May 2, 2022

267. Just how sustainable are house prices?

Property expert Russell Quirk maintains that housing will always be a good investment and prices will, in the long run, always go up. Perhaps this year inflation will rise faster, so in real terms prices may dip, but in the long run, he reckons, the direction will always be north. Prof Steve Keen on the other hand, maintains that, at some point, things will rapidly head south. Why? Because banks are offering loans through the creation of new money, which makes it easier for them to meet consumer demand, irrespective of how realistic house prices are. And they get locked into a feedback loop, where valuations are based on previous valuations. Your house is worth more because all the other houses around you are worth more. This, recons Steve, will come unstuck, possibly in a big way. He says we don’t accept it because it’s not happened in recent history. Just as we didn’t expect a pandemic because we hadn’t seen one like it for 100 years.

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