ABC's Robert Krulwich unveiled one of his signature cartoon explainers to illustrate economists' fears about the future of the housing market. He showed homeowners "a graph that you may not want to see" showing the inflation-adjusted market value of existing homes since the 1890s. The recently burst eight-year bubble in real assets is an aberration, he observed. For long periods--from 1908 through 1946, for example, or 1953 through 1978--there was no increase in property values whatsoever. The precedent for a bubble such as the one just ended was in Japan--and after their peak, housing prices declined for 15 consecutive years.
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