September 12, 2017

The ‘Myth’ And This Overpriced Madness

A report from the Bonner County Daily Bee in Idaho. “It’s important to have myths in life. A myth contains elements of truth wrapped into hopeful aspirations. They’re more than fairy tales, but less than scientific fact. Why do we create and believe in myths then? Take ‘affordable housing’ for example. The sale price of homes has increased about 6 percent each year for the past several years, while real wages in North Idaho have not kept up with that pace. At the same time, the number of listings for existing homes under $250,000 has gradually been shrinking as the low-lying fruit (i.e. the least expensive homes) have been getting picked off.”

“The issue of affordability here in North Idaho may yet morph into a hard intractable fact. The ‘myth’ is that we care, that this is on our radar as something important, that somebody is doing something about it.”

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune in California. “California’s political leaders, having ignored and even abetted our housing shortage, now pretend that they will ’solve it.’ Don’t bet on it. Longtime San Francisco journalist Tim Redmond points out that luxury apartments tend to replace the often more affordable older buildings in urban neighborhoods. There’s been a gusher of high-rises built in places like San Francisco or Los Angeles, but these are generally very expensive, and have not discernibly lowered prices.”

“When will the so-called progressives address the real needs of middle- and working-class families? Their current, and proposed, policies will result not in greater opportunity, but rather in expanded poverty. This state already suffers the highest poverty rate in the nation, when adjusted for the cost of living, which is dominated by housing costs.”

The University of Massachusetts Media. “To all developers, urban planners, housing authorities, and mayors in and around the city of Boston: You have failed this city. What’s clear is that nobody in this city, adorned with the power and equipped with the voice, has truly tried to put a stop to this overpriced madness. There are so many brand new and beautifully built residential spaces that are outlandishly priced. I’ve lost count and I’m sure you have as well.”

“Numbers like $3,443 for a 1 bedroom, $4,245 for a 2 bedroom, and $5,072 for a 3 bedroom scatter real estate offices all over Boston. What calculator are these people that set the prices using? And, more importantly, who is willing to pay these prices? I wish I could have a word with both sides because I cannot, for the life of me, understand why a studio is worth that much money. I just can’t.”

“According to a recent article on, in order to own a home in avaricious Boston, residents need to have a salary of approximately $98,518.71. I’ll let that sink in.”

The Real Deal on New York. “According to this week’s market reports, rents are down by 2 percent in Manhattan, and TAMI tenants made up 27 percent of Downtown Manhattan office leases in 2017. The price difference between condos and new-development condos narrowed for the fourth consecutive month, to $314 per square foot, and price per-square-foot in new developments dropped 18 percent year-over-year to $2,074.”

The Business News Network in Canada. “The head of Canada’s largest bank thinks it’s time regulators sit back and digest how higher rates and a myriad of new rules flow through the country’s housing markets and the broader economy. With the Bank of Canada’s quarter-point rate increase on Wednesday already starting to pass through to consumers as chartered banks boost their prime lending rates, Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Dave McKay argues it’s time to take stock.”

“‘We do have to be cautious to keep layering on change on top of change until we see the full manifestation,’ McKay told BNN in an interview in downtown Toronto. ‘It’s hard to predict how these new [housing] policy moves are going to affect borrower psychology, investment psychology, and asset prices in an economy.’”

“Canadian regulators at various levels have brought in measures to take some heat out of housing markets, including new lending standards and taxes on foreign buyers in Vancouver and Toronto. On the latter, McKay said RBC welcomes the recent slowdown in the Greater Toronto Area’s housing market, where prices are 20.5 per cent below April peak levels.”