Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Cautionary Tale from Japan

For those who don't know, Japan had a housing boom of its own - peaking around 1989-90. The mania resulted from the same BS that was being said in Florida the last 3 years:
  • Buy now, or you'll be forever priced out!
  • They're not making any more land, you know.
  • We've got plenty of other investors who are interested.

And, as all bubbles go, the boom in the Land of the Rising Sun ended.

And then the prices fell.

And fell some more.

And more....

aaaaand more.

After 15 years, real estate there has still not recovered from its peak. Could we suffer the same fate? Read this fascinating tale by Michael Nystrom, who experienced that bubble first-hand.

A Cautionary Tale from Japan

Also, if you're interested on a comparison of that bubble to the current bubble here in the US, Britain, and Australia, take a look at this entry in Wikipedia - from "The Economist" magazine (article was actually written in June 2005!):

Comparison of Housing Bubble to Japan's Bubble

12 comments:

zippo said...

I think fully 1/3 of the America/GB/Australia cost curve could be attributed to California and Florida alone.

Anonymous said...

That picture of the "typical" Tokyo apartment complex makes me want to move into a trailer park, where at least I can roam free in the 20 feet of space betwixt me and my neighbors!

Soon, we'll all be living in trailers. And then, we can honestly call ourselves "Floridians"!

warm water town said...

So many similarities (speculation, over-extension of credit), but so many differences (culture, savings rates, work ethic).

What's so very interesting is posterity: if the housing market does NOT crash, this whole thing will be a minor blip on the history of the US economy. On the other hand.....

float or die said...

Okay, I'll bite!
On the other hand, we could soon be see:
-> The word "Depression" being spoken out loud.
-> Vast tracks of "Bush-villes", tent farms filled with people evicted from their homes.
-> Radical changes in the government, both at home and abroad.

Okay, I'm getting too negative here...but someone has to think of the bad things that COULD happen.

sal said...

Dare I say it?

I think we're turning Japanese,
I think we're turning Japanese
I really think so!

(all regards to The Vapours)

Anonymous said...

MAN! Haven't heard that one in what? 25 years?

Honestly, I don't know what to make of that story and the comparison chart. But then I've witnessed so much greed and avarice over the past 4 years that if something similar DID happen, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Before the fall goes vanity.

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