February 6, 2015

The Ripples Are Spreading

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “On Florida’s tony Fisher Island, two new luxury condominium towers are going in. The first just topped off, and its penthouse is under contract for $35 million to a Russian buyer. But just across the bay in Miami, where luxury condos sell for half the price of Fisher Island, it is a very different story. ‘Unfortunately what we’re finding in the last year is all our key buying powers, whether they come from Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Russia, all their currencies are falling against the dollar. So suddenly the foreign buyer who saved us the last go around are still present, but they’re not as prevalent as they had been,’ said Peter Zalewski, founder of Condo Vultures.”

“And yet construction surges ahead: 325 new towers are proposed in South Florida, with just more than 41,200 units, according to Zalewski. Of that, roughly 13,000 are in the planning stage, another 15,000 are approved and trying to sell, and the remaining 13,000 to 14,000 are under construction or recently completed.”

“The Flathead Valley can expect to see a year of slow economic growth in 2015, according to forecasts presented at Montana West Economic Development’s annual economic forecast. A number of factors could impact the area’s economy, including the falling Canadian dollar impacting tourism and real estate, said Brad Eldridge, executive director of institutional research at Flathead Valley Community College. Tourism in the Flathead supported more than 6,000 jobs in 2014. The falling Canadian dollar not only could create a decline in the number of people crossing the border, it could also impact the construction industry as people look to purchase second homes.”

“Barbra Bennett, private appraisal consultant, presented a look at real estate trends in the Flathead. Both Columbia Falls and Kalispell saw an increase in the number of home sales during 2014, but sales in Whitefish dipped below 2013 levels. Bennett pointed out that the median price for homes in Whitefish is 54 percent higher than in 2014. ‘Sellers’ expectations are not in line with what buyers can afford or are willing to pay,’ Bennett said.”

“Weld County will shoulder the brunt of any cutbacks the state sees from the oil and gas industry during the current slide in oil prices, according to Wells Fargo. Denver also could see an impact because it serves as a hub for the energy business of surrounding states. ‘Oil and gas have large multiplier effects on a region and have certainly helped push transportation and utilities and retail employment higher, as well as fuel residential and commercial construction,’ the report stated. ‘A decline in oil production and related employment will also have an adverse effect on the booming housing market and the consumer-driven industries that have cropped up to support the rapidly growing incomes in the area.’”

“Oil industry busts and Estevan aren’t strangers, and as the effects of declining oil prices settle on the region. Estevan’s housing market is showing signs of the oil market’s slump, too. Century 21 Border Real Estate Service broker Lynn Chipley said housing prices are on the decline, buyers are taking longer to make a decision and are negotiating more. Rents are also down by about 25 per cent, she said, and vacancy rates have shot to about 12.5 per cent in October from about 1.5 a year prior. ‘People are wondering, ‘Have we hit the new normal?’ said Chipley.”

“The five-storey building in Tena on the east of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, despite being finished close to four months, is yet to be fully occupied, with nearly half of the units remaining empty. The scenario is replicated in many other suburbs across Nairobi as property developers face a tenant crisis. Rise in construction of apartments as landlords search for higher yields has led to housing glut in some estates in the capital. ‘It is increasingly becoming difficult to get tenants in several suburbs in the capital. Property developers have constructed beautiful houses but some remain empty months after they were completed,’ said Antony Kuyo, a real estate agent in Nairobi.”

“The ripples are spreading. The slowdown in VIP gaming is now exacting a toll on property prices and investment. For this year, the local unit of Hong Kong’s Ricacorp Properties Ltd. says it does not anticipate strong investment sentiment for Macau’s high-end homes. ‘Most of buyers now, or until the first quarter, will be end-users,’ managing director Jane Liu Zee Ka remarked. ‘But then, in the second quarter we’re expecting some new projects [high-end unfinished flats] coming in, [but] I don’t think the price call will be too aggressive when these projects are launched.’”

“Record-breaking price levels of these high-end homes went as high as HK$193,680 per square metre in late March last year. But the average price of this type of off-plan sale decreased from HK$150,194 in the first half of last year to HK$98,308 in the second half. News emerged in the final quarter of last year that property agents here had noted a cooling down in property investment sentiment with cases of VIP gaming promoters offloading their luxury flats at discounted prices.”

“This is what an economic hangover looks like. More offices lie empty in Perth, Australia, than at any time since 1996, while the number of homeowners seeking to offload properties has surged 45 percent from a year ago. ‘There’s a couple of reasons for that — one is panic,’ said Creagh Ferdinands, an associate at Harcourts real estate agents in the Perth suburb of Joondalup, who’s seeing more properties than usual flooding the local market. ‘People are thinking it’s going to be a massive slowdown.’”

“‘Supply is creeping up across the state,’ said Gary Hicks, a director at real estate agency Ross & Galloway in Melville. Home rents ‘have dropped 10 to 15 percent over the last six to 12 months.’”

“Former Reserve Bank Governor and politician, Don Brash says the pressing problem of housing affordability in parts of the country represent a failure of policy. Speaking on Radio New Zealand, Dr Brash said housing is now outrageously expensive relative to incomes, with Auckland prices six times the median income. ‘It causes an enormous amount of the social difficulty we’ve got, the poverty in Auckland is very largely related to the fact that people are spending an inordinate amount of their income to try and get a roof over their head.’”

“A lack of decent housing and educational opportunities were symptoms of a wider inequality and the issue was only now getting a proper hearing, he said. ‘If we live in a society where we can’t afford homes if we’re poor, and then we are replicating that poverty in our educational performance we’ve essentially locked out a huge chunk of people.’”

“U.S. central bankers risk inflating another asset-price bubble if they keep interest rates too low as unemployment falls, said St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. Bullard, despite his wariness, said didn’t see any evidence of an obvious bubble at the moment. ‘I don’t think there’s anything on the scale of the housing bubble or the Internet bubble right now. The only candidate is bonds, government debt and other kinds of debt,’ he said.”

“‘I’m not counting that, I guess, because that’s us,’ he said, referring to the Fed’s own-bond buying campaign that more than quadrupled its balance sheet to $4.5 trillion.”

“The last two times unemployment dove below economists’ estimates of full employment was in the late 1990s and in the mid-2000s. The first occasion became associated with very high valuations in technology stocks, and the second coincided with strongly rising home prices. Both episodes ended with the bubbles bursting and the U.S. economy in recession, Bullard noted, with the real-estate bust spiraling into a global financial crisis. ‘The wisdom of going forward here and really pushing hard on this, given the recent history is, I think, one of the elephants in the room about American monetary policy,’ he said.”

“Being foreclosed on and needing help doesn’t mean you have to move under a bridge tomorrow, but do call a Realtor and ask to be shown the best bridges. What’s the process of foreclosure? Phone calls and letters. Remind them that they must comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. And then, when you are taking a dip in your new refinanced pool and a stranger hands you papers called ‘Summons,’ you’re being foreclosed upon and even if you work it out you are going to have some fees to deal with.”

“Don’t be ashamed to ask your kids for help and parents, don’t help the kids. Make sure you know about the NM Home Loan Protection Act. If you can’t come up with a plan then eventually the Sheriff comes and tells you to move. If you have no place to go, and especially if you are caring for children or the elderly, ask the Judge about your situation. Bottom line is a man’s home is not his castle if he has a mortgage or reverse mortgage.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-06 05:26:16

‘There’s been a surge in new real estate listings in Calgary over the last couple of months as panic sets in over fears of low oil prices, but even as home prices continue to drop it doesn’t appear anyone is buying.’

‘Sales of homes above $1-million fell 43 per cent in January compared with a year earlier, and there were no sales above $1.75-million last month, compared to 10 sales last January, even though there were nearly 300 homes for sales in the price range.’

‘All of last year more than 850 homes sold for above $1-million.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:21:19

Did you say panic?

Oh, Canada…

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:23:49

Time to panic? Layoffs loom large in Canada’s oil patch: survey
By Cameron French | Balance Sheet –
Tue, 3 Feb, 2015 12:05 PM EST
A construction worker walks past the steam generating facility at the Cenovus Foster Creek SAGD oil sands operations near Cold Lake, Alberta, July 9, 2012. REUTERS/Todd Korol

Workers in Canada’s oil patch might be getting antsy about their jobs as the price of crude continues to hover around its lowest level in six years. And while a new survey suggests several companies are thinking about cutting back, producers don’t seem to be pushing the panic button yet.

According to the survey of 154 North American oil and gas companies by HR consultancy Mercer, 44 per cent plan to cut back on capital spending as a response to falling prices, while 16 per cent say they might cut staff. The study also said that about one-third will cut down on “buying” outside talent, while 7 per cent say they may start to look at asset sales or exiting certain markets.

So this is bad news for the industry, but consider the context: the price of oil is currently floundering around $50 a barrel, down from about $100 during the summer. For Joe and Jane SUV, this of course means they’re saving a ton on gas, but for the folks who make their living hauling the black stuff out of the ground, it’s a crisis.

Except it doesn’t seem to be quite yet.

“It’s not a wholesale kneejerk reaction,” Graham Dodd, a principle at Mercer, says of the companies’ response.“It’s a very considered reaction in terms of capex spend, in terms of reducing strategic operational cost. We’re not just seeing an over-the-board slash and burn approach.”

According to Dodd, the response from Canadian companies matched pretty closely with the overall result of the survey.

Of course, things aren’t a crisis until they are. And some companies have already begun to slow things down.

On Tuesday, UK-based BP became the latest big energy player to cut spending, joining companies like Cenovus Energy and Canadian Natural Resources. Top Canadian player Suncor, meanwhile, has cut $1 billion from its budget and is slashing 1000 jobs.

And the longer prices stay at this level, the more dire things become. Indeed, the survey was taken between Dec. 11 and Jan. 16, so the snapshot given may already be on the optimistic side. And if oil’s selling for $50 a barrel in two months, blood pressures will be considerably higher.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:28:28

Panic hits Calgary’s luxury real estate as oil takes its toll
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 04 2015, 6:18 PM EST
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 04 2015, 7:54 PM EST

The calls started coming into Thomas Keeper’s Calgary real estate office a week before Christmas. Oil executives, watching their company stocks plummet in the wake of plunging crude prices, were looking to sell their multimillion-dollar homes ahead of the new year, hoping to cash in before the panic reached the city’s housing market.

“It was one of the busiest Decembers that I’ve ever had just because people were selling their homes right before the market was really starting to crash,” says Mr. Keeper of Tink International Real Estate, who specializes in Calgary’s luxury home market. “I’ve never had that happen. Who lists their home before Christmas?”

Calgary’s housing market took a sharp downturn last month, with sales plummeting 35 per cent compared with the same time last year, while new listings surged 40 per cent. The number of homes on the market across the city jumped from 3,100 to 4,400 in the span of three weeks, Mr. Keeper says. Average prices, however, have stayed largely flat compared to December and realtors say it will likely take several months of rising listings and sinking sales before sellers acknowledge their homes aren’t worth what they were just a few months ago.

It’s a different story for the city’s luxury market, which is already in the midst of meltdown, with some sellers slashing their prices by hundreds of thousands of dollars in a desperate bid to appeal to nervous buyers. Sales of homes above $1-million fell 43 per cent in January compared with a year earlier, the Calgary Real Estate Board said. There were no sales above $1.75-million last month, compared to 10 sales last January, even though there were nearly 300 homes for sales in the price range.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:30:33

Panic in Ottawa: Why worry is setting in after one drastic change in Canadian monetary policy
Objective for government must be to ensure growth and prosperity return to Canada, and create jobs.
By Louis-Philippe Rochon, for CBC News Posted: Jan 22, 2015 9:16 PM CT Last Updated: Jan 22, 2015 9:16 PM CT
The Bank of Canada’s decrease in the rate of interest, which now sits at 0.75%, has taken everyone, including markets, by surprise. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

First, Ottawa delays the federal budget. Now, a surprise decrease in the rate of interest. It’s official: panic has settled in Ottawa.

Something is going terribly wrong.

The Bank of Canada’s decrease in the rate of interest, which now sits at 0.75%, has taken everyone, including markets, by surprise. Virtually no one was expecting this sudden move. In fact, only a week before, in Wisconsin, Deputy Governor Timothy Lane was telling us not to expect any ‘drastic’ moves in Canadian monetary policy.

So what happened, and why should we be a little worried?

The move was a remarkable admission by the Bank of Canada that the Canadian economy was in far worse condition than previously believed. So much so, that they had to defy the expectations of virtually all economists, lowering rates now without any warnings.

We knew the oil crisis was going to have an impact on the Canadian economy, we just did not know how much. The Bank of Canada now tells us the impact is going to be considerably more than expected.

Truth be told, the Canadian economy was never on the cusp of a recovery, despite tales many policy makers were spinning.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:34:34

Alberta economy
February 2, 2015 1:43 pm
A pause, but not panic, in Fort McMurray as oil prices languish below US$50
By Lauren Krugel The Canadian Press
The city at the heart of Canada’s oilsands is no ghost town, but things have slowed down a bit in Fort McMurray, Alta. An aerial view of Fort McMurray is shown in this Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – The city at the heart of Canada’s oilsands is no ghost town, but things have slowed down a bit in Fort McMurray, Alta. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to the president of the local chamber of commerce.

“Do you know what? To me – for us – this is nice,” Nick Sanders said in an interview at a downtown cafe that had a smattering of customers in the middle of a weekday morning.

“We have a chance to sit back and say ‘Ok, let’s figure out what we need to get ready for the next increase in oil production.’

Oil prices are the lowest since the Great Recession hit about six years ago, hovering below US$50 a barrel throughout much of January after having plunged from a summer high of US$107.

But Fort Mac has not ground to a halt.

According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the oilsands churned out 1.9 million barrels a day of crude at the end of 2013. That’s projected to rise to 2.3 million this year thanks to projects that are already in the hopper.

So most of those who call Fort McMurray home continue to have stable jobs, whether it’s driving trucks at mines north of town or pouring pints for those workers when the day is done.

It’s the expansions and new projects that are up in the air, as companies try to get a handle on where prices are heading long term. Bearing the brunt of the downturn so far have been contractors from elsewhere who rely on those temporary construction jobs, often flying directly to and from site and residing in work camps for weeks at a time.

Suncor Energy Inc., which has massive mining operations north of town, is cutting its company-wide workforce by 1,000 – mostly contractor jobs. Shell Canada is cutting up to 300 jobs at its mining operations in the area. Across the sector billions have been pared from 2015 budgets.

The uncertainty has made it difficult for authorities in Fort McMurray to make sure they have enough housing, infrastructure and services to match whatever size population is needed for the next growth spurt.

If anything, Sanders is worried about how the community will be able to respond if oil swings as sharply upward as it has downward.

“Very little needs to change globally for the price of oil to jump up,” he said.

“That would be our biggest worry – is that, have we slowed it down too much?”

Among other things, Sanders wants to make sure the province continues to work on twinning Highway 63, the key north-south artery through the region that has been notorious for fatal traffic accidents and, eventually, for bridges to be built across the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers so that the city can expand.

There was little gloom evident in downtown Fort McMurray during an unseasonably warm spell in late January. It was tough to find a parking spot amid the throngs of mud-splattered pickups outside Peter Pond Mall. A steady stream of trucks rumbled down Highway 63 as rush hour approached. The local brew pub on the main drag was crammed on a weeknight.

At Earl’s restaurant a few blocks away, one patron did note that the bar used to be packed “wall to wall” a few years ago, whereas now there were free tables to be had. Another customer complained that traffic is still “a mess.” Downtown businesses say sales are a bit slower, but nothing drastic, and they can’t say for certain whether the post-holiday hangover or low oil prices are to blame.

READ MORE: Falling oil prices attract American broadcasters to Alberta

Mayor Melissa Blake has had to manage the municipality’s resources through many ups and downs during the past decade. If there’s one thing outsiders get wrong about Fort Mac, it’s the degree to which the “drama” over oil prices matters to day-to-day life, she said.

“We’ve been through cycles like this in the past,” she said. Blake recalls in 1998, when she was on city council, encountering a budget squeeze when crude tanked to US$10 a barrel.

“Within two years, we were already saying ‘oh my gosh, how are we going to handle the growth.’”

As of the 2012 census, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – a more than 68,000-square-kilometre swath of land that encompasses Fort McMurray and nine rural communities – had a population of 116,407. About a third of that – 39,271 – were part of “project accommodation,” or work camps, which these days often more closely resemble hotels or lodges.

“The population is what really drives the services you have to provide, so whether it’s about having the right road kilometres that are paved and in good shape or it’s how many garbage pick ups you have to make or snow clearing that you’re doing. It could affect how many parks you’re putting in the neighbourhoods,” Blake said in an interview in her downtown Fort McMurray office.

For Blake, today’s low oil prices aren’t the biggest worry.

“I’m more concerned about what happens when this turns around and whether we’re going to be prepared adequately.”

According to the census, the municipality has seen overall growth of 124.5 per cent since 2000. The work camp population has grown an average of 17 per cent a year between 2000 and 2012.

“We had so much growth in such a short time, that we were already behind the eight ball,” said Blake.

“And so getting caught up now, it’s actually a good place for us to take that reflection time and make sure that we have what we need for the people that are here without overshooting.”

Like Sanders, Blake sees some potential benefits now that the pace has slowed a bit, such as more contractors to bid on projects.

The slowdown means “maybe a little time to regroup” but “no doom and gloom,” said Catherine Koch, vice president academic at Fort McMurray’s Keyano College. About a third of the college’s 2,500 students are pursuing careers that are in some way related to oil and gas, whether that be welding, operating heavy equipment or power engineering.

Koch said she’s finding that, if anything, those courses are in higher demand. For instance, apprentices may have clocked all the work hours they need, but haven’t had time until now to complete their academic training to get their certifications. As things slow down, companies are able to free up their employees to upgrade their skills, she said.

Bryan Lutes, who leads the Wood Buffalo Housing & Development Corporation, said rents aren’t climbing as rapidly as they used to during boom times, but they’re not falling either.

“We anticipate a levelling off,” he said.

“A one bedroom apartment around here could cost you over $2,000 a month, $2,200 a month and it goes up from there. Where, in most other areas in the province of Alberta, they’re about half of that.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-06 05:31:55

‘Real estate sales have started to lose momentum in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, in January after a strong recovery in the August-December period last year.’

‘Sales of housing and commercial property slumped 43.7 percent month on month to 7,471 units last month, according to a local industry tracking website. Prices also declined 4.5 percent.’

‘Fang Zhangjie, president of the website’s research department, said although January is often a time of weak sales, the slump exceeded market expectations.’

‘The property inventory in the city has reached a record high of 154,222 units, or 20 months of sales. The huge inventory could put further pressure on the market and prices could fall further, said Zhang.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:19:42


Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-06 05:41:14
Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-06 05:46:19
Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-06 05:48:23
Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-06 06:53:36

Having the Olympics there next year could get ugly.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-06 05:57:37

“housing prices are on the decline, buyers are taking longer to make a decision and are negotiating more. Rents are also down by about 25 per cent,”

Welcome to the new housing market.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-06 05:59:37

‘Jaw-dropping penthouses and mega mansions are back. In 2014, there were more sales of U.S. homes worth between $50 million and $99 million than in the previous 10 years combined. Twenty homes in that price range sold in 2014, compared with just one sale (and two more under contract) in 2013, according to sales data from public records tracked by Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers. There were four such sales in 2012 (with one more still under contract), two in 2011 and one in 2010, the firm says.’

‘And there were three homes sold in the U.S. last year worth $100 million or more versus just one in each of the previous three years, according to sales data from public records tracked by Miller Samuel. (Some homes were bought before the building was completed, so are still technically under contract.)’

‘Much of this activity, of course, is taking place in and around New York City’s soaring residential property market.’

‘In the $10 million to $49 million range, there were an average of 60 property sales per quarter in 2014 in New York alone — triple the 20 transactions per quarter for homes in that price range in New York in the previous decade, says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel.’

‘But buying a residence that costs over $50 million may not be the best solution for the superrich, says Leonard Baron, a real estate analyst. “The reality is if you buy a $100 million personal residence, you’re sinking that money into an asset that brings you no income and costs you money to have it,” he says. “You could have sunk that into a real estate investment trust that could pay you millions of dollars a year.”

‘To get a fair rate of return on your money and cover a tax bill that could reach $2 million or $3 million a year, excluding upkeep, real estate costing tens of millions of dollars needs to increase in value by 12% a year to be a worthwhile investment, he says. “It’s great that they’re buying all this real estate, but they could have used this money elsewhere. Buying homes of this size just takes money out of their bank account.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-06 06:06:05

But there’s no risk in what the Fed is doing:

‘U.S. debt markets are booming and companies from Apple Inc. to Union Pacific Corp. are borrowing money at historically low rates. So why are some of New York’s biggest real-estate investors heading to Israel to raise cash?’

‘Israel, it turns out, offers some key advantages. Large developers with good credit can sell corporate bonds for about 5%, often less than half what they would pay in the U.S. for a junior loan known as mezzanine debt. They also can issue debt in smaller chunks.’

‘Meanwhile, some smaller real estate owners lacking enough of a track record to sell corporate bonds in the U.S. are finding buyers in Israel.’

‘Investors—primarily Israeli mutual funds, institutional investors and wealthy individuals—are eager to gain exposure to the booming New York property market or to pick up more yield than they can get from comparable Israeli debt, said Yossi Levi, an executive at underwriter Clal Finance Underwriting Ltd.’

‘The long-distance financing is luring big names. Related Cos., the company behind the Hudson Yards project on New York’s far West Side, is pursuing an Israeli deal, said people familiar with the matter. Extell Development Co., the builder of luxury-apartment skyscraper One57, which recently sold a unit for $100.5 million, raised $300 million in Israel in 2014.’

‘In a typical deal, owners pool equity holdings in a number of their future developments or existing office buildings, warehouses, apartment towers or other properties and create an offshore special-purpose vehicle that issues corporate bonds.’

‘The bonds can be used as an alternative to “mezzanine” loans, which are junior to mortgage loans. The Israeli bonds, like U.S. mezzanine loans, don’t have first claim on the assets in case of a default. Investors receive income generated by the properties. The bonds trade on the stock exchange in Tel Aviv.’

‘Gary Barnett , who runs Extell, one of New York’s most prominent commercial developers of luxury real estate, said some borrowers are going to Israel because they can’t get similar financing in the U.S., where lenders can be wary of smaller or unproven developers and property owners.’

“Some people have assets that they have had a hard financing [in the U.S.] and say, ‘Let’s see if we can get the Israelis to finance them,’” he said. “If there’s a little bit of a hiccup in the market, they may find it hard to pay back.”

‘Related, meanwhile, is planning to borrow more than $150 million via Israeli bonds, according to people familiar with the matter. “This will continue to work until there’s a change in market conditions,” Ira Zlotowitz, president of mortgage broker Eastern Union Funding whose firm has advised clients on these deals. “Then it will get tested.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-06 06:31:12

From above:

‘Bullard, despite his wariness, said didn’t see any evidence of an obvious bubble at the moment. ‘I don’t think there’s anything on the scale of the housing bubble or the Internet bubble right now. The only candidate is bonds, government debt and other kinds of debt,’ he said.”

“‘I’m not counting that, I guess, because that’s us,’ he said, referring to the Fed’s own-bond buying campaign that more than quadrupled its balance sheet to $4.5 trillion.”

So it doesn’t ‘count’ if the Fed does it?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-06 06:58:45

It’s not a bubble until it bursts (modern translation). If the Fed is doing it, they think they can continue to do it.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-06 09:41:40

“real estate costing tens of millions of dollars needs to increase in value by 12% a year to be a worthwhile investment…”

The math is just the same for a person buying a house costing hundreds of thousands, it’s just that the outcome is more tragic.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-06 06:10:43

‘Back in October, Jill Potts waved off concerns about falling crude prices, pointing to the long lines of trucks forming outside her oil field supply store in South Texas as evidence that the shale boom was still going strong.’

‘Potts’s mood has changed. Standing inside her shop in Cuero, she spoke on a recent morning of seeing fewer trucks rolling through the Eagle Ford shale field and about how clients have become more price sensitive.’

“I didn’t realize it was going to be this big of a …” Potts said, stopping mid-sentence to compose herself. “It’s much more impactful than I thought it would be.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-06 06:13:20

“Bottom line is a man’s home is not his castle if he has a mortgage or reverse mortgage.”

You pandering fools make no mention of this going into it. It’s only after you burn them that you decide to make full disclosure.

“Real Estate Agent Set Fire To Sleeping Woman”


Comment by pazuzu
2015-02-06 17:42:24

Sociopaths are drawn to the Realtor “occupation”, all the lies that need telling, the suffering they inflict on their marks… er I mean clients, it’s a great match. Some of them however are too mentally ill to keep it together even for this simple assignment.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-06 06:13:22

“Bottom line is a man’s home is not his castle if he has a mortgage or reverse mortgage.”

Yep, soon after it becomes the banker’s castle.

Schmucks work, bankers reap.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-06 06:21:17

The Dotted Line Special: Offered to those who just cannot stand prosperity.

Comment by David Lereah
2015-02-06 06:31:33

“Offered to those who just cannot stand prosperity.”

Wrong! If you paid your mortgage off, it means you probably did not manage your funds efficiently over the years. It’s as if you had 500,000 dollar bills stuffed in your mattress.

Comment by snake charmer
2015-02-06 11:14:07

You’ve kept a very low profile lately.

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Comment by 2banana
2015-02-06 07:08:12

A man’s home is not his castle

Even with a paid off mortgage - he still rents it from the state.

Try not paying your property taxes.

A union goon with a gun will be there to kick you out of your castle years before the bank ever will in a foreclosure.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-06 08:17:43

An obvious advantage to living on a boat.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-06 09:24:21

Or renting for a fraction of the cost of buying at current prices…(or in the last 15 years.)

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-06 06:14:26

The best place to hide a bubble is in plain view.

Comment by 2banana
2015-02-06 07:05:30

With lots of cash?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-06 21:02:04

With lots of freshly virtually printed electronic printing press fiatscos.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-06 07:17:31

Looks like the Grexit fear trade is dead in the water.

Bond Report
Treasurys tumble as Greece worries fade

Published: Feb 5, 2015 3:52 p.m. ET
Torrid U.S. stocks drew capital away from Treasurys
Bond traders are looking ahead to nonfarm payrolls data for January, expected Friday morning.
By William Watts
Joseph Adinolfi
News editor

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. Treasury prices faded Thursday, with the 10-year yield rising for the third consecutive session, as worries about Greece faded.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +4.34% closed 2.4 basis points higher at 1.819%. The two-year yield (TMUBMUSD02Y, +17.53%) finished the session up 1.2 basis points to 0.524%, according to data from Tradeweb. The yield on 30-year T-bonds (TMUBMUSD30Y, +1.28%) added 4.1 basis points to 2.427%. Yields rise as bond prices fall.

Treasury prices initially rose after the European Central Bank late Wednesday announced it would no longer allow Greek banks to post junk-rated Greek government bonds as collateral for cheap funding loans. But the buying spell was short-lived.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-06 08:39:54

That mess is hardly resolved.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-06 21:03:04

As long as the printing press money is flowing at hurricane wind speeds, who cares?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-06 09:13:58


Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-02-06 09:30:01

This pop is going to be even larger than the last one. I have a feeling it will be time to deploy my cash in a year or so.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-02-06 09:56:54

buy a Greek island- i hope our Navy is standing buy.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-02-06 11:17:22

Region VIII Real Estate news……gads - this stuff is like so….way overpriced. Real J and HA - CRATER!!!


Comment by Bluto
2015-02-06 20:43:40

possibly meaningful CL job listing in my area ;-), especially like the bit about criminality…

Foreclosure Home Inspectors (santa rosa)
compensation: Contract

contract job

We are looking for independent contractors/ inspectors In Marin and Sonoma Counties to complete occupancy and condition verifications on residential properties, upload a short report, Inspector is paid on a per job basis, Inspector/contractor will get a 1099 the end of the year. Inspector can use Lap Top, Android, I phone, I pad, etc…and submit the work from the field.

If you are currently inspecting and want to add to your current load or you are simply interested in completing these inspections please provide us with your home zip code, email address, a phone number where we can contact you. Coverage areas are: All of Sonoma County
No Criminal background please.

Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

post id: 4880869548

posted: an hour ago

updated: an hour ago

email to friend

♥ best of [?]

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-07 05:53:54

An effort to sort through the the massive excess housing inventory.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:17:02


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-07 01:18:02

“‘I’m not counting that, I guess, because that’s us,’ he said, referring to the Fed’s own-bond buying campaign that more than quadrupled its balance sheet to $4.5 trillion.”

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