The Housing Bubble (1/10)

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Pronunciation: \ə-ˌmer-ə-ˈkä-nə, -ˌmər-, -ˌme-rə-, -ˈka-nə\
Function: noun plural
Date: 1841

1: Materials concerning or characteristic of America, its civilization, or its culture ; broadly : things typical of America
2: American culture

In this series, I’d like to explore various aspect of life in North America. Each topic will be illustrated by a black and white picture.

A Burst Bubble

A Burst Bubble

Owning a house. The true American dream.

North America is a land of settlers, a place where everything is possible, even buying one’s little piece of heaven. Land and a house on it. Far from expensive Europe or overcrowded Asia. A lot of households make it. Home sweet home.

Some weren’t that lucky this year. Subprime crisis, economic crisis, and the bubble burst. For a while.

Houses already built are waiting for buyers. Rows and rows of them, neatly lined up.

Picture: Ottawa, Neapan area, October 2008.


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. It is the American dream to own a home. But what caused this crisis was people chasing after dreams that were to big for their wallets. The really great thing about America, however, is the fact that we have the opportunity to get a bigger wallet.

  2. Well, it’s definitely not a seller’s market these days, you’re right.

    Zhu, I was going to have an espresso this morning but your post made me change my mind and I’m having a cup of Americano. Not sure why the comment spell checker is underlining “Americano” – it’s a word, people.

  3. no one believes me, but the economic crisis is NOT as real as the media outlets make it out to be. However, if you continually tell people there is one, idiot people that don’t read or understand economics, believe that there is a crisis, and then make me want to strangle Dan Rathers.

  4. Salut Zhu,
    It’s sad to see these empty homes 🙁
    There are some places in France where the homes look a like. I have seen this in the Yvelines once.

    I can’t explain much about the economical situation, but the homeowners who lost out because of subprimes have been a tragedy.
    I hope for no one to lose their dream in such a brutal way.

    ( By the way Zhu, my meme on “5 things you can only find in my country” is on my blog.Actually, I think a couple of my 5 could also be found in Canada, but we can share !


  5. @The American Painter – Oh, I agree, most people just couldn’t afford their house and well, we all know what happened.

    @Agnes – Spell checkers are extremely stubborn. Mine has been telling me that “don’t” doesn’t exist for over two years 😆

    @Froggywoogie – Yep. And it’s right behind my house! I guess I should watch out for zombies…

    @Mother Theresa – Really? The housing market is still bubbling in France, with crazy house prices. Many people are waiting for it to burst as well…

    @sir jorge – Well, you know medias in North America. They like to describe the end of the world and dig dig dig into issues…

    @barbara – Yes, it was a brutal awakening. It is sad… in Canada, we mostly see empty houses because no one buy them, no evictions though.

    @Sidney – Nah, I don’t want to bankrupt the country!

  6. The american dream… I think owning a house is not just the american dream, it’s a general dream to a lot of people ^^ and thankfully I’m leaving my dream now 🙂

    I’ll be waiting to see the next 9 😀

  7. I bought my house in California about 6 years ago. I still have it thankfully, but along with the vacant houses just built – there are neighborhoods with every other house vacant.

    I’m sad ’cause where I know there was a family there playing and laughing, they were crying and packing because their loan went loopy. Foreclosed. There are so many around here. Perfect time to buy if able –

    Very good photo! Great series!


  8. I think this not a seller’s market and not buyer’s market either. Things are worst from both the angles.

    I think time is the only healer; but many of them are feeling time is the only killer 😉 Hope things will be better soon!

  9. @Aiglee – But you planed your dreams and you seem down-to-earth… a lot of people weren’t.

    @Monica – So neighborhood really look dead in OTtawa, not so much because people were evicted (we are not to that extend as far as I know) but because so many houses were build… and no one has the money to buy them now.

    @Annie – Time and maybe learning from our mistakes. We did make a lot… borrowing is not a way of life.

    @Baoru – Yeah, and take out is cheaper than live-in 😆

  10. Oh, how true is this picture. People so just live to for that dream, but actually now at least, it is cheaper to do so. Too many foreclosures.

    Btw, I love the post idea..It’s giving me ideas in fact. Can’t wait to see more! GIVE ME MORE!! =)

  11. I know zhu! But when time rather bad time comes people start believing in “Beg/ Steal/ Borrow” And thats how this vicious circle starts 🙁

  12. It’s scary that people were so quick to think it was ok to buy back in 2008. I’ve been yelling and screaming at people to get out of the market back in 2004…they all laughed at me. I reminded them again in 2007….they laughed harder. During that time I took everything out of the USA and invested in emerging market stocks and real estate….and accounting for the depreciation on the Dollar my portfolio has increasing in value at about 40% per year when held in Asian currencies.

    I’m yelling at everyone again. 2008 was just a sneeze. When the next wave of banking collapses come along in 2011 it will be the ebola virus by comparison.

    20,000-30,000 wealthy Americans are leaving every month (and that number is actually families so it’s up to 4-5 times greater of a number).

    I predict that the price of housing will fall at least another 50% from its current levels sometime in the next 12-18 months. The Fed will continue to print money and you’ll see OPEC dump the Dollar. There are already 150 million Americans on welfare of some form and another big chunk of people who hold pensions that are backed by nothing to secure them. Then there’s the Baby Boomers with their minimal savings who are all going to start dumping their McMansions and moving to condos.

    Boomergeddon is going to downright terrifying.

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