This might be the hottest housing market ever recorded. Over the past 12 months, U.S. home prices are up a staggering 19.2%. For comparison, in the years leading into the 2008 housing bust, the biggest 12-month jump was 14.5%.
Heading into 2022, real estate research firms forecasted that the ongoing housing boom would lose some steam and home price growth would decelerate. It hasn’t come to fruition—yet. Actually, if anything, this year it has gotten a bit hotter, with housing inventory on Zillow down 52% from pre-pandemic levels.
That stubbornly hot housing market now has housing economists flirting with the real estate industry’s most feared word: bubble.
“We’re not in a housing bubble just yet—but we’re skating close to one if prices continue rising at the current pace,” said George Ratiu, a housing economist at Realtor.com, in an article published last week on the home listing site.
It isn’t just Ratiu. There’s a growing chorus of economists speculating that if home price growth doesn’t abate soon, the housing market could eventually overheat. Or worse: We could wind up in another full-fledged housing bubble.
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