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Real Estate Can Be Trendy (Every 18.3 Years)

Getting Graphic is a semi-sort-of-irregular collection of our favorite BIG real estate-related chart(s).

Source:Cycles Magazine



A hat tip to Walk-Through [1] for the article Party time (until real estate collapses)[MW] [2].

Short-term, nobody knows. But take the long view and the fog begins to lift. The confusion starts to dissipate. And lately one of my long-range indicators is the press itself, in particular the drumbeat of coverage on the real estate market. The noise is sounding like thunder.

Edward R. Dewey [3], the former chief economist in FDR’s Department of Commerce developed a chart: “The 18 1/3-Year Cycle in Real Estate Activity, 1795-1958.” In eight 18.3-year cycles over 150 years, Dewey says, “the waves were too clear and too regular to be denied or ignored.”

Dewey wrote that it should be reviewed yearly. But he hasn’t been around to do the job since 1978. Nevertheless, that 150-year chart of real estate cycles has intrigued me since the 1970s when I worked in Morgan Stanley’s real estate investment banking group. So I took a trip down memory lane and projected the 18.3-year cycle from a low point in the early ’50s forward three cycles to a low point around 2007. In other words, a bottom in the real estate market is dead ahead.