Thursday, June 01, 2006

The House Always Sometimes Never Wins

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The House Always Sometimes Never Wins.

MarketWatch quotes Robert Shiller, author of "Irrational Exuberance," in a story about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange decision to offer investors the opportunity to gamble on the $20 trillion U.S. housing market. And, of course, when you talk to Shiller about housing, you're going to end up talking about the bubble:
"Protection against a loss in the value of one's home is the big draw of these products," said Shiller, who noted recent polls show about one-third of Americans think the U.S. is in a housing bubble.

"There is vulnerability in a lot of cities where home prices have boomed a lot more than rents or construction costs," Shiller said. Still, forecasting home prices is notoriously dicey for economists because home values aren't explained well by fundamentals such as building costs, population and interest rates.

-- The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble