Will the Housing Market Crash? Here Are the Bull and Bear Cases.


  • Concerns about a housing-market crash are growing as the Fed begins hiking interest rates.
  • Over the past few weeks, we’ve collected experts’ views on the direction of the market.
  • Below, we’ve compiled four pieces highlighting both bearish and bullish views on the market.

With mortgage rates rising as the


Federal Reserve

begins to hike the federal funds rate, investors and prospective homebuyers are wondering: Is the housing market due for a downturn?

Some economic data shows that the market is already cooling. Pending home sales fell 3.9% in April, by more than economists had expected and for a sixth straight month. New home sales slumped by 16.6% from March, far more than the consensus estimate of -1.7%.

Worries about the fate of the market are especially pertinent given the tear that home prices have been on since the start of the pandemic. Median home prices have risen as much as 27% since spring 2020, data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development indicated.

But prices fell slightly for the first time since then in the fourth quarter of 2021, and they could continue to do so. To explore more on what direction the market could take in the months ahead, Insider collected the views of a handful of experts. The articles are shared below.

Are we in a housing bubble? We asked 32 experts, and most said no. They explain their answers and offer insight about what we could see with housing prices in the coming months.

House floating in bubble with arrows pointing up in background



peterschreiber.media; irina88w; Savanna Durr/Insider


The group of experts — which includes esteemed economists, lenders, and investors — shared their insights and offered analyses of how the current market compares with previous booms and busts, as well as some predictions for what could come next.

Even though most of the experts did not see an ongoing bubble, they overwhelmingly said the market could cool as higher interest rates and inflation drive down the value of buyers’ cash savings.  

2 top strategists at $2.6 trillion UBS break down why housing bubble concerns could be overblown — but also advise buyers against trying to time the market

incomplete construction suburbs



jhorrocks / Getty Images


Solita Marcelli, UBS Global Wealth Management chief investment officer Americas, and Jonathan Woloshin, the top equity strategist for the real estate and lodging sector for UBS Financial Services, said in an April 5 note that comparisons of the current market to that of the mid-2000s are misguided. 

“We believe there are a number of factors that differentiate today’s housing market from that of the mid-2000s,” Marcelli and Woloshin said. “This is not 2008.”

Still, the two strategists said they see the pace of home price appreciation slowing down in the months ahead as interest rates rise and homebuyers deal with inflation in things like food and gas.

A chief economist who called the 2008 housing crisis warns that the US housing market is in the ‘early stages of a substantial downshift’ as demand subsides — and says surging home prices and rents are due to cool off in a big way

suburbs



Tomas Winz/Getty Images


In this piece, Ian Shepherdson, the founder and chief US economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, breaks down why he thinks the growth of home prices and activity in the market is due for a big pullback. 

“The housing market is in the early stages of a substantial downshift in activity, which will trigger a steep decline in the rate of increase of home prices, starting perhaps as soon as the spring,” Shepherdson said in a March report.

One expert explains how today’s housing market is different (and similar) to the real estate booms and busts of the recent past

Even though a full-blown housing crash is unlikely, market momentum could slow, suggests analyst John Wake.

“People always say, ‘It’s not going to be like 2005,’ and yeah, that’s pretty much certain,” he said. “But we could get into a situation where prices fall 10% or 20%. That’s not going to happen this year, but it could happen in the following year.”

Are we on the verge of a housing-bubble bust? An economist advises buyers to sit out the current ‘irrational’ market and lists the 11 most overvalued cities in the US.

las vegas

The Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.


George Rose/Getty Images



Ken Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University, said in March that current market dynamics were “irrational” and recommended waiting to buy homes. 

While he said the entire US market was overvalued, some markets were frothier than others. This piece shares the 11 most overvalued cities in the country based on Johnson’s model.

Out-of-town homebuyers are driving up real-estate prices in these 10 overvalued cities, and it’s fueling housing-bubble fears

Nashville




f11photo/Shutterstock



Sticking with a more granular view of the US housing market, the real-estate brokerage Redfin identified in a February report 10 cities where housing prices were being driven up by outside investors. 

It broke down some of the factors driving the surges, such as favorable tax laws, budget disparities between buyers given varying local living costs, and people fleeing more expensive cities during the pandemic.

A heightened appetite for flipping may be a sign of a bubble in the market, some say.

Is the housing market setting up for a crash? 2 experts — including one who called the 2008 bubble burst — share the warning signs that a real-estate downfall is coming.

housing



Reuters


Ivy Zelman and Desmond Lachman are both relatively bearish on the US housing market, but for different reasons.

Lachman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, former deputy director for the International Monetary Fund, and former strategist at Salomon Smith Barney, said in an interview with Insider that rising mortgage rates were the driving factor behind why home prices would fall.

Meanwhile, Zelman, a former Credit Suisse analyst and the founder of the research firm Zelman & Associates, is bearish because of issues stemming from potential supply increases. 

Are home prices going to crash? A real-estate expert who’s written multiple books on investing strategy breaks down why prices could grow ‘faster than we can get a handle on.’

US suburbs



Michael H/Getty Images


David Greene, the host of the BiggerPockets podcast and owner of a mortgage company, is extremely bullish on the housing market in the near term. 

“Prices are going to continue to grow. I think they’re gonna grow faster than we can get a handle on them,” he told Insider in March. “I think this spring is going to be one of the busiest and hardest homebuying seasons that we’ve seen in my lifetime.”

For this piece, we asked Greene to address several bearish talking points and why he disagreed with them. 



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