US Home Prices Long Term

Thanks to a comment from reader Michael H, I tracked down Yale professor Robert Shiller's long term home price series and repriced it in gold. This has been added to the US Home Prices chart page.

It is fascinating to see that home prices are now lower than at any almost time since 1890, even lower than the depths of the Great Depression of the 1930s… The one brief exception being the dramatic "undershoot" of the USD's value in 1980, following the massive stagflation of the 1970s triggered by the removal of gold backing of the USD.

I have also added a chart page which will give a weekly update on a few major currencies, equity and debt markets, and commodities. As I am traveling this weekend, there may be a hiccup in updating it until the following weekend, but I will try to keep it up to date following that.

Last week, the EUR was weak, falling 0.8% while the USD strengthened by 1%. Reflecting the USD's strength and a lack of viable alternatives, short term bonds rose 1.1% and long term bonds rose 2.1%. All of the currencies are still dramatically lower YTD and from a year ago, however.

Stocks were lower, especially the Nikkei 225, which fell 1.9%. THe exception was gold stocks, with the HUI posting a 2.7% gain.

Commodities were mixed, with cotton leading the gainers, up 4.6%, and coffee leading the losers, down 5.2%. Silver was off 1.6% while crude oil and copper showed gains of 2% and 0.4% respectively.

One commodity I would be looking closely at is platinum. It is currently priced below parity with gold, a rare occurrence… and I suspect that although dramatic economic news might push it lower still, in the medium to long term, it should revert to its customary premium to gold, making it a great way to "grow your gold".

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