Monday, May 19, 2003

Here's something I've been following pretty closely ever since the IMF came out with its World Economic Outlook in April: housing prices. While the global economy has seen many bubbles pop over the last three years, the housing bubbles in the US and the UK are yet to disintegrate. The UK housing markets has been running with the bulls since the second quarter of 1996, and in the US since third quarter of the same year. Now CNN/Money tells us "economists, for the umpteen-thousandth time in the past several months, offered reassuring words -- home prices aren't likely to pop and soak homeowners any time soon, if at all." Phew! Because a housing bust would have far greater wealth effects than the equity price bust we've seen over the last three years, cutting into the ever-expanding girth of the American consumer and slamming the breaks on the only real growth engine of the global economy. This is the place to watch, folks.


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