July 31, 2015

The Bust Doesn’t Destroy Wealth

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “A Nobel Prize Laureate is warning that Sydney’s real estate market is showing every sign of being in a dangerous price bubble. Professor Vernon Smith, who was honoured for his work in experimental economics, is in Sydney to talk about global property prices and he spoke to our business editor Peter Ryan. Ryan: ‘What lessons should Australia be learning from the subprime crisis in the United States, which led to the housing crash which triggered the global financial crisis, even though the circumstances are different that Australian holders of mortgages simply can’t drop their key off at the bank.’”

‘Smith: ‘Guard against allowing people to buy homes that last up to 100 years largely with other people’s money and particularly bank money because it exposes the banks so seriously. Actually, we learned it in the 1930s, but forgot it. You see, it isn’t that we’ve never been there.’”

“Readers had plenty to say this week about the high rate of abandoned homes and ‘zombie foreclosures’ in New Jersey. Heisenberg: ‘It’s still very difficult for young couples to get a mortgage.’ Eh, I didn’t find this to be the case. My wife and I bought our first house 2 years ago, at the age of 25. We were both out of college, with excellent credit, and we were approved for approximately $400,000. WHAT? Sure we both made decent money and only had some student loan debt, but 400k? We wouldn’t be able to pay a mortgage and taxes on a $400k home. We ended up paying less than $300k for our home. We were shocked at how quickly the big-bank mortgage lenders gave us an enormous loan, like 2006 all over again.’”

“That ‘all-cash’ dominated luxury condo market you keep hearing about? Turns out, it’s not really a thing. In fact, more than 40 percent of buyers purchasing Manhattan condominiums priced at $5 million or more took out mortgages, according to The Real Deal’s analysis of condo purchases between July 2014 and June 2015. To be sure, some who buy $5 million homes avoid massive mortgages because they ‘don’t want the hassle,’ said Warburg Realty’s Jason Haber. Many of them ‘refinance after closing,’ he added.”

“Ed Mermelstein, a real estate lawyer, noted that wealthy individuals often finance home purchases by borrowing against their own portfolio of investments rather than against the property itself. ‘The wealthier you are, the more options you have in terms of the purchase of a real estate asset,’ Mermelstein said. ‘Investment professionals come up with some ingenious proposals on borrowing against your own assets.’”

“The ills of the housing crash are far from cured: 7.4 million borrowers were still ’seriously’ underwater on their mortgages at the end of June, according to RealtyTrac. How can this be when home prices are still rising? It depends on how you read those prices. The median, however, means half the homes sold for more and half sold for less, so if higher-priced homes are selling more, which they are, that skews the median higher. Another report from Weiss Residential Research digs deeper in local areas and finds that nearly half the homes in the nation’s top markets are actually losing value.”

“‘Don’t be fooled by averages,’ said Allan Weiss, CEO of Weiss Residential Research. ‘All of the largest metro indexes are rising more slowly than they were a year ago though market reports give the impression that values are rising across the board. However, people don’t own the entire market, they own one house.’”

“Renters in Edmonton are getting a break now that the oil prices have dropped and the economy is slowing down. The softer market means landlords have to try harder to get and keep tenants. David McIlveen, director of community development of Boardwalk Rentals, says they have to offer incentives. ‘Right now in Calgary and Edmonton, you could get at least a hundred dollars off many of the suites that are available from what you would be renting a year ago,’ he said.”

“The situation is even more extreme in Fort McMurray. Apartments are going for $500 a month less than they did a year ago. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the vacancy rate is just over 22 per cent. McIlveen says apartments are going for $300 to $500 a month less than they did a year ago.”

“Mumbai’s real estate sector is going through one of its worst phases. According to Samantak Das, chief economist, Knight Frank India, various factors have led the realty sector to stagnate. ‘Builders are facing shrinkage in funds and are saddled with a huge pile of unsold inventory,’ said Das. The findings also point out that more than two lakh houses remain unsold in the MMR. ‘It will take at least three years to clear this stock,’ said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank. ‘There will be turmoil if things do not improve in the coming months,’ he said.”

“China’s stock-market plunge soon could be crashing like an economic tsunami onto the shores of Orange County and the rest of California. China stands as California’s third-largest export destination, after Mexico and Canada, Esmael Adibi, director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University, told us. Exports to China amount to $16.1 billion a year, 9 percent of the state’s total. Although no official numbers exist for Orange County alone, he estimated that roughly 10 percent of the Golden State’s total comes from here.”

“A slowing Chinese economy could scale back its citizens’ real estate investments in Orange County and other California coastal areas. Although that could cool a hot market for sellers, it also could make housing here a little more affordable. Much of China’s problem stems from government attempts to shift investments from its faltering real estate sector and into stocks. That created a stock market ‘bubble’ whose bursting probably was inevitable.”

“It’s similar to interference by the U.S. government, with the positive goal of increasing homeownership, that helped cause the real estate bubble of a decade ago – and the inevitable crash during the 2007-09 Great Recession.”

“Last week for the first time the average house price in Sydney passed one million Aussie dollars. But excessive house prices, although trumpeted by some as a sign of economic strength are usually the very opposite; they are more typically a sign of dreadful economic mismanagement. The higher house prices, the more vulnerable the market is to a massive reversal. Sometimes this reversal can be triggered by events that seem far away but suddenly appear right on your doorstep.”

“For Australia, events in China could well be the trigger to make Aussies realise that while house prices may fluctuate, debt doesn’t. Debt is real and if a market that is being driven by excessive lending slumps, the post-crash society will be characterised by excessive debts.”

“Australia is ‘China’s quarry.’ It exports all sorts of commodities to feed China’s apparently insatiable demand for raw materials. This Chinese demand drove commodity prices facilitating a boom in the vast mining outback of Western Australia. Right now, the Aussie housing market looks to be madly overvalued. Without commodity wealth, Australia looks like a large leveraged bubble.”

“When it comes to the fallout from housing booms, Aussies would be well advised to heed the wisdom of John Stuart Mill, the 19th century English economist and philosopher, who said of market booms and busts that ‘the bust doesn’t destroy wealth, it merely reflects the extent to which wealth has already been destroyed by stupid investment decisions taken in the so-called boom.’”

“When we see average house prices hit one million dollars, we can’t say we weren’t warned.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 04:36:03

‘One of Australia’s significant second-tier lenders is suspending new property investor loan approvals until later this year to comply with the bank regulator’s limits. ‘Australia’s property market is experiencing high levels of investor property lending growth and we are supportive of the regulator’s intention to slow this growth to appropriate levels,” said AMP Bank’s managing director Michael Lawrence.’

‘Over the past few months, banks and other financial institutions have started imposing tougher income tests and interest rate buffers on property investors, with many also increasing the amount of deposit that buyers must put up.’

“Trusted sources on the ground including agents and mortgage brokers in Sydney are informing me of would-be buyers now holding back,” Mr Christopher observed in his latest note on the real estate market.’

‘Mr Christopher said the changes “will knock out most of the weaker borrowers”, which is what they are designed to do, but the rate rises by the banks may see other investors also choose not to buy, or even to start selling some of what they own.’

“SQM expects total residential property listings have surged in July, though the final result will not be known until early August,” he added. “The problem is, property investors can be a fickle bunch. A number of them are momentum driven - buy when the market is moving higher and sell when the market is heading lower.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 04:45:11

From the first link:

‘PETER RYAN: Just over the last week or so, Australia’s major banks have been gently raising investor and interest-only loans. Surely that must be a sign that they feel they could be overexposed?’

‘VERNON SMITH: Oh yes, but insofar as its investors speculating and wanting to resell at a profit, then some are going to be disappointed when that turns around.’

‘PETER RYAN: Some could be burned?’

‘VERNON SMITH: Oh yes, yes, but you know, free economies involve losses. If you’re not willing to take the losses well, you can’t really brag about the gains.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 04:50:52

‘The local Royal LePage office released its latest update. The headline: St. John’s home prices soften during the second quarter of 2015. Agent Glenn Larkin said the there are more houses on the market compared to last year, which means there are more choices for people looking to buy.’

“The market has certainly taken a breather from where it has been for the past five-plus years,” said Chris Janes, the senior market analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in St. John’s. According to Janes, what just a couple years ago was a seller’s market has flipped to the other side. Buyers are now in control.’

“I think it’s kind of surprising to a lot of people when you look at what’s happening to the price of oil and what the expectation was,” said Janes. Janes says the local scuttlebutt on the street was that there would be a 20 to 30 per cent drop in prices. “We’re certainly weathering the storm and the market has been fairly resilient so far this year.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 04:55:45

‘My friend Bob (last name omitted to protect the guilty) sold his sprawling house in southwestern Colorado Springs some time ago, and he has been looking for a smaller place since. When he sold, we were beginning to emerge from a long, dismal buyers market.’

‘Now we’re in the kind of sellers market that we haven’t seen for decades. “The market is really, really strong,” said my former Colorado Springs Business Journal colleague Amanda Miller Luciano, who abandoned journalism a few years ago for a career in real estate. “I’ve never seen it like this,” said veteran Manitou Springs real estate broker Mike Casey.’

‘In 1941, my parents bought a mildly dilapidated, three-story Victorian on North Tejon Street for $2,100. The Cripple Creek gold rush had ended decades before, and Colorado Springs was a pleasant, poky, tourist-dependent little town. Built in 1899, the Tejon Street house had likely declined in value since. Real estate in 1941 wasn’t seen as a particularly good investment, but one you made for a stable and secure living environment.’

‘After my father died in 1957, my mother sold the house and downsized. The sale price: $17,500 — an increase of nearly 800 percent.’

‘In 1995 it sold for $265,000, a 1,500 percent gain in 38 years, almost precisely matching the 1941-1957 rate. In October 2014, the house again changed hands, this time for $730,000.’

“Nevada and Cascade have a lot of traffic,” one North End resident told me, “and the noise from I-25 and the railroad is pretty severe on Wood and the streets west of Wood, so Tejon is the sweet spot.”

‘Still, $730,000 seems like a lot.’

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 07:57:25

‘Still, $730,000 seems like a lot.’

I’ll bet it has an awesome walkscore ;-)

Comment by Goon
2015-07-31 10:59:25

When’s the last time you walked anywhere Rockstar?

Loveland has an average Walk Score of 26 and has 66,859 residents

Comment by snake charmer
2015-07-31 11:11:38

I see that my neighborhood has a walkscore of 56, which purports to qualify it as “somewhat walkable.” But this is Florida. Walking during daytime in the summer, essentially seven months of the year, almost requires a shower afterwards if you’re outside for more than a quarter-hour. And you might get a shower coming or going, too, from a thunderstorm.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-31 08:33:58

730k on Tejon. Really?

Comment by Puggs
2015-07-31 09:33:17

I used to live on North Nevada near this area. It’s one of the nicest parts of the Springs. Big tall oak trees and wide boulevard streets. Walk score is only high once you get a mile or two from downtown. But $730K for a high maintenance hipster shack?!?!?!

Comment by Califoh20
2015-07-31 14:45:21

“$730,000 ”

“But how much did they lose from depreciation?” HA or MB

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 15:11:25

Answer the question my friend.

Comment by oxide
2015-07-31 05:07:32

“That ‘all-cash’ dominated luxury condo market you keep hearing about? Turns out, it’s not really a thing. In fact, more than 40 percent of buyers purchasing Manhattan condominiums priced at $5 million or more took out mortgages”

My iPhone tells me that 100 - 40 = 60. :roll:

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:11:18

’some who buy $5 million homes avoid massive mortgages because they ‘don’t want the hassle,’ said Warburg Realty’s Jason Haber. Many of them ‘refinance after closing,’ he added.’

This is what Blackstone and many of the “all cash buyers” do as well.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 05:45:05

dumb.borrowed.money. in every direction.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 08:01:04

This is what Blackstone and many of the “all cash buyers” do as well.

That’s the beauty of using investor money as opposed to borrowed money. Borrowed money has to be paid back. Investors can be told that there was an unexpected loss. And if they complain, you can tell them that if the wanted guaranteed returns and principal conservation, that they should have put their money in a Federally insured bank or credit union.

Comment by aNYCdj
2015-07-31 10:17:21

Trump consigliere Michael Cohen buys UES rental for $58M
Investor beats out bevy of foreign buyers in bid for Stonehenge 63; condos in the cards


Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-31 08:35:23

See my comment yesterday to Ben regarding a property at Broom and Elizabeth Streets in NYC - Tadao Ando ain’t no slouch architect and units there start at 5 mil. Yikes!!!

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 14:04:58

And not a buyer in sight.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-31 05:15:12

other than san fran and devner there are none I can find

Don’t be fooled by averages,’ said Allan Weiss, CEO of Weiss Residential Research. ‘All of the largest metro indexes are rising more slowly than they were a year ago though market reports

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:15:38

‘As traders, market pundits and economists jaw over whether the Federal Reserve this year will lift its benchmark lending rate for the first time in almost a decade, several corners of the U.S. bond market aren’t waiting around.’

‘A wide range of short-term interest rates, which tend to be the most sensitive to Fed policy expectations, have been quietly grinding higher for weeks, or in some cases much longer. Several have even surpassed their levels from two years ago during the bond market’s “taper tantrum.”

‘For example, overnight bank borrowing rates have been inching up for the better part of a year and are around 36 percent more costly than in May 2014, when they hit a record low. Yields on investment-grade corporate bonds are holding near recent two-year highs, and the premium paid for holding them relative to Treasuries is the steepest since September 2013.’

‘The federal funds effective rate, which the Fed seeks to control, has averaged 0.14 percent for three days in a row, matching its highest level since May 2013. That is 1.5 basis points above the midpoint of the zero-to-25-basis-point target range the Fed adopted in December 2008. A basis point is a hundredth of a percentage point.’

‘Another key rate, the three-month London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a benchmark for $350 trillion worth of financial products worldwide, topped 30 basis points on Wednesday for the first time since January 2013.’

‘For some, though, the most telling signal in recent days is the rise in interest rates on Treasury bills. The interest rate on three-month T-bills that mature on Sept. 17, when the Fed releases its next policy meeting statement, rose to almost 7 basis points on Thursday, the highest level in nearly 14 months.’

“T-bill rates are usually the last to move. They only move when they see the whites of the Fed’s eyes,” TD’s Goldberg said.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-31 05:43:25

I suspect the Fed’s secret wish is that with enough saber rattling (aka “forward guidance”) before liftoff, markets may sufficiently adjust in anticipation to a degree that minimizes the short-term impact of actual liftoff.

My impression is that a similar approach was used for the QE3 taper.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 06:00:31

It’s best not to lend credibility to their words. Instead expose the widespread damage central bankers planning creates.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:19:39

‘Alberta, Saskatchewan about to see ‘sharp’ increase in credit delinquencies, TransUnion predicts.’

“Based on an historical analysis of the last oil crash and recent payment behaviour trends, we expect materially higher delinquency rates in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the second half of 2015,” said Jason Wang, director of research and industry analysis in Canada for TransUnion, adding if lenders don’t get proactive there could be double-digit delinquency rate increases in Saskatchewan, and as much as a 60 per cent rise in some parts of Alberta.’

‘TransUnion says the first sign of cash flow problems is when consumers reduce their credit card payments. A statement with $1,000 may only require a minimum payment of $25 but consumers usually pay more of that balance to avoid interest while many users pay off their balances in full every month.’

‘TransUnion looked at Fort McMurray and found that the number of residents there who pay no more than twice the minimum amount due on their credit card balances had increased by 10 per cent from last summer.’

“In short, this is a first sign of emerging liquidity constraints. As a result of the slump in the oil industry, many consumers in Alberta may be facing challenges meeting their monthly payment obligations,” said Wang.’

‘Mark Kelly, a trustee in bankruptcy and partner with Hardie & Kelly Inc., said the impact is already being felt. “We have seen a significant increase in the number of individuals seeking relief from their debt over the last four months,” he said.’

‘Kelly said some Albertans end up at his door because of job loss but in many cases it’s the accumulation of debt over the last few years. TransUnion said part of the problem might be that almost six years years later, balances for outstanding credit cards are 21 per cent higher than 2008 levels.’

“What’s particularly important to understand is that balances are much greater today than they were in the 2008 and 2009 period. Thus any delinquent accounts will place a greater burden on the economy,” said TransUnion’s Wang.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 06:04:57

‘The impact of the economic slowdown in Estevan can be seen in the drop in building permits so far this year. Single-family residential permits have sustained the biggest reduction. Three permits have been issued for $805,150, compared to 38 permits, worth more than $5 million, through June of 2014.’

‘Estevan has been a hotbed for building activity in recent years. Last year there were 157 permits issued with a total value of more than $34.9 million. The permit values peaked in 2013, when several large multi-family projects started; 122 permits worth $57.8 million were granted. There were 111 permits worth more than $26.6 million in 2012, and 139 worth $40.6 million in 2011.’

Comment by snake charmer
2015-07-31 07:02:34

The party’s over. It’s sad how many people, having gained the ability during a boom time to live large, choose to live even larger, as if their income had tripled rather than doubled.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 08:02:58

Correct. You see all the shiny new F-350’s with huge boats behind them and you wonder “are they really doing that well?”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:22:03

‘The Bob and Dolores Hope estate in Toluca Lake is now priced at $12 million — nearly half the previous $23 million asking price — and $15.5 million less than what it came on the market for in 2013.’

‘The price adjustment is similar to the steep cut that the Bob and Dolores Hope estate in Palm Springs saw in December. The John Lautner-designed estate on 6.2 acres in Coachella Valley was reduced in price to $24.999 million — less than half the $50 million originally asked.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-31 05:44:50

Got Joshua Trees?

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 05:47:30

Keep on slashin’ folks. It’s a long way down before you’re near actual price of materials and dirt.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:26:18

‘Analysis from Davy Stockbrokers revealed that Dublin asking prices over the first half of the year experienced their weakest rise in two years. Davy said it estimates that Irish house prices are now valued at around five times average earnings, similar to the market in the UK, but in Dublin they are six times earnings.’

‘John McCartney, research director at estate agency Savills, said the rally seen in the second half of recent years is unlikely to be repeated this year. He said: “Agents are reporting that there has been a definite cooling in the market.”

‘Savills said the cooling in the Dublin market was inevitable after months of rapid growth in the second half of last year and strict mortgage lending rules since February.’

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-31 05:29:02

Novato, CA Housing Prices Fall 4%


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:29:43

‘Close to 42,000 newly constructed homes are lying unsold in Ahmedabad, states a report released on Wednesday by global real-estate consultants Knight Frank. The report states that builders are under tremendous pressure as the sales of houses in the city have touched a “record five-year low”.

‘The report pointed out that premium market (all of which were in West Ahmedabad), where houses were priced at Rs 1.5 crore and above, developers were finding it difficult to sell even five years after launching their projects. “This is a very long period for builders,” said the official.’

‘In the coming six months (July-December 2015), the quantum of unsold houses is expected to rise in Ahmedabad. “We expected 36 percent increase in the new housing projects being launched in the second half of the year. However, the growth in sales of these homes will only be 11 percent, which will meant an addition to the existing unsold inventory,” Das added.’

Comment by oxide
2015-07-31 12:17:49

I had to look up Ahmedabad. It is in Western India, 150 miles from the border with Pakistan. For an better idea of the type of area this is, here is another article from the same paper:

Use public toilet, get paid Re 1 in Ahmedabad

In an innovative way to eradicate practice of open defecation, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has announced ‘use and get paid’ scheme under which people will be paid Re 1 for using public toilets.

The civic body has turned around its ‘pay and use’ public toilets scheme to ‘use and get paid’ in its bid to keep the city clean and curb menace of open defecation.

The novel approach was cleared by Standing Committee of the AMC recently.

Standing Committee Chairman Pravin Patel said the concept of ‘get paid to use public toilet’ will bring out desired results.

“We have around 315 public toilets in the city. And we have identified some 120 areas where open defecation is practiced around the public toilet facility. Initially, users of public toilet will be paid in these areas,” Patel said.


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 14:20:32

There are probably similar things in Mumbai, and some of the real estate there is more expensive than New York. Or it used to be.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-31 05:33:36

Mountain View, CA Housing Prices Fall 6%


Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:33:52

‘Building permits for new, single-family homes are on the rise in Northwest Indiana, adding supply to a market that has tightened significantly in recent months. “From 2008 through April of 2012, it was not pretty,” said Carol Carden, president of Valparaiso-based Coolman Homes. “From that point on, things are going very, very well.”

‘Coolman closed sales on 37 homes in 2014 and is building more than 20 now. Coolman is currently building homes in six neighborhoods in the Valparaiso area. Generally, the company builds for owners who’ve already committed to the home, but sometimes builds homes on speculation, Carden said.’

“As fast as we’re putting in spec homes, we’re selling them,” she said.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:37:51

‘For the second month in row, the National Association of Realtors is citing Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor as two of the 10 hottest real estate markets in the country. In May, Metro Detroit ranked 10th while Ann Arbor was ninth, and in June both moved up a notch.’

“The market has been extremely active for the first half of the year and sales are up because our inventory is so low,” says Jan Hays, an Oakland County real estate agent with Max Broock Realtors of Birmingham. “The last seven houses I’ve sold in Sylvan Lake sold in less than five days. One sold in 24 hours to the first person who walked in the door.”

‘Ann Arbor prices are back above the peak levels set in 2005 during the housing bubble, sales agents say. For southeast Michigan, the Realcomp median sales price in June of $160,000 is almost back to the record high, which was slightly less than $165,000.’

“It’s very hot. It’s definitely a sellers’ market right now,” said Craig Joeright, an agent with Howard Hanna Realty Services in Birmingham. “If it goes on the market and it’s something that’s move-in ready, you’re getting multiple offers over the asking price. In the last two months I closed about 20 homes. June and July have been crazy.”

“I put a house on the market Tuesday, and by Wednesday I had three offers all over the list price of $225,000,” says Tracey Roy, president of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors, and an agent at Charles Reinhart Realtors. “There’s not enough inventory for the amount of buyers, especially priced at $300,000 and under.”

‘Nonetheless, buyers from higher-priced markets aren’t balking at prices in Ann Arbor. “I just had someone in from an area where homes are really expensive, and they’re mesmerized by what they can get for the dollar,” Roy says.’

‘Says Jan Hays of Broock Realtors: “We’re finding that a lot of people who can make the move up are doing so now because interest rates are still favorable.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 06:10:28

‘There are fewer first-time homebuyers than in the past, in part because tighter lending rules and greater student loan debt make it harder for young adults to buy their first homes, experts say. A shortage of moderately priced homes in Great Falls and other major Montana markets is also a contributing factor.’

‘However, bank and housing officials say they’ve observed an uptick in housing interest recently among the 20- to 35-year-old group and say homeownership is still viable if young adults set realistic goals and seek financial counseling to improve their credit record.’

‘Some young adults are hesitant to buy homes and be tied down, Larew said, adding that many heard their parents say they wish they hadn’t bought such big houses, or leveraged such a big loan during the easier credit times from the 1990s to 2007.’

‘Yet there still are considerable benefits for young adults to buy homes, Larew said, such as putting down roots in a community to raise a family, while building up equity over time and securing the tax advantages of deducting mortgage interest payments and real estate taxes.’

‘The inventory of Great Falls houses listed for sale now in the $163,000 to $177,000 price range — the median price range of the last two years — is only 27, indicating it’s a seller’s market, with multiple offers likely to be made, Thompson said.’

‘If young house seekers do spot a house they like in their price range, they should consider offering a bid quickly, said Betsy Cayer, a Realtor with Dahlquist Realty. There’s a shortage of good houses in the starter price range of $150,000 to $185,000, she said, adding, “It’s really difficult to find decent houses for $150,000 and below that don’t require a lot of repair work.”

‘Cayer said she’s helped several young couples buy homes, and noted that Veterans Affairs offers a low down payment and favorable rules for military and retired military members with a good work and credit history.’

Comment by Dman
2015-07-31 06:26:10

“There’s not enough inventory for the amount of buyers, especially priced at $300,000 and under.”

That’s because Ann Arbor is a mid-size town with very little new construction in the desirable areas, much like Fort Collins. Go a few miles from the college and there are plenty of working class neighborhoods where houses are dirt cheap.

““The last seven houses I’ve sold in Sylvan Lake sold in less than five days. One sold in 24 hours to the first person who walked in the door.”

Sylvan Lake consists mainly of 1920’s era vacation cottages that can be had for the price of an SUV. The fact that the realtor only mentions Sylvan Lake, at the very low end of the market, and Birmingham, at the very high end of the market, and Ann Arbor, an expensive college town, makes me think that the realtor is more about propaganda that the truth.

Comment by snake charmer
2015-07-31 07:09:25

I was in northwest Indiana recently and it is not pretty. One of my favorite stories from the 2005-06 time frame is a colleague who attended a professional function in Chicago. He reported overhearing discussion that the next big thing would be lakefront property in Gary.

Comment by Dman
2015-07-31 08:24:33

For those who want that post-apocalyptic beach experience.

Comment by snake charmer
2015-07-31 14:21:26

To add some color, a elderly relative of mine graduated from high school in Gary. He used to give me a “Gary tour,” where we drove around and looked at significant places from his youth and young adulthood, now destroyed or derelict, including his now-abandoned high school. But there was a time when the city thrived. The lesson I took from it was that such a fate, while anticipated by almost no one, was possible anywhere given the right set of adverse circumstances.

It wasn’t as spooky as Detroit. Now that freaked me out. It wasn’t the people. It was the absence of people. There were some buildings that had been abandoned for so long that trees were growing on the roofs.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-31 08:41:17

Yep - ugly indeed - add to that a nuke plant - some bargain malls and a few fixer upper second ‘beach front’ homes on the south end of Lake MI and you have yourself a paradise. Most of NW Indiana sadly is composed of poors who migrate occassionally to Chicago for work but live in NW Indiana for tax purposes and cheaper housing.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-31 05:36:09

Portland, OR Housing Prices Fall 10%


Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-31 05:38:03

Irving, TX Housing Prices Plunge 18% YoY


Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-31 05:49:47

Vienna, VA Housing Prices Plummet 19%


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-31 05:49:59

‘Guard against allowing people to buy homes that last up to 100 years largely with other people’s money and particularly bank money because it exposes the banks so seriously. Actually, we learned it in the 1930s, but forgot it. You see, it isn’t that we’ve never been there.’

We remember the 1930s lesson clearly, even as amnesia blocks out the memory of the most recent episode (2000s to the present and ongoing).

Comment by trader jack
2015-07-31 13:37:38

I truly doubt that many people on this board remember the 1930’s

I am 92 and barely remember them.

It was really quite a good life for most.

freedom existed!

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 14:29:06

William S. Burroughs said peak freedom in the US was around 1915, I think.

Comment by oxide
2015-07-31 18:27:19

Post more. Post a LOT more, please.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-31 05:57:17

“A slowing Chinese economy could scale back its citizens’ real estate investments in Orange County and other California coastal areas. Although that could cool a hot market for sellers, it also could make housing here a little more affordable. Much of China’s problem stems from government attempts to shift investments from its faltering real estate sector and into stocks. That created a stock market ‘bubble’ whose bursting probably was inevitable.”

Sounds as though improving affordability may soon be underway for bubbly California coastal real estate markets. Maybe our children won’t need to either win the lottery or move to another state when they grow up?

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 05:58:07

‘Despite several years of an improving housing market, a large share of Georgia homeowners are still “seriously underwater” – owing 25 percent more on their mortgages than their homes can bring in a sale.’

‘About 17.3 percent of all the homes in the state that have a mortgage are underwater, according to a report released today by RealtyTrac.’

‘The state has the seventh-highest share of seriously underwater homes, according to the RealtyTrac calculation. Worst on the list is Nevada with 25 percent of mortgages in that category.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 06:00:55

‘Orlando’s housing market ranked among the highest in the nation for underwater houses and financially toxic foreclosures during the second quarter, a new study shows. In Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties, more than 26 percent of houses fell in that category last quarter — double the national rate for seriously underwater houses and higher than Florida’s rate of 28 percent.’

‘Nearby Orlando, Polk County ranked top in the nation for houses deeply upside down. More than 28 percent of mortgaged houses in that county were languishing financially last quarter with home loans at least 25 percent greater than the home value.’

‘For Orlando-area houses in some stage of foreclosure, 28 percent actually had some equity last quarter but more than half of them were seriously underwater — far above the national rate of 34 percent.’

“What that tells me is that most of the foreclosures still lingering in Orlando are the bottom of the barrel and have been left behind and just not recovered their values,” Blomquist said.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-31 06:05:10

Looking at the large toxic residue of underwater owners from the last bust, despite the Echo Bubble, makes you wonder just how bad the next leg down is going to be.

Comment by Dman
2015-07-31 06:42:51

But I also get the impression that this bubble popping might not be as bad as the last one because this bubble seems to be limited to certain areas and price ranges, despite realtor quoting articles that try to create the impression that prices are increasing everywhere. I posted an article yesterday that says prices are actually still falling around much of the country. As Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing. Only when housing gets down to the level people can afford will real economic growth begin.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 07:29:05

‘this bubble popping might not be as bad as the last one’

It depends on what bad means. Lower houses prices sounds good to me. Check out the 1930 on price movements:


Now this:



‘The Japanese market went back just below where its bubble started in 1986. For that to occur in the U.S., home prices would have to fall 55% – 65%, not the 34% we saw at worst in 2009. Around the world, the greatest bubble by far occurred in Shanghai, up 525% since 2000, and in China in general. (China’s supposed to have a soft landing?) Mumbai saw a 400% bubble, Dubai 300% and Seoul 205%. The greatest bubble in developed-country cities starts with Brisbane, Australia at 210% followed by 180% in Miami, 170% in L.A. and 165% in Vancouver. There are many cities that could see real estate drop 70% to 85%!’

There are already cities with these size declines. There is no price for some of these empty cities and Australian mining towns. I could show you towns in Texas that were emptied out by the oil/RE bust. Now we have mobile homes in Canada BFE that are on the market for $400k and up. Don’t you think those might drop 70 or 80%?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-07-31 07:32:43

The problem is a very large overhang of debt. Prices will fall to levels that are “affordable” but then there won’t be many who can even afford that, so prices will fall further. The distortions of this biggest in human history global credit pyramid are so great that they cannot simply quietly unwind and “back to growth we go”.

Growth can start after assets are liquidated on a grand scale. This is why watching China is so interesting. They are way out front.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 07:54:08

‘Speculative bubbles that burst are often followed by an echo bubble, as many participants continue to believe that the crash was only a temporary setback. The U.S. housing market is experiencing a classic echo bubble. Exhibit A is the Case-Shiller Housing Index for the San Francisco region, which has surged back to levels reached at the top of the first bubble.’

‘There is one key difference between the first bubble and the echo bubble: echo bubbles aren’t followed by a third bubble.’

Comment by Dman
2015-07-31 08:37:48

I wonder what accounts for that short lived echo bubble after the 1929 stock market crash? It came and went a lot faster than our echo bubble (the Yellen effect?). I like the up and down yo-yo look of the depression era price declines. Every time prices went up a little, they followed by dropping even more. That’s how Wall Street lures mom and pop into the stock market before it leaves them broke.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 08:52:33

‘May 1, 1930: “I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States – that is, prosperity!” – US President Hoover

. August 29, 1930: “American labour may now look to the future with confidence.” – James J Davis, US Secretary of Labour

. October 16, 1930: “Looking to the future I see in the further acceleration of science continuous jobs for our workers. Science will cure unemployment.” – Charles M Schwab.

‘On July 8th, 1932 the Dow reached its lowest level of the 20th century and did not return to pre-1929 levels until 23rd November, 1954. The full impact was not felt until the next year. By 1933, the Great Depression was very real and it would take more than 22 years before the market would regain what had been lost.’


Comment by Blue Skye
2015-07-31 09:35:57

“Every time prices went up a little, they followed by dropping even more…”

It’s like bouncing down a flight of stairs!

Comment by snake charmer
2015-07-31 11:15:59

Heh. “Science will cure unemployment.” As of right now, that prediction has not come true. Science is much more likely to put almost everyone out of a job, which is something our leaders haven’t even begun to contemplate. And no, we won’t be able to educate ourselves out of the problem.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 06:02:09

If it weren’t for foreclosure like moratoriums, CA would be at the top of the list.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-31 06:01:26

“When it comes to the fallout from housing booms, Aussies would be well advised to heed the wisdom of John Stuart Mill, the 19th century English economist and philosopher, who said of market booms and busts that ‘the bust doesn’t destroy wealth, it merely reflects the extent to which wealth has already been destroyed by stupid investment decisions taken in the so-called boom.’”

Soon to be noted in reference to China’s ghost cities…

Comment by snake charmer
2015-07-31 07:22:15

I would love to quiz a group of financial media talking heads to see whether any even know who John Stuart Mill is. Earlier this week I saw a television on during the lunch hour, and one of the financial shows was displaying a large countdown clock to the Fed’s decision. It was clearly an atmosphere of great anticipation, like the NFL draft or something.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 06:16:14

‘Northern Taiwan was hit hardest in the second quarter while construction volume in Kaohsiung held steady, according to a quarterly report. Volume in Greater Taoyuan and Hsinchu plunged by 58.09 percent to NT$30.6 billion, while sliding in Taipei and New Taipei City by 26.46 percent and 24.87 percent, respectively.’

‘In Taichung City, new construction volume tapered by 33.99 percent to NT$54.4 billion in the second quarter, according to the report.’

‘The report showed that developers’ willingness to compromise on price rose by 5.84 percent nationwide, with mixed results. The price concession index shot up in Taipei City and Taoyuan City in the second quarter, by 37.22 percent and 23.48 percent, respectively, and was able to lift sales in the former but not in the latter, Hua said.’

‘In Taipei City, the 30-day sales rate gained slightly by 4.88 percent in the second quarter compared to the preceding quarter, while Taoyuan’s sales rate saw a significant drop of 38.02 percent.’

‘The national 30-day sales rate trended lower in the second quarter, declining by 26.87 percent on average and hovering around the 10-percent mark at all six special municipalities.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 06:19:38

‘Weeds are growing around a partially constructed Bakken housing camp that is connected to an alleged Ponzi scheme, and officials in this northeastern Montana town would like it cleaned up.’

‘Work on the Great American Lodge in Culbertson stopped in May after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against developer North Dakota Developments and its owners, alleging they defrauded investors for Bakken housing projects that were not finished.’

‘Crews were delivering mattresses and air conditioners to some of the units on the day the news broke that the lodge was connected to a $62 million Ponzi scheme, Oelkers said. The assets of the developers were frozen, work on the facility came to a halt and the site has become an eyesore.’

“We have a half-done facility that can’t be occupied,” Oelkers said. “The weeds are growing and it’s looking real tough and it’s going to deteriorate real fast.”

‘Oelkers said he anticipates the units will eventually be sold “for pennies on the dollar” either to someone who wants to open it up or move the units elsewhere. But officials want to prevent the facility from deteriorating before it can be sold.’

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-31 06:30:36

I seem to remember what happened the last time all the headlines proclaimed the housing bubble in all its glory.


Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-31 10:30:57

Not to shoot the messenger, but the author of the article also wrote: TESTOSTERONE PIT, a short, edgy, humorous novel about car salesmen, their customers, managers, and shenanigans at a large Ford dealership.

But in all seriousness, if you adjust the prior median home price peak for inflation, we aren’t close to surpassing the prior peak.

AND, wouldn’t a sign of a bubble be people rushing into purchase a home (abandoning rentals), like in 2005-2006?

What does it say if people are NOT rushing to buy en masse, but prices are going up anyway?

Comment by Mafia Blocks
Comment by Mermelstein
2015-07-31 16:00:54

I like the way you think Rental Watch,
this bubble talk is nonsense.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 06:33:04

‘Redflag is the Newspaper of Socialist Alternative’

‘Relative to the US economy, China has grown tenfold since 1980. Several factors have been responsible. Drawn by the prospect of an apparently inexhaustible supply of cheap labour, foreign investment was further encouraged by the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, which provided increased access to markets, capital and managerial expertise.’

‘China was transformed from being one of the least internationally integrated big economies, with total trade accounting for only 9.5 percent of GDP in 1978, to the most integrated, with the share of trade rising to 60 percent by 2013.’

‘The Chinese government ensured the continuing competitiveness of Chinese goods by repeated devaluation of the currency, from 1.5 yuan to the US dollar in 1978 to 4.8 in 1990 and 8.3 in 1994 – a level at which it was pegged for 11 years. The low currency has been another factor drawing in foreign money because it makes Chinese assets cheap for investors.’

‘The export boom was extended by recycling the country’s trade surpluses into purchases of US Treasury bonds. With China proving a deep-pocketed buyer of US bonds, US interest rates were kept low, promoting growth in the US and securing markets for Chinese exports.’

‘There is no clear distinction in China between state and private capital. The mass privatisation program of the 1990s led to sections of the party-state bureaucracy morphing into private capitalists. Former SOE directors reappeared as owners of the businesses they once managed. Or subsidiaries were spun off as private businesses owned by former SOE functionaries. This was theft on a grand scale.’

‘Private capitalists and state capitalists are part of the overarching Chinese ruling class. Business owners are welcomed into the Communist Party. One investigation found that the 70 wealthiest members of the Chinese National People’s Congress, its “parliament”, hold wealth of US$75 billion. The New York Times estimated in 2012 that the family of former premier Wen Jiabao holds $2.7 billion in assets.’

‘The big SOEs and Chinese private business owners enjoy extensive support from the state, which provides them with privileged access to land, finance, raw materials and export licences. Provincial governments clear the way for their further expansion, flooding rural areas for big dam projects, seizing land from farmers, turning a blind eye to toxic incinerator plants and using the security forces to suppress workers.’

‘The seizure of land by provincial governments to build apartments, shopping malls and industrial estates has been an important element in Chinese industrial expansion. It has substantially enriched the local bureaucracy and property developers across the country. Farmers are compensated in pennies and thrown into the job market to compete with millions of others.’

‘The push by the Chinese government in recent years to use its greater economic weight to draw other countries into a regional division of labour centred on the needs of Chinese industry is an indication that outward investment is now becoming more systematised. The One Belt, One Road plan announced by the government last year represents the extension of this project.’

‘The state banks have used the massive pool of credit to lend at cheap rates to SOEs and other big companies. In other words, Chinese capitalism has advanced not just by exploitation of workers at the point of production but also by subsidised investment capital stolen from their pockets.’

‘The global financial crisis led to a collapse in world trade. Thousands of Chinese companies shut their doors in the first half of 2009 and 20 million migrant workers were sacked in a matter of months. The government responded with a huge stimulus program equivalent to 14 percent of GDP.’

‘The result was a rapid expansion in credit across the entire economy as the state-owned banks lent money to local government investment agencies. These agencies used the funds to embark on a crash program of airport, road, railway, bridge and new city construction. More than 20 new steel blast furnaces came online in 2013 alone.’

‘The stimulus was successful in pushing growth rates up, but left a toxic legacy. The local government agencies are now weighed down with enormous debts and burdened by infrastructure that is seriously underutilised.’

‘Private indebtedness also ballooned as companies took out big loans to build capacity. Much of this has been financed by the shadow banking sector, meaning that the actual extent of indebtedness is unclear.’

‘The property bubble deflated in 2014. With hundreds of thousands of empty apartments sitting on the books, prices came down. Property developers have been kept afloat only by soft loans from the state banks because the government is anxious about the impact that a string of bankruptcies would have.’

‘As the Chinese government looks for mechanisms to restore growth, it comes up against the problems of the broader world economy, the balance of factional power within its own ranks, its desire to protect its own privileges in an economy premised on elevated rates of worker exploitation, and its need to maintain its legitimacy in the eyes of a working class which is restless.’

‘How the tensions in Chinese capitalism pan out is impossible to predict, but such is the size of the economy and its working class today, that future developments will have repercussions all over the world.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-31 06:47:02

Paging AlbqDan: Care to serve up a rebuttal?

Comment by scdave
2015-07-31 08:48:51

Paging AlbqDan ??

I had a degree of respect for him staking out his opinions and positions along with offering data to try a backstop his assertions…

Now that a lot of chit has hit the fan in China, he disappears…Lost the respect I did have…He obviously does not have the nuts to man up and come back here to say he was wrong OR offer counter reasoning on why China has faltered…

If he had showed up, he would have taken his lashes and then been able to continue to offer opinion…Since he ran the other way, he just shows us that he has weak knees or he is so narcissistic that he can’t stand to be shown he was wrong…

I have a felling we won’t see him again UNLESS China booms again…If that happens, fully expect for him to rear his head here again…

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-31 12:00:34

“Housing bubble blog? What Housing Bubble Blog? I never visited any Housing Bubble Blog!”

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Comment by Dman
2015-07-31 06:58:41

Ask not for whom the bell tolls….

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 08:14:55

‘China was transformed from being one of the least internationally integrated big economies, with total trade accounting for only 9.5 percent of GDP in 1978, to the most integrated, with the share of trade rising to 60 percent by 2013.’

60 percent of China’s GDP is tied to exports.

What could possibly go wrong?

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 06:47:20

‘Dubbed the gig economy, collaborative economy and peer-to-peer economy, the global sharing economy involves the exchange of goods and services between individuals, predominately facilitated through websites and apps. Peer-to-peer transactions are commonplace in urban areas and are just beginning to make inroads in San Luis Obispo County.’

‘Ryan Perron owns two online businesses and also flips houses with an income stream that fluctuates — something he found hard to adjust to after leaving his full-time job as a project manager for a construction company five years ago. After Uber came to San Luis Obispo County, he considered it an excellent opportunity to supplement his income. He put his 2014 silver BMW into service last November.’

‘Perron typically works 20 to 30 hours per week as an Uber driver, during which he averages $25 to $40 per hour after Uber takes its 20 percent cut. On busier nights, he makes as much as $80 an hour.’

‘Leland Simpson is not so sure about that. Simpson started his Grover Beach cab company, 234 Taxi, 15 years ago with a single cab. Since then, he’s grown to 10 cabs and 20 drivers who work primarily within the city of San Luis Obispo.’

‘He became aware of Uber two years ago but didn’t feel its impact until late last year. He estimates that his call volume has dropped 30 percent because of it. “I’ve talked to other cab owners, and we’re all down about the same,” he said.’

‘Some customers have returned to cab use after becoming frustrated by Uber’s inconsistent pricing, Simpson said. Sometimes Uber offers a cost savings over its conventional counterparts and sometimes not.’

‘According to an article on the Uber website, “when the supply of cars gets tight, we will raise the price in increments over time and conversely as supply opens up, we’ll lower the price.” Customers are notified on their app when this type of “surge pricing” is in effect.’

‘Consequently, Simpson believes that the fascination with Uber will be short-lived. “It’s a fad,” he said.’

“Competition ultimately makes things better,” Davison said. “Maybe it causes a taxi company to rethink how they do business, how to be more competitive, and in the long run, it’s a great thing for the consumer.”

‘However, the playing field is not always level. Davison noted that a homeowner who rents a room through Airbnb, but avoids taxes and licensing, can charge less for his room, creating “an unfair advantage over those who have to charge more to make the same amount of money.”

‘Simpson is in a similar predicament. He noted that he pays around $1,500 per driver annually for various licenses and certifications. “It was a yearlong process just for me to get a permit, and in less than that time, these guys have come and taken a huge part of my business,” he said. “How come I have to be certified and pay exorbitant fees, when the high school kid down the block can do the same thing I do and not conform to any regulations?”

‘Davison noted that the San Luis Obispo County grand jury recently issued a report stating that the unpaid fees and taxes owed by vacation rentals operating without a business license could total as much as $1 million. Unlicensed vacation rentals not only sidestep payment of business tax but they also easily evade payment of transient occupancy tax (TOT) because they are not traceable. Such payment is required for hotels, motels, vacation rentals, bed-and-breakfasts and some RV parks. TOT funds go back to municipalities for community improvements.’

‘Russ Lovell is one local entrepreneur who believes regulations will be the largest potential obstacle to the growth of the sharing economy. “How will the necessary safeguards and taxes be implemented without killing innovation?” he asked.’

This is all pretty fascinating to me. So black markets are innovation? Bring it on DC, lets ditch these taxes and regulations. Who needs insurance? So what if it undercuts people who went into business by the rules, built up to what they have?

It was a couple-3 years ago FB’s were illegally renting out their shacks on Craigslist and nobody called it innovation.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 07:55:17

Ryan: ‘What lessons should Australia be learning from the subprime crisis in the United States, which led to the housing crash which triggered the global financial crisis, even though the circumstances are different that Australian holders of mortgages simply can’t drop their key off at the bank.’”

So all mortgages are recourse loans in Oz? And they have to be paid back, even if you are foreclosed?

To quote George Takei: Ooooohhhh Mmmmmyyyyyyy!

Comment by Colorado Renter
2015-07-31 08:20:48

My wife and I looked at a house about 30 mins west of Denver on Wed… It was a small little 2/2, one of the railings on the deck was about to fall off, and the others weren’t far behind. The whole house needed paint, and the lot around the house needed to be regraded for drainage. This was just after looking at the house for a few mins… Simply put, the house needs a fair amount of work. It was listed for $339k, and just after we left it went under contract! I still can’t believe it.

The Denver household median income does not match the median house price. It is not sustainable and here is why I think this is so:

First, looking at the Case-Shiller index for Denver we can see that the prices here are taking off like never before:

Now for the common sense stuff: With a Denver median household income of $63k, post-tax income each month is roughly going to be about $4000. Almost half of that is going to be used for the mortgage payment on a $314k house (median price now), leaving about $2000 for the month.

Now factor in utilities and fixing stuff that breaks, and you are now at about $1700. Now include all the other stuff that is often taken out of a check, like health care, retirement, and so on… What’s left? Maybe $1000? So now you have $1000 for the month, for an entire household to live on. This includes groceries, car payment(s)/insurance, credit card payments, student loan(s), clothes, expenses with kids, and so on… That will go quick, and it’s very easy to see how one major life event could really screw that up.

We appear to be at the very limit of affordability, unless people really start committing financial suicide to fulfill “The American Dream”. I’d argue that we are well past that point already, at least as far as my financial comfort zone is concerned…

Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-31 08:57:33

Down 285 way or I-70?

Comment by Colorado Renter
2015-07-31 10:54:07

Off I-70 by Floyd Hill (Evergreen). I grew up out there, trying to get back. I hate living in the city…

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 12:02:45

If you want to live in Evergreen, it’ll cost you, pilgrim. ;-)

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Comment by Dman
2015-07-31 09:14:16

Now is not a great time to buy, and renting is not throwing your money away. Just pity the fool dumb enough to pay that price, and be glad it’s not you.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 09:46:21

It was listed for $339k, and just after we left it went under contract! I still can’t believe it.

You can get something like this for $345K in Loveland:


Comment by Colorado Renter
2015-07-31 10:57:40

That’s definitely a lot more house. But then again it’s Loveland… Kind of like the Parker of the North. Vanilla, boring, and flat.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 11:57:31

That particular house in on the west side, in the foothills

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Comment by Ben Jones
Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 14:07:53

It’s good to housing prices falling, especially in Denver.

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Comment by Puggs
2015-07-31 10:01:27

A large majority of the population only thinks about the now and “how much per month”, even if it is a tight margin.

I remember looking over the interest amortization chart when we were house shopping back in the mid 1990’s. That alone changed our perspective on the type of home we could “afford”. I’ve heard it repeated here time and time again..” if you have to finance it for 15 or 30 years, you cannot afford it.” and I would add…”…it’s priced too high.”

Comment by snake charmer
2015-07-31 11:18:32

What a reality-based opinion. The Fed hates you. :)

Comment by cactus
2015-07-31 09:06:10

My neighbor is retired at age 50 with 2 pensions, US military and sheriffs department.

Middle class in CA.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-31 11:59:55

It’s either that or win the start up IPO lottery.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-31 11:00:18

Quick observation about what I’m hearing/seeing south of SF, mid-Peninsula (scdave, I’d be interested in your opinion on this).

People that I know who have bought within the past year or so, are NOT buying with a euphoria (they are not excited about prices going up), or because they think they are getting a good price. They are buying begrudgingly.

Because the job market is raging, supply is so tight, and they don’t see any storm clouds on the horizon, they’ve kind of thrown up their hands and said “f’ it, I guess we’ll just need to overpay to “get into” the market.”

Which leads to my point…despite low supply, wealth, lots of income, etc., once there is a change in that “no stormclouds” perception, I think we’ll see the crazy demand at crazy prices dry up.

The question is what that first stormcloud will be.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-31 12:07:30

Same as everywhere else… China. 90% of the tech companies that are hiring in the area are chinese backed.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-31 13:30:55

“90% of the tech companies that are hiring in the area are chinese backed.”


Based on what data? Are you just making this up? I know a little about this (my wife is in venture)–while she’s come across Chinese investors, they are a very small part of the market today.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 14:03:44

It’s a fact. Borrowed money from Chinese banks.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-31 14:21:21


Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-31 14:31:08

Based on me looking for a job in tech, and finding out who backs the companies that are looking to hire.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-31 15:04:01

90% is a big claim when Silicon Valley is also home to Sequoia Capital, Benchmark, Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, Founder’s Fund, Accel, Google Ventures, Intel Ventures, etc., etc., etc. who are backing start-ups, and established and growing companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. are hiring like crazy.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-31 15:08:27

Where did Apple say their growth was coming from?

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 15:16:19

Ehhhhhhhhh no they’re not hiring. We seen article after article regarding lay offs.

That’s what happens when you borrow money to sustain operations of unprofitable businesses.

Comment by Mermelstein
2015-07-31 16:10:11

“The question is what that first stormcloud will be.”
Exactamundo Rental Watch. So far no stormclouds! and why should there be?
Fighting the good fight against these Negative Nancys you are, -salute-.

Comment by Odilo Globocnik
2015-07-31 16:25:38

Cheer up! Your future is bright!

Comment by Patrick
2015-07-31 13:24:15

Chinese people seem to be the biggest buyers of high end properties in most of the world’s cities. This is taking a lot of US dollars. A massive amount.

Are the Chinese saying they are becoming more strict on currency violations just to cover this currency exodus ?

Are they exporting their US dollar stocks to protect their worth?

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-31 20:39:36

It’s not an exodus. It’s an invasion.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2015-07-31 14:12:50

Denver, CO Housing Prices Fall 10%


Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 18:18:16

Let’s hope self-eradication is a new trend in RealtorWorld…

“Realtor Gulps Pesticide”


Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-31 18:29:36

“VA Church Claims It Got Ripped Off On A Contracting Job By A Man Nearly $1 Million In Debt”


The rip-off artists occupation? Realtor.

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