Monday 11 July 2005

Strange goings on: USA

A couple of times I have recommended that readers take a look at the Housing Bubble blog. That site has been giving excellent insights into the amazing boom in US house prices and the possible (unsavoury) consequences. We have a similar situation here in the UK that has the same causes - a fiat monetary system, financial recklessness on the part of borrowers and, probably, lax lending policies by banks.

At the weekend the Housing Bubble site suddenly disappeared, as did its predecessor site which contained earlier archives. There's been much speculation as to why the two sites have gone. A lot of money rests on the continuation of the housing bubble and a large proportion of new jobs in the US are dependant on that continuation.

Ben Jones has now set up a replacement site that uses WordPress in place of Blogger. I wonder if we'll ever find out just why the previous blogs disappeared.

(UPDATE: Why Don't Americans Save?)

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Sandy P
over 50% of Americans now have money in the stock market, a lot is towards retirement.

That formula is so old, it needs to be updated.

Why should I get 1-2% when I can find a company paying equal or more in dividends and have better tax consequences?

We're better off than we're led to believe.

And raising children is considered disposable income, not investment income. It costs at least $200K age 0-18 to raise a child.

Maybe if you guys quit buying up Orlando and other parts of FLA, we'll go back to normal.
22 July 2005, 18:17:35 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

I think that savings data is misleading in that it counts home mortgage payments only as consumption. In a way that is correct from the viewpoint of the overall economy, but to any particular family, the part of the payments that goes against capital rather than interest is an investment. Most American families do buy their homes on mortgages.

People expect to eventually sell the house for more than the original purchase price. There are brief periods when prices have dropped overall, but if the house is well-maintained and you can wait a few years for a better market, it's quite unusual to not make a profit when reselling a house, and often it has worked out to be one of the best investments available to middle-class Americans. This has further been encouraged by the mortgage interest tax-deduction.

With all this, I think too many American families are spending all the available money on their house. This is partly because they bought the houses at prices that were already pretty high, and partly because many people are convinced that they should buy a bigger house than is strictly needed, because it's a good investment. It does put them in a precarious situation in a recession.

And by the way, I'm 50-something, and my wife and I own two houses debt-free. Our daughter is living in one of them with her husband and children, with the payments coming rather irregularly...
11 July 2005, 21:50:07 GMT+01:00 – Like – Reply

What about scarcity though? That's a major factor in prices going up, in the UK at least.
11 July 2005, 17:58:03 GMT+01:00