Saturday, April 24, 2004

Housing prices:

I was in DC few days back and talked to few people about the housing prices. On average, they said home prices have doubled in the last six years. Surprisingly, this is not unusual. Orange County has seen doubling in prices in the past three years. Property prices have also risen rapidly in New Jersey and Philadelphia metro.

The big question I have is: What was the total value of housing stock (similar to market capitalization of all the U.S. companies put together) say five or six years ago and what is it today? My gut feeling is that we have increased the real estate prices in the U.S. by some $15 trillion in the past five years. That's more than the market cap of all companies in the U.S. Home prices here are behaving the way they did in Hong Kong and Bombay in the late 80s and Tokyo in the early 80s.

The U.S. economy is getting stranger every day.