Housing futures

Read James Surowiecki.  Excerpt:

At a new online site called HedgeStreet, investors can bet on changes
in home prices in certain cities. And later this month the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange is going to start trading futures contracts pegged
to housing-price indexes in ten major metropolitan areas. The Chicago
plan, which is the brainchild of two economists, Karl Case, of
Wellesley, and Robert Shiller, of Yale, is straightforward: if you just
spent, say, $1.5 million on a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, and
you want to hedge against the risk that it might be worth $1.2 million
three years from now, you can sell contracts that will reap you a
profit if local prices fall, allowing you to lock in the current value
of your home. Alternatively, if you think the housing boom in Los
Angeles still has a ways to run–or if you’re interested in buying a
year from now but are afraid that you’ll be priced out of the
market–you can place a bet that will pay off if prices keep going up.


Comments for this post are closed