0831_The Real World of Real Estate (2)

Understanding the cost and value of home


Real estate is a complicated business.

[Chip & Chelsea]

SC: What is a housing bubble?
MZ: A housing bubble is an economic situation that occurs when home prices rise faster than inflation (price gets higher) and income. Housing bubbles happen when there’s high demand for homes in a particular area. In a bubble, investors purchase homes in hopes of flipping (turn over/around: buy and sell quickly) them for a profit after they appreciate in value.
SC: How does a housing bubble affect homeowners?
MZ: Home prices become so artificially high that people’s monthly incomes cannot pay for the mortgages on their properties. People keep buying houses, though, because they think the risk of paying a high mortgage will pay off if they can sell at a profit.
SC: How is the situation corrected?( How to fix the situation?)
MZ: Housing bubbles are resolved when income levels rise to match the high cost of homes or when home prices fall (decrease) to match income levels. Usually, home prices fall because income levels are much less volatile than home prices. When people cannot afford to pay their mortgages anymore, their homes go into foreclosure and are sold for less than the market price. This, in turn, causes the prices in the market to decline.

[Traditional Chinese Translation]




[More Information]

When it comes to real estate bubbles, there are two different schools of thought. One group of economists say bubbles cannot be identified, they are a natural part of an economic cycle and so, should just run their course. Another group says bubbles can be predicted and because they affect the economy in such a negative way, should be controlled – and prevented – if possible.

[Ashley & Ken]

A: This is disgusting. Uh, someone put a piece of bubble gum inside this book.
K: Do you know who it was?
A: I have an idea. But I’m not so sure. That’s why
we say no gum in the library.
K: No gum. Does that include bubble gum?
A: Sure, gum and bubble gum are the same thing. But
bubble gum emphasizes that you can blow a lot of bubbles. Little kids love to chew bubble gum while adults don’t blow as many bubbles.
K: Are there other kinds of bubbles? I read about housing bubbles in Studio Classroom today.
A: Yes, there are other ways to use it. For instance, you might burst someone’s bubble.
K: Well when I was a kid we always try to burst each other’s bubbles when we chew gum.
A: Okay, well that would disappoint a kid. That was this phrase means. If you had your hopes about a new job and then you found out that the company no longer wanted to hire you, it would burst your bubble.
K: Yes,
it would disappoint me. It would burst my bubble.
A: Some people are very bubbly.
K: Does that describe their appearance?
A: No, it describes their personality. Someone with a bubbly personality is
very lively and friendly. These kinds of people have many friends and cheer up everyone they meet.
K: Okay, kind of like you. You
re a very bubbly librarian.
A: Thanks, Ken. And now, the bubbly librarian must get back to solving the bubble gum problem.
K: Hmm, good luck with that.


今天的課文討論housing bubble(房市泡沫),bubble就是泡沫,bubble可以代表幻想或者不實際的希望,因此burst someone’s bubble(戳破某人的肥皂泡)就是使他的希望破滅、潑他冷水、掃他的興致的意思。bubble的形容詞是bubblybubbly可以指很多泡沫的,也可以用在人身上,表示很快活、友善的,比如說Ashley has a bubbly personalityAshley外向活潑的個性)。



[課文] … investors purchase homes in hopes of flipping them for a profit after they appreciate in value.
-> Investors purchase homes and expect to flip them for a profit after they appreciate in value.
 in hopes (of/that) or in the hope of ~ to expect or wish for something
*David bought an expensive gift for his wife in hopes that she would change her mind about not going fishing with him.
*In the hope of a better tomorrow, let’s work harder at making our planet a cleaner and safer place to live.



Flip (v.) 1. 翻轉。2. 拋或擲的動作。3. (informal) 變得非常憤怒、激動或熱情。
Flip through (phr. v.) to turn the pages of a book or newspaper quickly, especially because you are looking for something 快速翻轉頁面找東西。
lost my place in the book because the wind flipped my pages as I was reading.
*Let’s flip a coin to decide who wins.
*My mother really flipped when I told her I was getting married.
*I flipped through my address book but couldn’t find her phone number.
Mortgage [ˈmɔːrgɪdʒ] (n.)(v.) 貸款,抵押。(t: no sound)
*Sandy finally
paid off her mortgage.
*The monthly
mortgage payment of this house is over $1000.
*The house was mortgaged a second time.
Volatile [ˈvɑːlətl] (adj.) 1. (business)波動的,不穩定的。2. (of a liquid) 易揮發的。3. (貶義) (of a person) 情緒或興趣多變的,

*Currency exchange rates have been volatile lately.
*Experts advised withdrawing money from the volatile stock market.
*a highly volatile personality, disposition, nature, etc

volatile adjective 

/ˈvɒl.ə.taɪl/ /ˈvɑː.lə.t ̬əl/

likely to change suddenly and unexpectedly or suddenly become violent or angry

Food and fuel prices are very volatile in a war situation.

The situation was made more volatile by the fact that people had been drinking a lot of alcohol.

He had a rather volatile temper and can’t have been easy to live with.


Inflation (n.) 通貨膨漲。
*The new government’s prime task is to reduce the level of inflation.



flip (v) 轉手再賣 Charlie bought the statue so she could flip it to a collector. 
mortgage (n)
抵押貸款 Jim and Francis bought their house with a mortgage from the bank. 
volatile (adj)
易變的;反覆無常的 The weather has been very volatile over the last month. 
decline (v)
下跌;衰退 As food prices decline, life will become easier for the country’s poor.

housing bubble, mortgage, decline, volatile, pay off, mortgage payment

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