Diamond News

Every month I am amused by the comments from NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun regarding housing fundamentals, especially job growth.

Forget about strong jobs. Toss Yun's views in the ashcan.

Compared to wage growth, homes are nearly as unaffordable now as they were at the peak of the housing bubble.

That's without factoring in student debt and attitude changes regarding debt, assets, and mobility.

January 1987 to January 2000

In the 13-year period between 1987 and 2000, home prices, rent and wages all rose together. Homes were home, not speculative playthings, not a retirement vehicle.

That changed in 2000.

January 2000 to July 2006

In the 6.5 year period between January 2000 and July 2006, home prices soared 85% vs 22% for both rent and hourly earnings.

People thought homes would never stop rising. Supposedly there was a massive shortage of homes. People line up for block for the right to buy a Florida condo. In a few short weeks, after the pool of greater fools ran out, the housing crash began.

The housing crash lasted longer than the stock market bust and finally ended in late 2011. January 2012 was the last time rent, home prices, and wages were roughly in sync.

January 2012 to April 2019

Home prices are not quite as bad as they were in July of 2006, but pressure on would-be buyers is extreme.

Wages are up 19%, rent is up 23%, and housing prices are up 55%. Those are national...

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