Bond Guru Bill Gross on the Housing Crisis

PIMCO's chief sees a huge fall in home prices unless the government subsidizes mortgages.

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By SHARE

Without any sort of government intervention, what would happen to the housing market?


Nobody knows, but I think we'd eventually see, over the next 12 to 24 months, a national housing decline of upwards of 20 percent, and that is a serious development. We witnessed that really in two periods. In the 1930s, and that was called the Great Depression. And recently, in Japan, in terms of deflation of their property market, and the Japanese economy has never really recovered from their property deflation in the 1990s. A housing deflation of that proportion has to be avoided or else there are serious consequences for the economy. It affects employment, incomes, and the mentality of the American consumer and homeowner. If your house is down 20 percent, you're not in a rosy disposition to spend money anywhere. You think you're getting poorer by the second. We have to avoid that.