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House Always Wins?

What a housing bubble could mean for your business

This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There are two schools of thought on last year's 12.02 percent rise in home prices: Either it means the market is healthy and mortgage rates are low enough that homes remain in high demand, or it means home prices are inflated and buyers cannot continue to support such increases.

The uncertainty of whether a housing bubble even exists leaves many entrepreneurs hanging in the balance while they wait to see how changes in the real estate market might affect the economy and their businesses. To help sort out the dilemma are Bill Fleckenstein, president of Fleckenstein Capital in Issaquah, Washington, and author of the "Market Rap" column at, and James F. Smith, chief economist with Parsec Financial and a University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, finance professor.

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