“For years we’ve listened to housing perma-bears Garth Turner and Ben Rabidoux warn of a collapse in housing prices. But those stubborn price indexes just aren’t co-operating. When is Armageddon ever going to descend?
Actually, I do have a fear of Armageddon. Namely based on the risk that the thicket of gloomy blog posts/tweets eventually whip up homeowner anxieties enough to precipitate waves of selling in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Moreover, the risk of such an outcome could be climbing with the mainstream media picking up on the theme (in a rather uncritical way considering the subtleties of economic cycles and statistics missed by the perma-bears).
As a homeowner, I admit not only to a vested interest, but also to wishing the perma-bears would just go back, frankly, to their lairs for a really long nap. Their proclamations substantially risk devaluating a major asset of mine. Furthermore, if Canadian housing were to crash similar to what occurred in the U.S., there will be a rather traumatic impact on the Canadian economy and all our living standards.”
– image and text from ‘When will housing Armageddon arrive?’, Larry MacDonald, Canadian Business, 30 May 2012
Once a speculative mania gets underway, the fact that it will crash is as inevitable as gravity and sunrise.
The villains of a mania, if there are any, are the many parties that contributed to its expansion, not those who point out the nature of that which has developed.
After years of denial, after ignoring mountains of evidence & years of measured arguments from bears, RE bulls are now suggesting that we all follow the path of even more denial. This is a psychologically primitive response and one that should invoke both laughter and sadness in those who hear it.
The woeful thing is that, despite the fact that this is so obviously a ridiculous argument, some will actually end up believing it, and will blame the coming crash on ‘naysayers’. As though if we all simply linked hands and pretended all was good, it would be so.
This is a truly remarkable, preposterous (and, given it’s publication by ‘Canadian Business’, arguably landmark) article. Mr MacDonald appears to be a homeowner who is likely over invested in his home, and whose future financial well-being is consequently under threat, and who is now allowing wishful thinking to blur his ability to weigh the evidence.
The bubble will implode because it’s a bubble, not because people point to it and say “Look, a bubble!”