Shiller isn’t sure about a double dip in housing

In an interview with the Motley Fool, Robert Shiller of Case-Shiller fame, weighs in on the state of the housing recovery.  It is, says the Yale economist, “hard to quote probability because people who do that rely on statistical analysis and past data.”  Here’s what else he disclosed:

If you just looked at the trend of home prices, you might conclude the probability is very low. We’re less than a year into this boom, and booms have lasted much longer than that. That’s why it’s very hard to compute probabilities. But I think that it doesn’t look real. It doesn’t look like this is really another boom like the one that we had in the 2000s.

Although I believe he’s right about the difficulty of predicting the future, as I said in a recent post, I can’t say that I quite get his reasoning.  Does he mean that when the boom lasts a long time, you know it’s a long-lasting boom and that, therefore, the probability of the boom lasting a long time is high?

For this, you need a Ph.D. in economics?  Since I’m feeling uncharacteristically charitable, I’ll speculate that perhaps the transcriber of his interview is hard of hearing.

But, no, don’t expect anyone to express any certainty about tomorrow’s housing market, though there is no doubt that buyers are hustling to open houses and competing for well priced properties while sellers are starting to test the market again in Manhattan.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

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