Whether you are a homeowner, buyer, seller, investor or realestate agent, you can profit from studying “Bubbles, Booms, and Busts:Make Money in Any Real Estate Market” by Blanche Evans. This extremelywell-researched and up-to-date book reveals the signals of a rising, falling orneutral local market for home sales prices.
Evans, the editor of online Web site
Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.
She takes a long-term view of the market for home sales,using population-growth statistics and other facts (not opinions), to maintaina sound perspective on the outlook for home sales.
“Home prices usually track a point or two ahead ofinflation,” Evans notes. “Except for local economic shocks, like thecollapse or exit of a major employer, home prices nationwide have not gone downsince the Great Depression,” she reminds readers.
Although a few segments of the book seem irrelevant to homesales, such as brief sections on excessive CEO compensation and severancepackages, most of the book stays focused on the housing market. Evans remindsreaders that local economic shocks can cause real estate busts, such as the oilprice surge and plunge in the late 1970s in the “oil patch” of Texas,Oklahoma, Louisiana, Colorado, Wyoming and Alaska. But those home-sale marketsrecovered after about 10 years, she notes.
“The obvious conclusion is that economic distresscauses housing busts — not prior real estate booms. However, the longer andhigher home prices rise, the more likely they are to escape the surly bonds ofreason,” Evans warns. Then she focuses on the current housing glut, suchas too many new houses and condos for a slowing market in many cities.
The book presents statistics in understandable”chunks,” usually in the form of easy-to-understand graphs, such asnumber of single-family homes on the market and months supply of single-familyhomes available for sale. “Month-to-month swings in starts and permitsdata may not be meaningful,” Evans opines. “It is far better to lookfor trends to establish themselves over a period of several months,” sheadds.
This is a thinking-person’s book. But it is not pie-in-the-skytheory or a get-rich-quick guide. Instead, it reports the facts and suggestshow buyers and sellers should cope with them for maximum personal benefits.There are also valuable suggestions on how home sellers can profit even iftheir local market is in a slump.
Chapter topics include “The Current Housing Bubble –Cause and Effect”; “Who’s Buying and Who’s Selling”; “Whyand Where Do People Buy Homes”; “Busts — Where, Why, and When”;”The Bust to Come”; “After the Boom, Bubble, and Bust”; and”Make the Current Market Conditions Work for You.”
Does the author predict a real estate “bust”? No.But she warns there will be slowing in many home sales markets, depending onlocal economic conditions. She even names the cities where, based on statistics,home-value declines are most likely to occur.
The timing for publication of this great book couldn’t havebeen better. It answers typical questions about whether this is the right timeto buy, sell, or hold residential real estate. On my scale of one to 10, thiswell-researched new book rates an off-the-chart 12.
“Bubbles, Booms, and Busts: Make Money in Any RealEstate Market,” By Blanche Evans (McGraw-Hill, New York), 2006, $16.95,167 pages; Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, publiclibraries, and www.Amazon.com.
(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center).
Copyright 2006 Inman News