1. Bubbles are created by hoarders.
2. Hoarders create a FALSE illusion of excess demand, by buying something and storing it.
3. But ANYTHING stored is actually EXCESS SUPPLY (not true demand).
4. Producers react to the hoarding by INCREASING production capabilities and output
5. The hoarders help temporarily drive the price higher and those higher prices KILL true demand because the real users of the commodity are forced to make cuts, due to high prices.
6. So with FALLING real DEMAND, and with RISING SUPPLIES, the massive oversupply continues to build up, while prices are pushed to a peak.. But with excess supplies, prices top out and start to crash.
7. Falling prices scare speculators away and the massive oversupply helps to keep pushing prices lower. The lower prices go, the more it frightens speculators and many start to dump their hoards FURTHER ADDING TO THE MASSIVE OVERSUPPLY and further crashing the prices.
8. As prices continue dropping, the commodity gets a very bad reputation as a wealth destroyer and that bad reputation completely kills the hoarding cycle and prices drop VERY steeply.
The real estate bubble was created by folks buying and storing unused real estate (many folks held 2, 3, 4, and more houses sitting empty). When the bubble popped, prices fell to 2001 levels.
When the rhodium (precious metal) bubble popped, prices returned to 2001 levels. Rhodium had big bubble even though FAR fewer folks bought rhodium than are buying silver in the silver bubble.
Silver was $4 in 2001