Spain is a nervous wreck, and that’s a good thing. It means the complacency is gone.
For the better part of the last two years, the Madrid government protested its inclusion among the PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain – the four European Union countries considered most likely to collapse under the sheer mass of debt and require a bailout. Not us, said Madrid. Continue reading →
Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing.
A home under construction in Austin. The number of new homes in the pipeline nationwide is quite low.
From his wide-rimmed cowboy hat to his roper boots, Mike Castleman fits moviedom’s image of the lanky Texas rancher. On a recent March evening, Castleman is feeding cattle biscuits to his two pet longhorn steers, Big Buddy and Little Buddy, on his 460-acre Bar Ten Creek Ranch in Dripping Springs, a hamlet outside Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The spread is a medley of meandering streams, craggy cliffs, and centuries-old oaks. But even in this pastoral setting, his mind keeps returning to a subject he knows as well as any expert around: the housing market. “I’m a dirt-road economist who sees what’s happening on the ground, and in 35 years I’ve never seen a shortage of new construction like the one I’m seeing today,” declares Castleman, 70, now offering a biscuit to his miniature donkey Thumper. “The talking heads who are down on real estate will hate to hear this, but America needs to build a lot more houses. And in most markets the price of new homes is fixin’ to rise, not fall.” Continue reading →
The resilience of the Canadian housing market has confounded experts. While other property markets around the world have plunged, real estate prices in this country continue to reach new heights.
If the Canadian housing market does falter, the impact on the economy will be profound. Consumer spending and housing investment will feel the pain, and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp., which provides mortgage loan insurance, will face substantial losses. Continue reading →