March 27, 2017

Worries Became Reality

A report from the Washington Examiner. “In a little-noticed statement, the Treasury bureau responsible for investigating financial crimes shared a remarkable money laundering statistic last month. Thirty percent of the cash purchases of high-end real estate by shell companies in six major cities involved a suspicious buyer, according to an investigation conducted by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to find out who was behind the deals.”

“In some neighborhoods, the condos may be sold out — but empty. In Manhattan, for example, the blocks between Lenox Hill and Central Park, between 63rd and 70th Streets, are nearly 40 percent unoccupied, according to the Census Bureau. On the Upper East Side’s most exclusive tract, along Fifth Avenue, more than a quarter of properties are vacant.”

“The reality is similar in other exclusive neighborhoods throughout the country. More than half of the beachfront properties in the neighborhoods at the ends of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and the southern tip of South Beach are unoccupied. Because of unoccupied downtown condos, the South Beach neighborhood of San Francisco is one-fifth unoccupied, in the middle of one of the tightest housing markets in U.S. history.”

“In certain neighborhoods overlooking the beach in Los Angeles and San Diego, the story is the same — a third of properties in Malibu are vacant, as are half of the homes in San Diego’s Oceanside neighborhood.”

The Real Deal. “Late last year, Steven Ho saw alarm bells on social media: The Chinese government was gearing up for a major crackdown on foreign investment, and on messaging platforms such as WeChat and Line, Ho’s friends told him they were concerned that money would be tighter. In January, those worries became reality, as the government imposed exacting new capital controls that required Chinese citizens to disclose the purpose of their foreign investments.”

“In the days that followed, numerous callers told Ho, a senior loan officer at Queens-based Quontic Bank, that they were unable to get their money out of China to finance real estate investments in New York. ‘They’re saying, ‘What’s the max I can borrow?’ and they’ll figure out other means [for repayment] later,’ Ho said.”

“Since the January regulations, local banks are seeing a wave of interest from buyers who want to invest in New York real estate, but whose funds are stuck in mainland China. Cindy Morin, marketing director for Xin Development, an arm of Chinese builder Xinyuan Real Estate, said one buyer recently backed out of a deal for a $1.4 million apartment at the developer’s Oosten condominium in Williamsburg. ‘They couldn’t get the down payment out,’ she said.”

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Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-03-27 15:25:43

Houston, TX Housing Prices Crater 6% YoY As Mortgage Defaults Ramp Up

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-03-28 06:18:04

The January Case-Shiller national index is expected to grow 6 percent year-over-year and 0.5 percent from December.

Hmmm, whom to believe? A self appointed “senior” housing analyst…..or Robert Shiller.

Comment by Race Bannon
2017-03-28 07:22:22

Boots on the ground data my friend…. boots on the ground data.

West Sacramento, CA Housing Prices Crater 6% YoY

Comment by redmondjp
2017-03-28 08:51:44

I don’t think you even know what that term means, Haystacks.

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Comment by Race Bannon
2017-03-28 08:55:36

Cheer up my good friend….cheer up.

Deer Park, TX Housing Prices Crater 9% YoY

Comment by somedewd
2017-03-28 09:20:18

A better understanding of zillow’s methodology would help us all. Do they just include all sales or just the listings posted on zillow? In my region many realtards boycott the site.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-03-27 15:37:45

The writer of the first link cites problems of affordability and empty housing. Also mentions white American buyers in California targeting shacks Chinese might like. (Recall the local Vancouver speculators desperately calling UHS asking if they know any rich Chinese buyers). But there’s another big problem with the money laundering: it sends the wrong message to developers. They see all these super expensive sales and think demand is deeper than it really is. So they go crazy and you end up like Miami Beach.

Comment by Blue Skye
2017-03-27 16:37:02

An empty house far away has to be one of the worst ways possible to hide or preserve money, ill gotten or not. A working estate or business might make its own way, but an empty house is insanity. As the unsustainable price rise trajectory takes its inevitable (already happening) turn there will be an army of rats leaving the ship.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-03-27 19:22:47

I suppose the investor hopes the carrying costs are less than the price appreciation. Price appreciation - carrying costs = profit. Carrying costs are non-trivial though.

Comment by 2banana
2017-03-28 04:32:08

It’s called getting eaten by the alligator…

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Comment by oxide
2017-03-28 06:21:57

I suppose we’re back to our original Chinese safe-house question: would you rather risk losing $250K on a $1 mil condo purchase, or risk losing all $1 mil in cash, and your head too?

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Comment by Race Bannon
2017-03-28 11:02:22

Hey Donk

Comment by Ethan in NoVA
2017-03-28 06:23:29

We need a web site to help the young people find these foreign owned investment homes so they can squat in them.

Comment by cactus
2017-03-28 08:58:34

We need a web site to help the young people find these foreign owned investment homes so they can squat in them.”

Pretty much anywhere in Arcadia CA

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Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-27 20:53:26

“…it sends the wrong message to developers.”

These greed pigs need little encouragement to go hog wild.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-03-28 06:22:18

“…..the condos may be sold out — but empty.”

I think one solution is a VPT (Vacant Property Tax).

I was in South Beach two weeks ago and the ocean front condos were mostly dark. It is a shame.

Comment by taxpayer
2017-03-28 06:44:21

et tu?
if someone buys a house and leaves it empty it’s their biz

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-03-28 08:25:05

Actually, it is in the interest of all people needing housing that properties not sit vacant. If we can have the GSE’s to support housing ownership, why not have another policy that supports full utilization of the existing inventory. There is not much that is worse for the market than completed units sitting vacant.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2017-03-28 08:44:22

In CA, I would STRONGLY support a split roll for Prop 13.

If the property is your primary residence (ie. you live there long enough each year to pay CA income taxes), you are protected under Prop 13.

If the property is NOT your primary residence (ie. it’s an investment property, vacation home, or held vacant on purpose), you are re-assessed on a regular basis.

I suspect there are far more second homes in CA than homes that people purposefully leave empty (most will at least rent them out if they aren’t living in them). The split roll will encourage fewer people to own such homes.

Comment by Bellinghouse
2017-03-28 10:32:50

The CA State Legislature is considering a bill that would make mortgage interest and taxes on homes that are not your primary residence **not deductible** on your CA State tax return. Since I own three homes in Cali, and live and pay taxes here, that would be a serious bummer!

Not sure it would be enough to make me sell one of the houses, tho.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-03-29 03:50:19

So let’s say you own a $300,000 rental. The property tax at 1% equals $3,000/year (never mind it is $16,000/year in New Jersey!).

If you are in the 5% tax bracket and cannot deduct $3,000 in property tax expenses, the result is $150/year more in income tax. Not a huge factor.

Comment by Bellinghouse
2017-03-29 08:32:17

I am not sure how low your income has to be to only get hit with a 5% CA Income tax. Mine is more like 11%.

Also most property is assessed at around 1.2% of the price it was purchased for, adjusted by 2% each year you own it. This is due to all the little sewer, school and special district add on’s.

So for your example it comes out to $400 more in State Income Tax paid, not $150. Many of our coastal communities have rent control, so you can’t push the rent up to cover this.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-04-15 05:51:48

If you make $100,000/yr, your state income tax is $6,237. Evidently, your income exceeds $300,000/yr to put you in the 11% tax bracket. At that level, you can’t claim excess depreciation expenses anyway.

Comment by rms
2017-03-28 07:34:00

“A report from the Washington Examiner.”

That’s a quite the read right there. Nice find, Ben.

Comment by rms
2017-03-28 07:40:25

Edited: That’s quite the read right there. Nice find, Ben.

Hehe… morning tea is still too hot to drink.

Comment by Rental Watch
2017-03-28 08:39:59

They see all these super expensive sales and think demand is deeper than it really is. So they go crazy and you end up like Miami Beach.

Or SF, or NY apartments.

The depth of market question is everywhere, and one of the hardest to answer.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-03-27 16:03:45

Downtown Los Angeles Rental Rates Crater 9% YoY As Housing Demand Tanks

Comment by taxpayer
2017-03-28 06:04:14

Zillow predicting a negative outlook for a city??? WTF !!! ???

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-03-27 16:10:46

A report from Better Dwelling in Canada. “The world’s greatest overseas real estate binge might finally be over. According to the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), China saw its foreign exchange reserves rise to over US$3 trillion. The unexpected rise is the first in 8 months, and may indicate that the new regulatory crackdown on capital outflows is actually working. This is bad for real estate markets that have seen a sudden surge of buying activity from Mainland Chinese buyers. Companies now require government approval to purchase property abroad, and they can’t easily obtain it unless buying property has always been their primary business. Break the rules, you get a three year ban on exporting capital, and are investigated for money laundering.”

“Mainland Chinese investors are now the world’s largest buyers of overseas real estate. These buyers added fuel to the fire created by over enthusiastic domestic buyers with massive mortgages, sending property rates soaring in Canada, Australia, England, France, Hong Kong…actually, pretty much everywhere. Many markets saw locals taking out record amounts of debt to compete with well funded foreign investors. It’ll be interesting to see if the narrative continues to be told that Chinese buyers are driving markets, or if locals will realize they’re now providing liquidity for those same well-funded investors that need to get out.”

From The Australian. “Almost 80 per cent of Chinese buyers can’t settle on the Australian apartments they have bought off the plan and wish they could walk away from the contracts, ­according to an expert on investment in Australian property. Li Ming, the co-director of real estate company Aussiehome, told The Australian that ‘the off-the-plan apartments market is now the worst I have seen in the last 10 years.’”

“Dr Li said: ‘One Chinese client recently sold an apartment at Melbourne’s Docklands for $1.4 million which he had bought for $1.8m two years ago.’ A major trigger, he said, was the tightening by Chinese financial institutions of property lending for overseas purchases.”

“The mansion on Fallen Leaf Road in the secluded Upper Rancho neighborhood of Arcadia has all the trappings a wealthy buyer from China could want. Yet two months after it was placed on the market, the house remains unsold. Not long ago, real estate like this would have been snapped up almost immediately. ‘It would have been gone in two weeks with multiple offers,’ said Dee Chou, the property’s listing agent.”

“Median home prices have dropped in Arcadia to $930,000 at the end of last year from about $1.1 million at the start of 2015. In San Marino, the median price for a home was $2.5 million as recently as the second quarter of last year before tapering to $2.2 million by the fourth quarter. Agents say the city is left with a surplus of luxury properties whose sellers could face pressure to reduce prices. One agent said her client had to drop his asking price for a property in Arcadia last summer to $8.3 million from $10 million because it drew no interest for three months. ‘All agents are crying that the money isn’t coming,’ said Sanne Lee, an agent for A + Realty & Mortgage in Rowland Heights.”

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-03-27 16:20:42

Thousand Oaks, CA Housing Prices Plunge 10% YoY As Housing Inventory

Comment by new attitiude
2017-03-27 17:29:24

I was just in TO over the weekend, the traffic into LA even on Saturday was ridiculous. took 90 mins to go 28 miles.

Comment by redmondjp
2017-03-27 22:28:42

Which is why when I go there for vacation, that I stay within a few miles of where I am going to be the next day. I’ve wasted far too many hours of my limited vacation time driving between Anaheim and Burbank.

Comment by cactus
2017-03-28 09:07:47

101 is the worst

Comment by CHE
2017-03-28 12:24:06

I live in West Hollywood and commute to Glendale (11 miles) on a daily basis for almost 5 years. What was 30 mins in the morning is now 40. What was 35-40 mins in the afternoon is now approaching 50 on a regular basis - and this is “against” traffic.

Once a week I also have to visit another gig in Long Beach - Used to be 50 min from Glendale to Long Beach at 2:30pm - Now an hour 1-1:25 on a regular basis.

My parents still live in my childhood home in Irvine. The new rule is if they want me to come visit, they’re picking me up at the train station. Last time I drove it was two hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Amazing what happens when you hand out 600,000 drivers licenses to illegals.

Comment by azdude
2017-03-27 16:31:49

“A bear trap is a false signal that the rising trend of a stock or index has reversed when it has not. A bear trap prompts traders to place shorts on the stock or index, since they expect the underlying to decline in value. Instead of declining further, the investment stays flat, or slightly recovers.”

Comment by rms
2017-03-28 07:44:45

Wall Street… greed and fear.

Comment by palmetto
2017-03-27 16:35:11

Not to put ideas in anyone’s head (tee-hee) but it looks as if there will be some excellent opportunities for squatting and even subsequent adverse possession in some areas.

Comment by SW
2017-03-27 16:37:05

Are these unoccupied property rates normal or extremely high? It doesn’t seem like Oceanside should have a 50% unoccupied property rate!

Comment by Bellinghouse
2017-03-28 11:32:50

No way Oceanside could be 50% unoccupied. It is one of the most affordable areas in San Diego county.

Comment by Race Bannon
2017-03-28 13:38:11

With record housing supply and crumbling housing demand it’s entirely possible….. and likely.

Comment by Bradford99
2017-03-27 16:41:05

It’s not that the Chinese people ‘couldn’t get the down payment out.’ The truth is that this Ponzi scheme finally ran out of greater fools. It used to be that whenever a bill would come due, the ‘investor’ could move money around or sell something to make a profit. That’s all over. It’s time to pay the piper. And the most palatable explanation for ‘this doesn’t look as an appetizing deal as it did 18 months ago’ is to lie and say ‘I can’t get the down payment out of China.’

Comment by azdude
2017-03-27 17:01:23

Even the raiders are jumping ship from CA.

Comment by new attitiude
2017-03-27 17:33:36

So Cal (south of Ventura) is a mess, too much traffic, too crowded everywhere, foreigner buying up schacks then moving in 3 generations with 7 cars.

Comment by oxide
2017-03-28 05:07:11

I approve of the NFL move. Between the Niners, the Chargers, the Rams, and the Raiders, that’s too many teams in California. Better to spread the teams out a little. Vegas is big enough to support a team, and they can be a nice regional rival to Phoenix.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-03-27 17:13:19

“New York City is still the No. 1 destination for foreign capital in the world, according to this year’s AFIRE rankings, but it is no longer an environment in which foreign money — particularly from China — will buy anything in the market at any price. This year, China has clamped down on outbound foreign investment, and firms caught flouting the new laws will be punished harshly, China First Capital CEO Peter Fuhrman said. While most New Yorkers in commercial real estate are aware of the capital slowdown, Fuhrman said they are probably not taking it seriously enough.”

“‘I have the perception that the full weight and severity of these capital controls hadn’t been fully felt here,’ Fuhrman said. ‘It’d be fair to say that the Chinese central government dropped a financial bomb on its businesses.’”

“One of the Chinese government’s chief concerns when instituting the investment restrictions, Fuhrman said, is over outbound investors getting fleeced while paying record-breaking prices. ‘A concern of Chinese regulators is their investors have been really bad buyers,’ Fuhrman said. ‘This can sadly be seen more and more in the larger real estate deals they have done. What they are extremely concerned about is just about every acquisition the Chinese have made, is they have overpaid severely and foolishly, and that has spurred a loss of a lot of Chinese sovereign wealth.’”

The Real Deal on Florida. “An Argentine investor looking to buy luxury real estate in South Florida can expect to pay 403 percent more today than in 2007. That’s how much value the Argentine peso has lost against the dollar, according to a newly released Esslinger Wooten Maxwell report. A Venezuelan buyer would likely have to pay 365 percent more today than in 2007, and a Russian buyer would have to shell out 149 percent more. The statistics explain why the once robust flow of foreign investors purchasing luxury condos and single family homes has slowed to a trickle.”

“Miami Dade’s luxury condo inventory, defined as $1 million and up, skyrocketed 69 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter 2016, according to EWM. At the same time, $1 million-plus condos only accounted for 4.5 percent of total condo sales in Miami-Dade during the fourth quarter of last year. In Broward, luxury inventory rose 34 percent. At the end of 2016, condo prices dropped 21 percent, year-over-year. Miami-Dade is facing a 47-month supply, and when it comes to condos priced between $2 million and $4.9 million, Miami-Dade has a 58-month supply of inventory and Broward County has a 76-month supply.”

“At $5 million and above, Miami-Dade has a 108-month (or nine-year) supply of condos and Broward has an eye-popping 19 years, or 228 months, worth of supply. EWM Realty International CEO Ron Shuffield said the inventory glut and the slower sales pace is putting pressure on sellers to slash their asking prices. ‘Many of our sellers are coming to that realization,’ he said. ‘We’ve had a lot of success [telling] many of our sellers that they need to reduce prices.’”

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-03-27 17:15:45

The Canberra Times. “Property investors speculating on capital gains need to be careful as rental yields in Sydney and Melbourne hit record lows. CoreLogic figures show the ‘gross’ yield – before costs – on both houses and units reached record lows in January across Sydney and Melbourne. The gross yield on Sydney houses in January was 2.8 per cent and in Melbourne it was 2.7 per cent. Sydney units recorded a gross yield of 3.8 per cent and in Melbourne it was 4 per cent.”

“‘While rental yields plumb new lows, investment in the housing market has been consistently ratcheting higher, which implies that investors are speculating on further capital gains in the housing market,’ says Tim Lawless, the head of research at CoreLogic.”

“CoreLogic figures show 40 per cent of off-the-plan settlement valuations are coming in under the contract prices across the Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Buyers who receive a valuation lower than the original contract price will generally require a larger-than-expected deposit in order to meet the loan-to-valuation ratio required by the lender, Lawless says. As units in areas with a lot of supply come to settlement, the risk of buyers receiving a ‘finance shock’ is heightened, Lawless says.”

“Sam Lally​, a buyer’s agent at Buyer’s Advocate Australia in Melbourne, says areas like St Kilda Road, Docklands and Southbank are ‘fraught with danger because of the supply of apartments.’ ‘And we don’t touch-off-the plan – it’s just too risky for our clients,’ he says.”

The Chinchilla News. “A decision to not change the First Home Buyers Grant, after pressure from the Gladstone mayor, has been slammed by a leading property market group. REIQ says the State Government is not listening to regional Queenslanders, after a suggestion to extend the First Home Buyers Grant to existing homes was ruled out last week. REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said, ‘Our concern is for the long-term impact and the bigger picture in regional Queensland, where new construction is exacerbating the oversupply issues that these markets are facing. House values are falling, with some markets as much as 30% below levels five years ago. Continuously adding supply of housing to oversupplied markets is irresponsible and will slow down any future recovery.’”

From Nestegg. “Basis Point general manager CT Johnson has flagged the Chinese government’s move to restrict foreign outflows of Chinese capital as an underlying risk for the Australian property market. ‘There’s been increasing problems for Chinese people who wanted to buy property. The main problem there has been that over the last 18 months, the Chinese government has started to squeeze on their ability to get money out of the country,’ Mr Johnson said at the company’s annual Australia-China Investment round-up.”

“That combined with APRA’s decision to prevent Australian banks’ capacity to loan to foreign investors should see reduced property demand. ‘That is a double whammy to a lot of Chinese people wanting to buy off-the-plan properties,’ Mr Johnson said of APRA’s decision.”

It’s starting to look like a thing.

Comment by DR. WU
2017-03-27 21:44:53

It’s not that the Chinese can’t get funds out of China, they just can’t get ENOUGH out. But REALTORS have the answer: Just ’smurf’ it out:

“Our suggestion to the client is to open three to four personal accounts in the US or line up three to four friends’ accounts, so they can split the money and wire it to different personal accounts without being put on a blacklist by the Chinese authorities,” said a Shanghai-based REAL ESTATE AGENT who did not give their full name.
The problem, though, will likely remain how to bypass authorities seeking to rigidly enforce currency rules, said the Shanghai REAL ESTATE AGENT.

US investor visas getting pricey— got an extra $1.3 usd, after April 28?

As members of Congress in Washington debate raising the minimum required to obtain a US immigrant investor visa from US$500,000 to US$1.35 million, concern about the rise has set off a scramble among wealthy would-be participants in China.
“Some clients are demanding that we make sure their applications are submitted before April 28”, the date the programme expires.

At stake if the EB-5 is curtailed is a programme estimated to have played a role in creating at least 200,000 US jobs and drawing as much as US$14 billion from Chinese investors alone…

Comment by Bradford99
2017-03-28 07:41:20

This is the first time I have heard that the program expires on 4-28. What if congress and trump just let it expire?

Comment by palmetto
2017-03-28 08:36:12

It just might expire, because it looks like Capitol Hill is about to implode. On both sides of the aisle.

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Comment by palmetto
2017-03-28 09:19:40

Schumer lost his schitt in a NY restaurant Sunday night, the Dems on the Intel committee pump up the volume about Russia as if in one last chorus of shrieks and go quiet. Government shutdown? Bring it. POTUS then has the power of the purse and decides who gets paid and who doesn’t.

Comment by oxide
2017-03-28 10:50:39

Where did you read that, palmetto? In my experience, each agency and bureau and department already has a pre-done list of which positions are essential and non-essential. Could Trump really override that and, for example, not pay the FBI?

It’s never really that effective anyway. Shutdowns are no more than a month. As each day goes by, more and more people are called back to work, and the lost pay has always been paid back retroactively.

Comment by MightyMike
2017-03-28 13:18:56

lost pay has always been paid back retroactively

That’s the best part, isn’t it? The shutdowns result in bureaucrats getting paid for not working.

Comment by Rental Watch
2017-03-28 13:40:41

That’s the beauty of Prop 25 in CA. No budget? No pay.

And no retroactive payment once a budget is passed.

Comment by oxide
2017-03-28 14:03:31

I’m not the one you should be complaining to, Mike. Call your Congresscritter. The passed the laws on this. Feds can’t so much as check their email without fear of being fired. Yes, it’s a firing offense.

If you’d like to complain about Feds… many of my co-workers used the shutdown to go on vacation travel hundreds of miles away, and then got mad when they were called into work less than 8 hours after Obama had signed the budget at midnight. They complained that they couldn’t get back in time and had to take additional time off to get back to the office. That’s some serious government worker privilege which I’m glad I didn’t take part in. I didn’t leave the area.

Comment by MightyMike
2017-03-28 18:11:11

I’m not complaining about you. I’m laughing at the Republicans, who are responsible for most of the shutdowns over the past 25 years.

Comment by RealWiseYuppie
2017-03-27 17:18:19

Hi guys. I started reading this blog many years ago. In fact, this blog was directly responsible for making me close to $900k shorting subprime lenders and then banks between 2006-2008. My first trade came from an idea on this blog. I bought $9,000 in put options on LEND and it returned $60k a few weeks later!

I’ve never posted here and wondered if there might be another opportunity like that, but in car loans or school loans. There must be some companies with exposure there or elsewhere.


Comment by new attitiude
2017-03-27 17:31:21

Good thinking. CarMax Inc?

Comment by azdude
2017-03-27 17:33:35

how do you short a central bank?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-27 20:56:27

Park money into investments not dependent on said central bank’s currency value.

Comment by butters
2017-03-28 09:59:53


Comment by Race Bannon
2017-03-27 17:34:08


Essex, CT Housing Prices Crater 11% YoY

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-03-27 18:23:47

‘Hi guys. I started reading this blog many years ago. ‘

That reminds me, I came across this blog about 11 years ago when I was looking up info on Corus Bank. I think I was reading the Yahoo message board for the stock and there was something posted about how Corus had loans tied up in really shaky real investments. A little more searching and I found the HBB.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-03-27 18:43:26

***really shaky real estate investments

Comment by oxide
2017-03-28 05:02:05

Thoughts? You should be donating about half your gains to Ben.

And shouldn’t *you* be the one giving *us* tips, instead of asking for even more for yourself?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-28 06:51:08


1) Not sure if due to luck or skill, but the timing of your puts was much better than mine. (Watching The Big Short suggests that timing is everything.)

2) Ironically, despite my general skepticism about buying and holding real estate, our best ever investment was buying a condo at the 1996 trough. There may never be another opportunity ​that good over my future lifetime, given all the market interference from the Fed these days.

Comment by elmer goo
2017-03-28 08:20:50

5 percent of EVERYTHING in life is based on timing my friend. But then the other 95 percent of life is just RANDOM.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-03-27 18:01:07

Years ago I snuck into the college dorm during the summer when they were vacant, to get some sleep on a bed ( I was homeless for about a week), but this guy , lol:

Comment by new attitiude
2017-03-27 18:36:58

misfit hiding from humanity

Comment by palmetto
2017-03-27 19:07:31

Yes, but where does he pee?

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-03-28 05:59:11

There is a customer restroom he uses in the place.

Comment by palmetto
2017-03-27 19:11:24

Oh, dear. Paris is burning. Again. Media silence is deafening.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-27 20:37:37

“In some neighborhoods, the condos may be sold out — but empty. In Manhattan, for example, the blocks between Lenox Hill and Central Park, between 63rd and 70th Streets, are nearly 40 percent unoccupied, according to the Census Bureau. On the Upper East Side’s most exclusive tract, along Fifth Avenue, more than a quarter of properties are vacant.”

Any chance that Team Trump will drain the real estate fraud swamp in order to restore the former status of housing as a place to live rather than continue its current role as a money laundering vehicle?

Comment by oxide
2017-03-28 05:17:29

This fraud goes deeper and for a longer time than any one administration. Sessions might start something, but it sounds like a long-term project, like the war-on-drugs or the war-on-poverty. The only way the gov would sustain the effort is if they passed laws with teeth to somehow seize and sell the properties for gov profit.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-28 06:59:30

I could imagine Team Trump crafting a plan to confiscate investment properties owned by foreign criminals and auctioning them to legitimate buyers. Where is the downside?

The Obamanites would not have done this…

Comment by butters
2017-03-28 09:49:59

Neither will the current brand of frauds. Also who wants to ruin the economy? Fraud & Criminality has to be at least 39.9 percent of the GDP.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-27 20:39:21

“Because of unoccupied downtown condos, the South Beach neighborhood of San Francisco is one-fifth unoccupied, in the middle of one of the tightest housing markets in U.S. history.”

Fraud alert!!!

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-27 20:48:52

“…as are half of the homes in San Diego’s Oceanside neighborhood.”

Given that Oceanside is a long ways down the luxury ladder from La Jolla, that is an amazing statistic, which portends a massive investor dump of Oceanside investment properties onto the market, once prices next head south.

Should I warm my pal who owns one of them? Nah…He ignored my advice not to buy, and will learn to love his blackened baked crow if prices collapse in the next wave down.

Comment by azdude
2017-03-28 05:11:03

north county up to camp pendleton seems to be the hottest property market in cali.

i havent been down I5 from la in like 20 years. The traffic got so bad I started going east and taking 15 south. Even that is bad now.

Comment by Rental Watch
2017-03-28 09:03:37

“In certain neighborhoods overlooking the beach in Los Angeles and San Diego, the story is the same — a third of properties in Malibu are vacant, as are half of the homes in San Diego’s Oceanside neighborhood.”

I believe they are talking about a neighborhood in SD that overlooks the beach, NOT the City of Oceanside (which is 40 miles north of SD).

Oceanside is hardly a neighborhood that overlooks the beach. While it does possess about 2 miles of coastline, it also extends inland about 6 miles.

If they are talking about the City of Oceanside, that truly is a remarkable number, bordering on absurd.

Comment by butters
2017-03-28 10:01:33

are half of the homes in San Diego’s Oceanside


I thought occupancy level was at 99.9%.

Comment by Rental Watch
2017-03-28 11:49:33

SD and Oceanside are mutually exclusive cities.

I believe they are talking about one neighborhood within SD.

Comment by taxpayer
2017-03-28 05:08:58

The Zestimate for this house is $1,188,059, which has decreased by $24,188 in the last 30 days. The Rent Zestimate for this home is $7,192/mo, which has decreased by $312/mo in the last 30 days. The property tax in 2015 was $15,146.
The tax assessment in 2015 was $780,011, an increase of 9.9% over the previous year.


Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by taxpayer
2017-03-28 06:13:34

taxes catching up and going up as prices fall=pitchforks

Comment by MightyMike
2017-03-28 06:58:37

That’s an odd statistic - adding up total property taxes paid across the country. The point of the exercise is unclear.

Comment by redmondjp
2017-03-28 08:55:46

The point of the exercise is perfectly clear - it illustrates that government at all levels is receiving record-high levels of income.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by MightyMike
2017-03-28 13:22:57

Generally, property taxes are the local level, not all levels. It might be interesting to see how much tax my local school district is collecting. There’s really no value in knowing the national total.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-28 05:24:20

Are you watching your life savings slowly vanish with each successive day’s stock market loss?

Not to worry. Word is out that the Fed has your back!

Comment by butters
2017-03-28 09:29:27

Is it down? I stopped paying attention as it looked like it goes up every freaking day.

Comment by taxpayer
2017-03-28 06:12:08

I’m not a data base manager Mr
but shouldn’t Zillow line up it’s predictions when you enter city-state w it’s neighborhood predictions ?
they never line up= stupid

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-03-28 07:02:31

Zestimates are a zoke

Comment by palmetto
2017-03-28 08:31:50

What’s even more of a joke is sellers who price above Zestimate.

Comment by redmondjp
2017-03-28 08:57:46

Oh, you mean the “make me move” price - I get a lot of entertainment value out of those!

Although I did talk to somebody last weekend in eastern WA who actually did move because somebody offered them their “make me move” number, so I can’t say that it never happens.

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Comment by phony scandals
2017-03-28 08:14:23

Ultra-Cheap: Houses for Under $6,000

A sampling of houses that can be found on the market at pennies on the dollar

By Jeanne Baron of

Grab ‘Em While You Can

Comment by palmetto
2017-03-28 09:51:14

Unfortunately none of those are anywhere I’d want to live. Sigh.

Comment by oxide
2017-03-28 11:12:51

Which is why they are so cheap, obviously. :D

While I love residential housing, the truth is that these houses aren’t special and therefore not worth saving, except maybe the cottage in Muncie which has a plot which may be good for homesteading. They were built by the millions. I would get an architectural salvage company to rescue the valuable components like woodwork, stained glass windows, farm sinks, built-ins, clawfoot tubs, metal hardware, (if any), and demo the rest.

Comment by cactus
2017-03-28 08:47:10

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices jumped in January from a year earlier at the fastest pace in nearly 2 ½ years, as a tight supply of houses for sale spurred bidding wars in many cities.

The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday , increased 5.7 percent in January, the most since July 2014.

Americans stepped up home buying in January, even as mortgage rates rose. Many buyers likely sought to close their deals before rates increased further. The Federal Reserve implemented its third rate hike in two years March 15, but economists at S&P Dow Jones Indices say higher rates won’t slow sales until later this year.

The biggest price gains were in Seattle, Portland and Denver, which have topped the other cities in the index for months.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-03-28 09:33:35

Elizabeth, CO Housing Prices Crater 17% YoY

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