US Housing Market Crash 2018 2019 and Beyond

Housing Market Crash 2018?

Despite the strength of the US economy, growing employment and wages, a high number of investors and homebuyers are concerned about a housing market crash in 2018 or 2019.

Take a good look at the crash factors below and the national housing market forecast along with predictions for major urban housing markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Seattle, New York and Boston.




Trump Volatility: No Telling Who He’ll Point at Next: Canada, China, Mexico? Trade wars can fester quickly like a wild fire.

Certainly the recent comments of the President that “Trade Wars are Good” don’t help settle the volatility in the stock markets. Strong inflation and cost of living rises, potential trade wars, along with high mortgage rates are serious threats.

In this post we try to take an objective look at the unthinkable. At least, it’s unthinkable for some that booming markets in Los Angeles, San Fransciso, Sacramento, San Jose, Seattle, Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas, Charlotte, Boston and Miami could possibly collapse. Is the Toronto housing bubble (worst in world now) the future for US cities?



Going back to 2007, did anyone suspect what was about to happen?

When Will Local Market Bubbles Burst?

If you look at the forecasts for all the bubbled up city markets such as San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Seattle, New York and Boston you’ll likely think back to prices before the last crash.

Are you spooked about the real estate market in 2018 or 2019? Is the market sufficiently over heated? When will interest rates become a problem? The recent jobs report was strong, although wages aren’t overheating. Supply is coming online.

Take a look at the 12 Top Crash Factors listed below do help decide whethery buying a house or rental apartment is still a wise decision.

Check the state of the US housing market right now and 2018 forecast.

The recent stock market correction gives us pause for thought about how volatility can factor into a housing crash. However, the housing market is healthy with construction rising and it will be a long time before demand is satisfied.

Mathematicians have studied housing bubbles, such as The University of Pennsylvania, and their HOUSING BUBBLE STRUCTURAL MODEL AND HYPOTHESES models couldn’t figure it out. The factors they studied do play a role, but housing bubbles and crashes are likely a cultural phenomenon (outside of major recessions).  It comes down to values, dreams and panic emotions.

There are some financial market players who make their fortune on crashes and if consumemrs are miffed about the direction of the market, it would be fertile ground for crash talk.

As long as Americans are employed with rising wages and growing GDP, housing crashes aren’t likely. Yet, a few experts such as Harry Dent are convinced a housing market disaster looms in the next few years. Even Anthony Robbins is speaking up about it in a video below.



A growing number of homeowners and buyers are talking housing bubble. With prices stable, economy strong, and demand persistent, why would so many feel the market could crash? Is buyer and seller pessimism enough to launch a sudden collapse?

Have a good look at the current housing market along with the residential markets in cities such as Boston, Houston, Seattle, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. If you or your family are considering buying a home or condo, it’s wise to understand the macroecomic and human factors.

There’s two camps on the 2018 crash issue. First those who see the unbelievable rate of economic growth in the US and believe it has to end; and secondly, those who see only positive signals and the solid political footing of the Trump administration in its resolution to bring good paying jobs and industry back to the US.

Even if the US is headed for greater things, it doesn’t preclude the possibility of a major market correction in housing. But for housing to crash, a series of factors would have to align.

12 Housing Crash Factors

  1. excessively high home prices via a price bubble
  2. increasing underwater mortgages
  3. fast rising interest mortgage rates
  4. slowing economy and sudden rises in unemployment
  5. wage growth not keeping up with home prices
  6. tax changes and geo-political shifts
  7. trade deal disturbance
  8. a stock market bubble and volatility
  9. high level of consumer debt affecting debt servicing
  10. cost of living rises
  11. risky low rate mortgages for new home buyers
  12. high oil and energy prices

We might add a very strong US dollar to the mix too. A strong dollar makes US exports too expensive thus threatening jobs here and making imports more attractive.

Even though the housing markets have substantial strength, the world is a very connected place. If China and other economies were to collapse, it might be enough to send the stock markets and real estate markets plummeting. Dent says New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston are the riskiest markets.

What did say Mellon Bank’s expert say back in 2014, about the source of recessions?

2018 will be a big year: Economist from CNBC.

Neil Kashkari talks extensively about false prophets (Alan Greenspan) and the sources of market bubbles such as $100 barrel oil, and other uncontrollable situations.  He says market bubbles and crashes are very complex and the source is often completely unexpected. Could the oil sheiks take the US economy down again? Could China do it? Is the $20 Trillion debt a threat? Or is just the end of a bull run in the stock market?

However, in those cases where debt is fueling the asset value increase, a correction could trigger financial instability, because banks might take huge losses and potentially fail.” — Neil Kashkari.

If you’ve purchased a pricey home or condo, or you’re considering buying a property in the overheated Los Angeles housing market, San Francisco housing market or those in New York, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Portland, Austin, Houston, Charlotte, Miami, Dallas, or other hot real estate markets, you’re likely feeling some nerves of late.

The turbulence of the election, rising interest rates against overheated housing markets does give some plausibility to a US housing crash in 2018 or 2019. Proponents of an upcoming crash point to too many Americans living lavish lifestyles, still buying expensive foreign luxury cars on a $40,000 salary, while sitting on over-leveraged monster mortgages that could be subject to quickly rising mortgage rates.

In San Francisco, the risk of a bubble burst in 2018/2019 is highest and that city is ranked number 1 as highest for a crash. Prices in the San Francisco Bay area housing market are extremely high and if the tech sector does have an extended downtick with rising mortgage rates, perhaps the forecasted slide could start.

Top 10 Cities Most Likely to Experience a Housing Crash

From a report in AOL.com here are the top ten US Cities most likely to experience a crash:

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Charleston, SC
  3. Buffalo, NY
  4. Fresno, CA
  5. Los Angeles, CA
  6. Dallas, TX
  7. Salt Lake City, UT
  8. Austin, TX
  9. San Jose, CA
  10. San Francisco, CA

Interesting list, dominated by California and Texas, which have been doing well economically. With oil prices rising, I wonder if that will calm the situation in Dallas and Houston? A good number of people are inquiring about a Florida housing crash as well, yet Miami isn’t the whole Florida market.

Tyler Durden of zerohedge.com discusses in a post how homeowners are burdened in debt and unable to refinance their mortgages. He points to his key statistic that mortgage owners will not be refinancing their mortgages in 2017 which points in the direction of bubble bursts and crashes.

This chart below paints a very scary picture, that it’s worse than 2006.  Not only does it correlate 2017 with 2006, it shows that we’re up high on a dangerous cliff in some cities. However, most cities aren’t in this situation, so if a collapse in California, New York and Texas were to occur, other cities might survive okay.

There are other mitigating factors too such as the strengths in the economy, foreign investors buying property, and rising optimism and confidence since Trump won the election.  At this point, we’re wondering if Obama and Clinton are relieved not to have to face the mess they created? Trump seems to be up to the task and yet, he has purportedly said he would enjoy watching the crash, even if it takes down some of his real estate empire. Is this just a comment on high home prices?

The cost and availability of credit provide fuel for a bubble to inflate, inviting even less experienced, or less credit-worthy players into the game, all of whom believe they will sell their recently purchased assets at ever-increasing prices — from a CNBC post.

That credit is being freed up in 2018/2019, but will it fast enough to create huge instability if mortgage rates don’t rise precipitously? Here’s Seattlebubble’s reasoning on why we may not be in a housing bubble/crash situation:

  • still lots of all-cash buyers, with few zero-down buyers
  • no crazy neg-am, fog-a-mirror, interest-only home loans like last time
  • interest rates remaining low
  • affordability index not as bad
  • buyers and lenders more cautious

Home prices aren’t as high as they were in 2006/2007 and mortgage rates are much lower:





No one will dispute that there are big risks but for 2017, everything looks to be under control.

Are you looking for the best cities to invest in real estate? The top 80 cities to buy rental properties gives you a peak at the potential of rental property investment.

Is this the right year to buy a rental income property?  What are the best investments in 2017 and is investing in real estate a wise decision?

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Disclaimer: this post/information is meant as a discussion of housing and investing issues, ideas and trends, not as advice for investment. Please use good judgement and professional advice if you’re investing in any market whether stocks or real estate.

28 Replies to “US Housing Market Crash 2018 2019 and Beyond”

  1. This could have been a useful article, until the author decided to blame and cast scorn upon Obama and Clinton. So unfortunate. How can this report be anything but biased and politically tainted.

    1. Thanks for voicing your opinion too Violet. This isn’t Nazi Germany and it’s important that we can all speak freely without feeling threatened. I think my portrayal of Obama and Clinton was generous. I’ve witnessed the downfall of the US in the last 30 years and it’s awful to see. I hope you’ll get a chance to read my other post on the US debt: http://www.gordcollins.com/investment-2/massive-deficit-debt-china/ Do you think Obama generated the results he did get with that $20 trillion debt? If you don’t bring back the good paying jobs and reduce the deficit, how will you pay off that horrible debt? The US needed a strong leader, and although the Tweeting @realDonaldTrump is creating more friction, you have to admire how he’s standing up against the media who have a stake in the status quo. I hope as well that he will level the playing field between multinational corporations and small businesses like yours. My loyalty is with SMBs like your company!

  2. I agree with the first posting. Interesting synopsis of the real estate market but your support of trump is really misplaced. He is a liar and cannot be trusted in ANYTHING he does. The 90s under Clinton and the GOP congress was the best economic expansion in our country’s history, period. Opportunity everywhere. Taxes were high, but we were more balanced. The Obama years were more about the Tea Party than anything. And guess what. Unless Trump solves this dilemma, he’s done and we’re done too. The FED is the only thing that has kept us from roiling over the edge for the last 8+ years. And I’m guessing under Trump after a few years of super heating the economy again, like under Way, we’ll be looking at another speculative crash. Why? Because the GOP has sold us down the river. NO? Everything in our lives now reflects business and speculative interests? Who benefits? Gee I don’t know. Maybe rich people that can speculate on everything that touches us. Time to leave. You stay in the game and keep preaching growth instead of stability. Let’s see how it all works out.

    1. Very interesting comment Mark. Thanks for the insight. I do have doubts about President Trump. He’s never stated that he cares about small business. He didn’t state that when he talks about jobs leaving the US, he’s really talking about decisions by greedy multi-national corporate execs and how they stick it to the government. Your admiration of the Clintons I don’t know about. They’ve all been riding the national debt gravy train at ($20 Trillion now). But really, can you just keep living off of credit cards forever? Trump’s trying to turn things around. Even if morally, he’s at the same level as Bill Clinton, we can give him a try at bringing the good jobs back. You do realize China and India are educating and churning out high tech engineers by the boatload, using your money? Are US companies basically competing with overseas companies funded with American money? That’s not FREE TRADE, that’s tax evasion and outsourcing for cheap labor. Trump’s foolish obsession with Mexico and North Korea, might be a sign his mind isn’t 100%, but without Trump, you’re back on the debt gravy train.

  3. If we, in short order, enter into a recession it will be directly related to the bail outs and QE put in place under Obama’s watch. They did what they thought was best, but much of the benefit of all this asset inflation has not gone to the average person and it has put us in uncharted territory as we begin to embark on an unwinding journey in the Fall.

    I don’t personally see how Clinton(Assuming we are talking about the president here) factors in. He presided over the only surplus we have seen in my short life. In fairness it didn’t seem he had to do that much to achieve that. Just ride out a tech economic boom and he didn’t cut taxes. Hillary is not and has not been relevant to our economy.

    I am not an expert on what a president should do and most can be picked apart pretty readily by experts. But it would seem that the current trajectory of the Republicans under Trump is not one of reducing our deficit. Yes they want to scale back a great deal of spending. The problem is they want to dump a lot of that savings back into a bloated military budget and on top of that are considering drastic tax cuts. No analysis thus far has been at all optimistic about any potential increase in growth outrunning the addition this will make to our debt over the long term. So if that number is a concern neither party has shown a willingness to fix it.

    Hell Trump wants an infrastructure plan and a wall, that I guarantee you no tea party politician will want to pay for. Trumps only thought to reducing our debt is that he can manufacture a economic boom to outpace spending and cuts. I’ll believe it when I see it, but on paper he wants to be a bigger spender than an average Republican.

    Our deficit and debt as numbers alone are kind of meaningless.. It only matters relative to other countries and relative to our GDP. For better or worse current economic theory under globalization seems to expect every country to grow and amass more debt while keeping those two values in some kind of balance. So it is hard even for an economist to say how relevant the size of the number is. And a lot of that theory is working out rather poorly for many Euro countries right now.

    What I see today as concerning has very little to do with Presidents and everything to do with global banking and Fed policy. We have put our selves in a precarious situation with QE in order to massively re-inflate stock values and home values and it has worked beautifully as we have allowed that easing to go undiminished for over 8 years since the meltdown. Now we have to see what happens as we finally attempt to reverse course.

    My hope and my fear is that we will come back to reality in the form of a recession, almost certainly in the next 4 years.

    1. Interesting points. To say a 2 billion dollar a day trade deficit is meaningless might be understating it. Running trade deficits every year is dangerous and leads to the recession you’re fearing. It’s the trade policies that make it happen. The global economy was highly dependent on US willing to run huge trade deficits and Europe and China are undergoing withdrawal problems.

      I think the US has a super position if Trump can get past all his enemies and stimulate the GDP and domestic productivity. It’s not easy to bring good jobs back. He’s really bit off more than he can chew. If he can cut small business taxes, that would launch the country into boom times. If he doesn’t do something soon, because things are quiet right now, even his biggest supporters could possibly turn on him.

  4. Housing prices are overinflated and the “growth” is unsustainable. I am hoping that it all crashes down again because I want to buy a home and I am not interested in buying at the insane prices that are around right now.

    1. Lana, a lot of people are talking housing crash in many markets, but that could take the whole economy down. Even with a crash, it would still be tough for buyers. The right approach to bring prices down is more housing supply. The governments should provide tax breaks and other incentives for housing development and legislation which promotes new housing projects. Good finding a place you can afford.

  5. So Gord, it sounds as if there are quite a few people posting on here that need to run for office, all I hear is a ton of gum flapping, that’s all these lefts are good for, nothing but talk. Trump 2020

  6. In Southern California, the pacific rim money has driven the market to a dark place. Dark in the sense that to afford an “average” home you need a household income of $170k annually and that has increased the number of people living in newly purchased homes. Chinese millionaires are dominating the market and the middle class citizens are living paycheck to paycheck or leaving California for better quality of life.

    I also am rooting for a reset. Been here 43 years and would like my children to be able to live here someday as well. The US should heavily tax the foreign investors but they do not as the legislators love all the extra property tax revenue.

    1. Marc, I hope you and your kids can stay in So Cal, but can you see how the money and people are being vilified for wanting to be part of California’s successful economy and lifestyle. The real villains are those who are preventing development. And that new development really drives the economy, thus giving California a chance to compete in the global age. Other cities in Canada and the UK have the same problem and in each case it’s politicians squeezing supply. And the actions they’re taking does point to a recession eventually. If California’s polticians remove constraints, you’ll have lower prices in San Diego, LA and the SF Bay Area. The market alway solves itself.

  7. Hello! Politics aside, this gentleman seems to think that we don’t need any more inventory. He seems to think that we are on track and doesn’t predict a crash at all. Which saddens me a bit because homes in Portland are ridiculously overpriced and unaffordable for a single income family. Please let me know your thoughts on his analysis. Thanks!

    1. Yes, he’s applying national stats only to local markets. It’s difficult to deny the severe housing shortage in most markets inlcuding Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, detc. He takes aim at Millennials, whose dreams he doesn’t regard as worthy. There are a lot of people who would like to stifle new housing growth as a way to increse the value of their own property investments. As long as they control politics, housing shortages will continue.

  8. You’ll blame Clinton, who left office in a surplus, but not once mention Bush, who nuked the American economy in so many different ways we’re still struggling to recover? Sorry, I can’t reconcile one accepting such a ludicrous proposition and also being a sound source of analysis.

    Did you ever stop to think about how goods and services can’t teleport? We don’t have teleportation technology – or magic, for that matter. So when a president/congress decides to move the economy, it takes *time* for the economy to react. Policies take time to come in force, markets take time to guage impacts and respond accordingly, equilibrium is established only after a long series of interractions. It takes *years* not days or weeks. You don’t judge a president (or congress) by what happens immediately after they take office (read: the economic meltdown during Obama’s first term, or the economic uptick during Trump’s first few months). You look at what happens two years into their term of office, with acknowledgement of the context.

    You haven’t seen the effects of *any* of Trumps decisions yet. And Obama’s decisions had virtually zero impact on creating the Great Recession. There wasn’t time. Unless you believe in teleportation, magic, and instantaneous changes to the marketplace and if that’s the case, I’m a nigerian prince building a bridge and boy have I got a business proposition for you…

  9. You know what would be a great follow up article? Where to go with your money when the market pops. US dollars did well right after the 2008 collapse, are the conditions similar now as they were then to allow for a similar strategy? If not, then where?

  10. The cost of ownership in the most high priced markets is going up even more. Why? The limitation on the mortgage interest deduction to $750K and the limitation on the sales and property tax deduction to $10K. With the increase in interest rates, the partial non deductibility of interest and taxes, the overall cost of ownership is going up. Most people will feel the punch in their guts next year when they file the 2018 taxes. That is when most folks would realize what hit them was not a pleasant surprise!

    The markets, if it still has any sane players left, will then correct drastically.

  11. I’m in the market to buy a house in San Diego County and turn it into a vacation rental. I own one and it is very successful. I’m wondering if I should wait to buy, and if a recession would lead to a decrease in vacation rental bookings? I’m concerned and do not want to find myself under water. Any updates on this fascinating chain of discussion as of April, 2018?

    1. Hi Tamara, a vacation rental property owner in San Diego County I knew did well during the recession. Prices are much higher now and you’ll need to be a very good rental property manager. Take a look at the San Diego Housing market report if you didn’t read it. San Diego’s fantastic and the shortage there will never ease. My opinion is that you need to be a good marketer to keep it rented. If you build up a good database of returning renters, you should be okay. With VRBO and Airbnb, you’ll have extra reach too. With Trump bringing jobs and investment money back home, I can’t see a recession, just volatility and maybe some trade wars!

      1. Hey, thanks so much for the reply, Gord. I appreciate it. Yes, I’ve built one property and it’s a top vacation rental in its area. I’ll just have to be smart with the next one, and with looming fears of a recession (whether or not it happens) and stock market volitility, sellers appear to be spooked and dropped the price, so I’ll be able to buy the property for less. Timing might be good.

        This has been a fascinating post and comment chain. Thanks again.

  12. Me and my husband want to buy a first home (Condo) in San Diego, do you think it is a good idea to wait? interest and home price is high now. we are confused…

    1. Rahil, everywhere in California is tough. San Diego has huge demand but not much development. Hard to say whether Millennials can put additional pressure in the ultra expensive, multimillion dollar San Diego market. Are you going way out east into the desert to try find a home? I’d venture to say that prices will go up in San Diego County

      1. Thank you Gord for your reply. It is really disappointing. I scare we have to rent and save more money for down payment and by that time the prices will go higher. It is really hard. We wanted sth in La Mesa.

  13. Hello Gord, any idea about the DC market and Northern Virginia? The average price of a 2100 sq foot townhouse is now $675K and over inflated. I want to buy because I have a toddler and we need more space but don’t want to be under water if the market crashes.

    1. Hi Skylar, I can’t offer advice unfortunately. Availability in Northern Virginia is very constrained, so the question is whether new homes are being built. People aren’t selling their homes, listings down 4%, and the economy is strong. It’s risky which is why governments are amending financing rules. Did you consider buying a property with a rental income unit?

  14. Gord, been considering buying in North County San Diego for the last couple years but really fear these out of control prices could come back to bite this first time buyer. Do you think its a good time to buy or wait another year or so?

    1. Hi Jack, I can’t offer advice and I can’t imagine a first time buyer buying in North County. Oceanside home prices are up 11% in the last year, so a lot of buyers/investors are optimistic. I don’t see availability improving much in San Diego County and with the economy so strong, things look good. However, with geo political uncertainty, you need to be able survive a crash anytime in the next 5 years!

  15. Gord, Thanks for the input and great information! You think prices will continue to rise in San Diego County? I’ve had many long time real estate people tell me a correction is coming because the market is so hot. Any truth to that?

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