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Real Americans don’t take bubble baths

Bubble contest: No real estate properties for sale

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Editor's note: The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research is sponsoring an essay contest on "Why there is no housing bubble." The winner will win $1,000. Send a copy of your entry to for possible publication on Inman News. Supply and demand dictates that the price of real estate must increase until equilibrium is achieved. Since there is no supply, prices must rise tangentially until no one can afford to buy. Since no one can afford to purchase real estate and none is for sale, America has become like Britain's 99-year Hong Kong lease. Major urban centers in America have become vast 30-year interest-only lease holdings. No one actually buys or sells property anymore; they enter into purchase agreements that are de facto leases that expire upon death or "resale" (reassignment?), whichever comes first. The whole shell game is predicated on interest rates that make selling so highly unattractive that real estate prices are forced to inflate ...