Yes, Real Estate Prices Are Soaring, and No, It’s Not a Bubble

Bloomberg, June 10, 2021–Peter Coy
To figure out whether U.S. housing is due for a correction requires digging into a hundred factors, from the rate of household formation to the output of lumber mills. And it’s unclear in which direction those signals are pointing.
There’s one very big difference between then and now, though: Mortgage loans are much harder to get. An index of mortgage credit availability reached almost 870 in June 2006. This March it was just 125. Lenders have raised lending standards even beyond the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which was passed in response to the financial crisis. Loans are smaller in proportion to house values and borrowers’ income. Borrowers’ average credit scores are higher. And you can’t bluff your way into homeownership with a no-doc or low-doc loan—i.e., one that allows you to attest to your creditworthiness without providing full documentation. (MBA mention)