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The “B” Word: Can We Spot the Next House Price Bubble?

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National Association of Realtors

500 New Jersey Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20001

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REALTOR® University Speaker Series


The “B” Word: Can We Spot the Next House Price Bubble?

Dr. Len Kiefer

Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac



December 1, 2017, 12:00 noon–1:00 p.m.

NAR Washington D.C. Office, 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW

12th Floor Event Room

(Light lunch starting at 11:50 a.m.)



The evidence indicates there currently is no house price bubble in the U.S., despite the rapid increase of house prices over the last five years. However, the housing sector is significantly out of balance. The incomplete recovery in residential construction following the crisis of the last decade has created several years of pent-up demand for household formation. What we can’t predict is how this imbalance will eventually be resolved. Will there be a gradual restoration of a normal balance between supply and demand? Alternatively, will the rate of home building remain stubbornly low, exacerbating the income and wealth inequality that followed the Great Recession? Another bubble appears to be a less probable scenario, but not an impossible one.

In this presentation, Dr. Len Kiefer will present an analysis of house price changes at the metropolitan level and the factors underlying the steep price appreciation in many areas. He will review indicators of a possible house price bubble and explain why it’s difficult to spot a bubble before it bursts. He will describe an approach to monitoring house price risk, both nationally and regionally. Finally, he will look at possible scenarios for the evolution house prices.

Dr. Len Kiefer holds a Ph.D. in economics from The Ohio State University and a B.A. in economics and philosophy from The University of Kentucky. He joined Freddie Mac in 2009 as a Senior Economic Researcher and moved up to become the Deputy Chief Economist in 2013. Prior to working for Freddie Mac, he was an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University, an Instructor and then an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University. His full CV can be accessed here. Dr. Kiefer maintains a website where he publishes interesting data visualizations and analysis that help people “understand the economy, housing and mortgage markets.”

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For additional information, please contact SCororaton@realtors.org.







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National Association of Realtors

500 New Jersey Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20001

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