Housing transitions from cash cow to dog

From the NYT:

Housing Fades as a Means to Build Wealth, Analysts Say

Housing will eventually recover from its great swoon. But many real estate experts now believe that home ownership will never again yield rewards like those enjoyed in the second half of the 20th century, when houses not only provided shelter but also a plump nest egg.

The wealth generated by housing in those decades, particularly on the coasts, did more than assure the owners a comfortable retirement. It powered the economy, paying for the education of children and grandchildren, keeping the cruise ships and golf courses full and the restaurants humming.

More than likely, that era is gone for good.

“There is no iron law that real estate must appreciate,” said Stan Humphries, chief economist for the real estate site Zillow. “All those theories advanced during the boom about why housing is special — that more people are choosing to spend more on housing, that more people are moving to the coasts, that we were running out of usable land — didn’t hold up.”

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimates that it will take 20 years to recoup the $6 trillion of housing wealth that has been lost since 2005. After adjusting for inflation, values will never catch up.

“People shouldn’t look at a home as a way to make money because it won’t,” Mr. Baker said.

If the long term is grim, the short term is grimmer. Housing experts are bracing themselves for Tuesday, when the sales figures for July will be released. The data is expected to show a drop of as much as 20 percent from last year.

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

112 Responses to Housing transitions from cash cow to dog

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Housing Slide in U.S. Threatens to Drag Economy Into Recession

    Housing led the U.S. out of seven of the last eight recessions. This time, it may kill the recovery.

    Home sales collapsed after a federal tax credit for buyers expired in April. Since then, the manufacturing-led expansion, which began in the second half of 2009, has been waning, with jobless claims rising and factory orders falling.

    “If foreclosures continue to mount and depress home prices, that could send the economy back into a recession,” said Celia Chen, an economist who tracks the industry for Moody’s Analytics Inc. “The housing market and the broader economy are closely intertwined.”

    Spending on home construction and items such as furniture and stoves accounted for about 15 percent of gross domestic product in the second quarter, according to West Chester, Pennsylvania-based Moody’s Analytics. Real estate also can influence consumer spending indirectly. When values soared in the mid-2000s, people used the boost in equity to pay for cars and vacations. After prices fell, homeowners lost that cushion and curbed spending.

    “Housing continues to be stuck in the doldrums,” said Jeffrey Frankel, a member of the business-cycle dating committee at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiter of when U.S. recessions begin and end, and a professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    With 14.6 million Americans out of work, homeowners are struggling to hold onto their properties. One in seven mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter, the highest in records dating to 1979, according to the Washington- based Mortgage Bankers Association. Foreclosures probably will top 1 million this year, said RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, California-based data company.

    Shadow inventory, or the number of homes repossessed or in default that eventually will be offered for sale, stood at 7.3 million in the first quarter, according to Laurie Goodman, an analyst in New York at mortgage-bond broker Amherst Securities Group LP. As those properties hit the market, prices will come under pressure and buyers will wait for better deals.

  2. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Frist!

  3. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Congress Pushes for Judicial Action Against Fraud Used to Shift Loss onto GSEs

    Letters from members of Congress released Friday urged President Obama and the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) to use aggressive administrative power to recover money from companies that used fraudulent and deceptive practices to shift losses on to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House of Financial Services, and Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, authored the letters concerning the costs to American taxpayers to support the loss suffered by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) due to fraudulent transactions.

    Frank cited that GSE loss already cost taxpayers almost $150bn to date and the bill looks set to rise.

    “These losses largely result from business decisions during the bubble years that were honest but flawed,” Frank wrote. “However, some of these losses result from deception. Private companies sold Fannie and Freddie loans or securities based on fraudulent documents… they should be fought with every tool at the companies’ and the agency’s disposal.”

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Hiring Spree Gets Long in the Tooth

    Wall Street employees about to return from the summer doldrums have something new to worry about: their jobs.

    The weak economy, volatile markets, regulatory upheaval and changes in how traders and investment bankers are paid are starting to trigger job cuts that could reverse a recent rebound in overall employment levels at banks and securities firms.

    While the firings so far add up to a tiny slice of all Wall Street jobs, companies and analysts say deeper cuts are looming unless business revs up soon.

  5. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    How States Hide Their Budget Deficits

    New Jersey is an object case in how such manipulations eventually backfire. The problems go back nearly 15 years, to when the then-relatively healthy state decided to borrow $2.8 billion and stick it in its pension funds in lieu of making contributions from tax revenues. To make the gambit seem reasonable, Trenton projected unrealistic annual investment returns—between 8% and 12% per year—on the borrowed money. The maneuver temporarily made the funds seem well-off.

    In 2001, when legislators wanted to further enhance rich pension benefits, they valued the state’s plan at its richest point: 1999, when the system was flush with borrowing and the tech bubble hadn’t yet burst. The scheme proved disastrous, of course, because the stock market has since gone sideways, and New Jersey has achieved nowhere near the returns it needed on that borrowed money.

    Meanwhile, New Jersey compounded its woes with other ploys. In 2004, the state broke the cardinal rule of municipal budgeting when it borrowed nearly $2 billion to close a budget deficit, which is like borrowing on your credit card to pay off your mortgage. (The state supreme court ruled this move unconstitutional but allowed it to go forward anyway because it didn’t want to “disrupt” government operations.) Over time, New Jersey’s combination of overspending in its budget and underfunding of its pensions resulted in a tidal wave of tax increases and spending cuts.

    Now, even if Gov. Chris Christie can solve the state’s long-term, structural budget problems, New Jersey will have to find some $3 billion a year in new revenues to begin contributing again to its pensions.

    Municipal bondholders seem complacent in the face of such problems. They like to assert that they have first dibs on any tax revenues. But New Jersey has written so many “guarantees” into its constitution—whether regarding pensions or citizens’ right to a “quality” education—that sorting out the competing interests in a fiscal crisis could keep the courts busy for years.

  6. Final Doom says:

    Magpies 6-0 Villa! Even Joey Barton scored.

    Champions League or bust!!!!

  7. Final Doom says:

    grim (5)-

    My wish is that all of us are long gone when the rolling municipal BKs begin.

  8. Final Doom says:

    It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap, we gotta get out while we’re young.

  9. still_looking says:

    Doom, 7

    I remember as a little kid my mother talking to a friend on the phone about investments… For some strange-ass reason I remember her saying, “Municipal bonds are extremely safe. The government would never let any municipal bond default.”

    My mom has dementia and probably wouldn’t understand what I was saying to her now but if I told her that there’s a chance Muni’s might default/bk, she would tell me, “sure, when hell freezes over.”

    New world, gonna be a loooong looong walk home.

    sl

  10. Final Doom says:

    In other news, looks like Israel is gonna have to blow up that Iranian reactor on their own.

  11. BeachBum says:

    So the great NJ train robbery took place from 1994-end of 2001 when, yes you guessed it, Christy Todd Whitman was governor. Wait – she’s a Republican too. What a co-ink a dink.

  12. Nomad says:

    7. Grim –

    I had thought the first big default on muni’s was going to happen in CA in June or July. Harrisburg also had some problems (missed payments on muni debt) but it’s not like there has been any big news on either of these or any others. What gives?

    I would have thought muni mkt would have started to implode already.

  13. Mocha says:

    grim (4) –

    Seems wsj is on to something, my former employer just let go about 50 traders. Seems the hft’s and stat arb’s are reaking havoc.

  14. SG says:

    Don’t Fear A Housing Dip

    More realistically, the mortgage defaults and resulting housing weakness a few years back signaled an economy on the mend thanks to markets correcting overinvestment in that space. If economic growth is the goal, the best thing we could do would be to let houses and mortgage securities find their natural, market clearing level.

    When an individual buys a home, there’s merely a transfer of wealth from one person to another. This is quite unlike the purchase of shares in a public company, or the deposit of funds in a bank where an individual is transferring capital to existing and future businesses eager to expand. To invest in housing is to essentially transfer capital into the ground, whereas when we save and invest we provide entrepreneurs with the means to expand.

    Looking at the decade just passed, the dollar’s impressive weakness drove up the nominal value of all commodity-like assets, with housing a natural beneficiary. Not only did this “money illusion” distort home purchases, but it ultimately created a housing glut as faulty price signals tricked developers and lenders into believing that home prices could only rise. Evidence of the overbuilding that resulted from monetary mischief is everywhere at present, with unsold and uninhabited homes dotting suburban landscapes across the country.

    For the federal government to then use capital borrowed or taxed from the private sector to put a floor under home prices now would be for it to continue to distort real market signals on the way to more investment in housing. We’d be doubling down on an economic bet that previously helped put our financial system on its back.

  15. Final Doom says:

    How long before “mansion squatting” becomes common in PBC?

    All the fun trends always start out west:

    http://www.bubbleinfo.com/2010/08/21/mansion-squatters/

  16. SG says:

    How a homeownership fetish hurt the American dream

    In an ideal world, we would discard failed policies. We would trim or end the mortgage-interest tax deduction. We would curtail the GSEs’ loans and guarantees (the promise to repay mortgages that default). The consequences need not be dire. The homeownership rate, already down to 67 percent from its 2004-06 peak of 69 percent, would probably stabilize in the mid-60s. People would save more for down payments. Mortgage rates might rise a bit.

    The trouble is that the ideal solution may be temporarily undesirable. The housing market, as everyone knows, has collapsed. New home starts are running at about a quarter of the 2005 rate of 2.1 million. Sales of existing homes, though up slightly this year, remain weak. Home prices have dropped sharply.

    The irony is that, in failure, the GSEs have become more important than ever. Private lenders, which once regarded a mortgage secured by a home as a highly safe investment, now see it as highly risky. Few new mortgages are made without government guarantees. The GSEs continue to operate and, along with other government agencies, guaranteed about 95 percent of new mortgages made in 2009, reports Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter. Since 1990, the government guarantee share had fluctuated between 30 and 50 percent.

    This means that sudden withdrawals of support might deepen housing’s depression. Economists Phillip Swagel of Georgetown University and Donald Marron of the Tax Policy Center, among others, have made sensible proposals to scale back Fannie and Freddie. But done too quickly, they could backfire.

  17. scribe says:

    Nomad,

    There’s an increasing number of exotic muni bond deals involving swaps that are starting to blow up. I wish I could remember where I saw the story, but one of the pub’s that’s following it is Rolling Stone – Matt Taibbi.

  18. SG says:

    Home Market Recovery in 7 States

    It may seem like it’s been a gruelingly long time, but housing markets are recovering from their historic crash in seven states, adding another two states to the list that entering the recovery phase. Nebraska and Pennsylvania join the line-up leading the U.S. out of the downturn.

    California, Virginia and Colorado are also in recoveries. The Golden State has seen home sales decline since the tax credit expired, and price appreciation ease but a special state tax credit will help to stabilize markets, despite further unsteadiness expected in sales.

    Areas outside of the nation’s capitol in Virginia are experiencing better home sales as a result of massive government spending on good paying government jobs in Washington, D.C.

  19. Was down in Cape May on Thurs/Fri. I haven’t been to the area in a number of years and forgot how pretty it was.
    On the housing side… Wow, there was an awful lot of very pretty Victorians up for sale. It seemed about every 4th house had either a for sale sign or a rental sign. I was very surprised to see so many ‘for rents’ at this point in the season.

  20. tbiggs says:

    Nice to see the NYT gave you a shout-out:

    “If the long term is grim, the short term is grimmer.”

    :-)

  21. tbiggs says:

    #19 toshiro –

    We just got back from a week in Beach Haven. Haven’t been in a few years. There were “For Sale” and “For Rent” signs all over. I’ve been going to BH since the 1970s and I don’t remember that happening before. Also, a lot of dark houses in the evenings. No For Sale sign in front of them, but no activity all week, either.

  22. SG says:

    #16 in mod

  23. NJCoast says:

    A bayfront LBI house (near the Spray Beach Yacht Club) that had been in our family since the 1940’s sold this spring for less than asking but still more than any of us dreamed it would sell for. The new owner took it down to the studs to renovate.

  24. Mr hyde says:

    BUY NOW OR BE PRICED OUT FOREVER! THEY AREN’T MAKING ANYMORE LAND!

    Bob Walters, chief economist of the online mortgage firm Quicken, acknowledges that the recent collapse will create a “mind scar” just as the Great Depression did. But he argues that housing remains unique.

    “You have to live somewhere,” he said. “In three or four years, people will resume a normal course, and home values will continue to increase.”

  25. Mr hyde says:

    SAS3,

    I think your 700K buyer from the previous thread falls into this group. To bad the long term historical average is just 1-3% growth

    In an annual survey conducted by the economists Robert J. Shiller and Karl E. Case, hundreds of new owners in four communities — Alameda County near San Francisco, Boston, Orange County south of Los Angeles, and Milwaukee — once again said they believed prices would rise about 10 percent a year for the next decade.

  26. cooper says:

    hola

    its 10 47 and im on my 5th beer

    bad night, bad day, bad few months

    honestly right now the only cure is beer and I just don’t give a dam

    i love this blog and all who support it

  27. cooper says:

    “In an annual survey conducted by the economists Robert J. Shiller and Karl E. Case, hundreds of new owners in four communities once again said they believed prices would rise about 10 percent a year for the next decade. ”

    dam, im on my 6th beer now and i still dont think i’d buy that- maybe i should start on the scotch

  28. cooper says:

    Q for the board

    im taking the family to Nice Fr. in Sept then going to an f1 race in monza ( huge f1 fan) anyone have must see/do places/things while were there?

  29. Ben says:

    dam, im on my 6th beer now and i still dont think i’d buy that- maybe i should start on the scotch

    The positive sentiment towards housing still exists. The majority of sellers are still living in lala land hoping to get the big payoff by selling. Plenty of these people aren’t even underwater. They just think that they are entitled to a 200k payday because they bought a house 10 years ago.

  30. grim says:

    Difficult to get someone to understand something, when their livelihood depends on not understanding it.

  31. Outofstater says:

    #30 Uh oh, cooper. Take it easy there. We don’t want to have to wake sl up to meet you at the ER .

  32. Mr hyde says:

    Ben Grim

    I know someone who owns their house free and clear, no HELOC, no nothing! They are older and want to sell the house and find a less intensive place to live as their current place entails more upkeep then either of them can really handle as they have gotten older. The kicker is that their REALTOR has them convinced they can list at a fantasy price and make a quick sell next spring.

    These individuals are financially sound and have a respectable nest egg to live off of and they are both employed at the present. They are in the perfect situation to cut bait, dump the house quick and move on to greener pastures. Unfortunately they are buying the MSM hogwash about “the bottom is in” and are determine to hold out for a “better” price.

    Grim, Its difficult to get someone to even consider something when it opposes their predetermined view, even when their livelihood doesnt depend on it.

  33. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #11…Whitman took over in 1993. According to NYT, the Pension fund was its highest (and fully funded) in 1999, Whitman resigned in 2000 to join EPA. Seems the fund was ok during her tenure. Seems actions after she left resulted in the problems.

  34. willwork4beer says:

    #30/32 Cooper

    I’m with you in spirit. Unfortunately, my employer frowns on beer drinking during working hours.

    I really have to find a better job.

  35. Final Doom says:

    cooper (30)-

    You da man.

    You should drink whiskey in the AM, though. It’s more efficient.

  36. Final Doom says:

    cooper (33)-

    Bouillabaisse @ Restaurant Bacon, Cap D’Antibes. They keep serving you until you say stop.

  37. Fabius Maximus says:

    #33 Cooper

    If you are in Nice, you have to take a quick trip over to Monaco.

  38. Juice Box says:

    re #39 and #11 – Cumon now there is plenty of blame to go around. Go back to 1992 former Gov. Jim Florio signed the Pension Revaluation Act, allowing the state to expect higher returns on investments. 8% CAGR anyone? This allowed the State and towns to divert money that should have went into the pension funds to their pet projects and cronyism.

  39. Final Doom says:

    hyde (37)-

    In the end, Mr. Market will dictate his terms to everyone. In the end, all must submit.

  40. Final Doom says:

    I will join any rogue militia that allows me to shoot Dems & Repubs equally.

    Thieves, the whole scurvy lot of them.

  41. jamil says:

    “But New Jersey has written so many “guarantees” into its constitution—whether regarding pensions or citizens’ right to a “quality” education—that sorting out the competing interests in a fiscal crisis could keep the courts busy for years.”

    How about constitutional amendment about some guarantees to the taxpayers?
    In anycase, rule of law is for suckers. NJ Supreme Court has already examples* that “public interest” – whatever it means – can trump the rule of law so once the leftie judges are replaced, the “public interest” can be interpreted to protect taxpayer interest.

    * NJ Supreme Court decided in Lautenberg case, against the law, that Dems are allowed to change the candidate for Senate election. The rule of law is secondary to public interest.

  42. sas3 says:

    “I think your 700K buyer from the previous thread falls into this group…”

    Hyde, my point is that without much detail on the property, other than “sold for more than ask”, “six bidders”, and 700k, it is tough to claim a “dumb buy”. Of course, it could still be a dumb buy, but, may be Gary can provide more details.

  43. Painhrtz says:

    Hooray AIG paid back 2% of 182 billion

    We are saved

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_aig_bailout

  44. dan says:

    At some open houses yesterday. Raining cats and dogs in Montville yesterday and I was either the first or second person to put my name on the forms although one family entered one of the places as we were leaving. Housing is dead.

  45. Final Doom says:

    jamil (46)-

    Rule of law is also secondary to feelings.

  46. Final Doom says:

    dan (49)-

    Did the agent hosting the open house try to sell you a dime bag?

  47. Final Doom says:

    Let’s see if this will bait a comment out of jj:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/deflationspotting-norfolk-southern-reopen-100-year-debt-offering

    What could be wrong with a 100-year bond? We’re all living longer these days.

  48. Ben says:

    #11…Whitman took over in 1993. According to NYT, the Pension fund was its highest (and fully funded) in 1999, Whitman resigned in 2000 to join EPA. Seems the fund was ok during her tenure. Seems actions after she left resulted in the problems.

    Not to shift the blame from Whitman because she definitely did major damage to the pension system. But, in 1999, the value of the pensions assets were likely inflated from the Nasdaq bubble and an overinflated S&P. Retired teachers with inflated benefits is only part of the story. The borrowing from it was out of control. The subsequent skipping of the funding at the government level doesn’t help. On top of that, you have gross financial/borderline criminal mismanagement of its assets. Lest we forget, the state’s big play by buying all that Lehman stock a few weeks before it went belly up.

  49. Ben says:

    What could be wrong with a 100-year bond? We’re all living longer these days.

    It’s financial innovation at its best. They managed to create worthless paper during the housing boom by securitizing mortgages that could never be paid. In the bond market, they will simply lure the general public and every dimwit pension/mutual fund manager into severely long dated bonds earning 1% that become worthless once debt monetization leads to double digit inflation.

  50. dim says:

    Maybe a 100-year mortgage is next…

  51. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [46] jamil

    “NJ Supreme Court has already examples* that “public interest” – whatever it means – can trump the rule of law so once the leftie judges are replaced, the “public interest” can be interpreted to protect taxpayer interest.”

    Essentially correct, although the problem is not limited to NJ. Anyone that has disputed a claim with the feds can tell you similar stories.

    I clerked for two federal trial level courts, including an Article 1 court that hears nothing but claims against the gov. I can tell you from experience that the judges are biased toward protecting the public fisc (and they are not lifetime appointees, which helps the government immeasurably).

    In the event of default, munis can use Chapter 9 to try to squeeze the bondholders. Doesn’t happen much but it will. States will simply default. Both will say “good luck collecting” because no court will actually enforce a security interest against municipal or state property, and any injunction on tax revenues will likely be very limited (if imposed at all) because of “overriding public interest.”

    Yes, muni bond investors should beware. They are in no better position than GM and Chrysler bondholders.

  52. Al "Fat Thumbery" Gore says:

    Its all turning to sh_t. Prepare for panic sex. This will be the fall from hell.

  53. Final Doom says:

    Ben (54)-

    Bingo. Once every grandma and pension fund manager in the US have been locked into giant positions in the latest “can’t lose” bond issue, the fuse on the hyperinflation bomb will be lit.

  54. Final Doom says:

    Any way you cut it, the endgame for the US will involve reams of completely worthless paper.

  55. Final Doom says:

    Wanna throw up in your mouth a little?

    Imagine Orin Kramer, sitting at his desk, issuing “buy” orders on munis.

  56. dan says:

    Doom,

    No and no tricks either. Didn’t realize Montville was that kinda place.

  57. New in NJ says:

    Cooper –
    For a cheap, nice afternoon take a local bus east from Nice to Menton. Sit on the south side of the bus for the spectacular views. Walk around Menton a bit and have a beer or glass of wine before taking the return bus.
    It’ll cost just a few euros for each passenger.

  58. Libtard says:

    Whitman didn’t fund the pension as the tech bubble showed the pension had a surplus. She earmarked the savings as part of her 30% cut to state income taxes plan. The bigger problem was left for the next guy (after Defrancesco allowed Mills to build that giant vacant stupidtopia in the Meadowlands), when the gay American decided not to fund it since he did not want to look like the schmuck responsible for raising the income taxes. Corzine just kept the ball rolling and so far, Christie is continuing in his predecessor’s footsteps. They are all the same. Wake up people and stop defending any of these criminals. And they are all criminals of the highest order.

  59. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (63)-

    Deep down, Americans have a soft spot for bank robbers.

  60. Juice Box says:

    Don’t worry this is not inflation….

    Perry Ellis CEO: “Apparel prices are going up…The American consumer will have to accept it.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67I43I20100819

  61. Mr hyde says:

    Libtard

    Your progression to the dark side is virtually complete, focus on your anger, on your hate. It will make you strong!

  62. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #63..Stu, not defending anyone, but want to make sure folks just don’t think the entire pension problem was caused ONLY by Whitman. She had a fully funded pension account and decided to refund the excess to the taxpayers. Probably should not have done that but I believe she felt that the assembly was going to psend it anyway and she rather send it back to the taxpayer.

    P.S. My Cedar Grove reval is in, my 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath house on 1/4 acre…new taxes $7,600 annual. Includes 2010 increase.

  63. Al "Fat Thumbery" Gore says:

    Classic Max Keiser interview. Great read,

    “With regard to the U.S. economy, would you agree with Paul Krugman, who wrote not a long time ago that the lights in the U.S. are about to go out?[1]

    Paul Krugman is a salon monkey. You can quote me on that.”

    You’ve already mentioned the problem of deflation. The Federal Reserve tries to fix this problem, allegedly, with a new round of quantative easing. Will this not make everything worse?

    Well, getting back to the original question: the Fed can only issue debt. So they’re trying to fix the debt-deflation problem by issuing more debt. Whatever drugs Ben Bernanke is on, he should either take less, take more or change his prescription.”

    http://www.chaostheorien.de/interviews?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_rAD9&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-3&p_p_col_count=1&_101_INSTANCE_rAD9_struts_action=%2Fasset_publisher%2Fview_content&_101_INSTANCE_rAD9_redirect=%2Finterviews%2F-%2Fasset_publisher%2FrAD9%2Fcontent%2Famerica-a-walking-dead-zombie-country&_101_INSTANCE_rAD9_type=content&_101_INSTANCE_rAD9_urlTitle=america-a-walking-dead-zombie-country&page=1

  64. Mr hyde says:

    AL,

    I was watching Band of brothers over the weekend and had a thought for you. in 1940 the world population was about 2.3 billion and consider the level damage done by WWII the global population is now 6.8 – 7 billion……

  65. SG says:

    Mortgage Interest Rates: Lowest Since 1971!

    Fear of deflation and a double-dip recession pushed the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan down to 4.42 percent, with an average origination fee of 0.7 percent. That’s the lowest average rate since Freddie Mac began keeping track in 1971, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. This is the ninth week in a row the survey has set a new, historic low.

  66. Libtard says:

    “Probably should not have done that but I believe she felt that the assembly was going to psend it anyway and she rather send it back to the taxpayer. ”

    A non-criminal leader would have fully funded the pension knowing that the return is based on a combination of the good times and the bad. Do you stop contributing to your 401K/IRA when the market goes up?

    Criminals! All of them. There’s a reason the terrorists on 9-11 didn’t aim for the White House or the Capital Building. Better to leave those criminals in place so they could finish the job for ’em. And a fine job they do.

  67. Al "Fat Thumbery" Gore says:

    69.

    Hyde,

    War is a very inefficient way if depopulation is the goal. Vaccines are far more efficient.

  68. Libtard says:

    From Baristanet:

    Word on the street — Lloyd Road in Montclair anyway — is that the Michael and Jean Strahan mansion is under contract in a private sale. When it was first listed in 2008, the Strahans were asking $7.75 million. The price was cut to $5.8 million last year. Rumor is the final price is under $4 million. Zillow values it at $3.099 million.

  69. sas3 says:

    Ugly side of anarchy…

    Some 200 women gang-raped near Congo UN base
    By MICHELLE FAUL (AP)

    JOHANNESBURG — Rwandan and Congolese rebels gang-raped nearly 200 women and some baby boys over four days within miles of a U.N. peacekeepers’ base in an eastern Congo mining district, an American aid worker and a Congolese doctor said Monday.

    Four young boys also were raped, said Dr. Kasimbo Charles Kacha, the district medical chief. Masudi said they were babies aged one month, six months, a year and 18 months.

  70. Juice Box says:

    re: # 74 – article from the good old days in 2003 on the Strahan Montclair House. Renovation was a “This is a labor of love and insanity”, Strahan said “I own the House it does not own me”.

    Paid 1.3 mil in 2000 and may have pumped in 4 mil renovating, in In March 2007 divorce Judge Cooney ordered the mansion to be auctioned and the sales money split evenly between Jean.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/giants/2003-05-05-strahan-house-cover_x.htm

  71. Final Doom says:

    I hope Strahan’s sale comp kills the whole neighborhood.

  72. Final Doom says:

    He must’ve been on st#roids when he decided that ginch was wife material.

  73. Final Doom says:

    In a great mood today. Did a potential foreclosure listing appointment in 12 minutes, beginning-to-end, signatures, back in the car.

  74. Final Doom says:

    I’m toying with whether or not to take the listing photos with my cell phone.

  75. Double Down says:

    “There’s a reason the terrorists on 9-11 didn’t aim for the White House or the Capital Building.”

    Does United 93 ring a bell?

  76. Final Doom says:

    Wife hates husband; husband hates wife.

    The first thing they do? Stop paying the mortgage.

    Makes sense, eh?

  77. Libtard says:

    DD,

    Unconfirmed first of all, and I was just trying to make a silly point.

  78. sas3 says:

    “The wealth generated by housing in those decades, particularly on the coasts, did more than assure the owners a comfortable retirement. It powered the economy, paying for the education of children and grandchildren, keeping the cruise ships and golf courses full and the restaurants humming.”

    Why do these guys write as if rapidly rising home prices are good for the people? The rising prices basically allowed people to take on heavy debt. Some some fortunate ones got rich by flipping, building and selling new houses, or selling Hummers to the paper millionaires.

    S

  79. sas3 says:

    Stu is a truther? :)

  80. Game Over! says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38820092

    In Preparation for July Home Sales, a.k.a. Armageddon

    “It’s been a while since I’ve sensed quite this much doom among the folks obsessed with housing…” – (Obviously not a reader here)

    .

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38820092

  81. gary says:

    Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimates that it will take 20 years to recoup the $6 trillion of housing wealth that has been lost since 2005.

    Sellers, I think you should hold out until then. I mean, after all, you don’t want to give it away.

  82. Final Doom says:

    Funny thing is, iron-headed sellers are guaranteed to have to give it away in the end.

  83. Final Doom says:

    Hindenburg Omen creator cashes out:

    “The latest trigger has prompted the Omen’s creator, Jim Miekka, to exit the market. “I’m taking it seriously and I’m fully out of the market now,” Miekka, a blind mathematician, said in a telephone interview from his home in Surry, Maine. “I would’ve probably stayed in until the beginning of September,” depending on how the indicators varied. “That was my basic plan, until the Hindenburg came along.”

    The Omen has been behind every market crash since 1987, but significant stock-market declines have followed only 25% of the time. So there’s a high likelihood that the Omen could be nothing more than a false signal.

    But that isn’t stopping Miekka from taking any chances, especially as September, typically the market’s worst-performing month, sits only one week away.

    “It’s sort of like a funnel cloud,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it’s going to crash, but it’s a high probability. You don’t get a tornado without a funnel cloud.” He added he’s not currently shorting anything, although he may look to short Nasdaq stock index futures in the next few weeks, “depending on how the technicals go.”

    Despite the ominous forecast, there are some glimmers of hope. Miekka doesn’t expect to sit on the sidelines for very long. In fact, Miekka, who is an avid target shooter despite being blind, is looking at put volumes and various moving averages that will offer clues of when he will start buying again.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/hindenburg-omen-creator-has-exited-market

  84. Libtard says:

    What’s a truther? I get my news from smoke signals.

  85. Libtard says:

    I just googled ‘truther’ and I’m pretty sure that Al (thumbery) Gore fits the profile.

  86. Final Doom says:

    Damn. Slower here than a Chilean mine rescue.

  87. Final Doom says:

    Stu (90)-

    Al is the only person here that scares me.

  88. Final Doom says:

    Illinois…just like your deadbeat neighbor. Except it’s a state.

    http://www.illinoisisbroke.com/vendors.aspx

  89. Mr Hyde says:

    SG 70

    The current low interest rates are probably a bad thing for most people. unless you put down a significant DP and plan on living there for 20 years then buying at historically low rates pretty much guarantees that rates will go up after you buy, driving down the average home price and driving the newly purchased home underwater/further underwater. An increase in interest rates of about 1.5% is likely to drop home values by about 15%. now think about what happens if interest rates approach 7+% again. ALso consider tht we are still well above the historical norm of homes costing 2-3X median income. People can kick and scream all they want, but home prices will still drop back to that range.

    Any purchase now is a nearly guaranteed loss. The small % that do not end up with a loss were very savvy or extremely lucky

  90. Yikes says:

    Clot, any luck finding an outlet that sells flash bangs? any thoughts on buying them on the black market?

    i dont know, you watch a shot like ‘The Unit’ and Flash Bangs look effective as heck

  91. Libtard says:

    NJ High School rankings out. Glen Ridge up to 4. Montclair down to 94.

    http://www.box.net/shared/64q5q1jixe

  92. Mr Hyde says:

    libtard,

    but what about montclairs great diversity????

  93. Mr Hyde says:

    yikes,

    i believe most states would classify flash bangs as explosive devices and would most likely be illegal to privately own/buy without a special license.

    if you really want one so bad, just get a cardboard tube, some flash powder and a fuse.
    -may result in lost appendages/death

  94. Libtard says:

    Anytime you bring up the Montclair school rankings among locals, they blame our bad scores on the diversity (achievement gap is what they call it).

  95. Mr Hyde says:

    yikes hint…

    Al powder
    KClO4

  96. cobbler says:

    [88]
    Miekka, who is an avid target shooter despite being blind
    An interviewer is one of those brave journalists, I guess…

  97. Mr Hyde says:

    Stu

    can you direct me to a sclae that will allow me to determine the level of “progressiveness” and self-righteousness i can achieve per non-caucsian in my town? Is it sort of like the role playing computer games where you “level-up” after a certain number of minorities?

    I WANT TOBE A LEVEL 50 PROGRESSIVE!!!!!

    http://i2.tinypic.com/zthd2u.jpg

  98. Mr Hyde says:

    Stu

    How about a Shaman of Dversity?!?

    http://images03.olx.com/ui/1/64/50/13726450_1.jpg

  99. Libtard says:

    The really sad part about the achievement gap here in Montclair is that a huge amount of our school budget goes to narrowing the gap, yet whatever supposed gains are obtained, fall within statistical error and are not reported when the gap widens. It’s kind of like the problems with Abbott, in a microcosm.

    Wonderfully progressive Montclair. The day we default on our debt, I will be sure to point my finger at all of the solar power and bicycle nuts that live here.

  100. cobbler says:

    libtard [96]
    Stupid ranking system downgrades the schools sending more graduates to the 2-yr colleges or to work, as a result Princeton ranks below Springfield, etc.

  101. sas3 says:

    Stu, re “truther”… my failed attempt at humor.

  102. Final Doom says:

    Stu (99)-

    Has a better ring to it than “dumb ghetto monkeys”.

    “Anytime you bring up the Montclair school rankings among locals, they blame our bad scores on the diversity (achievement gap is what they call it).”

  103. Final Doom says:

    cobbler (101)-

    You have to admire his spirit.

  104. Final Doom says:

    cobbler (105)-

    NJ Monthly jiggers their ranking criteria yearly. If my daughter’s HS is one of the Top 100 (N. Hunterdon, #60), we are in the end of days.

    South Hunterdon’s appearance on this list should serve to invalidate the whole thing. The only reason they got on at all is because NJM tossed them a bone last year and mentioned they were “improving rapidly”.

  105. Final Doom says:

    cobbler (105)-

    Better yet, there are HS that try to get rid of kids they think aren’t going to a 4-year school. Other schools actively discourage borderline students from taking the SAT, so their scores don’t drag down the school’s average.

    Anyone who relies on info from NJ Monthly is a retard.

  106. Libtard says:

    Agreed, the rankings are really lame, but the SAT scores and a few of the other criteria are still better than nothing.

    The way I would view it due to all of the statistical error would be to tier the rankings. Break it into 4 tiers and don’t differentiate between the schools in each tier.

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