The “spring bounce-back” has stalled

From the Record:

Weathering the housing slump

We’ve come a long way since the giddy heights of 2005, when the real estate market peaked.

Homeowners have seen their once-spiraling house values plummet back to earth. Sellers dreaming of cashing in on their ever-increasing investment have had to reduce their expectations along with their asking prices. And the recent subprime crisis, coupled with the rising number of foreclosures, has made the future even more murky.

These are challenging times for the housing industry as well. One New Jersey builder, Kara Homes, has filed for bankruptcy, and others are reporting losses. Red Bank-based Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., the nation’s sixth-largest home builder, has lost a total of more than $174 million for the past two quarters, its first losses in at least nine years.

Ara Hovnanian, the company’s 49-year-old CEO, has been there through it all. The publicly held company was founded by his father in 1959, and he joined it 20 years later after receiving his bachelor’s and MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Q. How’s the outlook for housing for the rest of 2007?

My response is different today than it would have been a couple of months ago. Had you asked in January or February, I would have said it really looks like the market is stabilizing. Then this whole issue regarding the subprime mortgage industry came out, and that caused sales to dip. Now my prognosis is not as optimistic as it was. Obviously, the industry is still selling a lot of houses, but the recovery and spring bounce-back we had been hoping for seems to be stalled.

Q. When do you think things might start looking better?

My guess is at least a few quarters. I think we’re right near the bottom of the marketplace. I think it is likely to stay flat along the bottom for two to three quarters. The market needs to work off some of the excess inventory of housing.

Q. So we’re talking about the beginning of 2008?

That’s probably a reasonable guess at this point.

. How is demand for your houses in New Jersey?

New Jersey is not one of our best states today; it’s not one of our worst states. It’s somewhere in the middle. The things that are very close to New York City are doing well. As you get further out, it gets less of the benefit of New York City. New York City is driven a lot by the financial industry, and they’ve had a fabulous couple of years.

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130 Responses to The “spring bounce-back” has stalled

  1. njrebear says:

    RadioShack Q1 comparable sales down 9.2%

  2. rhymingrealtor says:

    Oh boy!

    Took me forever to catch up on that weekend discussion, I am sure this is the thread of the day.

    I can’t believe I missed the first episode of bought & sold as I have told Jim, I was involved with one of the episodes to an extent, and inadvertantly.

    BC
    I would deifinitly go with the free lg from verizon, my husband who does’nt open cabinets doors, he pulls them off, has not broken this one yet and this is a record.

    Clot,

    As usual you are the counterpoint man, I think you could take any side of any argument and win it even if you were on both sides yourself! Of course If you could make it all rhyme…….. well…. then I’d feel my input isn’t needed (-:

    Inventory’s still climbing, the end of the month expires today will probaly bring us down a bit, but I anticipate much more being added by memorial day.

    KL

  3. James Bednar says:

    Personal income/spending/savings due out at 8:30am.

    jb

  4. James Bednar says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. March consumer spending up 0.3% vs. 0.5% expected
    U.S. March personal income up 0.7% vs 0.6% expected
    U.S. March core inflation rate unchanged vs up 0.1% expected
    U.S. March core inflation up 2.1% yr-on-yr, vs 2.4% Feb.
    U.S. March real consumer spending down 0.2%
    U.S. March real consumer spending weakest since Sept. ’05

  5. James Bednar says:

    Savings rate for March is negative again, at -0.8.

    jb

  6. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Spending Rose 0.3% in March; Core Prices Unchanged

    Personal spending in the U.S. rose less than forecast in March, a sign higher gasoline prices and a sagging housing market may be starting to chip away at a mainstay of the expansion.

    The 0.3 percent rise in spending followed a 0.7 percent February increase, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation was unchanged from a month earlier.

    Adjusted for inflation, spending fell by the most since September 2005, suggesting the economy may not be able to count as much on consumers to buffer slowdowns in manufacturing and home construction. The price figures bear out the Fed’s forecast that inflation will gradually recede as the economy cools.

    “I would expect, especially if gas prices continue to push higher, that consumers are not going to be contributing nearly as much” to economic growth, Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, said before the report

  7. James Bednar says:

    Chicago PMI due out at 9:45, Construction Spending due out at 10.

  8. RentinginNJ says:

    #2 njbear

    More news on Radio Shack. Worth the read:
    http://tinyurl.com/29e856

  9. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    National City First-Quarter Profit Falls on Mortgages

    National City Corp., the Ohio bank that sold its subprime mortgage unit to Merrill Lynch & Co. last year, said profit fell 31 percent as it set aside more money to cover bad loans.

    First-quarter net income declined to $319 million, or 50 cents a share, from $459 million, or 74 cents, in the same period a year earlier, the Cleveland-based bank said today in a statement. The average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 61 cents a share.

    National City put $107 million into a reserve to cover bad loans, quadruple the amount from a year earlier, citing a “difficult environment” in the mortgage market. Delinquencies reached a four-year high last year, cooling demand from investors who buy loans and repackage them into securities. National City said last month it would hold on to more of its mortgages rather than selling them at depressed prices.

  10. James Bednar says:

    Personal savings rate has now been negative for 24 consecutive months..

    jb

  11. James Bednar says:

    Chicago PMI comes in under expectations at 52.9.

    jb

  12. James Bednar says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Chicago activity index slows to 52.9% in April

    The business sector expanded in the Chicago region in April, but at a slower pace than in March, according to a survey of corporate purchasing managers. The Chicago purchasing managers’ index fell to 52.9% from 61.7% in March. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting a pullback to 54.5%. Readings over zero in the diffusion index indicate that more firms were expanding than contracting. The new orders index fell to 56.5% from 72.2%. The prices paid index rose to 64.9% from 59.1%, indicating greater inflationary pressures on firms.

  13. njrebear says:

    The Chicago purchasing managers’ index fell to 52.9% from 61.7% in March!

  14. James Bednar says:

    Construction spending comes in a bit below estimates..

    U.S. March construction spending rises 0.2%

    Spending on U.S. construction projects rose by 0.2% in March, fueled mostly by higher outlays for private nonresidential projects. Private residential construction fell by 1% in March, but followed a revised gain in February of 1.8%, the first gain after 10 straight months of declines. Spending on private nonresidential projects rose by 2.4%, while total private construction outlays climbed by 0.2%. Public construction spending rose by 0.4%. Spending on federal construction projects, meanwhile, fell by 4.1% in March, following a drop of 7% in February. The total figure was below the 0.4% expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

  15. James Bednar says:

    Some news from the NAR, trying to track down the press release now. From MarketWatch:

    Investment-home buying falls 28.9% in 2006 to 1.65 mln: NAR
    Vacation-home buying rises 4.7% in 2006 to 1.07 mln
    Vacation, investment homes accounted for 36% of 2006 sales

  16. njrebear says:

    Vacation, investment homes accounted for 36% of 2006 sales

    Investment-home buying falls 28.9% in 2006 to 1.65 mln: NAR

  17. Richard says:

    wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of rate cuts so i could refinance and save some $$$. house buying fence sitters won’t be happy as they see less interest on their nest egg.

  18. njrebear says:

    jb,
    i give up :)

  19. James Bednar says:

    From the National Association of Realtors:

    Vacation-Home Sales Rise to Record, Investment Sales Plummet in 2006

    Second-home sales were mixed in 2006, with the combined total of vacation- and investment-home sales accounting for 36 percent of all existing and new residential transactions – down from 40 percent of sales in 2005, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

    NAR’s annual Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey shows vacation-home sales rose 4.7 percent to a record 1.07 million in 2006 from 1.02 million in 2005, while investment-home sales fell sharply, down 28.9 percent to 1.65 million in 2006 from a record 2.32 million in 2005. By contrast, primary residence sales fell 4.1 percent to 4.82 million in 2006 from 5.02 million in 2005.

    Twenty-two percent of all homes purchased last year were for investment, down from a 28 percent market share in 2005, while another 14 percent were vacation homes, up from a 12 percent share in 2005.

    David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, noted the drop in investment homes was much greater than the decline in primary residence sales. “We expected the drop in investment sales because speculators left the market in 2006, which caused investment sales to fall much faster than the primary market, but the rise in vacation-home sales is based on strong demographic and lifestyle factors, with only modest interest in renting their properties to others,” Lereah said.

  20. James Bednar says:

    From Kiplinger:

    No Early End to Housing Doldrums

    The subprime mess has a very long tail, long enough to keep home sales down for many more months. The number of subprime loan holders who face higher interest rates has yet to peak. It will stay high through fall of next year, keeping foreclosures — and home supply — on the rise.

  21. BC Bob says:

    “Vacation, investment homes accounted for 36% of 2006 sales”

    [16],

    Vacation- Speculator?
    Investment- Flipper?

    Do we bail them out also?

    Rate cuts? Less interest, zero factor, at least for me.

    Dollar and gold.

  22. James Bednar says:

    wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of rate cuts so i could refinance and save some $$$. house buying fence sitters won’t be happy as they see less interest on their nest egg.

    Silly Richard..

    Fence sitters will be able to buy and reap those same benefits. All the more reason to wait I suppose. That is, if you believe the next move for the Fed is down, and that mortgage rates will follow suit.

    jb

  23. Richie says:

    How is a vacation home not an investment?

    -R

  24. RentinginNJ says:

    How is a vacation home not an investment?

    It’s hard to neatly categorize many of these home purchases. I would argue that many vacation home purchases are really speculative investments where the “investor” intends to get some use out of the place in the mean time. “I bought a condo in Wildwood. By the time I retire and cash in, it will be worth a million $. In the mean time, I get to use it for vacation”.

    Also, there is likely response bias in the survey. How many people would rather say they bought a vacation property rather than admit to being the greatest fool who purchased an investment home in 2006?

  25. dreamtheaterr says:

    “wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of rate cuts so i could refinance and save some $$$. house buying fence sitters won’t be happy as they see less interest on their nest egg.”

    Less interest on their nest egg?? Are you kidding?

    On a $500K mortgage at 30 yr 6.5% fixed, the monthly payment is $3,160.
    For arguments sake, if mortgage rates drop to 6%, the monthly payment either drops to $2,998, or the buyer can buy a house of $527,000 now, to have the same mortgage payment of $3,160.

    Seriously, earning half a percentage point less on a down payment isn’t going to make me cry. A better deal is getting more house for the same money, or having a lesser mortgage. Renter (me) or owner (you), my gain is the same as yours if rates head down.

  26. bergenbuyer says:

    If I’m the avg Joe Buyer and all I do is look in the paper each Sunday and trust my realtor 100% to tell me what’s going on, then maybe I’ve missed some of the news of the downturn in the market and I’m saying prices have dropped 10%, let’s buy!

    Wouldn’t Hovnanian’s interview throw up a huge red flag? It’s one thing when a journalist says something, but when the CEO of Hovnanian basically says, “We’ve got until 2008 at least to hit the bottom and prices are still too high” shouldn’t that tell every buyer that you better research your offer and make sure you’re not overbidding for today or for 1 year from now?

    The Record couldn’t be more clear, it’s on the front page!

    FYI, Hovnanian had huge ads as always in the RE section and none of them say to wait until the market bottoms out in 2008, per their CEO.

  27. njrebear says:

    Economist Lereah to leave NAR, join Move Inc. next month

  28. njrebear says:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/economist-lereah-leave-nar-join/story.aspx?guid=%7B72027104%2D9CCD%2D458F%2D907B%2DBDF80DA9BE9E%7D

    Economist Lereah to leave NAR, join Move Inc. next month

    David Lereah, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, is leaving NAR to join Move Inc. as chairman and partner of a new business entity next month, NAR said Monday. Move Inc. provides homebuyers and renters with information about real estate and communities before, during and after a move, according to its web site. Lereah directed NAR’s research division, regulatory and industry relations division and other activities.

  29. chicagofinance says:

    Richard Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 10:05 am
    wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of rate cuts so i could refinance and save some $$$. house buying fence sitters won’t be happy as they see less interest on their nest egg.

    reech: I can’t stand you.

  30. SG says:

    bergenbuyer: Remember, House buying is an emotional purchase for most folks. The only rational buyers are investors, unfortunately, our area does not have many investors compared to areas like FL & NV.

  31. scribe says:

    SG,

    There are lots of flippers, and they’re still out there.

    There’s one house I know of, near where my relatives live.

    Closed at the end of July 2006 for about $340,000, about $40,000 off asking. Big sign in the lawn: “Sold by X [big name realtor].”
    The next time we drove by in September there was another sign in the lawn: FSBO. Sign was still there around Easter so it’s looking like a flip that’s flopping.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    academia is kicking it up a notch, first the MIT director of admissions and now this….man – a freaking killer, and as if this institution didn’t have enough bad publicity

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aCNVYfUY2_9c&refer=us

  33. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi (33)-

    Just another reason to hate Dook, our country’s foremost institution of learning for sociopaths.

    Dookie=sociopath=loser.

  34. James Bednar says:

    Lereah leaves the NAR? Should we celebrate?

    David Lereah, NAR Chief Economist, Joins Move Inc.

    David Lereah, senior
    vice president and chief economist of the National Association of
    Realtors(R) for the past seven years, is joining Move Inc. as executive
    vice president of a new business entity, effective in mid-May.
    Move Inc. operates NAR’s official Web site, http://www.Realtor.com, and
    http://www.Move.com.
    Lereah will act as chairman and partner of the new enterprise under
    Move Inc. that will launch in the third quarter of 2007. He will serve with
    Allan Dalton, who will be president and CEO of the new business entity,
    which will be transformational for both consumers and real estate
    professionals.

  35. bergenbubbleburst says:

    3 rates cuts in 07,and we are in May tomorrow, i do not see it. In fact i do nto see any cuts this year.

    Although if we do, it will be like the early 90’s, declining interest rates along with declining housing prices.

    I would imagine that some sellers however in the event of interest rate cuts, might be less inclines to lower thier asking prices;time will tell.

  36. PriceFall says:

    #35
    IMHO, no celebrate. Another Lereah is on his/her way. I guess….

  37. WaitingToBuy says:

    Business students are notorious for cheating.

  38. chicagofinance says:

    WaitingToBuy Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 12:36 pm
    Business students are notorious for cheating.

    Buy: please don’t insult me – you know nothing

  39. chicagofinance says:

    From Fuqua gard I know….

    Yeah, I had my 10 year reunion this past weekend and this was a big dissappointment. Apparently many of them are international students (mostly Venezuelans). They should have waited until Enron hired them before cheating.

  40. chicagofinance says:

    “grad”

  41. Read My Lips: MASSIVE MISERY 2008 says:

    Economist Lereah to leave NAR, join Move Inc. next month

    LOL!

    The starving bunch needs a new mouthpiece. Maybe Price Affordability will come to the forefront.

  42. Aaron says:

    The things that are very close to New York City are doing well. As you get further out, it gets less of the benefit of New York City. New York City is driven a lot by the financial industry, and they’ve had a fabulous couple of years.

    Nice comment by Hovnanian…. wonder if the fortunes of the NYC financial industry are going to keep going up? Are the next couple of years going to be ‘fabulous’?

  43. RentL0rd says:

    To me, Lereah jumping ship means the worst in RE is yet to come. Another sign that the bottom is wayyy down there… hang in tight everyone!

  44. WaitingToBuy says:

    Chicagofinance you took this very personaly so you must have seen a lot of this at business schools. Plus business schools are destroying this country. Especially undergrad business schools, pump out students that add no value to society. It is sad to see friends kids choose to major in business instead of science related major or liberal arts.

  45. rhymingrealtor says:

    Rentlord,

    Thank you, I thought I was the only one thinking this guy has totally run out of ways to spin this, and he was a master spinner if ever there was one.
    The first thought I had when I read it here
    (first as usual) was this is like the pilot going thru turbulance saying don’t worry folks everythings fine, everything’s under control, then the next thing you see is the pilot parachuting off into the sunset!

    KL

  46. Clotpoll says:

    Hey KL (3)-

    How about a rhyme on this “PriceFall” loser?

  47. chicagofinance says:

    WaitingToBuy Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 12:57 pm
    Chicagofinance you took this very personaly so you must have seen a lot of this at business schools. Plus business schools are destroying this country. Especially undergrad business schools, pump out students that add no value to society. It is sad to see friends kids choose to major in business instead of science related major or liberal arts.

    WTB: #1 you have a lot of nerve shooting off your mouth in that manner; #2 no comment

  48. Clotpoll says:

    As log as Lereah disappears and keeps his mouth shut, I’m OK with it.

    They just can’t keep trotting him out month after month to call the bottom.

  49. bergenbubbleburst says:

    #43 Aron: This discussion has been exhausted here, but the effect of Wall St on NNJ real estate is not that great. In short not everybody in NNJ works on Wall st or in NYC.

    As far as NJ, it has been discussed again here time and agin, our economy is not turning out good high paying jobs.

  50. Read My Lips: MASSIVE MISERY 2008 says:

    READ MY LIPS:

    Spring 2008 is going to be misery FOR GREEDY GRUBBERS AND THE STARVING BUNCH.

    Accept it now and prepare for lean times.

    hehehehhehehe!

  51. Read My Lips: MASSIVE MISERY 2008 says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAA

    Bob

  52. chicagofinance says:

    Read My Lips: MASSIVE MISERY 2008 Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 1:06 pm
    BOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAA

    Bob: yeah – I agree

  53. chicagofinance says:

    FYI – don’t take the Lereah thing purely at face value, look at what MOVE is giving him – we will find out the particulars about this separation tommorow and in the coming weeks

  54. Read My Lips: MASSIVE MISERY 2008 says:

    Planted a few seeds to buy a few expensive toys in the near future. These show & tellers just do not realize it yet that they will be accepting a much lower price for their toys.

    Going to Bleed’em dry. Patience cost money. Their money.

    hehehehehehehehe

  55. Read My Lips: MASSIVE MISERY 2008 says:

    Miserable times bring great prices.

    Make sure you are compensated for your patience and time.

    hehehehehehe

  56. MS says:

    What’s with the new look of realtor.com?
    I find that this new version is NOT listing all the properties that the old one did and not giving me that much information about the properties that they do list.
    For a few days I was getting the option of picking which version of listings I want (the “beta” version or old one), but now all I get is the new inferior version of realtor.com .
    How can I now get a comprehensive list of properties in each town?

  57. Richard says:

    >>A better deal is getting more house for the same money,

    keep wishing on a star that those pesky prices will come down. with the exception of a few idiots who paid over asking because they got into a bidding war all i see is prices keep going up every year even though the inventory is historically high. in my town i took a sample of houses on the market right now all asking more money than the same house would’ve cost last year. and it’s not just one seller asking for more they all are and few seem to be budging. yeah i know let it sit for a while and they’ll lower but all you keep seeing is sellers either not having a problem leaving the house on the market for 6-12-18 months or pulling the listing. sellers en masse are not giving in contrary to all the gabbing going on on this site. this could be a town by town phenomenon i’m just reporting what i see.

  58. James Bednar says:

    I guess I’m a ‘business student’ as well, since I’m working on an MBA. It’s my second masters degree (first was an M.S.), and I was previously a student yet another masters program (also an M.S.). I’ve spent way too much time in post-gradville.

    With that, I simply can’t believe cheating is at all common at the post-grad level. While some amount of cheating doesn’t surprise me at the undergrad level, post-grad is a different place entirely. The type of work required is different, the workload is different, the lecture dynamics are different and expectations are considerably higher.

    Most, if not all, of my colleagues are in the field, have made a career out of the field, and have a vested interest in learning, not just ‘passing’.

    jb

  59. RentL0rd says:

    #54 chifi, I am with the conspiracy theorists. Lereah must know something more than what the current RE numbers are saying.

    Since MOVE is geared towards renters, I will pat myself on the back and say the future is in Renting :)

    KL, can we please have a rhyme?

  60. Richard says:

    i can replay the typical conversation between a couple on buying a house.

    year 2003. hubby says to wife prices are too high and out of whack with incomes they have to come down so let’s wait. ok says wife.

    year 2004. hubby says prices are even more out of whack we should wait they have to come down we can get more house for our money. wife begrudgingly says ok.

    year 2005. prices even higher and further out of whack. hubby says we can’t lose hope now i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. i’m reading all these blogs on the real estate bubble and it all makes sense we have to keep the faith. wife unhappy but can’t do much since what they could afford in 2003 they definitely can’t afford now, meanwhile child 1 has arrived.

    year 2006. prices still stubbornly high even though they’ve leveled somewhat. hubby says see i told you so here comes the payoff! wife says i’ve been waiting 3 years for a place to call my own, we have 1 kid and another on the way and i’m getting sick of this.

    year 2007. pesky sellers keeping prices high even in the face of historically high inventory (again). hubby says it’s finally starting to turn! all the talk is about the collapsing housing bubble. see i told you it’s almost that time. the only thing missing is the sellers haven’t gotten the memo they’re still asking too much, so we need to wait some more, say another 9-12 months. wife says great now we can buy the same house from 2003 but only 30% more.

    silly rabbits…

  61. HC says:

    As a Fuqua grad, this is really embarrassing. The school takes its honor code pretty seriously and I don’t think they are going to go easy on the students. I remember something very similar happening in my first year, although on a much smaller scale. Pretty hard for the students to recover from. I honestly think this stuff happens at almost all bschools, but Duke is a little bit more strict about enforcing things than most.

  62. nwbergen says:

    Today’s posts are boring.. We need more controversy and name calling between (Clotpol, edjs, vinland pricefall and lets not forget NJgal vs castleking.) Now that makes for good reading.

  63. RentL0rd says:

    Reech, what do your balls tell you in year 2010?

  64. Chuchundra says:

    If anyone’s interested, I’ve been watching this house.

    http://24masonave.com/

    Hey, they’ve got their own URL. It’s close to my apartment and so I drive past it nearly every day. It’s been on the market for around six months or so now and they’ve had open house after open house but it stays up on MLSLI.

    It’s a nice house but a pretty obvious botched flip. Zillow says they bought it for $412K on 9/25/06 and now, after “completely renovating”, they’re looking to get $548K. Given the state of the market, I think they’d be lucky to get their original $412K back.

    My fiancee likes this house, even though it’s a bit big for us. Maybe we’ll wait for the Lis Pendens.

  65. PriceFall says:

    #65: Now it is $538K…

  66. Al says:

    WaitingToBuy Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 12:57 pm
    Chicagofinance you took this very personaly so you must have seen a lot of this at business schools. Plus business schools are destroying this country. Especially undergrad business schools, pump out students that add no value to society. It is sad to see friends kids choose to major in business instead of science related major or liberal arts.

    If you ever wondering – USA do not need any more Science majors.

    Example from my profession:

    In NJ – the supposedly one of the best states (if not best) for chemistry, biochemistry and biology graduates recent job fairs attracted 1000’s, literally) of people seeking employment and may be to of 20 employers.

    Science jobs being cut/outsourced in great numbers.

    With computers and internet and huge advances in new technology, scientists are about 4-10 times more productive now, than they were just 20 years ago.

    So in reality only a fraction of science majors/researchers are needed and USA universities spitting out now quite a bit more than 20 years ago.

    Add immigration of highly skilled workers to the equitation, and you get GROSS OVERPRODUCTION and OVERABANDANCE of SCIENCE MAJORS in USA.

    With not enough jobs – that’s why average pay for science majors continuously declined in the last 20 years (Adjusted for inflation).

    Smart kids in US should go to Finance, MBA and MD.

    Science jobs are becoming jobs for immigrants from third world countries.

    They have no problems living in one house with their extended families (not uncommon to have 3 generations living under one roof), a lot more frugal compare to an average American, and therefore accept a lot smaller salaries just to be in this country.

  67. Chuchundra says:

    #66 Yes, I noticed that after I posted. It’s been $548K for so long, I didn’t really bother to look. I guess they feel that that $10K discount will bring the buyers in.

  68. dreamtheaterr says:

    “this could be a town by town phenomenon i’m just reporting what i see.”

    Dude, get off your high horse…… don’t cherry-pick part of my sentence and apply it only to Westfield.

    Just because your LSD-induced mirage of what’s transpiring in Westfield (higher asking prices mean jack-sh*t) does not mean the majority of house prices in NJ or the country will trend higher.

    My argument was if mortgage rates go lower, either I can buy more house or I pay less mortgage. What’s so hard to comprehend?

  69. Al says:

    TO post #61:


    year 2007. pesky sellers keeping prices high even in the face of historically high inventory (again). hubby says it’s finally starting to turn! all the talk is about the collapsing housing bubble. see i told you it’s almost that time. the only thing missing is the sellers haven’t gotten the memo they’re still asking too much, so we need to wait some more, say another 9-12 months. wife says great now we can buy the same house from 2003 but only 30% more.

    silly rabbits…

    Good one Richard….

    Now please spin this from point of view of Real First time home buyer not the inmaginary one who was ready to buy in 2003 and sat on the fence for 5 years:

    For example the one who just graduated from colledge in 2006 and started his first job.

    With home prices flat to falling, Huge economy uncertainty and renting being about 2x

    (at least for me it is at least 2x, not for equial places have to be fair – apartment vs. Cape cod, Sq Ft. are about the same though, and apartment have small back yard)

    why buy if by renting FTHB will save 10-20K/year, and in 3-4 years will have sizable downpayment, with higher salary and buy the same house a lot more comfortably.

    SO let sellers put their house on the market every 6 month, the ones who have to sell will lower price or FK. The ones who does not have to sell just wasting realtors time and at some point reators will stop accepting their listings.

  70. Al says:

    Bold off?

  71. UnRealtor says:

    In most decent universities, if you’re caught cheating, you’re expelled — period.

    No probation, no second chance, just out the door.

    I did not see any cheating while at school, just lots of ass-busting.

  72. njrebear says:

    bonds, oil, gold & dow rally.

  73. RentinginNJ says:

    all i see is prices keep going up every year even though the inventory is historically high.

    What makes you believe that the most fundamental tenet of economics, the law of supply and demand, doesn’t apply to houses? A temporary market dislocation caused by a speculative mania in housing? Sure. Sellers who refuse to budge and would rather pull a listing or let the house sit forever? I’m sure we will see plenty of them too. A cartel where all sellers band together to hold up unrealistic prices? Nope.

    Markets aren’t always rational all the time. They are, however, rational and self correcting over the long run.

    So, either the housing market corrects itself, and prices drop, or you believe that somehow the housing market is the one market in the history of free markets that permanently defies the law of supply and demand.

  74. chicagofinance says:

    dreamtheaterr Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 1:52 pm
    What’s so hard to comprehend?

    Yanni: looks like those Reech-troll spores are starting to infect the site… :(

  75. fanshawe says:

    Seriously, no one saw *any* cheating in college / grad school? I went to a top national university and I saw *tons* of cheating. Every major, across every ethnicity, male and female.

    I knew very few people in college who hadn’t cheating in some form or another at least once (even though it might have been something innocuous like copying some homework).

  76. Aaron says:

    My bro went to Caltech, they had the honor system there and much of the time you took tests on your own time.
    It’s pretty hard to fake knowing calculus and physics.

  77. LeeS says:

    I hate my landlord. Anyone that can help with this? I originally signed a lease that didn’t state that I could use the side yard of a house, but had a verbal agreement that was witness by my sister-in-law and the realtor renting the place to us. If I can get my sister-in-law, and less likely the realtor, to sign an affidavit attesting to that fact, could I actually win in civil court if I took the matter up? Thanks for any help.

  78. Aaron says:

    bergenbubbleburst #50
    I don’t know what sector you are in but I come from IT, which is a huge component of the job market in NJ. I would estimate that 70% of the IT work in NJ is related somehow to financial services.
    I think that separating ‘Citibank, Jersey City’ from ‘Citibank, NYC’ is picking nits.

  79. PriceFall says:

    #79 Aaron: I am in the same sector. I agreed with you. Will Wall Street pay a big bonus this year? What’s your observation so far?

  80. twice shy says:

    Richard [61]:

    I follow the Westfield market closely. I won’t “buy at any cost” here; I’ll just try surrounding communities in another year or two.

    Based on my anecdotal observations: spring/summer ’06 saw several starter Capes go on the market priced at around $500k. Most sat and lowered prices through the winter; one is still on the market at $399k. That’s progress in my book. Several small capes in good condition have sold around $410, $415, $420 in the last few months. Of course there are still some overpriced 2/1 Capes around $480k that have been sitting and will likely sit longer, also some smaller ranches in the lower 400s.

    There are elements of truth in your fictional account, i.e, Westfield is a desirable town and probably will remain so. There’s about 203 total active listings now. By comparison, Roselle, Union or Elizabeth has many hundreds (like 9 pages worth on Realtor.com). The question is, does this mean prospective buyers will pay any price?

    For me the answer is No.

  81. PriceFall says:

    #47: Clotpoll (a.k.a. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito), you are already a self-claimed winner. Go ahead to take your own 30K price.

  82. RentinginNJ says:

    What are you looking to “win”? At best, you might be able to get out of your lease under breech of contract. At worst, the judge will tell you it should have been in writing and you will get nothing. I don’t see any payday in your future.

    Does the lease address the issue of the yard at all?

  83. Rob says:

    “silly rabbits…”

    For every seller happy to let the house sit for 12-18 months (usually an older person who bought 30 years ago for 1/10th the price, nominal dollars of course), there will be a guy who’s got to move for a new job or 3 idiots who bought too much house and can’t handle the debt load much longer. When I’m good and ready I will find myself a nice little distressed seller to buy from.

    How long until realtors stop taking listings from sellers who have their price expectations stuck in 2005?

    Unsustainable trends will not be sustained.

  84. fanshawe says:

    I’ve been attending some open houses in Summit, Chatham, and Madison and some of the more friendly realtors that were showing the houses were admitting that that the asking prices were not realistic and that the eventual selling price would definitely be much lower than asking.

    One thing that did surprise me was that for some open houses, even with some where I was the first and only person there as late as 3pm, some of the realtors cared more about making their callbacks and reading email on their Blackberries, than actually talking to me. I definitely got the feeling that these realtors thought I was more of a nuisance than a customer. Maybe I need to dress like I have more money or something :).

  85. bergenbuyer says:

    Lereah is a liar, but a smart one. He’s jumping ship before it sinks. First Greenspan and now Lereah. They’re distancing themselves from the fall. Let the next guy deal with it.

  86. James Bednar says:

    From CNBC:

    Subprime Lenders Made Record Exceptions to Guidelines, Analysts Say

    Subprime mortgage lenders created a surge in delinquencies in the past year by repeatedly breaking their own underwriting guidelines to capture business, analysts said.

    So-called “exceptions” to loans were made as written standards did not change much, Michael Youngblood, a managing director and portfolio manager at FBR Investment Management, said on a panel of an Information Management Network asset-backed securities conference in Miami.

    “The amount of loan exceptions made in 2006 must be historically the highest,” he said.

    Youngblood said lenders have not been providing information on how many times they strayed from their own underwriting standards, even when he asked. In any event, it is clear they represented the “wholesale” relaxation of underwriting practices that sent delinquencies to a business cycle high of about 11.4%, he said.

    Subprime lenders — both those that have failed and those still standing — in the last year also paid scant attention to “soft” guidelines, such as how they analyze “FICO” credit scores for each applicant, Mark Milner, chief risk officer for PMI Mortgage Insurance, said on the panel.

  87. chaoticchild says:

    fanshawe,

    Re: open houses in Summit, Chatham, and Madison

    What do the realtors say about how much less these houses would sell for.

    CC

  88. fanshawe says:

    Well, of the ones that would actually say anything, they were usually saying around 5% lower. Some of them would just chuckle when I’d ask them if they thought the price was fair.

    Also, many of the houses I have seen so far have had their asking prices reduced anywhere from $10-30k just before the open house.

  89. bergenbuyer says:

    I’ve had my realtor check in on a few houses recently. It’s funny, but some are beginning to price themselves at the bottom of their comparables, but then they’re not budging on price. What good is undercutting your competition by 5%, but then demanding full asking.

  90. dreamtheaterr says:

    Chameleon Lereah moving to Move…..time to short the stock. It’s down only 2.5% today on news of his move.

  91. chaoticchild says:

    fanshawe,

    I have been going to open houses in Summit on and off for the last 2 years.

    They keep telling me full price only, it is non-negotiable. It is good to hear that buyers can actually offer below the asking.

    CC

  92. chaoticchild says:

    To JB or anyone with access:

    Please provide history on MLS 2379493.

    Is it sold, if yes how much.
    What was the last sold price and when.

    it is no longer on GSMLS or Realtor.com. However it is still on the realtor’s website.

    it is nicely renovated Cape in Summit, it’s listed for 949k.
    I went to the open house. I told the realtor that the comps put this house @ 699k – 750k.
    They said the 60k new cherry kitchen with premium stove increases the price 100k. And this is Summit, it is a fair price. ahahhahahahahahhahaha

    CC

  93. shane says:

    Which area he was talking about in NJ when he told anything near to NYC. Is it Passaic County, coz I am looking house in Passaic county.

  94. shane says:

    How about prices in Clifton City, allwood area?

  95. bergenbubbleburst says:

    #58 Richard; For the love of God give it up. You grasshopper have not lived through a real estate down turn, it happened in Westfiled last time, and it is happening again.

    Accept it, you bought at the peak. Please stop trying to rationalize your silliness. It is getting so old.

  96. RentinginNJ says:

    How about prices in Clifton City, allwood area?

    Ridiculous taxes & so-so schools. Not a great combination.

  97. njrebear says:

    Circuit City shares fall 10% to $15.70 in late trading

    Circuit City Revises 3Q, 4Q, FY Results;Withdraws 1H Guidance

  98. UnRealtor says:

    Is this ReInvestor101?

    Well…as many of you know I own three terrible houses in Cape Coral Florida. Through a series of misjudgments and being taken advantage of (and lied to), I am losing ~$1000 on month on each of these houses when they are rented. I am just sick about them and often cannot sleep–like now.

    http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/sdcia/vpost?id=1854186

    (Emphasis in original.)

  99. Escape from NJ says:

    I also attended a few open houses this weekend but in Monmouth County. I still have my eye on the prize, hoping to leaving NJ. (Just came back from Nashville, TN) NJ tax payer = sucker compared to the rest of the country. Back to my point, of the 4 open houses, 3 realtors asked me what I though a fair price would be and hinted that I should low ball their client and see what they do. Most were also up front (to an extent) as to how many days on the market the house was sitting. On one house I suggested the seller was an easy $100,000.00 above what the fair value would be. The agent did not disagree. Just suggested I make an offer. This is a complete 180 from what I experienced in 2005 at open houses.

    (P.S. I purposely dress like crap at open houses. I find it keeps the realtor from breathing down my neck with inane comments and suggestions on how easy it is to paint kitchen appliances to match one another).

  100. UnRealtor says:

    More:

    I have been hitting my personal residence HELOC for the negatives, but can only take that so far.

    Looks like this clown is about to lose 4 houses.

    Wonder if that’s been factored into the marketplace anywhere. One “buyer” is returning four houses to the market, which is already flooded with inventory. How many more “investors” like this are out there?

  101. Richard says:

    i was thinking of upgrading to this nice property. 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths in the woodland section of westfield for a million is quite a bargain. some bastard recognized the value first and beat me to it.

    mls #2366226

  102. Jamey says:

    As both a student and as a teacher (well, grad assistant) at a somewhat competitive private institution in upstate New York, I can say without exaggeration that a large majority of students engaged in cheating of one form or other. (For the record: I didn’t, and I caught hell for not letting friends peek.) I know it sounds naive, but I figured those who cut the corners would eventually pay a price. Boy, was I stupid.

    Most of it was minor in nature—crib notes, copy circles, sneak-a-peek. Confronted by immense numbers of studentswho did that sort of thing—mostly ones in general lecture 1 to 3-level classes, but more than a few grad students, too—I’m, sorry to say that I eventually had to learn to turn a blind eye to such shenanigans.

    That, and an abject lack of talent/desire to pursue a Ph. D, is why I dropped out of academia.

  103. Richard says:

    >>I’ve been attending some open houses in Summit, Chatham, and Madison and some of the more friendly realtors that were showing the houses were admitting that that the asking prices were not realistic and that the eventual selling price would definitely be much lower than asking.

    it’s the usual spring selling cycle, at least in the last couple of years. the only thing you have to worry about if you have your eye on a property is whether the sellers recognize they won’t be getting asking. if not it’s a wait and see approach and god forbid you get into a multiple bidding situation because the only person who wins there is the seller.

  104. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    Regarding #100,,as i read the guy is losing money on 3 properties and considers walking away from his mortgage obligations and is whining that he is down $5,000 on each house…then you read further that he has other properties up $100,000 each in SLC but doesn’t want to sell those because the market is “hot”.

    hmmm..

  105. NJ Bound says:

    I have to admit we are struggling with this move to NJ. I know, I know I’m not the only one but the difficulty I am finding is either a rental or a purchase anywhere within a reasonable commute (

  106. NJ Bound says:

    not sure what happened with the last post.
    what I was trying to say was that it seems impossible to find anything with an easy (

  107. NJ Bound says:

    3rd time lucky?
    not sure what happened with the last post.
    what I was trying to say was that it seems impossible to find anything with an easy

  108. James Bednar says:

    What an odd place to cut off..

  109. Centex 4Q Profit Falls 49 Percent
    Monday April 30, 4:29 pm ET
    Centex 4Q Profit Drops on Sluggish Home Closings in Soft Housing Market

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070430/earns_centex.html?.v=1

    DALLAS (AP) — Homebuilder Centex Corp. said Monday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 49 percent due to a drop in home closings, in what the company called one of the most difficult housing markets in 25 years.
    ADVERTISEMENT

    For the quarter ended March 31, net income fell to $198.9 million, or $1.60 per share, from $391.8 million, or $3.04 per share, in the prior-year quarter.

    The company reported a loss from continuing operations of $22.3 million, or 18 cents per share.

    Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a loss of 3 cents per share.

    Revenue dropped 11 percent to $3.67 billion from $4.13 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006. Analysts expected revenue of $3.34 billion.

    Revenue from homebuilding fell 12 percent to $3.52 billion. The company said the revenue drop was a result of a 14 percent year-over-year decline in home closings.

    For the year, profit fell 79 percent to $268.4 million, or $2.16 per share, from $1.29 billion, or $9.71 per share, in 2006. Revenue dipped 7 percent to $12.01 billion from $12.85 billion.

    Centex shares dipped $1.25, or 2.7 percent, to close at $44.77 on the New York Stock Exchange.

  110. Zac says:

    (110)
    lol, thats funny.

  111. Richard says:

    RE market news from Ireland

    PROPERTY PRICES BEGIN TO FALL BACK

    The inevitable end to the Irish property
    phenomenon looks to be finally in sight. For half a decade various economic bodies and magazines have forecast the end of the huge growth in Irish house prices. It looks as if the corner is about to be turned. It is expected that the tipping point of supply meeting demand may be met in 2007 but this depends on a number of factors, including
    overall economic performance, EU interest rates and the willingness of foreign workers to live and earn their wages in Ireland.

    With 10% of the entire population now being
    classed as ‘foreign national’ the effect of a large number of these leaving Ireland to return to their homeland (and thus not needing rented accommodation) remains to be seen.

    It is estimated that there are now as many as 120,000 unoccupied investment and holiday
    ‘second-homes’ lying idle. With construction at an all-time high (up to 80,000 units annually in recent years), it remains to be seen if the slowdown will develop into a full-scale ‘bust’ or if there will be a gradual ‘soft-landing’.

    The Political establishment is not helping. All of the parties had made promises to reform the punitive stamp duty that occurs every time a property is sold. On the sale of a EURO 400,000 property (approx US$528,000), the Government pockets
    EURO 24,000 in stamp duty (US$ 32,000 approx), every time the house is sold. There is little doubt that part of the reason for the slowdown in activity in the property market is that builders and investors
    are waiting to see which political parties form the next government and what their policy on stamp duty will be.

    It would not come as not much surprise however, if the market took off again after the general election especially if interest rates were to moderate at about 4.5% or even fall back. On the other hand if investors bail out of the property market and the slowdown in construction sees an exodus of foreign workers then the pain could be
    very severe indeed.

  112. Clotpoll says:

    nwbergen (63)-

    PriceFall is a moron and a troll. Now that I’m not angered by him anymore, I just find he’s a bore.

  113. Clotpoll says:

    The following is the body of a letter I submitted to NAR today, concerning David Lereah’s affiliation with Move.com:

    Gentlemen,

    Please allow this e-mail to register my extreme displeasure at seeing David Lereah join Move.com. In my opinion, Mr. Lereah has lost all public credibility, as he has called a “bottom” to the real estate market almost every 30 days for the past 16 months.

    Early on in this “spin cycle”, Mr. Lereah’s monthly pronouncements were picked up by the mainstream media and blogosphere, who wasted no time in exposing his comments as self-serving and deceptive prattle. To many people, Mr. Lereah is now known as “the corrupt David Lereah”. The credibility of Realtors everywhere has been irreparably damaged by Mr. Lereah’s refusal to level with the American public.

    I fear that Mr. Lereah’s association with Move.com will undermine its good name and negatively impact the efforts of Allan Dalton and his team to make Move.com a positive force for our organization. Already, the blogosphere is tracking Lereah’s move and is ready to pounce.

    The effectiveness of Realtors everywhere is compromised when our national organization engages in double-talk and posturing in the face of difficult challenges and changing market conditions. If our leaders cannot be trusted to engage in an honest, open dialogue with America, how can individual Realtors expect our prospects and clients to believe what we tell them?

  114. sas says:

    This neg savings rate is a serious issue.
    Its like 24 months now JB??

    yikes, not good at all, not good.

    If there is a recession, its going to damn put us into a depression at this rate.

    Better run those printing presses Helicopter Ben.

    Start saving people!!

    SAS

  115. AntiTrump says:

    And to think this guy is the “Chief Economist” of NAR?

    How about Chief BS Artist??

    Can’t believe this moron Liariah. Not only does he look stupid, he sound stupid too

  116. sas says:

    about cheating,

    at Tuck, we had our share of bad apples.

    But most people wanted to learn and not cheat.

    But in the REAL BUISNESS WORLD…MOST if not ALL will stab you in the back and do anything to make you look silly to prop themselves up.

    SAS

  117. AntiTrump says:

    I’d be interested in hearing what Ara Khov says in 2008 spring.

    I am sure it will be “Maybe a few more quarters on bouncing on the bottom”.

    Not quarters, Mr Khov, but YEARS !!

  118. sas says:

    My secret to sucess in buisness:

    -kiss alot of ass without making it obvious.
    -Choose your battles wisely.

    SAS

  119. sas says:

    Let me retract post #118.

    Maybe not all or most. My mistake…
    but lets just say, an annoying amount.

    ;)
    SAS

  120. chicagofinance says:

    James Bednar Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 7:10 pm
    What an odd place to cut off..

    grim: too bad you little blog-o-meter doesn’t cut off after every instance of “Richard Says:”

  121. PriceFall says:

    Clotpoll:
    #114: Hey, learn to behave. As part of your career skills, know how to handle different situations. Keep your smiling face (like the photo you posted on your website). Don’t voice your angry and cry like a baby to get your 30K. Your behavior on this website might ‘scare’ some of your potential customers, for your own sake.

    #115: Now, it is SAFE and it is THE TIME for bravo Clotpoll to throw shits on Mr. Lereah (though Mr. Lereah deserved it). Where was bravo Clopoll during 2002-2006? Part of Lereah’s chorus and collect multiple 30K fees on weekly basis?

  122. James Bednar says:

    Where was bravo Clopoll during 2002-2006?

    PF,

    Clot has maintained the same negative position on Lereah for some time now. I remember Clot taking shots at Lereah when he made his second or third consecutive bottom call. Perhaps even on earlier occasions when we were discussing Mr. Lereah’s literary masterworks.

    jb

  123. PriceFall says:

    I remember Clot taking shots at Lereah

    Where? My hats off if Clot took shots at NAR/ReMax or CBS/NBC. It would be a fun to see how Clot threw Moron/idiot/crack/troll/…. to Mr. Lereah.

    If Clot took shots at this forum only, to get some rapport and to develop some business are always nice.

    From Clot:
    To many people, Mr. Lereah is now known as “the corrupt David Lereah”. The credibility of Realtors everywhere has been irreparably damaged by Mr. Lereah’s refusal to level with the American public.
    After reviewing his master selling ‘strategies’ in the past couple of days, Clot can safely replace ‘Lehreah’ with ‘Clotpoll’ in his own words, except he has to change ‘everywhere’ to ‘NJRE Forum’.

  124. Clotpoll says:

    BrainDrippings (125)-

    Obviously you cannot be content with remaining a bore and a troll, so you’ve now just sunk to saying things that are patently false. Like this:

    “If Clot took shots at this forum only, to get some rapport and to develop some business are always nice.”

    From the first days I ever posted here, I have promised Grim that I wouldn’t use this blog to hunt for customers. In the intervening months, more than a few people have approached me for RE help; I have either referred them- gratis- to another agent or rendered assistance for no charge or expectation of future compensation.. My position is well-known here: I will not do a transaction with anyone I meet on the board. It wouldn’t be fair to Grim, who has maintained this site with virtually no monetization, to do otherwise.

    Thanks, Grim (124), for attempting to pull Mr. Fall’s head out of his posterior. Unfortunately, your words may be not be up to the task; I sense hydraulics- or a good, heavy crowbar- might be the right tool for the job.

    Mr. Fall, three suggestions for you:

    1) Go back and read some archived content. A little background knowledge may prevent you from appearing to be a total idiot when you post here.

    2) Understand that you are a lone voice. Notice that no one here is rushing to jump on your bandwagon. There are many here whom I disagree with; however, we manage not to stoop to engaging in falsehood when addressing each other.

    3) Invest in a writing class. Half of what you post is incomprehensible. You should fit in nicely at about the fifth-grade level.

  125. chicagofinance says:

    clot: I want to be sure. Do you disapprove of PF’s posts?

  126. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi (127)-

    Nope…I disapprove of the fact that he draws breath and (presumably) walks upright.

  127. BC Bob says:

    PF [125],

    I don’t know where you have been nor where you are going with this. However, you are totally off base with that comment. From the beginning Clot has been critical of the NAR and Lereah. I seem to recall him berating their conventions, I believe he called it a pom-pom waving exercise. Every industry has it’s cheerleaders. My industry could possibly be the worst. In addition to this, he has constantly talked about the inept in the industry, stating that the slowdown/bust will wipe them out.

    I have sold property over the years with/without the use of realtors. I feel, if they add value, in assisting me in attaining my ultimate goal, it’s $ well spent. As a matter of fact, one property that I had sold in the past, I offered an extra % to the selling agent. Yeah it cost me an extra 1%. However, if I didn’t get it done at that time, I would have been in a compromising situation.

    What industry are you in? Does your firm sell a product/service? What value does it add to the marketplace? What is the cost of that value added product/service?

  128. PriceFall says:

    Bob:

    All started with http://njrereport.com/index.php/2007/04/29/weekend-open-discussion-62/#comments

    “In addition to this, he has constantly talked about the inept in the industry, stating that the slowdown/bust will wipe them out.”: look how he behaved when people talked about NAR monopoly and lower commission from above link.

    I agreed with you, each service has its own value proposition. On the other hand, some services do not have ‘values’ to some individuals/customers. To me, REA doesn’t add values and I tried to get details regarding how to get rid of agents in my transactions, especially buyers’ agents in NJ, to save 3%, maybe you can share some insights. I appreciate.

Comments are closed.