Thursday

America's riotous real estate

The current US housing bubble is the bastard offspring of the stock-market bubble of the mid-1990s. Housing prices, especially on the west coast and in the east's Bos-Wash (Boston-Washington, DC) corridor, began to rocket in the second half of 1995 as dot-com profits were plowed into real estate. The boom has been sustained by sensationally low mortgage rates, thanks principally to the willingness of China to buy vast amounts of US Treasury bonds despite their low or negative yields. Beijing has been willing to subsidize US mortgage borrowers as the price for keeping the door open to Chinese exports.

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