BOOM TO BUST
 

 

Choose what you like. If they don't make it any more, there is a chance of a boom.
LAND booms, according to BOOM BUST written by Fred Harrison in 2005,
inflate and burst within 18 year cycles.

See the LAND BOOMERS in the cartoon section for a cartoon history of the Melbourne (1890)
               Boom Bust.        A 117 year ago rehearsal for the great Brown Bust of 2007.
In 2005 (see LETTERS) Don Riley was able to warn Tony Blair to resign before the BOOM
turned into the BUST of 2007. Don did not need to factor in all the variables economists
usualy highlight. Don Riley based his prediction on "too hot to handle, LAND PRICES".

Tim Congdon's prediction two years later in spring 2007 of trouble ahead was typically
economist-vague and quoted 8 other variables to support his anxiety.
See ECONOMIST Congdon Tim "Too much money chasing too few assets spells danger".

Tim did not mention land prices as a variable despite his purchase of 1060 Scottish hectares a year
before.      See ECONOMIST        CONGDON Tim. Why invest in Timber?

Other bubbles are less destructive. Impressionist or other paintings, or vintage wine or vintage cars or antique silver take off from time to time. As can resources like metals or oil.
When these bubbles burst, losers may be badly burnt but their numbers are few.

From the mid 1990s many countries experienced land price booms which were in step.
Ireland, Spain, the UK, Australia, the US for example.
If as much as 75% of property asset values are brought about by rapid land/location price rises, then building value of only 25% is not great security when the bubble blows.
Additionally if new suburbs and townships are built as long ribbons along minor roads, large sums of (land value) capital are hijacked by the developers. When confidence lessens there may be no local industry, no commuter buses or rail-links, too few good schools and clinics in the neighbourhood to underpin the value of the cheap buildings.

Irish and US home buyers are finding that much new housing becomes as little valued as if it could be re-flat-packed and returned to IKEA shelves like so much cheap furniture.

                                    Pick your own low cost home

Outcomes in human terms are tragic


                           Ireland

                           Irish Sunday Independent 21 March 2010
                           Human Toll of Crisis Grows as 29 Deaths Linked to Financial Despair.
                           'The misery caused by the collapse of the property industry is incalculable',
                           writes Jerome Reilly. 'Inexperienced financial people are making awful decisions
                           that are destroying people's lives'.


                           USA

                           USA Today 26 March 2010
                           Across USA, Falling Real Estate Values Rub Out Home-Equity Loans
                           'Negative home equity could last more than 5 years', writes Alejandro Gonzalez.

                           'Vicky Dicristo, 64, bought her home in Soquel, Calif., in 2006 for $535,000 with
                            plans to fix it up, live in it awhile, then sell and buy a nice retirement home in
                            Arizona, where she has family. She bought the home with a five-year, interest-only,
                            adjustable mortgage at a 5.9% interest rate. 

                            Her home is now worth only $350,000, according to the local assessor's office.
                            And Dicristo, who was laid off nearly two years ago from her job as a mortgage loan
                            underwriter, has lost the $135,000 she put down on the house as well as the more
                            than $15,000 she put into renovating the home with new floors.

                            "I lost $150,000", Dicristo says. "I haven't been able to make payments, either.
                             I thought I was going to be able to sell it and to move to a less expensive area. That
                            had been my plan when I bought it, to move to someplace like Arizona and pay all cash.
                            But the whole plan fell apart."'

                            'About 24% of all residential properties with mortgages had negative equity
                            at the end of 2009, according to First American CoreLogic'. 'That is 11.3 millions
                            home nationwide that are now worth less than the mortgages on them'.
Moreover,
                            'a typical borrower who is "underwater" won't see positive gains in equity until
                            2015 to 2020'
.

It only requires an absence of buyers for the few houses forced on to the market in a given street, for all properties in the street to be marked down. This can shatter creditworthiness for some, cause others to cut back on property maintenance, make others risk lets to bad characters, and the downslide of the street accelerates.

BOOM BUST cycles in real estate are not freaks of nature... they are man made actions. The solution is simple - real estate expansion has to be underpinned by infrastructure contra-spending, which can be likened to keeping the blood circulating back to the heart.

Someone had the bright idea of parcelling up small lots of moon territory. A moon bubble out of thin air?
This little birdie flew so why not Martian canals or ice fields too.
Needs progress on inter planetary propulsion before even Warren Buffet joins the ride.


                         Housing Bubble

As with every property boom, when the bust comes the top 1% of property investors stay on top
the bottom 30% of property owners and non-property owners end up with their own debt and their share
of the toxic debt. In this bust the toxic debt is guarantied by the government so the bottom 30% will have to pay more in tax. The effect of the bust is trickle-up from thr poor to the wealthy.