Lunar land prices are (ahem) rocketing

Ukreuterscom Silly season has started at UBS, reports Reuters:

Property investors smarting from this year’s housing bust in the United States might do well to look farther afield — even out of this world. Internet searches for lunar land prices show the cost of buying an acre of the moon’s surface has risen 40 percent since the start of 2007, investment bank UBS told clients in a tongue-in-cheek analysis.

Lacing a year-end note with caveats, and not a little holiday cheer, UBS strategists said their "esoteric research" of archived news reports suggests lunar property trends may even be a leading indicator of U.S. house prices.

Rising sharply between 1997 and 2001, the cost of a slice of land on the moon suffered a mid-cycle retreat in 2002-03 after the dot.com bubble burst, the bank said. But prices defied gravity to hit record highs of $37 (18.35 pounds) per acre in December 2005 — nine months before U.S. housing peaked. Their fall to earth was a step ahead too, with lunar prices dropping 56 percent to $16 per acre between 2005 and January 2007, the report said.

Hm. Maybe it would be better to invest in Second Life land? Details here and here. It has to be a better bet than London property…

Tim Harford’s blog

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Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.