July 4, 2017

Mid-Year Housing Bubble Predictions

What are your housing bubble predictions for the second half of 2017? From six months ago, “2019 will likely be closer to a bottom than a top. San Diego kicked off bubble 1.0 after 9/11/01 and Rancho Santa Fe peaked end of 2003 on a price per square foot basis. Then the cooling spread downwards, didn’t hit the low end until 2005 or so. So you generally get only about 3 years of high single digit to low double digit appreciation. Market cant support more than that. We’ve already peaked in this cycle, only fools hear the music still playing.”

One said, “In 2017, many people in the retail world are going to lose their jobs.”

Another said, ” This is the year that more of the same ends, we begin to revert to the mean, and things start to get weird. There’s just too much artifice, lying, criminality, imbalance, and overall fakeness in the global and domestic economies for the various bubbles, housing and otherwise, to continue. I’m not sure how the new Administration will address things, but it’s plain that many in the elite want Trump to fail. I actually believe somebody, or some entity, threatened by Trump, or other embodiments of nationalism or political populism, may trigger a minor financial crisis on purpose.”

“It’s now going to be politically and socially acceptable for the mainstream media to report bad economic news.”

From one year ago. “My predictions: There is not going to be a recession. Rent control laws get passed in some local areas due to rent hike shocks. If it feels like Enron all over again it probably is: a temporary flight to safety over regional issues will reveal the fraud that is underlying this echo housing bubble.”

“Price fixing behavior and illegal collusion among realtors is one element that I think is more serious than the public imagines. Twilio had a successful ipo but they still dont make money. Ask google why that is and the answers reveal there is a circular effect with many unicorns being clients of other unicorns. Some of the explanations for why profit doesn’t matter remind me of the dot com bust.”

And one had this, “Major political or economic shock hits US in August/September. Recession is belatedly found to have begun in Q2 2016. High end housing inventory continues to pile up, putting downward pressure on mid-level housing prices. Median sales prices start to drift downward as high end properties taken out of the mix. Entry-level housing remains in high demand, especially in desirable neighborhoods.”

“Presidential election is close; Hillary prevails albeit not without scandals. Brexit is shelved…”

And finally, “Predictions: The Chinese will NOT sell their houses in British Columbia regardless of any pull-back, correction or crash. A U.S. stock market pullback of 5-7% is imminent. Rents for 2017 will rise 5-10%. Downtown Miami will become a new Chinatown.”

“Housing prices will go sideways in 2017 with scarcity and location still being the only criteria to consider. The electoral college will decide the next Presidential election. We will wake up to a China stock market crash in 2017 which then takes us down as well.”

“College admissions drop, car inventories rise and a Deflationary Recession sets in during 2017. The banking and business interests will continue to game elders and and the upper lower class.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-02 08:32:47

I’ll forward this post through the holiday.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-07-02 09:19:38

My forecast: things will continue to move much more slowly than I expect or desire. :-)

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-02 09:29:14

My forecast: The enormous population of totally dumbed-down ignorant pukes that inhabit this planet in general and this country in particular will one day soon wake up and realize that they have been played for the fools that they are by total strangers and will act ENMASS to change their self-destructive ways and from that point on spell the doom of those total strangers who have been so joyously and profitably playing them.

(Bahahahahaha … just kidding)

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-02 11:32:05

Sounds to me like you recognize that a day will come where you will have to face the crowd while they’re holding the torches and pitchforks.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 09:44:44

I predict the Fed will walk back rate hike plans and the GSEs will continue to loosen lending standards in order to perpetuate Housing Bubble 2.0 as long as possible.

These efforts will come to naught, as Housing Bubble 2.0 dies in 2018 of complications due to morbid obesity.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 09:57:45

Op-Ed: To reform the housing market, get rid of these two bloated behemoths
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the real culprits at the heart of the last financial crisis.
- Finally, a bipartisan effort is underway to reform the too-big-to-fail home financing industry institutions.
- Here’s why Fannie and Freddie need to go.
Paul Atkins, former SEC commissioner, Patomak Global Partners CEO
Thu, 29 Jun ‘17 | 8:56 AM ET

News of a bipartisan effort underway in the U.S. Senate to reform the housing finance industry is a welcome development, but the devil is in the details.

Almost a decade after the financial crisis, in addition to repairing damage caused by the flawed Dodd-Frank law, policymakers must work swiftly to wind-down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two institutions at the heart of the last financial crisis.

Failing to reform the housing market is Dodd-Frank’s biggest omission. Doing so now is essential to preventing future taxpayer bailouts and protecting the hard-earned savings and investments of American families.

Key to reforming these government-sponsored entities (GSEs) is deconstructing the Obama-era financial crisis narrative: that the Great Recession was due principally to insufficient bank regulation and dodgy Wall Street behavior.

To do so, policymakers should turn to Peter J. Wallison’s 2014 book, Hidden in Plain Sight. Wallison makes a compelling, thoroughly-documented case that government housing policies were “the sine qua non of the crisis – the element without which there would not have been a widespread financial breakdown in 2008.”

The GSEs provide a liquid secondary mortgage market by buying loans from mortgage originators so they in turn have funds to extend more home loans. Until 1992, they followed traditional underwriting standards in determining which loans to acquire (very few with down payments below 3 percent).

But the GSE Act of 1992 set aggressive targets for them to purchase loans originated to borrowers at or below the median income level – many of whom were “subprime.” To meet the goals, the GSEs lowered underwriting standards for mortgages they purchased from originators, who before had little incentive to originate poorly underwritten loans, Wallison explains.

Because of the GSEs’ large market share, low- and moderate-income level lending targets – first set at 30 percent – had immediate nation-wide impact: in 1989 just 7 percent of mortgages were made with a down payment below 10 percent, but by 1994, the share of low down payment mortgages had grown to 29 percent. The Department of Housing and Urban Development steadily increased the targets to 55 percent through 2007, causing underwriting standards to concurrently fall along the way. By 2007, two in five loans acquired by the GSEs were made with down payments below 3 percent.

Competition for market share between the GSEs and the Federal Housing Administration – which offers federally-backed mortgage insurance to enable low down payment lending to low-income and first-time home buyers – further accelerated the nation-wide decline in underwriting standards.

This increased the number of prospective home buyers and thus demand for homes, creating a housing price and construction bubble that spanned 1997 through 2007 and dwarfed the largest of all previous such bubbles by a multiple of nine. When the bubble popped, low- and middle-income American families were hit the hardest.

In a 2010 CNBC interview then-Representative Barney Frank expressed hope for substantial GSE reform: “I hope by next year we’ll have abolished Fannie and Freddie…it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn’t afford and couldn’t really handle once they had it.”

Yet today, the GSEs remain in federal conservatorship almost a decade after the crisis as a “temporary” federal takeover continues, leaving taxpayers on the hook for $5 trillion of risk.

Comment by oxide
2017-07-02 11:21:16

leaving taxpayers on the hook for $5 trillian of risk.

That’s pretty funny. Alrighty then, let’s sell the GSE assets — all them, mind you, not just the juicy ones on the top — to private banks and let *them* take on the $5 trillian in risk. And of course when it goes south, they’ll whine and cry for another bailout, which means the taxpayer is still on the hook.

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-02 13:07:32

That’s the gig - the taxpayer is ALWAYS on the hook for the reckless gambling of Wall St. and the moneyed interests, no matter who owns what. Every single decision made from the beginning of the economic meltdown had the moneyed special interests in mind, not the taxpayer.

Geithner’s comments always supported that. “Foam the runway” with FB’s, so banks could continue raping the country. I don’t know how this will ever change short of another, worse economic collapse where people are so destitute both emotionally as well as financially that they literally start taking the law into their own hands, trying to assault bankers and public officials. Only when the politicians start fearing for their lives might they do something different.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2017-07-02 11:42:47

“the heart of the last financial crisis…”

Peel the onion.

Cheap and easy credit without end.

Federal Reserve/FedGov dumb and dumber partnership to rig interest rates and spend, lend, spend and lend.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 12:47:03

“…it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn’t afford and couldn’t really handle once they had it.”

Is anyone besides me dumbfounded that the practice continues a decade after Barney Frank saw the light?

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-02 14:43:44

One of the fundamental mistakes is the meme that the correlation between home ownership and wealth means that home ownership is the cause of wealth.

What gets lost in the mix is the financially responsible behaviors (such as living within your means, holding a steady job, paying your bills on time, and saving) that people established prior to buying their first house (with a down payment from saved earnings).

It’s the responsible financial behaviors that one establishes that are the cause of wealth, not home ownership itself.

I feel badly for those low income folks who got in over their heads.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 16:11:31

“One of the fundamental mistakes is the meme that the correlation between home ownership and wealth means that home ownership is the cause of wealth.”

That seems beyond stupid, the worst ever case of confusing correlation with causality.

Are the politicians driving this bus truly that far beyond stupid, or do they merely pretend to be so for political and financial gain?

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-02 16:16:12

“…living within your means, holding a steady job, paying your bills on time, and saving…”

Have you see rent prices? Have you seen the job market? Have you seen debt loads? A lot of people are in way too deep.

Comment by oxide
2017-07-02 19:01:58

That’s sort of true, Ol’ Bubba. I wouldn’t say that buying a house is going to bring riches, but it does bring wealth…

IF you have a stable job
IF you can save for a down payment, preferably 10%+
IF you can keep your job for 6-7+ years, or at least change jobs without relocating
IF you can stay in the house long enough to pay it off and continue to live it in the house at low cost.
IF (alternatively) you can pay off a house in an expensive area and buy another house in a cheap area outright
IF your children live in the house after you die, so they don’t have to pay mortgage or rent at all.

If you can do that, then yes, housing is a good choice. The problem is that people thought the house itself brought riches, without taking all this IFs into account.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 20:19:08

“I wouldn’t say that buying a house is going to bring riches, but it does bring wealth…”

There’s that meme again, in the form of a red herring.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 20:22:02

“IF you can save for a down payment, preferably 10%+”

Unless you buy at the right phase of the bubble price cycle, this could be a good recipe for gambling away your life savings.

Comment by BlueSkye
2017-07-03 04:39:33

“a house is going to bring riches, but it does bring wealth…”

Spending two or three decades repaying a loan for an overpriced speculative asset is dissipation.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 10:03:38

Fed’s Kashkari: ‘What’s the Rush’ on Interest Rate Hikes?

Interest rate hikes have been a hot topic of discussion this year, but with inflation low and wages showing little sign of improving, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Tuesday that the U.S. Federal Reserve should not be raising interest rates, Reuters staffer Ann Saphir reports.

Comment by Wheres a folding chair when you need it
2017-07-02 12:06:13

I predict youre wrong. Fed moves gradually in one direction, then the other. If a crisis occurs in the middle of this move to raise rates, they will pull out some other rabbit. Maybe UBI, or some other ponzi scheme. I could see them pulling the pin on the pension crisis and stepping in with UBI to keep the masses sedate - along with making it ok to buy weed on EBT/SNAP. Gotta keep them dumb.

Another prediction: shopping malls will be savaged when the lame stream media finally admits we never got out of the “great recession”. They’re already dead men walking, but investors are holding on thinking a recover is around the corner and putting money into redoing the landscaping and other nonsense. True story, a mall near me has undergone no less then 3 extensive makeovers in the past 8 or so years. During each one of these phases they lost tenants and the large amount of construction scared away alot of would be customers who figured it was closed. There used to be a really good and fairly inexpensive fish place in it, no mas - bailed during makeover #2.

Maybe these fools are trying to keep up with the Mikas and Pelosis and their facelifts, who knows lol!

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-02 13:10:46

“…along with making it ok to buy weed on EBT/SNAP. Gotta keep them dumb.”

You know, this probably isn’t a stretch in today’s world. Anything goes!!

Comment by scdave
2017-07-02 14:43:03

trying to keep up with the Mikas and Pelosis and their facelifts, who knows lol! ??

Damm….Now Trump is on the HBB. Chit

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 16:22:49

He’s been posting here from time to time when he gets bored with tweeting and watching TV. Haven’t you noticed?

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Comment by Mike
2017-07-02 12:35:51

That predication makes sense to me.

I think they will use some balance sheet reduction to justify an end to rate hikes. I think this will backfire. I think the balance sheet reductions will cause the momentum trade front runners to create a bond yields to rise more than expected.

This will panic the Fed, who will issue some sort “data dependent” excuse for stopping their balance sheet reductions. In the end, maybe one more rate rise, maybe $100B in balance sheet reduction, then press the all stop button. Then the Fed will huddle and pray that the Potemkin village is not revealed. After all, hot money searching for yield may goose asset prices. But wallpapering over a rotted wall does not fix the wall.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-02 14:45:29

+ 1 Mike

Comment by taxpayers
2017-07-02 10:40:42

re down 2% w weds 7/5 as the peak
this will cause county budgets to fall 1%

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-02 11:28:05

‘Monterey Car Week is coming up quickly and a lot has been happening in the classic car auction marketplace leading up to what serves as the Super Bowl of the auction year. In recent weeks, we have had the Auctions America sale in northern Indiana, the Mecum auction at Indy, RM Sotheby’s at Santa Monica and the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in Connecticut.’

‘Our analysis: If you are in the hunt for a car priced at $150,000 or less, including a lot less, this has definitely become a buyer’s market.’

‘Prices for W113 Pagoda Mercedes-Benz roadsters seem to have dropped from the $80K-plus level to $50,000 to $60,000; early long-hood Porsche 911 are struggling, many selling for less than $50K; and scores of nice little British sports cars can be had for less than $10K – all day. Even bigger dollar cars such as the Austin Healey 3000 and Series 2 and 3 Jaguar E-types are down quite a bit from where they were as recently as the sales at Amelia Island.’

Comment by taxpayers
2017-07-02 12:24:07

used car crash continues, big fun coming

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 12:54:48

Any thoughts on how to time the bottom of the used car crash.

I suppose a simple rule of thumb is to wait until the next recession is underway to buy. We bought in 2008 with cash in hand. I can’t remember an emptier show room!

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-02 13:12:16

It’s going to be a while. Probably at least another 12 months.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-02 14:31:18

When the long-deferred financial reckoning day arrives, millions of cars are going to end up getting repossessed at the same time credit is drastically tightened. That should make for some good deals for cash buyers.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-07-04 07:38:15

Do you really want to buy a repo’d car? Chances are the owner wasn’t changing the oil in a timely manner, or maybe never did. Plus I expect the interior to be thrashed.

Comment by rms
2017-07-02 21:13:44

I’ve been following used trucks. Many of them are about seven years old, and I get the idea that they were bought with balloon payment loans with low monthly payment. I’m guessing the new truck inventories are low due to cuts in production. Otherwise, these used trucks would be traded in for a new one with another balloon payment loan, and the remaining balance due on the old truck would be rolled into the new loan. This only works if fed.gov guarantees are there for the bondholders.

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Comment by barry
2017-07-04 18:59:15

Yet most dealers in WA state are asking a 30% premium for the F150 Raptor - i just dont get it

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-07-02 13:06:44

“Austin Healey 3000 … down quite a bit from where they were.”

Where did they start from and where did they run up from? That’s my question. Am I going to be able to buy a nice 1960s vintage one for a 1990s price ? ( The jag 150s are pegged to currencies, FWIW)
You chase the car of your youth and then when you are older you find out the generation below you isn’t interested in a Thunderbird.
My son likes Uber. :)


If my XYZ ran up from five million to fifteen million and then fell back to ten million, does it mean I have a severe loss?

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-07-02 13:09:56

Meant to say:
Where did they start from and where did they run up to?

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-02 13:15:12

A lot of the interest in “classic cars” is due to the high values. When values crater, so does demand. It’s backwards, just like real estate. I like buying low and selling high, but it seems most of the world likes to do the opposite.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-02 14:51:21

Classic cars are really just toys. Like alphonso wrote: you chase the car of your youth (probably because you couldn’t afford it when you were young).

Rhetorical question - if you had $25,000 to spend on a car and your choices were a 2017 Honda Accord or a mint 1966 Ford Mustang, which choice gives you the most car for the money? If you choose the ‘66 Mustang, then you’re really not buying a means of transportation. You’re buying something else.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-02 14:59:44

If you choose the ‘66 Mustang, then you’re really not buying a means of transportation. You’re buying something else ??

Well duh. 🤠 Nothing wrong with spending 15-20K on a weekend car for a drive on the coast or to a 4th of July parade if you can afford it.

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Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-02 15:11:09

” Nothing wrong with spending 15-20K on a weekend car for a drive on the coast or to a 4th of July parade if you can afford it.”
No, nothing wrong at all. If you can afford it, then it’s just a toy or an expensive form of amusement.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-03 07:42:39

then it’s just a toy or an expensive form of amusement ??

Its not expensive if you can afford it…Its also not amusement if you really enjoy owning, working on and driving the car just like any other guy hobby where one would spend their leisure time…

Comment by scdave
2017-07-02 14:51:28

Nice post Ben. Thx. I may look to buy a car this August in Reno.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-07-02 15:00:45

I always talk about consumption demand versus speculative demand, so I’ll post my opinion within that context:

1) Consumption demand should remain stable. I think it typically is, except when there are population shifts.

2) Speculative demand (includes pure speculative plus hybrid consumption-speculative demand): Locally I saw a price surge after the election, from November to say March or April. Like 100-150K surges. I attribute that to expectations after the election that the economy would improve and stocks and real estate would be favored. Also, the GSEs raised conforming loan limits back in late November as well.

BUT - there’s the one interesting thing, increasingly hawkish talk from the US and European central bank. Could it be a change in thinking or just a desire to get interest rates up so they have room to drop them in a future recession? Is it just talk?

On another note, I’m sure the populist/antiestablishment wave has caught their attention. All the central banks are capable of doing is redistributing wealth by their expert hand, perhaps they feel they’ve gone as far as they can go. Perhaps.

My suspicion is prices will plateau during the 2nd half the year, having surged already.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 20:28:08

“GSEs raised confirming loan limits”

Federally-guaranteed across-the-board real estate price increases…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-02 15:13:27

The leading indicators of Tech Bubble 2.0 bursting are becoming more evident by the day.


Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-02 16:28:48

“There are at least a million square feet of unoccupied commercial real estate on a single street.”

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-02 19:10:55

An article from last year …

Three simple charts that help explain why 9,000 businesses have left California in just 7 years.


Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-02 19:16:06

San Joe and Oakland area job markets tumble.

The Bay Area lost 4,400 jobs in February, mainly due to thousands of job cuts in Santa Clara County and the East Bay.


Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-02 19:17:59
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Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 16:27:40

Listening to an NPR piece deploring the plight of young black men who get themselves shot by the police and their families. No mention of the criminal histories of many of those who get themselves shot. No mention of the real life convenience store robbery footage, starring Michael Brown.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-07-02 18:32:07

Reality intrudes, eventually.

Comment by rms
2017-07-02 21:53:07

Not viable.

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-03 06:44:53

“young black men who get themselves shot by the police and their families”

Adding insult to injury.

Comment by aNYCdj
2017-07-03 08:20:00

They will never admit it is extremely rare for anyone to be shot by police while standing still. And there is no evidence mike brown was going to college none, so the fake news media ran with mamas rant and never backed it up

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 16:37:42

Prediction: The Fed will continue to engage in command-and-control market-distorting stealthy intervention to artificially prop up the economy, based on the presumption that the free market is incapable of standing on its own two feet.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-07-02 17:15:40

based on the presumption that the free market is incapable of standing on its own two feet.

Now that—that right there—is one of the scariest comments I’ve read here in a looooong time.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-02 20:11:33

This excercise in stealth (and open) intervention cannot be conducted without some choice of winners and losers. For example, should current homeowners’ property values be supported at the expense of renters and members of the younger generation who are not homeowners? It is up to God’s chosen committee of central bankers to decide.

Comment by trader jack
2017-07-02 17:58:13

It seems to me that the financial water is boiling and we humans are starting to realize the life is getting harder as the prices rise.

we are so happy to get a raise in salary and fail to realize that the prices are getting higher, until we run short of money.

my first salary was 25 cents an hour and now the are paying $12hour which is about a 5000% raise in 80years,

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-02 19:01:55

“… until we run short of money.”

Here’s a velocity of money chart (it’s M2 but, hey).


If you think you are short of money it’s because money is not flowing into your coffers as it should, or, more accurately, as you think it should.

My suggestion to you is you should find ways to borrow more.

For the children.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-03 12:07:49

At a glance, it seems the M2V data went bubbly beginning in 1987 (Alan Greenspan’s appointment year), peaked out in 1997, and started a long trip to the basement that has continued more or less unabated for two decades. Not sure what that means, but that’s what I see.

Comment by rms
2017-07-03 13:33:31

“Not sure what that means, but that’s what I see.”

It’s clear that you took the red pill. Crystal.

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Comment by oxide
2017-07-02 19:11:52

80 years

Damn I love reading your posts…

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-02 23:05:46

Same here. He’s an appraiser who’s seen it all way before most of us were born. I hope he keeps posting, as I love his perspective.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-07-02 19:06:56

Anyone want to take a stab at how much a house would go for if mortgage rates were 1%? Here, let me take a stab. If people were paying maybe $1500 a month for a mortgage, I think they would stretch it to $2000 a month. Factor 12 payments per a year and 30 years, I could see houses going to $700K easily on average. Crazy how interest rates could allow that, huh?

Comment by oxide
2017-07-03 05:49:05

Lower mortgage rates aren’t going to give buyers an extra $500/month. Instead, house prices would simply rise to where principle+interest is still $1500/month, but more of it is principle and less is interest.

$1500/month at 4% and 10% down = $350,000 house
$1500/month at 1% and 10% down = $520,000 house

(of course, muni’s would love low interest rates because property tax is based on price, not interest. And they would have to pay out next to nothing on muni bonds.)

Comment by julie
2017-07-03 02:26:02

The only reason the Federal Reserve is raising rates, is so they have room to lower them when everyone realizes we are already in recession. It is fake money that is propping up the economy. I ask people, “Where is the money coming from that is paying the Uber drivers, if Uber is loosing money every year?” It is borrowed money. Someone I know is planning on having a baby, and her husband is an Uber driver. I didnt want to tell her, “Dont do it”- because so few people are having families, but I am so worried about them. I dont have it all figured out exactly, but I can see it is at best a misguided adventure and at worst, fraud. How many other companies are like this now? It is musical chairs. I am even skeptical of Amazon, but they appear to be on some sort of profitability projectory. I was given a box of
“Blue Apron” and was aghast at the packaging waste. There is no way this sort of thing will work.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-03 05:36:41

“I ask people, ‘Where is the money coming from that is paying the Uber drivers, if Uber is loosing money every year?’ It is borrowed money. Someone I know is planning on having a baby, and her husband is an Uber driver. I didnt want to tell her, “Dont do it”- because so few people are having families, but I am so worried about them. I dont have it all figured out exactly, but I can see it is at best a misguided adventure and at worst, fraud.”

Read this and weep …

“How much do Uber drivers really make?”


Comment by oxide
2017-07-03 06:49:08

Blue Apron packaging waste:


Of course in order to be fair, Buzzfeed should have made those same meals with grocery store ingredients and measured the packaging waste for that. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be easy because you have to normalize the grocery store packaging, e.g., one recipe would trash 1/4 of a tomato paste can, 1/8 of a carrot bag, 1/32 of a 1 lb butter box, etc. Still, it could be done. Even so, my guess is that most of the waste is in the shipping packaging, not the food wrappers.

Comment by rms
2017-07-03 07:05:47

“Someone I know is planning on having a baby, and her husband is an Uber driver. I didnt want to tell her, “Dont do it”- because so few people are having families, but I am so worried about them.”

The biological alarm beckons. If Uber driver doesn’t do it someone else will plant that seed. A dog in heat will grind herself across the lawn, and if she gets out… any dog will do.

Comment by rms
2017-07-03 07:12:29

Oops, forgot about the baby shower gift. Next trip to the grocery store buy your friend large 144 count box of Pampers Supreme #1 and a tub of butt balm creme. It’s going to happen.

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-03 07:49:15

“Someone I know is planning on having a baby, and her husband is an Uber driver. I didnt want to tell her, “Dont do it”- because so few people are having families, but I am so worried about them.”

Sounds like a match made in heaven - neither of them have rudimentary math skills. Uber driver is a minimum wage job, AT BEST.

Crank it up!


Comment by oxide
2017-07-03 08:59:22

If the best he can do is drive Uber, then they need to go Oil City, i.e. move to an extremely cheap town (anywhere in the country) where you can buy a cheap condo or single-wide for under $60K and work minimum wage. Or, to be honest, move in with mom/dad.

Because right now all they are doing is wearing out the car. And wherever they go, they will NEED that car.

Fayetteville, NC


Caspar, WY


Gainesville, FL


Comment by barry
2017-07-04 19:12:34

actually it is part of the ‘gig economy’

Stories as i take uber:
- one driver i met was a legal secretary in downtown seattle. after work she would uber for 3 hours until traffic died down and should could get home at 60 mph
- a cop for transit authority was uber’ing during his days off - getting up early at 4:xx to do the airport runs for folks

These guys are working hard to make middle class work. It is tough … and they are trying. Lets give them some sympathy for not sitting on their ass and complaining.

Comment by Sean
2017-07-03 02:57:08

My prediction: Pending homes sales will continue to ‘unexpectedly’ decline and revised lower all summer. I’m still a firm believer that kids/school districts drive summer sales, and if you haven’t bought in May/June you won’t be buying in August. Inventory slightly ticks up but nothing major. NAR blames sales on either weather or inventory.

Buyers: Fatigue has set in. Even with 5 percent price cuts people won’t be flocking to their mortgage office. ‘Pent up demand’ folks have already purchased, smart buyers still saving money.

Sellers: Running out of options. They can’t sell and move to another location because their retirement area is overpriced. Houses built in the early 2000s are now 15+ years old and are starting to face major repairs (roofing, windows, etc) which, coupled with a higher tax bill will further strain sellers.

Realtors: They’ll say it’s a good time to buy.

Me: Marching towards my goal of a 100K down payment. 2017-2018 will be all about the DP. On January 1st, 2019 my wife and I will sit down to decide if we want to look or keep renting.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-03 05:14:05

If you plan to buy with a large downpayment, be sure to buy the dip. I.e. buy when the next recession is in full swing and most would-be buyers are too scared about job security to buy. That is how you can double or triple your money, especially if you use a smaller downpayment than $100k.

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-03 08:09:46

^^This. I would also suggest to buy a bank-owned home. You can lowball the bejeebus out of them and move on to the next if they don’t like it.

When I say lowball, I mean lowball. Start out at 50% of asking price, or less.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-07-04 06:45:56

PB is absolutely correct. I bought in early 2008 for $385k, yet bought the same exact model in 2009 for $285k. Be patient.

I just listed the second one for sale at $460,000 and will keep you informed of the transaction. BTW, they sold for $650,000 in 2006!

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-03 06:25:47

Where are you located, Sean? Which market?

Comment by oxide
2017-07-03 09:44:30

I believe Sean moved from suburban MD to Northern Virginia(?). He’s going to need every penny of that $100K down payment.

If you have that kind of money it may be worthwhile to buy a fixer-upper… if you can fine one. Most of the fixer-uppers were snapped up and cosmo-flipped 5-6 years ago.

Comment by Sean
2017-07-03 14:20:35

Oxide is right - I’m in Ashburn, VA - about 10 miles from Dulles Airport. And I will need every penny of that down payment, but it’s achievable. I also have no other debt and an understanding wife. Prices will drop, deals will be had but like someone else said wait until everything is in full swing recession.

And if 2019 isn’t the year, we’ll wait it out for another year and keep saving. No bid deal.

Comment by taxpayers
2017-07-04 07:24:52

buy in dc area? cuts coming via swamp drainage,

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Comment by rms
2017-07-03 17:48:34

Sean, it’s all about who is going to be upside-down with this over-priced asset, e.g., you the mortgagee or America’s bondholders and the GSEs backing them.

Comment by oxide
2017-07-03 05:55:43

I predict that we’re going to see even more doubling up and tripling up of incomes in major cities. I see a lot of Help Wanted and Now Hiring signs, but they are all lucky-ducky jobs in an area where housing just too expensive even for $12-$15 minimum wage.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-07-04 07:33:25

I was told that the huge and very visible eastern European workforce in London, which does the menial work the refugees won’t do, cram into small flats with multiple roommates, while the refugees join the Free Sh!t Army and get top priority for placement free council housing.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by In Colorado
2017-07-04 07:49:57

“Sleeping beauty?” That place looks like an archaeological dig site, AKA: “a ruin”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-03 07:02:52

Blowing bubbles: the new world economic order. Enriching the already super-rich at the expense of everyone else.

Heckova job, central bankers.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by In Colorado
2017-07-04 07:28:19

“Experts predict property costs could plunge by FORTY PER CENT”

So, a crappy flat in a crummy building, that sold for £50,000 30 years ago, is going to drop from £1,000,000 to £600,000. Still out of reach of whatever is left of London’s middle class.

Comment by snake charmer
2017-07-03 07:22:16

Heh. Thanks for including my prediction Ben. I haven’t been correct on anything yet, other than approximating the general social and political context, but I’m going to stick with it. Here’s more of what I wrote:

“[I]t’s plain that many in the elite want Trump to fail — far more than who wanted Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Obama to fail. They will push for that failure regardless of consequences to the rest of the country, because they no longer identify with the rest of the country. I actually believe somebody, or some entity, threatened by Trump, or other embodiments of nationalism or political populism, may trigger a minor financial crisis on purpose. With so many interconnected aspects to the system, it could be like pulling out the Jenga piece that topples the wobbly tower. Russia will be blamed. In fact, I suspect that’s why the tense relationship with Russia was manufactured: members of our elite know the jig is up, and they need a scapegoat lest they face the music.

Beyond this year, I give Trump a 50-50 chance at finishing his term before he either quits, is impeached, or is forcibly deposed. His replacement might be selected by Constitutional means, or he/she might not be.”

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-03 07:52:44

OT, snake, how bad were the storms up in Tampa a couple of nights ago? We lost power down here for about 6-7 hours. Transformer blew out. Fortunately, it wasn’t quite as hot and nasty as I thought it would be, there was a slightly cool breeze coming in from the east after the storm, so I was able to sleep without lying in a bath of sweat.

Comment by snake charmer
2017-07-03 09:03:38

Just a heavy rain. I was driving at the time and had to take a circuitous route, doubling back twice, because of street flooding in south Tampa. I looked at the color-coded radar, where green is light rain and red is a deluge, and a huge red blob passed right over the peninsula.

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-03 09:09:38

Heh, lucky you. We had one of those “hover storms” where it sits right over a location for a while, shooting bolts of lightning at the ground.

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Comment by palmetto
2017-07-03 07:27:13

The last bubble-pop had its indicators prior to the main event. This time, I think the main indicator is the pension problem faced by a number of states, followed by freezes and shutdowns.

Also the NYT has a story about would-be migrants in Central America staying put.


Less cheap labor for the builders?

Comment by oxide
2017-07-03 10:18:59

The commenters to the article are overwhelmingly in favor of Trump.

(personally, I agree with enforcing the laws, but I don’t like Trump’s intention to cut off the aid to the Central American countries either. That double whammy would do just too much humanitarian damage.)

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-04 07:02:13

“I don’t like Trump’s intention to cut off the aid to the Central American countries either”

How much of that “aid” do you think actually gets to the people who need it? I don’t know the figures, but it seems to me like foreign aid is a huge racket, benefiting the shady folks at the top in these suffering countries. In some ways, it probably makes things worse for the masses.

I’m all for cutting it off unless ways can be found to get it directly to the people who need it the most.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-07-04 07:21:57

I was watching some Confederations Cup, the warm up tournament before next year’s FIFA World Cup, on good old Telemundo. I watched some of the local nightly news show that was on later, and seemed that more than half the show was about poor “imigrantes” who were being deported or were afraid of being deported.

Trump, like most politicos, hasn’t delivered on many promises. But I can’t remember the last time the illegal community was sweating bullets like it is now. Their cockiness is gone. No more “we’re staying and you can’t make us leave”. They’re running scared, and that is having a big effect south of the Rio Bravo, where many are choosing to stay and tough it out, even with all the narco violence.

Comment by PDneXt
2017-07-03 13:27:07

My prediction was for signtwirlers by Sept. 1. I saw my first signtwirler July 1 in Seattle. Sidewalks in Seattle are covered with sandwich boards for different luxury complexes. I predict we are past the top but have no idea how long the Fed can drag this out. With the Tweeter in Chief, we could have a crisis trigger pretty much any time.

Another anecdote: a friend with a rental property in Portland, OR said he had zero responses from Craigslist but tons from out of staters from his Zillow rental listing. I speculate that it is “investors” wanting to airbnb. Portland’s population growth has slowed to the national average.

Comment by taxpayers
2017-07-04 07:27:56

the twirl lndex!

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-04 07:33:09

Human directionals. I love that one. They used to be all over the place around here, touting the new developments. I can’t remember the last time I saw one.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-07-04 07:52:45

The local Papa Murphy’s, a take and bake pizza place, has a mechanical sign twirler out on the road. Even those jobs are being automated into oblivion.

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Comment by The Filth
2017-07-04 09:05:48

I once met a supervisor of the sign twirlers. Yes, that exists. Your job is to hide somewhere nearby, and watch the twirlers from your hiding spot. If the twirlers are being lazy and not twirling, you come out of your hiding spot and warn and/or fire them.

Comment by barry
2017-07-04 19:19:42

i am in seattle as well - in Belltown. The 2 bedroom ‘luxury’ apts are going for $4K - amazon.com, google, facebook employees. For now these guys are willing to pay this rent

The issue is that 5 miles out of south lake union, the stock is old and folks that dont work for high tech still cannot afford the much lower rent prices.

We particularly have the issue of different salary ranges - and mapping to what they can afford on rent.

Comment by taxpayers
2017-07-04 07:33:43

Zillow predicts Caracas +3%

made u look

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