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In 2005, as the prices in housing were going crazy and as sales volume was at radical levels, I sold my house in Florida.
In other words, I cashed out on my housing investment at nearly the perfect time, just before selling opportunities had dried up and the housing market completely collapsed.
I had bought my house at the bottom of the market in 1991 because I saw the discounts – and because of the panic at that point, the value was just too good to ignore!
By 2005, the price of my house had tripled from the price that I had paid for it. And I had bought it with virtually no money down. So I was sitting on a tremendous profit.
I had become increasingly nervous about the state of the market and felt like I just wanted to grab the money and run.
And run I did!
I allowed the market shake out over the next few years, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.
So today, I want to reveal to you a similar opportunity – a housing bubble that we are nearing the end of right now – and show you how you can profit.
But first, a little more about the previous bubble…
A Glance at the 2004 Housing Bubble Warnings Tells Us to Sell Soon
The idea that nobody saw the 2007 crisis coming is sheer nonsense.
I was running a fairly active message board at the time. There were other bearish message boards out there, such as Prudent Bear Fund's Bear's Chat, and tens of thousands of people were frequenting them. And they were warning of the gathering storm, the coming crisis.
So there were a lot of ordinary people who saw what was going on in the market, and many of them were too early. People on my boards were complaining about the rapid rate of price ascent as early as 2003. I felt that is was safe to stay in at that time, that the trend was intact.
And then in 2004, I started writing that we were 18 months away from a peak. And I was basing that on past patterns of other bubbles that lasted four to five years from the time that they emerged from their base pattern. So at that point I thought – well, we're three years into this, we maybe have a year or year and a half to go. So I began to write fairly stridently that we were in the end stages of it. Most of the people that I was talking to were in complete agreement, although not necessarily selling their own houses.
I think we're in an analogous situation today. I'd think about taking the money and running. If you're a retired "empty nester," this is as good a time as ever to get out.
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Given the slowing in volume, the rise in mortgage rates, and the tremendous housing inflation we have already had – house prices all over the U.S. are much higher than they were at the top of the previous bubble – I think it's a good idea to get out of the housing market again and rent for a while.
Housing inflation has been driven by the mortgage subsidy under the Fed's QE program, in which they were buying up mortgages. Right now, I think it's inevitable that mortgage rates will head higher. Wages are not keeping pace, and the affordability problem is growing.
Nevertheless, what we're seeing now is different. We don't have the fantastic bubble move of 25%, 30%, and 35% that we were seeing in 2004 and 2005. But we've had a consistent 6% or 7% annualized inflation rate going back to 2012. That has pushed prices to a very high level.
But the only reason that the market has been able to sustain it is that mortgage rates went to record lows. The net result is that the monthly payment remained consistent with what it has been in the past. As the interest component of the monthly payment goes up from here, the principal component will have to go down. So I believe that over the next few years we are going to see higher mortgage rates and lower prices as a result.
So that's what I was seeing at that time, and how it relates to what we are seeing now. The warnings were fairly obvious to everyone following my work at that time, and the only ones that pretended they didn't see it were the policymakers. There were a few economists that were sounding the alarms. But mainstream economists are generally worthless in terms of telling anyone to sell anything. And the Wall Street establishment will never, ever tell anyone to sell anything.
So if you expect even the economic, political, banking, academic, or media establishments to ever send a warning, then forget it! There are, of course, the permabears who are always bearish, but you have to look at those people skeptically as well.
To Know When the Housing Market Has Turned and How to Reinvest, Follow This Advice
About the Author
Financial Analyst, 50-year charting expert, finance + real estate pro, and market analyst; published and edited the Wall Street Examiner since 2000.