May 28, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
When will the housing market reach a "bottom? I hear this question a lot. I hear a lot of people talking about "jumping in" when they think there is a "bottom" so they can "catch the next wave" and "make money." They want to "put some money into real estate."
The market will reach a "bottom" when you no longer hear about the market reaching a "bottom." This is because "bottom" is a term of speculation. The market will reach a bottom when all of the speculation and speculators have been squeezed out, and don't want to get back in again. And then housing prices probably won't and shouldn't go up more than the rate of inflation after that.
A house is not an investment, it is a place to live. You buy a house to live in it, not to get rich. You buy a rental property to make an income off of the rent, not from the increase in price. Price appreciation does not have a place in these calculations.
So here is the answer to when the bottom is reached: when the average person can afford the average house and when the rent you get from a rental unit is just right to yield a desirable rate of return on the investment, after figuring in the costs of maintenance, depreciation, property taxes and other costs.
We are a long, long way from that point. That point will be reached when prices revert to the historical mean. When you look around YOUR neighborhood and think that the average price is just right for the average person, and no one -- repeat: no one -- is talking about making money from housing, that is when prices will have settled back to where they should be.
Posted by Dave Johnson at May 28, 2008 1:55 PM
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Post a comment
Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)