S&P: January Home Prices fall 10.7%

From Bloomberg:

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index Fell Record 10.7% in January

Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell in January by the most on record, a sign the housing recession is deepening, a private survey showed today.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 10.7 percent from January 2007, after a 9 percent decrease in December. The gauge has fallen for 13 consecutive months.

Price declines will continue as foreclosures add to a glut of unsold properties, and stricter lending rules make it harder to get financing. Declining values leave homeowners feeling less wealthy and with less home equity to borrow against, undermining consumer spending and pushing the economy closer to a recession.

“As long as inventories are high, home prices will fall,” Michelle Meyer, economist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in New York, said before the report. “Foreclosures will add to inventories and crowd out regular sales, further depressing home prices.”

The home price index was forecast to decline 10.5 percent, according to the median estimate of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Projections ranged from declines of 9.5 percent to 11 percent.

January home prices fell 2.4 percent from a month earlier, following a 2.1 percent decline the prior month, the Case- Shiller report showed. The figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal effects, so economists prefer to focus on year-over-year changes instead of month to month.

From Reuters:

Home prices extend slump

Prices of existing single-family homes slumped in January, with 16 of the 20 regions measured posting record annual declines, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller national home price index reported on Tuesday.

The composite month-over-month index of 20 metropolitan areas fell 2.4 percent to 180.65 in January from December, bringing the measure down 10.7 percent from a year earlier.

S&P said its composite month-over-month index of 10 metropolitan areas declined 2.3 percent in January to 196.06, for an 11.4 percent year-over-year drop.

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305 Responses to S&P: January Home Prices fall 10.7%

  1. grim says:

    From Thompson Financial:

    January S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index down 10.7 pct year-over-year

    The collapse of US home prices was spread across the whole country according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes released today.

    The January 20-city price index was down 10.7 pct from the year before, in line with expectations of a 10.5 pct decline. The January-to-December decline was 2.4 pct.

    The 10-city composite index, which contains more of the large ‘bubble markets’, was down a record 11.4 pct year-over-year and down 2.3 pct for the month.

    Prices fell in 19 of the top 20 markets, with 10 posting double-digit declines and 13 posting their single biggest monthly declines.

    ‘Unfortunately it does not look like early 2008 is marking any turnaround in the housing market, after the declining year recorded throughout 2007,’ says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. ‘Home prices continue to fall, decelerate and reach record lows across the nation. No markets seem to be completely immune from the housing crisis.’

  2. grim says:

    The S&P Case Shiller datasets can be found here:

    S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Indices

  3. grim says:

    NY metro area prices fell 5.6% year over year, and 0.7% on a month over month basis.

    NY metro area prices are now down 7.1% from the peak set in June of 2006.

  4. Seneca says:

    What are you talking about? Matt Lauer and the Today Show gang’s lead story was about home sales improving last month and how it means we have finally found a bottom. Great news for the economy and home sellers.

    Case Shmase Shiller Shmiller

  5. John says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thornburg Mortgage Inc (TMA) said on Tuesday it is looking to sell up to $1.35 billion of bonds in a private placement as the struggling “jumbo” mortgage lender tries to raise the funds necessary to keep lenders at bay and avert bankruptcy.

    The company is paying an annual interest rate of 18 percent on the debt, which can be adjusted down to 12 percent if Thornburg satisfies certain conditions.

  6. Real Estate Price Collapse, Paradise Lost in SW Florida

    watch http://xrl.us/bgmfy

    It’s now “buy one get one free” for homes in Florida.

  7. John says:

    According to Schiller we are back to July 2005 prices in NY.

  8. mneer1 says:

    Grim,
    Do you have a link to the excel data by region for CSindex?

    thanks

  9. mneer1 says:

    oops, never mind.. just saw post 2

  10. grim says:

    From the AP:

    US Home Prices Drop 11.4 Pct. in January

    A widely-watched index of U.S. home prices fell 11.4 percent in January, its steepest drop since data for the indicator was first collected in 1987.

    The decline reported Tuesday in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index means prices have been growing more slowly or dropping for 19 consecutive months.

    The index tracks the prices of single-family homes in 10 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

    The broader 20-city composite index also fell, dropping 10.7 percent in January from a year ago. That makes it the first time both indexes dropped by double-digit percentages.

    “Home prices continue to fall, decelerate and reach record lows across the nation,” said David Blitzer, index committee chairman at S&P. “No markets seem to be completely immune from the housing crisis.”

    Blitzer said all 20 cities S&P tracks have seen dropping prices for five consecutive months. What’s more, the declines are growing in severity, with 13 of the 20 cities reporting their biggest single monthly decline in January.

    The worst performing markets are Las Vegas and Miami, which tied for worst off as they both reported 19.3 percent drops.

    Charlotte, N.C., squeaked by as the only gainer, with a 1.8 percent rise in January.

  11. stu says:

    Charlotte…that’s pretty funny.

    Mitch gets to celebrate for one more day.

  12. Ann says:

    Hi everyone,

    Hope everyone (who celebrates it) had a happy Easter.

    Does anyone know what C/C means in terms of style of house? Like if S/L is split level, B/L is bilevel, COL is colonial, etc..

  13. John says:

    Like Warren Buffet says, the tide has gone out, now is the time to see who’s been swimming naked.

  14. MT says:

    #12
    C/C means Cape Cod.

  15. MT says:

    #13
    Huuuu–. I am wearing a swim suit.

  16. thatBIGwindow says:

    #12, C/C means Crap Cape

  17. John says:

    Looks like another 50bps next month. When we get 1.9% one year cds I guess Big Ben at the Fed is thinking we will all whip out our checkbooks and dive into housing. Maybe he is smarter than me but getting people back into buying 600k houses on 60K income even with a 5% mortgage sounds like creating a bigger problem down the road than we have now.

  18. Ann says:

    14

    Cape Cod! Of course! Thanks

  19. syncmaster says:

    Prices have reached what might be called a fair value,” Dan North, chief U.S. economist at Euler Hermes ACI in Owings Mills, Maryland, said in a Bloomberg Television interview before the report. “However, prices have still got to go substantially past that” to trigger demand and a recovery.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aC2LD_tpEYss&refer=home

  20. grim says:

    Isn’t EH a credit insurance company? Why comment on home prices?

  21. grim says:

    Consumer confidence at a 35 year low!

  22. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Jan. OHFEO home price index down 3% in past year

    U.S. Jan. OHFEO home price index down 1.1%

  23. stu says:

    Yahoo Market Overview:

    10:05 am : Stocks fall on a worse than expected economic release, and are now trading with decent sized losses. Just reported, March consumer confidence fell to 64.5, from the prior reading of 75.0. This fell short of the expected reading of 73.5.

    Hope you all saw the past few days bear market rally as a chance to get out of some of your hurting long positions.

  24. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. March consumer confidence 64.5 vs. 76.4 in Feb.

    U.S. March consumer confidence below 73.3 expected

  25. PeaceNow says:

    I was at Neptune Township council meeting last night, where approval was voted for 86 units (mix of single family houses and condos) to be built in Ocean Grove. Many people expressed concern that the units would sell, pointing to the many unsold units in Asbury, the economy in general, and NY/NJ financial market job losses. Town politicians swept those concerns aside, saying that by the time the project is finished, the economy will have improved. I’m starting to think that the only way people are going to get what’s happening today is when some network starts a “reality” show based on life during the Great Depression.

  26. Hehehe says:

    “Prices have reached what might be called a fair value”

    Wtf does he know? A fair value is when you can buy a home with 20% down with a 30 yr mortgage. Sorry pal but we aint there yet, it’s still only ARM affordability territory for most folks. Add to that the higher mortgage rates and credit qualifications and this is just the beginning of the collapse.

  27. Rich In NNJ says:

    OT:

    From The Record

    Westwood has plans for cutting utility bills

    Officials hope to green the borough and cut utility costs by installing solar panels and wind and water turbines that will power up the municipal complex.

    This isn’t the borough’s first foray into environmentally friendly power sources. Westwood recently purchased a hybrid police car, and hopes to put a Department of Public Works truck powered by vegetable oil on the road in 2009. The town will begin to collect the vegetable oil to power the truck this summer.

  28. grim says:

    Rich,

    Where does the money to make that initial investment come from? I can’t imagine a roof full of solar panels and wind turbines are cheap. How long is the payback, what is the ROI?

  29. Rich In NNJ says:

    From The Record

    Surprise: Home sales up in February


    Teresa Forte-Greenberg of Weichert, Realtors in Wayne said sales were “a little soft” in February, partly because buyers are worried about the possibility of a recession and a further drop in home prices.

    “They don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

    But, she added, houses that are priced correctly are still selling. She recently sold a home in Glen Rock for more than its asking price and in less than a day, because it was priced reasonably.

    Many sellers, however, are “still living in 2005,” she said.

    “They don’t want to admit their home is not worth what it was worth three years ago,” she said.

    Dick O’Connor of Dick O’Connor Real Estate in Dumont agreed. “Prices have to come down,” he said.

    He recently listed a home at $529,000. The asking price was cut to $489,000, and the home finally sold for $465,000.

    “Homes that are priced right, where the sellers have adjusted their prices, are selling,” O’Connor said.

  30. homebuyer says:

    I have a question about short sales. I found one priced at 499, I like the house but would like to put in a bid at 420. The realtor (and
    I dont know if this is ethical) told me that it had many previous offers the bank had rejected. Specifically, acording to “her sources” she told me a bid had previously come in at 475 and 480, she said I would need to put a bid in of at least 485 to even be in the game. Is this right? Should I insist on putting in the bid regardless of this information that she provided me. Just wanted some feedback on this.

  31. G$ says:

    #25 peace: I wonder what kind of developer would committ to that project in this environment?

    As far as the town officials, they are just looking/hoping for rateables. There was a development slated to go ahead in my town,and the developer pulled it, citing market conditions.

    As far as town officials in general, msot of them are cluelesss.

    Just because you coached softball, and are member of the Lions Club, does nor qualify you to be Mayor or Council member.

  32. RentininNJ says:

    Maybe he is smarter than me but getting people back into buying 600k houses on 60K income even with a 5% mortgage sounds like creating a bigger problem down the road than we have now.

    That is unlikely to happen. Houses are now “damaged goods”. The curtain has been pulled back and all of the “new paradigm”, “it’s different now” and “permanent prosperity” thinking has been exposed as a fraud and now looks ridiculous.

    Lenders are unlikely to lend that kind of money to unqualified people again and buyers are unlikely to be willing to put 50% of their income towards a house payment.

    At some point, inflation may put a floor under prices (provided incomes follow inflation) and Ben B may engineer a new bubble somewhere else in the economy, but housing is done.

  33. G$ says:

    #17 John: but getting people back into buying 600k houses on 60K income even with a 5% mortgage…..

    It ain’t gonna happen.

  34. G$ says:

    #7 John Well we will be back to 2002 prices, mayve even 01, sooner rather than later, IMO.

  35. Rich In NNJ says:

    Grim (28),

    I live in Westwood and I don’t know, I don’t know and I don’t know.
    This is actually the first I heard of it. There’s a lot that the article didn’t cover. I can’t even imagine where they would put wind turbines in this town.

    “And solar panels are being planned for municipal buildings in Fort Lee, Glen Rock, Tenafly, Wayne and Ringwood.”

    HEY!! Property taxes are going to go down!!!

    :-P

  36. G$ says:

    #4 seneca: Yes, and of course Matt Lauer would know. Its all OK, Matt says we are at the bottom.

  37. syncmaster says:

    According to the Star Ledger (using data from Claritas), average homeowner income in Edison is $110k. In P-way it is $103k.

    What would be an affordable price point for an Edison family making 110K?

  38. RentininNJ says:

    homebuyer,

    She might be telling you the truth. Who knows.

    My advice would be to bid your value. If your bid gets hit it gets hit, if not, there will be other opportunities.

    I’d also say that banks have been in a cash raising mode over the last few weeks. They may be more inclined to liquidate long positions to get some cash in their hands.

  39. G$ says:

    #3 grim: and 0.7% on a month over month basis.

    Could that small month over month decline be reflective of the very limited amount of inventory that actually sold?

  40. 3b says:

    #35 Rich: HEY!! Property taxes are going to go down!!!

    Not in River Edge!! Up, Up, and away!!!

  41. Hehehe says:

    I love Ritholtz, he’s up there with Mish

    How Counter-Productive Is Realtor Association Spin?

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/69852-how-counter-productive-is-realtor-association-spin

  42. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home prices down 3% in past year, OFHEO says

    U.S. home prices fell 3% in the past year and 1.1% in January alone, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight reported Tuesday. Prices fell a seasonally adjusted 2.9% in January in New England and 2.4% in the Pacific region, offsetting a 0.1% gain in the Mountain region. The OFHEO index is based on repeat sales of homes mortgaged through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  43. thatBIGwindow says:

    #40: Either you are for our schools or against them. Go NJEA! 50k on the first day…and so on.

  44. grim says:

    NJ home prices down 0.27% in the fourth quarter (but this is old news).

  45. Rich In NNJ says:

    From MarketWatch Home Page:

    ‘No markets seem to be completely immune from the housing crisis.’
    — David Blitzer, Standard & Poor’s

  46. dinra says:

    31 winding hill drive sold recently in Mount Olive….Any idea about price? thx in adv.

  47. 3b says:

    #43 tbw: You are a former resident of River Edge; I am shocked at your attitude!! (sarcasm off)

  48. grim says:

    $440k

  49. 3b says:

    #42 grim: I think the decline in prices in our area will accelerate dramatically this Spring. What are your thoughts?

  50. Clotpoll says:

    buyer (30)-

    Short sales- in general- are not where you go to get unbelievable deals.

    The lender makes the sell/no sell decision, and they have agent market opinions- plus at least one appraisal- to give them some guide to current market value.

    A more aggressive lender will certainly discount to some degree, but these guys are not prone to leaving money on the table.

    BTW, the whole short sale process is so slow, many lenders will initially accept a low offer, then use it as a stalking horse to obtain higher offers. Eventually, the house gets bid up to an acceptable point, and the lender then proceeds with the highest bidder. As long as the lender has demanded a contractual provision that all transactions are subject to their final short sale approval, the process can be drawn out ad infinitum.

    You have a better shot at a big discount to market by prospecting and identifying your own seller list or by waiting for foreclosing properties to go REO.

  51. Clotpoll says:

    GS (36)-

    I’m generally inclined to take the other side of Matt Lauer’s trade.

  52. JLB says:

    ‘No markets seem to be completely immune from the housing crisis.’
    — David Blitzer, Standard & Poor’s

    This is the same guy that says he doesn’t make predictions because he gets the information early and yet he goes right ahead and makes statements that support his viewpoint, typical Bear! What about Charlotte? Blitzcrieg?

  53. dinra says:

    thx grim…440…it seems like some communities do retain their prices however far they are from the city.

  54. njrebear says:

    Merrill Rumored to be Planning Layoffs, Facing Huge Writedown

    http://www.housingwire.com/2008/03/25/merrill-rumored-to-be-planning-layoffs-facing-huge-writedown/

    “cuts are expected to be the heaviest among its senior officers.”

  55. 3b says:

    #53 dinra: Perhaps for now. Lets see what this Sporing selling season brings;it’s a whole new game .

  56. njpatient says:

    “The collapse of US home prices was spread across the whole country”

    That CAN’T be true!! Real estate is local!

  57. 3b says:

    #52 JLB And of course no Bull has ever done the same. Like the guy I saw last night on Kudlow who said the bull market is reborn, “time to buy stocks, “time to buy junk bonds.”

  58. House Hunter says:

    #30 homebuyer..I smell a rat. I recently looked at a short sale and had the same tale…”they had offers but the bank did not accept any of the offers. It is off the market now because it is going through the foreclosure process with the sheriff. It will most likely be listed again after the bank owns it..too much debt attached for someone else to buy it. the realtor had it listed 100,000 less than what was owed on the property. I also thought that if the realtor had lowered the price that the bank already agreed, but she stated they had not agreed on that price. Seems like a toss in the wind. Set the price low, bank rejects, keep lowering the price, bank rejects..does not make sense

  59. kettle1 says:

    Grim, 28

    At some point you have to look past ROI and payback in terms of $$$. If i install a geothermal heatpump my payback may be 20 years. but how do you account for the factor of having a stable supply of heat in the dead of winter as heating oil and natural gas prices skyrocket.

    i will keep this short and sweet, but while ROI and payback period alone may be an appropriate measure for a municipal installation. These 2 measures alone and a short sighted manner of assessing the utility of alternative energy sources especially at the residential level.

  60. JLB says:

    #57 3b: I agree Bulls do that, but Blitzer is in the stat collect and distro. business and publicly states that he is not in the business of making predictions but then goes ahead and quotes economists who share his viewpoint and makes broad-based statements not solely based on the stats and so IMO he should have a big bear paw print tattoo on his forehead.

  61. njpatient says:

    “NY metro area prices are now down 7.1% from the peak set in June of 2006.”

    Thank goodness Manhattan (and places near Manhattan, like Weehawken, Hoboken and parts of JC) are immune!

  62. JLB says:

    #59 Kettle: Yep, and what about our environmental footprint, isn’t that more important than ROI when you want to pass a better life to future generations?

  63. John says:

    Buy some 3 dollar indian food off the cart everyday and you will have enough methane heat to last your through the coldest of winters, aside from the skid marks there is not much of a downside. Plus you save some serious rupee.

    kettle1 Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 11:15 am
    Grim, 28

    At some point you have to look past ROI and payback in terms of $$$. If i install a geothermal heatpump my payback may be 20 years. but how do you account for the factor of having a stable supply of heat in the dead of winter as heating oil and natural gas prices skyrocket.

    i will keep this short and sweet, but while ROI and payback period alone may be an appropriate measure for a municipal installation. These 2 measures alone and a short sighted manner of assessing the utility of alternative energy sources especially at the residential level.

  64. thatBIGwindow says:

    It is more about being trendy than the environment. Green is in.

    What is the true environmental impact of hybrid cars when the battery goes?

  65. Mike NJ says:

    Does anyone else think John should start his own blog?

    “musings of an opinionated and angry middle aged accountant”

    Good stuff.

  66. JLB says:

    “We don’t usually forecast conforming or jumbo loan price ranges, but if we’re correct in that rates will decline, and if much of the decline is in conforming rates, we could see conforming 30-year FRMs with average rates close to 5.50% — low enough to spark a fair refinance boomlet.”
    http://www.hsh.com/2month4cast.html

    Here we go again…

  67. JLB says:

    #64tbw: cars have a way to go but solar is practical and efficient as is using graywater so expect to see much more of it. Green is a word like luxury which will become (or is already) pedestrian but the technology itself is here to stay.

  68. bi says:

    my favorite indicator is index (etf) for industrial groups because thats the place people put real money to. despite of all these negativities from case killer to consumer index, XHB is traded at flat around $23 and SRS (untra short real estate) is traded around $94, which is significant lower than recent high of $150. go figure.

  69. Hehehe says:

    Dear Pret Please Read:

    Caught in the storm
    Unemployed financiers grab a slice, walk the dog and wait for the call back

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080323/FREE/697128930/1008

  70. Zack says:

    #66 –

    A majority of homeowners have already refinanced to a lower rate and besides banks don’t refinance if there is not enough differential between current rate and exisiting rate. So I don’t see any refinance boom in the horizon

  71. kettle1 says:

    BigWindow 64

    You have a point, Green has become a marketing gimmick. the original intention has been subverted. That doesnt mean that the principles or technologies are not worthwhile, just that you have have to dig through a lot of BS to get the real info and big picture of what you are getting for the services you are buying/installing.

  72. scribe says:

    clot, #50

    It sounds like you’re saying that, in general, the banks would rather go to foreclosure and have a REO on their hands than take a serious discount at the short sale stage (?)

    If I’m reading you correctly, why?

    I thought the short sale process was to avoid a foreclosure, which is much more expensive.

  73. bi says:

    if you don’t think all real estate is local, you need to rent and stay an apartment in irvington for a month.
    take case shiller index for example, new york area is down 5.8% YTY and less than 1% from december 2007 compared to 20% down in miami and las vegas.

  74. Zack says:

    #73

    Real estate is a disaster nationwide. It used to be local, but not anymore. Pretty much every area is experiencing price pressures.

  75. JLB says:

    #73 bi: Good point! Real estate is absolutely local even if across the board there is a decline it will be less in some places and more in others as you can see in the numbers. When it all shakes out it will be the same old story location,location,location.

  76. 3b says:

    #73 bi: we will be right behind those areas. We are in a recession you know, and the layoffs are accelerating.

    It’s over bi, repeat after me, take a deep breath and say it;its over.

  77. Shore Guy says:

    # 29 Is that Grim in a dress, or are other agents starting to get a clue?

  78. BC Bob says:

    “When it all shakes out it will be the same old story location,location,location.”

    JLB,

    I had the opportunity to buy two different properties, short, both approx 30% off 2005. Great location, short commute into NYC.

    I decided I did not want to overpay. Location went out the window 2 years ago. It’s now price, price, price.

  79. Confused In NJ says:

    Actually Property Taxes should go down by 2010. In the new Depression Era Farming Economy, Schooling will only be required through Eight Grade. The new metric will be one Teacher for 40 Students. Schooling beyond Eight Grade will be limited to those with the necessary Scientific Aptitude to justify it. The new metric will be one Teacher for 30 Students. New replacement jobs will also exist in building Bridges, Tunnels, & Highways. The new metric will be one manager for every Thousand Workers.

  80. 3b says:

    #75 JLB: Location, location, location Means nothing if you do not have a job. Will some areas fare worse than others? Oh but of course.

    But for all the Bulls that used to post here that said our area was different, because of proximity to NYC and Wall St jobs, well that is no longer the case.

    I lived through the last housing bust, and in a desireable close to NYC town, and we fell, and fell hard.

    It will be no different this time, save for the fact that we are going to fall harder, because of all the recklessness this time around.

    We may have been the last to fall, but we are falling, the numbers will just get worse as this year progresses. The party is over, simple as that.

  81. 3b says:

    #70 zack Banks will not refinance, if there is no equity in the house.

  82. John says:

    The MLS website and Kohls have the same pricing strategy. At both places the listed prices reflect a price that nobody ever pays. It is just there to make you feel good that you got money off the original asking price.

  83. JLB says:

    #78 BC Bob: I can’t believe you are even debating my location statement. You go on believing location has nothing to do with price just because you want to be right (and me to be wrong) and someday you will find out how wrong wrong can be. I see the sky is blue today, I’m sure you see it as gray!

  84. John says:

    FDIC adding 140 workers to bank failure division: report

  85. pretorius says:

    Grim, just send you a file containing a chart on NJ home price changes. Please post here when you get a chance.

  86. bi says:

    dems are full of fun. after clinton camp leaked obama somali dress to drudge, obama camp found another dress in clinton presidential museum:

    “Bill Clinton cannot possibly seriously believe Obama is not a patriot, and cannot possibly be said to be helping — instead he is hurting — his own party. B. [Bill] Clinton should never be forgiven. Period. This is a stain on his legacy, much worse, much deeper, than the one on Monica’s blue dress.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/24/campaign.wrap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

  87. John says:

    http://www.domania.com/MI/

    on line property ladder game to show how flipping houses will get you a mansion

  88. bi says:

    81#, 3b, not true. i bought a house 3 months ago and just finished refin, which brought down my rate by near 1%. apparently i don’t have equity in this house.

    > #70 zack Banks will not refinance, if there is no equity in the house.

  89. kettle1 says:

    A little politics…..

    Clinton returned to the campaign trail Monday to take on the economy in a policy address in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    She said the country’s economic crisis “is, at its core, a housing crisis,” and called on President Bush to appoint an “emergency working group on foreclosures (CNNpolitics.com)

    i really hope that she is just pandering to the general population and doesnt actually believe her statement. It doesnt take an advanced degree in economics or finance to see that deficit spending on both government and consumer level is the cause, not the value of the purchases ( i.e houses)

  90. stu says:

    BI:

    If I were a betting man and had to choose between investing in the Homebuilders or shorting commercial real estate reits, I’m pretty sure I would bet on the latter of the two.

    We’ll see where all of this plays out. You can keep listening to those dolts on CNBC. I’ll let market fundamentals steer my investment decisions.

  91. WickedOrange says:

    RE: 3
    # grim Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 9:24 am

    NY metro area prices fell 5.6% year over year, and 0.7% on a month over month basis.

    NY metro area prices are now down 7.1% from the peak set in June of 2006.

    dumb question, but are these real or nominal?

  92. pretorius says:

    WickedOrange,

    Nominal. That is how price indices are typically quoted.

  93. John says:

    I think you ment Monica’s blew desk. Obama is a NBB.

    A major bank I worked at had a diversity program to advance people of color. Well the executive jobs were all snatched up by MBAs from Bermuda or Jamaica or wealthy parts of Africa. The actual U.S born third generation black clerks and AVPs from Brooklyn and Queens who were discriminated against were not getting the positions while the black from lets say Bermuda which has no discrimination would waltz in the door and collect the job. Well the bank came up with a term called Non Black Blacks or NBB and they would not offer diversity jobs anymore to these brooks brother wearing harvard educated obama looking blacks from waterfront homes in bermuda. Concept is you have to be discriminated against in order to be qualified for diversity.

    Obama is a NBB, I wish a real African American was running for president who understands the challenges faced by discrimination that still exists. Obama is a joke I rather vote for Al Sharpton for President at least he keeps it real.

  94. BC Bob says:

    JLB [78],

    The top towns will maintain their spread over lower rated towns. However, they will not be immune to price declines. Examples are posted here everyday.

  95. 3b says:

    #88 bi: I never said you did not have equity in your house. I simply mean that there are people who may want to refinance but are not able to as they do not have any equity in their hosue.

  96. 3b says:

    #83 JLB All areas will fall in price, as said some more than others.

    No area is bubble wrapped, some term a silly realtor used once to describe Bergen county.

  97. SG says:


    Cities grapple with surge in abandoned homes

    HOMES FOR A $1 EACH

    Further east, Syracuse, New York, began selling vacant homes last year for $1 each to non-profit groups who promise to tear them down or renovate them. Last month, Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll extended the deal to private companies.

    The aim is to get abandoned homes back on the market in one to two years and back on the tax rolls.

    “The foreclosure crunch has now meant that no neighborhood is exempt from having a vacant property pop up,” said Kerry Quaglia, executive director of Home Headquarters, a non-profit that demolished about 100 homes and renovated 40 last year.

  98. lisoosh says:

    As someone one said:

    “Real estate may be local, but money is global”.

  99. Hehehe says:

    Kettle,

    Clinton=Pure pandering populism.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    bi Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 11:44 am
    if you don’t think all real estate is local, you need to rent and stay an apartment in irvington for a month.
    take case shiller index for example, new york area is down 5.8% YTY and less than 1% from december 2007 compared to 20% down in miami and las vegas.

    It’s Case-Shiller….

    I always thought it was Chiller?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asO97gdn2oo&feature=related

  101. BC Bob says:

    “Real estate may be local, but money is global”.

    lisoosh,

    Yes, there was a time when the dollar had global purchasing power.

  102. pjsson says:

    “Charlotte, N.C., squeaked by as the only gainer, with a 1.8 percent rise in January.”

    However, prices in February are down even in Charlotte, see link for some graphs.

    “The average sold price in February was $326,063 which is 3.6% less than average sold price in 2007 ($337,655).”

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/437486/February-2-8-Market

  103. JLB says:

    #94,#96: agreed.

  104. Sybarite says:

    About the prius battery issue: my understanding is that they have a 100% recycling program for their used batteries.

  105. Sean says:

    Grim,

    OFHEO is now releasing their own monthly version of housing sales, to counter or compliment the S&P/Case-Shiller methodology, depending on how you look at it, and they are releasing the data the same days as the Case/Shiller report.

    Beginning in March 25th 2008, monthly Census Division and U.S. indexes will be updated and released each month.

    Here is the current March 25th report.

    http://www.ofheo.gov/media/hpi/MonthlyHPI32508.pdf

    And here is are the difference Metholodogy, seems the OFHEO metholody is quite different, it attempts to harmonize the

    http://www.ofheo.gov/media/research/OFHEOSPCS12008.pdf

    Seems they are using appraisals in their data and they don’t include Jumbo loans.

  106. Sean says:

    Grim (105) is in moderation, it is addressed to you re: Case/Shiller and OFHEO HPI indexes.

  107. John says:

    Fed Rate Outlook

    Futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade show there’s a 34 percent chance the Fed will trim the target by a half-percentage point at its April 30 meeting, compared with a 28 percent likelihood yesterday. The remaining odds are for a reduction of a quarter-percentage point.

  108. njpatient says:

    ‘No markets seem to be completely immune from the housing crisis.’
    — David Blitzer, Standard & Poor’s

    Perhaps he isn’t aware of the existence of Manhattan and places near Manhattan (defined as Weehawken, Hoboken and parts of JC).

  109. njpatient says:

    from hehehehehe’s link at seekingalpha:

    “The National Association of Realtors falls into this latter category. They have been calling the bottom in Housing, well, ever since the top 2 1/2 years ago; their consistent claims of stabilization and price improvements later in the the year — as prices have continued to slide — have earned them the title of Worst. Forecasters. Ever. What is more damning, IMHO, is that they are not just wrong, but purposefully misleading for commercial purposes. I believe that is defined as Fraud.”

    I have long been saying that the NAR has cornered the market on fraud.

  110. SG says:


    New tour surveys aftermath of Vegas’ property bust

    LAS VEGAS (Reuters Life!) – The hottest ticket these days in what is billed as the Entertainment Capital of the World isn’t for the Cirque de Soleil extravaganza at the MGM Grand or the Elton John show at Caesar’s Palace.

    It’s for a window seat on the “Vegas Foreclosure Express,” a four-hour tour of repossessed homes whose former owners bet the U.S. property bubble would never pop — and lost it all when the market imploded.

    “We’re pretty well booked solid,” said Barbara Zucker, the real estate agent who with her husband Marshall began offering the tours of bank-owned properties last month.

    “It’s been really phenomenal. We have people coming in from surrounding states — Arizona, Utah, Colorado California — just to take the tour.”

    As the bus pulled up to a home Barbara Zucker gave a little history. The five-bedroom, four-bath home on Bohemian Forest Avenue, which was built in 2004, originally sold for $526,000. Two years later, it was resold for $842,000. In early 2007, before the subprime industry imploded, a comparable home in the area sold for $1.1 million. Today, the bank is willing to take $578,000 — maybe less — to get it off its books.

  111. SG says:


    McCain seeks solutions to housing crisis

    By Tim Gaynor

    SANTA ANA, California (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate John McCain, looking to bolster his economic credentials, called on Tuesday for quick meetings of mortgage lenders and accountants to begin to tackle the U.S. housing crisis.

    McCain, who has been criticized as weak on the economy, said he was open to a variety of solutions to ease problems in U.S. housing markets but did not specify an immediate approach.

    “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers,” he said.

    “Government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy,” McCain said.

    He said the government could do two things right away — convene separate meetings of accounting professionals and of mortgage lenders to begin to hash out solutions to the housing crisis.

    “In our effort to help deserving homeowners, no assistance should be given to speculators. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners, not people who bought houses for speculative purposes, to rent or as second homes.

  112. SG says:

    LA-Times Op-Ed piece,


    Do we even want assistance?

    According to recent polls, barely 25% of Americans favor a bailout for people in danger of foreclosure, and a mere 20% favor a foreclosure moratorium. Is the majority wrong to oppose assistance? Are politicians right to promote plans like these in spite of public opinion? Are the polls themselves wrong?

  113. Clotpoll says:

    No, here is awesome comedy. My Re/Max regional subfranchisor has decided that we can all benefit from the “rules of attraction” scam that was such a big hit with Oprah, et al a few months ago. So, our next sales rally will feature the following:

    “As featured in the internationally acclaimed book and movie “The Secret,” Bob Proctor is widely regarded as one of the living masters and teachers of the Law of Attraction. Proctor will help you unveil your secret and develop strategies to grow and improve in all entities of your business.

    Register for the Sales Rally today and hear Bob Proctor’s fascinating seminar, see the latest products and services available from a wide variety of vendors in the RE/MAX Marketplace, and network with other Associates over a Continental Breakfast and sit-down lunch!”

    Excuse me while I shave with a cheese grater.

  114. grim says:

    Barney Frank has got his fingers in everything..

    Barney Frank: Let’s decriminalize marijuana

    U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. – who grew up in Bayonne – is making national news after suggesting on a talk show last week that marijuana possession shouldn’t be a federal crime.

    Frank told the Associated Press that he plans to file a bill this week that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, saying the federal law unfairly targets those using medical marijuana in California.

  115. Hehehe says:

    “the Sales Rally” – F’G AWESOME!!!!

  116. Clotpoll says:

    Hunter (58)-

    Smell all you want; that’s exactly how the process works.

    People who need certainty and an orderly progression of steps would be well-advised to avoid short sales. They are the RE version of the Wild West.

  117. RayC says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/business/business-usa-credit-goldman.html

    Goldman says Global credit losses at 1.2 Trillion.

    Sometimes reading this blog feels like I’m reading next week’s newspaper.

  118. Clotpoll says:

    JLB (60)-

    “…so IMO he should have a big bear paw print tattoo on his forehead.”

    The tattoo on your forehead should be the same as the one on Charles Manson’s.

  119. Clotpoll says:

    Mike (65)-

    “Does anyone else think John should start his own blog?”

    Poo-poo jokes and latent racism?

    It’s been done.

  120. Clotpoll says:

    bi (68)-

    Thanks for reminding me it’s just about time to short XHB again.

  121. grim says:

    Pre,

    Give me a bit, I’m not in a place where I can FTP the file up to the server.

    Can you add S&P CS, so we have a graphical view of the interrelation of all the major indicies?

  122. Clotpoll says:

    scribe (72)-

    Not at all. Banks loathe foreclosure, and would much rather accept a short sale.

    However, they run a cost/benefit on every subject property, and if there’s a short sale that’s not catching sufficient interest or offers, they will go ahead and foreclose. It’s just a matter for them of taking the least-costly route.

  123. Hehehe says:

    Five Things You Need to Know: Crisis Averted, Now Back to Reality

    http://www.minyanville.com/articles/BSC-LEH-MS-C-JPM/index/a/16402

  124. Clotpoll says:

    Zack (74)-

    One of the hallmarks of declining real estate markets is that the worst part of the decline phase is marked by a correlated rate of decline- across all markets, all price ranges and all areas.

  125. Clotpoll says:

    JLB (83)-

    “I see the sky is blue today, I’m sure you see it as gray!”

    But- just like yesterday- you still don’t understand jack about RE.

    Arriviste.

  126. pretorius says:

    Grim,

    There isn’t a S&P CS index with the same footprint as the OFHEO and NAR New Jersey data.

    The S&P CS New York and Philadelphia indices cover some of New Jersey, but New Jersey makes up a small part of these indices footprints.

    I’ll add these indices to my chart, although they’re less relevant to this blog because they say more about what’s happening in New York and Pennsylania.

  127. bi says:

    120#, clot, i won’t short XHB but i would get out of XHB given huge run-up in last 2 weeks. which position do you take now?

  128. Rich In NNJ says:

    Clot (113),

    Speechless. Utterly speechless.

  129. House Hunter says:

    #116 clot…good to know, we were thinking you are better off waiting for a bank owned than get involved with those processes

  130. pretorius says:

    Oops just noticed S&P CS doesn’t have a Philadelphia index.

    Anybody know why S&P CS ignores some top 10 markets like Houston and Philadelphia but includes select smaller markets like Las Vegas and Tampa?

  131. Dman says:

    #119 Clot,

    I agree with you

  132. Confused In NJ says:

    March 25 (Bloomberg) — Spending on Medicare, the U.S. health-care program for the elderly, will reach a legal limit in 2014, requiring new funding or cuts in benefits, the program’s trustees said.

  133. Confused In NJ says:

    Wall Street May Face $460 Billion Credit Losses, Goldman Says

    By Zhao Yidi

    March 25 (Bloomberg) — Wall Street banks, brokerages and hedge funds may report $460 billion in credit losses from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, or almost four times the amount already disclosed, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Profits will continue to wane, other analysts said.

    “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it is still rather dim,” Goldman analysts including New York-based Andrew Tilton said in a note to investors today. They estimated that residential mortgage losses will account for half the total, and commercial mortgages as much as 20 percent.

    Earnings and share prices at U.S. financial institutions tumbled in the past year as fallout from the mortgage crisis spread to other markets. Demand for mortgage-backed securities evaporated, leading to the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos., once that market’s largest underwriter, and a Federal Reserve-led bailout by JPMorgan Chase & Co. earlier this month.

    Goldman’s own share-price estimate was cut 3.7 percent to $210 at Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller. The research firm also reduced its profit estimates for the world’s biggest securities firm for the rest of this year and all of 2009.

    Merrill Lynch & Co. had its 2008 profit estimates cut by 45 percent at JPMorgan on concern the third-largest U.S. securities firm by market value may disclose further writedowns on subprime mortgages. Merrill may report a total of $5 billion in additional losses on collateralized debt obligations, so-called Alt-A mortgages and commercial mortgages, New York-based analyst Kenneth Worthington said.

    Bank of America

    Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at Merrill Lynch. The company, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, also had its earnings-per-share estimate lowered to $3.30 from $3.50 in 2008 and to $4.00 from $4.40 in 2009, analysts including New York-based Edward Najarian wrote in a note to clients today.

    Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. securities firm, had its share-price forecast cut 16 percent to $70 at Fox-Pitt. The brokerage’s 2008 and 2009 profit estimates were also reduced.

    Goldman said the $460 billion in credit losses it foresees may “result in a substantial tightening in credit conditions as these institutions pull back on lending to preserve their reduced capital and to maintain statutory capital adequacy ratios.”

    Credit-card loans, auto loans, commercial and industrial lending and non-financial corporate bonds make up the rest of the $460 billion in credit losses.

    Goldman, which has lost 17 percent this year on the New York Stock Exchange, rose 36 cents to $179.24 in composite trading at 11:50 a.m. Merrill fell $1.13 to $47.25, Lehman declined $2.16 to $44.48 and Bank of America dropped $1.47 to $40.98.

  134. njpatient says:

    “Anybody know why S&P CS ignores some top 10 markets like Houston and Philadelphia but includes select smaller markets like Las Vegas and Tampa?”

    pretorius – I would imagine to get better geographic coverage. If you’ve already got Dallas, why include Houston instead of Las Vegas?

  135. Clotpoll says:

    bi (127)-

    The one you’re not taking.

  136. Clotpoll says:

    Rich (128)-

    How do you think I feel? I write these donkeys a check every month.

  137. Victorian says:

    “When comparing the national Case-Shiller and OFHEO indices, there are a number of differences: OFHEO covers more geographical territory, OFHEO is limited to GSE loans, OFHEO uses both appraisals and sales (Case-Shiller only uses sales), and some technical differences on adjusting for the time span between sales.

    OFHEO economist Andrew Leventis’ research suggests that the main reason for the recent price difference between the Case-Shiller and OFHEO indices was that prices for low end non-GSE homes declined significantly faster than homes with GSE loans. This was probably due to the lax underwriting standards on these non-GSE subprime loans . Note that Leventis’ research focused on the differences in the indices for the period from Q3 2006 through Q3 2007. I suspect the Case-Shiller index will continue to see larger price declines than OFHEO as lending standards have now been tightened significantly for other non-GSE loans (especially jumbo loans).”

  138. SG says:


    Even the experts missed the housing bubble

    By Robert J. Shiller

    NEW HAVEN, Conn.: One great puzzle about the recent housing bubble is why even most experts didn’t recognize the bubble as it was forming.

    Alan Greenspan, a very serious student of the markets, didn’t see it, and, moreover, he didn’t see the stock market bubble of the 1990s, either. In his 2007 autobiography, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, he talks at some length about his suspicions in the 1990s that there was irrational exuberance in the stock market. But in the end, he says, he just couldn’t figure it out: ”I’d come to realize that we’d never be able to identify irrational exuberance with certainty, much less act on it, until after the fact.”

    Three economists, Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer and Ivo Welch, in a classic 1992 article, defined what they call ”information cascades” that can lead people into serious error. They found that these cascades can affect even perfectly rational people and cause bubblelike phenomena. Why? Ultimately, people sometimes need to rely on the judgment of others, and therein lies the problem. The theory provides a framework for understanding the real estate turbulence we are now observing.

    Bikhchandani and his co-authors worked out this rational herding story carefully, and their results show that the probability of the cascade leading to an incorrect assumption is 37 percent. In other words, more than one-third of the time, rational individuals, each given information that is 60 percent accurate, will reach the wrong collective conclusion.

    Furthermore, these people are being influenced by agencies like the National Association of Realtors, which is conducting a public-relations campaign intended to show that putting money into housing is a reliable way to build wealth. Under these circumstances, it’s easy to understand how even experts could come to believe that housing is a spectacular investment.

    It is clear that just such an information cascade helped to create the housing bubble. And it is now possible that a downward cascade will develop — in which rational individuals become excessively pessimistic as they see others bidding down home prices to abnormally low levels.

  139. njpatient says:

    “OFHEO economist Andrew Leventis’ research suggests that the main reason for the recent price difference between the Case-Shiller and OFHEO indices was that prices for low end non-GSE homes declined significantly faster than homes with GSE loans.”

    Next question: what percentage of sales are excluded by OFHEO?

    (Don’t know the answer – can anyone guesstimate?)

  140. Clotpoll says:

    pret (130)-

    Does the ability to graph a train wreck precisely make it any less of a train wreck?

    Are we not yet at a point where the complete disintegration of everything can be accepted as a given?

    What’s that old saying…”don’t believe your lying eyes”?

  141. skep-tic says:

    #111

    Money quote:

    “Every buyer over the last few years had a choice: Buy a home or rent an apartment until income was more in line with prices. Many leaped into the housing market even as prices climbed to such high levels because they thought they could sell at a higher price. To a degree, they were all speculators.”

    this is why bailouts are bad policy

  142. bi says:

    1 Of 2 93-Year-Olds Charged In Manatee County Sex Sting

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/mar/25/93-year-old-charged-sex-sting/

  143. njpatient says:

    “OFHEO uses both appraisals and sales ”

    I didn’t know OFHEO was doing appraisals in telling us where prices are. So, really, the OFHEO numbers should come out with a footnote that says: “This price report is only relevant to a subset of homes, and in some cases we’re just guessing.”

  144. Confused In NJ says:

    93. Obama is a NBB, I wish a real African American was running for president who understands the challenges faced by discrimination that still exists. Obama is a joke I rather vote for Al Sharpton for President at least he keeps it real.

    The expression Real African American is meaningless. If you look at Kenya (Obama’s half heritage) what you see is a tribal bias and tribal genocide occurring. Africa has never been a cohesive nation, rather it is tribal. Their are Real members of various tribes or clans, but no one is a Real Generic African. In Sudan you see genocide inflicted by Mulims upon non Muslims. Actually, North African Muslims were the original Slavery Facilitators. Maybe the closest you can come to an African American from Africa, would be someone from Liberia, which was founded by former Slaves from America. In any case, the whole concept of finding someone in 2008, who has a credible link to someone abused in 1865 is ridiculous. Fairer to say “all people who are not Native Americans are equally guilty, and should exit this country to wherever they came from”. Who was discriminated against more, then the original inhabitants? Actually, the original slaves returning to Africa and founding Liberia, are the few not guilty of abusing the Native Americans.

  145. njpatient says:

    142
    That’s really horrible. What a waste.

  146. njpatient says:

    Maybe tomorrow we can have all the protestants tell us who is a RRC (“Real Roman Catholic”). I’m sure that’ll be informative.

  147. John says:

    To me someone whose is third generation projects in Bed Stuy is keeping it real. The rest of those posers should find another gravy train. The last girl I hired under a program was from an unwed mother with several kids in the projects putting herself through a four year finance degree, the girl was great and she kept it real. Obama is a big time NBB.

  148. 3b says:

    #144 Actually, the original slaves returning to Africa and founding Liberia, are the few not guilty of abusing the Native Americans.

    Except that when they got to what was called Liberia, they started abusing the natives there.

    The descendants of the American slaves were on the top in Liberia until very recently.

  149. Shore Guy says:

    # 115 Hehehe Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 1:41 pm
    “the Sales Rally” – F’G AWESOME!!!!

    Indeed. They may be losing $50,000 per home, but they plan to mak it up in volume.

  150. John says:

    Actually most protestants were orignally catholic and for the most part they are all posers. I am an original gangster “OG” protestant who family worked for King Henry the 8 back in the day and took the soup and converted so we could keep our heads and have some food on the table. We converted back to the real old school pope style catholic religion as we are keeping it real and that new fangled protetant stuff is so out of style. The Studio Protestants like John Travolta all have some new wave wacky spin-off aren’t keeping it real.
    March 25th, 2008 at 2:49 pm
    Maybe tomorrow we can have all the protestants tell us who is a RRC (”Real Roman Catholic”). I’m sure that’ll be informative.

  151. 3b says:

    #140 clot: Sadly it appear to be a desperate rush by him to continue to project that somehow all is well.

    I do not think he will accept anything to the contrary unless he personally experiences it.

    I thought the Bear collapse might sober him up, but apparently not. And so the charts they must give him great comfort.

  152. njpatient says:

    John, I guess it’s no surprise that you are no mere one-dimensional bigot.

  153. stu says:

    NBB? You guys are all on crack!

    John, if an unwed mother of 4 from Bed Stuy was running for president, I’m sure she would garner a lot of votes.

  154. BC Bob says:

    “More commercial real estate loans go on the block ”
    “Auction runner DebtX expects 300% rise in business in the second quarter”

    http://www.financialweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080321/REG/172248540/1036

  155. kettle1 says:

    ohn,

    “keeping it real”??? are you F’ing kidding me??? So because obama is well educate3d and doesn’t have a case of colt45 in his fridge he isnt keeping it real? because his parents raised him in a supportive, and financially and socially stable environment he is not keeping it real? You are well on your way to being as good a troll as re101.

    Oh are you medicated by any chance? some of your posts actually make sense, and then it seems you missed a dose of your meds…..

  156. Shore Guy says:

    # 153

    The Bear collapse is ripe for a take off on the Reagan commercial.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHO4M_Tar7A

  157. pretorius says:

    Njpatient,

    OFHEO also has a purchase-only index for New Jersey. I compared it to index that includes appraisals.

    There isn’t a meaningful difference between the two indices.

  158. 3b says:

    #151 John: I do nto know eher you got the took the soup term, but it was not from henry VII days.

    The term originated in the 1840′ when the famine raged in Ireland.

    Protestant missionaries from England, and American Quakers would give soup (which contained meat)on Friday’s to starving Catholic peasants who renounced their Catholi faith.

  159. Shore Guy says:

    Then came “Drinking the Coolaid,” but that is another story.

  160. njpatient says:

    158 pretorius

    Thanks.
    That’s a riot: They are guessing that the unsold houses have the same value as the sold houses, which is pretty funny, since the purpose of tracking the prices of the sold houses is to project the value of the unsold houses.

    It’s like grim’s lesson in bi-conomics yesterday: stock prices are a leading indicator of stock prices.

  161. Shore Guy says:

    It is a bit offtopic but worth watching:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIouq2u9kUo&NR=1

    Now compare THIS leadership to the poor excuse for leadership we currently have.

  162. Hehehe says:

    Pret, good read for you:

    A DISCOURAGING WORD
    NY MARKET’S WORRIES MAY COME TO A HEAD IN 2010

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03252008/business/a_discouraging_word_103488.htm

  163. Imus says:

    Pretty funny how you all dump on stats you don’t like (yesterday) and congratulate yourselves on stats you do like (today). Truth is somewhere in between.

  164. Hehehe says:

    Nah, truth is pretty much the opposite of what you think Imus

  165. 3b says:

    #164 Imus: The stats yesterday came from the NAR. Today’s stats are Case Shiller.

    I will let you figure out the rest.

  166. John says:

    First of all Obama did not have parents, he had a single parent who was white, alla Hale Berry secondly his educational background is indicative of the great privledge he was entitled to as a young adult.
    Now the lt. gov of NY he is keeping it real, I like him. He is like the Wilt Chambilin of Poltics. Much better than Elliot pay for it Spitzer and Jim the saugusge smuggling former gov of NJ, those guys lost all their street cred with me.

  167. Sean says:

    Acedemia vs Government vs the Entrepreneurs.

    Who has the right data and the right index?

    http://www.zillowblog.com/zillow-home-value-index-compared-to-ofheo-and-case-shiller-indexes/2008/03/

  168. Dman says:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com

    1. keepin’ it real

    A philosophy and identity concept that arouse in hip-hop culture, and followed primarily by African-Americans.

    “keepin’ it real” is an expression of living only for instant gratification and lack of desire for more. Only the most basic animalistic tendancies are to be acted apon. Lust and anger are the primary emotions. Drinking alcohol and smoking weed are the main hobbies.

    Recieving welfare while working as a criminal is one of the few ways to make money while being “real”. The other are playing sports such as basketball and football, or working in the entertainment industry.

    Jail time is status quo to the point that having never been to jail is mark of weakness in the eyes of those embracing this concept.

    John,

    Do you keep it real? :)

  169. pretorius says:

    3b,

    What specifically is flawed about the NAR stats?

  170. Dman says:

    From the same site.

    3. Keepin’ it real

    Defined by Chris Rocks as someone who does not want to better themselves through education. “Yo, are you going to school bro?”, “No, I’m keepin’ it real”. To which Chris Rock replies “yeah, Real Stupid!”.

    “Did you graduate high school”?

    Naw man, I’m keepin’ it real!

  171. stu says:

    Motley Fool:
    You’re Being Taken to the Cleaners

    http://tinyurl.com/ypzq9w

    “In other words, just like with JPMorgan and Bear Stearns, you’ll pay the bill if their plans fail, but they’ll reap the rewards if they succeed.

    Enough is enough. Either drop the subsidy to scuttle the deal, or close the emergency window, or both. But for heaven’s sake, stop destroying the entire financial system just to help a few billionaires get richer at taxpayer expense. “

  172. John says:

    RE 169 ok you prove me wrong, Obama is keeping it real, he is a pot and a coke head so I give him some street cred after all. Plus he is making his Benjimans by getting paid from the govt for doing nothing and he has a high faluting money honey lawyer at home bank rolling him. He is a phat daddy playa after all and keeping it real. Thats it he has my vote.

  173. 3b says:

    #163 hehe: And the article does not mention the ton of new condo inventory to come to market in lower Manhattan.

    I think Manhattan will see problems before 2010. In fact manhatan is already seeing them now,with Wall St layoffs accelerating.

  174. Clotpoll says:

    Imus (164)-

    Did you sell your quota of pencils today?

  175. Clotpoll says:

    If not, get back in the subway and get to work.

  176. Clotpoll says:

    (173)-

    Is this post evidence that his Lithium dose needs recalibration?

  177. Sean says:

    There is about five months left until the Democratic Convention.

    In the name of all that is holy and unholy take the national politics over to the huff post where you will find lots of people who care.

  178. John says:

    Chris Rock lives in Alpine, New Jersey.
    He is not keeping it real!!

  179. jcer says:

    I somewhat agree with John on Obama. I really don’t like the guy. While it comes off as racist, the truth is he has made race an issue, if it were not for his race he would not be in the running. Obama has not lived the “Black” experience in this country, he has not struggled as other successful African Americans have. The honest truth is Bill Clinton has more in common with your typical afro-american than Obama does and has struggled more albeit if he were black it would have been even more difficult.

  180. JLB says:

    It looks like instead of the “Obamacans” there will be many “McCainocrats” this year.

  181. Sybarite says:

    #180

    So Hillary is your man?

  182. Clotpoll says:

    And, the French are the wusses:

    PARIS (AP) -French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that he cannot rule out the possibility he might boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics if China continues its crackdown in Tibet.

    An official from France’s state television company said the broadcaster would likely boycott the games if coverage was censored, and the European Union, United States, Australia and Canada urged China to show restraint as it tries to quell continuing unrest in its Tibetan areas.

    Asked whether he supported a boycott, Sarkozy said he could “not close the door to any possibility.” A spokesman for the president said Sarkozy was referring to a possible snub of the Aug. 8 opening ceremony.

    “Our Chinese friends must understand the worldwide concern that there is about the question of Tibet, and I will adapt my response to the evolutions in the situation that will come, I hope, as rapidly as possible,” the president said during a visit with a military regiment in southwest France.

    Sarkozy also said he had told Chinese President Hu Jintao of his concern, asking for restraint, dialogue and the end of violence in Tibet.

    [snip]

    At the White House, press secretary Dana Perino said President Bush still plans to attend the Olympics.

  183. 3b says:

    #170 pret: Quite honestly I have no intention of checking their stats. No need to. There is no way they can be truly honest or unbiased;it is a simple conflict of interest.

    Not to mention this same concern has been preaching month after month that the bottom is here, all is OK and yet…..

    Do you really think they would say prices will or could fall more, and potential buyers could profit by waiting?

    Case Shiller on the other hand has no vested interest to protect. Therefore the confidence level in their numbers is greater.

  184. gary says:

    Can anyone give me a current tally on the NJMLS? I have a feeling the day after Easter may have triggered a sizeable increase.

  185. jcer says:

    I’d rather have clinton in the white house for reasons of comedy but I think McCain might be who I’m going for.

  186. njpatient says:

    164 Imus

    I loved yesterday’s stats! Sales down by almost 25%?!? Prices plummeting?!?

    Yesterday’s Stats: GREAT
    Today’s Stats: GREATER!

  187. Clotpoll says:

    Note to the world’s dictators:

    You, too, can pursue a policy of genocide and suppression. Just make sure you’re holding billions of dollars in US Treasury paper.

  188. grim says:

    Gary,

    We should have March stats in the next 8-9 days.

  189. njpatient says:

    Pretorius – are you unaware that the NAR is a propaganda outfit?

  190. njpatient says:

    “We should have March stats in the next 8-9 days.”

    March Stats: GREATEST!!!!

  191. Dman says:

    #180 Jcer

    Please describe for us the “black” experience? And if that implies a struggle of some sort, are you saying that If a person is black and has not struggled, then he does not have the experience of being black?

  192. njpatient says:

    184 3b

    I see you beat me to the explication of why some stats are better than others without wasting the time of re-crunching the entire data set.

  193. skep-tic says:

    McCain is the only one running who has rejected bailouts w/r/t the housing bubble. hil and barry both want to send checks to all of the deadbeats and their bankers.

    w/r/t the NAR, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the NAR index based on sampling not repeat transactions as with OFHEO and Chiller? Thus, with the NAR index, one must question how representative their samples are of the overall market and whether there is a tendency to massage the sample set. That said, the NAR index does not seem any more off the mark to me than the others.

  194. Clotpoll says:

    Dman (192)-

    I think these racial conversations are best left untouched, or conducted in another forum. Every time it starts up here, it seems to begin in the gutter (John) and go downhill from there.

    As much as we may be on the RE ball, I think we (and I include myself) miss the mark by a mile when the talk turns to race.

  195. njpatient says:

    180 jcer

    I agree with you that it comes off as racist. On the rest of it, I don’t agree with you.
    “if it were not for his race he would not be in the running” – yes, d*mn him and his advantageous blackness!
    I’m sure it’s the gross disadvantages of being white that have kept you down all these years.

  196. Ann says:

    Just got the mail..

    Lovely postcard that the “Kernometer” has determined that “local real estate conditions” are at around 50. With 0 being ice cold. And 100 being Red Hot.

    What is the Kernometer and who is determining what the Kernometer spits out? Is this a joke? And who came up with the name Kernometer, which might be the worst name ever?

  197. Clotpoll says:

    patient (193)-

    But, re-crunching the data set is an incredibly useful activity…when one’s house-of-cards argument is about to be leveled to the ground.

  198. njpatient says:

    195 clot

    Thanks for the reminder.
    I’ll have a c*cktail and ignore the bigots.

    (When I’m 70 years old, I still expect to find it a source of amusement that I can use the word “c*cktail” out loud in polite company)

  199. 3b says:

    #193 njpatient: Of course no need to recrunch the numbers.

    One would think that the difference in confidence level in the 2 sources for the stats would be self evident to people. No need to create extra work.

  200. grim says:

    Please drop the race/political discussions.

  201. pretorius says:

    I’m not naive enough to believe there is always a complete separation between an organization’s stat geeks and its spin doctors.

    However, just like CS, NAR is showing double digit declines in many bust markets such as LA, Tampa, and Las Vegas and in some Midwestern markets like Detroit. And NAR figures show greater declines than CS in some markets. Generally, CS and NAR data match pretty well.

    Dismissing NAR data based on what NAR’s marketing people say is silly, and case that NAR manipulates historical data doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

  202. 3b says:

    #197 Ann: Kernometer. Comes from Kern and Rogers a real estate company based in Wyckoff (Bergen county)

  203. Hehehe says:

    I heard the US is going to make a stink about this Tibetan situation but only if the Dalai Lama agrees to give Citi $10B.

  204. Clotpoll says:

    Ann (197)-

    May I borrow your rectal Kernometer? Mine appears to have been snapped off in something.

  205. Clotpoll says:

    3b (203)-

    Kern/Rogers = Abbott/Costello

  206. 3b says:

    #202 pret: If it makes you feel better.

  207. 3b says:

    #207 clot: Actually there is an Abbott & Casserta real estate company in that same area. No kidding.

  208. skep-tic says:

    pretorios– what is your opinion on the exclusion of foreclosures from the various indices? I am pretty sure NAR does this and the others may do this as well

  209. pretorius says:

    Skep-tic,

    Aren’t foreclosures are included in the indices when the bank sells them?

  210. Clotpoll says:

    pret (202)-

    “Dismissing NAR data based on what NAR’s marketing people say is silly, and case that NAR manipulates historical data doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.”

    Actually, the above stands as a prime example of why NAR’s statistics have lost all credibility. The fact that numbers which may have the utmost integrity are presented alongside a degree of spin that borders on fraud renders those numbers worthless.

    Lie with dogs, one gets fleas.

  211. njpatient says:

    “McCain is the only one running who has rejected bailouts w/r/t the housing bubble”

    Speaking of bubbles, anyone remember this book?
    “Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market” by James K. Glassman and Kevin A. Hassett. It was published in 1999 before the dot-com bubble burst.

    Who is Kevin A. Hassett, you might ask?
    “Kevin Hassett is an economist who works for the think tank American Enterprise Institute. He appears on Bloomberg Television about once a week, usually on Wednesdays. He advised President Bush in his campaign, and is currently advising John McCain in his campaign for president.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Hassett

    McCain admits he knows nothing about economics, but it’s ok – he’s reading Greenspan’s book to fill that intellectual hole.

  212. pretorius says:

    Clotpoll,

    Did you question Shiller’s credibility when he decided to exclude huge non-bubble markets like Houston and Philly while including smaller bubble markets like Las Vegas and Tampa?

    One way NAR data is useful is it contains data on a lot of important markets that Shiller has chosen to ignore.

  213. John says:

    Dman Says:
    YES!!!

    Same for all races, the first generation Irish born in the Bronx in the 1950s and 1960s who slept on the floor in the living room in the winter and fire escape on the summer who played in the streets and got beaten by the nuns who used their community college degrees to get to SVP level and a house in the surburbs had the Irish experience. A third generation irish person born in the rich surburbs did not have it. You can subsitute any nationality.
    March 25th, 2008 at 3:45 pm
    #180 Jcer

    Please describe for us the “black” experience? And if that implies a struggle of some sort, are you saying that If a person is black and has not struggled, then he does not have the experience of being black?

  214. njpatient says:

    211 skep

    foreclosures don’t count because, well, put it this way: If I HAD to sell my share of Google today, I’d only get $450 for it. So you might think it is worth only $450. But you would be wrong, because I can just not sell it today, and wait until someone gives me some other price on some other day that makes me happier, and then we can say that was what my share of Google was worth all along.

    See how that works?

  215. Clotpoll says:

    pret (216)-

    I’m on record here as not giving a damn about any of these stats. Anyone who cooks up an index has a vested interest in the outcome…I don’t care who it is. Dig deep enough, and we’ll find Shiller’s paymaster, guaranteed.

    I’ve got a bunch of agents and am surrounded- every day, in real time- by all the info I need to draw conclusions on the RE market. I’ve got a pretty good feeling for what’s going on by 10 AM, any given day of the week. The fact that you work in RE- and have this obsessive thirst for graphs- only leads me to believe you’re in the throes of denial, grasping for shreds of reinforcement to what are rapidly-collapsing arguments.

  216. njpatient says:

    216 pret

    “Did you question Shiller’s credibility when he decided to exclude huge non-bubble markets like Houston and Philly while including smaller bubble markets like Las Vegas and Tampa?”

    not speaking for Clot, but I certainly didn’t. Here’s shorthand for why:

    NAR: Propagandists with a financial interest in a given outcome.
    Schiller: Disinterested party.

    See how that works?

  217. John says:

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The chief executive of Wells Fargo & Co. said Tuesday that the current environment presents opportunities and that the venerable San Francisco bank would consider doing a deal in conjunction with the Federal Reserve.

    either ncc or wamu baby!!

  218. njpatient says:

    Clot and I disagree. JLB will be disappointed.

  219. RentininNJ says:

    the recent price difference between the Case-Shiller and OFHEO indices was that prices for low end non-GSE homes declined significantly faster than homes with GSE loans

    A Realtor® recently told me that the bursting housing bubble didn’t apply to the kind of houses I was looking at. “While million dollar McMansions may be sitting on the market, homes under $450 were simply flying off the shelves”, Said the realtor®. There was no point in waiting, because “low priced houses are not going down”.*

    * Editor’s note: It takes about $130k in income to “afford” a $450k home (assuming a 10% DP). Given that less than a quarter of North Jersey households could afford a $450k house, it’s interesting that she considers this a “low priced” home.

  220. skep-tic says:

    my understanding is that the NAR does not include sales that result from foreclosure because they are “forced” sales and thus do not represent a typical arms-length transaction. I have always assumed the exclusion applies to the bank sales that follow a foreclosure as well (not just the price bid by the bank at the foreclosure auction, which incidentally is often higher than the later resale since banks will typically just bid the amount of the outstanding mortgage)

  221. Clotpoll says:

    HE (207)-

    Post of the day.

  222. pretorius says:

    NAR and OFHEO – New Jersey-specific indices, but should be dismissed on njrereport because data doesn’t fit with housing crash thesis

    Case-Shiller – No New Jersey-specific index, but some big negative numbers so we’ll claim those negative numbers as our own on njrereport

    My point is that no index is perfect and we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss indices when the data doesn’t conform to our views.

  223. skep-tic says:

    Schiller is not disinterested. His academic reputation rests on calling the tech and housing bubbles and it is reasonable to assume he wants to be proved right in his predictions

  224. Hehehe says:

    “John Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 4:16 pm
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The chief executive of Wells Fargo & Co. said Tuesday that the current environment presents opportunities and that the venerable San Francisco bank would consider doing a deal in conjunction with the Federal Reserve.

    either ncc or wamu baby!!”

    I love how Bergabe’s newest role is matchmaker. Add that to inflater, currency debaser, etc etc

  225. Dman says:

    #219 Clot

    I think someone may have posted this before but

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

    -Upton Sinclair

  226. Clotpoll says:

    HE (228)-

    “I love how Bergabe’s newest role is matchmaker. Add that to inflater, currency debaser, etc etc”

    I think a good catchall word might be “pimp”.

  227. Clotpoll says:

    D (229)-

    Can’t be said enough.

  228. John says:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) has rolled out a retention package for Bear Stearns Cos.’ (BSC) brokers in a bid to keep top talent from bolting.

    The retention bonus, announced to Bear’s more than 500 brokers early this week, will give its most productive brokers – those who produce at least $500, 000 in commissions and fees over the past year – up to 100% of their annual output.

    A full 75% of the retention package will be paid up-front in cash, and the rest will be in stock. Advisors can also get an additional bonus, 50% in stock and 50% in cash, based on the average annual rise in their production in the next three years.

    Those who are producing $250,000 to less than $500,000will get 50% of their annual production – split evenly between cash and stock. Underperforming brokers – those who are producing less than $250,000 in annual commissions and fees – will not get a retention package.

  229. Punch My Ticket says:

    Yo, Clot! From Ben’s blog, a new business model for you …

    Billy O’Keefe recognizes that real estate agents rank among the least-respected professionals on the planet.

    For one thing, the barrier to entry is low. Because it’s relatively easy to get a license, you have the “stripper/Realtor” and “plumber/Realtor,” said O’Keefe, who recently opened O’Keefe Casto Residential Brokerage in Las Vegas.

    Realtors get paid the same commission when they close a transaction no matter how good or how bad they were at the job, he added.

    O’Keefe is operating under a different business model at his brokerage, one that holds agents accountable for their competency and guarantees money-back customer satisfaction.

    “Our guarantee states that if you’re not happy and don’t think we earned our money at closing, we will not charge you,” O’Keefe said. “It’s risky. We’ve got brokers who think we’re out of our minds.” …

    http://www.lvrj.com/business/16948376.html

  230. skep-tic says:

    agree that no index is perfect and that at best I think you can look at the 3 major indices and see a general trend. different people may prefer different indices for legit reasons (including NAR).

    However, given that this blog is primarily concerned with the NYC suburbs, I do not see why the NAR index for the entire state of NJ is preferable to Case/Schiller which focuses on the metro area where most people who read this blog live and work. I think it’s more reasonable to criticize Case/Schiller on other grounds, such as the exclusion of new construction (which incidentally is more heavily discounted than resales).

  231. Rich In NNJ says:

    Gary (188),

    From NJMLS for Bergen County, March 1,
    2004 3,206
    2005 3,235
    2006 4,945
    2007 5,231
    2008 5,455

    Yesterday 5,740

    April 1, 2007 5,526

  232. pretorius says:

    Rich in NNJ,

    We can’t trust that data. It emanates from people affiliated with the NAR!

    Just joking. Please keep posting the Bergen County data.

  233. John says:

    I own NCC and Wamu bonds bought under par at a high yield a few weeks back hoping for a fed bail out to bring the bonds above par. The market is irrational as I bought crap bonds on purpose hoping Benny would bail them out and I would get a kaching. That is why real market people are on the side lines as this has become a rumour mill and moral hazard approach to betting.

    Same goes for RE, tour buses of idiots buying foreclosed properties is not the crowd you want to be betting against. Back in 1992 I saw plenty a falling knife cutting off people’s hands. Those who jumped in a 20% off were dead by the time it was 40% off.

  234. njpatient says:

    skep

    “Schiller is not disinterested. His academic reputation rests on calling the tech and housing bubbles and it is reasonable to assume he wants to be proved right in his predictions”

    Fair point, although it’s funny that the fact that he is among the tiny number who were right on both counts is held against him.

  235. Clotpoll says:

    Punch (233)-

    Thanks. Neat stuff.

    Risk reversal for the client is a big net winner for RE companies that are gutsy enough to offer it.

  236. njpatient says:

    skep
    “However, given that this blog is primarily concerned with the NYC suburbs, I do not see why the NAR index for the entire state of NJ is preferable ”

    I certainly agree with this. In fact, there has often been a focus on this blog on Manhattan and places close to Manhattan (you know, like Weehawken, Hoboken and JC).

  237. Clotpoll says:

    I, too, would see unlimited opportunities for investment in today’s market…if only the Fed would backstop me for 29-30 bil at, say, 2.5% interest.

  238. pretorius says:

    Clotpoll,

    “The fact that you work in RE- and have this obsessive thirst for graphs- only leads me to believe you’re in the throes of denial, grasping for shreds of reinforcement to what are rapidly-collapsing arguments.”

    The reason I put together graphs is because people here request them.

    After all, one of the reasons this blog started up is to exchange information. Since the easiest way to comprehend a time series of data is in chart form, it makes sense to create charts once in a while.

  239. Clotpoll says:

    Looks like our friends Au and Ag made a little u-turn today…

    All disclaimers.

  240. Sybarite says:

    Pret,

    As “stubborn” as most make you out to be, I must say I respect your ability to keep your cool and trying to base your statements on fact unlike many others who simply try to provoke and disagree without evidence.

  241. Clotpoll says:

    pret (242)-

    Request, or challenge?

  242. Clotpoll says:

    syb (244)-

    What’s wrong with irrational provocation?

  243. Victorian says:

    Market rigging?

    Notice how the volumes spikes taper as soon as the S&P is “safe” –

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EGSPC&t=1d

  244. skep-tic says:

    question about agents:

    let’s say you are looking at houses in a couple of diff’t towns which are in the same state but far enough apart so that an agent who operates primarily in one town probably wouldn’t be very familiar with the market in the other town. is it ok to have two buyer’s agents?

  245. Mike NJ says:

    Mitchell when he sees the February graph on NC RE

    “The South will rise again!”

  246. Clotpoll says:

    Vic (247)-

    I’d say the S&P’s ideally-poised for another plunge toward 1270.

    Please. :)

    No disclaimer. This time, God told me it will happen.

  247. Sybarite says:

    246

    RE12.625 sums it up.

  248. Sybarite says:

    I’m with you clot. I’ve got SDS where my mouth is.

  249. gary says:

    Rich In NNJ [235],

    Awesome numbers, thanks. I wonder how long the sellers will insist on top dollar when that number is up around 8,000?

  250. Clotpoll says:

    skep (248)-

    Yes.

  251. 3b says:

    #227 sket: His academic reputation was well established before the houisng mess. Far more than can be said for the NAR.

  252. Victorian says:

    250# Clot – LOL!

    I might invest in a Bergabe voodoo doll.

  253. Clotpoll says:

    Syb (252)-

    If the PPT can keep propping up the 500, I’m a dead man. There is no index on the planet more riddled with the jetsam and flotsam of an economy on deathwatch. A position in SDS is the ultimate bet that Mr. Market always wins.

  254. Punch My Ticket says:

    patient [238],

    Shiller is remembered for having Irrational Exuberance hit the bookstores just as techs popped. No one remembers that he was warning everyone off in 1996 and that heeding his advice then would have cost investors dearly?

    His reputation for timing market calls is strictly retail.

  255. gary says:

    “I’ve got SDS where my mouth is.”

    Wow, I knew somebody who had that… you might want to get that looked at. ;)

  256. Sean says:

    for 14 or 15 shares of BSC you can get a t-shirt.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080325/us_nm/bearstearns_ebay_dc

  257. 3b says:

    #216 pret: I am not familair with Tampa, but I would certainly say that Las Vegas was not a small bubble market, unless you ar perhaps refering to tje size of the city/area vs Houston.

  258. Punch My Ticket says:

    Clot [239],

    You missed one of the important pieces of that business model: “stripper/Realtor”. (Pretty funny that the paper capitalized Realtor.) Surely there is room for that in NJ. ;-)

  259. skep-tic says:

    Don’t get me wrong– I think Schiller has a lot more credibility than NAR. I’m just saying he has his biases as well and the Case/Schiller index is not without flaws.

    Again, I think the main value in these indices is to reveal broad trends. NAR and Chiller may vary from each other by a few percent, but both are down significantly from a year ago. If you are looking at specific houses, I don’t see one being more helpful than the other

  260. Booya says:

    Article from Barron’s…

    WE ARE UPGRADING HOME-BUILDER stocks.

    A bottom is a bottom: Inventory (total new and existing) levels have stabilized over the last five to six months with no seasonal spring pickup in sight. Bid and ask for home prices are finally meeting.

    As with all cyclical industries, the key is finding an inventory peak to find the beginning of a trough in the business. We are now two to three years into the downturn depending on the regional market. While we would expect another million or so home foreclosures in 2008, we believe those can be absorbed to the point that today’s net inventory level goes no higher.

    New-home sales rates have stabilized but at very low levels. While national housing data still show a rather ugly demand environment, the sales rates per subdivision we are seeing at the local level throughout the Southwestern U.S. have found a relatively steady pace in line with the rates seen throughout the fourth quarter of 2007. This is not a very exciting pace (roughly 0.5 sales per week per subdivision versus 1.0 per week in normal times and 2.0 per week in the boom years).

    Financing for home buyers remains difficult, but Federal Reserve rate cuts, liquidity infusion, new loan limits for Agency lenders and the return of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) /Veterans Administration market should provide adequate funding. Mortgage and other capital-market activity has been chaotic of late, but with significant Fed cuts, dramatic increases in Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac/ FHA loan limits and investing capacity, and a generally proactive government program for encouraging help to troubled borrowers, we think there is enough support to work through the housing market problems over time.

    Affordability has improved considerably across many markets. After reaching record-low levels in mid 2006, housing affordability has improved significantly and is now above the average levels experienced since 1990. As reported-median-home prices from the National Association of Realtors eventually catch up to true current-market pricing, we believe the affordability index should reach record-high levels by the end of 2008.

    The cycle should start again at the low end of the market in strong job markets in the Southwest. As with prior cycles, we expect the next upcycle to commence at the low end as renters begin to become buyers again. Geographically, we expect supply-constrained coastal markets with good job growth (particularly the Southwest and Washington, D.C.) to lead the recovery.

    We are raising our ratings on select home builders. We are raising our rating on D.R. Horton from Market Outperform to Strong Buy and are increasing our price target from $20 to $22.

    We are also increasing our ratings on Pulte Homes, Meritage Homes and Orleans Homebuilders from Market Perform to Market Outperform. Our new price target for Pulte is $20; for Meritage, $25; and for Orleans, $9.

    We are also raising our price target on KB Home from $24 to $33 per share.

  261. Clotpoll says:

    Punch (262)-

    “You missed one of the important pieces of that business model: “stripper/Realtor”. (Pretty funny that the paper capitalized Realtor.) Surely there is room for that in NJ.”

    There’s certainly room in my office, at least.

    Sorry to use the board for a “help wanted” ad, Grim…but, any hot strippers who hold RE licenses are welcome to call. I have nice desks, comfy chairs and a wide selection of hot & cold beverages. Drinking before noon here is also strictly-optional.

  262. Clotpoll says:

    Perhaps the RE Commission could be persuaded to come up with a “fluffer” licensing category?

  263. njpatient says:

    258 Punch

    “No one remembers that he was warning everyone off in 1996 and that heeding his advice then would have cost investors dearly?”

    I didn’t remember that. Link?

  264. pretorius says:

    3b,

    Yes, I’m talking about the size of populations, not housing bubbles.

    Philly metro population was 5.7 million and Houston was 4.7 million in 2000. Shiller has taken the decision to exclude these markets from his index.

    Tampa metro population was 2.4 million and Las Vegas was 1.3 million in 2000. Shiller chose to feature these markets in his index.

  265. njpatient says:

    263 skep
    all true

  266. John says:

    Clotpol you are one mac daddy who knows his pops, drops and locks. Remember rule number one make them wear undies on the upholstered funniture. Plus properly lube your stripper poles no one likes a stripper with rough skin on their hands. Plus those Realtor Yellow Jackets will hid stains nicely in your requistive golden shower booth.

  267. Sean says:

    Anerage 30 year jumbo hit 7.26% today on Bankrate, that has to be a new high, it was only 7.02 last week.

    I gather with that new Jumbo rate the spring selling season in NJ is going gangbusters with all of that pent up demand, buyers must shoving each other out of the way like a Walmart stamped.

    [Sarcasm Off]

  268. 3b says:

    #272 sean: Excuse me, but it is pant up demand.

  269. John says:

    Sean, big deal on jumbos, who the heck is getting a loan that big anyhow. on a million home you need 600k large down to swing the payments with 20K in tax.

  270. BC Bob says:

    “It’s obvious to anybody with a brain and two legs on which to take a stroll that lots of real estate players are in for a bruising time.”

    he [166],

    From your NY Post link.

    It’s obvious, to me, that many are either strolling without a brain or sitting on it.

  271. 3b says:

    #268 pret; Poin taken. However, it does not change my over all opinion on NAR stats vs. Shiller.

    It is all over anyhow in our area after this no show Spring selling season, and yes you can hold me to that.

    There is only so much lipstick you can put on a pig.

  272. BC Bob says:

    [264],

    Please also include Ableson’s article.

  273. 3b says:

    #264 booya: Geographically, we expect supply-constrained coastal markets with good job growth (particularly the Southwest and Washington, D.C.) to lead the recovery.

    This is after the recession that has just started is over; I would presume. (sarcasm off).

  274. was_looking says:

    Sorry if this article was posted earlier, i did not see it.

    The Next Slum

    The subprime crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundamental changes in American life may turn today’s McMansions into tomorrow’s tenements.

    “A structural change is under way in the housing market—a major shift in the way many Americans want to live and work. It has shaped the current downturn, steering some of the worst problems away from the cities and toward the suburban fringes. And its effects will be felt more strongly, and more broadly, as the years pass. Its ultimate impact on the suburbs, and the cities, will be profound.”

    http://tinyurl.com/create.php

  275. was_looking says:

    Nice if i pasted the correct url the first time!:
    http://tinyurl.com/2cmrfd

  276. Clotpoll says:

    was (279)-

    Suburban slums are nothing new. Any Southern city (Houston and Atlanta come to mind) that has a peripheral interstate highway began to experience this phenomenon 20+ years ago.

    I remember the first suburban slums popping up in my hometown, Memphis, around 1988-89.

  277. Wag says:

    njpatient (202)- It is very encouraging to know that I am not the only one, who refers to a c*cktail as a c*cktail. Perhaps at the next GTG we could raise a glass, for furtherance of the very term.

  278. Wag says:

    BC (274)- In the running for post of the day with that one.

  279. Clotpoll says:

    (277)-

    Please post any Abelson article. One on gold would be nice.

  280. BC Bob says:

    Clot [277]

    If anybody missed it. Ableson, this weekend in Barron’s;

    Wal-Mart special this week. Buy a toaster, free bank included.

  281. pretorius says:

    Bewm,

    I noticed the recent negative Riva Pointe comp appear in the freshest data. It is the only negative comp I’ve seen so far. I’m sure we’ll see more at that condo development. There are dozens of units for sale there.

    The other comp is very positive, although it isn’t a great comp because of the improvements that happened between the sales. That flipper put a lot of work into that house, but he sold it for 4x what he paid.

  282. was_looking says:

    Clot(281)
    Not having experienced suburban slums but having travelled to Charlotte many times I had to keep reading as to where they were talking about. Struck me as odd, Charlotte (and surrounding) seems to be ‘the place’, so new, almost antiseptic (one reason i don’t think i could live there). But bullet holes in a new McMansion, now that’s a real disconnect at least to me. Any guess of the impact bullet holes in your home have on value?

  283. pretorius says:

    Was_looking,

    Eastland Mall in Charlotte is a good example of what can happen to real estate values in high-growth cities with limited regulatory barriers to new construction.

    As Charlotte’s population grew, its poor population did too. The footprint of this poor population expanded to cover the Charlotte’s 1960s-era east side suburbs. Meanwhile, new shopping malls were built right and left.

    Eastland was purchased in 1998 for $60 million. Today it is probably worth less than $10 million. A demographic shift and new supply drained the value out of this real estate.

    This happens all the time in the Southeast. It doesn’t happen as much in the Northeast because geographic and political barriers to new construction help preserve the value of developed land.

  284. Clotpoll says:

    was (288)-

    “Any guess of the impact bullet holes in your home have on value?”

    Dunno. Ask Otteau.

    I’d guess bullet holes in EIFS could start some nasty water penetration-related problems, too.

  285. Clotpoll says:

    pret (289)-

    There’s another term for that:

    white flight

  286. Rich In NNJ says:

    JB,

    Check out the $12,300,000 manor that sold today in Saddle River.

    Buyer: Holly-wood, Cal-li-fornia
    Weeeee-doggies!

  287. Bill says:

    Got the below message from a friend that owns in New Milford when I emailed him the Cliffside Comp that was posted here earlier this week:

    “Location
    Location
    Location
    Location Bergen County according to the Bergen Record has not been hit as hard as other areas of the state.
    tom c”

    Typical attitude of many in Bergen County.
    I heard this same BS in the late 80’s – early 90’s.
    It happens everywhere BUT in Bergen County.
    Like I said… pure BS

  288. pretorius says:

    Clotpoll,

    There’s been white flight from Queens for decades.

    Queens Center mall is worth hundreds of millions today.

    The fact that new malls haven’t been built in Queens helps explain why the value is still there.

  289. njpatient says:

    275 Punch

    Thanks. I agree with your general point. That being said, if you say that an asset sold for $X is overvalued, and a couple of years later it sells for $2X, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were wrong in the first instance. It might mean you’re wrong, or it might mean that Fool Prime found Fool Subprime. It’s difficult to determine which is the case, however, so it isn’t a terribly constructive argument.

  290. njpatient says:

    293 pret
    “There’s been white flight from Queens for decades.”

    Yep, as anyone who has regularly travelled Northern Boulevard for the past 35 years can attest.

  291. grim says:

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    Closer to Housing Bottom, or Signal of a Deeper Trench?

    The Case-Shiller house price index, our favorite of the various house price indexes, continues to show that house prices are falling very fast. … [Based on our own seasonal adjusting] the monthly reading for January indicates that house prices are falling at over a 20% annual rate. Further, the declines are still steepening as they were falling at just under 20% in November and December of last year. – Goldman Sachs Economics

    There are two distinctly different ways of interpreting the [Case-Shiller] housing data. At face value, the worse the latest reading, the worse the economy will be in the near term. At the same time, one could also start from the assumption that there needs to be a certain price adjustment, and the faster we get it done, the sooner we can get back to normal. [But] As it stands, every month of drastic price drops will probably lead us (and most everyone else) to scale down the ultimate stopping point. … The current anecdotal evidence suggests that the period of steep home price declines likely extended beyond January into February and March, though it will be tough to get an accurate read on the true state of the housing market until we start to get spring data. – Stephen Stanley, RBS Greenwich Capital

    Home price declines continued to intensify through January, according to both the Case-Shiller and OFHEO indices. Price declines show no signs of abating, even with prices already falling faster than at any time on record. Recent existing home sales data do suggest that a combination of falling prices and mortgage rates could begin to stabilize demand. But with inventories still high, prices certainly have farther to fall. – J.P. Morgan Economic Research

    While there continues to be a wide dispersion in price movements across major centers, there are fewer and fewer major centers that are reporting yearly price gains – in the January report, only Charlotte reported year-over-year price gains. The decline in nationwide January home prices at an accelerated rate is a troubling reminder that conditions in the housing market continued to deteriorate in early 2008. Clearly the housing market will exert a severe drag on real output in the first half of 2008, and tighter credit conditions overall are expected to have a dampening effect on other big ticket purchases, such as automobiles and household appliances. — Brian Bethune, Global Insight

    The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index in January continued to show an accelerating rate of decline. The composite 20 city index fell by a record 23.2% in January measured on a 3-month annualized basis and by 10.7% measured on a y/y basis. … [T]he y/y rate of decline on a nationwide basis is now greater than seen at the end of the 1990-91 recession. With supply overhang enormous and mortgage financing tougher to obtain, home prices are going to decline considerably further in the quarters ahead, most likely to a double-digit pace on a y/y basis before not too long. – Joshua Shapiro, MFR Inc.

  292. Clotpoll says:

    pret (293)-

    Duh. In the South, it’s amazing watching whites flee an area, settle another area- then, after a few years (and a tipping point of minority families moving in)- move yet again. It’s really a nomadic existence. And, it’s completely supported by the lack of planning and the mindset that the next farm that gets turned into 500 McMansions and a WalMart supercenter will be Paradise Lost. Of course, it doesn’t help that these whites are moving because they believe that even being near people of color makes them 100% likely to become a victim of violent crime.

    That’s also how you get suburban slums. They always seem to start right off the exit ramps of peripheral highways.

  293. Ann says:

    Re: the Kernometer

    Oh, it comes from their name. Some deep analytical work going on there, not to mention the fabulous marketing with that catchy name.

    Kernometer = Worst Real Estate Marketing Tool Ever

    Ok, well, worst right after Zillow’s Make Me Sell.

  294. 3b says:

    #293 Bill: It sure is BS, because prices declined dramatically in Bergen Co in the ealy 90’s I lived it. Either your friend is in denial, or was too young to remember.

    And it is happening again.By the way tell your frined in New mIlford there are tons of house for sale in that town, with many available at asking prices well under 400k.

  295. bill says:

    #300
    He did live through the last declines and back then offered up the same explanations. For some reason he thinks that its proximity to NYC (although not much better than most NJ areas) precludes it. Don’t ask me why postage stamp lots, with cookie cutter houses and tons on traffic congestion would preclude it, but that’s what many that live there seem to believe.

  296. bill says:

    #300
    He did live through the last declines and back then offered up the same explanations. For some reason he thinks that its proximity to NYC (although not much better than most NJ areas) precludes it. Don’t ask me why postage stamp lots, with cookie cutter houses and tons on traffic congestion would preclude it, but that’s what many that live there seem to believe.

  297. bill says:

    sorry for hit I enter twice

  298. 3b says:

    #301 bill: Well if he lived through it, is he denying that it happened in the first place? Surely he must remember it.

  299. bill says:

    Claims Bergen County is always better then any where else and will never concede that some people might find other areas more appealing.
    He’ll claim people only live in other areas because they can’t afford BC.

Comments are closed.