By Michael Nystrom
Look around you. Housing is everywhere. It is not only the late night airwaves that have been taken over by baby-faced millionaires who made their fortune in real estate and are now pushing the idea onto insomniacs nationwide that "you can, too!"
Walk into any large bookstore and you will find... titles such as The Weekend Millionaire's Secrets to Investing in Real Estate, Are You Dumb Enough to Be Rich? The Amazingly Simple Way to Make Millions in Real Estate and dozens more like them make it sound so easy.
The lessons for today's housing market are simply this: Just as in the Nasdaq's case, sane individuals are being made to look insane by this market. People know that it's a bubble of course, but they can't seem to stay away. The temptation to play along is just too great. A recent survey indicated that 63% of business owners believe there is a bubble in real estate. In spite of this, 42% felt that real estate would be the most lucrative investment in the near term, outperforming both stocks and bonds. These numbers indicate that investors have bought into a high-stakes game of chicken, trying to squeeze out the last few percentage points of return before the whole market blows.
Sounds eerily like Nasdaq 1999....