While we’ve been busy building houses in the sand, no one is stopping to think: what will we do when the building frenzy peaks, the bubble bursts and the walls start tumbling down?
It’s true that optimism reigns in real estate as Millennials discover the downtown as a new neighborhood frontier. The construction industry is responding to the promising growth with a plethora of new high-rises—apartments, office buildings and condos.
The thinking is, build it and they will come. So as a generation of Millennials avoid the suburbs and move into our downtown areas, we’re seeing new high-rise buildings changing the city skylines..
All this new construction bodes well for the economy, right? But numerous economists, market analysts and modern-day prophets warn that investors are building on shaky ground. Sure, Millennials are buying into the sleek, contemporary lofts being built downtown, with their high ceilings, high prices and low maintenance.
But who’s going to pay for all this construction, economic watchdogs are asking, as constant building and over-building in our uptowns and downtowns create a glut of high-rises. As buildings stay half empty, they foresee a crippling economy ushering in an era of housing debt that ultimately leads to consumer and construction bankruptcy.
Could it be that this gloomy future looms on our nation’s horizon? If so, we will see it wipe out savings for the common man and bring some of the high-rolling investors and real estate magnates to their knees.
Of course, it has happened to some degree before in the economic recession of 2008. But America’s fast slide down a steep moral incline has prompted end-time prophets to warn that the emerging economic slowdown smacks of divine judgment. They point to God’s judgment on cities and nations that have been suddenly destroyed just when all seemed to be riding waves of prosperity.
The late pastor and author David Wilkerson has been one of the most outspoken of America’s watchmen, persistently calling on the nation to curb its overindulgences and stop racing toward ruin.
“Many Americans—including Christians—see our country as an island of abundant prosperity and endless security,” he said. “They firmly believe America can’t be affected by the economic turmoil and disasters we see falling on other nations around the world.”
Wilkerson, who wrote “America’s Last Call,” added that even many respected economists feel that this country is too strong to be affected by failing economies of other nations.
But he affirmed a belief that because of America’s greed--translated into overspending, gross consumption and materialism--God has a time clock for dealing with this nation. “He has already marked the day when he will move against America’s economy and lifestyle,” Wilkerson warned.
Economist Harry Dent of Dent Research believes there is a perfect storm of economic factors brewing that will bring trying times to the U.S. He blames sluggish demand, bubbles based on debt, and falling commodity prices for a coming plunge in the stock market.
“Unemployment will surge and housing prices will fall over the next several years, forcing many state and municipal governments into default,” Dent predicted recently in his market newsletter. Noting that the economic carnage has already begun, he sees the devastation ultimately happening on a worldwide scale.
A modern-day prophet who foresees the bursting of America’s real estate bubble is Brother Bob. On the Jouko Piho prophecy website he shared a vision where the Lord showed what can happen when our cities are glutted by the overbuilding of high-rises and downtown multi-use complexes. In the vision, a shortfall in loan repayments was just the beginning of an economic downslide.
“If that takes place, it’s going to bring down super banks that have made loans to building contractors who can’t pay off their loans, putting banks in jeopardy of foreclosure,” Brother Bob warned. “So they will turn around and demand payment from anyone who is contractually involved with that construction.
“That, in turn, will bring down a good portion of the construction industry, who won’t be able to build anything more because they can’t pay off what they already owe.”
Brother Bob went on tabulate all the resources involved in a building shutdown: large earth-moving equipment and materials like concrete, wiring, rebar, and steel. Electricians, plumbers, carpenters and carpet layers would have to be laid off as companies begin to pare down their staff of employees.
“So the downfall of these monster high-rises will have a ripple effect in the real estate market that will literally blow the bottom out from the housing industry here. The economic recession we experienced in 2008 will be happening once again.”
As the country heads closer to an economic catastrophe, he said, we will see the emptying out of these skyscraper cities that have invested in high-rise complexes and apartments with shops and vertical malls. A worst-case scenario then develops where cities become ghost towns with crime spiking, and homesteaders and squatters filling the empty buildings.
“At this point, some of the major chains that target the middle class—like Wal-Mart, Costco, Target and Home Depot—will be virtually be wiped out,” Bob predicted, “and then the ripple effect will spread farther as banks have to look to foreign countries to call in their debts.”
“So this second real estate bubble will be like a tsunami globally,” he warned.
Scoffers may claim that the vision is for a time in the remote future or ask, short of shouting it from the housetops, what can anyone do about it? But even the clueless can note the moral of a simple child’s nursery rhyme: when Henny Penny thought the sky was falling down, she ran around warning her friends. Why? So they could prepare for the coming disaster.
By the same token, when our heavenly Father alerts his modern-day prophets to the danger of economic ruin ahead, the reasoning is the same: They are expected to warn others so they can prepare.
Surely the LORD God does nothing without first revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7
What would judgment look like if our nation refuses to heed prophetic words of warning? Some predict we will find ourselves living in a survival economy, with people painfully eking out their scant resources and just barely getting by.
We only have to watch countries like Greece and Venezuela to see what happens when a nation is under judgment and the money system fails. And however bright the outlook now, America is not immune to the dangers of a faltering economy; it could happen here too.
Brother Bob pointed out that for desperate nations, history has shown that war is the final answer. “When countries suffer a financial meltdown, they’re going to have to go to war to survive and keep their economies afloat,” he said.
“The Lord showed me all this could happen because of the greed of overbuilding, and the arrogance of nations. When the real estate bubble starts to burst, we need to remember we were warned ahead of time.”
He humbles those who dwell on high, He lays the lofty city low; He levels it to the ground And casts it down to the dust. Isaiah 26:5