Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Real Estate Bubble: Another Metric

I live in a major Metro area and my favorite Sunday newspaper has the Classified Ads section as a separate insert. This week it came in at a weighty 128 pages (not only did it look like a record, it felt like one, too) of which 115 pages (89.8%) were "Real Estate For Sale" and a mere 7 pages (5.5%) were "Real Estate For Rent".

In gross numbers, around 10,300 ads were "For Sale" and just 630 "For Rent", for a ratio of 16.4-to-1. I don't follow the ratio over time, but it seems to be at a record, too, just by my eye-balling the RE section from week to week.

I don't care what economists, analysts, politicians, bankers (central and otherwise) say: Anyone can see and feel that this market is in deep, deep trouble: all one has to do is buy the Sunday paper. It's not even necessary to read it - in fact, this usually confuses the issue further. Just count the pages...


  1. Sounds like the start of a brand-new indicator: The Sudden Debt Sunday Paper Real Estate For Sale Or Rent Index (SD SPRESORI, for short).

  2. I rent in Chicago and have found that craiglist can give you give you a good idea of the housing market. In february of 2006 I was looking for a new place and would see around 17,000 places listed, now I see around 24,000. A pretty big jump, and its not seasonal because I was looking since the middle of march this year. The other thing that I have noticed is that homes for rent are getting much more opulent. I'm starting to see more trophy home entering the rental market.

  3. Yes, and the comics weren't very funny either. Unusually unfunny I would even say!