Hidden Inventory of Unsold Houses Will Depress Housing Prices

“There are a lot of houses for rent…you can get a very good deal,” reports our oldest son. Will is relocating, from Argentina back to the US. He’s moving back to Florida.

“Why don’t you move back into your own house,” his father wanted to know.

“Dad, I’ve got a good tenant in there. Besides, it’s not in very good shape. I’d rather sell it than invest more money in it. And there are so many places on the market, I can rent something better. Even after a big drop in prices it is still cheaper to rent than it is to buy something.”

There are probably millions of homeowners who would like to sell – if they could. This hidden inventory of unsold houses will depress housing prices for a long time.

But there’s a crisis coming in commercial real estate too.

“An extreme amount of commercial debt is to mature over the coming years,” writes real estate investor George Karahalios in Marc Faber’s Gloom, Doom and Boom Report. “And unlike the residential market, there is no safety net (Fannie Mae) for commercial loans. Instead investors must rely on financing through commercial banks, a few insurance companies, and other private lenders who now demand much higher interest rates and more equity for the risk associated with these investments. Thus, not even the Fed’s printing presses can save commercial property prices, and I am expecting certain locations to crash, perhaps falling as much as 50-80% from the peak.”

So you see, dear reader, there is bad news ahead – a lot of it. Stocks will go down. Gold will go down too – most likely – when people realize that the economy faces a long, deflationary depression…not a period of inflationary growth.

But while stocks are fair weather friends, gold sticks by you in foul weather too. Right now, gold is rising on good news. Eventually, it will soar when the news turns bad. (Though…not necessarily right away…)

Until tomorrow,

Bill Bonner
for Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

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