Global Housing

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London house prices surge on chaos

From Bloomberg yesterday came the below report stating that house prices in London surged in September after falling the previous month: London home sellers raised asking prices by the most in seven months in September as a lack of properties for sale and investors looking for safer assets amid financial-market turmoil bolstered values, Rightmove Plc

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UK moves to reform planning disaster

I have written previously on how the United Kingdom (UK) housing system is arguably the worst in the world because of a myriad of policies that work to severely restrict supply, pump demand, and make renting a highly undesirable substitute for home ownership. These policies have led to the UK housing market experiencing: 1) a

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How Las Vegas gambled and lost

In yesterday’s article on the release of the latest US house price indices by Case-Shiller and the FHFA, one market stood out more than any other for the dramatic way in which home prices have collapsed: Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the Case-Shiller index, house prices in ‘Sin City’ have fallen by a whopping 59%

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Preventing housing bubbles

Over the past week, the two main US house price data providers – Case-Shiller and the FHFA – released their second quarter indices. And once again, they provide a sobering insight into the carnage caused when housing bubbles burst violently. The national series are shown below, both in nominal and real terms. According to the

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A housing whodunit

Earlier this week, I posted an article, The Texas housing miracle, which once again argued that housing markets with responsive land/housing supply are both more affordable and less prone to bubbles/busts than markets where land supply is constrained by physical and/or regulatory barriers. The article, whilst acknowledging other US states with similarly relaxed land-use regimes,

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The Texas housing miracle by Leith van Onselen

Last week, Rortybomb published an interesting article entitled Investigating the Link between Debt, Deleveraging and the “Texas Miracle”. In the article appeared the below chart showing per capita debt balances in key US states using data extracted from The Federal Reserve Bank of New York quarterly data release (excel file available here): The chart shows large variances

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Housing TV bust

Last month I posted about the Channel 9’s latest revision of the property spruiking show “the block” when I stated that.. The television hasn’t been to kind to the housing market recently. Sure the constant re-runs of Location, Location, Location, Selling Homes Australia and Grand Designs have been streaming out of the box, but more

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Rental complex

Following on from my recent post, The case against home ownership, Canadian Business last week published a great article. entitled Rental complex, asking why more Canadians don’t rent – a question equally applicable to Australians. At over 2,800 words, it’s a long article (but well worth reading). Below are some of the key extracts. Note

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Buyer beware

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour. A few weeks back, in Aussie investors flock to US housing fund, I noted the relative undervaluation of US real estate compared with Australia, and how the newly launched US Masters Residential Property Fund, which is targeted at properties in the New Jersey area, was over-subscribed from

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The case against home ownership

“The business of the United States used to be business. But somehow with all these Government programs, we turned the business of America into housing”… The above is just one of the great quotes from yesterday’s debate on Canada’s The Agenda (video below). The debate subject was The case against home ownership, and the panel

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Rethinking urban planning

This blog has dedicated significant effort questioning the axioms underpinning Australia’s urban planning system. This system has grown increasingly restrictive as urban growth boundaries (UGBs), minimum targets for ‘brownfield’ development (urban consolidation), up-front infrastructure charges, amongst other measures, have been implemented across jurisdictions since the late 1990s/early 2000s. These urban planning tools, affectionately known amongst

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UK moves to reflate housing market

I have talked previously about how the United Kingdom (UK) operates the worst kind of housing policy – one that pumps demand while placing a tight straight jacket on land/housing supply – the outcome of which is both unaffordable housing and a propensity for boom/bust property cycles (see below chart). Now the UK Government is

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Aussie investors flock to US housing fund

As reported in Fairfax last week, the US Masters Residential Property Fund (Investment Overview provided below) recently closed its initial public offering (IPO) for Australian investors, receiving more than double the minimum subscription. The Fund raised $69.5 million from over 1,500 investors, well above the minimum subscription level of $30 million, with the majority of

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Sweden’s bubblicious housing

In conducting research for last night’s post on the German housing market, I came across some interesting information on the housing bubble developing in Sweden. It’s a story worth sharing since it offers important insights and parallels for Australia. Before I kick-off, first consider the below chart of real house prices since the mid-1980s: As

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How Germany achieved stable & affordable housing

A few months ago, after posting numerous articles advocating the Texan approach to land-use planning,  I promised fellow MacroBusiness blogger, The Prince, that I would undertake an analysis of the German housing system, which is regarded as amongst the most affordable and liberal in Europe. In my findings presented below, I have compared and contrasted the German housing system

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Central banker makes housing sense!

I was disappointed in RBA Governor, Glenn Stevens, speech Wednesday. I had expected that Mr Stevens would at least acknowledge Australia’s Achilles heel – its high level of household indebtedness and house prices – and warn of the significant risks that these pose to the economy. Instead, Mr Stevens ignored the debt Godzilla and linked Australia’s house price appreciation to population growth. Interestingly,

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UK moves to prevent bubbles

In 1998, following the release of the Financial System (‘Wallis’) Inquiry’s final recommendations on financial system regulation, the Australian Government implemented a new organisational framework for the regulation of the financial system. Prior to the Wallis Inquiry, regulation was either governed by the states for some products or based on a sectoral approach with industry

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The 1980s Texas housing bubble myth

Over the past few months, I have argued feverishly that housing markets with responsive land supply are both more affordable and less prone to bubbles/busts than markets where land supply is constrained by physical and/or regulatory barriers. In many of these articles, I have used Texas as an example of a housing market largely free

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Unemployment and house prices

Following on from Popping Bubble’s recent post, Australia’s low level of unemployment is often held-up as a reason why home values won’t fall. According to this argument, home values will remain supported as long as people have jobs and can continue meeting their mortgage repayment obligations. For example, in last year’s infamous CBA investor presentation,

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Irish bust video

Max Keiser yesterday posted a video exposé (below) on the damage caused by the bursting of the Irish housing bubble and how the bad debts of the Irish banks have been transferred to Irish taxpayers (h/t Mish and Rota Fortuna). For readers unfamiliar with what happened in Ireland, consider reading my December article, Unluck of the

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Lessons from the UK housing crash

It’s time for another trip down memory lane. It’s September 2007 and home prices in London have just started to fall, but are still holding up nationally (see below chart). UK households are growing increasingly nervous. After embarking on an almighty borrowing binge over the 2000s, as evident by household debt to disposable incomes rising

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Hong Kong’s housing headed for a crash?

This years Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ranked Hong Kong as the most unaffordable housing market out of the seven countries surveyed, with median home prices a whopping 11.4 times incomes. After falling some 23% over 6 months in the wake of the global financial crisis, Hong Kong’s housing market has been on a tear,

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So much for the Californian housing shortage

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. It’s early 2006 and the median house price in Los Angeles-Orange County, California has hit $582,000. Demographia has just released its latest International Housing Affordability Survey showing that Southern California has the most expensive housing market out of the six nations surveyed. Property speculation is at fever pitched.

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That’s not a first home owner grant!

This is a first home buyer grant. From the UK Telegraph: [A] controversial new mortgage deal is being launched by five local authorities and backed by Lloyds Banking Group, one of the lenders bailed out by the taxpayer during the credit crisis. The scheme is aimed at struggling first-time buyers who are unable to afford the

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The Economist on housing supply

I was disappointed with The Economist’s recent special reports on housing. Whilst the reports captured the psychology and the demand-drivers of bubbles well (discussed in an earlier post), they failed to adequately capture the role of supply-side constraints. As far as I could see, the only reference to the supply-side of the housing market were

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House prices, gold, and long-term investing

One thing I’ve always believed about investing (as opposed to speculating) is that it’s important to step back and take a look at the long-term picture. In the shorter term, markets are subject to periodic “manias, panics and crashes”, as Charles Kindleberger put it in his classic study of financial crises. But in the long-term,

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UK deleveraging: “standard of living to plunge at fastest rate since 1920s”

The Telegraph today published a disturbing article on the dire state of the UK economy: Households face the most dramatic squeeze in living standards since the 1920s, the Governor of the Bank of England warned, as he reacted to the shock disclosure that the economy was shrinking again. Families will see their disposable income eaten up as

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Australia: Following Canada into a Financial Black Hole

No doubt many readers have heard that the Australian Government is looking to follow Canada’s lead and implement a Government guarantee of residential mortgage-backed securities  (RMBS), in order to foster greater competition in mortgage lending and reduce the power of the big four banks. Following on from David Llewellyn-Smith’s critique of this proposal, I thought it timely