April 27, 2013

Bits Bucket for April 27, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-04-27 02:39:04

Globe and Mail - Potential first-time home buyers: Bide your time

“Pity the first-time buyer in today’s housing market.

Wait, that’s a bad idea. Giving someone your pity implies they are suffering and need a helping hand, which is not the case for young adults who can’t afford to buy a house. It’s an economic fact that Generation Y is being priced out of the housing market, but let’s be careful in what we do about it.

We put so much significance on young people buying homes. It’s how they join our tribe, so to speak. Owning a house means you’re buying into widely shared ideas of family, stability and consumerism. When young people buy homes, they validate the choices made by those who came before, and show they’re ready to take their place in society.

You can see the importance society puts on home ownership in the targeted help provided to first-time buyers. Examples are the Registered Home Ownership Plan and successors such as the Home Buyers’ Plan and the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit. Recently, the group representing mortgage brokers lobbied the government to provide additional help for first-time buyers.

Measures for first-timers are as much about the needs of the real estate industry as those of buyers. We could better help young people buy houses by ensuring they have the education, training and career opportunities needed to generate the income required for home ownership. Failing that, we need to understand and be okay with young people choosing to stay out of the housing market. Respect the renter.”


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 05:58:46

“Pity the first-time buyer in today’s housing market.”

I have no pity for them, as nobody is putting a gun to their heads and forcing them to buy (though perhaps young wives crazed with out-of-control nesting instincts are putting the screws on their p*$$3-whupped husbands)…

Comment by Neuromance
2013-04-27 09:04:48

Recently, the group representing mortgage brokers lobbied the government to provide additional help for first-time buyers.

Translated: “Direct more transfer payments to us.”

If the government is really interested in helping first time buyers, they’ll stop propping up prices.

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 04:01:10

“What’s really going on in California”

MS-13 gang members charged with extortion, targeting food trucks in Hollywood

By City News Servicedailybreeze.com
Posted: 03/19/2013 07:55:56 AM PDT

LOS ANGELES - Twenty reputed MS-13 gang members and associates were arraigned Monday in a series of grand jury indictments charging them with operating an extortion ring that targeted food truck owners in Hollywood.

Five separate indictments, returned Jan. 28 and unsealed Monday, charged 25 different individuals, but five of those were not arraigned Monday. Their names were redacted from the indictments and the District Attorney’s Office said they could not name them or provide any further information.

The indictments were the culmination of a yearlong investigation dubbed “Protecting the Dream,” conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.

The suspected Mara Salvatrucha members and associates allegedly targeted catering trucks at construction job sites, shaking down owners and operators over a five-year period beginning in July 2007. They demanded “rent” ranging from $30 to $100 a week to operate trucks parked in Hollywood, according to prosecutors.

In at least one instance, a defendant threatened to kill a food truck operator and his employees if he did not pay the “rent” money, according to the indictments.

All 20 named defendants — arrested early Friday morning — pleaded not guilty before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo.

– Marlon Juarez, 27;

– Jose Parada, 23;

– David Alfaro, 20;

– Alberto Chojolan, 32;

– Christian A. Serranno, 21;

– Gerson Perez, 32;

– Edwin Quintanilla, 21;

– Jaime Moran, 18;

– Juan Gomez, 27;

– Angel Navarro, 18;

– Edin Juarez, 25;

– Francisco Ruiz, 19;

– Isamar Marroquin, 21;

– Kevin Perez, 22;

– Yesenia Alfaro, 39;

– Noemi Cornel, 21; and

– Hugo Fernandez, 23.

They were ordered to return April 18 for a pretrial hearing.

Mara Salvatrucha, formed in Los Angeles by immigrants from El Salvador and other Central America nations in the 1980s, was recently labeled a transnational criminal organization by federal law enforcement authorities, a designation that enables federal agents to freeze assets.

http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_22822874/ms-13-gang-members-charged-extortion-targeting-food - 80k

Comment by 2banana
2013-04-27 06:13:25

Isn’t multiculturalism grand?

I saw this everywhere in Mexico and Central America.

From taxis to food stand operators to street vendors.

Only difference is there the police take a cut too.

Comment by Jess from upstate SC
2013-04-27 06:34:32

Wonder how many of them will show up for the next court hearing? I tend to like the way the Russians responded to the Boston Bombing …They went to the Mosque over there where the radicals train and preach ,and ‘detained’ 140 of them ….bet they aren’t walking the streets for a while.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-04-27 19:51:14

But they’re just coming here for opportunity, those poor people. All they want to do is work hard. Let’s give them amnesty.

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 04:21:17

“What’s really going on in California”

Black Families in Compton Being Targeted by Latino Gang Members Telling Them to Leave the Area

January 29, 2013

When one mentions Compton, California, the image is usually that of a predominantly black neighborhood, and not one where African American families are led to fear for their lives. A family was affected by this racial terrorism recently, when their home was surrounded by 15 to 20 gang members who were telling them that black people aren’t allowed to live in the neighborhood.

Three men, Jeffrey Aguilar, 19 and Efren Marquez, 21, along with an unnamed juvenile, have been arrested for the alleged hate crime. The crimes were against a black family that had moved onto 154th street. One of the male family members was approached by four men in an SUV as he walked through a neighborhood. The men shouted a number of racial obscenities at the young man and threatened him with violence. As he tried to run, the men jumped out of their car and beat the boy with metal pipes.

One of the men, Efren Marquez, pointed a gun at the boy and threatened to kill him. The men left and then came back to the victim’s home 30 minutes later with 15 – 20 gang members, who surrounded the family’s house. Two of the men had hand guns and the others yelled obscenities at the family. One of them threw a beer bottle through the front window.

After seeing the gang members drive by their home several times a day, the family eventually moved away.

“This gang has always made it clear they have a racial hatred for black people,” Lt. Richard Westin told the Los Angeles Times. “They repeatedly used racial epithets, they use racial hatred graffiti and they tag up the black church a lot.”

“We need to address these issues,” Compton Councilwoman Yvonne Arceneaux told the Times. “Because if they continue to fester like this then it can spread to the city.”

http://www.blackbluedog.com/2013/01/news/black-families-in-compton-being-targeted-by-latino-gang-members-telling-them-to-leave-the-area/ - 407k -

Comment by goon squad
2013-04-27 06:18:30

Speaking of Compton, we will be rocking out to Eazy-E’s album “Eazy Duz It” on our way up to the mountains today.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-04-27 10:46:17

“Beavis, shut up. You’ve never been to Compton. you’re never gonna go to Compton, you’re gonna be here for the rest of your life, you’re stupid, you don’t have any money, and you’re never gonna score.”

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 13:51:58

beavis and butthead - evolution sucks.avi - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-NnGI-SYwg - 214k -

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Comment by Dale
2013-04-27 17:55:08

I haven’t seen this in the news. If the gang had worn white sheets and hoods the MSM would be all over this.

Also, don’t let the family own an assault weapon - firing a shotgun in the air should be enough.

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 04:41:36

4 Things You Need to Know About MS-13 and This Mexican Cartel

April 10, 2013

1. They have a wide — and growing — international network

The U.S. State Department dubbed MS-13 a transnational criminal organization (TNO) last October. In the U.S., it reportedly has a presence in more than 300 cities spanning upward of 40 states, and it is actively expanding to South America and Europe. The IASC report also noted that, as part of a new recruitment effort, the gang is accepting non-Salvadoran and non-Latino members for the first time in its history.

One way the gang spreads is by having members deliberately seek deportation to countries where MS-13 plans to start new operation centers.

2. They are becoming more sophisticated criminals

For years, MS-13 has dealt in extortion, murder for hire, small-scale drug trade, weapons trafficking, money laundering and human smuggling. Until recently, however, it wasn’t considered a big player in any of those activities, at least when compared with Mexican drug-trafficking organizations like the Sinaloa cartel and Los Zetas. But that may be changing.

According to the IASC report, MS-13 is closely working with Los Zetas on human trafficking across Central America. The gang has a complex coyote network that can reportedly move individuals from Mexico’s Northern Triangle to the U.S. in less than 72 hours, and Los Zetas are using it to the mutual benefit of both groups.

At the same time, MS-13 is currently escalating its weapons and drug trafficking. The gang’s arms caches now include high-powered weapons like RPGs and surface to air missiles, some of which are apparently being sold to terrorist organizations such as Colombia’s FARC, according to the report. Meanwhile, the group appears to be expanding its role in the cocaine trade, as suggested by the dramatic increase in arrests of MS-13 drug lords in the past few years.

3. They are deepening ties with Los Zetas

Apart from the human-trafficking activities already noted above, MS-13 is also working with Los Zetas on enforcement and paramilitary operations.

“There have been important efforts, many of them successful, by Los Zetas to recruit the best and most skilled MS-13 killers and gunmen, both in El Salvador and Guatemala,” the IASC report says. “Many of the recruits receive enhanced military training in the Petén region of Guatemala and then operate either in Guatemala or Mexico.”

4. They are becoming politically savvy

http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/ABC_Univision/mara-salvatrucha-gang-mexican-cartel-united-states-problem/story?id=18920021 -

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 05:57:18

We really should have background checks for RPGs and surface to air missiles. Or smokin Joe Biden could tell people to fire their RPG through the front door when they feel threatened.

Comment by usury camp resident
2013-04-27 06:08:13

4. They are becoming politically savvy

Really? Are they voting independents?

Comment by 2banana
2013-04-27 06:17:53

No need to strengthen the border. Amnesty will take of all this. The Republicans should cave…

According to the IASC report, MS-13 is closely working with Los Zetas on human trafficking across Central America. The gang has a complex coyote network that can reportedly move individuals from Mexico’s Northern Triangle to the U.S. in less than 72 hours,

If only we had sensible gun control and gun bans - these things wouldn’t happen. FYI - Mexico is a liberal’s wet dream when it comes to guns. The average law abiding citizens is essentially banned from owning a weapon.

At the same time, MS-13 is currently escalating its weapons and drug trafficking. The gang’s arms caches now include high-powered weapons like RPGs and surface to air missiles,

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 06:34:29

“No need to strengthen the border.”

Border Security No Barrier to Immigration Reform, Napolitano Says …
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/02/border-security-no-barrier-to-immigration-reform-napolitano-says/ - - Cached - Similar pages
Feb 13, 2013 … Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano insisted that the U.S. border has “ never been stronger” and dismissed the notion that border …

The story about an MS 13 gang member who was deported last year and just got arrested yesterday for running a bounce house kid party business in Palm Beach County should be showing up below.

Comment by ahansen
2013-04-27 22:07:08

After reading all of this, boy am I glad for the Department of Homeland Security and all those bullets and equipment they’re buying up!

Comment by goon squad
2013-04-27 05:11:54

Welcome to the recoveryless recovery:

“An Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll released Thursday found that while most Americans (56 percent) hold out hope that they‘ll be in a higher class at some point, even more Americans (59 percent) are worried about falling out of their current class over the next few years. In fact, more than eight in 10 Americans believe that more people have fallen out of the middle class than moved into it in the past few years.

The poll paints a picture of a group that is scared to death about its station in life.

By the way, 58 percent of respondents in the poll viewed themselves as either middle class (46 percent) or upper middle class (12 percent).

According to the poll, Americans see a middle class with less opportunity to get ahead, less job security and less disposable income than the middle class of previous generations.

Respondents were most likely (52 percent) to say that losing a job would put them at the greatest risk of falling out of their current class, followed by an unexpected illness or injury in the family.

Most of those polled believe that higher education is the key to staying in the middle class, but many worry about its prohibitive cost and inaccessibility.

And who did most of them say is responsible for making it worse for the middle class? Congress, chief executives of major corporations and big financial institutions.”


Comment by Salinasron
2013-04-27 07:30:00

Gotta love the MSM! Keep selling that daily dose of fear to control the different segments within our society! When a nation of people are willing to sell everything for Security they cease to exist as a nation.

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 05:21:05

FBI — 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment

■Gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions and up to 90 percent in several others, according to NGIC analysis. Major cities and suburban areas experience the most gang-related violence. Local neighborhood-based gangs and drug crews continue to pose the most significant criminal threat in most communities. Aggressive recruitment of juveniles and immigrants, alliances and conflict between gangs, the release of incarcerated gang members from prison, advancements in technology and communication, and Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization (MDTO) involvement in drug distribution have resulted in gang expansion and violence in a number of jurisdictions.

■Gangs are increasingly engaging in non-traditional gang-related crime, such as alien smuggling, human trafficking, and prostitution. Gangs are also engaging in white-collar crime such as counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud, primarily due to the high profitability and much lower visibility and risk of detection and punishment than drug and weapons trafficking.

■US-based gangs have established strong working relationships with Central American and MDTOs to perpetrate illicit cross-border activity, as well as with some organized crime groups in some regions of the United States. US-based gangs and MDTOs are establishing wide-reaching drug networks; assisting in the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and illegal immigrants along the Southwest Border; and serving as enforcers for MDTO interests on the US side of the border.

■Gangs encourage members, associates, and relatives to obtain law enforcement, judiciary, or legal employment in order to gather information on rival gangs and law enforcement operations. Gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat, as members of at least 53 gangs have been identified on both domestic and international military installations. Gang members who learn advanced weaponry and combat techniques in the military are at risk of employing these skills on the street when they return to their communities.

■Gang members are acquiring high-powered, military-style weapons and equipment which poses a significant threat because of the potential to engage in lethal encounters with law enforcement officers and civilians. Typically firearms are acquired through illegal purchases; straw purchases via surrogates or middle-men, and thefts from individuals, vehicles, residences and commercial establishments. Gang members also target military and law enforcement officials, facilities, and vehicles to obtain weapons, ammunition, body armor, police gear, badges, uniforms, and official identification.

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment - 320k -

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 05:29:03

Anyone who is familiar with the Mr. Poe character of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” realizes how utterly clueless bankers can be about what seems completely obvious to anybody else.

ft dot com
March 22, 2013 5:53 pm
How bankers believed their own hype
Gillian Tett By Gillian Tett
Financiers who were repackaging housing loans not only lived by the mortgage sword, but suffered under it too
An illustration depicting bankers plagued by tunnel vision and groupthink©Shonagh Rae

When American financiers were flogging subprime mortgages back in the credit boom, were they completely delusional? Or were they driven by cynicism and greed? Did they, in other words, know that the housing market was a bubble – or did they actually believe their own hype, even as the frenzy grew?

It is a question that armies of lawyers and prosecutors have asked in recent months, as the public flails around seeking a culprit to blame for the financial crisis. Unsurprisingly, many politicians and prosecutors have tended to err on the “greedy and cynical” side. With the benefit of hindsight it’s hard to imagine that any banker close to the mortgage market in 2006 could have failed to spot the excesses; or that anyone who was repackaging those loans into bonds – or “securitising” them, to use the industry jargon – did not spot the risks. Documents subpoenaed from the banks and credit rating agencies certainly show that some individuals felt uneasy – and (unwisely) expressed their concerns in colourful emails.

But last week three American economists at Princeton and Michigan issued some startling new research – and it should make us all pause for thought. For if you look at the personal financial decisions of the bankers involved in securitisation in that period – at the very heart of the credit bubble – it seems many believed their own hype. Many of them not only bought large quantities of housing stock at the worst possible moment (ie in 2005 and 2006), but also did so in some of the most “bubbly” markets, such as southern California. They then failed to sell those properties in time – and thus were left nursing losses after 2007. Or to put it another way, the bankers who were repackaging housing loans not only lived by the mortgage sword, but suffered under it too.

In some senses, this does not surprise me. Back in 2007 and 2008 I wrote a book about the financial crisis and spoke to many bankers who were involved in the securitisation game. And, on the basis of that anecdotal evidence, I concluded that most of the financiers who inflated that bubble were not crazy or evil (as popularly perceived) – but plagued by tunnel vision and groupthink.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 05:40:19

“Investors have nearly completely abandoned the private label [mortgage-backed securities] market— the government is responsible for nearly 100 per cent of the securitisation market,”…

And this is actually a good thing because…(CRICKETS: CHIRP!… CHIRP!)

As for those federal mortgage guarantees, those of us who paid attention noticed when Timothy Geithner summarily ramped them up into hyperdrive in the wake of the Fall 2008 GSE collapse.

ft dot com
April 25, 2013 5:45 pm
Markets Insight: US mortgage market depends on state support
Gillian Tett By Gillian Tett
Private sector involvement in the mortgage-backed securities market has practically disappeared

This week, the American economy passed a small milestone. For the first time in six years, a Gallup survey showed that just over half of Americans now expect house prices to rise over the next year.

That is a sharp contrast to last year, when most people expected further falls. And it follows a host of other upbeat signals: CoreLogic reports that US house values rose at their fastest pace in February since 2006; the pace of home sales has jumped; unsold inventories have declined; and developers have even started to build more homes again.

Little wonder that some senior US economic officials are quietly celebrating an end to the great housing market crash; or, at least, are expressing hopes that the market is “healing” due to a typically American combination of creative destruction (ie. defaults) and entrepreneurial instincts (bottom-fishing investors).

But amid these hints of optimism, there is a profound irony too: if you look at what is currently driving America’s housing “market”, the funding side of this equation has less and less to do with genuine market forces. Never mind the fact that the US Federal Reserve is gobbling up mortgage-backed securities at a rate of $40bn a month, to try to lower mortgage rates. And ignore the modest (and generally ineffective) measures that the Federal government has unveiled for homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage loans.

What is most startling of all is the level of government guarantees for mortgage bonds, following the collapse of the private securitisation market in the wake of the financial crisis. “Investors have nearly completely abandoned the private label [mortgage-backed securities] market— the government is responsible for nearly 100 per cent of the securitisation market,” a Congressional committee on financial services noted this week.

Comment by 2banana
2013-04-27 06:31:48

Part of the reason for the obama housing market v2.0

Because high housing prices are a sign of economic prosperity :-(

Now get back to work and pay your fair share.

What is most startling of all is the level of government guarantees for mortgage bonds, following the collapse of the private securitisation market in the wake of the financial crisis. “Investors have nearly completely abandoned the private label [mortgage-backed securities] market— the government is responsible for nearly 100 per cent of the securitisation market,”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 05:43:39

ft dot com
April 18, 2013 3:46 pm
US home buyers revive memories of bubble
By Anjli Raval in New York
An Exit Realty Consultants ‘for sale’ sign is displayed in front of a house in Stockton California, US
©David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The housing crisis in America may finally be over, but the bill has yet to be paid

James Jeddeloh, a 61-year-old consultant from Oregon, loves to play golf in Scottsdale, Arizona. So much so that last month the soon-to-be retiree decided to buy a house in the state that boasts 300 days of sunshine a year and turn his holiday destination into a home. But he is not the only one.

Since house prices bottomed out in 2012, homebuyers have rushed to snap up properties at depressed prices in one of the states hit hardest by the housing bust.

“I had been waiting for prices to reach rock bottom and stabilise. The market finally gained some sanity so it was time to get back in the game,” said Mr Jeddeloh.

In the past year, newly confident Americans – particularly families and retired people – bought homes after years of holding off, while investors, large and small, came in their droves looking to turn properties into rental housing.

Spurred by record low mortgage rates and an improving jobs market, homebuyers sopped up existing inventories. Price rises accelerated as homebuilders struggled to meet demand and banks sold fewer foreclosed properties. The question now being asked is this: is the US witnessing the creation of a new housing bubble?

Property research provider CoreLogic said its national home price index rose 10.2 per cent in February, the biggest year-on-year gain since March 2006, with Arizona among the states seeing the largest home price appreciation, up 18.6 per cent.

“Prices were up significantly, with a lot of the subprime properties off the market, so we had to strike while the iron was hot,” Mr Jeddeloh added. “We asked a friend to see the place for us and we put in an offer within 48 hours of the house going on the market.”

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-04-27 20:43:13

Mr. Jeddeloh is 61, but dumb as a box of rocks. He has more money than sense, and learned nothing from the crash. Have fun, sucker.

Comment by rms
2013-04-28 00:41:55

“Since house prices bottomed out in 2012, homebuyers have rushed to snap up properties at depressed prices in one of the states hit hardest by the housing bust.”

Very few if any depressed places in Scottsdale, and next to nothing bottomed-out there either.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 05:46:33

ft dot com
April 23, 2013 2:19 pm
Immigrants boost US housing recovery
By Pan Kwan Yuk and Anjli Raval in New York
Third Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn©Corbis

The litter-filled streets of Sunset Park are an unlikely setting for a housing comeback. Flanked by an elevated six-lane highway on one side and a 478-acre cemetery on the other, the Brooklyn neighbourhood has seen house prices climb since the economic downturn.

For that it can thank immigrants such as Liu Song Yan, whose dreams of home ownership are driving the neighbourhood’s housing market recovery – an increasingly common pattern across the US.

It is important for me to own my own home,” says 66-year old Mr Liu, who started life in New York as a clothing factory worker after arriving from Taishan, China in 1985. After 20 years of long working days, scrimping and saving to build a cash stash, he put down a deposit on a modest two-storey brick house in Sunset Park, an area that has long been a magnet for working-class immigrants.

It is about financial security. Even if you have nothing to eat, at least you have a roof over your head. For me, this is the American dream.

Even as the country’s housing bust battered the confidence of many Americans and turned them away from owning homes, Mr Liu’s sentiment still holds strong among recent immigrants – a saving grace for the sector and in turn, the US economy.

Home ownership in the US fell to a 17-year low of 65.3 per cent in the third quarter of last year, but among immigrant households – accounting for existing families and new arrivals – it has steadily increased. Typically purchased after renting for a few years, for many upwardly mobile immigrants owning a home is a symbol of economic success.

Although they represent close to 13 per cent of the US population, immigrants accounted for nearly 36 per cent of growth in home ownership between 2000 and 2010, according to a report by the Research Institute for Housing America and the Mortgage Bankers Association. While this has been driven mainly by the Hispanic community, other minority populations have also boosted gains.

The number of homeowning immigrant households is projected to rise by 2.8m in the decade ending 2020, compared with a 2.4m gain in the previous 10 years. They will account for more than 50 per cent of the rise in homebuying in six gateway states, such as California and New York, the report adds.

Economists have long said immigrants provide an important and growing source of new housing demand that could bolster the US economy, which has fuelled campaigns for legislative reform.

New immigration laws being debated in Washington could potentially increase the number of homeowners in the US by 3m over the next few years. Economists say new legal status for current non-citizens could result in a potential $100bn in new mortgage loans.

While it has been well documented that China’s wealthy are buying up high-end US property, less attention has been drawn to working-class immigrants who have invested in less desirable parts of New York and other cities, transforming neighbourhoods such as that of Mr Liu.

Once an enclave for Scandinavian immigrants, it underwent a period of decline in the 1980s as the “white flight” to the suburbs accelerated. Attracted by low rents and the ease of commuting to Manhattan’s Chinatown, Chinese immigrants started buying boarded up shops and homes in the early 1990s. They now account for nearly 40 per cent of Sunset Park’s population.

Local property agents credit the rise of these immigrant homeowners with helping the neighbourhood avoid the downturn seen elsewhere in the US during the financial crisis, when house prices dropped 35 per cent from their peak.

There’s a strong cultural bias towards home ownership among immigrants,” says Leung Hon, a real estate agent at LCCW Realty. “If anything, the rise in house prices in the decade to 2008 has made people want to invest more than ever.”

Comment by 2banana
2013-04-27 06:58:54

Traveling around the world and talking with people.

No one has the insane property taxes that Americans have (especially in the NE).

No one (except maybe a few European countries) have the insane public unions Americans have.

I don’t thank these immigrants understand what they are really buying into…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 07:38:19

They are the knifecatchers, which will also make them a likely future recipient of Democrat pity parties and target group for bailouts of “responsible” homeowners.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-04-27 07:41:26

No one (except maybe a few European countries) have the insane public unions Americans have.

You should go to Mexico. Public employees get bennies down there that are pretty darn good: subsidized housing, supermarkets, their own separate healthcare system, they’re paid much better, they get 90 days year end bonuses, they retire young, get months of paid time off, etc.

Property taxes are insane in the NE US. You’d think all those good paying jobs would come to low tax places like Colorado, but they don’t. Sure, corporate America builds factories in low wage locales, but that has more to do with the low, low wages that prevail in such places.

Comment by Bigguy
2013-04-27 08:20:46

Every cop and firefighter and teacher?

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 05:49:55

I wonder if anyone bothered to point out that the MID is really nothing more than WELFARE FOR THE WEALTHY?

ft dot com
April 25, 2013 7:29 pm
US lawmakers consider fate of mortgage interest tax break
By James Politi in Washington

The biggest tax break supporting America’s housing sector faced deep scrutiny at a congressional hearing on Thursday, as lawmakers weigh changes to one of the most politically sensitive provisions in the US tax code.

The ways and means committee in the House of Representatives is working on the most sweeping tax reform legislation since the 1980s, with a plan to lower rates for companies and individuals, and pay for the effort by limiting tax breaks.

One of the largest tax breaks that would have to be curbed is the deduction that some 37m US homeowners claim for their mortgage interest payments, estimated to cost the government $68bn in 2012.

Supporters of limiting or scrapping the mortgage tax break argue that this would remove big inefficiencies in the US economy that lead people to own rather than rent homes and to buy more expensive properties than they otherwise would.

Some have pointed to such tax preferences for housing as being as one of the roots of the sector’s boom-and-bust that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

Our current tax code introduces significant, and costly, distortions into our housing and financial markets,” Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, told the committee on Thursday.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 06:08:23

Does bribery still work these days?

Last updated: 6:53 p.m.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Kansas Realtors spend $100,000 in March on lobbying to protect
mortgage deduction
Eagle Topeka bureau
Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at 6:52 p.m.

TOPEKA — Fueled by a big marketing campaign to protect the home mortgage tax deduction, the Kansas Association of Realtors spent nearly $100,000 on lobbying in March, according to a new report by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

That topped the list of $219,000 in lobbyist spending in March.

Realtors were among the special interest groups with the most to lose as Gov. Sam Brownback proposed eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction as part of his effort to cut income taxes.

In March, the Realtors spent $60,000 on an advertising blitz to protect the mortgage deduction and $37,500 on other communications aimed at swaying lawmakers who were asked by the Republican governor to eliminate the deduction.

The Realtors’ campaign appears to have paid off to some extent.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 08:43:05

Non story - a marketing campaign is hardly bribery.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 06:13:22

Will Congress do the right thing and close this reverse-Robin Hood tax break for the rich?

Business in The Beltway
Money & Politics
3/28/2013 @ 6:45PM
This May Be The Ideal Time To Reform The Mortgage Interest Deduction
Howard Gleckman, Contributor

Housing industry lobbyists often make the case that, whatever you think of the mortgage interest deduction, now would be a terrible time to eliminate or restructure the subsidy. After all, they say, the housing market remains so shaky that ending the deduction would send home prices back into a tailspin.

However, there is a contrary case to be made: It may be that with both interest rates and prices so low, this could be the ideal time to redesign the tax subsidy for home ownership. Because monthly mortgage payments for many homeowners and buyers are lower than they have been for years, trimming or restructuring the MID might have less impact than we thought.

Last November, a panel of housing experts brought together by the Urban Institute concluded that “current housing conditions reveal several factors that would likely dampen the marketwide effects” of reforming the mortgage interest deduction.

According to a summary of the session, the roundtable participants concluded that “post-recession housing market conditions have disrupted the normal relationships between user costs, rents, and house prices.” In other words, the market is such a mess that it is no longer possible to predict what would happen if the MID were repealed today.

Studies of the pre-bust housing market found that eliminating the MID and the tax deduction for property taxes would substantially knock back prices, especially in communities with high housing costs. For instance, in a 2010 paper based on 2007 data, my Tax Policy Center colleague Ben Harris found that scaling back the MID would lower prices significantly.

But new research that looks at the housing market from 2006 to 2010 finds “no discernible relationship” between house prices and the MID, according to the session summary. What was clear to most researchers before the housing bubble burst is now ambiguous at least.

The roundtable included representatives of the U.S. Treasury Dept., the White House, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae, Congress, the housing industry, the Federal Reserve Board, the Wharton School, and several think tanks including Urban.

Keep in mind that while studies often look at the consequences of eliminating the MID, most proposals would restructure, not repeal, the tax subsidy for home purchases. In addition, any reforms would likely be phased in over a period of years. This could soften any short-term effects.

Among the more realistic alternatives to outright repeal, Congress could cap mortgage debt at $500,000 instead of today’s $1 million, or replace the deduction with a refundable credit.

Such changes would shift the subsidy to people with low- and moderate-incomes who buy in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The current deduction mostly benefits the highest-income 20 percent of households.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 10:32:12

Of course “tax breaks” go to the rich. They pay most of the taxes.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 06:17:04

I fully expect muddle-headed thinking and politics to trump reason and keep the MID in place.

Lawmakers, economists spar over “wasteful” U.S. mortgage tax break
Kim Dixon Reuters
1:03 p.m. CDT, April 25, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The popular U.S. tax deduction for mortgage interest is wasteful and does little to spur home ownership, economists from across the political spectrum said at a congressional hearing on Thursday, but many lawmakers mulling a tax code overhaul were having none of it.

Congress is scrutinizing many tax breaks, including the one enjoyed by about 40 million Americans - mainly middle-class voters - for the home mortgage interest they pay.

The value of the deduction collectively is about $100 billion a year, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

Experts from a free-market think tank, a liberal-to-centrist group and other organizations mostly agreed that the mortgage deduction is inefficient because it encourages debt and disproportionately helps those in the highest income brackets.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 08:44:15

I would bet them getting rid of it now since mortgage rates are so low.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 08:39:00

The wealthy - that’s a judgment not objective criteria - but the top 25% of taxpayers (adjusted gross income) pay 87% of all federal person income tax collected.

There is no tax problem (other than almost 50% of people have no skin in the game) there’s massive spending problem.


Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-27 09:23:02

I think I read somewhere that the 87% the highest on record. Is that your understanding?

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 09:32:48

Don’t know what the record is. But possible since there are so many unemployed.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 13:03:55

“But possible since there are so many unemployed.”

Also since we are currently at record levels of income and wealth disparity here in the U.S.

Roundtable to Address Worker Income Gap


The gap between the wealthiest Americans and the vast majority of U.S. citizens is larger than most people think, according to Craig Little, a Distinguished Service Professor and professor of sociology at SUNY Cortland.

“It is much, much greater than what people believe,” he stated.

Little will address the extent of American social and economic disparity in a Community Roundtable presentation titled “Inequality in America: Where in the World Are We?” Thursday, May 2.

The event, sponsored by the President’s Office, takes place from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room. The roundtable is free and open to the public. Refreshments will precede the lecture at 7:45 a.m.

In his presentation, Little will share evidence of disturbing economic trends. His talk will raise awareness about the implications of the growing inequality in the U.S. and throughout the world. He will contribute his own knowledge of the true distribution of wealth, including its relation to the current economic crisis in the United States.

“Not that I have the actual truth, because no one really does,” Little commented. “But I am a sociologist and I have a perspective on the world and this issue, which is what I wish to bring to the discussion.”

From the country’s founding until the 1970s, the wealth-distribution profile of the U.S. was similar to most industrialized democracies, Little noted. However, this wealth gap between the few at the top and the mass of average Americans has widened dramatically with American inequality beginning to resemble that of the world’s most economically and politically dysfunctional societies.

Today, the wealth gap between the top one percent and the mass of the average Americans has dramatically widened much more than most people are aware of, Little said.

“Many people may think that there is a lot of inequality in America,” he said. “But I think after the discussion, they will come away saying, ‘I didn’t think it was as great as it is.’”

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the bottom 40 percent of U.S. households have about one percent of all of the wealth, while the top one percent of all households have nearly 30 percent.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 05:53:13

ft dot com
The Short View
April 16, 2013 11:45 pm
Cracks show in US housing recovery hopes
By James Mackintosh
Shares of housebuilders have been anticipating a slowdown

Economists may have been created to make weather forecasters look good but they just keep making predictions. On Tuesday it was the turn of the IMF to lower growth forecasts for this year, to 1.2 per cent for developed countries. The 2014 prediction was up slightly to 2.2 per cent as it doubled its estimate for Japan (where it expects inflation ahead even of the central bank’s hopes).

Investors are more focused on US housing
. The US property market has become the great hope for recovery, given recession in Europe and the lacklustre growth of Japan, even if the IMF is proved right. Construction creates jobs and rising house prices help banks and bolster household finances.

US housing starts in March passed a 1m annual rate for the first time since mid-2008. Construction of multi-family units, typically apartments to rent out, soared to an annualised 417,000 – a figure beaten in only three months since the 1980s.

The superstitious will not be impressed. Those three months were January 1990, February 2000 and January 2006 – all at or near the peak of the cycle.

More seriously, there are cracks in the bull case. While construction data were ahead of forecasts, fewer building permits were granted than predicted and the number fell even after the previous month was revised down. Construction may not stay this strong.

Shares of housebuilders have been anticipating a slowdown, too. On Tuesday they rose slightly, but the S&P 500 housebuilding sector is down 14 per cent in three weeks (after tripling in 18 months). Lumber futures, driven by construction, have also been falling and on Tuesday were down 10 per cent from last month’s high before bouncing.

Comment by Realtors® Are Liars
2013-04-27 05:57:28

Realtors® Are Liars

Comment by goon squad
2013-04-27 08:17:11

Housing is always a loss. Always.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-04-27 18:04:04


Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-04-27 22:50:11

Thus endeth the lesson.

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Comment by inchbyinch
2013-04-27 06:01:05

“The Retirement Gamble”
Documentary PBS Frontline online
The documentary has John Bogle, the Index Fund King, disclosing the
massive amount of fee gouging in 401Ks, and the documentary ties in the housing bubble. Nothing earth shattering, but worth an hour of your time.

Comment by ScallyWag
2013-04-28 07:20:27

Thank you for this. Was very enlightening, and after viewing I now know what I’m going to do with my own 401 soon. I was once a financial midget, but Ben and you people have always been here to further my economic education, and I appreciate it. This blog is great!
And Yes, I have contributed to Ben’s ongoing efforts. Thank you Ben!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 06:04:26

Here is a little tidbit on IRA stuffing:

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 08:32 AM PDT
10 tax dodges that help the rich get richer
How Mitt Romney stashed millions in a tax-free IRA, and other industry secrets
By Alexander Arapoglou and Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 06:18:52

Latest echo bubble shoe-shine boy moment:

A plethora of articles about U.S. housing bubble reflation has recently graced the pages of the Financial Times of London.

Comment by azdude
2013-04-27 06:25:48

welcome to american serdom disguised as home ownership?

Most people have no clue that 10 years into a 30 yr mortgage all you have really paid is thousands of dollars in interest to bankers.

Comment by 2banana
2013-04-27 06:39:23

And maybe - you paid off the closing costs…

Comment by usury camp resident
2013-04-27 06:40:43

And what percentage of people stay in the same house for more than 10 years?

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-04-27 07:43:05

Big “get wealthier” strategy for a lot of folks I know.
How’s that working out?

For us, we’ve always bought a place to call home, not an investment. Unless you’re buying in the Hollywood Hills, Del Mar, or another cool area, most of us just own a home.

One thing I admire about the well to do, they can afford some great homes on nice properties, and the rest of us buy a tract home.

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Comment by Bigguy
2013-04-27 08:23:46

Look at what those 1500 Sq ft tract homes bought in the 40s and 50s in places like Burlingame, Ca are going for now!

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-04-28 07:06:11

Or RPV or PVE. But old stucco boxes are as unimpressive as new stucco boxes. Even if you tore it down to build an architectural dream, you would still be looking out your window at old stucco boxes.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 07:42:28

“Most people have no clue that 10 years into a 30 yr mortgage all you have really paid is thousands of dollars in interest to bankers.”

Not only that, but today’s 30 yr mortgage home buyer is tomorrow’s bag holder, as any potential post-recession gains in home prices have already been fully exploited by the hedge funds, investment banks and all-cash foreign investors who recently bid up prices.

The long-term buy-and-hold owner occupants will get to ride out a protracted period of housing price hammering due to a couple of decades of Baby Boomer retirements to come.

Comment by Bigguy
2013-04-27 08:25:46

And the future is all about higher and higher property taxes filetered to support those same Boomers til they die.

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Comment by inchbyinch
2013-04-27 19:49:40

Ca Prop 13 helps us aging baby boomers who have paid off homes. Yeah inflation is baked in the cake, but some of us do our best to plan. Prop 13 holds down our property taxes some.

J6P-By 65 yrs old you should be mortgage free, or you’re in deep doo-doo.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-27 09:33:26

The interest to the bankers is the real cost of the debt, not the entire payment…this is lost on most people…I agree.

The lower the rate however, the higher the proportion of payment #1 goes to principal reduction. For a 30-year fixed rate mortgage:

3.75%: 32.5% of payment #1 goes to principal, first 10 years pays off 21% of the mortgage.
4.25%: 28%
4.75%: 24%
6% (still pretty low): 16.6%
8%: 9%, first 10 years pays off 12%

IMHO, focus on payment as the “cost” of the borrowing/ownership is a remnant of prior times when principal reduction was a minimal part of each payment in the early years. With rates at 3.75% (or less), there is significantly more principal reduction in the early years of a loan as compared to higher interest rate times.

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Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 06:19:14

Posted: 9:57 a.m. Friday, April 26, 2013

Feds: West Palm man organized kids’ birthday parties, ran in violent gang

By Alexandra Seltzer

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

A man who allegedly spends his time running children’s birthday parties while also participating in a violent Central American gang is in the custody of federal authorities after they found he is in the country illegally.

West Palm Beach’s Dilbert E. Coreas faces a federal charge of illegal reentry after deportation, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.

Detectives with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s gang unit started their investigation into Coreas when they saw him in photos uploaded on social media websites that suggested he was involved in the violent Central American Mara Salvatrucha gang, also known as MS-13.

The gang originated in Los Angeles, Calif., and then spread to different areas in the country, including South Florida.

The social media websites also suggested that Coreas was running Itza Kidzworld Party Planning and Rental, a business selling bounce houses and pony rides for children’s birthdays, the complaint says.

An April 14 posting on Coreas’ Facebook page advertises $85 bounce houses, $115 water slide bounce houses, $70 pony rides and cotton candy, snow cone or hot dog machines for $60 each.

The gang unit conducted surveillance of Coreas operating the bounce houses and conducting the pony rides at events around Palm Beach County, the complaint says.

The gang unit asked for the Homeland Security Investigations assistance in looking at Coreas’ immigration file and found that in June 2009 he was convicted of felony possession of cocaine with intent to sell, felony tampering with evidence and resisting arrest.

In September 2012 he was ordered to be removed from the country and was sent back to El Salvador a few months later.


Posted by borderpatrol at 11:05 a.m. Apr. 26, 2013

Another FINE example of OBUMA”S Border security…. yea right!! …He will get deported again and be back in 6 mos. Our Government probably gave him the small business loan to get started in busisness after being deported…. Makes me wonder who’s social security number he was using?

Posted by CaptMike at 11:08 a.m. Apr. 26, 2013

OK, sent back in 2012 and back here in 2013. No problem with crossing the borders for this guy and the 11-12 million other illegals

Posted by MissWTF at 11:09 a.m. Apr. 26, 2013

How much is it for my kid to get an awesome neck tat??

Posted by conchgirl at 1:00 p.m. Apr. 26, 2013

Revolving door of illegals. He’ll be back. The MS-13 is active all over the country. They chopped off the fingers of a kid who was to testify in VA/DC area over 9 yrs ago (while I lived in VA). They also killed a pregnant girlfriend of a gang member in the same time frame I think she was to testify (don’t remember the specifics).

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/feds-west-palm-man-organized-kids-birthday-parties/nXYc7/ -

Comment by sustainable development
2013-04-27 07:19:48

Border Security No Barrier to Immigration Reform, Napolitano Says …
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/02/border-security-no-barrier-to-immigration-reform-napolitano-says/ - - Cached - Similar pages
Feb 13, 2013 … Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano insisted that the U.S. border has “ never been stronger” and dismissed the notion that border …

Comment by 2banana
2013-04-27 06:20:47

Still no info if they had an obama phone and if it was used in the bombings…

Boston bombing suspect began collecting food stamps and welfare (govt conceals details)

Gov Deval Patrick refused to divulge info WRT public assistance to the Tsarnaev’s. But welfare officials were forced to b/c the info is available to lawmakers.

Chechen immigrants Tsarnaev parents were eligible as legal, non-citizen residents who claimed “asylum” status and met the eligibility criteria for DTA, DTA interim commissioner Stacey Monahan said in a letter to David Linsky, Chairman of the Mass House Post Audit and Oversight Committee.

News that alleged terrorists received state money sparked outrage in the community w/ 3 dead and more than 260 injured. On Thursday, multiple state agencies, at the prompting of Gov Patrick, refused to comment on the brothers’ benefits.

WRT Tamerlan receiving UI benefits, Labor dept spokesman Kevin Franck refused to comment….

Univ of Mass– Dartmouth spokesman Robert Connolly refused to comment on the financial aid app of 19-year-old soph Dzhokhar. ‘It is our position - and I believe the accepted position in higher education - that student records including academic records and financial records (including financial aid) cannot under federal law be released without a student’s consent.’

The FCC would not discuss whether the suspected bombers had a govt-paid cellphones.

Cambridge housing officials would not comment on if the brothers had Section 8 rental subsidy offered by the HUD to low income households.

Comment by usury camp resident
2013-04-27 08:02:48

Never underestimate the idiocy of the ruling class.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 08:58:02

An article in US Today about this said that in Mass. a single mom with 2 small kids could collect $45K per year in benefits. Not sure why they gave an example of this. These were federal benefits. Do they vary from state to state? Imagine a $45K hand out. Sure there is no place to cut spending. Raise taxes.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 12:53:35

What kind of crazy immigration policy makes it nearly impossible for highly-skilled legitimate immigrants to enter the U.S., yet provides welfare to immigrants who are terrorists?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 06:23:36

How much do folks like Rental Watch get paid to try to refute the evidence presented here on the eventual collapse of the echo bubble?


Just sayin’…

Comment by azdude
2013-04-27 06:29:28

long term I think this will fall apart again. But I think there are opportunities to make money in the meantime. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow but always be looking over your shoulder.

Comment by goon squad
2013-04-27 07:01:07

They don’t need to get paid, the kool-aid drinkers have convinced themselves that it tastes just fine, even as they climb over piles of bodies to get to the kool-aid punchbowl.

One kool-aid drinker I work with has been in CO for several years, but just sold his long-underwater and vacant AZ house. He got hit with capital gains taxes from that sale and had to do an IRA withdrawal (and pay more taxes on that) to get the cheese to pay his taxes. This dude is in his early 60’s. And the father of two teenagers.

Housing is financial suicide.

Comment by 2banana
2013-04-27 07:03:55

Underwater house with capital gains?

What did he do with the HELOC loans?

Comment by goon squad
2013-04-27 08:09:20

The HELOC loans probably paid for the muscle car he takes to car shows. And assume the wife who is 20 years younger may have been responsible for some of that liberated equity.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-27 09:35:21

I get paid a big fat $0.

I post data to refute the “evidence” that has no source.

Still waiting on that backup for 4 million homes in CA.

Don’t get me wrong, my biggest fear is a rebubble and crash, but I think prices will rise much more before they re-crash.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 12:51:40

Fair enough…and sorry for my earlier belligerence.

With trolls coming out of the woodwork again, just like they did back in 2006 before the first bubble-era housing crash, one can never be too vigilant…

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-27 18:22:47

And if you look through my posts of that same era, I was opposite those trolls, and I may be again, if the current rate of appreciation doesn’t slow.

Today however, I see the likes of RAL as equivalent to those trolls, spewing off unsubstantiated garbage as support of their views that increasingly, are looking incorrect.

I hope I don’t get to be opposite again…my hope is that lending doesn’t get as outrageous as before (with massive fraud via liars loans, and CDS squared’s via Goldman and the like, and underwriting based on a below market interest “teaser” rate), and construction comes back to provide a pressure release on the supply side. If these two things happen, then I think we’ll see the rate of price appreciation flatten before it gets too out of hand.

In fact, I think that momentum will carry us too far in any event, and prices will then need to fall in order to correct, but as long as lending doesn’t get nuts, I don’t think that next correction will be a crash of the same magnitude of the last crash.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-27 18:48:04

By the way, we had a discussion a LONG time ago (perhaps a year ago, if not more) regarding the trends that I was seeing in terms of data in California, and what I thought it would eventually mean in the context of the housing market…I have always been driven by the data, and asked frequently on this board for people to come up with data that would somehow counteract the likely result of trends supported by the data I post.

The most significant pieces of data with respect to CA are:
1. Strong employment growth (250k+ jobs annually, higher than the US average; BLS data)
2. Low Vacancy Rates (pre-recession levels, and much lower than the US average; Census data)
3. Way below-trend construction (60k annually or so; Census data)
4. Affordability levels as high as they’ve ever been (as measured by incomes, prices, and interest rates; CAR data…but you can do your own math and get to the same place)
5. Non-current loan rates steadily falling (on target to be close to “normal” by the end of 2013; LPS and a ruler)
6. The number of non-distressed sellers being far below normal levels (low supply, with lots of the sales being distressed; CAR releases this data, but I don’t think people would debate this one)
7. Undersupply of housing as measured by homes/population ratio (last I checked this was second lowest behind Utah; Census again)

Absent the Fed taking their foot off the accelerator in a BIG way, don’t you see how this movie is going to end?

So when people start making claims about numbers and what they mean without any support (and some other blog posting isn’t support, unless they reference where the numbers come from), it drives me nuts, because it obfuscates reality.

And it drives me even crazier that people who were so objectively data driven when the bubble was raging choose to believe unsubstantiated data (because they want to believe it), instead of taking a hard look at supportable data…and drawing their own conclusions from that supported data (even if it means that their own world view isn’t supported).

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-04-27 19:16:08

Hey liar…… you’re misrepresenting the data once again.

1) CA is in thetop 10 highest unemployment states at 10%.

2)Your Biggest lie SFR vacany rates in CA are at multi decade highs per Census bureau.

3) Construction? Why build when there are millions of excess, empty and defaulted properties in CA?

4) 5X annual income is NOT affordable. You damn liar.

6) 4 MILLION distressed and empty properties isn’t “low” no matter how many times you scream your lies.

7) “Undersupply of housing” huh? You’re shameless. You reall are.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-27 19:51:25

1. Unemployment rate is irrelevant. Number of people employed is, and when you add in low vacancy rates and high job growth, you hit a supply crunch.

2. That’s funny, the Census doesn’t provide decades of state by state homeowner vacancy rates. The number is currently at 1.4%, down from 2.8% at the peak, less than the US average (2005-2006 ranged from 0.5% to 2.0%). Rental vacancy rates are at 4.7%, down from 7.5% at peak, and below the national average (and below the 2005 level).

3. You have yet to substantiate your 4MM number…it’s a lie.

4. The data is the data. Refute it. Homes are more affordable in CA than they have been in couple of decades as measured by interest rates, incomes and prices. Affordability levels didn’t reach today’s level in crash in the 90’s.

6. Source?

7. Refute the data. You can’t. The data is the data.

You’re proving my points. If your numbers were true, it would be easy for you show me several sources…the fact that you can’t should speak volumes.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-04-27 20:34:57

1.It’s only relevant when it supports your lies. And vacancy rates are at multi decade highs.

2.YOU’RE LYING. Vacancy rates were in the 11% range and still hovering there.

3.You have yet to refute 4 MILLION excess empty houses. Refute it.

4. That’s right. It’s there for you to refute. We’re waiting.

6. Census Bureau. Take it up with them.

7. You’re correct. The data is the data. 4 Million excess empty houses in CA isn’t an “undersupply”.

You’re a shameless paid liar. Readers be advised.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-04-27 20:42:22

‘I have always been driven by the data’

In 2004, the economy was fantastic according to the numbers. I recall a Sedona UHS telling me in 2006 that there was no danger because there were so many buyers. I replied that many of them would end up in foreclosure, so the prevalence of buyers at that point was a negative.

It’s really simple; if there’s a bubble, it’s gonna pop. And now we don’t have the fired up economy we had in 2005 or 06. Every day I become more convinced it’s going to be a disaster.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-28 05:52:15

A big part of the reason the economy was raging was because of housing development.

At that point, we were developing WAY above the trendline (2MM per year), at prices WAY higher than the inflation-adjusted trendline, with lending completely out of control, which fueled higher than normal consumption.

Things were set up for disaster.

Now, a big part of the reason the economy sucks is because we are developing dramatically BELOW the trendline (600k per year), at prices that are in line with prior market troughs, and consumption is being restrained because employers are still scared to hire, and people are being very conservative in their spending.

We are not set up for the same disaster.

If lending gets out of control and fuels a similar bubble, we could have a replay, but we are not there yet (and hope we don’t get there).

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-04-28 06:00:10

1 and 2:



There are about 14 MM housing units in CA for 38 million people. Your unsubstantiated claim of 4 million homes that are excess, vacant, distressed, etc. is completely made up.

If not, you should be able to show me a nice link to the Census data, like I did for my vacancy numbers.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-04-28 11:37:38

There are about 14 MM housing units in CA for 38 million people.

And 4.4 MILLION of them are defaulted, delinquent, excess and empty.

You’re a paid liar.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-04-27 19:17:48

“I get paid a big fat $0.”

Anyone who shamelessly lies to the public day after day is a paid liar.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-04-27 06:26:13

What’s really going on in California

California imposed a new law on banks innocuously called “Homeowners Bill of Rights” which forces banks to switch over to a judicial foreclosure process, which they can opt to do on their own, but takes a year or more to renegotiate contracts and compensation structures for the foreclosure law firms who do all the leg work for the banks. And while those changes are being made… it makes it appear that foreclosures have slowed down dramatically in the state.

The reality?

Defaults (undeclared) are spiraling upward that yet have to pass through the foreclosure pipeline.

The truth?

California is still the highest foreclosure state in sheer volume and percentage.

The low-down?

Resale housing is still massively overpriced as a result of unprecedented interference by individual states and the federal government. The market distortions will be removed and the down draft will continue allowing the market to correct.

With 25 MILLION excess empty houses, 4 million of which are in California and housing demand at 17 year lows, housing prices a long way to fall. A very long way to fall.

Comment by Iwog
2013-04-27 06:28:55

Washington State Housing Prices Headed Lower


If you buy a house now, you’re going to lose alot of money.

Comment by Iwog
2013-04-27 06:30:02

Washington, DC Rental Rates Falling YoY, QoQ and MoM


Why pay massively inflated prices for DC housing when you can rent for half the cost of buying?

Comment by Bigsby
2013-04-27 06:31:58

California Housing Prices Falling MoM and QoQ


If you buy a house now in California, you’ll will sustain irrecoverable losses. BEWARE

Comment by Rental Watch
Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-04-27 12:06:01

Your lies are dated and you’re affected by the envelopes you’re handed.

Comment by Iwog
2013-04-27 06:37:21

Phoenix Rental Rates Falling


Why pay these massively inflated housing prices when rental rates are increasingly more affordable with each passing day?

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-04-27 08:18:17

I like that! I am seeing $2000 monthly rents more numerous in a gated area in North Scottsdale. I might dive in and rent a SFH there in a couple years.

Comment by brother_jimmy
2013-04-27 13:10:19

yes, just drove out there this am. Everything is for rent. Rental prices are falling rapidly due to the hot season coming. It will be quite telling what happens in July/August when the snowbirds are done searching for winter homes. That’s when the prices will dump.

Comment by Jess from upstate SC
2013-04-27 06:47:43

The State of North Carolina is passing a new law that Public Schools must again teach kids the multiplication tables… 2×2 ,5×5 etc & etc.
Hold it ,are there really vast numbers of younger and not so young people in the work force that do not know them ??? Exactly what have Public Schools been teaching , except the ‘Self esteem”,and ‘I am somebody’ junk ?

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 09:00:52

A lot of the problem of schools not teaching basic stuff is that the teachers get bored and want something new for themselves.

Comment by Brett
2013-04-27 07:02:12

It’s time to pay property taxes!

As y’all know, I am leasing a slightly older condo in downtown Austin for about $1300 a month, which is much less than the $1800 I was paying at a high rise across the street.

Anyways, I got a latter from the Travis county tax assessor office, band instead of opening it, I looked up online the tax assessment for this property.

2012 assessment ~ $240k
2013 assessment - $300k!!!!

I have no doubt the owner will contest it, but this comes to show how cities are delusional and out of touch with reality. Somehow we gotta pay got everything the city and school districts want!


The $892 million bond package for the Austin school district features a number of first-ever proposals. If it is approved by voters, the district hopes to create its first magnet school for students interested in health careers, its first all-boys school, and its first shared swim center.


Comment by In Colorado
2013-04-27 07:48:36

Texas might not have a state income tax, but the property taxes they levy … whooooweeee!

My brother used to live in Texas. His house was assessed at around 80K and he paid about 1.5K in property tax. I’m guessing that the owner of your condo is paying about 6K. So about 40% of your rent goes to pay property tax.

Comment by Brett
2013-04-27 08:04:41

Taxes are 2.38%, so the owner will be paying around $7k. 5.5 months of my rent to pay for taxes!

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-04-27 22:59:42

Day-um! That’s crazy!

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Comment by MightyMike
2013-04-27 11:54:01

Don’t Texans have to pay a lot to register their cars? I guess it’s considered to be not such a bad thing, because it’s not called a tax.

Comment by ?
2013-04-27 07:52:12

It’s so over-the-top Orwellian, you wouldn’t believe it anyways.

Average Joe, For you…. question everything and always doubt.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-04-27 07:56:32

the kool-aid drinkers have convinced themselves that it tastes just fine, even as they climb over piles of bodies to get to the kool-aid punchbowl.

THIS is poetry.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-04-27 10:55:09

I was thinking that, too.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 09:03:52

Finally saw some of this food inflation. Bought Trader Joe’s shelled walnut halves & pieces. $7 and change for 1 lb. Paid about $5 and change about 1.5 years ago. But walnuts are a luxury. Many other basics still cheap and the weekly specials at the Giant and Safeway are great.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 16:57:13

You have to know what to buy to avoid the inflation pulses. A good choice is wine from countries in the throws of financial crises: Argentina, France, Italy, etc. I’ve been enjoying bottles on the $4-$6 price range which would easily go for north of $20 in fairer times.

Go to Trader Joe’s, where they have wines broken out by national origin, and head for the countries with raging financial crises underway…

Comment by Hard Rain
2013-04-27 11:10:54

Hard to imagine how these brilliant folks got in to financial difficulty in the first place.

“Michele and Russell Poland’s credit was shot, but they managed to buy their suburban dream home anyway.

After a business bankruptcy and a home foreclosure, they turned to a rare option in this era of tightfisted banking — a subprime loan.

The Polands paid nearly $10,000 in upfront fees for the privilege of securing a mortgage at 10.9% interest. And they had to raid their retirement account for a 35% down payment.”


Comment by Anon In DC
2013-04-27 11:22:05

WOW! Did not even click the link. Guess you can’t make this stuff up.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 12:49:06

Clearly the Pollocks are innocent victims of the latest wave of subprime mortgage lending to descend on America’s households.

Comment by rms
2013-04-27 11:54:11

“The Polands paid nearly $10,000 in upfront fees for the privilege of securing a mortgage at 10.9% interest. And they had to raid their retirement account for a 35% down payment.”

They will [ N-E-V-E-R ] leave that place if they can’t make the payments.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 12:47:35

Sounds like the Pollocks aren’t very bright…

Comment by rms
2013-04-27 14:28:34

“Sounds like the Pollocks aren’t very bright…”

+1 Likely motivated by impulse anxiety too.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-04-27 16:54:53

How many Pollocks does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-04-28 06:43:46

a 4 bedroom house for 3 people ….raiding an IRA….guess she wants more kids….do i see disaster ahead?

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