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Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble?


We are selling our house. We have lived here for 15 years, the longest I have ever lived anywhere; of the places since I left my parents' home I think my previous best was three years. There is a certain comfort to residential stability. I expect I will be filling out change of address forms from when we move through the end of my useful life.

Coincidentally, there were two articles that I have come across since putting up our "For Sale" sign a week ago that address the housing "bubble."

Slate.com's Daniel Gross writes about "Bubble Over Troubled Waters: Why the real estate bubble could be good news for the economy." He refers to "what many are already calling the successor bubble to the dot-com fiasco: the U.S. housing market."

On the positive side, Northern Trust economist Asha Bangalore notes that "the performance of the housing market has played a visible role in payroll growth." Gross adds that "Spending on housing flows into a remarkably wide range of sectors-and the overwhelming majority of the spending is local."

So are these people out of their jobs when the bubble bursts? Gross suggests that it is "possible that housing was the bridge that helped us get over the post-bust job chasm."

In a Greg Thomas article entitled "Up, Up, and Away" in today's New Orleans Times-Picayune (TP), the subtitle reads "N.O.-area home prices keep soaring, leaving some to wonder if a market tumble is on the horizon."

Greg reports that "Sales prices of single-family homes in the metro area continued their skyward trajectory during the first six months of the year, climbing 11 percent compared with the same period in 2004. Some experts say it could be the highest jump in local home prices in at least 50 years."

So I am buying and selling in the bubble. The TP shows that where we are selling, prices are up 34% over last year, while where we are buying they are only up 10%. Could I have timed this transaction just right?

By the way, while this is not meant to be an ad, if you are looking for the nicest house in New Orleans East then check us out at http://house.jbv.com.

I will keep you posted on our adventures as amateur real estate agents. Let me know what is happening in your area.

John B. Vinturella, Ph.D. has almost 40 years experience as a management and strategic consultant, entrepreneur, author, and college professor. For 20 of those years, Dr. Vinturella was owner/president of a distribution company that he founded. He is a principal in business opportunity sites jbv.com and muddledconcept.com, and maintains business and political blogs.


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