Industry News

Will real estate prices collapse?

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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. Over the last eight years, there has been an unprecedented run-up in home prices in several U.S. markets. Affordability is at an all-time low with only about a quarter of American households able to afford a median-priced home. Yet about 70 percent of Americans currently own their homes, arguably the highest percentage of home ownership in the population of any industrialized nation. Nevertheless, there is cause for concern. The chart below, excerpted from a paper published in August 2003 by Dean Baker and Simone Baribeau of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, shows a sampling of the extreme price increases over the last five years: Source: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight 2003 Baker and Baribe...