Bearish stance on housing: split personality?
When you ask any housing bear, "is it a good time to buy?", he replies: "No way! Prices need to drop 50% from here". But when you ask him, "so should we let prices drop 50% from here?", he replies: "Are you crazy? Property values have got to be protected!" Now, I point out that these two statements are irreconcilable. If property values will be successfully protected, then it's pointless to wait for lower prices because "property values" and "prices" are synonims. On the other hand, if the plan is to let property values drop all the way to historical averages, then why spend any effort protecting them when we are halfway? Let them retreat all the way to your buy-in price, and protect it then. (Which wouldn't even be necessary because once they reach that level, they should stop going down anyway: the beauty of yielding control to market forces is that you don't have to do a thing, the invisible hand is doing all the dirty work for you). Do the bears realize that with a dual message like this, they come across as being totally insincere, and that the true import of their message as seen by an impartial observer boils down to this: keep renting and hoping for lower prices, and we'll make sure that you never get them"?