Remember Bubble Blogs?

It's still interesting to me to read the quarterly "University of Oregon Business Index" that the Bulletin publishes.

The one graph I always look at is the Housing starts. Every other graph shows continual growth, considerably higher than before the Great Recession. All but housing starts, which are still only 43% of what the high was back then.

The Housing Starts back then are what got me started blogging. I was a "Bubble Blog" more or less back in 2006. (Hard to believe that was 12 years ago!!!)

I'd noticed that houses were being built at an insane rate, even compared to everywhere else. I mean, it looked to me like we were a bubble within a bubble.

I knew a bubble when I saw one; I'd been through sports cards, comics, beanie babies, pogs, and Pokemon. It may seem a stretch to compare pogs to houses, but I'd maintain the dynamics were similar.

Anyway, I looked at who was buying from me and realized a large percentage were employed in the house building trade.

I put my money where my mouth was and spent 2 years cutting my debt down to nothing, making my orders as slim as possible, and preparing for Armageddon.

When Armageddon came, we kinda breezed right through it, both at Pegasus and the Bookmark. I mean, I had to cut orders and I ended up working the store alone for a year, but the money stress was very manageable. Like the graphs in the newspaper, we eventually got to where we'd been and kept climbing.

(The worse time, which very few current Bendites remember, were the 80's, when downtown Bend was half empty and you could shoot a cannon down the middle of the road and not hit anyone.)

This is all to say, if housing units sold are at 82% of the height, to me it means we're still working through the overstock of housing.

The housing price increases and so-called shortage of housing--that is an issue more of financing, I believe.

Nothing new here, except to show once again what a huge bubble it was--that we could be doing 417 housing starts a quarter when the population was so much less--well, that is pretty hard to miss--and it was pretty hard to miss then, if you were paying attention.