July 7, 2017

It Can Become A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “The online real estate site Trulia ranks Sarasota in the top ten hottest real estate markets of 2017. USF Sarasota-Manatee economics instructor Dr. Michael Snipes says Florida’s quick bounce back is due to the constant influx of new home buyers. The key he says is to maintain that flow of new residents. ‘There’s some concern that we might be building too quickly. That supply might be outpacing demand and so a lot of that is trying to predict that a lot of that immigration is going to still be coming from other states,’ Snipes said.”

“According to the Williamson County Association of Realtors latest report, in May 2017, 57.7 percent of homes sold were under $300,000. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, the median home price in Williamson County in 2011 was $172,000 dollars, now its $280,000. Jack Stapleton has been a realtor in Central Texas for 15 years. He said they have more inventory of new builder homes listed over the $350,000 price mark. ‘We’re saturated with that inventory,’ said Stapleton.”

“In the current real estate market, bidding wars are less common, there are fewer all-cash deals, units are languishing longer on the market and sellers are chopping prices a bit more than a year ago, experts say. In Manhattan, homes sold, on average, for about 6 percent less than their last advertised price, according to Douglas Elliman. Sellers can no longer pin their hopes on ‘aspirational’ pricing and wait for that ‘one buyer’ to overpay, according to Frederick Peters, of Warburg Realty. ‘Buyers are as price conscious as I have ever seen them,’ Peters said.”

“Following the Toronto Real Estate Board’s latest data dump, one real estate analyst says we are probably witnessing the housing bubble burst. John Pasalis, president at Realosophy Realty, said a herd mentality had investors eager to buy earlier in the year. ‘For most of 2016 and leading up to the first quarter of 2017, there was a lot of speculation in the market. A lot investors coming in – domestic primarily, just buying up properties because they felt prices were going to go up forever,’ Pasalis said, noting this type of behaviour isn’t good for the market. ‘In April and May, the market kind of turned on a dime. So we had fewer buyers and way more listings.’”

“There will be no tears shed for the Shard and its failure to find buyers for its £30m apartments. Instead, ‘Shard-enfreude’ will be the dominant feeling among priced-out home-buyers, excluded from the residential towers which now litter the capital’s skyline, and whose luxury penthouses lie empty. The sharp slowdown in London – and outright declines in its ‘prime’ boroughs – is evident to any buyer.”

“The cost of housing is still high in Norway, but brokers report another decline in prices for the month of June that’s been described as ‘dramatic.’ Prices fell the most in Oslo, where they’ve been highest and where supply has jumped while demand has fallen because of tougher financing requirements. Erik Bruce, chief analyst at Norway’s second-largest bank Nordea noted that the latest price decline will likely reinforce the cooling trend. ‘When folks begin to expect price declines, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy,’ he told NTB. ‘Buyers get more demanding and many want to sell before buying anything new.’”

“Monitoring and supervising programs of the Ministry of Housing led to stagnation in the real estate sector in the Makkah region and a drop in the rental rate of apartments by about 30 percent compared to previous years. A lot of ‘apartments for rent’ signs are hanging on buildings in the holy capital as owners and investors have lost their confidence in real estate offices to rent their units. ‘Many investors in the real estate market, especially the owners of the condominiums and villas construction and marketing companies, are in a state of anxiety. Some of them are threatened with imprisonment and some of whom have already been jailed, because they have received bank financing and built a lot previously,’ said Nasser Al-Zahrani, a real estate developer.”

“Despite the serious drop in buyer interest, realtors seem to be living in a fool’s paradise where they expect sales to happen despite unaffordable prices. The latest figures for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) show that unsold inventory is building up relentlessly, with property consultancy Liases Foras estimating total inventory at around Rs 2,50,000 crore, with another 1,00,000 homes finding no takers in 2016-17.”

“The inventory of unsold units is rising faster than sales, and inventory levels will take five years to clear at current sales trends. Anyone with a smattering of common sense would conclude that steep discounts are vital to get the inventories down, but the real estate industry apparently thinks it can wait out the downturn in demand. It is probably indulging in a fantasy.”

“There is a glut of about 80,000 bumiputra properties statewide and the government hopes to engage developers to find ways to overcome this. The properties, worth tens of millions of ringgit, comprises condominiums, apartments, shop lots, industrial lots and luxury houses. State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Md Jais Sarday said he would be having a discussion with the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) soon. ‘I have been told that developers are facing a lot of constraints, including cash flow as a result of holding on to the bumi units for long periods.’”

“Auckland is leading the country into house price stagnation. But while a fall in prices will be good news to those waiting for their chance to buy, the past four years of rises have significantly changed the market. So let’s ask, who are the winners and losers at this stage? ‘Capital gains are weaker, a flattening market is generating capital losses for some as they paid too much when purchasing, and access to credit has been reined in not just by the Reserve Bank’s loan-to-value restrictions but bank tightening in credit more generally,’ said BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander. ‘In addition there is now an over-supply of developable land in Auckland and some panic-selling of subdividable properties no longer of any immediate use to potential developers is possible if not probable in investor-dominated locations.’”

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-07 06:08:47

Another former Tech Bubble 2.0 high-flier bites the dust.


Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 09:57:14


On the face of it, this does not sound like a sustainable business model.

Comment by oxide
2017-07-07 11:47:56

Not to mention the 90-era craptacular name. I’m surprised they didn’t call themselves “Jawbone Solutions.”

Comment by junior_kai
2017-07-07 14:24:56

Yeah, I had to read that article to remind myself what they did. Tracking fitness, in this country? LOL. Maybe if they had a gluttony tracker they would still be solvent.

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Comment by Karen
2017-07-07 14:14:45

They were huge not that long ago. Their products were everywhere.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-07 06:11:17

Have a good weekend everyone. I’ll be traveling the next three days at least so expect some delays on this blog.

Comment by Karen
2017-07-07 14:11:30

Safe travels

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-07 06:12:17

House price growth in the UK has “flattened.”

Sorry, UK Telegraph Real Journalists, but bubbles never “flatten.” They implode.

Oh dear…look out below….


Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 06:35:54

Seems like home prices are flattening it outright falling in many formerly frothy housing markets around the globe. Makes one wonder for how much longer San Diego can remain a bastion of bubbly investment gains, especially given the sizable footprint here of Chinese investors, whose feet appear to have become somewhat cold of late.

Comment by SD_LI
2017-07-07 15:05:04

Professor Bear, do you really think that there are lots of Chinese in San Diego? Which neighborhoods?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 21:46:12

Simple rule of thumb: The more affluent the area, the larger the influx of Chinese buyers. You won’t find many in Chula Vista or National City; La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe are a different story.

Comment by dandroidz
2017-07-07 08:02:59

So I left the Boston metro area and went on to greener pastures [read more affordable], and my job on travel I loved. It’s funny hearing from people I know there trying to start their life and buy a home. One couple I know (somehow) got approved for $400k, and one is a pre-K teacher and the other is an admin at a bank. I wouldnt even try to buy a $300k house on my engineer salary, what a joke up in the north Boston metro area. Another couple keeps submitting offers and getting outbid, these are $300+k fixers….I cant wait to hear about the implosion up there from these cash-out equity Draculas

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-07 09:33:32

Once you leave the northeast for more affordable parts of the country, you’ll never look back. If you do look back, you’ll ask yourself why didn’t you do it sooner.

I’ve never lived in California, but I imagine it’s similar to the northeast in that regard.

Life is much much better when housing only takes 1/8th or 1/7th of your gross income rather than 1/3rd or 1/half.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-07 10:08:02

Disagree - I was bored yesterday so went into DC to wander around. Came across the Ford Museum and had the most interesting (and free) tour and lecture on Lincoln’s last day.

Couldn’t do that anywhere. Also experiencing weather in the upper 70’s - in July.

Comment by dandroidz
2017-07-07 11:07:30

I’m from VA, and 70s in July is an extreme outlier. I’m generally used to showering, walking outside and sweating again and feeling damp due to the humidity in July-Sept. But I understand what you mean about the amenities and opportunities in a city in regards to things to do.

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Comment by oxide
2017-07-07 11:54:04

DC is an excellent city for just walking around and looking at stuff on the cheap. Many museums are free, lots of outdoor events, lots of people watching. Many days, I used to go down to K-street just for lunch and walk through Hecht’s (now Macy’s). But then Metro went into the crapper…

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Comment by 2banana
2017-07-07 12:19:34

Well, that is certainly worth paying $450,000 for a crack shack with $17,000 in property taxes.

There are these things called vacations and hotels…


“Came across the Ford Museum and had the most interesting (and free) tour and lecture on Lincoln’s last day.”

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Comment by Jessica
2017-07-07 15:59:16

Whatever - have no idea where you pulled your info from. Not what I’m seeing.

Comment by LI LI Land
2017-07-07 17:59:26

You’re right, Jessica he’s off by 100k.

The median list price per square foot in Washington is $518, which is higher than the Washington Metro average of $222. The median price of homes currently listed in Washington is $562,900. The median rent price in Washington is $2,695, which is higher than the Washington Metro median of $2,150.

Washington DC Home Prices & Home Values | Zillow
Zillow › washington-dc › home-values

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-07 18:22:02

Most people here do not own a sfh. A nice townhouse in burbs will go for 400 to 450k. Agree - the prices are insane. But the taxpayers keep voting to get screwed by the politicians who have blown up the government for almost 20 yrs now.

Just have to see if Trump can rein it in as promised.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 20:54:05

By “blow up the government” I assume you are referring to blowing $3+ trillion on Housing Bubble reflation in the past few years? Or maybe entitlement or military spending? Because the federal workforce is about the same size now as it was in 1970.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-07 22:49:19

The DC Metro area has gotten quite wealthy in the last few years. The mantra of all real estate brokers here is “we’re recession proof!”. Housing has tripled in the last few years when federal workers became the elite class.

So sick of the bs argument that you just tried. The fed employees of today are not of the same class they were in 1970.

Comment by rms
2017-07-07 23:26:09

“Housing has tripled in the last few years when federal workers became the elite class.”

Among my clients are several fed offices, and the peeps there have had their wages stagnate for the past ten years. There’s also a huge pay gap between those with college degrees and the rest. Many of the younger STEM peeps have moved on to the private sector. DC is probably different.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 07:42:15

“Housing has tripled in the last few years when federal workers became the elite class.”

Are you suggesting this is because federal workers salaries have skyrocketed, enabling them to drive home prices through the roof?

Or might the problem be that $3+trillion in federal handouts to the real estate industrial complex, with the deliberate intent to drive home prices back to bubble levels?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 08:01:21

“Among my clients are several fed offices, and the peeps there have had their wages stagnate for the past ten years.”

Stop juxtaposing reality into the path of Republican party talking points.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-08 08:03:16

Not taking the bait - sorry Professor.

Comment by rms
2017-07-08 08:34:34

The state offices we frequent aren’t much better either, but they have unions. I get the feeling that their benefits are better than the feds. Employee morale is terrible across the board, and I suspect excessive debt as a major factor.

Comment by dandroidz
2017-07-08 08:59:51

I can comment on the Fed/STEM situation as I have lived it. Federal workforce numbers have been stagnant since the 1970s. The pay gap of when I first started was roughly $10,000-12,000 between what they could give me and the pvt sector. The trade off was the “stability” of federal employment based on previous decades, but since I was employed we had had 1 shut down, a budget battle EVERY year, 1 furlough, 3 pay freezes (no inflation adjustment), 2 hiring freezes, and now face a huge backlog of Boomer retirements. But I digress, the Feds are certainly not driving the housing market in Dc, but the lobbyists, and associated budget leeches on the politicians and white collar hook ups.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 09:19:07

You are the bait, Jessica.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-08 10:26:21

DC has become one of the wealthiest cities and most popular destination for new grads because of the GOVERNMENT. Average salaries for fed workers is 100K+ with pensions and 100% job security. Hence the trilling of all the RE brokers here that “we are recession proof!!”. One idiot RE recently bragged how the federal workers of DC never had to worry about getting laid off like other parts of the country - I know she really wanted to say “those other suckers”. Shutdowns are paid vacations here. The golf courses are full, bars and restaurants are packed as they all know they will receive back pay when it reopens. One gov’t slob went online to complain that it wasn’t a “real vacation” because she had to be “ready” to go back to work. Not getting a COLA every year?! WaaaaaaH! My colleagues and I have had to worry about layoffs - forget COLAS - and how to manage a stock portfolio so we can not be destitute in our later years. Unlike the FEDs - we don’t have pensions. Fed workers in the DC area are the most pampered, spoiled ELITE class of workers this country has ever seen.

And while the bankers or whoever have rigged the RE market in their favor, they still have to have buyers. I know single teachers who were able to buy townhomes back in the 90’s here. Now they have “affordable housing” set aside for them. At least they did until they gave them all to the illegals.

Comment by rms
2017-07-08 11:32:45

I know a woman who now works inside the beltway, but she is really bright, a gs14 non-supervisory, and her husband is a gs13 manager. They’re both very productive high achievers, so no ethnic or gender crutch required.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-08 12:05:48

Lot’s of us are “high achievers”. But all of us don’t have guaranteed 6 figure salaries and pensions regardless of the business cycle.

Comment by rms
2017-07-08 12:35:19

I’ve never been chained to the business cycle, per se, but rapidly evolving technology means lots of uncompensated hours reading product white papers and/or code to avoid becoming stale. Oh yeah, on call 24/7 too. I was probably wearing a loin-cloth and building pyramids in my last life, so I’ve got it good this go ’round.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-08 13:37:19

Yes - changing technology is the new business cycle. And you don’t get compensated for keeping up to date (if that’s possible) on your own time.

Just sick of shouldering the stress for the elite government workers.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 14:25:28

There’s no shortage of Republican Party propaganda when Jessica posts here. I am personally fed up with the lies and distortions. I realize lies are what keeps politicians in office and attorneys’ and used home sellers’ children in shoes, but it gets old.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 14:29:22

“Average salaries for fed workers is 100K+ with pensions and 100% job security.”

I’m sure there is no qualifications necessary for the $100K salaries, at least according to Jessica’s version of reality.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 15:18:48

“And you don’t get compensated for keeping up to date (if that’s possible) on your own time.”

Of course you do.

Don’t take my word for it; try out this experiment on yourself: Don’t bother trying to stay up to date in your field for a five year period and see whether you continue to get compensated.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-08 18:40:37

What agency of the Fed do you work for, Prof?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 20:59:21

Which agency do you work for, Jess?

Comment by dandroidz
2017-07-09 18:09:48

Wow, Jess so you are a massive Govt employee hater, who groups them all together as elite overpaid slouches. Yes we may outlive certain economic cycles, but wouldnt the mean average of our salary over the span of an entire career perhaps match or actually underperform a private sector person due to the ebbs and flows of business? One minute Im earning way below private sector engineers, the next year I may be earning more if they are temporarily laid off or facing cutbacks. I work with a lot of brilliant engineers who gave up the chase for BIG bucks for the steady ‘good’ bucks. Professionally licensed, some veterans, some who have higher level degrees. So no, not everyone is an “elite” govt worker. You are in Dc, so its natural you have that perception when the avg admin asst in govt has to be paid GS-12 pay to make it somewhat desirable to work. DC has an immensely skewed pay scale. The run of the mill idiot is making what most engineers make in the USA as far as federal pay is concerned.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-09 21:54:16

Thought I mentioned Federal workers in DC. I have no real knowledge of Federal workers in other parts. But these elite Fed workers here are living well on the backs of taxpayers - and it is time for it to end.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-09 21:55:47

Thought I mentioned Federal workers in DC. I have no real knowledge of Federal workers in other parts. But these elite Fed workers here are living well on the backs of taxpayers - and it is time for it to end.

Noticed you neglected to mention the pension we all pay for you to have.

Comment by dandroidz
2017-07-07 11:05:38

Im not originally from the Northeast, I only moved up there for a couple of years to mix it up and try new work. I knew going in it was ridiculous oveprriced, but I was blown away to the wealth that exists up there and people assume is “normal”. So when I finally pulled the trigger to move back, I was ecstatic.

Paying $350k for a fixer upper that needs new windows, Ac unit, roof, siding, etc is not my idea of living. All the new construction is apartments and “luxury” condos.

Comment by rms
2017-07-07 16:45:44

“I wouldnt even try to buy a $300k house on my engineer salary…”

+1 That’s the problem with being numerate.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-08 05:28:48

It’s really hard to complete the circuit when you spend over 33% of your income on housing. You run out of juice before long and you need to draw upon credit to make it through the month. That’s a temporary solution at best.

Long term solutions are getting more income (on a sustainable basis), or finding a place where housing doesn’t drain so much of your income on a recurring basis. That’s why I wrote that once people move out of the northeast, they don’t look back.

I acknowledge that there are unique cultural advantages to be found in the NY, DC, and other parts of the northeast, but you’re paying for them through the higher costs of daily living.

Comment by dandroidz
2017-07-08 09:02:00

Its cheaper to visit whenever you want in the good summer/Fall months. Screw that rat race. And getting more income is difficult in these times unless you magically start your own successful business with a great concept and revenue stream. The only way to get supplemental income is odds/ends gig economy, or side contracting/handy work, etc.

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Comment by Apartment 401
2017-07-07 08:07:11

Denver has at least 6,000 homeless.

If you live and/or work in the city, you will be panhandled for money dozens of times every day.

Comment by aqius
2017-07-07 16:31:48

panhandled dozens of times each day?
that’s a drastic improvement compared to downtown Sacramento, and absolute nirvana to San Francisco.

count me in. U-haul rental center, here I come.

guess I better hide my CA license plates upon arrival

Comment by Avg Joe
2017-07-08 00:50:43

It’s been that way for years. I used to walk along the 16th street mall and every block was another panhandler or two.

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-07 08:09:53

jeff, proof of life request. Just even a word. Thanks.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 09:56:12

Very sorry for Jeff’s loss, and feeling it vicariously as the father of a 22-year old daughter.

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-07 10:18:59

You’ve got a good heart, PB, even if I have tangled with you at times. Oxide, too. Tarara, jane, etc and all the people who have reached out to jeff.

I am concerned about him, I won’t lie. Day before yesterday he said he wasn’t sure he’d make it though tomorrow, which would be yesterday.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-07 14:42:41

Ben likely has access to him outside the blog. Ben was the one who brought us the sad news about Oly.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-07 16:55:43

What happened to Oly?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-07-07 20:31:07

Olympiagal, still very much missed here:


Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-07 10:40:04

Tragic, for sure. I learned at a young age that life was about death. It’s never easy, but we all have to deal with it.

Comment by Jessica
2017-07-07 12:02:06

The first weeks after a death are brutal. Lost a boyfriend and thought i was falling into a black hole that would swallow me up. Opened my Bible and looked for scriptures on grief - it saved me.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 12:21:28

This composition was written by Johannes Brahms after his mother passed. Not sure Jeff is into classical, but the words are taken directly from Bible versus which provide solace to the grieving.

Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem

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Comment by palmetto
2017-07-07 15:51:44

Geez, PB, that’s awesome. I’ve only gotten 10 minutes in and am saving it for later, which I almost never do. When I listen to something like this, I realize classical was truly the peak of music, IMO. I never appreciated it and I’m convinced it was because I was never exposed to the really good classical music. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s like any other type of music in that there is both good and bad classical music and sometimes some of the more “popular” stuff wasn’t all that good. This piece is great, at least so far.

I’m afraid my exposure to classical extends mainly to The Nutcracker Suite, which as I understand it Tchaikovsky didn’t even think much of it himself.

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-07-07 16:39:10

I’m not a classical guy but got exposed to a few things in the Army band that stuck with me. It got used in too many war movies but Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and the arrangement of Danny Boy called “Irish Tune From County Derry” I think are both amazing.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-07 11:40:12

Jeff / Phony - I’m so sorry for your loss.

In times like these, just making it through the day is a little victory.

I hope you’re able to string together a bunch of little victories.

Comment by jeff
2017-07-07 17:47:53

Thanks for your concern palmetto and although it is hard to be, my wife and I are here.

Thank you all for your kind words, I have read each of them many times and yes Neuromance, it seems like the light has gone out of my life.

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-07 19:02:25

Whew. Thanks for checking in, jeff. Glad you and your wife are hanging on.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-07-07 20:53:08

Doing something positive, in your daughter’s name, every year, will be a worthwhile tribute to her, allowing her to positively impact the world, acting through you.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-07-07 23:31:48

jeff, so so sorry to hear of your loss.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by 2banana
2017-07-07 11:44:20

What could go wrong?


“We offer the opportunity to acquire co-ownership in artwork and receive up to 75% profit after selling. Guaranteed.”

1. We offer a guaranteed return of your investment. No one else on the market does this.

2. Your profit is guaranteed. At the end of your investment period we pay you the guaranteed profit amount. No other company guarantees your profit.

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-07-07 11:53:22

But is it guaranteed?

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-07 12:06:20

As long as you don’t want to sell and monetize your gain, it’s guaranteed.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2017-07-07 13:37:40

Just asking because I didn’t see enough mention of a guarantee.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-08 05:37:43

I’m pretty sure that as long as you don’t sell and actually monetize your gains that the sponsor will provide quarterly or annual statements that show that your investment balance is growing handsomely.

And why would anyone want to sell an asset when it’s rising in value?

What could possibly go wrong?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 09:54:37

Concerned that housing prices are too high for low-income people to afford shelter? Why not dump in more government subsidies and hope for the best?

Liam Dillon
Senate Bill 2 from Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would add a $75 fee to real estate transactions, such as mortgage refinances, to fund state housing subsidies.

A bill that could provide roughly $250 million a year in new funding for low-income housing development passed the state Senate on Thursday, a key hurdle that keeps on track a potential larger housing package pending in the Legislature.

Senate Bill 2 from Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would add a $75 fee to real estate transactions, such as mortgage refinances, to fund the state housing subsidies. Home and commercial property sales would be exempted from the fee.

Because the bill adds a new fee, it needs a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Legislature to pass. The measure received exactly that number in the Senate with all 27 Democratic senators voting in support. The bill now heads to the Assembly.

“After today’s vote, I am increasingly hopeful that relief is coming soon for many hard-working people,” Atkins said in a statement.

Comment by CHE
2017-07-07 12:33:36

Ugh… our sales tax in LA County just went up a half a percent to fund “homeless programs”

The amount of homeless people I’ve seen over the last year and a half in and around LA has become staggering. Now they’re just lining the streets in places I’d never even seen homeless people before. Trash is everywhere.

Even down in Orange County, where I grew up, the homelessness is incredible. We maybe saw random hobos here or there but now they camp along side the Santa Ana River and have taken up residence near the Courthouse and County Buildings. Insane.

I chalk it up to high housing prices, plus the state releasing more and more people out of the jails - probably a lot of which were low level drug users.

I’m afraid though that this newfound money from the sales tax is just going to attract more to collect on the services. Oh - and wait for our single payer health and sanctuary state to kick in…. ugh

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-07-07 13:40:09

Oh - and wait for our single payer health and sanctuary state to kick in

Sounds like CA single payer is dead. I thought about how attractive it would be to deadbeat types…but also how attractive it would be to small business types who need people who won’t work without health insurance but can’t afford to give it to them yet.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-07 14:50:26

more people out of the jails - probably a lot of which were low level drug users ??

Who now cannot get work because of background checks on even the most minieal job.

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-07 15:39:26

“The amount of homeless people I’ve seen over the last year and a half in and around LA has become staggering. Now they’re just lining the streets in places I’d never even seen homeless people before. Trash is everywhere.”

Welcome to the new USA. Ain’t “trickle-down” eCONomics great? Trickle-up poverty is having its way.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 10:02:29

Where is AlbuquerqueDan when you need assurances that the oil rebound is right around the corner?

Energy commodities suffer worst first-half performance since 1998
Published: July 6, 2017 1:51 p.m. ET
S&P GSCI Energy Total Return fell 18.8% in first 6 months of 2017
AFP/Getty Images
By Myra P. Saefong
Markets/commodities reporter

The S&P GSCI Energy Total Return index suffered its worst first-half performance in almost two decades because of big losses in energy commodities including crude oil and natural gas, according to a report from S&P Dow Jones Indices released Thursday.

The S&P GSCI Energy Total Return index (SPGSENTR, -2.49%) lost 18.8% year to date through June. That was the worst start for any first half of the year since 1998, according to Jodie Gunzberg, head of commodities indices at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The index was trading down by more than 3% for Thursday’s session. Each single commodity tracked by the index “didn’t just lose in the first half of 2017, but lost double digits,” Gunzberg said.

Of the six energy components, crude (CLQ7, -2.55%) was down 18.8%, Brent (LCOU7, -2.54%) fell 17.4%, natural gas (NGQ17, -0.55%) dropped 26.4%, unleaded (RBQ7, -2.06%) fell 22.3%, heating oil (HOQ7, -2.31%) lost 16.5% and gas oil declined by 15.8%.

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-07-07 10:40:38

Anyone with a smattering of common sense would conclude that steep discounts are vital to get the inventories down, but the real estate industry apparently thinks it can wait out the downturn in demand. It is probably indulging in a fantasy.

It’s not fantasy…they’ve been trained well. You only have to crush the careful and reward the stupid once to get more stupid than you ever thought possible.

Comment by snake charmer
2017-07-07 11:13:55

Will somebody give a layperson’s explanation of the shenanigans that went on here? It looks like some guy created a company to give another entity he owned a second mortgage, and then foreclosed on himself, and then pocketed a substantial sum when the property, which was facing foreclosure proceedings from the first mortgage holder, was sold at auction. And he named the new company “Deutsche Residential Mortgage” to make it sound like Deutsche Bank.

“As the Times reported, Outbidya, Inc., a company started by Clearwater lawyer Roy C. Skelton, bought the unit in the Ram-Sea Condominiums in 2015 after the condo association foreclosed on owner David Kapes.

In March, 2016, Wells Fargo started foreclosure proceedings against Kapes and Outbyida. Less than a month later, Skelton created Deutsche Residential Mortgage, and Deutsche issued a mortgage to Outbidya and Parkes Investments LLC, which had a 50 percent interest in the condo.

This spring, Deutsche — no relation to the giant German bank — obtained a final judgment against Outbidya and Parkes. Deutsche said they owed a total of $377,000, not only on the condo but also on other properties owned by Skelton’s Outbidya.

By beating the bank to foreclosure, Skelton’s Deutsche Residential received most of the proceeds of the sale. Had the bank foreclosed first, Skelton’s companies would have gotten nothing.

As it stands, the Houdes and their Orlando Realty Group LLC are out $458,000 and could also lose the condo in the bank foreclosure.”


Comment by 2banana
2017-07-07 11:41:52

This is a confusing article….

“and Deutsche issued a mortgage”

So where did this $377,000 magically come from?

And doesn’t the “first” mortgage holder have to paid first before any other secondary mortgage holders get paid in any foreclosure?

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-07-08 12:35:09

The first mortgage holder gets paid if the first is foreclosing…… this was the second foreclosing…..trying to look like a first….and Outscammimgyou……

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-07-08 17:31:17

The first lien position should be paid in full before the second lien gets paid a dime. If they were actually getting funds when the first was not, then the judge of the court supervising the foreclosure was totally out to lunch.

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Comment by rms
2017-07-07 17:00:17

I had several repo accounts where the debtor(s) had all of their mail forwarded through a couple of paid mailbox drops before it reached the final destination. Labyrinth.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-07-08 12:32:15

The HOA foreclosed on delinquent dues and Outbidya paid the HOA off at the HOA sale and got title to the unit…SUBJECT TO the existing WF Bank first mortgage (in the name of the previous owner, not Outbidya).

The new financing (by related parties, so who knows of money changed hands…probably not) was made to look like a new first mortgage. When that loan foreclosed, some negligent/rookie buyer thought he could get a $600,000 condo for the price of what appeared to be the first mortgage of $377,000.

Boom…along comes WFB a month later to foreclose, wanting $458,000 ++.. so the negligent buyer can pay WFB, or go to court asking for relief from the Outbidya scammers…..which will be tough since real estate runs under the Caveat Emptor doctrine…..” Buyer Beware”.

That is the problem with buying foreclosures….and someone out there is always willing t separate you from your money. My mother always said to me “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.” The rookie will have a hard time getting his money back….even if he wins the court battle.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-07-08 17:34:50

so the negligent buyer can pay WFB, or go to court asking for relief from the Outbidya scammers…..

Or the negligent buyer could just ask themselves why they didn’t buy title insurance. Chances are that they did—because their lender required them to—and title insurance exists precisely to solve problems like these. Title insurance should pay in this case, and the new buyer should be in the clear.

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-07 11:19:43

Let’s see.

The more government controls…

Health Care
Affordable housing
Student loans

The more expensive and more screwed up they become.

There is a lesson in there somewhere…

Yeah - I know. It’s for the children.


The Flint Water Disaster Shows Why We Need Markets
ZeroHedge - Jul 7, 2017

…the Flint water crisis, which is a classic case of the Law applied to the resource most central to man’s survival. For decades, Flint’s water consumers looked the other way while its politically-protected, socialist water utility overcharged and then flubbed delivery of water to Flint’s residents.

This incompetence lead to a series of reforms that were actually deforms. Chief among them was the decision to make the Flint River the utility’s primary water source in 2014, involving the use of faulty piping. The result: contaminated water, elevated lead levels in the water supply, sickness, and death.

The United States’ public broadcasting service aired a documentary about the crisis last month with the predictable conclusion that it wasn’t Flint’s socialist organization of its water system that was the problem, but that some bad, incompetent people led it. This is the go-to explanation for any government failure. It’s like arguing the Soviet Union failed simply because of its dearth of Public Administration graduate programs.

Since government provision of goods necessarily operates outside of the profit system, individuals operating in the public sector must be motivated by other factors, such as the maximization of power, benefits, and budgets. The real scandal in Flint was that its water system placed actual water consumers far down its list of priorities, which makes sense given that (i) its funding depended more on satisfying state and federal regulators and (ii) its culture rewarded job security and fat payrolls.

The productivity of the private sector does not stem from the fact that people are rushing around doing “something,” anything, with their resources; it consists in the fact that they are using these resources to satisfy the needs and desires of the consumers. Businessmen and other producers direct their energies, on the free market, to producing those products that will be most rewarded by the consumers, and the sale of these products may therefore roughly “measure” the importance that the consumers place upon them.

Which is why the Flint water crisis matters, because it calls into question the public provision of anything. This is why the feds had to get involved, pump millions of dollars in coerced capital into the region, finance public broadcasting documentaries, and make it go away. Unfortunately for Flint water dependents, the institutional structure remains.

The fact that officials are not held to similar standards as those in the private sector is why government grows. Perhaps the Michigan arrests will spur others. Lord knows, when it comes to government malfeasance and unaccountability, Flint, Michigan, is a small tip of the iceberg.

Comment by oxide
2017-07-07 12:04:40

The more government controls…

Health Care
Affordable housing
Student loans

The more expensive and more screwed up they become.

I call BS. Before the government stepped in, those things were arguable infinitely expensive, meaning that non-wealthy people had *none* of those at all. The poor suffered in pain, the poor rented forever, the poor lives in boxes, the poor didn’t go to college at all. By all means, let’s go back to that.

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-07 12:32:28

When banks ate their bad mortgage loans and required 20% down…housing was affordable.

Then government stepped in to make things fair.

When hospitals posted their prices, had competition and required people to pay for their own treatment…health care was affordable.

Then government stepped in to make things fair.

When colleges had to compete for students with limited financial backgrounds and college debt could be discharged in bankruptcy…higher educations was affordable.

Then government stepped in to make things fair.

But please tell us comrade, how bigger government with more regulations, taxes and obamaprograms have made

Health Care
Student Loans

infinitely LESS expensive today

Please use data and logic and not emotion.

And it was never for the children or the “poor.”

Comment by CHE
2017-07-07 12:37:56

Yes, and as the “poor” receive an ever greater share of my income through taxes, printing money, etc, I too get poorer and poorer because it puts me further and further behind.

See how this doesn’t end well?

Comment by taxpayers
2017-07-07 13:07:30

you’r mixing progress w gov control

Comment by Neuromance
2017-07-07 15:48:26

Government interventions in this area:

Help the poor
Harm the middle class
Have no impact on the wealthy

Comment by acutehemroid
2017-07-07 12:34:47

“USF Sarasota-Manatee economics instructor Dr. Michael Snipes says Florida’s quick bounce back is due to the constant influx of new home buyers.”

Florida. Wait until the next hurricane.

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-07 12:51:22

According to Al Gore

There should be a constant and yearly wave of CAT 5 Hurricanes pushing Florida under the sea by now.

Did he lie to us too for our votes?

Never let a crisis got waste.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-07 13:47:14

I hate hurricanes. The 2004 hurricane season in Florida was terrible. Charlie, Frances, Jean, and Ivan came one right afterthe other and it was a very mentally draining 7 weeks.

Comment by acutehemroid
2017-07-07 16:09:19

Yes, I was there for that season. The 2005 season was worse in Louisiana. All of my relatives and inlaws lived in New Orleans and Southeast La. Bad, bad, bad.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-07-08 08:56:28

Hurricane Katrina was a … what’s that vulgar 4 letter word meaning “mean spirited shrew”? Never mind… suffice it to say that I hate hurricanes, especially Category 5 hurricanes that make landfall in densely populated areas.

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Comment by rms
2017-07-08 11:39:20

I’ve been in the middle of one flood, many wildfires and a couple of serious earthquakes, but I’ve never been near a hurricane or tornado, but would like the experience.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 21:13:18

“…but would like the experience.”

That depends.

When I was in third grade, growing up in the heart of Tornado Alley, one day I noticed some dark clouds out the window to the west of our school. I raised my hand and asked the teacher if there was going to be a tornado. She reassured me and the rest of our class that there was no cause for concern.

Not more than five minutes later, the tornado warning sirens blew, and my entire grade school was escorted to the school basement. On the way downstairs, we passed through the school gymnasium, where I happened to see a window blow out from twenty feet above the floor (luckily it did not land on a child). And I have a vivid memory of the school doors blown wide open as we marched downstairs.

But luckily, the damage was minor…nothing like the what happened at the school in the footage linked here.

Comment by rms
2017-07-09 08:57:07

I saw some hail once in Ft Polk, Louisiana. Destroyed crops, broke car windows, etc., and some of the darkest clouds I’d ever seen. Californians don’t see weather events anywhere close to what’s seen along the mid-west.

Comment by @AltFacts
2017-07-07 23:22:07

According to my parents, I slept through a hurricane that hit Cocoa, FL when I was a baby. Shortly thereafter we moved away from Florida, after which hurricanes ceased to be an immediate concern for our family.

Comment by taxpayers
2017-07-07 13:16:46

is inventory building in your hood? Is it building faster than the usual july ?
plz report

Comment by junior_kai
2017-07-07 14:34:02

I’m seeing more places come up for sale as word gets out that prices are up. Also seeing a lot of feverish building and fixing up in my hood to reel in those fish while theyre biting. I think only the dumbest of the dumb are still buying at this point and its interesting that there are places that have been on the market for over a year that havent budged, and many just get rented out.

Comment by Karen
2017-07-07 14:36:13

“According to the Williamson County Association of Realtors latest report, in May 2017, 57.7 percent of homes sold were under $300,000. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, the median home price in Williamson County in 2011 was $172,000 dollars, now its $280,000. Jack Stapleton has been a realtor in Central Texas for 15 years. He said they have more inventory of new builder homes listed over the $350,000 price mark. ‘We’re saturated with that inventory,’ said Stapleton.”

This is a press release from the local realtors’ association masquerading as journalism.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-07-08 07:42:49

Think of society like a hydra. Each head must be controlled to control the society. Information is one of the heads. Money supply, police, military are other heads. And there are yet others.

Put a leash on all the heads and you control society. I do marvel at how effectively the FIRE sector controls the information.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by rj not in chicago anymore
2017-07-07 19:51:10

Apt. - chime in if you feel..

Man o man if I did not know any different all I see is oh the horror of it all - we are all completely screwed. I promised myself this: “Self DO NOT get sucked into the HBB” It is so….easy to go there - like heroin - the addiction is constantly yearning - AND I just can’t stay away. Love all the comments and discussion here - one of the best groups on the interwebs period.
So ya know what gang - I am back - reading the missives after a year away after trying to get resettled in a new job, new life, new home and new - fill in the blank. The thing that saddens me the most is my wonderful lovely wife is not here with me to experience all this.

I check in here at least twice a week to see what is going on in the world of RE and man o man - it has not changed except getting worse with each passing year. Prices, debt, politics and frankly as has been posted the delusion of the folks and the blindness going on…..sheesh.

From Denver - a dispatch -
Things here are just nuts…..in my drive to work each day to DEN there are more and more outta state plates than you can imagine - granted this is summer but these folks look like they are here to stay. And where are they living? God only knows. I know of a handful personally here who drive the 90 miles from CO spgs every friggin day cause the work is better in Denver - going down I-25 you can see it - the cars, the mania - it is pretty scary right now.

As some of you are aware I live in Castle Rock - about 25 miles south of Denver - love it there - quiet - I leave my windows open at night for the cool air. But as I look about there are elements - not sure if it is related to the pot industry - but they are there. Doug Co because this is a home rule state zoned pot sales shops out of existence - but being the innovators that they are - the pot growers are renting houses in the boonies to act as grows until the hammer falls by the police.

Having grown up here I barely recognize the place - some changes are good some not so much. Housing prices are out of sight - rentals are expensive. Young folk I talk with at the office see no hope of EVER owning their own shack. Many of the young are NOT married and so the 300k house on an engineer’s salary resonates with alot of the folks I am associated with.
Driving here is a nightmare at times. CDOT is behind in every aspect and funding for projects forget it - they limp along as more cars pour onto the roads.

And ya know what - I wouldn’t trade it for the world - there are still places here where a weary soul can go and not hear a sound!!

See ya all soon.
Rj NOT in chicago anymore - Thank God!!

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-08 00:30:56

Rj NOT in chicago anymore - Thank God!!


Congrats - kinda like the last of the Germans who lived in East Berlin before the wall went up.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 09:21:31

Didn’t the city change its name to Chi-Raq?

Comment by rj not in chicago anymore
2017-07-07 19:52:16

And more importantly - essentially
Jeff - I can empathize with you brother - losing one you love is the absolute worst. Can’t imagine losing a child -

I want to encourage you to stay close to the Lord in this time and LEAN on those who love you!! It is vital to dealing with loss - vital. Crack open that Bible and seek out verses where ever you find yourself in a particular moment. Other than that I am gonna shut my mouth cause there are no words.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-08 09:31:19

cause there are no words ??

Unfortunately there are not…But I like your advise in referencing the bible…Much peace can be found there…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-07 22:28:18

It’s worth recalling that the Dutch Tulipmania had a reflation phase which drew back in many greater fools who subsequently lost everything.

I can calculate the movement of stars, but not the madness of men.

– Sir Isaac Newton, upon losing his shirt

Comment by rms
2017-07-07 22:41:32

“The fact is that people are not borrowing because they’re optimistic about the economy. They’re borrowing because they can’t afford to break even and pay for their housing and pay for their education without running into debt. And, they’re having to pay so much money in debt service that they can’t afford to buy goods and services.”

I think Apt 401 nailed it… B. A. L.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by aNYCdj
2017-07-09 10:27:45

good end to the story
Homeowner’s Association Loses in the End


Comment by @AltFacts
2017-07-07 22:32:57

Why Washington can’t fix the new housing crisis
There aren’t enough homes where Americans want to live—and not even the president has the tools to change the market. What now?
By Lorraine Woellert
07/07/2017 05:24 AM EDT

Donald Trump campaigned on restoring the “American dream,” a 1931 metaphor for economic success that has become political shorthand for homeownership. But as president, Trump faces a unique challenge delivering on that promise: The country is in the grip of a new kind of housing crisis that Washington has virtually no power to solve.

The crisis is a shortage of houses. Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale has been shrinking for 24 straight months, stoking bidding wars for even the lowliest fixer-uppers. In January, a measure of supply hit its lowest in history, according to the National Association of Realtors. That scarcity has helped push the homeownership rate to a near 50-year low. As 83 million millennials approach homebuying age, the shortage is expected to get only worse.

The president claims to have the problem well in hand. “Homebuilders are starting to build again,” he told a cheering crowd in Iowa last month. But that’s wrong: Construction is at an eight-month low and builder optimism is waning. There were so few houses for sale in May that buyers pushed prices to a new record high. The scarcity has helped push homeownership among young adults to its lowest in at least a generation, according to Bank of America. Today’s millennials are less likely to be homeowners than their parents or grandparents were at their age.

Comment by rms
2017-07-08 07:55:52


Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-08 00:02:08

Time and again, Wall Street gamblers have bet ever more recklessly as the Fed repeatedly reprises the role of the little boy in the story “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’”.

Will you be adequately prepared when the real wolf eventually shows up at the door?

Central banks have set investors up for a long, hard road back to ‘normal’
By William Watts
Published: June 30, 2017 2:55 a.m. ET
‘No wonder’ markets are hypersensitive to central banker pronouncements
MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto
We’re not there yet.

Getting back to normal was never going to be easy.

Investors and policy makers got a reminder of that this week as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and other central bankers sent signals that reiterated that the era of extraordinarily easy monetary policy will eventually run out.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
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