July 15, 2017

The Market Has Moderated From Unsustainable Increases

A weekend topic on where we are starting with the Press Telegram in California. “For 62 straight months, Southern California home prices have gone in one direction. Up. Five years ago, you could snatch up a median-priced condo in Orange and Los Angeles counties for about $280,000, 76 percent less than today’s prices. A median-priced house cost $323,000 in L.A. County five years ago and $495,000 in O.C., about $260,000 less than today’s prices in both counties. Are we at the peak? Not one of the economists we interviewed thinks we are, at least not for entry-level homes. Luxury homes, priced at $2 million and up, may have reached a price peak and are facing an oversupply of listings, analysts said.”

“How much longer prices rise depends on what happens to the overall economy. ‘At some point, there’s going to be a correction, but I don’t see it on the horizon,’ said Pat Veling, president of Brea-based Real Data Strategies. ‘Sellers want more than sellers got six months ago.’”

“Oscar Wei, a senior economist for the California Association of Realtors, predicted mortgage rates will go up half a percentage point this year and half a percentage point next year. ‘You’re most likely seeing an increase of 10 percent or 12 percent in your mortgage payment’ if you wait, Wei said. Southern California home prices for deals signed in December averaged 3 percent less than deals signed the preceding spring, CoreLogic figures show. In Orange County, prices averaged 2.5 percent less. ‘If you see something you are interested in and you can afford it — maybe not a single-family home, but a condo or a town home — (buy it) and start building equity,’ Wei said. ‘I wouldn’t wait.’”

From The Oregonian. “More houses came into the Portland-area market in June. The month’ saw more newly listed houses than any June since 2008, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service. Buyers are getting choosier, said Brian Houston, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Portland. As a result, some overpriced homes are sitting on the market. ‘The sellers that have recently come on the market are overpricing because they’ve been able to get away with it up to this point,’ Houston said. ‘I think buyers are saying, ‘I’m a little tired of this.’”

“It’s not clear what might come next. The cooling off, combined with an expected increase in mortgage rates, could help slow growth in home prices to a more sustainable level. But even the recent uptick in new listings doesn’t suggest a road to a totally balanced market. ‘We don’t see enough inventory coming on to think that we’re going to do a pendulum swing to the other side,’ said Israel Hill, a managing broker with John L. Scott Real Estate in Northeast Portland. ‘We’re still going to go into next spring with a shortage of inventory.’”

From Maui News in Hawaii. “Median single-family home prices in Maui County hit $700,000 or more for the third time this year in June when the midpoint price at which homes sold was $740,000, according to the Realtors Association of Maui. Median home prices topped $700,000 only one month last year (in December, when the price was $700,500). And, before that, Maui County median home prices had not gone north of $700,000 since September 2006, the association’s historic data show.”

“‘There is strong demand for homebuying, emphasized by higher prices and multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets,’ the association’s commentary on June statistics says. ‘As has been the case for month after month — and now year after year — low inventory is the primary culprit for any sales malaise, rather than lack of offers.’”

“Of the 1,089 homes sold in the immediate past 12 months, 9.7 percent were short sales or foreclosures; and of the 1,377 condos sold, 5.6 percent were similarly distressed.”

From CBC News in Canada. “Whether you are buying or selling a home in the Greater Toronto Area, you might be saying the same thing: what a difference a year makes. Accordng to Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, since April the GTA housing market has moderated from unsustainable increases in prices from the first quarter. ‘It has and will continue to be for the rest of the year, a much much better market for buyers,’ said Soper. ‘It’s not that homes have suddenly gone on sale, that’s a misconception. Home prices continue to rise.’ But Soper says there’s ‘no longer a lineup of 15 or 10 people all bidding on the same property.’”

“Cindy Sampson. 39, and her husband had been looking for a house for more than a year and were about to throw in the towel. Then, last week they found a place that was within their reach, made an offer and found themselves on their way to home ownership. ‘The overbidding wasn’t crazy and out of control. We jumped,’ she said.”

“Those selling their homes have noticed a big difference too. Sampson says she can see it because she has friends who are trying to sell right now. ‘They put their house on the market and haven’t had an offer,’ she said.”

From Radio New Zealand. “Gareth Kiernan, chief forecaster of the economic consultancy Infometrics, is cautioning political parties about the economic cost of a sharp reduction in immigration. He said the economy has needed and been able to absorb the more than 70,000 immigrants who had settled here in the past 12 months to fill skills shortages. Mr Kiernan accepted that the high numbers of immigrants had put pressure on housing and infrastructure, and could have been better managed, but said without them the economy would face some big negatives such as rising labour costs and inflation, which would trigger higher interest rates.”

“‘Given the slowdown already occurring in sales activity and house price growth, this potential cocktail of rising interest rates mixed with a government clampdown on migration would be lethal,’ said Mr Kiernan. ‘Faster lifts in mortgage rates and debt-servicing costs would threaten a jump in forced house sales, hastening a correction in the housing market and hammering consumer confidence.’”

From Fairfax Media in New Zealand. “More houses have resold at a loss in Christchurch than other centres in the aftermath of the region’s building boom, while rents are reducing. Data released from property analytics company CoreLogic said 7.9 per cent of sellers in Canterbury sold for less than they bought in the first three months of the year. That was a slight increase from 6.9 per cent in the previous quarter. Dunedin had the second highest proportion of resale losses (2.7 per cent), while in Auckland and Wellington it was 1.3 per cent.”

“Housing affordability commentator Hugh Pavletich said Christchurch’s slowing market was likely to be followed by Auckland where the housing bubble was shutting more people out of the market. Christchurch’s market was cooling, but it still required nearly six times annual household income to buy a property while in Auckland it was 10 times, Pavletich said. ‘It will affect other centres. The longer the bubble goes on, the worse it is when it deflates,’ Pavletich said.”

“Canterbury president of the Property Investors Federation, Stephen East, said he was unaware of a surge in loss-making house sales by investors and he questioned the size of the CoreLogic survey sample. ‘But there’s a housing over supply. Look at all the building to the west and north of Christchurch. Who is going to buy and live in them? It’s flowing through to falling rents,’ East said.”

“CoreLogic head of research Nick Goodall said the picture was uneven at a regional level. ‘Some regions as well as apartment owners and property investors are more likely to face a loss,’ Goodall said.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 08:34:54

‘Of the 1,089 homes sold in the immediate past 12 months, 9.7 percent were short sales or foreclosures; and of the 1,377 condos sold, 5.6 percent were similarly distressed’

You know, 1% is a lot.

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-15 08:49:31

There was time a time not that long ago,

When banks ate their bad loans.

3% in foreclosure got people fired.
5% in foreclosure got government auditors involved.
8-10% in foreclosure meant certain bankruptcy.

And then government got involved to make things fair and buy votes.

“No loan is exempt, no bank is immune. For those who thumb their nose at us, I promise vigorous enforcement” on the CRA.
– Attorney General Janet Reno

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-07-15 14:03:20

Cra = death
Led to HARP,smelly Mel and 0 down dept of (rtf)agriculture

Comment by butters
2017-07-15 17:36:01

Ah, Ray-gun and Jorge Bush and their Fed Chairmans, the gift that keeps giving.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-07-15 11:35:05

“You know, 1% is a lot.”

1/4% is a lot. 1/8% is a lot. Especially at mortgage time.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 12:32:39

IIRC the national rate is 3 or 4 or 5. Here’s what’s crazy: the bonds behind these loans are triple A. The top rating shouldn’t have assets failing at this rate or anywhere near it. So why is it triple A? Because the government is backing them. But I’m not entirely sure that’s true. The GSE’s are in conservatorship. Last weekends topic included a fed guy saying “we gotta get out!” of Fannie and Freddie. At any rate, you’ve got a pretty sloppy default rate on some loans being made at nose-bleed prices. How big of a stretch is it that the default rate could go up?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 12:37:45

“…the bonds behind these loans are triple A. The top rating shouldn’t have assets failing at this rate or anywhere near it. So why is it triple A? Because the government is backing them.”

And I’m guessing a lot of these failing, government-backed bonds are owned by foreigners.

Our bankster leaders are forcing the U.S. taxpayer to back the holdings of foreign investors, with the Fed quietly larding up its balance sheet with the crappy paper.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 12:54:02

We should consider what exogenous forces will bring this to a close, as I frankly cannot envision a world where the Fed voluntarily ends its MBS purchases.

JULY 13, 2017 / 11:05 AM / 2 DAYS AGO
U.S. Fed buys $5.7 billion of mortgage bonds, sells none
The Federal Reserve bought $5.656 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities in the week from Jul. 6 to Jul. 12, compared with $3.683 billion purchased the previous week, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said on Thursday.

In a move to help the housing market begun in October 2011, the U.S. central bank has been using funds from principal payments

on the agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, it holds to reinvest in agency MBS.

The New York Fed said on its website the Fed sold no mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae FNMA.OB, Freddie Mac FMCC.OB or the Government National Mortgage Association, or Ginnie Mae, in the latest week. It sold none the prior week.

Comment by Lurker
2017-07-15 13:47:11

“In a move to help the housing market begun in October 2011…”

“Five years ago, you could snatch up a median-priced condo in Orange and Los Angeles counties for about $280,000, 76 percent less than today’s prices.”

Mission f%^#ing accomplished. Memo to the Fed: please stop helping.

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-15 14:46:58

At what point did the Fed’s mandate to take the punch bowl away once the party got started morph into a neverending punch bowl spiked with meth and steroids?

Comment by Blue Skye
2017-07-15 16:01:01

The Fed only has one mandate and we are the consumable resource.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 08:37:16

‘It’s not that homes have suddenly gone on sale, that’s a misconception. Home prices continue to rise.’

Somebody is a lion!

‘The overbidding wasn’t crazy and out of control. We jumped,’ she said.’

You got one Phil. Why does this seem like some kind of propaganda war? What ever happened to people just living in houses and not expecting to get rich?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 08:51:51

Long-time readers here know that bid wars were an anomaly in the run-up to the 2007-2009 financial collapse.

Not to suggest that this could ever happen again!

Comment by scdave
2017-07-15 08:53:03

What ever happened to people just living in houses and not expecting to get rich ??

In much of America thats probably still the case…Its the hyper real estate markets in the united states and many other places in the world that has skewed the thinking…

I have never thought that way…Its always been just my home for me…Even with investment real estate its never been about increasing value…Its always been about investing for future income…

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-15 08:41:07

“‘You’re most likely seeing an increase of 10 percent or 12 percent in your mortgage payment’ if you wait, Wei said.”

Hey, so will everybody.

“‘If you see something you are interested in and you can afford it — maybe not a single-family home, but a condo or a town home — (buy it) and start building equity,’ Wei said. ‘I wouldn’t wait.’”

But … but … but if mortgage payments are likely to see an increase of 10 percent or 12 percent as you say then prices will reflect this.

If rates go up then unaffordability as measured by monthly payments will go up and if unaffordability goes up then the prices of houses will have to go down if they are to be sold.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 08:54:19

“…then the prices of houses will have to go down if they are to be sold.”

Not so. This is the point at which the GSEs raise conforming loan limits and reduce underwriting standards and downpayment requirements for obtaining a federally-guaranteed mortgage.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 08:56:16

There are two things happening right now that have been waved off for many years. The Chinese buyer is disappearing and interest rates are rising. Everywhere. In Canada the lenders raised rates in anticipation of the central banks move!

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 08:59:24

“The Chinese buyer is disappearing…”

Nobody could have seen it coming!

“…and interest rates are rising.”

History may prove me wrong on this, but it seems like Yellen & Co have left the door open for at least one more head fake on loudly-publicized interest rate normalization plans.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-15 09:31:32

one more head fake on loudly-publicized interest rate normalization plans ??

Unwinding the balance sheet will likely have a much bigger impact on long term rates then these quarter point increases do…

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Comment by @AltFacts
2017-07-15 10:02:10

My comment was mostly about announced plans for balance sheet unwind than short-term rate increases, though both processes are part of rate normalization.

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-15 10:24:23

“My comment was mostly about…”

Uh-oh, you blew your cover!

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 10:29:39

It’s a complicated picture. It seems there was a coordination by the central banks. Canada’s government apparently got pushed by the blow out in Toronto this spring to clamp down on foreign money. They’ve joined Australia and New Zealand, and all three now see interest rates increases and other forms of loan restrictions/taxes on empty housing, etc. Good luck with the soft landing!

The central bank thing is most interesting to me. You don’t hear much about negative interest rates anymore. There’s an anti-globalism movement afoot, and they have no interest in furthering that. A nice crash might even benefit the globalists: blame anti-globalists for everything like they are doing in the UK with Brexit.

Why hasn’t trump fired Mel Watt? Does he want to pin the housing pop on the previous regimes? There’s no election dead ahead, why not raise rates now so they have somewhere to go in a downturn? Unlike Greenspan, there is no explicit effort to pop the bubble.

Another thing: I’ve documented near 50% losses in Miami Beach and Manhattan pre-construction condos. Categories of Hampton mansion prices are down 40%. They can’t give them away in Greenwich. Months ago Chinese agents in LA were crying the “money isn’t coming”!

February 24, 2017


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

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

There are brown spots in the pants of loan owners in Toronto. Auckland speculators are selling for losses, meaning prices must have been going down for months. Chinese off-the-plan buyers in Australia are walking away. But the MSM isn’t saying the bubble has popped.

June 12, 2017

“Citi Habitats president Gary Malin said he sees certain segments of the sales market in New York City doing well, with people looking at both sides of transactions to see what makes sense for them. ‘I certainly know there’s definitely activity, but when you get above $5 million, people are getting more deliberate in their approach,’ said Malin. ‘Things are not moving. The average time on the market is high. I think there’s plenty of demand, and plenty of people who would like to transact, but plenty of construction is coming online and people feel that they have options.’”

“Level Group salesperson Jeremy Swillinger feels that the residential market is not where it used to be, and buyers that were once motivated to purchase a property in order to get into the New York market have ’simply disappeared.’ ‘While the demand is still here in New York City, we’re less with buyers purchasing on a ‘must’ basis,’ he said. ‘They’re not just buying something to buy something in New York, they are wise about it.’”

“‘There are still some investors, some foreign buyers, but instead of looking at five properties and making a decision, they’re seeing 25 properties and making a decision, and when they do, they’re not pulling the trigger and getting the asking price, they’re taking their time and making sure the comps make sense, and making offers at a lower price,’ he said. ‘Anything above $3 million struggles. They don’t struggle like the $8 million and up market, that market has crashed.’”


Comment by Bellinghouse
2017-07-15 19:24:19

In May, Arcadia was at $880,000 and San Marino was at $2,065,000, according to CoreLogic. So there has been further air coming out the balloon.


Comment by 2banana
2017-07-15 09:06:27

And the greater fool stopped playing…

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 09:17:44

‘Domestic real estate investment in China is dropping. When looked at over time, this is a massive drop in investments. The average for May over the previous decade was 116 million square meters. This means this May is actually 35% lower than the trend established over the previous decade. This combined with cooling measures being rolled out by their government, is expected to put downward pressure on home prices in the country.’

‘Cooling measures coming to China’

‘The low rate of investment will collide with new cooling measures across the country. One of those measures will be flooding the market with inventory in major cities. The Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (the name’s even longer in Chinese), have accelerated the approval of new developments.’

‘They’re also adding millions of square meters of housing, many with restrictions like maximum sale prices. Adding inventory to the hottest markets, while restricting prices can’t be a great thing for price growth.’

‘China is one of the leading countries for global real estate investment. So a slowdown of domestic investment could be yet another sign that the country’s real estate investors are running out of steam.’

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 09:24:40

‘Thayne ranch auction targets Chinese buyers’

‘High residential prices in their own country turn investors to Jackson for good buys.’

‘Jun 28, 2017′

‘The auction of a 299-acre property valued at tens of millions is being especially marketed to potential Chinese buyers.’

‘Though the house and land on the Salt River northwest of Thayne could be bought by anyone in the world linked to marketing by Concierge Auctions or Sotheby’s International Realty, the growing interest among rich Chinese buyers has been noted by sellers, said Laura Brady, the founder and CEO of Concierge.’

“We’ve seen an increase in Chinese buyers for four years at least, and especially in the past 18 months, it’s been much more palpable,” Brady said. “We decided to create a group of properties and get some added exposure to Chinese clients.”

‘Pamela Renner, a 32-year Jackson real estate agent associated with Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty, has the listing on what’s called “The Ranch.” It has been listed at $40 million, and then $30 million, for more than a year without finding a taker.’

‘Concierge’s “China Portfolio Sale” includes 18 properties, including a Ritz-Carlton penthouse in New York City that’s been listed at $14.5 million, a 48,000-square-foot home on 40 acres near Dallas that cost $52 million to build, an 800-acre “plantation” in Fiji that’s been marketed at $19 million, and houses in Florida, Denver and Greenwich, Connecticut.’

‘The Thayne ranch, built in the early 2000s by the family that owns Cakebread Cellars in Napa Valley, California, has a $15 million reserve in the 36-hour auction, which will be held via the internet starting at 6 a.m. on June 28.’

‘Though Chinese real estate investments in the United States were apparently negligible until 2010, in 2016 the National Association of Realtors reported that sales to Chinese buyers had topped foreign buyers for the fourth year in a row. An NAR survey of members put Chinese residential purchases at $27.3 billion in the previous year. That topped the combined total of sales to the next four countries, the association said.’

‘Selling property nearly 50 miles from Jackson to a Chinese buyer, though, is still a reach, said Bruce Simon, of Prime Properties of Jackson Hole. Simon has been among the biggest boosters of Chinese tourism and real estate sales, but he thinks small-town Thayne is an ambitious sale.’

“They know Jackson Hole,” Simon said of the Chinese. But Thayne “doesn’t have the panache.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 09:28:03

I’ve searched but haven’t been able to find the results of this auction.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-07-15 11:50:09

I went to the “Jackson Hole News & Guide” for the article and a pop-up tells me I have left 9 of 10 FREE reads.

Comment by Wizard of Oz
2017-07-15 17:46:30

Just use Chrome/Incognito to get around maxing out free read limits.

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-15 09:05:10

It just never gets old.

The Nastiest Wife on Television


Comment by Mr. Banker
Comment by 2banana
2017-07-15 10:19:33

Suzanne got her 6% and moved on to the next commission.

The couple she sold the house, that they could not afford, is on the ropes, near financial ruin and near divorce…

There is a lesson in there somewhere.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-15 10:38:31

“There is a lesson in there somewhere.”

Yeah, the lesson is Suzanne did all the work and for this she received a one-time shot at the schmucks and I did no work at all and received not only a one-time shot a the schmucks but have received shot-after-shot from the schmucks for years on end.

And it ain’t over; After the schmucks walk away I (the true owner of the house) will gain possession and Sweet Suzanne will once again perform her magic in convincing schmucks that the unaffordable is really and truly affordable after all (despite the math - thank you No Child Left Behind) and when she is done with them, the schmucks, she will bring the schmucks to me for the Signing of the Dotted Line Ceremony.

Churn ‘em and burn ‘em.


Comment by rms
2017-07-15 18:21:58

“…I really should have listened to him…”

Haha…looks likes it’s time to do his best friend before you leave with the kids and his retirement account.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 08:51:05

‘Are we at the peak? Not one of the economists we interviewed thinks we are’

And they’re all Californians. What a comforting consensus.

‘Luxury homes, priced at $2 million and up, may have reached a price peak and are facing an oversupply of listings’

Except for you guys, you’ve hosed. Luxury there probably means some 1950’s crap shack or a feng shui stucco box in a half empty subdivision.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 08:57:06

“And they’re all Californians. What a comforting consensus.”

These group-think-a-likers also all missed the last peak.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 09:01:53

Well Thornburg is in there saying “credit is locked down” or something.

‘For 62 straight months, Southern California home prices have gone in one direction. Up. Five years ago, you could snatch up a median-priced condo in Orange and Los Angeles counties for about $280,000, 76 percent less than today’s prices. A median-priced house cost $323,000 in L.A. County five years ago and $495,000 in O.C., about $260,000 less than today’s prices in both counties’

Sounds like there’s plenty of credit in the countries poorest state.

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 09:07:58

The alleged credit lockdown certainly isn’t very tight.

Community News
FHFA to increase in maximum conforming loan limits in 2017
PUBLISHED: December 8, 2016 at 7:10 am | UPDATED: December 8, 2016 at 7:22 am
Realtors applaud the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s recent decision to increase the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2017. This will be the first increase in the baseline loan limit since 2006.

In most of the country the 2017 maximum loan limit for one-unit properties will be $424,100, an increase from $417,000. In high-cost areas like Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and most counties in the Bay Area, the cap will be $636,150, up from the previous loan limit of $625,500. Maximum loan limits for 2017 are up in all but 87 counties or county-equivalents in the U.S., according to the FHFA.

The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or guarantee. Nonconforming or jumbo loans typically carry a higher mortgage interest rate than conforming loans, increasing monthly payments and negatively impacting affordability for families to purchase homes.

“We are pleased that the FHFA has raised the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits. For higher-cost places like Silicon Valley, the more that the conforming loan limit is raised, borrowers have better access to affordable long-term, fixed-rate mortgage credit. This increase gives thousands of home buyers the opportunity for home ownership,” said Karen Trolan, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

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Comment by Soon
2017-07-15 10:31:01

Yep, I’ve said for many years, high end cracks first - saw that in bubble 1.0. That tends to be the crowd thats the most tuned in to the economy and they see deterioration in business early. That fact that low end is being bid up means the clock is ticking on this bubble - at some point rates, zero/low down loans dont matter because people see there’s no sense in buying an absolute shack for a mountain of money - rents at the higher tier become reasonable.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-07-15 11:29:14

I traveled to NYC in 2006, where I heard anecdotes of hairdressers and taxi drivers venturing into real estate investment while McKinsey & Company consultants were quietly selling their owner-occupied shacks and moving into rental housing to arbitrage the incipient real estate collapse.

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-07-15 14:10:07

Still buying mbs?
I though lying Janet said they were getting ready to sell

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-07-16 09:24:50

It seems they regularly use these fake policy announcements to reward the savvy at the expense of the gullible.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-15 09:04:42

I was awakened this morning by the seismic vibrations of the sound of tiny feet stamping on Butthurt Island, and shrieks of rage that sounded vaguely like Sweet William. Then I logged onto ZH and discovered the reason why: the cryptocurrency mania is but the latest bubble to commence bursting.

Got popcorn?


Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-15 10:40:50

Yawn. Wake me up when Bitcoin is below $100, on its way to worthless…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-15 11:59:36

As a scam currency “mined” from zeros and ones on a computer, it’s already intrinsically worthless, but the bag holders-to-be haven’t figured that out yet. But they will, soon enough.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-15 17:58:41
Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-07-15 22:16:29

a comment:

‘how do you expect that novices don’t get confused when seeing ‘bitcoin’ and ‘ponzi’ in the same sentence? what makes things really murky is that we don’t know who Nakamoto really is or how, if at all, he or they benefit from their $2.4B holdings. the genesis block is arguably a tip of the pyramid, so to speak, and there’s no guarantee that it will not fall apart once there are fewer new entrants than those who want to ‘cash out’. i do like its technology, though, but its inefficiencies a little less so.’

Comment by aNYCdj
2017-07-15 10:02:50

I guess a case of more money then brains

It’s hard to believe but a condo could be lost to squatters


About 17 years ago I inherited my father’s mortgage-free town house in Southern California. I made the five-hour round-trip drive from my home to the townhouse to pick up mail and pay the leftover bills. As the mail and bills eventually stopped there was no need for me to continue making the long drive. For over 13 years I intentionally kept the unit vacant mainly because I didn’t want to deal with tenants. I never received any invoices from the homeowner association saying I owed anything.

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-15 10:14:58

For 13 years…

Who paid the property taxes?
Who paid the insurance?
Who did the maintenance (even with a townhouse there is maintenance)?
Who paid the utilities? - there is still a minimum charge just to be “hooked up”

Comment by 2banana
2017-07-15 10:21:20

Well, that was unexpected.


Applebee’s Franchise Owner Forced To Cut 1,000 Jobs After New York’s Minimum Wage Hike
westernjournalism.com | July 14, 2017 | Andrew Kerr

The CEO of Apple-Metro Inc., a company that operates about 40 Applebee’s restaurants in the New York metropolitan area, said he’s been forced to cut at at least 1,000 servers in the past year as a result of New York’s recent minimum wage hike.

“We have 1,000 less servers this time this year than we did this time last year,” Zane Tankel told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday.

That amounts a two-thirds reduction of his total workforce, Tankel said.

Tankel said the minimum wage increase has forced him to adopt a “concierge” type model of having servers help customers operate self-serve tablets and make them feel “warm and comfortable.”

Comment by scdave
2017-07-15 10:56:59

“We have 1,000 less servers ??

What Applebee’s “does not” need is less service…

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-07-15 11:45:17

How’s the Applebee’s wait time these days? I sure do miss HBB poster emeritus Eddie’s regular updates.

Comment by scdave
2017-07-15 11:53:34

HBB poster emeritus Eddie’s regular updates ??

He’s busy trying to rent his condo…LOL…

Comment by PitchforkPurveyor
2017-07-15 13:20:12

Applebee’s food is repulsive.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-15 11:27:44

Ran across this …

Most Creative Real Estate Ad Ever!!!


Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-07-15 11:40:36
Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-07-15 11:51:40

What I find most incredible about the thinking of central banking cargo cult members is the persistent belief that ongoing efforts by central banks to fan the flames of a mania can lead to any outcome other than another epic financial collapse.

The hubris of this fatal conceit defies the imagination.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2017-07-15 12:07:25

The supply of Greater Fools is drying up in China, much to the horror of the latest crop of FBs.


Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-07-15 12:31:29

Revisiting this story:


Makers you wonder if the PNW would recover at all after the big one. Who would want to live there after that?

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 12:51:10

Thanks for posting a very interesting article!

I’d probably move to the PNW if houses went on 50% off discount because others were too scared to live there. The last really big one in the PNW was circa 1700. I can live with a risk that has a 300 year recurrence interval.

However, count me out if a high level of nuclear radiation is part of the deal.

In Fukushima, a land where few return
The evacuation orders for most of the village of Iitate have been lifted. But where are the people?
MAY 13, 2017
Some day when I have done what I set out to do, I’ll return home one of these days, where the mountains are green, my old country home, where the waters are clear, my old country home.
— “Furusato,” Tatsuyuki Takano

A cherry tree is blooming in the spring sunshine outside the home of Masaaki Sakai but there is nobody to see it. The house is empty and boarded up. Weeds poke through the ground. All around are telltale signs of wild boar, which descend from the mountains to root and forage in the fields. Soon, the 60-year-old farmhouse Sakai shared with his mother and grandmother will be demolished.

“I don’t feel especially sad,” Sakai says. “We have rebuilt our lives elsewhere. I can come back and look around — just not live here.”

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-07-15 13:05:19

PB, also I am wondering how much of an economic hit this would have if/when the fault gives. Goodbye San Francisco?

Comment by scdave
2017-07-15 14:52:50

I am wondering how much of an economic hit this would have if/when the fault gives. Goodbye San Francisco ??

Your wondering ?? The impact would be a global depression.

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Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-07-15 15:12:58

‘Your wondering ?? The impact would be a global depression.’

Grim statistics:

‘Thanks to that work, we now know that the Pacific Northwest has experienced forty-one subduction-zone earthquakes in the past ten thousand years. If you divide ten thousand by forty-one, you get two hundred and forty-three, which is Cascadia’s recurrence interval: the average amount of time that elapses between earthquakes. ‘

Comment by GreenEggsAndSpam
2017-07-15 15:52:35

LOL, 2/3 of the planet would not even blink if the entire west coast of the US disappeared tomorrow. People who think otherwise are delusional and dont travel much. Other states/countries have their own lives and feel no impact from the self-labeled “creative class” of mostly parasites that cannibalize real businesses and walk around huffing their own “smug”.

Comment by palmetto
2017-07-15 16:58:47

LOL, however would we live without them? Oh dear, oh dear.

Comment by MightyMike
2017-07-15 19:05:48

LOL, 2/3 of the planet would not even blink if the entire west coast of the US disappeared tomorrow.

That’s unlikely. Among other things, the world loves American movies and TV, which are produced on the west coast.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-07-15 22:40:31

It took about a decade to recover from the 2006 quake according to a book I own which provides a detailed account.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2017-07-15 12:56:56

JULY 14, 2017 / 11:58 AM / 16 HOURS AGO
Housing stocks may not be on terra firma
Sinead Carew and Rodrigo Campos
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 12, 2017.
Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Investors may have overbuilt U.S. housing stocks as data has yet to match up with the homebuilder sector’s biggest rally in five years.

The S&P 1500 Homebuilding index of homebuilder companies has surged 32 percent this year and hit a decade-high earlier this week. By contrast, the wider S&P Composite 1500 Index has gained less than 9 percent.

Housing optimists are pinning their bets on strong U.S. job creation, low interest rates, tight housing supply, robust earnings estimates and a lack of recessionary red flags.

Some investors still see opportunities, but others warn the stocks may have run too far.

“The sentiment has been quite positive for housing but where they are today, I’m not a buyer of housing stocks. The stocks have run up faster than the data supports and there are better pockets of value in the market,” said Erin Browne, global macro portfolio manager at UBS O’Connor in New York.

Brown cited weakening growth in building permits and new projects, known as housing starts, since the first quarter as well as land and labor constraints.

“While new home sales still look solid, they are still low versus historical levels, given the ongoing shortage of skilled labor and buildable lots which is constraining faster growth,” she said.

Comment by Apartment 401
2017-07-15 14:54:17

Buena Vista, CO was very busy today when I stopped for a Crank Yanker IPA at Eddyline Brewing. The bar was full so I drank my beer by the hostess stand and chatted up the lovely ladies working there.

People have been saying the Sawatch Range is the new Front Range, and I’m beginning to believe it’s true.

Time to get the f*ck out of Denver. Four hours of traffic each way on the weekends is now the radius of suck. Get beyond that and it’s still wilderness and solitude…

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-07-15 15:02:28

Where’s your mountain bike? The Colorado Trail is right there in your backyard at Waterton Canyon.

Comment by Apartment 401
2017-07-15 15:31:17

Hiking to the top of a Sawatch 14er tomorrow, solo, no dog.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-07-15 17:30:45

Small Permian producers flash warnings of slowdown
Houston Chronicle-Jul 14, 2017

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-07-15 22:44:26

Dan? Bueller!?

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