August 4, 2016

Sellers Are Adjusting To Softer Demand With Price Decreases

CBC News reports from Canada. “Edmonton renters on the move are cashing in on sweet end-of-summer deals. From hundreds of dollars in rent reductions to complimentary flat-screen TVs, a growing number of landlords are offering generous incentives to attract new tenants. A sluggish economy, combined with a glut of new properties, has forced property managers to sweeten deals, said Mark Hawkins, the owner of the apartment rental website”

“‘There is a lot of inventory that is coming, and there is not a lot of people coming into Alberta these days,’ Hawkins said. ‘And that does have the potential to push up vacancy further. That’s why some landlords are reacting now, and trying to secure tenants.’”

“Hawkins said apartment rents have dropped eight to 10 per cent since July 2014. However, high-end condos, premium apartments, and large rental buildings are being hit hardest, with rents dropping between 15 and 20 per cent during the same period. ‘A lot of people that may have bought these investment condos to rent out, and have a number in mind, will really need to adjust that number. And with condos, they all become available at once, you have a lot of competition in your building, and people who want to compete will drop the price.’”

From CTV News Calgary. “New numbers from Calgary’s real estate board show a slow in demand for housing in the city and officials say the decrease in activity is in step with a decline in net migration levels. CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie says rising unemployment and fewer people moving into the city are contributing to the weaker market.”

“‘It comes down to the economic conditions. So what we’ve seen is, first of all we started to see employment losses, I mean, we have to keep in mind that to date, in June, we’ve had 30,000 full-time job losses, this is obviously impacting housing demand. Next, we’re seeing, that’s contributing to that, is that lack of net migration so we actually saw the civic census come out, which showed people actually leaving the city, so all of that contributes to the weak demand environment that we’re currently seeing in the housing market,’ said Lurie.”

“‘Buyers are expecting further declines in sold prices, and sellers are adjusting to softer demand with price decreases. When these expectations intersect, we’re seeing sales activity in the market, but not at the level realized over the last several years,’ said CREB president Cliff Stevenson.”

The Financial Post. “Realtors and lawyers desperate to get in under the deadline filed a record-setting 15,000 property transfer applications on Thursday and Friday, the last business days before B.C.’s punishing new 15-per-cent tax on foreign property buyers went into effect. Now, as a new dawn breaks in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market, realty companies and real estate boards are reporting the first anecdotes of deals falling through as foreign buyers forfeited deposits on binding deals rather than pay the new tax. And they report evidence of local buyers withdrawing offers in expectation that the market will soften.”

“Elton Ash, executive vice-president of Re/Max Western Region, said it is too early to accurately quantify how many deals fell apart, but he’s heard from realtors in some of the company’s 30 Metro Vancouver offices of cases where foreign buyers who couldn’t rearrange previously negotiated closing dates have already walked away. ‘Our expectation is that there will be a percentage of transactions collapse due to the buyer basically defaulting on the contract,’ Ash said.”

The Georgia Straight. “If you’re a regular reader of Vancouver newspapers, you probably believe that foreign investors, particularly those from China, are the primary force driving up housing prices in the Lower Mainland. For B.C. politicians looking toward the May 2017 provincial election, it doesn’t matter if the public’s views reflect reality or not. Elected officials aren’t going to worry if a former federal politician like Garth Turner or a former federal candidate like Victor Wong say that foreign buyers only account for 10 percent of all home sales in the region.”

“If an MLA wants to keep his or her job, the most important consideration is what the public thinks is true and then taking action to address those concerns. Meanwhile, people in the real-estate industry are expressing shock that their ‘friends’ in the B.C. Liberal government would impose a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers. They’re bringing forth examples of hard-done-by foreign buyers whose lives are being severely disrupted by the new tax.”

“They’re getting about as much sympathy as former French king Louis XVI’s courtiers received in the midst of the French Revolution. That’s because the public loves the new tax (at least according to the Angus Reid Institute poll). This shouldn’t come as a surprise. As critics of foreign buying were working nearly full-time on this issue for several years, the real-estate sector (with a few notable exceptions) ignored the rising level of alarm.”

RSS feed


Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 04:16:01

‘Bob Rennie denies advance knowledge of tax as MLA calls for investigation’

‘Opposition MLA David Eby is calling on the provincial government to investigate whether Vancouver’s “condo king” knew about a new foreign real estate buyer tax weeks before it was announced.’

“He had the opportunity — whether or not he took it is another story — to arrange his business and sales to profit from this information, or to assist his clients in profiting from this information,” Eby told Metro in a phone interview. The NDP MLA has sent a letter to Premier Christy Clark’s office asking government to investigate.’

‘Condo marketer Bob Rennie made the comments to the Globe and Mail in a story published Monday, saying he knew about the tax three weeks ago, but thought it would be five to eight percent.’

‘Rennie did not respond to Metro’s interview request. But according to statements tweeted by Globe and Mail reporter Mike Hager, Rennie subsequently clarified his comments to say he had only made an educated guess that the foreign buyer tax would be introduced, based on the provincial government’s recent decision to allow the City of Vancouver to levy a tax on vacant homes.’

‘Rennie has strong ties to the B.C. Liberal Party; he has donated generously to the party and is currently chair of B.C. Liberal’s fundraising committee.’

“I find (Rennie’s) explanation to be bizarre, because if Bob Rennie was able to guess he was one of the few British Columbians able to guess — after a series of statements by the government that they were expressly not pursuing a tax like this and that they found the idea inherently offensive,” Eby said.’

‘The 15 per cent tax, which came into effect Tuesday, was a surprise to many watchers of Metro Vancouver’s wild real estate market. Finance Minister Mike de Jong had previously been reluctant to impose any tax on foreign ownership. But he reversed course after data collected through June and July showed foreign buyers had injected over $885 million into Metro Vancouver’s residential real estate market in just five weeks.’

Comment by BC_resident
2016-08-04 15:48:03

For those of you who don’t know much about provincial politics here in British Columbia, the BC “Liberal” Party is actually the right-wing party here in BC. The party has no connections with the federal Liberal party (headed by our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau), but has close ties with the federal Conservative party of former PM.

The BC “Liberal” party used to be called the Social Credit party and was ideologically in-step with the Conservative Parties in Canada and the UK, and the Republican Party in the USA. The left-wing alternative was (and still is) called the BC New Democratic Party. This two-party system held sway in BC for decades until the early 1990s, when Gordon Wilson (who had become the leader of the almost-extinct BC Liberal Party in 1987) was able to lead the party to 2nd place in the provincial election of 1991, behind the NDP. Many moderate SoCreds then fled their own party for the Liberals. Over the course of the next 10 years, the Social Credit party went belly up, while the Liberal Party was completely infiltrated by former members of the Social Credit party.

And that, Virginia, is why the right-wing party in BC is called the “Liberal” Party.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 04:21:36

‘Calgary’s housing market slump continued in July, with sales in the city down for a 20th consecutive month. The number of homes sold was down 12.6 per cent from July 2015 levels, according to the latest numbers from the Calgary Real Estate Board. Meanwhile, the inventory of homes on the market remained elevated, with 551 more for sale than there were a year earlier, a 10.7 per cent hike.’

‘The weakest segment of the local market was apartments, which saw sales decline 21.6 per cent year-over-year. Attached housing sales declined 15.2 per cent, while detached housing sales were the closest to their year-ago levels, down 9.2 per cent.’

‘July’s average house price was actually up 1.8 per cent from 2015, to $484,998, but that was a reflection of more high-end homes selling. Fifteen homes sold for $1.5 million or more in Calgary, compared with nine in July 2015.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 04:29:51

‘Like much of the country, housing prices in Durham Region are on the rise. And just like those other parts of the country, some are saying the growing prices are not sustainable. According to a news release from the Durham Region Association of Realtors, average selling prices in Durham Region were up 15.8 per cent in June compared to the year before, with the average home selling for $542,314.’

‘And with those rising prices comes the prospect that they are getting too high. “I was actually trying to buy a property here, and I found that it is ridiculously priced right now. Properties that were going for around $300,000 a few years back are now going for $500,000, $600,000. That’s not sustainable,” says Dr. Karthik Sankaranarayanan, a professor with the business department at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), adding that current housing prices pale in comparison to the inflated levels seen in Toronto and Vancouver.’

“I really don’t know if you can call it a bubble yet, because it depends on what you are basing it on. Are you basing it on the entire Canadian economy, or just two cities? That’s the question mark there.”

‘While not included in CHMC’s report, Dr. Scott Aquanno, a senior lecturer in UOIT’s political sciences department, says housing prices in Durham Region are definitely affected by what is happening elsewhere in the country. “What’s happening in Oshawa and Durham is certainly connected to what’s happening in Toronto and nationally,” he says.’

“But having said that, there is certainly, I would argue, a bubble right now in the housing market and there is likely a bubble in the Durham housing market as well, although I would suggest the bubble is smaller than the one in Toronto because housing prices were slightly depressed prior to the reduction in interest rates, which in a sense precipitated this problem.”

“If the housing bubble bursts in Toronto, I think the national economy is going to be impacted, because of how that is needled through the financial system. I think it would have a broad and cascading effect on the financial services industry, on mortgage availability, perhaps on line of credit availability…which isn’t just isolated to Toronto,” he says.’

“In that sense, nobody is going to be immune from that, including the people off in B.C. or in Alberta. But in terms of housing prices out here, it would really depend on the nature of the bust, whether it was a complete collapse of housing prices like what we saw in the early 1990s and perhaps that would put a downward pressure…in this region. It depends on how much…of a bubble you think there is in the Durham Region.”

‘However, Aquanno adds that the high prices seen in Toronto – the Toronto Real Estate Board said the average price for a home in June was $746,546, with detached homes going for an average of just under $1.26 million – has in turn helped drive the Durham Region real estate market forward, with more people wanting homes than there are homes for sale.’

“What’s driving prices out here is the escalation of prices in Toronto. Demand is exceeding supply because of the overheated market in Toronto,” he says.’

‘Dana Senagama, the principal of market analysis for the Greater Toronto Area with CHMC, agrees with that notion, saying that while the average price for a new home in the Durham Region is growing, the fact that it is so far below the levels seen in Toronto will help keep it strong.
“The rate of (price) growth is high, but at the same time, you’re looking at…about half of what you would pay for a single detached home in Toronto. So although prices might be going up nine, 10 per cent, you have to look at what levels they’re at. You can buy a single detached home for half a million, or $550,000 in the Oshawa (census metropolitan area), versus over a million bucks in Toronto.”

‘Sankaranarayanan says that should a housing market collapse come to Canada, it will not be near the level seen south of the border during the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, which saw the average selling price of an American home reach a high of US$313,900 in 2007 before falling to US$270,900 – a drop of more than 13 per cent – in two years’ time, according to data from the US Census.’

“The Canadian market is not as big as the U.S., so the tank would not be that bad, and it would not severely affect the economy,” he says. “When I say tank, in Vancouver or Toronto it might be a bit drastic, but that is not what our entire economy is based on. I don’t think it would severely affect the Canadian economy, per se, but individual markets, maybe.”

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-08-04 05:16:24

“…with the average home selling for $542,314.”

“The Canadian market is not as big as the U.S., so the tank would not be that bad”

The average houses in the GTA are nothing special. When prices correct from >7 x income, the tank is going to be painful.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 05:19:58

‘the tank would not be that bad’

A new moniker: The Tank.

‘it might be a bit drastic, but that is not what our entire economy is based on’

Righty so! You’ve got oil sands and natural gas and all those Chinese looking to launder money. Canada is so screwed.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 05:49:18

“The Tank.”

I’m partial to tumbling as a description of price cascades. How about The Tumble?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 05:52:29

The Crater, The Tank, The Dumpster Fire…… All synonymous with grossly inflated housing prices falling to dramatically lower and more affordable levels accelerating the economy and creating jobs like nothing else can.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by rms
2016-08-04 06:41:07

Are the top-hats in Canada able to transfer their liabilities to main street a la yankee-land?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:01:11

If 95% of the Canadian electorate meekly bend over for their plutocrats by electing the latter’s annointed politicians, as is the case in the US, then yes, the oligarchs will be able to transfer their liabilities to Main Street.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 04:54:32

The Housing Meltdown Part II is ramping up.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 05:21:48

Oil Meltdown Part II is in full swing, compared to the 2008 financial meltdown period, that is. I am not sure where the data underpinning this chart originate, but the oil price figure suggests that the price level is once again approaching pre-2008 levels.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 05:30:31

“This sucker could go down” — George W. Bush

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 05:53:12

Cant wait to load up on Exxon-Mobil and Shell stock around winter…

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 08:19:55

Should be a good long-term buy.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 05:13:30

Speaking of price decreases, gasoline is now available in San Diego for as low as $2.17/gal. Who’d've thunk prices would have dropped so low so fast during the red-hot summer driving season?

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 05:50:57

Downward trend during the summer is an odd sight indeed. It should have never even spiked off of Feb-March lows. Demand didn’t increase. Supply glut remained. The fact that I witnessed gas go from $1.80/gal here in Mass to $2.25/gal was utter non sense.
It’s now back near $2.05/gal, and should fall further if market forces were real.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 06:03:34

It’s a beautiful situation, really. I love death spirals in the price of stuff consumers need!

Markets Oil Markets
The Oil-Price Recovery Is Drowning in Gasoline
Demand is strong but consumption can’t keep pace with the refineries’ output
U.S. pump prices are at their lowest levels for this time of year since 2004. Above, a gas station in Oklahoma City this week. Photo: Associated Press
By Sarah McFarlane, Nicole Friedman and Alison Sider
Updated July 27, 2016 5:58 p.m. ET

Just when it appeared crude oil’s supply problems were easing, a glut of gasoline is drowning the market’s hopes for a recovery.

Vast new supplies of gasoline around the world, combined with the overproduction of oil, has sent crude prices sliding. On Wednesday, oil prices continued to drop, with U.S.-traded crude hitting a three-month low, after a surprise increase in U.S. inventories of both oil and gasoline.

Crude for September delivery fell $1, or 2.3%, to $41.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, fell $1.40, or 3.1%, to $43.47 on ICE Futures Europe.

The reason: Refineries have been on a buying spree since crude-oil prices began their descent two years ago, giving them cheap feedstock to make gasoline, diesel and other fuels. But while demand for gasoline has been strong, particularly in the U.S., consumption hasn’t been enough to mop up all the fuel spilling out of refineries.

The result is near-record levels of gasoline put into storage around the world, about 500 million barrels in total, according to Citigroup Inc. Bloated stockpiles have pushed gasoline futures down 27% from a year earlier. Prices at the pump in the U.S. stand at the lowest level for this time of year since 2004, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Andy Lipow, president of consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, said the glut has lowered refiner profit margins. In response, refiners are making less fuel, which could cause demand for crude to fall and oil inventories to rise again. In turn, that could mean lower oil prices.

The relationship between oil and gasoline prices now is locked in a “death spiral,” he said.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 05:52:44

Gas prices keep tumbling down
The Paducah
Sun Jul 26, 2016 0

Gasoline prices continue to drop locally and nationally, with the average Kentucky price falling 4.9 cents last week to $1.99 a gallon.

The Paducah area is seeing even lower prices with most stations selling between $1.84 and $1.79 a gallon.

Prices in Kentucky have come down 30.6 cents in the past month and 53.4 cents in the past year, according to a survey of 2,623 gas outlets in the state.

“As air temperatures across the country rise to sweltering levels, gas prices have continued to cool,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

Gas prices nationally are at their lowest level of the summer and have continued to decline as the glut of oil and refined products has persisted. Almost every state saw a decline in gas prices versus last week, thanks to crude oil prices approaching their lowest level of the summer.

GasBuddy said Kentucky prices on July 25 have declined from $2.52 a gallon in 2015, $3.44 in 2014, $3.57 in 2013, $3.42 in 2012 and $3.66 in 2011.

Around the state in recent days, gas was $1.77 in Bardstown, $1.85 in Frankfort and as low as $1.73 a gallon in Bullitt County.

Comment by Mugsy
2016-08-04 06:14:40

$1.58 at Costco in Augusta, Georgia.

Maybe it’ll go NIRP and they’ll pay me to pump it?

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 06:40:26

~$2.15 in my neck of the woods.

I wonder if that is even enough to keep the gas stations in business. I read somewhere that gas stations make their money in smokes and snackies, not gas.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 06:51:40

Untrue. They net a pile per gallon. A big pile.

Comment by Jesus Navas is my Lord Savior
2016-08-04 08:47:07

They net a pile per gallon

No they lose a pile per gallon, but they make in volume.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 06:31:17

Considering domestic production cost is down near $6-$7 a barrel, oil and gasoline prices have a long way to fall.

Comment by azdude
2016-08-04 07:47:56

why do you keep missing the bull markets? LMAO

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 15:51:45

Data my friend.

Garden City(Long Island), NY Crater 11% YoY

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 05:16:20

‘The Bank of England cut interest rates on Thursday for the first time since 2009, revived its bond-buying programme and said it would take “whatever action is necessary” to achieve stability in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.’

‘The central bank said it expected the economy to stagnate for the rest of 2016 and suffer weak growth throughout next year. It cut its main lending rate to a record low 0.25 percent from 0.5 percent, in line with market expectations.’

‘But it also launched two new schemes, one to buy 10 billion pounds of high-grade corporate bonds and another - potentially worth up to 100 billion pounds - to ensure banks keep lending even after the cut in interest rates.’

‘But three policymakers - Kristin Forbes, Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale - opposed raising the target for quantitative easing government bond purchases to 435 billion pounds from the 375 billion total reached in late 2012.’

‘Forbes also opposed the purchases of corporate debt - something the BoE did briefly after the financial crisis, but more to aid market functioning than to boost growth. Many economists had expected Forbes to oppose a rate cut after she said last month that the central bank should not panic and instead wait for more data on the scale of Britain’s economic slowdown.’

‘Daniel Mahoney of the Centre for Policy Studies pointed to the inflationary effect of the BoE’s easing measures. “The Bank’s further loosening of monetary policy could prove problematic for the UK economy. The falling pound means that inflationary pressures are already building up, and today’s decision will exacerbate them,” he said.’

‘But 2017 brings a sharp downgrade to growth of just 0.8 percent from a previous estimate of 2.3 percent - the biggest downgrade in growth from one Inflation Report to the next, exceeding what was seen in the financial crisis. The growth outlook for 2018 was cut to 1.8 percent.’

‘The BoE also revised up its inflation forecasts sharply, due to the big fall in sterling since the financial crisis, predicting it will hit 2.4 percent in 2018 and 2019.’

’she said last month that the central bank should not panic’

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 05:36:48

This high-risk, low-return stock market has Gross contemplating cats and sex
Published: Aug 4, 2016 8:12 a.m. ET
MarketWatch photo illustration/Getty Images, Shutterstock
The risqué topic of cats and sex are similar to hard questions about the global market.
By Mark DeCambre

Kittens, sex and Victoria’s Secret: It isn’t a combination one would expect to find in a report on the state of capital markets from Bill Gross, but that is exactly what the bond guru served up in his monthly screed on Wednesday.

The fixed-income expert, who manages Janus Capital’s unconstrained bond fund, drew parallels between a childhood chat he had with his mother — and, later, with his child — about sex, the creation of life and the sorts of tough queries investors might be tackling in a world swimming in trillions of dollars of government bonds offering negative and ultralow yields.

Gross’s nervousness about the health of the market, with the 10-year Treasury note (TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.79%) yielding 1.55% and the S&P 500 index (SPX, +0.31%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA, +0.23%) flitting around record levels, has been a constant refrain over the past several weeks.

His main concern:

Low interest rates may raise asset prices, but they destroy savings and liability based business models in the process. Banks, insurance companies, pension funds and Mom and Pop on Main Street are stripped of their ability to pay for future debts and retirement benefits. Central banks seem oblivious to this dark side of low interest rates. If maintained for too long, the real economy itself is affected as expected income fails to materialize and investment spending stagnates.

Comment by rms
2016-08-04 06:51:31

You know things are bad when you can get a Victor Secret sex kitten for a bologna sandwich.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 05:54:26

Lol, I wonder when the Fed will follow lock and step?
QE4 to the moon!! Analysts still pretend like a rate hike is a possibility. Goodness how gullible are people?

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 06:06:32

Opinion Commentary
The Federal Reserve Pulls a Lucy
So the economy isn’t ready to withstand a quarter-point rate hike even after seven years of stimulus?
Photo: Getty Images/Image Source
By David Malpass
Sept. 17, 2015 7:07 p.m. ET

Like Lucy in the classic “Peanuts” comic strip, the Federal Reserve Thursday invited a running kick of the football—the first interest-rate hike in nine years—only to pull back at the last minute. The Fed cited recent “global economic and financial developments,” i.e., China’s stock-market woes, which “may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term.”

Financial circles in New York and Washington are celebrating, but the latest delay in tapering off the Fed’s near-zero interest rate policy risks plopping the economy, like the hapless Charlie Brown, flat on its derrière. While Wall Street applauds, uncertainty about future rate increases will likely keep business investment weak.

The economy is stuck in a zero-rate trap in which businesses don’t want to invest when they don’t know the impact of a rate hike, while the Fed thinks a rate hike would shake financial markets and hurt investment. Underinvestment leaves high cash balances at big corporations, but it is idle liquidity and doesn’t add to productivity.

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 06:37:32

Businesses don’t want to invest because they don’t know the impact of a little 25-basis point rate hike? Silly me, I thought businesses invested in order to meet increasing demand for their goods and services. Or to develop and/or market new goods and services (or improving old ones).

Is this the end game for trickle-down economics? I guess there’s an upper limit to stimulating the economy on the investment side. Maybe it’s time to stimulate the economy on the consumer side. If the people have money to buy stuff, companies can soak up all that cash in supplying the goods and services i.e. jobs…

Meh. Bet it won’t happen.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 06:53:04

“Maybe it’s time to stimulate the economy on the consumer side. ”

Falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels tend to do just that.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 06:55:05

Each new infusion of financial crack cocaine from the Fed and central banks provides a more short-lived bounce as the Ponzi markets enter their terminal phase and the underying economy continues its death spiral.

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 05:33:53

I admit, I haven’t been following the 15% tax on foreigner-bought real estate in British Columbia, so I didn’t realize the effect it would have. I was thinking that most of the Chinese had near-unlimited money to launder and would not care about an extra 15%. Or that they were looking for a physical safe-house, and nobody sweats 15% when it’s go-time. Or that they needed a place to park money and real estate was a pretty sweet deal even after the 15% tax. Overall, I figured the 15% tax would not make a dent in the land grab.

But no. Foreigners are pulling out left and right! Take that, equity locusts!

Of course, someone will always complain. The article links to a sidebar Jack Mintz editorial opposing the 15% tax. Mintz’s main points:

1. The tax will drop prices of housing for Canadians ponied up the high prices to compete with foreigners, putting them underwater.
2. Less foreign demand means less construction and fewer contruction jobs. [boo-hoo]
3. The tax will hit foreigners who legitimately want to live and work in Vancouver, not just the money parkers. For example, the Vancouver Canucks will have trouble recruiting foreign players if the player has to pay extra for housing. [boo-hoo]
4. Instead of taxing housing to drop prices, Vancouver needs to build more housing.

Whatever. I like that BC ripped off the band-aid all at once.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 05:41:45

‘I was thinking that most of the Chinese had near-unlimited money to launder’

Yeah, and when Australian banks stopped lending to them, thousands of sky box deals started falling apart. The two recent cases of busted Chinese speculators in BC used loans, one of them zero down loans. The guy who “purchased” $500 million in real estate stopped making payments on the first mansion he got and still hasn’t been foreclosed. I’m thinking the whole phenomenon is going to end up much different than how the press sold it.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 05:57:56

How about the recent revelation of Chinese foreign students cheating in the American university system? They have companies and people based in China writing their papers, doing their hw, projects, etc. This on top of scamming their way into the University in the first place! The SAT theft and prep industry in China is YUGEEE. Of course Universities, much like our Govt, don’t care, because money is money right? Who cares if it drives up cost for US citizens and takes away enrollment slots??

Comment by Mugsy
2016-08-04 06:18:56

It’s not a problem as it’s all part of the “sharing” economy. Who cares if they’ll be the engineers designing medical equipment or consumer goods? Nobody gets hurt and it’s all good.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 06:32:16

Seriously, just think of the boom to the economy all of that student loan interest will yield.

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 07:38:12

Here’s a WSJ story on it:

And yeah, it’s the money. Especially in grad school. Those pesky American students need stipends and teaching assistantships and free tuition to work their way through a STEM grad degree, which is a real drag on the school. The Chinese just write a check full freight no questions asked.

Evidently, it’s bled down to undergrad. And it’s much easier to cheat now with the internet. Just email the assignments back and forth. You couldn’t do that before ~1995.

I wouldn’t care so much, if the Chinese took their American degree back with them to China. Then they can can pour faked competence into their own products and infrastructure and reap what they sowed. But no, of course not. Instead, they pump out anchor babies to stay in the US. In my college town grocery stores, I saw dozens of babies under the age of 5, but almost no foreign pre-teens. (Which makes sense. Grad school is ~5 years. When the kid is 4-5, the student finishes the degree and leaves the town.)


And on a side note: from the article:

“In China, it’s OK to cheat as long as you’re not caught.”

It’s not just the academic culture. I like to visit you-pick farms. Pick your stuff, take it to the store to be weighed, pay and go. But now there are stories of customers hiding vegetables or larger fruit in strollers and diaper bags. Stories of customers munching on quarts and quarts of berries and then leaving without buying anything, i.e. stealing the berries in their tummies. Some were so brazen as to bring picnic blankets to the blueberry bushes and cans of whipped cream into the strawberry field to eat-and-go.

The farms have had to tighten their fences to practically force customers through the check-out lanes in order to leave. Two farms have started to charge admission just to get to the fields. It’s gotten that bad. And it’s not the Americans.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jesus Navas is my Lord Savior
2016-08-04 08:35:39


Do you also know that once they become Americans they predominantly vote dems?

Comment by palmetto
2016-08-04 08:39:28
Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 08:43:11

I had a kid in my engineer courses, who, I believe was Korean, maybe Chinese, but anyway, no one ever wanted him assigned to their group because he spoke NO English. How the hell do you get through an advanced degree program in the US with no English speaking capability? Maybe he was a cheat and I didn’t realize it then.

But yes, the foreigners come over to the big,dumb,evil American empire to use our advanced university system, and never leave. Kind of funny how that works eh? Good ole dumb fat USA, until you want that degree and white collar job. I was just walking around Cambridge (MIT / Harvard) around lunch time and about 80% of foot traffic was Chinese folks. Nothing wrong with people coming over here, working, learning, contributing, but at what cost? Creating disadvantages for our own? We already shipped off the middle class economy to them, now we’re allowing them to cheat and launder money their way to our advanced degree jobs?

Comment by Rental Watch
2016-08-04 08:59:02

You have to stop believing in the zero-sum game economic rhetoric. “They are coming to take our white collar jobs!”

Elon Musk was born in South Africa.
Sergey Brin was born in Russia.
Pierre Omidyar (eBay) was born in France.
Jerry Yang (Yahoo) was born in Taiwan.

You can’t believe that it’s bad that Tesla, Space X, Google, eBay and Yahoo are all American businesses, do you?

There is a positive selection bias for immigrants. People who are willing to leave their home country have moxie. People who are willing to leave their home country and get STEM degrees have moxie and brains.

We want people here with moxie and brains. The more the better. They invent things, start companies, create jobs, increase wealth. There is nothing bad about that.

I believe it was Romney that said we should be stapling a green card to the back of every advanced STEM degree bestowed upon a foreign national. It is foolish to educate folks and then send them back home.

He was right.

And now I see HRC picking up the torch with exactly the same comment. First smart thing I’ve heard her say in a long time (maybe ever).

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 09:10:42

Well speaking of the Chinese not paying up (since we went there), what about the recent Starwood hotel purchase bid collapse? Marriott submitted a $13 billion bid, but was outbid by that Chinese firm a couple billion $…well, upon investigating the deal, the Chinese didn’t have the money for the complete buy out/merger. The insurance firm cited “market conditions”

Comment by Ethan in Northern VA
2016-08-04 10:11:22

A guy I know had a similar thing where they were assigned a classmate who participated none at all in their assignment. He wouldn’t speak. He said they complained to their professor but he wouldn’t do anything. The next year that student came to school at Virginia Tech and shot a bunch of classmates.

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 10:20:10

“It is foolish to educate folks and then send them back home.”

How, exactly, are these cheaters being “educated?” If I were an employer, I would skip over the cheater student and recruit those folks who are actually doing the assignments and/or sitting the exams.

Comment by Rental Watch
2016-08-04 11:17:38

I was responding largely to this comment:

“Nothing wrong with people coming over here, working, learning, contributing, but at what cost? Creating disadvantages for our own?”

It is better to have the hard working, smart people in the US than to have them back in their home country.

People who cheat…regardless of where they come from, tend to NOT rise in the ranks.

If there is a person who is a rockstar in STEM, but speaks broken English, there is a place for them. They won’t become CEO of a company (you need communication skills for that), but they can contribute. If you have a person who speaks broken English (or no English) and cheats their way through school, they won’t succeed here.

I totally understand the frustration with cheating. But to oppose all smart, hard working immigrants from coming to the US because they add to labor market competition is a bad idea.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 11:39:38

@ Rental,

Of course I support hard working, smart immigrants being given an opporunity, that’s what this country is built on. My statement was more along the lines of fulfilling quotas by colleges for foreigners, and now its coming to light, that those foreigners are gaming the entrance system, and cheating to a degree.

Comment by Rental Watch
2016-08-04 12:32:03

Some certainly are (gaming the system), but the Universities are looking the other way because these folks typically pay full price.

A cynic would say that this lines their pocket. A university administrator would say that it allows the university to give more student aid to domestic students.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

As I’ve heard before…the answer is money, now what’s the question?

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 14:01:30

I’m happy to hear that the Starwood deal fell through. Actually it sounds like more money-parking and money-laundering. Use manipulated *poof* money — like Aussie loans or overvalued Alibaba stock or warehouses of garlic already collateralized for something else — to buy real goods and services like hotels. What if the loans fall through a couple years later? Bah. Possession is 9/10 of the law, molon labe, right? Fits right in with the Chinese-cheater culture.

Good to see that banks are waking up to this. If healthy skepticism and decent underwriting is a Crisis of Credit Confidence or whatever, then I’m all for it.

Comment by cactus
2016-08-04 09:16:48

Professionals write their entrance essays, I think everyone knows this.

Not just Chinese.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jesus Navas is my Lord Savior
2016-08-04 10:01:04

Cheating SAT and GMAT?

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 10:10:16

The Chinese prep courses were caught stealing the latest SAT test questions. They learn HOW to take the test iwht the latest data and information breaches.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 05:44:23

It’s all Donk. No different than here in the US.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 05:46:13

“I was thinking that most of the Chinese had near-unlimited money to launder and would not care about an extra 15%.”

That’s not how demand works, especially against a backdrop of tightening capital controls at home.

China’s property buying spree in overseas markets hit by capital controls
Chinese offshore property investments fall to US$3.4 billion during first three months of this year
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 June, 2016, 6:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 June, 2016, 6:00pm

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:06:53

When Comrade Hillary is installed in the White House, she is going to have to satisfy the extortionate demands of both her billionaire plutocrat donors for graft and patronage schemes, and the ever-growing parasite class the Democrats have worked so assiduously to build into a lifetime dependency voting bloc. She will have to ensure her oligarch patrons pay minimal tax, so the houses of the soon-to-be-extinct middle class will be the perfect illiquid assets to treat as revenue extraction cash cows for the IRS and fundamental transformation. Forward!

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 06:00:54

‘Vancouver’s technology industry is in danger of becoming collateral damage in British Columbia’s push to rein in spiraling home prices. The surprise decision last week to impose a 15 percent levy on overseas property investors may make it even harder for Vancouver to attract foreign talent and reach its goal of becoming a Canadian version of Silicon Valley. The city already has two major strikes against it: some of the highest housing costs and lowest wages among North America’s emerging technology hubs.’

“It’s a complete shock, a nightmare,” Eric Kong, a Singaporean computer scientist who’s in the middle of relocating his family to Vancouver, said in a telephone interview. “If I’d known this, we would’ve gone somewhere else.”

‘With education that also includes a masters degree in finance, Kong is exactly the kind of expatriate the city is trying to attract. However the new tax, which took effect this week, is putting his plans into a tailspin. He said he needs to come up with an extra C$114,000 ($87,000) to finalize a deal for a C$775,000 home. Canceling the move means he’d forfeit the C$80,000 deposit and prepaid tuition for his two daughters. He’d also have to scramble to find a new home in Singapore, where the family gave up its lease, sold their car, and packed boxes which are about to be shipped.’

‘Tech jobs in British Columbia pay on average 43 percent less than those in California, according to a June 2015 report by the provincial statistics agency. Add in the high cost of living and the city can be a hard sell.’

‘Kong, who decided to move to Vancouver before securing a job, had plenty of options. With his programming and financial-modeling skills he was confident of finding work or growing a business almost anywhere. But the family was smitten by Canada’s landscape and people during a vacation a year ago.’

‘Average prices for single-family detached homes in Vancouver reached C$1.56 million in June, a 38 percent increase from a year earlier.’

‘Not everyone thinks foreign speculators are the main culprit in Vancouver’s housing saga. “The idea that local residents are being crowded out doesn’t add up when you look at the numbers,” said Greg Carros, managing director of Engel & Völkers brokerage in Vancouver. Overseas buyers account for about 10 percent of sales in the Vancouver region, according to government figures released last month. “Vancouver will always be in high demand because it’s a great place to live.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 06:05:52

‘in Singapore, where the family gave up its lease’

No job. Was leasing in Singapore (prices are falling there, you see), but Kong just couldn’t bring himself to rent in Vancouver. Oh you could always sell to some rich Chinese guy huh?

I’ve mentioned before these ideas about some wealthy outside buyers are important to housing manias. For instance, when Californians went running amuck, locals in Idaho or Arizona or Las Vegas were emboldened to do a little speculating themselves. Maybe a lot of speculating. When a market starts to psychologically lean on non-resident buyers, it’s bubble time.

Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 06:14:06

I cant wait for the next implosion to simply remove the “housing is an investment” myth from people’s thick skulls. All of the older folks I speak about housing speculation, depreciation, and so forth, they all just say “Well my house was bought for X and is now worth Y, so, youre wrong”. But they never whip out the calculator to remove maintenance, taxes, etc. Why does the IRS allow you to depreciate your rental property? Because IT IS depreciating, lol, such silly goofs.

Heck my father was just telling me how their home needs moisture and termite remediation under the house. Couple of thousand right there, before they find any significant problems.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 06:31:33

As a renter my greatest variable cost is my electric bill. Only loanowners make unplanned (and very expensive) trips to Loan Depot or Blowe’s.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by dandroidz
2016-08-04 06:35:45

I think my electricity bill peaked this month to $52, because I have to have 2 window units going. Temps are trending downwards and mornings are getting cooler already here in Mass. That $52 should be even less if my town didn’t hijack the power distro and add to the $/kwHr.

My toilet is giving me issues, I think I’ll b!tch to the landlord about it. :D

Comment by ibbots
2016-08-04 09:16:25

‘I cant wait for the next implosion to simply remove the “housing is an investment” myth from people’s thick skulls. ‘

Seems like the ‘07-’09 crash would’ve done that but apparently not. Maybe it is a reflection of the notion that the stock market is rigged, lack of meaningful returns elsewhere….who knows.

In light of the enthusiasm with which people flocked back to RE after the last crash, I question whether the upcoming correction will disabuse the populace that RE is a good investment. As long as the Fed is a willing participant in setting a floor, many will likely view it as a buying opportunity.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by MightyMike
2016-08-04 09:30:47

The wondrous benefits of home ownership have been programmed into the brains of Americans ever since childhood. We also seem to have a problem short memories in this country. People don’t think that the crash that happened just a few years ago can happen again. We need something like what happened in Japan to break the mentality. Phasing out the deduction for mortgage interest would also help.

Comment by Rental Watch
2016-08-04 10:40:18

RE is a good investment.

Cash flowing real estate CAN BE a good investment. There is a reason the phrase “real estate tycoon” has entered our vernacular.

However, that phrase was never intended to apply to the place in which you live.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 11:28:14

And a SFR at current grossly inflated prices or at any time in the past 16 years represents a massive irrecoverable loss.

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 13:47:03

“The wondrous benefits of home ownership”

There is some justification for that programming. Between a paid off house and Social Security (through my grandfather), my grandmother was able to live out her final years with peace and dignity. She was only one of millions of Greatest Generation elderly who had that wondrous benefit. And the millions of Boomers who were even halfway prudent will do as well. Homebuying can give you that benefit, even if you buy at peak just before a crash. But you have to stay put for 30 years and not be forced to sell during a crash.

I am not optimistic for GenXY or the Millenials. For a variety of reasons, they probably won’t be able to stay put for 20+ years.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 15:33:30

Did you she pay double construction cost or a 300% premium like you?

Comment by scdave
2016-08-04 08:19:30

When a market starts to psychologically lean on non-resident buyers, it’s bubble time ??

I agree Ben…

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:06:40

Whew!……. good think for that!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Mugsy
2016-08-04 06:22:02

“But the family was smitten by Canada’s landscape and people during a vacation a year ago.’

There are still Canadians in Vancouver? They must all be Chinese-Canadians.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 06:34:33

“They must all be Chinese-Canadians.”

Canadian loans by chinese buyers maybe. Boots on the ground tell us there’s a whole lot of empty houses and condos in Vancouver.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2016-08-04 06:28:05

Ruskin, FL Affordability Surges As Housing Prices Tank 7% YoY

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-08-04 06:31:23

‘In the mid-1950s, a professor-turned-real estate developer named Nat Mendelsohn began scouring the desert north of Los Angeles for cheap land with lots of water. He wanted to cash in on the real estate boom that was transforming LA County, which would grow by almost 50 percent between 1950 and 1960.’

‘He wanted to create a new city, but one without the pollution, social strife and overcrowding he thought were ruining life in L.A. and other mega-cities. His city would be different. It would, according to an early brochure for California City, “be planned from the beginning, and will attempt to avoid the mistakes of the past, rather than repeat them.”

‘Mendelsohn found an ideal location 40 miles north of Palmdale in the Mojave Desert. Beneath a bountiful cotton and alfalfa farm, there was a huge aquifer. A 1959 article from the Los Angeles Evening Mirror News confirms, “Vast lake found underneath Mojave Desert.”

‘Using some sketchy real estate tactics, Mendelsohn bought the farm and immediately started planning for his city – one he envisioned would one day rival Los Angeles.’

‘Except there was a problem. The people didn’t come.’

‘The industries Mendelsohn was banking on to relocate, many of the aerospace-oriented, didn’t materialize. And it turns out not everyone was interested in remote desert living. Today, there are more vacant lots than homes. The city only rivals LA in one way: it’s size. California City is the third largest in the state by area, but less than 15,000 people live there.’

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2016-08-04 06:43:52

Yeah. LOL! It is a living museum piece that smart people will refer to whenever they are told real estate is an investment, I drove past California city dozens of times without serum a city.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 08:26:39

Seems the same kind of thinking clouded Chinese central planners’ judgment, except in the latter case, they actually built the structures to house empty cities.

Comment by rms
2016-08-04 07:01:29

Maybe they need a UC campus?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 06:34:45

Freight volumes - a far more relevant measure of economic health than the Fed’s faked statistics - keep on plunging. Bullish for housing?

Comment by azdude
2016-08-04 07:51:12

stock prices are due for a plunge but nothing will happen to make clinton look bad till election over.

I think we could even see some more stimulus soon.

Maybe everyone should get a walmart gift card so the chinese can buy some more treasuries!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:09:37

BoE, BoJ, ECB and the PBOC are all pumping new trillions in printing-press stimulus into the “markets,” yet Yellen the Felon is supposedly going to raise interest rates? BWHAHAAHAHAAAAA!

Comment by azdude
2016-08-04 08:37:08

a race to the bottom?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:23:29

Maybe everyone should get a walmart gift card so the chinese can buy some more treasuries!

Silly prole. Stimulus is for the exclusive benefit of a corrupt and venal .1% in the financial sector that bankrolls and owns the Republicrat duopoly. You Main Street serfs can use your own hard-earned money to go to Walmart. Better go now before the Fed’s deranged money printing debases the currency into worthlessness.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 08:30:12

Seems like the banksters who control prices are losing control of prices.

Baltic Dry Index Could Still Return to Record Lows of February: Precious Shipping CEO

Tuesday August 2, 2016

PSL’s CEO, Khalid Hashim, says BDI could return to the record low rates seen in February if vessel demolitions do not accelerate during the second half of this year.

Precious Shipping Public Company Limited’s (PSL’s) CEO, Khalid Hashim, says that the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) could return to the record low rates seen in February if vessel demolitions do not accelerate during the second half of this year, Seatrade Maritime reports.

The BDI Monday fell 6 points to settle at 650, while average spot TC rates were down across all major segments.

Daily Capesize earnings fell to $5,354 per day (-$86) Monday, while Panamax settled at earnings of $5,386 per day (-$152), and Supramax declined to $6,979 per day (-$35).

As Ship & Bunker reported in July, at that time the index rose over the 700 point mark for the first time since last April.

However, on July 19, the BDI began another run of steady declines, falling from 748 on July 18, and has lost ground every day since.

“If scrapping doesn’t accelerate in the second half of this year then the BDI will start to drop from the current levels and we may be faced, once again, with rates that equal the all time low reached in February,” said Hashim.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:16:58

“Seems like the banksters who control prices are losing control of prices.”

If they actually had any control we’d have utopia. Once confidence dives it’s all over. The submergence has already begun.

Comment by MightyMike
2016-08-04 08:58:17

Freight volumes - a far more relevant measure of economic health than the Fed’s faked statistics - keep on plunging. Bullish for housing?

That reminds of the period when people were linking to Zerohedge articles about the Baltic Dry Index. The Baltic Dry Index was declining every day for what seemed like a couple of years. According to Tyler Durden, this was supposed to indicate an incipient severe worldwide recession. The index must gotten so low that it couldn’t get any lower and Mr. Durden moved on to other statistics.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:05:07

And here we are kiddo…. an incipient severe recession.

Comment by MightyMike
2016-08-04 09:33:28

You’ll probably see one some time in your lifetime. But you should switch to a healthier diet to be certain about that.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:52:13


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Puggs
2016-08-04 12:51:14

So is paying retail.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 13:24:18

Retail housing right around$50/sqft new.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 07:10:09

Londoners voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU and keep their open borders.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 07:22:51

Most liberals I know are in total denial of the endgame of Sharia law.

Western Europe is cucked.

Comment by phony scandals
2016-08-04 07:58:40

“Most liberals I know are in total denial of the endgame of Sharia law.”

Are you saying they don’t read, listen or think for themselves but just follow like sheep and clap like seals?

Clinton: ‘RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS!’ 8-1-2016 - YouTube - 298k - Cached - Similar pages
1 day ago ..

Comment by scdave
2016-08-04 08:25:14

just follow like sheep and clap like seals ??

Sounds like a Trump rally…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 08:50:49

New York Times real journalists provide a video medley:

Comment by phony scandals
2016-08-04 13:46:25

Send em a plane load of cash.

Comment by BC_resident
2016-08-04 16:06:12

She says “…and we areN’T going to raise taxes on the middle class.”

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by MightyMike
2016-08-04 16:28:13

That’s funny. Once again, the facts don’t matter.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 17:11:06


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:11:41

Islam is the religion of peace. Therefore all these mass attacks have to be explained away in The Narrative as the handiwork of mentally deranged secular loners rejected by women.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:13:08
(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 08:52:48

1,400 girls got molested or raped in Rotherham.

Can’t be having that in the Narrative now can we?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 09:07:53

Fundamental transformation requires some sacrifices in public safety.

Comment by rms
2016-08-04 13:22:17

“Most liberals I know are in total denial of the endgame of Sharia law.”

The Europeans have a long genocidal history.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 07:11:18

“Anyone who says the American economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”

– Barak Obama, 2016 SOTU Address

Comment by CalifoH20
2016-08-04 10:54:44

i see record profits….

some win, some lose

Comment by Jesus Navas Is My Lord Savior
2016-08-04 14:58:31

We all know you are the loser.

How was philly?

Comment by phony scandals
2016-08-04 07:39:47

Yesterday I looked at the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 for the first time in years. Originally, it was for up to $2 million of forgiven mortgage debt in calendar years 2007 through 2014.

I knew it had been extended once, but to no surprise a quick check shows…

January 19, 2016

Mortgage Debt Relief Act extended through 2016

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Buried deep in the Tax Extenders provisions of the 2016 Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2029) quietly passed by Congress and signed by the president on Dec. 18, 2015, was a very unpublicized extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness and Debt Relief Act of 2007.

In fact, the reference to this extension of this very relevant act was so deeply buried, that I am indebted to a very generous regional representative of Sen. Dean Heller for providing me with a map to find the needle in the haystack (see pages 824-825 of 887!).

This extension is of great importance for homeowners who are still suffering under the weight of underwater homes.

As I have discussed previously (blog postings can be read at, the Mortgage Forgiveness and Debt Relief Act of 2007 provides a tax exemption for homeowners for “income” resulting from debt forgiveness related to foreclosures, short sales and principal forgiveness of loans.

When a lender “forgives” debt — e.g. it waives pursuing a deficiency in a short sale or elects not to sue for deficiency after a foreclosure sale — the debt that is forgiven is, in most circumstances considered by the IRS to be ordinary income and taxable as such.

Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, taxpayers can generally exclude income resulting from the discharge of debt on their principal residence.

For more information see (please note that the IRS has not yet updated its website to reflect the extension of the act through Jan. 1, 2017).

This latest extension will continue this tax protection for homeowners through the 2016 tax year. This means that if you relinquished your home in a foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu, or had a loan modification resulting in debt forgiveness in 2015, or if one of these unfortunate events happens to you in 2016, you may be able to take advantage of this latest extension of the act.

Comment by rms
2016-08-04 18:01:01

Great find. Thanks!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:25:13

If you like your GMO frankenfood, you can keep your GMO frankenfood.’s-what-you’re-not-being-told

Comment by CalifoH20
2016-08-04 10:58:44

i wish the gov would stay out of it, i trust Monsanto to do what is right

Comment by Jesus Navas Is My Lord Savior
2016-08-04 14:59:50

We need government in GMO like we need Obamacare, right?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:28:15

In the UK, more people are keeping cash outside the banks - perchance because they no longer trust their financial institutions? Wait until the ECB bail-ins start up again in the PIIGS.

Comment by Cynical Cynosure
2016-08-04 08:31:40

The UK is not part of of the EMU - hence, not part of the ECB.

Please don’t let facts get in the way of your wonderful opinions.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:38:46

Hey Sparky, do you think the average Brit trusts the BoE any more than the ECB? Once people are reminded that the foundation for legalized larceny has already been established, even if it’s not invoked - yet - they are going to recall the example of Cyprus, and pull their money out before the “bail-ins” snatch it from them to cover the banks bad bets. Remember, in a time of universal fraud, possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:30:26

Will Italian banks be the first dominoes to fall in the next global financial crisis?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:31:31
Comment by Professor Bear
2016-08-04 08:33:47

This is the “shoeshine boy moment” story…

The Canadian Housing Boom Fueled by China’s Billionaires
Five scenes from Vancouver as it transforms into a playground for the rich.
By Katia Dmitrieva and Natalie Obiko Pearson | August 2, 2016

The walls of Clarence Debelle’s Vancouver office on Canada’s west coast are lined with gifts from his real estate clients: jade and turtle dragon figurines; bottles of baijiu, a traditional Chinese alcohol; and enough special-edition Veuve Clicquot to fuel several high-end cocktail parties.

They are the product of Vancouver’s decade-long real estate frenzy. The city, with its stunning views of the mountains and yacht-dotted harbor, has long been one of the world’s most expensive places to live but price gains have reached a whole new level of intensity this year. Low interest rates, rising immigration, and a surge of foreign money—particularly from China—have all driven the increases.

Consider the latest milestones:

• The cost of a single-family home surged a record 39 percent to C$1.6 million ($1.2 million) in June from a year earlier.

• More than 90 percent of those homes are now worth more than C$1 million, up from 65 percent a year earlier, according to city assessment figures.

• Vancouver is now outpacing price gains in New York, San Francisco and London over the past decade.

• Foreigners pumped C$1 billion into the province’s real estate in a five-week period this summer, or about 8 percent of the province’s sales.

Comment by azdude
2016-08-04 08:40:13

Remember when walmart boasted made in america products? How times have changed.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:48:47

The more the Oligopoly and its Democrat hirelings try to disarm the populace, the more people head for their local gun store. Bloomberg, Soros, Zuckerman, etc. will not be pleased.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 10:00:03

Bloomberg stooped to getting involved in State Senate recall elections.

Grabbers gonna grab.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-08-04 08:52:21

With Keynesian fraudsters running our financial system and Hillary poised to explode the national debt even beyond Obama’s spending spree, physical precious metals are a no-brainer.

Comment by cactus
2016-08-04 08:57:41

The share of single-family homes used as rental properties, meanwhile, has surged to a 30-year high, according to a Zillow analysis of data from the U.S. census. Separate data provided by RealtyTrac show that only 65 percent of homes purchased in 2015 are owner-occupied.

“If credit is tight, it doesn’t matter if it’s also cheap, because the people who can get it don’t need it,” Kelman said. “The haves in our society are renting homes out to have-nots, and they’ve been able to do that at increasingly high rents.”

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:03:46

Can you imagine hanging onto all those houses after paying 300% premiums for them while vacancy rates continue to crank up?

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:18:18

More wildly positive economic news.

“Gas prices falling in California”

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:20:25

“Farmers Optimistic Despite Falling Crop Prices”

*Even producers are wildly optimistic about falling prices and how they accelerate the economy and create jobs.

Comment by rms
2016-08-04 18:03:51

“Farmers Optimistic Despite Falling Crop Prices”

Farmers are optimistic… have to be.

Comment by ibbots
2016-08-04 09:21:19

Anyone heard of the new overtime rules that start Dec. 1? Supposed to cover 4 million workers…

Biggest adjustment is that sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker).

i.e. if a worker makes less than that on salary and works more than 40 hours, they gotta be paid overtime at 1.5 * wages. The current threshold is something like $23k, so it is a big jump.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:23:07

“Customers Benefit From Falling Natural Gas Prices”

*Everyone benefits from falling prices. Everyone.

Comment by Big Mac
Comment by Puggs
2016-08-04 10:39:09

Now, if we could just get used car/truck prices to crater.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 10:51:45

Let’s run it by Jingle_Fraud.

Comment by oxide
2016-08-04 11:36:33

Lending standards for car loans are set to tighten in a couple months. That will probably tank the prices for new cars, increasing demand for used cars.

Comment by Jesus Navas is my Lord Savior
2016-08-04 12:26:58

That can be extended just as easily.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-04 09:29:32

Even falling housing prices.

Georgetown(Washington DC) Housing Prices Crater 11% YoY

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 10:18:45

Irresponsible journalism at its finest:

“Home prices have hit record highs in some major U.S. metropolitan areas, and house-flippers are behaving like it’s 2005: It’s no wonder people are chattering about another housing bubble.

But residential real estate isn’t in a speculative bubble, industry observers contend. Instead, a low inventory of available homes is driving prices higher — prices, however, will eventually recede as buyers throw up their hands, or as more new homes come on line. The structural issues that led to the housing collapse last decade aren’t present.

“The havoc during the last cycle was the result of building too many homes and of speculation fueled by loose credit,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at “That’s the exact opposite of what we have today.”

With this sponsored link in the sidebar of the article:

Why a HELOC Can Be a Hidden Retirement Resource
By First Republic Bank on May 4, 2016 4:32 pm

Comment by CalifoH20
2016-08-04 11:21:45

BK, it is good for business:

CHICAGO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Peabody Energy Corp asked a U.S. judge on Wednesday to allow it to pay up to $11.9 million in bonuses for six top executives if the global coal producer meets performance targets and emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The incentive package, which for the first time includes targets for cleaning up coal pits, would raise the pay for the company’s chief executive officer to $3.9 million from $1 million if all targets are met.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 14:35:53

New York Times Relentlessly Biased Against Trump, Reports New York Times:

“An astonishing piece appeared in the New York Times (NYT) recently. It reported a fierce bias in the Times’s coverage of politics and current affairs, most notably when it comes to Donald Trump. The bias turns up not just in the opinion pages but in the News, reports Liz Spayd, the new “public editor,” a position once called the ombudsman.

But the surprise does not end there. Spayd’s report is based on letters from liberal readers, which are filling her inbox to overflowing. Here are some examples that she cites:

“You’ve lost a subscriber because of your relentless bias against Trump — and I’m not even a Republican,” writes an Arizonan.

“I never thought I’d see the day when I, as a liberal, would start getting so frustrated with the one-sided reporting that I would start hopping over to the Fox News webpage to read an article and get the rest of the story that the NYT refused to publish,” writes a woman from California.

“The NY Times is alienating its independent and open-minded readers, and in doing so, limiting the reach of their message and its possible influence,” writes a Manhattanite.”

Comment by aNYCdj
2016-08-04 18:07:31

ive been watching trump live on youtube the last few days an its been around 25,000-30,000 people watching, in the middle of the afternoon…..

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 14:51:44

Securing the Realm. Yes, the Realm, like it’s Game of Thrones:

“Deep down inside, we all have known if for a long time haven’t we, that the Obama administration is financing and enabling terror? We have known for a long time he is an Islamist with jihadist sympathies. Why else would he have not destroyed ISIS? What better way than to just make them out to be the JV team while they metastasize across Western Europe and the United States. All they needed was time, until there would be no time left to do anything about them. The damage is done. Now we know a little of how deep this rabbit hole goes.”

That simultaneously advocates a ground war invasion (estimated cost: $5+ trillion} of Iran:

Watch where you click those Drudge Report links, because you’re clicking neocon.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-08-04 15:04:07

“Under Obama America’s interest shifted away from Africa. During his first term he spent less than one day in sub-Saharan Africa, in Ghana, where he memorably visited the Cape Coast Castle, where enslaved Africans were sent to America. In his second term initiatives have been too hastily announced, with no strategic vision—and little desire to address the systematic issues Africa faces. Take the Young African Leaders Initiative, which may help some educated, globalised young Africans. But it does little to support Africa’s vast youth population, who require serious investment in education and jobs. And who need reasons to stay at home and build their nations, rather than embark on dangerous boat journeys to Europe.”

Comment by Jesus Navas Is My Lord Savior
2016-08-04 17:26:10

too hastily announced, with no strategic vision

Vision? LOL

The empty suit read what was on teleprompter.


Comment by Big Mac
Comment by spmk
2016-08-05 02:08:04

Is it really going to come down to it? the civil war?

I don’t want a civil war but it seems we’re going for it.

Love your friend. Love your brother.

Don’t love the ones that want to kill you.

Comment by Big Mac
2016-08-05 05:13:27

Pick yourself up off the floor and cheer up Lola. And remember… Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels. Nothing

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post