Sunday, May 06, 2012

Mish on "Rentership" and House Prices

by Bill McBride on 5/06/2012 10:44:00 AM

First, on a sad note, from Mish: My Wife Joanne Has ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease

Today I'm going to share a personal struggle with you. This is news I've largely kept to a small circle of close friends over the past few years and is difficult to talk about. The time has now come to enlist the support of a wider community, and perhaps together, we can make a difference.

Running this site and publishing commentary as frequently as I do demands a tremendous amount of my attention. However, my blog is not the #1 focus of my life. That would be my wife, Joanne.

Joanne has ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. More specifically, she has Progressive Bulbar Palsy a particularly aggressive form of the disease.
I've known Mish for years, and he has kept me updated on Joanne's condition. As Mish notes, this is an "extremely cruel" disease. A few years ago, a close friend of mine - Ernie - one of my hiking and climbing partners, died from ALS. In a just a few short years, Ernie went from being a strong climber – we climbed a peak together in a winter white out just before he was diagnosed with the disease (a great adventure) - to barely being able to walk on the beach, and then being confined to a well chair, and finally passing away. Very sad.

For those interested, Mish is sponsoring a raffle for the benefit of ALS research.

Today Mish writes: New American Dream is Renting; Reflections on Renting Houses, Cars, Books, Clothes; Will Rentership Fuel the Next Boom? What About Home Prices?
Housing has now gone full circle. President Bush's "Ownership Society" has morphed into the "Rentership Society". The attitude applies to more than houses as noted in the Wall Street Journal article Renting Prosperity by Daniel Gross.
Americans are getting used to the idea of renting the good life, from cars to couture to homes. Daniel Gross explores our shift from a nation of owners to an economy permanently on the move—and how it will lead to the next boom. ...
Renting cars and textbooks is the start of a trend that makes perfect economic sense. However, Zipcars, textbooks, clothes, and electronics are one thing, and housing is another.

Mish When sentiment on houses reaches the widespread belief "It's Better to Rent", prices are bottoming. I expressed that thought on numerous occasions since 2005.

This is how I currently see things.
Note: The graph was originally for Japan, but Mish is using it to show how sentiment changes. Mish thinks we are now in the lower right "purple" zone and back to "It's better to rent".