Talk:2007-2011 United States housing bubble

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Former featured article candidate 2007-2011 United States housing bubble is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
August 21, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
October 19, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
July 7, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted
Current status: Former featured article candidate


PE ratio[edit]

Hey, I think that PE ratio box is wrong. First of all the PE ratio, shouldn't have to do with the price of the home, but how much money you have to put down; it is a measure of return on capital. (maybe this can be disputed). But, also the math doesn't work out, at 1250 rent while expenses run 1300 and change, you're going to get a negative PE. -- 00:16, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Featured article candidate: 28 June 2007[edit]

Please take a moment to enter your thoughts for this article as featured at Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates#United_States_housing_bubble. Frothy 19:06, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Wow, this article needs work before becoming FA. It's not just typos, grammer, but overall structure and unweildyness.... Viva-Verdi 21:15, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Good stuff. One statistic I've seen in several places is that 65% or so of Baby Boomers have suggested they are planning to sell their primary residence when they retire. Since there are only around 30 Million Echo Boomers (compared to 80 M Baby boomers) I'm wondering who will buy all those homes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:30, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality of Article

This article is not neutral. It us based on assumptions that have no basis in fact. It is full of hysteria and half truths. The charts to "prove" a "bubble" make no logical sense User:michaellovesnyc

New graph of housing sales[edit]

I'd include this myself, except that the page is really busy with tons of images and graphs already. This is a public-domain SVG I made using federal and NAR data. I'll let someone with more seniority than me and more interest in this page include this, if you want to do it at all. Lalala666 03:16, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

US existing-home sales fell in 2006 and 2007, causing the first-ever year-over-year decline in home sales.

I'm inclined to agree on the neutrality issue. It appears that when checking the content of the references they either only have similarities in topic, and often they either need a subscription or are broken. This seems to be more true when the statement being cited is a conclusion rather than a fact, such as when the conclusion is made that it may be related to the stock bubble of the 90s. The five citations afterwords either do not back the statement or are inaccessible.Backell (talk) 00:53, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Why are people removing links to blogs?[edit]

Are blogs not linked in other articles? That is about net neutrality? Erisa Goss 21:23, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Good point. Someone deleted link to my blog: Either we delete all external links, or we keep all. Let's debate. Sam 02:57, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Sam, Wikipedia's manual of style has a section titled Links normally to be avoided. Item #3 under Links normally to be avoided is "Links mainly intended to promote a website." Item #11 is "Links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority." Since you are adding a link to your own site, you are violating these guidelines. If someone else thinks your site is a useful addition, they will add it. Your actions show that your primary goal is promoting your own web site, not contributing to Wikipedia. I can see from your contributions history that the only thing you've done since September 2006 is add lots of external links to your own web site. --JHP 03:52, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
In addition, your real estate bubble page barely has any content. It does not add value to this article. I recommend that you read the Wikipedia guideline on How not to be a spammer, the Wikipedia spam project's section on How to identify spam and spammers, as well as Common spammer strawmen. --JHP 04:19, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
JHP, I will go over the guidelines as time permits. My article on the coming spring-selling season in the US housing market is to warn gullible first time buyers of the pitfalls in buying with zero down and facing foreclosures down the line, I have explained the concept of debt overhang as a factor in business, which is totally overlooked in home buying decisions. Please click on to read the semi-blog, article. It seems to me that if blogs are backed up by big money like CNN or BusinessWeek, their links will be legit, whereas if they are added by more qualified people like me who do it for social good, these links will be spams! Bigger forces are in play, which, if you can't awaken your intelligence to discern, will highjack the housing markets to more local bubbles! So, either we delete all blogs, becuase who/what is a recognized authority should not be guided by the facts that CNN / BusinessWeek endore it. Franteractive is a small fish, CNN/BusinessWeek/NewsWeek are bigger sharks! That is the reason why Wikipedia came into existence. I have CREATED many articles in Wikipedia from scratch, so you can't say that I am just adding spam links. What are your thoughts then on deleting ALL BLOGS which are external links on all housing bubble articles? What are you doing to contribute new / seminal articles to Wikipedia? I have been creating articles since 2005. What is your track record? I have an MBA from MIT Sloan School, if you go to Franteractive's website / my blogs on real estate, I don't hide the fact. What about your qualifications? Let me know your thoughts on deleting all blogs on all real-estate sites, else let's add back my real-estate blogs. Please react back.
Sam 18:44, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Just because you have created Wikipedia articles does not give you the right to ignore Wikipedia rules and guidelines. The blogs listed in this article are not "backed" by CNN and BusinessWeek. If someone else thinks your site adds value, they will add it. (I'll tell you right now that it doesn' least not yet.) You, however, are biased in favor of your own site, and are attempting to use Wikipedia for site promotion. That is unsportsmanlike behavior.
Links to your site are not considered spam because you are a "small fish". All the blogs listed are small fish. They all probably had no readers when they first started, but they have earned their reputations over time by consistently adding useful content, which in turn attracted readers. The links to your site are considered spam because you added your site yourself, and you've added it to many articles. As for whether the other blogs should be removed, you should talk with User:Frothy about that. He seems to be the one who made the decision.
Listen, Wikipedia rules and guidelines are spread all over the place and we all accidentally violate them from time to time. But when we realize we have run afoul of the rules, the proper thing to do is to voluntarily correct our behavior. For now I am not going to remove your site. I hope you will realize that the proper thing to do is to remove it yourself. If, however, you choose self-promotion over good Wikipedia behavior, I will remove it and notify an administrator. I hope you will do the right thing.
If you want to promote your own site, a good technique would be to make sure you have significant content that is organized in an easy-to-read way, then contact some bloggers and ask them to add your site to their "blog roll". If they think your site is worthy, they will add it, and it will gradually attract visitors. But please, please, don't use Wikipedia for site promotion. --JHP 00:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Sam, by the way, I suggest you scroll down and read the discussion several Wikipedia contributors had a while back regarding external links. This may give you an idea of the criteria being used to allow certain blogs, but not others. I see no reason to re-debate an issue that was already debated and settled. --JHP 00:34, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

What happens when you control for quality?[edit]

The argument for the existence of a US housing bubble would be strengthened if it could be shown that prices really were higher than historical norms even after controlling for home quality. New (and remodeled) homes tend to be larger, have more bedrooms, more bathrooms, are more likely to have air conditioning, etc.

A few references (from to illustrate:

What happens when you control for quality? Do you still see a bubble? If so, how "big" is it?

Sciprogrammer 06:04, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

That doesn't really make sense because the history is for homes to become larger and more featureful over time while cost indexes change little, generally being set at around 2-4 times income or 100-150 times rent. It might be interesting to explore this here or on a linked page, but there is no direct relevance to the kind of per-unit arguments being discussed here -- M0llusk 03:51, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Here's a paper that controls for home quality: Are Home Prices the Next "Bubble"?. See chart 6 in the paper for an illustration of what I'm getting at...note that the "bubble" flattens out when you control for some of these "quality" factors (along with interest rates). However, this paper is a bit old. Using this method with today's data, would there still be a bubble, and if so, how big of a bubble? Sciprogrammer 04:54, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Newer research with the same conclusion: Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions (draft version) Sciprogrammer 07:24, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Shiller's plot does control for quality. His statistics estimate the home price index of a "standard, unchanging, house" (Irrational Exuberance, 2d ed., p. 12):
Robert Shiller's plot of U.S. home prices, population, building costs, and bond yields, from Irrational Exuberance, 2d ed.<ref name="IE2"/> Shiller shows that inflation adjusted U.S. home prices increased 0.4% per year from 1890–2004, and 0.7% per year from 1940–2004, whereas U.S. census data from 1940–2004 shows that the self-assessed value increased 2% per year.
Frothy 15:17, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
The fact that houses improve over time is taken care of by deflating their values by income and not by inflation. In the UK this means that in recent history you might expect them to grow by 4.5% (average earnings) rather than 2.0% (inflation target). Hence the house price/income ratio can be expected to be stable.


Whoever wrote this has no idea what they are talking about.

no opposing view represented --Herzog 20:18, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Many concepts are described on this wiki with at most a brief section on criticism. Counterpoint would indeed enrich this article, but should by no means be required. This article uses well selected quotes and references to establish a meaningful concept related to several trillion dollars in critically valued holdings. As such this article serves the purpose of documenting a specific, highly relevant example of an Economic Bubble. -- M0llusk 02:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Reason for move to US housing bubble[edit]

"Housing bubble" is the commonly used term for this phenomenon in the US (over 1.8 million Google hits), not "property bubble" (under 64 thousand). The page "US property bubble" will be redirected. STSmith 21:46, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Improper Use of Images from "The Economist?"[edit]

Graphic number 3 is an image from The June 16, 2005 Economist article "In come the waves." I don't think exact duplication of a graphic constitutes fair use... Otherwise I think the article is great.--Snorklefish 23:35, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I checked my print copy of The Economist as well as the online version. The graphic, as is EVERYTHING in The Economist, is covered by copyright. I don't see fair-use either. A reader of The Economist recognizes an Economist graph. The font style, colors and layout are standardized. Hence, reprinting the image is MORE than just reprinting data, it is copying the standard layout of The Economist. The problem can be easily surmounted... A new graph can be created from the data in the original...clearly fair-use. The Economist should be listed as the source. I want to emphasize that I think the authors/editors have done an excellent job.--Snorklefish 17:17, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Took Snorklefish's advice and created a new uncopyrighted graph from the Economist article. Frothy 12:40, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


Something about this article strikes me as unencyclopaedic. I thing it would fare better at wikireason. Mathiastck 18:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps dating the bubble would help? Essentially this is a more detailed and modern telling of the same story as the Florida swampland boom which has since been folded into the Miami page and buried. This is the economic equivilent of the 1918 flu. Maybe splitting out some of the value analysis into separate pages? Making this all a magazine article seems like a way of burying valuable historical records. --M0llusk 00:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Nominate for Featured?[edit]

Anyone else think this article deserves Featured? It's already one of the best economics-related articles I've seen on here and the attention it will get from Featured can only improve the article's quality. SlapAyoda 18:26, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it has the quality of a featured article yet. Here are some possible problems:
  • The current language includes vague and unverfied or unverifiable claims, such as
    • "Americans' love of their homes is widely known and acknowledged"
    • "Many have commented anecdotally on this phenomenon"
    • "This folk wisdom is often heard,"
    • "For some this has been undoubtedly true, and for others, not." (practically a truism)
    • "It has been said that..."
    • "any correction in valuations is expected to be..." Expected by whom? Wikipedia is not a crystal ball.
  • The "Evaluations of the U.S. housing bubble" section is just a long list; prose explaining different perspectives might be better.
  • Some of the claims in the article are unsourced or not specifically sourced. Conversely, most of the references in "Further reading" are not connected with the body of the article in any way; it looks like a random list of books on the topic.
  • The Time and Harper's cover images appear to violate Wikipedia:Fair use rules, since they are not used specifically "to illustrate the publication of the issue of the magazine in question". See {{magazinecover}}.
Of course it's easier to criticize the article than to improve it, and the above is only my opinion as someone who's not an expert. Wmahan. 04:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
All of these assertions are supported in the "Evaluations" section. What is missing are the cited, Wikified links. Frothy 11:40, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Excellent points in general. However, the use of {{magazinecover}} appears entirely appropriate, as it states, "to illustrate the publication of the issue of the magazine in question." The fact that Time and Harpers published these cover articles is noteworthy and used as such within the article. I'll comment on the "Evaluations" section below. Frothy 23:21, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
These comments have all been cited appropriately now, as detailed below. There is more work to do, but I believe that this represents a significant improvement in encyclopedic quality. Frothy 13:06, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, nice work so far. Wmahan. 16:29, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. All done for now. The "Evaluations" and "Evidence" sections have been subsumed into the notes and a new section on both predictions and status of the market. This gives a reasonable synopsis, but obviously more can be done. Frothy 04:05, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I have been removing links to blogs from this article. I'll explain why, since there appears to be resistance from some anonymous users.

Links to blogs are generally discouraged: Wikipedia:External links#Links normally to be avoided includes links to blogs. An exception is made for particularly relevant or high-quality sites, but in my judgement none of the blogs I removed came close to this standard. Rather, it appears that most of the links were added in an attempt to promote the sites or their advertisements.

Wikipedia is not a vehicle for promotion or a web directory. If you still feel a particular blog is significant enough to be included, please comment here. Reasonable discussion is always welcome. Wmahan. 03:45, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


You are a little idiot.

So, in YOUR judgment the blogs you removed are NOT relevant. If you knew anything at all, you would know that thoes blogs are the most highly trafficed blogs on the US housing bubble. They are the only outlet for a counter point of view than the mainstream media etc.

Im adding them back... DO NOT remove them again. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Could we agree here to only include links that really satisfy WP:EL's exceptions for blogs and the like: "such as in cases where the article is about, or closely related to, the website itself, or where the website is of a particularly high standard." I'd say that Ben Jones's blog definitely falls within this camp because it is to comprehensive, frequently updated, and influential. There are several other blogs I really like, but I'm not sure that I'd argue that they meet these exceptions. If someone else wishes to make this argument, please feel free. But less is more here, I think it would be best to avoid a link zoo. Frothy 23:35, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd shorten that for clarity's sake and say that only the exception that reads "where the website is of a particularly high stardared" is admissible in this case. (Since United States housing bubble is about a phenomenon and not a website, the first half of the exception that Frothy quotes doesn't apply.) Otherwise, I agree with Frothy's assessment. I also note that "particularly high" is a particularly high bar to clear and should be interpreted as such. Few blogs are of particularly high quality that they stand in our esteem with the likes of the New York Times, and we shouldn't be giving a pass to any but those few. — Saxifrage 00:21, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
These exceptions are OR's -- this OR that OR that must hold to except them. I argue in the case of Ben's blog, ALL exceptions apply -- relevant, particularly high standard, unique resource not available in the article. I'm restoring Ben's. Frothy 11:34, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean in your first sentence. — Saxifrage 16:59, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
For a link to a blog to be acceptable under WP:EL, it must satisfy only one of these criteria. Of course, more is better. From the exception to item 9 of WP:EL#Links_normally_to_be_avoided, "However, there are exceptions, such as in cases:
  • "where the article is about, or closely related to, the website itself"
  • "or where the website is of a particularly high standard."
Also, the contrapositive of item 1 of WP:EL#Links_normally_to_be_avoided implies that a site that provides a unique resource beyond what the article [could] is acceptable. Any website or blog that can reasonably argued to fall within just one of these cases is fair game for an editor to consider including. For the case of Ben Jones's blog, I'd say that this satisfies all three for just the archival purposes alone. Frothy 20:30, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah! Logical OR, not WP:OR. :)
I still don't think the first exception applies: where it says "article" it meas the Wikipedia article, and where it says "site" it means the blog. To satisfy that exception this article would have to be about the blog or closely related to the blog. In this case, they merely share the same subject, which is the standard state of affairs between Wikipedia articles and blogs that are disallowed. (That exception is there so that articles about significant blogs or about their creators can have links to the blogs without running afoul of policy.) Granted that this is academic though, for if it fits the second exception and the contrapositive of the "to be avoided" that you cite, then that is, indeed, enough. — Saxifrage 22:44, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I've had a minor change of heart regarding blogs, especially after reading the Newsweek magazine story about Ben Jones's blog. This article features Ben, but also has pointers to many of the blogs that have been important voices warning of this bubble. Because they are featured in a WP:V spurce, and it is obvious that the presence of blogs has played an important role in this story, I have included the blogs mentioned in the Newsweek article. Frothy 18:24, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion some external links should be included. These links would be to external sites that show signs of significant editing and consistent context. Possibly links to specific relevant articles from the blog could help clear this point? I strongly agree with the general policy, but in this case there is a blog with strong focus and relevance combined with thorough editing ( -- M0llusk 20:11, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I am of the opinion that the wikipedia rules are a bit too tight concerning "original research". The cause of the housing bubble is actually pretty clear when one looks at the undisputed data and lays it right beside the enabling legislation. It is possible but not rational to blame Bill Clinton and the Democrats for this disaster because Bill Clinton nor the Democrats called for or created the tax cuts and the deregulation that are the underlying causes and accelerants for the bubble blowing.

The Republican Congress of 1995 - 2000 did as it pleased against the politically castrated Bill Clinton: The label Whitewater is often used to include other controversies from the Bill Clinton administration, especially those such as Travelgate, Filegate, and the circumstances surrounding Vince Foster's death, that were investigated by the Whitewater Independent Counsel. Then in late 1996 we have the addition of the Paula Jones lawsuit just in time for the Newt Gingrich speculator bubble act of 1997. Strangely missing from the wikipedia entry for this act is the fact that this irresponsible bubble blowing legislation repealed most capital gains taxes on the sale of primary residences. This allowed people to "cash out" of that big house, move to a smaller one, and play speculator on Wall Street with the remaining funds. And that is what many did who did not decide to speculate in the real estate market. For most it was a "straddle" in which they speculated in both. This legislation, (totally unneeded in an economy that was rocking along quite nicely thank you) also increased the rewards to speculation in the stock market by dramatacitcally reducing the tax bite on gambling in the stock market. And while Bill Clinton signed the bill, Bill Clinton could not have sustained a veto against the Gingrich Republican majority behind this bill if his life depended on it. Perhaps a picture of stock market indexes is in order here and also a picture of "home prices". The beginning of both bubbles occures almost immediately following the bubble blowing act of 1997. It is fine to say that Clinton had personal problems. It is not fine to say that he CAUSED this legislation or could have prevented it.

So let us now procede to the second bubble blowing installment -- [[Gramm-Leach-Bliley_Act | "The Repeal of Glass-Steagall"]: The repeal of Glass-Steagall removed the last road block to the creation of liquidity for the creative finance of real estate speculation. And agian we see a totally hapless Clinton brought low this time by Monica-Gate, and the Clinton impeachment. After Glass-Steagall was repealed the financial houses could inflate the value of real estate at will and lend money accordingly. In the last throws of the bubble in 2006 and 2007, the lenders would have created loans for blow up dolls if they could have gotten away with it. --The Trucker (talk) 04:47, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

"Evaluations of the U.S. housing bubble"[edit]

I agree that this section is probably not needed. Most of the information can be found elsewhere. Perhaps a few of the items in it could be used as external sources for some of the information above. Should this section be removed? SlapAyoda 16:08, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I vote for "not yet" here. It's easy to criticize this section, yet it is these very evaluations that help to clarify and provide insight into the existence and reasons behind the bubble -- a notoriously squishy subject really until about 4 months ago. Therfore, such evaluations, opinions, and analysis are absolutely necessary in an article such as this, independently of the nuts-and-bolts "evidence" section. Without them, the article would become too analytic and deterministic -- the antithesis of a bubble. The "evaluations" section gives insight into the human element in the face of the bubble. The "evaluations" section does need a major overhaul -- is there an example article elsewhere in Wikipedia that we could use as a template to include this salient commentary from America's economic, political, and news leaders? Another thing that would improve things would be to Wikify the references. Frothy 23:30, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
After some thought, it seems to me that the best way to incorporate this important commentary in an encyclopedic article is to use an "annotated notes" format. This would solve several problems: no more floating section, it would force specific citations for the assertions noted above, and it would force the Wikification of the citations, and would keep this important, relevat information within the article (as part of an end notes section to be added automagically). If no one objects or has a better idea, I'll figure out how to do this and begin the process. Frothy 20:38, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
If you need a hand with that, I'm very familiar with the Wikipedia:Footnotes markup. — Saxifrage 22:53, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I would—thanks! May I suggest two things that would help? First, be bold and just take one of your favorite quotes from the "Evaluations" section and incorporate it as an annotated citation where it is most appropriate in the article. Second, put a pointer here to what you did, and that will encourage myself and others to progressively Wikify the citations and turn this quote-mine section into an annotated referernce list whenever we find a little time. What I'm thinking is some way to keep these quotes at the end with all the citation stuff organized in the right way, and little footnotes in the text itself. AT the end, any quote in this section that can't be used as citation in the article (or a place made for it), doesn't belong. Frothy 01:06, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Alrighty! First I created a section to hold the footnotes and put <references/> in it—that automatically is filled in with the collection of footnotes that appear in the rest of the article. (changes) This only has to be done once, though you might want to fiddle with the title of the section to most accurately reflect the footnotes' use. I called it "Notes and references" as a standard "I'm not sure what this will end up being" title, but other standard titles are "Footnotes" and (when only used for references) just plain "References".
Next I created a note in the body of the article. I grabbed the Bush quote and put it between an opening <ref> tag and a closing </ref> tag where the redundant external link used to appear. (changes)
Essentially, anything that appears between the <ref></ref> tags will appear wherever in the article there is a <references/> tag. If you want to re-use a footnote/reference in another place, there's a trick to do that without having a duplicate show up in the notes section, but that's probably not necessary for this use and the markup is more complicated. This is a good start. — Saxifrage 02:27, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Notes and references format[edit]

Dear editors, Please help us transform the section "Evaluations" into a proper annotated list of notes used within the article. The format to use is given below. Just take your favorite quote, and insert it in the right place using this template. If the right place doesn't exist, please write one.After you're done, please clean up by deleting the quote from this section. When this process is finished, we should have:

  • No more "Evaluations" section—these will all be in the annotated notes.
  • No more section pointing to magazines as refs; these will also be in the notes.
  • A transformed "Evidence" section that has actual writing in it, using the annotated notes format.

Frothy 17:15, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Saxifrage! That works great!! I copied a format from another page that makes these double column and smaller. I also used the {{cite news}} template. The "example" format is now:

"quoted stuff."<ref>President [[George W. Bush]] was asked about the housing boom's impact on the ability of the questioner's children to purchase a home. The President answered "… If houses get too expensive, people will stop buying them, which will cause people to adjust their spending habits. … Let the market function properly. I guarantee that your kind of question has been asked throughout the history of homebuilding—you know, prices for my homes are getting bid up so high that I'm afraid I'm not going to have any consumers—or my kid—and yet, things cycle. That's just the way it works. Economies should cycle." {{cite news | last=Bush | first=George W. |title=President Highlights Importance of Small Business in Economic Growth | publisher=[[The White House]] | date=[[19 January]] [[2006]] | url=}}</ref>

Frothy 16:49, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Saxifrage, Would you please show us how to add a reference to an exisiting one, so as to avoid doubles? I'd like to put a pointer to the Time magazine cover article (the first ref) next to the line "Americans' love of their homes is widely known and acknowledged". Also, if you would drop the template for doing so here, that would help a lot. Frothy 17:04, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Beautifully done!
Sure thing. The key to reusing a footnote is that footnotes can be given names and inserted by name. So, in the example above you could change the beginning <ref>Bush...</ref> to <ref name="Bush on housing">Bush...</ref> to give it a name. Then it could be reused lower in the article by inserting only <ref name="Bush on housing"/> where you want the footnote number to appear. (Notice the extra slash before the >. That tells the software not expect any more text.)
The quirk to reusing references is that it only works when the name-only reference markup appears later in the article than where the name-and-full-text reference markup appears. If the name-only one is put higher in the article, the automatic footnote at the bottom of the article will show up blank. So, if a footnote has to be reused earlier in an article, the original footnote has to be moved up to the new spot and a name-only one added where the full-text one used to be. — Saxifrage 17:29, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

{{peerreview}} for United States housing bubble[edit]

Please note that I've requested {{peerreview}} for this article at Wikipedia:Peer_review/United_States_housing_bubble#.5B.5BUnited_States_housing_bubble.5D.5D. Frothy 11:36, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

"Several positive comments have been made about the article "US housing bubble," both at its talk page and over the web (blogs, Google), and the discussion came about about nominating it as a featured article. Saxifrage suggested that it be peer reviewed as part of this process, so I've requested this here. Your comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated. Frothy 11:36, 14 August 2006 (UTC)"
The article looks much improved, but here is some more (hopefully constructive) criticism:
Absolutely—thanks! I'll add comments as these are addressed. Frothy 11:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
  • The first sentence is clunky: The United States housing bubble refers to an economic bubble in real estate in the United States. It shouldn't be necessary to mention the US twice.
Excellent point. I've made the first sentence much more definitive, while acknowledging that the "bubble" refers to either an actual or hypothesized condition, and made it clear that certain (populous) parts of the US are specifically affected. Frothy 14:10, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I still think there is too much reliance on questionable fair use images. For example, the description of Image:Barrons BubblesNewHome 20050620.gif says "no copyright stated, so fair use", and it uses a template claiming that "no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information". I'm hardly a copyright zealot but it seems to me that taking images from copyrighted sources for the key illustrations is not the best approach, unless there is little chance of a free alternative. And of course mere failure to state copyright doesn't make an image free. The freely available images in the article are a good start.
Agreed. A free version would be trivial to produce, and should be done. Frothy 11:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Done. Frothy 18:12, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
  • The list of TV programs takes up a disproportionate amount of the article. The article should briefly define "flipping".
Agreed. These have been moved to notes and refs, and link added to article about Flipping Houses. Frothy 11:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
  • In general the article seems to focus on the bubble in popular culture: magazines, general-audience books, and TV programs. I would be interested to see more about how economists see the causes and effects of the bubble. I'm sure not all economists agree, so an overview of the perspectives would be nice.
I strongly disagree here—the great majority of the content, notes and references are from influential economists and business people (Alan Greenspan, Robert Shiller, Warren Buffett, George Soros, David Lereah, many others), and the rest are from WP:V media sources on economics (The Economist, the Wall Street Journal’s June Fletcher, the New York Times’s Paul Krugman, many others). Please take another look. Frothy 11:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, maybe I overgeneralized here. I was interested in more detailed coverage of the disagreements and debates. The article does a good job of saying that the bubble may be caused by X, Y, or Z, but it isn't clear whether each of these explanations is a consensus among economists, one person's theory, or somewhere in between. Wmahan. 03:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I added text and a citation to this Business Week article on a discussion between several economists last summer. A lot has changed since then, so it's out of date, but it shows the history of debate. Frothy 18:08, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
  • How is the housing bubble to similar to, and different from, other notable economic bubbles?
That's a good question. For length, I don't see this as a full section, but perhaps a sentence to paragraph in the intro. Frothy 11:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
To clarify, I didn't mean that we should necessarily spend space discussing other bubbles. I meant that the article could explain what features define the rising prices as a bubble similar to past bubbles, rather than a sustainable growth. Likewise, if there are any features of the housing market that are rare in economic bubbles, these could be given as possible arguments that there is not, in fact, a bubble. Wmahan. 03:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
  • How do the bubble's effects vary geographically? The article already mentions that it's most pronounced in California, Las Vegas, Florida and Washington, D.C., but that could be expanded. Is there a bubble in all areas? Is the phenomenon limited to the US? Wmahan. 19:11, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Another good question. The answer here should also be dovetailed with the issue of whether or not the US housing bubble exists everywhere in the US (it doesn't), or just in certain markets. Frothy 11:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to thank everyone for their excellent feedback. I believe that I've addressed the great majority of the comments. As activity here has died down, I'm going to proceed to put this up as a candidate for "featured." Frothy 18:16, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Supporting for featured article. SlapAyoda 20:17, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

<ref> bug? / Help![edit]

This one is driving me nuts and makes no sense:

  • The current page United States housing bubble has fouled up citations, running into 147, with repeats. I must have (???) added some stray ASCII to foul this up, but I don't see what.
  • However, clicking the history tab and looking at the latest version, which should be the exact same thing (link) renders everything perfectly, with the correct 85 citations and no repeats. Therefore, I must not have done anything wrong.

WTF? Anybody know what's up here? A Wiki-bug? Frothy 21:21, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I got the same thing yesterday at GNS theory. I thought it was me too, but if it's happening elsewhere then we're blameless. Likely they changed the code handling refs and introduced a bug in the software. Wait it out, is all I can say. — Saxifrage 21:32, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
According to a bugzilla:7162 pointer at the help desk, this is a known problem that is fixed by issuing ?action=purge, i.e., for this page, This does indeed fix the immediate problem. Frothy 13:00, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Requested move to United States real estate prices.[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no move. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 04:09, 23 March 2007 (UTC) I only opened this discussion because of the header at the top of the article.

Against Who requested this? I feel it is uneeded. Elfich 17:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Against as above, why should it be moved? Pathlessdesert 19:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

It was a user by the name Punanimal who claimes the the current title is inhenrently POV. -- 20:57, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Against Punanimal is a Realtor(tm)

Against I don't know where it is located, but Wikipedia has a common name rule. "Housing bubble" is the most common name used by Americans for this phenomenon. --JHP 05:10, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Why are people removing FACTUAL information that there is no "bubble"; I have put links on here and the facts are that RE prices are INCREASING and sales are INCREASING

Wikipedia is a left wing piece of trash that makes up stories to push a left wing agenda and this is further proof of that —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Please sign your posts. The idea of a housing bubble has absolutely nothing to do with political ideology. It is based on mathematics and finance. You should read Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor for a good history lesson on financial manias. --JHP 05:10, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Oppose. The topic of the article is not simply US real estate prices, or even trends in such, but the housing bubble (real or imagined). As mentioned above, the current title follows Wikipedia naming conventions by using the most commonly used term for this phenomenon. -- Avenue 06:21, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Housing market correction[edit]

When should the "housing market correction" section in the article be split off into its own article? WAS 4.250 08:05, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

current event?[edit]

I think the "current event" template shouldn't be there (or at least, it would be better placed beneath the "bubble bursts" section. It's a bit misleading- the template makes it seem as if the bubble is still going on. Borisblue 07:09, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

This input is amazing to me. Home prices are way out of line with historical norms both nationally and in the areas where the bubble was at its worst. Even the most optimistic estimates are that this phenomenon will take several years to resolve itself, and some estimates say that will take more than a decade. As it stands there is no conclusive data about when this will end. The Shiller graph highlights this. So far we have only really seen the run up. -- M0llusk 14:05, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

ZOMG, Great Depression again, um or not maybe[edit]

Near the top of this piece it says home prices began falling "almost like never before, with the exception of the Great Depression", and then there is a graph by Shiller that shows that while home prices plummeted after WWI they only fell a little bit during the entire Depression. This is a good example of how sloppy alarmism is self defeating. Home prices have, at least so far, FALLEN EXACTLY AS BEFORE IN RECENT DOWNTURNS and furthermore HOME PRICES DID NOT FALL MUCH IN THE DEPRESSION! Maybe it would be better, since this is supposed to be encyclopedic, to make a point instead of just diffusing everything with contradictory quotes inserted for the tittilation of Depression fetishists? Just a suggestion -- M0llusk 14:02, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

M0llusk is correct that the previous decline in prices occurred prior to the Great Depression. In fact, it occurred prior to the Roaring 20's. Shiller attributes that fall to new mass production techniques.[1] In addition, all major sources of price data (e.g. OFHEO, NAR, S&P/Case-Shiller) show that home prices have not yet fallen much since the peak of the housing bubble.[2] --JHP 00:29, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


I think this article might meet the good article criteria. It is remarkably well-referenced, illustrated, and generally well-written. Anyone think otherwise? · jersyko talk 19:19, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree, it seems a really nice article. I came here from flipping, and I wouldn't mind that one replaced with a redirect to here! Ticklemygrits 15:07, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I just wanted to mention one HUGE cause for the bubble that has been overlooked or I missed it - the tax law change during the "recovery" period that allowed a married couple to sell a home at a $500,000.00 profit and not have to buy up or pay any tax. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the law, but it was clearly aimed at enlivening an otherwise sluggish real estate industry. That one law released billions and billions of untaxed capital gain into the market, enabling sellers to get out from under over-leveraged property and into much bigger properties. This and the lower interest rates compbined, at least in California, to drive real estate prices into the ozone layer. Look at the year of enactment - around 2000 - and compare to the prices of real estate. These factors - lots of cash shloshing around, low homeowner interest rates - led to the subsequent growth of the permuted loan industry and its weird, unconventional lending practices. You can have bad credit and still have lots of cash... 13:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

  • And of course, an unintended consequence of that tax break is that if a property declines in value, that person owes back taxes when they sell, due to debt forgiveness being taxable. Since the IRS is much more aggressive than your typical debt collector, it's going to prolong the bust by encouraging people to just walk away from underwater properties—foreclosure takes a while to sort out. I got a lot more doom and gloom where that came from by the way :)Cnadolski 16:19, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

"This page is 173 kilobytes long..."[edit]

"...It may be appropriate to split this article into smaller, more specific articles."

Comments? The time it initially took for me to load this article was insane (and I have a >1MB/sec connection). Also, ref #179 is currently broken. It references a named ref that I can't seem to find. -- RattleMan 01:35, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

It's now only 139 kilobytes, after I removed lengthy quotations within the footnotes (see section below). Still much too long. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:45, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, people need to stop adding content. johnpseudo 03:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Inflation-adjusted housing prices in the United States by state, 1998-2006.[edit]

For some reason Michigan's upper peninsula and lower peninsula are different colors. The caption says.. "Inflation-adjusted housing prices in the United States by state, 1998-2006." Zygnoda 09:51, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Copyright violations[edit]

I am removing the long quotations that appear in quite a few of the footnotes. Such lengthy quotations are not in accordance with what fair use allows, and are not the norm a Wikipedia (precisely because of the fair use issue). Please do not put such lengthy quotations back into footnotes with further discussion here. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:12, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Which is not to say that I endorse what is still left - a bunch of shorter quotations. One reason why quoting sources, in footnotes, is NOT the Wikipedia norm (and is NOT encouraged in any guideline that I know of) is precisely because of the problem here - a very long article (number 47 at Special:Longpages). I've already reduced the size of the article by 20 percent by removing the longer quotes in footnotes; removing all the others would shorten the article another 5 percent or so, I think.
Finally, I note that lengthy quotes are an interesting way to introduce information that wouldn't otherwise be acceptable - for example, not only a link to, but a nice description of the site. (In other words, long quotations in footnotes invite spam - find a news article that mentions website X, then find a related topic, then insert a footnote and quote that article's mention of website X.) I'm going to assume good faith - that these links were not done by anyone with a vested interest in getting people to link through, or to raise their Google pagerank, but it's another reason why the practice should probably be clearly ruled out at Wikipedia. If something is important enough to quote, quote it in the article. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:54, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Greespun talk in 2002-2005 of conundrum[edit]

There was much talk, writing on TV newspapers about the connudrim of low int rates even as the fed raised rates. Radio Guy (talk) 21:37, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


A prior version of this article claimed NetBank was the first FDIC-insured bank to fail since the S&L crisis, but that is clearly false. Actual figures from the FDIC (all failures since 10/1/2000 and historical report of all failures since FDIC began in 1934) show that the only years EVER with zero FDIC failures were 2005 and 2006; the streak was broken earlier in 2007 before NetBank's failure. 2008 has had one bank failure already. --RBBrittain (talk) 22:50, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. Should say something like. NetBank Inc was the largest savings and loan failure since the tail end of the Savings and loan crisis in the early 1990s. From Government shuts down NetBank ( (talk) 00:35, 5 February 2008 (UTC)).

Greenspan Quote[edit]

The Greenspan quote at the end of the article has been translated into "plain english" inaccurately, at best. The translator also seems to have a bit of agenda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:02, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Contradiction in article: dating the start of the bubble[edit]

The lead for the article states that "the economic bubble in many parts of the U.S. housing market that began roughly in 2001" yet no solid verifiable source in the article dates the start of this bubble unambiguously to 2001. Furthermore, the graph in the "Causes" section clearly shows geometric price rises in US housing since at least 1995. Both cannot be right. More importantly, the article has a general thrust of original research. N2e (talk) 02:16, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Cleaned up refs, dates[edit]

Today I clean up the refs, replacing a few broken ones. I also standardized the dates by using the /cite/ templates most places. I know, 2008-03-17 is not so great, but it's easy to maintain. You can set "my preferences" to display it how you like. I also took out old oddities like /nbsp/'s in dates. So:

  • Fixed bad links. I did not check every link, but I checked many of them.
  • Standardized cite formats, mainly. Works like The New York Times are now italicized everywhere.
  • Turned bare refs into cites. No more bot-generated titles.


  • Un-wikilinked most repeated links. George W. Bush is only wikilinked twice.
  • Un-wikilinked years like 2008 that do not have a month & day, per WP:MOS.

I did not change the meaning of the article, except here:

  • Updated the TV shows in the footnote about them.
  • Reduced a lot of link clutter in the Blogs section at the end. Footnotes suffice, don't need to mention every major newspaper that has mentioned each blog individually.

I will be looking for typos. I have an automated tool I can change the dates back if you really want them the old way. It should be easier to maintain now. - Colfer2 (talk) 11:50, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Gas Prices[edit]

Let's add something about the new factor of gas prices: their rapid ascent makes housing in distant exurbs less and less feasible. "Drive until you qualify" will no longer be an option even if the housing market recovers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

That seems like a reasonable argument but I thought that gasoline was cheap in the US. Have the increases over the last few months made a such a significant impact? Anyway, if you have a source and if it's notable then I don't see why not. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 19:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

article too long[edit]

this too long article has had certain long sections moved to other aricles where they are quite appropriate as articles on this own. There is no point in trying to make this article longer; it should be made shorter. Hmains (talk) 03:58, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

There are several sections that already have separate articles, but are still large. They include: Housing market correction covered by the United States housing market correction and Subprime mortgage industry collapse covered by the Subprime mortgage crisis. These sections in this article should be reduced. Halgin (talk) 13:40, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

what should go where?[edit]

What material should go into Subprime mortgage crisis versus what should be in United States housing bubble Hmains (talk) 04:56, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Housing bubble in Germany[edit]

The article states that the US housing bubble coincides with similar bubble in Germany, the UK and South Korea. This should be checked, as I am at least highly doubtful about a housing bubble in Germany. German housing prices have actually declined over the last few years, as far as I know. Basanta86 (talk) 11:27, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Basanta86 is right: there is definitely no housing bubble in Germany (I am German and live in Germany).
AFAIK, housing bubbles in Europe are mainly in the UK and in Spain; and a bit in France and Italy. I am not sure about Ireland. But not in Germany. Greetings, Yuggoth

alumnUS ![edit]

Forgive a foreigner correcting a native English speaker; but this is about Latin: "an alumni" is like saying "a measles". "alumni" is the plural; the singular is "alumnus" (male) or "alumna" (female); so Mr. Thain is an _alumnus_. - Greetings, Yuggoth —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:42, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

A little trick helping the bubble along[edit]

As prices were rising, some builders decided to amortize "improvements" in subdivisions rather than paying for them up front and forcing buyers to do the same. So various communities have an ad valorum tax levied by the community association and legally enforceable over a 30 year period or so. In addition to their mortgages, of course! Just one more factor. This happened throughout Florida. In one county there were nine such associations, but they were large and affected a lot of people. In Florida, they are called "Community Development Districts." It all just came to light here when the developers of a shopping center pulled this stunt, levying a 1% tax on sales for each customer much to their surprise!

Anyway, this smoke and mirror game made the house appear cheaper than it really was up front. Student7 (talk) 15:28, 19 March 2009 (UTC)


The article did not have a proper lead, but rather a lengthy section of background material appearing before the contents box. So I've attempted to create a lead without doing any substantial re-writing. I just took some material from late in the initial section that seemed appropriately introductory and placed it higher, then added a "Background" section header for the bulk of the material. It's not a perfect lead, but I think it's better than the way it was. If anyone wants to try tackling a rewrite to make the lead a proper summary of the article contents, be my guest. --RL0919 (talk) 00:47, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I am in such a CDD in Tampa, and the annual bond payment is about equal to one's month's mortgage payment. Sneaky devils... Timothymwhite (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:27, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Should we keep the blogs?[edit]

I just noticed that in the links section, it said...

Housing bubble weblogs, cited in BusinessWeek, Chicago Tribune, CNN/Money, Newsweek, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, Times (Trenton, N.J.), Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Motley Fool:

...but then it didn't list the blogs. They were removed by User:Mattisse back in April, but he apparently didn't notice the bullet that referred to them. Since there had been a previous discussion about whether or not to keep them, and I think the consensus was to keep them, I have put the blogs back for now. The other option is to remove the blogs and the bullet that refers to them. Either option is fine with me, but I'd like the input of other Wikipedians. The last discussion occurred three years ago, so it's probably time for a new one. Please read the previous discussion before making a decision either way. At least one of the blogs is no longer active. Full disclosure: I am now involved with one of the blogs, but was not at the time of the previous discussion. --JHP (talk) 01:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I have no doubt that the blogs should be mentioned. The reference notes provided with the list include multiple cases of the blogs being discussed in reliable sources. (There is a problem with the reference notes as they appear currently. They are after the reflist, so none of them show up when the article is rendered! I had to open the edit window to access them.) In fact, the material in the sources justifies discussing the impact of blogs in the main body of the article, not just listing them as external links at the end. Promoting the material to the main body would also fix the broken reference notes (since the main body is above the reflist). Without actually writing up the discussion, I don't know if it would mention all the blogs currently on the list, but regardless the role of blogs seems sufficiently well-documented by the sources to be more than just an afterthought. --RL0919 (talk) 17:23, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Congressional Report says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the chief culprits in the housing crisis[edit]

CNS News says, "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the chief culprits in the housing crisis because they encouraged people who could not afford payments to borrow money, according to a congressional report released Tuesday." Grundle2600 (talk) 11:16, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Real cause of the housing bubble.[edit]

The housing bubble, financial crisis,and recession were caused by government meddling in the markets. It had its roots in the Jimmy Carter era Community Reinvestment Act that was strengthened during the Clinton administration. Banks were forced by threat of government fine or prosecution to lower lending standards for a social-engineering scheme so the "disadvantaged" could buy a house; the government distortion of the markets nearly caused the collapse of the economy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Internal email from Deutsche Bank[edit]

I fail to see what benefit this image gives to the article. What's the justification? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. There is no discussion of it in the article. It needs to be discussed (since I believe it could be relevant) or removed. Timothymwhite (talk) 21:10, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Higher taxes[edit]

When the housing costs are lowered, isn't more money paid to the federal government in income taxes. Wouldn't less money be paid to state governments in property taxes. Wouldn't the state governments know exactly who caused the problem based on the state assessors. When the stock market crashes wouldn't the federal government recieve an increase in income taxes paid due to the sell-off. Why then has the deficit increased, and the blame placed on social programs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:42, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Plain political biased text needs some revision[edit]

The following paragraphs are clearly politically motivated and biased, and should be revised or removed to give the article better objectivity:

In 2003, the Bush administration proposed a new agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they knew the agencies had not properly hedged it's $1.5 trillion in debt holdings against interest rate increases. In response to this proposal, democrat Congressman Barney Frank said

"These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis, said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."[54]

It was later learned that representative Frank personally benefitted from both agencies. [55]

The give away -- 'democrat' should be 'Democratic'. Nice try, sneaky Republican! Timothymwhite (talk) 21:07, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

At the very least the two articles should be edited to be like more two bookends --BoogaLouie (talk) 00:16, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Availability of cheap land as a possible explanation of "paradox"[edit]

Perhaps someone can locate a reference that explains this observation: "Somewhat paradoxically, as the housing bubble deflates[66] some metropolitan areas (such as Denver and Atlanta) have been experiencing high foreclosure rates, even though they did not see much house [price] appreciation in the first place..." I suspect, but don't have a reliable source to cite, that in cities such as Dallas and Atlanta, with abundant affordable suburban land (with few political or logistical obstacles to servicing and developing) the bubble was in the quantity of housing built rather than price appreciation of the existing housing stock. Tetsuo (talk) 23:27, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

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