Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mongolian goat herders and American home owners

This nice post by Surowieki discusses house price insurance in the US (or rather, a new residential real estate futures market, that you can use to lock in current gains, hedge against future losses, and bet on future appreciation).

I'm a big fan of this idea, as I think young people should want a hedge against appreciation and so are a natural trading partner for folks who own houses but are worried that prices will fall.

Once additional point that Surowiecki mentioned was the emotional component to getting folks to sign onto this. Just as it took a great fire in London to make fire insurance popular, would it take a great crash in RE to make real estate "insurance" popular? He did not mention what happened to the poor mongolian goat herders.

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