March Existing Home Sales

From the AP:

Home sales expected to rise in March

Home sales are expected to rise 5.2 percent in March, reversing three months of declines, as government incentives juiced the housing market and kicked off what’s expected to be a strong spring selling season.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters forecast the National Association of Realtors will say sales of previously occupied homes rose last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million, up from 5.02 million in February. That was the weakest month since last July.

Sales nationally declined over the winter, eroding gains made last fall and summer. The downward direction troubled economists because the government has taken unprecedented steps to support the housing sector.

Home shoppers have felt less rushed after lawmakers extended the deadline to qualify for tax incentives. The government is offering a $8,000 credit for first-time buyers and a $6,500 credit for current homeowners who have lived in their property for the past five years.

Still, some housing market experts predict the market will take a dramatic “double-dip” once the government’s supports are gone. But others argue that there is enough pent-up demand to keep the market chugging. And prices have fallen dramatically since the boom years — as much as 50 percent in some places. So buyers can pick up bargain-priced foreclosures.

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403 Responses to March Existing Home Sales

  1. Dirty Sanchez says:

    frist

  2. safeashouses says:

    Doom,

    Another footballer be in twubble.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/25e978j

  3. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aWUolZvh4qmE

    Bond Market Will Never Be the Same After Goldman: Michael Lewis

    “Among the many likely consequences of the SEC’s decision to sue Goldman Sachs for fraud is a social upheaval in the bond markets.

    Indeed, the social effects of the SEC’s actions will almost certainly be greater than the narrow legal ones. Just as there was a time when people could smoke on airplanes, or drive drunk without guilt, there was a time when a Wall Street bond trader could work with a short seller to create a bond to fail, trick and bribe the rating companies into blessing the bond, then sell the bond to a slow-witted German without having to worry if anyone would ever know, or care, what he’d just done.

    That just changed.”

  4. Final Doom says:

    safe (2)-

    Benzema got busier in one night in Paris than he has all year in Madrid.

  5. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (3)-

    Nah. The zero-sum game will just take a different form.

    Same as it ever was.

  6. frank says:

    Buy a house now before Omama makes it illegal and chastise you for buying it.

  7. Final Doom says:

    Will it be Nation Failure Friday?

    “EuroStat reports that the Greek budget was really 13.6% of GDP and the Debt/GDP is more like 115.1%. Greek bond spreads explode to a ridiculous 562 bps on the news, 3 years are at 870, and CDS is at 806.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/game-over-eurostat-news-blows-greece-3-year-spread-ridiculous-870-bps-cds-hits-record-806

  8. stan says:

    yeah Frank, at 35% off, they should be selling like hot cakes….

    1500 Hudson Street #5h
    05/07/07 8208 222 1246990

    closed last week for 800,000

    mls #90013718

  9. frank says:

    #9,
    You live in the past, move to the future, $800K for a place in Hoboken is as expensive as you can get. Where’s the recession?

  10. Final Doom says:

    As always, Frank, the recession is between your ears.

    Now make me a sandwich, bitch.

  11. frank says:

    #11,
    As always, show me some cheap REOs my real-estate bitch.

  12. stan says:

    “You live in the past, move to the future, $800K for a place in Hoboken is as expensive as you can get. Where’s the recession?”

    Incorrect Frank, apparantly 1.25 million was as expensive as they get…..

  13. Nomad says:

    Can anyone suggest a good place to eat in the Princeton area?

    Thanks,

  14. safeashouses says:

    #14 Nomad,

    For good cheap Asian eats Tiger Noodle.

  15. Final Doom says:

    Terra is not bad.

  16. Final Doom says:

    That’s Mediterra.

  17. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Nomad 14:

    Big Fish Seafood Bistro in the Priceton Market Fair.

  18. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Also, if you want to take a short trip, try the Hamilton Grill Room in Lambertville.

  19. Cindy says:

    5 – You know me, I continue to hope the politicians will be scared straight as the votes pile up against the status quo.

    It didn’t hurt any the New Jersey sent a, as Mish describes it, “Hell No” vote on increased taxes yesterday.

  20. njescapee says:

    chuck’s cafe for buffalo wings

  21. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (21)-

    Money trumps votes.

  22. Final Doom says:

    Bullets trump money.

  23. Cindy says:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/04/the-two-issues-to-watch-on-financial-reform.html

    23 – Got it…

    The two issues to watch on financial reform – Economics view..

    The lobbyists are still plugging away…

  24. chicagofinance says:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Total bloodletting…..

    9.stan says:
    April 22, 2010 at 8:22 am
    yeah Frank, at 35% off, they should be selling like hot cakes….

    1500 Hudson Street #5h
    05/07/07 8208 222 1246990

    closed last week for 800,000

    mls #90013718

  25. Libtard says:

    For the record,

    Gator and I lost a bid on a GR home last night. Quite frankly, we didn’t expect to get it once we heard some crack head from Hoboken put in an early offer. Let them hold the bag.

  26. homeboken says:

    So it is confirmed that N. Korea sunk that S. Korea ship via sub torpedo, Iran is undwerway with full scale war games and rockets seemt to be being fired around with no one claiming responsibility.

    I am normally an optimist, but the geo-political front seems to be ready for a violent pop.

  27. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    mediterra for very good italian
    Ferry house for fancy american
    Contes for great pizza and soccer games
    blue point grill for seafood
    the alchemist barista for english pub where you eat with elbows out and hold the knife with whole fist like its a mallet

    dont go to theresa’s, you will be chased out before the last bite hits your stomach.
    Triumph brew pub is great for beers but dont eat there if you can help it.

  28. willwork4beer says:

    #14 Nomad

    All great suggestions so far, especially Mediterra (a favorite of Mrs. Beer and her crew at work).

    Depends upon what kind of place you are looking for.

    Can’t let this go without a beer reference: Triumph Brewpub – but I like their New Hope location better.

  29. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    oohhh vz disapoints.
    Thats a $20 dollar stock anyway.
    Chi’s article about cutting dividend killed it for me. Plus i fell out of love with vz since the minute the iphone deal was announced.

  30. jpl says:

    Stu-

    Which house? We just lost a bid on a GR house as well.

  31. Orion says:

    (17) Scribe,

    One of those houses is in Asbury Park and is currently for sale for $229,900.

  32. Anon E. Moose says:

    Scribe[17];

    I loved the shanty in slide 4 where the caption discusses the granite countertops installed. Talk about top hat on a pig.

    And in slide 5 the caption about the owner who defaulted in 2008 and is leaving soon. Many discuss default of even foreclosure that happened 1-2 years ago. I can haz rent-free livin too?

  33. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom 23/24

    Its sort of like rock-paper-scissors.

  34. Libtard says:

    JPL,

    Harvard.

  35. Libtard says:

    Damn that MSM:

    “Associated Press corrects story on Christie Administration salaries ”

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/042310_Associated_Press_corrects_story_on_Christie_Administration_salaries.html

  36. safeashouses says:

    #17 Scribe,

    I like the woman who couldn’t afford the 5k a month payment from day 1. Why would you even buy a house if you can’t afford the initial monthly payment, and who would approve the loan? And who would lend over 400k for a house in Asbury Park?

  37. Libtard says:

    And in other news, Essex County lead the state in passing school budgets at 75%. Thank you sir, may I have another.

  38. jpl says:

    Thanks Stu.

    Sorry to hear, pretty house.

  39. Libtard says:

    I take it that was not on your list JPL?

  40. borat obama says:

    Hoboken market on double fire this week.

  41. borat obama says:

    Hiii fivee

  42. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    its 2005 in hoboken.
    hurricane katrina just hit new orleans and the white sox are winning the world series.

  43. jpl says:

    You werent competing with this hoboken crack head for that one. ; )

  44. NJGator says:

    beanbear – re the Harvard house, I don’t think there were as many bids as you were led to believe. It was the Hoboken folks, us and maybe one other person. It’s quite possible it was us and Hoboken, so if this place actually went in the fives, then Hoboken peeps paid way too much.

  45. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    How can we expect banks to write down the value of a 900 sq ft rotting cape if the average joe wont even do this?

    i dont blame the removal of mtm anymore. the real accounting problem is occuring because people feel its their right to value their assets according to the position of the stars and moon in 2005.

  46. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    I had hope when the sp500 closed at 666.

    At least there was a feeling that people were learning their lesson.

  47. meter says:

    “Bullets trump money.”

    Not yet they don’t. Money buys private security forces.

  48. Nomad says:

    Thanks for the dining tips –

  49. NJGator says:

    jpl 41 – It’s okay. We thought long and hard about it. We do not need to be in the north end. It’s not important to us, and rather than pay a premium for a location we don’t need, I’d rather pay the premium to get a nicer, more updated house in the south end. Tangible things like a renovated kitchen and bathroom, and central air are much more meaningful to us. All of our friends are down there as well, so it just makes more sense. We have our eye on two properties there and might be placing another bid this weekend.

    Also, our financial calculus on this place required us to be able to appeal the taxes down. The more over ask it went, the less likely that would be to happen. The taxes were already at $14,500 and you better believe the GR assessor would have hit us up for more when we eventually fixed the kitchen and all 3 bathrooms.

    In better news for me, Stu and I had a side wager going on this bid. He thought the house could be had at ask or just slightly over it. We bid a decent (not crazy though) amount over ask and didn’t get it….so I get the next car we buy soon and Stu has to drive the 5+ year old SUV. This was a win-win for me.

  50. Libtard says:

    JPL,

    If we end up competing on a house, I suggest the winner must buy the loser a brew shortly after :P

  51. NJGator says:

    Libtard – JPL is bidding on Forest Ave. Unless I win the Megamillions on Friday, we are not likely to be competing on any house in town.

  52. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    i spy a foreclosure in my area from Wachovia Mortgage on Realtor.com.
    First time ive ever seen this.
    This is prgress.

  53. Libtard says:

    Remember Gates, no new car until the 95 Civic croaks. After replacing the wires, she’s once again purring like a kitten.

  54. Libtard says:

    JPL,

    Can you loan us some dough? :P

  55. Libtard says:

    Netflix…holy cow!

  56. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    2005 – bidding wars
    2010 – bid to zero

  57. A.West says:

    Cindy,
    Good article pointing out how regulation helps the large and entrenched companies. The same is true of high taxes. Large companies tend to arrange for regulations to favor them over disruptive upstarts, just as higher taxes tend to be written with special advantages for the already-wealthy, and if not, the already wealthy typically know how to weave and dodge the effects. Taxes and regulation can have the biggest impact on the innovators, disruptors, and up-and comers.

    Here’s a quote from von Mises’ Human Action:
    But today taxes often absorb the greater part of the newcomer’s “excessive”
    profits. He cannot accumulate capital; he cannot expand his own
    business; he will never become big business and a match for the vested interests.
    The old firms do not need to fear his competition; they are sheltered by the tax
    collector. They may with impunity indulge in routine, they may defy the wishes
    of the public and become conservative. It is true, the income tax prevents them,
    too, from accumulating new capital. But what is more important for them is that
    it prevents the dangerous newcomer from accumulating any capital. They are
    virtually privileged by the tax system. In this sense progressive taxation checks
    economic progress and makes for rigidity. While under unhampered capitalism
    the ownership of capital is a liability forcing the owner to serve the consumers,
    modern methods of taxation transform it into a privilege.
    The interventionists complain that big business is getting rigid and
    bureaucratic and that it is no longer possible for competent newcomers to
    challenge the vested interests of the old rich families. However, as far as
    their complaints are justified, they complain about things which are merely
    the result of their own policies.

  58. skep-tic says:

    Pretty shocking to me that Paulson is bullish on RE now. I think this should give a lot of people on this board pause regarding their outlook. It has been almost 5 yrs since I started reading this board and I did think for a long time that prices would fall a lot harder than they have. But no one here really ever anticipated the unprecedented gov’t effort to prop up the market. It has worked to a remarkable degree and objective people who saw the crash coming are now on the other side.

  59. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    50.

    Meter,

    “Not yet they don’t. Money buys private security forces.”

    That is one hell of a good point. If one were to listen to Argentinians they say the best off were closed gated communities with privately hired security forces.

    In New Orleans after Katrina there were ex Israeli special forces hired for security by some of the wealthy communities.

    Good point but its still a good idea to be armed for when humpty dumpty falls apart.

  60. skep-tic says:

    WASHINGTON– Home sales rose more than expected in March, reversing three months of declines, as government incentives drew in buyers and kicked off what’s expected to be a strong spring selling season.
    The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously occupied homes rose 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million last month, the highest level since December. February’s sales figures were revised downward slightly to 5.01 million.
    Sales had been expected to rise about 5.2 percent to 5.28 million, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
    The results show the housing market may be stabilizing after a devastating bust. But the true test will be whether the market can stand on its own after federal tax credits expire at the end of this month.

  61. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    61.

    Skeptic,

    If peoples life long dream is home ownership then they arent going to postpone it forever especially if they have young kids. I still think renting is a better idea given the fact that this countries head is in a noose.

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [18] doom

    I second Doom on mediterra

  63. frank says:

    Home sales up by 6% in March, buy a home now, before they sell out.

  64. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    “”ultimate armageddon” would be much worse the next time around, as “governments will go bust”, which would lead them to print more money.”

    Marc Faber

  65. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [60] A. West

    It works even better with multiple regulators and tax regimes, as that affords arbitrage opportunities.

  66. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “no one here really ever anticipated the unprecedented gov’t effort to prop up the market. It has worked to a remarkable degree”

    skep, i doubt that the govt is trying to pump up prices again. I think they just want to put a floor under prices so the banks can start to stregthen again on their own.
    Thats why i dont believe in the 50% crash scenario. i will behappy with another 10% correction.

  67. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [30] veto

    I liked Alchemist, but if the purpose is a date or business, I would not recommend it.

  68. jpl says:

    We too bid slightly over ask with what we thought was a strong offer. Snowflake #2 is on the way shortly, so we were conservative with our DP (still significant, and financing is secured)… not wanting to totally deplete our reserves in case there are any unforeseen issues.

    And the gist was we lost out to someone with a larger DP. I guess if you have equal offers, you need to break the tie somehow.

    We can commiserate together. First round on me.

    The upside for my wife is that the ‘push-present’ is back on the table for her. : )

  69. Doyle says:

    jpl,

    Sorry, in an out lately. I can’t believe we missed that 1st floor bathroom. I thought I looked everywhere. Oh well.

    Sorry it didn’t work out.

  70. Doyle says:

    jpl, so you bid over ask and still lost on that house?

    Man, that market is crazy. Good luck on the next one.

  71. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Tax News of the Day

    “The U.S. Tax Court April 21 held that petitioners Franklin and Erlinda Sykes were liable for a deficiency and accuracy-related penalty relating to a loss deduction the couple claimed for the 2004 tax year (Sykes v. Commissioner, T.C., No. 7275-08, T.C. Memo. 2010-84, 4/21/10).

    Petitioners sustained water damage due to the bursting of a bathroom sink water pipe in their home in September 2004. They submitted a claim and received a check from their insurance company. The petitioners claimed the loss related to the water damage was greater than that allowed by their insurance claim, and as a result the value of their home was reduced by approximately $45,000.

    The Internal Revenue Service found that the petitioners’ estimates of the value of their home did not constitute “competent appraisals,” nor did they adequately satisfy requirements of the statutes and regulations in making the claim.”

  72. jpl says:

    Doyle-

    Yes… I dont think any bids went high enough to trigger the additional taxes, but that seemed like a logical price break. We werent keen on going over that number, for both moral and financial reasons.

    I think there were at least 5 bids on it, with a couple at the same number.

    It is a great house.

    We never got a second shot though. It was first + last + best + final all at once.

  73. Doyle says:

    jpl,

    how much over ask would have triggered the additional? sorry i’ve been out of it.

  74. chicagofinance says:

    Seriously, is this accurate? That would be 10% below inside pricing from 2005 on an as-is unit. So this sale is a killer comp…..

    chicagofinance says:
    April 22, 2010 at 9:10 am
    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Total bloodletting…..
    9.stan says:
    April 22, 2010 at 8:22 am
    yeah Frank, at 35% off, they should be selling like hot cakes….
    1500 Hudson Street #5h
    05/07/07 8208 222 1246990
    closed last week for 800,000
    mls #90013718

  75. Juice Box says:

    Tempting fate in Europe, to Fly or not to Fly.

    This afternoon – Flight training on RAF Typhoon jets has been ‘temporarily suspended’ after inspectors found deposits of ash in one of the fleet’s engines, according the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

  76. Mr Hyde says:

    Juice,

    I was reading that none of the engine manufacturers will specify safe ash levels as they have never tested the ffects on the engines.

    I wonder how long before a jet goes down or has a close call due to the airlines pushing to avoid revenue loss.

  77. Mr Hyde says:

    Juice box

    That ash will also sandblast the flight surfaces of the plane. I wonder how the control surfaces hold up after a few flights through that stuff.

  78. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Superintendant of Toms River Schools getting raided right now by FBI.
    This is the guy that gets paid over $400K and had the Concert Arena named after him.
    Hopefully they will fill his position with someone making $150k per year.

  79. jpl says:

    Doyle,

    There is a ‘mansion tax’ for any property sold over 1m in NJ.

    It triggers an additional 1% tax for the buyer.

    I’m not sure if the buyer’s transfer tax is 1% or 2%, but this additional tax is paid by the buyer on top of that, and is not deductible.

  80. Juice Box says:

    re: #80 – Hyde – read up on the Flight 9 incident.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9

  81. Juice Box says:

    Hyde – also read up on the NASA DC-8 flighht that had a run in with a volcanic ash at high altitude above Iceland back in 2000.

    Here is the very detailed report.

    http://www.alpa.org/portals/alpa/volcanicash/03_NASADC8AshDamage.pdf

  82. Doyle says:

    jpl,

    Good to know… thx.

  83. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    mls #90013718
    1500 Hudson Street #5h
    Hoboken
    05/07/07 Sold for $1,246,990
    closed last week for $800,000

    This is confirmed on tax records website. 36% Crash from 2007.
    But dont know if there were other issues or if it was foreclosure or not. To me it doesnt mattter. Its silly to say distress sales dont count as comps. Thats just a ploy that realtors use to gouge their clients. Hoboken in burning down to the ground. Frank will still be in denial when 50% discounts are posted.

  84. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    American Airlines now charging volcanic ash surcharge. The price of ticket will double for each engine that goes out in midflight over the atlantic.

  85. meter says:

    @61 –

    “But no one here really ever anticipated the unprecedented gov’t effort to prop up the market. It has worked to a remarkable degree and objective people who saw the crash coming are now on the other side.”

    False. All it has done is put real estate in a state of suspended animation until these government interferences vanish.

  86. Anon E. Moose says:

    Veto[86];

    I’m not exactly new to this board, and something (still) makes me wonder if Frank isn’t tounge-in-cheeck about his view of the state of the market in Hoboken or in general.

    For obvious reasons, I don’t consider him verbal altercations with Doom to be any sort of indicator.

  87. yo'me says:

    The Fed Hands $47.4 Billion to the Treasury: If Only the Deficit Hawks Knew

    Thursday, 22 April 2010 04:04
    The NYT reports on the Fed handing $47.4 billion in profits to the Treasury. This event should have gotten more attention. The $47.4 billion in profits from the Fed affects the budget in the same way that raising $47.4 billion from taxes or saving $47.4 billion with spending cuts would affect the budget. However, the Fed neither raised taxes nor cut spending. It printed money.

    The reason why this is important is that the Fed is now printing large amounts of money and can print more to support the government’s deficit during this downturn. The government does not need to raise taxes or cut spending to pay for programs like unemployment benefits or aid to state to and local education. It can simply print money.

    While in principle there is a limit to its ability to print money, that would only come after the economy was back near full employment and further increases in demand threatened to cause inflation. However, the economy is nowhere near this point today. Vincent Reinhart, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, is quoted in the article as saying: “If it [the Fed] tried to increase its balance sheet tenfold, say, the public would be unwilling to hold those reserves. You’d get dollar depreciation and inflation.”

    A tenfold increase in the Fed’s balance sheet would raise it by more than $20 trillion. As Reinhart’s quote implies, there is no reason to fear moderate increases in the Fed’s balance sheet — say by another $1-2 trillion over the next few years. It is important to note that the portion of the debt financed by the Fed printing money imposes no burden on future generations. The interest paid on this debt goes to the Fed, which in turn is refunded to taxpayers, just like the $47.4 billion noted in this article.

    The Peter Peterson/Robert Rubin deficit hawk gang is deceiving the public on this issue by implying that the deficits run up to support the economy through this downturn will burden our children. In fact, insofar as the spending provides their parents with jobs and income, it directly helps our children. Insofar as it goes to support education or maintain and improve the infrastructure, it will also help our children.

    The idea that today’s deficits are hurting our children is simply not true. Anyone who says otherwise should read this article as many times as necessary until they understand why.

    Dean Baker-

  88. skep-tic says:

    #88

    “False. All it has done is put real estate in a state of suspended animation until these government interferences vanish.”

    when will that happen? ever?

  89. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    moose, if frank is purposely being ironic, he might be the funniest guy on these boards

  90. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “when will that happen? ever?”

    only after prices have stabilized on their own. govt aint letting prices collapse 50%. that much is clear.

  91. Libtard says:

    Skep-tic (91):

    “when will that happen? ever?”

    It is unfortunate that time will play the ultimate decider in this debate. All we ask, is that if another leg down does occur in the next few years, you be man enough to drop in here now an then and take your medicine.

  92. RentinginNJ says:

    “False. All it has done is put real estate in a state of suspended animation until these government interferences vanish.”

    It’s very hard for the government to withdraw spending programs once they start, develop a constituency and become ingrained as a new “right”.

    The tax credit may expire, but as soon as sales falter, there will be calls to reinstate the credit. The longer it stays in place, the more likely it is that it will become the inalienable right of all home buying Americans, right next to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  93. poor guy says:

    gator,libtard,jpl

    I am surprised there are multiple bids on a close to million properties in GR. I just saw a similar house sold in Forest ave a few months ago for $750K. There is a bubble 2.0 going on here. Either inflated bonuses in finance inflate houses prices in “favorite” neighborhoods or housing rebounded (not).

  94. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    oh stop it Lib. Skeptic is entitled to express his doubts without fear of being burned at the stake. No need to treat him like Bi. he is being realistic, not taunting everyone to get a rise out of them.

    If anyone should be taking medicine its ALL of us bears who would have bet our own limbs that prices would of crashed 35% across the board in NJ already.

    Lets face it. We were wrong! All of us.
    Our govt have lost their marbles. Anything can happen going fwd.

  95. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    frank deserves the medicine.

  96. freedy says:

    Barry O is on the side of the defaulters .

  97. Doyle says:

    #96

    poor guy,

    I don’t disagree.

  98. stan says:

    Chifi, veto; I was surprised when I saw that Hoboken comp killer myself. I just happened to look at the weekly closes when I saw Frank’s post. It appears to me that Hoboken is solidly in late 2004 pricing now. Flood of activity this week, which should continue as the rebate race peters out. I have seen lower highs and lower lows in condoville of late. I do think this summer will be another leg down in Hoboken. Ton of inventory, ton of people looking to move out to the burbs with 2 graydons in tow, and tax problems galore.

    Price per sq ft seems to be heading down, and people are getting more for their buck.

  99. Libtard says:

    I don’t know Veto. The fat lady has not sang for me. It’s a hell of a lot easier to print money than it is to remove it.

    Montclair recently built a 35 to 40 million dollar school. This year we are bonding 2 million for it. In 2011 and 2012, we will have to bond 20 million. Sure the school bell will ring in September, but the impact on our budgets won’t be felt until 2012. I am a patient man. It has taken me far in my investments.

    The rebates essentially end in 6 days. Take a look at what happened immediately after they were (supposedly) ended last time. Then we have an equity market which is bubbling up over the easiest year over year comps to make in the last 100 years with 0% financing. It’s not over just yet. I will admit that I could be wrong, but you have got to give it at least more than a mayfly’s lifespan to make that determination.

    I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. I just can’t see where inflation will not be the case somewhere down the short-term road. That $750,000 of mortgage debt which I plan to carry should serve a lot like that of BC Bob’s gold.

    We’ll see.

  100. Libtard says:

    “I am surprised there are multiple bids on a close to million properties in GR. I just saw a similar house sold in Forest ave a few months ago for $750K. There is a bubble 2.0 going on here. Either inflated bonuses in finance inflate houses prices in “favorite” neighborhoods or housing rebounded (not).”

    I think John said it best (don’t let him know I said it). Montclair is getting it’s arse handed to it. Glen Ridge is not. It’s the #5 school system in the state that is making the difference. Average family has 2 kids. Put them through private school at a conservative 20K per year each and you’ve just spent 500K. With taxes at 15 to 20K per year, it’s a friggin’ bargain. Most wealthy families got that way because they are smart. There is no way of proving my theory, but I do know that the rich kids in Montclair go to MKA and the rich kids in Glen Ridge go to the public schools.

  101. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    OT Alert

    Friend just got back from Bermuda. He goes regularly, and reports that it has become considerably more violent, esp. in the tourist areas.

    He was almost mugged (fled successfully) and reported it; police confirmed that street crime was up dramatically because tourism has tanked. Says gov. is trying to keep this under wraps so it doesn’t cripple tourism more.

    Bermuda is starting to sound a lot like the USVI.

  102. Libtard says:

    Damn Nom, I liked Bermuda a lot in my last visit and I could not believe how civilized it appeared versus the rest of the impoverished islands of the Caribbean. Glad I booked my cruise to Alaska in August I suppose.

  103. meter says:

    @90:

    “A tenfold increase in the Fed’s balance sheet would raise it by more than $20 trillion. As Reinhart’s quote implies, there is no reason to fear moderate increases in the Fed’s balance sheet — say by another $1-2 trillion over the next few years. It is important to note that the portion of the debt financed by the Fed printing money imposes no burden on future generations. The interest paid on this debt goes to the Fed, which in turn is refunded to taxpayers, just like the $47.4 billion noted in this article.”

    What kind of horsesh*t accounting is this guy extolling?

    Guy A has $100 when the global pool of dollars is, say $1,000. The government increases the pool of global dollars to $5,000. By Dean Baker’s accounting, that act does very little harm to Guy A’s purchasing power. Any third grader could tell you this is a false premise. Why he thinks there is some magic point at which increases in the global pool start to “matter” begs an explanation.

  104. NJGator says:

    Reassessment in Montclair’s future?

    Montclair’s tax appeal attorney has advised the municipality that it has a “realistic chance” of getting Essex County to approve a townwide property reassessment.

    The task would be a bit simpler than a complete revaluation – last performed in 2006 – and much of the work could be done with existing data, according to Township Attorney Alan Trembulak. It would also be significantly less expensive than a revaluation, Trembulak added.

    A reassessment would “in the long run save money by cutting down on the tax appeals and the costs we incur to deal with them,” he said.

    In 2009, 830 tax appeals were filed by Montclair residents to the county and the state. As a result of the appeals, the municipality had to refund $1.3 million last year in overpaid taxes.

    Meanwhile, 1,225 tax appeals have been filed so far this year, setting the stage for heftier tax rebates for 2010.

    A reassessment would have to entail a review of at least 80 percent of Montclair’s properties and a revision of at least 50 percent of the properties’ value, according to documents provided by the Essex County Board of Taxation, which would have to approve Montclair’s request for a reassessment.

    Montclair’s townwide revaluation was performed just as the housing boom started to decline, and resulted in some inflated values, according to Township Manager Marc D. Dashield. There are some neighborhoods where the property values are “out of skew” and need to be adjusted to reflect the reality of 2010, Dashield said.

    “Some areas are all out of kilter,” he noted.

    Trembulak said he’s awaiting word from the municipality’s tax appeal attorney with more specific information about what Montclair has to do to get the ball rolling on a property reassessment.

    “It seems to be the right thing to do,” he said.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/91788214_Reassessment_in_Montclair_s_future_.html

  105. MSP says:

    Does a realtor have to disclose a double murder that occured in a house in 1991?

  106. meter says:

    Trembulak – awesome name. Sounds like a robotic superhero.

  107. jpl says:

    96 Poor Guy-

    If you’re talking about the corner of Forest / GR Pkwy, the houses were not even close. We saw that house when it was listed at 799, before it was reduced. I think it sold pretty quickly at 750.

    I dont dispute that it felt pretty bubblicious for us this week though.

    But after seeing all of the work done to the place, and factoring in ballpark transaction costs, I still think they sellers took a loss.

  108. beanbear says:

    Gator (52) – interesting, and sorry to hear you lost out on Harvard (tho’ doesn’t seem to be too much of a loss, all things considered).

    You’ve probably seen the 2 S End houses that just came on? I think the $569K one was initially a FSBO, but doesn’t look like they tried that very long (if at all), and the $479K seems really well-done… tho’ I’m not crazy about the listing agent – we lost a earlier house of hers, but have a strong inkling she used our bid to aggressively goose the other party. Considering the $479K price point, I wonder if she’ll try the same thing here. But both seem worlds better than Harvard.

    Poor Guy, Libtard – re: GR “bubble 2.0”, my latest pet theory is that Midtown Direct has generally boosted the “price floor” in the <$1M market to Summit/Short Hills levels. I work w/ several folks who bought in Summit & Short Hills ~10yrs ago, but that would’ve bought in Upper M. or GR, had there been M.D. service.

  109. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Anybody want to go and be an agent provocateur???

    “TRENTON — The state’s embattled public worker unions plan a massive rally in Trenton next month to protest Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed budget. . . .

    The protest is planned for Saturday, May 22, but the exact details have not yet been worked out. . . .”

    This is a great GTG opportunity. I suggest that we go and employ either of the following direct action techniques:

    1. Straight out counterdemonstration of ticked-off taxpayers. Contact local Tea Party groups to see if they want to counter-demonstrate. I’d go just to provide muscle against the union thugs.

    2. Infiltrate crowd, and try to get up front, with big handmade signs that say “Ki-ll the Rich”, “S0cialism Now”, “S0cialism: It’s time America”, “Ban Corporations”, “One Party Rule”, “Raise Taxes” and the like.
    The trick here is to seek out the media and be sure to get some art in the papers. If you are lucky enough to be interviewed, give a fake name, tell them you are with the union, and spew a lot of hate toward the rich and the GOP, and scream that you want them kicked out of NJ and their property c0nfis-cated.

    So, who’s in? Will make for a fun afternoon GTG.

  110. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [105] libtard

    My friend can be a bit of a drama king, but he doesn’t fudge facts and he says he was confronted by a knife-wielding would-be mugger.

  111. Libtard says:

    Just crazy Nom,

    I recall the busdriver not letting anyone on whose shoulders weren’t covered or whose bathing suit was damp. In the Bahamas, our bus driver once jumped out and relieved himself right on the side of the bus.

  112. Libtard says:

    Nom (112):

    I would go, but not along with the teabaggers who IMO represent the worst of society. I imagine that if there were teabaggers in 1930’s Germany, they would have been the first to support the Nazis.

  113. NJGator says:

    beanbear 111 – Yes, we are looking at those 2 on Saturday. Our realtor thinks the $569k former FSBO is priced too high for the location and that the listing agent took it thinking she’d hack the price down eventually.

    Was the other house the one on Essex? We looked at the one and were scared off by the stairs up to the 3rd floor. I heard that one got 3 offers first weekend.

  114. yo'me says:

    #106
    Money printed can be destroyed after it has been paid.Interest earned is more asset to justify printing with in GDP

  115. NJGator says:

    Bean – we have seen a few negative issues on the $479k one so far. One it looks like the stairs to the 3rd floor “master” are right in on of the 3 second floor bedrooms. That makes that one useable only as an office IMHO. Also, the garage is on the side of the house and it’s only a one car garage. Driveway fits only one additional car (and just barely). And of course the “retro chic” bathroom is really just a gut job. I guess that they ran out of money to do that after they bought the Viking range for the kitchen. And the lot is only 42×105.

  116. chicagofinance says:

    Moose: frank has always been fcuking around, but there are way too many tools on this board that need an enema…..

    Anon E. Moose says:
    April 22, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Veto[86];

    I’m not exactly new to this board, and something (still) makes me wonder if Frank isn’t tounge-in-cheeck about his view of the state of the market in Hoboken or in general.

    For obvious reasons, I don’t consider him verbal altercations with Doom to be any sort of indicator.

  117. Final Doom says:

    libtard (27)-

    If Sue Adler had been your agent, you would’ve gotten that house.

  118. chicagofinance says:

    stan says:
    April 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm
    Chifi, veto; I was surprised when I saw that Hoboken comp killer myself. I just happened to look at the weekly closes when I saw Frank’s post. It appears to me that Hoboken is solidly in late 2004 pricing now.

    stu/gates: The Hoboken moron who overpaid for the place you want; at least you have the satisfaction of knowing they are getting burned twice. Overpaying, and likely getting fleeced on the way out of Hudson county…….ARE YOU PREPARED SHOULD THIS PLACE RESURFACE?

  119. yo'me says:

    During the great depression you can not print worthless paper that is not backed by gold.Now we can print money as many as we want as long as there is a treasury bond buyer.The Fed can buy treasury that don’t sell.They can buy and destroy.

    Gold standard
    Economic studies have indicated that just as the downturn was spread worldwide by the rigidities of the Gold Standard, it was suspending gold convertibility (or devaluing the currency in gold terms) that did most to make recovery possible.[43][44] What policies countries followed after casting off the gold standard, and what results followed varied widely.

    Every major currency left the gold standard during the Great Depression. Great Britain was the first to do so. Facing speculative attacks on the pound and depleting gold reserves, in September 1931 the Bank of England ceased exchanging pound notes for gold and the pound was floated on foreign exchange markets.

    The Depression in international perspective.[45]Great Britain, Japan, and the Scandinavian countries left the gold standard in 1931. Other countries, such as Italy and the United States, remained on the gold standard into 1932 or 1933, while a few countries in the so-called “gold bloc”, led by France and including Poland, Belgium and Switzerland, stayed on the standard until 1935–1936.

    According to later analysis, the earliness with which a country left the gold standard reliably predicted its economic recovery. For example, Great Britain and Scandinavia, which left the gold standard in 1931, recovered much earlier than France and Belgium, which remained on gold much longer. Countries such as China, which had a silver standard, almost avoided the depression entirely. The connection between leaving the gold standard as a strong predictor of that country’s severity of its depression and the length of time of its recovery has been shown to be consistent for dozens of countries, including developing countries. This partly explains why the experience and length of the depression differed between national economies.[46]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_depression

  120. skep-tic says:

    #94

    “It is unfortunate that time will play the ultimate decider in this debate. All we ask, is that if another leg down does occur in the next few years, you be man enough to drop in here now an then and take your medicine.”

    I will do so, but I think the elimination of gov’t support for house prices is close to impossible. For one reason, the baby boomers impending retirement and lack of savings mean that house prices are particularly critical to this massive voting block. Another major reason, obviously, is that the banking system would collapse if house prices dropped substantially.

  121. Final Doom says:

    veto (55)-

    That’s because Wells Fargo has probably processed Wachovia’s disaster.

    WFC and BAC are racing to ditch as much Wachovia & Countryfraud slop as they can.

  122. Final Doom says:

    skep (61)-

    Sure, it works. Until it doesn’t.

    “But no one here really ever anticipated the unprecedented gov’t effort to prop up the market. It has worked to a remarkable degree and objective people who saw the crash coming are now on the other side.”

  123. Libtard says:

    Skep:

    Your reasoning appears sound to me, but the repercussions of continuing this great charade will eventually surface. They ALWAYS do. It is not different this time! We can only hope that the rest of the world F’ed up equally. If not, then we is in ‘Final Doom’ levels of trouble.

  124. beanbear says:

    Gator – we’d seen several houses on Lorraine over the past yr, which were all priced “just” under ‘5’, and went pretty quickly. Online anyway, the Madison house seems better than those; plus, it’s not on Lorraine, which felt more like row houses, since they were so tight.

    Personally, I’ve always been a little wary of the area’s Superfund history, but that might just be me…

  125. skep-tic says:

    “Sure, it works. Until it doesn’t.”

    I agree. So the question is how should this influence your behavior. What we are really talking about here is the sovereign risk of the USA. Should the risk of this prevent you from buying today?

    Look at your potential upside and potential downside in either scenario. Downside is roughly the same either way since USA default = end of the world.

  126. Confused in NJ says:

    If “O” really wants to fix the financial problems he can use this article as a blue print. Of course they will have to build extra jails.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/confessions-of-a-former-mortgage-broker-what-we-did-was-criminal-471979.html?tickers=xhb,BAC,KBH,WFC,JPM,TOL,LEN&sec=topStories&pos=4&asset=&ccode=

  127. Libtard says:

    Today is a rare investment day for me. Two of about the twenty stocks which I own are both in 7th place among the stocks with the greatest percentage increase in the Nasdaq and in the NYSE. They are both in completely different sectors too. Too bad my ownership in NetFlix is so damn minuscule. Apple was up there for me yesterday as well.

  128. Libtard says:

    “USA default = end of the world.”

    That’s a selfish view Skep.

    I don’t see it this way at all. USA default equals time to get the hell out of dodge. I don’t think we default, but I do see the potential of another Great Depression.

  129. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “Flood of activity this week.”

    Stan,
    In your description of the Hoboken market, was this pun intended?

  130. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    108 – only if the blood stains remain.

  131. Libtard says:

    Veto (133):

    We sleep in the room where I confirmed the death of the prior homeowner and our former landlord.

  132. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    Gator and GR peeps,
    is this the house you guys are talking about?

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Glen-Ridge-Boro-Twp_NJ_07028_1118027356

  133. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    I pay extra for ghosts

  134. beanbear says:

    Barbara – yup

  135. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    137. Really nice as is the other 479er. May be too tight for me though but I happen to love that vintage bathroom. Great schools.

  136. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Lib, nice.
    Was the confirmation accomplished via exorcism or whispered in your ear while sleeping?

  137. Dink says:

    So there are at least 4 posters on this board alone who are actively looking to purchase in Glen Ridge…which only has 41 active listings.

    Seems kind of bubbly to me.

  138. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [116] libtard

    I don’t doubt that wingnuts are out there, but IMO, that caricature is largely a liberal/MSM construct. Even the NYT had to admit, when they looked up close, that this wasn’t the case.

    I find it amusing that those questioning the tea parties views as non sequiturs cannot look past the immediate, isolated, tax argument. In that sense, the tea partiers are more forward-looking than their liberal counterparts, who, it would seem, can be bought off with a sleight-of-hand tax break that isn’t.

  139. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    I’m wondering if JJ would hit on the ghost?

  140. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    John,
    Please dont impregnate the ghost.

    Thank you

  141. House Hunter says:

    the NAR at work
    http://realstorynj.com/

  142. Juice Box says:

    Reality Check on today’s numbers.

    “On the low end of the market, that is homes priced below $150,000, investors comprise 2/3 of the purchasers, according to Zelman. Another study out today from Campbell Surveys also found that 50 per cent of sales in March were of distressed properties (foreclosures or short sales.)”

    The low end market is just peachy. The higher end however, over $400,000 where investors can’t buy with all cash and the mortgage market is closed. Zelman cites a 45 month supply of homes between $400-600,000.

    (Diana Olick Realty Check, CNBC)

  143. poor guy says:

    “Dink says:
    April 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    So there are at least 4 posters on this board alone who are actively looking to purchase in Glen Ridge…which only has 41 active listings.

    Seems kind of bubbly to me.”

    HEHE
    If we assume that housing prices will eventually be based on income then the only inflated income around (bonuses etc) goes to GR. In contrast, the rest of the towns will have to do with the rest of us and our diminished income. This spells trouble. I foresee another leg down for Montclair, south orange, maplewood and the like.

  144. yo'me says:

    Just like JJ said:

    Hamptons Home Prices Surge as Buyers Snap Up Beach Retreats

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aw9JHQv3a31g&pos=5

  145. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    for the record, I’m not rich and have no business looking in Essex county- esp Glen Ridge. I just love the houses.

  146. jpl says:

    Dink-

    We’re only looking in a handful of towns, but all are midtown direct and have well regarded schools.

    In particular, we have grandparents in GR, so there is an intangible benefit for us to be close.

  147. yo'me says:

    Getting out of hand? $270,000 to maintain the 2 Rest stops

    “Lavatory and tourism facilities will now be closed on all of the state’s non-toll roadways,”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=awBDmpg7vXbM&pos=9

  148. NJGator says:

    Bean 127 – I have a friend who is a safety engineer that shares your view.

    Regarding Lorraine, lots are pretty much the same size as on Madison…they are all about 40×100. Houses on Lorraine might be a little bit bigger.

    I am familiar with the 2 Lorraine houses that went quickly this year. Both were asking arounf $439k. Both of them went for between $455k and $460k.

    My issue with Lorraine was that the 2 recent houses backed directly to the baseball diamond in the park. 36 was also adjacent to the park entrance. We have one friend who says they are great blocks and that the neighbors are always super friendly, have block parties, etc. Another friend in the area says to stay away and that those blocks are “Stepfordy”.

    Just did some research in the NJACTB database today. Looks like you have to go back to 05/06 to find any $500k+ sales on those blocks. Highest one was at $535k. Not sure how the finish of those homes compare to the current Madison listing.

  149. NJGator says:

    Barbara – The other $479k house was the one Stu and I just bid on and did not get.

  150. chicagofinance says:

    …and members of your family enjoy urinating on underage girls at MLB games….

    Barbara “just wait till fall” Believer says:
    April 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    for the record, I’m not rich and have no business looking in Essex county- esp Glen Ridge. I just love the houses.

  151. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “If we assume that housing prices will eventually be based on income”

    Should not assume this.

    There are many things that an determine price. Int Rates, Taxes, unemployment, Income, population growth, cultural/mental shifts, immigration, supply of newly built housing, govt programs, etc.

    Why the overemphasis on income?

  152. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    112.

    Nom,

    That sounds enticing. I could bring a whole group of folks that would enjoy that.

    Ill keep it in mind.

  153. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    153. Chifi,
    will you ever forgive me for insulting your favorite band, Kajagoogoo?

  154. NJGator says:

    Posted on the Montclair Watercooler Yahoo Message Group today (not by me or Stu)…

    Since we are in daunting economic times, we have to cut things that are not
    essential. Even if Bellvue library is cut, it is not a huge loss because we
    will still have the main library on south fullerton. We unfortunately cannot
    have everything unless you want to raise property taxes and borrow and spend
    to keep these programs. You can do that but you are going to drive many rich
    people to places like Millburn and Essexfells where the property taxes are
    much lower (Essex Fells -1.83% Property tax rate, Millburn- 1.90% Property
    tax rate, Montclair 2.39% Property tax rate) thus resulting in the middle
    class people having to pay the taxes for the poor living in this town.
    Eventually the middle class will move to places like Nutley and Wayne and
    Montclair will end up resembling Irvington with nothing but absentee
    Landlords and poor renters.

  155. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    I’d pay $300 to witness a day long cat fight between chi and barb.

    Chi, be careful. Im pretty sure she sharpens her stilletos.

  156. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Doom,

    If The U.S. Economy Goes Into The Toilet Will It Result In A Complete And Total Collapse Of Society?

    “At this point you may be tempted to think that America has been through extremely tough economic times before (The Great Depression for example) and came through them okay.

    So what is so different now?

    Well, the truth is that the character of the American people is dramatically different. At the time of the Great Depression, the American people were tough, self-sufficient people who knew how to live off the land. Today, most Americans are weak, spoiled little children who will throw a temper tantrum whenever anyone tries to take their toys away. The character of the American people has been decaying for decades, and there is no way that the current crop of Americans has any chance of weathering a horrible economic depression the way Americans back in the 1930s did.”
    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/if-the-u-s-economy-goes-into-the-toilet-will-it-result-in-a-complete-and-total-collapse-of-society

  157. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re[135];

    Wow, I’ve seen much crappier than that asking (lots) more. That might have made sense for me. Two competing bids over ask? 5 flat?

  158. Libtard says:

    Veto(139):

    “Was the confirmation accomplished via exorcism or whispered in your ear while sleeping?”

    Lets just say that I gave the old lady a shake and you could tell the rigor mortise was setting in. The care taker (sure she was) asked if she should call an ambulance. I said, “At this point a hearse would probably be the better call!” I knew she had a DNR order anyhow. She was a nice lady and the only reason we are not underwater in our mortgage, besides the fact that we put 20% down, was do to her families kindness in the private estate sale. Good karma does exist. It’s a damn shame that most humans are selfish pricks.

  159. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 154

    Why the overemphasis on income?

    Where does the money come from to pay the note? regardless of 50yr amortization periods, $50K government tax rebates, or HOV building another 1000K houses in 2010, the money has to be available to meet the note.

    All of the secondaty factors you mentioned definitely impct the price, but they can only modify the borrowing level mod be the basis for it.

    All of the secondary factors exits only to modify/magnify the base income available to support the mortgage.

    You can take all of the secondary factors away, set them to 0 and still be able to buy a house, albeit a much cheaper one. Take the income away, set it to 0 and you cannot buy the house at all no matter what the price is.

  160. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Al, 159 from the TheEconomicCollapseBlog .com?

    Is that where you spend your afternoons?

    Why am i not surprised by that?

    that article seems like its written by a third grader.
    and its also wrong.

  161. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    163.

    When I posted it I was thinking about you man child.

  162. njescapee says:

    I swear sometimes these posts seem to come from the movie “the Burbs”

  163. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “the money has to be available to meet the note”

    Hyde, you assume income is an on/off measurement. it can decrease or increas by different amounts.
    People pay more/less for housing through history. Its not a static measure.
    Same way people pay different percentages of their income for cars and food throughout history. There are many ways to pay for the note besides current income. debt and stock investments are two examples.
    If there is a long term avg, it gets skewed by the other factors, which you are calling secondary. By calling them secondary you are mistakenly minimizing their importance and missing the overall effect. Think of it like aggregate demand.

  164. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “Take the income away, set it to 0 and you cannot buy the house at all no matter what the price is.”

    No. No. No. See 166.

  165. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    concerning the “good ole days” mentality – any of you ever consider how easy it was to function under the radar in the 1930s? No tracing numbers, no credit, no crime labs. “Where did so and so go?” who knows, who cares. Closets, skelletons. Creeps were out and about enmass in the 1930s and if the broader public at the time were as aware of their evil deeds as we are now with 24/7 news and all the mod cons, I’m betting society would have buckled quite a bit during the Depression.

  166. JJ says:

    Nice, earlier this year I recommended Zions and got killed on this board, oh yea that is the number one performer is S&P 500 this year.

    Netflix I missed big time. I still think Apple is one big ponzi scheme.

    Libtard says:
    April 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Today is a rare investment day for me. Two of about the twenty stocks which I own are both in 7th place among the stocks with the greatest percentage increase in the Nasdaq and in the NYSE. They are both in completely different sectors too. Too bad my ownership in NetFlix is so damn minuscule. Apple was up there for me yesterday as well.

  167. NJGator says:

    Anon 160 – This one hasn’t gone yet…shows this weekend. The one that went already over ask was the english colonial on Harvard St. That one likely went over $500k and needs a new kicthen, new baths, new furnace, new deck and a paint job on the exterior of the house.

  168. poor guy says:

    “Same way people pay different percentages of their income for cars and food throughout history.”

    Exactly. Income is again the determining factor even if you use 100% of it for housing. I am not sure of the source but supposedly we are allocating the highest percentage of income to housing than ever-double/triple than many other countries. By the way, even if we were willing to sacrifice more of our income for borrowing we cannot because we need to pay increasing taxes, gas, etc

  169. Anon E. Moose says:

    Gator[170];

    Thanks.

    Aside – PPT in full effect today or what? Talk about a comeback for the ages. :-p

  170. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Net flix has great biz model. Stock price exploding though. I call that being ‘priced to perfection’ and stay away until bad news comes out.

    I dont want any high flyers. i want boring stocks that stay out of the media and pay forty cents per share every quarter for decades.

  171. poor guy says:

    …and of course we need to save for retirement as there won’t be any

  172. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    I was using the extreme conditions of income, i.e. all or none to illustrate that the core variable is income, the other factors are ultimatly modifiers if the income. The income is not dependent on the modifiers.

    regarding debt and investments: Both suppose that a base income exists or existed to generate the investment or to support then debt. They are both modifiers and barring extreme scenarios cannot cover the note for more then a fraction of the amortization period. On top of that the average consumer is refusing to take on additional debt even if they still have it available.

    I agree that the purchasing power of a given income can be modified through various programs/means but the CORE variable upon which all others are dependent for a note to successfully be carried in the long term is the base income.

    You may have a set of programs/modifiers in place that allow someone to purchase at 10X their income. If their income at some later point drops 50% then they will no longer be able to support the note at 10X.

    If you are purchasing at 10X during a period when the modifiers that allow you to buy at 10X are well developed and entrenched, then you are fine. if however, you are carrying a mortgage or initiating one when the modifiers that allowed an over leveraged home-income ratio become unstable then you are taking a very big risk. if those modifiers do not stabilize and shift to the down side then you face real financial risk.

    in our current situation it is more likely that the modifiers, that have become unstable, shift to a lower mortgage-income ratio then a higher one. As an example,NINJA loans and financing DP’s with second mortgages has been mostly shutdown in the last year or two. these are both modifiers that drive the income-mortgage ratio lower.

    Outside of this debate, its also just a poor financial decision the majority of the time, as the money being used to support the outsized debt maintenance could be more effectively and productively utilized in any number of ways, from further education to savings to a gym membership

  173. Libtard says:

    NFLX will soon be the ultimate short. First of all, it doesn’t take long before you’ve seen every decent film. Two, no moats to competition, failing post office and their online downloadables completely blow. With that said, they could still bubble for another quarter or two. Now Chipotle Mexican Grill, which I reentered in the low 70s after selling in the 130s (at ChiFi’s urging), is poised to grow like an MFer. They only have 950 stores so far in around 30 states. People love dem environmentally friendly burritos almost as much as they used to like their $5.00 lattes.

  174. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    word. Chipotle is crazy delicious and ours has lines out the door.

  175. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Moose 172:

    Love it. When you got unlimited leverage there is no way the market is going down.

    God bless the PPT and the High Frequency Traders. They make life worth living.

  176. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    its getting very 1999 in here with all these high flying stock tips.

    I take that as a signal to buy everything and any stock available for sale using your income, loans, your ira, kids college fund, inheritance or the the proceeds of sale of assets (like that big old boat in your driveway that the neioghbors hate).

    Afterall, these things represent buying power.

  177. beanbear says:

    Gator 157 – right, right… my mistake; you’re right – I mis-remembered some of those Lorraine houses (although I did think there was 1 that went for just over 5… it had a big, reno’d kitchen, c/a, contractor-owned, I think, etc.)…

  178. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re[170];

    OK, let’s step back for a moment. This particular house sold for $385 in 2004. Neighbor across the street sold early last year for $454; next door to them sold late last year for $415. Asking $479 and is supposed to go for more over the ask? Only if you REALLY like that Viking stove.

    Also that ‘nursery’ space looks like the landing for the attic stairs (come to think of it, I remember someone here mentioning the same thing recently – must have been the same house). Do they consider that one of the 4 bedrooms?

  179. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    veto,
    energy stocks are really taking off :P And low slung bootcut jeans – I’m talking bikini wax/manscaping low. Buy now.

  180. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 179

    Good point, must go pull a cash advance on some plastic in order to buy some hot stocks!

  181. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Do your own research but i heard pets.com is going to 200.

  182. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 184,

    I better pull the options chain on Pets.com, some Call options could be a hot play right now! I could even be slick and write a bunch of puts to fund my calls. 100:1 baby!!!!

  183. poor guy says:

    Why would you buy a house if you can put the money (DP+montly exp) to stocks? It’s not as if the stock market has tanked like RE did. (OK, it did tank but only for a little while)

  184. NJGator says:

    Anon 181 – yes that is one of the 4 bedrooms.

  185. Juice Box says:

    “If you’re like other Americans you love to eat Chipotle, but you hate all those terrible blood stains in your underwear. Well now there’s a solution!”

    Billy Mays Ghost (via south park)

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/251865

  186. Ben says:

    “its getting very 1999 in here with all these high flying stock tips.

    I take that as a signal to buy everything and any stock available for sale using your income, loans, your ira, kids college fund, inheritance or the the proceeds of sale of assets (like that big old boat in your driveway that the neioghbors hate).

    Afterall, these things represent buying power.”

    The Dow is approaching levels beyond what we saw during the peak of the housing bubble. It’s pretty ridiculous and sad at the same time. I’m willing to bet that pension funds held stocks during the crash of 2008 and fully converted to garbage bonds in 2009. In 2010, they’ll jump back into stocks to get killed for a 3rd year in a row.

  187. NJGator says:

    Bean 180 – Was that #30? White house? ultra renovated kitchen open to the dining room but a living room that was so small they actually removed all the furniture before showing it?

    Stu was not impressed with the work the contractor did on the third floor….crunchy floors. And some of the second floor seemed partially completed.

  188. NJGator says:

    Our second ward councilor on the article on Montclair’s potential property tax reassessment:

    I’ve been pitching this for six months. I did the research, found out that the excuse we’ve been giving for not doing this was BS, spoke to the biggest tax appeal attorney in town, etc., etc.

    So, of the 1225 appeals filed, we paid about $250,000 to an outside tax attorney to handle this for the town.

    Then we asked his advice as to whether we should do a reassessment.

    Excuse me for being a little cynical, but this guy makes money for each appeal. Hmmmm ….. no appeals, no income.

  189. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “It’s not as if the stock market has tanked like RE did. (OK, it did tank but only for a little while)”

    poor guy, stocks and home prices only go up, preferably at an unsustainable rate.
    Where is the problem?

  190. poor guy says:

    “poor guy, stocks and home prices only go up, preferably at an unsustainable rate.
    Where is the problem?”

    the problem is that I am invested in neither

  191. beanbear says:

    Gator – I think so; looks familiar, but the tax records aren’t updated yet for me to confirm…

    I recall similar thoughts about the 2nd & 3rd flrs, but also recall it might have had some upgraded “guts” (electric, etc.).

  192. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [182] moose

    Viking stoves suck. If I were looking at a house with one, I’d ask them to replace it.

    Same thing with subzero refrigerators.

    Those, Louis Vuitton, and german cars, are among the things that are geared toward people with much more money than sense, and are intended only to impress those with more money than sense (which, paradoxically, may make them sensible if your profession relies on impressing people with more money than sense, so I don’t know).

    Coach bags, OTOH, are worth the money.

  193. skep-tic says:

    so what’s a good stove brand?

  194. njescapee says:

    coleman

  195. chicagofinance says:

    ????

    Ben says:
    April 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm
    The Dow is approaching levels beyond what we saw during the peak of the housing bubble. It’s pretty ridiculous and sad at the same time.

  196. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I don’t have a viking, but sis does, and had no end of problems with it. She subsequently learned from the repair guys (who were working under warranty) that her problems were not unique and they bashed viking even though they were making money repairing them. She used to be more status oriented because she equated it with quality, but her experiences with Viking, Subzero and Saab convinced her that such trendy consumption, without corresponding quality, is pointless. She won’t buy subzero or viking when those go, and she now drives a prius and a Kia suv.

    I think all the majors produce comparable stoves. Stoves are not high tech items so I don’t expect a lot of differentiation. They have to be functional and durable, and that is where I tend to look, not at the name plate.

  197. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [198] escapee

    That reminds me—I have to buy some white fuel.

  198. skep-tic says:

    OK, but commercial stoves do have different features than conventional stoves. is there a high quality commercial grade brand that one might substitute for viking?

  199. NJGator says:

    Bean 194 – did that really go for 500k? It was not in the recent closed sales our realtor gave us to review for Harvard. I’m thinking if it sold that high she would have included it. 36 Lorraine, which closed under 460k was included. Can someone with GSMLS access confirm? Address is 30 Lorraine in Glen Ridge.

  200. Anon E. Moose says:

    200? Moi?

  201. Anon E. Moose says:

    Doh!

  202. NJGator says:

    skep 201 – ours is a Premier make by Peerless the boiler company. Super reasonable in price and no problems. Nothing fancy, just 6 fantastically powered gas burners and an awesome griddle.

  203. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [201] me

    Hyde, as you are the resident expert on fuel storage, any comment on the shelf lives posited here?

    http://www.survivalblog.com/2008/05/homestead_fuel_storage_and_rot.html

  204. Anon E. Moose says:

    Anyway, Nom, agree with on the Viking stoves. I’m not impressed, just harping on one particular feature in the photos to emphasize the overpricing compared to comps.

    The thing I’ve been told about any commercial stove is that they are difficult to clean. Chefs usually don’t care because they’re paying someone minimum wage to clean it for them.

    My experience with coach bags (wife wanted one when she was working in Queens, I made her buy one without an obvious logo) is that they will repair/replace. They fixed that bag on warranty, and when they couldn’t repair her wallet they gave her a fairly generous credit towards a new one. LV I can get for $25 on Canal St. German cars when to pot when the Japanese started eating their lunch in the AMerican market, but they couldn’t compete due to (wait for it) high labor costs — 6 weeks vacation anyone?

    Is there anything to be made from three houses on one block selling within a year?

  205. It is great to have the ability to read a good quality post with useful data on topics that many are interested on. The fact that the data stated are all first hand on real experiences even help more. Go on doing what you do as we enjoy reading your work.

  206. Mr hyde says:

    Nom 206

    Without splitting hairs, yes i agree with the general time lines given. note that you could push the liquid fuels further but performance begins to degrade rapidly. The impacts of which depend on the engine the fuel is being run in.

    For diesel at the 2-3 year range it becomes very important to have been using stabilizers ( and to prevent algae) and have some method of de-watering it.

  207. Mr hyde says:

    Nom,

    if i were to build a Nompound, a 100 gal underground propane tank would be a priority for me. Its a very good fall back as the fuel has an essentially unlimited lifespan and can be used for everything from cooking to running a generator. Its easy to find mod kits to allow generators to run on both gasoline and propane and the same thing can be done for a car.

    The conversion kit on cars is popular in parts of south america as it allows fuel flexibility income one or the other is not available.

  208. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ
    BUSINESS
    APRIL 22, 2010

    The Busted Homes Behind a Big Bet
    By CARRICK MOLLENKAMP , MARK WHITEHOUSE And ANTON TROIANOVSKI

    ABERDEEN TOWNSHIP, N.J.—The government’s civil-fraud allegation against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. centers on a deal the firm crafted so that hedge-fund king John Paulson could bet on a collapse in U.S. housing prices.

    It was a dizzyingly complex transaction, involving 90 bonds and a 65-page deal sheet. But it all boiled down to whether people like Stella Onyeukwu, Gheorghe Bledea and Jack Booket could pay their mortgages.

    They couldn’t, and Mr. Paulson made $1 billion as a result.

    Mr. Booket, a 44-year-old heating and air-conditioning repairman, owed $300,000 on his three-bedroom home in Aberdeen Township. His house was one of thousands that wound up in a pool of mortgages that were referenced in the so-called collateralized debt obligation, or CDO, which Goldman created for Mr. Paulson. The hedge-fund manager invested heavily in a form of insurance that could yield huge gains if the borrowers grew unable to pay.

    In 2006, Mr. Booket got hit by a car while riding a motorcycle from a late-night party, was unable to find much work and couldn’t pay the bank. In October 2008, he lost the house to foreclosure and plans to move out by next week. He says he bears no grudge against Mr. Paulson and Goldman.

    “The man came up with a scheme to get rich, and he did it,” says Mr. Booket, who had refinanced his mortgage just months before the accident. “So more power to him.”

    More than half of the 500,000 mortgages from 48 states contained in the Goldman deal—known as Abacus 2007-AC1—are now in default or foreclosed.

    Mr. Paulson didn’t have any direct involvement in the mortgages contained in the Goldman deal under scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission. And the bets that Mr. Paulson placed on Abacus didn’t affect whether or not homeowners defaulted. Rather, he used Wall Street to help structure hugely lucrative side bets that homeowners such as Mr. Booket couldn’t make their monthly mortgage payments.

    One loser in the deal, German bank IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, saw most of its $150 million Abacus investment evaporate. It had believed that borrowers broadly could afford the loans. The bank says it is cooperating with the SEC’s inquiry.

    “There’s no question we made money in these transactions,” said a Paulson spokesman in a statement. “However, all our dealings were through arms-length transactions with experienced counterparties who had opposing views based on all available information at the time. We were straightforward in our dislike of these securities but the vast majority of people in the market thought we were dead wrong and openly and aggressively purchased the securities we were selling.”

    Some of the people whose mortgages underpinned Mr. Paulson’s wager were themselves taking a gamble—that U.S. housing prices would continue to march upward, making it possible for them to eventually pay off loans they couldn’t afford.

    The Wall Street Journal identified homeowners in the Abacus portfolio by taking the 90 bonds listed in a February 2007 Abacus pitchbook and matching them with court records, foreclosure listings, title records and loan servicing reports. The bonds contained nearly 500,000 mortgage loans.

    One mortgage in the Abacus pool was held by Ms. Onyeukwu, a 43-year-old nursing-home assistant in Pittsburg, Calif. Ms. Onyeukwu already was under financial strain in 2006, when she applied to Fremont Investment & Loan for a new mortgage on her two-story, six-bedroom house in a subdivision called Highlands Ranch. With pre-tax income of about $9,000 a month from a child-care business, she says she was having a hard time making the $5,000 monthly payments on her existing $688,000 mortgage, which carried an initial interest rate of 9.05%.

    Nonetheless, she took out an even bigger loan from Fremont, which lent her $786,250 at an initial interest rate of 7.55%—but that would begin to float as high as 13.55% two years later. She says the monthly payment on the new loan came to a bit more than $5,000.

    She defaulted in early 2008 and was evicted from the house in early 2009.

    Fremont didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    In early 2007, Paulson was identifying different bonds from across the country that it wanted to place bets against. Paolo Pellegrini, Mr. Paulson’s right-hand man, began working with Goldman trader Fabrice Tourre to choose bonds for the Abacus portfolio, say people familiar with the deal.

    Abacus was a “synthetic” CDO, meaning that it didn’t contain any actual bonds. Rather, it allowed Paulson’s firm to buy insurance on bonds it didn’t own. If the bonds performed well, Paulson would make a steady stream of small payments—much like insurance premiums. If they performed poorly, Paulson would receive potentially large payouts.

    According to the SEC complaint, Mr. Paulson especially wanted to find risky subprime adjustable-rate mortgages that had been given to borrowers with low credit scores who lived in California, Arizona, Florida, and Nevada—states with big spikes in home prices that he reckoned would crash.

    Mr. Pellegrini and a colleague had purchased an enormous database capable of tracking the characteristics of more than six million mortgages in various parts of the country. They spent long hours scouring it all, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The home mortgage of Gheorghe Bledea was among those that wound up in the Abacus portfolio.

    In May of 2006, a broker had approached Mr. Bledea, a Romanian immigrant, to pitch him a deal on a loan to refinance the existing mortgage on his Folsom, Calif., home.

    Mr. Bledea, who is suing his lender in Superior Court of California in Sacramento on allegations that he was defrauded, wanted a 30-year fixed-rate loan, according to his complaint. His broker told him the only one available was an adjustable-rate mortgage carrying an 8% interest rate, according his court filing.

    Mr. Bledea, who says he has limited English-speaking skills, was told that he’d be able to exit the risky loan in six months and refinance into yet another one carrying a lower 1% rate. Mr. Bledea agreed to take out the $531,000 loan on July 21, 2006.

    The new loan never materialized. Within months, Mr. Bledea and his family were struggling under the weight of a $5,800 monthly note, says his son, Joe Bledea.

    “We were putting ourselves in a lot of debt,” Joe Bledea says. By spring of 2009, the loan was in default. The elder Mr. Bledea is now appealing to the court to avoid eviction from his ranch-style house, says family attorney Will Ramey.

    The loan, underwritten by Washington Mutual, itself had moved through the U.S. mortgage machine. It was put into a debt pool, or residential-mortgage backed security, with the arcane name of Long Beach Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-8.

    A spokesman for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which acquired WaMu in September of 2008, said the bank was unable to comment on the loan.

    By mid-October of 2007, just seven months after Abacus was formed, 83% of the bonds in its portfolio had been downgraded. By then, sheriff departments across the U.S. were seizing homes and putting them up for sale at public auction as souring Abacus-related loans metastasized.

    In Dayton, Ohio, a two-story home that served as collateral for Abacus now stands empty. The house was purchased for $75,000 in 2006 by a borrower who used a subprime loan from a California-based mortgage bank. That $67,500 loan was placed into a pool called Structured Asset Investment Loan Trust 2006-4, which underpinned Abacus.

    After the borrower defaulted, the trust acquired the home through foreclosure in October 2007 and resold it to an investor in April 2008 for $7,500, a tenth of the price paid two years before.

    Neighbor Lonnie Ross, sitting on the porch Tuesday morning while enjoying a cigarette, says most homes on the block are vacant or occupied by squatters.

    Inside the unoccupied house, which is missing its front door knob, hardwood floors are strewn with old bills. A fake Christmas tree is still decorated with candy canes. Instant pudding and other discarded food litters the kitchen. Dirty dishes are soaking in a sink.

    A few blocks away, a homemade sign reads: “This community is dead already. We need leadership to rebuild this community. Too many run down houses need to be torn down.”

    But not all homes have gone south.

    In a wealthy Denver neighborhood, neighbors are thrilled that Joel Champagne rescued a house on East Alameda Circle, where a previous mortgage was contained in the Abacus deal via a pool called First Franklin Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-FF9.

    Mr. Champagne bought the home last year for $370,000. The prior owner, according to title records, had paid $1.2 million, borrowing the entire amount from First Franklin. The owner had started on a renovation and then vanished, says Mr. Champagne and neighbors, leaving the home with no plumbing, wiring or roof shingles.

    Today, hyacinths are starting to peep through the flower beds.

    “I’m very fortunate. We capitalized on the market and we were very fortunate to be in a position to do that,” says the 45-year- old. “I don’t know enough details to say if I’m upset with Goldman Sachs or whoever. The problem’s bigger than that. Everyone made a lot of mistakes back then.”
    —Stephanie Simon, James R. Hagerty, Serena Ng, Cari Tuna contributed to this article.

  209. chicagofinance says:

    Also in photos on the website are homes from Middletown and Asbury Park.

  210. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ]
    OPINION
    APRIL 22, 2010

    Environmentalism as Religion
    By PAUL H. RUBIN

    Many observers have made the point that environmentalism is eerily close to a religious belief system, since it includes creation stories and ideas of original sin. But there is another sense in which environmentalism is becoming more and more like a religion: It provides its adherents with an identity.

    Scientists are understandably uninterested in religious stories because they do not meet the basic criterion for science: They cannot be tested. God may or may not have created the world—there is no way of knowing, although we do know that the biblical creation story is scientifically incorrect. Since we cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, science can’t help us answer questions about the truth of religion as a method of understanding the world.

    But scientists, particularly evolutionary psychologists, have identified another function of religion in addition to its function of explaining the world. Religion often supplements or replaces the tribalism that is an innate part of our evolved nature.

    Original religions were tribal rather than universal. Each tribe had its own god or gods, and the success of the tribe was evidence that their god was stronger than others.

    But modern religions have largely replaced tribal gods with universal gods and allowed unrelated individuals from outside the tribe to join. Identification with a religion has replaced identification with a tribe. While many decry religious wars, modern religion has probably net reduced human conflict because there are fewer tribal wars. (Anthropologists have shown that tribal wars are even more lethal per capita than modern wars.)

    It is this identity-creating function that environmentalism provides. As the world becomes less religious, people can define themselves as being Green rather than being Christian or Jewish.

    Consider some of the ways in which environmental behaviors echo religious behaviors and thus provide meaningful rituals for Greens:

    • There is a holy day—Earth Day.

    • There are food taboos. Instead of eating fish on Friday, or avoiding pork, Greens now eat organic foods and many are moving towards eating only locally grown foods.

    • There is no prayer, but there are self-sacrificing rituals that are not particularly useful, such as recycling. Recycling paper to save trees, for example, makes no sense since the effect will be to reduce the number of trees planted in the long run.

    • Belief systems are embraced with no logical basis. For example, environmentalists almost universally believe in the dangers of global warming but also reject the best solution to the problem, which is nuclear power. These two beliefs co-exist based on faith, not reason.

    • There are no temples, but there are sacred structures. As I walk around the Emory campus, I am continually confronted with recycling bins, and instead of one trash can I am faced with several for different sorts of trash. Universities are centers of the environmental religion, and such structures are increasingly common. While people have worshipped many things, we may be the first to build shrines to garbage.

    • Environmentalism is a proselytizing religion. Skeptics are not merely people unconvinced by the evidence: They are treated as evil sinners. I probably would not write this article if I did not have tenure.

    Some conservatives spend their time criticizing the way Darwin is taught in schools. This is pointless and probably counterproductive. These same efforts should be spent on making sure that the schools only teach those aspects of environmentalism that pass rigorous scientific testing. By making the point that Greenism is a religion, perhaps we environmental skeptics can enlist the First Amendment on our side.

    Mr. Rubin is a professor of economics at Emory University. He is the author of “Darwinian Politics: The Evolutionary Origin of Freedom” (Rutgers University Press, 2002).

  211. chicagofinance says:

    one of the greatest real estate quotes of all time…..

    “Saying Atlantic City is a buyers market is almost an oxymoronic statement because it assumes there are going to be buyers.”

    WSJ
    BUSINESS
    APRIL 22, 2010

    Atlantic City Casinos: Buyers Wanted
    By ALEXANDRA BERZON

    Five casino assets in Atlantic City are looking for buyers, raising concerns that the East Coast gambling enclave could be starved for new investment at a moment when competition from elsewhere is rising.

    The for-sale signs cover a diverse group, from the city’s oldest casino to a 50% stake in its newest, as well as a vacant lot. Morgan Stanley said Wednesday it plans to sell the 2,000-room Revel, a partly finished hotel-casino, within a year and reported a $932 million loss on the $1.2 billion investment. The project is expected to need another $1.4 billion before completion.

    “It is perilous,” said Harvey Perkins, an Atlantic City-based casino consultant at Spectrum Gaming Group. “Saying Atlantic City is a buyers market is almost an oxymoronic statement because it assumes there are going to be buyers.”

    Prices have dropped sharply. Trump Entertainment Resorts, which recently emerged from bankruptcy, is seeking to sell its aging Trump Marina. A deal in 2008 to sell the property to Coastal Development LLC for $316 million fell through, even after the price was lowered to $270 million last year. The company received an offer on the property in July 2009 for $75 million. Last month, a financial adviser for Trump told a judge he estimated the casino was worth $24 million.

    Atlantic City has gone through previous stretches with little investor enthusiasm, and local proponents expect the market to rebound as it has in the past. However, many industry watchers worry that new investors aren’t likely to appear until the city’s depressed gambling revenues rebound, and that’s a vicious circle: Any rebound could be delayed without much-needed investment to improve Atlantic City’s offerings.

    The recession, combined with competition from casinos in Pennsylvania, pushed gambling revenues into a steep slide. Casino revenue plunged to $3.9 billion in 2009, the lowest level since 1997, from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006.

    At existing casinos, capital expenditures dropped to $85 million in 2009 from $963 million in 2007, according to analysis for the bankruptcy case of three Trump-branded casinos there.

    A few years ago, Atlantic City appeared poised to lure new investment from companies that wanted to create a smaller-scale version of Las Vegas. By building clusters of high-end hotels, shops and restaurants, they hoped to transform the place into a sophisticated resort destination that wasn’t dependent on day-tripping gamblers.

    Only a portion of those investments took shape before the credit markets seized up.

    Many expect gambling revenue to fall further this summer when Pennsylvania casinos, which so far have had just slot machines, add table games.

    Even investors who previously had been interested in Atlantic City are now skeptical.

    “We continue to believe that Atlantic City is over supplied,” said Tim Wilmott, chief operating officer of Penn National Gaming, which operates numerous regional casinos. He added: “There needs to be some pruning of the operations there to get it down to the level that is more commensurate for the size of the market.”

    Atlantic City’s first casino, Resorts, which has the hands and signatures of celebrities embedded in concrete outside its Boardwalk entrance, was taken over by mortgage holders last year. Nicholas Ribis, who currently manages the property, is bidding around $30 million to $50 million and intends to invest an additional $25 million, according to a person familiar with the situation. The casino reported an $18 million loss before interest, depreciation, amortization and taxes last year.

    A stake in the Borgata is also on the block. MGM Mirage in March struck a deal with New Jersey regulators to sell its 50% stake in the Borgata, Atlantic City’s newest and most successful casino.

    Casino consultant Bill Lerner of Union Gaming Group, estimates MGM Mirage would draw $160 million to $360 million, while other analysts have estimated as high as $500 million. Boyd Gaming, which owns the other half of the Borgata, has the right to match any offer.

    The fifth property is raw land. Earlier this year Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. put 19 acres of land for sale that once housed the Sands casino. In 2006 the company spent $275 million buying the casino, Atlantic City’s smallest at the time. It imploded it a year later —the first casino torn down in the East Coast gambling capital. The plan was to build a multi-billion dollar casino on the site. But by 2009 it was projected a $357 million loss on the approximately $400 million it spent on the site. In February, Pinnacle’s interim chief executive at the time, John Giovenco, said there hadn’t been much interest so far.

    The hotel-casinos in question account for around 26% of the hotel rooms that are attached to casinos in Atlantic City, leaving out the unfinished Revel and the torn-down Sands.

    Atlantic City operators say they have made improvements, and some longtime observers believe the market’s fundamentals are still strong. In 2008, Spectrum, the gaming consultancy, wrote a report that pointed to a gambling tax rate of 9%, among the lowest in the country, and opportunity to grow the non-gambling market, such as higher-end restaurants, entertainment and shopping.

    It also noted risks such as rising competition from surrounding states, poor image and revenue declines.

    Boosters hope that longtime plans to grow the regional convention business will pay off some day.

    “The same factors are largely in place today that were there three to four years ago,” said Spectrum Managing Director Michael Pollock. “It’s just a question of what was viewed as half full is now viewed as half empty.”

    Earlier this month, optimism crept into Atlantic City. Casino impresario Steve Wynn touched down for a brief visit and was spotted at the Atlantic City Hilton that he first built as the Golden Nugget in 1980 and in Revel’s development office. Insiders wondered, would Mr. Wynn rescue a casino in distress? But within days Mr. Wynn’s spokeswoman released a statement saying that he had no desire to invest in Atlantic City.
    Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page B1

  212. freedy says:

    Atlantic City had their shot.

    Steve Wynn recently took a pass,

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  213. freedy says:

    penn national gaming recently took a pass as well, saying AC has to many venues

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    on another note , how many will be given
    the pink at the MTA, they can’t stop the
    bleeding

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    freedy, how many times did you you gamble the mortgage payment away before you finally decided that you would stop paying altogether?

  216. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda', 'Next Fall' says:

    “????”

    chi, lol. this is actually one of your better posts.

  217. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda', 'Next Fall' says:

    another day that oblivion didnt show up.
    i was hoping it would have arrived on a black horse accompanied by a futher 20% price reduction in housing.

  218. Cindy says:

    http://www.gop.gov/blog/10/04/08/obamacare-flatlines-obamacare-taxes-home

    I just found out, in an email, that beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Obamacare imposes a 3.8% Medicare Tax on unearned income, including the sale of a single family home, townhouse, co-op, condominium and even rental income property.

    I didn’t think about the fact that once you sell your place, you fall into the “over $250,000” threshold.

    Is this for real? A 3.8% tax on real estate sales? How could I have missed that.

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    Skep 201 –

    Well, commercial ranges typically have _fewer_ “features” than consumer models. They mostly focus on a heavy-duty chassis + high/consistent BTU output:

    http://www.therdstore.com/page/IFSES/CTGY/GSTOVE

    Also keep in mind that they’re usually only available (like with RD store above) at equipment wholesalers to restaurants…. although we had a local place in LA (Surfas) that sold Insignias to the public. Also remember you’ll need a 3/4″ (vs the usual 1/2″, I think) gas pipe coming in to the house to get high BTU output.

    If you’re thinking “pro-style”, Electrolux (also re-badged as “Kenmore Pro”) has well-reviewed 30″ + 36″ models, which are much cheaper than Viking, Wolf, DCS, etc.

    But if you’re spending Viking money (for whatever reason – you’re going 48″ or 60″, need a French top or infrared grill, etc…), I’d go GE Monogram – great quality & service.

    Gator –

    Re: 30 Lorraine, I can’t say for sure re: SP… honestly, I was never that into the area, so my memory is a bit sloppy.

  220. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    you have to install a fire wall for a true commercial range.

  221. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda', 'Next Fall' says:

    “Is this for real? A 3.8% tax on real estate sales?”

    Cindy, is that primary residence or investment property?

  222. Cindy says:

    It reads: “….unearned income, including the sale of a single family home, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums and even rental property.”

    So you are “rich” for the day of that sale (pass the $250,000 income threshold.) Forget about the two years to reinvest in like property – you get taxed! Can this be for real? How did I miss that?

  223. Stu says:

    Our peerless required the thicker piping and is not self cleaning. Surprisingly, it contains only one convenience. A light in the oven. No clock, no computer, just 7 knobs and the lightswitch. For the money, it’s the best out there in the 36″ width. Didn’t cost as much as the GE 36″ which is really their 30″ with some extra metal.

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  225. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    Ok don’t know about this hood, but this is pretty cute.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/113-Lincoln-St_Montclair-Twp_NJ_07042_1118043275

    Great for a single parent of one or a couple.

  226. NJGator says:

    Barbara 228 – Let’s just say it’s not in Upper Montclair.

  227. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    Gator,
    figures…sigh

  228. Pat says:

    Gator, send your 95 civic down to me.

    I deal with these things.

  229. JK says:

    Cindy 225

    It’s a capital gain. Long term capital gains are taxed today at 15%. If it’s a primary residence, the first $250k of gain ($500k for married couples) is exempt from tax if it is a primary property. Curious to see if it will also be exempt from the medicare tax or apply to all of the gain.

  230. Cindy says:

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/mar/28/health-laws-heavy-impact/

    JK @ 232

    “The first $250k of gain ($500k for married couples) is exempt from tax….

    This is a medicare tax,,,,something new with ObamaCare.

    I think this is for real. Grim/Clot do you know?

  231. JK says:

    Cindy, I’m not a tax lawyer but my read is that it applies to the amount over the $250k exemption:

    “…net gain (to the extent taken into account in computing taxable income)
    attributable to the disposition of property…”

  232. Confused in NJ says:

    Obama would boost the Medicare tax by 0.9 percentage points for households with incomes over $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for joint filers. In addition, he’d impose a 2.9 percent tax on these same people on interest, dividends, annuities, and most other investment income. While the official Obama summary does not say so, the new tax would apply to capital gains as well. Add it up, and the 1.2 million taxpayers making $624,000 or more (their average income is about $2 million) would pay nearly 86 percent of this tax once it is fully effective in 2013.

    “While the official Obama summary does not say so, the new tax would apply to capital gains as well”.

    I wonder if “O” will give me a rebate, when I sell my 2006 house with a substantial Capital Loss, as I exit NJ?

  233. Confused in NJ says:

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will increase the nation’s health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.

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  234. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    Dear lurking RE agents, stop referring to yourselves as “The Dream Team!”

    tools….

  235. Cindy says:

    http://www.nixonpeabody.com/publications_detail3.asp?ID=3252

    I did find a tax site that attempts to explain it. My brain is mush. But I thought maybe others would be interested in reading it…it looks like a boost to capital gains taxes.

  236. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Chicago Teachers’ Union Chant: “Where is the Money? Where is the Money?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdREEcx0-Qc&feature=player_embedded

    Property taxes hard at work.

  237. Dink says:

    30 Lorraine never went for $500K. Last sale was for $270K in July 2001.

  238. NJGator says:

    Dink – is there a recent listing for it? Or maybe we have the wrong street number. In addition to 36 Lorraine there was another house on that side of the street that listed and went under contract late fall last year. Stu and I looked at it in late Oct/early November I think.

  239. Yikes says:

    1. great pick by the jets

    2. budgets schmudgets

    3. if “the tax bill may exceed the mortgage payment on a typical house” (written by someone yesterday) is real, then you got some serious problems

    handle ya bidness, people

  240. Dink says:

    Gator,

    I can’t find any other listings for 30 Lorraine.

    The most recent sale other than 30 and 36 I can find is for 13 in June ’09.

  241. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (238)-

    Exactly. Because the real purpose of the bill is to destroy individual wealth.

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