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Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust - And How You Can Profit from It: How to Build Wealth in Today's Expanding Real Estate Market Paperback – February 21, 2006

2.3 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For most people, their home is their biggest investment. In 2000-2002, when stocks suffered and many businesses went under, the real estate market was a source of stability for the economy. A number of factors, including low interest rates, streamlined mortgage approval, and Internet listings, have helped to fuel the real estate boom in recent years. Although some economists believe that the real estate market may be headed for bubble territory, Lereah disagrees, arguing that continued low interest rates, a healthy boomer population, and the "boomer echo" of next-generation buyers should keep the market healthy for at least the next 10 years. But he says that in order to profit from this sector you should invest now. He offers tips on how to select a real estate agent, the ins and outs of mortgages, tax strategies, home improvements, investment properties, and vacation homes. Senior vice president and chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, he has written numerous articles on the subject. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“An invaluable book . . . Today’s real estate markets are booming and Lereah makes a convincing case for why the real estate expansion will continue into the next decade. This book should prove to be a truly practical guide for any household looking to create wealth in real estate.” —DEWEY DAANE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OF GOVERNORS

“An important book, whether you agree with the author (as I do) that housing will remain an excellent investment or are convinced that home prices are poised for a plunge, David Lereah lays out a compelling vision of housing as a continuing positive investment—and how you can profit from real estate if you already own the home you live in, are looking to move from rental housing to an owner-occupied home, or want to use real estate as an investment.” —DAVID BERSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FANNIE MAE
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (February 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385514352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385514354
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,071,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For me, this was more comic relief than any scholarly analysis. The author has a vested interest in the bubble not bursting, and he's selling his soul with this book to prove it.

He spins webs of demographics and interest rates, but he never ever addresses the core issues that determine housing values. What is lost here is that housing in itself creates no value, its value is completely predicated upon peoples ability to pay for it. Ergo, housing prices for the last 100 years have tracked income remarkably closely, that is, except for the last five years. Historically, the ratio of housing price to annual income has been 2.1, with very little variation. In many parts of the country, this ratio is now approaching 10.5! Can you say "major correction?" Further, the amount of leverage used to buy homes during this boom has been increased to absolutely unprecidented levels. Even during the last boom of the late 80s/early 90s, the standard was still 30 yr fixed and 20% down. Not anymore. Last year, less than 15% of borrowers put down 20% or more! Further, the 30 yr fixed has been replaced by the IO, or interest only loan. See now, we have the same borrower capable of bidding 30-40% more for a propery without any better credit or ability to repay. Neat trick, but sadly, Lereah at no point addresses any of these fundamentals.

Our stock/housing pattern appears remarkably similar to the one Japan had 20 years ago. First the stock market busted. Right after, the real estate market rallied, and it busted too. The current Japanese real estate market is in a 14 year slide to date, and houses are going for roughly their 1980 value.

Keep talking Dave - we'll need the comic relief soon!
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Format: Hardcover
Your Yugo Will Run Forever and How to Set the Land-Speed Record With It.
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Format: Hardcover
Go back in time to the year 2000 when the NASDAQ was trading at 5,000. Some people said it was a bubble and couldn't go on forever. Yet the temptation to go with the flow and make was seemed to be easy money was irresistible. Driven by the marketing efforts of those who make their living in the stock market, it was argued that prices would still go higher. If you bought into their line of reasoning, surely NASDAQ 10,000 was not too far away.

I was reminded of those times when I read David Lereah's book "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom." Even after the biggest 5-year run-up in housing prices in U.S. history - where 40% of all homebuyers must now resort to interest-only adjustable rate mortgages in order to qualify for home financing - Lereah tries to convince us that the U.S. real estate market should continue to stay healthy for the next 10 years.

His arguement goes something like this: Even though housing prices are high, the combination of low interest rates, 80 million wealthy baby boomers and their offspring ("echo boomers") will continue to fuel demand. This is not objective, unbiased advice. As head cheerleader for the Realtor hallelujah choir, Lereah is using the same tactics that have been well-honed on Wall Street: "When the ducks are quackin', feed 'em."

I don't remember what Lereah was saying about U.S. housing prices in 1998 or 1999 when prices were 30% lower than they are today (and 75% lower in many of the highly populated coastal regions), but I think its safe to say he wasn't forecasting a coming real estate boom that would last for the next 15 years.

The key to making money in real estate - and keeping it - is to get aboard a rising real estate trend early, not late.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with other reviewers who have pointed out that this is, in fact, an extraordinarily important book. In particular, it provides a classic example of the mentality that underlies every asset bubble. The author pulls out every trick in the book - demographic trends, financial innovation, macro trends, etc. - to argue that "this time is different." Alas, as we all have found out, this time was not different. What goes up for no discernible reason, must come down. If something seems to good to be true, it probably is. You can try to argue that the "fundamentals have changed", but they rarely do. And when things correct, it can be bloody. (Alas, the difference here was that the hucksters were also able to take the down the financial system, but that's another matter.)

But why this book is important, and why I'd suggest that every investor read it, is because it illustrates exactly the sentiments that lead to absurd behavior in asset markets. Silly assumptions. The belief that the price of some asset will continue to rise. Desperate rationalizations for those price increases. The resulting behavior is not necessarily illegal or unethical (as some other reviewers have suggested), rather it provides a classic case of the mentality that leads to excesses in asset markets. Read this book and learn from it. Because you don't want to get caught up in this kind of garbage.

BTW, I pity the author. Not simply because so many people attack him as an idiot or a shill for the realtors, but because his timing was so appalling. Shiller, who became famous for calling the peak of the dotcom bubble, often thanks his publisher for getting his book out at the right time. This guy's publisher was way way off. (Of course, it also helps if you're not, in fact, an idiot. Sorry David.)
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