According to Jeff Greene, who turned a $50 million investment into $500 million in 2008 by purchasing credit default swaps on bonds backed by subprime mortgages as the housing bubble burst, the economy is currently experiencing a new asset bubble, including those in crypto, SPACs, overvalued tech stocks, and real estate.
Besides his successful track record as a savvy investor, Greene is also known for his spats with Donald Trump. Green lives near Trump in West Palm Beach, Florida and is a fellow member of Mar-a-Lago, where the two have caused scenes over their political arguments.
“We’ve been in an omnibubble, there’s no question about it,” Greene, 67, told Forbes earlier in June. “If you spend trillions and trillions of dollars in every advanced economy in the world and have coordinated fiscal and monetary stimulus, obviously you’re going to create bubbles and inflation.”
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Greene, worth $7.2 billion, said he expects a recession to settle in by the second quarter of 2023. “Next spring [we’ll] definitely be in a much slower economy,” the billionaire said in June. “If this recession really happens, you’ll have all kinds of people stopping their construction projects and laying people off and [you’ll] start to see unemployment creep up quickly.”
Given the sharp slowdown in the once-burgeoning U.S. housing market since then, it appears that Greene was correct, and it arrived early.
The number of construction starts decreased in October 2022 to 1.425 million yearly units, suggesting that if demand somehow picks up, we would have a scarcity.
“The real estate market is in a bubble,” he said, with home prices still ebbing at record highs, coupled with affordability issues. “We’re way overbuilt and you’re going to see a lot of people have problems with their real estate developments,” he posited, referring to residential real estate.
Greene isn’t shorting anything this time around, in contrast to his profitable bets against the housing market during the Great Recession. If you’re interested in making money in the housing market like Greene, here’s how to invest as little as $100 into rental properties to earn passive income and build wealth over time.
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He gave a possible course of action when asked what he would do if he was more willing to take chances with the current market. “If I were more aggressive, because I saw this [bubble] happening, I would have sold more at the top,” the billionaire said. “I would have built a war chest and been sitting here waiting for opportunities [to buy at lower values].”
To read about the latest developments in the industry, check out Benzinga’s real estate home page.
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Photo: Financial Times, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Originally published, Dec. 6, 2022.