April 26, 2015

Up, Up, And Away

The used house salespeople ponder the housing bubble. “This spring buying season is off to a strong start—in fact, prices are going up faster than they were just a few months ago, according to nearly every recent metric. So does that mean we’re in a bubble? Nope, that’s just what happens when demand increases faster than supply. After all, existing-home sales were up 9% year over year in March, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Inventory is also increasing, but not as fast as sales, resulting in a tight supply getting even tighter.”

From Morningstar. “The other big news this week was that U.S. housing data, though not fantastic, appears to indicate that the U.S. housing industry has established a bottom. Early spring shoots are clearly beginning to turn into new blossoms, especially in the new home sector. Don’t be fooled by some flaky month-to-month data points; the pattern in the yearly statistics appears to be moving up, up, and away for now.”

News 4 Jax in Florida. “Homes in Northeast Florida are going so quickly, sometimes they don’t last for even a day on the market. Realtors say it’s a seller’s market in Northeast Florida and prices are rising. ‘What’s also bringing more buyers are the rates out there right now,’ Slate said. Those low rates have people wanting to invest. ‘More people are thinking, ‘Why are we renting right now? Why are we paying someone else’s bills?’ Slate said. ‘After a little down payment, they can pay their own bills and investment.’”

CBS 58 in Wisconsin. “Spring time means the ‘for sale signs’ are going up and broker Lisa Ashley says the housing market is soaring. Ashley says, ‘Things were really booming last year, but this year things are exponentially busier than last year.’ Ashley says, ‘Along the north shore in Milwaukee, and in Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, all those areas have a ton of activity.’”

“It’s keeping Lisa busy, and sellers getting a better deal than they bargained for. ‘Some properties with the agents in my office are getting multiple offers and getting over asking price depending on what they look like.’”

From Bloomberg. “As U.S. commercial-property values surge to records, led by gains in large cities such as New York and San Francisco, some segments of the Manhattan market may be getting overheated, the executives said. Skyrocketing prices for New York’s best buildings are the biggest impediment for foreign buyers seeking commercial-property deals in the city, said Extell Development Co. President Gary Barnett. The Chinese are wary of repeating the mistakes Japanese investors made in the 1980s when they bought at the top of the market and took huge losses in the following decade, he said.”

“‘Today’s markets are frothy and everybody knows that,’ Barnett said. ‘The bottom line is it’s very very hard to find really good deals today in New York City or in any of the trophy locations in the world. In order for them to come in, they’re going to have to join the crowd and pay up.’”

From Fox Business. “In the past two decades alone investors’ fortunes have risen and fallen with the technology bubble of the late 1990s and the far-more encompassing housing bubble of the 2000s. In both of those latter cases, the U.S. Federal Reserve played a key role both in fostering the economic environment (mostly by keeping interest rates low) that initiated the bubble and in assuring investors and other market participants that everything was copacetic.”

“Lance Roberts, chief strategist at STA Wealth Management, said financial bubble cycles have become self-perpetuating in the last two decades as the Fed has ‘manipulated’ monetary policy in response to a crisis only to create conditions conducive to another bubble, which sets the cycle in motion again.”

“Enter the Fed again with more low interest rates to offset a recession combined with lax lending standards and government policies hell bent on promoting home ownership and the result is the 2008 financial crisis. Here comes the Fed again, this time with the lowest interest rates since the Fed started dictating such things and an extraordinary and unprecedented stimulus program known as quantitative easing in which the Fed purchased trillions of dollars of U.S. Treasuries to pump liquidity into U.S. financial markets.”

“Central bankers are hardly ignorant of the risks associated with their policies, be they low interest rates, an untested bond-buying program or a hard lean toward greater transparency. ‘The Fed is resigned to the fact that the low interest rates are a necessary evil. The consequences of a bubble are much less than the consequences of low growth and economic stagnation,’ said Mark Williams, a former Fed examiner who now teaches banking at Boston University.”

“While stock and bond prices may be elevated, low interest rates and the Fed’s array of other measures initiated in the wake of the financial crisis seven years ago have promoted economic growth and prevented the U.S. from slipping into another depression. ‘It seems to me the tradeoff has been worth it,’ Williams said. ‘So far it appears this gamble has paid off.’”

From David Stockman. “Zero Hedge recently revealed that $5.3 trillion of government debt trades at subzero interest rates. In today’s fiscally profligate world that is a thundering tell There are no markets left in any meaningful sense of the word- just a raging casino infected with the madness of the crowds and the central bank pied pipers who mesmerize them. Every day there are new confirmations of the mania.”

“Over the past two decades the People’s Printing Press of China issued virtually unlimited bank reserves in the process of buying up dollars to peg the RMB exchange rate in support of its national policy of export mercantilism. This, in turn, has enabled China’s total public and private credit outstanding to soar from $2 trillion at the turn of the century to $28 trillion today.’

“Needless to say, there is a huge problem when you turn rebar, concrete and wallboard into tulip bulbs. Namely, when the price mania finally stops not only do the speculators who put their savings into empty apartment units get crushed, but, more importantly, demand for new units quickly evaporates, causing an devastating contraction up and down the building supply chain.”

“There is no better measure of the true contraction underway in China than the price of iron ore. The Wall Street stock peddlers will tell you not to be troubled by the 70% plunge from the 2012 highs and the 35% drop just in the last nine months. According to them, its all the fault of the big global miners who went overboard opening up massive new iron ore pits and mining infrastructure.”

“And it is true that cheap debt and roaring stock markets encouraged the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale to go on a capital spending orgy that is unprecedented. The Big Three alone have added more new iron ore capacity in the last six years than even existed at the turn of the century. Yet this wasn’t an aberration or a case of one-off exuberance. The over-investment in iron ore capacity was just a mirror image of the same massive over-investment in the waterborne iron ore industry’s principal customer. That is, the Big Three miners were only attempting to stay abreast of the massive over-investment in the steel-making, steel-fabricating and steel-based construction sectors in China.”

“So the collapse in iron ore prices is just the whip-end of a deflationary crisis that is fast overtaking China and the entire world economy for that matter. But in a mania there is no way of telling sundown from sunrise. In fact, the fast money gamblers feast on sundown economics because the latter is precisely the mechanism by which cash is cycled back into the casino. So today’s action in the Red Chips and the Big Macs was not about price discovery; it was just the mania bubbling higher yet again.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 08:14:39

From the Bloomberg article:

‘Chinese institutions are becoming a formidable force in New York City real estate as they seek to invest stockpiles of cash. Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. bought the landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel in February for $1.95 billion, the largest deal ever for a U.S. hotel. Also that month, the firm agreed to purchase the office portion of 717 Fifth Ave., a 26-story office tower in midtown Manhattan, according to people with knowledge of the transaction.’

‘Chinese companies are interested in developing projects as well as in providing cash, according to Jeff Blau, CEO of Related, the developer of Manhattan’s Time Warner Center and Hudson Yards.’

‘In addition to making deals with Chinese institutions, New York developers are increasingly turning to Chinese individuals who invest in U.S. projects through the federal government’s EB-5 program as a path to legal residency. At Hudson Yards, cash raised through the EB-5 program was critical in financing a platform that will sit over a 13-acre (5.3-hectare) train yard. Related has raised $800 million in funds through the program, Blau said.’

‘Extell Development Co. used $75 million in EB-5 funds for its International Gem Tower office building on West 47th Street, Extell President Gary Barnett said at the forum. It’s getting more expensive to raise cash through the program as competition between developers increases, said Barnett. His company built the One57 condominium tower, which set off a high-end residential construction boom in Midtown.’

‘Luxury condos are at risk of being overbuilt, according to Vornado’s Roth. His company’s project at 220 Central Park South is among at least six skyscrapers aimed at multimillionaires that are under construction in the area around 57th Street. A penthouse at 432 Park Ave., set to open later this year, is under contract for about $95 million.’

‘Blau said Related’s condo projects typically cater to domestic buyers, who usually pay less than $5,000 a square foot. Global investors are the dominant buyers above that price, he said.’

“That’s a very different market,” Blau said. “That’s a global market and everything that happens — oil prices, immigration policy — will impact your building.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 08:18:14

‘Many in New York associate Chinese real estate companies with limitless funds and a never-ending ability to invest here. But what if they are wrong?’

‘On Monday, Shenzhen-based megadeveloper Kaisa defaulted, sending shockwaves through the worlds of real estate and finance. As the Chinese property market continues to soften, observers are starting to wonder who will be next.’

‘Kaisa’s default carries significance for New York’s real estate industry. Chinese investors spent $3 billion on New York properties in 2014, second only to Canadian buyers. While none of the major Chinese investors in New York appear to be in immediate trouble, some are highly leveraged, and could be vulnerable to a further slump in the Chinese real estate market.’

“Some developers that have overborrowed in the expansion are going to be in trouble,” David Dollar, an economist at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Treasury emissary to China, told The Real Deal. “We are now going to see some of them default or reschedule their debts.”

‘Chinese developers that have invested in New York are among the most active issuers of dollar bonds, according to Dealogic data compiled for The Real Deal.’

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 11:12:14

We are nowhere near the end game. It will take decades for this to play out.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 11:28:28

Not really. It’s going to happen so quickly that most won’t have any idea what took place until after.

Buckle up.

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 17:27:01

No. It’s been going on 15 years now, and many areas are still at the peak.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 19:24:13

The end game will happen very quickly.

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 23:29:45

I hope you’re right. Would be music, sweet music.

Comment by Florida Skeptic
2015-04-26 08:30:35

I think the corporations and banks are organized and still organizing for a crash and just hoping Greece or China initiates it globally so they can avoid responsibility. There are a lot of indicators that say it has begun this first quarter of 2015.

In a real world, I would agree with Housing Analyst, that the crash would happen quickly, but every effort will be made to maintain appearances and deflect blame so they will drag the slow death of the market out as long as they can. Or until the presidential election.

For several years I have had this Twilight Zone feeling that what I am hearing about the world around me is not what I see.

Keep your popcorn ready.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-26 13:49:07

“…what I am hearing about the world around me is not what I see.”

We witnessed this media-driven disconnect in the period leading up to the 2007-08 global financial markets meltdown, and now we are hearing and seeing exactly the same divergence between reporting and facts on the ground.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 08:21:37

‘Nigerian homebuyers are flooding the Atlanta housing market and paying top dollar. Within the last few years, the state of Georgia’s housing market has successfully attracted international investors especially from China and Australia; however, one company, Lux Property Investment Group is reporting remarkable success in sales to homebuyers from Nigeria since the end of last year, 2014.’

‘Most Atlanta homes are priced below market Value; hence, a homebuyer can build instant Equity. There is always a waiting list of tenants, so Tenant Placement is guaranteed.’

‘The tenancy laws highly favor landlords. It assures High ROI with guaranteed security of investment. Themarket favors “all cash” purchases. Atlanta has a great mix of renowned colleges and universities. You will typically pay less for a four bedroom single detached family home in Atlanta than you would for the same of its kind in Lekki, Lagos.’

‘More than half of the company’s patronage comes from “word of mouth referral” and half of the home buyers have never visited the U.S.’

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-04-25 08:27:40

“… one company, Lux Property Investment Group is reporting remarkable success in sales to homebuyers from Nigeria since the end of last year, 2014.’

Bahahahahaha … it’s same-o Nigerian scam - but it’s done in reverse!

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 08:24:28

Stockman nails the status quo of the global financial economy.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 09:23:40

“In fact, the fast money gamblers feast on sundown economics because the latter is precisely the mechanism by which cash is cycled back into the casino. So today’s action in the Red Chips and the Big Macs was not about price discovery; it was just the mania bubbling higher yet again.”

‘Bad news’ = ‘good news’ economy continues…

Comment by Liberals Lie
2015-04-25 17:24:52

yea Stockman the guy that worked for the”evil Ronnie Raygun” as referred to by “Rio” many times.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-26 12:31:21

He didn’t work for Reagan for long. I believe he was long gone by when Alan Greenspan was appointed Fed chairman in 1987.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-26 13:53:22

Stockman was at OMB from 1981-1985 — basically Reagan’s first term in office.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 08:56:53

“according to the National Association of Realtors®”

They also overstated demand by a few hundred percent every single month for four years.

The truth;

Housing Demand Plummets To 1996 Levels


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 09:06:30

From the Morningstar piece:

‘Residential housing still accounts for an anemic 3.1% of the U.S. economy, well below its long-term average of just under 5% as shown in the following chart. This includes remodels, commissions on existing homes, and both single-family and apartment buildings. While the mix of these various categories is likely to be significantly different in this recovery, we still believe that housing-related investment will approach 5% of GDP over the next five to 10 years, providing a long and sustainable tailwind to the otherwise poor, demographically challenged GDP growth rates. That’s why housing is so important to this recovery.’

A comment:

‘Good report Bob I think it is up up and away with the housing industry. On the ground here in central florida inventory in our gated community of 600 houses is down to a dozen or so. This used to be 50 or 60. Granted prices have not risen much but I think that will improve as the inventory comes down. I like all your premises in the housing industry and one other I thought of is the continual flow of immigrants into the U.S. will also improve housing.. Keep up the good work Bob.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 09:12:16

‘The Chinese are wary of repeating the mistakes Japanese investors made in the 1980s when they bought at the top of the market and took huge losses in the following decade, he said.’

“Today’s markets are frothy and everybody knows that,” Barnett said. “The bottom line is it’s very very hard to find really good deals today in New York City or in any of the trophy locations in the world. In order for them to come in, they’re going to have to join the crowd and pay up.”

Join the crowd and pay up, but they’re wary! Everybody knows it’s frothy. Not content with 50 empty cities at home, it’s up and away all over the world.

From the last link in my post yesterday:

‘Economists started to say last year that the potential for another housing bubble was present, but no one would go so far as to say it was actually happening. No one can say that now, either…’

Yeah, right.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 10:58:58

but no one would go so far as to say it was actually happening.

Heh. Too perfect. Economists call every downturn with 100% accuracy—right after it is common knowledge.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 11:00:10

Instead of referring to economics as “the dismal science”, I’m beginning to think we should instead go with either “the non-predictive science” or “the myopic science.”

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 11:02:23

I move that we call it the Settled Science.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 11:05:29

LOL! Too perfect, Combo! :-) :-)

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 11:24:19

There’s too much money in the system thanks to Central Banks. It’s got to go SOMEWHERE. Banks don’t want it, the money HAS to be parked somewhere, so it runs into real estate, commodities, etc. This insane amount of liquidity from global bankers is responsible for all of this.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:24:45

‘The Chinese are wary of repeating the mistakes Japanese investors made in the 1980s when they bought at the top of the market and took huge losses in the following decade, he said.’

Money talks, bullshit walks, and this evidently is bullshit.

I can’t wait to mock these greater fools when their credit spigot runs dry and the value of their U.S. real estate investments plummets.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 09:21:28

A reader sent this to me:

‘China’s boom-to-bust luxury landscape is strewn with devalued commodities like black Audis, Omega watches, top-shelf sorghum liquor and high-rise apartments in third-tier cities. Some are the victims of a slowing economy, while others are casualties of an official austerity campaign that has made ostentatious consumption a red flag for anticorruption investigators.’

‘Then there is the Tibetan mastiff, a lumbering shepherding dog native to the Himalayan highlands that was once the must-have accouterment for status-conscious Chinese. Four years ago, a reddish-brown purebred named Big Splash sold for $1.6 million, according to news reports, though cynics said the price was probably exaggerated for marketing purposes. No reasonable buyer, self-anointed experts said at the time, would pay more than $250,000 for a premium specimen.’

‘These days, those mastiff breeders left in the business are suffering from overcapacity, as it were. Buyers have largely disappeared, and prices have fallen to a small fraction of their peak. The average asking price for desirable dogs — those with lionlike manes and thick limbs — is hovering around $2,000, though many desperate breeders are willing to go far lower.’

“If I had other opportunities, I’d quit this business,” said Gombo, a veteran breeder in China’s northwestern province of Qinghai, who like many Tibetans uses just one name. He said keeping one of his 160-pound carnivores properly fed cost $50 to $60 a day. “The pressure we’re under is huge,” he said.’

‘Animal rights activists say many of the dogs are stolen by gangs who grab pets off the street, while some have been sold off by breeders eager to unload imperfect specimens. Judging from their swollen teats, several of the rescued female mastiffs had been nursing when they were cast off, said Mary Peng, the founder and chief executive of the International Center for Veterinary Services, the Beijing animal hospital that has been treating them.’

‘During her 25 years in China, Ms. Peng has seen successive waves of dog fads, which invariably begin with speculative breeding and end in mass abandonment. “Ten years ago, it was German shepherds, then golden retrievers, then Dalmatians and then huskies,” she said. “But given the crazy prices we were seeing a few years ago, I never thought I’d see a Tibetan mastiff on the back of a meat truck.”


Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 11:04:29

‘During her 25 years in China, Ms. Peng has seen successive waves of dog fads,

It’s almost like the Chinese are particularly well-suited to bubble-think…

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 11:27:32

These Chinese people seem particularly devoid of morals and ethics.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:37:35

They are also apparently plenty foolish when it comes to investment decisions. This will become really apparent after the next crash.

Comment by Florida Skeptic
2015-04-25 09:26:14

Homesales in northeast Florida, aka the panhandle, may be the only ones rising because that is where a lot of the manufacturing seems to exist in Florida. Kind of a spill over from Louisiana. They are probably not commenting on the rest of the state for obvious reasons.

The 2015 Q1 sales recorded to date in Palm Beach County appear to have held in price but dropped in volume by 28% from 2014. I am guessing the reporting is over 90%. Interestingly, the foreclosure sales scheduled have also dropped. They have been scheduled at 200-300 foreclosure sales per week for the last year. Now these last few weeks, for the first time in years, have been under 200 per week. I do not think it is for lack of foreclosures because they are still processing cases from 2006. It looks more like they are doing market inventory damage control.

I think I am going to keep my cheap rental a while longer to see how this plays out.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 09:29:41

Are housing shortages driving up rents in your area?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 10:31:53

UT-San Diego
Real Estate
Why your rent won’t stop rising
By Jonathan Horn 01:12p.m. Apr 24, 2015
Julian Cummings in the one bedroom apartment he rents in Pacific Beach on Wednesday. Cummings says his rent is going up a $100 a month after his current lease is up.

Julian Cummings recently returned to his Pacific Beach apartment to find a notice taped to the door.

The message was a real bummer: His rent was going up $100.

Cummings, a 34-year-old account manager for a company that sells wood, currently pays $1,560 per month for the 400 square-foot one-bedroom apartment a block from the beach. His rent already eats up about half his take-home pay, well more than the 30 percent financial experts recommend. Cummings isn’t even sure if he’ll get a raise this year to help defray the increased rent, which doesn’t include any utilities.

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 11:29:45

Wow, what a sucker. Nearly $1600 for 400 square feet? PT Barnum would be proud.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:27:43

South Bend rental rate bubble continues to expand…

Rent rates on the rise in South Bend
Upscale amenities are in demand by renters in new apartments. The Foundry Apartments at Eddy Street Commons in South Bend offers an exercise room, a club lounge and business rooms. SBT Photo/SANTIAGO FLORES
Posted: Friday, April 24, 2015 5:00 am | Updated: 6:38 am, Fri Apr 24, 2015.
By Lincoln Wright
South Bend Tribune

Kristie Brennan moved to Granger from North Carolina with her two daughters and husband in August. They owned a home for 12 years, Brennan said, but when they moved for her husband’s job in Elkhart, they needed a fast housing option that offered the level of amenities they desired.

They found everything they were looking for at Toscana Park, just north of Cleveland Road along Gumwood Road in northern Mishawaka.

The proximity to shopping, health care and a grocery store, along with the complex’s modern look and high-end features such as a clubhouse, gym and pool provided the family the living experience they wanted, Brennan said, and all in a rental.

“It was nicer than our house,” she said.

The Brennan family is just one demographic contributing to a growing demand for high-end rentals in the Michiana area. A demand local real estate experts say could be connected to a rise in South Bend’s average rent price.

A recent report ranked Indiana as one of the most affordable places to rent in the country, noting dropping average rent prices compared with the rest of the nation. But as prices in the state’s most expensive cities are dropping, South Bend is among the few to see average costs rise.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:31:45

Tucson, Phoenix face growing gap between income and rent
Reporter profile
More by Amy Edelen
Posted Mar 30, 2015, 12:57 pm
Amy Edelen Cronkite News

A report shows Tucson and Phoenix-area renters have had to deal with a double whammy: Dwindling or stagnant incomes coupled with significant rent hikes.

The report, released last week by the National Association of Realtors, indicated the two metro areas are among those where the gap between rental costs and household income is increasing.

“It’s something we are watching since rising housing costs are getting to unhealthy levels,” association spokesman Adam DeSanctis said.

The association collected data on 70 major metro areas and analyzed household income growth, housing costs and home-ownership changes in renter and owner-occupied households over the past five years.

Tucson ranked fifth for the largest decrease in income for renters aged 25 to 44 years old. The study indicated income dropped about 3.5 percent. During the same time period, the area saw an 11 percent increase in rent.

“We don’t have the jobs we need,” said Allan Mendelsberg, real estate agent at PICOR Commercial Real Estate in Tucson. “We’re doing a lot to revitalize downtown, with a lot of renovation throughout Tucson. But until we have high paying jobs, people are not going to be able to afford high apartment pricing.”

Tucson has experienced a trend in luxury property building as well, which may fuel the disparity between rental cost and income.

However, Mendelsberg, who specializes in multifamily apartment and investment properties sales, did point out that rent in Tucson remains lower than most cities at an average of $638 a month for a single unit.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:35:42

Minnesota rental rate bubble continues to inflate…

THROUGH THE ROOF: Housing costs half of income for many Mower County renters
Posted: Apr 23, 2015 6:31 PM PST
Updated: Apr 24, 2015 4:25 AM PST
By Devin Bartolotta, Anchor/Reporter
If you need government-subsidized Section 8 housing in Mower County, you could be on a waiting list for the better part of a year.
Fred Paulson moved into Pickett Place in Austin after a full year on a waiting list.
AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) — If you don’t own your own home, finding a place to rent in southeast Minnesota can have its challenges, especially if you’re struggling to make ends meet.

Turns out, several counties in our area actually have a rental crisis on their hands. If you need government-subsidized Section 8 housing in Mower County, you could be on a waiting list for the better part of a year.

Even if you don’t need government help, rent could run you half your income. That’s just the beginning of the numbers game that has renters in Mower County desperate for places to stay, and the housing authority left with limited ways to help.

“I like it here, very comfortable,” said Fred Paulson. He’s really settled into his apartment in Austin. “It’s a nice apartment, I think. It’s small. If it was any smaller you’d have to go outside to change your mind!” he laughed, kicking back in his computer chair.

He moved into government subsidized Pickett Place after a full year on the waiting list. “I wanted to get in here because it’s less expensive. And at our age, expense is a big item,” he said. Moving into Pickett Place cut his rent in half. A big deal for someone living on $1,600 a month. “Over 50 percent of my income was for my rent, and by the time I paid my utilities, it went higher than that. And that was as good as you could get in this town, ” he said of the place where he used to live. “I used to pay $800, $875.”

Mower County is considered what is called a ’severe cost burden’ county. Thirty-five percent of renters pay at least half of their income just to put a roof over their heads.

Karen Mattson manages the rental properties owned by the city of Austin. “The demand is extremely high, the supply is very, very low,” said Mattson. ‘The rents are too high. And they’re not only high, it’s just that they don’t have enough income. So you come to town, you don’t have a job, it’s really tough to find a place to live.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:39:39

The cities where people in their 20’s pay the most obscene rents
By Ana Swanson April 7

It’s almost a rite of passage for young people in big cities to spend a huge portion of their incomes on rent, getting by on everything else with the help of ramen, Craigslist furniture and happy hour deals. But just how tough your 20’s will be depends a lot on the job and the city you choose.

Biochemists in Boston and physicians assistants in Miami tend to do okay, while elementary school teachers in the Bay Area may spend as much as three-quarters of their gross salary in rent, as new data from HotPads, an apartment listing site, shows.

HotPads estimated the median rent per person in select neighborhoods in 11 cities for studios, 1 bedroom-, 2 bedroom-, and 3 bedroom- apartments. They then used Census data to find the annual gross salary of full-time workers in various jobs aged 22 to 30 with college degrees. Here’s a snapshot of some of their findings:

We asked HotPads to highlight some of the most expensive neighborhoods for young professionals. The interactive maps below show the neighborhoods in which young workers in their 20’s can expect to pay more than one-third or more than one-half of their income in rent, depending on how you adjust the drop-down menu. You can also zoom in and out of the map by using the buttons on the left, or hover your cursor over a neighborhood to see figures on the median income and rent.

Here is Washington, D.C.:

New York:

Los Angeles:





At last but certainly not least, San Francisco:

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:45:23

Real Estate
Shortage of rental options pushing up prices
By Josh Boak, Associated Press : April 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — Almost no one is moving to San Francisco to save money.

They might come for the tech jobs, the artisanal espressos or the weather. But average home rent has jumped nearly 15 percent in the past year — to $3,129 last month — according to real estate data firm Zillow.

Across the country, rising home prices have been shifting many Americans into rentals, a trend that driven up rents. Over the 12 months that ended in March, rents nationally climbed a seasonally adjusted average of 3.7 percent nationally, Zillow reported this week.

The improving economy is largely to blame. Employers have added 3.1 million jobs over the past year, an influx of paychecks that being spent on apartments. But builders have been unable to ramp up construction to meet this new demand. So the shortage of apartments has helped fuel higher rents.

“It’s very hard for housing supply to respond quickly to increases in demand,” said Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow.

Exacerbating the squeeze, rents are rising faster than most people’s pay. This means that all the new jobs are producing both more people able to spend on housing and more of an affordability squeeze.

San Francisco epitomizes the trend.

The influx of tech money helped fuel an average 14.8 percent increase in housing rent in the San Francisco metro area over the past 12 months. In the nearby San Jose area, the jump was 12.3 percent. Rents average more than $3,000 a month in these areas.

That’s roughly $600 more than rent in the Los Angeles area, $800 more than metro New York City and $1,000 more than the Washington, D.C., area.

Houses and condos are so expensive in San Francisco that tech employees with comfortable six-figure salaries often have no choice but to rent. Home purchases often are driven by startup companies issuing publicly traded stock, which employees than use to finance a home purchase.

This phenomenon causes both home and rental prices to increase, said Andrew Tam, a data scientist at Apartment List, a San Francisco-based company that helps apartment hunters across the country find homes.

In San Francisco’s Castro District, a median-priced two-bedroom rents for $5,010 a month, Apartment List found. Two-bedrooms go for $4,730 in Nob Hill, an 18.3 percent increase over the past year. And in Hayes Valley, a two-bedroom lists for $5,730, or 14.6 percent more than a year ago.

Prices are also climbing in cities without the same hype from startups and venture capital. Rents rose more than 8.5 percent over the past year in Denver, Louisville, Kansas City and Nashville, among other metro areas. In many cases, demand for apartments and rentals have outstripped the available supply of rental homes and apartments, causing prices to rise.

But a few other major cities are seeing a glut of rental properties. Rents have fallen over the past year in six of the United States’ 100 largest metro areas, including Chicago, Minneapolis, New Orleans and Rochester, New York.

At the end of last year, 36 percent of Americans rented. That’s up from 31 percent before the Great Recession, according to the Census Bureau. Incomes have been rising at an annual clip of 2.1 percent, not enough for many families to save for down payments while paying higher rents.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-04-26 03:25:07

Housing deteriorates over time (eventually rendering the housing unlivable–or causing people to tear-down and rebuild–at the rate of several hundreds of thousands of units per year), and the population grows by about 2MM people per year…these two factors combined mean that we need to be building approximately 1.5MM housing units per year simply to tread water–to provide enough shelter for the population.

Did you honestly think that building 1MM housing units per year forever was a sustainable level? How long did you think we could keep underbuilding before rents/prices started to spike in some markets (first in markets with the least supply/lowest vacancies) due to supply/demand factors?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-26 04:38:43

Yes houses depreciate. It’s good you’ve learned that here, however, there is no need to build more houses considering there are 25 million excess, empty and defaulted houses in the US.

Comment by Ed
2015-04-26 13:05:20

The problem is location. The empty houses are either investment properties in vanity cities, or located in dying rust belt cities with no employment prospects. There is a need to “move” housing; we need more houses in Boston and Seattle and Portland, and less houses in Albany and Cleveland Scranton.

There’s no more Polaroid plants or BASF or 3M plants riding to the rescue. Tech companies and wealth is concentrating in premium cities. It’s why we are back over bubble prices in Boston but not PHoenix.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-26 13:16:46

Boston prices are down and falling YoY in Boston. Seattle too.

Comment by Ed
2015-04-26 14:13:41

Last month YoY was a blip due to weather. Case Shiller shows 175 for Boston in January 2015, and 167 for Boston Jan 2014.

Show me a Boston neighborhood where prices are falling. There’s probably less sales in Boston, but that’s because inventory continues to be pathetically low. And that’s caused prices to increase. Even from last year, the quarter point tick down in interest rates basically directly raised asking prices proportionatly. Last year a house starting at $450K is now starting at $500K. And houses are closing for well above asking prices. That’s easy enough info to find.


Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-26 14:26:10

Case Shiller is an index my friend. Prices are falling across the entire state of MA. We covered that in the last 3 months and you were here reading about it.

Dump that house quickly if you can find a buyer

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-26 15:18:51

Case Shiller is also a lagging indicator. Any release reflects home sales over the past three months, no later. Hence prices could be currently dropping like a rock, but this will not show up in the Case-Shiller release unless they were already dropping by the previous month.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-04-26 17:20:16

“Hence prices could be currently dropping like a rock, but this will not show up in the Case-Shiller release unless they were already dropping by the previous month.”

Yes. A true statement. Case-Shiller shows data from three consecutive months, and lagged. The data coming out this week will be from December, January, and February. It would not reflect sales in March or April.

However, if prices were currently falling, it would be an indicator of supply/demand swinging back in favor of buyers. And there is real-time data that you can look at that would be a signal of weakening prices:

1. Higher and higher levels of inventory, which would be reflective of demand weakening at current prices;
2. Higher average days on market;

The March data that I saw showed year on year and month on month declines of the number of days on market, and year-on-year declines of listings. Month on month showed an increase of listings, but that should be expected going from February to March…and it was a small increase (less than 2%).

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-26 17:30:08

CS isn’t real time data. CS is merely an index that doesn’t show on the ground local price declines.

Check our daily posts showing current price declines, in particular in large coastal cities.

Klamath Falls, OR Sale Prices Crater 10% YoY


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-26 22:03:54

“And there is real-time data that you can look at that would be a signal of weakening prices:”

3. HA’s posts.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-04-27 02:22:22

“3. HA’s posts.”


Cherry picked data will never be as good as broad data sets when trying to broadly determine the direction of the market.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-04-27 02:27:07

“Check our daily posts showing current price declines, in particular in large coastal cities.

Klamath Falls, OR Sale Prices Crater 10% YoY”

Klamath Falls…population 22,000.

“large coastal city”


Comment by Rental Watch
2015-04-27 02:34:56

“CS isn’t real time data. CS is merely an index that doesn’t show on the ground local price declines.”

It does show “price declines”, the index is based on actual paired sales data (the same home selling more than once) it just does so on a lagged basis.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-27 13:21:21

And it excludes foreclosures, defaults and millions of houses stuck in foreclosure moratoriums.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 09:39:28



Median house price: $210,000

Down 38 pct in year to Feb

Forecast for 2015: Down 15 pct


Median house price: $240,000

Down 37 pct in year to Feb

Forecast for 2015: Down 8 pct


Median house price: $362,500

Down 16 pct in year to Feb

Forecast for 2015: Down 12 pct


Median house price: $359,000

Down 12 pct in year to Feb

Forecast for 2015: No change

“I think things are probably levelling out in Gladstone but I’m not so sure it’s time to rush into it,” Ms Phillips says.’


Median house price: $932,500

Down 15 pct in year to Feb

Forecast for 2015: down 20 pct

“With a median price even now of $932,000, it’s the most expensive place in Australia. It makes Sydney look dirt cheap,” Ms Phillips says.’


Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 11:31:17

“Down 38% in year…”

That is what you call a CRASH.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:41:48

No collapsing bubble here…move along, folks, nothing to see.

Comment by Gabe Sanders
2015-04-25 09:39:33

Some markets are really strong in areas around the country, while others, not so much. Housing remains a very local phenomenon and one should always check the local market stats before being able to make an informed real estate move.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 09:51:06

Here’s the price history for one of your firms listings:


04/17/15 Price change $364,000-0.3% $118 Bluewater Real…
04/14/15 Price change $365,000+43.7% $119 Bluewater Real…
04/10/15 Price change $254,000+12.9% $82 Keyes Real Est…
04/11/14 Sold $225,000-6.2% $73 Public Record
03/04/14 Listing removed $239,900 $78 The Keyes Comp…
02/18/14 Listed for sale $239,900+0.4% $78 The Keyes Comp…
07/10/13 Listing removed $239,000 $77 Keyes Company …
05/31/13 Price change $239,000-4.0% $77 Keyes Company …
02/07/13 Price change $249,000-2.0% $81 Keyes Company …
12/19/12 Listed for sale $254,000 $82 Keyes Company …
10/23/12 Listing removed $254,000 $82 Keyes Real Est…
09/12/12 Price change $254,000-1.9% $82 Keyes Real Est…
08/07/12 Listed for sale $259,000+260% $84 Keyes Real Est…
08/29/96 Sold $72,000 $23


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 09:54:49

Could it be that someone paid $225k and listed it for $365k a year later? No bubble there!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 10:49:16

realtors are liars

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:43:53

“…one of your firms listings…”

No bias in his posts, I’m sure!

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:42:53

Oh yeah, all real estate is local…d’oh.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:47:16

The price of Lereah’s book has hit the zero bound:

All Real Estate Is Local: What You Need to Know to Profit in Real Estate - in a Buyer’s and a Seller’s Market
Hardcover – April 3, 2007
by David Lereah (Author)
Hardcover from $0.01
30 Used from $0.01

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:30:57

Grandpa told me the story of the biggest mistake in his life every year until the day he died and he always ended the story with the same advice: Never ignore the local marketplace. Grandpa didn’t research the local real estate market. He made his decision about purchasing the skyscraper his business was located in based on what he read in the newspapers and heard on the radio: Across the nation jobs were scarce and families were struggling to make ends meet. He relied on national trends as well as on his experience of what was happening to those closest to him up in the Bronx where he lived – businesses along the Grand Concourse struggling to survive… Grandpa allowed the ills of the nation and the neighborhood where he lived — which he read and heard about every day — to blind him to the activity and prospects of the local marketplace in which his business was located. He had an opportunity to purchase a fifty-story building on one of the most sought-after retail streets in the world for a deep discount, and he missed it. He ignored the rich potential of Manhattan because he was so focused on the nation and the Bronx. He ignored the gravity and pull of Manhattan because of the dismal stories he heard about Newark, New Jersey and Philadelphia. He learned the hard way that local real estate values are determined by local activity. He had made a mistake that he would not let himself, or me, ever forget.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 10:23:41

‘Are you saving up to buy a home down the road? It makes sense from a personal financial planning perspective, but when it comes to whether it actually helps you get your foot in the door, you may want to reconsider.’

‘Why? In most cases, your ability to save is going to be at a much slower pace than the rate of appreciation of homes around your area. Put simply, if home prices in your area are on the rise, or interest rates go up, you may need to double or even triple how much you save on a monthly basis to keep up. In this case, time is money — the longer you take to save more money, it may just go toward offsetting a higher housing cost when you do finally pull the trigger, rather than lowering housing costs as most might think.’

‘Let’s go back in time a bit to see how this works: Say you purchased a home in 2010 in Sonoma County, Calif., with an FHA loan at 3.5% down. The home value/purchase price back then was $275,000 and you put down $9,625 at closing, the minimum FHA contribution needed.’

‘Fast-forward to July 2013. Assuming you took out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and diligently paid down your principal and interest each month (since 2010) while the economy gained momentum. At this point you would have accumulated at least 20% equity just by getting your foot in the door. Your mortgage would have been paid down to approximately $255,000 and you would’ve accumulated enough home equity by virtue of the amortization balance pay-down to have an opportunity to refinance.’

‘Fast-forward to now, 2015. Housing prices have continued to rise based on real demand vs. supply (not an inflated market created by credit products pre-2007), and now you probably have 40% equity or more in your home, giving you a bigger chance to refinance your house — if you didn’t back in 2013.’

‘If you have at least 3.5% of the purchase price to buy a house — or more conservatively, 5% of the purchase price — you can probably make a good case for buying a home, knowing that you’re likely to continue to accumulate equity.’

‘Keep in mind, this scenario assumes house prices continue to go up.’


Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-04-25 10:42:52

“… and now you probably have 40% equity or more in your home, giving you a bigger chance to refinance your house — if you didn’t back in 2013.”

Yes! And while you are refinancing your debt you can free up some - or EVEN ALL! - of that built-up equity and REPLACE IT WITH EVEN MORE DEBT!

Yes, yes you can! And this is the smart thing to do, the prudent thing to do, the correct thing to do because when you are indulging yourself with debt you are using SOMEBODY ELSE’S MONEY!

Yes! Somebody else’s money will be working on your behalf!

Do not delay! Go to your favorite bank branch the first thing Monday morning and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Comment by Bluto
2015-04-25 11:15:49

The example given for Sonoma Co. is bogus…I live there and tried to buy in 2011/2012, had enough cash to go up to 50% down and a preapproved conventional mortgage but 8 or so of my offers were ignored because I was competing with 100% cash flippers and speculators. I’d guess that the odds of getting a FHA or VA offer approved then would have been very close to zero. I was able to buy a house with a VA/GI Bill loan in 1997 but did not even remotely consider that option in 2011.
The $275K price given in the example is about right and just about what the 3/2’s in decent neighborhoods I tried to buy were priced at.
Similar houses are now about $400-425K and buying no longer makes sense for me….but inventory is up 120% from a year ago and at a 3 year high so I’m expecting a sharp correction in the near future.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 11:31:11

Give it time…. And the $275k in 2011 was still over priced by 40-50%. Be glad you didn’t pay that amount.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 10:53:45

Up, Up and Away
The Fifth Dimension

This song was very popular when I was a kid. Who could’ve forseen that it would be such a fitting anthem for a housing bubble?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 11:01:33

Lifting off in a vibrantly colored balloon…. hmmmm…

Is coming off LSD any different than Lola coming out of a blackout in an alley with his pants around his ankles?


2015-04-25 16:39:10

Housing Analyst ,Don’t you love it that rents are skyrocketing and housing prices are exploding?

Time to party!!!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 16:57:12

Why buy it when you can rent it for half the monthly cost?

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Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-04-25 17:31:32

IE LANDLORD KING is the shoeshine boy. Run away FAST from real estate. When this tard’s buying, you need to get out IMMEDIATELY.

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Comment by Combotechie
Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 11:09:37
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 11:50:53

Brick Realtor arrested after allegedly asking prostitute to arrange sex with teen
Richard Jones, 66, of Brick, was arrested Friday after allegedly attempting to set up a meeting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, who turned out to be an under cover police officer, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said. (Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office)
Rob Spahr | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com By Rob Spahr | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on September 26, 2014 at 6:54 PM, updated September 26, 2014 at 8:11 PM

FREEHOLD – A Brick Township-based real estate broker was arrested Friday after allegedly attempting to set up a meeting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, who turned out to be an under cover police officer, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday afternoon.

Richard J. Jones, 66, of Brick Township, was charged with second-degree attempted sexual assault Friday afternoon following an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Bureau and investigators from the Asbury Park, Englishtown and Wall Township police departments.

Authorities claim Jones – who is the owner and real estate broker of Century 21 Herbertsville Real Estate Company, Inc., on Herbertsville Road in Brick – attempted to use a local prostitute to facilitate a meeting to have sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl.

Jones was met by police when he arrived at the pre-arranged location where he expected to meet the 14-year-old girl, who was really an undercover police officer, authorities said.

After being arrested and charged with second-degree attempted sexual assault, Jones was transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township on $125,000 bail with no 10-percent option, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Honora O’Brien Kilgallen. the prosecutor’s office said.

Kilgallen also ordered Jones to have no contact with the local prostitute he tried to persuade to facilitate the sexual liaison with a girl he believed was under age, authorities said.

If convicted, Jones faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in a New Jersey state prison and is subject to the provisions of Megan’s Law and Community Supervision for Life as part of his conditions for release, the prosecutor’s office said.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Peter Boser, the director of the Special Victims Bureau.

Real Estate


Flemington, NJ


Fairfield, NJ

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:32:20

Jones was met by police when he arrived at the pre-arranged location where he expected to meet the 14-year-old girl, who was really an undercover police officer, authorities said.

How old do you have to be to work as a police officer in Brick?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 13:22:52

Why all the anxiety and anger from the Housing Hookers?

You think it might have something to do with housing falling apart again?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 13:48:17

More Odessa Moms Turning to Prostitution, Housing Crisis Partially to Blame
Posted: Jul 30, 2012 7:11 PM PST
Updated: Jul 30, 2012 8:02 PM PST
Staff Report
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - When the West Texas sun yields to a pale moon, more and more women are taking to the streets of Odessa. Many of them are mothers.

“They’re young. Very young. Some of them are 18 and 19 years old,” Mariah Stittsworth, Founding Director of the Wake Up and Dream Program at the Faith Temple Fellowship, said.

Over the past few months, the Fellowship has seen a growing number of these women turning to them for help. They say they’re forced to sell sex in order to survive.

Few housing options and high rent fees means several of these mothers work multiple jobs. In some cases, that is still not enough to get by.

“They are, what I call, at the gate of homelessness,” Stittsworth said.

Co-Director, Lynn Overton, said. “You’ve got to weigh the options. If I do this to feed my baby today, tomorrow my baby is going to have to talk to somebody who says, ‘Did you know your mother does this to feed you?’ How do you balance that? You can’t.”

The solicitation is happening all around us.

“Right under our very noses,” Stittsworth said.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 14:13:06

With housing demand cratering, it makes sense for realtors to go back to their first occupation.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 15:43:44

I suspect the ladies of the night in the Odessa story are generally single moms trying to make ends meet without a breadwinner in the household besides themselves to help out with paying the monthly. Why else would a mom work evenings on her back?

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 13:53:16

San Diego realtor pleads guilty to prostitution-related crimes
By Staff
12:26 p.m. Aug. 1, 2014

San Diego realtor Michael E. Lustig pleaded guilty in federal court July 31 to prostitution-related crimes, admitting that he paid for sex with a 13-year-old girl on several occasions.

Lustig, who was indicted by a federal grand jury in October of 2013, entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin. (At that time Lustig was reported to be a Rancho Santa Fe resident.) Sentencing was set for Nov. 3, 2014, at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez.

According to court records, Lustig, 70, was first contacted in June of 2012 by San Diego Sheriff’s deputies during an operation targeting customers of prostitution in the Encinitas area. At the time that Lustig was arrested, deputies seized two cellular telephones which led to information that he had been in contact with two minor females.

Interviews with the minors revealed that Lustig had contacted them separately to engage in commercial sex activity. One of the minors was 11 years old at the time that sexual activity began with Lustig, and the other was 13 years of age. According to court records, surveillance video from a motel in El Cajon, Calif., showed Lustig entering a motel room with one of the minors and emerging 43 minutes later. According to court records, Lustig had contacted the minors multiple times over a span of multiple months. Interviews with the minors confirmed that Lustig, known to them as “George,” had paid them for sexual activity and that at least one of the minors had identified herself as a minor.

In the plea agreement, Lustig admitted that he used a cellular telephone to contact the 13-year-old minor on multiple occasions between at least October 2011 and June 2012, seeking to engage in commercial sex activity. Lustig admitted that he thereafter engaged in commercial sex activity with the minor, paying the minor in return for sexual activity.

Comment by taxpers
2015-04-25 14:01:32


Zillow call s Chighetto negative
What’s a realwhore to do

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 15:46:08

I thought the town was named Chiraq?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 15:49:35

Spike Lee’s ‘Chiraq’ would add to city’s long violent filmography

Nina Metz
Chicago Tribune
Public Enemies
Johnny Depp plays bank robber John Dillinger in 2009’s “Public Enemies,” one of a long line of films about Chicago’s gangster era. Most of those films focus on white characters. (Universal Pictures)
Spike Lee’s ‘Chiraq’ and felonious doings in the Windy City, long a Hollywood obsession.

As the camera pans over the Chicago skyline in the opening frames of the 1953 noir “City That Never Sleeps,” a voice-over contemplates the nuances of “this giant, sprawling, sordid and beautiful, poor and magnificent city.”

All these decades later, a description that still rings true. The story follows a jaded beat cop who wants out of both the job and his marriage, with an eye on sexier doings with the stripper he keeps on the side. She’s called Angel Face. Of course.

“When I first came to this town,” she says, in a slice of delicious noir-speak, “I was gonna be — oh, there were a lot of things I was gonna do. Become famous. But Chicago’s the big melting pot, and I got melted but good.”

Felonious doings in the Windy City have long been a Hollywood obsession. I was thinking about this as plans gear up for filmmaker Spike Lee’s next project. “Chiraq” — which may be a permanent title, or just a place-holder? — is slated to begin filming in Chicago this summer. Little else has been revealed. For now, we know this much: It will focus on black-on-black crime in the Englewood neighborhood.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-26 12:22:58

Mark Zandi is chief economist of Moody’s

It’s time to lay off the bank-bashing


Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-26 19:12:14

Hey Mark…… ——> http://goo.gl/lEacxG

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-26 12:28:09

“Early spring shoots are clearly beginning to turn into new blossoms, especially in the new home sector.”

Porcine beauticians will paint lipstick on pigs.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-26 13:58:09

U.S. new-home sales fall 11.4%
Northeast, South take biggest hits; Midwest posts slight gain
This article was published April 24, 2015 at 2:08 a.m.
A new home stands under construction in the Reserve neighborhood of the Toll Brothers Inc. The Dominion gated community in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, March 28, 2015. More Americans than forecast signed contracts to purchase previously owned homes in February, indicating a pickup in the housing market ahead of the spring selling season. Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg

WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. homes fell in March with sharp declines in the Northeast and South.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that new-home sales fell 11.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000. This marks a swift reversal from an annual sales pace of 543,000 in February, which had been the strongest performance in seven years.

Purchases of new homes have been volatile on a monthly basis, although sales during the first quarter of 2015 were higher than in 2014. The volatility points to a real estate market still finding its footing in the aftermath of the housing bubble that triggered a recession in 2007 and the weak recovery that has followed.

New-homes sales last month fell 33 percent in the Northeast and 15.8 percent in the South, while the West registered a slight loss and the Midwest reported a modest gain. The median sales price fell 1.7 percent since March 2014 to $277,400.

Despite last month’s sales decline, homebuilders are hopeful that improving weather will draw more buyers.

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