Economists turn sour on home prices

From HousingWire:

Housing double dip could be coming: MacroMarkets

A double-dip in housing could arrive this year with national home prices only 1% away from a new “post-crash low,” MacroMarkets said in its March 2011 Home Price Expectation Survey.

MacroMarkets compiled the report by gathering the opinions of more than 100 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists.

“Overall, the sentiment among our expert panel regarding the U.S. housing market outlook, continues to deteriorate, ” said Robert Shiller, co-founder of MacroMarkets. “Now they are expecting only a weak recovery, and even that is not until 2013.”

Shiller said only a few of the respondents expect to see a real home price recovery by 2015.

Beyond those few, the majority are bearish on the next few years. Half of those interviewed expect to see a double-dip in housing this year as legal issues stall the foreclosure process. Not to mention the pressure the housing sector is receiving from unemployment, tighter credit guidelines and rising home inventories that push out new home sales, the report said.

Analysts and housing experts interviewed for the survey varied on just how much they expect home prices to decline in the fourth quarter of this year. The sliding scale of predictions runs the gamut, from Dean Baker, co-director at Center for Economic & Police Research, predicting an 11% decline year-over-year in home prices in the fourth quarter of 2011 to National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicting prices will remain flat year-over-year in 4Q.

Other analysts include Chris Whalen with Institutional Risk Analytics, who expects prices will drop 10% year-over-year in the fourth quarter and IHS Global Insight chief economist Nariman Behravesh, who is predicting a 6.70% drop.

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

174 Responses to Economists turn sour on home prices

  1. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    N.J. poverty “worse by every measure’

    Nearly 800,000 state residents were living in poverty in 2009, with another 1.1 million people in households with incomes above the poverty line but low enough to be considered poor, according to a report published Tuesday.

    Though New Jersey is the nation’s second-wealthiest state, nearly a quarter of its residents had household incomes in 2009 that were less than twice the poverty threshold, which advocates for the poor say is not enough for someone to achieve self-sufficiency in a high-cost state such as New Jersey.

    Rosemary Gilmartin, executive director of the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris County in Morris Township, said her agency served 11,583 people a total of 727,0133 pounds of food in 2010.

    “For 96 percent of the people who came through here last year, their family income was $35,000 a year or less,” Gilmartin said.

    Job losses and stagnant wages resulting from the recession that began at the end of 2007 appear to have taken a toll on the middle class, according to the annual report from Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute.

    “We are seeing more people falling off the unemployment rolls,” Gilmartin said. “But over the last few years there has been a real increase in the number of people who used to have good paying jobs and have been downsized and . . . have exhausted their savings.”

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    NJ investor sentenced in mortgage fraud scheme

    A New Jersey real estate investor has been sentenced to 50 months in federal prison in a mortgage fraud and property-flipping scheme involving rental properties in Paterson.

    Fifty-four-year-old Frederick Ugwu of Upper Saddle River also was ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution. He was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Newark.

    Ugwu was convicted in December of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.

    Prosecutors say Ugwu conspired with others to sell rental properties to unqualified borrowers whose mortgage loans were obtained by fraud.

  3. NJ Toast says:

    Grim, Debt & 30 Yr,

    Are any of you familiar with this company? Software for mortgage analysis, they are out of Ft. Washington Pa.

    http://www.aklero.com/index.html

  4. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Well that didn’t take long at all. Seems I underestimated the bearishness of the economist. Figured they would wait for spring to give them their tell. My post yesterday.
    “Giving up the ship even if jobs improve, got demand a-hole. I think not. If spring works out the way I think it will the double-dip talk in housing will start to hit the print. Veto better dust off that prediction chart, looks like I may get a pony.”

  5. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Housing Market’s Weakness Persists

    U.S. home prices fell for a third straight month in January, a government agency said Tuesday, adding to evidence that the housing market is weakening even though the economy is improving.

    Home prices fell 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis in January compared with December, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly home-price index.

    January’s index value was 186.5. A reading of 100 is equal to the price of homes in January 1991. December’s results were revised down to a 1.0% decline from an initial estimate of a 0.3% drop. The FHFA’s index is calculated by using the prices of houses purchased with mortgages backed by government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  6. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 1 I have been discounting the declining unemployment rate and looking at the food stamp participation & % of population in the work force. When you look at those numbers things are hell of a lot worse. Not to worry they will get that unemployment rate down with more & more people in poverty. Yes , that will fix it. Oblivion beckons.

  7. Mike says:

    Grim Number 2 Only 50 Months? Not death by lethal injection?

  8. NakedCapitlaism has a post up discussing an
    IRA newsletter on PMI and the potential of $100 billion in agency losses yet to be recognized… or more accurately being covered up.

  9. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Just received this on the hot sh*t alert sheet.
    http://emailrpt.gsmls.com/public/show_public_report_rpt.do?report=clientfull&Id=63124377_11260
    Just to give perspective this house would have been at 500 in the bubble, bi levels were going for 3 plus then. By the way this is not a bad buy, if you like the house really nice neighborhood. Almost 40%, when this sells and it will, it will be a killer for people in that development.

  10. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Mike. That’s a great deal for anyone who wants to ski and play ballyowen every day…

  11. morpheus says:

    well, I guess it is good that the seller did not accept my offer. we are apart by 20K. I even offered him more than 4% appreciation over 11 years. ( i know, it should be only 3.5% but we really wanted the house….but not so much that we will bid over what I have been pre-approved for which I made sure is very conservative) He bought the house in 1999. Does not want to “give the house away”. Funny, we are the first offer he has had. He allegedly has to relocate.

    In this town in Morris County, the comps presented by the realtor show that people are buying houses within 93% of the list price. Are these people insane? I understand you cannot get tomorrow’s price today, but he will not even do 10% off of list price? Insane.

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “Libya’s Sea of Fresh Water Beneath the Desert, But Wait, There’s More
    March 23rd, 2011

    We all know about the obvious oil component to what is happening in Libya, but that’s definitely not he full story. Here are some other factors to keep in mind as the U.S. leads a war in Libya for “humanitarian” reasons:

    http://cryptogon.com/?p=21383

  13. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Veto 10 You would be surprised how many people commute to city, westchester from here. Morristown not bad about an hour, I did it. What kills the market here is gas prices. Ninety miles a day is a lot of gas, want to be on 287 with all those trucks in the snow and rain in a subcompact, I don’t.

  14. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “i know, it should be only 3.5%…”
    Morph, I see your logic but binding yourself to that rule of thumb on every single house you see is a little silly to me, not everything reverts to a mean especially if the future of that house or neighborhood is especially bright. Besides since 1975 ny metro prices have increased an average of 1.6% above inflation, for some years that calculates to 7 or 8% or more.

  15. Mikeinwaiting says:

    morpheus time is on your side. If you have to buy then you have to, if not cheaper prices down the road.

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    He He 12 the plot thickens.

  17. Mikeinwaiting says:

    I gather Kettle is on baby watch for the foreseeable future. Good luck bud, I’ll come down & give you hand with the twins. Very experienced & free!

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    By the way we are getting hammered with snow up here 8-12 before it is all over. Thank God I was late taking off the snows.

  19. gary says:

    “Overall, the sentiment among our expert panel regarding the U.S. housing market outlook, continues to deteriorate, ” said Robert Shiller, co-founder of MacroMarkets. “Now they are expecting only a weak recovery, and even that is not until 2013.” Shiller said only a few of the respondents expect to see a real home price recovery by 2015.

    No worries in Northern NJ, we have granite and blue ribbon schools.

  20. 30 year realtor says:

    #11 morpheus – 93% of the list price at sale, not the original list. Just like days on market statistics on closed sales, they don’t count the market time of the prior expired listings before the house finally sold. Stats are only as good as what goes into them and that includes historical appreciation figures. Most of what you read about the economy is based on stats and the data is often garbage!

  21. 30 year realtor says:

    #3 Toast – never heard of that company.

  22. gary says:

    morpheus [11],

    Let the seller know your best and final offer stands unless someone accepts your other offers on the more desirable homes. Make a list of the numerous deficiencies on the house and have your realtor fax them over to the seller. Also, let the seller know that your offer drops $1000 per week for every week that they “don’t want to give it away.”

  23. JJ says:

    From this weeks business week mag/

    Hunterdon is rated number one in country!!

    New Jersey residents pay the most residential property tax in the U.S.: an average $7,576 last year, up 78.7 percent from 1999, according to data from the state’s Department of Community Affairs. Homeowners in Millburn Township paid an average $19,441, the most among major towns in the state.

    Among the more than 3,100 counties in the U.S., Hunterdon County, N.J., had the highest median real estate taxes per year— $8,216—from 2005 to 2009, according to a Tax Foundation report. Other counties with high taxes in the five-year period: Nassau County, N.Y., where homeowners paid $8,206, and Westchester County, N.Y., where median property taxes on homes were $8,160. (One-year data show Hunterdon ranked fourth in 2009, after Westchester County, Nassau County, and New Jersey’s Bergen County.)

  24. JJ says:

    Actually the seller would accept your offer if you are only 4% apart but the realtors commission is in the way.

    morpheus says:
    March 23, 2011 at 6:29 am

    well, I guess it is good that the seller did not accept my offer. we are apart by 20K. I even offered him more than 4% appreciation over 11 years. ( i know, it should be only 3.5% but we really wanted the house….but not so much that we will bid over what I have been pre-approved for which I made sure is very conservative) He bought the house in 1999. Does not want to “give the house away”. Funny, we are the first offer he has had. He allegedly has to relocate.

    In this town in Morris County, the comps presented by the realtor show that people are buying houses within 93% of the list price. Are these people insane? I understand you cannot get tomorrow’s price today, but he will not even do 10% off of list price? Insane.

  25. 30 year realtor says:

    # 25 – JJ said “Actually the seller would accept your offer if you are only 4% apart but the Realtors commission is in the way.”

    Convenient to forget that the buyer may never have known the house existed without the marketplace created by the real estate brokers. JJ, just like prices of stocks, bonds and commodities the value of real estate is increased by the existence of an active exchange. Remove the liquidity created by the MLS and brokerage community and prices will decline further.

  26. chicagofinance says:

    grim: Is there a good reason to continue on standard time?

  27. JJ says:

    The real power is limited access for an individual to list his house on the MLS website. Most houses people just got to local MLS website and email or call contact listed or attend the open house. If seller could list house on own it would be great. I would also be open to doing a split commission with other agents, me as the primary “realtor” and I would pay the other agent the 2.5 or 3%. Also I find the realtor who is not good ruins deals. Recently I was looking to buy a house that was on market for six months. Realtor finally said all buyers I find must directly face to face due offer with you. After a few “tearful” fights over prices with a few buyers she sold. The agent as an inbetween between buyer and seller shielded her from fact her house was worth squat. I told seller in my offer, she was going broke. House was listed at 1.4 million she had a deal at 1.1 million that was coming apart. I told her face to face look here is my one and only offer. Give you my house for free, worth 400K so you have a place to live. write you a check for $599,999K and you can get out today. Literally. I then added it is not a matter of you can’t sell house more of you don’t want to sell house. Outside agent thank me greatly, that is what the damm sellers need to hear. The 1.1 million deal fell apart but a few weeks later she did find a buyer at 1.050K He was a good agent. She did not get back to me as I told her offer expires when I drive off.

    BTW exchanges would only charge 1-3 dollars for a 500K stock sale. Realtors charge 30K.

    30 year realtor says:
    March 23, 2011 at 8:12 am
    # 25 – JJ said “Actually the seller would accept your offer if you are only 4% apart but the Realtors commission is in the way.”

    Convenient to forget that the buyer may never have known the house existed without the marketplace created by the real estate brokers. JJ, just like prices of stocks, bonds and commodities the value of real estate is increased by the existence of an active exchange. Remove the liquidity created by the MLS and brokerage community and prices will decline further.

  28. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Morph,

    Good suggestion to lv offer open until u offer elsewhere. Wait him out. He has to relo and may be getting assistance. If so, they won’t appreciate him turning down offers. Then there r time pressures. Both work in yr favor. Later, if he is still on mkt let his broker know that u r about to offer on another house. Even if u aren’t.

  29. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    I am with John, I think it us important to have an expiry date on an offer so the seller can’t feel like they can continue bring unrealistic and try to hold out for a higher offer whilst using your offer as s backstop.

    You ask someone to he prom and they say yes or no, not ‘maybe, if i don’t get a better offer.”

  30. Shore Guy says:

    Freaking android autocorrect

  31. Shore Guy says:

    30 year,

    What us the problem with prices declining mire? We complain when the price of gas goes up. We complain when the cat of God goes up. Just like housing, these things are consumed. Thus, we should look at them in a similar manner. I don’ cheer when the cost of toilet paper goes up and I have a few extra rolls stored in the back of the closet.

    Unless one is a landlord, housingb is not an investment, thus we should all cheer falling prices. If some people get scr-ewed in theprocess, that is just the market teaching them a lesson.

  32. Shore Guy says:

    Mire =more

  33. Shore Guy says:

    Catof God = cost of gas

  34. Painhrtz says:

    Shore I think i found my new sreen name, thanks

  35. Shore Guy says:

    Cat of God, you take away the rats if the world
    Grant us a warm lap.

  36. Painhrtz - Cat of God says:

    for an atheist how appropriate

  37. toast (3)-

    Never heard of them. Hope their product is better than DU.

  38. veets (14)-

    Wasting your keystrokes. Morph is never going to buy a house.

    Using some sort of arbitrary “appreciation” rate that he’s willing to “give” the seller is a sure tell. Gives him an easy excuse when the deal fails to materialize.

  39. gary (22)-

    That is a sure recipe for failure.

    Either the deal is do-able within a comfortable amount for the buyer, or it isn’t. Rubbing someone’s nose in poo is childish and doesn’t accomplish anything for either side. Most sellers holding out for insane prices are in deep trouble, have been ill-advised and are probably too financially illiterate to ever sort it out.

  40. jj (24)-

    Now you know why I have the permanent feeling of being plunger-handled.

  41. Vodka, I’m guessing that a “neutron beam” coming from damaged reactors is probably not a hopeful development.

    “Per the Japan Nuclear Agency: the Radiation level at Fukushima reactor No. 2 at its highest level recorded so far. Only headlines for now. And just as the market was starting to buy the endless lies that things are getting better. And some more truthy news from Kyodo: Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/japan-nuclear-agency-radiation-level-fukushima-reactor-no-2-its-highest-level-recorded-so-fa

  42. Shore Guy says:

    Some research reactors have these plugs that operators can remove and which allow researchers to direct a neutron beam onto a test object. One learns to ALLWAYS duck passing by such ports.

  43. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Toast

    Never heard of them but wouldn’t be surprised if its former GMAC guys. GMAC has a large servicing shop there down the street in Horsham, PA.

  44. gary says:

    Debt [42],

    I made the comment dripping with sarcasm. ;)

  45. JJ says:

    Liz Taylor Dead. News at eleven.

  46. yo'me says:

    My Final Four Ohio state V Kansas
    Duke V Butler

    Kansas V Duke for the championship and Kansas winning the tournament

  47. Painhrtz - Cat of God says:

    Liz was still alive? ell I guess not anymore

  48. gary says:

    yo’me,

    Good picks but Ohio State is insane to watch. I think Ohio State takes it all.

  49. yo'me says:

    “Liz Taylor Dead. News at eleven”

    Now she can be with her friend Michael J

  50. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (31) shore

    No or maybe and offer dies. Morph is simply offering to renew offer but he can condition on his search. I think it adds uncertainty, which works to his advantage. That is also why after seller simmers, he s/ signal thru agents that window about to close.

  51. hughesrep says:

    51

    OSU is on a pretty ridiculous shooting roll. Goes back to the last half dozen regular season games.

    Buckeyes are susceptible to a team that can slow it down and has a good big man. All their size is out front, not really very tall along the back line. Although even serviceable centers are pretty rare in basketball these days.

    UK may give them trouble Friday. Knight may get Craft in foul trouble. Lighty or Buford will then shut him down.

    Buckeyes by 8.

    Anyone have tickets they want to get rid of on the cheap?

  52. JJ says:

    And like 7 husbands

    yo’me says:
    March 23, 2011 at 9:39 am
    “Liz Taylor Dead. News at eleven”

    Now she can be with her friend Michael J

  53. Libtard says:

    Morph (11):

    Don’t even play around with the whole emotional bidding game. Make your last and final offer and move on. Eventually, you will find a realistic seller and a home that is priced fairly or even cheaply. Sure it might take a couple of years to get what you want, but you’ll get exactly what you want at the price that you should pay!

    And I can’t stress this enough. Know your needs, know your financial limits, don’t get emotionally involved and prepare yourself to lose a lot of offers. No biggie. It’s where you’ll be living for at least the next ten years, so investing a year or two into the search is expected. If you think it isn’t, then start looking at rentals.

  54. truckeebot says:

    The real estate industry LIES and FUDGES numbers all the time and employs a myriad of tactics – to create the illusion that the sky is not falling to reduce broad market fear. If buying prices are within 10% of asking, that’s only based on the adjusted and most recent asking price AFTER several downward adjustments and NOT the original asking.

  55. Anon E. Moose says:

    Cobbler [168, prev thread];

    Income dispartiy

    The article Nom linked compares the share of income earned by the to 10% and the their share of taxes paid. Under a pure flat tax, that ratio would be 1.00 for anyone in the country, including the top 10%. By that measure, US has the most “progressively” (*cough* *gag*) taxed rich in the developed world, ratio 1.35. The total of 24 countries measured was 1.11. Sweden, Japan, Denmark were all at or about 1; 5 of the 24 countries measured were below 1.

  56. morpheus says:

    debt at 41:
    sorry to burst your bubble, but I had signed two contracts for sale prior to this. So I am willing to buy a house and have gone over and above the 3.5 % appreciation rule on other occasions.

  57. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [29]: +1

  58. Anon E. Moose says:

    Morpheus [59];

    Now you are wasting your keystrokes. By Debt’s definition, anyone not willing to bail sellers and their agents out of a failed business model is “never going to buy a house”.

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (52) yo

    Liz to have 1 more plastic surgery.

  60. Fabius Maximus says:

    #161 Nom previous thread

    You could get round legal issues by congress amending the ADA.

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [61];

    Of course, Debt could be right if he simply add “… at historically inflated prices, like we still have today.”

  62. chicagofinance says:

    We knew the story already, but man is this just fuking incredible.
    What a complete slime Rajat Gupta is…..
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-23/goldman-s-lloyd-blankfein-will-testify-today-in-galleon-trial.html

  63. 2010 (46)-

    My first thought was that it was connected to that ratings agency, Realpoint, which is also in Horsham. There doesn’t appear to be a connection, though.

  64. Fabius Maximus says:

    #162 nom previous thread

    You’re quoting The Tax Foundation? That’s a nice independent, non partisan source.

    What’s next up, “The state of the housing market” by L Yun

    Maybe it’s time for a new handle “Nom De Koch”…:*)

  65. morph (59)-

    Sorry. Whenever I hear generalized stats being used as a guide for making an offer on a specific house, my radar goes off.

    Personally, I wouldn’t touch any home in this market that is not a complete, disclosed, 100% distress sale.

    If you are, make peace with the fact that your purchase is pure consumption. We’re going a hell of a lot lower…and the market is not going to recover within our lifetimes.

  66. moose (61)-

    You may want to try reading my posts once in a while.

  67. jamil says:

    12, ““Libya’s Sea of Fresh Water Beneath the Desert, But Wait, There’s More
    March 23rd, 2011 ”

    I bet Karl Rove, Palin and Halliburton are behind the war. Palin too.
    Anyway, news in Europe is getting a bit inconvenient and unfit for the Narrative so don’t expect to find these in US State Media. It is almost like Smart Diplomacy by clueless community organizer is not working!

    “Who’s in charge? Germans pull forces out of NATO as Libyan coalition falls apart”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368693/Libya-war-Germans-pull-forces-NATO-Libyan-coalition-falls-apart.html

    but at least Arab League is on board. Oh, wait..

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (68) ferb,

    Nice rhetorical fallacy. Weak but classic.

    Look at the underlying numbers. the source is oecd. IRS numbers similar. Try again.

  69. banny says:

    Debt Supernova is right, and sellers try and hide the fact they’re distressed or about to be. ANYTHING on the market bought from ’04-’07 is likely a seller trying to get ahead of their soon to be short/pre fore, then foreclosure. The common dead giveaway is when the initial asking price is significantly above today’s market right out the gate. This is a seller driven to ask a price to cover their mortgage debt and not a price in line with the market price point of the house. They’re on the market for 180 days+ with limited adjustments refusing to adjust to the market and driven to cling to their mortgage debt in homes the next sucker comes along. I am out of Attorney Review and waiting for the Wells Fargo’s approval on a short I am buying in Maplewood. I am paying 62% of the judgement and about 48% of the price the home sold for in ’06. If you got to Wells Fargo’s REO properties for sale site, you’ll see they generally “ask” on their foreclosures about 47%-$49% of the judgement. All this is easy to back track and research and demonstrate. Hence from what I see in NJ, you can generally offer as low as 60% of the judgment – and get approval from the lending bank. Why? The cost of foreclosure is about 59K in NJ to a bank and the properties usually do not sell in auction anyway – and resurface where the bank hopes to capture under 50% of the judgement. Great Time to Buy in NJ!

  70. jamil (70)-

    The overriding Amerikan policy is to always be waging low-level, unwinnable war and shooting expensive missiles and munitions…no matter which political party is in power.

    By pursuing such a policy, we make sure that we’re killing at a steady rate, frightening and distracting the population and enriching the war machine and its financiers.

  71. 30 year realtor says:

    #33 Shore – Nothing wrong with prices going down for supply and demand related reasons. I was making specific reference to prices being higher due to the exchange created by MLS and an active broker community.

  72. Fabius Maximus says:

    #71 Nom
    What’s rhetorical about “I don’t trust your source”
    Let’s start with the CBO numbers and we can go from there.

  73. 30 year (74)-

    I’d guess 50% of the regulars here still think Realtors determine closing prices on homes. The idea that we are simply market makers and introduce liquidity (at least in markets that are not as Ponzied-up and broken as this one) is way beyond them.

    I will grant that a massive problem in this market is the overwhelming amount of agents and companies who are willing to patronize unrealistic sellers by either suggesting asking prices that won’t clear or going along with sellers’ crazy expectations. It is also not helpful that instead of publicly demanding that banks release REO and mark them to market, we cheerlead these banks (who are really our mortal enemy and want nothing more than to get into the RE business for themselves) and beg the gubmint for handouts to homebuyers who were going to buy anyway.

    We are fully into the fifth year of this crisis, and no one at NAR or any state or local board has gone on record stating that the simple problem with housing is solely the lack of sales volume due to the bid/ask spreads being so out of whack. Even in places like FL, NV and AZ where you see upticks in volume, those agencies facilitating deals don’t appear to understand exactly why it’s happening.

    I’d rather have 2.5 to 3% of a low-priced sale of a 30-day listing than 0% on an overpriced listing that sits on the market 295 days, expires and gets me a tongue-lashing from the delusional, underwater seller.

    But, hey, that’s just me.

  74. Poor people don’t pay enough in taxes.

  75. Anon E. Moose says:

    Debt [76];

    I won’t speak for any of the other regulars here, but for myself, I think that used house sales flacks add transaction costs that FAR outweigh their value added. See JJ’s point about a $3 (or even $30) brokerage fee on a $500k trade v. $30k realtor fee on a $500k house. They are market makers all the same.

    Then there is the prevasive integrity problem, and the blatant thrist to thrown yet another buyer under the bus to feed the machine. “You’ll love living here.” “The schools are great.” “That foundation crack is a cheap fix.” “That damp spot in the basement doesn’t mean anything.”

    Finally, if it’s such a burden as all that, the agent can always refuse the listing. I could easily envision a seller’s side agent building a reputation with buyers for listing houses at market prices and selling them quickly, and simply refusing to deal with the cr@p. “You can list it with them, or sell it with us.” A cache of good will like that would even give a seller’s agent who builds it the ability and credibility to dispatch unrealistic buyers/offers with prejudice.

    But that, again, requires integrity on the part of the agent.

  76. Shore Guy says:

    We havr a population and a press that just does nit understand economics and math. For example, an increase in a sales ta from 4€ to 5% is quite likely to be reported and believed by the public, to be a 1% increase

  77. Nurburgringer says:

    Hang in there Morpheus. I made a couple offers in 2007/2008 when still living in NJ (sellers were all deeply insulted at offers ~90% of LP and we didn’t really love any of the houses), finally found a keeper here in Milwaukee. Closing is next Thursday.
    Check out the pricing history from Zillow. I doubt they would have ever got more than $350k for the house even in 2006/2007 (OLP was probably based on a $347k tax assessment), but buying now at $265k means I saved at least $40k by renting for the last year.
    It’s an awesome place. Very well built 2600sqft, 4-1/2 car garage, $50k+ kitchen, massive stone fireplace, rustic knotty-pine lofted great room, gorgeous garden in the backyard etcetc. Be patient and yours will also come along.

    (sold 3/31/11 for $265,000)
    03/17/2011 Listing removed * $285,000 — $110 RE/MAX Realty 100
    02/05/2011 Price change * $285,000 -2.9% $110 RE/MAX Realty 100
    12/03/2010 Price change * $293,500 -1.5% $114 RE/MAX Realty 100
    10/23/2010 Price change * $297,900 -3.9% $116 RE/MAX Realty 100
    05/01/2010 Price change * $309,900 -8.8% $120 RE/MAX Realty 100
    04/17/2010 Price change * $339,900 -2.9% $132 RE/MAX Realty 100
    03/05/2010 Price change * $349,900 -2.8% $136 RE/MAX Realty 100
    02/16/2010 Price change * $359,900 -1.4% $139 RE/MAX Realty 100
    01/24/2010 Price change * $364,900 3,375% $142 RE/MAX Realty 100
    09/01/1971 Sold (Lot) $10,500 — Public Record

  78. Shore Guy says:

    Sales tax from 4% to 5%

  79. moose (79)-

    Go back to ambulance chasing. It suits your 7th grade sense of logic.

    You are an ambulance chaser, right?

    IMO, you are nothing but a bi-quality troll at this site, since you will not disclose what it is you do or how what you do informs your obvious and enormous self-interest.

  80. Then again, better to be an ambulance chaser than a flack and a toady for some bank.

    Which is why moose-boy won’t disclose.

  81. JJ says:

    The biggest reason agents have become worthless is the internet. Back in the day taking a listing was expensive. NY Times, Newsday, Bergan Record, Pennysavers could run $800 to $3,000 bucks out of pocket. A realtor could not afford to take overpriced homes. The listing would expire and they would be out advertising costs. Now it costs next to nothing to advertise on MLS or online. Now agents take all sorts of junk that won’t sell post it online and the homes for sale in a town is fantasy. Ten years ago the homes for sale was less and at more realistic prices.

  82. sas3 says:

    Moose, comparing the agents’ commissions to that of a brokerage fees is apples to oranges. Agents provide a service — similar to a lawyer that helps in deciding whether to fight a case or not. The main difference is that their pay is not per visit.

    You are on the wrong board if you think that many relators have a “blatant thrist to thrown yet another buyer under the bus to feed the machine”. You will get the whole bell curve if you pool in all realtors…

  83. whipped says:

    recently called about a house listed on NJMLS and the agent was an answering machine. The home was being sold by the owner who only used the virtual broker to get listed on MLS….its a flat fee service – anyone know what the fee is for this service?

  84. All Hype says:

    Oil = $106.09
    Sliver = $37.23

    Insane,,,,,

  85. joyce says:

    (81) didn’t you post the other day about your new house having a 3 car garage?

  86. Nicholas says:

    Flat fee services usually run several hundred dollars from what I remember, you can look them up online.

    On the question of value of a RE agent I have posted quite a bit on the Trulia website where I had some pretty fantastic verbal battles with RE agents from all across the US. I wont rehash those here and if you are seriously interested I think I posted under the same handle on the Trulia site.

    I will put forward some of the most salient points which I think are important for understanding this topic.

    1. RE agents provide a service and they deserve to get paid.
    2. The bar for entry to becomming a RE agent is very low.
    3. There are good agents and there are bad agents.
    4. There are ethical agents and there are unethical agents.
    5. The internet is changing all communications and hence RE must change.
    6. 2000-2006 saw a huge flood of new RE agents, most of them bad/unethical.

    I had a brother and sister in law become RE agents during 2000-2006 and I can confirm that they were indeed awful RE agents. High school educated, burn-outs should not be part of financial transactions. The rising tide floated them to over a million dollars in RE sales in less than one year, not a sale since after that.

    I had a sister-in-law that worked as a RE agent for a large developer. Daily she was loaned clothes, gold jewelry, and cars to wear/use when selling property which she had to return at the end of the day.

    I used a buyers agent for a house that I bought in 2004. She was a 20 year veteran in the area and knew her stuff. When I asked questions she had an answer. “You don’t want to live here, the traffic is terrible and you wont make it to work on time.”, “The schools here could be better”, “There is an expected tax increase in this area which will shift your numbers next year”, “You don’t want to be house rich but cash poor, think about your offer before you make it”. I consider the effort that she put in and the knowledge that she brought worth the money I paid her.

    I think that changes are overdue to the RE agent buisness model and we are already starting to see that with the listing services. This wouldn’t have happened if there was a larger barrier to entry to becomming a RE agent and more distinguished services were provided. As it stands you are just as likely to get a bad RE agent, or an unethical one as one that knows what they are doing. Too bad there isn’t something like Angie’s list for RE agents also.

  87. JJ says:

    Also why are most RE agents ugly and/old. It is scientifically proven people will pay more when a product is sold by a good looking person. Hence, shot girls, good looking waitresses etc. There should only be hot single men or women selling RE. Also I should get a happy ending before they get their commission check.

    sas3 says:
    March 23, 2011 at 11:56 am
    Moose, comparing the agents’ commissions to that of a brokerage fees is apples to oranges. Agents provide a service — similar to a lawyer that helps in deciding whether to fight a case or not. The main difference is that their pay is not per visit.

    You are on the wrong board if you think that many relators have a “blatant thrist to thrown yet another buyer under the bus to feed the machine”. You will get the whole bell curve if you pool in all realtors…

  88. Confused In NJ says:

    87.whipped says:
    March 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm
    recently called about a house listed on NJMLS and the agent was an answering machine. The home was being sold by the owner who only used the virtual broker to get listed on MLS….its a flat fee service – anyone know what the fee is for this service?

    I sold a Townhouse in Berkeley Heights in 2006 using Continental Flat Fee Service (Buyer RE) for $450. Actual (Seller RE) was Prudential which got 2.5%.

  89. Essex says:

    March 23, 2011, 1:41 pm
    R.I.P., New-Home Sales
    The new-home sales numbers for February came out today, and they are horrible.

    The government estimates that 19,000 new single-family homes were sold during the month. That is the lowest figure for any month since the figures began to be compiled in 1963. At a seasonally adjusted annual rate, that works out to an annual pace of 250,000. That, too, is the lowest ever.

    February can, of course, be explained away by bad weather. But this is also the lowest 12 months ever, with sales of 349,000 new homes.

    Sales of existing homes are not robust, but they have stabilized. Mortgages are more available now than they were a year ago, particularly for so-called “conforming mortgages.” But there is an oversupply of housing in many areas, and the home construction business seems unlikely to recover for a long time.

    Based on seasonally adjusted annual rates, here are the 20 slowest months since 1963. I’ve italicized the ones that came before the housing market peaked in 2006. There are only four.

    1- Feb-2011 250,000
    2- Aug-2010 274,000
    3- Oct-2010 280,000
    4- May-2010 282,000
    5- Jul-2010 283,000
    6- Nov-2010 286,000
    7- Jan-2011 301,000
    8- Jun-2010 310,000
    9- Sep-2010 317,000
    10- Dec-2010 333,000
    11- Sep-1981 338,000
    12- Jan-2009 339,000
    13- Apr-1982 339,000
    14- Apr-2009 341,000
    15- Feb-2010 347,000
    16- Jan-2010 349,000
    17- Mar-2009 350,000
    18- Dec-2009 356,000
    19- Oct-1981 356,000
    20- Sep-1966 358,000

    Last spring there was a small revival in sales of new homes. We knew then that it was brought on by a temporary tax credit for buyers, and when sales fell off in the summer we could explain that as an equally temporary phenomenon, the result of sales being brought forward by the credit.

    Now those temporary effects should have gone away. Instead, sales get worse and worse. Next fall, on Oct. 1, the conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie will decline. Now they will guarantee mortgages up to $801,950, or $1,403,400 in high-cost areas. Unless Congress acts — and the Obama administration says it should not — the limit will fall to a maximum of $625,500.

    A vast majority of new homes being sold now are below those levels, anyway, so perhaps that won’t matter that much. But it won’t help.

    I’ll have more to say on this in the Off the Charts column. But the bottom line is that we are experiencing something not seen before — a complete disconnect between sales rates of new and existing homes.

    http://norris.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/r-i-p-new-home-sales/?src=twrhp

  90. joyce says:

    (90)
    Good points overall, but barriers to entry do more harm than good in my opinion

  91. Nurburgringer says:

    Joyce “didn’t you post the other day about your new house having a 3 car garage?”

    Maybe, can’t remember.
    It has an unfinished corner room I’m knocking down the day after getting the keys.
    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x155/kedelbach/MKE%20home/garageplanner.jpg

  92. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Fabius,

    You didn’t say you didn’t trust it, you implied it was biased.

    TF is not CBPP, that’s for sure.

    As far as numbers, show me yours and I’ll show you mine. I will readily accept IRS, CBO, CRS, and OECD numbers as authentic.

  93. JJ says:

    To me that is great news. The high mortgage limits artificially inflates high end home values that prevent people with growing families and large down payments from trading up.

    Now those temporary effects should have gone away. Instead, sales get worse and worse. Next fall, on Oct. 1, the conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie will decline. Now they will guarantee mortgages up to $801,950, or $1,403,400 in high-cost areas. Unless Congress acts — and the Obama administration says it should not — the limit will fall to a maximum of $625,500.

  94. Al Mossberg says:

    Silver B-tchez!

    Lone,

    I was praying for a pullback so I could load up. Im afraid I missed the boat. Dicks Sporting Goods has boxes of .223 for 7 bucks. That’ll do for now.

  95. DL says:

    Shilling has so much good news on the housing front, I think I’ll just double my normal dose of Bombay gin and Cinzano (with a lemon twist).
    http://www.businessinsider.com/gary-shilling-house-prices-2011-3

    Clink on the link at the end of the page to get to the graphs.

  96. All Hype says:

    Did uncle Ben tell Wall Street they would be getting QE3 based upon the housing data of the past 2 days?

    DOW up 94!

  97. Essex says:

    85. The web has really shaken up nearly every ‘local’ business.

  98. DL says:

    By the way, I just had another lump that turned out not to be cancer (15 year survivor here) and I am estatic in the midst of gloom.

  99. joyce says:

    When the NFLPA dissolved March 11, it renounced its status as a union that can bargain on behalf of its members and said it is now a trade association, which allowed players to sue the league under antitrust laws. The league calls that move a “sham.”

    Can a lawyer explain the diff between a union and trade association and why one of them can sue for antitrust reasons? And why is that a sham?

  100. 1. Anyone can sell a house. Builder, agent, individual, etc. That’s great…if selling a house is all you are really doing.

    2. Nobody should be paying a Realtor for service. You should be paying for skills, knowledge and results. The “service” an agent provides is worth about what you’d leave for a tip on a dinner for four at Le Bernardin, and it’s certainly not worth any fixed percentage of a transaction.

    3. Better to get shitty service- and a big dose of truth- from your agent. If you need your chain jerked, visit another type of professional.

    4. There has been some form of discount model in residential RE since the 1950s. The one unifying feature of all of them is that they fail. This includes the ones that have MLS access (YHD, Foxton’s, flat fee brokers, etc.). The claims that the internet is changing RE began in 1995; the RE industry quickly adapted to it, took over that space and pretty much “game overed” the whole thing at that time. The only new thing in RE is that the print media-based marketing paradigm has utterly failed, as print media in general has failed.

  101. sx (102)-

    In RE, the web has really helped disseminate more basic info to consumers (contrary to the belief some posters here seem to hold). Any agent these days who attempts to hoard info in order to force customer loyalty is out of this business pretty fast.

    The more that basic RE info becomes ubiquitous, the faster the consumer will decide to judge agents on their value-add…rather than their driving and house touring skills.

  102. JJ says:

    My pet peeve is that realtors claim they can get over 6% more for house than a FSBO so in essence they are free and do all the work since buyer pays at least 6% more for house. Why should buyer who never hired realtor pay his fee?

    Debt Supernova says:
    March 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    1. Anyone can sell a house. Builder, agent, individual, etc. That’s great…if selling a house is all you are really doing.

    2. Nobody should be paying a Realtor for service. You should be paying for skills, knowledge and results. The “service” an agent provides is worth about what you’d leave for a tip on a dinner for four at Le Bernardin, and it’s certainly not worth any fixed percentage of a transaction.

    3. Better to get shitty service- and a big dose of truth- from your agent. If you need your chain jerked, visit another type of professional.

    4. There has been some form of discount model in residential RE since the 1950s. The one unifying feature of all of them is that they fail. This includes the ones that have MLS access (YHD, Foxton’s, flat fee brokers, etc.). The claims that the internet is changing RE began in 1995; the RE industry quickly adapted to it, took over that space and pretty much “game overed” the whole thing at that time. The only new thing in RE is that the print media-based marketing paradigm has utterly failed, as print media in general has failed.

  103. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ
    NY REAL ESTATE
    RESIDENTIAL
    MARCH 23, 2011
    Stalled Wood-Ridge Hub Tries to Get on Track

    By DAWN WOTAPKA

    AvalonBay Communities

    The 70-acre development in Wood-Ridge is to include apartments, single-family homes, shops, recreational space and a new train station to connect to Manhattan. Above, artist’s rendering of the AvalonBay apartments.
    .AvalonBay Communities Inc. will break ground Wednesday on a New Jersey apartment project that aims to jump-start the transformation of a shuttered airplane-engine factory into an urban hub.

    The complex is part of a 70-acre development in Wood-Ridge by Somerset Development slated to include hundreds of apartments, single-family homes, retail shops and recreational space. Still, the biggest selling point of the project, called Wesmont Station, is that it will include an NJ Transit train station offering roughly a 30-minute commute to Manhattan’s Penn Station. The new station, located along the Bergen line, should be started this year and finished in 2012.

    The project is getting restarted after being delayed by the financial crisis.

    Wesmont is one of a number of mixed-used projects around the country that are trying to use train stations to lure residential and commercial tenants. Mockingbird Station in Dallas includes apartments, a multiplex movie theater and retailers along a light-rail line leading into downtown Dallas. The sprawling Secaucus Junction train station in New Jersey, which is less than 10 minutes from Penn Station, has seen nearby development for similar reasons.

    Some local governments are encouraging such transit-oriented development as crowded suburbs look for ways to grow and renew themselves.

    Wesmont “really takes advantage of its location and its proximity to public transportation to create a very walkable community,” said Peter Kasabach, executive director of New Jersey Future, a land-use policy organization. “There are many opportunities for this type of development in New Jersey.”

    Wesmont Station is located on a 150-acre factory site near Teterboro Airport where Curtiss-Wright Corp. built airplane engines for many years, including during World War II. Somerset, based in Lakewood, N.J., acquired the land in 2001 for $51 million and received approvals about three years later, said Ralph Zucker, Somerset’s president.

    It took some work preparing the factory site for development. Somerset said it spent between $10 million and $12 million on work that included removing trace amounts of petroleum asbestos from the soil. It spent another $6 million on infrastructure, including sewer and water lines.

    Then came the housing crash and the financial crisis. Somerset slowed site work in 2008 and immediately began revamping the project. Condos were scrapped and the supersized homes were scaled back, Mr. Zucker said.

    “We were working furiously behind the scenes to reposition, redesign, re-purpose,” he said.

    The actual factory buildings remain nearby and aren’t part of the current project. The factory site houses several light manufacturing and warehouse operations. Wesmont Station is being built on the factory’s former parking lot.

    Somerset says it has financing for the first phase that includes site work for AvalonBay’s seven acres. The entire project is expected to cost $400 million and could take up to seven years.

    AvalonBay is constructing two buildings and plans to build two more next year. The first 266 units will cost $64.2 million, said Ron Ladell, the company’s vice president of development in charge of New Jersey. Rents will range from about $1,500 to $2,600 a month.

    AvalonBay was drawn to the project because of the train station and believes renters will be attracted to the site for the same reason, Mr. Ladell said. “We’re pretty confident in the marketplace,” he said.

  104. Barbara says:

    DL,
    congrats. Hope you do something for yourself to celebrate. My dad is a survivor too. Gets up and goes to work every day.

  105. JJ says:

    So am I, which Catholic schools did you attend?

    Barbara says:
    March 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    DL,
    congrats. Hope you do something for yourself to celebrate. My dad is a survivor too. Gets up and goes to work every day.

  106. 30 year realtor says:

    #99 JJ – Those FHA limits are still way out of whack with the max limit before the sh*t hit the fan. If I remember correctly FHA limit was about $425,000 on single family. FHA was a non factor in NY Metro suburban marketplace for decades. Now you can buy a house for over $700k, put 3.5% down and receive a 3% seller concession available only through FHA.

    FHA is now a toxic dumping ground! Easiest qualification standards for credit and almost 0% down with seller help. Until a few months ago seller was allowed to contribute up to 6% to buyer costs. Then the math was 3.5% down, 6% back from seller, they paid me to buy this POS.

  107. Machine says:

    Your website is amazing, I always arrive back so I placed a hyperlink on my website to make an simple to come back again trust you do not mind.

  108. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [106] double

    Vivos is organized in the same manner as the Nompound, but is hardened for nuclear war and exists only as a lifeboat for a Worst Case Scenario. Not what I envision for a Northeastern Nompound, but it suggests that the market is there. If only I could find a suitable property. If the damn Marcellus shale weren’t so vast, I’d have more luck.

  109. Fabius Maximus says:

    #97 nom
    Both, I don’t trust them and consider them biased. Any org that close to the Kochs and their tea party groups cannot be considered impartial.

    In that piece you posted the fact they are using market income as opposed to money income will make the numbers swing toward their arguement.

  110. Confused In NJ says:

    I sold a Townhouse in Berkeley Heights in 2006 using Continental Flat Fee Service (Seller RE) for $450. Actual (Buyer RE) was Prudential which got 2.5%

    Got the terms reversed before. The MLS listing RE was Continental Flat Fee.

  111. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Interesting take. . . Really only good for pithy quotes though

    Gold–Rejection of Capitalism???

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/42200235

  112. safe as houses says:

    How could he have turned her down? She is such a hot cougar. And it happened in Florida of course.

    92-Year-Old Woman Shoots Up Neighbor’s House When He Won’t Kiss Her

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/03/92-year-old_wom.php

  113. 30 year realtor says:

    #109 JJ said: “My pet peeve is that realtors claim they can get over 6% more for house than a FSBO so in essence they are free and do all the work since buyer pays at least 6% more for house. Why should buyer who never hired realtor pay his fee?”

    Seller pays the fee. He signs the listing and the compensation is a part of that agreement. Don’t matter where you came from or how much you paid, that is between me and the seller. I offer a portion of my commission to cooperate with other brokers vis MLS. Seller pays for the value brought to him by access to the marketplace created by brokers and the MLS.

    If you want to argue with me about whether the fee is baked into the price, I would argue that without the fee that price wouldn’t exist. An occassional FSBO will beat the system in a strong market. The high price obtained by the FSBO was only a by product of the systems positive impact on the liquidity of residential real estate.

  114. jj (108)-

    Bad agents claim to be able to get some percentage more for a client than if he FSBOs. If you think about it, there’s no way to be able to prove or disprove that statement, as the MLS and FSBO are two separate markets.

    The reason to hire an agent is the same in a good or bad market: the agent applies marketing and negotiation skills that the owner does not have. The owner benefits by not having to do things he doesn’t want to do or is unable to do.

    Again, anyone can sell a house. Even people who don’t know what they’re doing (yet think they do).

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [117] fabius

    Fine. Use IRS figures. They make the case quite dramatically. I think there is a chart in this year’s IRS Annual Report that demonstrates the fact that we are now heavily reliant on personal incomes for revenue versus corporate income. This is a complete inverse of the situation decades ago. Further, the tax distribution over income groups used to be much more level in the 60’s and 70’s than now, which is highly progressive. Put those charts together and on a revenue basis, it is clear that a very substantial portion, perhaps the majority, of ALL income tax revenues come from “wealthy” individuals.

    And the moral of this story is that, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, this is a very bad place to be. In engineering or tax policy, I think it is strategically dangerous to place so much weight on a location that is inherently unstable. Further, any attempt to reinforce that location will actually undermine it. You may not like the idea of lessening the burden on the wealthy, but redistributing the weight, or lessening it overall, is a surer method of returning to fiscal stability than doubling down on the player that is most likely to take his chips off the table.

    Now, to my thinking, the chips have been coming off the table for quite some time. Imagine if we leveled out the economic decline of the last 40 years, then dumped an equivalent decline into a 3 or 4 year period? That would be a “deadweight loss” of Biblical proportions, and would lead to TEOTWAWKI, economically and fiscally speaking.

  116. thundaar (109)-

    Thanks. First growth auctions aren’t exactly where I hang out these days, but it’s fun to read about Chinese arrivistes bidding up an overrated wine like Lafite.

    Should be fun when the bottom falls out of that market.

  117. 30 year (113)-

    From the day the gubmint raised the FHA limits, I have argued that it is no less than the new dumping ground for loans that are pure crap. Just as Phony/Fraudy were deliberately set up to be garbage cans and bankruptcy/bailout vehicles, FHA will surpass them in sheer stupidity and complete loss.

    Natch, the backstop on all this swill is the US taxpayer.

  118. JJ says:

    not an argument it is baked into price. two homes I bid on both times seller said I need x amount of money to sell as I got to pay off mortgage, pay realtor and cover what I have into the house. Both times we were within 6%. Both times deal fell apart.

    In good times realtors guided people on prices. Now I and a lot of people could care less what home is listed for. I find comparables decide what home is worth and I bid. Like ebay.

    I do agree that the realtors high price does help FSBOs. Last two homes I sold were FSBO and both time I hi-jacked nearby similar Realtor open houses that were heavily advertised and listed my house at 6% less. Funniest was a lady with a buyers broker showed up and asked permision for him to enter. Best way to sell house is to do open house same exact time as neighbor with realtor and undercut him.

    Used Car dealers also help private car prices. Other problem is all homes are overvalued by 6% to cover realtor fee. The fee is baked in. The home I bought had a flat fee broker, lady charged 5k fee. My house was assessed at purchase price. If seller had used full commission broker purchase price would be higher and so would taxes.

  119. The mortgage company in my building has referred a pretty good number of its recent vintage FHA borrowers into credit counseling. That is not a good sign of things to come.

  120. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [117] fabius,

    And FWIW, Tax Foundation has been around a lot longer than the tea parties, or the advent of the Koch’s political involvement. In fact, have they even taken money from the Koch’s in an amount that actually means anything???

    And as for rhetorical fallacy, shooting the messenger is a classic one. I don’t see how TF’s use of OECD numbers makes them wrong. Further, I don’t think that there is much of a debate that we have a heavily progressive tax structure, at least as marginal rate go. Show me that the numbers are wrong and that I’ll accept. Finally, look at my premise–TF doesn’t make the argument that we have put all of the building’s weight on one corner, and that it may be dangerous to do that. I do make the argument.

    Unfortunately, only history will show who’s right.

  121. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [126] JJ

    “Last two homes I sold were FSBO and both time I hi-jacked nearby similar Realtor open houses that were heavily advertised and listed my house at 6% less.”

    I did the same thing for my last sale. House 2 blocks away and a perfect comp listed for 20K more but it wasn’t as pretty IMHO. So we opened it up in conjunction with that house (different broker organization so no pushback). I wasn’t a FSBO, but I got relo assistance so it might as well have been.

  122. jj (125)-

    What kind of refund guarantee did that flat fee broker offer the homeowner should the house fail to sell?

  123. Note to self: begin to examine offering flat-fee brokerage. Collect fee, deposit fee, pay myself, wait for phone to ring.

    House doesn’t sell? Tough luck, chump. Find more people to pay me flat fee.

    If the MLS is so magical that houses will sell just by being on it, the damn thing ought to be able to give you a wrap-around and a baloney sandwich afterwards.

  124. Homeowner pays me flat fee and wants advice?

    Talk to the hand. I’m out looking for more people to pay me a flat fee.

  125. cobbler says:

    moose [58]
    The article from the Tax Foundation was based on the income distribution chart the copy of which could be found at http://web.acsalaska.net/~benmuse/blog/2004_03_01_archive.html#107907155453659400 , see the post on 3/11. The problem is that 43% share or so ascribed to the income of top 10% excludes capital gains and dividends – which for the richest few % are a major share of the income. Thus, garbage in – garbage out.

  126. chicagofinance says:

    The End is Nigh (Simon & Garfunkel edition):

    City Council votes to rename Queensboro Bridge after former Mayor Ed Koch

    By CLEMENTE LISI

    The City Council passed a resolution this afternoon to rename the Queensboro Bridge after former Mayor Ed Koch.

    Mayor Bloomberg, who had proposed the legislation, applauded the move following the 38 to 12 vote.

    “Ed Koch led our city back from the brink of ruin and put the building blocks in place to make New York City what it is today,” said Bloomberg. “Ed Koch is responsible for so much of the progress we enjoy and the renaming is a perfect tribute to one of our city’s greatest mayors.”

    Bloomberg said all sign replacements denoting the new name — the “Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge” — would be paid for with help from private donations.

    Bloomberg had proposed the renaming on Koch’s 86th birthday this past December.

    The Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge, connects Manhattan to Queens. The two-level span opened in March 1909.

    In 1978, the cash-strapped city had no money to repair bridges, including the Queensboro Bridge. Despite the 1970s fiscal crisis, Koch, now 86, re-started the Department of Transportation’s capital program and began the work of rebuilding the the city’s transportation infrastructure.

    “He literally saved this bridge and began the process of reinvesting in then crumbling bridges across the city,” said Bloomberg. “His work in saving the city’s bridges is symbolic of his overall legacy of turning around the direction our city and building a better future.”

  127. Renter says:

    Rockaway townhouse down 100k in the last 6 months. Interstate highway in your back yard. I would think about it. If I was deaf.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1329-Hamilton-Dr-Rockaway-NJ-07866/59930664_zpid/

  128. sas3 says:

    43% share or so ascribed to the income of top 10% excludes capital gains and dividends

    I would not be surprised if they counted the corresponding taxes (whatever little remained after the major cuts by W) as taxes paid, while ignoring the income…

  129. Shore Guy says:

    Joyce,

    The thumbnail reason is rooted in antitrust law. If a group of people who absolutely control a market get together an agree on ways of controlling aspects of the market, say wages, they tun afoul of laws prevention such collusion. Now if a multiemployer union exists and can bargain with the employers the law recognizes both associationd, employer and employee, as legitimate.

  130. Rocky says:

    Incredible posting, I seriously anticipate fresh news by you.

  131. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    The true rich make much I their money via cap gains. Successful professionals make theirs via w-2 wages, k-1 distributions, or schedule c profits. These are taxed ay rates well above the cap gains rates.

  132. Painhrtz - Cat of God says:

    Shore one of my arguments has always been tax capital gains as income. Enact a flat tax. Every one is treated equally SS would be funded end of problems. Wait, never mind the idiots are still in charge. They would find a way to squander growing revenue

  133. sas3 says:

    Pain,

    Just treating dividends as income which was how it was during ’99 will improve the revenue stream. Raising cap gains taxes to ’99 rates will also improve the revenue further.

    For SS solvency, many have suggested that lifting the cap off the upper limit on the SS income taxed will keep it solvent for a very long time. However, that will hit a lot of W2 income earners (and self employed, but they can pay themselves more in “cap gains distribution” than W2 wages).

    S

  134. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    In regards to an earlier post, it is not just people who bought form 03-06 who are asking fantasty prices. Lots of old people too. I mean absolutely ridiculous prices. Some prices would have been pushing it even at the peak.

    Old smelly crappy, crap shacks that have not been touched since Father Knows Best was new on television. And they ain’t gonna give their house away!!! So they wait! Cause the market is gonna come back!!!

  135. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “If the MLS is so magical that houses will sell just by being on it, the damn thing ought to be able to give you a wrap-around and a baloney sandwich afterwards.”
    Flat fees usually don’t sell because all the agents collude to ensure that flat fee listings are blackballed. Most agents realize that flat fee is the future, and consequently the preverbial nail in the coffin, not different than fidelity/etrade $7 flat fee to buy stocks.

  136. grim says:

    #142 – As a buyer’s agent, I’ve tried to work with flat fee listings. They are always a joke when it comes to trying to schedule showings.

    “No, we can’t do that time either, can you come by on Wednesday at 5:30?”

    I usually get the attitude when I tell them it would be in their best interest to work around the buyer’s schedule, and they’ll almost always hang up when I tell them to just leave a key in the mailbox.

    Something to be said for broker cooperation and lock boxes, I can show a dozen houses on a Saturday without issue.

  137. Shore Guy says:

    It is hard to argue against equality. Just tax every source of income at the same rate and we will both simplify the tax code and decreaseth cost if compliance.

    We used to have one tax form where the estimated Tim I completion was something like 60 hours, all got a few 10s of thousands of income.

  138. Shore Guy says:

    Wasn’t that a B-52s song, Crap Shack?

  139. Shore Guy says:

    Selling a crap shack, moldy crap shack baby.

  140. Shore Guy says:

    Wait until Google Homes comes out the MLD will be history.

  141. Shore Guy says:

    MLS that is.

  142. Shore Guy says:

    Is the rain freezing rain up in Sussex?

  143. Dan says:

    I understand why Avalon Bay thinks Woodridge will work. I’m living in their Lyndhurst building now and the place is completely sold out for 2 bedrooms and they’re jacking everyone’s rent up at least 8% the last year. And this area has nothing to walk to around it unlike the place they’re going to build. I should have bought the stock months ago.

  144. Apocalypse delayed; Ochocinco is a sad bastard of a footballer.

    ESPN, 3-23-11- “On Tuesday night, after arriving in Kansas City to embark on his four-day trial as a soccer player, star Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco had tweeted that he was “headed to bed with a (humble pie) in the oven on low tempature [sic],to be able to grace the pitch with elite futbol athletes.”

    After watching his first practice with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer on a live feed on Wednesday, it was plain to see: Ochocinco is many things — an athlete, an entertainer and a media hog — but a soccer player is not one of them.

    Ochocinco got off to a decent start. His first touches, in a simple passing drill, were accurate, if a little hesitant. Insofar as you could tell from a dozen side-footed kicks, his technique is sound, as he used both feet well.

    But as practice wore on and the drills became more intricate, Ochocinco exposed himself. Taken aside for an individual workout with a coach, like all trialists are, it became obvious that some of the basics of the game elude him. His dribbling looked passable, if a little clumsy, like a puppy learning to run for the first time. But when it came time to send in crosses, an essential skill for the winger Ochocinco would like to be, the discrepancy between a pro soccer player and a very athletic fan of the game became apparent. Taking too many touches and too much time, he was unable to get a single one of his crosses to its intended target in any kind of acceptable fashion, if it got there at all.

    Then it came time to shoot. While it wasn’t as bad as his crossing, you would find better finishers than the NFL player in most pickup games. Relying entirely on power, he sent a host of shots sailing over the goal. Those that did manage to connect with the net, he had either pummeled past the hapless coach or slid into the corner where the immobile stand-in goalie couldn’t get to them. Even more worryingly, in one-on-ones, Ochocinco was unable to round the goalkeeper at all. The one time he did, he missed the open goal.

    The hulking wide receiver looked frustrated now and then, throwing his hands up in the air, covering his face. In the brief scrimmage that bookended the workout, I didn’t see him get a single touch on the ball.”

  145. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Who knew ‘mcds’ would throw you into mod….
    I once paid $80 commission to purchase $400 of mcdnalds stock, my first stock purchase ever. Today that trade would cost me $7, and I wont get jacked on the bid/ask spread. Plus fidelity representatives give me more research and advice than my broker ever did. The 6% realtor commission will most likely end no differently.

  146. veets (142)-

    Totally false. The co-op broker commission offered by the flat fee practitioners is competitive with those offered by mainstream companies. The market is so starved for good homes at reasonable prices that no agent in his right mind boycotts flat fee listings.

    Also, to suggest that flat fee listings are boycotted shows you don’t know anything about residential RE. Managers in most offices can’t get 20 people to show up on time for a meeting and agree on what to order to eat; if you think one office- much less multiple offices across several companies- can organize a boycott, you’re smoking PCP.

  147. Remember, flat fee company listings are in the MLS. Since most buyers go to a Realtor with their own ready-made list of homes to see (after an hour or two on the intertubes), their agent can’t really exclude the flat fee stuff.

    If the agent does exclude flat fee listings, the buyer will just find someone else to show them.

  148. veets (153)-

    Try living inside a pile of stock certificates.

  149. Folks, I’m not pitching my “services”. Anyone can sell a house.

    Anyone.

  150. jamil says:

    fabius, you should visit koch bridge

  151. Can’t an air traffic controller step outside for some fresh air and a couple of bong hits these days?

  152. When are they going to move the Koch Bridge to Christopher St?

  153. Fabius Maximus says:

    #127 Nom

    Two points on TF and that article. It is not “shoot the messenger”. In 89 TF got in to financial difficulties, the Koch’s bought it through Citizens for a Sound Economy which has now morphed into Americans for Prosperity. Scott Hodge who runs it came from the Heritage Foundation. They are not independent and they are not impartial, take a look at the list of Directors

    The fact that that the Hodge used OECD is not the issue. If Krugman wrote an OpEd based on OECD data, would you treat it the same way. My issue (reinforced by Cobbler in #132) is that the use of Market Income vs Money income skews the numbers to support the argument. Market Income makes the top 10% poorer on paper. Given the report is coming from TF, for me that’s not surprising.

  154. sas3 says:

    Comment in moderation… Shore, this one should top what you sent:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/03/crime_hardware_and_actors

  155. Fabius Maximus says:

    #122 Nom

    We have gone down this route before and I used MGI from the IRS to show it was the mid to Low tiers carrying the ajority of the burden.
    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2010/08/03/pending-home-sales-at-9-year-low-northeast-leads-monthly-decline/#comment-426915

    You do bring up a point that is key. Personal vs Corporate. The corporate side is shrinking and it not from the lack of revenue.

  156. Fabius Maximus says:

    #158 Jamil

    Why not do something constructive like, go point you faux rage at Terry Jones burning the good book!

  157. nj escapee says:

    I used work on Christopher St. Is it still that frickin bad?

  158. nj escapee says:

    Place was really scummy. I hated to leave the building.

  159. nj escapee says:

    I hated to go to that building

  160. chicagofinance says:

    jamil says:
    March 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm
    fabius, you should visit koch bridge

    I always thought Koch bridge would be to Fire Island….

  161. Confused In NJ says:

    143.grim says:
    March 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm
    #142 – As a buyer’s agent, I’ve tried to work with flat fee listings. They are always a joke when it comes to trying to schedule showings.

    “No, we can’t do that time either, can you come by on Wednesday at 5:30?”

    I usually get the attitude when I tell them it would be in their best interest to work around the buyer’s schedule, and they’ll almost always hang up when I tell them to just leave a key in the mailbox.

    Something to be said for broker cooperation and lock boxes, I can show a dozen houses on a Saturday without issue.

    When I sold the Berkeley Heights Townhouse in 2006 through Continental Flat Fee Broker, $50 was for a Lock Box (option) which eliminated the entry concern. I basically had traffic from most major Realtors which came down to two offers, one from Weichert & one from Prudential. I paid Buying Broker 2.5% which was recommended minimum from Continental for Buyers Brokers. You can set the Fee yourself, but if too low will discourage showings.

  162. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “Also, to suggest that flat fee listings are boycotted shows you don’t know anything about residential RE.”
    Debt, To say i dont know anything about mls and what goes on behind the curtain is probably an understatement.

  163. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [165] fabius,

    I had a hard time following your write up (2 15% brackets?) Can you give a link to the data source?

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