bubble, bubble, are we all in trouble?

So every so often, my boyfriend and I walk our dog around the neighborhood and play the “They think they’re going to get WHAT for that house?” game. (The AJC has a tool that allows you to look up what homes on your street sold for; I just found out that the home across the street from where we live sold for a considerable sum lower than originally demanded.)

We rent, thankfully, and our landlord has no interest in selling. It doesn’t stop us from speculating on when might be a good time to buy, though. I keep saying “Not now,” for fear of rising interest rates (with links to articles on the subject; link via Asymmetrical Information). But maybe in two years it’ll be a great time to buy, as everyone sees the rates go up and panic. Or maybe in two years we’ll all be broke and nobody will buy or sell anything.

I’ll tell y’all a story: back in the summer of 2002 I got to meet Rajiv Dhawan, who runs the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State. We talked about various economic matters, including the housing market, and then Rajiv said something interesting: he had found a nice apartment in a new complex. In other words, he wasn’t buying, and he had just moved from Los Angeles, one of the tightest housing markets in the country.

Granted, this was three years ago, and Rajiv might have found himself a nice place by now. But the truth is, buying a home around here is scary enough; just the uncertainty of what’s going to happen may be depressing prices without any help from Alan Greenspan.

You know what this calls for? A completely unscientific poll! (The nice MisterPoll people’s work notwithstanding, put your comments here, not there.)

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