David Saks: Ben Bernanke Assesses the Housing Market

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Ben Bernanke Assesses the Housing Market

Ben Bernanke Assesses the Housing Market


On February 10, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed the 2012 National Association of Homebuilders International Builders' Show in Orlando, Florida.

His topic was the national housing market, including an analysis of where it stands and where it's going:

Quote Ben Bernanke:

"One way to understand conditions in the housing market is to focus on the balance of supply and demand. For the past few years, the actual and potential supply of single-family homes has greatly exceeded the effective demand. The elevated number of homes that are currently vacant instead of owner occupied reflects the imbalance. According to the most recent estimate, about 1-3/4 million homes are currently unoccupied and for sale. While this figure has declined slightly during the past few years, it is nonetheless up dramatically from the first half of the 2000s, when readings of about 1-1/4 million vacant homes were the norm. Of course, housing conditions vary by region, and vacancy rates in some locations are substantially higher than the national average....

Moreover, a very large number of additional homes are poised to come on the owner-occupied market. In each of the past few years, roughly 2 million homes have entered the foreclosure process, and many of these homes have been put up for sale, crowding out much of the need for new building. Looking ahead, the relatively high rate of foreclosures is likely to continue for a while, putting additional homes on the market and dislocating families and disrupting communities in the process.

At the same time, a number of factors are constraining demand. Household formation has been down, particularly among young adults. High unemployment and uncertain job prospects may have reduced the willingness of some households to commit to homeownership. Availability of mortgage credit is an important constraint, to which I will return later.

Additionally, housing may no longer be viewed as the secure investment it once was thought to be, given uncertainty about future home prices and the economy more generally."

End Quote

To see a transcript of his remarks:

Courtesy Federal Reserve

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 8 commentsDavid Saks • February 20 2012 08:45PM


I hadn't seen Bernanke's remarks anywhere else, David.  Very interesting.

Posted by Christine Hooks, Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate! (Pino Agency) over 8 years ago

Bad news, Chris. Two million foreclosures a year. Nearly two million empty houses blighting and scattering the landscape. Homes definitely a bad investment decision now because of the volatile market. High unemployment plaguing the nation. Unavailability of credit and millions who've destroyed their credit. Banks shutting down. And NAR keeps cheerleading and pushing a political agenda like nothing's wrong. God ! Where's the exit ? I need a map and a GPS to find it. I want to get out of here. Find me an island and send me the listing.

On second thought, it's time to make things better. I'll start by turning off the television and the voices of the enemies of the economic recovery that fill tv screens with their mug shots every night on the news. If you want to make the reporter look stupid hang a pair of underwear over his face on the tv screen while he's bad mouthing housing, credit and the banks. It works for me.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 8 years ago

David, I have always respected Ben Bernanke's opinions, and would have loved to have seen him speak. 

Also... I really hate it when folks, yourself included here, make such blanket statements about all the vacant houses and foreclosures... and about homes being such a bad investment.

The Fort Worth market has almost none of that, but when a local buyer reads this kind of global nonsense, they freak, and I guess I would, as well.  All markets are different.  I have had only THREE short sales in the past three years.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 8 years ago

These aren't randomly executed assertions, Karen. They're the same foul details that are fulminated hourly by the nations ministers of propaganda, which include NAR.

Homes will continue to be a bad investment decision in this market if one intends to realize immediate earnings. That doesn't mean that the climate won't change. It just won't change overnight for the cheerleaders of the industry, like yourself. 

The truth is better than propaganda. Honesty is a deal killer to less-than-scrupulous agents. I sleep better every night knowing I didn't lie to my client, even if I have to live on bread and water.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 8 years ago

The Federal Reserve Bank is not Federal, it has no Reserves, and it is not a Bank.

    Thanks for posting Bernanke's remarks.

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Haha! Great writing! Greater photoshopping! :)


Love and light,


Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 8 years ago

Federal Express is not Federal, but absolutely, positively delivers overnight, Fred, and many thanks for the elucidation.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 8 years ago

Glad you like it, Laura. The photo is borrowed. Love is right.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 8 years ago

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