Ben Bernanke is speaking later at an Atlanta Fed Conference, so in the meantime we were checking out some of the presentations that have already been given, including this one: A Bird's Eye View of OECD Housing Markets by economist Christophe André.
Anyway, a pair of charts in the paper should scare the U.S. housing bulls, who have been increasingly making an argument about the price of housing reaching cheap levels relative to U.S. rents/incomes.
In each chart, the dotted line is the price-to-income ratio and the solid line is the price-to-rent ratio. 100 is the sample average.
Here's the United States, which has seen a nice decline from recent highs in both price-to-income and price-to-rent.
Great, we've improved.
Now check out Japan.
No doubt, people have been screaming about "affordability" all the way down.