London gives BoE an emerging economy problem

April 23, 2014

Foreign capital inflows are supporting a housing bubble in London, and have helped push up sterling - even though the UK’s trade position is almost dire. An unbalanced economy is getting worse. As pre-crisis emerging markets learned, this is a problem with no easy solution.

U.S. recovery now not jobless, only homeless

January 6, 2012

Despite the 200,000 new jobs last month and another drop in unemployment, job creation is still slower than in recent recoveries and looks a bit like the early 1960s. That’s partly because the weak housing market means few new construction jobs. Still, Obama can breathe easier.

Renters need to flex muscle in U.S. housing debate

February 8, 2012

Though America’s mortgage system subsidizes homebuyers, its dysfunction has cost all taxpayers dearly. Few groups are pushing for change. But the nation’s 39 mln renters - often an afterthought in the discussion - ought to be up in arms. They might find unlikely allies, too.

U.S. housing poised to boost economy

July 19, 2012

The latest data point suggests not, but a recovery looks under way - even if homebuilders are running ahead of the market. After dragging on GDP for five years, housing should boost output and jobs in coming quarters. That will give lawmakers room to change distorting policies.

Real estate wave helps an IPO avoid tech wipeout

September 20, 2012

Newly listed shares of Trulia, an online property listing service, popped by over 40 pct on their debut. That defies the dire dot-com market evidenced by the likes of Facebook and Groupon. The U.S. housing recovery is a good story but Trulia is also still hitched to the Web.

Complacency seeps in as Fed stops buying MBS

March 30, 2010

Investors seem remarkably relaxed about the end of the U.S. Federal Reserve's $1.25 trillion program to buy mortgage-backed bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

UK house prices needs less rigging – not more

September 13, 2013

Britain’s home valuers are rightly worried about a bubble, and suggest that annual growth of 5 pct should trigger a policy response. But if there’s a problem, the answer is to remove the props that are artificially inflating prices, not to set thresholds for applying the brakes.