The real estate crash is much deeper than the media is making it out to be. Entire life savings are being wiped out in markets that are tanking like the Titanic. What is troubling is that some markets are having depression like symptoms with home prices falling 50, 60, and even 70 percent in a few short years. Many Americans who are already struggling with the decade long stagnation in incomes are now seeing their largest asset plummeting. Each market has a unique story resembling a Greek Tragedy and the desert is seeing its fair share of problems. The market in Phoenix Arizona is experiencing price declines that have never been witnessed. Home prices in Phoenix are now back to levels last seen in the 1990s. Phoenix is unique in the sense that it had its own internal bubble with local speculators buying homes but also rampant money flowing from the California housing bubble. It is no coincidence that these markets that experienced the biggest benefits from the housing boom are now suffering in its collapse.
For over two full years 30 percent or more of home purchases in Phoenix have come at the hands of all green cash investors. In the last year this has been 45 to 50 percent of the entire market. This is not normal. What is happening is the desire for cheap real estate and sidelined money has pulled in countless people. This does not mean the market is healthy simply because hot money is flowing in. Similar circumstances surround the overinflated Chinese real estate market where over 60 million apartment units sit empty. Yet these all cash investors are starting to come to the stark conclusion that prices may be low for a reason similar to the Detroit market. The underlying economy has shifted at a structural level.
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