House prices still dropping

The source for this chart is LPS:

Foreclosures slowed down since 2009 due to the well-known problems with documentation that have surfaced.

Calculated Risk commented today:

It was pretty obvious that investor buying was pushing up prices in 2004 and 2005. I wrote a post in April 2005 (over six years ago!) on that subject: Housing: Speculation is the Key (Note: in that 2005 post I treated speculation as storage and showed how speculation pushes up prices during the bubble – and pushes down prices after the bubble bursts).

One thing is clear: investor buying did contribute to the bubble, but it wasn’t the cause. But – as I noted in 2005:

“Speculation tends to chase appreciating assets, and then speculation begets more speculation, until finally, for some reason that will become obvious to all in hindsight, the “bubble” bursts.”

It was no surprise that investors piled in after prices really took off. But the real causes of the bubble were rapid changes in the mortgage lending industry combined with a lack of regulatory oversight. The speculators just added to the fire.

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