Monthly Archives: December 2005

RE Flashback: February 2002

Posted in Uncategorized

Real estate bubble: Top news story of 2005?

Bostoncom_010106_1For the past month, two Boston Globe real estate articles, one on falling prices and the other on rising foreclosures, have topped their list of "Most Popular Stories" (click on image for larger view).  Now, guess what their cross-town rival, the Boston Herald, has listed as #1 on their "top business and economics highlights of 2005"?

1. Pop goes the bubble — The state’s housing bubble finally sprang a leak this year, with a noticeable slowdown in sales, a falling off in prices and long waits to sell homes. Partly brought about by rising interest rates, the slowdown was evident by May, when housing sales fell by 11 percent over the prior year. The market hasn’t shown much improvement since.

The rest of the Herald’s list includes factors that have contributed to the end of the real estate bubble and will continue to pull down housing prices in coming months and years:  slow job growth in the state, rising gas and energy prices, and loss of major Massachusetts employers through mergers, acquisitions, and relocations. 

Posted in "We" companies, Do-it-yourself, Foreclosures, In the News, Inside The Real Estate Cafe, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble, Social Networking, Timing the market

Worth reading: Top mistakes of homebuyers & sellers in 2005

Posted in Uncategorized

How to buy or sell homes in 2005

How to buy or sell homes in 2005: Ken Harney

Posted in Uncategorized

Boston housing market 2006: “Hard landing” or “return to normalcy”?

Three weeks after economist Nicholas Perna told the Boston Globe that "both early data and the anecdotes — are pointing more toward a hard rather than a soft landing" for the [Massachusetts] housing market, Perna repeated that assessment in the Boston Herald following news that single-family home sales fell 9.2 percent in November.  Need to confirm, but isn’t that the four month this year of near double-digit decreases compared to 2004?

"It sounds more and more like the housing adjustment is a harder landing in Massachusetts than elsewhere in the country,’ said economist Nicholas Perna. ‘I don’t think we are seeing anything like that in the country as a whole. My guess is that Massachusetts is among the most seriously affected."

Some real estate professionals dismissed the significance of falling sales, calling them a "return to normalcy."   What’s your take?  Your comments are welcome below, or on our readers’ "record your own podcast" line:  617-876-2117. 

Posted in Housing forecasts, In the News, Market trends, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble

Bubble Hour debating society

If you missed it on NPR’s All Things Considered this evening, here’s a link to the audio file about “Intelligence Squared:  The London’s Debating Dating Society”

Cheers and what would you think if The Real Estate Cafe hosted a weekly Bubble Hour, offering to debate anyone about whether there is a real estate bubble in Boston?

If most forwarded news stories are any indication of what people are talking about, it’s no surprise that Intelligence Squared has debated the sexual revolution, but not the real estate bubble across the pond. Sounds high brow, if an off color topic.

In contrast, not sure if you could say the same thing about’s most forwarded email. Sorry reflection of the world we live in, or just an indication of the therapeudic role of humor in a world in a world desparately in need of laughter.

Posted in Uncategorized

Four years of decline prosperity despite RE bubble

Median incomes continue to drop, half of all American workers are earning LESS than they did in 2001. Robert Reich. Nothing is trickling down, not even to the middle.

What is the point of economic growth if more people are NOT more prosperous. Let’s stop focusing on the GDP, and focus on the MDP: Median Domestic Prosperity. Four years of declining prosperity. Let’s be honest, this economy is nothing to cheer about.

And Reich does not even mention that the economy is overly dependent on real estate, which accounted for more than 90 percent of the growth of the GDP in some markets.

Posted in Uncategorized

Making an Offer on a House

Posted in Defensive Homebuying

The Housing Bubble 2: There’s No Bubble, Just Wildly Overpriced Houses

Posted in Uncategorized

If job creation drives housing prices, what is preventing the Boston housing market from falling?

Add to unemployment / job creation section of The Real Estate Cafe’s ongoing data collection / spreadsheet of factors underlying the housing bubble.  This information has been archived periodically since 2000.  Initially, a snap shot was taken each year just before Halloween for an annual update of our slideshow entitled, Haunted by the Housing Market.  During 2005, we began making updates more frequently as evidence of the coming slide in housing prices began to mount locally and nationally.  While it’s hard to miss the fact that some of "the biggest employers in town are leaving," as the Boston Herald article reports, this statement is stunning and more including in one’s prediction of where housing prices are headed in 2006 and beyond:

"The roughly 740,000 jobs in the Greater Boston area is still more than
80,000 shy of its 2000 peak. And it may take years more, perhaps as
long as a decade, before those boomtime employment levels are seen
again, said Nordby. Only by 2015 will the Greater Boston area boast
roughly the same number of jobs, 821,000, that it had in December 2000"

The Housing Bubble 2: ‘Sky-High Housing Costs’ Drive Away Boston Jobs.

Posted in Uncategorized
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