June 18, 2013

Features Of The Bubble Are Becoming More Commonplace

The Pioneer Press reports from Minnesota. “Despite the steady rise in home prices over the past few months, Twin Cities’ real estate veterans say it’s too soon to call the market a bubble again. But it’s also almost impossible to avoid a bidding war on almost any home priced below $200,000. Gary Pederson’s search involved bidding wars on five houses in St. Paul. He finally landed a three-bedroom, two-bath home in Midway by offering 10 percent over the $189,900 asking price. The house he bought went on the market at noon on a Monday. His real estate agent had given him a head’s up that it was coming up for sale, and Pederson had driven by it the previous week.”

“He got a walk-through of the house at 4:30 p.m. that Monday and then made an offer. By Tuesday, the buyer had five offers. His previous experiences with being out-bid made him decide to bid up the price on this Midway home. ‘Realtors are telling people you have to be ready to go,’ Pederson said. ‘I’m expecting the neighborhood will see an increase in values.’”

The Des Moines Register in Iowa. “Third-grade teacher Erin Denny’s summer to-do list is massive: She’s finishing her master’s degree, planning her wedding and buying a house. The surprising challenge of the three might be buying a home. In about a month, she’s lost two houses to other buyers — within less than a day of viewing them. One home in Clive had been on the market for two days when she and her fiance took a tour. ‘We went home that night to talk about it, and decided to put in an offer,’ Denny said. The next morning, the house had been sold. ‘The people who looked at it right after us put in an offer. … We didn’t even get overnight to think about it. Homes in our price range are moving so quickly, you just have to make almost instant decisions, which is kind of scary.’”

“Tales like Denny’s — a main feature of the bubble that eventually led to the housing crash and recession — are becoming more commonplace as the Des Moines-area market rebounds. Buyers and sellers describe multiple offers, bidding wars and barely there listings.”

“‘The market is crazy. We didn’t see this last year,’ said Iowa Realty agent Carrie Brugger, adding that the last six offers she and business partner have written for clients have had competing buyers. ‘It’s a lot more frenzied now. I see it across the market — from homes selling from $80,000 to $800,000.’”

The Pantagraph in Illinois. “The housing market is on the mend and more help is available for those struggling to keep their homes in McLean County, but foreclosed and abandoned houses continue to hurt neighborhoods. Homes already in the midst of foreclosure are still working through the system, and neighborhoods must put up with the often abandoned and unkempt properties waiting to be resold. Bloomington’s west side has a number of them, said Valerie Dumser, a board member of the West Bloomington Revitalization Partnership and resident of the area.”

“‘It doesn’t do much for the values of our homes,’ Dumser said. ‘It doesn’t say much for the neighborhoods. People don’t want to move into a neighborhood that looks empty and neglected.’”

“Some of those empty homes have been sitting for years, Dumser said. That may be because McLean County foreclosures now take an average of 20 months to be resolved — twice as long as before the housing crisis, according to an ongoing study by Diego Mendez-Carbajo, chairman of the Department of Economics at Illinois Wesleyan University. Though fewer new foreclosures are being filed, the ones held over from previous years are still numerous.”

The Journal Sentinel in Wisconsin. “May foreclosure filings in southeast Wisconsin dropped 45% from a year earlier, another sign of a recovering housing market. Russell Kashian, a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater economics professor who tracks residential real estate in the state, said he is surprised foreclosure filings decreased that much in a job market that has been lackluster. ‘It’s surprising we’re doing that great,’ Kashian said. ‘We’re not exactly booming.’”

“After stumbling hard during the economic downturn, the condominium market in downtown Milwaukee is back on its feet and making a quiet comeback. Robert Monnat, partner at Mandel Group Inc. in Milwaukee said the majority of the area’s oversupply from the housing bubble has been absorbed. The downtown condo market consists of about 3,100 units in all. Of that number, about a fourth make up a sort of ’shadow inventory’ of condos that were converted to rental units when the number of buyers shrank during the downturn. Some will come back on the market as condos. ‘You have a fairly large supply of condominium units that were built that are actually masquerading right now as apartments,’ Monnat said.”

From The Sun in Wisconsin. “Wisconsin home sales jumped 9.2 percent statewide in April 2013 compared to a year earlier, which marks 22 straight months of positive growth. According to relator data, Polk County home sales increased 38.89 percent in the first quarter 2013 when compared to the same quarter a year ago. Borrowing rates remain low and banks are loosening restrictions on mortgages, said Logan Kelly, an economics professor at UW-River Falls, which also impacts the rate at which homes sell.”

“‘One of the drivers of real estate is mortgages,’ he said. ‘We’re starting to see lending practices loosen up a little bit. They were locked up really tight. To quality for a loan was really tight, and its beginning to loosen up.’”

“Although the gains in the housing market have come without significant improvement in employment, Kelly noted that the consistent rise in growth is an indicator that the economy, and consumer confidence, is improving. ‘It does say something about that person’s expectation of the future,’ he said. ‘They aren’t expecting to lose their job and are not expecting to have any major decreases in income over the next couple of years.’”

The Gawker. “The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin announced a major conviction today in the ongoing criminal prosecution of the people who brought the economy to its knees four years ago via a toxic campaign of mortgage fraud. Meet James Wazlawik of Prescott, Wisc. Wazlawik was sentenced to one day in jail and three years supervised release after pleading guilty to ‘making a false statement to a bank in connection with a home equity loan.’ His crime: When he applied for a $150,000 home equity loan from Citibank in 2005, he put his signature to an ‘income verification form’ claiming that his monthly income was $8,500. In fact, it was substantially less than that.”

“Here’s how Wazlawik put it in a sentencing letter to U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman: ‘I did not know a person could get a loan without consistent income. I was told by the broker that there was a program called NINA-no income no asset that anyone with good credit could apply for. So I applied for this loan thinking that the money available on the line of credit would be able to be used to grow our business…When I took this mortgage, I still had a significant amount of credit available on my first mortgage, which was also a line of credit. What I did not count on was the economy beginning to sour.’”

“So Wazlawik, surprised to find that ‘a person could get a loan without a consistent income,’ took advantage of a loan officer’s offer and signed on the dotted line. But why would a loan officer encourage someone without consistent income to obtain a home equity loan? Probably because Citibank, the victim in this case—the U.S. Attorney’s press release notes that the bank ‘lost $146,829 when Wazlawik was unable to repay the loan’—spent most of the last decade feverishly buying, packaging, and reselling mortgages that it knew would never be repaid.”

“In 2012, Citigroup paid $158 million to the federal government to settle claims that in order to obtain insurance from the Federal Housing Administration, it systematically lied about the likelihood its loans would be repaid—sort of like providing false information on a loan application. Justice Department prosecutors calculated that 30 percent of Citibank’s FHA-insured loans went into default. That’s $1.44 billion dollars worth of bad loans.”

“Like Wazlawik, Citibank failed to anticipate the economy turning sour. It has since been the recipient of more than $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees from American taxpayers, making it the single largest recipient of federal bailout funds after the economy collapsed as a direct result of what Citibank did with loans like Wazlawik’s.”

“To date, no one in the executive ranks of Citibank—or any of the other Wall Street institutions that solicited and profited from loans like the one Citibank issued to Wazlawik—have been criminally targeted by the Department of Justice.”

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 06:08:56

Let’s all do our best to keep the dream of an Ownership Society alive, folks!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 06:11:31

California, U.S. Housing Boom Could Save the American Dream
Written by Joel Kotkin
14 Jun 2013

ECONOMY - Our tepid economic recovery has been profoundly undemocratic in nature.

Between the “too big to fail” banks and Ben Bernanke’s policy of dropping free money from helicopters on the investor class, there have been two recoveries, one for the rich, and another less rewarding one for the middle class.

Viewed in this light, the recent run-up in home prices, the biggest in seven years, offers some relief from this dreary picture. Home equity accounts for almost two-thirds of a “typical” family’s wealth (those in the middle fifth of U.S. wealth distribution); there is no other investment by which middle-class families can so easily grow their nest eggs.

But the housing recovery’s benefit extends beyond owners. The housing industry drives a significant portion of the nation’s economy, accounting for millions of jobs. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average single-family detached house under construction results in an additional three jobs for one year. This includes the employees working on the house, and those employed in producing products to build the house.

Overall, residential construction and upkeep generates between 15% and 18% of GDP. If the economy is to expand in a sustainable way that helps a broad section of Americans, suggests Roger Altman, a Clinton administration deputy Treasury secretary, “a housing boom will be the biggest driver.”

Perhaps even more important, the growth of housing sales also revives something many have written off as obsolete: “the American dream” of owning a home. Since the great recession, some economists have argued that the future of America will be a “rentership” society.

Others such as Richard Florida have argued forcibly that home ownership is “over-rated,” maintaining that America’s fixation on it has fostered “countless forms of over-consumption that have a horribly distorting affect on the economy.” Workers, he argues, are better off as renters since this allows them to change jobs more nimbly. If anything, he suggests, the government would be better off encouraging “renting, not buying.”

Greens have also embraced this downscaled future, with people living cheek to jowl in some urbanized form of ecological harmony. They envision a new generation that will reject materialism, suburbs, single-family homes and other expressions of acquisition. In other words, forget ambition and save the whales.

One writer at Grist argues, the fact the millennial generation can’t afford homes is a good thing, since it will lead to “a rejection of the mindset that got us into this mess.” Welcome back to the green Age of Aquarius: “we’re looking for ways to avoid that ladder altogether — maybe by climbing a tree instead.”

Perhaps this is true for some, but overall the desire to own a home is far from dead. A 2012 study by the Woodrow Wilson Center found that over 80% of Americans associated homeownership with the American dream.

Comment by snake charmer
2013-06-18 06:44:38

The fact that housing still is looked at as some kind of economic life preserver shows just how total our leadership failure has been.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-06-18 06:55:42

“leadership failure”.

At some point people will have to stop depending on “leadership” offered to them by “leaders” and learn to look after themselves. If they don’t then they will always be at the mercy of so-called leaders who, deep down, have their own agenda.

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Comment by snake charmer
2013-06-18 08:30:56

I agree with that, to a certain extent. But everyone for himself is not a long-term survival strategy. This country has had great leaders in its history and I’m not prepared to say that we can’t ever have them again.

I have heard one commentator say that Americans, at this point in time, can’t be led by anyone, because there’s no consensus among the American people about what reality is.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-06-18 08:44:02

I have heard one commentator say that Americans, at this point in time, can’t be led by anyone, because there’s no consensus among the American people about what reality is.

Interesting thought…makes sense. Perhaps some shared pain will help bring them together?

Comment by snake charmer
2013-06-18 09:34:06

That’s possible. It’s also possible that another collapse will bring about a feverish search for scapegoats, as well as declarations that internal enemies are responsible.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-06-18 09:48:32

Of course there are phases that have to be gone through first… :-)

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-06-18 08:14:33

Yesterday, NPR was saying that the housing recovery is driving the economic recovery.

Talk about bass-ackwards.

Historically, housing has been a reactive sector. Meaning that it reacts to what’s happening in the rest of the economy.

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Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2013-06-18 11:44:14

What economic recovery are they talking about? Unemployment hasn’t budged in years.

Comment by Nancy Hoffman
2013-06-18 07:56:14

“The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

George Carlin

Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-06-18 08:05:24

It is amazing to me that chowderheads such as the guy who wrote the article are incapable of understanding how negative, and unsustainable, high priced housing is for the economy. Why did we have the housing meltdown to begin with? Because house prices became detached from wages. Have wages suddenly risen to support higher house prices? No. Why are house prices rising so rapidly? Speculators, including big name hedge funds. Are speculators good for the housing market? No. Why? Because the market needs end users for an organic recovery.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-06-18 08:13:53

California, U.S. Housing Boom Could Save the American Dream

Sometimes I think we don’t deserve what we’re going to get. But then something comes along to show me how pathetic we’ve become…

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2013-06-18 11:41:15

Woooooooohooo! I just know I’m gonna get a big raise, and my house values will triple, and then they will permantently plateau, and I will be just like all the other rich people, right?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 06:22:59

G-Zero = “zero gravity,” as a rising tsunami tide of liquidity frees all asset prices from the economic force of gravity.

New York Markets Open in: 0:18:01
Pre-Market Indications | Analyst Ratings
Futures: S&P 500 +0.0% DOW +0.1% NASDAQ +0.3%

Doomsday duo explains how Fed policy will implode
Roubini, Bremmer and the Fed policy that’s going to implode
June 18, 2013, 7:47 AM

Be sure your seatbelt is fastened, because nothing has really come to rest. We have entered the New Abnormal, a period in which every market assumption must be questioned and the wise investor is prepared to be surprised.

And that’s how famed economist Noureil Roubini and Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, launch into an eight-screen Institutional Investor assault on all that’s going wrong with the global economy right now and on how new crises are most certainly headed our way.

Calling it the G-Zero world — referring to a leadership void where it’s every nation for itself — the two pepper the essay with warnings about China growth, another Europe meltdown or turmoil in the Middle East, a region they definitely see as not OK. Oh, and forget about the BRICS bailing out global growth.

Fast-fowarding past all that, central banks, mostly the Fed, get the last salvo from the doomsday duo, who devote several paragraphs largely to how that easy money policy is going to land us all in trouble. What markets and economist are hoping for as that two-day Fed meeting kicks off Tuesday is a slow and steady easy out of QE. That’ll fix everything, right? Wrong:

…a slow exit risks creating a credit and asset bubble as large as the previous one, if not larger. Pursuing real economic stability, it seems, may again lead to financial instability. Thus the exit from the Fed’s QE and zero-interest-rate policies will be treacherous: Exiting too fast will crash the real economy, while exiting too slowly will first create a huge bubble and then crash the financial system.

And when it comes time to tighten up, officials should expect even more chaos. In the last cycle, which began in 2004, the Fed took around two years to normalize policy, and that was against a backdrop of lower debt and unemployment.

But if financial markets are already frothy, consider how frothy they will be when the Fed starts tightening — and then when the Fed finishes tightening. From 2001 to 2004 interest rates were too low for too long, and the subsequent rate normalization was too slow, inflation huge bubbles in credit, housing and equity markets.

What liquidity injections have done, Roubini and Bremmer argue, is just boost leverage and risk-taking in financial markets.

It may be too soon to say that many risky assets have reached bubble levels and that leverage and risk-taking in financial markets is becoming excessive, but the reality is that credit and equity bubbles are likely to form in the next two years owing to ongoing loose U.S. monetary policy.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-06-18 07:46:56

‘Amid all this interest-rate worry, the cost of protecting a bond exchange-traded fund from price declines lately has been soaring. Soaring. ConvergEx strategist Nicholas Colas has a handy chart of the phenomenon this morning. On the left, where you’d normally find financial or tech stocks in a selloff, you’ve instead got iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (HYG), whose implied volatility — that’s the key pricing measure for options that protect your holdings — is up close to 70% from a month ago.’

‘Next highest is the normally not-so-worrisome iShares iBoxx $ InvesTop Investment Grade Corp. Bond Fund (LQD), up more than 40%.’

‘Notice that third place goes not to the traditional parts of the stock market known as “risky,” but instead to the generally staid (so goes its reputation at any rate) Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP), up more than 40%, and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU), also up more than 40%.’


Comment by Ben Jones
2013-06-18 06:36:32

‘Former Chicago Bulls forward Charles Oakley has taken a loss on his three-bedroom condo in a South Loop high-rise, selling it May 21 for $900,000. In 2005, Oakley paid $1.09 million for the sixth-floor, 10-room unit.’

‘Mark Malone, who played quarterback for a decade in the NFL, has sold his two-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot condo in a Greektown loft building for $557,500. The unit went really fast, selling in just five days,” said listing agent Jacqueline Bohn of Century 21 Lullo. “The downtown market is really hot.”

‘Malone bought the unit in 2007 for $700,000.’

Comment by 2banana
2013-06-18 06:49:16

A $200,000 loss for either of these guys is pocket change.

But it does show that the “hot” RE market today is pretty much an illusion.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-06-18 07:13:55

‘A major factor driving the building recovery is the slim inventory of desirable houses up for sale, particularly in metro Detroit. Realtors report seeing a return of bidding wars, and even out-of-the-blue inquiries to homeowners whose properties are not on the market to see if they might consider selling.’

Comment by snake charmer
2013-06-18 08:43:03

It seems as if things are compressed this go-round. Bubble behaviors that previously took several years to appear now are being revived in a matter of months. Bidding wars in metro Detroit should be the equivalent of a hurricane flag. A significant part of that city is abandoned.

A few people are cheering this. But for the rest of us, it is a bitter and cynical time.

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Comment by Beer and Cigar Guy
2013-06-18 09:59:15

Yup! Hang in there ‘Charmer. I still say the timeline is greatly compressed and when this thing goes tits-up, it will happen faster than anyone thought possible.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-06-18 11:49:34

Big time.

Where you been BeerGuy?

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2013-06-18 11:49:43

You’re just jealous because you know that there are rich people in Detroit. They are so rich, they don’t even care if they lose money. They just buy property to be diversified, with is evidence of a lack of caring about their ROI. Why don’t you just resign yourself to being a low-caliber person, and be happy for the rich people of Detroit?

Comment by oxide
2013-06-18 13:35:11

I agree it’s going to fall fast… just as soon as they run out of good buyers and the cash element pulls out.

Question is, when will it fall and how far? My prediction on the timeline is that we have THIS buying season and that’s it. But how far? Since the hedge fund et al began buying at mid-2012 prices, it stand to reason that prices will dip only to mid 2012 prices at which point the hedge funds would jump in again…

… but then we should factor in interest rates. Mid-2012 price at 3.8% will = ?? at 6%.

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2013-06-18 15:09:41


I think a lot of places still had a lot of downside before Blackstone and Friends jumped in. When da Boyz drown, those places may continue to fall to their natural levels (prebubble).

Comment by Combotechie
2013-06-18 07:16:18

It’s pocket change as long as they are big earners. When the big bucks stop coming in then pocket change is all they’ve got.

This should not come as a surprise to them for for many of them it is.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-06-18 06:50:26

So the losses on housing on just the transaction price for one guy was;


The second lost;


Add in transfer/transaction costs and overhead, taxes, insurance and maintenance and both sustained losses in the 35% range.

Housing always results in loss.

Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2013-06-18 08:00:35

not trying to make an argument for buying but if Oakley is “out” $190,000 over an 8 year period, that works out to $2000/month. he would have had to pay rent and i doubt he could have rented an equivalent place for that.

and the Malone situation works out to $2375/mo. not sure that’s devistating, but i guess it could have been worse.

go easy on me HA, i’m just throwing numbers out there.

personally, i’m getting ready to sell a property very soon, because i do believe things are going south eventually.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-06-18 08:27:15

Yeah, but I presume that he also was paying interest on a mortgage. And if he wasn’t, there is always the opportunity cost to be factored in too.

Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-06-18 08:44:13

Yeah, where’s all the interest in that calculation? Interest is front loaded, so he was paying mostly interest with little principle. The true cost was likely more than $5000 per month.

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Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2013-06-18 11:51:39

Yup. And as we learned during the last bubble, rich people DO use mortgages to buy houses they can’t afford.

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Comment by oxide
2013-06-18 13:38:46

Getting ready to sell a property soon..

Hmmm, would that explain the very busy paint counter at Home Despot? I thought it was odd, since painting is usually a winter job for the DIYer. Summer is for hauling soil and mulch around (don’t I know it).

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-06-18 18:39:46


You really are a junkie.

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Comment by Bad Andy
2013-06-18 08:01:00

So nice to be talking bubble again. You would think that people would learn.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-06-18 08:17:30

Somebody a few days ago posted something to the effect of “the difference is that this time people know it’s a bubble, they just all think they can get out in time”. If that’s true, and I think it is, the crash will be everything we expected it to be the first time and more…

Comment by In Colorado
2013-06-18 08:28:28

Yup, they’re hoping to make a quick buck. The Escalade is getting old and needs to be replaced.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-06-18 08:22:26

‘How Ben Bernanke Cost Me $53,000′

‘I thought Ben Bernanke was my friend. For the past year or so, I’ve been shopping for a house, grateful that the Federal Reserve had pushed interest rates to record lows. The lower monthly payments would help me qualify for a loan and buy a place I wouldn’t have been able to afford just a few years ago.’


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 08:43:28

San Diego home prices are improving at an accelerating rate, and are on track to surpass their pre-Housing Bubble collapse peak by next spring.

So if you are a seller planning to flip a San Diego home, just hang on for another year and watch the value of your investment improve by over 23 percent!

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2013-06-18 11:54:42

Why does this make me want to barf?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 16:53:47

You do realize, don’t you, that this is the stage of a bubble where things get really exciting, as the temptation for new investors to jump on board when appreciation is over 20 percent per year is overwhelming, and the influx of new buyers virtually guarantees that prices will soon be driven to the point of stall speed that precedes an outright collapse?

Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-06-18 21:32:12

Maybe prices will blow through the past bubble highs. Fun!

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Comment by jbunniii
2013-06-18 08:47:01

Wazlawik was sentenced to one day in jail and three years supervised release after pleading guilty to ‘making a false statement to a bank in connection with a home equity loan.’

He would have spent more time in jail had he stolen $150 instead of $150k.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-06-18 09:23:23

He admitted to lying on the application. I understand where the writer is coming from, but because there was more than one crime going on doesn’t absolve anyone.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-06-18 16:07:45

Don’t cross the financial sector. They can loot the country, but if you try to cross them, they’ll make sure you pay.

“The big thieves hang the little ones”

Diane Hathaway, Ex-Michigan Supreme Court Judge, Sentenced To Prison For Fraud
By ED WHITE 05/28/13 05:58 PM ET EDT
AP via Huffington Post

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Declaring herself “broken” and “disgraced,” former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway tearfully took responsibility for fraud Tuesday before a judge sentenced her to a year and a day in prison for concealing assets while she was pleading with a bank for a sale on her underwater home.

Defense attorney Steve Fishman said the devastation of losing a prestigious job seemed to be enough punishment for Hathaway, who vaulted to statewide prominence through an extraordinary Supreme Court election in 2008. But U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara rejected community service and instead chose prison.


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 08:49:27

Buy a California home today, as you are unlikely to see price improvements like these again over the entire course of your future lifetime! The most amazing part is that these huge improvements have been achieved against a backdrop of low labor force participation and high unemployment. Just think how rich the real estate investors will get once jobs come back to California!

Home prices soar 23.6 percent compared to one year ago

(CNS) – The median price of a home in San Diego County rose 23.6 percent in May, compared to the same month a year ago, reflecting a statewide jump that gave California the biggest year-over-year price increase in 33 years, according to figures released today by the California Association of Realtors.

The median price of a San Diego County home was $469,590 in May, up from $379,800 in May 2012, according to Los Angeles-based CAR. May’s median price was 3.3 percent higher than April, when the median was $454,390. Home sales in the county increased by 12.4 percent between April and May, and were up 9.7 percent from May 2012.

Statewide, the median price of a single-family home was $417,350 in May, up 31.9 percent from $316,460 in May 2012, according to CAR. It was the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year increases, and 11th straight month of double-digit jumps.

According to CAR, the 31.9 percent increase was the largest annual jump since at least 1980, when the association began tracking the statistic.

More home buyers are putting down larger down payments, and many of them are opting for more stable loan products,’’ CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said. “Additionally, historically low mortgage rates have reduced monthly mortgage payments substantially, making owning a house more affordable, even with rising home prices.’’

Comment by bluto
2013-06-18 10:12:00

An interesting story on how some who make cash offers are being rejected for being pushy, obnoxious, unreasonable, etc….


Comment by Beer and Cigar Guy
2013-06-18 12:20:27

WAIT just a minute!! Pushy? Obnoxious and unreasonable?!? In New York??? Who could have figured?

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2013-06-18 11:57:25

I love the way these home-moaners are whining about the vacant houses “hurting their values”. If those vacant houses would be put on the market, then “their values” would drop by half. Then they would moan about that.

Why don’t they just squat, or occupy the house with an unsuspecting tenant? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade :)

Comment by rms
2013-06-18 21:11:39

“I love the way these home-moaners are whining about the vacant houses “hurting their values”. If those vacant houses would be put on the market, then “their values” would drop by half. Then they would moan about that.”

I guy at work honestly and truly believes that it [is] the government’s responsibility to protect home values. I suggested that home buyers need to be cognizant that median wages are adequate to support the mortgage payment; he was unwilling to acknowledge this concept. Another guy listening thinks that he has a “f*cked buyer” son or daughter in the Seattle area.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 22:36:16

“The surprising challenge of the three might be buying a home. In about a month, she’s lost two houses to other buyers — within less than a day of viewing them.”

Bidding wars in Des Moines, you say?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…IT’S SUPER BUBBLE!!!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-06-18 22:41:04

“Like Wazlawik, Citibank failed to anticipate the economy turning sour. It has since been the recipient of more than $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees from American taxpayers, making it the single largest recipient of federal bailout funds after the economy collapsed as a direct result of what Citibank did with loans like Wazlawik’s.”

Sounds like Citibank made out like a bandit.

“To date, no one in the executive ranks of Citibank—or any of the other Wall Street institutions that solicited and profited from loans like the one Citibank issued to Wazlawik—have been criminally targeted by the Department of Justice.”

It’s never too late, is it? Oops…that statute of limitations thingee comes to mind. Perhaps the laws could be changed for the banking sector to make sure they have no way to run out the clock before legal action can be taken against them?

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