They are far from universally hated when you have the fed pumping endless amount into buying them along with the fear trade due to Europe, which is the real bubble element - inflation is a close second but the first two if improved will cause rates to rise fast and furious and at least 1.5-2.0%. But having a small piece of AA in them isn't crazy either.
Maybe universal is too strong, but I'd say the negative to positive opinion pieces are at something like 20/1.
Its not obvious but there are inflated prices in real estate - if not for the low mortgage rates for residential and low borrowing costs for commercial/investor all property values would be significantly lower right now. Equities are also being frothed up (I don't necessarily think they are overvalued or in a bubble state) due to the relative return argument and companies benefiting from low borrowing costs - while they may appear cheap by historical metrics you have a 17 p/e on teh S&P 500 - not cheap, but not crazy but when including expected growth (low or slow) it looks pretty expensive.
This is all good but it can get out of control.
On real estate, if rates rise, that implies a stronger economy, which should boost housing prices (or at least keep them stable). Agreed that stocks aren't cheap.
Remember though that institutional investors didn't buy housing, but they did buy the AAA tranches of the CDO/SIVS and other exotics and utterly failed to understand the counter party risk, negligence of rating agencies, and the sequential impact to other companies/industries.
Yeah, it makes sense that the boots-on-the-ground guys would be the first to notice that the only way to profit would be flipping to a bigger fool.
While I don't intend to be a bond cheerleader, it's worth looking a place like Japan where the 10y rate has been below 2% for nearly 20 years, and have actually been trending even tighter for the last year.
I don't buy the argument that the government is going to push inflation as a means of solving the debt problem. Issuance right now is huge compared to existing stock, a large percentage of the debt is front loaded, and most of our future liabilities are real rather than nominal expenses (healthcare, social security, defense). That makes rising short term rates much more costly than a few extra points of inflation are going to help.