Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

For readers that have never commented, there is a link at the top of each message that is typically labelled “[#] Comments“. Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn’t know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past year. The archives can be accessed by using the links found in the menus on the right hand side of the page.

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468 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. James Bednar says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. trails nation in job growth

    New Jersey’s “extremely slow” rate of job growth — 0.5 percent annually — will yield only about 20,000 new jobs this year, as the state’s economy lags the nation and the region. But over the next decade, the job-creation rate could almost double to 0.9 percent, generating nearly 40,000 new jobs a year.

    That was the outlook yesterday from the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service, which issued its 10-year forecast for the New Jersey economy during a briefing in New Brunswick.

    “The New Jersey economy has stalled; our growth rate right now is a third to a half of the national rate,” said Nancy Mantell, director of the service.

    More worrisome is the fact that New Jersey is currently lagging the nation when it comes to higher-wage job growth, she said. For the 12 months ended in May, New Jersey’s manufacturing employment declined 2.5 percent, compared with 1.1 percent for the U.S. as a whole. New Jersey’s 0.6 percent growth rate for finance jobs was less than half the 1.3 percent national rate.

    Rutgers economist James Hughes, who presented the forecast with Mantell and colleague Joseph Seneca, said New Jersey’s high housing costs are one reason the state’s job growth lags.

    “New Jersey ranks number one nationally in median household income; we are 33 percent higher than the national average, and that sounds pretty good,” Hughes said. “Unfortunately, we also rank number one in monthly housing costs.

    “In New Jersey, the cost of an owner-occupied dwelling with a mortgage is 52 percent higher than the national average. Our higher incomes are consumed in higher housing costs, and that gives a tremendous advantage to places like North Carolina and Virginia.”

  2. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Bernanke Breaks With Greenspan, Stresses Forecasts, Consumers

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s appearance before Congress marked his clearest break yet with predecessor Alan Greenspan.

    In two days of testimony this week, Bernanke emphasized the Fed’s predictions for growth and inflation and devoted about half his time to discussing consumer protection. In doing so, he shunned the practice of Greenspan, who distrusted forecasts and was suspicious of regulation.

    “This is not Uncle Alan’s semiannual report,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, who has criticized the Fed for dragging its feet on banking regulation. “We are moving forward.”

  3. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Dodd Calls for `Significant Action’ on Mortgage Rules

    Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, saying he expects “significant action” from the Federal Reserve to protect subprime-mortgage borrowers, pledged to move legislation that would rein in mortgage brokers.

    The Fed is strengthening its supervision of lenders after lawmakers, including Dodd, demanded that the central bank more aggressively exert its consumer-protection authority under a 1994 mortgage-lending law. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, today asked at a hearing in Washington that the Fed ensure borrowers get fair treatment from mortgage companies.

    “I consider this a significant statement by you, and I trust and expect that it will result in significant action by the Fed,” Dodd told Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke during the Senate part of his semiannual report to Congress on the economy. Dodd commended the central bank for committing to strengthen consumer protections.

    “The real trick for us is to write rules, to write regulations that will screen out the abusive practices and the improper practices while preserving” the subprime market, Bernanke told the panel. Subprime loans are “beneficial” because they give consumers with credit problems the chance to own homes, he said.

  4. pesche22 says:

    do not shoot till you see the whites of
    their eyes.

  5. thatBIGwindow says:

    What about Xanadu? Tons of new jobs will be created as a result, which will warrant housing for these new jobs. We all know Xanadu will become a huge success. If you build it, they will come.

    I drive past that eyesore almost every day. What a huge piece of garbage. I made a vow that I would never step foot inside that place. I can’t wait until it fully opens. Route 120 will be packed like there is a Giants game or something.

  6. commanderbobnj says:

    Re: #5–thatBIGwindow Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 7:52 am
    “…What about Xanadu? Tons of new jobs will be created as a result, which will warrant housing for these new jobs. We all know Xanadu will become a huge success. If you build it, they will come…”

    Commanderbob sez:
    Never mind the traffic-tie-up-to-come on route 120—-The HUGE traffic mess on Route 3 that YOU and THOUSANDS of other people will have to face coming and going to work next year is going to be a NIGHTMARE !!

    I could never believe that the powers-that-be would allow a MEGA-GIANT project be constructed without an alternate east-west highway bypass !!

    Maybe wonder-boy corzine can “fix” it with an appointment of a commission to ‘study’ the mess (in 2009) and recommend a series of ‘solutions’ (Ha Ha)– Yeah, That will work !!

  7. James Bednar says:

    Just imagine the weekend traffic once the casino opens..

    Oops, did I say too much?

    jb

  8. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Caterpillar Profit Falls on U.S. Housing Market, Truck Demand

    Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of earthmoving machines, said second-quarter profit fell 21 percent because of the weak U.S. housing market and falling demand for truck engines.

    Net income dropped to $823 million, of $1.24 a share, from $1.05 billion, or $1.52, a year earlier, the Peoria, Illinois- based company said today in a statement sent by PR Newswire. Sales climbed 7.1 percent to $11.4 billion.

    The U.S. housing recession has hurt demand for Caterpillar’s construction equipment, and Chief Executive Officer James W. Owens has been pushing for increased revenue from China and India to counter the domestic weakness. U.S. truck sales declined after companies bought cheaper models ahead of stricter emissions standards imposed this year.

    “Orders and deliveries for trucks are falling off a cliff,” said Mark Demos, a portfolio manager at Fifth Third Asset Management in Minneapolis, which manages $21.8 billion, including 604,516 shares of Caterpillar. “There’s been a big dip in demand.”

  9. thatBIGwindow says:

    I feel bad for the people who live in Secaucus. The only way to get to Secaucus is from Route 3 (or drive through North Bergen which is a traffic nightmare in itself)

    Whenever there is a bad accident on Route 3, you are pretty much stuck in Secaucus.

  10. lurkerA says:

    I’ve been hoping and hoping that xanadu would continue to get delayed, but i guess that’s not the case anymore. i was on rt 3 east for the first time in a while a couple of weeks ago and didn’t realize they had made so much progress.

    luckily, route 3 isn’t part of my daily commute and really the only time im there is if i’m going to secaucus, for whatever reason, and lucky for me that’s a pretty rare occassion.

  11. James Bednar says:

    I remember the same level of hype surrounding the “Jersey Gardens” project in Elizabeth. That place ended up being nothing more than a big ho-hum mall.

    jb

  12. James Bednar says:

    From the WSJ:

    Red-Flag Sale:
    LBO Debt Deals Face New Snags
    By CARRICK MOLLENKAMP, JASON SINGER and SERENA NG
    July 20, 2007

    Banks raising nearly $40 billion in buyout-related debt for Chrysler Group and the United Kingdom’s Alliance Boots PLC are being forced to sweeten terms for investors and face delays in their sales, in another sign of turbulence in global debt markets.

    Chrysler is being taken over by Cerberus Capital Management, a New York hedge fund, and is raising $20 billion in loans as it separates from DaimlerChrysler AG. Alliance Boots, a chain of U.K. drug stores and a wholesale pharmaceutical-distribution firm, is being taken over by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and is raising the U.S. dollar equivalent of $18.4 billion.

    In both cases, bankers are shopping interest payments to investors that are around a half percentage point more than originally planned. And in both cases, they’re putting off plans to close the deals in the next few days. The Alliance fund raising might be delayed by months, people familiar with the situation said. The Chrysler debt sale is expected to close next week.

    It marks a potentially important twist in the debt cycle. After months of seemingly insatiable appetite for corporate debt, bond and loan investors began pushing back strongly against buyout deals in June, forcing bankers to put off fund raising for some midsize buyouts or to make the loans to these companies directly.

    The latest developments suggest these huge deals — which recently came to market with few hitches — are also facing resistance. “Two or three months ago, the banks could have said that this is the price, take it or leave it,” says Gary Jenkins, a portfolio manager at Synapse Investment Management, a London debt investor. “Now the price is being dictated by investors.”

  13. thatBIGwindow says:

    I predict Xanadu will bring people from the best towns NJ has to offer

  14. bi says:

    jersey gardens is not that bad. it was quite quiet in first one or two years. now you cannot find parking during holdiday season.

  15. BC Bob says:

    “do not shoot till you see the whites of
    their eyes.”

    pesche,

    hear,hear.

  16. James Bednar says:

    No, I’m not saying it is bad, but it’s just a mall. The point is, it was hyped at being something other than “just another mall” when it was proposed. Much in the same way that Xanadu was being hyped up.

    jb

  17. Joeycasz says:

    jersey gardens is not that bad. it was quite quiet in first one or two years. now you cannot find parking during holiday season.

    Isn’t that just about anywhere though?

    Xanadu is going to be an utter mess. Devils in Newark seems like a better move even more now :)

  18. lurkerA says:

    16 – jb, fair point. maybe traffic won’t be that bad. then again, the whole reason why 17 sucks on a saturday is b/c of all those malls. I’m still afraid for all those little streets in Maywood once the bergen mall is all finished, ahem, i mean the bergen towne center, or whatever they’re calling it.

  19. BC Bob says:

    Caterpillar, not a good sign when dirt is not being moved.

    Chrysler, no contagion? Presently, the banker does not determine the deal. It’s determined by the investor. Sound like the flood of liquidity is slowly starting to recede.

  20. James Bednar says:

    I’m surprised that the Encap project doesn’t see more discussion here. Any time I bring it up, it seems like it is largely ignored.

    The impact on the Encap development on the Meadowlands is significantly larger than Xanadu. The plan calls for almost 3,000 homes to be built.

    jb

  21. thatBIGwindow says:

    Every article I read about Encap is that they missed their deadlines, etc

  22. 3b says:

    #1 JB Obvoiusly the folks at Rutgers do not read this blog. What is the Big Deal.

    We are right next to NYC, and everybody makes 200K+ a year, no wait a minute that was in June now everybody makes 250K+ a year, and they are all out now looking to buy etc.

    Who cares about jobs in Jersey, we have all the high paying jobs we need in NYC.

  23. James Bednar says:

    Encap is a fiasco.

    jb

  24. pesche22 says:

    ok Heres a good question for the weekend:

    Which public housing company will go bust
    first? tol hov, etc.

    prize: s8 housing voucher for a nj town
    of your choice.

  25. Robert says:

    JB,

    I have been trying to post the last few days, but the system only allows me to post a few messages each day and then EVERYTHING ELSE gets stuck in moderation. Can you fix this?

    Thanks,

    Donald/ Robert T.

  26. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Moody’s Finance Chief Sued by Investor Over Subprime Ratings

    Moody’s Corp. Chief Financial Officer Linda Huber was sued by an investor who said Huber failed to disclose that Moody’s assigned “excessively” high ratings to bonds backed by subprime mortgages.

    Moody’s investors paid artificially high prices for the company’s stock because of Huber’s “false and misleading” statements, Raphael Nach said in a complaint filed today in federal court in Chicago. Nach seeks to represent all investors who bought Moody’s stock between Oct. 25, 2006, and July 10, 2007, and he asks for unspecified damages.

    Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have been criticized by investors because their ratings on bonds backed by mortgages to people with poor or limited credit didn’t reflect the highest default rate in 10 years. Some bonds backed by subprime mortgages fell by more than 50 cents on the dollar this year without their credit ratings changing.

  27. James Bednar says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home builder NVR Inc.’s net income slides 52%

    NVR Inc. Friday said its second-quarter profit fell 52% from a year earlier to $90.7 million, or $14.14 a share as home-building revenue slipped to $1.3 billion from $1.72 billion. The Reston, Va.-based company said new home orders fell 11% as sales and profit margins “continue to be negatively impacted by high levels of new and existing home inventories, affordability issues and declining home buyer confidence.” NVR said its cancellation rate held steady from the first quarter at 16%. On Thursday, the stock slipped $6 to $664.

  28. Robert says:

    New Xanadu attractions aim to ‘wow’

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    By JOHN BRENNAN
    STAFF WRITER

    A rendering of the completed Xanadu project, as seen from the west. The snow dome is on the left. One attraction not featured is a minor league baseball park.

    The developers of the Meadowlands Xanadu complex ended eight months of public silence Thursday by unveiling several new attractions and additional details about the $2 billion project.

    Among the announcements Colony Capital Acquisitions made at a meeting of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority’s board were:

    • A progress report on an indoor snow dome that can accommodate 300 skiers at a time.

    • New information about a 33-story “Ferris wheel cousin” with gondolas holding as many as 20 people apiece.

    • Agreements with the Legoland Discovery Center for children and the Magiquest role-playing center for the young and young at heart.

    Highlights

    ——————————————————————————–

    The Meadowlands Xanadu tenants named Thursday will occupy nearly half of the 2.2 million square feet of space in the $2 billion entertainment and retail complex. Among the highlights:

    • A 330-foot-high Ferris wheel, with each gondola holding up to 20 people

    • A 200-foot-high indoor snow dome, the first in North America

    • Cabela’s camping and outdoors store: 200,000 square feet

    • Muvico movie complex: 17 screens plus outdoor screen

    • AEG Live Theater: 2,250-seat concert venue

    • Wannado City: a 59,000-square-foot kids’ role playing center

    • Legoland Discovery Center: a 48,000-square-foot, building-block mini-city

    • Lucky Strike Lanes: an upscale bowling center/martini lounge

    • MagiQuest: an interactive fantasy “realm” utilizing magic wands

    Source: Colony Capital Acquisitions

    The updates come more than a year before the openingof, targeted for November 2008.

    “This is the first in what hopefully will be a series of announcements we’ll make in the next six months to add meat to the bones as we continue to build this project,” Xanadu President Larry Siegel said of the $2 billion project being built on the site of Continental Arena.

    http://northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MzImZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxNzA4NTkmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

  29. BC Bob says:

    JB [26],

    The vultures are coming, the vultures are coming. We’ll be reading much more regarding legal action.

  30. bi says:

    Housing in NJ will have twin cities: the desirable towns will get more expensive and the rest will stay as it is or fall. It will cause that the median (or average) price stays or slightly declines. But the desirable towns will get less afforable to most majority but afforable to higher earners and people with huge equity. This is alreay seen in California and NYC.

  31. RentinginNJ says:

    What about Xanadu? Tons of new jobs will be created as a result, which will warrant housing for these new jobs.

    You can have a career in the exciting fields of cashier, movie theater popcorn maker, stock boy or girl, slurpee machine operator, mall security guard or clothes folder.

  32. Robert says:

    #30

    Prices in undesireable parts of NYC are quite expesnive and rising. I was watching HGTV a few weeks ago and a guy bought a brownstone in Bed Stuy that is in need of a complete renovation for $700,000.

  33. Poser says:

    Xanadu was just a consolation prize for the Bergen county politicians who complained when the nets/devils said they were moving out of Continental Airlines arena.

  34. James Bednar says:

    I have a feeling we’re going to see a significant number of jobs shifting from the older, outdated malls to Xanadu.

    I can’t see how Xanadu, being the latest and greatest, won’t cannibalize sales from venues like Willowbrook Mall, Paramus Park, Garden State, Livinston Mall, etc. What about smaller, already deteriorating malls like Harmon, just up the road?

    jb

  35. DINJ says:

    Xanadu has “Star Ledger 12-part investigative series ” written all over it.

  36. 3b says:

    #34 JB: And it will be open on Sundays as opposed to Paramus.

    I would expect that the mall owners in Paramus will push to have the blue laws in that town over turned.

    I remember Paramus has a referendum about 10 or 12 years ago, which if approved would have allowed Sunday shopping. The residents voted almost 100% no.

  37. 3b says:

    #30 bi: But we have no high paying job growth in NJ, oh I forgot NYC. OK if you say so.

  38. James Bednar says:

    Housing in NJ will have twin cities: the desirable towns will get more expensive and the rest will stay as it is or fall.

    This is a silly comment.

    I’m not sure how one can totally ignore the forces behind gentrification and revitalization. Just look to towns like Hoboken that have undergone dramatic change in the past 20 years. Anyone remember the Gold Coast prior to the 80s? The gentrification taking place even today is staggering. Areas of Plainfield are starting to see new growth. Asbury is making great strides. Even areas of Newark are making great progress. Been through Forest Hills and Branchbrook park lately? Even places like Paterson, long forgotten about as dead and dying, are showing some signs of rebirth.

    jb

  39. bi says:

    NJ income ranking town by town. A little old but for what it worths
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_locations_by_per_capita_income

  40. gary says:

    Xanadu = spend + consume + spend + consume. Good gosh, where does it all come from? How much more can the proletariat fritter? As a bonafide capitalist, it even makes me queazy.

  41. lurkerA says:

    Is Xanadu not in BC? I thought it was in E. Rutherford, so wouldn’t it be closed on Sunday? I’m guessing it’s right over the border and I don’t realize it.

  42. pesche22 says:

    yes a ferris wheel and snow , just what
    we need .

    security problems?

  43. pesche22 says:

    and at lease we cut the pension losses

  44. James Bednar says:

    security problems?

    I don’t see why it would be any worse than anywhere else in Northern NJ.

    jb

  45. thatBIGwindow says:

    #40 Gary: Yes, spend and consume, and over indulge. Everything that is wrong with America.

  46. pesche22 says:

    yes, JB.Secutity, can you imagine the
    ferris wheel ? and snow enforcement.

    What next. Camel riding

  47. syncmaster says:

    JB #38,

    Plainfield? I’m only aware of just a block or so around the two train stations (mostly around Netherwood).

    Is there more than that?

  48. James Bednar says:

    Netherwood and Sleepy Hollow.

    jb

  49. James Bednar says:

    South side of Montclair comes to mind as well.

    jb

  50. syncmaster says:

    South Bound Brook is nicer than it used to be too. Matzel and Mumford built those townhomes next to Queen’s Bridge and it has changed the way that area appears, used to look a lot more rundown.

  51. 3b says:

    JB Not everywhere can or will regentrify, that is just the way it is.

    I also wonder how much of this regen, is due to the houisng bubble.

    As prices were rising, other areas started to become up and coming, with prices now declining, people who may have considered those other areas no longer have to.

    IMHO, I think alot of this regne may be fleeting.

  52. bi says:

    #38,
    I don’t agree with you. A few towns like hoboken may be revitalized due to the fact that it closes to NYC. But for most of these towns you mentioned, it takes decades. I believe one big factor when people select a town is school systems, especially for the people originally from asian. Did you notice that a lot of those towns with good schools have unproportionally high concentration of asians?

  53. James Bednar says:

    Please stop the stereotyping.

    jb

  54. syncmaster says:

    Did you notice that a lot of those towns with good schools have unproportionally high concentration of asians?

    Funding doesn’t matter, class size doesn’t matter. During my schooling in India our labs sucked and access to computers was pathetic. Class sizes were never less than 40. No such thing as a para either.

    Most of my schoolmates are doing extremely well, whether here or in India or the UK.

    Why? Because Indian kids actually study. Mom and Dad make sure of that.

  55. syncmaster says:

    Oops, didn’t see your post JB. Apologize for the stereotype.

  56. pesche22 says:

    yes syncmaster,

    you must be PC here at all times.

  57. pesche22 says:

    as the state goes down in flames

  58. Bystander says:

    Gentrification was a bunch of hogwash spewed during the boom. Every area was “up and coming”. Buy in Plainfield or Asbury Park for only 400K and it will be worth 600K in a year. You have to follow the fundamentals like you can change the house but not the area.

  59. syncmaster says:

    What makes a bad area? Bad neighbors. Neighbors can change, that’s the very essence of gentrification.

    What I’ve always wondered is, where do they go?

    I drove through George St recently and WOW, it looks a lot better than it used to when I went to school there a decade ago. Esp the part next to Douglass used to be a dump, now it looks nice.

    My q is this: Where did all the crack hoes go?

  60. Robert says:

    Areas in cities will usually be revitalized because prices are rising faster. Look at Harlem, Williamsburg, DUMBO, and Long Island City.

  61. James Bednar says:

    Gentrification was a bunch of hogwash

    Hoboken is “hogwash”?

    jb

  62. bi says:

    53#,
    i am not stereotyping but just pointing out a fact. The school seems number one factor for all my asian friends.

  63. RentinginNJ says:

    I just came across some interesting data that hopefully can shed some light on the discussions we have been having recently regarding the validity of using median income to determining whether housing is affordable. Some posters have postulated that median household income is a flawed statistic for determining affordability in Bergen County because BC has a disproportionate number of retirees. Retirees, some have postulated, will drive down median income, but since retirees aren’t buying homes, their presence in the affordability statistic skews the results, making housing appear more unaffordable than it really is to the marginal buyer, who’s income is higher.

    The 2005 American Community Survey breaks down household income by the age of the head of the household
    Under 25
    25 – 44
    45 – 64
    65 and older

    Assuming households 25 – 44 represent the bulk of first time buyers:
    – Their median income is $79k versus $71k for BC as a whole. Better off than average, but the difference isn’t huge either.
    – A median income of $79k would support a mortgage of about $200k (28% of gross income toward taxes @ $7k/year & mortgage payment @ 6.5%). With 20% down, that’s a $250k house. The median home price in BC is about twice that.
    – 45 – 64 year olds have the highest median income @ $89k, but most of this demographic likely already owns homes and donesn’t represent marginal new buyers.

    About 10% of households in the 25 – 44 demographic break the $200k barrier. This represents only 3.59% of the total household in BC.

    While the “marginal buyer” might be slightly better off than average, there does not appear to be hordes of rich 30 somethings gentrifying BC and wildly bidding up prices.

  64. SG says:

    I wonder what will be the impack of Xanady on Housing due to Growth share formula? If I understand, for every 5 new job, the towns have to provide 1 affordable housing.

    Also, I guess the jobs at Xanadu must pay at least 100K, so people can afford to live in Prestigius BC, Right. Imagine the ticket price if all folks will be paid 100K.

  65. James Bednar says:

    i am not stereotyping but just pointing out a fact. The school seems number one factor for all my asian friends.

    Really, what about your black or latino friends, I guess they don’t care about the schools?

    jb

  66. BC Bob says:

    Dollar Index hugging 80. If the CB’s, around the world, don’t come in and support at this level, there will be major negative consequences, for all of us, in the future. How about a de facto currency?

  67. SG says:

    I don’t understand the Hype about Hoboken. I took the ferry from NYC to Hoboken yesterday evening, at 6pm the whole street seem dead. I was just at the Ferry terminal and could see so many new developments, and majority do not have the view of city. Infact, the Toll brothers project seemed worse.

  68. bi says:

    64#,
    I do. But if you do a survey on the factors to consider for selecting a town (location), you will find a slight difference from different background. For example, you can take these factors: school, convenience, confortability, pretigeous, safety and etc. I feel it may be some culture difference.

  69. njpatient says:

    #63 renting – don’t forget that some posters have also postulated that only one income per household is relevant.

    “Some posters have postulated that median household income is a flawed statistic for determining affordability in Bergen County because BC has a disproportionate number of retirees.”

  70. NVR’s quarterly profit slides 52%
    Results hit by builder taking $55 million impairment charge
    By John Spence, MarketWatch
    Last Update: 9:55 AM ET Jul 20, 2007

    BOSTON (MarketWatch) — NVR Inc.’s second-quarter net income fell 52% from a year earlier, reflecting declining home prices as well as a land-related impairment charge, the residential builder’s financial results showed Friday.
    Reston, Va.-based NVR (NVR : NVR Inc
    News , chart , profile , more
    Last: 645.01-18.99-2.86%

    10:42am 07/20/2007

    Delayed quote dataAdd to portfolio
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    Sponsored by:

    NVR645.01, -18.99, -2.9%) said quarterly earnings slipped to $90.7 million, or $14.14 a share, from the prior year’s $190.4 million, or $28.08 a share. Home-building revenue also fell, coming in at $1.3 billion as opposed to $1.72 billion.

  71. Bystander says:

    60.

    No. Hoboken has been undergoing gentrification for 25 years. There also has to be a need to live there. Obviously Hoboken hung its hat on being across from NYC. Why live in Plainfield? I am only pointing out that realtors were pushing every area as “up and coming” during the boom.

  72. 3b says:

    362 rent: Thanks for the stats. Much of this though is just plain common sense, it really is, and it comes from simply living in an area and observing, talking to people, family friends, looking at the past, satying informed. and all of that.(IMHO).

    Sadly common sense is something that has been sadly lacking in all of this craziness over the lsat few years. All the math degrees and MBA’s in the world are no substitute for just plain common sense.

    Hoepfully your inform will put this discussion to rest, but I doubt it, becasue next month it will be evry one is earning 300K= a year.

  73. SG says:

    RentinginNJ: Good point.

    I think probably most relevant stats for us would be of Income of potential Home Buyer.

    JB: I wonder if it is possible to do anonymous survey of visitors. That may give us good idea. This could be list of questions,

    1. Profile: First time buyer, Move up, Move down, Selling and moving out of state

    2. Family: Single, Married no Kids, Married with Kids

    3. Family Income Range.

    4. County looking to buy into.

    5. Type of House: Condo, TWH, SFH

    6. Reason to be in NJ: Family, Job in NJ, Job in NYC, Culture.

    7. Price range for Home.

  74. James Bednar says:

    I am only pointing out that realtors were pushing every area as “up and coming” during the boom.

    If we’re talking short-term, I agree. Too often was “up and coming” used as a sales pitch, mostly with no basis underlying it.

    Why areas like Plainfield? Irreproducible architecture. Homes selling for pennies on the dollar when viewed in terms of reproduction cost. I’ll show you grand homes that sold for 20% of what they would have fetched if they were located in Montclair.

    Realize that Netherwood is only two stops from Westfield.

    jb

  75. 3b says:

    Realize that Netherwood is only two stops from Westfield, AKA as Brigadoon.

  76. Jamey says:

    64# Careful, Grim, you might make Pesche22 cry.

  77. James Bednar says:

    From Reuters:

    Fed’s Poole-Subprime losses punished poor lending

    Losses to lenders and investors in subprime mortgage markets were even-handed and the result of poor underwriting and investing decisions, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President William Poole said on Friday.

    “I believe we should conclude that this year’s markets punished mostly bad actors and/or poor lending practices,” Poole said in remarks prepared for delivery to a real estate group.

    “As is often the case, the market’s punishment of unsound financial arrangements has been swift, harsh, and without prejudice,” he said.

    However, he said it was also surprising that although it was widely expected around 2004 that interest rates would rise, adjustable rate loans were made so extensively to borrowers with shaky credit histories.

    “It is difficult to avoid the judgment that these ARM loans were poorly underwritten at the outset,” Poole said.

    “It was imprudent for mortgage brokers and lenders to approve borrowers who likely could not service the loans when rates rose,” he added

  78. RentinginNJ says:

    Thanks for the stats. Much of this though is just plain common sense, it really is, and it comes from simply living in an area and observing

    You’re right. It is common sense. However, without the data to back it up, it becomes an unending battle of anecdotal one-off stories…”well my all my friends work on Wall St. & make $300k, so therefore everyone under 40 makes $300k”.

    Hoepfully your inform will put this discussion to rest, but I doubt it, becasue next month it will be evry one is earning 300K= a year.

    I’m sure it won’t though. There will be some new reason why everyone in BC is rich…”well, every kid in BC gets $300k from their rich parents to put down on a house”.

  79. RentinginNJ says:

    Yield curve is starting to look interesting.

    3 month and 10 year are now flat. Looks like another inversion could be in the cards.

  80. Bystander says:

    75.

    True. There are some great old houses in Plainfield but honestly you pay through the nose in taxes and get zero in terms of schools, services and security. There are huge tradeoffs for a nice home in a bad town.

    I’ll take my shack in Brigadoon.

  81. James Bednar says:

    From Reuters:

    Fed eyeing subprime partly because mkt large-Poole

    St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole said on Friday the U.S. central bank cares about the stress in the subprime mortgage market in part because the market is large enough to impact the overall economy.

    “The non-prime mortgage market — with 2006 originations of about one trillion dollars — clearly is large enough to affect aggregate homebuilding activity and consumer spending,” Poole told a real estate group

  82. James Bednar says:

    Also from Reuters:

    Benchmark ABX index falls to record intraday lows

    The benchmark ABX subprime mortgage index fell to record intraday lows on Friday on further concerns about troubles roiling the subprime mortgage market, market sources said.

    The ABX “BBB-minus” 07-1 index, which is tied to loans made in last year’s second half, fell to 42.5 after closing at a record low of 44.86 on Thursday. The ABX 06-2, which references loans made in last year’s first half, slid to 46.5 following its close of 50 on Thursday.

  83. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Miami Condo Glut Pushes Florida’s Economy to Brink of Recession

    In the middle of the biggest glut of condominiums in more than 30 years, Miami developers keep on building.

    The oversupply will force prices down as much as 30 percent, the worst decline since the 1970s, and help push Florida’s economy into recession as early as October, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at West Chester, Pennsylvania-based Moody’s Economy.com, who owns a home in Vero Beach, Florida.

    “Florida is the epicenter for all the problems that exist in the housing industry,” said Lewis Goodkin, president of Goodkin Consulting Corp. and a property adviser in Miami for the past 30 years, who also foresees a recession. “The problems we have now are unprecedented and a lot of people will get burnt.”

  84. pesche22 says:

    which small nj bank will throw in the towel
    first.?

  85. BC Bob says:

    Short the small craft, pleasure boats. Not the yachts, yet.

    All disclaimers.

  86. New Investor says:

    Is it true that multi-family (2-4) properties are safer bets in these uncertain market conditions?

  87. Everything's 'boken says:

    re 67
    I was in Battery Park yesterday evening. It was very quiet. Apparently there is no activity in Manhattan in the evening.

  88. James Bednar says:

    pesche,

    Amboy

    jb

  89. James Bednar says:

    Whatever happened to that rumour about Buffett buying Hovananian?

    jb

  90. Richard says:

    >>gentrification does happen it just takes a while and if you want to participate you have to be a trailblazer and put up with a lot of @#$% and hope it works out. i have a friend who bought in the meatpacking district in NYC about 12 years ago. one of those warehouse converted lofts. at the time he ran into prostitutes and crack heads daily never mind the meat trucks coming in and out at all early morning hours. there was crime too. now his place is worth 10x what he paid for it and it’s the hottest area in town. as i said you have to have the foresight, patience and a little luck if you want to profit handsomely.

  91. bi says:

    i guess this subprime thing will have little (if any) effect to overall economy. The conventional wisdom is that it is not a disaster when everyone think it is a dissater.

  92. R Patrick says:

    39
    126 Fort Lee, New Jersey $37,899

    That cannot be right. Houses are 800K for half a house. Condos are 300-600K.

    I hate to sound like the Duck but how are they affording that then?

  93. Pooch123 says:

    Battery Park is really quiet in the evening, as is the rest of Riverside and Hudson River Park, which is why I like to go running there.

    Central Park gets really crowded during the summer between 10 and 12, especially when the weather is bearable and before the NYC Tri. Lots of cute girls though, all in much better shape than me.

  94. BC Bob says:

    bi [92],

    Chrysler buyout? CDS spreads?

  95. Doyle says:

    Does anyone have any input on little old Kearny Financial Corp (Kearny Federal Savings)? It has been heading downward for some time now. I know nothing of the financial world, but I’m assuming this is due to their heavy involvement in the mortgage industry?

    Can anyone shed some light?

  96. Richard says:

    10-year below 4.95%. i guess my year end prediction of 5.1% was too optimistic!

  97. bi says:

    #96,
    so what? it happens all the time. we had S&L, Enron, Worldcom, 9/11, long term capital, Y2K…

  98. New Investor says:

    As far as gentrification goes, I think it is possible, but as in #91, it takes time and persistence. And there needs to be something there to warrant the reversal. Hoboken and JC: proximity to NYC and mass transit.

    I am honing in on Somerville/Raritan as my investment target in the hopes that it experiences a revitalization. I know that there are several large-scale projects in the pipeline, but I’m not sure how they will affect the surrounding community and real estate market. Any insight about these areas?

  99. James Bednar says:

    as i said you have to have the foresight, patience and a little luck if you want to profit handsomely.

    Gentrification, redevelopment, and revitalization represent the greatest potential profit in real estate, period. It is, however, highly speculative and incredibly risky.

    Folks in this camp generally refer to themselves as visionaries. It’s not about what the neighborhood is today, it’s all about the potential for what it can be.

    Gentrification isn’t about buying a dump in a bad neighborhood and sitting around. It’s about community development, political activism, and the effort required to push a community to realize it’s potential. It is not a one-person affair, and takes the efforts of an entire community.

    In the case of Hoboken, the potential is easy to see in retrospect. Nobody would doubt proximity to NYC was key to it’s redevelopment. But if it was so obvious, why didn’t everyone here (or their parents) buy Hoboken property in the 70s? Because it was a slum. Everyone wanted out. So obvious in retrospect, it’s a ‘no brainer’..

    So what changed? Perception. The development boom over the past few years would have never taken place if those 25 years of gentrification didn’t lay the groundwork.

    jb

  100. Richard says:

    quite true jb.

  101. Richard says:

    on a completely different note, sometimes you come across something that makes you shake your head in complete disgust and disbelief.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime_file/2007/07/20/2007-07-20_drunken_mom_microwaved_onemonthold_baby.html

  102. 3b says:

    #101 JB: True, but for every Hoboken success tory, there will be one or more that is not successful. And as one poster pointed out, where do the poor people go?

    There is also the potential that as one area rises, another one falls.

  103. New Investor says:

    JB says
    “In the case of Hoboken, the potential is easy to see in retrospect. Nobody would doubt proximity to NYC was key to it’s redevelopment. But if it was so obvious, why didn’t everyone here (or their parents) buy Hoboken property in the 70s? Because it was a slum. Everyone wanted out. So obvious in retrospect, it’s a ‘no brainer’..”

    Agree; a present day case in point is Newark. Easy PATH ride right into NYC, yet most folks are afraid of venturing and living there. There is so much potential there, but I feel like local politics have kept it suppressed for years… Maybe Cory can turn things around.

  104. t c m says:

    #103 –

    Gosh, Richard, I wish you didn’t post that link!

    Really.

  105. BC Bob says:

    “10-year below 4.95%. i guess my year end prediction of 5.1% was too optimistic!”

    Not based on your assumptions, regarding a new paradigm of liquidity, when the 10 year was out 4.5, 4.6. Actually, the exact opposite. Spreads are blowing out, risk is being evaluated again and contagion is spreading. Result, safety. A bit different than your original analysis regarding a new world of liquidity. That’s OK, even squirrels find nuts in the wrong places.

  106. 3b says:

    We need potential for other reasons rather than proximity to NYC. Some internal growth and development perhaps, not predicated on proximity to NYC, IMHO.

  107. thatBIGwindow says:

    I looked at houses in Paterson a few years ago. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad if I bought on the Haledon border. After looking at a few houses, I abandoned that idea.

  108. James Bednar says:

    There is also the potential that as one area rises, another one falls.

    Look to the Newark Riots for evidence of what a single day, a single event, can do to the perceptions about a community and neighborhoods.

    jb

  109. thatBIGwindow says:

    Speaking of Hoboken…is anyone amazed at the amount of baby carriages in Hoboken??!!

    It seems everyone has a small-medium sized dog and a baby

  110. 3b says:

    #98 Ricahrd As BC said, not for the reasons you originally gave.

    Which in a sentence said all is well, all is fine, the housing party will continue.

  111. Bystander says:

    101

    Ummm, JB. NYC was mostly a bankrupt slum in the 70s. I think we all know older NJ boomers who refused (and still refuse today) to go into NYC for fear of their lives. When NYC got its act together the spillover started in Jersey. Hoboken was the first to recognize and therefore first to gentrify.

  112. 3b says:

    #110 JB True, I watched the recent Start Eldger special on TV for the 40th anniversary.

    But I do believe that as some areas come back or rise form the ashes like a phoenix, other areas decline.

    AS long as there is poverty and crime, and all the rest, that is the way it will always be.

  113. James Bednar says:

    For years I thought the old Colt factory near the falls in Paterson (directly opposite the Great Falls Park) would be a perfect redevelopment effort to spur redevelopment in that part of town. Would have been a great way to attempt some amount of historic preservation for that site..

    jb

  114. James Bednar says:

    Ummm, JB. NYC was mostly a bankrupt slum in the 70s.

    Are you trying to refute my argument or provide support for it?

    jb

  115. Bystander says:

    Any know anything about these SOHO of New Jersey lofts? I remember being interested years ago but I had a bad feeling that it was a marketing ploy and the area was terrible.

    (edit: link removed -jb)

  116. njpatient says:

    “In the middle of the biggest glut of condominiums in more than 30 years, Miami developers keep on building. The oversupply will force prices down as much as 30 percent”

    JB – what’s your take on this – is it sheer stupidity/cutthroat competition or can we infer that the margins for developers have been so great in the past three or four years that they can take a 30% cut and still make a decent profit?

  117. jmacdaddio says:

    Speaking of gentrification, does anyone know how well the Skyview complex in Rahway is doing with their pre-construction sales? They have 1-BR units in my price range but I’m nervous of new construction in this climate. I spoke with one of their reps back in March when they were allegedly offering pre-construction prices only for until the end of the month. Thanks!

  118. Bystander says:

    116

    Not refuting. I am responding to why no one bought in Hoboken back in the 70s. It was because NYC was a dump.

  119. bi says:

    JB 101#,
    all true but it is just for investment. Anybody here wants to bring his/her family to such a place and live there for next 10 years?

  120. chicagofinance says:

    bi Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 10:47 am
    53#, am not stereotyping but just pointing out a fact. The school seems number one factor for all my asian friends.

    bi: as long as we are stereotyping today….I think tact and social appropriateness rank low among these expats.

  121. chicagofinance says:

    James Bednar Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 10:54 am
    i am not stereotyping but just pointing out a fact. The school seems number one factor for all my asian friends. Really, what about your black or latino friends, I guess they don’t care about the schools? jb

    grim: why do Polish submarines have screen windows?

  122. chicagofinance says:

    SG Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 10:56 am
    I don’t understand the Hype about Hoboken. I took the ferry from NYC to Hoboken yesterday evening, at 6pm the whole street seem dead. I was just at the Ferry terminal and could see so many new developments, and majority do not have the view of city. Infact, the Toll brothers project seemed worse.

    shail: 6PM on a weekday? everyone is at work and all the moms are home with the babies feeding them dinner ;)

  123. Everything's 'boken says:

    111
    Sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.

  124. James Bednar says:

    You know, I hear people harp on and on about wanting to live in communities with diversity.

    But you point to a community with real diversity, and the noses turn up.

    It’s obvious that it’s not socioeconomic diversity we’re talking about here.

    jb

  125. t c m says:

    SG Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 10:56 am
    “I don’t understand the Hype about Hoboken. I took the ferry from NYC to Hoboken yesterday evening, at 6pm the whole street seem dead. I was just at the Ferry terminal and could see so many new developments, and majority do not have the view of city. Infact, the Toll brothers project seemed worse.”

    It’s probably because your view point was just from the Ferry terminal.

    I was there last week on a weekday, in the middle of the afternoon, and it seemed very vibrant to me.

  126. lostinny says:

    117-
    I’ve seen the website and the spaces look phemonenal. But the area itself leaves a lot to be desired. I would suggest driving over there and taking a look for yourself. The train is literally right across the street but the area looked kind of run down to me.

    Any know anything about these SOHO of New Jersey lofts? I remember being interested years ago but I had a bad feeling that it was a marketing ploy and the area was terrible.

    (edit: link removed -jb)

  127. lostinny says:

    I’ve found Hoboken to be vibrant no matter when I’ve been there. I guess it’s just been my timing.

  128. bi says:

    128#,
    I have been in a couple of bars during the weekend. I would argue that it is one of few towns in jersey which have kind of nightlife.

  129. lostinny says:

    Sorry JB.

  130. Aaron says:

    BC Bob Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Caterpillar, not a good sign when dirt is not being moved.

    There is a heavy equipment auction house I drive by regularly, it hardly ever had anything in it and the last year it has been full every time I drive by.

    This is Albuquerque of course so YMMV.

  131. Clotpoll says:

    The vise is tightening. Now, even digging in the dirt doesn’t turn up much (CAT). Now, the bankers can’t call the tune for every second-rate merger and LBO.

    Hear the big sucking sound? It’s cash, getting vacuumed out of play.

    Sept. 1 approaches…

  132. Bystander says:

    127

    jb,

    Diversity = they want a Thai or Indian restaurant without the Asians or Indians living there.

  133. Clotpoll says:

    chifi (132)-

    Yeah, first thing this AM. I’m scouring my brain trying to figure out who it is.

    I think it’s Javie or Garretson. They both have road team biases and love getting home crowds on their backs.

  134. syncmaster says:

    Has anyone heard of Station Square? Its a Hovnanian development (I think) right in front of Union train station (on RARV).

  135. Duckweed says:

    According to this favorite top 25 list source, Hobokin boast the most number of bars per square mile and a thriving “singles” scene.

    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/moneymag/0707/gallery.BPTL_most_singles.moneymag/20.html

  136. anon says:

    Anyone ever been to one of the sheriff’s sales in Bergen County? Why do so many of the houses end up going to a bank for $100? Is it because the bank holds the mortgage?

  137. Pooch123 says:

    Yes

  138. BC Bob says:

    Chi [132],

    I didn’t see that. Who’s the ref that had problems with Tim Duncan? In that story, BC and Henry Hill. Yikes.

  139. pesche22 says:

    lets see they have the first tenants for
    xanadu:

    Legoland,
    lucky strike bowling
    Cabela’s
    muvico (movies)

    1 million square feet of retail

    and of course the Minor League baseball

  140. lostinny says:

    138 Sync
    I think they’re all townhouses there. If I remember correctly, they are the same lay out as the townhouses in the Canal Crossing development in South Bound Brook.

  141. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 12:43 pm
    The vise is tightening. Now, even digging in the dirt doesn’t turn up much (CAT). Now, the bankers can’t call the tune for every second-rate merger and LBO.Hear the big sucking sound? It’s cash, getting vacuumed out of play. Sept. 1 approaches…

    clot: Is this your version of channeling Boooyaa?

  142. Kurt says:

    143: Super – we already have about 10 times as much retail space per capita as every other developed nation, 1M more is just what we need.

    http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/25/mags_diary21_retail_graph_2.jpg

  143. pesche22 says:

    how about the rocket launcher found
    in jersey city this am.

    nice.

    lets let them all come on in

  144. BC Bob says:

    Vibrancy in Hoboken? Stand outside
    O’Donoghues at closing time. How about owning a 600K-1 mil box and having some drunk, p*ssing and p*king at your front door. How’s that for a little diversity?

  145. chicagofinance says:

    Re Xanadu et al.: if they extend the HBLR and build various connections to NJTP-15X and Secaucus Transfer station, I support whatever they want to throw up there.

    Jersey Gardens is a joke because it is just some white elephant out in the Newark Bay. The Garden State Plaza is the friggin’ Death Star.

    If Xanadu is integrated with public transportation infrastructure, it is a godsend.

    If these jokers had the slightest bit of vision and stones, they would extend the PATH line up from Harrison to the Meadowlands.

  146. Read My Lips: Price are going down down down says:

    Hey Friskie eaters….hehehehehe

  147. shakey leggs says:

    This may be a dumb question but I need some help understanding this….as interest rates declined that was a major reson for home prices to soar….now with 30 year rates inching near 7%, should not the home prices be declining? A pre-year 2000 a person with a “normal” income would never imagine buying a $400,000 house(a POS in 2007). Is is not reasonable to think that higher interest rates combined with tighter lending standards and less “miracle loans” prices should drop almost as fast as they went up.
    I may be ultra conservative but why cant I comfortably buy a “nice” house with $175K combined income and at least $100,000 down….
    it baffeling.

  148. Read My Lips: Price are going down down down says:
  149. dreamtheaterr says:

    “even squirrels find nuts in the wrong places”

    Quote of the week!

  150. 3b says:

    Diversity means different things to different people.

    In some instances people that want to have diversity, but the diverse people do not want to diversify with those who wnat the diversifers. (the ones who want diversity)

    What I am trying to say without being offensive is, some people in some groups move into an area for mainly one reason, schools

    That is their first and primary reason for being there, not the communtiy at large, not building bridges, not learning from each others etc.

    Some tend to mix only with themselves, same with the children. So why an area may look diverse, it really is not.

    Its just the way it is.

  151. 3b says:

    #151 You will shakey, just be patient a little longer.

  152. James Bednar says:

    From Reuters:

    JPMorgan: Storm brewing as mortgage rates move higher

    Borrowers of almost half of the $500 billion of risky subprime mortgages facing higher interest rates over the next 18 months will have trouble refinancing, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said on Friday.

    An inability by many homeowners with spotty credit histories to refinance their mortgages would lead to more mortgage delinquencies and defaults, increasing losses in investment portfolios that hold securities backed by the loans.

    J.P. Morgan forecasts that by the end of 2008, subprime borrowers with home loans totaling $230 billion will not be able to refinance as they face higher rates, nearly quadruple the expected $60 billion this year.

    “We are really heading into the reset storm,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Flanagan. “We are on the cusp of that.”

    Flanagan, J.P. Morgan’s global head of asset-backed securities and collateralized debt obligation research, spoke during a conference call with clients on Friday.

    Virtually all subprime mortgages are adjustable-rate loans that offer borrowers low teaser interest rates that then reset at sharply higher rates within two or three years.

  153. RayC says:

    I lived in Hobeoken twice, ’86-89 and 2000-1. I saw a terrific documentary sometime between my two stays called “Delivered Vacant”. It documents the way Hoboken got “gentrified”, which often included arson, and many deaths.

  154. James Bednar says:

    For those who haven’t yet seen the ARM reset chart. Note, this is from Credit Suisse, not JP.

    http://www.njrereport.com/images/armresets.gif

    jb

  155. lisoosh says:

    RentinginNJ Says:
    “Retirees, some have postulated, will drive down median income, but since retirees aren’t buying homes, their presence in the affordability statistic skews the results, making housing appear more unaffordable than it really is to the marginal buyer, who’s income is higher.”

    The funny thing about that assumption is that it ignores the glut of Over 55 “Communities” in the area. If the retirees are not buying homes, who IS buying these up?

  156. bairen says:

    #151 Shakey, it’s Bizzaro land isn’t it?

  157. thatBIGwindow says:

    They should rename LegoLand to GermLand

    They had a lego thing for kids at Paramus Park mall. Hold your breath as you walk by, you can almost feel the sore throat.

  158. SG says:

    CF: If these jokers had the slightest bit of vision and stones, they would extend the PATH line up from Harrison to the Meadowlands.

    NJ is a state with empty coffers after paying unions. Raritan valley line still runs on Diesel engine, I believe we are in 21st century right.

  159. BC Bob says:

    [156]

    “We are really heading into the reset storm,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Flanagan. “We are on the cusp of that.”

    There are a ton of individuals, other than the bears on this site, now recognizing the storm/bust. It’s becoming msm.

  160. James Bednar says:

    From Reuters:

    Subprime stress seen skewing home loan data

    Tighter lending standards in the aftermath of rampant defaults on subprime mortgages are hurting more than would-be home buyers.

    It looks as though these tougher measures have weakened the value of one of Wall Street’s favorite measures of the U.S. housing market.

    With loans harder to come by, analysts say prospective borrowers are taking a shot-gun approach to getting a mortgage — blasting out multiple applications to obtain a single loan. That, they believe, is artificially inflating the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey on loans to buy homes, giving a false impression of the pace of U.S. home sales.

    “Frankly, the data has become a much less important indicator,” said James O’Sullivan, economist at UBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut.

    Skewed data makes it less reliable, therefore diminishing its value to economists who use it as a gauge of home sales.

    The MBA’s seasonally adjusted purchase index dropped 1.6 percent to 446.5 in its latest survey, released Wednesday. The index, however, has been on an upward trend and was up 12.0 percent from its reading a year earlier and a whopping 18.9 percent above a bottom reached in October 2006.

    Until earlier this year, that would have pointed clearly to a pick-up in home sales.

    No more, though. Home sales have fallen consistently over that time, with existing home sales down for three straight months and new home sales off in four of the past five months.

    “Clearly there has been a complete breakdown of the relationship between the purchase index and home sales in recent months, which historically has been a decent fit,” O’Sullivan said.

  161. Everything's 'boken says:

    159
    Glut usually refers to a number more than that needed. If such exists, your argument is self-contradictory.

  162. James Bednar says:

    From Reuters:

    U.S. junk bonds fall on subprime concerns

    U.S. junk bonds sold off sharply on Friday, with some benchmark bonds collapsing to their lows for the year, as worries about the subprime mortgage crisis mounted, causing a broad repricing of risk.

    “The market is in a really panicky state,” said one trader. “It’s essentially been 40 straight days of lower levels and a worsening environment.”

  163. BC Bob says:

    No Friday rumors regarding WB and HOV this week? Maybe at 3:00, options expiration?

  164. twice shy says:

    Amazing to watch the subprime mess unravel.
    When will a major brokerage house, bank or hedge fund take a real nasty hit? I have to guess there’s some serious damage lurking out there and I imagine the PPT is working overtime to ferret it out and staunch the bleeding.

    (Some postulate the PPT, or Plunge Protection Team, is a cabal of financiers from industry and gov’t who secretly attempt to avert market panics that might lead to economic crises.)

  165. fanshawe says:

    RentinginNJ:

    Looking at median income statistic at all is misleading at best.

    The only important statistic is the average income of current home buyers; they are the ones that set the current market values. The income of people not looking to buy is simply irrelevant to this discussion.

    Just to be clear, I do think most areas of Northern NJ are severely overpriced and a correction is coming.

    However, it is my opinion that in the “desirable” towns that many people complain about overpricing here on this blog — Westfield, Short Hills, Summit, Chatham, Ridgewood, Saddle River, Upper Montclair, etc etc etc — there is an abundance of buyers who work in NYC in finance, law, sales, technology, consulting who technically can afford these “overpriced” houses under standard rules of affordability. There has been a *huge* amount of salary inflation in NYC in these fields in the past few years.

    Do I think housing will stay expensive in these towns? Probably not. At some point, people will start to consider value again in their home buying and not just buy a house for whatever they can stretch their income to (ie, at some point no matter how much money you make, that POS house is still a POS house and isn’t worth $600k)

    *But*, I do think it’s shortsighted and naive for readers here to say, “My household income is $120k and that’s the same as median income in Ridgewood, why can’t I buy a home there?” You know why? Because the people currently buying there are making more than $120k. (Hypothetical numbers just used as an example.)

  166. syncmaster says:

    fanshawe 169,

    I’d like to see some numbers that quantify the widening of the wage difference for the same job between, say, the Edison MSD and Manhattan, over the last 3-5 years.

  167. James Bednar says:

    From nj.com:

    Taxpayers’ tab: $1B for pensions next year

    Local property taxpayers will have to kick in just over $1 billion next year to bankroll retirement benefits for government workers, police officers and firefighters, an increase of about $355 million from the bills included in this year’s budgets, state officials said today.

    The contributions, due from city halls next April, are more than $800 million above the tab included in local budgets just two years ago, state records show.

    “Bottom line, these kinds of increases are problematic,” said William Dressel, executive director of the of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. “This is one of the essential reasons why it’s difficult to control property taxes, when you have these kinds of mandated increases.”

  168. James Bednar says:

    The only important statistic is the average income of current home buyers; they are the ones that set the current market values. The income of people not looking to buy is simply irrelevant to this discussion.

    If this is the case, then the discussion is at a stalemate Why? Because we don’t have data on this population. When we don’t have hard numbers, the discussion quickly deteriorates into anecdotes, assumptions, and poorly thought out arguments.

    Because the people currently buying there are making more than $120k.

    This is exactly the problem. We don’t really know if they are or are not. Sure we can make an assumption that they do, and that assumption might be both plausable and probable, but it’s an assumption nonetheless.

    The discussion here will end in a stalemate, as usual, as each side concocts a justification that fits their own view and refuses to accept any other explanation.

    jb

  169. 2010 Buyer says:

    [156] & [158]
    “We are really heading into the reset storm,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Flanagan. “We are on the cusp of that.”… reset at sharply higher rates within two or three years.
    Every firm has their own stats and I doubt can definitely say that theirs is the most accurate but the data I’ve seen, we are at the cusp of the number of loans set to reset. The numbers are staggering to see going into 2008/2009. My crystal ball is broke so I can’t tell you where rates will be but I would venture to guess that with tighten guidelines (which I don’t expect to loosen anytime soon), a decent percentage of these borrowers wouldn’t be able to refinance today.

  170. 2010 Buyer says:

    [169]
    Rhetorical question. I seen it used on the site and I must admit it’s become part of my vernacular thanks to the site but why would we want to buy a POS? I mean, we all say “I looked at a x Br/ y Ba overpriced POS this weekend”. If the price was right, would the POS become a normal house or is it just an affordable POS?

  171. James Bednar says:

    The only important statistic is the average income of current home buyers; they are the ones that set the current market values. The income of people not looking to buy is simply irrelevant to this discussion.

    I don’t mind having this discussion however.

    Your argument ignores the impact of move-up buyers who might be using equity from a sale in order to buy into a particular town. There are significantly more move-up buyers in this state than first-time buyers. Thus, the impact of income on affordability might be overstated in this example.

    The argument works fine if we’re simply discussing first time buyers, but quickly falls apart if we begin to include past equity or investments being used to offset the cost of ownership.

    jb

  172. 3b says:

    #172 JB True. And if the people buying there are making more than 120K or 200K or 250K, or whatever, than where are all the buyers now?

    Ridgewood for instance has 107 SFH’s for sale right now.

    Where are the buyers? Are we running out of the 120K,200k,250K buyers?

    Something has changed.

  173. fanshawe says:

    JB:

    Here’s some statistics I have seen (from a link posted on here a while back), based on the 2005 subprime loans in NJ.

    http://www.app.com/multimedia/maps/20070318_subpr/

    If you actually start clicking on the map, you can see “average subprime borrower income” of the subprime loans in each region.

    Now of course, using this data, assumes 2 things (both of which, of course, could be bad assumptions since I don’t have in-depth knowledge of sub-prime loans compared to others here):
    1) That these incomes are verified or reasonably accurate.
    2) That incomes of prime loan borrowers in the same area would have at least an equal, if not greater, income level.

    So, if you click on everyone’s favorite town here, Westfield, you get these numbers for “average subprime borrower income”

    NW section = $198,272
    NE section = $177,476
    Central section = $87,481
    Section right below that = $157,400
    Southern-most section = $169,230

    Overall, pretty high, except for the center of town where there are more condos and pretty sh*tty looking houses.

    Another example, Millburn:

    Short Hills = $290,000
    NE Millburn = $212,500
    SE Millburn = $127,888
    S Millburn = $122,714

    Again, pretty high. And the sections of Millburn getting the $120k buyers do not exactly have the most appealing houses in the world. $500 POSes, literally. Anyone buying here at those prices at prime have more money than sense.

  174. bi says:

    169#,
    I agree with most of your argument. but i would argue that the price in these premium towns will stay and even go up more than other towns. People choose to live there not just looking at value in financial sense. Two big ones are school and pretigous.

  175. BC Bob says:

    I’d be interested in that POS cape, for 30% off 2005.

  176. john says:

    Searching though Foreclosures today and looking for waterfront property with a pool. Cam across this classic bubble blow-out. MLS 1977936
    6-14-93 – $215,000
    11-25-03 – $560,00
    09-03-04 – $580,00
    2-17-05 – $665,000
    9-5-06 – $595,595 (sold at Foreclosure)
    7-07 – Flipper who bought at Foreclosure went bankrupt and second bank has it listed on MLS at $514,900.

  177. BklynHawk says:

    JB (#158)-

    If we were all in a boat, and that chart was really a wave we were headed for, I would abandon ship now!

    Imagine the real estate market is the Andrea Gail and that is the wave at the climax of The Perfect Storm.

    No thanks, I saw how that ended. I’ll just get a nice glass of scotch and sit on the sidelines and watch this one until the storm is over.

    JM

  178. fanshawe says:

    #176, 3b:

    I think buyers, regardless of income or equity, are finally just starting to come to their senses.

    There’s still a long way to go, but like I said above, I think the reason why prices will stay more sticky in the “desirable” towns in the short-term is because some of the buyers have more money than sense and, unfortunately, they’re going to be the ones setting the comps.

  179. 3b says:

    #174 I think (at least for me)t hat we are Ok in soem respects with buying a POS, habing bought a POS in the past myself.

    You can do wonders with a POS,and in mnay instances it does not cost as much money (relatively) as one might think (if done within reason, and having family in the business helps big time).

    It is almost expected that in buying in an older area like North Jersey, with construction going to WWII and before, that it will in mnay instances be a POS.

    So I am OK with a POS, if it is an affordable POS,and a POS within reason.

    For instance needing cosmetics/landscaping, new kitchen/bathroom refinish floors to me equals POS.

    Once you get into roof, electrical structural, that equals in my mind a real POS.

    Degrees of POS I guess, according to ones definition.

  180. fanshawe says:

    “I’d like to see some numbers that quantify the widening of the wage difference for the same job between, say, the Edison MSD and Manhattan, over the last 3-5 years.”

    I wish I had more (other than anecdotal evidence, which I won’t bother to present here) but:

    First-year lawyer salary at big NYC firms:
    2005: $130k
    2006: $145k
    2007: $160k

    Call me crazy, but I suspect that law firms in Central NJ haven’t given their first-years a 23% increase over the past 2 years.

  181. par4156 says:

    Re #154. 3B,
    Schools were important to us when looking for a community. Unfortunately, we experienced what seemed like steering. Had one agent repeatedly tell us, we shouldn’t bother looking here, or there, etc. Finally resorted to drive bys and having my wife visit houses alone with a (different) agent or sometimes with her dad. I only saw our house after the contract was signed..in fact, on the day of the inspection.

    I said all that to say…many buyers (especially couples) think about schools, but there are definately still barriers to entry beyond money. The whole segregated diversity thing is really just passive racism.

  182. 3b says:

    #182 fan: Assuming they have the money, and they get the financing.

    I suspect when this all plays out, (and its playing out now), we are going to find out a lot of people are/were naked so to speak.

  183. James Bednar says:

    fanshawe,

    I agree with your concerns about using those numbers. We don’t know what percentage of those loans were “liar” loans (stated income).

    jb

  184. par4156 says:

    #183,
    really enjoyed reading that! Great post.

  185. 3b says:

    #185 On whose part? That is the question. I for one do not believe it is practiced only by one group and not necessarily another.

    There are some people regardless of what group, who insist on remaining apart, for whatever reason or reasons.

  186. UnRealtor says:

    Today a shoulder-fired missile was discovered on the lawn of a woman who lives on the flight path to Newark airport:

    (CBS) JERSEY CITY A Jersey City woman made a shocking discovery on her lawn this morning when she noticed a military rocket launcher lying in the grass.

    Niranjana Besai was leaving her house, located at 88 Nelson Street, to go to work just after 8 this morning when she spotted the launcher on her front lawn. “I read it and it [said] ‘missile,’” Besai told CBS 2 HD. “There was little ‘missile’ [writing] on it.” She immediately called police.

    Sources tell CBS 2 HD that the device is the type used to shoot shoulder-fired rockets and is capable of taking down an aircraft. What’s more troubling, sources add, is that Besai’s house is located along flight path for Newark Liberty International Airport.

    http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_201113005.html

  187. t c m says:

    #169 fanshawe –

    so are you saying that when the spread between these towns and the other less desirable towns widens enough, people will reconsider if it is worth it to buy in the primo towns when they can get something much nicer in the less primo towns for less money. this then will lead to prices coming down in the more desirable towns, so that the spread will return to what it was pre-bubble?

  188. James Bednar says:

    From NJ.com:

    Rocket launcher ‘harmless,’ feds say
    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2007/07/rocket_launcher_harmless_feds.html

    An empty military rocket launcher found on the front lawn of a Jersey City residence today caused a brief scare today, before federal authorities determined the device was inoperable and harmless.

    U.S. Army ordinance experts are now trying to track down the serial numbers on the device to determine its origin.

    According to the FBI, the launcher was the empty holder for an AT-4 anti-tank weapon – a one-shot rocket-propelled projectile used by the infantry to destroy or disable armored vehicles. The launcher is discarded after use.

    FBI spokesman Sean Quinn said the launcher found by a homeowner in front of her house was essentially an empty tube.

    “There was no threat,” he said.

  189. fanshawe says:

    JB, if mortgages are in the public record, is there any way online to peruse them?

    3b, I agree, nothing wrong with a POS as long as its priced as a POS, and not at $500-600k.

  190. James Bednar says:

    Mortgage records are available online for some towns. For example, you can use the link below to look up Morris County records:

    http://mcclerkweb.co.morris.nj.us/or_wb1/or_sch_1.asp

    However, realize we’re talking about the actual mortgage here, not the application. So you won’t find income or qualification information.

    jb

  191. RentinginNJ says:

    There has been a *huge* amount of salary inflation in NYC in these fields in the past few years.

    NY’ers have always come to desirable towns in North Jersey when they are “done” with Manhattan (i.e. want more space, a little more peace & quit, have kids etc.).

    According to the NY Department of Labor, the average Manhattan job pays $1,750 more today than it did in 2000 (after adjusting for inflation). The only field with * huge* wage inflation, meaningful total employment numbers and already high salaries to begin with was the “Finance and Insurance” sector, where real salaries increased 15% from 2000 to 2006 from $211 to $244.

    http://www.labor.state.ny.us/workforceindustrydata/apps.asp?reg=nyc&app=ins

  192. RentinginNJ says:

    The only important statistic is the average income of current home buyers; they are the ones that set the current market values. The income of people not looking to buy is simply irrelevant to this discussion.

    Home prices have already doubled over the last few years. So, many of these very well off “new paradigm” buyers should already have purchased a home (thus causing home prices to double). Why then, don’t the homeowner income statistics for BC show any big income increases today versus 2000?

  193. par4156 says:

    #189,
    initially by the established group (majority) in the community. then a ‘second’ majority is established that is determined to at least maintain the status quo so that they can “live in a safe neighbourhood’, or ‘maintain the quality of the schools”. Good luck to a third or forth grup coming in. In my experience skin color or ethnicity seems to amplify or damper negative behaviour in some people’s eyes way too often. I’ve noticed how people’s attitude toward me changes once I open my mouth and they realize I’m not American. Whenever they ask me where I’m from originally…I say Newark.

  194. NJGal says:

    “Call me crazy, but I suspect that law firms in Central NJ haven’t given their first-years a 23% increase over the past 2 years.”

    Actually, some are starting to increase. I don’t know the actual numbers but I read about it in the law journal. It’s obviously nowhere near those numbers when you factor in bonus, but it’s pretty high for suburban firms.

    Of course, you have to factor in that many of these increases mean more billable hours for already taxed young associates, many of whom exhaust themselves out of the law game pretty quickly and end up not making much more than this doing other things. So while 160 sounds fantastic, many people will stay at those places only long enough to pay some loans, save some cash and then be done with it. So even with these loans, it’s not as though there are suddenly going to be a lot of really well to do lawyers around.

  195. pesche22 says:

    Housing in New Jersey:

    At least the Titanic had a band

  196. fanshawe says:

    t c m:

    That’s pretty much what I’m thinking (or maybe just hoping).

    JB:

    Poop. I wonder where the heck app.com got their subprime data? I’ve love to be able to see equivalent data for prime loans, and find out one way or the other what the truth is.

  197. RentinginNJ says:

    agree with your concerns about using those numbers. We don’t know what percentage of those loans were “liar” loans (stated income).

    …actually according to Credit Suisse, “Mortgage Liquidity du Jour: Underestimated No More” 55% of loan originations in 2006 in New Jersey were no/low doc loans (higher than the national average). If the marginal buyer in New Jersey is so well off and can truly afford NJ prices, then why not go full docs and take advantage of a lower interest rate?

  198. t c m says:

    another question,

    shouldn’t the steep rise in property taxes sort of affect housing prices in the same way as mortgage rates rising?

    from what i’ve seen, even the cheapest houses in millburn. (the ones i’ve been following) have property taxes slated to rise around $2000 (unscientific observation) who knows abou the expensive ones?

    now i read post #171 – isn’t all this just another nail in the coffin, or is there an infinite amount of money coming out of wall st.?

  199. par4156 says:

    I also beleive that no matter what it’s called in any culture…caste, feudal..whatever the name, it’s really just racism. that being said, if your watch or read enough news, or spend some time in the wrong neighbourhood, those thoughts are reinforced by your experience. That’s what the real issue should be, people’s experience…how to reduce cronically high unemployment through meaningful sustainable jobs or oppertunity. Having Prudential employ 2500 people from the suburbs may help the Newark tax base, but then all the money goes to social welfare programs. Other than some sort of free college education program, or a rebound in manufacturing, many people in the suburbs will continue to be racist because they want to keep the “ghetto” contained.

    jus my 2 cents…

  200. fanshawe says:

    RentinginNJ:

    I’m talking specifically about a small subset of the NJ population currently buying homes in the “desirable” towns. Going by the number of homes in the MLS, there are clearly not that many of them in raw numbers. But, unfortunately, I think they’re the ones setting the comps in these towns right now and for the short-term.

    Any increases in their salaries will never be seen when you lump them within the context of 8 or 10 million people in Manhattan, or however many people there are in all of Bergen County.

    Anyway, this is all my opinion based on anecdotal evidence, and I’d love to be proven wrong with real numbers (seriously), which as JB said earlier don’t seem to exist in a form to which we have access.

  201. James Bednar says:

    Poop. I wonder where the heck app.com got their subprime data?

    I believe the HMDA

    http://www.ffiec.gov/hmda/

    jb

  202. bairen says:

    #193 pos capes

    I saw quite a few pos capes in feb-march. All needed new kitchens, updated bathrooms, had unfinished basements. the most recent renovation was done before Nixon resigned. And all were next to gas stations, train tracks, power lines, etc, most on 1/6 of an acre or less.

    I felt so dity and disgusted after being in them. And all were in “prestige towns” like Chatham, Madison, Summit. Bernardsville Boro actually had recently renovaed capes for 450-500k but tiny lots.

    I’ve been to a few open houses too where the agent was the owner trying to unload that pos. I felt like asking the agent why would you buy this pos, you’re in the industry you should know better

  203. Richie says:

    “If the marginal buyer in New Jersey is so well off and can truly afford NJ prices, then why not go full docs and take advantage of a lower interest rate?”

    That’s like telling a crook all they need to do to make money is get a job.

  204. Pooch123 says:

    Re first year lawyer salaries in NJ, see

    http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/06/nationwide_pay_raise_watch_bac_1.php

    Lowenstein Sandler seems to be the market leader at 140K, other firms seem to have not caught up yet.

  205. par4156 says:

    Has anyone noticed a growing population of “wealthy” people in desireable towns living in smaller or ‘less desireable’ homes? Is there some sort of movement to smaller homes? Quite a few youngish lawyers, doctors, bankers etc that I know are choosing to live in the less “posh” parts of town. They are running to the 1500 squre foot colonials because they want charecter (I know I got blasted for saying this before) and/or that are easy to maintain. maybe they’ll trade up eventually but these guys are buying the “starter” houses that in the past would have been bought by the guy with the good governemnet job or the cop that got a nice promotion.

    Anyone else notice this???

  206. 3b says:

    #197 par: Agree, but the problem is not just contained within one group. I believe many people practice it, for whatever reason or reasons. It takes 2, sometime more to tango.

    But accusing just one group (not that you did) is not fair.

    Diversity cannot be forced, it has to happen on its own,and both groups or more have to participate, if one tries and the effort is not returned, that creates more hostility.

    It will eventually happen (hopefully) when people realize that in the end they have more that unites them than divides them, and social engineers stop forcing it.

  207. chicagofinance says:

    “We are really heading into the reset storm,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Flanagan. “We are on the cusp of that.”

    “reset storm” peaks in November 2007?

    Can we re-name it “Hurricane Chip”?

  208. 3b says:

    #209 Might be all they can afford.

  209. par4156 says:

    #198. I agree, banking and legal hours as a young analyst or associate are gruelling. Most good jobs out of college get paid the same or close hourly rate.

  210. bairen says:

    #209

    The only things i’v enoticed is that those pos that were in the mid 200s back in 2001 have more then doubled in price and have another 6 years of uglyness worked into them.

  211. t c m says:

    #212 and 209

    i definitely think it’s all they can afford. when i first moved here, last year, i noticed all sorts of expensive cars parked in driveways of puny little houses. i didn’t make the connection at the time, but my husband said that it worried him to see such expensive cars in such, let’s just say, unimpressive houses.

  212. par4156 says:

    #212,
    right. so, will average incomes start to go up in those towns? If the rich guys are moving to the “poor”side of “prestigious” towns, the average should go up. so those towns will continue to have relitively high comps (at least for the POS some of us can afford).

  213. BLB says:

    “Diversity means different things to different people.”

    True enough. My experience with diversity isn’t as positive as the PC left would have it.

    I came from a quiet and mostly homogeneous suburban community near the Jersey Shore. By “mostly” homogeneous i mean there were some people from other ethnicities, backgrounds, etc. But we, except for certain dumb kids, didn’t care nor think of them differently. We noticed their skin color but had the same reaction as noticing bald or old people or whatever.

    When I got out of college and moved north (closer to NYC) I was plunged into a alien landscape. It was, well, interesting.

    Suddenly I found out how ethnic identity is SO important to some – like an obsession that they could not stop talking about. I discovered that the more someone screamed about perceived discrimination, the more bigoted and ethnocentric that person was.

    I also learned that in the truly “diverse” areas, people self-segregated and were highly suspicious of the other group(s).

    They were also more isolated, closed-minded, and frankly ignorant than anyone I had encountered previously. I learned all these colorful terms that one group called the other behind their backs.

    Oh, and the crime rate is much higher.

    So celebrate diversity all you want. Just make sure to look closely at the side that university sociology professors never tell you about.

  214. par4156 says:

    #210. Yes. I’m the choir.

  215. gary says:

    Wow, some of you are asking great questions today, such as: property taxes are sky-rocketing so why aren’t home prices coming down? And another question: if silly, stupid loans are no longer available and interest rates are rising, why can’t I but a home with a six figure salary and six figures to put down?

    You wanna know why? It’s because the herd keeps ducking into the left hook. It’s because a fool and his/her pretend money is, was and always will be separated like a Golden Retriever swiping a two year olds lollipop. It’s because MTV, the MSM, hollywood and every other f***cking tatooed moron have successfully convinced the throngs of plebs and hunchbacks to allow themselves to be pilfered, swindled and stung while the Forest Gumps of the world feign their 15 minutes of intelligence only to squander their new found opulence on junk and uslessness.

    That’s why a POS costs 550K.

  216. par4156 says:

    #214
    “…have another 6 years of uglyness worked into them.”

    Funny. Do you mean they will be ugly for another 6 years…because it will take that long to tap the “home improvement loan pipeline”? I have a feeling lots of recent homebuyers will becme really handy around the house! More than they ever thought possible. How are the home improvement cable shows rankings these days..?

  217. BC Bob says:

    “Housing in New Jersey:”

    “At least the Titanic had a band”

    Lost my water.

  218. pesche22 says:

    many sellers still do not understand.
    the pricing is still high. Also,on
    the jersey shore. Pricing , still at
    blow out prices.

    And many realtors with an attitude.

    Only in NJ.

  219. pesche22 says:

    The titantic did have a band. Many
    of the sellers still just dont get it.

    and with an attitude to go with the realtors.

  220. par4156 says:

    “I discovered that the more someone screamed about perceived discrimination, the more bigoted and ethnocentric that person was.” –
    did you find this to be always true? Experiencing discrimination tends to make people sensitive, angry…and yes, focused on what caused the discrimination in the first place – probably bigotry and lack of ethnic or racial tolerance. However, much like Al Sharpton (sigh), Martin Luther King or Ghandi (who were all hated by the “powers that be”)sometimes a punching bag is needed to keep the issue in focus.

    On the other hand, some people lack the tact to deal with things in a more subtle yet bigger impacting way.

  221. pesche22 says:

    Let’s take Bergen County, start with these
    so called over 55 joints.

    Are they kidding with the taxes and mainteance? And shabby construction.

    How about the complex in Cresskill,
    starting at 399k for a POS, 2br,condo.
    with a 8k taxe bill, next to a railroad track.

    but a least its in BC,where prices never go down

  222. RentinginNJ says:

    Housing in New Jersey:

    At least the Titanic had a band

    Good one. Funny.

  223. bairen says:

    #220 I meant they were ugly back in 2000/01. the only difference is that they are now more then doubled in price and have gotten 6 years older.

    Bottom line. Where’s the granite? What’s with the pre Eisnhower secor? Slap some lipstick on those pigs.

  224. Hehehe says:

    If you had a sizable amount of money in the market for over year right now would you pull a portion of it or all of it out? Do you see Dow 1400 as a stepping stone or the beginning of the end of the bull run?

  225. Hehehe says:

    If you had a sizable amount of money in the market for over year right now would you pull a portion of it or all of it out? Do you see Dow 14000 as a stepping stone or the beginning of the end of the bull run?

  226. 3b says:

    #219 gary: True, but its changing, and many of these would be buyers,can no longer buy, hence the huge inventory.

    The 500K’s are going to the high 400K’s, and so on, down to where there are now lots of low 400k’s, and the pressure is on and they will eventually get to the 300K’s and so on.

  227. James Bednar says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Credit Risk Surges as Subprime Concerns Sap Investor Appetites

    Global corporate credit risk surged as concerns about accelerating subprime-mortgage losses caused investors to flee all but the safest assets.

    Corporate bond risk rose to a two-year high in the U.S. and Europe, according to credit-default swap indexes that allow investors to speculate on the ability of companies to repay their debt or hedge against the risk they won’t. Indexes tied to the risk of owning high-yield, high-risk loans fell to records, suggesting demand is deteriorating for leveraged-buyout debt. Indexes of credit-default swaps on subprime mortgage bonds also plummeted to new lows.

    “The more headlines we get, the more worried people are,” said Ira Jersey, New York-based strategist at Credit Suisse Group. “There’s definitely a flight to quality going on.”

  228. par4156 says:

    #227. ok. got it. Trtue…but still funny as hell to read.
    latas…

  229. Pat says:

    Here’s some fodder for Duck:

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomebuyingGuide/ItsStillBetterToBuyAHome.aspx

    “It’s still better to buy a home”

  230. James Bednar says:

    Many new lows on the ABX today.

    jb

  231. 3b says:

    #215 tcm: Having an expensive car is no big accomplishemnt today with leasing and all the rest.

    You can drive around very poor neighborhoods,and see very expensive cars. IMHO there is no longer a relationship between house and car as there once was.

    BMW & Mercedes today, are all owned by the masses so to speak, they advertise on TV, just like all the rest.

  232. James Bednar says:

    Great “Econ 101” look at the housing market over at Calculated Risk:

    http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2007/07/housing-2007-preliminary-mid-year.html

  233. BC Bob says:

    hehe [228],

    Let the market tell you. If you are awake at night, either cut back or buy insurance.

  234. Pooch123 says:

    Hehehe

    Who knows what will happen tomorrow tmrw with the market. The only sure thing is to come up with an asset allocation plan you’re comfortable with, given your risk-tolerance, and stick with it

  235. gary says:

    3b,

    I admire your optimistic view.

  236. bairen says:

    #238 i know what will happen with the market tomorrow and the next day. It will be closed. monday?

  237. Pooch123 says:

    Boo!

  238. john says:

    Diversity is a work place concept. The rich Asians who live in Bayside Queens, the WASPs in Alpine, the well off African Americans in Brooklyn Brownstones and the Super Rich in the Hamptons don’t want diversity. They want to be with their own group and raise their children in a neighborhood where they can date people in their own class level. What is wrong with that. Two extremely wealthy African Americans I worked with has a very hard time house hunting not because no one would sell them a house in a white neighborhood but because there are very few well off African American neighborhoods to choose from Both settled for looking though the desirable neighborhoods and selection the ones with the highest percentage of people similar to me. They both told me the same thing, my kids need friends, then people to date and then to marry. I don’t want to be the only one of my religion/race/income level in my town. Therefore groups group together from the Garbage men in SI to the uber rich in Alpine. It is what it is.

  239. 3b says:

    #239 gary: Not just a thing of optimism, its just plain old common sense.

    It could not go on, and it is not, the decline is happening;the sellers are always the last to know. The rest of the peices are all in place

  240. BC Bob says:

    Will March Madness be replaced by Fall Madness?

  241. James Bednar says:

    Drove past this place earlier in the day, finally got a chance to look up the details:

    MLS# 2423399 – Huron – Clifton
    Listed: 07/06/07
    OLP: $365,000
    LP: $343,000
    Agent remarks note this property is a Short Sale

    Was purchased:

    MLS# 2097366
    Sold Date: 01/17/06
    SP: $349,000

    Factoring in the 5% commission and other expenses, the seller stands to lose approximately $25,000. Obviously, this amount exceeds any equity in the property, if there was any at all.

    jb

  242. James Bednar says:

    The prior listing was listed on 08/02/05 for an OLP of $369,000.

    jb

  243. pesche22 says:

    Down goes Fraizer

  244. James Bednar says:

    From the Canarsie Digest:

    The American dream fizzles – Canarsie suffers from subprime mortgages and foreclosures

    An extremely high rate of foreclosures in Canarsie mirrors a high rate of subprime mortgages in the neighborhood.

    According to Sarah Ludwig, the executive director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), the parallel is not a coincidence.

    Both high foreclosure rates and large number of subprime mortgages, “Tend to be very concentrated in neighborhoods of color in New York at all income levels,” Ludwig stressed during an extended phone interview.

    “We think it’s really important to document what’s going on,” she went on. “We are really concerned about the crisis we are in and the number of foreclosures in the city.”

    In particular, said Ludwig, 2006 brought a sharp up-tick in the number of foreclosures, both in Canarsie and around the city. In Canarsie, she noted, there had been 230 foreclosure actions filed in 2004, and 233 in 2005. Then, said Ludwig, the number had “jumped to 315 in 2006,” a dramatic increase, she averred, that is mirrored citywide.

    In Brooklyn, a total of 2,514 foreclosure actions were filed in 2004, rising to 2,557 in 2005 and then to 3,307 in 2006. According to Ludwig, Canarsie as a neighborhood has the sixth highest amount of foreclosure actions filed in the city.

    However, added Ludwig, the situation is exacerbated by the skyrocketing cost of real estate in New York City where property has become, “So expensive that people are getting mortgages they can’t afford.”

  245. James Bednar says:

    From MSN/Money:

    Countrywide CEO doesn’t see mortgage rebound until 2009

    Countrywide Financial Corp. CEO Angelo Mozilo told those attending the California Mortgage Bankers Association conference in San Francisco this week that he expects more trouble for the mortgage industry this year and next.

    He sees a rebound in 2009, marking a retreat from his prior comments this year that the industry would start turning around in 2008.

    “We’re going through an enormous correction period, and we have a long way to go,” Mozilo said. “This is just the beginning of the process.”

  246. James Bednar says:

    Wow!

    From Bloomberg:

    Poole Says Subprime Investors Deserved to Lose Money

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President William Poole said investors who lost money buying subprime mortgage-linked securities got what they deserved.

    Poole criticized the underwriting standards and interest- rate assessments of Wall Street and endorsed the Fed’s steps to strengthen consumer safeguards. His remarks come after Chairman Ben S. Bernanke committed to tougher rules to protect consumers during his semiannual monetary policy testimony this week.

    “The punishment has been meted out to those who have done misdeeds and made bad judgments,” Poole told reporters in St. Louis after a speech on the market for mortgages to borrowers with sketchy or weak credit histories. “We are getting good evidence that the companies and hedge funds that are being hit are the ones who deserve it.”

  247. Rich In NNJ says:

    “Chasing the Market Down” in Ridgewood

    ACT BARRINGTON RD $1,395,000 4/30/2005
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $1,275,000 7/29/2005
    W-C BARRINGTON RD $1,275,000 9/13/2005

    ACT BARRINGTON RD $1,195,000 9/12/2005
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $1,145,000 1/11/2006
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $1,095,000 3/10/2006
    EXT BARRINGTON RD $1,095,000 3/10/2006
    EXT BARRINGTON RD $1,095,000 4/10/2006
    EXT BARRINGTON RD $1,095,000 5/15/2006
    EXP BARRINGTON RD $1,095,000 6/15/2006

    ACT BARRINGTON RD $1,095,000 6/15/2006
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $1,050,000 7/9/2006
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $995,000 9/20/2006
    EXP BARRINGTON RD $995,000 12/16/2006

    ACT BARRINGTON RD $975,000 3/8/2007
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $929,000 4/11/2007
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $895,000 5/2/2007
    PCH BARRINGTON RD $850,000 6/6/2007
    ARR BARRINGTON RD $850,000 6/12/2007
    U/C BARRINGTON RD $850,000 6/13/2007
    SLD BARRINGTON RD $845,000 7/19/2007 ARM 98 DOM

    Actually 810 DOM

  248. UnRealtor says:

    Rich #251, that’s amazing.

    BARRACT INGTON RD – $1,395,000 4/30/2005

    SLD BARRINGTON RD – $845,000 7/19/2007

    Almost 50% below the Greedy Grubber’s initial “expectations.” Excellent.

  249. Donald says:

    #251-252

    Those kind of price drops are VERY rare. Do not get excited. The property was obvivously overpirced. If you think you will pay $845,000 for a $1.3 million home, GOOD LUCK!

  250. Donald says:

    And it is quite obvivous that Rich is cherry picking the msot extreme examples… Way to go Rich. I am sure that you are spending hours looking at the MLS to find that one property with a massive price drop!

  251. James Bednar says:

    This one in Closter will be interesting to watch:

    15 Garry
    Purchased 6/2006 for $1.4m

    MLS# 2703986
    Listed, 1/2007
    OLP: $1.6m
    DOM: 95
    Withdrawn

    Relisted on 5/10

    MLS# 2719068
    OLP: $1.6m
    Reduced: $1.5m
    DOM: 72

    The seller has defaulted on the loan and is facing sheriff sale on 9/7 for a judgement amount of $1.05m.

    jb

  252. James Bednar says:

    The Closter property was listed for $1.525m in 2004, prior to purchase by the current owner.

    jb

  253. James Bednar says:

    You sure about that Donald?

    How about this one in Closter?

    Purchased 10/2004 for $1,065,000.

    MLS# 2529067
    Listed: 4/7/2005
    List Price: $1,349,000
    PCH $1,299,900 4/11/2005
    PCH $1,249,900 5/7/2005
    PCH $1,195,000 5/29/2005
    Withdrawn

    Relisted: 2521799
    Listed: 7/9/2005
    List Price: $1,199,000
    Withdrawn

    Relisted: 2529067
    Listed: 9/9/2005
    List Price: $1,198,000
    PCH $1,098,800 10/10/2005
    Withdrawn

    Relisted: 2615244
    Listed: 4/21/2006
    List Price: $1,077,000
    PCH $979,000 9/5/2006
    Withdrawn

    Relisted: 2637201
    Listed: 9/21/2006
    List Price $999,000
    PCH $925,000
    In Attorney Review

    Seller is currently facing Sheriff sale on 8/31 for a judgement amount of $817k.

    If the property sells for asking, the seller is facing a loss of approximately $200,000.

    jb

  254. BC Bob says:

    “We’re going through an enormous correction period, and we have a long way to go,” Mozilo said. “This is just the beginning of the process.”

    Angie is with us. He might as well go to the beach for the next two years, work on his tan.

  255. HOUSE OF CARDS says:

    Miami Florida property crash: You may never see something like this again in your lifetime

    read: http://housingpanic.blogspot.com/2007/07/miami-florida-property-crash-you-may.html

  256. Clotpoll says:

    grim (175)-

    I don’t think any discussion of RE markets can exclude first-time buyers.

    Not only are first-timers DOA in NJ right now, but household formation (a critical underpinning of the boom) has fallen out of bed.

    I’ve seen no hard data from anywhere as to why this is the case…only conjecture.

  257. crossroads says:

    from #250 federal reserve bank president Poole said “The punishment has been meted out to those who have done misdeeds and made bad judgments,” Poole told reporters in St. Louis after a speech on the market for mortgages to borrowers with sketchy or weak credit histories. “We are getting good evidence that the companies and hedge funds that are being hit are the ones who deserve it.”

    It seems Mr. Poole forgot about the people who took those loans who are now being punished w/ foreclosures looming over their heads ( they should have known better) and those of us that did know better and are still renting. should we have been punished the last 3-4 years for not getting in. some fell victim by waiting. life on hold. will we ever be vindicated?

  258. Clotpoll says:

    par4156 (185)-

    Did you report that agent to anyone? That sort of behavior is just sickening.

  259. BC Bob says:

    House of Cards,

    When I first posted on this site, late 2005 or early 2006, I stated that we were headed to an unprecendented bust. Worst, multiplier efffect, in our lifetime. Of course, I was called delusional. Well, get the seat belts fastened. This storm is picking up speed on many different fronts, coming to all neighborhoods. Yes, even NNJ.

  260. Clotpoll says:

    par (209)-

    That trend is all over the US. The 4BR Colonial Toll Bros McMansion is going the way of the dodo.

  261. Clotpoll says:

    he (229)-

    The stock market is getting very narrow, very fast. More volatility now…and, I believe more to come as the bears begin to realize that shorting selected indices and certain laggard companies isn’t the minefield it was a few weeks ago. It was getting to the point where you couldn’t be short anything for fear of a takeover or LBO. Everybody was a buyer, and all the market wanted to do was rally. Well, the liquidity is drying up and once again, a crummy company is just a crummy company…not a spec play for getting bought out or taken private.

    I’m not bearish at all on companies with good, solid fundamentals for the rest of ’07. However, if a company hasn’t got great earnings, they don’t have me.

    All discliamers.

  262. Pooch123 says:

    “I’m not bearish at all on companies with good, solid fundamentals for the rest of ‘07.”

    Ahh, the classic exception that swallows the rule. To all stock market speculators out there, good luck picking those few companies with great earnings.

  263. Clotpoll says:

    grim (255)-

    Let’s have our next get-together at the Bergen Co courthouse.

    I guess we’d have to drink in the parking lot, though.

  264. Rich In NNJ says:

    And it is quite obvivous that Rich is cherry picking the msot extreme examples…

    Actually, no.
    It was on today’s “Hotsheet” and was only one of the sold properties I looked at due to time constraints and the fact that I was familiar with the property.

    Way to go Rich.

    Thank you.

    I am sure that you are spending hours looking at the MLS to find that one property with a massive price drop!

    As I said above, no time to “scrub” the sold listings, I just took a look because I was familiar with the property.

  265. James Bednar says:

    cross,

    I guess a some amount of collateral damage in the name of free markets is acceptable.

    I’m beginning to think the mortgage market, and this means both borrowers and lenders, simply can’t be left to self regulate.

    jb

  266. Clotpoll says:

    Pooch (266)-

    I’ve gone almost all to cash, but I still have a toe in the water. Here are some reliable earners:

    PCU
    PCP
    AAPL
    VOLV
    FIA
    FWLT
    AMX
    BAP
    MICC

    Note the paucity of US-based companies in the above list.

    All disclaimers.

  267. Clotpoll says:

    BC (258)-

    That’s not a tan. That guy’s embalmed.

  268. Frank says:

    Bear Stearns to Be Sued Over Subprime Funds

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/business/business-bearstearns-lawsuit.html

    Good luck, Bears legal packets are very deep.

  269. Pooch123 says:

    JB (269), perhaps there are more ways to tackle this problem without adding extra layers of regulation.

    I think the rent/buy equation would be a lot less convoluted if there were no government sponsored borrower assistance programs and no mortgage interest tax deduction. Perhaps then people would approach the rent/buy decision more rationally.

    Actually I take that back, I don’t think the government could ever get rid of the mortgage-interest tax deduction, as long as we keep the general framework of our tax system, because if the govt did that, people would simply start companies, have those companies buy the home, and then rent the home from their own company, deducting the interest the company pays on the home’s mortgage as business expense.

    Perhaps the solution is serious tax reform?

    Perhaps a consumption tax?

  270. BC Bob says:

    Clot,

    Where’s the shorts.

  271. BC Bob says:

    “The dollar fell to a record low versus the euro and posted a sixth straight weekly drop as concern increased that losses in subprime mortgages will worsen a slowdown in U.S. housing and curb economic growth.”

    “The subprime concern is also pushing people to reduce some appetite for riskier assets, which will benefit the yen,” said Samarjit Shankar, director of global strategy for the currency group at Bank of New York Mellon in Boston”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a_JpPJXubmAk

  272. James Bednar says:

    It’s only inevitable that the decline in the dollar will begin to manifest itself as import inflation across consumer goods. We’ve already seen what it can do to energy and commodities.

    Let’s go way-back to 1978…

    Import Inflation
    Time Magazine
    Monday, May. 15, 1978

    Foreign products are going up

    When the sharp decline of the dollar began eight months ago, most Americans figured that the only major victims would be tourists: they would need more dollars to buy foreign trinkets. Now the greenback’s sickness is infecting all Americans. Foreign sellers are increasing their prices to Compensate for the dollar’s fall, and some U.S. manufacturers of competitive products have felt freer to follow through with price rises of their own.

    Toyota, Datsun and Volkswagen all raised prices last month by 3.9% to 5.4%; about the same time, Ford Motor Co. lifted prices on three of its smaller models.

    Indeed, major foreign carmakers have raised prices five or six times during the past year, making it easier for Detroit to post increases.

    Rises on other imports are adding to the pressure: a Pentax camera that cost $285 late last year will soon be up to $330; in two months a Swiss Omega watch has jumped $100, to $495. Wholesale jewelry prices, pushed up by rising gold prices as the dollar has waned, were up 30% last month. In the Washington, D.C., area, half a gallon of Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch is up $1, as is a fifth of Courvoisier cognac; wine importers have said that price increases are coming.

  273. Clotpoll says:

    BC (274)-

    They ganged up on BIDU this week. I think they’ll have some more targets soon.

  274. Clotpoll says:

    Lots of recent short interest vs the S&P, too.

  275. gary says:

    Clotpoll,

    Why so resolute about this Sept. 1st date? Is that when the ship reaches the edge of the earth?

  276. Donald says:

    “The only important statistic is the average income of current home buyers; they are the ones that set the current market values. The income of people not looking to buy is simply irrelevant to this discussion.”

    I agree with JB’s beleif regarding the invalidness of this argument. There are LOTS of buyers who already own homes that are looking to move up or down. In many price ranges, particularly the $700,000+ range you will rarely see first time buyers. The buyers looking in this range are housing veterans who have already owned or currenbtly own homes.

  277. still_looking says:

    There was a cool site that listed the top 10 stock market crashes since 1900. Most of them were sept-nov. lasted over 900 days and saw drops of over 40% in DJIA.

    I wish I could find the link — it was a real slap to the forehead.

    Maybe someone else saw it and remembers where it is…

    sl

  278. chicagofinance says:

    Heard on NPR Marketplace today.

    DJIA will now be called “The Murdoch Industrial Average”

  279. still_looking says:

    hmmmm….

    the “MIA” ….something.not.quite.right.here…..

    sl

  280. BC Bob says:

    “DJIA will now be called “The Murdoch Industrial Average””

    Dow short etf, DOG.

  281. Orion says:

    Detailed housing report by Weiss Research submitted to the Fed July 19, 2007.

    Get the scotch and look at pages 19 & 20 for banks & thrifts at risk.

    http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/whitepaper/Housing_white_paper.pdf

  282. Orion says:

    Oops, wrong page numbers (the scotch?)
    Look at pages 10 through 16.

  283. still_looking says:

    For those who recall this prop-

    The njrereport posting says this:

    [start snip]

    It’s also not located in Chatham, despite the owner’s claims, it’s in Madison:

    255 Loantaka Way
    Madison, NJ 07940

    http://www.google.com/maps?q=255+Loantaka+Way,+07940

    I inquired about this house long ago, and here’s the owner’s e-mail reply verbatim:

    —————————-
    255 Loantanka Way – Chatham NJ

    comes up in Madision, NJ on Mapquest. It is right on the border.

    4 Bdrms
    3.5 baths

    1 time viewing on 5/06/06 Saturday from 1PM – 2PM
    Bids will be do by 10:00 on Sunday night.
    If your bid is accepted you will be contacted Monday morning and we will go
    into contract.
    After attorney review, you will have 10 days to have the home inspected,
    etc.

    ——————————-

    Guess they received no bids during that “1 time viewing.” [end snip]

    Here is the update:

    Now available at Sheriff sale!

    99468
    F-17192-04 8/2/07 PLTF: Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis

    DEF: Jeffrey Wilson, et als. $816, 968.33 255 Loantaka Way,
    Chatham Twp. Open

    I wonder what the bank’s losing on this property??

    sl

  284. bi says:

    Don’t buy foreclusures for yourself. It will bring you bad luck. Sounds silly, isn’t it? But putting to extreme, would you buy a house and *live there* if you knew murder happened there?

  285. Looking on the Water says:

    180 – John, by any chance do you have the MLS # for the house on the water that the bank owns?

    Obviously it’s overpriced, but curious nonetheless.

  286. anon says:

    As far as Xanadu goes….It’s one of the best things that has happened in Bergen County in a long time as far as i’m concerned. Of course, the State (through the NJSEA) is going to take a bath on the project. There is definitely the makings of a 12-part series there if one knows where to start looking.

  287. UnRealtor says:

    StillLooking #286, I remember that house (I think that was my post from last year).

    They inherited/bought the property for $1.00 in March 1999. Taxes currently @ $11K a year.

    Perhaps they couldn’t sell the property because it was HELOCed for massive medical bills, and it cost less to just walk away?

    Nice inheritance, though, ruined credit for 7 years.

  288. UnRealtor says:

    Don’t buy foreclusures for yourself. It will bring you bad luck. Sounds silly, isn’t it? But putting to extreme, would you buy a house and *live there* if you knew murder happened there?
     

    A murder taking place, and a foreclosure taking place, are worlds apart.

  289. still_looking says:

    scary, huh? I’m amazed at the huge numbers of foreclosed on – bank owned properties.

    what’s worse is they list the mortgage backed asset owner ie, Bear Stearns — the list is staggering and I’m just looking at the available online ones in NJ.

    who knows what the guy’s situation was — could be anything, I guess. Maybe he couldn’t afford the taxes (inheritance, property etc) on it. I dunno.

    sl

  290. Orion says:

    “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”
    Erich Fromm

  291. Rich In NNJ says:

    Oddly enough Richard, only one year ago you were posting the same thoughts until you purchased your home.
    Now you act as if the market has changed in order to support your decision.

    Richard Says:
    June 29th, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    “Apparently the chorus of voices predicting this collapse and the attention they received from the media, have played a role in bringing the market to it’s current state……as always perception becomes reality!

    um, really? you think it could more to do with something actually tangible like affordability? idiots.

    I guess the market along with your perception changed pretty drastically between June and October 2006. Too bad the rest of us missed it.

  292. cliffy says:

    Is Northvale one of the “good” towns in Bergen? We are buying a house in Northvale but could not find any meaningful info on this board regarding this town (good or bad). Any takers?

  293. Frank says:

    If the market is so bad according to this blog, home come NYT still has these articles:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/realestate/22cov.html

    Quick look at Hoboken list prices, shows large price increases since few months ago. It seems that the RE market is on fire. What’s going on?

  294. crossroads says:

    #269
    “I guess a some amount of collateral damage in the name of free markets is acceptable.”

    some? people were mislead by realtors and mainstream media that RE only goes up. Then they were mislead into believing they could afford mortgages over 5 times their income borrowing %120 of the value. borrowers should have known better and i don’t have much sympathy.The lenders on the other hand thought there was no more risk and felt putting people in loans way over their heads was acceptable. I guess I can agree w/ fed pres. Poole
    “The punishment has been meted out to those who have done misdeeds and made bad judgments,”
    cannot self regulate! look @ this big mess

  295. James Bednar says:

    The problem is that both citizens and politicians simply won’t allow the negative effects necessary for self-regulation.

    How can the market self-regulate when legislators are proposing lender bailouts? When legislators are are stopping lenders from foreclosing?

    What a wonderful world where we expect lenders and borrowers to exercise caution, but when they don’t, and they fall, we’re right behind them with a pillow to soften the fall.

    How can anyone ever “learn a lesson” in this environment?

    The housing put!

    Market goes up, borrowers and lenders win! Market goes down, the borrowers and lenders win! Of course, as always, the taxpayer loses. Privatize gains, socialize losses.

    As long as we have pandering politicians who will sell the taxpayers out for a vote, bailouts are going to be the status quo.

    Now you’ve got the lenders, who will cry bloody murder anytime anyone mentions regulation. They’ll be the first to play the low-income borrower card, the raising homeownership card, the American Dream ™ card, and a number of other cards I’d rather not mention. Red herrings, of course. The real issue is protecting their own cash cow.

    jb

  296. James Bednar says:

    cross,

    Do you know that in 2002, NJ state legislature passed strict predatory lending legislation, only to have those predatory lending restrictions repealed, under pressure from the mortgage and securitization industry, two years later?

    I think this issue, the “gutting” of the New Jersey Home Ownership Security Act of 2002 by S.279 on July 6, 2004, is going to become a hot topic in the next year.

    New Jersey had model anti-predatory lending restrictions in place, and then buckled under the pressure of the mortgage lobby.

    We’re now seeing the fallout from that decision.

    jb

  297. crossroads says:

    jb
    sounds like ” the entitlement epidemic ”
    maybe I feel I got screwed for being conservative and not taking on a mortgage 5 times my ” middle class” income which people around me suggested I do because RE only goes up and i wuold be priced out forever.

  298. crossroads says:

    jb
    don’t you think it will swept under the carpet like everything else?

  299. t c m says:

    #300

    “Privatize gains, socialize losses.”

    Exactly – thanks for stating this whole stupid bailout notion in four simple words.

  300. bairen says:

    #300

    Bagholders of the world unite!

    I bet Obama or Clinton use something like that in 08.

  301. Clotpoll says:

    gary (279)-

    Nostradamus told me.

  302. Zack says:

    Do you guys see a small trend now. Now the CEO’s are extending recovery in their respective industries to 2009. For example Hovnenian CEO and Toll CEO. Some months back, they said it was summer of 2007. I am glad they they are slowly seeing reality.

  303. Clotpoll says:

    Zack (307)-

    They’re dopes. Somebody puts a microphone in front of them, and they barf out whatever pops into their heads that they think the public would like to hear.

  304. still_looking says:

    “Privatize gains, socialize losses.”

    Sounds a lot like health insurance in the USA as well, doesn’t it??

    sl

  305. lostinny says:

    309- sl
    Have you seen Sicko yet?

  306. SG says:

    Is it anyway possible to get break down of number of houses in MLS by DOM Range?

    This would just give us an idea of what percentage of sellers are holding on Vs who are negotiating and making deals. Also, I would imagine once the listing expires, many sellers would probably not re-list till next year. In that case, We should see considerable drop in inventory in next few months.

  307. Read My Lips: Price are going down down down says:

    Good Morning Starving begging panhandling Bunch.

    hehehehehehehehe

    MELTDOWN IS UPON US.

    Time for caution. Prepare for lean times Baby!

    hehhehehehehe

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Bob

  308. Outofstater says:

    #285 Thanks for the link, Orion. Scary stuff.

  309. Read My Lips: Price are going down down down says:

    BLEED’EM DRY!

    GOING DOWN DOWN DOWND DOWND DOWND GOING DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN…………………

    HEHEHEHEHEHEHE

  310. Hobokenite says:

    I nominate this as the first Maxwell owner likely to go into foreclosure:

    http://newjersey.craigslist.org/apa/374957876.html

  311. frank says:

    #314
    You are probably right, inventory hit another all time high this week in NJ.

  312. Like a Cement Submarine says:

    “Is Northvale one of the “good” towns in Bergen?”
    Be aware that northern Bergen County is a different world than southern Bergen. As far as Northern Bergen goes…Northvale is at the low end of the food chain. The upper side of town (Old Tappan side) is the higher value, higher income side of town…much nicer than lower side of town (rail tracks split the town) that borders on Rockleigh, which is more blue collar. Northvale is still overpriced, but taxes are reasonable.

  313. gary says:

    StillLooking #287,

    It’s this kind of arrogance from these sellers that infuriates me. We went to a house that was listed a few years back and the place was a dump. This woman had her two fat loser sons drinking beer lying on the couch and love seat in the middle of the day… during a showing by the realtor.

    The place was a a wreck; it smelled and the bathroom and kitchen was GROSS! The woman just got a small inheritance from the death of her mother and what did she do? She puts in a 20 X 40 inground pool that took up most of the yard.

    As we’re walking through the house, the woman said that the highest bid received that evening would be accepted. When we left the house, the realtor apologized to us.

    I hope the inventory doubles in the next year. Most people selling their house don’t have a f***ing clue when it comes to finance. CLUELESS!

    My wifes friends husband got a $25,000 settlement from a car accident last year. What does he do? He buys a boat. F***ing Idiots.

    The soapbox is just getting started.

  314. Rich In NNJ says:

    SG Says:
    July 21st, 2007 at 10:00 am
    Is it anyway possible to get break down of number of houses in MLS by DOM Range?

    You wouldn’t get a true picture due to the multiple re-listings of the home, causing the DOM to reset (start over).

  315. Looking on the Water says:

    Thanks to John, I looked at that house on the water that has been foreclosed upon twice. It’s actually not terrible.

    It has an ugly look from the outside, but also has 5 br and 2.5 baths. For $514,900, which is slightly out of our price range.

    We wanted to spend a max of 400k on the house … but we think we can maybe save another 15-20k in the next six months and put down 120k.

    Haven’t done the research on the schools in that district, or looked at the neighborhood, but upon first glance, it’s definitely not terrible.

    Love that it’s on the water, but with no backyard at all, i wonder if the house is located on a main street (no address listed).

    I firmly believe prices will fall significantly in the next 6-12 months, so it’s not like i’d jump at this now. My guess is that it falls to about 475k this winter.

  316. Rich In NNJ says:

    It won’t happen in “prestigious” towns like Glen Rock?

    Deed $417,000 7/2004

    Deed $800,000 8/2005
    Mortgage $640,000
    LisPenden 4/2006
    Sheriff sale 5/2007

    SLD LINCOLN AVE $417,000 7/23/2004 (Flip)

    ACT LINCOLN AVE $799,900 11/2/2005 (Same owner as above trying to finance project?)
    PCH LINCOLN AVE $779,900 11/29/2005
    W-U LINCOLN AVE $779,900 12/30/2005
    ACT LINCOLN AVE $774,900 2/1/2006
    ACT* LINCOLN AVE $774,900 3/13/2006
    U/C LINCOLN AVE $774,900 4/4/2006
    BOM LINCOLN AVE $774,900 5/4/2006
    W-U LINCOLN AVE $774,900 5/5/2006

    ACT LINCOLN AVE $675,000 7/20/2007 (REO)

  317. pesche22 says:

    NJ Housing:

    Like being “handcuffed to a corspe”

    for the sellers.

    Just remember Bergen County Prices
    never go down. You always make money.

    A doctor told me that a few week ago.

  318. Read My Lips: Price are going down down down says:

    I smell papapapapaPANIC in the Air tonight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz7gajAb2ww

    This is for you panhandling bunch.

    HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE

  319. Read My Lips: Price are going down down down says:

    i CAN FEEL IT….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06mz2yB46JM

    This is for you Mr. Panhandling can’t sell a home bunch

    Baaaaaaawaaahahahahaha

    HEHEHEHEHEHEHE

    Cheers

    XXXXX
    BOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAA
    Bob

  320. BC Bob says:

    You better ask questions before you shoot.

    “Shares of boating companies traded lower Friday after Brunswick Corp. cut its full-year profit outlook and announced plans to reduce production of marine products.”

    “BB&T Capital Markets analyst Laura Richardson said Brunswick may be falling victim to “broad consumer malaise” more than anything else, as categories including boating, restaurants, fitness equipment and footwear are all experiencing softness.”

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070720/sector_snap_boating.html?.v=1

  321. Hobokenite says:

    Frank (#298),

    Bear in mind that article is from the Sunday real estate section, which is a huge cash cow for any newspaper. You will almost never see an article that is negative on RE in a Sunday real estate section of any newspaper, as it’s basically just one big ad.

    Having said that, there probably is a real shortage of 3+ BR’s in the Manhattan area. It’s never really been a place where most people would raise their children. But you’re also looking at people with stupid amounts of money, who really don’t care if they lose 20% of the purchase price over the course of a few years. They are the kind of people for whom a tightening of the credit markets is irrelevant, as they can probably pay in cash if need be.

  322. Read My Lips: Price are going down down down says:

    a treat for young buyers with an attitude.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTaOvzZKRxA&mode=related&search=

    Bleed’em Dry!

  323. pesche22 says:

    Does anyone know anything about a complex
    in Port Monmouth (middletown)
    The Dunes. It was a Hov. bulit group of
    townhouses.

  324. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    As usual, great stuff, Rich in NNJ. Not only is it happening in Glen Rock, but it will continue to happen. Some folks will say it was ‘overpriced in the first place’ but what they seem to forget is that the house wasn’t overpriced … it was probably/likely priced at what their neighbors sold for last year or in 2005.

    I’ve been preaching patience … prices are only going lower with the winter approaching.

  325. still_looking says:

    lostinny- Hi. Yeah, I saw it. It was maddening. I know he presents a somewhat skewed picture but, REALLY. I could go on and on about it.

    sl

  326. BC Bob says:

    Here’s one for you BOOOOOYAAAAAA;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozc70JPGRMQ

  327. gary says:

    Watch this one before you go house shopping:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnSaNfG9tV4

  328. vic says:

    #329
    Blood
    What state was the condo that you bought in 2005 and flipped in fall 2006 for a profit?

  329. REBear says:

    Can i somehow force US mail to stop flooding my mailbox with junk mail (coupons)? Local post office representative told me that coupon mailing is their cash cow and therefore there is no way to stop delivery of junk mail.

  330. Frank says:

    #334
    Yes, but it’s work for them so they don’t want to do it, but just ask them.

  331. still_looking says:

    FINI toll-free 1 866 591- 3464

    or write:
    FINI Opt-out list PO BOx 509018
    San Diego CA 92150-9018

    removes you from all Fair Isaac Lists.

    sl

  332. still_looking says:

    doubt it will work for coupons though. sorry

    sl

  333. Frank says:

    Few of my friends just got their RE tax bill and they are outraged, to say the least. Increases from between 10% to 25%. Does any one see a tax revolt in NJ?

  334. Orion says:

    #334-REbear,

    I’ve also asked my post office to stop junk mailers. I was told that since the sender has already paid postage, post office must deliver.

    #338-Frank,

    Which town/city do your friends live? That’s quite an increase. Were they previously informed by their town of the increase?

  335. Frank says:

    #339,
    Old Bridge just got 10%, Irvington got 25% increase.

  336. jim says:

    #338

    The only tax revolt we see forming is people voting with their feet…leaving NJ in droves.

    Next year will be much tougher because of increased pension payments.

    Can you see another sales tax hike to 8 %.

    The score is police, teacher, and firefighter unions 100, taxpayers 0 .

  337. ac says:

    chifi 122,

    It’s interesting that you should mention this as it sounds exactly like the British stereotype for loud, noisy Americans.

  338. still_looking says:

    Is it me? I keep looking at the gsmls for properties. Inventory seems like it just climbs and climbs and prices are (on rare occasion) dropping somewhat but an enormous number of them are “stuck” at their OLP.

    Many of these properties have been on the market for YEARS already. I looked at one listing (not seriously interested) I recall almost 2 yrs ago they were listed at 590K—> 490K for another year. Last week they lowered to 475K — with a new mls#, of course. But there are some that are still — years later — still at their same OLP.

    Maybe they are waiting for the tooth fairy to leave a buyer under their pillow.

    sl (perplexed)

  339. gary says:

    still_looking 343,

    It’s amazing, isn’t it? One hunk of sh*t after another. We went to a few open houses last week in Wayne and one of the realtors emailed me this week and said houses are selling near asking. I just didn’t have the energy to respond.

  340. justbought says:

    Still – RE prices sticky downwards b/c of seller psychology. Builder inventory or condos will adjust faster as the units are similar. SFHs may be on market with small drops for years until inflation catches up. And nicer homes here and there still selling at >2005 prices not helping comps.

  341. bairen says:

    #344

    Gary, I know the feelng Don’t know whether to laugh or cry after seeing those pos. I just calculated what it would cost to buy the place we are renting and laughed. It would cost us 1.5x our rent. WTF? And that’s with 20% down. Not worth it. Don’t want to be an indebtured servant. Chained to my pos in a falling/stagnant market. The sad thing is to buy a pos for 550k we would be so strapped we couldn’t afford to renovate.

    We’re thinking about going to check out Austin/Round rock in the fall. We already like Charlotte a lot. Portland Oregon’s nice too but not sure what to do for a living there. We also like the area around UV, about 40 minutes west of Richmond VA near Jefforson’s house.

    If NNJ people are so sophisticated, WTF are we so willing to pay 550k for a pos. Not just a ranch or cape, but a ranch or cape on 1/6 of an acre that hasn’t been remodeled in 30 years. That’s why I laugh when people in this area look down on other regions. Peple in Charlotte probably have a much nicer house then you could ever afford in jersey, have a shorter commute, and have the same box stores and chain restaurants, plus some only found in the south. But yet many Jerseyeyans view them as rubes. Well who is the clown? The family buyin a beautiful 2200 sq ft house for 200k in a nice area of charlotte either in a developent that has a clubhouse, pool, playgrounds, even shopping, or the same house on an acre or more (like charlotes version of warren or holmdel), or the “sophisticated” family in Jersey paying 550k for a pos on the train tracks, across from a commercial district, or in the shadow of a transformer.

    Oh that’s ight we make 10% to 15% more then they do. What a bargain.

  342. still_looking says:

    Gary,
    ….me, either. We don’t even go to open houses anymore…. just seemed like such a waste of time.

    I nearly choked when we went to look (just for curiosity) at the house on Wearimus in Ho Ho Kus — a enormous McMansion with an impressive front lawn/driveway — and backyard with not even enough room for a volleyball court—

    The real estate agent gave us his card and the usual – “if you need an RE spiel – “call me.”

    My husband responded with “sorry, we are out of room in our garage for stringing up real estate agents” I nearly peed myself.

    This was almost a year ago — after round upon round of RE agent shenanigans. I nearly had keep myself from choking. The look on the idiot’sguy’s face was priceless.

    Thank heavens for Clot. He really has helped us to sort the wheat from the chaff and has never BS’d us.

    I can truly say that we are getting sooooo weary. But remain resolved to wait until it’s right.

    sl

  343. gary says:

    bairen, still_looking,

    My sentiments, feelings and experiences exactly. You know, we are currently in our 2nd home right now for 6 years. That’s right… SECOND home. It’s not what we wanted but we had to settle in early 2001 because we were victims of bidding wars and mercifully fell into a private deal through friends of the family.

    It’s a cape in a so-so area. We literally would have to put at least 30% down to trade up on one of these POS houses with taxes commonly at 10K plus per year. It boggles my mind.

    I can only imagine the feeling of helplessness for all of you that don’t own right now. And you are right, for what? What the h*ll is the advantage of living here anymore? This whole concept of buying a house in this area is warped.. beyond comprehension.

  344. WillnotrewardHouseflippers says:

    Why be a stepping stone for someone else who just simply bought a few years ago?
    It’s not even a matter of affordability….I just don’t feel obligated to make these people easy money. And for what? It’s the same place the same walls, it just got older, and with higher taxes)
    I’m sorry for missing my turn at Kool- aide.

    Enjoy your wonderful investments…Now pay your taxes you know since you’re all RE geniuses.

    I guess its time to go back to work or learn a skill and stop watching fix and flip TV shows.

    Tell you what, you can keep your overpriced crappy capecod or your particle board vinyl McMansion. I’ll hold off and move to the place you’re interested in. Why should I fund your retirement or new car & boat for junior. This NJ/NY area is overrated anyway.

  345. UnRealtor says:

    Can i somehow force US mail to stop flooding my mailbox with junk mail (coupons)? Local post office representative told me that coupon mailing is their cash cow and therefore there is no way to stop delivery of junk mail.
     

    I once asked at the post office about that, and the woman behind the counter, who took her job way too seriously, said:

    “You are talking about First Class mail, it’s not junk, and we must deliver it.”

  346. UnRealtor says:

    Bairen #346, beautiful post.

  347. gary says:

    Here you go, this is what happens when you smoke angel dust:

    http://homes.realtor.com/prop/1085168073

  348. bairen says:

    #352

    gary, bet it’s in the flood zone too. At least it has hardwood floor, and carpets!!

  349. RentinginNJ says:

    Peple in Charlotte probably have a much nicer house then you could ever afford in jersey, … But yet many Jerseyeyans view them as rubes.

    Funny. When you visit Cary NC, many (probably a majority) of the people who live there are NY metro area ex pats. They chuckle at our snobbish attitudes and see us as crazy putting up with NJ’s high cost of living, high taxes & overprices housing.

    Everyone that I know that has made the move to NC is very happy about their decision.

  350. gary says:

    ..more discussion tomorrow. ;)

  351. still_looking says:

    #352… omigod — get me a diaper!! Ya sure he didn’t mean 69,000??

    this can’t be real!

    sl

  352. lifelongrenter says:

    Been looking in No. NJ for 15 months for a first home. Until recently, prices haven’t been moving, even when a home sits for months.

    But I’ve noticed lots of owners aggressively cutting prices in the last few weeks. This week alone I’ve been given at least a half dozen listings on the market for less than the owner paid in the last two years.

    Sorta funny anecdote: On Friday my wife and I went to do a drive by peek at a house. As we paused the car, the owner came out to ask what we were doing. Thrilled that we might be interested, she introduced herself: “I’m Abby and we’re really desperate to sell!” Before I knew it, she whisked us inside and soon was explaining the $11,000 of renovations she would do if it might entice us.

    This sort of thing didn’t happen last year. Her house is on the market for scarcely more than she paid for it in 2005.

    It’s bad, and it seems to be getting worse very quickly.

    Why would anyone like me buy if they didn’t have to?

  353. Donald says:

    “Why would anyone like me buy if they didn’t have to?”

    Because interest rates might go up again? Lots of buyers who waited for prices to come down got a real shocker when rates reached 7% for a mortgagae.

  354. UnRealtor says:

    Interest rates rising = downward pressure on prices.

  355. Clotpoll says:

    gary (348)-

    Stop whining. You made a fairly smart move and are not choking on a horrible mortgage with no hope of relief in sight. No one is going to hand you a house and dub you king of NJ…the whole RE market is correcting back to normal in its usual snail-like way. There’s a lot of fat and excess to be wrung out, and it’s not happening all at once. We’ve had this conversation 1-2 times a month for the past several months.

    A house is neither an exotic investment vehicle nor anything more than shelter and pleasure for you and yours. So, why do I get the feeling that your real objective is to grind some seller into powder? You’ve stated that your next home will probably be your last (until Sunrise Senior Living). You also know that you’re less than a year away from probably catching a buyable market bottom. Why not just chill and let things play out? The market’s coming to you.

    And, if you have doubts about continuing to live in NJ…well, you’re not going to be any happier about things a year from now, as Corzine and Co fire sale all our assets. Why not just check out now?

  356. Clotpoll says:

    lifer (357)-

    Half the sales pending in my office right now are short sales.

    Sept. 1 approaches…

  357. RentinginNJ says:

    Does any one see a tax revolt in NJ?

    Well if tax revolt means voting out the jokers currently in office, then I don’t think so.

    First, there are just too many public employees that benefit from the current system. While they may b*tch about property taxes in public, once they get into the voting booth, they know that they are still better off with the status quo.

    As for the other voters, they should be getting their property tax rebate checks just in time for the elections. This will sedate enough voters and keep them home on Election Day.

    So, nothing will change.

    Besides, for some odd reason, many New Jerseyans wear high taxes like a badge of honor. Maybe they see it as a way to keep out the riff raff.

  358. James Bednar says:

    From the Record:

    Tuition increases squeeze middle-class parents, kids

    Costs for a full-time New Jersey undergraduate to live and study at Rutgers University for the next school year will exceed $20,000.

    The school’s governing board on Friday approved a 7.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, and 4.9 percent increase in housing and dining rates for the 2007-08 school year. The increases are in line with those approved at other public colleges across the state.

    New Jersey’s public colleges are among the most expensive in the nation as parents and students have been socked with significant increases for several years, thanks, in part, to declining state aid.

    “We remain intensely challenged by the state’s ongoing decline in financial support for its public colleges and universities,” said Susan Cole, president of Montclair State University.

    Her school increased its tuition by 6 percent this week to $8,796 for a full-time undergraduate. The school touted the increase as the “smallest in a decade.” Montclair students absorbed double-digit increases of 10 percent in 2001 and 2002 and a whopping 15 percent increase in 2003, according to the school. Since then, increases of 8 percent have been the norm.

    State colleges may be a bargain compared with private schools where the totals top $30,000, but still there is a concern that the costs of New Jersey’s public schools are outpacing the resources of the middle class they had always served.

  359. James Bednar says:

    From the NY Post:

    SUBPRIME WOES HIT B’KLYN

    Alex Boxill, a retired CUNY executive living in Canarsie, is having his life turned upside down because of a subprime mortgage.

    The 65-year-old and his wife – who have pretty good credit scores – claim they were duped into a junk mortgage with an adjustable rate when they were hit with some unexpected medical and tax bills.

    As a result of the subprime mortgage, the Boxill’s monthly mortgage payment doubled to $4,000. Within weeks, the couple, with no history of credit problems and a seemingly comfortable retirement ahead of them, found The Bank of New York foreclosing on their $600,000 home.

    Obviously, the Boxills never dreamed they would become one of the thousands of human faces behind the subprime meltdown.

  360. James Bednar says:

    Another interesting Bergen listing, this one from Teaneck..

    MLS# 2725185
    Originally Listed: $399,000 6/19/2007
    Price Change: $379,000 7/17/2007
    DOM: 34

    Purchased: $375,000 2/1/2005

    Property was originally listed for $379,000 in late ’04 – early ’05.

    Seller stands to lose approximately $15-20k over a 2 1/2 year period, *if* the property sells at asking.

    jb

  361. still_looking says:

    seems like the music stopped playing and those without seats are facing the music.

    sad.

    I love the quote that someone posted about greed. Really sums it up.

    sl

  362. gary says:

    Clotpoll 360,

    Fair enough. It just all drives me.. don’t know why, it just does.

  363. Rachel says:

    Barien #346 –

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Have you ever tried to explain to someone in the office that their salary may only go down 10-15% if they left NJ? They just stare in disbelief. BTW, my salary went UP by 14% when I moved to Nashville in 2005!

    The one problem you will find elsewhere is depending on your type of work is there are not an abundance of jobs. I don’t plan on moving until after 4/2008 and already started looking in NC. I expect it to take well over 6 months to find something decent.

    Just keep saving your premium pay for a larger down payment. :-)

    Rachel

  364. Clotpoll says:

    gary (367)-

    It’s just human nature, expressed in a boom/bust market cycle. If you can rise above it and see it for what it is, you can profit.

  365. Everything's 'boken says:

    360
    As one of those will buy when the market normalizes, it has and continues to seem as though those who wish they could sell have no problem with attempting to grind potential buyers into that same dust.

  366. 3b says:

    #345Well of couse that is what you owuld say, you “justbought”.

    Prices are dropping and in may cases quickly. Its not going to be sticky like the last time.

  367. James Bednar says:

    From the Economist:

    Not so creditable

    THE subprime crisis has dragged on so long that it is starting to get just a little bit boring, the head of an investment bank complained to The Economist this week. Not everyone shares his ennui. With loan delinquencies continuing to rise, traders of debt and derivatives tied to low-quality mortgages are edgier than ever. And they are no longer the only ones with furrowed brows. Increasingly, the chatter among moneymen is about how a problem that has so far been reasonably well contained might spill into other markets.

    The fallout from this double implosion is reflected in the giant market for credit-default swaps (CDS), where banks, hedge funds and others punt on the credit-worthiness of companies. The rapid widening of spreads (see chart 1, below) suggests they see trouble ahead.

    No wonder, then, that fund managers think the risk of rising defaults is now the biggest threat to markets, according to a survey by Merrill Lynch; or that more than two-thirds of bankers and dealmakers questioned in another poll reckoned that credit markets will be in worse shape a year from now.

    If anything is keeping Wall Street grandees up at night, it is the prospect of bridges collapsing. Banks that fund buy-outs have facilitated deals by taking on tens of billions of dollars in “bridge” debt and equity. The aim is to get this paper off their books quickly by syndicating it out to institutional investors. But that has got a lot harder to do over the past fortnight, as appetites for high-yielding but risky paper wane. Bankers may come to regret losing sight of the fact that, as one puts it, they are “in the moving business, not the storage business.”

  368. t c m says:

    #368 –

    “The one problem you will find elsewhere is depending on your type of work is there are not an abundance of jobs.”

    Exactly – Depending on your field, even if you do find a good job, there doesn’t tend to be lots of them to go to if something goes wrong – i.e.- you get laid off or the company gets bought out, moves headquarters, you just don’t like it – whatever. That’s why there is the premium here – for many people, the are more opportunities here. If something goes wrong with your job, you’re less likely to have to uproot your family and life.

  369. BDM says:

    James-
    With the exception of Rutgers, New Jersey higher education have never really served middle class families and today they are even less likely do so. Most of the state institutions of higher education (Kean, Montclair, Rowan, William Patterson, etc,) are former normal schools that have historically been training grounds for k-12 educators. Today all of the above-mentioned schools have recently converted from colleges to universities, but that is in name only. They largely remain comprehensive teaching universities whose main role is to train teachers and service sector professionals. In reality most of the middle and upper-middle class families in NJ do not send their children to state schools. Indeed, NJ has the highest rate of out-migration nationally, with over 11,000 students annually leaving to attend college outside the state. Many have claimed that the reason for this is largely one of capacity–that state universities don’t have enough classrooms and dorms to accept all of NJ’s graduating high school students. In actuality it is more a matter of real estate. With New Jersey situated between Philadelphia to the south, and NYC to the North, middle and upper-middle class families have a plethora of Ivy-league, private liberal arts, and research one universities from which to choose. This is why when Corzine proposed slashing a quarter of the state’s higher education budget last year, there was barely a murmmur. There is no strong constituency for state higher education because the folks with the money don’t use it and don’t care. As result, enrollment at NJ universities is largely comprised of working class, first-time, and immigrant students, many of whom have been keenly feeling the pinch of state funding cuts. For many it has pushed a college education beyond their reach. And this along with other public policy issues discussed on this blog weakens the NJ economy and makes it less competitive with other states that recognize the critical role higher education plays in its ability to compete in the world economy and to sustain a strong middle class.

  370. Frank says:

    #363,
    And the government is telling us there’s no inflation. The Cuban and North Korean government is tell people more truth than ours. It’s really sad that the inflation figures are manipulated so much just to fit the propaganda. What’s next? Will they keep telling us that the Iraq war is going well as well?

  371. chicagofinance says:

    Frank Says:
    July 21st, 2007 at 7:43 am
    If the market is so bad according to this blog, home come NYT still has these articles:
    Quick look at Hoboken list prices, shows large price increases since few months ago. It seems that the RE market is on fire. What’s going on?

    Frank: just following up Hobokenite’s comments. I’m not sure what the motivation for your question is. Genuine..troll..devil’s advocate…agenda.

    Beyond merely the pertinent issues that H-ite mentions, you also have to consider the typical NY Times readership. As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, and I’m sure many on this blog will agree, the NY Times is written for the old-money trust-afarians in NYC. These articles are written with the perspective of “….look at what your kids have to go through to get the same thing you had…” and worse “….aren’t you happy these nouveau riche investment bankers have to go through such hell…”

    What is happening is that you aren’t viewing the whole domain. The entire domain is “everywhere a NYC worker can live in commuting distance to their financial sector job.” That commute could range from the apartment down the street, to the end of some train line in the suburbs. Within this domain are sub-categories, which due to changing demographics and inefficiencies in NYC housing stock, we are finding short-term shortages.

    If you hold this item up as some paradigm, you are deluding yourself, and leaving yourself open to potentially dangerous conclusions.

  372. chicagofinance says:

    To add….to be clear, the broad domain is in cyclical decline…..as grim’s torrent of daily information reflects…

  373. domi says:

    #374 BDM

    I agree. I am currently looking at other options for my graduate degree. I came to realize this when a friend of mines decided to leave Rutgers(NJ) to go to Texas University (TX) based on the fact that there were more available grants and scholarships for the students and the cost of attending school was significantly lower. Cost of living was also a factor over all.

  374. Frank says:

    #376,
    Devil’s advocate, I see a lot of articles about how bad the RE market is, how many people are getting foreclosed, etc.. but the truth lies somewhere in the middle, it’s bad on one side but flourishing on the other.

  375. gary says:

    Maybe someone can answer this: A friend of mine is a current home owner and went to an open house last week. The realtor at the open house said he needs to open up a HELOC and use that as the down payment on another house provided he can’t bring the down payment without selling his house first.

    In other words, the realtor is saying contingencies are not a good idea because another buyer can come along and make an offer. I thought that’s what bridge loans were for when you are selling and buying?

    Can anyone explain this?

  376. BC Bob says:

    “Because interest rates might go up again? Lots of buyers who waited for prices to come down got a real shocker when rates reached 7% for a mortgagae.”

    Forget about economics 101, this guy failed common sense economics. This whole charade was built on the premise of low rates and forever increasibg prices. The structural aspect of the market demanded this. This was the ONLY possible survival scenario for those that bought with arm’s, zero down, i/o, payment options, 80/20’s, etc.. What now? As the flood of resets occur this fall and early winter, they are all trapped. No where to run, no where to hide. Increasing rates will pummel the sellers. I could care less if rates went up to 7, 8, or 9%. When you are a qualified buyer, this will work to your advantage. You can always refinance your mortgage. Your purchase price is final.

    Rising rates will crush this market. Sellers will eventually have to sell, buyers? There is no interest. Open house? Who cares, why waste a nice day going to one. There will be a sh*tload of more coming. The fundamentals, technicals and psychology have all turned together. This extremely, powerful trend [declining market], is now set up to last a lot longer than most can even imagine.

    BY the way, lower rates will not help this market. The herd could have bought with fixed rates at 5.25% in 2004. Unfortunately, they could not afford 5.25%. The leaves will not be the only thing coming down this fall.

    On another note, I have to call my landlord. The water in my built in pool is a little cloudy today.

  377. RentinginNJ says:

    In other words, the realtor is saying contingencies are not a good idea because another buyer can come along and make an offer. I thought that’s what bridge loans were for when you are selling and buying?

    In today’s market I would be a lot more worried about the risk of not selling my own home versus the risk of another buyer swooping in and buying the house I have a contingent offer on.

    I have a friend who bought a home using a bridge loan, assuming they would sell their house at their target price and in a reasonable amount of time. Their home has now been on the market for over a year. He had to come out of retirement to pay the mortgage on the new place plus the bridge loan.

  378. RentinginNJ says:

    That’s why there is the premium here – for many people, the are more opportunities here. If something goes wrong with your job, you’re less likely to have to uproot your family and life.

    The problem is that many people here are living on the edge to just be middle class. They are already in debt and the loss of a job for even a short period of time or even a modest pay cut could mean disaster.

    If I moved to NC, I would be able to live a comfortable lifestyle in a nice comfortable house well below my means and would have more opportunityto save. If something happened, I would have the luxury of respectable cash reserves and an ability to get by on a lower paying job if need be.

  379. nnjbuble says:

    Job growth in NYC is still good. As long as there are jobs and Wall Street keeps doing well, BC will be fine. There is a lack of quality houses in prime NNJ towns. There is NO incentive for people in these towns to list if they keep reading about falling prices. Listings for quality houses is terrible. Nothing in the 8-1m range that doesn’t have a problem like mold or flooding.

    As much as I would love to beleive this board about the high inventory, its just not true for quality homes in prime BC towns. Until job growth slows, housing will remain stagnant – NO Bloodbath.

    I’m not a realtor but just posting what I’ve experienced. Although, I do hope the inventory pace picks up a little. Haven’t seen a house in NNJ for weeks between the 8-1M range.

  380. BC Bob says:

    “Haven’t seen a house in NNJ for weeks between the 8-1M range.”

    [384],

    Where have you been looking, Greenwich, CT.?Find this very hard to believe. Just a quick look on realtor.com, indicates 18 for sales in this range, just in Ridgewood. Now, if you are looking to buy a $1.5 mil house for this price, I can certainly understand. Oh, what about the Troll’s house in Cresskill? Strike that, you said PRIME BC towns.

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2716767&id=999999

  381. RentL0rd says:

    I went deep into my rental bunker and recently resurfaced. A house I was interested a while back is still on the market at a lower asking price and looks like I will be making an offer. Before I make the offer I am trying to estimate some costs and would like all expert and non-expert input :)

    1. Deck Resurfacing – What does this normally run into? I know “it depends”, but some guestimates would help.

    2. Vinyl Siding painting – my web surfing has found this to be possible but is it worth it? Do you think HomeDepot can help with an estimate?

    3. While I was looking at the house today, the AC suddenly gave a mini-explosion and went up in smoke – literally. The seller is obviously bound to replace it.. I’m sure he’ll go looking for the cheapest unit possible. Should I intervene and try to negotiate a better unit into the price?

    Thanks!

  382. James Bednar says:

    There is a lack of quality houses in prime NNJ towns. There is NO incentive for people in these towns to list if they keep reading about falling prices. Listings for quality houses is terrible. Nothing in the 8-1m range that doesn’t have a problem like mold or flooding.

    There is a lack of value at all price points. Can you point to a price range or town that has a good selection? You think there is better value or quality at the sub $500k mark? $500k-750k? Everything is terrible, because it’s all terribly overpriced.

    Would you expect any less in an overvalued market? There isn’t just a lack of “decent properties” at the “high end”, the problem is twice as bad at the low end.

    I can only offer my own anecdotes, and those that my clients have told me, but there seems to be considerably better value at the top end of the market then the bottom. I’m not sure where you are looking, but I’ve seen some very nice properties in very desirable towns in that price range.

    jb

  383. James Bednar says:

    Frank,

    Can I play devils advocate?

    Gannett Profit Rises on Gain From Sale; Revenue Falls

    Print ad sales dropped after a slowdown in the U.S. housing market and the migration of classifieds to the Web. Gannett, owner of 85 daily U.S. newspapers including USA Today, sold four newspapers to Gatehouse Media Inc. for $410 million in May and reorganized to share more resources among its publications.

    Newspaper ad revenue fell 5.3 percent to $1.3 billion in the second quarter as classified sales dropped 7.5 percent. Ad sales at USA Today, the biggest U.S. newspaper by circulation, fell by just over 1 percent, Gannett said.

    “We are in the midst of a cyclical downturn where we and our advertisers are competing for an unpredictable consumer who has more choices,” Chief Executive Officer Craig Dubow said on a conference call. “We’re in an extremely tough ad environment.”

    Excluding USA Today, sales from classified real estate ads at U.S. newspapers dropped 20 percent. Employment and automotive ad sales each dropped 14 percent.

    As goes housing, so goes print?

    jb

  384. Frank says:

    JB,
    If housing is so bad, how come all major banks just posted 20%+ income growth? You would think banks would be the first to get hit.

  385. James Bednar says:

    Banks or mortgage lenders?

    Are you accounting for international revenues? Credit card revenues? Bank fee revenues? Acquisitions? Investment banking? Refinancing?

    jb

  386. James Bednar says:

    If we’re talking lenders… The Implode-O-Meter is sitting at 101. That’s 101 mortgage lenders that have closed down, gone bankrupt, halted operations, etc.

    You don’t see this as a problem or indication of some sort of weakness in the market?

    jb

  387. Frank says:

    JB,
    Implode-O-Meter mostly counts small players, except 3, most large players like CW or WAMU have increased their production drastically. When it comes to investment banks, like Bear, they have increased their mortgage profits by going into delinquent products. I see a problem in the future when all the resets hit the market but so far it has been a lot of press coverage but not real damage.

  388. bairen says:

    Donald,

    I think the agent you are referring to is Clot. I’e been visitng this site off and on for 1.5 years or so. I’ve never once found a link to his agency. In fact, I have no idea what agency he works for.

    However based on your descriptions of your house. I did find it on the web in about 1 minute. You have an interesting red couch.
    And no. I would not describe your house as a pos. (I have a similiar sized house in another state. Mine is described as transitional style). In fact if your house was located in Summit, Madison, Chatham, maybe even Basking Ridge, it would probably list for more. (Clot’s territory)

    It’s enjoyable to have a few real estate bulls on board. It keeps the discussions from getting monotonous. But please stop talking about your house and trying to out Clot. It’s not interesting

  389. James Bednar says:

    I don’t think we’ve ever had such a wide diversity of opinion here. Early on, the discussions were most certainly one sided. More recently, however, I think we’ve had a good representation from all sides (and there are more than just two).

    jb

  390. Donald says:

    #387 JB

    I consider the $900,000 – $1 million price range to be the most overpriced because it is full of million dollar home wannabees. “Everyone” thinks their home is worth a million so they list it for $999,000, which allows them to list for $1 million, but advertise their house as being “under a million.”

  391. Donald says:

    “fact if your house was located in Summit, Madison, Chatham, maybe even Basking Ridge, it would probably list for more. (Clot’s territory)”

    And if my house was located along the cliffs and had a NYC view, I could sell it for at least $1.5 million (the Mayor’s territory)

  392. Don Mattingly says:

    I’m not a fan of Clot’s (especially since he’s a Mets fan) but he does have a link to his website if you click on his name. Full tranparency, IMHO.

  393. JohnSS says:

    Hi NJ Folks, Greetings from Telluride, CO.
    (where this ex-Jerseyite moved to several years ago.) Just thought you’d like to know that I spotted your fearless leader “wonder-boy Corzine” strolling the Main St here. Didn’t look to me like he was too
    preoccupied with weighty “affairs-of-the-state” of NJ. In case you didn’t know it, the “Guv” spends a lot of time out here. Guess that means things are going “real peachy” up there in Jerseyland to be affording the “Guv” all this leisure time in beautiful, sunny, summer Colorado.

  394. Donald says:

    Speaking of POS homes, my favorite home is for sale in Alpine. I have been keeping my eye on it for about a year now. It is listed for $949,000 and is the only 2 family in the entire town. I can’t describe the hosue because the interior is a complete dump. Basically, take the worst POS cape you have ever seen and multiply it by 100.

  395. Donald says:

    #399

    With all the millions that Corzine is worth, I am surprised he was not walking around Aspen.

  396. Donald says:

    For those of you who took the 30 seconds to locate the 2 family house in Alpine, what do you think; is it overpriced? The sellers originally started out at just under $1.1 million. The hosue is an attractive option for me because it is in a great town (not a good part of Alpine since it is on a busy street) and the property taxes are less than $4,000.

  397. bairen says:

    #398

    I stand corrected on #394. Clicked on his name and he has his own blog with email address. A real estate agent with a hidden agenda. Who would have thunk it

    Sorry Donald. But please no more about your house to you sell it.

  398. gary says:

    JohnSS #399,

    It doesn’t shock me. BTW, just so the rest of the country can laugh harder at NJ, the entry point for a decent house in a decent town in NJ stands at $600,000 and $10,000 in taxes. Now we’re going to start selling assets like a junkie selling his grandmothers TV for a fix just to keep those huge pensions and benefits rolling.

    It’s a f***ing comedy here, tell all your friends and neighbors. The biggest scam in the world involves NJ property owners. As long as they keep paying the shakedown fee, nobody gets hurt. And guess what, we f***ing clowns keep paying.

  399. bairen says:

    #399,

    Never liked our Gov. He seems like a real arrogant MF. Dropping 60 million to run for senate. Not wearing a seat belt, at the very least inappropriate gifts to his ex. (What’s up with dems and their choices in women? At least JK was going for hollywood hotties)

  400. Donald says:

    #405

    $60 million for governor is nothing. Michael “Mega Billionaire” Bloomberg spent $80 million to run for mayor back in 2005.

  401. Donald says:

    And get ready for another cash filled election next year. Lautenberg’s term is up and he is VERY rich so he will begin throwing money around NJ soon as if it grows on trees.

    I always make a joke: What is the most exclusive country club in the United States?

    Answer: The United States Senate!

  402. bairen says:

    #406,

    Donald,

    But actually I think he is right about the pricing in this area (where somerset, morris and union counties are so close). Houses in Basking Ridge, Warren, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights (where we are primarily looking) have fallen a lot in the last 5 months. There was a nice “diamond in teh rough” colonial in New providence listed for 390k on trulia.com that is under contract. I drove past it today and it has a really deep wooded lot. It needed updating, but previously pos rudown capes/ranches in bad locations were going for 500k+ back in Feb.

  403. bairen says:

    #407

    True. But Bloomberg doesn’t annoy me. He’s actually my second choice for Pres in 08. Ron Paul is my first choice but he has probably zero chance.

  404. syncmaster says:

    gary 409,

    The point someone brought up about fewer opportunities in the Raleigh area is a very sound one. If you have a job, it’s awesome. If you lose a job, it could be a long wait till you find one. And among the people I know in the Raleigh-Cary area who’ve lost jobs, most have ended up finding new positions that either require a good deal of travel (more than 75%) or come with a substantial paycut.

    Of course, the paycut I could live with if I have a much smaller mortgage. The travel, I’m not so sure.

  405. syncmaster says:

    Ron Paul may ask Bernanke all the right questions, but there’s more to him than that. He’s also made some pretty racist statements.

  406. bairen says:

    #409 Gary,

    That’s what I’m talking about. It’s amazing what you can get in Charlotte and its bedroom communities for under 300k. You can buy a really nice house for under $95 a sq ft. If you put 20% down on a 250k house you’re looking at a PITI and HOA of around $1,500 a month. In Jersey a POS cape or townhouse would run 3k a month with 20% down. And I would be embarassed to own it. Archie Bunker’s house was nicer and more modern.

  407. bairen says:

    #413

    Really? Never heard about those. Have to look into that, If true I guess I’m down to Bloomberg.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to actually once in our lives vote for someone as opposed to voting against the other guy or picking the lesser of two evils?

  408. syncmaster says:

    bairen 414,

    I live in a POS townhouse in NJ – if you bought a brand new unit (3br with 1 car garage and finished basement) in my neighborhood today and put 20% down, your monthly payment (including HOA and property taxes) would be around 2300-2400 dollars. Not quite 3k, but close enough.

  409. bairen says:

    #416

    Ain’t it depressing?

  410. Home Seller says:

    #414, #416

    I actually did the move from NJ to NC (charlotte) recently. Never, EVER will live in NJ again….

  411. syncmaster says:

    LOL yeah. Last night the wife and I were browsing new home listings in the Austin TX area and we found a place that we’d end up making a $700 per month payment on (piti+taxes+ins). Actual SFH with 4 bedrooms and all that jazz. 700 a month! Of course, it could be a bad part of the Austin area, I’m not really familiar. Maybe I was looking at the Plainfield of that region. Pfluger-something.

  412. syncmaster says:

    Home Seller 418,

    Any anecdotes of people who lost their jobs and how long it took for them to find new ones?

  413. bairen says:

    #419

    Do a search in Round Rock, one of Austin’s bedroom communities. A lot of Dell employees live ther. Unbelievable what you get for 250-300k, You’ll pay about 3% prop tax, not much difference froma pos cape in NNJ though.

  414. Home Seller says:

    421

    Well, that question depends on what type of industry your in (like in almost any part of the country). W/my background & experience, If I were to lose my job tomorrow, I would be able to find something pretty quickly. I don’t know what field your in…you’d have to do alot of research (like I did) so you can weigh your options.

  415. syncmaster says:

    You know, I’ve wondered about the Dell connection. Dell’s not doing so well, wonder what their corporate troubles might bode for the Round Rock area?

    I’m imagining what the AT&T layoffs once did to Bridgewater, Liberty Corner, P-way, etc.

  416. jmacdaddio says:

    Regarding Plainfield, supposedly crime in the town is confined to a drug-infested zone that everybody knows to avoid.

  417. bairen says:

    #423,

    That would be my big concern too. Had the same concern with Portland Oregon, IBM is a huge employer in one if its burbs. If that plant moved to Malaysia, or other parts. …

    That’s why I’m leaning to Charlotte. Has a more diverse economy.

  418. syncmaster says:

    jmacdaddio,

    I live in P-way, which shares a border with Plainfield. This is a very middle-class but extremely safe community. The only exception is the area bordering Plainfield. As a matter of fact, if the Arbor area of P-way (bordering Plainfield) wasn’t part of P-way at all, our schools would be much better off as well. Most of the fights and general disciplinary problems in P-way schools come from students from that area.

    Point being, Plainfield’s problems may be most severe in a small area, but they are by no means confined to it. Plainfield’s school system is enough of a reason to not live there.

  419. bairen says:

    #424

    Would you want your kids to go to school their?

  420. syncmaster says:

    bairen, good to know! That’s my concerns with Raleigh-Cary as well, way too many people I meet there work for IBM/Cisco/SAS.

  421. bairen says:

    We really liked Portland. Not sure what we would do for a living.

    Big problem with Portland is that it’s like DC. As soon as the offices and shops close/empty out there were gangs and gangster wannabees roaming the streets. We walked to dinner perfectly nice. Walked back an hour later, I was like WTF and it was only like a 2 block walk back to our hotel. (and it was like 6:30 PM.

  422. syncmaster says:

    In DC after 6, I stick to the Metro. The streets can get shady quickly.

  423. bairen says:

    #428 syncmaster,

    Take a look at Charlotte, they have finance, tech, HQ of Lowes, universities, there building a 5k employee medical research park. Hunterville and Concord are very nice, lots of new construction though which is keeping prices in those towns down. The Ballyntine section of Charlotte is awesome. Very close to lots of corporate parks and only a few miles from uptwon (what they call downtown). Houses in Ballantyne run maybe $120 a sq ft. And its one of the fancies neighborhoods.

  424. syncmaster says:

    How are the SC suburbs of Charlotte? I’ve heard that I can get a 150k SFH with 4br with property taxes below 1K out there.

  425. Home Seller says:

    433

    The suburbs of Charlotte (outside of Mecklenburg Cty) have much lower property taxes (Charlotte is still a major bargain however to NJ). However, with all the resi construction going on, prop taxes are and will continue to rise. Also, if you work in Charlotte, the commute can be a bear w/the traffic…

  426. bairen says:

    One of the problems with SC is that theyt don’t really enforce the zoning laws. I drove out of a new development and across the street was a junkyard and a wedding chapel in a trailer (wheels still attached.)
    The development was built on the former site of either swaggart;s or the baker’s grounds.

    The agent showing us around said you can buy a nice place in SC, then see you prop value drop as the zoning ordinances are ignored like speed limits on a highway. She may have been a tad biased since she was a life long Charlotte resident, but the burbs of Charlotte seemed nicer in general then SC. Stay away from the University area. It’s like the bad section of P-way. Also one of the zones near the airport is nasty too. Otherwise Charlotte is pretty nice. It’s divied into 12 zones like a pie. 2 suck, the rest are good to great.

  427. UnRealtor says:

    Housing is doing fine — only 101 lenders have turned to dust in the last eight months:

    http://ml-implode.com

  428. UnRealtor says:

    No bubble here, prices will remain “flat” for the next few years, since “real estate never goes down”:

    http://graphics.nytimes.com/images/2006/08/26/weekinreview/27leon_graph2.large.gif

    This peak is sustainable because most people earn twice what they made 5 years ago.

    So just because you neighbor paid $300K for that POS cape 5 years ago, you should feel comfortable paying $600K today, knowing your mortgage payment is twice his, because you’re not “throwing your money away on rent” and are “building equity.”

  429. bairen says:

    #437

    Unrealtor, am I sensing a touch of sarcasm?

  430. syncmaster says:

    UnRealtor,

    The thing that bugs me about that graph is that from 1890 to 1997, prices only went up 10%. If you slice off all points 1997 and after on the x-axis, it actually looks pretty stagnant.

  431. bairen says:

    #436

    I think the housing decline is going to be real ugly. Probably even worse then the economy was in 91.

    And why do people get so excited about thier house going up? You only profit if you own multiple houses, sell and downsize, or sell and move to flyover land.

  432. RentinginNJ says:

    I actually did the move from NJ to NC (charlotte) recently. Never, EVER will live in NJ again….

    That’s what I hear from just about everyone I know that has made the move.

  433. syncmaster says:

    bairen,

    Because it’s an increase in net worth that took no effort. Free money. Say you’re the guy works his behind off for a year and makes 70k per year, of which he only gets 50K after taxes. That’s one year of effort, of abuse from the boss, of spending time in traffic, of evenings and weekends spent working and not with the wife or kids. He saves maybe 10k of that 50k.

    And then, for reasons he doesn’t quite understand, something drives his home value up 100k in a year. He’d have to be a robot to not be a little excited. It’s not rational, but it’s totally human.

  434. bairen says:

    #440

    Hear the same from people who moved to Tampa and Texas. The company I used to work for moved fromm NYC to Tampa in the early 90’s. In 98 when the company decided to bring it back to NYC, less then 20 of 600+ employees moved back. The rest took packages. Most stayed in Tampa or relocated to Charlotte, Atlanta. They were horrified by the cost of living and the commutes up here. This was in 98, before the bubble.

  435. BDM says:

    syncmaster-
    That would be Pflugerville, TX.,and it is not the Plainfield of the Austin area, by any means! I lived in Austin for 20 years before moving to NJ five years ago. Austin area is a great place to live with very affordable housing and very much part of the “creative economy” as described by Richard Florida in his book titled the same. Over 100 high-tech corporations with large Apple, Dell, and IBM plants located there. Dell Computer had its beginnings at UT Austin. Whole Foods got it’s start in Austin as well. great gaming design center and now a burgeoning film industry in the former airport redevelopment zone. It touts itself as the live music capital of the nation and there is almost no where you can hide from live music. It’s even in the grocery stores! Despite very hot weather, Austin is a very cool place to live.

  436. syncmaster says:

    What’s the drive from Charlotte to Greenville SC like? I know from Yahoo Maps how far it is – about a 100 mile drive. Reason I ask, I hear there are opportunities in Greenville as well as Charlotte, so does living midway make sense?

  437. syncmaster says:

    BDM,

    Why did you move here?

  438. BDM says:

    I’m a trailing spouse of a humanities professor who is one of the lucky few who actually landed a job. We both work in higher education and have found life here in northern NJ quite an eye opening experience. In fact, we just put an offer on a house (a small cape, but nicely renovated not a POS)in Green Brook. Can you tell me anything about that little burg?

  439. syncmaster says:

    Green Brook is nice, just stay west of Warrenville. And personally, I hate the way Rt 22 goes right through it, I have an intense dislike for that particular ‘highway’.

  440. syncmaster says:

    Actually, now that I think of it, east of warrenville might be ok too if it’s near warren or watchung… stay away from anything near Dunellen.

  441. bairen says:

    #447

    Amen. I think the Green Brook area that borders Warren is the nicer part. Learn to avoid 22 during rush hour.

  442. syncmaster says:

    Learn to avoid 22 always. Traffic backs up almost instantly, one minute it seems empty next minute you hit a wall of traffic and you sit there wondering, where the bleep did all these cars suddenly come from?

  443. BDM says:

    Why west of warrenville? The house is actually in between Washington and Warrenville two or three blocks south of Rt 22. I,too, share your feelings about the HWY. Although it’s not as bad in Green Brook as it is up around Union.

  444. bairen says:

    The further away from Dunellen, the nicer Green Brook is.

  445. syncmaster says:

    Oh, are you the Kean poster? That’s a good commuting location – near Dunellen train station, direct ride right into Kean U.

  446. bairen says:

    Did you guys look into Warren? There’s a bunch of capes/ranches in 380 to 450 range.

  447. BDM says:

    O.K, now you have me worried! In our forays out to Green Brook it was quite apparent that there is a kind of rust belt that runs from west of Scotch Plains down to Middlesex. Although we sort of hug Rt 22 Dunellen and Middlesex are neighboring towns and we noticed the difference between Warren and those towns immediately. Given our situation, towns such as Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, etc. out of our price range, Green Brook appeared to be a nice compromise.

  448. syncmaster says:

    BDM,

    I live in NW P-Way, bordering Middlesex. Middlesex and Dunellen both have a ‘rust belt’ look but AFAIK are pretty safe. It’s just that the ‘good part’ of GB is closer to Warren, not that the part you’re looking at is “bad”. In the end, we all have to live where we can afford to – that’s why I live where I do.

  449. BDM says:

    bairen-
    Not really. We sort of stumbled on this house and really feel we got a good deal under $370. The elementary and middle schools compare nicely to Westfield, where we now live. Watchung Regional HS, is in our attendance zone and rated 50 in the state. From an education perspective we feel very confident, however, we are mot very sure about rest of the picture.

  450. Clotpoll says:

    BDM (445)-

    Just from that description of your prospective POS in Green Brook, I suspect it’s in a flood zone. Do not trust the listing if it says Floodzone: No. The current owner may not be required to carry mandatory FEMA flood insurance…but upon passing of title, you will.

    Many of these sellers are completely aware that they are in a flood zone but won’t disclose it. They rationalize the omission by arguing that since they’re grandfathered into not having to pay a premium, it’s ok.

  451. Clotpoll says:

    BDM (456)-

    MIght want to take a visit to Watchung Regional HS, too. I’ve sold in that area for years, and many of my clients don’t have good things to say. Most common complaints are of the “overrated” variety. Also, the Warren/Watchung crowd always complains that the riffraff from across the river (Stirling, Gillette, etc) and Green Brook (South of 22) drag down the school.

  452. BDM says:

    Clot (455, 256),
    We’ve checked out the FEMA flood maps, and the zone is about 2 blocks away from the house. Should we be satisfied?
    As far as the school goes, well, it’s what we can afford. NJ’s school report card numbers suggest that the high school is comparable with other high-performing schools in the state. Is there another performance standard we should be looking at?
    Thanks for the heads-up on the issues. We figured it was a compromise, but it’s good to know the details of the bargain.

  453. 3b says:

    #384 Job growth in NYC, Wall St will be fine, etc.etc, God this thing just will not die. It is amazing what a one track mind so many NJ people have about NYC.

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