Update: Comparing the Current Housing Cycle to the 1980 Period
A year ago, I wrote: Housing: Don't Compare the Current Housing Boom to the Bubble and Bust
It is natural to compare the current housing boom to the mid-00s housing bubble. The bubble and subsequent bust are part of our collective memories. And graphs of nominal house prices and price-to-rent ratios look eerily similar to the housing bubble.
However, there are significant differences. First, lending has been reasonably solid during the current boom, whereas in the mid-00s, underwriting standards were almost non-existent (“fog a mirror, get a loan”). And demographics are much more favorable today than in the mid-00s.
A much more similar period to today is the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. House prices were increasing sharply. Demographics were very favorable for homebuying as the baby boomers moved into the first-time homebuying age group (similar to the millennials now). And inflation picked up from an already elevated level due to the second oil embargo in 1979, followed by the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, driving up costs.
Here is an update to several of the graphs I posted comparing the current situation to the 1980 period.
This graph shows the year-over-year change in inflation since 1959. The black arrow points to the pickup in 1979. Note that inflation was already elevated prior to the oil shock.
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