October 11, 2017

Used To Be Hot, But Is Now Slowing Down

A report from the Washington Post. “Buyers in the Northern Virginia suburbs, like buyers in other areas, are slowing down a little this fall and opting to wait for the right place at the right price in some neighborhoods. In the most popular locations, though, the sales pace is still fast. ‘Buyers in the DMV [District, Maryland and Virginia] are really savvy and ready to buy,’ says Nela Richardson, chief economist of Redfin brokerage in Washington. ‘There’s no learning curve required. But, especially in the fall, they’ve got plenty of time to wait for the right house.’”

From CBS 46 in Georgia. “It’s hard not to drive down a metro Atlanta street without seeing a ‘for sale’ sign. However, some of these homes are getting more expensive and the salaries among people who want to buy the homes aren’t going up as much as the prices. But realtor Jill Huitron says not all parts of metro Atlanta are seeing homes sell quickly. ‘Sandy Springs — that used to be hot, [but] is now slowing down. So it’s more of a buyers market than a sellers market.’”

“Also a buyers market? Buckhead. The type of market is based on housing supply — Buckhead has nine months housing supply. Huitron says while the market does adjust itself every six to eight years, she doesn’t see a crash as bad as the one that happened in 2008.”

From CBS Minnesota. “The season isn’t the only thing changing in the Twin Cities metro. New numbers suggest the housing market is transitioning, too. Over the summer, homes in the metro were selling before they were even officially listed often at full price or above. New numbers suggest that trend is leveling off. Noelle Nielsen is with RE/MAX Advantage Plus Bright Birch Group. She spent Sunday at an open house in Burnsville. Renovation-ready, it’s listed at $485,000, a reduced price. ‘We have seen a drop in buyers coming out in September. So since then, we have had to do a price drop in this particular house,’ Nielsen said.”

“And Nielsen is far from alone. Data from Zillow from late August shows nearly 20 percent of metro listings were slashed in price.”

The Daily Comet in Louisiana. “A report released by Nationwide Insurance states that the Houma-Thibodaux housing market remains weak, but has gone from the sixth worst market in the United States to the eighth worst. Based on the second quarter of 2017, Houma-Thibodaux is just behind the New Orleans-Metairie market on its ‘Bottom 10′ list. It also found that the majority of the bottom 10 housing markets were in ‘energy-intensive states’ such as Louisiana, North Dakota, Texas and Alaska.”

“Local real estate agents have been seeing problems in the local housing market for a while. Mike LaRussa, with Coldwell Banker LaRussa Real Estate in Houma, said the area has become a buyer’s market because of the downturn in the oil industry. ‘We still have a lot of inventory on the market. There’s no denying it. It has slowed down a little bit. It’s a buyer’s market right now, but it all goes back to the oil. Oil is the heartbeat of our economy,’ LaRussa said.”

The Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico. “Nine years ago, New Mexico had so much cash that it gave some of the money back. Booming oil prices and the housing bubble helped push the state’s operating budget to $6.8 billion – in inflation-adjusted terms – and the Roundhouse was filled with talk of issuing big rebate checks to taxpayers. But the good times didn’t last. All told, every category of state spending has fallen over the past two years, once inflation is factored in.”‘

“‘It’s no big secret that we’ve been struggling,’ said Sen. John Arthur Smith, a Deming Democrat and chairman of the influential Senate Finance Committee.”

The Real Deal on New York. “What does it take to sell a luxury condominium these days? At 432 Park Avenue, a generous return policy. Developers CIM Group and Macklowe Properties have taken the unusual step of buying back an apartment at their supertall tower — thereby freeing up the seller to purchase something even bigger. Though unusual, this type of deal is not unheard of, said attorney Terrence Oved of Oved & Oved. He said it amounts to a ‘put option,’ and makes sense given the slowdown in luxury sales. ‘The market for super-luxury is stagnating,’ he said.”

“Overall, prices in the luxury market slipped 4.8 percent during the third quarter to $6.4 million, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel. The median price on new development units fell 23 percent year-over-year to $2.79 million.”

From the Observer on Florida. “Sofia Vergara is very close to parting ways with her longtime Miami apartment. The actress purchased the studio, with just one bathroom, at 300 74th Street back in 2007. Vergara apparently lived in this 468-square-foot apartment for quite some time in the mid-1990s, renting it before she decided to eventually pay $165,000 for the rather modest abode.”

“The apartment is in the North Beach area of Miami, located on the second floor of an unassuming, two-story 1950s stucco building. Sadly, there aren’t any interior photos included in the listing, which is located just a few short blocks from the beach. The condo is currently pending sale and Vergara is prepared to take a loss on the apartment, as she listed it for a mere $150,000 in March—about $25,000 less than she paid for it a decade ago.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-10-11 09:22:41

‘Renovation-ready, it’s listed at $485,000, a reduced price’

485k US pesos is a lot of money Noelle.

‘Vergara is prepared to take a loss on the apartment, as she listed it for a mere $150,000 in March—about $25,000 less than she paid for it a decade ago’

Another 10 year boom wiped out. Actually, this market was in the crapper in 2007. Hmmm, lower than 2007 already?

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-10-11 10:38:06

That sounds like an interesting case. A person selling their little old place from back when they were poor and now they have enough money that it’s pocket change. So they don’t even bother to clean or stage or take interior pictures and risk any accidental privacy breaches. Just make it gone.

Comment by Sean
2017-10-11 10:50:39

What makes a house ‘renovation ready’? Did they already lay down the plastic and tape the fixtures?

Comment by oxide
2017-10-11 13:27:51

I guess “renovation ready” is a euphemism for “hasn’t updated anything since 1993.”

I’m guessing the place is in okay condition mechanically but needs trendy HGTV goodies like pergraniteel, accent walls, European single-neck faucet with touch operation, recessed shampoo shower shelves, and trellis-print wallpaper. Wooo. :roll:

Comment by Sean
2017-10-11 14:48:16

There’s a house here in Ashburn that needs everything also. All original 1996 builders grade stuff. All yours for $538,000. Yay!

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Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-10-11 09:24:53

Miami Beach, FL Housing Prices Crater 5% YOY


Comment by cactus
2017-10-11 09:26:52

“Democratic leaders in the Legislature have pushed to increase taxes to help reverse the declining budget – proposals that have been blocked by Gov. Martinez, who, in turn, has pushed to simplify the tax code to make the state more attractive to business and grow the economy.”

increase taxes and yet its never enough

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-10-11 09:35:51

I read there are thousands fewer federal employees than at the beginning of the year. What happened?

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-10-11 18:18:12

20% of feds are quitting cause a trump. All going to privates sector.

Comment by Jessica
2017-10-11 19:19:05

Transitioning from the Fed to Private has been impossible for a couple of my friends. Private won’t hire them.

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Comment by drumminj
2017-10-11 20:24:03

Private won’t hire them.

Curious — for what reasons?

Comment by In Colorado
2017-10-11 22:10:10

Curious — for what reasons?

Non marketable skills, perhaps?

Comment by Larry Littlefield
2017-10-12 06:40:57

I know lots of people who were successfully paroled.

My observation is that the average worker in the public sector is smarter than the average worker in the private sector.

In the private sector, you have smart people at the top who manage to get productivity out of people who aren’t essentially productive on their own.

In the public sector, talent gets wasted. You end up either leaving, or waiting around for your pension.

After enough years, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow traps people who would be a lot better off somewhere else. I worked in government for 20 years, but stayed out of he pension.

At the federal level why would anybody want to work in this administration? I wonder how many levels down the insanity has reached.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-10-12 07:09:22

Google-up “transitioning from the public sector to the private sector”

(if you dare)

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-12-22 20:09:23

They don’t,no feds have quit.

Comment by Parker
2017-10-11 20:47:25

Hiring freeze + attrition + dysfunctional budget = fewer employees.

Comment by Larry Littlefield
2017-10-12 06:36:28

Government employment, other than the military, has been shrinking relative to the economy for decades, and the military shrank too after the end of the cold war.

More and more money that once went to people working is now going to seniors — pensions, retiree health care, programs for seniors.

The question is, can productivity offset the declining numbers?

Comment by MacBeth
2017-10-12 17:22:26

That question should have been asked 40 years ago, not now.

Why bother to ask?

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Comment by Taxpayers
2017-10-13 05:12:03

The sequester showed taxpayers we can get along w/o 12 fed gov agencies dealing w housing

How many gov agencies are there?
How many in the 1920s,1950s ?

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-10-11 09:34:09

‘The Texas MOI for existing homes remained unchanged since April at 3.5 months. Fort Worth, Dallas, and Austin maintained exceptionally low inventories at 2.0, 2.1, and 2.1 months, respectively. In San Antonio, the MOI increased every month since March, settling at 3.2 months. Houston held the largest supply of listings at 3.7 months.’

‘The number of new listings in Texas was stable as the new home MOI settled at 5.4 months, the highest since 2011. Houston posted 3.2 percent growth, surpassing the state average, as it climbed to 5.5 months. The MOI extended past five months in Austin and San Antonio and trended upward in Dallas and Fort Worth at 4.7 and 4.4 months, respectively.’

‘Texas housing sales declined 5.9 percent YOY led by a 26.7 percent YOY decline in Houston after Hurricane Harvey…Sales of homes priced under $200,000 contracted for the third consecutive month, accounting for over 85 percent of the statewide decline. Sales growth in the top price cohort (homes priced above $500,000) decelerated substantially: YOY growth fell from 22.4 percent in July to 0.1 percent this month.’

‘Demand for new homes softened as the new home DOM jumped from 85 to 91 days after a six-month decline. The Houston DOM drove the increase, rising 9.0 percent to 97 days, but Dallas (83 days) and Fort Worth (75 days) posted similar DOM growth at 8.4 and 5.9 percent, respectively. In San Antonio, the DOM hovered around its cycle low at 81 days. Rising home prices held Austin’s DOM above the other metros, around 97 days, for the third straight month.’

‘The statewide median price for new homes ($284,714) sold through a Multiple Listing Service fell 1.4 percent amid softer demand and supply increases. This decline pulled the premium for new homes over resales down to 34.2 percent, the lowest in series history (since 2011). New home price pressures have relaxed throughout the year in the major metros, reflecting builders’ move toward lower-priced new homes. Dallas maintained the highest median price at $340,893 but fell 7.5 percent from its February peak. Similarly, the Fort Worth median dropped to $281,906, down 8.4 percent YTD.’

Comment by 2banana
2017-10-11 09:40:42

There is something to be said for the government NOT to target certain industries for extinction or to subside or even nationalize other certain industries to make things “more fair.”

The markets do their jobs, when allowed.

Prosperity happens. And then, historically after that, housing prices may go up.


West Virginia had the second highest growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of any state in the country during the first quarter of 2017, and Gov. Jim Justice attributes the climb to the bounce back in the coal industry.

Mining grew by 21.6 percent nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce report, contributing to growth in 48 states. That made Texas, West Virginia, and New Mexico the three fastest growing states, growing at 3.9 percent, 3.0 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

“I know the coal business like the back of my hand and the current spike in the coal market was one I saw coming, and our state Legislature refused to listen,” Justice said in a news release. “If you go back to the October 2016 debates for governor, I said that coal would rebound and that our severance tax collection would go up. Some people laughed at the time, and they were totally wrong.”

The governor’s office also reported that a new Reuters analysis shows U.S. coal exports have increased more than 60 percent this year due to soaring demand from Europe and Asia.


Comment by SW
2017-10-11 14:09:20

Looking forward to the EPA clean coal rules being reversed and the new DOE order to reverse some of inequalities created by subsidized wind and solar power.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-10-11 16:38:35

Wind and solar don’t need to be subsidized. They are the new low-cost providers when it comes to energy.


Let’s not kid ourselves, coal and dirty energy is terrible. If you’ve spent any time in a large Chinese city, you’d be convinced that unregulated capitalism is a disaster for the environment and health. Pollution is a negative externality that is not accounted for without implicit state subsidies or some form of carbon tax.

Comment by MacBeth
2017-10-11 17:41:19

“Let’s not kid ourselves”

I’ll kid myself all I want, thanks. And pious individuals do not score points with me.

“If you’ve spent any time in a large Chinese city, you’d be convinced that unregulated capitalism is a disaster for the environment and health.”

Interestingly, most of us would agree with that statement. With the very notable caveat that China is not a capitalistic society. What has been happening in China in all sectors of its economy isn’t capitalism. Far from it.

“Pollution is a negative externality that is not accounted for without implicit state subsidies or some form of carbon tax.”


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Comment by Rental Watch
2017-10-11 17:46:38

Wind and solar don’t need to be subsidized.

Tell that to Solar City, who screamed bloody murder when Nevada threatened to cut off their subsidy (of grid infrastructure) through net metering.

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Comment by Taxpayers
2017-10-11 18:23:45

After 40 yrs w 40% subsidies (st ,fed,utility)
Solar is 1% of us electric
Got Nukes?

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Comment by MacBeth
2017-10-11 18:25:27

Whatever happened to natural gas?

Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-12 05:47:12

Yeah, about kidding ourselves.

Solar and wind are not efficient enough to reproduce their own equipment, so are a tremendous waste of precious energy resources. Borrowing from the future, like all other aspects of this most wasteful of generations.

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Comment by Swordsman
2017-10-12 06:32:46

“Solar and wind are not efficient enough to reproduce their own equipment, so are a tremendous waste of precious energy resources. Borrowing from the future, like all other aspects of this most wasteful of generations.”

This is a myth largely. If you live in a sun light poor area you will have a lousy rate of return. OTH, if you live, as I do, in an area of abundant sun light they are very cost effective. My system paid for itself in 46 months and I took neither the federal tax credit or the state tax credit.

Here in southern New Mexico one can expect to see the recovery of the energy used to produce the PV module in as little as 30 months. This is not my opinion but the result of a study by the NMSU Photovoltaic Research Institute.

My point is if you live in Seattle buying PV makes about as much sense as my buying sand here in the desert.

Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-12 07:37:52

“one can expect to see the recovery of the energy used to produce the PV module in as little as 30 months”

This is a myth largely. Very Largely. Please excuse the use of dismissive arguments.

The total energy used to mine and refine the materials and manufacture the cells, in addition to putting the panel together and installing it, will never be recovered in the lifetime of the installation.

If however, you got paid back in 4 years everyone else should be jumping all over this goldmine and refusing tax credits like you. What kind of feedin tariff and government mandate to the power companies have you got over there?

Comment by Rental Watch
2017-10-12 09:02:34

The total energy used to mine and refine the materials and manufacture the cells, in addition to putting the panel together and installing it, will never be recovered in the lifetime of the installation.

This is an interesting statement. Does the math change with scale? In other words, how far off is the math?

And, if you are getting the energy to make the solar panels from some other type of renewable power, that may be related to the sun (hydro dam, for instance), does that make any difference?

I certainly understand the logic that if you use N amount of hydro power to make a solar panel that gives you a return of N-x over it’s life, there is probably a better use of the power. However, what if there is unused energy from such renewable sources (currently wasted). Seems like using that excess production rather than letting it go to waste would be good in any event.

For the record, I’m in the camp of removing all subsidies for this stuff.

Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-12 09:35:17

I’m not sure that turning mines, smelters and factories off and on would be very practical, but who knows.

When I was a kid there was a power plant at the Delaware Water Gap. They pumped water up the mountain to Sunfish Pond when they didn’t need to make electricity and let it flow back to the turbines when they needed it. Seemed pretty practical. Not sure if it is still in operation.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-10-12 16:27:21

“Over an average lifespan of 30-odd years, a PV system pays back the energy that was used in producing it “multiple times,” said the study authors.”

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-12-solar-panels-repay-energy-debt.html#jCp

The net metering issue is quite complex. It would be a mistake to say that net metering customers are being subsidized for access to the grid. Often times residential solar customers are being far underpaid for the electricity they pump back into the grid during peak electricity demand.

The solution is probably for better battery storage so PV solar early-adopters can simply keep their own electricity and power their own homes, vehicles, appliances, etc.

Comment by Swordsman
2017-10-12 19:18:08

“The total energy used to mine and refine the materials and manufacture the cells, in addition to putting the panel together and installing it, will never be recovered in the lifetime of the installation.”

And yet it has done exactly that. System is 11,340 watts of PV. In each 4 years of operation I have produced 26,000 kilowatt hours of power. I use around 10,000Kwh annually.

So 26,000Kwh brings in $2600 annually. I get my 10,000Kwh at no charge for a savings of $1500 annually. For the 16,000Kwh I don’t use I’m paid whatever the going rate for wholesale power is that month, usually $0.03 per Kwh for an additional $480 annually. So I’m benefiting $4580 a year for 4 years for a total of $18320 so far. My system cost me $11,000 for the equipment and another $5000 for installation.

So if you’re really catching the math here there is a double dip happening on the 10,000Kwh but that ends in 2020. This amounts to the power company making an investment in helping me afford the system and pay it off. After 2020 the power company gets that over production of 16,000Kwh for free every year until the system reaches the end of its life.

Power company will sell that power for $0.15 per Kwh so over the 17 year anticipated remaining life of the system power company will see a monetary benefit of $40,800 less the $10,500 of power they didn’t charge me for puts the power company ahead $30,300. Since I oversized the system I expect to see the system produce at the above levels for well past 30 years before degradation of the PV modules becomes a factor.

However I will never have a power bill again as long as I live here.

Sucks to be short sighted and bad at math doesn’t it?

Just a little disclosure here…. I install PV systems as part of my work so I got my system on the cheap. PV is just like computers. Never buy the latest greatest model out there. 1 year old technology is more affordable.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-10-12 19:35:15

And you’ll be paying to replace that manufactured junk in 3 years.

What’s it like living without AC? And how many refrigerators have you barbequed with those inverters?

Math my friend.

Comment by redmondjp
2017-10-13 09:37:30

Wind and solar are not, and never will be baseload, dispatchable power sources.

Thus, if one wants a reliable electricity grid such as we have today, one had better have a significant baseload powerplant network in addition to these non-baseload alternative energy sources.

I have a friend who has worked in the wind industry for ten years now - they are going into the low-wind period (most of the winter, where they are at) now. You have to have other powerplants online when the wind doesn’t blow. And that costs a lot of money because now you are operating and maintaining two powerplants whereas before, there was only one.

Educate yourself, people. Go ahead, keep shutting down coal plants, denying new nuclear plants, and tearing out dams and see what kind of third-world electrical grid we’re going to have in a few decades.

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Comment by Taxpayers
2017-12-16 16:27:20

Nukes r nice
PV grid tie in va is 16 yr+ payback in 0 shade
Solar is

Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-11 16:56:54

A lot of things flourished in excess while they were subsidized by the government. It may be painful here and there.

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-10-13 05:17:30

Like gov workers,let’s see them in the private sector….they’re smarter😉

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Comment by 2banana
2017-10-11 09:46:10

It is not a bug - it is a feature.

Seriously, why would people want to PAY FOR and live in a house with a device like this in it?


Google Home Mini Defect Caused Some Units To Record Audio 24/7
Extreme Tech | 10/11/17 | Ryan Whitwam

Intelligent assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant could be the next great frontier in computer interface, but there are bound to be some bumps along the way before we reach a Star Trek-style future. For example, Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii discovered a hardware defect in the upcoming Google Home Mini that caused the device to record almost all nearby audio and upload it directly to Google. That’s a pretty severe privacy violation, but Google says it’s pushing out an update to prevent it from happening again.

The Google Home Mini is a small puck-shaped speaker that lets you interact with Google Assistant. This voice control platform debuted last year on the Pixel and the regular Google Home. The Home Mini costs a mere $50, though, and includes almost all the features of the larger Home. The idea is that you can say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” whenever you’re near the device to begin issuing commands to smart home devices and asking questions. However, there’s also a touch-sensitive button on the top that can initiate a voice command, and this is apparently the problem.

Russakovskii noticed his review unit waking itself up quite frequently, as indicated by the lights on top. Google’s online account security and privacy tools include an activity timeline that can be filtered to specific products and services, and Android Police confirmed that the Home Mini was indeed uploading thousands of audio snippets to Google’s servers as if they were user commands. Of course, none of them returned valid responses from Assistant as they were not valid commands. Every single one was still accessible in Russakovskii’s Google settings, though.

Comment by rj not in chicago anymore
2017-10-11 11:40:05

I call BS on Google - they are mere aparatchiks of the gubmit surveilance state.

Geez - an error in the device - really?!!

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2017-10-11 14:03:02

Remember when their tagline was “Do no harm”?

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2017-10-11 14:04:57

Evil. It was “do no evil.”

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Comment by Carl Morris
2017-10-11 14:05:27

I think that’s doctors. Google was don’t be evil. But the last time they tried it they got shut out of the Chinese market. So it would appear to be a policy in transition.

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Comment by Anonymous
2017-10-11 12:43:14

No wonder there wasn’t more outrage over the NSA surveillance. People are quite happy to be monitored and recorded 24/7, apparently. With all the hack’s that have gone on, does anyone really think this is safe and secure?

Comment by Sean
2017-10-11 14:51:58

With social media people are happy to just give it away. Plus every single store has their “Rewards card” you can signup for, just give us all of your info and you are all set! Give up my personal data to save 15 cents on fish food? Sure, why not!

Comment by redmondjp
2017-10-13 09:39:45

Yup. My county purchased that data from our local grocery stores and cross-referenced those county residents who regularly bought pet food with their pet licensing databases.

And then sent nasty letters to those who bought pet food for which the county had no animal licenses recorded.


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Comment by In Colorado
2017-10-11 14:55:10

Seriously, why would people want to PAY FOR and live in a house with a device like this in it?

Because it’s hip and trendy, and if you don’t have one it means either you’re old or are a loser, maybe both.

It’s the same reason why people who recently paid $800 for an iPhone7 will trade it in for pennies on the dollar and spend another $800 for an iPhone8.

Comment by BlackSwanDive
2017-10-11 16:13:18

Still rocking my almost 4 year old Samsung Galaxy S5. I don’t see any new must have features on the newer models. I’ll use this phone until it breaks.

Comment by BlackSwanDive
2017-10-11 16:18:02

And I’m almost at year 5 on this HP laptop, which has been the best computer to date. Actually, this is a replacement for the original which had faulty hinges, but I think this December will mark 5 years since original purchase. I hope it lasts another 5.

I like to get more than my money’s worth out of things.

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Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-11 17:04:01

I’m going to have to hand over my employer supplied laptop and get my own gear here shortly. I am thinking Toshiba with an SSD and Windows 7 build. Should be good for knocking around on the boat and being able to design in 3D CAD.

Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-11 16:58:02

Who are you calling an old loser?

Comment by MacBeth
2017-10-11 17:45:30

I’m a loser baby….so why don’t you kill me?

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Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-11 20:23:07

Whatever do you mean?

Comment by Rental Watch
2017-10-12 09:04:03


Lyrics to the song “Loser”

Comment by Apartment 401
2017-10-11 11:11:14

Realtors are liars.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-10-11 12:28:10

“New Jersey Realtor Arrested, Charged with Theft and Misconduct”


Comment by Apartment 401
2017-10-11 16:50:29

Deception, theft, fraud, that’s about what you can expect from the National Association of Realtors.

Comment by Obama Goons
2017-10-11 14:47:18

If you’re a friend of Trump, you’re a friend of mine.

Comment by palmetto
2017-10-11 15:11:10

Hello, friend.

Comment by palmetto
Comment by Carl Morris
2017-10-11 15:45:37

If you’re a friend of Trump, you’re a friend of mine.

AC/DC reference?

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-10-11 16:35:56

Mexico readies for worst as 4th round of NAFTA talks open


Ha ha!

Comment by Obama Goons
2017-10-11 16:48:44

NAFTA the disaster. Imploding it would be beautiful.

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Comment by palmetto
2017-10-11 18:12:50

The Establishment is imploding, and I feel fine.

Lol, it’s NBC’s and Corker’s day in the barrel. I’m having a ball. Everyone losing their sh*t every time there’s a tweet.

Da meddel fanger!

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-10-11 16:58:20

Albany, OR Housing Prices Crater 11% YOY


Comment by jeff
2017-10-11 17:59:01

Boy Scouts of America to allow girls to join, earn Eagle Scout rank

Gina Cherelus, Bernie Woodall

#U.S.OCTOBER 11, 2017 / 1:30 PM

(Reuters) - In a historic shift, the Boy Scouts of America will let girls enroll in Cub Scouts starting next year and allow them to eventually earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout, the organization said on Wednesday.

The unanimous decision by the 100-year-old group’s board of directors came after years of requests from families and girls, it said, though the announcement prompted a largely negative reaction on social media.

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Boy Scouts Chief Executive Michael Surbaugh said in a statement.


Comment by jeff
2017-10-11 18:16:20

Boy Scouts to allow gay youths to join

By Phil Gast. Greg Botelho and Devon M. Sayers, CNN
Updated 2:44 PM ET, Fri May 24, 2013

Openly gay youths will be allowed to join scouting, a historic decision the Boy Scouts of America says will keep it unclouded by “a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue.”

More than 60% of the group’s 1,400-member national council voted Thursday at an annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, for the change, which takes effect Jan. 1.


Boy Scouts change policy on gay leaders

By Todd Leopold, CNN
Updated 9:16 AM ET, Tue July 28, 2015

(CNN)The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that it’s lifting the ban on gay adults as Scout leaders.

“On Monday July 27 the national executive board ratified a resolution removing the national restriction on openly gay leaders and employees,” Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates said in a video statement on Monday.


Boy Scouts, Reversing Century-Old Stance, Will Allow Transgender Boys


Reversing a stance of more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America said on Monday that the group would begin accepting members based on the gender listed on their application, paving the way for transgender boys to join the organization.


Comment by MacBeth
2017-10-11 18:27:48

And always at the expense of the male gender.

Why isn’t the Girl Scouts enough? What’s wrong with the Girl Scouts? Must be a crappy organization.

Comment by jeff
2017-10-11 19:32:57

Here is one take on it.

After Conquering the Boy Scouts, What’s Next?

by Cliff Kincaid on February 8, 2017

The epitaph of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is being written by cowardly corporations, spineless politicians, politically correct adults afraid to say anything, and of course the liberal media. The Washington Post and The New York Times have been on the front lines of the “progressive” movement that now seeks to abolish the differences between the sexes by using our children as guinea pigs in the latest version of their sick social experiment.

The BSA is near death, thanks to the most recent decision by the BSA leadership to admit girls who want to be boys. This lunacy is endorsed by the Post, which praises the BSA for adapting “in an era of rapid culture change.” In an editorial, “Welcoming Transgender Boy Scouts,” the Times declares that “The Boy Scouts are recognizing transgender boys for what they genuinely are: boys.” This is nonsense, of course. They are not boys. They are girls.

Homosexuals and others were always free to start their own organizations. Instead, however, they sought to dominate and destroy organizations training young people in the context of traditional values. Too many morally corrupted and compromised conservatives did not resist.

Conservatives who have done their homework will recognize the BSA takeover as the Gramsci strategy of marching through the institutions, named after the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci. If they can conquer the Boy Scouts, there’s not much left. The churches and the religious believers who attend them constitute one possible last line of defense.

William A. Donohue recognized what was happening as far back as 1993, in his booklet, “On the Front Line of the Culture War: Recent Attacks on the Boy Scouts of America,” which was updated in 1996. The rest, as they say, is history.

In terms of organizations, the key group leading the legal assault on the Boy Scouts was the ACLU. Corporations like Levi Strauss and Wells Fargo also played roles by yanking funding.

Overall, in the society at large, Donohue cited the influence of the “new class,” the “modern liberals” who were “usually educated at America’s elite colleges and universities, who work in the media, the academy, government, and other non-profit sectors of the economy.” These people, he noted, were ideologically alienated from “bourgeois” society but were “strategically placed” in New York, Washington, D.C., Hollywood, and “on the faculties of most college campuses…”

This “new class,” he wrote, espouses “politically correct” thinking, consisting of “the view that any departure from the modem liberal agenda is racist, sexist or homophobic, and thus beyond the pale in modern society.”


Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-11 20:30:43

Lost compass.

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Comment by Parker
2017-10-11 21:04:05

Keep clutching your pearls. Let kids be kids and do their thing without having insecure parents hovering in fear that they might meet someone different than them and develop character.

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Comment by jeff
2017-10-11 22:25:08

“in fear that they might meet someone different than them and develop character.”

This message has been brought to you by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Come on man, you think there are kids today that don’t know kids from the alphabet or the rainbow? I know mine do.

This is about forcing social change on people just like when they sued the Christian Baker over not wanting to do a gay wedding cake while leaving the Muslim baker down the road alone.


July 25, 2012

Twelve years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center stopped participating in the Montgomery, Ala., United Way campaign because the organization chose to fund the Boy Scouts of America despite its policy of excluding LGBT people from its ranks.

We clearly could not support such discrimination. We were not alone. Some United Way chapters across the country chose to drop the Boy Scouts as beneficiaries of their fundraising campaigns.


Comment by palmetto
2017-10-12 04:59:20

How is a probe in the buttocks developing character? Unless, of course, you consider it to be good preparation for the brave new world envisioned by the perv ‘leets. Maybe there’s a badge for that.

Comment by BlueSkye
2017-10-12 10:23:27

LOL Palmy.

Parker is offended that you are offended. The mere suggestion that you have some different opinions about life and morals is outrageous. She wants you to be more sensitive to her being insensitive to your values. Oh, and because your values do not line up with the new stuff being made up, you are of low character.

Comment by Parker
2017-10-11 20:57:16

How exactly is this at the expense of anyone? Turns out that the presence of women does not threaten my manhood, and if it threatens yours then it might be on shaky ground to begin with.

Girl Scouts is great if the girls want to piddle with crafts and sell cookies. If that’s all a kid wants to do, fine. But getting kids outside and learning through doing has tremendous value across ages and genders.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-10-11 22:23:55

Uh … didn’t the Camp Fire Girls do outdoorsy stuff?

The Mormons are preparing to ditch BSA are replace it with their own Scouting organization. I’ll bet the Knights of Columbus will do the same. Without LDS and Catholic troops and packs, BSA will become a relic. It almost already is. When I was a kid most of my friends were Cub and later Boy Scouts. Today the only place I ever see them is at the supermarket, selling popcorn.

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Comment by Parker
2017-10-11 22:45:08

I work in parks management (not the urban kind, the real kind) and I see Boy Scout groups all the time but rarely see Girl Scouts. I’ve also been approached multiple times by Eagle Scouts looking for a project but have never seen a Girl Scout doing the same. It’s not for a lack of interest,it’s a lack of will and leadership from the organization. Girls deserve better than that, and frankly my son deserves to grow up seeing girls demonstrating competency rather than viewing them as cookie-pedaling Disney princesses.

As for the religious exodus from the BSA, not much to be done about that except watch them scatter in pearl-clutching horror. I’ll just hope their kids cross my path in the future as young adults and I can teach them that women make damn fine Rangers and that we’re all the better for it.

Comment by jeff
2017-10-11 23:30:29

“and frankly my son deserves to grow up seeing girls demonstrating competency rather than viewing them as cookie-pedaling Disney princesses.”

Do you live under a rock? Have you ever been far enough away from Jellystone to go to a girls fast pitch softball game? Got a TV with ESPN turn it on in the Spring you’ll see it. Ever hear of the WNBA? Hockey? Do you have any idea how big womens hockey is in places? Ronda Rousey? Have you ever heard of her?

Evidently you don’t get basketball coverage in Jellystone.

Women’s 2017 Final Four: Mississippi State stuns UConn, ends Huskies’ 111-game win streak

In one of the biggest upsets in NCAA women’s basketball history, the Bulldogs win it at the buzzer

by CBS Sports Staff Apr 1, 2017 • 1 min read


Comment by In Colorado
2017-10-11 23:40:50

Call them pearl clutching religious fanatics all you want, but I’ll bet the majority of Eagle scouts you encounter are either from LDS or Catholic sponsored troops.

BSA is finished, it’s only a matter of time.

Comment by tresho
2017-10-12 11:11:05

I’ll bet the majority of Eagle scouts you encounter are either from LDS or Catholic sponsored troops.
I’d like to see data on this bet, but I’m feeling too lazy today.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-10-12 12:30:54

From what I have read about 2/3 of all troops and packs are sponsored either by the LDS, Catholic Parishes or the Knights of Columbus. This distribution will vary by geography, as I wouldn’t expect to see as large an LDS presence in the southeast vs. the southwest.

Comment by Parker
2017-10-15 10:01:02

Jeff, what kids see on TV and what they see first hand in their life makes a difference.

Comment by oxide
2017-10-12 10:17:34

“Why isn’t the Girl Scouts enough?”

MacBeth, for what it’s worth, the Eagle Scout rank is considered meaty enough to include on a resumé. There does not appear to be an Eagle Scout equivalent in the Girl Scouts or other girl organizations. So effectively, this is one case where boys do have a slight, but measurable, edge over girls in the entry-level job market.

That said, including girls in the Boy Scouts is not the solution. That will just turn every outdoor trip into an adolescent make-out party. The real solution is for the Girl Scouts to offer a merit-based Eagle Scout rank, for something other than knitting or “Citizenship.”

Or simply merge the GS and BS and offer the same badges and Eagle Scout to everybody regardless of gender, and call it a day.

Comment by tresho
2017-10-12 11:12:53

That will just turn every outdoor trip into an adolescent make-out party.
At the pre-adolescent level, my BSA experiences were more like ‘riots’ than ‘parties’.

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Comment by In Colorado
2017-10-12 12:34:50

for what it’s worth, the Eagle Scout rank is considered meaty enough to include on a resumé.

That might still be true in some circles, but in others it could actually be considered a demerit. I have heard people in the office say some very harsh things about BSA being “bigotted and sexist”. I am also fairly confident that recent BSA policy changes will do nothing to win those hearts over. To a lot of people BSA is an anachronism, one that is best erased from the cultural landscape. It’s why BSA has basically turned into an LDS and Catholic ghetto.

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Comment by clark
2017-10-11 23:58:05

RE: ‘Hmmm, lower than 2007 already?’

From what I’ve read, here in Eastern Iowa, it’s quite often lower than 2006, or creeping close to that, already.
I spent several rainy afternoons this week looking through the MLS on Realtor DOT com (if their numbers can be trusted) and in spite of the massive migration from Illinois, the Iowa side of the Quad-City Area is looking pretty dismal [seemingly, except for landlords] and lines up quite perfectly with the nationwide price drops gathered and posted by both Housing Analyst and Ben Jones.

I looked at the prior sales and listing prices in detail from the Iowa side of the QCA - and the additional improvements, and considered the location in a way only locals can do, plus the costs, and TIME of such - of every single property For Sale from the rock bottom price of $9,500 up to $120,000.00.

At the end of many of my notes and calculations I kept writing the word ‘equity’ in quotes,… with an asterisks, as if it were a lying Realtwhore new-speak term, or something only those who were upside-down and underwater - or a tax-collector, or a politician - would understand. Funny, that.

In almost every instance where there was more than one entry for prior listings or sales [3/4, or more, by my estimation] just about every single one (!) was currently at 10 to 20 percent below original asking price - within the last four months - AND/or, they listed so many improvements, and their tax burden was so large, that there was almost No Way they were Not underwater!

The HGTV types stood out like sore thumbs. I feel sorry for whomever bought their quickly thrown together, crap. I kind of felt sorry for the hopeful HGTV types, too. But, not much.
I’m sure that many HGTV types made out like bandits. I hope thier victims found peace. But, with the crap locations I saw, in the long run, I doubt it.

Amazingly, while looking at the data, I could see when the hype took off, and how, ‘days on site’ got shorter, just like they did on the TeeVee. “Three months to completely re-do a dump-house in a crappy location and make it seem good”, why not?
“It’ll be just like on the TeeVee, and no one will see the giant glaring flaws and gloss-overs, not even thier children”. Psft! What’s the downside? Afterall; GF’s, with pockets full of pens to sign Mr. Banker’s special, abound. It’s a national retirement plan for all of the above, don’t'ch’ya’know? Seriously!
And, I don’t use exclamation points, frivolously.

After my research, I have new-found respect for the accuracy of Housing Analyst’s quotes (plus, a huge amount of disgust - HUGE - at those who slam him without facts to back it up. You know who you are.) and, a deeper understanding of how the honest Macro-averages Ben Jones posts about price reductions for a given area fail to impress and present the micro-economic picture: things are much, much worse.

Bottom line: in some areas, buying might seem like the better deal, on a monthly basis, however; at the end of the line, like say, since from 2004, or 2008 (Yes, those follies, are still being worked through the system - This Whole Time - ugly as they are) or even from 2012, psft, even 2016, many people are finding out right now how underwater they really are. And, I don’t want to be a debt donkey like them. It can be brutal to try and be a so-called, ‘owner’. Or, should I say, ‘home-ower’? Ah-hem, or, um, speculator? A.k.a. gambler.

Of course, it seems like it would be great to come out on Top, as I’ sure some have. The questions for them are: at whose expense, and at what cost? Morality, isn’t a factor? Yes, I’m looking at you, who cover it all up, mold and all, with, Killz. Etc…etc…ect. [i know a little about construction, too. I'm no dummy 'bout that.]

Imho, it’s far far better to rent until things crash, or at least, if a person Must buy now, do so for as cheap as you can, so you only come out a little behind, compared to most. I’m talking: ‘mobile home’, ‘RV’, a boat, or a, ‘crack-shack-hold-you-over’ that type of stuff. [Or, am I wrong?].
After two full days, and I don’t know how many pots of coffee, that’s my take, while pursuing the Facts, Jack. As best I can.

I suppose, The Masters of the Universe in control of the printing presses, could alter all that. Who knows? I could be wrong. I kind of wish I were.

I’d love to post the notes I wrote while looking at all I found. And, I may. But, it’s just more of what Ben posts, all the time. I am just so thankful I didn’t get sucked into this mania.
I just want to find a way to live, without being financially ruined, like so many others.

[Insert the graph, showing house prices from the year 1600, with a long straight line, up until fairly recently, here X.]

One thing, while looking at the stacks of prior price data, I kept thinking, ‘Swing, Dip, Swing, Dip’. That is : Housing Bubble 1.0, then the crash, followed by Housing Bubble 2.0, and now, the downward trend. It was like reading a map… about a winding road.

‘Swing, Dip, Swing, Dip’ … What comes next, is the question.

My Millennial nephew couldn’t care less about all that.

I think I can remember when I felt the same way.

Comment by hllnwlz
2017-10-12 10:58:28

Thank you for this post. I appreciated it.

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-10-12 05:20:40

‘Buyers in the DMV [District, Maryland and Virginia] are really savvy and ready to buy,’ says Nela Richardson, chief economist of Redfin brokerage in Washington. ‘

Do they work at EPA?
Any budget update from Oxide?

Comment by oxide
2017-10-12 10:28:28

EPA is mostly in Maryland, so for EPA effects, look there.

As for budget, Trump signed a deal to keep the gov running until mid-December. My guess is that there will be a shutdown then. I heard some rumor that Pelosi would do it over DACA (good luck with that). Even so, all a shutdown means is that gov workers keep $$ in their checking account to account for 1-2 missed paychecks. And then it all gets reimbursed.

As for long term, hiring freezes and retirements (many Fed are in the 62-67 age range) is cutting down the number of employees faster than Congress can cut individual budgets. Those folks are sitting pretty with mostly paid-off houses and nice retirement packages. Their only problem is needy-greedy Millenial kids and grandkids.

So I don’t expect much in the way of housing crash, at least not in MD where the domestic agencies are. NoVa may be a different story because that’s mostly cyber and DoD, and because housing is much more $$ in VA. (However, Trump is keeping DoD afloat pretty well.)

Comment by Hi-Z
2017-10-12 11:07:35

How about having federal workers do the same as private industry; when there is no money to pay them, lay them off and let them go to the unemployment line like everyone else.

Comment by tresho
2017-10-12 11:32:50

lay them off
Oh, the humanity!

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Comment by rms
2017-10-13 07:54:47

Any private 24/7 ready Search and Rescue crews using the Firehawk?

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Comment by Taxpayers
2017-12-14 17:14:09

Last time feds got an additional 2 weeks paid vacation
No one noticed

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Comment by oxide
2017-10-13 06:04:15

Hi-Z, that’s one reason why the gov hires so many contractors. They can lay off the contractor workers by not renewing a contract. There is enough work for the core fed force. The Feds have become a lot leaner even in the past decade.

Comment by Hi-Z
2017-10-13 12:07:52

The Fed is both leaner AND smarter than non-Federal employees. Wow!

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Comment by palmetto
Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-10-12 09:13:23

Sheridan, WY Housing Prices Crater 19% YOY


Comment by tresho
2017-10-12 11:35:23

Speaking of “hot”:

As fires that would prove devastating burned across the North Bay late Sunday, Sonoma County considered sending a mass alert to cell phones in the region to warn of the rapidly spreading flames. But county officials decided against it, worried that doing so might create widespread panic and hinder the ability of first responders to combat the blazes.

Comment by Taxpayers
2018-03-25 05:53:26

My county has a 6.7 year breakeven according to Zillow. That’s pretty pokey and probably ignores the 6% exit fee.

Comment by Taxpayers
2018-07-03 11:52:06

What percentage of commercial is industrial?
It’s the only sector of Refi world that’s not a disaster

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