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You're talking about speculative bubbles. The high housing prices are not driven by speculation, they are driven by supply constraints.

People aren't buying houses to flip in six months, they are buying them to hold onto long-term. It's pretty clear that public policy isn't going to shift towards affordable housing any time soon. So the only options are: continue to pay high rents and wait for people to lose their jobs/homes so they can be bought cheaper, or buy now and hope you don't become one of the former.

If we start seeing houses sold multiple times in the same year, or people starting buying homes that they clearly can't afford, then we have a problem. But I don't see evidence that is where the US is. The housing shortage is ensuring that only those top earners are competing. Price are driven up by the fact that the top 20% of buyers can afford to outspend the bottom 80% on housing by a factor of 5 or more.

An additional $500/mo can cover another 100k for a 30 year mortgage. A couple making around $10k/mo after taxes can spend $5k/mo on a mortgage and still live comfortably while a median income couple earning maybe $4k/mo can only spend $2k/mo before things get tight. So, the high income couple can easily afford a million dollar mortgage, but could stretch that to $1.2MM if they really had to while the median earner can only spend $400k MAX.

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