February home sales fall 23.8%, median price falls 8.2%

From the National Association of Realtors:

February Existing Home Sales

National February Sales down 23.8% Year over Year (SAAR)
National February Sales down 19.4% Year over Year (NSA)

Northeast February Sales down 26.4% Year over Year (SAAR)
Northeast February Sales down 23.3% Year over Year (NSA)

National Inventory up 6% Year over Year
National Months Supply up 39.1% Year over Year

National Median Price down 8.2% Year over Year
Northeast Median Price up 0.4% Year over Year

February EHS – Single Family

National February Sales down 22.9% Year over Year (SAAR)
National February Sales down 18.5% Year over Year (NSA)

Northeast February Sales down 26.7% Year over Year (SAAR)
Northeast February Sales down 23.2% Year over Year (NSA)

National Inventory up 7.5% Year over Year
National Months Supply up 39.4% Year over Year

National Median Price down 8.7% Year over Year
Northeast Median Price up 2.6% Year over Year

February EHS – Condo/Coop/Townhouse

National February Sales down 29.7% Year over Year (SAAR)
National February Sales down 25.5% Year over Year (NSA)

Northeast February Sales down 26.5% Year over Year (SAAR)
Northeast February Sales down 23.5% Year over Year (NSA)

National Inventory down 1.8% Year over Year
National Months Supply up 39.8% Year over Year

National Median Price down 4.9% Year over Year
Northeast Median Price down 5.2% Year over Year

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Bubble, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

286 Responses to February home sales fall 23.8%, median price falls 8.2%

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Japan’s Land Prices Climb for a Second Year, Growth Set to Slow

    Land prices in Japan rose for a second year in 2007 after a 15-year slump, as private funds and real estate investment trusts competed to acquire properties in the country’s largest cities.

    Prices increased 1.7 percent on average after climbing 0.4 percent a year earlier, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in Tokyo today. Average commercial land advanced 3.8 percent from 2.3 percent in 2006, and residential land rose 1.3 percent from 0.1 percent.

    Commercial land values are still less than a third of what they were at the height of Japan’s bubble economy in 1991, while home land prices stand at half the peak. Growth in values may slow as $195 billion of losses and writedowns related to the U.S. subprime mortgage collapse makes it more difficult for lenders worldwide to finance real estate purchases.

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again?
    Mortgage-Market Pros
    Aim to Cash In on Slump
    By DIYA GULLAPALLI
    March 24, 2008; Page C1

    For 27 years, former Countrywide Financial Corp. President Stanford Kurland made a fortune helping to build a mortgage-lending empire.

    Now, as parts of the mortgage market collapse, Mr. Kurland and some former colleagues have a new plan — make another fortune on the way down.

    On Monday, the group will announce the launch of Private National Mortgage Acceptance Company LLC, or PennyMac, an investment firm formed as a joint venture between asset manager BlackRock Inc., under Chief Executive Laurence Fink, and Boston investment firm Highfields Capital Management.

    PennyMac seeks to raise more than $2 billion to buy distressed mortgages on the cheap, work with borrowers to restructure them, and then resell them as performing mortgages at a profit.

    A number of bottom-fishers are already wading into the mortgage market, but PennyMac is taking a different approach from most. Rather than buying slices of mortgage-backed securities, which are claims to pools of mortgages, PennyMac plans to buy whole mortgage loans — the old-fashioned mortgages that banks routinely owned before the mortgage-securitization business came along.

    PennyMac executives believe that troubles with whole loans are a big shoe to drop for the mortgage market, with a massive unwinding steadily under way. PennyMac executives figure that a lot of these mortgages will be sold at big discounts as banks and thrifts clean up their balance sheets.

  3. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    With Economy Tied to Wall St., New York Braces for Job Cuts

    New York is accustomed to job losses on Wall Street. They come with just about every economic slump, and their impact is felt throughout the city.

    But now, as the city braces for a big contraction in the financial sector as a result of the credit crisis and the collapse of Bear Stearns, the fallout could be worse than in the past.

    The New York economy is more dependent than ever on high Wall Street incomes, which have jumped by more than half since 2001, to an average of $387,000, according to the city comptroller’s office.

    Last year, the finance industry was responsible for nearly a third of all wages earned in the city, the highest in modern times. And each Wall Street job supports three workers in other sectors.

    A great many of the 14,000 employees of Bear Stearns are expected to lose their jobs because of the firm’s cash shortage and its pending acquisition by JPMorgan Chase. As the credit crisis unfolds and other firms discover the depths of their losses related to bad loans, few expect the layoffs to stop there.

    “Up to this point in New York City, the material result of the credit crunch hasn’t been felt as quickly as people were expecting,” said Marcia Van Wagner, deputy comptroller for the budget of New York City. “It took a while for the other shoe to drop.”

  4. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Wall Street Firms Cut 34,000 Jobs, Most Since 2001 Dot-Com Bust

    Wall Street banks hit by mortgage losses and writedowns have cut more than 34,000 jobs in the past nine months, the most since the dot-com boom fizzled in 2001.

    Citigroup Inc., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Morgan Stanley are among the firms that have disclosed headcount reductions so far. After the Internet bubble burst, 39,800 jobs were eliminated during the same period; the number climbed to 90,000 in the next two years, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

    The collapse of the subprime mortgage market last year and the ensuing credit contraction have saddled the world’s largest financial institutions with at least $200 billion of writedowns and losses. Bear Stearns Cos., once the fifth-biggest U.S. securities firm, became the emblem of panic on Wall Street two weeks ago, when it was forced to submit to an emergency takeover backed by the Federal Reserve as clients and lenders deserted the company. More bank losses are likely, according to analysts.

    “This crisis is much worse than 2001 and we don’t know how long it’s going to last,” said Jo Bennett, a partner at executive search firm Battalia Winston International in New York. Job cuts “could be more than 100,000 in a few years.”

  5. Pat says:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/WireStory?id=4508624&page=1

    How Deep Is Economic Abyss, Americans Ask As They Face Stream of Bad Financial News

  6. Pat says:

    http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/article428789.ece
    Split arises on Wall Street regulation

  7. Pat says:

    And one more…gotta keep 50.5 full of ammunition that we’re all a bunch of economic terrorists.

    http://www.whptv.com/news/state/story.aspx?content_id=d4d80e34-34c0-44cb-b28e-86f3d670482b&rss=51

    “Specter says it’s “entirely likely” that Congress will push for more significant oversight of Wall Street. And he says the 168 billion dollar economic plan that was passed this year isn’t enough to boost the economy.”

  8. Mikeinwaiting says:

    IF RE 101 thinks we are doom & gloom check this out.
    The housing crash, currently in its infancy, will soon grow up into an economy killing monster that the Federal Reserve has no weapon strong enough to defeat. A housing crash is unlike a stock market crash in that there is no easy way out.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/69604-housing-crash-unaffected-by-fed-actions

  9. bairen says:

    #7 I can’t believe 101’s economic terrorist line.

    Let’s list the guilty parties in this party.

    1) our leaders took us off the gold standard making it easier to rev up the printing presses.

    2) in 40 years we have gone from being the world’s greatest creditor to the world’s largest debtor nation.

    3) greenspan kept the fed funds rate artificially low for years.

    4) greespan said how great short term arms were. He said this when 30 year rates were at historic lows and housing was at a historic high.

    5) Politicians praise home ownership

    6) Same pols change bankruptcy laws

    7) Instead of this bubble fizzing out in Jan to spring of 2004 the banks/lenders rolled out NINJA loans (No Income No Job No Assets Whitney Tilson’s line.)

    8) the rating agencies gave securitized bonds backed by these loans bogus ratings

    9) sophisticated investors (oxy moron) bought this toxic stuff. Some even leveraged themselves 25 to 40 x capital to do so.

    10) banks have eaten over 200 billion in losses so far as they write down these now bad loans

    11) Analysts and investors say housing has to drop 25 to 35% to return to its historical price range

    12) We refused to take part in this big con and are labeled terrorists because we’ve been saying this house party is going to end badly.

  10. thatBIGwindow says:

    From MSN.com

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/LearnToBudget/LearnToBudgetDyn.aspx?cp-documentid=6536582&GT1=33007

    Are you afraid to look poor?

    If you spend money to avoid embarrassment, you’re human, says MSN Money’s MP Dunleavey. But if you’re spending money you don’t have, the price may be higher than you think.

  11. njpatient says:

    “With Economy Tied to Wall St., New York Braces for Job Cuts”

    That CAN’T be true!!! New York is immune!

  12. John says:

    Can’t we just fire those three dependent people instead of a Bear person?

  13. John says:

    BSC rose more than 50% Monday morning after a weekend news report that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. may raise its buyout price for the firm to $10 a share from the previously announced $2 a share. J.P. Morgan was in talks on Sunday night for a deal that would quintuple its offer for Bear in an effort to pacify angry shareholders, according to a media report Monday. The report, in the New York Times, also said Morgan was in negotiations with the Fed on Sunday night to assume the first $1 billion in losses on Bear assets before the Fed’s $30 billion cushion kicks in, and that the Fed may now be seeking to raise that number. Bear shares climbed 52.7%, to $9.10 a share.

  14. Clotpoll says:

    Pret will be here soon to tell us all the WS job cuts were in Kansas and South Dakota.

  15. HEHEHE says:

    I think Pret works at Bear (for the time being)

  16. Sean says:

    re: BSC offer of $10.

    That was bound to happen,a ludicrous $2 as share offer when the business was valued at $7B was only going to call for a bond holder and shareholder revolt.

    i wonder how many shares JP Morgan was able to grab last week at$2?

    An article over on the Bigpicture blog, last week covered the reasoning.

    http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/03/why-is-bear-ral.html

    Gotta love volatility!

  17. John says:

    Firm Positions Cut

    Citigroup 6,200

    Lehman Brothers 4,990

    Bank of America 3,650

    Morgan Stanley 2,940

    Washington Mutual 2,600

    Merrill Lynch 2,220

    HSBC 1,650

    Bear Stearns 1,550

    WestLB 1,530

    UBS 1,500

    Goldman Sachs 1,500*

  18. PGC says:

    Here are two intersting houses I had looked at.

    MLS 2498353 and 2810478

  19. PGC says:

    Opps, hit the button early.
    MLS 2498353 and 2810478

    The builder is heading to firesale dumping prices (but i think he has more to go).

    I had looked at these and apart from the high prices. The development while small was only half built and I think these will be the last finished. It gets a lot of road noise from Rt 15 and the back garden look out on about 2 acres of swamp. The bugs in late September were bad. The builder was in the process of swapping out all the stainless appliances for the black ones in the photos.

    The biggest mistake in these two houses are the faact that they made the front steps out of decking. I understand why the living area is on the second floor, but to get past that hurdle, you have to put in stone steps.

    Could someone post the OLP’s I think they were in the High 400, Low 500 at some point.

  20. Sean says:

    The most horrible thing EvErrr!

    Now Generation Y won’t be able to score that pad on the upper west side and they will have to go out and look for work as well as rent with 3 or 4 roomates if they want to live in NYC.

    Last month, Shai Shustik, a broker with Manhattan Residential, was helping a 27-year-old client find a $700,000 one-bedroom apartment on the East Side of Manhattan. But then the client suddenly put her search on hold. Her father, a banker, said he had lost too much money in the stock market to buy such an apartment for her.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/business/24jobs.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin

  21. 3b says:

    #14 clot: Nobody has given pret more grief than I have over his silly postings about NYC jobs and Wall St,and all the rest (sea of wealth).

    But I really do feel sorry for him that he was that deep in denial.

  22. SG says:

    By Marketwatch, slightly older article but it seems this is the next big thing,


    Derivatives the new ‘ticking bomb’

    Wall Street didn’t listen to Buffett. Derivatives grew into a massive bubble, from about $100 trillion to $516 trillion by 2007. The new derivatives bubble was fueled by five key economic and political trends:

    1. Sarbanes-Oxley increased corporate disclosures and government oversight
    2. Federal Reserve’s cheap money policies created the subprime-housing boom
    3. War budgets burdened the U.S. Treasury and future entitlements programs
    4. Trade deficits with China and others destroyed the value of the U.S. dollar
    5. Oil and commodity rich nations demanding equity payments rather than debt

    To grasp how significant this five-fold bubble increase is, let’s put that $516 trillion in the context of some other domestic and international monetary data:

    * U.S. annual gross domestic product is about $15 trillion
    * U.S. money supply is also about $15 trillion
    * Current proposed U.S. federal budget is $3 trillion
    * U.S. government’s maximum legal debt is $9 trillion
    * U.S. mutual fund companies manage about $12 trillion
    * World’s GDPs for all nations is approximately $50 trillion
    * Unfunded Social Security and Medicare benefits $50 trillion to $65 trillion
    * Total value of the world’s real estate is estimated at about $75 trillion
    * Total value of world’s stock and bond markets is more than $100 trillion
    * BIS valuation of world’s derivatives back in 2002 was about $100 trillion
    * BIS 2007 valuation of the world’s derivatives is now a whopping $516 trillion

    Grim: Time for Derivitive Blog to get going

  23. 3b says:

    #16 sean The NY Times article this morning says the $2 share price was determined by the Fed,as they did not want JP Morgan’s purchase of Bear to look like a bailout for Bear stockholders.

  24. gary says:

    A UBS analyst said on Bloomberg this morning that there are signs that we’re approaching a housing bottom. You all better buy now before you get priced out again. :o

  25. 3b says:

    Looks like fromt he weekend discussion reinvestor was in rare form yesterday.

  26. 3b says:

    #24 gary Bottom? We are only in the start of the 3rd inning. Did the wizened one from UBS say what some of those signs were?

  27. All Hype says:

    “Looks like fromt he weekend discussion reinvestor was in rare form yesterday.”

    He sure was. I worry a little bit about him. He is wrapped pretty tight. He really is projecting his anger of his losses on us.

  28. grim says:

    A UBS analyst said on Bloomberg this morning that there are signs that we’re approaching a housing bottom.

    What was the context?

    1) Homebuilders
    2) New Homes
    3) Existing Homes

  29. gary says:

    3b,

    I was wondering the same thing. I was screaming in the car at the radio. LOL!

  30. 3b says:

    #27 All Hype: He has a deep hatred for me. Lucky I was not posting yesterday.

  31. gary says:

    grim [28],

    I don’t know. They played this sound bite and I just assumed they were talking about median price.

  32. All Hype says:

    3b:

    That’s what gets me. He know’s he’s gonna get a verbal bashing from people that do not share his views but he still comes here looking for it. He really must be seriously under water.

  33. bi says:

    over the weekend, obama people compared bill clinton with McCarthy; clinton people called obama guy judas. macain told his army this was the change you can hope but cannot do. his young supporters chanted: yes we can. yes we can. yes we can.

  34. Sean says:

    re: 3b – The board of Bear had to sign off on this at 2$, and recommend it to the shareholders. The valuation was 7 Billion. It may have been a Bernake officiated same sex shotgun wedding, but the bride does not want to put out without at least a dowry good enough to take care of the family. $2 is not enough and $10 may not be enough either.

    Bear had to meet margin calls, with no white knight investors they had to sell their junk paper, they had to put a vaule on it. The losses would have tiggered massive counter party losses, and the Fed saw that as a sign to step in.

    The wedding isn’t consumated yet, and I have a feeling there will be blood fued for months.

  35. scribe says:

    In the weekend open discussion, BC posted a link to the Wells Fargo web site. Under “jumbo,” Wells listed a 40/30 fixed-rate balloon (balloon?) at 8.152%.

    Someone else posted a link to Hudson City. At the top of the page: “Benefits of a 30 or 40 year fixed-rate mortgage.” (As if 30 or 40 years were interchangeable?) Lower down in the page, Hudson was simultaneously promoting the “benefits of a 10, 15 or 20 year fixed-rate mortgage.”

    Is it that 40-year mortgages were around previously, but seldom used?

    Or are 40-year mortgages new? A way to make houses more affordable?

  36. Sean says:

    re: 28 I heard the guy on bloomberg this morning. He used “almost bottom”. That is like saying there is a 50% chance that we are at bottom.

  37. SG says:

    Question to all here.

    Is Bear Stern scenario isolated one, or more banks will face similar issues in near future?

    I am wondering, BS could not have been alone who made such huge wrong bets. I am sure the logic used by BS black box probably was used by other IB’s as well. Or am I wrong, BS was truely unique. Anyone with IB background understand why BS’s black box did not work?

  38. #35 – Is it that 40-year mortgages were around previously, but seldom used?

    I spent a number of years working as a mortgage processor in the late 90’s and 40yr mortgages were available then. I’d think safe to assume they’ve been around for quite a while. I don’t remember anyone ever taking out a 40yr note in the 3yrs I worked in the biz.

  39. RentininNJ says:

    A UBS analyst said on Bloomberg this morning that there are signs that we’re approaching a housing bottom

    There is only one stat that really matters; affordability. Look at long term historic affordability level for a given market (i.e. incomes versus prices). When those numbers return to their historic norms, we will be at or near a bottom (for home prices).

  40. scribe says:

    toshiro,

    I’m wondering if a shift is going to occur – from 30 to 40 year mortgages being the norm.

    40 years would mean that most people would never get to the point where the mortgage is paid in full.

  41. grim says:

    40 year amortization?

    You might as well take a pure IO, at least you wouldn’t be fooling yourself.

  42. Sybarite says:

    #40

    I would consider a 40-year for investment properties to help maximize cash-flow, as long as the rate was low enough.

  43. 3b says:

    #34 sean: Understood. I do not think they will get the $10 bucks a share, and I do not see any white knight stepping up to do better. If JP can buy the 39.5% stake as quoted, than I think it is a done deal.

    Either way, most Bear employees will be out of work,and most of their life savings gone.

    You have to wonder what the big boys at Bear were thinking;how did they possibly think they were going to come back from this thing? What did they think would happen?

    Arrogance, stupidity, who know. They ended up destroying their own firm, and themselves.

  44. make money says:

    This guy actually makes sense.

    At issue is the rising cost of diesel fuel, which has reached or exceeded $4 per gallon in at least 17 states. But Little does not expect his strike to bring down the per-gallon price of gas, nor does he expect to have any effect on the oil companies.

    “What I would personally like to see is our federal and state governments, until our economy recovers, suspend federal and state fuel taxes,” the 49-year-old said. “The second thing I’d like to see is an oversight committee for truck insurance, which is part of what’s taking us down.

    http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2008/03/19/news/iowa/doc47e03e9ea03bd427238845.txt?sPos=3

  45. grim says:

    I’m wondering if a shift is going to occur – from 30 to 40 year mortgages being the norm.

    Not for anyone who knows how to calculate the interest expense over the life of the loan.

    A 40 year loan term benefits the noteholder, not the borrower. The borrower will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional interest payments for a savings of, at best, a few hundred dollars a month.

  46. 3b says:

    #39 rent:When those numbers return to their historic norms, we will be at or near a bottom (for home prices).

    And we are not there yet.

  47. 3b says:

    With the Easter holiday behind us, it will be interesting to see what kind of spike in housing inventory we may have this week.

  48. #40 & 41 – The type of person who is interested in a 40yr mortgage is only looking at the monthly payment, as that’s the only benefit it confers. Not even that much of a reduction, but it’s another $50 (or so) a month that can be thrown at a credit card.

  49. 3b says:

    #48 toshiro: I think it is pretty pathetic to take a 40 yr mtg., in order to save $50 to throw at a credit card;just my opinion.

  50. grim says:

    $400,000 loan

    30 year term at 6%
    Payment amount $2398.20
    Total interest paid $863352.00
    Total paid $463352.00

    40 year term at 6% (unlikely that the rate will be equal or lower).
    Payment amount $2200.85
    Total interest paid $1056408.00
    Total paid $656408.00

    For the luxury of saving $200 a month, you’ll be paying almost $200,000 in additional interest payments.

    Given the fact that a 40 year term would command a higher interest rate, if the rate moves to 6.25%, a 25bps premium, the amount saved each month would fall to $130, and an additional $40k in interest payments would be required.

  51. grim says:

    Not to mention the fact that if PMI is required, the amount of time required to get to the PMI cutoff would be significantly longer.

  52. RentininNJ says:

    #49,

    I agree. If you are that hard up for $50 per month so you can pay your credit cards, either buy a checper place or pay off your credit cards before you get into a mortgage.

  53. chicagofinance says:

    gary Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 9:08 am
    A UBS analyst said on Bloomberg this morning that there are signs that we’re approaching a housing bottom. You all better buy now before you get priced out again. :o

    gary: I know you are kidding….but let me reiterate…the analyst is likely referring to economic activity derived from housing, not house prices….

  54. #49 – 51 – No argument from me. Like I said we never did them but they were available & on the rate sheets.
    Also, Fannie Mae’s delinquency rate has increased to just over 1%, highest in a decade.

  55. make money says:

    Grim 50

    It really doesn’t matter cause by the time this next president is done $400,000 loan will be a joke and we will be paying that off with one years salary.

    Look at Russia in the late 90’s. It was a superpower that experienced inflation. Basically all debt was wiped out. Everyone jumped rubbles at the same time and flocked to US dollars and then repayed the loans with pennies on the dollar.

    If we are heading down the same path then who cares if it’s 30yrs or 40yrs.

    I hope I’m wrong I see the same scenerio unfolding here and

  56. grim says:

    Looks like $10 is formal.

  57. #52 – They aren’t going to use the $50 to pay-off a credit card. They use the $50 to make the minimum payment on $2,500. Leverage and short term thinking.

  58. grim says:

    I agree. If you are that hard up for $50 per month so you can pay your credit cards, either buy a checper place or pay off your credit cards before you get into a mortgage.

    Sorry, but I have an even more grim viewpoint than that. If $50, or even $200, will make or break affordability, than the borrower is likely to face foreclosure at the slightest hint of economic distress. If they need to save $50 to afford the house, how are they planning to cope with the rising tax rates in NJ? That $50 saved will be all but wiped out by 3-4 years of property tax hikes.

  59. Clotpoll says:

    grim (56)

    “Looks like $10 is formal.”

    Just another step in the biggest pump-and-dump in history.

    First, the bondholders got rescued. Now, it’s the holders of the common.

    The amazing thing about all this is that the Fed simultaneously got played and is now abetting the pump-and-dump.

    We are a nation run amok.

  60. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Federal Home Loan Banks May Buy $150 Billion of Bonds

    Federal Home Loan Banks were freed to increase their purchase of mortgage-backed bonds by about $150 billion as part of a government effort to pump money back into a market that slumped as the housing crisis deepened.

    Directors of the Federal Housing Finance Board, the banks’ regulator, approved the temporary increase today, according to an e-mailed statement. The purchases will be restricted to securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the board said.

    “It’s an opportunity for the Federal Home Loan Banks to supply more liquidity to the secondary markets,” said John von Seggern, president of the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks which represents the banks. “I think that’s a good thing and the market needs to get that liquidity as soon as possible.”

    The approval for Federal Home Loan Banks to increase their purchases comes a week after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-chartered mortgage-finance companies, were cleared to buy at least $200 billion of mortgage securities.

    The FHLBs are cooperatives created by President Herbert Hoover in 1932 to spur mortgage lending. The system’s 8,100 owners and customers range from New York-based Citigroup Inc., the largest U.S. bank, to the single-branch Custer Federal Savings & Loan in Broken Bow, Nebraska. Their government ties support top AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service.

  61. scribe says:

    grim, #45

    Exactly, it benefits the bank.

  62. Mikeinwaiting says:

    EXisting home sales up 2.9%

  63. All Hype says:

    “Federal Home Loan Banks were freed to increase their purchase of mortgage-backed bonds by about $150 billion as part of a government effort to pump money back into a market that slumped as the housing crisis deepened”

    Ahhh, nationalization of the problem, Nothing like another bailout of the banks (not the homeowners of course).

  64. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Inventory from 10.2 to 9.3 month supply.
    Annual rate at 5 mil units.

  65. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Feb. existing-home sales rise 2.9% to 5.03mln pace

    U.S. Feb. existing-home sales better than 4.85mln expected

    U.S. Feb. home inventories fall to 9.6-month supply

    U.S. median home price falls record 8.2% in past year

    U.S. Feb. existing-home sales up first time in 7 months

  66. grim says:

    Year over year sales down 23.8%

    Probably the most important number.

  67. Clotpoll says:

    3b (21)-

    Don’t feel bad. People like Pret perform an economic function.

    Much of what happens in our economy is, literally, a zero-sum game (especially these days). To my mind, that’s when you truly know you’re functioning in a no-growth environment. Every new proposition that comes to light simply requires an investor to identify the winner and the loser. There are no possible outcomes other than zero-sum, unless you factor in the eventual gubmint bailout of the losers.

    It is a sad truth that we require a class of losers in every sector of the economy, but hey…that’s the price of “free market capitalism”. At least today’s loser has a chance to be tomorrow’s winner.

    It wasn’t so long ago that renters were considered losers, too.

  68. John says:

    How much you wanna bet the marketing dept of NAR only publishes the first part about home sales up and skips the last part about the 8.2% drop in prices.

    Home resales up first time in seven months.
    Median sales prices plunge record 8.2% in past year.

  69. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim must have heard it wrong or it was reported wrong at 9.3 month supply.
    What ever its still very high,now the talking heads are all talking bottom,but at least they have the sense to hedge, cautious at best on outlook.

  70. SG says:

    Resales of U.S. homes and condos rose 2.9% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.03 million.

    Any idea on how this Annualized Rate is calculated? Is this for the whole year of 2008 or year ending Feb 2008 or something else? How much confidence is there in such adjusted annualized numbers?

  71. Clotpoll says:

    John (68)-

    Whatever the most deceptive depiction could be…that’s the route NAR will take.

    Heck, NAR probably has short sales, deed-in-lieus and sheriff sales baked into today’s number.

  72. 3b says:

    #65 grim:U.S. Feb. home inventories fall to 9.6-month supply.

    I would expect that number will increase, now that the Spring listing/selling season starts to heat up. We are almost in April.

  73. Clotpoll says:

    (71)-

    I’d sure as heck bet that REOs are infiltrating NAR stats. The vast majority of REOs end up as regular MLS listings.

  74. Al says:

    I’d say it this way:

    If rate on 40 years is the same as rate on 30 years – why not. If rate is the same – I would take 200 years mortgage if I want to.

    It is up to me to pay extra payment – as long as there is not pre-payment penalty.

    Borrower gets higher flexibility and no extra costs incase of inflation hitting teens what would stop borrower to put these extra money in the bank and collect high interest rate??

    Anf as far as not paying extra payments – it is still better than ARM/Neg ARM./NINJA

  75. kettle1 says:

    SG

    How does Sarbanes-Oxley full derivative growth? i dont get it!

  76. Clotpoll says:

    GSMLS stands at 33,987 as of this AM.

    Ka-blooey.

  77. Mikeinwaiting says:

    It would seem that 23.8 decline was not reported Hmmmmmmmm.

  78. kettle1 says:

    SG

    How does Sarbanes-Oxley fuel derivative growth? i dont get it!

  79. Rich In NNJ says:

    “All real estate is local.”

    NJMLS Bergen County February Sales, Pending (Under Contract) Sales and Inventory*

    Year Sales U/C Inventory
    1995 413 681
    1996 381 782
    1997 454 799
    1998 456 889
    1999 576 802
    2000 509 741
    2001 449 718
    2002 584 849
    2003 489 698
    2004 531 776 3,117
    2005 553 783 3,109
    2006 498 715 4,734
    2007 513 762 5,142
    2008 331 553 5,269

    *NJMLS historical data for inventory only goes back to 2004

  80. Clotpoll says:

    mike (77)-

    But, don’t you know that homeownership is the prime source of wealth for 60% of all Americans?

    Don’t you know that on average, the value of homes doubles every 10 years?

    Don’t you know it’s a great time to buy…and family needs (aka “I want it now”) often takes precedence over market conditions?

    The above brought to you by your friends at NAR.

    [sarcasm off]

  81. bi says:

    BSC traded at $12.5. wow

  82. grim says:

    If rate on 40 years is the same as rate on 30 years – why not.

    It isn’t, looking at Hudson City, a 40 year carries a .25% premium. I’ll revise the example to reflect that.

    $400,000 loan

    30 year term at 6%
    Payment amount $2398.20
    Total paid $863352.00
    Total interest paid $463352.00

    40 year term at 6.25%
    Payment amount $2270.96
    Total paid $1090060.80
    Total interest paid $690060.80

    A 40 year term provides a monthly savings of (a whopping) $127.24. The savings will require an additional $225,000 in interest to be paid over the life of the loan.

    Again, I ask, what savings?

  83. PGC says:

    Can someone tell me if
    182 Franklin Ave,
    Midland Park

    went under contract or expired listing. I saw it disappeared from MLS and never came back.

    Thanks in advance.

  84. Clotpoll says:

    grim (82)-

    The real x-factor in these assumptions is that extended amortizations (hell, all amortizations) are sold with the assumption that only a fraction of the payments will be made before the borrower either refi’s or sells the mortgaged property.

  85. Rich In NNJ says:

    From MarketWatch

    SUBPRIME TODAY

    Bear Stearns rallies on word J.P. Morgan may sweeten bid
    Ex-Countrywide execs forming mortgage firm
    Bank of America may write down $6.5 billion: analyst
    MGIC chief executive Culver to buy 25,000 shares during offering
    CIT tries to obtain funding from overseas: Journal
    Outlook for brokers improving: Wachovia
    Analyst sees lower return on equity for investment banks
    Analyst: Wachovia facing future write-downs, lower earnings
    R.W. Baird cuts Wells Fargo
    Oppenheimer downgrades Lehman shares
    Wall Street firms slice 34,000 jobs, most since 2001 dotcom bust
    FBR cuts 2008 earnings view for Wells Fargo, many others
    U.S. can learn from Japan’s crisis
    Damage to securities revealed in court

    Details to headlines at link above

  86. Rich In NNJ says:

    PGC,

    Two-family sold for $637,500 on 3/20/2008

  87. Clotpoll says:

    Someone please explain to me how the Fed is not now directly involved in engineering specific economic outcomes.

  88. grim says:

    Clot,

    I agree, we can look at it in terms of principal paid over the first 7 years of ownership.

    $400k, 30 year, 6%
    Principal Paid: $41,442.24

    $400k, 30 year, 6.25%
    Principal Paid: $19,707.93

    A house as a “forced savings vehicle”? Not in the second case it isn’t.

    Again, I ask, what savings?

  89. Clotpoll says:

    grim (88)-

    What’s this “savings”? I’m not familiar with this. Please explain.

    [sarcasm off]

  90. Clotpoll says:

    Dammit, if I can make the payment, I can afford it.

  91. njpatient says:

    67 clot

    “Don’t feel bad. People like Pret perform an economic function.”

    True. Like the old poker saw: look around the table; if you can’t find the mark, it’s you.

    Pretorius better be hoping recoward101 is sitting at his table.

  92. Clotpoll says:

    grim (87)-

    Don’t you know that homeownership is the prime source of wealth for 60% of all Americans?

    Don’t you know that most Americans define “wealth” as the ability to make endless payments on a constantly-growing number of consumer goods and baubles?

    You unpatriotic ingrate, you.

  93. Clotpoll says:

    patient (91)-

    Unfortunately, there are no more “greater fools” to be found in the housing casino.

  94. njpatient says:

    “CNNMoney: Home sales rise; prices drop ”

    Gotta love this headline, when the reality is that sales plummeted by nearly 25% and prices fell by the largest amount ever.

    Yet recoward101 will be by telling us that the reporting makes things appear worse then they are.

    He lives in bizarro world, in which high real estate prices are patriotic and he’s strong and brave.

    What a world class freak.

  95. John says:

    40 year mortgages are crazy, most kids look forward to inheriting a house but not one saddled with debt. Japan had 50-100 year mortgages at one point called “grandchildren mortgages” The mortgage liability transfered onto your children and then your grandchildren. When the bubble popped children and grandchildren were saddled with debt from the moment they were born. Given the homebuyers of trade-up homes who need the jumbos and 40 year mortgages to lower payments are already pushing 40 it is kinda silly to expect them to make the payments in retirement that they barely can right now. Japan outlawed grandchildren and children mortgages and are back down to traditional lengths. We should learn from their lesson.

  96. PGC says:

    #86 Rich,

    Thanks. I think they had been looking $700K at one point.

  97. SG says:

    kettle1: Not sure about SOX implications. I just got details from article reported by Marketwatch.

  98. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot If the value of a home doubles every 10 years then in 10 years NJ will be a ghost town.That Bi-level Gary likes to post where is it Caldwell @ what 700k Yea hello 1.4 mil in 10 years.Now taxes may double in 10 years or close, they did by me about 85% in the last 10.At this rate prices should continue to decline to offset rise in taxes as income increases get eaten up by inflation.They can fudge the numbers all they like but housing is dead as an investment for the foreseeable future in NJ.Its a place to live not a cash register.
    They will not sell until you can buy & still be able to eat,heat & pay the crazy car ins. in this state.

  99. skep-tic says:

    so 2.9% rise in one month after 7 straight months of declining sales is probably noise, especially given that the year over year numbers are remaining constantly pitiful. On the other hand, if we continue to see prices fall and sales rise over the next couple of months, it could indicate something more meaningful

  100. scribe says:

    John, #95

    One of my relatives used to work for a Swiss company – made regular trips to Switzerland.

    He was saying that the Swiss are baffled by the concept that in the US, you pay a mortgage for 30 years, and then you own it.

    They make monthly payments to the bank, but the house is NEVER paid off. He asked the question: What if you wanted to leave the house to your children? And the response was that the kids would have the option of picking up the payments …

    And it’s very common over there that houses have been in the family for multiple generations … sometimes, for hundreds of years.

  101. 3b says:

    rich/grim: If one of you guys get a chance, can you please provide me with the sales history on njmls 2800327.
    I believe the house is in foreclosure. Thanks in advance.

  102. 3b says:

    #99 skeptic: True, however the increase in inventory as we appproach the high selling season, may negate that scenarion.

  103. chicagofinance says:

    Gartman `Frightened’ by Volatility in Commodity Markets: Video

    http://www.bloomberg.com/avp/avp.asxx?clip=mms://media2.bloomberg.com/cache/vOFzQZkOBjtA.asf

  104. grim says:

    Sold: 8/2/2005
    Sale Price: $500,000

    Current asking: $499,900
    (In Atty Review)

    Was listed as high as $524k.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    103 moderated

  106. alia says:

    100: reminds me of the UK. You can occasionally buy house and land (freehold), but most commonly you get to buy the house for a period of years (leasehold). (Cambridge University sold some swampland to somebody for a pound “for 500 years” several hundred years ago. I think they get it back sometime in the next 50 years, and are licking their chops at the prime land it has become)

  107. 3b says:

    #104 grim Thanks. So it is under contract. It will be interesting to see if it closes,a nd at what price.

    It would appear that the seller will be taking a loss.

  108. Bru says:

    #20: That brat hopefully is welcome to live in her daddy’s mansion. She’ll have more living space there, for sure.

  109. SG says:

    Hooray, We are at 34K in GSMLS. Day after Easter.

  110. 3b says:

    #109 SG: Is that a record?

  111. Clotpoll says:

    mike (98)-

    Why don’t you e-mail that post to the president of NAR?

    Why is it that no outlet- other than bubble blogs- will report either side of the housing argument accurately?

    It’s not enough for the media to accept advertising dollars from the Kool-Aid crowd while simultaneously running gloom-doom-personal heartbreak stories.

    The media has two constituencies: a) corporations; b) victims, and those who find victimhood appealing.

    What an f-ed up place we inhabit.

  112. Rich In NNJ says:

    3b (107),

    You mean if it goes under contract, right now it’s only in attorney review.

  113. 3b says:

    #112 rich: Right. I guess I am assuming that sicne they have an offer on it, it will go under contract.

    I could have sworn this house was in forcelosure this time year.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with this house, as I was considering throwing in a so called low ball bid on this house.

  114. PGC says:

    A sad reality.

    WFP plea for $500m to avoid food aid cut
    Mar 24 2008 08:54
    The World Food Programme has launched an ‘extraordinary emergency appeal’ to governments to donate at least $500m in the next four weeks to avoid rationing food aid in response to the spiralling cost of food
    Read more >>
    http://link.ft.com/r/5F39HH/0CUUZ/8KML/7ZOJH/ZGNZU/N9/t

  115. SG says:

    SG: Is that a record?

    I think for so early in spring selling season.

  116. bi says:

    home builders is the strongest indudtrial group year-to-day. it is up 20% compared to s&p down 7.5%. if the stock market has any indications on the underlying economic activities, it clearly says housing recession is over. (I said it a few months ago)

  117. grim says:

    You also said we’d be back at DOW 14k, and oil at $40.

    Need I remind you that you are banned from making predictions here?

  118. 3b says:

    #116 bi: How could the housing recession be possibly over, when we are just entering a general recession.

    It makes absolutely no sense, if you just took a moment and thought about it.

  119. bi says:

    3b, 118#, a lot of folks here and else where think we are just entering the recession. but think about it, with oil and gold at the record high and panic mode everywhere. by contrairian, it means the worst is here.

  120. grim says:

    Biconomics 101 – Lesson #1

    Stock prices are a leading indicator of stock prices.

  121. 3b says:

    #119 bi: So the worst is here, and that means the housing recession is over. Again, take a moment before you post, you make no sense.

  122. John says:

    Remember prices are down way more than 8% as NAR does not include Foreclosures or FSBOs. For example my friend is selling her house on her own and is planning on pricing it 5% less than the lowest priced MLS comp in her neighborhood to move it quicker. If she is successful in selling it for less cause she is letting the buyer save the 6% commission the NAR will take her sale out of the calculation. The NAR is like giving an average price for groceries at the supermarket but excluding all the sales items.

  123. Mikeinwaiting says:

    BI Up 20% from what 9 to 11 after falling from 40.look at the overall decline in the worth of these companies not the 20% increase in a stock that has lost 70 to 80% of its value.As a trader play you may have made some money but this isn’t an indication of the health of housing market as much as overall decline in worth.

  124. John says:

    I hope the worst is over, but remember in 1993 the stock market started its climb and we left the recession of 1991 and 1992 in the dust, home prices for the next seven years were pretty much flat. Just cause we turned the corner on recession and the stock market is looking better does not mean RE is getting better anytime soon. If the banks and BDs have all took huge haircuts to reflect house prices will fall by 20% guess what they can fall 20% and it is not a big deal to the stock market.

  125. D says:

    #19 Those two houses aren’t a neighborhood, instead they are a stop on a local highway. What a lousy place to squeeze in homes! Not to mention about eight years ago that whole area flooded terribly. They’ll sit.

  126. Al says:

    Bi – you should not make anymore predictions…. Really…

    If you predict recovery for 10 years on the row – you are bound to be right at some point.

    And also – Where is my 40$ oil!!!

    ok I WILL CUT YOU SOME SLACK:

    Once oil is 60$/barrel – I will say that you were right.

    Untill then – you are clueless, stupid and your predictions are wrong. Anybody who’d follow your advice will loose money. In fact many here did bet against anything you had said, and made ton’s of money.

  127. Al says:

    I have an idea on how to jump-start US housing – if you buy a house in the next 2 years you are free from federal taxes for 5 years :)

  128. Sean says:

    re: (116) Let’s see several home builders bonds were all downgraded to junk by Moody’s in November, housing starts reached a 17 year low in December. Single-Family Housing starts declined 6.7 Percent In February.

    The Wells fargo Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI)held firm at 20, which is near its historic low of 18 set in December of 2007.

    The Union’s are suing the home builders for using illegal alien laborers.

    If Bi is correct that “home builders is the strongest indudtrial group year-to-day.” then he is correct. We are not in a recession at all, we are in a depression.

  129. BubbleYum says:

    Anyone have the history on NJMLS #2801820? Seems seriously overpriced, and I’m wondering if it’s HELOCed to the gills.

  130. BC Bob says:

    “As a trader play you may have made some money but this isn’t an indication of the health of housing market as much as overall decline in worth.”

    Mike [123],

    As a trader? If Bi traded his/her calls, the trader would have been whacked long before Tom Brady was slammed.

  131. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 111
    Why don’t you e-mail that post to the president of NAR?
    Dad told me never piss into the wind!

    They know,just spinning it their way, lying bunch of bastards.After all the foreclosures & more to come,people’s lives in ruins you might think they could take the high ground & act responsibly.I shouldn’t live in a fantasy world.

  132. pricedOut says:

    Per your invitation to introduce myself, I thought I’d say hi.
    I have been reading this blog for a while now and being in the market for a home (shopping since ’06), but essentially priced out, I have been encouraged by your general validation(s) of my suspicions.
    When my wife and I began to look, I was concerned by the dichotomy of information gleaned from mortgage calculators and ‘home buying’ guides as opposed to what we were being told by loan officers, realtors, and others.
    Common sense told me to wait. As we wait this out, our downpayment accumulates. With stellar credit, I hope to join the ranks of rational homeowners in the near future.
    I certainly don’t want to see people get hurt by a RE readjustment as inevitably some will, but I am looking forward to a return to normalcy.
    I feel sorry for people like reinvestor – he’s one hurting dude!

  133. Al says:

    National Median Price down 8.2% Year over Year
    Northeast Median Price up 0.4% Year over Year

    Does it mean our prices appreciate or is that buyers of starter homes (cheaper) are not even botyhering butying homes? If you remove all starter homes from equiation, and only sell upscale/mid level housing, average/median prices will go up even with huge discounts…

  134. Al says:

    Bolds off

  135. BC Bob says:

    “I have an idea on how to jump-start US housing -if you buy a house in the next 2 years you are free from federal taxes for 5 years :)”

    Al,

    How about a free house. The caveat? You agree to to buy a comparable,[price], cdo from the fed.

  136. Al says:

    BC Bob Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 11:44 am
    “I have an idea on how to jump-start US housing -if you buy a house in the next 2 years you are free from federal taxes for 5 years :)”

    Al,

    How about a free house. The caveat? You agree to to buy a comparable,[price], cdo from the fed.

    No deal -I get Junk Mail everyday for free.

  137. BC Bob says:

    Al [136],

    LOL.

  138. Sean says:

    Prince of Darkness returns with news.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080324/pl_nm/cheney_saudi_dc_5

    Problem is Saudi production is down over a million barrels a day from 2006 till now, and declining.

    Even with the new Halliburton run field in Saudi Arbia now coming online, they will be lucky to get it back up to 2006 numbers.

    My guess is Cheney does not want to tank his Options before he gets out of office in January.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=HAL&t=5y

  139. Hehehe says:

    Hahahaha, I don’t even know what to say about this one:

    Clinton proposes Greenspan lead foreclosure group

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080324/pl_nm/usa_politics_clinton_housing_dc_3

  140. grim says:

    Prices drop the most in 40 years, and sales don’t skyrocket.

    What happened to the pant-up demand?

  141. kettle1 says:

    Bi,

    Gold is not even close to record highs. record highs would be above $2000.

    Oil will continue to see volatility but will remain in a upward trend YOY.

  142. Will V. says:

    First time home buyer here, I’m thinking of getting a townhome next year. I plan to get a home around 290K and I hope we had hit bottom by then. I am thinking about this, if a home sells for 315K today then next year 300K I could possibly make a deal for 285K to 290K, right? the question is if we have not hit bottom then how much can I really lose if I decide to keep it for about 4 to 5 years?

  143. JK says:

    40 Year mortgages:

    It’s meaningless to cite the total interest cost over the life of the mortgage because the average duration of a mortgage is 7.5 years. So you need to look at the cost over that time frame. Using the $400,000, 6% vs. 6.25% example, vver that time frame, you make $21.7k less in principal payments and $11k more in interest payments. From my perspective, this is a negligible difference. I might be better off with the 40 year mortgage if my other investment returns exceed my cost of capital, which in this instance is probably subsidized by a mortgage interest deduction, but at the end of the day, the amounts involved are rounding error. Bottom line is that the given the premium in interest expense and the minimal impact (to most people) on decrease in monthly payments, people should be relatively indifferent. But it’s all a matter of degrees. I could say the same thing about the difference between a 20 year and a 30 year mortgage. If the $127 savings in monthly payments means the difference between being able to own the home or not, it maybe a useful tool to a buyer.

  144. ADA says:

    Al #133,

    Understod about the lack of starter sales; but why is the northeast different from the national?

    National Median Price down 8.2% Year over Year
    Northeast Median Price up 0.4% Year over Year

  145. RentininNJ says:

    “I have an idea on how to jump-start US housing -if you buy a house in the next 2 years you are free from federal taxes for 5 years :)”

    There is already talk of a $15k federal income tax credit for first time buyers. It’s being discussed as a part of “stimulous plan part 2” if “stimuous plan part 1” (rate cuts and tax rebate checks) aren’t enough to juice the economy.

    A $15k credit on top of deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest probably could reduce many buyers Des tax liability to zero for a few years.

  146. BC Bob says:

    “If the $127 savings in monthly payments means the difference between being able to own the home or not, it maybe a useful tool to a buyer.”

    $127 savings making a difference? Sounds like a life sentence rather than a useful tool.

  147. John says:

    wow lets give a 15K tax credit to low income first time buyers who don’t pay much taxes to begin with so they can buy an investment that allows them to pay even less taxes.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  148. 3b says:

    #142 JK: Nobody should be buying a hosue today IMO if they are only planning on being it for 7 years or so.

  149. Anth says:

    #66 – Year over year sales down 23.8%. Probably the most important number.

    I guess the media would rather spin optimism:

    Existing U.S. home sales rise for first time in six months
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080324/ap_on_bi_ge/economy

  150. RentininNJ says:

    how much can I really lose if I decide to keep it for about 4 to 5 years?

    Will,

    You shouldn’t be buying anything if you only plan to stay put for 4-5 years. This holds true even in a market with “normal” appreciation, never mind a falling market.

    You are going to get hit with sales commission & closing costs. Your won’t even build equity as you mortgage payments in those early years will be primarily interest and little principal. You will lose money even if the market just stays flat. You would be better off renting and using the opportunity to save $.

  151. Joeycasz says:

    #141
    First time home buyer here, I’m thinking of getting a townhome next year. I plan to get a home around 290K and I hope we had hit bottom by then. I am thinking about this, if a home sells for 315K today then next year 300K I could possibly make a deal for 285K to 290K, right? the question is if we have not hit bottom then how much can I really lose if I decide to keep it for about 4 to 5 years?

    I’m a first time home buyer myself and that is about my price range as well. In my opinion if the home is priced accordingly i think offering about 10% less than asking isn’t bad at all. Odds are they are going to bring the price up a bit unless they are REALLY desperate.

    As far as how much you might lose in 4-5 years, there really is no telling. I personally hope to be in the place we’ll try to buy this Summer/Fall for the nest 10+ years and hopefully more.

  152. John says:

    Remember when the NAR flashes a statistic in their commercial claiming “60% of the average homeowner’s wealth comes from home equity.” The fine print below shows where they got that stat: from a HUD report. Published in 1995. Wow that is some recent bit of data they used.

  153. make money says:

    wow lets give a 15K tax credit to low income first time buyers who don’t pay much taxes to begin with so they can buy an investment that allows them to pay even less taxes.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    entry level first time buyer is th ekey as right now the move up th efood chain has been cut off by dissapearing of the NINJA loans.

    federal reserve should start giving out NINJA loans to first time borrowers only and watch this solve everything.

    US will then ride off into the sunset.

  154. John says:

    RE 150, you would be better off hoping prices will continue to fall for the next ten years. Starter home people trade up. Trade up homes cost double of starter homes so every dollar your starter rises in value your trade up costs two dollars more. For every dollar your starter falls your trade up falls two dollars. I hope your starter fall in value from 290K to 145K which will save you around 300K on your trade up as opposed to rising in value 145K which will cost you 145K when you trade up.

  155. grim says:

    But it’s all a matter of degrees. I could say the same thing about the difference between a 20 year and a 30 year mortgage.

    You could, I have.

    Here are a set of recommendations I posted sometime in 2006, I feel they still hold true today:

    – Limit your mortgage to no more than twice your combined income.

    – If you have sufficient income to afford a 15 year fixed, take that option.

    – Have a cushion of more than 6 months expenses.

    – Plan to stay for 10-15 years.

  156. grim says:

    I heard, from the grapevine, that the $15k first time homebuyer tax credit would be targeted at new construction/homes only.

    Makes sense since new home sales drive economic growth. Second hand (Used) home sales generate little/no economic growth.

  157. John says:

    Screw the starter people. I would rather rent my POS starter out to one of those broke first timers than give them a big tax break which will cost me in taxes and by letting them on the property ladder will cause all homes on the food chain to rise in value thus costing me more on my trade up.

    Also long term give a tax break scheme of 15K will cause starter homes to rise in value so the starter people will be taking out a larger mortgage and the 15K will actually cost them money. What exactly is wrong with homes that are priced closer to income to home prices ratios? Why do we feel the need to prop up home prices? Maybe we should prop up used ford taurus prices, they are in the dumper too.

  158. scribe says:

    Grim,

    From the WSJ, 3/22:

    “The momentum on this thing has been good,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican. Sen. Isakson, a former realtor, is pushing a proposal that would provide a temporary tax credit to any individual purchasing a newly constructed house or a foreclosed home. The tax break would come at a five-year, $14.5 billion cost to taxpayers, an aide said.

    Tax Breaks for Home Buyers
    Attract Support in the Senate
    By GREG HITT
    March 22, 2008; Page A8

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120614866511156783.html

  159. Rich In NNJ says:

    BubbleYum

    (Interesting stove)

    ACT 110 EUCLID AVE $499,900 10/30/2006
    EXP 110 EUCLID AVE $499,900 3/29/2007

    ACT 110 EUCLID AVE $475,000 9/14/2007
    PCH 110 EUCLID AVE $469,900 10/11/2007
    EXP 110 EUCLID AVE $469,900 1/1/2008

    ACT 110 EUCLID AVE $449,900 1/14/2008

    Tax Records:
    Mortgage $145,000 7/26/2001
    Mortgage $70,000 4/2/2004

  160. SG says:

    Roubini and Naroff on CNBC few minutes ago. Roubini debunks the EHS increase numbers, and confirms large pains going ahead. According to him, the market can be considered recovered only when Supply reduces to historical levels.

  161. galgon says:

    I wonder if the NAR corrected its data for leap year. The number of days in February rose 3.5%. The extra day could easily have caused the 2.9% increase in sales.

  162. bi says:

    157#, john, it is a piece of commercial property for warehouse. with proposed new 3rd run COAH requiements, no township is willing to add more commercial/residential properties.

  163. Rich In NNJ says:

    Maywood
    SLD 881 LINCOLN AVE $409,900 12/27/2005

    SLD 881 LINCOLN AVE $375,000 3/24/2008

  164. bi says:

    143#, ADA,

    this is consistent with my random observations.

    >National Median Price down 8.2% Year over Year
    >Northeast Median Price up 0.4% Year over Year

  165. 3b says:

    #156 john: It is all smoke and mirrors, and is not going to do one thing to stem the sldie in prices. The market always corrects.

  166. Mitchell says:

    #151 I bet you need an HDTV with HD feed to read that blurb of small print too. Plus a Tivo to pause it since they will probably just flash the small print of where the marketing data came from.

  167. 3b says:

    #164 bi:this is consistent with my random observations.

    I think it is consistent with your random hallucinations.

  168. BubbleYum says:

    Thanks, Rich @159.

    LOL@”Interesting stove”. I also felt there wasn’t NEARLY enough wallpaper on every surface of house-if you haven’t shot the moon and just wallpapered the roof while you’re at, what’s the point?

  169. nwbergen says:

    CastleKing calling CastleKing please come back. After reading some of the nitwit comments this past weekend you are my hero. In hindsight your coments were on the money.

  170. RentininNJ says:

    I heard, from the grapevine, that the $15k first time homebuyer tax credit would be targeted at new construction/homes only.

    Makes sense since new home sales drive economic growth. Second hand (Used) home sales generate little/no economic growth.

    True, but the inability to sell a used home does create a lot of risk for the economy. Foreclosures increase, mortgage back securities go bad, consumer spending drops as homeowners worry about their finances (as they should). To the extent that a tax credit for buyers gets the housing market functioning again, it could be beneficial to the economy. (note: I don’t support the idea…playing devils advocate).

    I think in the end, blue state Dems will not support a credit for new homes only;
    1) In markets like NJ, it will become a McMansion/luxury condo tax break, as most new construction falls into these categories.

    2) It will further incentivize people to leave states like NJ. NC already looks attractive due to its lower cost of living and new homes. Now you are going to pay people $15k to leave NJ, since most people in NJ could not avail themselves of the $15k tax credit here, but they could in NC.

  171. skep-tic says:

    if everyone on the sell side is going to be feeding at the gov’t trough, then I will take whatever I can get as a buyer

  172. Mitchell says:

    #168 can you post the link for that wallpaper house. Nothing makes me cringe worse than wall paper. Its too personal. Especially places that wall paper every room.

    You have to hope its wallpaper that doesn’t have a surface to it so it can be painted over.

    My wife and I went into a house filled with wall paper and dolls. Never had a house freaked me out more. Not even the house in Georgia which must have had 200 bees dead on the floor of the master bedroom.

  173. kettle1 says:

    found this amusing

    last week one McCain economic adviser — Kevin Hassett, the co-author of “Dow 36,000” — insisted that everything would have been fine if state and local governments hadn’t tried to limit urban sprawl. Honest.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/opinion/24krugman.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

  174. Clotpoll says:

    Will (141)-

    This isn’t the fortune-teller blog.

  175. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Until the rent to own ratio comes back in line there is no reason to buy.Why pay more to own, put dwn your 20% DP to pay more & build little if no equity. Rent cheaper put your DP to work & call the landlord when things break or the roof leaks.
    I remember buying my first house because it was cheaper than renting. Didn’t even think about it going up in any way.The goal was to save money & pay off the house back then.When people realize this is the goal again prices will reflect it.
    You younger folks should wait until this is true again.Don’t buy into the bull that you have to own or aren’t successful. Run the numbers they don’t lie, people do I mean the NAR does.

  176. kettle1 says:

    trucker strike???? watch supply for everything 9 food fuel etc) drop and prices for everything (fuel food etc ) sky rocket. Although this may be a good time to go long on railroads ( not do not take this as advise, i have no investment standing on these points).

    It’s not a pleasant time to be in the trucking business, to say the least. With fuel prices way, way out of sight and freight still sluggish due to the U.S.’s rocky economy, it’s been a tough road to travel for independent truckers and fleets, plus truck manufacturers and related suppliers alike.

    Just look at the escalating cost of fuel. In 17 states now, diesel costs over $4 a gallon. The industry trade group American Trucking Association (ATA) is projecting that if diesel fuel costs stay that high, the trucking industry will spend $135 billion on fuel this year – a $22 billion increase over the $112.6 billion spent by trucking in 2007 and an $85 BILLION increase over the industry’s fuel tab of $52 billion back in 2003. That means, according to ATA’s data, the cost to fill the fuel tanks on a typical tractor-trailer has increased 116%, or $615, in just five years.

    The high price of diesel is also sparking talk of a nationwide trucker strike on April 1, this time being organized online by Dan Little, an owner/operator of a livestock hauling company in Carrollton, MO. According to an interview Little gave to The Quad-City Times, he estimates at least 1,000 other truckers from across the U.S. have committed so far to joining him in a strike on April 1.

    http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2008/03/19/news/iowa/doc47e03e9ea03bd427238845.txt?sPos=3

  177. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    just going off of the news links i posted. they are recent news articles……

  178. Al says:

    kettle1 Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 1:10 pm
    trucker strike???? watch supply for everything 9 food fuel etc) drop and prices for everything (fuel food etc ) sky rocket. Although this may be a good time to go long on railroads ( not do not take this as advise, i have no investment standing on these points).

    I do not understand why would trackers strike – IF doing buisness is too expensive – just raise your rates….

  179. kettle1 says:

    AL,

    I am not an expert in trucking matters, but i believe the issue is that trucking currently consists of a few very large companies and a bunch of smaller mom/pop and owner operated trucks. The larger companies can absorb the increased cost of fuel but the small players cannot. They do not have the bargaining power to push prices higher inline with fuel costs as the larger companies would then under bid them and take their market share. The thought appears to be that they want the government to take steps to reduce fuel costs.

  180. randy says:

    (156) John…

    LOL!! hilarious. i’m looking forward to more misery in the housing and credit markets just so the John/Clot/BC rants keep on coming.

  181. BubbleYum says:

    Mitchell Says:

    #168 can you post the link for that wallpaper house.

    I’ll do it, by I disclaim all responsibility for the assault on your senses in advance:

    http://tour.circlepix.com/tour.htm?id=585666&mls_tour=1

    My wife and I went into a house filled with wall paper and dolls.

    Okay, that’s just creepy . . .

  182. grim says:

    What is with the Jedi-mind-trick-phrasing?

    This beautiful home has 5 bedrooms and 2.50 bathrooms. It is what you are looking for.

  183. Sybarite says:

    I like the amount of significant digits used for the # Bathrooms

  184. Everything's 'boken says:

    re 175
    In a highly inflationary environment, holding DP money while waiting for prices to drop won’t continue to be sound.

  185. grim says:

    “Do two half baths add up to one full bath?”

    Actual question asked by a classmate at real estate agent school.

  186. grim says:

    “Only if you would consider bathing in a toilet.”

    My answer.

  187. PGC says:

    ” a temporary tax credit to any individual purchasing a newly constructed house or a foreclosed home.”

    Will this be exempted from AMT … :*)

  188. grim says:

    Dreamer

  189. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Bubble What town is that in not on details,
    just wondering.You think that’s bad come up to Sussex Cty.My Aunt had similar wall paper & plastic on the couches very scary but then again I’m Italian.

  190. skep-tic says:

    #183

    “Jedi-mind-trick-phrasing”

    Especially strange are the ads where the agent describes the buyer (as he exists in her mind) more than the house. e.g.:

    “You are accustomed to having it all. You are not willing to compromise, etc”

    Realtor as fortune-teller

  191. Shore Guy says:

    In the “for what it is worth category,” Mrs. Shore and I have been keeping an eye on beachfront properties in the Outer Banks. Although there are still a lot of $1mm+ properties being offered (with double master suites, 7+ bedrooms, elevators, etc.) right on the beach, there are suddenly a bunch in the sub $500m range. The real estate agents are also more open to talk about flaws and the ned for their clients to move lower. We may regret it but this convinces us that it is too early to snap up something; the psychology only now seems to be shifting in a serious way.

    The whole real estate situation currently reminds me of a football game that has been pretty much a draw for awhile but then some little thing happens in the third quarter and the “feel” of the game changes. For awhile the other team does not believe that things have changed. After awhile more, even if the score has not changed much the one team can tell they are defeated and the other can tell that things are just going to work out their way. If you have ever been on the field for a game like that, you will know what I mean. Methinks the 4th quarter (2009) is going to be a whole lot of fun for my team (buyers).

  192. Joeycasz says:

    You have to hope its wallpaper that doesn’t have a surface to it so it can be painted over.

    In most cases this is usually the case. Although i did wallpaper, paint, sheetrock professionally for over 10 years (and my father over 30) i really don’t recommend painting over paper. Unless it’s foil…that stuff aint EVER coming off, it’s part of the wall now. Seams tend to pop when doing this. As much of b*tch it is to take paper off i suggest it always. And don’t use DIFF, it’s a waste of money :)

  193. Shore Guy says:

    # 191 ““You are accustomed to having it all. You are not willing to compromise, etc””

    I thought that was the pitch from Spitzer’s escort service.

  194. kettle1 says:

    how many diamonds was that house?

  195. skep-tic says:

    #194

    where do you think the surge of agents came from during the bubble?

  196. Shore Guy says:

    grim Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 12:26 pm
    I heard, from the grapevine, that the $15k first time homebuyer tax credit would be targeted at new construction/homes only”

    Any reason Mrs. Shore and I could help our kids (both sub 18)buy places? They would be their first homes, and they pay pretty good amounts of taxes. Will it be creditable?

  197. Shore Guy says:

    # 196

    THAT explains the stellar service I received at the last open house I attended.

  198. Pat says:

    Remarks: BANK SAYS MAKE AN OFFER

    Does that mean at least 30% off?

  199. Shore Guy says:

    # 88 “grim Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 10:32 am
    Clot,

    I agree, we can look at it in terms of principal paid over the first 7 years of ownership.

    $400k, 30 year, 6%
    Principal Paid: $41,442.24

    $400k, 30 year, 6.25%
    Principal Paid: $19,707.93 ”

    Once enough people start doing, or are forced by circumstance, to crunch numbers (like it seems most of us do here) perhaps they will feel less obliged to try to jump into purchasing real estate. The whole “lemmings” psychology did much to pump up the bubble. Math is our friend.

  200. make money says:

    Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said the financial crisis is presenting the bank with more acquisition opportunities.

    “I would not be averse to a Fed-assisted transaction,” Stumpf said in a recent interview. “Fixer-uppers don’t bother us.”

    http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=ACBJ&date=20080324&id=8376039

    Why can’t I buy a failing business with gov’t (fed) money? BoA is looking a for a stimumul package to close on CFC.

    Seems like everyone is learning from Dimon. Free market capitalism with fed support i sthe best way towards prosperity.

  201. make money says:

    Remarks: BANK SAYS MAKE AN OFFER

    Does that mean at least 30% off?

    YES it sure does.

  202. Shore Guy says:

    201

    It seems that profits are all private but, for the big players, the losses belong to all of society.

  203. Mitchell says:

    #182 Thanks BubbleYum.

    The first picture didn’t get me but when I got to the gold room my lunch nearly came out. The master bedroom chandelier? Hmmm fine bedroom dining?

    It just made the home feel really old. I expected to see a picture of my grand mother in there somewhere. The wood accents were nice and so were some of the floors.

    Grim went over a bunch of items about picture taking the other day and boy this is a good example. Let the light in. Every sign of the outside world is hidden by a curtain. I cant tell what might be behind some of the curtains in the home.

    My Quick take on what strikes my eye immediately:
    Gold room paint it a light yellow and get rid of the light diffusing curtains. – No chair faces the outside world?

    Entry/foyer get rid of the chandelier.

    Dining room paint it off white, put the curtain up and what is behind the curtains?

    Kitchen is cute but get rid of the track lighting. 60’s kitchen with 90′ lighting.

    Family room remove at least the big brown chair. Another light fixture removal please.

    MBR – remove at least the desk.

    Breakfast nook – pull the area rug out. Open the shutters to the outdoors.

    5Br and only one bedroom picture. Must be more wall paper.

    Cute home that has potential to present much better than is does for next to nothing. But it feels like they are hiding the outside world of the home for some reason. De-Clutter the home and don’t mix time periods.

    The first thing anyone should do when selling their house is rent a storage unit and move what you don’t need immediately to the storage unit.

    Thanks for sharing.

  204. kettle1 says:

    Shore

    to use a very loaded term….

    It seems that profits are all private but, for the big players, the losses belong to all of society.

    is exactly economic fascism according to Historian Gaetano Salvemini. Historian Gaetano Salvemini argued in 1936 that fascism makes taxpayers responsible to private enterprise, because “the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise… Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social.”

    Gaetano Salvemini (November 8, 1873 – September 6, 1957) was an Italian anti-fascist politician, historian and writer.

  205. Joeycasz says:

    The more wallpaper in a house the more i hate it. I mean i did wallaper for so long i guess that does it to ya. I mean people used to have me wallpaper ceilings ALL the time. I’d try to talk them out of it but it was no use…

  206. kettle1 says:

    OT

    Oregon man’s property ransacked after Craigslist hoax

    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_032408_news_craigslist_hoax.1ffb2c9c.html

  207. Mitchell says:

    #182. The house you sent was bad with wallpaper but you had to see the one we saw. The wall paper was really out there. Almost like an illusion to the eye. Very busy wall paper you could play where’s waldo in it an never find him. When my wife and I walked into the room filled with dolls we looked at each other like a B movie are we going to get out of here alive look. I just said wall paper house and my wife got the chills and started laughing. Wife just reminded me it was in Howell, NJ and the ceiling in one room was wall papered. Also one room was like they put tissue paper on the walls.

    The bees house was really very nice. Showing very well then we got to the bedroom and it was like a page from Amityville. They were everywhere. I expected to see a pagan star on the wall. The realtor was more freaked than we were. All I could do was laugh.

    Those 2 houses stand out in my head.

  208. John says:

    Since the only people buying homes are foreigners I guess the 15K tax credit won’t mean much anyhow.

    Since I have been to a few hundred houses for sale I will name a few of my highlights.

    Old lady with gay middle age son who spanked it to playgirl and then used his cum to stick the centerfolds to the wall. All time favorite.

    Completely paneled and wall to wall carpeted estate sale of couple who died of lung cancel with furniture removed you could very creepily see the outline of everything because of all the tar on the walls.

    Women who had a non walk-up attic with broken windows that had thousands and thousands of pigeons living up there and the ceiling was bucking due to several thousand pounds of bird shit who told me with a straight face that is why she knocked 5K off.

    Guy who had a two abandoned cars in the driveway, furniture on the front lawn, everything ripped out and filty and had a pissed off neigbor who sprayed F*CK OU in ten foot letters asking 100K above the comps.

  209. Joeycasz says:

    The other thing i did for customers as they were always trying to save a buck was spackling the grooves in paneling. I NEVER wanted to do this as i always treid to talk them into sheetrock. They never listened. Once the grooves have been spackled and sanded you could easily wallpaper over it or even paint it.

    I’m glad i was in this business for so long as I’m going to do my best not to be an ass when critiquing a house but at least I’ll know what to look for.

  210. Clotpoll says:

    Need a reason to move to Detroit? Don’t look now:

    DETROIT (AP) – Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and Detroit’s youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages contradicted his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.

    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also charged the popular yet polarizing 37-year-old mayor with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. Kilpatrick, who was to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon, could face up to 15 years in prison and be expelled from office if convicted.

    “Some have suggested that the issues in this case are personal or private,” Worthy said. “Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people’s lives were ruined, the justice system severely mocked and the public trust trampled on. … This case is about as far from being a private matter as one can get.”

    Speaking several hours later, Kilpatrick said he expects to be cleared.

  211. BklynHawk says:

    #206 Joeycasz-

    ceilings, okay, that sounds like fun…how did you get it up?

    I wanted to ask you about how to prep walls after you take off.A lot of times there is a residue,got any tips?

    JM

  212. Mitchell says:

    #193 Joeycasz – Whats the trick is it soapy water to get wall paper off?

    I refuse to buy a house with any wall paper.

  213. PGC says:

    The big joke in London these days is that the next years bonuses will be paid in foreclosed properties.

  214. Clotpoll says:

    Mitch (204)-

    Thanks for that incisive run-down. I needed a nap.

  215. John says:

    Joeycasz, I once did that for the heirs of the smirnoffs fortune, took my brother and I three weeks to fill in and paint the damm wood paneling when we were in HS. Paint would soak in even after three coats, she paid us the full price anhyhow, gave us a nice tip, apologized that her idea did not work and then hired a contractor to rip it out. At least I got to spend three weekends in a mansion. She was a very nice lady, I thought she was cheap but it turns out she liked to hire local kids and pay a few bucks an hour over our normal salary to do odd jobs. She had the HS send her poorer kids on purpose, she even bought us breakfast and lunch every day. I was hoping she would let us do a fourth coat but I would have turned her down anyhow as even though painting paneling was not my idea I was starting to feel guilty, but hey I liked her idea of making poor kids work to get the money, todays generation would just stick their hand out and ask for cash and laugh if they had to do any work.

  216. Clotpoll says:

    John (209)-

    Thanks for that, also. I needed to puke after I awoke from my Mitchell-induced nap.

  217. Sybarite says:

    #213 I think warming it with a hairdryer softens the adhesive too so it doesn’t tear so badly. I removed some wallpaper from an apartment recently and it really wasn’t as bad as i had expected.

  218. John says:

    http://www.mlsli.com/uniDetails.CFM?MLNum=2042133&typeprop=1&start=1&rpp=20

    Here is a 1.2 million dollar home with scary scary wallpaper.

  219. Mitchell says:

    Just went for coffee. I think I put myself to sleep as well.

  220. spam spam bacon spam says:

    WTF?

    (rubs eyes and tries looking again….)

    Garden State M.L.S.: Residential/Condo/Coop STATUS: A MEDIA: 9
    MLS#: 2496177 CO: Hunterdon TOWN: Alexandria Twp. (1901)
    AD: 626 Sweet Hollow Rd. ZIP: 08804

    LP: $669,000

    (snippety-la-snip-snip)

    UNDER CONTRACT / SOLD INFORMATION

    SP: $ UCD: CD: DOM: 19 ADM: 17 LD: 03/05/2008
    OLP: $570,000

  221. Joeycasz says:

    ceilings, okay, that sounds like fun…how did you get it up?

    I wanted to ask you about how to prep walls after you take off.A lot of times there is a residue,got any tips?

    JM

    Doing a ceiling was always a two man job. I built a “T” square using 2X4’s. My father would start at the one end putting it up while i would hold the excess paper up at the ceiling while he smoothed and seamed the paper. We would move along this way for every piece.

    As far as preping wallas after taking off. Alot of times the most residue is from hanging sanitex wallpaper and if they used “Clay” glue (which i despise). I would ALWAYS use Heavy Duty Clear paste. In the even that you have residue. Best solution i’ve always used is hot soapy water and a good wide spackle knife to scrape down. You can’t use too much water on the wall or you can expose the tape connecting the sheetrock. Unfortunately most of my customers would just have me sand down and paper over it. *sigh*

  222. Joeycasz says:

    #213
    Whats the trick is it soapy water to get wall paper off?

    I refuse to buy a house with any wall paper.

    If it’s sanitex paper (Vinyl top but thread backed paper) that stuff peels right off. If the person used heavy duty clear paste as i always did then not much needs to be doen to the wall once the paper has been removed. HOT soapy water works great.

    If it’s paper backed wallpaper ALWAYS pull the first vinyl layer off the wall and you’ll be left with the paper still intact. In most of my experiences this can be taken off with HOT soapy water no problem. Just apply and wait for it to bubble. Sometimes two or three applications with a sponge will have to do but it should come off in BIG pieces. Sometimes i would throw white distilled vinegar in the hot water. I’d use a 5 gallon bucket (my cleaned paste bucket) and fill it almost to the top and be generous with the vinegar. Smells bad, works great.

  223. Joeycasz says:

    I once did that for the heirs of the smirnoffs fortune, took my brother and I three weeks to fill in and paint the damm wood paneling when we were in HS. Paint would soak in even after three coats, she paid us the full price anhyhow, gave us a nice tip, apologized that her idea did not work and then hired a contractor to rip it out.

    Thick dense paneling will do that. Just like a sponge. The only type of paneling i would do the job for is flat solid type. Also the spackle would need to be applied a couple of times as it always shrinks. It would usually come out very nice. I just hate the idea that it’s paneling! Just touch it, it wobbles cause it like 1cm thick, hehe.

  224. Joeycasz says:

    I think warming it with a hairdryer softens the adhesive too so it doesn’t tear so badly. I removed some wallpaper from an apartment recently and it really wasn’t as bad as i had expected.

    Never used a hair dryer before. Whatever works i guess :)

  225. scribe says:

    Joeycasz,

    I used hot water and vinegar in a spray bottle to loosen up the glue on very thin wallpaper.

    And then I scrubbed the walls – not sheetrock, but old plaster-of-paris from the 1920’s – with steel wool and more hot water/vinegar.

  226. Sybarite says:

    #225

    From your description above it sounds like it must have been that sanitex type. Peeled right off; maybe I didn’t even need the hair dryet in the first place!

  227. Joeycasz says:

    I refuse to buy a house with any wall paper.

    I’m actually hoping for this as i think i can get a better price for it. It also doesn’t hurt to have been in the biz for so long. I know what to look for. I’m probably going to be seen as a weirdo feeling EVERY wallpapered wall and sticking my nose to it smelling for Mildew. I’m always made fun of at funerals as i’m always looking at the wallpaper job. Ever notice that EVERY funeral home in Jersey has wallpaper on every wall? It’s quite amazing.

  228. Joeycasz says:

    Plaster was always best to work with. With the right attention i made the walls as smooth as glass.

  229. Joeycasz says:

    #227
    From your description above it sounds like it must have been that sanitex type. Peeled right off; maybe I didn’t even need the hair dryet in the first place!

    Some sanitex doesn’t have a threaded back but just the vinyl. It still peels off in one sheet all the same. That “clay” glue is a killer. Don’t get it on anything, it stains and turns yellow fast when dried.

  230. John says:

    The best way I find to remove wall paper is take my ten year old sable wagon to home depot, but a case full of wallpaper remover crap and some scrappers in particular the circular scaring tool to us before putting on compound, then I pick up three able bodied mexicans from parking lot pick up a case of beer at the drive through dairy barn and a nice fat cigar and watch the wallpaper fly off the walls.

  231. kettle1 says:

    BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Residential housing stocks rose sharply Monday morning after investors found encouraging signs in a report on February existing home sales, which were up modestly for the first time in seven months. The National Association of Realtors reported sales of U.S. existing homes and condos rose roughly 3% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.03 million, ahead of expectations. Inventories of unsold homes fell 3% as the median sales price during February plunged 8.2% from a year earlier, the largest price decline on record. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction ETF

    see Bi was right! this housing crash thing is way overblown!

  232. Joeycasz says:

    #231

    HA!

    What some people don’t know untill it’s too late that while the “Scarring tool” scars the paper it also scars the walls with hundres if not thousands of tiny little holes as well. Awesome!

  233. BubbleYum says:

    Mikeinwaiting Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 1:51 pm
    Bubble What town is that in not on details,
    just wondering.You think that’s bad come up to Sussex Cty.My Aunt had similar wall paper & plastic on the couches very scary but then again I’m Italian.
    ________________________________________________

    It’s Hackensack, so you know that house is OLD. Aunts, grandmothers, and others 70+ can be forgiven their wallpaper/plastic furniture covering addictions. But if these people are under 65, this is just unacceptable.

  234. All Hype says:

    BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Residential housing stocks rose sharply Monday morning after investors found encouraging signs in a report on February existing home sales, which were up modestly for the first time in seven months. The “National Association of Realtors reported sales of U.S. existing homes and condos rose roughly 3% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.03 million, ahead of expectations. Inventories of unsold homes fell 3% as the median sales price during February plunged 8.2% from a year earlier, the largest price decline on record. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction ETF”

    And in other news, Wall street has just learned the good news that the days in February have increasing amounts of daylight as compared to December and January. Market averages were up 2% on the news….

    Back to you Charlie Gasparino.

  235. Joeycasz says:

    #234

    But if these people are under 65, this is just unacceptable.

    Most of my customers were “to hip for the room” mid thirties. They watch to much HGTV. Most of them had decorators too. They were never my friend. Ever try to hang burlap paper or silk? Not fun. Only decorators would convince them to hang that crap. On average it was about $50-100 a single roll. Wallpaper comes in DOUBLE rolls…yeah…grrrr

  236. John says:

    http://www.upress.umn.edu/sles/Chapter8/ch8-1.html

    AHHH the lovely world of 1980;s real estate in NYC,

  237. kettle1 says:

    can someone give me an update on

    mls 2461900

  238. kettle1 says:

    yty

  239. Sean says:

    Talk about an end run around the shareholders at BSC by the board of directors.

    The sweetened terms were approved in a hastily convened meeting of Bear’s directors held early Monday. The board also agreed to sell 95 million newly issued Bear Stearns shares to J.P. Morgan. That will give J.P. Morgan a 39.5% stake in the securities firm, putting the second-largest U.S. bank in stock-market value within striking distance of the majority of votes it needs to win shareholder approval of the deal.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120635948382859081.html?mod=yahoo_hs&ru=yahoo

  240. John says:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Ford Motor Co. (F:Ford Motor Company
    News, chart, profile, more
    Last: 5.93+0.31+5.52%

    3:51pm 03/24/2008

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    I can’t wait to buy the new Jaguar with a built in slurpee machine. It will be the hottest car in the kwikimart parking lot.
    F 5.93, +0.31, +5.5%) will announce Wednesday a $2 billion deal to sell its luxury Land Rover and Jaguar brands to India’s Tata Motors, according to FT.com. The sale will include a pledge by Ford to contribute to the two brands’ pension fund and a pledge by Tata to continue buying engines from Ford, FT.com reported Monday. Ford shares added 6.1% to close at $5.96.

  241. kettle1 says:

    john,

    it will interesting if they can maintain the “prestige” factor of those cars.

  242. skep-tic says:

    “it will interesting if they can maintain the “prestige” factor of those cars.”

    jaguar has been crap for years now. it’s about resurrecting it at this point.

  243. 3b says:

    $243 sean: Just who exactly were these rivals that were circling Bear’s employees, Morgan, Lehman, perhaps Citigroup?

    Whatever few rain makers may be at Bear will probably ultimately leave, but I do not see rivals lining up to grab former Bear employees, not when they are cutting so many of their own.

  244. 3b says:

    3245 kettle; Once Ford started using Taurus chasis for Jaguar, the little prestige left went down the drain. Jaguar has been crap for years.

  245. Bystander says:

    Anyone have information on MLS #2485762? My friend is looking at it. Any development plans for those farm lands? How is the surrounding area and school system?

  246. gary says:

    Clotpoll,

    We see our “favorite” indicator, the absorption rate, go down a little bit in February. I suspect that it will bounce back up as more inventory surfaces in the March numbers, yes?

  247. Sean says:

    3b, as I said earier Bear broken up is worth allot more than $2 or $10 a share. The boards of both companies are going to great lengths to both insulate themselves from lawsuits with a 6 billion dollar war chest for litigation, which is more than the buyout cost.

    The Bear Board of directors just printed enough shares to give JP Morgan enough votes to get this deal passed, and a quickly sweep this mess under the rug, before another shoe drops.

    Sure Bear’s worthless paper would have unraveled everyones fortunes if written down but right now I would be worried about the rest of the banks.

    Bear’s black box like the other bank’s black boxes are still working on the same formula.

    Garbage In = Garbage Out

  248. 3b says:

    #250 gary That is my thinking. Lots more inventory to come after the Easter holiday,and the start of the nice weather. This has always been the case in the past.

    Of course we still have the Passover holiday, and Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, Flage Day etc.

  249. 3b says:

    #251 sean: Do you think JP keeps Bears clearing operation? I think they might sell it to BONY (who of course owns Pershing), although there might be some anti-competitive issues if BONY were to buy it.

  250. stu says:

    Dollarcollapse.com:

    After Denial Comes Accommodation

    http://www.dollarcollapse.com/iNP/view.asp?ID=63

    “Most commercial lenders and property owners don’t agree, but commercial real estate is likely headed for a worse downturn than housing. After all, a subprime borrower living a house will typically do whatever she can to keep the house. The scoundrels I know in commercial real estate will send the keys back in a heartbeat. So once the downturn starts, commercial real estate will be “marked to market” brutally and efficiently. The only winner will be the foreclosure and bankruptcy attorneys.”

  251. Hobokenite says:

    M.T.A. Postpones Subway and Bus Service Upgrades

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/mta-postpones-subway-and-bus-service-upgrades/index.html

    But the authority revealed today that the money it receives from taxes on real estate transactions had fallen significantly in February and March.

    Gary J. Dellaverson, the chief financial officer of the authority, called the economic outlook “gloomy” and used words like “frightening” and “dramatic” to describe the fall in real estate-related revenues.

    So far this year, the authority has taken in $306 million from a variety of taxes on real estate sales and mortgages, $21 million below forecasts. About 15 percent of the authority’s budget is financed by such taxes.

  252. 3b says:

    #254 After all, a subprime borrower living a house will typically do whatever she can to keep the house.

    Considering so many of those sub-prime borrowers and oterhs have skin in the game i do nto see it.

    If they were doing everythinbg they can to keep the house, then we would nto be having this foreclosure problem now would we.

  253. Clotpoll says:

    gary (250)-

    Yes. All this other stuff is noise.

  254. stu says:

    I agree Clot.

    I just doubled my position in my favorite hedge.

    I plan to sell off a bit of a long mutual fund I have tomorrow as well.

    That T2 Partner PDF was enough to make me see how this can’t be anything more than noise.

  255. Sean says:

    On CNBC, terms of Fed loan to JP Morgan are out 10 years at 2.5% for 29 Billion.

  256. Sean says:

    re: (256)

    3b, I think JP Morgan will want to close the loop on this one, less players means more profit.

    The MBS business will come back in some form and JP Morgan will want to keep all the people that are worth something, with the loan that they just received from the Fed for this deal @ 2.5 percent for 10 years they won’t be in a rush to give up any edge.

  257. mr potter says:

    Housing Data..

    I still think there is plenty of pain left in this market. Having said that, there is an interesting change to the numbers in that sales ticked up because prices were lowered. Perhaps the migration from the Denial phase to a more practical view of home prices by sellers. I think the Northeast is still in Denial and 6-12 months behind the rest of the market – especially commuter towns in NJ and NYC. What seems to be amiss of all the reports is the hard cold fact that the numbers still s#ck out loud and wont get better unless there is significant price concessions by sellers.

  258. mr potter says:

    Grim, was there a February sales number for the Northeast ? Thanks

  259. C Dawg says:

    It’s a dang leap year! The NAR doesn’t mention that the extra day automatically adds 3% to the month. With the adjustment, there was no spurt in sales.

  260. Pat says:

    potter, I’ll see your pain and raise you 500 Advil. Even at 30% on that Bank Says Make and Offer, I can’t make it pay at rent if I use a pantywaist (sp?)management company and assume 2% appreciation. It was a 10/2005 sale. Even if I do collections,phone calls, and only use cl to rent, I can’t do it at 2%.

    That one has to go down by at least 40%.

  261. grim says:

    lis,

    Dismantle and move it..

  262. 3b says:

    #260 sean The MBS business will not be back for a long,long time.

  263. njrebear says:

    Bloomberg : 1 in 5 NJ residents poor.

  264. Mikeinwaiting says:

    njrebear Better tell the sellers!

  265. Clotpoll says:

    3b (267)-

    The interesting thing to see will be what kind of mechanism fills the breach in 2-3 years, when the gubmint declares Fannie & Freddie bankrupt.

  266. Clotpoll says:

    Is it crazy to envision two possible future scenarios:

    1. Fannie/Freddie go kaput. The only players left in the secondary mortgage market space- and the ones who rush into the breach- will be a plethora of distressed-asset acceptance corporations.

    2. Fannie/Freddie go kaput. Mortgages will revert to what they were in the paleolithic era: loans given by banks, from actual cash assets on hand…with notes held and serviced by the lender until payoff.

  267. Clotpoll says:

    Now, for the truly hallucinatory scenario:

    In three years, anyone alive will be able to obtain access to unlimited amounts of consumer credit, albeit at usury rates for at-risk borrowers.

    However, access to real estate financing will be similar to the way it was in 1895.

  268. njrebear says:

    Mike,
    What’s the use? Sellers will never ever ‘give it away’ :)

  269. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot #2 loans given by banks, from actual cash assets on hand…with notes held and serviced by the lender until payoff.
    How totally revolutionary. That would assure the lender did due diligence out of self interest.Whats old becomes new again.

  270. Mikeinwaiting says:

    njrebear I’m tempted to a Gary rant.So they can stick it as their taxes go up & up.If they aren’t giving it away I ain’t buying.
    To tell the truth trying like hell to find work out of NJ.The current state of NJ budget will keep driving up taxes I’d planned to buy cash just to keep up with taxes but why.Getting out of Dodge!

  271. 3b says:

    Some guy on Kudlow (looked like an aging male model) says the Bull market is being reborn!!

    Its time to “buy stocks”, “buy junk bonds”, the Bull market is reborn!!!

  272. pant up and looking says:

    Hi, I usually lurk but I just had to share this. I just got this in an autoemail, read the last sentence:
    GSMLS# 2500773 Roxbury Ranch

    REM: SPRAWLING BRICK RANCH ON A GORGEOUS 1.65 ACRE LEVEL LOT. MANY RECENT UPGRADES & RENOVATIONS. SOME FINISHING NEEDED. LOTS OF SPACE & GENEROUS ROOM SIZES. BASEMENT WIRED & FRAMED FOR FINISHING.

    ADD REM: BASEMENT W/ WALK OUT, 2 NEW INDOOR ROTH OIL TANKS, 2 FIREPLACES, NEWER ROOF, CENTRAL AIR, WOOD FLOORS UNDER CARPET, MODERN KITCHEN, PAVER SIDEWALK, EXTRA BIG GARAGE & SO MUCH MORE. GREAT POTENTIAL & PERFECT FOR THE EXTENDED FAMILY. SELLER ENTERTAINING FULL PRICE OFFERS OR BETTER ONLY.

  273. Joeycasz says:

    Someone needs to tell that realtor to stop yelling, ow my ears.

    hehe

  274. grim says:

    SELLER ENTERTAINING FULL PRICE OFFERS OR BETTER ONLY.

    That very much may be the case, but why would the listing agent say that in the listing.

    It is a clear sign that the seller is unwilling to negotiate on anything, I can’t imagine a buyer wouldn’t be offended by that statement in this market.

    Way to go listing agent.

  275. Joeycasz says:

    Couldn’t find it with the MLS # but then again i’m not a member of that page.

  276. pant up and looking says:

    re:280
    I think it was new yesterday or today.

  277. Joeycasz says:

    I think it was new yesterday or today.

    Considering the discussions we’ve had here, it probaly isn’t a totaly new listing.

  278. Sean says:

    Clotpoll,3B, mikeinwaiting,

    You have heard of PennyMac, they will be more than happy to help you with a loan in a few years once they get their capital base up from making payday type of loans to struggling homeowners.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/24/news/companies/pennymac_mortgages.ap/index.htm?source=yahoo_quote

    Once rates get up to 17% again there will be more than enough banks out there willing to write, hold, and service loans.

  279. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Sean I remember 14 15% with tough standards back in the 80s even for strong buyers.

  280. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (283)-

    17% ain’t jack. As long as you don’t have a market that’s all rigged up, you can make things work in that kind of environment. I watched my Dad do it from the beginning of super-inflation in the ’70s all the way thru to when Volcker stopped the money blizzard.

    There is a way to do business and profit in any environment, except for the one in which the rules get changed constantly and the gubmint starts dabbling in pre-determined outcomes.

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