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Robert Shiller: ‘buy new, if at all’
Sam Ro / Business Insider / February 7, 2013
Robert Shiller, the Yale economist who nailed the housing bubble before it burst, was on Bloomberg Television with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the U.S. housing market.
As usual, Shiller was reluctant to declare that home prices had bottomed. He explained that the housing market is a speculative one and that there’s no telling, which way prices would go tomorrow. He also explained that there wasn’t much reason to believe that home prices would appreciate back to levels seen during the last cycle.
Regan followed up with a question that got Shiller perked up.
“Then why buy a home?” she asked. “People trap their savings in a home. They’re running an opportunity cost of not having that money liquid to earn a better return in the market. Why do it?”
“Absolutely!” Shiller exclaimed. “Housing traditionally is not viewed as a great investment. It takes maintenance, it depreciates, it goes out of style. All of those are problems. And there’s technical progress in housing. So, new ones are better.”
These were some of the issues Shiller addressed in his classic book, Irrational Exuberance.