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What's next for real estate
Hot home prices have some asking if real estate is headed for a fall. Here's why the answer is no.
February 18, 2004: 4:01 PM EST
By Jon Birger, MONEY Magazine

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - Worried about a housing bubble in your hometown? Well, just think how Los Angelenos must feel. Los Angeles and its environs are coming off back-to-back years of 20 to 30 percent increases in home prices.

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Of course, one man's windfall is another's red flag. These days, there's no shortage of economists and housing analysts who see the hyperactive markets in L.A., New York City and other East and West Coast cities as sure signs that the irrational exuberance that once afflicted stocks has now permeated the market for single-family homes.

Throw in the possibility of higher interest rates, and the real estate market could be in trouble.

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