February 10, 2016

An Oversupply Of Luxury Inventory

The Visalia Times Delta reports from California. “The Visalia Planning Commission will consider whether to grant a three-year extension to build a 219-home subdivision on the city’s west side. Members of the commission approved a tentative map for the planned Lowery Ranch subdivision back in March 2014, but the project never moved forward. Last year, the developers successfully received a one-year extension on that approval that will run out late next month. The delay in the planned Lowry Ranch development reportedly was due to the hit the local housing market took in the recent recession.”

“‘The reason for the request is that the housing market, while recovering somewhat, has not returned to its full strength yet,’ states a letter sent earlier this month to the commission by Visalia’s C.J. Ritchie Farms, which is working to subdivide the 72.5-acre parcel and turn most of the property into single-family home sites. It goes on to say that the developers expect to be ‘ready to go’ once the current inventory of available homes in the Visalia area is reduced.”

From Multi-Housing News. “Founded in 1983, Bethesda, Md.-based ROSS Cos. was the vision of Scott and Beth Ross, with the goal of becoming a leading owner, operator and renovator of multifamily assets in the Mid-Atlantic region area. MHN got a chance to catch up with the ROSS Cos. duo to see what’s in store for multifamily in 2016 and how the company adjusts to the continuously evolving state of the industry. MHN: What are some challenges coming up in the multifamily sector? Are there any supply/demand or pricing risks? Scott: With regards to D.C., we’re seeing an oversupply in the short run of new high-rent Class A units with small square footage.”

The Temple News on Pennsylvania. “Property values in and around Main Campus experienced the biggest jump in price increase in Philadelphia last year. The number and price of houses being sold has increased gradually since 2012, but hit its peak in 2015. Despite the recent sales spike, some are concerned that the price increase is creating a housing bubble, very similar to the one in 2007. ‘It is a classic situation with a bubble, when you have that many for-rent signs,’ said David Elesh, an associate professor of sociology. ‘You have a lot of vacant units. The costs don’t disappear and you pretty much hit a limit with the amount of students.’”

“‘Ultimately, you are going to see more abandonment. If they cannot rent those places or sell those places then they cannot take the strain on their finances,’ he said.”

The Aspen Times in Colorado. “Two reports issued last week showed a drop in January property sales volume in Aspen compared with January 2015. The city of Aspen’s Finance Department reported that its real estate transfer tax collections were down 69 percent for the affordable-housing fund last month, and down 67 percent for the Wheeler Opera House portion.”

“Also, the city’s collection of $140,258 in Wheeler transfer tax payments was 52 percent lower than the $293,000 budgeted for January. The housing portion reaped $253,985, 53 percent below the budget of $546,000, the report shows. Additionally, property broker Chris Klug’s newsletter noted that Aspen had $24.29 million in total sales volume last month, compared with $91.535 million in January 2015.”

The Houston Business Journal in Texas. “Houston home prices hit a new peak in 2015, but are now falling amid the oil slump, according to a new national report. RealtyTrac released its 2015 U.S. home sales report, which found that more than a third of 87 housing markets nationally — including Houston — hit all-time home price highs in 2015. However, Houston saw home sales prices start to slip in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to RealtyTrac. Some housing experts say Houston is most at risk nationally for falling home prices amid the oil slump.”

“Eight U.S. cities — including Houston — saw year-over-year declines in the median home sales price in December. The Bayou City was the largest of these cities nationally to post a decrease in December, according to RealtyTrac.”

From Greenwich Time in Connecticut. “It’s an economic concept that not even the Greenwich housing market can escape: when supply outstrips demand, prices drop. The average sales price for a Greenwich home fell 13 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago, Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report released last week. The luxury home market, defined by the New York-based broker as anything the top 10 percent with the highest asking price, fared even worse, with a decline of 23 percent. In Greenwich, that’s anything listed north of about $4.5 million, including numerous eight-digit outliers like the $26 million former-Mel Gibson estate at 124 Old Mill Road, which has been on the market for well over a year.”

“‘There is an oversupply of luxury inventory in Greenwich,’ said Rob Vannucchi, executive vice president for Connecticut at Douglas Elliman. ‘Anytime supply is greater than demand, pricing will go down, and that’s what we’ve been seeing for some time now … the ultra-high end market is certainly not doing as well as we would hope.’”

“Vannucchi said the environment is not unique to Greenwich. Many of the affluent bedroom communities surrounding New York City — including Westchester County and Long Island — where former-city dwellers have historically moved to put their kids in good public schools, are facing the same issue as Greenwich: too many luxury single family homes, too few condos.”

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Comment by inchbyinch
2016-02-10 05:40:45

“Visalia’s C.J. Ritchie Farms, which is working to subdivide the 72.5-acre parcel and turn most of the property into single-family home sites.”

Were we live, in Ventura County, So Ca, a lot of farmland has been sacrificed for development, concrete SFH jungles are everywhere, and also shopping centers galore. We need to preserve farmland and orchards. Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” had a point.

We’ve owned new construction until this home, and it is a better buy.
We wanted a one-story, so we bought this L shaped cottage.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 05:52:58

There’s a globe full of land and 95% of it goes undeveloped.

The sea of rapidly depreciating houses end up right back in the ground where they came from anyways.

Comment by cactus
2016-02-10 10:28:29

The most expensive markets in the fourth quarter were all in the West, led by San Jose, California, with a median of $940,000. The median was $781,600 in San Francisco and $716,600 in Honolulu.

Company HQ is right there in Santa Clara and I hear nothing but complaints about the high cost of housing from the new hires.

Makes Ventura Co. look cheap except nobody wants to move here because there are no jobs and its boring.

Comment by CHE
2016-02-10 13:13:16

Ventura is basically people who gave up on the way to Santa Barbara.

I mean come on.. you only had another 25 minutes to go….

Comment by cactus
2016-02-10 10:47:12

I heard from a Chinese guy I work with that Chinese only want new construction. He said they bought up Irvine and don’t take care of their houses so they go to pot pretty quickly.

Old homes need constant repair believe me.

Comment by CHE
2016-02-10 13:15:55

I grew up in Irvine and there was always a contingent of Asians in town (mostly my friends in school)… but now and all the shopping centers of my youth sport Chinese signage. The transformation has been astounding over the last 10 years.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-02-10 05:50:06

‘Nomura points out that Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank were hit by concerns over capital adequacy as they booked goodwill impairments, and restructuring and litigation charges. Both stocks now trade well below crisis levels at prices not seen since the early 1990s, it points out “There definitely is almost a crisis state right now, he added, and the crisis isn’t there,” Armstrong said. “Deutsche Bank isn’t about to go bankrupt. It’s got a lot of issues facing it.”

‘almost a crisis state right now…and the crisis isn’t there’

Well just stamp your little feet Armstrong and make it all go away.

Comment by Jingle Male
2016-02-10 06:16:22

Deutsche Bank was one of the strongest banks in the world in the 1990s. The last of the big AAA rated banks…..right up to the time they went long on the Ruble. We called it “dancing the Ruble rhumba”. It has been 18 years of slow steady downsliding ever since.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-02-10 05:53:36

A town in Texas:

‘Navasota City Manager Brad Stafford reported a $600,000 shortfall in gas sales at the Monday night city council meeting. The domino effect of the oil crisis has caused Navasota’s industrial park customers to reduce their production resulting in reduced gas usage and having a significant effect on city operations and services. Nonessential hiring within city departments has been suspended leaving both the utility and street departments with two unfilled positions that “will probably remain unfilled for some time.”

‘Karen Larue, Executive Director of the Navasota Housing Authority presented her annual report and economy woes are being felt by the housing authority as well. Larue said, “We are seeing a big influx instead of single moms and children, we’re seeing families because of the economy” and occupancy at Allen White has been at 100 percent the past three months.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-02-10 05:56:08

Airbnb Hosts Glut the Market, Miss Out on Super Bowl Score

‘You get this glut of supply in the market, with thousands of extra listings at ridiculous prices.’ Ian McHenry, co-founder of Beyond Pricing’

Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 08:09:23

Airbnb Hosts Glut the Market, Miss Out on Super Bowl Score ??

Yeah, it was all the buzz around here leading up to the game….It ended with a big thud….I know of a number of people who put their house up on AirB&B and did not even receive a inquiry….Conclusion was everyone wants to be in SF where all the partying is going on….

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2016-02-10 05:56:32

Los Angeles, CA Real Estate and Homes for Sale-24,498 properties found


Los Angeles, CA Price Reduced Homes for Sale-6,342 properties found


26% of all Los Angeles area sellers slashed their price at least once

Comment by Jingle Male
2016-02-10 06:02:49

“…….The city of Aspen’s Finance Department reported that its real estate transfer tax collections were down 69 percent for the affordable-housing fund last month, and down 67 percent for the Wheeler Opera House portion……”

Wow, look how magnanimous are the people of Aspen. They dedicate funds almost equally to the poor and the opera!

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-02-10 06:13:11

Our Liberace would be horrified.

A reader sent this in. I would have never found it. It speaks to the power of having many individuals reading and contributing. What do we see? If rich people are pulling in their horns from Aspen to London to New York to Hong Kong?

Comment by Jingle Male
2016-02-10 06:32:38

It may mean the market is entering a declining cycle, with fewer sales, lower prices and longer marketing times. It makes sense after 5-6 years of expansion.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 06:34:12

This is no “cycle” Jingle_Fraud.

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Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 08:12:00

What do we see? If rich people are pulling in their horns from Aspen to London to New York to Hong Kong ??


Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 08:39:35


Why buy today what you can buy later for 65% less?

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Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2016-02-10 06:03:08

Encino, CA Housing Market Craters; Prices Plummet 13% YoY On Ballooning Housing Inventory


Comment by Ben Jones
2016-02-10 06:17:55

‘The outlook for Maersk Line - the company’s golden goose and the world’s largest container operator - racked up $182 million in red ink last quarter and the outlook for 2016 isn’t pretty either. The company now sees demand for seaborne container transportation rising a meager 1-3% for the year. “Freight rates in 2015 averaged a monthly $620 a container on the key Asia to Europe trade route, with the break even level at more than $1,000,” WSJ notes. “In February the cost of moving a container from Shanghai to Rotterdam fell to $431, according to the Shanghai Containerised Index, barely covering fuel costs.”

‘barely covering fuel costs

And that’s with fuel costing less than fresh water.

Comment by Jingle Male
2016-02-10 06:36:23

If only we had hydrogen fuel…fresh water is a by-product, so transportation could be cash flow positive! LOL

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-10 09:25:35

Koolade is free. Drink up.

Comment by In Colorado
2016-02-10 09:31:04

And that’s with fuel costing less than fresh water.

You must mean less than bottled water. I pay $2.50 for a thousand gallons of tap water. I don’t think gasoline or diesel will ever be that cheap.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 09:39:41

I don’t think filling your fuel tank will get you very far down the road. But you can try it.

How about a tall glass of hot gasoline before you go to bed?

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-10 11:50:47

Water is what you get when you burn gasoline, so you can have your fuel and drink it too. Carbonated, an extra bonus.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 06:21:35

Dallas, TX Housing Prices Crater 15% YoY


Comment by Prime+1
2016-02-11 03:18:04

Lake Highlands is doing pump and dump like crazy! They are buying bungalows and doing teardowns for mcmansions like crazy. Sorry, the party still is going on there, as Dallas believes that they are not affected by oil lol.


Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 06:45:37

Comment by scdave
2016-02-09 07:52:42
This is the house that Sarah built ??

That Sarah bought in 2011….$1,695. mil….No loan….Gee’s, did this simpleton Grizzly mom from Wasilla Alaska hit the lotto ?? Know wonder Trump loves her…Same mold different gender…

Reply to this comment
Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-09 09:55:36
Seems to me Dave you claim to own a house as well. Isn’t your condemnation of Sarah the pot calling the kettle black? Perhaps you are just doing the little tea pot calling the kettle…

Same mold, different stature.

Gee’s Blue…Did you even read my post or do you just respond to anything that I post much like HA ??

The point in my posts was that Palin seems to have hit the jackpot real quick going from some obscure council person in Wasilla and a half way Governor to being able to purchase a 2nd home in AR for 1.7 mil with no loan…

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 06:57:30

Paying a grossly inflated price for a rapidly depreciating asset, in this case a house, is hardly the definition of hitting the jackpot.

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-10 09:30:29

I don’t accept allegations of moral corruption based on somebody owning a house worth more than mine, or more than yours. That’s all. Maybe that’s not what you meant to imply, but it rang that way.

Comment by In Colorado
2016-02-10 09:34:59

According to google her net worth is 12 million. When you consider that sitcom stars are often worth a lot more you realize she’s just a small fish.

Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 09:58:41

According to google her net worth is 12 million ??

Well maybe she made that kind of money on her book because her pre -VP run gives no indication that she comes from a any residual means…

Comment by In Colorado
2016-02-10 10:18:56

Didn’t she have a contract with Fox News for a while?

How much does she charge for speeches?

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Comment by cactus
2016-02-10 10:55:05

Tax returns would show something I suppose. Or not ?

Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 11:26:54

Didn’t she have a contract with Fox News for a while?

How much does she charge for speeches ??

Maybe its the combination of all those that put her there…12-mil is a pretty substantial net worth in a short period of time…

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-10 11:57:26

“Since Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House in 2001, they have earned more than $230 million.


Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 08:00:03

Update: Crude Oil Plummets To New 52-Week Low


Comment by Double Flip Triple Gainer
2016-02-10 08:18:05

It will be quite a sight watching Yellen’s nose grow as today’s Q&A persists. Fascinating times, these.

Comment by taxpayers
2016-02-10 08:28:13

yellen admist to one n done
as HBB readers knew

Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 08:43:20

yellen admist to one n done ??

December was a must do…Whatever credibility the FED has would have been lost if they took a pass in December…Looking out further, I don’t think the FED must do anything….Gradual can have any number of of definitions…Gradual over 12 months or over 5 years ???

Comment by snake charmer
2016-02-10 11:54:39

That’s the point of anything the Fed says officially. Amorphous, elastic words and phrases that can mean anything the listener wants them to. The institution doesn’t expressly say that it’s making things up as it goes, but they might as well.

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-10 09:33:00

All we know is that the people at the Fed are a dangerous bunch of idiots.

Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 10:00:29

the people at the Fed are a dangerous bunch of idiots ??

The real idiots are in DC…

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-10 10:20:04

It’s a whole king size bed full of idiots.

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Comment by taxpayers
2016-02-10 08:37:59

what will happen to the” million dollar listing” shows?

is there a possitive RE market in the USA ?

Comment by scdave
Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 09:17:27

“the National Association of Realtors said”

Sounds nice(and typical of this shady outfit) but they fail to mention the fact that demand is cratering at that price.

Remember…. I can ask $50k for my 10 year old Chevy pickup but were is the buyer at that price?

So it is with any depreciating asset like a house.

Comment by In Colorado
2016-02-10 09:48:36

Chicoms pay 1 billion to buy Opera browser:


I don’t about anyone else here, but I’ve never even used the Opera web browser. How can it possibly be worth 1 billion USD? With Chrome, Firefox and Safari available for free, how do you make any money with Opera?

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-02-10 10:46:13

Perhaps it is more portable than a crap shack in Vancouver. Money wants to leave China. It doesn’t necessarily want a “return”.

Comment by scdave
2016-02-10 11:29:04

Money wants to leave China. It doesn’t necessarily want a “return”. ?

Exactly…They will even take a haircut as long as the remainder is safe…Better than losing all of it…

Comment by CHE
2016-02-10 13:23:19

So by buying a depreciating asset, Chinese are in effect already engaging in a form of negative interest rates?

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-02-10 10:26:01

Edwards, CO Housing Prices Collapse 20% YoY On Plummeting Housing Demand


Comment by Larry Littlefield
2016-02-10 13:14:20


“The developer of a proposed supertall condo tower in Sutton Place that has drawn opposition from residents in the tony Manhattan neighborhood is facing foreclosure by one of its lenders.”

“Gamma Real Estate, a real estate investment and lending firm operated by N. Richard Kalikow, has started to take steps to seize the project, located at 426-432 E. 58th Street and owned by Bauhouse Group.”

“Gamma holds as much as $128.8 million in loans against the property, according to both its website and city property records, including mezzanine debt—loans that some developers obtain on top of a senior mortgage. The debt can be risky because they allow lenders to foreclose quickly. According to Stephen Meister, an attorney who represents Bauhouse in the foreclosure action, the Gamma debt expired last month. ”

I wonder what that means.

The rich who live around it have filed an application for a zoning change that would make it impossible to build the building, even though it complies with existing rules. Such a change normally takes a long time and the building can proceed under old rules if it has a foundation in.

The last guy to build a supertall building near there after exploiting a zoning loophole? Donald Trump, back when he actually built things.

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