Business English vocabulary: bubble sitter

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Today’s word is bubble sitter. It’s a fairly new “slang” word in real estate and economy.

Joe Barker is a bubble sitter. He sold his expensive house just before he retired so that his biggest investment wouldn’t suddenly lose value right before he needed it.

Bubble sitter


Bubble sitters are people who think that the bubble is about to burst. They sell off their investments, such as their houses, because they want to get as much money as they can before the prices fall. Another type of bubble sitter is people who wait to invest money in something — or to buy something — because they think that the bubble will burst soon and that the prices will fall again. For example, if you buy a house during the bubble you could lose a lot of money when the bubble bursts and the prices fall again. So you’ve wait. You wait to see what will happen. You wait for prices to fall before you buy. You are a bubble sitter.

So people are bubble sitters. But you can also talk about bubble sitting as an activity or a general economic concept.

Authentic example

Today’s authentic example comes from CNN.

Bubble sitting the pros and cons.

Waiting for home prices to drop before buying a home is tempting. But making the right call isn’t simple. Convinced home prices will fall? So are lot of other Americans. Some, known as bubble sitters, are acting on their conviction. They’re cashing out by selling their homes and renting, figuring they’ll return to the market after prices have fallen. Bubble sitters also include those people who have never owned a home and are waiting to take the plunge, along with folks who are relocating and holding onto their cash until the market in their new hometown softens.

That wraps up this edition of two-minute English. We’ll see you next time, here at Better at English dot com.

Read about economic bubbles on Wikipedia
Lots of articles about bubbles (in the economic sense) are listed here.