What part does hope play in economic forecasting?

From HousingWire:

RealtyTrac: Several economists missed the mark with 2011 projections

Every new year brings predictions on how the economy is expected to fare, especially in terms of home sales, prices and gross domestic product growth.

But with 2012 still in its infancy, RealtyTrac took a different approach this week by revisiting economists who released positive forecasts in January 2011.

In hindsight, the economists told the real estate data firm they were correct in stating the nation would avoid a double-dip recession in 2011. But they failed when making forecasts on housing and were off when projecting a home-price bottom, larger increases in GDP and improving consumer confidence.

“As housing goes, it shaped up pretty much as we expected. Prices are a little softer than expected. I thought price declines would stop at end of the year (2010), but they haven’t,” said Christopher Thornberg with Principal Beacon Economics. “We said no second recession. No double dip. We’re being proven dead on that call.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics, also said his 2011 home price forecast was off.

“The housing market didn’t exactly hit bottom in 2011 as I had expected,” Zandi said. “Home sales and housing construction have likely hit bottom, but house prices will likely decline a bit more in 2012. All in all, housing and the economy were a bit weaker this year than I had hoped for.”

In the end, 2011 was a flat year, said Jay Butler, professor emeritus with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“I was a little more optimistic than it turned out to be. It was pretty much a flat year,” Butler said. “People moved their expectations out even further to 2014-2015 until things get much better.”

He also said property is going up in some places and foreclosure prices edged higher.

“The motivation is the deal,” according to the professor. “Everybody is looking for inexpensive homes. Investors are still dominating the market. The problem is there’s no real clear trends. It’s like the stock market.”

The economists expect distressed properties to remain a large part of the housing inventory.

“I expect the share to rise from closer to one-third (of all inventory ) in 2011 to as high as 40% early next year,” Zandi said. “The number of first mortgage loans in the foreclosure pipeline remains very high, but is down a bit from where it was a year ago.” He added, “Once the state AG suit is settled, this inventory should begin to decline in earnest. It is very encouraging that early state delinquency (less than 60 days) is low and falling quickly.”

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142 Responses to What part does hope play in economic forecasting?

  1. grim says:

    From CNN/Money:

    All-cash deals are driving down home prices

    Investors wielding cash are reviving sales volume in the housing market — but at a price.

    As the National Association of Realtors noted last week, all-cash sales accounted for 31% of December existing-home purchases. All that bargain hunting drove sales of existing homes up 5% for the month, NAR says.

    A steady pace of sales is critical to the housing market’s recovery, of course, because we need to clear all those foreclosures and short sales off the books so that prices can stabilize and even start rising.

    But there is a downside to those all-cash purchases. The cash buyers — the bulk of which are investors, says the NAR — put downward pressure on home prices even beyond what the natural forces of supply and demand would do, according to Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance’s latest HousingPulse Tracking Survey. “Cash buyers are able to bid significantly lower on many properties because they offer a shorter and more reliable closing timeline,” the report says. That’s music to the ears of mortgage servicers, who are anxious to get their distressed real estate off their books.

    This gives investors a bigger impact on the overall market than their numbers might suggest. Real estate agents told HousingPulse that investors generally offer 10%-20% below listing price on properties up to $250,000. First-time buyers as well as current homeowners are more likely to offer closer to list price. Investors want to close in 30 days or less. Other buyers, generally because of financing issues, take more like six to eight weeks.

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. Mike says:

    Who cares if the cash buyers put downward pressure on home prices, the government is going to pay down the principals of the surrounding under water owners. All the do gooders get squizat. I love Obozo

  4. grim says:

    #3 – I think the cash buyer theory is crap.

  5. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J.’s failure to make full pension payments hinders fund

    Public pension funds may have gotten a much-needed boost from Gov. Chris Christie’s landmark overhaul last year, but reports released today show the funds continue to be hampered by the state’s failure to make full payments into the plans.

    Christie and Democratic leaders joined together last year and shifted a greater share of the pension costs on to public workers and cut out cost-of-living increases for future and current retirees. The move helped drive the state’s nagging unfunded pension liability from $53.9 billion to $36.3 billion when they revised 2010 figures, the report shows.

    But the state’s pension hole grew by $5.5 billion by the end of the 2011 budget year, largely because Christie followed in the tradition of his predecessors and failed to make a pension payment, an annual actuarial report on the pension funds shows.

    Overall, the state has only 67 percent of the money it needs to meet its future pension obligation, and that figure is expected to worsen as the state phases in its full pension payment over the next seven years.

    “This is not a surprise. The funded ratio was always going to dip because of the phased in payments,” said Andy Pratt, spokesman for the state’s Treasury Department. “But the governor’s plan reduced the unfunded liability by $20 billion and put the funds on a path to solvency.”

    The state was supposed to pay about $3 billion into the pension fund this year, but will only be paying about $480 million. Next year, the state will only pay about $900 million of its $3 billion bill, records show.

  6. Juice Box says:

    Re: more of the same and now he wants an income tax cut. The pension dillema
    5 billion a year drawn down and growing as the boomers retire enmasse. At this burn rate there will be nothing left is 7 years.

  7. Juice Box says:

    Re: 4 – the theory was based on a realtor survey. Are you saying NJ is different or cash is not king??

  8. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Juice 6 and I wonder what source they will be looking at to cover it. You want to own a home buy else where.

  9. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Keep in mind Christie will not be Gov for ever next guy/gal gets in it is all over for holding the line on property taxes.

  10. Mike says:

    I think the principal pay down is crap

  11. grim says:

    1 – It’s all cash at closing.

    2 – I did a short sale last year that closed in 19 days (bank dictated closing date), buyer needed a mortgage. It’s tough, and the buyer needs to have their paperwork together at day 1. Most every buyer can close in 30 days. There will be yelling and hair pulling, but you’ll close.

    3 – Doing a short sale this year where the bank rejected a cash-offer of 5,000 less than the mortgage offer. Clearly they viewed the risk of accepting the non-cash offer as being worth less than $5k.

    4 – Mortgage money is readily available, I completely don’t buy any of the media hype around “can’t get financing”, that’s crap. The fact that no income, no assets, no job borrowers can’t get loans isn’t a problem at all, they never should have. Getting an FHA is a breeze (albeit closer to 45 days close time here). A 10% down loan? No prob. If you can’t get a loan, you can offer any amount you’d like, it’s not a real offer. A “buyer” needs to be Ready, willing, and ABLE, not ready, able, and an idiot.

    5 – The NAR (and everyone else) has wide leeway to make assumptions about “the other offer”. The ability or probability to close of the other offer is complete conjecture.

    6 – … and in most cases, the cash buyer is the sole bidder. There is no other bidder. Period. Yeah yeah, there was that one family that stopped by last Tuesday, and they looked kind of interested, I’m sure they would have offered more money if they could only get a mortgage, they looked so interested!

    7 – Don’t forget that the REO programs from Hud, Fannie, Freddie will typically reject investor purchases for a period of time, giving preference to owner occupied.

  12. Neanderthal Economist says:

    4- Agreed with grim. The 30% all cash data is mostlikely severely mistepresented somehow and i would guess is more of a negative if that little factoid got put into perspective. Im thinking cash equals distresss here, for starters.

  13. grim says:

    Correlation does not imply causation, but even if you want to argue that it does, you’ve got the direction wrong. Cash buyers don’t cause distressed sales, distressed sales bring out cash buyers. Level of cash buyers is a coincident indicator of market distress.

  14. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Spot on “Cash buyers don’t cause distressed sales, distressed sales bring out cash buyers. Level of cash buyers is a coincident indicator of market distress.”

  15. Brian says:

    3 – Mike
    The principle write down thing is crap. It will never happen. I just don’t believe it. Even if they somehow pull it off, people who diligently paid their mortgage on time every month and have great credit will never qualify.

    I figured I would try to take advantage of Obama’s last attempt at help. The criteria in order to get a loan modification was ridiculous. I order to get help, I had to have missed 2 payments, be in danger of foreclosure, and have no savings. The help went to people who probably had no business buying a home in the first place.

  16. Brian says:

    11 – Grim

    There was a similar story regarding the house that sold across the street from me where the bank was just as stubborn. It was a foreclosure, it had been vacant for years (NJDEP had to dart a bear hybernating under the deck at one point). The guy that finally bought it told me he tried to negotiate with the bank but they came back with “$199,00 firm take it or leave it”. The bank set the price and had no interest in negotiating at all.

  17. Brian says:

    16 –
    forgot a zero in the price….$199,000

  18. The Original NJ Expat says:

    There’s a young couple I know here in Boston who bought a short sale with 10 per cent down. $275K for the short sale, the original mortgage had been $300K and was delinquent for only a little more than a year. I knew the original owner as well, but she didn’t heed my advice. She bought a foreclosure about 2 years ago for $225K in a town north of Boston and made it her new home. She then gave the stupid realtor from up north the listing to sell her old place, pricing it $50K too high. She maintained both mortgages for about 6 months, then defaulted. She could have easily sold her first place for $300K, but the mortgage was $300K and that wouldn’t leave any money for her or the realtor. So 18 months later it closes as a short sale, 12 months delinquent. The real kicker is she was somehow able to close on a 2nd mortgage on her new place 3 months after the short sale. The 2nd is through a credit union, can’t figure how that went through.

  19. JJ says:

    rooting for apple and obama makes me sick but my 401K has greatly benefited!

  20. gary says:

    “Prices are a little softer than expected. I thought price declines would stop at end of the year (2010), but they haven’t,” said Christopher Thornberg with Principal Beacon Economics.”

    “The housing market didn’t exactly hit bottom in 2011 as I had expected,” Zandi said. “Home sales and housing construction have likely hit bottom, but house prices will likely decline a bit more in 2012. All in all, housing and the economy were a bit weaker this year than I had hoped for.”

    “I was a little more optimistic than it turned out to be. It was pretty much a flat year,” Butler said. “People moved their expectations out even further to 2014-2015 until things get much better.”

    This is one of the top 10 articles posted in the history of this blog. Let me know if you’re having difficulty with any of the big words and I’d be happy to help you.

    No jobs + no security + no benefits + runaway costs/property taxes = house price decline. If Newton was alive, this would be his 4th law of physics.

  21. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Several years ago I used to short AAPL every time it got above 120, it worked very well except for the last time. I covered at 130. Some of my favorite trades are where I took a loss, but was smart enough not to take a monstrous loss.

  22. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Last word fron me on Keystone XL.

    Interesting take on the politics of the app, and I haven’t heard any analysis in the MSM: If the app is approved, Koch Industries is positioned to benefit from the construction. If the app is denied, Warren Buffett stands to benefit from increased rail traffic for BNSF.

    Coincidence?

  23. funnelcloud says:

    Talk about same properties sitting on the market
    I was checking prices on a couple of small farms that I’ve been watching on and off for a couple of years,
    Ones in NY state has been on the market for 2.5 years, Just got relisted with a new agent for 20K more than the old listing price, Ha Ha We went to see this but had no interest after seeing the property.
    The other In PA, my wife and I put feelers out for about a year and a half ago It had been on the market about 8 months when we expressed an interest in it, The agent said our tentative offer price was a ridiculus lowball offer and that the seller would never consider it, So we didn’t bother with the offer, but I kept tabs on the home just to see how far off I was. This homes had 4 price decreases & Yesterday this house was relisted about 5k above where our offer was a year and a half ago, I’m not an agent but I do look at the area comps and This homeowner insist on setting& maintaining the price about 15to20% above whatever the market is dictating,, she is going to chase the market all the way to the absolute bottom. Unfortunately she does not understand that any new buyer that would like the home will not get the loan to cover the mortgage and any investor with money will not pay the premium she is asking,,,SO IT SITS

  24. yo says:

    Re: Keystone
    I agree with fabius.If they want to create permanent jobs and efficiency, build the Refinery near the border.We have not built new refining facilities in years and always in danger when storms hit the Gulf.This will be a true win-win situation for both

  25. chicagofinance says:

    Regardless: the whole jobs issue is a 2012 sound bite; the project is important for our economic and national security, jobs be damned…..

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    January 25, 2012 at 9:12 am
    Last word fron me on Keystone XL.

    Interesting take on the politics of the app, and I haven’t heard any analysis in the MSM: If the app is approved, Koch Industries is positioned to benefit from the construction. If the app is denied, Warren Buffett stands to benefit from increased rail traffic for BNSF.

    Coincidence?

  26. funnelcloud says:

    Gary #20
    Well said,
    A tart with and IQ of 50 can understand that, but Government officials can’t. How amusing.

  27. chicagofinance says:

    It isn’t that easy….every heard of NIMBY? The whole point is that in the Gulf, those people are born and an inculcated to love oil…..the infrastructure and the skilled job force is already in place…..

    yo says:
    January 25, 2012 at 9:19 am
    Re: Keystone
    I agree with fabius.If they want to create permanent jobs and efficiency, build the Refinery near the border.We have not built new refining facilities in years and always in danger when storms hit the Gulf.This will be a true win-win situation for both

  28. chicagofinance says:

    every = ever

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Interesting take on the SOTU: A year ago, I predicted stealth protectionism from this admin. Last night Obama confirmed that this was occurring and said there would be more.

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [25] yo,

    A new refinery? Seriously?

    Has a refinery been built in the US in your lifetime?

    Go to the dictionary and look up nonstarter. You will find Fabius’ post.

  31. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Props to Obama for the somali raid last night. To me, that shows more sack than giving the no brainer order on bin laden.

  32. gary says:

    Nom,

    Giants – 31
    Patriots – 27

  33. ricky_nu says:

    re: Hope & Forecasting:

    My Daddy used to say, put your hope in one hand, take a dump in the other, and see which one weighs more….

  34. Confused in NJ says:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve looks set to keep monetary policy on hold on Wednesday, even as it releases forecasts expected to show interest rates will be near zero for at least two more years.

  35. JJ says:

    Apple =’s Kodak in 20 years.

  36. JJ says:

    Funny part is interest rates at zero cause higher cash purchases of houses. Not more sales of homes.

    Confused in NJ says:
    January 25, 2012 at 9:46 am
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve looks set to keep monetary policy on hold on Wednesday, even as it releases forecasts expected to show interest rates will be near zero for at least two more years.

  37. yo says:

    Sounds like JJ in combat and wounded from his investments

    Same SEALs who killed bin Laden rescue US hostage held in Somalia

    Danish Refugee Council In a daring nighttime raid, American commandos free aid worker Jessica Buchanan, and a Danish colleague held by kidnappers

  38. JJ says:

    My daddy used to say man who goes to bed dreaming of beautiful women wakes up with solution in hand,

    ricky_nu says:
    January 25, 2012 at 9:44 am
    re: Hope & Forecasting:

    My Daddy used to say, put your hope in one hand, take a dump in the other, and see which one weighs more….

  39. JJ says:

    The way Seal cheated on Heidi Klum I am suprised you would bring up that subjetc.

    yo says:
    January 25, 2012 at 10:01 am
    Sounds like JJ in combat and wounded from his investments

    Same SEALs who killed bin Laden rescue US hostage held in Somalia

    Danish Refugee Council In a daring nighttime raid, American commandos free aid worker Jessica Buchanan, and a Danish colleague held by kidnappers

  40. JJ says:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Pending home sales fell 3.5% in December after hitting a 19-month high in the prior month, according to an index released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. The pending-home-sales index declined to 96.6, which was 5.6% above December 2010 levels. The data reflect contracts but not closings. “Even with a modest decline, the preceding two months of contract activity are the highest in the past four years outside of the homebuyer tax credit period,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.

  41. Juice says:

    re # 37 – at least two more? Yeah sure, Japan’s interest rate has been at ZIRP for a decade or more, and you can’t dismiss Japan’s example they could not re-inflate their housing bubble and lost a decade or two trying.

    Nominal interest rates are really less than zero now anyway, everyone holding cash will have to take risk sooner or later or watch it depreciate.

  42. funnelcloud says:

    A young bull and an old bull are sitting on a ridge watching a heard of cows
    The Young bull says lets run down there and F*^K us one of those cows.
    The old bull says Nah, Let’s walk down there and F*^K them all.

  43. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Whoever said put the refineries inland forgot one thing, the US is a net exporter of refined pertroleum products, new refineries or not it ahs to get to ports somehow. So not only will you have to build the refinery but you would also still have to build the pipelines to get the product to the consumers. As cost via pipeline is less than rail and significantly less than truck

  44. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [11];

    I want that as a tattoo…

  45. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yo [25];

    build the Refinery near the border.

    And what do you propose to do with the refined product? Maybe a pipeline to get them to port? The refineries weren’t built on the water’s edge for the view.

  46. Nicholas says:

    The reason why no new refineries have been built is that it was possible to improve the efficiency of the old refineries. In addition, you could pack more refining capacity in the same refinery and skirt around all the hurdles to building a new one.

  47. Wendy says:

    To add to Grim at 1, 4 and 11 –
    the premise of the theory that cash buyers are driving values down is hinged on one thing – the explicit speculation and theory that cash is “music to the ears of mortgage servicers, who are anxious to get their distressed real estate off their books.” WRONG. Mortgage servicers have exactly zero incentive to get distressed real estate off their books – in fact it’s quite the opposite – they rack up fees for so long as they service. This means they have an incentive to hold it longer, to delay foreclosure, to work the “mortgage mod” bit (another stall tactic), etc. They profit from delay. A sale extinguishes their right to collect fees. Why would they want that? They don’t. What moron with ANY knowledge whatsoever with the mortgage debacle would make such an ignorant, incorrect statement? The author of that article is either an imbecile or a stooge.

  48. Anon E. Moose says:

    Wendy [48];

    What moron with ANY knowledge whatsoever with the mortgage debacle would make such an ignorant, incorrect statement?

    >As the National Association of Realtors noted last week, all-cash sales accounted for 31% of December existing-home purchases. All that bargain hunting drove sales of existing homes up 5% for the month, NAR says.<

    Just sayin'…

  49. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [49];

    A better quote is this one:

    >The cash buyers — the bulk of which are investors, says the NAR — put downward pressure on home prices even beyond what the natural forces of supply and demand would do, according to Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance’s latest HousingPulse Tracking Survey. <

  50. JJ says:

    House just sold a few blocks from me in a non distress sale but priced to move at exactly its November 2009 purchase price. Just pretend the last 12 years in housing never happened at all. Looked in good shape. Mind you no renovations but maintained. Starting to see 2002/2003 prices but this is first 1990s price I saw in a non distress sale in a house in good condition.

  51. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “Same SEALs who killed bin Laden rescue US hostage held in Somalia”

    I thought they all died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan?!?! I love the government.

  52. yo says:

    Same way it is transported now as a finish product.It does not go back to the pipe line to the consumers.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    January 25, 2012 at 10:37 am
    Yo [25];

    build the Refinery near the border.

    And what do you propose to do with the refined product? Maybe a pipeline to get them to port? The refineries weren’t built on the water’s edge for the view.

  53. A.West says:

    I was talking to a realtor who does a lot of biz in Basking Ridge. I asked her what kind of income I could get buying a BR Condo. She said it’s a great time to do that of course. The rent would easily cover the mortgage and property taxes, and maybe even some maintenance, so it would be like getting all of the future appreciation potential.

    Sorry, no thanks. If I’m going to go through the hassle of buying a rental property, I’d want to get at least a high single digit yield. Buying property primarily for future appreciation in NJ is a bad risk/return proposition.

  54. yo says:

    Re:Pipeline
    If the premise of the project was to create efficiency not creating jobs,I will not even comment on the subject.

  55. homeboken says:

    Wendy – 48 – You are 100% correct but I would also add that the applicable fee basis is much higher for a distressed property than performing, at least it is that way in multi-family land.

    When an asset gets transfered to “special servicing” (Distressed in SF world) you can add 20bps to the annual fee. Cha Ching!

  56. yo says:

    Bodies of water between Vancouver and Washington.Hardly gets hit with hurricane

    yo says:
    January 25, 2012 at 11:53 am
    Same way it is transported now as a finish product.It does not go back to the pipe line to the consumers.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    January 25, 2012 at 10:37 am
    Yo [25];

    build the Refinery near the border.

    And what do you propose to do with the refined product? Maybe a pipeline to get them to port? The refineries weren’t built on the water’s edge for the view.

  57. grim says:

    54 – cashflow is much better at the other end of the spectrum, and especially so in the multi family arena.

  58. Wendy says:

    51- JJ – wish I could find one of those. The houses I see (looking at Red Bank area) all involve sellers and/or realtor stuck in la-la land. They won’t even get to 2002/3 pricing, let alone 1990’s. I am about tired of renting. If I could find 1999-2002 pricing I would jump.

  59. Wendy says:

    54 – A. West – hilarious! It’s a great time to be a (unpaid) property manager for your mortgage lender!

  60. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yo [53];

    It does not go back to the pipe line to the consumers.

    >Within the oil pipeline network there are both crude oil lines and refined product lines…

    …Refined products pipelines are found in almost every state in the U.S, with the exception of some New England states. The total mileage nationwide of refined products pipelines is approximately 95,000 miles. These pipelines deliver petroleum products to large fuel terminals with storage tanks to be loaded into tanker trucks. Trucks cover the last few miles to make local deliveries to gas stations and homes. Major industries, airports and electrical power generation plants are supplied directly by pipeline.

    http://www.pipeline101.com/Overview/products-pl.html

    And hat tip to Pain[44] for beating me to the punch.

  61. gary says:

    Whatever happened to Pretentious or Pretorius or whatever the f*ck his/her name was?

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (58) hehehe,

    Where’s the evasion? I saw nothing. If I could, I’d sue the site for libel on behalf of the class.

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [58]. Hehehe,

    More importantly, Nina commented. It’s out in the daylight. Now we see the rush to the exits build.

  64. Brian says:

    61 – Wendy

    Why not just make a lowball offer? What do you have to lose?

    Don’t let the realtor tell them you’ll be instulting them. Who cares?

  65. Wendy says:

    67- Brian, I will. I plan on losing a few. One I had my eye on, just went to being a rental rather than selling at an even bigger loss than asking price. (last listed at $360K, sold for $455K in 2007 but $193K in 1999.)
    I am bringing my cash and my downward pricing pressure. Will it be successful? Really don’t know. Some people would rather “wait it out” by switching to renting.

  66. yo says:

    Moose,
    There is an existing pipeline in the vancouver area.
    My last response on the subject.It will never happen anyway

  67. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Nom,

    “Where’s the evasion?” That’s my reaction too. What’s more funny is while they’ll make the info of those who owe taxes and renounce readily available they are doing everything possible to hide those who don’t owe and are voluntarily renouncing.

  68. JJ says:

    Excuse me you forgot to capitalize realtor, they are like the Pope, it should always be capitalized to show how important they are, Realtor! now realtor

    Brian says:
    January 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm
    61 – Wendy

    Why not just make a lowball offer? What do you have to lose?

    Don’t let the realtor tell them you’ll be instulting them. Who cares?

  69. Brian says:

    68 – Wendy
    I say go for it. Make what you think is a fair offer.

    When I bought my house in 2006, I offered $30,000 less that what they were asking. The real estate agent said they were soooooo embarassed and the owner threw a fit.

    I say again…who cares? The real estate agents and owners may bellyache but as far as I know, you’re not breaking any laws.

  70. chicagofinance says:

    He was laid off and his home value in Weehawkin was crushed….not kidding…..

    gary says:
    January 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm
    Whatever happened to Pretentious or Pretorius or whatever the f*ck his/her name was?

  71. gary says:

    ChiFi,

    Wow! lol!

  72. chicagofinance says:

    Would you be interested in a 4BR / 2.5 Bath / 2,900 sq. ft on 1.3 acres in Colts Neck for $2,500 / month?

    Wendy says:
    January 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm
    51- JJ I am about tired of renting. If I could find 1999-2002 pricing I would jump.

  73. chicagofinance says:

    gary says:
    January 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm
    ChiFi, Wow! lol!

    I want grim to fact check that….he was actually in contact with the guy…..I might be confusing him with someone else, but I am pretty sure that I am correct……

  74. chicagofinance says:

    Breaking News.
    .
    Fed Extends Pledge Not to Raise Rates Until at Least Late 2014

  75. Brian says:

    Speaking of renting…I was thinking of renting a place down the shore this summer. I’ve not done it before, as I usually just stay at my uncle’s place in Seaside Park but it’s unavailable this year.

    I see properties listed on websites on the net. Can anyone tell me their experience with renting a summer home? Is it best to just deal with owners directly or should I be using a rental agency or something?

  76. Libtard in Union says:

    Wendy (68):

    When we bought our house in 2011, we offered 30K less than it was finally listed at after it rotted on the market for almost a year. Keep in mind. During that year, the seller first raised their price by 10K but eventually dropped it month by month to 70K less then they originally listed it for. Then we came in an offered them 30K less. Then took another 3K in inspection items.

    We offended no one.

    And so much for interest rates JJ. My NLY investment just shook off any near-term risk and my plans to refinance my 20-year to a 15-year on the multi just improved greatly.

    Go Bernanke (for now).

  77. No Bojangles pie-in-the-sky underwater refi or prinicipal reduction program will ever fly. The minute they’d try to start it, it’d be off to court to fight off the 5th Amendment Constitutional challenges.

  78. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Check it out the Fed projects unemployment back in the 6%-7% range by 2014:

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20120125b.htm

    Sweet, nothing to worry about peeps!

  79. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [47] Nicholas The reason why no new refineries have been built is that it was possible to improve the efficiency of the old refineries. In addition, you could pack more refining capacity in the same refinery and skirt around all the hurdles to building a new one.

    Same thing goes for Nuclear. Few Americans realize that the biggest gains in energy production in the US are the gains from Nuclear power plants. No new plants, just multiples of their original capacity out of the same old ones.

  80. Wendy says:

    75 – chifi- thanks for mentioning. It sounds a little big for me, I am looking for around 1500 sf. I had a bigger house, got tired of heating/cooling, cleaning and otherwise maintaining lots of sf I don’t use. But again, thanks for mentioning.

  81. Wendy says:

    72 Brian and 80 Libtard – believe me, I have NO problem making a low offer, $30K or 10% is kind of my minimum assumed reduction.
    The house I just saw switched to a rental was last listed at $360K, sold for $455K in 2007 but $193K in 1999. I don’t know if I could even get comfortable paying $300K, but any offer starting with a 2, considering they paid $455K is somewhat likely to shock but more importantly, probably just not feasible for most sellers. Outside of foreclosure, that is.

  82. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    HEHE …and I’m going to arrow a skittle sh*itting unicorn in my backyard this evening and grill it.

  83. JJ says:

    Yields on 3-year notes fell 5 basis points to 0.33% — which is a 17% plunge. 5 year notes yields also plunged.

    Even people rolling five year cds for a tiny extra income will now be crushed on maturity. But hey they have a 2012, 2011, 2010, 20009 and 2008 cd in play. The one year crowd has been crushed since 2009.

  84. JJ says:

    The yield on the Treasury five-year note sank to a record low of 0.76 percent.

    WOW!! Consider Fed said inflation target is 2% a year today. So you adjusted for inflation interest rate on a five year treasury is -1.24 a year for five years.

    Lock in now.

  85. Yeah. Deflation is your friend.

    Unless, that is, everything you need to eat or wear is inflating like Kirstie Alley in a swimming pool full of donuts.

  86. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Let’s see, begin zirp late 2008, extend it to late 2014. There’s 60% of your first lost decade.

  87. We are living through the final days of the death of money.

  88. JJ says:

    Are you really? I made a low ball offer last year to a women who was a horder, house was a mess, just went through divorce and Mom was dying so she needed to move closer. Realtor told me go fo it, but you do it I aint. Told her I know how hard it is and she wanted out quick. I offered 300K below asking pulled out my checkbook and said all that is standing between you and leaving is you saying yes. You don’t even have to clean up this whole thing will be over today. She mulled on it but did not take it. In the end she did sell it for only 50K more than my offer months later. That is how you low ball. You low ball in cash, man to man, and say take it or leave it. No mortgage contingency, no inspection. Most people wont low ball. It only works when person is desparate for cash and you take advantage of them. Messy

    Wendy says:
    January 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm
    72 Brian and 80 Libtard – believe me, I have NO problem making a low offer, $30K or 10% is kind of my minimum assumed reduction.
    The house I just saw switched to a rental was last listed at $360K, sold for $455K in 2007 but $193K in 1999. I don’t know if I could even get comfortable paying $300K, but any offer starting with a 2, considering they paid $455K is somewhat likely to shock but more importantly, probably just not feasible for most sellers. Outside of foreclosure, that is.

  89. expat (90)-

    Lost decade? Just take a look at the degenerate nation (Japan) that is light years ahead of us in the race to complete self-annihilation. Even at 20+ years of torpor, do they show ANY signs of snapping out of it? I think not.

    50-100 years of this water torture is still my call. If anything, I may go further toward the 100 year end of the spectrum, as 50 years seems too short a time to come up with the cure for stupid.

  90. We have yet to create a really large class of girly-men who have no desire to reproduce. When that starts gaining momentum here, I’m sure the media will have a field day with it.

    If we are lucky at all, we get an Argentine outcome. At least the violence and upheaval would be more exciting that witnessing our country slowly rot from the inside out.

  91. JJ says:

    Stock market up 60% since ZIRP. Remember ZIRP is a god send for fixed income investors. ZIRP is a nightmare for risk adverse people in cash.

    This is a bond investors dream. My bonds popped $5,000 today. Thank you Ben. Maybe I will take a spring break vacation.

    Also he took risk totally off the table for bonds maturing in next five years today. Excelent!!! I got 100% of my kids college money in bonds that mature between 7 and 17 years. Pretty much he just made it set and forget today.

    529 plans and 401K plans can rejoice as stocks and bonds both took off today. This is like 1999 when we checked out 401K balance every day to see how rich we got every day.

    Reminds me of the 1990s when housing was a fools investment next to stocks and long term quality bonds.

    The Original NJ Expat says:
    January 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    Let’s see, begin zirp late 2008, extend it to late 2014. There’s 60% of your first lost decade.

  92. 3B says:

    #89 There: I would think that the smarter Realtors out there would realize that this low interest rate environment now extended almost another year a la the Fed, would actually not be happy with this. There is no sense of urgency for people to go out and buy with rates not going up any time soon.

    So I would offer that sellers who are serious will have to continue to lower prices, because rising interest rates are not a concern.

  93. Anon E. Moose says:

    Wendy [85];

    I don’t know about Red Bank (Ocean County?), but the mortgage docs may be available online; you’ll see principal balance when purchased. Divide by .95 (5% realtor’s fees) and you pretty much have the number that they can get out at without bringing a check to closing or asking ‘Mother, May I’ (short sale).

    I agree that a 2-handle is a psychic barrier for anyone who paid $455k.

    You’ll get to a point that the process of looking is a motivating factor as well — continuing to look sucks more than overpaying a little or compromising on property features. The property you end up with with will be the one you collapse on while running the ultra-marathon of searching for a fair deal.

  94. JJ says:

    Mortgage rates have zero to do with home buying. Do I have a secure job, will the properties value rise? are more important.

    If rates and easy financing were sole reasons people cant buy home than when GM did zero down zero financing on Escalades we all would have went out and got one. Why didn’t we? Regardles of financing they are overpriced and expensive to maintain. Just like a house.

    3B says:
    January 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm
    #89 There: I would think that the smarter Realtors out there would realize that this low interest rate environment now extended almost another year a la the Fed, would actually not be happy with this. There is no sense of urgency for people to go out and buy with rates not going up any time soon.

    So I would offer that sellers who are serious will have to continue to lower prices, because rising interest rates are not a concern.

  95. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Wendy if you have reservations low ball lower they can only say no. the one thing I found when we bought our house was that if I had reservations about the price I was usually right. 75% of the houses we looked at where I said I wouldn’t even pay the lowball price are still sitting. Some people are sellers others are delusional.

  96. JJ says:

    How is that relevant? I go to buy used car I low up what it is worth today and I make an offer. Who cares what they paid for it. I know some sellers think that way but buyers should not even consider that.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    January 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm
    Wendy [85];

    I don’t know about Red Bank (Ocean County?), but the mortgage docs may be available online; you’ll see principal balance when purchased. Divide by .95 (5% realtor’s fees) and you pretty much have the number that they can get out at without bringing a check to closing or asking ‘Mother, May I’ (short sale).

  97. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [100];

    It relevant because tey you only have to convince one party, the seller. You don’t have to convince their mortgage holder, or their brother-in-law to lend them the cash to close, etc.

  98. chicagofinance says:

    ASK NJCOAST…..

    Brian says:
    January 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    Speaking of renting…I was thinking of renting a place down the shore this summer. I’ve not done it before, as I usually just stay at my uncle’s place in Seaside Park but it’s unavailable this year.

    I see properties listed on websites on the net. Can anyone tell me their experience with renting a summer home? Is it best to just deal with owners directly or should I be using a rental agency or something?

  99. 3B says:

    #98 JJ: The current realtor speak is hurry,hurry, mtg rates are at historic lows. Lock in those rates now.!And of course you make valid points, but mtg rate consideration is also a big factor when making a purchase decision. In this forever low rate environment people will not be concerned about rates rising, and therefore the need to hurry,hurry, and so they need another incentive to buy as in lower price.

  100. JJ says:

    I was talking only about home buyers. People who need mortgages don’t fall into that category.

    But seriously low rates have another effect, people still consider homes and investment so as long as they are on fence and downpayment money is earning zero and they are paying rent it will incent them.

    I am finally running out of options where to put my cash. I am at max exposure to junk bonds, stocks and munis. That market has got pricey and cash pays zero. People need a place to put cash. I guess a house is as good as any place to park it. Although mortgage rates don’t attract me. Big downpayments or cash purchases mean buyers are sure you will close hence you get house cheaper. Therefore, the 3.75% loan has a hidden cost of you most likely paid an extra 50K for house.

    3B says:
    January 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm
    #98 JJ: The current realtor speak is hurry,hurry, mtg rates are at historic lows. Lock in those rates now.!And of course you make valid points, but mtg rate consideration is also a big factor when making a purchase decision. In this forever low rate environment people will not be concerned about rates rising, and therefore the need to hurry,hurry, and so they need another incentive to buy as in lower price.

  101. freedy says:

    Well today I Drove River rd thru Edgewater, into North Bergen and into Wehawken.
    No recession going on . Buildings all restarted, Crains,a mall going in where they have
    chopped the mountain out, all is good, Ferry parking lot jammed.

  102. xolepa says:

    (104)
    Buy a business that gets it’s income from cash, primarily. Have your wife run it. You would be surprised how those paper (i.e., tax) losses add up.

  103. toomuchchange says:

    Here’s some weird news you cannot use, but it’s very interesting:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/former-president-john-tyler-1790-1862-grandchildren-still-191230189.html

    “Former President John Tyler, born 221 [in 1790] years ago, still has two living grandchildren.

    …Jane Garfield (granddaughter of James Garfield) is 99, making her the oldest living grandchild of a former president, even though Garfield took office 40 years after Tyler.

    Former Ambassador John Eisenhower is the oldest living presidential child, turning 89 this past August.”

    Can you imagine even for a minute being able to say “My grandfather became President of the United States in 1841?”

  104. prtraders2000 says:

    Valley Bank rep just stopped in. Current 30 year conforming 3.98%, but apparently it is as dead as can be. She said no one comes in looking for a mortgage to buy. Refis are still happening as long as borrower has equity. Many of these are on there 3rd or 4th refi. This is in western Essex county.

  105. Confused in NJ says:

    The Federal Reserve’s forecast that rates could stay extremely low for another three years provides juice for risk assets like stocks, but signals more worries ahead for the economy.

    The Fed also took the historic step of setting an inflation target of 2 percent, when it released its forecast. The Fed made news in two releases Tuesday, one its post FOMC statement at 12:30 p.m. and the other in its economic forecast at 2 p.m.

    In its statement, the FOMC did not change its view on the economy, leaving some to guess the Fed sees more problems coming across the Atlantic as Europe struggles with its debt crisis.

    “I think holding rates lower for longer is a reflection of the overall global growth profile, which includes the situation in Europe,” said Ian Lyngen, senior Treasury strategist at CRT Capital.

    Lyngen said it appears the Fed is saying it won’t raise rates until 2015, since its statement said it was holding rates low through 2014.

    The Fed’s statement altered language that had said the Fed will keep its now near zero rates extremely low through mid-2013. It now said “economic conditions-including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run-are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.”

    In the economic projections released at 2 p.m., the Fed gave a snapshot of Fed members’ views on when the Fed would first hike rates.

    Markets had expected the majority of views in the new charts to show the majority favored a 2014 time frame for the first hike. That came in as expected, with five FOMC members forecasting 2014 hikes.

    But the surprise in the report was that three members thought rates could rise in 2012, and another three members, in 2013. The surprisingly hawkish views were balanced somewhat by forecasts from two members that rates would rise for the first time in 2016 and another for 2015.

    Stocks rallied on the initial report, erasing a 54 point loss on the Dow before pushing into positive territory. The dollar sank, as the euro rose above 1.30. Buyers moved into the bond market, sending yields lower. Gold surged $50, closing above $1700 an ounce for the first time in six weeks, and oil added nearly a percent.

    The 10-year yield fell to as low as 1.912 percent, from 2.02 percent before the midday release. After the 2 p.m. release, however, the yield was again rising, and was at 1.989 percent.

    The Fed said it still sees the economy expanding moderately with improvement in employment, though unemployment is expected to decline only gradually.

    “They remained a wet blanket,” said Miller, Tabak strategist Peter Boockvar. “No acknowledgement whatsoever to the improving data. I think they’re worried about growth. They have their foot on the pedal, down to the metal. I think they’re driving the wrong car, based on what’s going on. It’s good for stocks as far as lifting asset prices, but it does nothing for the actual economy.”

    The Fed also kept in place “operation twist,” a program under which it is increasing the average maturity of the securities in its portfolio by selling shorter duration Treasury securities and buying longer duration securities.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in his press briefing, acknowledged improvements in the economy but that the Fed is not ready to declare that the economy has entered a stronger phase. He also said the Fed would undertake further quantitative easing if necessary.

    “There are some positive signs, no doubt. But at the same time we’ve had mixed results in other areas such as retail sales, and we continue to see headwinds emanating from Europe coming from the slowing global economy and some other factors as well,” he said.

    Deutsche Bank G-10 foreign exchange strategist Alan Ruskin said, in a note, that the Fed’s statement is a change more of its interest rate forecast than a material change in economic views.

    “While the Fed’s characterization of the economy in the statement has not changed very much, the comment that conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the funds rate ‘at least through late 2014’ is on the surface a major difference from the mid-2013 date given in the last statement,” wrote Ruskin.

    “The question is did the Fed’s views on its own policy change that much? Almost certainly not. In reality the previous ‘mid-2013’ reference was probably low balling the date to take into account some of the skew attached to members who were thinking that rates might have to go up by mid-2013 or sooner,” he noted.

  106. Nothing less than the death of money. Just a bunch of worthless scrip or 0s and 1s in some computer.

    The only store of value left is personal health. And, be very, very assured that TPTB wants to steal that from you, too.

  107. PMs and .223 will be the only legal tender left standing.

  108. Waah! I want lifetime ZIRP!

  109. That’ll teach Grandma to save…

  110. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [104];

    I am finally running out of options where to put my cash.

    Buy a plane for business use. I think they extended 100% first year depreciation again (another ‘forever on the installment plan’ temporary government initiative). Let me know if you need a pilot.

  111. All Hype says:

    Waah! I want lifetime ZIRP!

    Clot, you got it. No need to cry.

  112. Anon E. Moose says:

    Too [107];

    Great fact pattern for a law school property professor’s hypothetical on the rule against perpetuities.

  113. Punch My Ticket says:

    Wendy [85],

    If you think you have some time, consider being the second lowball they see. Find an accomplice who will prime them with a truly hideous offer, and then go in at 299 two weeks later. Let the accomplice be the one who offends. You can be the white knight.

    30k or 10% off is not really lowball. With so many sellers in fantasyland, you offer what is for you FMV. If that’s 25% lower than list, them’s the breaks. In 1999, after years on the market and 30% already off original list, I watched a seller reduce his list another 10% and then offered him 25% under that. We settled on 15% under the new list (45% off original). It never bothered me a bit. It’s just business.

  114. Confused in NJ says:

    Today it pays to owe money, while U.S. savers suffer
    By Karen Brettell and Steven C. Johnson | Reuters – 1 hr 50 mins ago….

    Sometimes Maggie Smith worries that she may outlive her savings.
    “It’s an uncomfortable feeling to realize that everything is going up except your income,” said the 74-year-old from Galloway, New Jersey.

    Rising home and car insurance costs have forced her to dip into savings which have been earning less than 1.0 percent.

    That isn’t likely to change for some years.

    The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it is likely to keep its key interest rate near zero until late 2014. That would make more than five years of rock-bottom rates.

    For Smith and other pensioners struggling to cope with inflation higher than the rate of interest they earn on their savings, all of this amounts to, as she puts it, “being punished” for being prudent.

    She is a casualty of the Fed’s strategy to keep rates low in an attempt to generate the economic growth needed to lower the nation’s jobless rate. Low borrowing costs also prevent the federal government’s debt burden from getting even further out of control.

    Central banks in other developed nations, including the European Union, have adopted similar policies.

    FEW OTHER CHOICES

    Persistently low rates are being pursued in preference to raising taxes and making steeper cuts in spending, which would be unpopular and cause more damage to already fragile economies.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, asked during a news conference Wednesday about the pain that the Fed’s policies are causing savers, said “we do think about that.

    “I guess the response I would make is that the savers in our economy are dependent on a healthy economy in order to get adequate returns.”

    Bernanke said that once low interest rates enable recovery, “that in turn will lead ultimately to higher returns across all assets for savers and investors.”

    Authorities are also giving favorable treatment to some forms of government debt as part of bank capital requirements, as an encouragement to banks to hold it.1

    There are also signs of more tax policies geared to keeping money in a particular country. Some even foresee overt capital controls being introduced to prevent people and companies from investing money offshore.

  115. Confused in NJ says:

    This guy must work for the Government?

    LYNN HAVEN — A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly hacking to death a Connecticut man and eating the victim’s eye and part of his brain, police said Wednesday.

  116. Confused in NJ says:

    STUDIO CITY (CBS) — A SoCal woman says the energy efficient window installed in a neighbor’s condominium is melting the plastic components on cars parked in her carport.

    Heather Patron of Studio City was dealing with a mystery regarding her Toyota Prius.

    “The side view mirrors were melting,” says Patron. “Anything that was plastic on the car was melting.”

    Toyota told Patron nothing was wrong with the car. After having the mirrors replaced, she noticed the mirrors on the car parked next to hers were also melting.

    Patron then observed a powerful beam of light that was reflecting off the window of a next door condominium, casting a concentrated beam over her carport.

    CBS2’s Randy Paige placed a thermometer in the pathway of the beam on a partially cloudy day. The temperature registered over 120 degrees in less than five minutes.

    “I’m positive that this window is what is causing the damage to my car,” says Patron.

    Patron is not alone. Reports across the country have alleged damages brought on by concentrated sunlight reflected off of energy efficient windows. The National Association of Home Builders is now conducting a study on the matter.

    “I just don’t feel like it’s fair,” says Patron. “I feel like it needs to be known that this is happening. And a lot of people probably have damage out there, that they aren’t aware that it’s the windows that are causing this.”

    The Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety says even if the window is the source of the damage, there are no code violations involved. The department says it’s not against the law to install a window that reflects sunlight.

    I had some vinyl siding melt from the reflection off a window.

  117. Confused in NJ says:

    Pension shortfalls a stark corporate challenge

    Reuters – 8 minutes ago
    By Ernest Scheyder and Jilian Mincer

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – With worries about the debt crisis in Europe and high unemployment in the United States drawing the public’s attention, the sliding value of corporate pension funds has largely gone unnoticed.

    The problem came into stark relief on Wednesday, when Boeing Co joined a raft of U.S. companies that have announced hefty cash injections into underfunded pension plans, including General Electric Co, DuPont, Alcoa Inc, Honeywell International Inc and Raytheon Co.

    Boeing said it would add $1.5 billion in cash to its pension plan in 2012, nearly triple the amount it injected in 2011. The huge jump caused the aircraft maker’s full-year earnings forecast to miss Wall Street estimates.

    Analysts say pension top-ups will take a big bite out of corporate earnings this year, due to more rigorous funding requirements and an erosion of investment returns caused by weak stock markets and low interest rates.

    Of the 341 companies in the S&P 500 index with defined benefit pension plans, 97 percent are underfunded, according to a Credit Suisse analysis. Despite generous contributions last year, Credit Suisse estimated the plans’ liabilities at $458 billion at the end of 2011, an 86 percent increase from a year earlier.

    “This level of underfunding is something, at least in the time that we’ve been following the issue, that we haven’t seen,” said Credit Suisse analyst David Zion, noting that the 2011 estimate is nearly three times larger than underfunding in 2002, after another U.S. recession

  118. Brian says:

    Wow. Who cares if Obama fixes the economy and the housing market. Newt promises to build us a moon base!

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/01/newt-pledges-moon-base-by-second-term-112319.html

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    File this under the heading of “ya think?”

    Amy Monahan (Minnesota) presents Will Employers Undermine Health Care Reform by Dumping Sick Employees?, 97 Va. L. Rev. 125 (2011), at NYU today as part of its Colloquium Series on Tax Policy and Public Finance convened by Daniel Shaviro (NYU):

    “This Article argues that federal health care reform may induce employers to redesign their health plans to encourage high-risk employees to opt out of employer-provided coverage and instead acquire coverage on the individual market. It shows that such a strategy can reduce employer health care expenditures without substantially harming either high-risk or low-risk employees. Although largely overlooked in public policy debates, employer dumping of high-risk employees may threaten the sustainability of health care reform. In particular, it potentially exposes individual insurance markets and insurance exchanges to adverse selection caused by the entrance of a disproportionately high-risk segment of the population. This risk, in turn, threatens to indirectly increase the cost to the federal government of subsidizing coverage for qualified individuals and to exempt more individuals from complying with the so-called individual mandate . . .”

    /snip

  120. scribe says:

    3b,

    I agree. If there’s no expectation that mortgage rates will rise any time soon, why should anyone be in a rush to buy?

  121. Confused in NJ says:

    Former President John Tyler’s (1790-1862) grandchildren still alive

  122. Confused in NJ says:

    Considering that most folks can only get Generic Drugs, and all Generic Drugs will be sourced from China, who is our enemy, and FDA can’t check on them, other then post facto US body count, healthcare costs may be readily resolved shortly.

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  130. John says:

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    Along the same lines,, The People that created the law the there should be Only borrowed money in it played a big part in the Evolution our mental abilities. Will the governments change that law or will all people become part of the Evolution of our mental abilities. I hope all the people that created only borrowed money in the economic system law will be remember as People trying to survive and protect themselves from themselves. Stabilizing Economic Growth in past questions help understand that that rate that the population growth is all the money in the World and it has to go back to the bank.
    Kindest Regards

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