Star Yale economist Robert Shiller has gained acclaim for using longer-term statistics in computing the price-earnings ratio for stocks. And on that basis, the ratio is 47 percent above its historical average, he tells Yahoo’s Daily Ticker.
Most analysts measure P-E ratios using trailing-12-month earnings, but Shiller uses the last 10 years instead, to discount for short-term volatility.
Shiller’s statistics, going back to 1881, show that the market’s P-E ratio averages about 15. “Now it’s 22, so it’s looking pricey by that standard,” he says
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To be sure, Shiller is no raging bear on stocks. “I wouldn’t short the stock market,” he says. “But I’m thinking that if you’re just looking at Treasurys and stocks in a portfolio, you probably want more Treasurys than stocks, depending on your circumstances.”
On the residential real estate front, Shiller says home prices may drop another 10 percent to 25 percent in real terms. But he cautions that “when it comes to housing, it’s very hard to forecast.”
Prices are approaching their long-term average. “But we’re still above it by something like 5 to 10 percent,” Shiller says. “The question is whether it will overshoot.”
He’s not alone in his view on housing.
“With the foreclosure pipeline still full to bursting, it’s hard to see this downward pressure on prices abating,” Paul Dales, a senior economist at Capital Economics, tells Bloomberg. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices continue to fall.”
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