June 9, 2016

The Urgency To Buy Has Waned

The Dallas Morning News reports from Texas. “North Texas home sales rose 10 percent in May, even in the face of a continued shortage of homes on the market. The one area of the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market that’s not growing as fast this year is sales of super high-end homes. ‘There’s lots of interest in mid-price,’ said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center. ‘We’ve noticed higher months’ inventory for upper end — more than 12 months.’”

“Ted Wilson with Dallas housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. said he noticed a couple of months ago that million dollar home sales weren’t growing as fast as the rest of the market. ‘Reports from builders and Realtors are that housing prices are perceived as being on the high side right now,’ Wilson said. ‘I think the luxury housing market is still vibrant, but with prices up 30 to 40 percent in the past 4 years, the urgency to buy has waned somewhat.’”

The San Francisco Chronicle in California. “More signs that the Bay Area’s overheated rental market is cooling off: At an industry conference Tuesday, two executives of major apartment owners said that increased supply is causing them to lose pricing power, although they think it will be temporary. Early this year, Equity Residential was able to sign new leases in the Bay Area at 5 percent more than expiring leases, its chief operating officer David Santee said. ‘But literally in probably three to four weeks, as we began to enter the peak leasing season, we saw that pricing power erode from 5 percent down to 1 percent where we are today.’”

“Essex, based in San Mateo, owns and operates about 60,000 units in coastal urban markets of Washington and California. CEO Michael Schall said said that Southern California and Seattle are running ahead of guidance this year but ‘Northern California has disappointed a little bit.’ The problem in Northern California is a ’supply delivery issue,’ he said. About 70 percent of the new units slated to open this year will become available in the second and third quarters. That is putting downward pressure on rents, especially in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, the Peninsula and North San Jose.”

The Real Deal on Florida. “Lately, one question has permeated the minds of many in Miami’s real estate community: Is another bust on its way? At their talk in the Brickell City Centre sales gallery, market analyst Anthony Graziano gave a candid summary of Miami’s residential market — both luxury and in general. ‘2016 is going to feel like a one-legged marathon,’ he said to a room of about 80 brokers.”

“Sales are down, listing inventory is up and sellers are still reaching for ‘aspirational’ prices, which in turn is putting pressure on the market. For agents on the ground, all that means listings are likely to stay on the market for a little longer. ‘The question is ‘Are sellers going to get serious in 2016?’ he said.”

“Of the new condo buildings opening amid Miami’s recent building boom, Graziano said 20 percent to 40 percent are going right back up for sale, while an additional 20 to 40 percent are on the market for rentals. Not only will pre-construction condos have to contend for buyers amid all this existing product, but unit owners who turn to renting will go up against the roughly 4,500 rental apartments now under construction in the downtown area. ‘The bankers are getting really nervous,’ he said, referencing developers’ difficulty seeking financing for their projects.”

The Business Times in Colorado. “What’s traditionally the busiest season for real estate activity in Mesa County is off to a fast start. Unlike some areas of Colorado with what Kevin Bray, development coordinator at Bray Real Estate in Grand Junction, described as ‘overinflated’ real estate markets, the more moderate growth in Mesa County is sustainable, he said. If there’s a troubling trend in the local market, though, it’s an increase in property foreclosure activity.”

“Annette Miller, senior VP at Heritage Title Co. in Grand Junction, said 41 property foreclosure filings and 38 property foreclosure sales were reported in Mesa County in May. Compared to the same month last year, filings were down 10.9 percent, but sales were up 40.7 percent. Those numbers bring year-to-date totals for 2016 to 235 filings and 152 sales. Compared to the same span in 2015, filings have increased 19.9 percent sand sales 35.7 percent. Miller said increased foreclosure activity could be a result in part of people who’ve lost jobs in the recent slowdown in the energy sector related to low prices.”

KCWY 13 in Wyoming. “The effects of the energy downturn are hitting Wyoming residents hard with many homes for sale and some foreclosures. The housing market took a huge hit in 2008. Today Wyoming residents see signs of another slump with more houses for sale but no one buying. In the last few years. It’s been more of a ’sellers market.’ Homes were on the market for a short time. These days many homes are up for sale on the market. So sellers usually negotiate on the price.”

“‘Obviously if your in the market to buy a home now is a good time, interest rates are low, sellers are willing to deal a little bit on prices and on terms so they maybe willing provide part of your closing cost,’ said Dennis Baker as Associate Broker.”

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Comment by Apartment 401
2016-06-09 02:27:13

Realtors are liars.

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2016-06-09 03:53:03

Realtors are politicians

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 07:38:02

Realtors are space aliens that shed their human skins and breath dryer lint each night.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 08:00:48

Craaaaaab people, craaaaab people, taste like crab, look like people. Good South Park.

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Comment by rj soon not to be in chicago
2016-06-09 08:34:33

Meanwhile in Chicago - blub, blub, blub - that underwater and sinking feeling.


Comment by Palm Beach County
2016-06-09 03:28:20

John Grace: Take a deeper look at those home sales figures
Posted: June 07, 2016

It appears to this observer that one of the best indicators of where the economy may be headed is to pay close attention to the buying habits of ordinary people doing predictable things based on age…..


Comment by Palm Beach County
2016-06-09 03:43:46

Miami Beach is hot, hot, hot, and 10 other takeaways from Miami real estate survey
Top market for a condo is Miami Beach; for a single-family home it’s Coral Gables…


Comment by taxpayers
2016-06-09 03:52:55

Miami a bust on the way?
I though their market popped 3-6 months ago
Same for every metro except portland and Seattle
Condo =canary in the coal mine

Comment by Mugsy
2016-06-09 03:58:27

Miami condo market always seems to be the first to crumble. Good luck to the bag holders that will have to kick in tens of thousands to fix the roof, fix the pool, etc when all of the other residents have jingled mailed their way back to Lat Am.

Comment by Palm Beach County
2016-06-09 04:25:45

Pool repairs at Icon Brickell to cost $14.4M, with unit owners footing most of the bill
Some owners would have to shell out upwards of $10,000
June 08, 2016 05:15PM

Comment by snake charmer
2016-06-09 09:07:21

“In January, reports began surfacing of trouble at the $1 billion project’s massive 2-acre pool deck. Its tiles were too slippery when wet, the pool’s piping was faulty and it was leaking into the garage below. The master association decided enough was enough and said it would close the pool for about 14 months once repairs began, leaving residents of Icon Brickell’s nearly 1,800 units without a place to sun their backs or find refuge from the Miami heat.”

Uh, residents can sun their backs at the beach three miles away, maybe? You’d think $1 billion would include a pool deck that didn’t need to be overhauled within a decade. Here’s my question: what’s the next repair going to be?

One of the people commenting on that article, remarkably, claims to live there. He says his $11,000 assessment is no big deal, and that “the new planned deck will be even nicer!”

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Comment by snake charmer
2016-06-09 09:08:56

Here’s how the building website describes the “old” pool deck:

“In Miami, lounging by the pool is a favorite year-round pastime. At iconbrickell, it is a mind-blowing experience! Rising 100 feet on the 15th floor and overlooking the blue-turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay, residents of iconbrickell tower 1, iconbrickell tower 2 and Viceroy residences will find the critically acclaimed two-acre lushly landscaped outdoor living room with mosaic carpets, recreational areas, and pool deck. Inspired by legendary French designer Phillipe Starck, it is the Magic City’s whimsical urban-chic version of the ‘Champs-Elysees,’ the pool deck features Icon Café, towel and lounge service, three infinity edge pools and a dreamy 12 foot outdoor fire place residents refer to as their very own ‘Arc de Triomphe.’

Alongside the three pools are rows of Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees, which offer just the right amount of shade for those wanting to cool down from too much fun in the sun or just wanting to take advantage of the unrestricted wireless technology (Wi-Fi) in one of the cabanas and read a steamy novel on your iPad/nook. For those wanting to catch up on their chess game, checkmate your moves while sipping on your favorite cocktail.”


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Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 05:15:14

Speaking of crumbling, looks like a whole buncha homeowners who got stucco are gonna get stucko with the tab for the crumbling facades on their Lennar homes here in the Tampa Bay area:


“Lennar Homes, one of the state’s largest homebuilders, built Concord Station. By state statute, builders in Florida are responsible for construction defects for 10 years after the home is built. But the Christofaros, and others in the neighborhood, say the company hasn’t taken responsibility for the stucco problems.

“We thought that we could approach them — and we have several times — and thought they’d be more accommodating,” she said.

Lennar Homes, like some other builders, puts an arbitration clause in the deeds of the homes they build. The clause affects consumers shopping for a home, because they can’t see those claims and their outcomes in court records. It also affects homeowners who have purchased a home: If there’s a dispute with Lennar over an alleged defect, they can’t sue the company in open court.”

Love those arbitration clauses.

“Like most families, a home purchase is the biggest investment they’ll ever make. “This is our retirement fund,” said Christina Cristofaro. “This is the house we want to make memories in and enjoy ourselves in.”

Well, they’re certainly making some memories in the house. Get Stucco!

Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 05:27:23

It would be interesting to see the actual number of people dispossessed of their homes nationally due to construction defects, since 2000. Just here in Florida there have been issues with Lennar and KB Home.

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Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 05:32:26

Here’s what’s going on in Connecticut regarding crumbling foundations …


Comment by rms
2016-06-09 06:38:10

Beyond the financial hit, Mr. Harris said, a person’s home is “where their kids were born and grandchildren play.”

Lawyer speak. Hehe.

Comment by oxide
2016-06-09 10:50:00

At least in modern times, children are generally not born in homes.

Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 11:23:11

That may change on account of Obamacare.

Anyway, we’re going backwards, despite all the shiny gadgets and technology. And even those will be useless if an EMP attack happens. Back to the future! Get out those midwife textbooks. Say, there’s a career path!

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 05:31:08

It appears that houses erected by publicly traded “builders” depreciate quite a bit faster that the rest.

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Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 05:44:10

Very. Good. Point.

Lol, they’re creating shareholder “value”.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 07:35:27

Visit a modern construction site. My condo built in 2013 was built like $h!t. The units, which were more like townhome style, shared the walls completely [same studs/frame], and they didn’t even use any sound deadening material/thicker sheet rock for noise between units. If they could have used cardboard they would have. They told my neighbor the “wood” floors couldn’t be scratched….you should have seen what their dog did to it, holy mother. My sidewalk had cracks in it after less than a yr. So glad I got out of that place, what a life lesson.

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2016-06-09 06:59:32

“This is our retirement fund”


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Comment by ibbots
2016-06-09 08:09:13

‘the company hasn’t taken responsibility for the stucco problems’ - time to lawyer up….duh.

Any state with construction defect laws has multiple law firms which specialize in the same. Chances are these folks have received solicitations from the same firms. The firms generally market to developments that have cert of occupancies issued 7-8 years prior, i.e. there are 2- 3- years left on the statute and the defects have presented themselves.

Typically a civil suit is filed and the builder then compels arbitration, so there are court records of suits. Arbitration is usually binding. Nonetheless, an award from an arbitor can be confirmed in state court and is then as effective civil court judgement.

Every builder in CA who’s built more than a couple dozen homes has been hit with a defect suit, especially So Cal.

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Comment by snake charmer
2016-06-09 09:12:13

Some of the new apartment complexes I see under construction use an astonishing amount of particle board. Indeed, I saw one off Gandy Boulevard in Pinellas County that appeared to be made entirely of particle board.

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Comment by redmondjp
2016-06-09 10:49:51

Oriented Strand Board, or OSB. Particle board is sawdust compressed with glue, used for countertops and vinyl floor underlayment because it is so smooth and flat.

But same idea. Neither do well with long-term exposure to moisture.

What do you think builders from a century ago would think about this?

I see five-story apartment buildings and hotels built in the same way locally. Will they still be standing in 20-30 years? Only if the roof and exterior envelope was executed properly. And fire? Boy does that stuff burn . . .

Comment by snake charmer
2016-06-09 11:41:33

Thanks for the correction on that!

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 05:37:47

‘I though their market popped 3-6 months ago’

IMO this is partly a function of a housing market and also how we don’t correctly remember what happened before. Housing isn’t like stocks, where we all look up at a big board to see what the price is. And we didn’t have that in 2005 or 2006 either. Every once in a while I’ll see a HBB post from say, early 2006. There were FBs getting their a$$es kicked. But most people remember 2008, or late 2007. This is the nature of the way I follow this stuff. Looking at pieces here and actions or comments there.

Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 05:57:58

I remember 2006 well. That’s when the market topped out (well, it really topped out in fall of 2005) and froze up. We haven’t quite reached the major freeze-up yet this time around, although the ice is starting to form here and there.

Remember, remember, August/September.

Comment by rms
2016-06-09 06:39:20

“…well, it really topped out in fall of 2005…”


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Comment by taxpayers
2016-06-09 06:18:11

22151 N VA popped in 8/2005 ,but it’s reported as 2006/7

sticky reporting on the downside-only inventory is a good current indicator

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 06:34:24

Here’s a good example:

‘The one area of the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market that’s not growing as fast this year is sales of super high-end homes…‘We’ve noticed higher months’ inventory for upper end — more than 12 months.’

‘Ted Wilson with Dallas housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. said he noticed a couple of months ago that million dollar home sales weren’t growing as fast as the rest of the market. ‘Reports from builders and Realtors are that housing prices are perceived as being on the high side right now’

November 18, 2015

Greedy Bastards Selling At Inflated Prices

From Park Cities People in Texas. “Home sales in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow declined sharply in September compared to June, for example, and prices showed a modest drop as well, according to statistics from the North Texas Real Estate Information System. ‘I think we’re seeing a little bit of a market adjustment. I don’t think it’s a downturn,’ said Michelle Wood, an agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.”

“Sales in the Park Cities dropped by more than 50 percent from summer to fall, and almost as much in Preston Hollow. So it makes sense that as fewer people are buying, inventory is on the rise. The number of local active listings reached their 2015 peak during September, and available properties are spending longer on the market, especially in the Park Cities. ‘We’re starting to see a lot of reductions,’ Wood said. ‘It’s a great time of year to buy.’”

“Wood said that sellers can still get good value, but they might not be able to take advantage of the market as they’ve done previously. ‘Seller expectations on price got a little out of line with reality, so now we’re seeing those properties sit that were overpriced,’ Wood said. She said an influx of new construction is also having an impact on the health of the market. ‘It’s making the houses that are not new have to compete a little harder,’ Wood said.”


‘We’re starting to see a lot of reductions’

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Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 06:44:04

Here’s 5000+ incidents of price slashing in one city alone.

Dallas, TX Real Estate and Homes for Sale-21,941


Dallas, TX Real Estate Homes, Price Reduced-5,123

If you want to get out from under that rapidly depreciating house today, you better start cutting the price. The longer you wait, the larger the price reduction.

23% of all Dallas sellers slashed their price at least once.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 06:50:28

October 1, 2015

A Moment When People Take A Pause

“Has the North Texas housing market gone over the top? Market analysts admit being nervous about the pace of local price increases and unprecedented demand. ‘It’s getting scary,’ said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Gaines was particularly shocked to hear about the dozen or so folks who spent Monday night in tents outside of a McKinney model home park, waiting to be the first in line to lock in their lot purchase. ‘Oh, good grief,’ he said. ‘When you hear that, you have to worry if things are going to go bust. If people are camping overnight to buy houses, that does not sound good.’”

“Buyers lined up starting Monday to get the best home sites in a new subdivision that First Texas Homes is building in west McKinney near U.S. Highway 380. They got first choice out of about 80 new home locations in the Prestwyck Community, which has houses priced from around $315,000. Eight months pregnant and somewhat sleep deprived, Tawana Keah began waiting Monday. A real estate agent who is renting in McKinney, Keah has lived in the area long enough to see former cornfields sprout homes for budding families.”

“‘It’s a good investment because the area is growing so much,’ said Keah. ‘Everything is moving out this way,’ she added as she packed up the overnight camping gear. ‘Because I’m in the industry, I see where the trends are going. It used to be Plano, then Frisco and now McKinney, so the values are just going to continue to increase in this area.’”


Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 06:57:40

“Tawana Keah began waiting Monday. A real estate agent who is renting in McKinney, Keah has lived in the area long enough to see former cornfields sprout homes for budding families.”

“‘It’s a good investment because the area is growing so much,’ said Keah. ‘Everything is moving out this way,’ she added as she packed up the overnight camping gear. ‘Because I’m in the industry, I see where the trends are going. It used to be Plano, then Frisco and now McKinney, so the values are just going to continue to increase in this area.’”

Yapping helpless realtors. What dingbats they are.

Frisco, TX Housing Prices Crater 5% YoY


Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 07:25:47

September 4, 2008

Sustainability Is Not Rocket Science, But It Is Hard

“That screeching sound heard throughout Las Vegas Valley is the brakes being applied not only to large-scale Strip projects, but to many of the residential and mixed-use projects planned for the outskirts of town and outlying rural areas.”

“Expansive master-planned communities such as Coyote Springs 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas and White Hills in northern Arizona advertised the lifestyle and amenities associated with Summerlin and Anthem — poster neighborhoods in Las Vegas — at a significant discount in home prices.”

“Focus Property Group, which snapped up thousands of acres at public land auctions, sunk more than $1 billion into the development of the Mountain’s Edge, Providence and Inspirada communities. The company also made a play in Pahrump with about 1,000 acres.”

“Whether Las Vegas is on the verge of a boom or bust is a matter of opinion.”

“‘The projects that were marketed to come on line and haven’t … am I going to suggest that those projects won’t get built? No way,’ housing analyst Dennis Smith said. ‘Do you think Las Vegas will stop growing? Does anybody really think Las Vegas will stop growing?’”

“Builders at Inspirada are in trouble. Utah-based Woodside Homes may be near involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Kimball Hill Homes filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Toll Brothers, Meritage Homes and Beazer Homes are also partners in Inspirada.”

“Home building at Coyote Springs has been delayed 18 months and prices have yet to be determined, said Klif Andrews, Nevada division president of Pardee Homes.”

“The golf course is finished and open for play and some of the basic infrastructure is in place, including 21,000 feet of sewer lines and 11,000 feet of water lines, A water treatment plant is finished and a separate wastewater and sewer plant is near completion.”

“‘You’ve got to spend $30 million on wastewater treatment before you can hook up one toilet,’ Andrews said. ‘That’s why houses will always appreciate because it’s difficult and expensive to build in outlying areas.’”


Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 07:28:13

From the same post:

“Metropolitan Phoenix was the home-builder capital of the country a few years ago. But the industry has shrunk with the housing market’s downturn. A few home builders, some Valley-based, have filed for bankruptcy. Some smaller home builders have closed their doors. And other builders, including a few large ones, have walked away from empty lots, model homes and entire subdivisions.”

“Several Valley subdivisions have been foreclosed upon. ‘Rumors abound about this builder and that builder,’ said real-estate analyst RL Brown. ‘Subs aren’t paid by a handful of builders. Contracts are renegotiated, layoffs occur. Divisions are consolidated. Management changed. Mortgage brokers close and a bank or two fail. Investigations into unlawful practices grow by the day.’”

“Mortgages Ltd. has gone in less than two years from being Arizona’s largest private commercial real-estate lender to a company plunged into bankruptcy following the suicide of its CEO, Scott Coles.”

“Along with questions raised by the suicide, Mortgages Ltd.’s dramatic fall raises the business question of why a firm holding $900 million in high-interest commercial loans suddenly had to borrow money to stay afloat.”

“‘I can’t figure out how Mortgages Ltd. decided to fund the condo projects it did when it did,’ said Eric Brown, founder of the Artisan Lofts in Phoenix and an analyst with national real-estate consultants Robert Charles Lesser & Co. ‘The timing was bad for most new housing developments.’”

“‘In the end, Coles was probably trying to stem the bleeding,’ said analyst Eric Brown. ‘It’s a very sad and tough situation for many people. Projects were going to him because it was too tough to get money from banks. Coles was aggressive, and it appears he felt he couldn’t lose.’”

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 07:37:45

August 5, 2008

The Punch Bowl Was Left Out Too Long In Florida

The Pensacola News Journal reports from Florida. “Like the Pensacola Bay Area housing market itself, Randy Phillips and his wife Heather Hood have found themselves with too many homes and not enough buyers. They have a house in North Hill they can’t sell, a mortgage to pay on their home in East Hill, and another mortgage on their former home in Orange Beach, Ala.”

“‘We hate to do it, but we’re now thinking about putting the house in East Hill on the market,’ Randy Phillips said. ‘But, quite honestly, I don’t have the confidence we can sell it for anything close to what we have in it. We’re really caught.’”

“They purchased their North Hill home in 2004, just before Hurricane Ivan hit. ‘The storm took the roof off, and we never spent a night in it,’ Phillips said.”

“But they did spend a year and $50,000 repairing it, only to decide it was too small for them. They then bought their current home in East Hill, and in mid-2006 put their North Hill home on the market for $259,000, thinking it would sell quickly.”

“‘As soon as we bought the house in East Hill, the market turned,’ Phillips said.”

“With so many houses for sale, Phillips and Hood turned to the rental market for relief. They managed to attract someone looking for an 18-month lease, but the deal fell through, and they were forced to put the house back on the market.”

“Several subsequent price cuts have pushed the asking price down to $199,999, more than $15,000 below what they paid for the house in 2004. Burdened with three mortgages, Randy Phillips says something has got to give.”

“Bill and Teresa Preston have had their 5,600-square-foot home near Bayview Park on the market for the past two years, with an original asking price of $895,000. While Bill Preston acknowledges that the original price may have been set too high, it has since been dropped to $689,500.”

“A few perspective buyers have looked at the house, but so far, no takers.”

“‘I guess I’m luckier than most because I’m not desperate to sell,’ said Preston. ‘I think it’s reasonably priced now, but I also think if I cut it to $500,000 somebody would snap it up.’”


Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 07:38:14

It’s strange these people don’t know what a septic tank and a well is.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 07:39:43

From the same post:

The News Press. “July was another month of record foreclosures in Lee County and very little new construction of single-family homes. ‘Foreclosures are doing what they’re doing, but the good news is that people are buying foreclosures, so at least there is a demand for these,’ said Jeff Tumbarello, director of the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investors Association, which tracks foreclosures.”

“‘For every two deeds they take back, they’ve been selling one,’ Tumbarello said.”

“The gluttony of existing and foreclosed homes on the market isn’t doing the construction industry any favors. ‘Foreclosures are being sold at prices new homes can’t compete,’ said Jamie Pirrello, CEO of Cape-based Vision Homes USA.”

“In Fort Myers Beach, there were no permits issued this month. None last month either and two in July 2007.”

“Realtor Denise Fulton can see Cape Coral’s foreclosure crisis from her front yard. Standing outside her home on Southeast 8th Place, she can point to four abandoned homes rapidly falling into disrepair.”

“‘People are moving on or moving out of the area,’ Fulton said. ‘And they leave these eyesores for those of us who live here.’”

“The owner of the house on Southwest 17th Terrace had walked away but the bank had not yet taken ownership of the property.”

“‘The problem with the foreclosures is the interim period,’ said Tommy Lee, president of the Cape Coral Association of Realtors. ‘It’s definitely taking longer because of the overwhelming amount.’”

The St Petersburg Times. “As the minibus swings into the driveway, Janet Kenyon takes one look at the new three-bedroom, two-bath house and lets out a shriek. ‘”Oh, my God. I hate yellow!’”

“Kenyon and husband Blu head inside to a pleasant surprise. ‘Aw, this is nice,’ she coos, stroking the faux granite countertops. Best of all, the price: $103,000.”

“Three years ago, a house like this might have gone for $250,000 as investors swooped into Cape Coral and transformed the sleepy waterfront city into one of the country’s hottest real estate markets. Then demand dried up, and by February, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area had a new distinction: No. 1 in the nation in foreclosures.”

“With nearly 11,000 homes in foreclosure - 1 in every 31 households - it could be two years before all the distressed properties find buyers.”

“Cheaper housing prices than those in the Tampa Bay area or South Florida, attracted hordes of speculators. ‘It was a feeding frenzy,’ recalls Suzanne Sherer, an agent in Cape Coral. ‘People were flipping properties right and left. You’d see some homes in bidding wars the minute the sign went up. Prices didn’t make sense anymore.’”

“Blu Kenyon likes Cape Coral’s proximity to Interstate 75 and Southwest Florida International Airport. But the couple decided not to buy one house in Cape Coral. Instead, they decided to buy three. Among them: an 1,800-square-foot home built two years ago for $314,500. Today’s price: $99,000.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 07:48:48

The Bradenton Herald. “Much of the time, Miami native Kenneth H. Thomas, a nationally known banking expert, is traveling, often to Philadelphia to lecture at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he got his doctorate in finance. In a recent interview, Thomas weighed in on the state of the banking industry and the economy.”

“Q: Who is to blame for the current banking woes?”

“A: When we do the postmortem in a few years, the way we did with the S&L crisis, I’m certain we’ll conclude that there were many factors. In my belief, chief among them will be the fact that former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan kept rates too low for too long. And it may very well be he was inordinately influenced by the White House — based on my analysis of his very frequent visits there. But we don’t really know that. But I would say the fact is the punch bowl was left out too long.”

Comment by oxide
2016-06-09 09:54:45

It’s strange these people don’t know what a septic tank and a well is.

The lot sizes are too small to allow for the leach field. And wouldn’t individual septics will cost more than a centalized system?

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 10:28:59

A seepage pit is 3′ round and they’re installed everywhere. Sure sounds like a small lot Donk.

When you give your GC a set of drawings and a check for mobilization to get going, do you give him a check for a sewer plant or a septic tank?

Comment by traderjack
2016-06-09 10:49:30

I appraised a home in socal way back in 1960’s where the house had 3 septic disposal wells in the front yard, and two of them were for the 2 homes higher up the hill. LOL

I rejected the home for the agency I worked for.

5′ wells 65′ deep

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 10:54:37

a 65 foot deep seepage pit isn’t founded in reality.

Comment by Hard Rain
2016-06-09 03:53:32

It’s getting a little lonely at the Hancock Tower

Want to move in to Boston’s tallest building? Now’s your chance.

About one-fourth of the space in 200 Clarendon — or what most of us still call the John Hancock Tower — is sitting vacant after leases expired and tenants such as John Hancock moved to new digs. Landlord Boston Properties Inc. acknowledged Wednesday that efforts to fill it have been going “a little bit slow.”


Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 05:43:07

And you can dupe a bunch of 20-somethings to work crazy hours for you in your financial business and pay them $60,000/yr, and they’ll be stoked because they’re ‘living the dream’ with city life and $2000/mo rents.

People I know pay $300-400 in transit costs (commuter train/regular train) to commute into Boston to work FIRE jobs, making $60-70,000, lose 3-4 hrs of their life commuting, and work late hours to compete with cheap foreigners on VISAS who work to the bone. They don’t realize they could have become teachers and made $40-50,000 in almost any suburb in America and get 3 months off a year.

Comment by taxpayers
2016-06-09 06:35:27

and a guaranteed pension too- 194 days of work out at 4pm

the defined benefit pension is pure gold in a flat market

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 07:34:25

‘Hessam Nadji, CEO of Marcus and Millichap, told Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith in the video above that now is not the time to panic. He’s not worried about a bubble. Rather, he’s confident in the housing recovery and thinks it’s a reflection of a strengthening job market.’

“Consumers are now viewing home buying as a necessity that goes along with household formation, job growth and the real reasons why you should own or buy a home versus the speculation we saw in the marketplace in 2005 or 2006 that led to the bubble.”

‘In addition to the housing market, Nadji said he sees strength in commercial real estate. In fact, he thinks it’s an attractive alternative investment play. “Commercial real estate as a whole has really emerged as a great investment vehicle because of the yields that are in the 5% to 7% range in a cycle that is not plagued by overbuilding.”

‘In terms of specific investment plays, Nadji notes that office property, the only major real estate sector that has yet to surpass pre-recession price levels, is finally seeing higher growth. He thinks two companies positioned to benefit are Boston Properties and Vornado Realty Trust.’

From the comments:

‘Hmmm an investor stating there is no problem wit the real estate market? Sounds alot like 2006. BTW, don;t let them fool you, many of the purchases driving this market are FHA 3% down with 3% back in closing costs, meaning no risk to the buyer AGAIN. The refinancing BOOM is people pulling cash out of their homes like credit cards again. I haven’t seen a rate and term refinance this year. I do see people trying to remove their PMI based upon appreciation.’

‘What’s the average salary in the San Francisco Bay Area? Let’s say $100,000. What’s the average house sticker price? $1,000,000. Can, or better yet, Should the average person be able to afford such house without doing some fuzzy financing? ‘

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Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 07:46:04

“I don’t think you can have [near] zero interest rates for much longer without having these bubbles explode on you,” Icahn did say.’

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 07:47:19

I mean look at the media “household” income for Boston even. It’s only around $75,000. Yet average rent is $2300/mo and average home price in Boston metro is just under $500,000. No way do you afford $300,400, or $500k houses on $75,000.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 07:55:22

Sketchy my friend considering there 2500+ rentals $1300 and under.


Why buy it when you can rent it for half the monthly cost? Buy later after prices crater for 65% less.

Comment by EricP
2016-06-09 10:58:10

^ THIS… I have high school friend here in Cali lala land. middle school PE teacher. making 70K

not math, or science, bio or chem… effing PE…

When I tell some of my CS or egineer “frieds” who are working on 6-9 mo. contracts with no job security or benefits making around the same… the get depressed…

Comment by MightyMike
2016-06-09 11:21:55

Seventy thousand a year is not much in some parts of California.

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Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 12:06:27

Irrelevant in an impoverished state like CA

California The Welfare Capital Of The US


Comment by MightyMike
2016-06-09 15:59:48

Sorry, the cost of living is still high.

Comment by Mugsy
2016-06-09 03:53:57

“The effects of the energy downturn are hitting Wyoming residents hard with many homes for sale and some foreclosures. The housing market took a huge hit in 2008.”

So Gillette’s largest coal mine laid everybody off, Casper’s largest hospital just laid off a big chunk of workers and the oil/gas industry is in the pits so I imagine it’s a great time to buy a house in Wyoming. If you have a steady job.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 04:09:39

Remember……. a “recovering economy” is falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels by definition.

Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 04:58:17

“If you have a steady job.”

Wiki says this of Wyoming:

“As of November 2015, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.0%. The composition of Wyoming’s economy differs significantly from that of other states with most activity in tourism, agriculture, and energy extraction; and little in anything else.”

“… energy extraction; and little of anything else.”

Now take away the energy extraction and what do you have left?

Comment by rms
2016-06-09 06:41:39

“Now take away the energy extraction and what do you have left?”


Comment by redmondjp
2016-06-09 10:55:43

Once construction is complete, there are scant few jobs in wind. My best friend was a wind farm manager - he had 2-3 technicians and they maintained several hundred turbines located within a 20-mile radius.

And 95% of wind jobs are in BFE where nobody wants to live.

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Comment by The Central Scrutinizer
2016-06-09 08:24:05

Meth production and liquor sales are also big there.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by rms
2016-06-09 21:42:05

Wonder what actual finished cost was; not $19,500 anyway. Looks perfect for aunt-nut or the mother-in-law.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-06-09 04:33:51
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-06-09 04:37:57

The oligarch scaremongering over BREXIT is reaching a fever pitch. Why, home prices could fall!


Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 05:25:21

“Mr Soros said he had stepped up purchases of gold because he believed that continued weakness in China would keep global inflation rates around the world dangerously low.”

So he’s buying gold? Isn’t gold supposed to be a hedge against inflation?

If inflation is to be low then the need for a hedge inflation should also be low, should it not?

Comment by Cynical Cynosure
2016-06-09 06:03:08

Not necessarily.

Gold is a hedge against financial instability.

If China’s currency enters turmoil, a lot of Chinese will be buying gold and Soros’ bet will shine.

Gold does very well in deflationary times too.

Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 06:13:21

“Gold does very well in deflationary times too.”

Why? If the buying power of fiat increases during deflationary times doesn’t it make sense that during such times a given amount of the fiat will be able to buy more gold?

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Comment by taxpayers
2016-06-09 06:21:16

and lefties like collecting gold in hard times - FDR during depression

Comment by Cynical Cynosure
2016-06-09 06:22:02


Because during deflationary times, central banks engage in “beggar thy neighbor” currency policies.

The same is likely to happen today.

Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 06:28:55

Here’s an article from May 25: “Venezuela sell gold reserves as economy worsens”.

A key sentence: “The gold swap is another indication the country is desperate for cash.”

If a country (or a business or a person) is desperate for cash then it will be forced to sell assets in order to raise the cash that is desperately needed. Gold, in this case, is but another asset.


Comment by Cynical Cynosure
2016-06-09 06:35:07

However, the average Venezuelan would’ve been better off holding gold.

Heck, the average Venezuelan would be better off owning RE, for that matter.

Yeah, it’s just an asset but it’s the “go to” asset during turmoil.

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2016-06-09 07:03:03

As well as Bitcoin.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 07:29:30

Is Bitcoin ok when energy becomes rationed and sections of the grid are shutdown? How do you access your purse with no computer power or IT access?

Comment by The Central Scrutinizer
2016-06-09 08:26:09

If the internet goes, so does distribution. There will be nothing on the shelves to buy.

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2016-06-09 08:35:27

Bitcoin is still In my wallet and all my holdings are safe no matter what happens to the grid. I keep saying “cold storage wallets” here but no one reads.

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 08:47:16

How useful is money you can’t spend?

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2016-06-09 16:15:04

I spend bitcoin for most of my purchases. Where have you been?

Shiftpayments.com - debit card for bitcoin and used at over 38 million terminals.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-06-09 21:28:17

‘Because during deflationary times, central banks engage in “beggar thy neighbor” currency policies.’

That’s it. Gold would intrinsically do well in times of deflation if not for counter-fundamentals intervention by central bankers.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-06-09 05:08:56

How can the DNC impose a collectivist kleptocracy if those armed bitter clingers stand in the way?


Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2016-06-09 05:21:06
Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 05:52:46

‘European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned on Thursday of “lasting economic consequences” of years of weak output. Every effort needed to be devoted to ensuring that output was returned to potential before subpar growth causes lasting damage, the ECB president said. “For the ECB, this means that we do not let inflation undershoot our objective for longer than is avoidable given the nature of the shocks we face.”

‘James Butterfill, head of research and investment strategy at ETF Securities Limited said there were political connotations to what Draghi was saying. “He is asking, imploring governments to act, and so far they haven’t,” he told CNBC. “In a way, he has done his part and the politicians now need to do their part.”

‘Every effort needed to be devoted to ensuring that output was returned to potential before subpar growth causes lasting damage’

I am reminded of this movie quote:

‘Lone Watie: We thought about it for a long time, “Endeavor to persevere.” And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.’

Comment by Palm Beach County
2016-06-09 05:54:26

How Americans are missing out on homebuying help

Published: June 9, 2016 8:35 a.m. ET

Down payment assistance programs can slash closing costs, but few buyers know about them….


Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 06:35:35

No money down mortgages. The definition of subprime.

Here’s a secret: They never went away.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 07:31:23

When I was purchasing a home in 2013, the mortgage lender tried to offer me a “FHA +”, when they told me people had the option to finance the 3.5% downpayment, I was in disbelief. Financing for an already low down payment?! That says it all for the state of the average American savings.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 08:16:38

It’s not just the down payment:

‘Can FHA Loan Closing Costs Be Financed?
Here’s a variation on a common question about FHA home loans: “I have read in several places on the web that it is possible to finance your closing costs into a FHA loan. However, many of these sources are at least a couple of years old. Is this possible?”

‘The FHA official site offers some helpful information about FHA single family home loans and their associated closing costs. At http://www.HUD.gov on the page titled Let FHA Loans Help You, you’ll read the following: “FHA might be just what you need. Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, and most of your closing costs and fees can be included in the loan. Available on 1-4 unit properties.”

‘Some of your FHA loan closing costs may be financed, and some may–after being negotiated between buyer and seller–be paid by the seller within the boundaries of the FHA loan program’s rules. The borrower also has the option to pay some closing costs out of pocket.’

‘The FHA loan requirements for closing costs may vary depending on the nature of the loan whether it’s a new purchase FHA mortgage, a Streamline Refinance loan or an FHA Cash Out Refinancing loan.’


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Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 09:27:41

And more!

‘People with credit scores under 500 generally are ineligible for FHA loans. The FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances for applicants who have what it calls “nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit” if they meet requirements. Ask your FHA lender or an FHA loan specialist if you qualify.’

‘Two mortgage insurance premiums are required on all FHA loans: The upfront premium is 1.75% of the loan amount — $1,750 for a $100,000 loan. This upfront premium is paid when the borrower gets the loan. It can be financed as part of the loan amount.’


Comment by rms
2016-06-09 12:35:29

“The FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances for applicants who have what it calls “nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit” if they meet requirements.”


Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 06:01:24

‘Equity Residential was able to sign new leases in the Bay Area at 5 percent more than expiring leases…‘But literally in probably three to four weeks, as we began to enter the peak leasing season, we saw that pricing power erode from 5 percent down to 1 percent where we are today.’

So it fell apart in a short time, coinciding with “peak leasing season.”

‘Essex CEO Michael Schall said said that Southern California and Seattle are running ahead of guidance this year but ‘Northern California has disappointed a little bit.’ The problem in Northern California is a ’supply delivery issue,’ he said. About 70 percent of the new units slated to open this year will become available in the second and third quarters’

Mike, (can I call you Mike?) this isn’t a problem. Just cancel this 70% supply. What? You can’t? Even if everybody agreed to try, which they won’t, it has to be finished. So it’ll kinda be every man for himself. It’s a good thing you didn’t price in ever increasing rents in the proforma stuff you gave the lenders. Otherwise they might get nervous.

‘Not only will pre-construction condos have to contend for buyers amid all this existing product, but unit owners who turn to renting will go up against the roughly 4,500 rental apartments now under construction in the downtown area. ‘The bankers are getting really nervous,’

Comment by Rental Watch
2016-06-09 08:23:02

I wonder if the 1% pricing power is actually 1%.

Because if it actually is 1%, then all this supply isn’t having much of an impact. So, instead of being able to raise rents by 3% more than inflation, you are only able to raise rents by 1% less than inflation?

Big deal. The big issue with oversupply comes when you need to lower rents meaningfully, or you can’t find someone to lease your building no matter what the rent.

The CEO knows this, which is why he has an incentive to acknowledge problems, but find some propeller-head somewhere in his organization to say +5% went to +1%, instead of a different propeller-head who says +5% actually went to -3%.

Again, I wonder if the +1% is true when factoring in concessions…I guess the next couple of quarter’s financials will tell the story.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 06:15:40

‘Welcome to Larry Page’s secret flying-car factories’

‘When the aircraft take off, they sound like air raid sirens.’

‘The people at the airport haven’t heard Page’s name ­mentioned, but they long ago concluded Zee.Aero’s owner is super rich. Zee.Aero employees receive catered lunches—sometimes $900 worth of barbecue from Armadillo Willy’s, a local chain. Recently, the company purchased a $1 million helicopter to fly alongside the planes and gather data.’

I read yesterday that Uber is more valuable than Mercedes.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 06:33:33

Flying cars, man on the moon, global library on a cell phone.

You’d think they’d find a way to prevent houses from depreciating rapidly.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 06:43:44

When I was early in college I wrote a paper on Sid Richardson. Famous oil man who was at one point the richest man in the world. His fortune was passed on and became the foundation of the Bass Brothers and railroads, etc. The other day I read about “4 hedge fund managers made a billion dollars last year.” We’ve entered a new age where vast fortunes are made and lost in such short periods of time. Think of the Rockefeller’s, Carnegie’s and such. Once they had it made, did they piss it off? I’m sure there are similar examples, but the frivolousness of these billionaires certainly signifies something.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 07:52:18

And to be fair, at least the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Vanderbilts were producers of real tangible industry. Adjusted for inflation, wouldn’t Rockefellers wealth dwarf Gates/Buffet ($100 billion+)? I visited a Vanderbilt summer home in Rhode Island, the daughter donated it to a historical foundation. Just the billiard room alone had millions of $$ worth of custom tile mosaics and guilded gold. The wealth of these families is simply unprecedented.

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Comment by The Central Scrutinizer
2016-06-09 08:29:27

Guilded gold? Now THAT’s extravagant!

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 09:12:46

They also had special blue marble slabs shipped in from Spain custom ordered, just for the billiard room!! The house was built in the early 1920’s. I felt like I was in Bruce Wayne’s manor. And to think it was just the nephew’s summer home, not even the main Vanderbilt. I’d like to see the extravagance of their Asheville NC estate.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 09:14:45


Comment by rms
2016-06-09 12:42:28

“I’m sure there are similar examples, but the frivolousness of these billionaires certainly signifies something.”

“Family’s Fall from Affluence is Swift and Hard”

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Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 15:29:39

Easy come, easy go.

Comment by MightyMike
2016-06-09 15:46:44

It must be envy that makes reading stories like that so enjoyable.

Comment by rms
2016-06-09 20:42:47

Didn’t even put some aside for the kid’s college. Loosers [sic].

Comment by Combotechie
Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 06:47:24

Think Howard Hughes. We might see Zuckerberg or Bezos wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes before long.

Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 07:10:40
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Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 07:48:50

Kleenex boxes and going unshowered for 10 years is so 1950’s. We’re more inclined to see Zuckerberger undergo a sex change operation while moving his existing junk around to the back of his neck.

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Comment by snake charmer
2016-06-09 09:21:26

Or “Citizen Kane.” Rosebud!

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Comment by rms
2016-06-09 12:43:57


Comment by alphonso bedoya
2016-06-09 20:14:32

Howard Hughes was a high functioning chronic schizophrenic.
With money and fame, schizophrenics become reclusive.

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Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 09:27:42

Tesla just leapt out in front of VW in “brand value”, and is valued at $4.4 billion. What in the world? VW is one of the world’s largest automakers. Doesn’t Tesla have 2 models, and one smaller model in reservation/design? You only see Tesla’s in affluent areas like SF/NYC/LA…

Comment by In Colorado
2016-06-09 10:12:17

“Brand Value” is as intangible as it gets. Would any other automaker pay Musk 4.4B for his “brand”. I don’t think so, so that number is pure vapor.

Comment by Ethan in Northern VA
2016-06-09 12:37:27

Tesla is awesome. Their cars are awesome. And they’re disrupting the dealer network garbage. VW got caught cheating on something that is a big deal with a lot of it’s market (environmental.)

Comment by rj soon not to be in chicago
Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 06:52:33

“Copper Is Crashing Again…”


Did you really think grossly inflated, economy choking prices were real?

Remember…..Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling prices of all kinds to dramatically lower and more affordable levels. Nothing.

Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 07:44:48

“America’s looming recession”

“It’s going to happen at some point - and the Federal Reserve is not prepared.”


Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 07:56:01

They’re never prepared. That’s their secret. Just knee jerk reactions to their idiotic long term policies.

Comment by Dutch Spikes
2016-06-09 09:33:46

It’s already happening… We need a name for it. The Greater Recession perhaps?

Comment by redmondjp
2016-06-09 11:05:36

Well, before WWII they used to call WWI the “great war”, so I suggest ‘GD2.0′.

Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 07:51:37

Darwin in action …

“They walked 225 yards away from the boardwalk and into an isolated area, officials said, only a thin, feeble crust of earth separating their feet from the acidic water bubbling beneath.

“Then, somehow, Colin Scott slipped, and as his sister watched, the 23-year-old tumbled into one of the boiling springs. Despite her immediate call for help and the prolonged search efforts by park staff, her brother was never seen again.”


“Man’s death shows the enticing beauty - and deadly power - of Yellowstone’s colorful hot springs.”

Link to follow …

Comment by The Central Scrutinizer
2016-06-09 08:31:13

On moron down, 6 billion to go.

Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 09:32:41

Hey, Russ, are you still in Anchorage? How’s mom doing?

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 11:25:05

Got mom out of Alaska and settled in a nice rest home, which she’s diggin’ on. Trying to put my life and career back together after a year of screaming hell. Things are looking up, I hope.

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Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 12:22:51

That’s great to hear! Glad you found good accommodations for her, that’s not an easy thing to do, been there done that. I also had a parentally-related work interruption a while back, so I know how that is. You’ll come out OK. I assume you’ve returned to the lower 48? If so, welcome back.

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 13:08:40

Thanks! Yes, down in San Diego now, getting some mountain biking in.

Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 15:31:48

San Diego, greatest weather in the US, IMO. Enjoy!

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-06-10 00:41:38

“Yes, down in San Diego now, getting some mountain biking in.”

Time for a SD HBB meeting?

Comment by rms
2016-06-09 12:48:57

“…only a thin, feeble crust of earth separating their feet from the acidic water bubbling beneath.”

Sounds worse than “thin ice.”

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-06-09 07:55:46

Another article about civil forfeiture:


Comment by rms
2016-06-09 12:52:09

“It shows the state is paying ERAD Group Inc., $5,000 for the software and scanners, then 7.7 percent of all the cash the highway patrol seizes.”

Nothing personal… just business.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2016-06-09 08:14:25

A thing of beauty …

“Zombie debts”

“So how does debt buying actually work?

“The institutions that are owed money by debtors may already have tried to collect as much of the debts as possible.

“But when it is no longer worth their resources, they sell off the rest - the “zombie debts” - old and forgotten but coming back to haunt the debtor later.

“Debt collecting companies buy these lists of names and debts for very small amounts of money - often only a few percent of the value of the debt - and start collecting.

“And when they have got enough out of their list, it can be sold on and on …”

… and on and on and on and on and on and on and on …

“… in what is a largely unregulated market of debt buying and selling.”

Bahahahahahahahaha … and all it takes to start it off is a dotted line and a pen full of ink.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2016-06-09 08:31:22

Oh the pain!

Here’s a link to the article for those who can take it …


Comment by Apartment 401
2016-06-09 08:22:48

“Luxury home sales were flat in May year-over-year in metro Denver, according to a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage report.

Sales of homes priced higher than $1 million rose to 168 in May rose from 131 in April, a 28.2 percent increase.

“That is a massive number of million-plus-dollar homes,” said Chris Mygatt, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

He said the flat rate is still a positive indicator because last year’s high in May was an anomaly, and the May total was up 37 from April.

The median sale price dipped 6.3 percent from a year ago to $1,296,000. That figure is also down from April.”


Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 08:27:57

Because the free market sucks …

“The Venezuelan government says it has imported thousands of tons of basic foodstuffs and will begin distributing them through communal councils directly to family homes.

“In Caracas the Food Minister, Rodolfo Marco Torres, said 70% of the country’s food would be supplied in this way.

“The Venezuelan opposition says the new system could discriminate against them.

“The country has been badly hit by the fall in oil prices and is suffering severe shortages in food and medicines.

“President Nicolas Maduro has accused private food production companies and supermarkets of hoarding food for speculation.

“Mr Torres said the government had purchased 115,000 tons of basic goods including rice, sugar, maize and beans.

“He said this would be distributed using a network of 15,900 so called Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP) established across the country to fight what President Maduro has called the “economic war” it says it is waging with the country’s business elite and opposition groups.

“The government has said the new system will distribute food “house by house” to thousands of families who will be expected to register for the system.

“They will receive bags containing various basic products including maize flour, pasta, rice and oil.

“The Venezuelan opposition have argued CLAP will only make the lack of basic goods worse since it will divert scarce food to the new system.

“Last week the secretary general of the opposition coalition (MUD) Jesus Torrealba said the government was ‘trying to create an absolute monopoly on the distribution of food’”.

“He said the system could become ‘politicized’ and the government was ‘blackmailing the people through their stomach’”.

“But the government’s CLAP director, Freddy Bernal said half of basic goods would be supplied to the private sector.

“There have been daily protests across the country over food shortages and incidents of looting.

“On Monday there were reports that a woman died after being hit by a stray bullet when police opened fire on looters trying to ransack a warehouse in the western city of San Cristobal.”

Link to follow …

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 08:48:42

Feed your friends, starve your enemies. Quite democratic, if you think about it…

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 08:45:21

‘In King County, the median price jumped more than 11.7 percent, from $434,000 to $485,000. Prices on single-family homes surged nearly 16.5 percent, rising from $480,942 to $560,000. Condo prices were up .9 percent, but finding one proved challenging as inventory dropped 29 percent in King County.’

‘Asking price of homes for sale in Redmond has increased 23.5 percent since May of last year. The number of homes for sale decreased 22.6 percent. The median sale price in the month of May was $640K in Redmond.’

‘It is still important for buyers to remember that if the list price is at, or near, the top of their price range, they may need to make some compromises because multiple offers will drive up the actual sale price to a price that may be substantially above the asking price. Those compromises may include viewing properties in a lower price range and perhaps in a different location.’

‘Understanding this sellers market, having patience and understanding that there will be a joyful outcome at some point with perseverance is key in this fast-paced, hot market.’

‘There’s good news for luxury homebuyers. Summer is the prime time for sellers to showcase their luxury properties, and this is the season when more luxury inventory steadily hits the market in King County. The good selection is easing the pressure for homebuyers in the luxury ($1 million and above) market.’

Submitted by John L. Scott Real Estate

‘there will be a joyful outcome at some point’

Comment by Mr. Banker
2016-06-09 08:58:26

‘there will be a joyful outcome at some point’

I’ll say! And that point for me is at the application of an inked-up signature applied to a dotted line or two that commits the schmuck-of-a-buyer to numerous monthly commitments that stretch out to YEARS - DECADES even!

Bahahahahahaha … lots of grinning and glad-handing to go around between myself and Amy and Suzanne or whomever and the homebuying schmuck - especially the homebuying schmuck - the biggest grinner of us all.

Bahahahahahahahahahaha …dumb ‘em down, and profit.

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 09:26:30

It’s like a poker game… if you don’t know who the patsy is, the patsy is you.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 09:22:04

Friend of mine bought a 3 bdr older home in West Seattle for $515k. Nice little area, but I wouldn’t have paid that much for it given it has a super tiny backyard (500 sq ft?).
One little bubble pop and that house is worth $200k.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 09:34:26

Talk like this reminds me of two things; these UHS are nowhere to be seen when the SHTF. Two, imagine what the economy would be like if billions weren’t being dropped into the hands of the REIC and others. It is an election year, and Mel has the pedal to the metal.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 10:31:07

Sorry for my lack of understanding, what is UHS?
Also on that house, its only around 1800 sq ft, and I think the $515k was a “deal” for the area.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 11:02:17

Use house salesperson. Years ago I got an email from somebody at the California Association of UHS. She explained to me that using the R word in the header with a lower case letter and not following with the circled T was a violation of trademark. Ever since that day I use UHS.

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 11:26:37

There are some really nice older houses in the Magnolia area… I don’t know if they are 500k nice, but at least they aren’t stucco with plastic trim glued on.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2016-06-09 10:48:09

Imagine what the (defacto) unemployment rate would be like without the helicopter drops.

Real Estate is a good way to keep a big hunk of the population employed, especially when you no longer have a manufacturing base. Also a good way for local and state governments to obtain tax revenue.

It’s also a good way the keep the myth of the “self-employed, bootstrapping, self-sufficient small business” going. How long does anyone think that the real estate business will keep going without favorable tax treatment and regular helicopter drops of money?

I’ll tell you what it would look like. A lot like what the corporate/business/personal aviation business currently looks like…….a bunch of people with airplanes on the books worth “X”, but are actually worth 1/2 to 1/4 “X” (if they actually put it on the market and price-discovery was allowed).

And now, even the “high-end” jets are starting to see serious depreciation. Seems that there just aren’t enough billionaires in the world to keep sales afloat. Especially since the tide went out for a bunch of those newly minted billionaires in the BRIC countries. And why buy new, when 5 year old airplanes are going for half the price?

Free markets…..ROTFLMAO. Every Government in the world is picking winners and losers for favorable financial and tax treatment. Hardly any of it based on “free markets”, but based on various strategic and domestic priorities.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 11:05:19

‘even the “high-end” jets are starting to see serious depreciation’

I come across these articles all the time:

Trophy Corporate Jets Were All the Rage, Until They Weren’t …
Bloomberg L.P.
May 23, 2016 - The private jet Janine Iannarelli is selling for a Russian client has leather seats, … for emerging-market giants from Brazil to Russia cripple demand. … buyers that some would pay $10 million above list for a used jet rather than …
Business jets in China are now a buyer’s market with no buyers …
South China Morning Post
Apr 17, 2016 - China’s business jet buyers are turning into sellers, and there are too many of them.
large supply, lower prices signal buyer’s market for used business jets
Aviation Week & Space Technology
Six consecutive years of record deliveries of new business jets by original equipment manufacturers and widespread concerns about an economic slowdown …
What does the Used Jet Market look like in 2016? | AvBuyer
Jan 25, 2016 - A preview of the year ahead for used jets for sale follows… … Buyers that are in our market continue to win, and win big as they find good …
Buyers of commercial jets debate a ‘bubble’ in orders | The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times
Mar 10, 2015 - Buyers of commercial jets debate a ‘bubble’ in orders … “If the market is there for the 60 (airplanes a month) they’ll certainly produce it. If it’s not …
Business jets in China are now a buyer’s market with no buyers | Sijia …
Apr 18, 2016 - At cocktail parties at night, the truth comes tumbling out in private conversations: it’s the political uncertainty that’s really holding back China’s …
Gulfstream private aircraft: Are you in the jet market? Now may be a …
Oct 21, 2014 - Suddenly, private Gulfstream jets are affordable. Well, “affordable” in a relative … It’s a buyer’s market for (used) private jets. Jane Wells | @ …
Ailing second-hand business aircraft market offers buyer bargains - FT …
http://www.ft.com › reports › Corporate Aviation
Financial Times
May 24, 2016 - Ailing second-hand business aircraft market offers buyer bargains … Last year saw sales of 2,200 used jets, fewer than the annual industry …

It’s the same with yachts now.

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 11:28:06

What fun are those? I want an F-16!

Comment by snake charmer
2016-06-09 11:53:16

Way back when, I read the book “Barbarians at the Gate,” about the RJR-Nabisco LBO. The company’s fleet of jets, with its own hangar at the Atlanta airport, was called the “RJR Air Force.”

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 11:54:11

After throwing good money after bad on “high end” and it still depreciates?

It’s an outrage!

Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 12:10:24

“What fun are those? I want an F-16!”

Trivia …

“Below is an article written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated. He details his experiences when given the opportunity to fly in a F-14 Tomcat.. If you aren’t laughing out loud by the time you get
To ‘Milk Duds’, your sense of humor is seriously broken.

“This message is for America ‘s most famous athletes:

“Someday you may be invited to fly in the back-seat of one of your country’s
Most powerful fighter jets. Many of you already have. John Elway,
John Stockton, Tiger Woods to name a few. If you get this opportunity,
Let me urge you, with the greatest sincerity…. Move to Guam .

“Change your name.
Fake your own death!
Whatever you do.

“Do Not Go!!!

“I know.”

Link to follow so you can read what happens …

Comment by Combotechie
Comment by rms
2016-06-09 12:57:32

“Real Estate is a good way to keep a big hunk of the population employed, especially when you no longer have a manufacturing base. Also a good way for local and state governments to obtain tax revenue.”

Yup, gaming-up basic needs, e.g., shelter.

Comment by TheCentralScrutinizer
2016-06-09 13:13:18



I’d wear the “Two Bags” monker proudly.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 12:17:06

The gyrations in this group of posts is classic.

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Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2016-06-09 09:34:25

Alexandria, VA Affordability Surges As Housing Prices Crater 13% YoY


Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 10:33:13

Alexandria and DC suburbs will never be ‘affordable’ being so close to the funny money fountain.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 11:51:30

Down 13% in a year is a nice haircut. Do that a few more times and you’ll get back to the long term historic price trend.

But I agree…. it’s a long way down from here.

Comment by taxpayers
2016-06-09 12:29:17

mines up,I’m special

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Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 12:33:34

And not a buyer in sight.

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

So it is will all depreciating assets like houses.

Comment by Ethan in Northern VA
2016-06-09 12:49:45

When it dropped in 2011-2012 or whatever, to me at least it came in the price range that I could/would buy. If we were there again I’d probably be looking. The one thing that bugs me is job stability — I think my job is stable, but I know there are higher paying opportunities around here and I feel like my current job is kind of a stall situation when it comes to skill building. But the company is nice and generally pretty cool.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 12:55:21

Change it up when it gets too hot./fail

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Comment by Ben Jones
2016-06-09 11:14:07

‘Carrie Walton rents her Santa Cruz vacation home to travelers who book on the website VRBO.com. She paid VRBO $1,200 for a one-year platinum membership, a subscription designed to boost her home’s ranking in search results on the site. And the investment paid off. Walton said renting her home was a breeze, at first.’

‘But three months ago, VRBO started charging travelers a service fee — 4 to 9 percent of the total cost of the rental. It’s a fee VRBO pockets, not Walton. Walton says this service fee wasn’t part of her agreement with VRBO. And now, because of it, travelers aren’t renting her home because it’s too expensive.’

‘Adding fuel to the fire, Walton’s listing fell way down on VRBO’s search results. She says VRBO told her it made yet another change - this one to its algorithm, and her platinum membership alone no longer guaranteed high search results. Walton says her $1,200 platinum membership is now worthless, because she isn’t getting what she paid for.’

‘Leena Shah’s story echos Walton’s. She paid a platinum membership fee, and when the new service fee kicked in, she says rentals of her Maui condo drastically dropped. And so did her search ranking. She’s been asking VRBO to refund her platinum membership, but has had no luck.’

‘Walton and Shah aren’t alone. Complaints about VRBO litter the Internet. Angry homeowners even created a Facebook page. The complaints also landed in attorney Michael Bowse’s office. “We receive dozens and dozens of calls, multiple calls, a day,” said Bowse.’


Golly, they even started a fb page! Don’t worry Carrie, just tell the bank you got screwed and I’m sure they’ll cut you some slack on the mortgage payment.

Comment by Captain Lou Albano
2016-06-09 11:50:01

The poor donks. The poor poor donks.

Comment by redmondjp
2016-06-09 13:56:15

You see, this is the downside of our new internet economy.

At some point, the VC financing runs out and you have to figure out a way to “monetize” your website. Hey, let’s up the user fees! It’s usually the kiss of death.

Comment by Combotechie
2016-06-09 11:24:32

It took ten dollars of new debt to create one dollar of growth in the first quarter.

Party on.


Comment by dandroidz
2016-06-09 12:50:24

And massive layoffs at top corporations. Woohoo! But at least the shareholders are happy right?

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2016-06-09 12:39:42

Arcadia, CA Affordability Improves As Housing Prices Plunge 9% YoY


Comment by rms
2016-06-09 13:26:15

eBay’s servers don’t respond right now. Serious.

Comment by Bill DaWahl
2016-06-09 15:22:52

I’m not having a problem, but the site is definitely having some glitch issues. That’s because, every time ebay is stable and people are making sales, they go bananas and change stuff that doesn’t need to be changed. In other words, they’ve never head the saying “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken”.

Not to mention raising fees. And collecting commission on shipping costs.

Comment by frankie
2016-06-09 14:00:21

Chartered surveyors are predicting a short-term drop in UK house prices over the next three months - the first fall in more than six years.

Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) who work in estate agents said London and East Anglia would be most affected.

Surveyors expecting prices to drop outnumbered those expecting prices to rise by a majority of 10%.

Average house prices last fell on an annual basis in the Autumn of 2009.

However Rics said the fall was likely to be short-lived.


I’m sure Rics hope it is short lived, can’t be having the price of houses dropping, now can we ;)

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2016-06-09 14:14:06

Sarasota, FL Affordability Surges As Housing Prices Nosedive 16%YoY


Comment by frankie
2016-06-09 14:31:52

Once again, the Russian prime minister’s remarks caught on camera during a visit to annexed Crimea on 23 May have prompted several sarcastic memes.

During a walkabout, Medvedev was confronted by a pensioner who complained about the government’s failure to index pensions. The prime minister replied: “There is no money. But be strong. All the best. Have a good day, and good health,” he added. Then he turned round and left.

Since the incident, the video on YouTube has been watched over 3.5m times. The phrase itself immediately went viral, spawning dozens of memes on the Internet.

“As late [Russian oligarch] Boris Berezovsky used to say: There was money. There will be money. But right now there is no money,” opposition activist Ilya Yashin reminisced on Twitter.

Popular Russian political cartoonist Sergey Elkin pointed out Medvedev’s ability to coin meme phrases often picked up by the online crowd.


Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2016-06-09 15:12:05

“Bank Requires Few Mortgage Documents: Seems Like Housing Deja Vu”


Note: Lenders haven’t required much going back to 2001 so this is no great revelation. What is notable is the fact the press is publicly admitting it. They’re covering their ass.

Comment by rj soon not to be in chicago
2016-06-09 15:12:28

Yesterday’s tally…..

12 shot in Chicago.

Supposed to be in the 90’s starting tomorrow - me thinks the tally will be much higher come Monday’s news.
I pray not.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Professor Bear
2016-06-10 00:36:03

Got negative bond yields?

ft.com > Markets >
Capital Markets
Last updated: June 10, 2016 8:12 am
Bond yields in domino fall across the globe
Joe Rennison in New York and Leo Lewis in Tokyo

European bond yields continued to fall on Friday, as the global fixed income rally set fresh records from Tokyo to Frankfurt.

At the start of trade, the yield on 10-year German government bonds fell to a new record low of 0.020 per cent, after a fall of 1.1 basis points. Earlier, 15-year Japanese government bonds fell below zero for the first time.

Creeping fears of a global economic slowdown and waning expectations of a US rate rise this month have sent yields lower across the globe and — with investors clamouring for longer-dated debt — further flattened the yield curve.

The rally in bonds has pushed more than $10tn worth of government debt into negative-yielding territory, with corporate borrowers now beginning to join the sub-zero club.

The relatively better yielding US Treasuries — at 1.69 per cent for 10-year paper and 2.48 per cent for 30-years — moved back into territory last seen during February’s market turmoil.

Gross Says Negative Rates Are Like ‘Supernova’ That Will Explode
John Gittelsohn

Bill Gross, the manager of the $1.4 billion Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, warned central bank policies that pushed trillions of dollars into bonds with negative interest rates will eventually backfire violently.

Global yields lowest in 500 years of recorded history,” Gross, 72, wrote Thursday on the Janus Capital Group Inc. Twitter site. “$10 trillion of neg. rate bonds. This is a supernova that will explode one day.

A supernova is a star at the end of its life that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass.

Gross has argued for some time that the economy is at the end of a decades-long cycle of expanding credit that has culminated in negative interest rates, a situation he said is unsustainable. Rather than spurring economic growth, low rates are promoting asset bubbles as investors reach for higher yields while punishing individual savers and industries that rely on interest rates, such as bank and insurance companies, according to Gross.

He said in a June 2 note that the era of 7.5 percent annualized investment gains is history and that investors should eventually take positions to protect principal or profit from market declines.

“Returns will be low, risk will be high and at some point the ‘Intelligent Investor’ must decide that we are in a new era with conditions that demand a different approach,” he wrote. “Negative durations? Voiding or shorting corporate credit? Buying instead of selling volatility? Staying liquid with large amounts of cash? These are all potential ‘negative’ carry positions that at some point may capture capital gains or at a minimum preserve principal.”

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