Monday, October 13, 2008
Did anybody see all this coming?
Our resident financial expert calls the end of the housing-market free fall—to the day.
On June 30, 2009, Buy an Apartment
By James J. Cramer
Published Sep 7, 2008
For more than a year, I’ve been a huge bear on housing. From the moment the credit-crisis storm began to form, I’ve been shouting in my usual unhinged way about just how bad the devastation would be, and carrying on about how anyone who bought a home in this environment would lose money immediately. At various points along the way, my house-hating judgment has been questioned, but I’d say I’ve been vindicated by the relentless decline in home values we’ve seen, the worst since the Great Depression. Even here, in our so-called real-estate-superstar city, prices may not have fallen, but the rate of acceleration has started to soften.
These days, I don’t know a soul who hasn’t jumped on the real-estate-is-an-awful-investment bandwagon. When I interview the once-rabid bulls on housing—those who make their livelihood building and selling homes, like Bob Toll, the CEO of the best home builder in America, Toll Brothers—I get grim predictions of nary a turn in sight. When I pressed Toll recently as to whether he sees any light at the end of the tunnel, he quickly answered yes: “The light of an oncoming train!”
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