Author Topic: Housing values may fall as Boomers unload houses  (Read 354 times)

ergophobe

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Housing values may fall as Boomers unload houses
« on: August 27, 2018, 02:14:43 AM »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/housing-values-may-fall-as-baby-boomers-die-off-or-sell-off-two-studies-say/2018/07/17/35b0dbf0-890c-11e8-8aea-86e88ae760d8_story.html?utm_term=.e4dce146f918

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Arthur C. Nelson, a professor of planning and real estate development at the University of Arizona, says some local markets with large oversupplies of boomer homes for sale could encounter significant price declines. In an email, Nelson, who has written about the coming challenges with boomers’ homes for several years, suggested that in the worst-hit areas, price declines could be as crushing as “a quarter or a third or more” — essentially the next housing crash.

Not everybody agrees. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says such dark forecasts ignore positive developments well underway: strong U.S. population growth, the rising importance of foreign-born buyers who will help sop up the oversupply of large houses in suburbs and the “glacial” speed at which the oversupply is likely to manifest itself.

Who would have guessed that the chief economist for the NAR would see nothing but roses in the future?

As my favorite quote from the quote thread says: The problem with seeing the world through rose colored glasses is that red flags just look like flags.

Mackin USA

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Re: Housing values may fall as Boomers unload houses
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 10:17:40 AM »
"Prosperous nations cannot enjoy their prosperity without becoming multicultural. But if they become multicultural, they struggle to pass on the shared customs and respect for history that bind a nation together."
http://time.com/4356425/aging-population/
Mr. Mackin

ergophobe

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Re: Housing values may fall as Boomers unload houses
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 02:12:27 PM »
But if they become multicultural, they struggle to pass on the shared customs and respect for history that bind a nation together.

That is both true and untrue. What we have seen in American history is when we pass a certain percentage of foreign-born residents, people get very uneasy. But of course now we think of Italians and Irish and Catholics and Mormons as part of that history that binds the nation together. A century ago, they were all considered threats to the fabric of the country. In fact, many people feared the election of a "papist" president when Kennedy was elected.

The thing about history is we write it backwards. Tradition is invented from the present toward the past. It doesn't grow out of the past. For most young people today, Kennedy is the embodiment of the American story. They don't see an Irish Catholic who screwed up the Bay of Pigs and got us mired in Vietnam. They see a handsome, dynamic man with lofty rhetoric who sent us to the moon.

And that's not just the US. It's actually even harder in France. Remember that "France" 1,000 years ago referred to just what we now call Ile de France. Huge portions of modern-day France, over 1/3 I think (Savoy itself was perhaps 1/3 the size of France), were not even under the French king 500 years ago. They spoke different languages (the whole south of France spoke a language closer to Italian; part of the north spoke a Celtic dialect). They had different laws (again, half the area was under Roman law and half under French customary law).

Back a bit earlier, they didn't even drink wine in the part of France that actually called itself France except among the wealthiest. And for that matter, if you think of classic French dishes like ratatouille and potatoes au gratin or Italian dishes like pasta with marinara sauce or the classic British fish and chips, they didn't exist before the discovery of America. Well into the 19th century, potatoes in France were almost exclusively pig fodder. Only in impoverished Ireland did humans eat potatoes in significant amounts.

All that to say that tradition is an invention of the present. If the immigration happens at a rate that the dominant culture can absorb the outsiders, they become part of the tradition. What we've seen lately in the US is the percentage of foreign-born residents exceed a certain threshold that makes people uneasy.

So the question is really one of velocity not magnitude. In other words, we can absorb any number of immigrants from any number of cultures. If the number of foreign-born residents stays in the upper teens, that phenomenon is not invisible, but translucent to most Americans, lost in the general flow over other changes driven by technology and politics and climate** and who knows what else. When the numbers crests 20% as it did in the 1920s and as it is now, that's when we see people start to decry the loss or dilution of the dominant culture.

Of course, different places have a different tolerance. New Yorkers expect to hear a dozen languages in a walk down the street. Not so much in Des Moines. We are lucky in the US that we've traditionally been able to absorb fairly large numbers of immigrants and keep reinventing our tradition. Japan is just utterly screwed. It is going to be a really hard problem for them.

So the question in the US is, can we absorb enough immigrants to stave off collapse of the housing markets, the labor markets, Social Security and so forth (which is challenging if the immigrants are mostly in their 50s)? I think it's an open question here. In Japan, I just can't see it. Already there are huge abandoned apartment complexes that a few decades ago teemed with children and families.

**Climate - during the Reformation, the influx of refugees in Geneva, which way exceeded 20% - by 1550, about half the population was foreign born. It became common for people to claim that back when they still celebrated the Mass in Geneva, it didn't rain so much, the weather was better and the harvests were better. That was probably true, but the massive number of immigrants resulted in a different explanation than they would have had otherwise.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 02:20:16 PM by ergophobe »