Monday, January 25, 2010

Now it is only twice as expensive to buy!

Fairly often articles enter newspapers that are blatent propaganda for the real estate industry. I have been seeing this for years, as the real estate industry has never predicted prices would drop, even during the worst of the crash. Their predictions of growth always recieve media attention from someone who uncritically passes it along as fact. This SF gate article, citing a forbes article, strikes me as one such piece. Its logic is so twisted I can't begin to comprehend it.

Right now in San Francisco it costs a little more than twice as much to buy as to rent. This is down from about three times as much at the peak of the bubble. So obviously it makes sense to rent. It is cheaper, you don't have to maintain it, and the money you can save is a far better investment than real estate is. No real estate bubbles will be occuring in CA for at least a decade. Bubbles almost never repeat themselves, too many people lose too much money to fall for the same story a second time. However somehow that article takes that same statistic, assumes home prices will rise a lot, than uses that as evidence it is time to buy. That logic hurts my head. It is time to buy when it is cheaper to buy than rent. Only then is the hastle worth it.

Edit: OK, so the paragraph admitting buying was a poor option makes it a bit better than I made it out to be. Still, the assumption that home prices will be increasing rapidly when it is cheaper to rent, foreclosure rates are rising, and unemployment is the highest it has been in my lifetime, is just silly.

No comments: