What Bubble?
A counterpoint: Stop worrying. The U.S. real estate boom is rational
By Jon Birger

(MONEY Magazine) – Don't let the bubble-mongers fool you. The fact is, there hasn't been a year-over-year decline in the average price of U.S. homes in the 30 years the government has tracked it. Yes, there have been regional crashes (notably California and New England in the late 1980s and New York in the early '90s), but those were spurred by overbuilding. Back in 1990, for example, 65% of home builder KB Home's inventory was unsold; today KB Home (the nation's No. 5 home builder) has virtually no unsold inventory. Even if developers wanted to speculate, there's little open land in the East and West Coast areas where housing is hottest.

That's the supply story. On the demand side, boomers are in their peak home-owning years just when immigrants are catching the bug themselves. In other words, the rise in prices has, for the most part, been a rational response to market forces and not a replay of the greater-fool lunacy that obliterated the stock market in 2000 and after.

Will home prices continue rising 20%-plus a year in hot markets? Of course not, especially with mortgage rates rising. But if you're looking for a house, don't wait for prices to fall. That kind of market timing almost never pays off—whether you're an investor or a home buyer. —JON BIRGER