July 13, 2015

People Are Confident, Afraid, Kind Of Nuts

The Maui News reports from Hawaii. “Maui’s housing shortage is driving up the cost of homes, both for buyers and renters. Marion Haller, president of the Realtors Association of Maui, said it’s axiomatic that whatever trends happen in the U.S. West Coast real estate market take three to 12 months to arrive on Maui. And, now there’s a ‘crazy sellers’ market’ on the West Coast in places like Monterey and Santa Cruz, Calif., San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle, she said. ‘Houses are selling in a day. There’s multiple offers on homes,’ Haller said.”

“Maui Realtors are beginning to see the first signs of that here, she said. ‘Real estate is a herd mentality,’ she said. ‘People see other people buying, and they figure ‘I should be buying too.’”

The Kingman Daily Miner in Arizona. “New home construction is trending up and building permit activity indicates the market will continue its uptick for at least six months, according to the city of Kingman’s Development Services department. It’s the highest level of new home construction in more than seven years. ‘Obviously, we get a lot of contractors that build spec homes and they get sold, and so people are buying homes,’ said Jim McErlean, building official with the city of Kingman. ‘The best answer I’ve got from our contractors as to why they think the market is up in Kingman is because of the flooding of cash by the Fed’s monetary policy, so interest rates are artificially low.’”

The Bellingham Herald in Washington. “Whatcom County home sales continue to rise, but there’s concern that first-time homebuyers are being priced out of the market, particularly in Bellingham. Less new home construction in Bellingham is a major factor, giving sellers a fair amount of leverage in recent months, said Darin Stenvers, branch manager at the Bellingham John L. Scott office. He believes this is a short-term problem, as buyers are becoming more cautious as sellers demand too much. Stenvers said he’s come across situations where sellers have refused to make repairs for problems found during house inspections, resulting in the buyer withdrawing the offer.”

“‘In the last few weeks I’ve seen more buyers realize that they don’t have to move as quickly and are not making rash decisions,’ Stenvers said. ‘I think a small market correction is taking place.’”

The Washington Post. “Buyers in the D.C. metro region are snapping up homes at a pace not seen since the housing boom. ‘Overall, I can see more hope in people,’ Mary Bayat, chair of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors board. ‘People are more confident, happier. Maybe people are afraid interest rates will go up. They shouldn’t wait. They need to jump into that pool.’”

“Although the prices are up in the region as a whole, the Virginia suburbs and parts of Maryland are seeing declines. Falls Church, Fairfax City and County and Loudoun County each had year-over-year declines in median price. Falls Church’s median price fell the most, dropping to $568,500 last month from $745,000 in June 2014. The low number of sales tends to make the median price volatile in that city. The year-to-date median price in Falls Church is down just 2.4 percent compared to 2014.”

“Fairfax City’s median price slid to $496,000 from $500,000, while Fairfax County’s median price slipped to $495,900 from $497,500. Loudoun County’s median price dropped to $441,750 from $453,500. In Maryland, Frederick County’s median price sank to $275,000 from $296,100, while Anne Arundel County’s median price slid to $322,000 from $328,250.”

WFDD in North Carolina. “The Triad Business Journal’s Kristin Zachary has reported on the rebounding housing market and says it’s complicated. ‘Homebuyers are seeing some price increases, so what you could get for $125,000 a couple of years ago is now going for $160,000,’ says Zachary. But she says it’s still a buyer’s market–people are looking for newer construction or they’re looking for houses that have been remodeled. ‘So, sellers who have not been remodeling and have been sitting on their homes for the last fifteen years, they’re going to have a more difficult time selling their homes.’”

“‘There is a little bit of a risk. If building permit filings continue to outpace closings, we are going to be flirting with overbuilding,’ says Zachary.”

Bloomberg on Connecticut. “It took more than two years for Katherine Tenney and her husband to sell their 16,000-square-foot house in Greenwich, Connecticut. The town — home to some of the country’s largest hedge funds, — is seeing a pile-up of luxury houses on the market as a real estate rebound spurs more owners to try to sell. At the current pace of sales, it would take 4.9 years to absorb Greenwich’s inventory of 252 luxury houses on the market at the end of the first quarter, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman.”

“‘The tide is changing,’ said Tenney, who lowered the asking price of her earlier home before finding a buyer. ‘Nobody wants those huge houses anymore. You look back and there’s rooms you never even entered.’”

The South Florida Business Journal. “The majority of new condo buyers in Miami have been looking to capitalize on their investments by flipping the units or renting them out, according to research by CraneSpotters. Looking at the four largest condo towers completed in greater downtown Miami since construction resumed in 2011, anywhere from 45 percent to 96 percent of the units sold by the developers in each building were placed back on the market or put up for rent. That indicates a high level of investor ownership in those buildings, and also raises some questions.”

“With more than 18,100 condo units either under construction, planned with approvals or proposed in greater downtown Miami, according to CraneSpotters, is there enough rental demand at higher price points to support that many new units? And how will they be impacted by the nearly 7,800 apartments in the development pipeline?”

The Mercury News in California. “Andrew Greenwell has been cast as a kind of brash hero of our cash-obsessed era on ‘Million Dollar Listing San Francisco,’ Bravo’s new reality show. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Q: Do you feel any remorse over being someone who helps drive this crazy real estate market? The region is becoming unaffordable for most people.”

“A: I don’t think that brokers and Realtors encourage the crazy market. We simply facilitate transactions…My brokerage will do close to $500 million in sales this year, but I actually don’t like crazy markets. It’s not healthy. You can’t sustain it. I have not enjoyed the markets of the last few years in the city and it’s actually been slowing down and that brings me great joy.”

“Q: How is it slowing down? A: Six months ago we would have gotten 12 or 15 offers on a property. Now we get one or two. The properties are still moving. But we’re not seeing a lot of $1 million over asking; it has to be a special property to drive those prices. Q: Why is the market slowing? A: Why? Because people are tired of overpaying. I just sold a condo in Noe Valley for $2 million, and that’s kind of nuts. It’s beautiful and it’s a great location — but, come on, it’s two bedrooms. I think people are tired.”

“Q: So are we in a bubble? A: I think it’s a different kind of bubble. People need to be cautious not to compare it to 2005. I think the bubble to be concerned about is if Chinese investors want to liquidate their assets, if they flood the market. That’s what keeps me up at night: What’s always driven the market is demand, but if you suddenly increase the supply, things change.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 03:10:09

My thanks to those who support this blog!

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 03:20:45

‘Property Value Animation Shows Bay Area Counties Swallowing U.S. Map’

‘The latest illustration of just how out of whack the Bay Area housing market is shows local counties overwhelming the United States map, when counties are drawn proportionate in size to their property values.’

‘Real estate tracker and data enthusiast Max Galka created the cartogram map and other intriguing visualizations for his website Metrocosm.’

“To create the map (above), I took the total residential property value for every county in the U.S. (the contiguous 48 states), and substituted those values for each county’s land area,” said Galka. “Notice what a small portion of the U.S. land area is actually covered by the red counties.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 03:59:33

Max sent me this email recently:

I am a data scientist who maintains a website called Metrocosm.

I have been familiar with your site for a while, and thought my this would be a relevant post to pass on.


It covers the whole U.S., but the focus is on New York City. The Upper East Side (less than a square mile) now has more property value than several entire states. If that is not indicative of a bubble, I don’t know what is.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2015-07-13 08:04:08

Sheesh. Fifteen years into the century, and we’re already in our second housing bubble.

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2015-07-13 11:55:55

These bubbles seem to be recurring, and able to sustain for decades. Where does it all end?

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-13 14:08:56

So, for decades a condo in NYC was worth more than the same sized condo in Tulsa. That’s not news.

What would be interesting is how the prices have changed over time.

Start with the values at the trough…say, 2011, and see how the values have increased…then you’ll see which places have roared back, and which ones are still beaten down.

And if you want to see the difference in complexion of today’s market compared to the peak in 2007, start in 2007, and then move forward to today. I think what it would show is the recovery has been very uneven–not all places have rebubbled.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-13 14:10:57

Max, if you are reading, you need to change the analysis somewhat…we need to assign relative values to show how one place has grown, and another, not.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-13 15:36:58

Another one from The Dingbat.

“The trough” is directly in front of you. Look down.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-13 03:41:09

“A: I think it’s a different kind of bubble. People need to be cautious not to compare it to 2005.”

Where are we at this point:

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, … , 2015!?

It’s hard to believe the mania still rages over a decade since the HBB was established, with no end in sight.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-13 03:52:31

Several years ago many on this board predicted the Bubble would undergo its death throes by 2013 or so. But to my recollection, nobody foresaw the degree to which the Fed and various U.S. federal agencies with roles in housing would actively override the free market to deliberately reflate the Bubble. (Related example: Current efforts underway in China to reflate their stock market bubble…)

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 06:19:40

I seem to recall predictions made here by others of Bubble 2.0, especially after the Canadian market quickly reinflated itself.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2015-07-13 08:05:40

Just look at the old-timers who went away and are coming back to this blog. I’m but one of many.

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Comment by Barnaby33
2015-07-13 20:38:09

When txchick57 comes back, that’ll be an old timer returning. Her or Mr pine box himself!

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:02:36

‘Gulfstream Park Tower, a condominium proposed at the site of the racetrack casino and retail complex in Hallandale Beach, has halted its sales.’

‘Brokerage ISG World listed the project as “cancelled” in its second quarter report on the Miami/Fort Lauderdale condo market. A spokeswoman of ISG World said the sales representatives at Gulfstream Park Tower told them they stopped sales at the instruction of the developer.’

‘A call to the sales office confirmed that sales have been halted. The developer, Stronach Group, did not return phone calls.’

‘The 27-story tower was slated for 182 units, ranging from 615 square feet to 1,814 square feet. The developer required 45 percent deposits, which was slightly less than the 50 percent deposits required in many Miami condo projects. Only 10 percent was due at reservation.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:05:00

‘I recently have written that is next to impossible for the U.S. to remain an “oasis of prosperity” in a period of tumult and chaos in financial assets and in economies. There is no way that we will be insulated from Latin America, China, Russia and Europe’s woes.’

‘Of late, China is a clear trend of decelerating domestic economic growth, and the overt speculation in its stock market has taken center stage.’

‘The first indication of a negative impact on the real economy from non-U.S. problems — and it will be soon — will be a ratcheting down in high-end residential real estate prices and activity in the U.S.’

‘With a nearly 11-year supply and with 85% of the buyers being foreign, Miami, Florida, will likely be the eye of the real estate hurricane.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-13 04:12:34

Some less astute individuals who post here miss the linkage between the Chinese economic bubble and U.S. housing. The connection will soon become obvious to all.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-07-13 05:32:17

Cash …

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-13 05:42:58

Dumb.Borrowed.Money seeking a home…

Comment by Combotechie
2015-07-13 05:52:57

Dumb.Borrowed.Money destined to go poof …

Comment by salinasron
2015-07-13 06:02:18

Europe can bail out Greece, but only China can bail out the USA. Don’t expect any help from Europe.

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 06:20:58

Who will bail out China?

Comment by Salinasron
2015-07-13 07:12:54

That’s the point!

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-13 12:45:16

“Who will bail out China?”

Countries with reserve currencies can do it for themselves.

It’s a bail-in.

Comment by MD
2015-07-13 20:45:23

Only China can bail out the USA? What are your smoking? China owns only 8% of US Government debt. They can’t afford to bail out America if shit hits the fan. They can barely afford to bail out their own economy.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:30:48

‘If you’re looking to purchase a home, and your budget’s $300,000 or less — a popular price point to begin with, and one that’s quite competitive in Phoenix right now thanks to fewer houses up for sale — you may need to prep yourself.’

“I’ve had multiple offers on homes happen a lot in the last six months,” said Tara Alves, a Valley-based Realtor with HomeSmart International, “and I am seeing more of it in the $300,000-and-under price range. I recently wrote seven offers for a client under the $200,000 price range to eventually secure a home they loved in a very desirable area. It can be exciting when you represent the sellers, but it’s not as exciting when you represent the buyer. You’re at the seller’s mercy. But, on the buyer’s side, it’s just part of the process.”

‘Although there are no guarantees, sometimes a thoughtful and kind approach works best. When she and her clients are on the buying end of a transaction, Alves likes to call the listing agent personally and establish a personal rapport.’

‘Letting the other agent know that her clients are, let’s say, a young couple with a child on the way who have fallen in love with the listed home can make a difference when buyers are deciding which offer to accept.’

‘Or, Alves might even write a note to the listing agent and encourage her clients to write a note as well, one that touches on their situation or their feelings about the house. she advises home seekers that, if they like a house, they should put an offer in on it right away. She told one of her recent clients, “Just know that when I call, we jump!” she added.’

“I always tell people in these multiple offers situations to write a clean offer — minimize your requests of the seller and write it for the full asking price — and do it in a timely manner,” she said. “Don’t dilly-dally around and ask for extras like a home warranty or for the seller to pay the closing costs, if it isn’t a make-it-or-break-it situation for you. Because, sometimes, you get lucky and a buyer gets a good, strong offer up front and accepts it.”

Comment by Sean
2015-07-13 04:46:59

Write a love letter? Don’t ask for too much? Put in an offer for full asking price? Please. These old lady space cadet agents truly are clueless.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 06:26:00

A coworker sold her Arvada house last year. She received multiple offers in just two days, a few over asking price. There were also love letters. In the end she chose a bid without any contingencies that was over the asking price. IIRC the house was in the high 300K range. I believe the new Highlands Ranch house was in the high 400K range.

Comment by bink
2015-07-13 06:40:45

The average time on the market in the DC area now is 8 days. 8 freakin days! People will mention how this is the shortest time on market since 2007 without batting an eye or thinking of the possible consequences.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-13 08:17:36


And don’t forget the price slashing in Denver and DC.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 08:22:56

There’s something odd about these days on market numbers. In some reports where things are really slowing down and there are price reductions, they report 1 or 2 months of inventory.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 10:19:37

in N VA turnover is brisk,but prices are flat
smoke on that

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-13 11:20:32

Are you sure about that?

Washington, DC Housing Demand Falls 16%


Comment by toast on the coast
2015-07-13 14:32:35

I remember in the the mid 1990’s we used to say.
Be the first born
Second Wife
Third realtor
Homes took years to sell. times have changed, not for the better

Comment by Pangolin
2015-07-13 07:26:39

Seeing plenty of reduced prices in my area in PHX. With the speculator flippers gone, the only thing saving the market it low to no down payment and artificially low interest rates. No multiple offers.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2015-07-13 08:09:03

I’m seeing the same thing in my Tucson neighborhood, Pangolin.

And, here’s another fun data point: One of my local acquaintances is a real estate investor and has been for a long time. He buys run-down properties, fixes them up, then sells them at a profit. At the beginning of this year, he told me that his part of the resale market was starting to soften.

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Comment by Arizona Slim
2015-07-13 08:06:57

I recently got a “I want to buy your house!” letter from some investor. If that isn’t the sign of a market top, I don’t know what is.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:35:16

‘Rogue Valley Association of Realtors spokesman Colin Mullane said pent-up demand, stimulated by interest rates in the 4.25 percent range, continues to create a shortage of available houses.’

“The inventory levels, even though there is a 10 percent uptick over last year, are still not meeting the 20 percent increase in demand, leading to the shortage of inventory, which is leading to the acceleration in the price of homes across the marketplace,” Mullane said Tuesday at news conference.’

(A news conference for a used house salesman?)

‘ SOMLS figures show 1,163 home sales during the first six months of 2015, up from 941 a year ago. During that period, the median price for a single-family residence in the county has popped up 12.5 percent to $225,000 from $200,000. The median five years ago, at the depths of the Great Recession, was $165,000. Since then, median values have bumped up 36.4 percent. The Upper Rogue area around Shady Cove and Trail have seen a 40 percent jump in the median over the past year to $174,450 from $124,650, although the sampling size is relatively small.’

“We still have demand exceeding supply, which is making it stressful for buyers,” Mullane said. “We’re seeing multiple offers in the marketplace. It’s very competitive out there.”

“There are still not enough really big green lights out there for the construction community to say, ‘Let’s go,’ ” he said. “Lenders are really gun-shy about jumping on board, because they got left holding a lot of this land last time around. It’s still a much different ballgame for the contractors and the overall developers. Hopefully, that confidence level will return, money will free up for them.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:39:10

‘Seven Falls developer Keith Vinson has been sentenced — nearly three years after being indicted on charges of fraud and conspiracy — and five others have faced punishment for their roles in bringing down the dream development.’

‘Work at Seven Falls Golf and River Club is moving just as slowly as the court cases did, with Henderson County officials waiting once again for a permit that will allow them to build roads and other infrastructure.’

‘The 1,400-acre proposed housing development and golf course in Etowah, once described by Arnold Palmer as “one of the prettiest pieces of property I’ve seen,” sits idle as county officials await word on the permit. The county was left to pick up the pieces when plans for the once-promising project — which boasted plans for nearly 1,000 residences and a retail area complete with a 24-room inn, chapel and sports bar — fell apart.’

‘Vinson, who was convicted in October 2013 on 13 federal fraud and conspiracy charges, was sentenced June 25 to 18 years in prison and ordered to pay $18 million in restitution. Five others have been sentenced to prison terms, house arrest and ordered to pay tens of millions more in restitution for counts of conspiracy, defrauding the government and more.’

‘Meanwhile, the land has been reclaimed by corn and weeds, and county officials were forced to fence off the subdivision section of the property after it became a hot spot for four-wheelers. An upper section of the property looked like a complete four-wheeler dirt racetrack, complete with banked turns, said Henderson County Attorney Russ Burrell. The county has since repaired the area.’

‘Now, county leaders are hoping to turn the story of Seven Falls around by using bond funds to establish roads, water and sewer infrastructure and attract developers.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:43:29

‘Paying rent on a modest, one-bedroom apartment isn’t just a job-and-a-half for minimum-wage earners in Texas. Those who make $7.25 per hour must log 73 hours per week to afford fair-market housing, according to a recent study by a national affordable housing group.’

“It is a housing crisis,” said Mandy De Mayo, executive director of HousingWorks Austin, a non-profit advocacy group in the capital.’

‘Ellis Ware, 28, a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, was looking for an affordable apartment while searching for a job in the capital. He checked the decades-old complex where he lived as an undergraduate. He paid $700 a month in 2007. His apartment there now is listed at $1,100 per month.’

‘New one-bedroom, 600-square-foot apartments in the bustling downtown are $2,000 per month, he said. “You have a view of the lake,” he added. “‘View’ means overpriced.”

‘Jennifer Doane, sixth-grade teacher who works at a charter school, brings home $3,000 per month. Her monthly rent of $764 - utilities and mandatory renter’s insurance not included - will rise $16 when she renews a lease on the older, 672-square foot apartment alongside Interstate 35 in central Austin.’

“I’m at a place where, as a 33-year-old professional, I’m thinking I have to pick up a roommate,” she said. “If this continues, I’m going to have to have a partner or get a second job. I already work 12 hours a day.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:50:02

‘Housing in Jackson is a problem for seasonal and low-income workers. But, increasingly, it’s also a problem for middle-income earners. Among them, some vital occupations—like teachers.’

‘SCHRANK: Matthews makes sixty-seven grand a year. That’s more than the $58,00-average for Wyoming teachers, but it’s not enough to get Matthews into a 2-bedroom place for her and her 8-year-old-son. Kelly Matthews: He gets the bedroom, and mom gets the couch.’

‘SCHRANK:So you’ve been sleeping on the couch for? For two years.’

‘SCHRANK: What she’d really like is to own a home—but the median home price here is $965,000. So, Matthews isn’t holding out much hope. Kelly Matthews: [Is that—will that ever be an option for you?] Never.

‘SCHRANK: And it won’t be an option for Jess Tuchscherer either. He moved from Montana four years ago to teach language arts at the middle school. Jess Tuchscherer: When I moved here, my salary more than doubled. SCHRANK: Still, his best option in Jackson was this converted barn he rents for $1,000 a month.’

‘Jess Tuchscherer: Well, this is the living room. Kitchen. Bathroom and bedroom—and that’s really it, so…(And do you know how many square feet it is?) Um, 8? [laughs] It’s not very big at all.’

‘SCHRANK: The district just unveiled one tool to combat this problem—its first-ever subdivision of affordable homes for employees. They were built with the help of the Teton County Housing Authority. Anne Cresswell is Executive Director there.’

‘Cresswell drives me down a cul-de-sac in Wilson to a parcel of land called Schwabacher Meadows. Eleven 3-bedroom homes that all look pretty similar. Teachers bought these units for about $400,000–60 percent of Cresswell’s organization has developed similar workforce housing for hospital workers and city employees.’

‘ames Howell: This is a house that we never thought we would ever have lived in—in Wilson, Wyoming—where there’s millionaire homes, billionaire homes all over the place. So, it’s amazing. We’re lucky.’

‘The Howells were living in a 2-bedroom condo with two little kids. James says without this affordable home, his family would have had to leave town—but he doesn’t think it should be considered a handout.’

‘James Howell: We paid $403,000 for this home—which was somewhat of a stretch for us, but we’re glad to do it to be able to stay. I think a lot of people look at affordable housing as somewhat of a charity case. I’d like people to think of it more as an enrichment in your community and creating a more diverse community.’

Comment by oxide
2015-07-13 10:30:19

“I think a lot of people look at affordable housing as somewhat of a charity case. I’d like people to think of it more as an enrichment in your community and creating a more diverse community.’”

Wow, this guy out-libbed the libs.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 10:34:38

They stuck him with a 400k house and he’s thanking them.

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Comment by tresho
2015-07-13 14:09:24

They stuck him with a 400k house and he’s thanking them.
The super-rich in Jackson should rent out their closets & storage areas to the teachers.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 11:16:33

she can move to the private sector and work 40 days more per yr
poor teachers>>>>>>>>>>

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:52:25

‘Fresh off a $180 million payday, welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was “celebrating” his unanimous decision smackdown of rival Manny Pacquiao by trying to deliver a big TKO to his Florida condo.’

‘But it looks like he’s changed his mind. Mayweather was asking $1.999 million for his condo high above Sunny Isles Beach, FL, a barrier island north of Miami. That was way underweight from the $2.599 million list price from last July.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:55:00

‘Colorado’s oil and gas slowdown may be starting to chip away at Northern Colorado’s employment numbers and tax revenues, according to state and local reports. The unemployment rate increase and some reductions in Greeley tax collections indicate some subtle signs of stress, with lodging taxes decreasing 6 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to last year. Use taxes — those generated when companies buy new equipment or furniture — fell by 79 percent in the first three months of the year for the oil and gas industry.’

‘Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, a longtime advocate of oil and gas, which has fueled county coffers by millions of dollars every year with property tax revenue, said he thinks there has been a slowdown and layoffs that have hurt the area, but it’s all relative.’

“You have to remember, the unemployment rate this time last year was 4.8 percent and everyone thought we had the hottest economy in the world,” Conway said. “Everyone expected it not to remain as hot. You can’t sustain that kind of level. Things are leveling off to more of a near normal, if you can describe normal.”

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 08:27:46

Other than oil and gas, Greeley’s biggest employers are:

The state university
The medical center
State Farm insurance claim processing center
The City of Greeley
Weld County

HP was a crown jewel, an employer provided quality jobs that wasn’t dependent on taxpayers or health insurance policies. But HP moved on over 10 years ago. The old Greeley campus is now being converted into retail space.


The new development will spruce up the aging HP building set further back from 10th Street and 71st Avenue. Construction has begun on the retail pads, as well as removal of the overgrown shrubbery and trees that became the basis for a city code violation last summer.

For years it was home to HP’s computer building business, but it closed in 2000 and HP shifted its focus to its Fort Collins’ site. The building has been vacant since 2002, with nary a nibble on a new use.

The campus didn’t close in 2000. I should know, I worked there until 2001. IIRC it didn’t close until 2003 or 2004.

Also, HP did not build computers at the Greeley site. They built ScanJet scanners, up to the HP ScanJet 4C, after they began sourcing them from Asia. They also built storage systems in Greeley. Most of that was also offshored, and what remained of Greeley StorageWorks wound up in Fort Collins.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-13 09:55:59

How’s ’bout the Monfort cattle pens and plant?

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 12:31:20

There is the Swift meatpacking plant, but those are mostly low wage, Lucky Ducky jobs. Mostly illegals and since the big raids, now a bunch of Somalis work those jobs.

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Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-13 12:47:10

“Other than oil and gas, Greeley’s biggest employers are:……”
From your original comment did you mean by wages or by number of bodies employed regardless of wages?

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 12:56:28

I was talking about “quality” jobs. But even then, meatpacking ain’t what it used to be in Greeley, a lot of those jobs moved to other locales. FWIW most of the feedlots are far east of Greeley now.

Comment by redmondjp
2015-07-13 10:13:22

This pattern seems to be repeating itself all over our country. I’ve noticed the same thing in several former (for over a century, in many cases) manufacturing cities:

We are in deep doo-doo when the top three job providers left are (in no particular order):

1. Government
2. Healthcare
3. Education

All of these are necessary, but to use a manufacturing efficiency analysis term, they are non-value-added, and the funds to carry them out must come from some other profit-generating entity.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 12:28:09

hc is now 65% gov w aca
edu is about the same

BIG gov getting bigger

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 12:52:46

4 million have purchased Obamacare policies, which may or may not be subsidized.
48 million are on Medicare
46 million are on Medicaid

That’s about 30% of the population.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 14:01:26

but 65% of hc expenditures
oldies cost

Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-13 12:55:15

Also - here in the Chicago burbs there are right now two very large former Motorola cell phone plants (similar to the HP in Greeley) - one in McHenry IL and another in Libertyville north of Chicago about 20 miles that have closed. McHenry barely opened up when it subsequently closed because being in a far northwest rural very small burg could not attract the top line MIT, Stanford, U of I and other techies back in the day - Makes me wonder what top management powers that be were thinking - The tale I remember in this regard was an interview with a top line MIT grad who said - let’s see - Palo Alto or McHenry IL - ummm….not much to say in terms of choice as to where to work and a cow pasture just ain’t it.
Re: Libertyville - It was a full on Motorola PCS plant - top of the line architecture, big, big building - now - empty and seems there are no takers. It sits - a liability on the landscape much less the economy in Lake Co IL as all those folks were either moved with Google to the Mart Downtown or moved out or to poorer paying jobs.
I don’t see this trend abating anytime soon.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-13 13:00:04

FWIW, HP never had trouble filling jobs in Greeley.

And Moto sure missed the Smartphone boat. I remember when their RAZR flip phones where all the rage.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 04:58:53

‘Buttressed by high occupancy rates, apartment landlords in many U.S. markets are aggressively hiking rents at a rate that many commercial real estate experts believe is unsustainable as their competition grows.’

‘Developers are beginning to add new units at a pace that’s outstripping demand, and more first-time homebuyers are entering the market amid still-low interest rates and low-down-payment programs targeting the group.’

‘So far, however, the shifting dynamics have failed to faze landlords. While some owners in Denver and other hot markets are providing moving allowances, big-screen TVs or other enticements, they keep ratcheting up the rent that they charge tenants.’

‘Some 217,500 new units were added to the market last year and more than 277,200 are coming online this year, says McCleskey, who predicts that annual rent growth nationwide will eventually slow to an average of around 3% or more as new units open.’

‘The ongoing development, however, had already pushed more than 30 U.S. apartment markets in the first quarter into the “hypersupply” phase of the real estate cycle, including Denver, Austin, Dallas New York and St. Louis, according to a report by Glenn Mueller, real estate investment strategist. Mueller, who studies 54 property markets, also expected most of the remaining apartment markets to enter the hypersupply phase over the second and third quarter of 2015.’

‘The hypersupply phase of the cycle is the third of four phases and is marked by increasing construction, declining occupancy and slowing rent growth. It follows the “recovery” and “growth” phases, and it precedes the “recession” phase, a period of increasing vacancy and negative or below-inflation rent growth.’

“We’re actually at all-time peak occupancy levels nationally, so it’s a very strong market,” said Mueller, who also is a professor at the University of Denver’s Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management. “If developers can slow the rate of supply, I think the market can go into a hypersupply phase and then return to a growth phase.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-13 05:14:13

“If developers can slow the rate of supply, I think the market can go into a hypersupply phase and then return to a growth phase.”

If pigs had wings, then they could fly.

Comment by rms
2015-07-13 22:30:55

“If developers can slow the rate of supply…”

This smells like a RICO violation, suggesting collusion to rig the marketplace?

Comment by Lesser Fool
2015-07-13 19:52:50

slowing rent growth.

Hey, at least rents are still growing! It’s not like they have negative appreciation or anything.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-13 08:28:03

“reports from Hawaii”

Ironically, HI imposed foreclosure moratoriums and moratorium-like measures resulting in the most severe market distortions.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-13 08:37:05

Ashburn, VA Housing Prices Fall 11%


Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 09:52:33

with iv up and price pr sq ft down 3%
finally you picked a winner

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-13 08:46:07

Sacramento, CA Housing Demand Falls 8% YoY; Down Every Year Since 2009


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 08:47:54


‘Blackstone Group LP’s Invitation Homes, after spending more than $9 billion in a U.S. property-buying spree, is starting to sell some houses as it shifts focus from rapid expansion to fine-tuning its holdings.’

“It’s that stage in our lives where we’re now in a position of looking at dispositions as an active part of portfolio balance,” Bartling said in an interview. “You should expect us to sell 5 percent of our portfolio every year.”

‘Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust is selling as much as 5 percent of its roughly 12,000 homes, “pruning and optimizing our single-family portfolio,” Douglas Brien, CEO of the Oakland, California-based landlord, said on a May conference call.’


Got crow rental watch?

Comment by Florida Skeptic
2015-07-13 11:35:52

Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust owns two rental properties next door to me. However, they are mortgaged to JP Morgan through an LLC on an off balance sheet.

It looks like there are 4,095 of them.

The properties get minimal maintenance and are in decline.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-13 14:27:28

Buying and selling property is commonplace is property REITs. Even those that are growing their property base.

They sell assets that are more highly priced (or have less appreciation potential), and buy assets that are lower priced (or have more appreciation potential).

While selling some homes, they are still buying–which if they were exiting the space, they would not be doing.

“Still Buying
Invitation Homes is spending about $20 million to $25 million a week buying properties — down from more than $100 million in 2013 — with a focus on the West Coast and Southeast. The firm sees opportunities to acquire more houses from smaller operators cashing out, Bartling said. It also is considering offering rent-to-own programs or future financing options for tenants who will eventually become homeowners, he said.”

No crow yet.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-13 15:38:41

And they’re cashflow negative.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 09:49:46
Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 10:21:46

in Atlanta you can buy downtown for HA prices of $50 a sq ft
=dead honkey

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-13 11:24:37

dead honkey Debt Donkey

Fixt 4u

Comment by Puggs
2015-07-13 10:59:52

“I just sold a condo in Noe Valley for $2 million, and that’s kind of nuts. It’s beautiful and it’s a great location — but, come on, it’s two bedrooms. I think people are tired.”

^^They were obviously not “tired” yet.^^

How does it feel to overpay?? Kinda like 60 hour work weeks for 30 years! Yuk!

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-13 11:15:52

“That’s what keeps me up at night”

We know what’s keeping you awake Mr. Greenwell. It’s the same thing that kept Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff, Michael Milken and Charles Keating rolling around every night.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-13 11:30:48

Springfield, VA Housing Prices Fall 7%


Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-13 12:29:20

that’s getting personal
my house is going up- an exclusive

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-13 13:08:57

It’s only business my friend. Don’t take the personal professional.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 12:20:34

‘Condo Hotels for Second Homes, Vacation Retreats, Retirement and Investment’

‘And, if it’s a condo hotel unit that you’re thinking of, then you have a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a very exciting, new type of real estate investment, one that shows tremendous potential for the future.’

‘Why are condo-hotel units garnering such rapid appeal as vacation homes?’

‘Top 10 Reasons To Buy A Condo Hotel Unit’


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 13:14:10

‘Realtors, banks and mortgage companies say millennials aren’t buying homes. “They’re just not able to come up with the down payments, or they don’t have that capacity to take on more debt to be able to pay for a mortgage,” explains CNBC’s Kelli Grant.’

‘Most of that debt is in the form of STUDENT LOANS. “If you have a lot of student debt, that could mean you qualify for a smaller mortgage or maybe don’t qualify at all,” Grant notes.’

‘Home prices can be out of reach, plus some don’t want to fall victim like their parents did when the housing bubble burst. Interestingly, another study by insurance firm Assurant found millennials are not behind the surge in apartment living, but rather that’s being spurred by baby boomers looking to downsize.’


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 13:23:18

‘WINCHESTER, Va. - According to one real estate agent in Winchester, the area housing market is recovering and sales are also increasing. “Our inventory this spring is really, really high so that has an impact on the sales as well,” said Long and Foster realtor Cynthia Butler.’


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 13:42:32

Oh dear:

‘As I type this, shares of Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX:HCG) are getting hammered, down more than 15% compared with the closing price on Friday. Traditional loan originations in the second quarter fell to $1.29 billion, a decline of more than 15% compared with the same quarter last year, when it issued more than $1.5 billion in new loans. Insured mortgage originations took an even harder hit, falling from $620 million to $280 million year over year.’

‘For a company that’s consistently impressed the market by beating growth expectations, these numbers were absolutely terrible. It’s little surprise that shares have declined so aggressively on these results.’

‘What’s more interesting than Home Capital’s results is the far-reaching implications for the Toronto real estate market. The Toronto real estate market has been the overwhelming factor in driving Home Capital’s stratospheric growth over the past decade. The company has attempted to expand outside of its home market, but without much success. Currently, about 90% of the loan portfolio is concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area.’

‘Weakness in Home Capital’s business points to either one of two things. Either the company is running out of borrowers, or the real estate market is starting to soften. Neither of those are things an investor wants to see.’

‘This could be the beginning of a pretty nasty cycle. Home Capital bulls have always said the company had such tiny loan loss reserves because it was a skilled underwriter. Bears have countered by saying that increased real estate prices and a healthy economy just bailed out borrowers that got into trouble.’

‘With Canada’s economy starting to falter and loan originations down, it’s easy to now envision a scenario where the bears could end up being right.’


Home Capital Group Inc. -Toronto
34.06 Down 7.95(18.92%) 4:00PM


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 13:56:58

‘Home Capital, the largest mortgage provider outside of the country’s banks, with more than 64 million outstanding mortgages, may face increased pressure this year as the Bank of Canada is forecast to cut interest rates Wednesday. Lenders usually follow with their own prime rate cut, which can reduce pricing margins on mortgages.’

‘Mortgage origination has slowed for lenders as consumers are tapped out with a near-record high level of debt of 163.3 percent of disposable income. High home prices are also keeping many buyers out of the market, despite rates at all time lows.’

‘Toronto home sales rallied to a record for the third straight month in June as the average price for single family detached homes remained above C$1 million. In Vancouver, prices jumped 28 percent and luxury homes are now more commonly flipped as demand grows from local and foreign buyers.’


Comment by rms
2015-07-13 22:43:38

“Mortgage origination has slowed for lenders as consumers are tapped out with a near-record high level of debt of 163.3 percent of disposable income.”

Yep, broke azz losers!

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-13 13:51:06

‘Unit 2206 at the Metropolitan in the Chinatown-South End borderlands hit the sales market in mid-November 2014 for $1,899,000. The price did not seem all that vainglorious given the sheer vitals of the corner penthouse. And yet. Down came the price through the end of 2014 and the start of this year. Unit 2206 has finally traded.’

‘In the end, the condo sold for $1,300,000 in a deal that closed over the weekend. That is a full $599K off the original asking price.’


Comment by Northern VA
2015-07-18 21:55:48

No bubble in the DC suburbs for the 99%.

If rich people want to bid up tiny places to a million bucks and create localized bubbles then more power to them. They can afford to lose their money when the bubble pops, they are rich after all. As for the rest of us, well we are looking from the outside in. I can sell my house for a whopping 10% above the price it bottomed at. I’m not at all worried about the rich people’s bubble popping because I’m not a part of it and even if it has some negative impact on my real estate value, I doubt it would fall below the previous bottom and since I’m barely above that level, who cares?

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