This quote was repeated this morning on NPR, on the ongoing discussion of the housing bubble. There doesn't seem to be a housing bubble (yet) here in Seattle, as the Times reported record growth in home sales yet again.
I have to agree with this quote however, and I don't think that realtors as a whole are helping to push the bubble. There job is to sell real estate, and if they don't, they don't get paid. So if a bubble or slowdown occurs in this country, some of that can be attributed to realtors.
With that being said, much of the responsiblity lies not in the realtor, but in the home buyer. A realtor only helps facilate that, much as a car salesman sells a car that one should or shouldn't buy.
The truth of the matter is that the market is flooded by speculators. After the internet bubble burst, many turned to real estate as the fail safe investment, putting their entire financial future on the line with no money down and ARM loans.
I cannot speak for the entire country, but as of right now, in this market, that investment seems to have paid off. The market continues to rise and homes continue to sell. What it comes down to any market, is making sure that you have a good investment to begin with.
That can easily be measured with the rental rate around the area. If for instance, you find a condo that would cost you $2500 a month to buy but only $1200 to rent, you may want to look elsewhere.
While this may appear to be common sense, most people have turned a blind eye to common sense, in the endless quest for the American dream. I commend real estate investors who take a smart approach to investing, and like everything else, believe that becoming literate in every aspect of investing, such as taxes, closing costs etc. will insure a positive investment for any investor.