News & Media
Two stick figures push soap bubbles
krisanapong detraphiphat, Getty Images

4 of 5 Consumers Believe in the Housing Bubble

Toxic loans led to foreclosures and a burst bubble around 2010, and today’s market is different – but for rank-and-file consumers, it doesn’t feel that way.

SEATTLE – A new survey finds real estate agents more confident in the state of the market than most consumers. Four out of five (77%) of homebuyers and sellers believe there’s a housing price bubble where they live, according to a Redfin consumer survey of 1,500 respondents who plan to buy or sell in the next year.

On the other hand, less than half (44%) of real estate agents believe there’s a housing bubble in their market, with the remaining 56% feeling far more confident.

Over the last year, many leading housing economists have said that housing prices are indeed rising quickly, but this isn’t a housing bubble. They say it bears little resemblance to the booming market conditions that led to a financial crisis in the mid-2000s.

Housing bubbles occur when home prices reach unsustainable growth. They eventually burst when demand can no longer justify the rapidly rising home prices. Sharp price declines can result. However, the Great Recession bubble was fueled by a rash of toxic mortgages that allowed almost everyone to buy a home, followed by a huge uptick in foreclosures when they could not.

But this isn’t 2006. Housing inventories are low, credit remains tight, and lenders aren’t issuing risky loans as they did then.

“Homebuyers and sellers are rightfully concerned about how fast prices are rising, especially those who remember the housing market crash during the Great Recession,” says Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. “What we’re going through right now is closer to a ripple in the water than a bubble. Mortgage rates are already going up, which will likely stabilize demand and reduce the risk of a bubble that could burst.”

Home prices are expected to slow in 2022. The National Association of Realtors® predicts price growth to moderate to 3% to 5% in 2022, much lower than the nearly 16% annual growth existing-home sale prices posted in December 2021.

Source: “Are We in a Housing Bubble? Homebuyers Say Yes, Redfin Experts Say No,” Redfin (Jan. 21, 2022)

© Copyright 2022 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688