropolitan areas, and house-flippers are behaving like it's 2005: It's no wonder people are chattering about another housing bubble.

But residential real estate isn't in a speculative bubble, industry observers contend. Instead, a low inventory of available homes is driving prices higher-prices, however, will eventually recede as buyers throw up their hands, or as more new homes come on line. The structural issues that led to the housing collapse last decade aren't present.

"The havoc during the last cycle was the result of building too many homes and of speculation fueled by loose credit," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com. "That's the exact opposite of what we have today."

To illustrate his point, Smoke compiled an index based on six factors he deemed crucial to the housing boom and bust of the mid-2000s, including price appreciation, the prevalence of house-flipping, and share of buyers who used mortgage financing. (The other factors are price-to-income, price-to-rent, and housing starts-to-household formation.) Then he benchmarked the index to 2001, a year when the housing market was fairly valued.

Last year, only six metro areas exceeded the benchmark by 10 percent, with San Jose coming in highest, at 19 percent above 2001 levels. In 2005, there were 29 cities that were at least that bubbly, as the chart above shows:

Solar Water Heating System

Prices in Austin and the San Francisco Bay Area, among other places, are probably unsustainable, Smoke said. That could be bad for buyers who get in at the top of the market and bad for the local economy if high housing costs spur talented workers to move away. "We could have a housing cost-induced economic slowdown because people can't make the housing market work," Smoke said.

Figuring out how to create enough new housing to meet demand is a tricky question. In one scenario sketched out by Smoke, faster economic growth would lead to higher interest rates, leading banks to lend more easily to homebuyers. In another, a bad economy could slow household growth, dampening demand. Right now, builders are starting new homes at a modest clip despite significant demand, probably because the cost of building them outweigh the prices homes are fetching. "If you were a builder and you could do it, wouldn't you?" Smoke asked.

The current housing market isn't without some pockets of speculation, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. A rule of thumb for investors who flip homes is to buy at a 30 percent discount to the local market, he said. That leaves room to fix up the house and sell at a profit. In the first quarter of 2016, flippers in Denver were buying at a 14 percent discount to market prices, and flippers in Orange County, Calif., were buying at an 11 percent discount.

"They're riding the wave of rising home prices," Blomquist said. "They're not buying low-they're hoping that they can sell high."

Solar Smart Money Investment
Is Solar Energy a Smart Money Investment for You?

Home Lawn Irrigation

Does a Lawn Irrigation System Add Value to Your Home?

Home Lawn Irrigation

Benefits of Home Solar Water Heating

California Real Estate

Featured Real Estate Property
Luxury 4 Bedroom Rent-To-Own Home in Sylmar California - Asking $560,000

Real Estate Investor Training
Real Estate Investing Training: Winning Investment Analysis Course

Florida Real Estate

Featured Real Estate Property
Panama City Florida 4 Bedroom 4 Bath Mediterranean 2420 Sq Ftt Home - Asking $435,000

Click the Links Below to Review More Real Estate Investing Resources

Solar Energy Homes

Solar Energy Home Savings

Lawn Irrigation Supplies

Lawn Irrigation Supplies

Motif Investing Ideas

Motif Investing Ideas
Now Easily Invest in A World Of Big Ideas

Drones

Review Purchase Top Grade Ready-to-Use Camera Drones for Your Real Estate Property Videos

Intuitive Scalable Property Management Software

Property Management Software for Landlords

AgentCampus
Real Estate Prelicense, Postlicense, CE, Exam Prep

Investment Advisory

Invest2Success Investment Advisory Stock Picks
Free Trial - Receive daily low-risk high-reward SP500 NYSE Nasdaq buy-long and short-sell stock picks that are experiencing strong increasing and decreasing earnings, that include buy sell entry, stop-loss, take profit area price targets, and trade management information to your email inbox.

Live Trading Seminars

Stock Option Forex Futures Training Seminars Webinars Workshops
Click Here For The Complete 2016 Schedule

Professional investors traders teaching successful low-risk high-reward
trade strategies. Power profit secrets for stocks, options, forex, futures
investing trading success. Or avail of Home Study Courses and or
Trading Softwares available to improve your investment returns.