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This U.S. housing boom is different

Just a few days ago, The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published an interesting research study where they argue that this U.S. housing boom is different than that of the early 2000s.

During the last boom, U.S. home prices peaked in 2006 and then dropped about 30% in the wake of The Great Recession. Since then prices have rebounded – almost to their pre-recession levels. This has some people asking whether this story is headed towards the same ending.

But the FRBSF is saying no:

“We find that the increase in U.S. house prices since 2011 differs in significant ways from the mid-2000s housing boom. The prior episode can be described as a credit-fueled bubble in which housing valuation—as measured by the house price-to-rent ratio—and household leverage—as measured by the mortgage debt-to-income ratio—rose together in a self-reinforcing feedback loop. In contrast, the more recent episode exhibits a less-pronounced increase in housing valuation together with an outright decline in household leverage—a pattern that is not suggestive of a credit-fueled bubble.”

And here’s the chart:

Source: Flow of funds, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), CoreLogic, and BLS. Data are seasonally adjusted and indexed to 100 at pre-recession peak.

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