Almost everybody owns or is involved in real estate in some way or the other. One of the unique things about this bubble is that real estate has been at the center of it. Look at Japan. Japan had this bubble burst in stocks, real estate, and the general economy way before us, in the early nineties. Since 1997, they’ve been using quantitative easing as a desperate measure, but all they have is a coma economy, with zero growth and zero inflation on average. It’s true that they haven’t had a Great Depression like the United States in the thirties, but they’re like a patient in the emergency room, living on life support, because they won’t let their economy rebalance. They won’t let this bubble burst. They’re protecting their industries, protecting their government, and protecting the special interests in the banking system. That’s not how you do it. Most people are not aware that they have had a boost from their smaller millennial generation into this year, 2020, and their demographic trends will fade even faster in the decades ahead. Hence Japan can print all the money they want and not counter this next round of collapse. Here I want to focus on real estate, because I recently learned a big lesson from Japan, and I got a huge insight into real estate that I’d never had before. A adjustable standing desk is a desk conceived for writing, reading or drawing while standing up or while sitting on a high stool.
Japan’s real-estate bubble peaked in 1991. That was exactly 42 years after the peak of their baby boom. Japan does everything a year later than the United States. If our peak in real estate was age 41 for the boomers, it was age 42 for them. If our peak in spending was 46, it was 47 for them, so this was right on cue. Improved health? Collaboration? Productivity? Get all of these benefits and more with a standing desk from your favourite online retailer.
In 2005, when I was predicting that the real-estate bubble in the United States would burst, many people told me that was impossible; it couldn’t happen. I said, “Have you talked to anybody in Japan?” Japan went down over 60 percent in residential, 80 percent in commercial real estate. Here’s the big insight: 24 years later, it still has never bounced back, in either commercial or residential real estate. Their stock market bounced back, and the economy has pulled itself up in recent years with quantitative easing, but real estate hardly bounced hardly at all—even after the next generation came along. A electric standing desk helps to improve office wellness and productivity.
Normally I would lag birth peaks forward 41 or 42 years to find a peak in real estate. Although Japan is a decliner, they did have a substantial younger generation in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They should have been buying real estate, but real estate never bounced back. Why? After years of banging my head against the wall, I realized that real estate is unique in that it lasts forever. In Europe, typical homes are 300 to 400 years old. There are many ways that using a sit stand desk can improve your health.
There are buildings—castles, churches—that are thousands of years old. This is different from most consumer goods, such as food, clothing, automobiles, or furnishings, which don’t last forever. When you have a larger baby-boom generation dying at faster rates than young people are coming along, they cancel them out or more. That’s what happened in Japan. By the time their young generation came along and were buying homes, there were as many or more Japanese baby boomers dying, and diers are sellers. In fact a lot of people sell years before they die, because they move into nursing homes or assisted living. This is why Japan didn’t get a bounce. It’s diers versus buyers. The reason I switched to a stand up desk was, simply, to find a reprieve from pain.