Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"Mr Housing Bubble" Causes Tears

A story about those "Mr. Housing Bubble" shirts devised by some smart entrepreneur (wish it was me) has sparked some ire among real estate folks, according to a story on Reuters:
Anthony Phipps, T-shirtHumor.com communications director, said the Austin, Texas-based t-shirt design and marketing firm has sold hundreds of the $20 cotton shirts since they went on sale last week.

He said the design had the right mix of market timing and dark humor.

"I think it's pretty clear that there are a lot of people in fear over the potential of a housing bust," Phipps said. "A lot of individuals have made some interesting moves financially with interest-only mortgages and the idea of suddenly having all that equity disappear is something that scares home buyers and policy-makers alike."

But the Realty Times newsletter chafed at the notion that real estate prices have reached unsustainable levels, declaring in a headline, "Mr. Housing Bubble T-shirts Indicate Market Confusion."

Arguing that Americans are widely benefiting from adjustable-rate mortgages that make monthly payments more affordable, columnist Blanche Evans said some pundits in the financial press were simply trying to scare real estate investors into shifting their money back into stocks.