Paul, housing bubble

Calling RE/MAX… Earlier this year, Ben Wallace-Wells argued in The Washington Monthly that the fragile economic recovery could be brought down by a collapse of home prices. As evidence that there is indeed a housing bubble, he noted economic studies showing that in the nation?s twenty or so most overheated housing markets (where about half of all housing wealth is located), the rise in home prices has far outstripped increases in rents and personal incomes?classic signs of inflated housing values. Alan Greenspan long denied the existence of a housing bubble and indeed helped engineer it with his low interest rate policy. Today, however, he issued a warning:

?In response to a question about soaring house prices, Greenspan conceded that in some areas prices have outstripped growth in incomes and rents. ?This observation raises thew possibility that real estate prices, at least in some markets, could be out of alignment with the fundamentals.??

Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.