February 17, 2018

Regulators Are Again Asleep At The Wheel

A weekend topic starting with Fox 17 in Michigan. “There’s no doubt about it, Grand Rapids is a seller’s market. If you’re selling a home, people are virtually lining up with offers. ‘I never thought it was going to be like this. It’s like war,’ says Tanesha Gadlen. ‘We looked at eight houses this weekend. We looked at 10 last weekend. We bid on all of them over the asking price and didn’t get any of them.’”

From GoSkagit in Washington. “The median price for homes in Skagit County rose 10.75 percent in 2017, according to a report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. With an average of 2.14 months on the market, 1,122 homes sold in the county last year for a median price of $313,000, according to the report. The double-digit appreciation rates have buyers and sellers wondering if the rapid increase could foreshadow a housing crash similar to the 2000s, said Realtor Jamie Yantis.”

”A lot of people are concerned about this being a bubble,’ Yantis said. ‘But if you look at the trend of appreciation historically, yes in 2008, 2009, 2010 we had a dump, but now we are just back on track to where the normal trajectory should have been.’”

From the News Press in Florida. “It was a cycle that repeated often — default, foreclosure, repossession, and eviction. All too familiar to thousands in Lee County beginning in 2008. Jobs were lost, incomes were reduced, homes became unaffordable. More than 40,000 foreclosures were filed in 2008 on homes in Lee County. More than 9,000 were filed in Collier County. The market glut led to lower prices at auction, and ultimately to the ghost of the Great Recession haunting people who thought the crisis was behind them.”

“Randy Johns, owner of Phoenix & Associates, a construction company in North Naples, said the impact fell on a company he worked more than 20 years to build. ‘We all extended ourselves too much,’ Johns said. ‘Investors were buying from other investors and not end users. It all came to a crash so fast we couldn’t liquidate. We lost all our cash.’”

“Since the deluge of foreclosures, housing markets have rebounded. The Florida Realtors’ association says demand once again is outstripping supply. The median price for a Lee house was $243,500 in 2017, up 7.1 percent. In Collier it was $434,900, up 3.5 percent.”

“Lisa Davidson, living and working in Southwest Florida, looks ahead to finishing paying off the deficiency judgment left from her foreclosed house. The payments have been on time, month after month, but for a while it was no help. ‘I’m optimistic,’ she sad. ‘I have two more years of paying these bloodsuckers, I just want it over with.’”

From Malaysia Kini. “Macroeconomic management is about anticipating and managing imbalances as they arise. It is certainly not just confined to describing and telling us the problems after they have become acute. This is my take on the story by Bank Negara Malaysia, on its recent narrative on affordable housing in Malaysia.”

“Why tell us now there is a mismatch of demand and supply of affordable housing? Why tell us now household income growth has not been able to keep pace with escalation in prices of houses? Why tell us now that developers have been focusing too much on high-end houses? And why tell us now that efforts by agencies set up to provide affordable housing have been too disorganised and dissipating?”

“May I ask for how long the imbalances mentioned above have been perpetuating? As far as I know, some of these problems have been in existence for decades. What were we doing during those years? What the authorities did in the past was not to correct the imbalances. Instead, they have often taken measures to make the situation worse.”

“Whenever the housing market experienced some slowdown, interest rates were lowered and loan eligibilities were relaxed to encourage more imbalances. After many years, of course the problems have become acute, as manifested today.”

“The preoccupation of our macroeconomic management is growth and political expediency, nothing else. We do not care about is the quality of growth or its sustainability. We do not care about the imbalances that will eventually sink us.”

From the Daily Sabah. “I have a Bear Stearns shirt that I purchased 10 years ago, following the collapse of the investment bank. I bought it as a novelty item as its collapse would be a once in a lifetime event I thought to myself. Little did I know many firms would suffer similar fates. Bear Stearns’ bailout by the Federal Reserve (Fed) in March 2008 was the canary in the coal mine that warned financial markets of the imminent collapse of all other holders of toxic mortgaged back securities.”

“What’s interesting then and what is still interesting to this day is that many of the same policies that allowed Madoff to run his Ponzi scheme and Bear Stearns to enjoy high credit ratings before its collapse are still in place today.”

“Ten years later, what has changed? What if any regulations and oversight do governments have to regulate credit rating agencies? Are their assessments based on quantitative rules that are free from the biases of employees of these agencies? Do business relationships with companies being rated by these agencies get in the way of their credit ratings? Ratings agencies are allowed to make whatever ratings decisions they want without fear of impeachment. No quantitative formulas have been offered to the investor public to satisfy its need for transparency.”

“As for Ponzi scheme-like acts of fraud, we are in the midst of one that may someday rival that of Madoff’s, the cryptocurrency bubble. While I have no evidence of a Ponzi scheme in the initial coin offerings of these ‘currencies,’ what’s clear is that regulators are again asleep at the wheel. Ignorant investors have been taken advantage of and are plowing their hard-earned money into ’securities’ they do not understand with the promise of quick riskless returns.”

“While many of these currencies have already gone completely bust or are down over 50 percent from their highs, bitcoin among them, the SEC and other government agencies have done nothing. By the time these regulatory bodies take any action it will be too late to reign in the ridiculous valuations that are certain to hurt thousands of investors. While nothing close to the housing bubble of the Great Recession or the losses of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, this bubble will burst and with it, the hopes and dreams of thousands of investors.”

“It has been 10 years this month since the Great Recession’s first major event but we have yet to learn any meaningful lessons it appears.”

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Comment by Mortgage Watch
2018-02-17 08:04:52

Palm Coast, FL Housing Prices Crater 13% YOY


Comment by redmondjp
2018-02-17 12:00:04

Oh, hello there Housing Analyst, off the meds again I see, posting under yet another new internet handle. I’ll add it to my list.

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 13:16:26

Wouldn’t somebody who’s tracking the internet handles of somebody qualify as obsessed and, perhaps, in need of meds themselves? Just sayin’…

Comment by MacBeth
2018-02-17 14:31:42

No. It wouldn’t.

I would think that since Ben provides a FREE service for the people here, those here might honor his very simple, reasonable request to keep a consistent handle.

Why is Ben’s request so difficult to fulfill? Why the total lack of respect for someone that essentially lets numerous people shoot their mouths off on a daily basis on HIS blog?

Why the need to change handles? Cowardice? Duplicity? A desire to screw with other people?

Do tell. I’d love to know.

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Comment by CryptoNick
2018-02-17 15:27:35

Haha…take it from someone who nicknamed himself after a murderous Scottish king.

Comment by MacBeth
2018-02-17 16:13:52

You have a serious problem, Bear. Get help.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 16:28:35

You should break the opioid habit, Macbeth. There are publicly funded treatment facilities.

Comment by BlueSkye
2018-02-17 20:24:56

Asking an abusive person to just be reasonable is pointless.

There aren’t publicly funded treatment facilities for that at all.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2018-02-17 15:28:55

Hello my good friends.

Keller, TX Housing Prices Crater 8% YOY


Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 08:34:29

“As for Ponzi scheme-like acts of fraud, we are in the midst of one that may someday rival that of Madoff’s, the cryptocurrency bubble.”

Something that is both educational and amusing.

“… regulators are again asleep at the wheel.”

As they should be. Oh, lookie here, some breaking news …

“Ignorant investors have been taken advantage of and are plowing their hard-earned money into ’securities’ they do not understand with the promise of quick riskless returns.”

Now there’s a first.

“While many of these currencies have already gone completely bust or are down over 50 percent from their highs, bitcoin among them, the SEC and other government agencies have done nothing.”


“By the time these regulatory bodies take any action it will be too late to reign in the ridiculous valuations that are certain to hurt thousands of investors.”


“While nothing close to the housing bubble of the Great Recession or the losses of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, this bubble will burst and with it, the hopes and dreams of thousands of investors.”

Thousands of investors =Thousands of totally dumbed-down ignorant pukes.

You cannot fix stupid, nor can you regulate it.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 08:57:43

George Economou, CEO of Dryships, gets this right …

“Because Americans are the dumbest investors around, and there’s lots of liquidity in this market’”.

Comment by Carl Morris
2018-02-18 01:04:28

Because Americans are the dumbest investors around

But the Chinese can make up for it in volume.

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 10:11:33

“By the time these regulatory bodies take any action it will be too late to reign in the ridiculous valuations that are certain to hurt thousands of investors.”

Thousands? Try tens of millions. That’s why these craptocurrencies have the legs to reach the dizzying highs they have.

The big money’s already been made. The alphonso bedoyas of the world are the ones getting fleeced, chasing those big returns that are long gone.

Comment by CryptoNick
2018-02-17 15:25:33

“Try tens of millions.”

I don’t have the exact figure, but I recall the recent cryptocrash was to the tune of $500 billion ($1/2 trillion). I believe that was just for Bitcoin, and thus an understatement of the full loss figure over all craptocurrencies.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-17 19:20:36

Per coinmarketcap.com, it’s a bit over $500 billion for all tracked cryptocurrencies in general. BitCoin comprises 37% of that market cap, or a little over 1/3.

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Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 18:56:07

The alphonso bedoyas of the world are the ones getting fleeced, chasing those big returns that are long gone—-BlackSwanDive

When did 25% to 50% become a small return?

“Trading is better than having your tax dollars go to building a wall.”—Buster Brown

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 19:50:47

You just confirmed what I’ve been saying all along - at “only” 25%-50% you’re nothing but a Johnnie-come-lately. You jumped in after the big money was made. Bitcoin is up 962% YOY as of today. You’re one of the sheeple!!

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Comment by BlueSkye
2018-02-17 20:27:30

Possibly if you have the fever, you will hold on until you’re broken.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 20:59:37

You have never traded and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, being that you are wedded to your myths.
“So it goes,” said K.V.
End of story.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2018-02-17 21:29:00

You’re confusing investing with degenerate gambling.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-18 09:09:06

Who called it an investment? You did.

Comment by Taxpayers
2018-02-17 13:11:39

They’ll get the always alert FBI on it

Comment by CryptoNick
2018-02-17 15:21:15

Why should Uncle Sam stand in the way of Bitcoin investors making an at-will agreement to gamble their financial security on the opportunity to become an overnight millionaire? Why is it the government’s problem if people looking for an easy way to get rich quick instead lose their shirts? Stupid is as stupid does, and this is not a matter of public concern.

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 19:53:15

I’m actually rooting for Bitcoin to go to like $50k or something. The bigger it gets, the worse the carnage is going to be. I love watching people lose everything to a mania.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 21:11:17

It has no chance of rising to 50K. It’s strictly a trading vehicle for Goldman and Kumpany.
You trade something till the dynamic changes and you can no longer trade it. Nothing is forever.

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Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 23:36:47

Buy puts when it is going up, then sell those and buy calls with the proceeds after it crashes. It’s a perpetual money machine.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-18 09:15:24

Goldman Sachs agrees, but, they like to be on the other side of the trade. Ain’t that somethin.’ :)

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 21:16:32

Who is Uncle Sam? Is it: The Treasury? The FED? JPMorgan and Friends? The Congress? Walmart? Amazon?

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 23:46:51

That there is a trillion dollar question!

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Comment by Ben Jones
2018-02-17 08:44:14

‘Whenever the housing market experienced some slowdown, interest rates were lowered and loan eligibilities were relaxed to encourage more imbalances. After many years, of course the problems have become acute, as manifested today.’

‘The preoccupation of our macroeconomic management is growth and political expediency, nothing else.’

This is what you get from listening to the shortage crowd. As soon as the glut appears they’ll cry for a handout.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 08:52:18

“… they’ll cry for a handout.”

You rang?


Comment by 2banana
2018-02-17 08:54:38


All that cheap and easy money has to find a home…


“There Is An Acute Crisis Coming”: Apartment Developer
ZeroHedge - 02/17/2018 - 10:34

And, in light of prevailing asking rent prices, this rise in multi-family supply is a welcome development: with most Americans (and certainly Millennials) unable to afford traditional housing, demand for rental housing is off the charts, pushing average asking rents to all time high with supply sure to follow, which in turn will eventually push prices back down again.

All that is Econ 101. There is just one problem: developers are putting up the wrong kinds of buildings, focusing almost entirely on the luxury segment. However, as discussed here recently, the luxury market is by now largely overbuilt, while the shortage of affordable rental housing is growing, as developers remain hamstrung by the now record-high cost of construction.

Here are the facts: in 2017, apartment completions in the 150 largest U.S. cities jumped to 395,775 units, higher than 2016 production by a staggering 46% and more than doubling the long-term average, according to RealPage. However, instead of focusing on the mid-range, luxury, upscale buildings accounted for between 75 and 80% of the new supply in the current cycle.

Why is the sub-luxury segment being ignored? Simple: the need to maintain high margins amid rising input costs:

The outcome? An “acute crisis” is headed our way as a result, according to the head of one of the biggest regional developers.

“While the market has responded to rental housing needs for higher-income households, there are alarming trends that suggest a growing inability to supply housing that is affordable for middle- and working-class renters, let alone those with very low incomes,” said Christopher Herbert, the center’s managing director.

To be sure, none of this is happening outside the luxury market, where rent increases are still strong due to low supply. Developers say they simply can’t afford to add anything but luxury.

Investors, according to Bozzuto, are now moving away from new construction and instead rehabbing older rental stock. These so-called value-add projects just raise the rents on current tenants even more.

Meanwhile, the Fed is unable to find inflation anywhere it looks or, as Janet Yellen recently said, it “remains a mystery.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2018-02-17 09:11:48

I saw this article and I’ll post more from it later. They point to an “oversupply” and a 40 year high in construction. Let me ask you: how the heck do we have a shortage of housing at a 40 year high? Whatever it is that is built, we get too much. I was driving yesterday and listened to this big apartment honcho. He has really convinced himself the boom will go on for many more years. Why? The relative high cost of SF shacks, low interest rates and the mountains of cash available for financing.

These people will never, ever get it. We can’t rely on the “experts” or the REIC because they will bumble into a “great recession” time after time, and claim they didn’t see it coming and it wasn’t their fault. Oh and make some crack about how if you haven’t declared bankruptcy you haven’t been around very long.

Comment by 2banana
2018-02-17 09:19:01

What could go wrong?

A six year old can see what is coming.


“higher than 2016 production by a staggering 46% and more than doubling the long-term average”

Comment by Ben Jones
2018-02-17 09:23:14

I saw this coming in late 2014. I don’t have a budget. I don’t have teams of PHD’s scattered across the country.

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Comment by 2banana
2018-02-17 09:25:58

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

― Upton Sinclair

Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 09:31:08

“I don’t have teams of PHD’s scattered across the country.”

This gives you an unfair advantage.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 09:46:38

Harry Truman said this: “Give me a one-handed Economist. All my economists say ‘on hand…’, then ‘but on the other…”

What an economist will render is an opinion - not a fact but an opinion. If you do not like one economist’s opinion then you can go shopping for another economist, one whose opinion you do like.

If you bother to self-school yourself about economics then you can become hour own economist - and form your own opinion.

Personally I like to use my twelve year-old paperboy to bounce economic ideas against since he seems go have more economic sense than most adults I run into.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-17 19:32:20

Overheard at a tech conference years ago: “The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.”

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 10:24:34

As this “housing shortage” mantra has appeared in every market in the entire country I’ve been asking people “where’s this massive population increase coming from?” They say “they’re moving here from (fill in the blank)”, naming other cities and states.” Then I ask “but those places have a massive shortage, too, who’s moving there and where from?”

It’s always ***CRICKETS*** after that. The fact of the matter is we are currently in a speculative orgy of a real estate bubble, once again. Around here, prices have blown through the last high which now pales in comparison. Wages, if higher at all, don’t begin to support the valuations. On the low end, it’s still speculators bidding up the price of everything, then turning around and slapping a massive rental price on it.

Comment by Taxpayers
2018-02-17 14:34:14

My county is talking about repurposing office buildings.
Offices for homeless?
Fxco is the 2nd wealthiest co in USA

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-17 19:30:24

I was listening to Planet Money’s The Indicator on my run today. I listened to this particular segment twice because it was so good. It was on the phenomenon of “overshooting”, which I think applies in the context of building way, way too much luxury apartments.

There’s a very homely example of being impatient when you’re in the shower and adjusting the temperature, and then when it doesn’t get warmer or colder fast enough for you, you turn the thermostat even further round. And then all of a sudden, it gets much too hot or much too cold - this overshooting phenomenon.

And he said this kind of a delay in feedback is very common in economic contexts as well. So you go from a situation of undersupply to a situation of oversupply in the market. And these overshooting phenomena, they happen in all kinds of markets. They happen in exchange rates. They happen in commodities markets. A farmer, for example, might notice that the price of a crop is going up because of a shortage, but then all the farmers do the same thing and they all plant too much, and there’s oversupply next year or the year after.

Anyway, this is just one small example of when the efficient market theory breaks down a bit and helps to understand the psychology of bubbles. The material behind the discussion is from the Nobel prize winning econ book “Micromotives and Macrobehavior.”

Comment by Carl Morris
2018-02-18 01:15:28

Engineers recognize this as any system that can be modeled as springs and masses and dampers. “Overshooting” means underdamped. Underdamping is necessary to get fast response but will always result in overshooting if there is any mass (think inertia) in the system. Oscillation is also an issue in underdamped systems.

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Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-18 12:54:56

Thanks for the engineering application, I appreciate that. In other words, “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature?”

Reminds me of the old joke about the Efficient Market Hypothesis:

A financial economist and passionate defender of the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH) was walking down the street with a friend. The friend stops and says, “Look, there is a $20 bill on the ground!”

The economist turns and coolly replies, “Can’t be. If there was a $20 bill on the ground, somebody would have already picked it up.”

Comment by 2banana
2018-02-17 09:10:07

Buying homes in Vancouver, London or NYC to launder Chinese money???

That is for amateurs.


A Chinese Casino Has Conquered a Piece of America
Bloomberg - Matthew Campbell - 2/17/2018

The hospital had been inundated with patients from a construction site a few blocks away on this speck of rock among the Northern Mariana Islands, in the deepest part of the Pacific. To get a sense of Saipan’s isolation from the Lower 48, imagine flying from Denver to Honolulu. Then fly that far again. Then go farther still. Saipan (population 48,000) is nevertheless American soil, with U.S. dollars, U.S. mail, and U.S. laws. But the place has seemed less and less like America since 2014, when a Chinese casino operator arrived and—with near-total impunity—turned Saipan into a back door to the U.S. financial system.

At a temporary storefront, the company, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd., was somehow handling more than $2 billion a month in VIP bets. And at the construction site, it was building a gargantuan casino with a crew of hundreds of Chinese, scores of them working illegally on tourist visas.

Hu died building what’s become, on paper, the most successful gambling operation in history. In the first half of 2017, table for table, Imperial Pacific turned over nearly six times more cash than the fanciest gaming facilities in Macau, which themselves dwarf the activity in Las Vegas. And that was before Imperial Pacific opened its lavish megacasino in July.

Given Macau’s status as a hub for industrial-scale money laundering, the Saipan figures have left gaming veterans astonished that they could be generated on U.S. soil, under Washington’s ostensible oversight. Eight casino executives and analysts interviewed for this story, all with extensive experience of the Asian gaming trade, said they saw no way such volumes could be generated legitimately. Asked if there could be a benign explanation for such instantaneous success at a casino more than three hours’ flight from any major city, on a drowsy island where the best hotel is a 1970s-era Hyatt, one of the executives burst out laughing.

Per capita, there’s almost certainly more Chinese money moving through Saipan than anywhere else in the world. The unprecedented flow of capital has allowed Imperial Pacific to operate in ways that would be unthinkable within the 50 states. When laws have become inconvenient to the company, they’ve been flouted; when the requirements of its contract with the government have become onerous, they’ve been removed; when legislators have tried to interfere, they’ve been ignored. Imperial Pacific has made millions of dollars in payments to family members of the territory’s governor, Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres.

The strongest desire among China’s wealthy is to get their money—ill-gotten or otherwise—out of the country, safe from the threat of government seizure. One prevalent method for magicking money across the border, in defiance of strict capital controls, begins with companies called junkets. They bring wealthy clients from the mainland, where gambling is illegal, to the VIP rooms of casinos in Macau. There, the junkets extend the clients credit to play baccarat, a game of luck at which they’re likely to win or lose a negligible amount. At the end of play, clients cash out their balance in the currency of their choice. The debt is collected in yuan, in China. Everybody wins: The clients have converted yuan into dollars or euros or sterling, and the middlemen get a cut.

With a celebrity cast on the payroll, Imperial Pacific turned to bringing in money—immediately. Even before ground was broken at the construction site, it got permission to open a temporary casino across the street, in a duty-free mall. It was a ho-hum space, the size of a suburban Olive Garden. Yet in its first three months after opening in November 2015, VIP bets totaled $5.3 billion, across fewer than 20 tables. That was more than a third of the action at Wynn Macau—a lush resort with 192 tables, Michelin-starred restaurants, excellent airport access, and global name recognition.

Comment by GreenEggsAndSpam
2018-02-17 18:31:06

Thats insane, and adds to my thesis that at their core chinese are liars. Its why I dont believe that the Han supposedly have the highest IQs - then why do they just copy everything and invent very little? Becuase theyre sooooo smart? In reality theyre experts at cheating.

Articles out this week detailing how the chinese have infiltrated the universities to steal research.

Time for Trump to bring the hammer down on these scumbags and MAGA!

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-17 19:39:36

2banana, did you see the link I posted a few weeks ago to the Chinese birth tourism going on in Saipan? Here are some snippets:

The Northern Marianas, an island chain that includes Saipan, is the only U.S. soil that Chinese can visit without a visa, after a change in immigration policy in 2009 allowed Chinese and Russian tourists visa-free entry for up to 45 days.

“It’s just like if God opened a window for you,” said a Chinese father who works as a translator here after coming a few years ago to ensure his child would be born American.

The Northern Marianas pressed for the visa waiver to support an economy reliant on tourism, notably to Saipan’s casinos and gambling parlors. The number of Chinese visitors has risen substantially since 2009 and now represents 36% of tourists to the island, which is four to five hours’ flight from Shanghai and Guangzhou. Tourism accounts for 72% of Saipan’s economy.

“Federal and local authorities should know where birth tourists are being housed and should be able to identify overstayers,” said Gregorio Sablan, the Northern Marianas’ congressional representative. “Cutting off visa-free travel to the Marianas for hundreds of thousands of visitors from China in order to prevent a few hundred birth tourists makes no sense from a business point of view.”


Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 09:49:25

“The median price for homes in Skagit County rose 10.75 percent in 2017, according to a report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. With an average of 2.14 months on the market, 1,122 homes sold in the county last year for a median price of $313,000, according to the report. The double-digit appreciation rates have buyers and sellers wondering if the rapid increase could foreshadow a housing crash similar to the 2000s, said Realtor Jamie Yantis.”

”A lot of people are concerned about this being a bubble,’ Yantis said. ‘But if you look at the trend of appreciation historically, yes in 2008, 2009, 2010 we had a dump, but now we are just back on track to where the normal trajectory should have been.’”

Normal trajectory? I wonder in how many years before the onset of the Great Housing Bubble circa 1996 Skagit County ever saw double digit appreciation rates?

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 10:27:17

Wow, calling the bubble “normal trajectory?” And nobody questions this fool?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 10:36:57

“And nobody questions this fool?”

Beautiful, ain’t it?

A nation of dummies.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2018-02-17 21:18:44

”A lot of people are concerned about this being a bubble,’ Yantis said. ‘But if you look at the trend of appreciation historically, yes in 2008, 2009, 2010 we had a dump, but now we are just back on track to where the normal trajectory should have been.’”

This was the money quote, at least for me. Sure, if you ignore the fact that we had a bubble, and just assume that that was a “normal trajectory”, then yeah—a return to that trend line makes the re-bubble look pretty normal. What a fool.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2018-02-17 21:27:33

Foolish realtors don’t quite understand that houses depreciate historically.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 11:02:10

Now folks, it’s time to close out BTC positions. It’s an asset class that has to be watched with regularity now that we no longer run alka seltzer ads on television at 6pm. You have three tops in place and let’s not wait till 3am to search for the exit with everyone else. It’s another day and another dollar in this wondrous ecomomy of scales and scarcity. Where else can you have Sir Charles Munger killing people with GEICO rates and diabetic Coca Cola and warning you about chocolate covered bitcoins? And God bless Donald Trump for allowing us to see his carnal indiscretions naked on surf ‘n sand.
Can we add that the beauty of it all is that the Clintons can’t say anything. Not a word. Not a beep. Not a whisper. Not a sigh.
Melanie is leaving soon and so is Donald….but…..bitcoin is furrrrrever.
Right now Melanie is sitting there clicking the heels on her fashionable ruby, red shoes.
And I wanna see how many more high-risers they can build in Miami.

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 11:30:34

Can I interest you in this mutated tulip bulb?

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 11:37:04



Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 13:17:40

I don’t open random links. Could be a virus or something. Nice try, though.

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Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 14:32:24

I posted to you and others an article appearing in the Smithsonian magazine devoted to the tulip mania myth.

“Could be a virus or something. Nice try, though,” you wrote.
Send you a virus? Why would you even think that?

Comment by MacBeth
2018-02-17 16:32:05

Alphonso - odd, isn’t it? Note his post above:

” Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 13:16:26
Wouldn’t somebody who’s tracking the internet handles of somebody qualify as obsessed and, perhaps, in need of meds themselves? Just sayin’…”

There’s some very weird patterns appearing on this board during the past month. Be area of it.

By the way, was it you who posted re: Fred Neil? I just purchased a CD and its excellent! Thank you.

Comment by MacBeth
2018-02-17 17:56:20

“Be aware of it”

I say this to you and to those who may be new to this board.

There was a time not too long ago when this board was being visited - perhaps frequented - by paid trolls. I don’t think that’s what is going on now, but I could be wrong.

Nonetheless, there is deception afoot. Follow your own instincts and act upon facts you know to be true.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 18:41:48


Fred Neil is worth read on Wikipedia. We’re talking circa 1961-1965. Totally unique. Refused to tour. A total break from the wholesome sound of the Weavers with Pete Seeger.
You listened to Long John Nebel at night and WBAI and sent away $5 to a P.O. Box for John Fahey albums. The printings were between 150 to 500 for each album.
A longgggg time ago in another America.
John Fahey. YouTube has the concert in parts. His best album was Death of Dance and other Plantation Favorites. A genius who drank himself to death. Even into the 1990s they still had no category for his music.


Comment by MacBeth
2018-02-17 18:54:32

I’ll read up - thanks.

I will also check out John Fahey. Not surprisingly, with such a limited printing, I have never heard of the guy.

That he cannot be easily categorized is even better.

I’ll be posting some music suggestions here tomorrow if I can. Expect some surprises.

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 20:40:24

“Alphonso - odd, isn’t it? Note his post above..”

You know what’s really odd? Your schizophrenic nature where you were thanking me for posting here the other day, then you’re acting like this today.

Comment by MacBeth
2018-02-18 08:29:10

No, it isn’t odd.

Just because someone thanks you/praises you for something yesterday doesn’t give you carte blanche to say or do something stupid today.

Why would you think otherwise?

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-18 09:53:30

I’m getting a strong whiff of Narcissistic Personality Disorder with this one.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
Comment by CryptoNick
2018-02-17 15:32:43

Fake news

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Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 20:41:41


Comment by Taxpayers
2018-02-17 13:18:02

Grand rapids ,nothing but empty land in every direction
Now Ashevlle ,there’s a jewel

Comment by jeff
2018-02-17 13:20:56

So the undocumented drunk @ss Dreamers can drive their vehicles with bad tags and no insurance, plow into the suckers who pay for tags and insurance with little or no consequence but when a non dreaming insurance paying sober driving U.S. citizen (acquaintance of mine) has the roll reversed the gloves are off and the law suits are on.


Comment by CorporateShill
2018-02-17 15:11:43

They don’t usually do much of anything to the illegals. Happened to friends of mine in Phoenix more than once.

Comment by Taxpayers
2018-02-17 13:32:06

Oxide ,inventory super low here as we go into presday.
The big weekend of the year for real estate,cars etc.

Comment by oxide
2018-02-17 15:21:01

Inventory is ticking up in my nabe, but a lot of it is short sales and auctions. The rest appear to be flips where the seller wants $25K+ more than comps (to profit from the upgrades).

Comment by Taxpayers
2018-02-17 16:19:00

Zillow has my hood flat and the local realtor assoc says up 2.5%
Wonder which the county tax overloads will go with?

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-17 21:56:30

Down here in Southern Utah it’s the annual “Parade of Homes.” It’s a festival of outrageously lavish homes where spectators pay $15 per ticket to drive around and ogle splendidly luxurious homes they will never afford. Of course, someone is buying these homes. The audience is the Southern California cash-outs and the wealth Northern Utahans in tech or business for 2nd home.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 23:51:15

My FIL’s SLC lawfirm used to own a condo in St George where our extended family stayed when I first visited the town in 1992. There was nothing but red rocks, an LDS temple and an extinct cinder cone to be seen back then.

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Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-18 12:57:41

That’s what I remember growing up, since we’re from northern Utah. Things have changed dramatically, but generally speaking, the overall employment and jobs in this area don’t support the types of homes being built, so it’s usually outsiders who want to escape a harsh winter that the builders are catering to.

Comment by Mortgage Watch
2018-02-17 15:49:03

Bellevue, ID Housing Prices Crater 22% YOY On Expanding Mortgage Defaults


*Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

Comment by Apartment 401
2018-02-17 16:27:27

Dogs climbing mountains:


Pikes Peak elevation 14,115 feet seen at background above the clouds.

Comment by MacBeth
2018-02-17 18:01:05

Fantastic! Nothing beats being up high in the mountains.

Those dogs must have ravenous appetites.

Comment by jeff
2018-02-17 18:05:51

By far the best how in the hell did you get that dog up there picture yet!

Comment by In Colorado
2018-02-17 20:52:55

There is a road to the summit on Pike’s. There’s also a cogwheel train, though I don’t believe dogs are allowed on it.

Comment by jeff
2018-02-18 00:24:18

“though I don’t believe dogs are allowed on it.”

Housing Dog is allowed everywhere.

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Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-17 22:08:02

That’s pretty sweet, nice job!

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 16:36:00

Will this be the week the 10-year Treasury yield finally clears 3%? The 20- and 30-year yields have made it safely across the line. Given recent concerns about higger-than-anticipated inflation, it seems odd for the 10-year yield to be so sticky.

But then, as I like to point out, a closely watched pot never boils.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 16:40:56

Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates
Date 1 mo 3 mo 6 mo 1 yr 2 yr 3 yr 5 yr 7 yr 10 yr 20 yr 30 yr
01/02/18 1.29 1.44 1.61 1.83 1.92 2.01 2.25 2.38 2.46 2.64 2.81
01/03/18 1.29 1.41 1.59 1.81 1.94 2.02 2.25 2.37 2.44 2.62 2.78
01/04/18 1.28 1.41 1.60 1.82 1.96 2.05 2.27 2.38 2.46 2.62 2.79
01/05/18 1.27 1.39 1.58 1.80 1.96 2.06 2.29 2.40 2.47 2.64 2.81
01/08/18 1.30 1.45 1.60 1.79 1.96 2.07 2.29 2.41 2.49 2.65 2.81
01/09/18 1.27 1.44 1.60 1.78 1.98 2.09 2.33 2.46 2.55 2.72 2.88
01/10/18 1.31 1.42 1.59 1.78 1.98 2.08 2.32 2.47 2.55 2.73 2.88
01/11/18 1.32 1.43 1.58 1.77 1.98 2.09 2.32 2.46 2.54 2.72 2.91
01/12/18 1.31 1.43 1.59 1.78 1.99 2.12 2.35 2.48 2.55 2.71 2.85
01/16/18 1.33 1.45 1.63 1.79 2.03 2.12 2.36 2.48 2.54 2.69 2.83
01/17/18 1.31 1.44 1.63 1.79 2.05 2.15 2.39 2.51 2.57 2.71 2.84
01/18/18 1.29 1.45 1.63 1.79 2.05 2.17 2.43 2.55 2.62 2.77 2.90
01/19/18 1.28 1.44 1.62 1.79 2.06 2.20 2.45 2.57 2.64 2.78 2.91
01/22/18 1.27 1.44 1.65 1.79 2.08 2.21 2.46 2.59 2.66 2.79 2.93
01/23/18 1.26 1.44 1.63 1.78 2.06 2.18 2.43 2.55 2.63 2.77 2.90
01/24/18 1.25 1.43 1.63 1.79 2.08 2.20 2.43 2.57 2.65 2.80 2.93
01/25/18 1.23 1.42 1.64 1.80 2.08 2.20 2.41 2.55 2.63 2.76 2.89
01/26/18 1.24 1.41 1.64 1.80 2.13 2.24 2.47 2.60 2.66 2.79 2.91
01/29/18 1.28 1.44 1.66 1.80 2.11 2.26 2.49 2.63 2.70 2.82 2.94
01/30/18 1.49 1.44 1.66 1.88 2.13 2.27 2.51 2.65 2.73 2.86 2.98
01/31/18 1.43 1.46 1.66 1.90 2.14 2.29 2.52 2.66 2.72 2.83 2.95
02/01/18 1.41 1.48 1.64 1.89 2.16 2.33 2.56 2.72 2.78 2.90 3.01
02/02/18 1.40 1.48 1.65 1.88 2.15 2.33 2.58 2.76 2.84 2.97 3.08
02/05/18 1.40 1.51 1.67 1.85 2.08 2.25 2.50 2.68 2.77 2.92 3.04
02/06/18 1.48 1.52 1.69 1.87 2.10 2.30 2.52 2.70 2.79 2.94 3.06
02/07/18 1.36 1.55 1.73 1.91 2.15 2.33 2.57 2.75 2.84 3.01 3.12
02/08/18 1.32 1.55 1.73 1.91 2.13 2.32 2.57 2.76 2.85 3.03 3.14
02/09/18 1.31 1.55 1.73 1.89 2.05 2.26 2.52 2.72 2.83 3.02 3.14
02/12/18 1.35 1.62 1.82 1.93 2.09 2.30 2.56 2.77 2.86 3.02 3.14
02/13/18 1.34 1.59 1.80 1.95 2.10 2.30 2.54 2.74 2.83 2.99 3.11
02/14/18 1.32 1.58 1.81 1.98 2.17 2.40 2.65 2.84 2.91 3.07 3.18
02/15/18 1.30 1.58 1.82 1.99 2.19 2.40 2.65 2.83 2.90 3.04 3.15
02/16/18 1.35 1.62 1.83 2.00 2.21 2.38 2.63 2.81 2.87 3.02 3.13
Friday Feb 16, 2018

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 19:48:36

Watch out below when this prediction fails. Inflation is picking up, and the Fed is behind the curve.

The Financial Times
US Treasury Bonds
Pimco calls top in 10-year Treasury yields at 3%
US inflation picking up but only gradually, says bond fund manager

Pimco had been taking a cautious view on US Treasuries © Reuters
Emma Dunkley yesterday

Pimco, the world’s largest bond fund manager, is making a bold call on US Treasury debt and says fears of a bear market are overblown as the 10-year note yield has climbed to its highest level in four years.

Mark Kiesel, global credit chief investment officer at the California-based manager, said the recent jump in the benchmark Treasury yield towards 3 per cent is unlikely to go much further, as he believes inflation is rising only gradually.

“We think most of the back-up in US rates is over,” Mr Kiesel said. “That is somewhat of a controversial statement . . . there are a lot of investors out there that think this is a trend that’s going to continue.”

Comment by BlackSwandive
2018-02-17 20:43:52

This whole wage inflation meme is garbage. I don’t think there’s wage inflation right now. The only inflation I see is in asset prices and some durable goods thanks to easy money.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 16:54:20

Just like Uncle Sam, Uncle Xi guarantees that real estate will only go up.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 17:41:59

Is the great Chinese real estate investor fire sale close at hand?

Everything must go: Chinese investors sell off their foreign RE holdings
Brace yourself for a yard sale
February 03, 2018 11:45AM

Clockwise from top left Hilton Hotel in Barbados; Canary Wharf; Nine Elms; Waldorf Astoria. (Credit: CaribDigita; Diliff; Curran2; Hennem08)

As HNA Group’s debt troubles seem to go from from bad to worse, the company is now planning on selling of about $16 billion in assets in the first six months of 2018, Bloomberg reports.

But HNA is not the only company with a global portfolio whose wings are being clipped by the Chinese government’s efforts to stymie capital outflows: Dalian Wanda Group and Anbang Insurance Group are also putting properties on the market — or being asked to, in the latter’s case, according to Bloomberg.

Here’s a look at what is, or could be soon, on sale from the Chinese investment powerhouses’ HODLings:

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 17:47:37


February 12, 2018 / 12:27 AM / 6 days ago
China property outbound investment to drop by up to 40 pct -Cushman & Wakefield
Reuters Staff

HONG KONG, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Overseas property investments by Chinese institutions are expected to drop by 30-40 percent in 2018, from a record $42.2 billion last year, amid tighter government controls and approval procedures, a real estate services firm said.

A slide in the yuan and China’s foreign exchange reserves in 2016 prompted regulators to restrict capital outflows, including a clampdown on “irrational” outbound investments in sectors such as property, hotels, entertainment, sports clubs and films.

It was extremely difficult or became impossible to transact overseas deals in 2017, the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) said, citing more than half the respondents in its survey of 40 major property investors. However, 43 percent said there was limited impact to their business, C&W added.

This year, Chinese investors will likely favour projects backed by Beijing, such as the “Belt and Road” infrastructure project, logistics, business parks, and possibly senior care, that could relatively easily earn approval, C&W said.

They are expected to shy away from trophy office assets, hotels, completed apartment blocks and retail malls, given China is expected to maintain its tough stance on overseas real estate investment this year, C&W added.

“As for those mainland Chinese investors who are not permitted to exercise their real estate investment prowess overseas at the current time, we are observing them biding their time and placing capital in a holding pattern onshore in the meantime,” it said in a report.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 17:52:46

Trouble building
The Big Risk in China Isn’t Stocks
Cracks are appearing in the 13-year-long housing rally.
By Nisha Gopalan
February 11, 2018, 7:28 PM PST

While all eyes are on China’s stocks rout after the U.S. swoon, there’s a troubled sector that’s garnering fewer headlines but will have broader reverberations — real estate.

Chinese property stocks slumped last week, dragged down not just by the global sell-off but by worries this may be the year when housing finally takes a hit.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 19:36:49

Stop speculating, start living
China is trying new ways of skimming housing-market froth
The party wants people to rent
Print edition | China
Feb 15th 2018

PAN JINGYUAN has little time for traditional family values. The 26-year-old says she has no intention of ever getting married and loves living far from her parents. But Ms Pan is traditional in one way—she sees a home as the best investment for her savings. She plans to buy a small flat in the southern city of Shenzhen, where she works at the headquarters of a restaurant chain. “There is no way the government would ever let prices really fall,” she says.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2018-02-17 22:11:36

Wait for the anticipated property tax to bite.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 23:57:50

Are Chinese sheep more or less difficult to shear than there American cousins?

Perhaps Mr Banker could weigh in on this comparison.

Comment by tj
2018-02-17 17:54:23

buying a home?

it makes you a stationary target for all kinds of government abuse. it isn’t your castle.. it’s theirs. you’re just their caretaker.

anything you do, you better think twice.. govie knows who’s been naughty and nice.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2018-02-17 19:13:27

A lot of castles are going away by 2150. They’ve just increased the ocean rise predictions to 2feet from one foot by 2100. To appreciate this, one needs to look at the canal seawalls in Sarasota, Florida at high tide.
Elephants will not be the only creatures retreating to higher ground. :)

Comment by Professor 🐻
2018-02-17 19:41:13

You’re their mark, for high future property tax payments.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 19:31:54

“Projections of global sea level rise by 2100, the year upon which climate modelers typically focus, vary widely depending on modeling methods and on assumptions—the rate of increase in greenhouse gas emissions, for example, and especially how ice sheets will respond to warming air and ocean water. Recent projections range from 0.2 meters to 2.0 meters (0.66 to 6.6 feet) [Melillo et al., 2014; see sections 13.5.1 and 13.5.2 of the 2013 IPCC report for detailed discussion].”

Bahahahahaha … “Recent projections range from 0.2 meters to 2.0 meters (0.66 to 6.6 feet) …” bahahahahaha wow, that sure does narrow it down a bit!


Bahahahahaha… your tax dollars at work.


Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 19:45:05

More humor from NASA’s Comedy Link …

“And while the IPCC report acknowledges a newer, alternative approach known as semi-empirical modeling, its projections earn only “low confidence” from the IPCC [Church et al., 2013]. The report’s authors could not evaluate the probability that semi-empirical models, or SEMs, would come true, and believed the scientific community lacked consensus on their reliability.”

So much for “Settled Science”.


Comment by jeff
2018-02-17 19:55:12

“Process-based models project a rise of 0.26 to 0.55 meters, with a median value of 0.4, for the RCP 2.6 scenario, in which gas emissions decline after a peak, while carbon dioxide levels remain below 500 parts per million. For the RCP 8.5 scenario, with its higher concentrations of greenhouse gases and with carbon dioxide above 700 parts per million, the projected rise is 0.52 to 0.98 meters, with a median value of 0.6. [Church et al., 2013].”

I was trying to remember where I had heard something like that before and then I remembered…

Alice’s Restaurant Massacree Lyrics

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there


Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-17 20:11:45

I suppose a quote by Alan Greenspan is in order …

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant”.

Comment by mwr
2018-02-18 18:34:22

To rely on 30 years of data to predict the future of the climate is nuts. The earth is what 14 B years old?

Remember the 70’s. Global cooling and we are all going to need to live underground to survive.

Call me in 100 MM years and lets talk.

You can’t extrapolate a short period of time into infinity. It does not work!

Remember 1997-8 stock boom.

The way Cisco is growing it will own 150% of the market by 2015.

Comment by BlueSkye
2018-02-17 20:48:46

The proof of future ocean rise is the big warming that we’ve already supposedly had, which has yet produced no ocean level rise.

People are smart.

Comment by Mortgage Watch
2018-02-17 19:48:57

Bethesda, MD Housing Prices Crater 5% YOY As DC Area Mortgage Defaults Mount


Comment by rms
2018-02-18 03:55:45

Here’s how the upper 20% get around…

2018 Ford F-350 Limited - Only $82,685

Comment by Mr. Banker
2018-02-18 06:14:30

“Mileage: 5″


Comment by jeff
2018-02-18 08:51:34

Payment Calculator
Based on: 60 months and $0 down

Comment by rms
2018-02-18 14:35:55

Incredible isn’t it?

Comment by rms
2018-02-18 14:34:53

Look at the wheelbase… it would be tough getting around San Jose, CA these days and near impossible to find a parking spot.

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