Turning the corner or hanging off the edge?

From the Record:

Area’s home prices drop 2.9% in January

Despite signs of an economic recovery, home prices nationally and in the New York metropolitan area, including North Jersey, continued to slide in January, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index reported Tuesday.

Home values in the region dropped 2.9 percent from January 2011 to January 2012. Nationally, home prices dropped 3.8 percent.

“Prices collapsed between 2007 and 2009, have been mostly inching down ever since, and signs of a turnaround are nowhere in sight,” said Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight. “Our view is that foreclosures, excess supply, and weak demand will drive home prices down at least another 5 percent.”

Home prices in the region have dropped 25 percent since the market peak in mid-2006, and are now at the levels of late 2003. Nationally, home prices have declined an average 34 percent and have returned to early 2003 levels. In four metropolitan areas — Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas — home values are now below their levels in 2000.

The report came a day after East Brunswick appraiser Jeffrey Otteau said that the New Jersey spring home-buying market will be the busiest in four years — though he also predicted that home prices will remain flat this year.

In Passaic County, the median price was $243,619, down 11 percent from a year earlier, while the number of sales rose 33 percent.

From Bloomberg:

Home Prices in U.S. Cities Fell at Slower Pace in January

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped at a slower pace in January, pointing to stabilization in the real estate market.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index (SPX) of property values in 20 cities fell 3.8 percent from a year earlier, matching the median forecast of 32 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, after decreasing 4.1 percent in December, a report from the group showed today in New York. Prices were little changed in January from the prior month, the best performance since July.

Property values are steadying as a strengthening labor market underpins housing demand, which may allow the industry that precipitated the recession to contribute to growth this year. Nonetheless, the recovery in sales may be restrained by foreclosures that are putting more properties onto the market.

“We are starting to see a slightly less-negative picture,” said Sean Incremona, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, who correctly projected the decline. “We have seen some slight progress from very depressed levels, but there’s still a long, long way to go.”

From the WSJ:

S&P Case/Shiller: Home Prices Back to 2003 Levels.

Home prices continue to tumble, according to S&P’s Case-Shiller home-price indexes.

U.S. home prices dropped in January from a month earlier, with the average home price dropping back to levels last seen in 2003.

The S&P Case-Shiller index dropped 0.8% from a month earlier. Year-over-year prices fell 3.9% in the index’s 10 major markets, while the 20-city index dropped 3.8%.

Here are a smattering of reactions from economists and market observers:

Peter Boockvar of Miller Tabak: Bottom line, the housing numbers seen over the past week have been mostly below expectations pointing to a still tough industry but one that isn’t getting much worse with signs of stabilization in some markets. Prices will likely still fall and purchase deals will still be held up by tight lending standards and strict appraisals but generally speaking most of the damage has already been done.

Dan Greenhaus of BTIG: We have been arguing that housing as a whole bottomed in late 2010/early 2011 and, more importantly, this summer would mark the six year anniversary of the peak in home prices. Historically, housing bubbles tend to see home prices on average bottom out six years after peaking. As such, if the United States were to suffer a decidedly average housing crash, this summer would mark the point at which prices should begin turning upwards on a sustained basis.

Joshua Shapiro of MFR: The enormous supply overhang of existing homes (factoring in all those in foreclosure or soon to be) promises to keep pressure on prices for some time. From a longer-term perspective, it is important to keep in mind that in the seven years leading up to the peak in July 2006, the non-seasonally adjusted national 20 city home price index jumped by 155% (126 index points) to a high of 206.52 (January 2000=100). So far, this index has dropped by 34% (71 index points) since its peak. We look for further declines to be registered in the quarters ahead, although in all likelihood the rate of deterioration will be nowhere near as steep as that recorded earlier in the cycle.

TD Securities: On the whole, the dramatic moderation in the pace of home price depreciation in January is very encouraging, especially as it may be an indication that home prices may finally be stabilizing. And with home sales beginning to show signs of improvement and labor market activity also providing a favorable backdrop for the housing sector, we may now be witnessing the bottom in home prices.

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

161 Responses to Turning the corner or hanging off the edge?

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Investing in America: Home Remodeling on a Roll

    America’s housing market is still struggling to find solid footing amid millions of delinquent loans and foreclosed properties.

    But as the wider economy begins to strengthen, and Americans start to feel better about their current and future finances, they are dipping their toes back into the housing waters, in the form of remodeling.

    “Residential remodeling this winter is as strong as it has been in more than five years. We expect residential remodeling to continue to grow throughout 2012,” says Joe Emison of Texas-based BuildFax, a division of BUILDERRadius and creator of the BuildFax remodeling index.

    Residential remodeling, as measured by building permits in January, were at an annual rate of, up 13 percent from December and 11 percent from a year ago, according to BuildFax. The index shows particular strength in the Midwest and the West.

    Sales of foreclosed properties may be helping the numbers, as investors have swarmed the market, buying up distressed properties and turning them into rentals. Many of those properties have been either abandoned or vandalized and need at the very least basic refurbishing and at the most full renovations.

  2. Captain Sunshine says:

    More like smiling under a shiny rainbow!

  3. grim says:

    From US News:

    Is the Housing Market (Finally) Getting Better?

    The housing market peaked six years ago. That’s when my son—who has been out of college and working for two years—was back in high school. How long can a housing bust last?

    There are some signs that the market is slowly getting better, if only at an uneven and halting pace. And that’s good news for everyone. Both buyers and sellers benefit from a healthy real estate market, ideally with a slow and consistent rise in prices. Owners can then enjoy the profits from selling their homes, while buyers can have some confidence that their investment will pay off in the long run.

    But there is certainly no clear view of the future of real estate. The horizon is nothing if not hazy. Here are the pros and cons to consider regarding the current housing market:

    Pro: In January, sales of previously owned homes reached an annual pace of 4.63 million units. That represented the third time in four months that sales had gone up, and it left the inventory of current home listings at just 2.3 million units, down from a record high of 4 million units in the summer of 2007.

    Con: But home sales in February were slightly disappointing. They dipped by 0.9 percent from January, to a seasonally adjusted level of 4.59 million.

    Pro: Still, the February numbers represent an increase of 13 percent from six months ago. And the winter of 2011 and 2012 saw the best winter real estate market in five years.

    Con: One reason sales were strong was simply because of the weather. A mild winter in most parts of the country brought out buyers in higher-than-normal numbers. But the strong winter sales may have just pulled buyers forward, and could result in a weak spring market.

    Pro: The slowly improving job market, as well as record low mortgage rates, have also contributed to a better real estate market. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, argues that recent gains show buyers are responding to favorable conditions. “The uptrend in home sales is in line with all of the underlying fundamentals—pent-up household formation, record-low mortgage interest rates, bargain home prices, sustained job creation, and rising rents,” he says.

    Con: Well-respected economic forecaster A. Gary Shilling predicts that we likely have another 20 percent decline in prices ahead of us, due to a faltering economy and the overhang of housing inventory coming from distressed owners.

    Ultimately, the choice to buy or sell a home is more of a lifestyle issue than an economic one. Owning a home ties you down. We all know older people who have been stuck for the last few years, wanting to sell their house so they can retire to a sunnier, less expensive region of the country. And we all know younger people who have no desire to take on the responsibility of a house, when they might want to drop everything and move cross country to take a new job.

  4. grim says:

    From the Washington Post:

    What does a housing recovery even look like?

    Everyone can agree that the housing market hasn’t fully recovered yet. But the mixed signals from the sector have made it much harder to tell how far we’ve come–and how far we still have to go.

    On the one hand, demand is still weak: mortgage applications are down, housing prices have continued to fall, and rising foreclosures could depress them even further. On the other hand, single-family home construction is no longer in free fall, delinquencies are down, and residential real-estate investment — including new home building and renovations — has picked up for the first time in years.

    As a result, there are lots of contradictory takes on the housing market right now, with some already heralding a “recovery winter” for housing while others maintaining that we haven’t hit bottom yet, much less bounced back. As a result, “there seems to be some disconnect or bit of talking past one another on the issue of a housing recovery,” writes Karl Smith. He puts himself in the Recovery Winter camp, arguing that a potential shift away from single-family toward multi-family housing could explain some of the seemingly contrary indicators.

    Jed Kolko has proposed another way to make sense of these mixed signals. Kolko–chief economist at real-estate search engine Trulia–has created a “Housing Barometer” to gauge the housing recovery. The index averages three factors–new construction starts, existing home sales, and the delinquency plus the foreclosure rate–setting 0 percent as the lowest the indicators have been and 100 percent as back to normal. Kolko calculates that the barometer for February 2012 is at 34 percent–that is, we’re one-third of the way back to a full housing recovery.

    By that measure, Kolko estimates that housing won’t get back to 100 percent until late 2015. In other words, he concludes, “we still have a long way to go.”

  5. grim says:

    Mike (from the last thread) – Split the mortgage apps numbers by refi vs purchase, because I’m not so sure we generally care about the refi number. But caution with these numbers, they are so noisy that they are almost useless on a week to week basis. You really need to trend these over a month or longer to get a better idea of direction (even then it still looks like an ekg). This index is a cherry pickers delight, if they don’t like the number, all they need to do is wait a week.

    Purchase apps were up 3.3% last week, refis were down 4.6%.

  6. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  7. Brian says:

    How N.J. towns’ countless tax appeal settlements are costing the state billions

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/nj_tax_appeals_settlements_cos.html

  8. Mike says:

    Number 1 My coworker is leaving in the coming months he’s been doing home remodeling on the side for years and now after being overwhelmed with jobs he will be doing it full time. Two kitchens and one bathroom already lined up. Nickname is Mr.Meticulous

  9. Brian says:

    That’s one job created. 1,999,999 to go.

  10. Mike says:

    well probably not, he is voluntary leaving to reduce the head count and not being replaced. I’m sure the remodeling will be under the table work since the wife is working

  11. Marty says:

    Wonder how Mr. Meticulous is going to feel once he has to get a home improvement contractors licence, be a lead certified contractor, buy business & health insurance, commcerial tags & lettering for his truck, workmens comp coverage, and filing quartly with the state for payrole.

  12. 3b says:

    Hmmm??? Who should I believe Jeffrey or Patrick?? I am going with Paddy.

  13. Brian says:

    The world needs more people like Mr. Meticulous. I don’t know what I would have done with my asbestos siding were it not for those under the table guys.

  14. Mike says:

    11 It amazes me how many jobs he’s done without permits since many home owners try to hide these upgrades from their municipalities to avoid tax increases. When I asked how do you hide doing a bathroom or kitchen from your neighbors and a dumpster in plain sight? The last two kitchen jobs the owners piled up the rubbish in the garage and gradually dispose of it.

  15. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I am toying with the idea of creating a subspecialty in law for preppers.

    Whenever I watch these prepping shows, I see all sorts of legal issues that I wonder if the preppers considered, and can easily see some new areas of regulation that could develop around prepping.

    The legal issues cut across many disparate practice areas so there is a need for legal coordination.

    Toward that end, I may see if I can get on “Doomsday Preppers”. Anyone want to be on the show with me?

  16. 3b says:

    #3We all know older people who have been stuck for the last few years…….

    Many of these older people are stuck because they are stuck on getting peak bubble prices, and refuse to give their house away. They stubornly wait for prices to come back, and that is the problem. The prices are not coming back to bubble levels

  17. Brian says:

    Funny, I always thought the permit process was designed to protect homeowners from unsavory contractors that rip customers off. Inspectors would come in and make sure the work was done to code and that the contractor did not cut any corners jeapordizing the safety of the homeowner.

    Taxing the sh1t out of homeowners for our home improvements seems to lighten our wallets and motivate us to compromise our own safety. Brilliant.

  18. gary says:

    “Prices collapsed between 2007 and 2009, have been mostly inching down ever since, and signs of a turnaround are nowhere in sight,” said Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight. “Our view is that foreclosures, excess supply, and weak demand will drive home prices down at least another 5 percent.”

    Home prices in North Jersey have dropped 25 percent since the market peak in mid-2006, and are now at the levels of late 2003.

    Hey cheerleaders, it’s your call.

  19. Brass Balls says:

    Usually you only need a permit to have a dumpster overnight or in street. Getting a new kitchen if you already have a kitchen or getting a new bathroom if you already have a bathroom will not increase your taxes.

    Dumpster fees are expensive and getting permits time consuming. When I had my kitchen done, guys did rip out and since kitchen has patio doors to backyard just pile everything in backyard. Next day truck came in my driveway and took it all away. Totally legal. Dont need a co as I am just replacing a kitchen I already had. Other problem with permit, things like moving a single beam requires and engineers report.

    Prior guy to me took the cake, he dormed house, added a bathroom, added a florida room, put in an above ground pool, and two decks without any permits. He had house 11 years and paid no extra taxes. So why not. All it cost him was 10K in escrow after closing for me to get COs, turns out COs only cost $500 bucks as guess what he did it to code so just paper work fees and he got back $9,500. Each permit would be $500. But when I put every imporvement on one CO he only paid once. He saved maybe close to 20K by not getting permits. Funny part is I grieved taxes saying all of these improvements added no value to my home as my purchase price is all that matters. The town agreed, if guy got permits I would have inherited his high taxes. This is why people do it.

    Mike says:
    March 28, 2012 at 9:17 am
    11 It amazes me how many jobs he’s done without permits since many home owners try to hide these upgrades from their municipalities to avoid tax increases. When I asked how do you hide doing a bathroom or kitchen from your neighbors and a dumpster in plain sight? The last two kitchen jobs the owners piled up the rubbish in the garage and gradually dispose of it.

  20. Brian says:

    19 –

    Again, to my point, taxes imposed by townships motivate homeowners to take risks jeapordizing their own safety.

    The permiting process should be protecting homeowners, not punishing them.

  21. 3b says:

    Durable goods number out, up, but not to expectations. Interesting a big part of the increase was spending on defense, jet fighters, tanks and the like. And yet demand for appliances like refrigirators fell.

  22. 30 year realtor says:

    Market improving? Feel so much better drowning in 6 feet of water instead of 10.

  23. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #19..the way around that is at time of sale any outstanding work is RETROACTIVELY taxed back to the date of the work, and if no proof of date of work, back to date of purchase, all with interest and penalty. This would make getting a timely permitt cheaper than waiting until the eventual sale, knowing that liens etc would have to be resolved before the sale could go thjrough.

  24. Brian says:

    19 –

    Also, I’m not sure what the requirements for a CO is in your town but it’s my understanding, where I live, most any work done by a contractor requires a permit and an inspection.

    Again, this is because an inspector is supposed to assure that work done on a home is to code so that a contractor or homeowner did not take shortcuts, that may endanger the residents or your neighbors. If you use the wrong plumbing fixture in the wrong situation, you could cause a siphon and poison the water supply. If you use the wrong grade of wire in a situation it could cause a fire or danger of electrocution. If you use the wrong size drywall screw, it might penetrate a stud into where an electrical wire is present, etc.

    Much of this seems to have been forgotten, however. Case in point…the contractor I hired to add our bathroom last summer was very cozy with the township and has done a lot of work in town. That’s one of the reasons I chose him. I thought the process would go more smoothly than the last guy I hired. I noticed, at the end of the inspection, however, that the contractor just laid the bathroom vent fan’s exaust pipe in the soffit. He swore to me that would be okay. When the inspector came, he told me how he knew my contractor and trusted his work. He was about ready to hand me a pass sticker for his work. I pointed out the vent fan, which I really DID want vented completely outside (risk of mold etc.) and he said yeah, that is not to code. He went on to say, “what I’m supposed to do is turn on the fan, listen that it comes on, then go outside and make sure the exaust opens, confirming that he routed the exaust properly.”

    I asked the inspector to fail him, so that i did not have to make final payment to the contractor until he fixed it (the law in NJ).

  25. gary says:

    Home values in the region dropped 2.9 percent from January 2011 to January 2012.

    Sellers, let me translate this for you. That price tag of $618,000 you’ve had on your house for the last few years will now warrant the same disappointment sitting at $599,000. All those scant and insulting offers unacceptable to you will simply became scant and insulting at a lower price level. The same indifference that occurred on the way up, will now be experienced on the way down.

  26. Brass Balls says:

    Yes in my town you need permits to renovate a kitchen. However, you only need a Certificate of Occupancy to sell house.

    Lets say you have a one bathroom house and hire someone to renovate existing bathroom and build a new second bathroom and you do it with no permits.

    Five years late you sell home, bank comes in and says house is listed as one bathroom but you have two bathrooms. I need a CO for that second bathroom in order for this house to qualify for a mortgage. Bank could care less about permits for renvated rooms.

    My guy gives two bids on a kitchen renovataion. One with a permit and one without. The permit slows him down as their is paperwork to be filled out, has to wait around for inspectors, plus he passes on fees cost to owner. Secondly, some things, for instance I ressessed a beam requires an architect and he passes that cost on to customer to. Fianally, if he gets a permit the town requires a dumpster on a demo, which costs money and needs a permit and he passes that cost on.

    Guy across street is doing some big project with inspectors, I see the town guy come by stopped work poking around while owner is paying five guys not to work for a few hours. I have a CO for everything on my house. Which is more than must people. But the last permit to do work on my house was in 1969 according to records. Believe me a lot of work was done since 1969. Funny part is I am only neighbor who can rat people out. All my other neighbors have multiple additions, fences, pools without permits so they cant afford to rat anyone out.

    Brian says:
    March 28, 2012 at 9:55 am
    19 –

    Also, I’m not sure what the requirements for a CO is in your town but it’s my understanding, where I live, most any work done by a contractor requires a permit and an inspection.

    Again, this is because an inspector is supposed to assure that work done on a home is to code so that a contractor or homeowner did not take shortcuts, that may endanger the residents or your neighbors. If you use the wrong plumbing fixture in the wrong situation, you could cause a siphon and poison the water supply. If you use the wrong grade of wire in a situation it could cause a fire or danger of electrocution. If you use the wrong size drywall screw, it might penetrate a stud into where an electrical wire is present, etc.

    Much of this seems to have been forgotten, however. Case in point…the contractor I hired to add our bathroom last summer was very cozy with the township and has done a lot of work in town. That’s one of the reasons I chose him. I thought the process would go more smoothly than the last guy I hired. I noticed, at the end of the inspection, however, that the contractor just laid the bathroom vent fan’s exaust pipe in the soffit. He swore to me that would be okay. When the inspector came, he told me how he knew my contractor and trusted his work. He was about ready to hand me a pass sticker for his work. I pointed out the vent fan, which I really DID want vented completely outside (risk of mold etc.) and he said yeah, that is not to code. He went on to say, “what I’m supposed to do is turn on the fan, listen that it comes on, then go outside and make sure the exaust opens, confirming that he routed the exaust properly.”

    I asked the inspector to fail him, so that i did not have to make final payment to the contractor until he fixed it (the law in NJ).

  27. sh1tting skittles says:

    we should change the name of this blog to

    angrysadistichousingbearsthathopehousingmarketscontinuetodecline.com

    with links to that guy from fight club’s blog.

  28. Ghost of NJREREPORT says:

    Nom,

    Have you gotten any nompounds put together yet, or are you still in the planning & pitching phase?

  29. Brian says:

    Town requred us to have both. Inspections were for building, pluming, electrical, plus final inspection. It was quick. Contractor was working multiple jobs at a time anyway, so he just worked on another job during the inspection.

    Finally, CO was issued at the end. (And of course, my new and improved tax bill)

    Also, in order to sell a house in my town, you must also have the town come out and look at your house, then issue a CO.

    27.Brass Balls says:
    March 28, 2012 at 10:25 am
    Yes in my town you need permits to renovate a kitchen. However, you only need a Certificate of Occupancy to sell house.

  30. gary says:

    skittles [28],

    We’re just play by play announcers; we have no effect on the final score.

  31. freedy says:

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/nj_tax_appeals_settlements_cos.html

    Wondering if this has anything remotely to do with NJ being the highest taxed in the
    country?

    31 abbott districts and growing ,its for the kids

  32. sh1tting skittles says:

    Really?

    Post 26 is clearly someone taking a confrontational and condecending tone. Doesn’t seem like unbiased reporting to me.

    31.gary says:
    March 28, 2012 at 10:43 am
    skittles [28],

    We’re just play by play announcers; we have no effect on the final score.

  33. gary says:

    skittles [33],

    Well, you thought wrong. I’ll make sure you see the difference between condescending/confrontational and play by play.

  34. gary says:

    As communities have been forced to shell out millions in tax refunds over the past few years, local officials warn the loss of revenue has to be made up somehow, which ultimately means higher taxes.

    “Think of it like the scale of justice. On one side is the tax base and the other is the ratable base,” Neely said. “If the tax base goes down, gets lighter, the rate has to get heavier to balance it. When people are appealing their taxes, they say: ‘I’m going to pay less taxes.’ But in the end, as towns adjust, they might end up paying more.”

    Any questions?

  35. Brass Balls says:

    Lets say 20% win their grievance and town has to raise tax rate to cover loss. That tax rate increase is spread across 100% of people. So it would appear the people who won only have to pay 1/5 of the tax rate hike. But wait there have a lower assessed value than the other 80% of people. So more like 1/6 of new tax hike they have to pay.

    In this scenario by not grieving your taxes rise. You need to grieve to keep up with neighbors who grieve.

    Well lets say you house is assessed at 290K and all neighbors are assessed at 300K and you dont grieve. Wrong move. What if all nieghbors grieve and win a reduction down to 250K value, now you are highest assessed house and tax rate shift makes you house the highest taxed.

    My house was lowest assessed house on my block and I grieved. Why because I dont know what neighbors are doing. If they all grieve and I dont grieve and they all win I could end up being highest taxed. The game has begun where towns let you grieve every year.

    This is a game that will drive people who dont grieve into massive higher taxes down the road, causes towns to start borrowing to pay off tax reductions and will increase staffing costs. It is a bad game to start.

    gary says:
    March 28, 2012 at 11:19 am
    As communities have been forced to shell out millions in tax refunds over the past few years, local officials warn the loss of revenue has to be made up somehow, which ultimately means higher taxes.

    “Think of it like the scale of justice. On one side is the tax base and the other is the ratable base,” Neely said. “If the tax base goes down, gets lighter, the rate has to get heavier to balance it. When people are appealing their taxes, they say: ‘I’m going to pay less taxes.’ But in the end, as towns adjust, they might end up paying more.”

    Any questions?

  36. seif says:

    “Home prices in the region have dropped 25 percent since the market peak in mid-2006, and are now at the levels of late 2003.”

    how do you determine the 2003 price level of a home?

  37. sh1tting skittles says:

    Yes teacher. I have a question.

    In an article that describes scores of people overwhelming a township by appealing their taxes and “winning”, why is it you chose to quote the angry “local officials” who are losing revenue and threatening to raise the rate?

    Can you also tell us what spin and bias means?

    35.gary says:
    March 28, 2012 at 11:19 am
    As communities have been forced to shell out millions in tax refunds over the past few years, local officials warn the loss of revenue has to be made up somehow, which ultimately means higher taxes.

    “Think of it like the scale of justice. On one side is the tax base and the other is the ratable base,” Neely said. “If the tax base goes down, gets lighter, the rate has to get heavier to balance it. When people are appealing their taxes, they say: ‘I’m going to pay less taxes.’ But in the end, as towns adjust, they might end up paying more.”

    Any questions?

  38. sh1tting skittles says:

    What might happen vs. what actually happened…hmmmm

  39. Nicholas says:

    Skittles,

    I’m not sure Gary is that far off. In 2007 I made some lowball offers on homes that rejected my offers. I checked up on those homes and noticed that the sale price was often below my lowball offer some many months later. Even if the home sold for purchase price it did so a year or more later, carring costs are not illusiory and the seller lost money.

    Gary does always have a very dramatic tone and a penchant for repeating the same information every time he notices data that confirms his suspicions.

    Gary, I would caution about selection bias. Because you have a hypothesis that housing will continue to go down you only remember data that confirms that thesis. I challenge you to look at all data objectionately and then come to an independent conclusion.

    The data that I’m looking at show that we have several major factors that will affect housing in the future. I’m just unsure about how much they will affect and if positive forces will overcome these factors.

    1. Forclosure Gate – Forclosures are on the rise in Judicial Forclosure states due to settlement on bad behavoir by banks. These state AGs highlighted the behavior that they wanted stopped and now the banks are moving forward with forclosures under these new constraints. These new “distressed” homes on the market will increase supply.

    2. Continued weak employment data. The employment data is showing that while the unemployment rate is decreasing the number and quality of jobs being created leave lots to be desired for younger workers. Younger workers make up the majority of new household formation. Without them move up buyers not being created.

    3. Tight credit standards. Many are balking at the tightened credit standards which haven’t been seen in nearly a generation. We all agree this is how it needs to be done, safely and prudently, but the younger generation doesn’t understand that borrowing a lifetime of earnings requires a financial strip-search. Many either cannot withstand the withering gaze or will not subject themselves to such treatment. They will go without housing until they absoulutely have not other options.

    4. Housing starts have remained extremely low for two years. There is some thought that there is a natural destruction rate for older homes. There is also a rate of new household formation. When housing starts go to near zero then natural destructiona nd household formation can only consume existing supply. The overhang will eventually be consumed by these forces and we will start to see a rise in deman for new homes. The rise in new homes will likely mark a point when existing supply cannot keep up with demand. We haven’t yet seen a huge rise in new homes yet.

    5. Individual Investor (homeowner) confidence in the housing market is at lows. Just like the irrational exuberance that blew up the bubble we could/can see a dip below historic prices even when adjusted for inflation. I have heard many times in the last year that housing is a bad investment and that we should buy a house from people who I consider sheep on the issue. Not that they are not intelligent, they just haven’t thought through the issue completely and are going on gut instinct. If gut instinct is still telling sheeple that housing is a bad investment then we still have a ways further to drop before bottom. Investor sentiment is negative.

    There are some positives and negatives in the list above, but overall the negatives seem to be driving the market lower. I looked at the February numbers and they looked bad and I will be watching the March numbers here shortly as well. Whatever happens try to not succumb to selection bias.

  40. sh1tting skittles says:

    Everyone, no need to be so formal and use my last name. Let’s be friends here. Please, call me Sh1t.

  41. gary says:

    skittles,

    Can you also tell us what spin and bias means?

    Yes, this is the method by which democrats use to secure votes and to dupe the masses into believing that they have their best interests at heart.

    In an article that describes scores of people overwhelming a township by appealing their taxes and “winning”, why is it you chose to quote the angry “local officials” who are losing revenue and threatening to raise the rate?

    Because at the end of the day, the taxman always wins and you’re powerless to do anything about it. Come he11 or high water, you’re going to pay for bloated waste, redundancy, complacency, outrageous pensions, assistants, assistants to the assistants, self-appointed positions and nepotism.

  42. chicagofinance says:

    gary: what about cronyism? You suffer from selection bias…..

  43. chicagofinance says:

    gary: also unchecked stupidity…..you forgot that one…..it can be a really expensive

  44. gary says:

    Nicholas [40],

    I challenge you to look at all data objectionately and then come to an independent conclusion.

    I have come to an independent conclusion: prices are down 25% from peak and still going, property taxes have doubled and continue to rise unabated, job security is becoming extinct and base salaries are a percentage of what they used to be.

  45. gary says:

    chifi [43],

    I had cronyism in there and took it out. I didn’t want to be (ahem…) condescending.

  46. Nicholas says:

    Gary,

    These are numbers encouraging for housing starts from the builders. These numbers won’t have made it into the census bureau numbers yet.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/03/housing-toll-brothers-orders-up.html

    With many builders saying that new homes sales are up that means that we could be close to an end in the shadow inventory. I would caution to look a few months to see if this data holds up because the warmer spring could have pulled forward demand. If they have lackluster march and april then we will know that it was the unseasonably warm winter.

    I consider this positive data. If someone knows of a breakdown by state or MSA for the builders then I would like to look over the data myself. I’m on the hunt now.

  47. 3b says:

    #3 Nicholas: I qualified for FHA because I have serious reservations about putting my 20% cash down. Qualifying was incredibly easy. I am looking at the purchase as a long term rental, nothing more. I am still not sure which way to go FHA 80/10/10 etc.

    My sweet rental deal where I am is coming to an end; in fact he told me nicely in a round about way that he wants me to go, and his next call to me will I believe make it official. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that one of owners kids is taking a 100K loss on their condo they bought 4 years ago (in a nice NY suburb), and they are now buying a house, and I guess the owner wants to help the kid out.

    So what to do? Too young the condo townhouse thing. Rent again? Could do that, but than there is the risk of having to move every couple of years, dont want to live like nomads, so we are looking to buy.

    I am probably guilty of the selective bias label at times, but to address your above points I do not see anything on the horizon that would indicate that prices will not fall any more.

    Not only that but we have heard the same story for the last few years only to find out the turn around in housing is not happening. Plus those that are cheerleading the so called recovery/bottom, have much more of a vested interest in peddling this story, than those who say prices will continue to fall.

  48. gary says:

    Nicholas [47],

    New housing starts… understood. It’s what builders do, they build houses. As for North Jersey, it doesn’t apply, there’s no place left to build. The bulk of the discussion here concentrates on existing house resale. I get what you’re saying. As for the shadow inventory, I don’t think it’s even hit the street yet in our neck of the woods.

  49. Libtard and the City says:

    On the topic of permits. This is a Captain Cheapo specialty. As you all know, we purchased our Glen Ridge fixer upper at such a great price that it freed up some capital to redo our kitchen, two bathrooms and to convert a former back sun-porch into the eat-in area of our kitchen (with a southeast exposure to boot). Well, we went with Mikeinperpetualwaiting’s recommendation with a contractor named Brian and he suggested we pull self-permits to avoid future tax and selling problems, but it would significantly reduce the cost of the permits. Well it sure did. Brian became ‘my cousin’ for the next six months. When it came to the electrical drawings, you should have seen the crude plans I submitted. I’m not sure if the inspector would have scrutinized them more if I went with a ‘real’ contractor, but my initial drawing called for two ceiling fans six outlets and five high hats. By the time we were done, the plans had completely changed as we doubled all of these as well as completely changed most of the locations for these circuits and switches. When the electric inspector came, I don’t think he ever looked at our plans. He certainly didn’t question any of the changes. As long as we were to code, we were golden!

    Our best move had to do with our water closet (room with a toilet, no sink). When the assessor came through, she wrote that we had a sink in the bathroom, when there clearly wasn’t. What there was, was a perfect location for one, but we sheet-rocked all of the pipes into the wall. I had her look again and she apologized for her error. She asked me why we didn’t install one since there’s a perfect spot for it to which I said, “I unfortunately, ran out of money.”

    The next day, the sink went in.

    So we’re covered from a retroactive tax standpoint, we are covered from a safety standpoint and the cost of permits was really low.

  50. grim says:

    47 – New construction development a mile or so from me (new cul de sac off of Black Oak Ridge across from the farm) has already sold 8 out of the 10 homes they are building (construction started this year). I think the main reason is the very aggressive pricing, $599k to start. For new construction in North Jersey, and closer than Sussex or Sparta, these are numbers we haven’t seen in a long time. Not small homes either, at least 3,500sq+. Based on the new construction that was taking place at peak, these places would have been priced closer to the 900k mark.

  51. grim says:

    50 – Your mileage may vary, Wayne wouldn’t let me self-submit my electrical, they kept rejecting my permit apps and giving me quizzes about electrical code. My cousin, an actual electrician, was outraged, since he’d never, ever, been asked for anything of the sort. He stamped my permits, no questions asked further. Same for plumbing, except they initially rejected based on the estimated cost of work. They didn’t care that my uncle was doing the work for me, they said it needed to reflect market pricing, as the permit pricing was based off total cost as well.

    JJ – Regarding engineering, town initially wanted engineering to be provided on the exterior french drain. They wouldn’t approve without it. My wife stormed in and demanded to know why, for every code the town engineer cited, she had a completely valid rebuttal. In fact, she specifically highlighted and called out one particular code he cited incorrectly. We had our engineering approvals that day.

  52. 3b says:

    #50 Lib:The next day, the sink went in.

    Thank God!!! You had me worried there for a minute!!! I have seen houses with just a toilet and no sink, (quarter baths I believe some call them) Always disgusts me!!!

  53. gary says:

    grim [51],

    599K for brand new and 3500sq. ft. to boot! What does that do for comps on existing?

  54. Libtard and the City says:

    And what are the property taxes on those behemoths.

    This prompted me to look at the Christopher Court McMansions that sold for around a million each in late 2007 in Montclair. The worst one is down 36% in assessed value. The best one around 25% loss. Taxes average about $25,000 on all of them which have an average lot size of (get this) 6,000 square feet.

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I was looking up an old colleague and tried to bring up my old firm’s website. Got a message saying “website not found”

    I got really excited. Later, I retried and got the website.

    My hopes were dashed. I really thought they’d implode and not finding the website was the proof. Alas, no.

  56. All Hype says:

    599K for brand new and 3500sq. ft. to boot!

    $170 per sq/ft. Very cheap. Hopefully they do not cut a lot of corners.

    Gary you are correct, this is undercutting existing homes in the area.

    Grim, I do not get really excited as housing starts can be digging a hole of putting in a road. I have seen the results of housing starts not finishing in Merced and Modesto, CA. Imagine 500 acres of roads, light poles and a few abandoned half finished houses.

  57. plume (15)-

    Me. But only if I get to kill the producer in the final scene.

    “Toward that end, I may see if I can get on “Doomsday Preppers”. Anyone want to be on the show with me?”

  58. Nicholas (40)-

    I’d call a five-year trend more than a case of selection bias. All the data over that time period confirms Gary’s thesis (which, since it’s fact, isn’t really a thesis).

    “Gary, I would caution about selection bias. Because you have a hypothesis that housing will continue to go down you only remember data that confirms that thesis.”

    Doom is nigh. No one will be spared.

  59. NWNJHighlander says:

    once including the transaction costs, the Black Oak Ridge new construction is still over $205/ft if you don’t add any upgrades at all.

  60. Nicholas says:

    I don’t live in NNJ but I’m familiar with the area. I think that Grim pointed out that new homes were going up near him which indicated pretty solidly that there are places to build.

    If a new home goes up within 30-50 miles of you then to me that is competition. That means that NNJ is also in competion with NY and other surrounding areas on housing as well. I think that the argument is valid regardless of where you live. There is housing stock destruction and housing stock additions. Cover that with existing households, household destruction and household formation and that tells you the overhang. These are the numbers that the builders are looking at.

    If there are no new homes being built in the area it is because home builders have calculated that the existing housing stock exceeds demand and they back off. When housing starts begin to pick up in your area then reexamine your data to see if there hasn’t been a change from buyer to seller market.

  61. I once went to a Black Oak Arkansas concert.

  62. Captain Sunshine says:

    Oh Mr. Meaty man! You made a joke! You are so funny. You made us all laugh.

    I will stop by your City of Jersey today and we can have a tickle fight! Wheeeeeeee

  63. Nicholas says:

    Meat,

    Housing always went up. Until it didn’t.

    The same can be said for “housing always goes down”, until it doesn’t.

  64. Nicholas (61)-

    I have never encountered a homebuilder (either individual or publicly-traded) that possesses the intelligence required to actually do what you say. Virtually all of them are lemming-like in their behavior. They build and build, all the way off a cliff sometimes.

    “If there are no new homes being built in the area it is because home builders have calculated that the existing housing stock exceeds demand and they back off.”

  65. Nicholas (64)-

    It’s going to be a long, long time until it doesn’t.

  66. Pay your tax bill, mf’er!

  67. Brian says:

    Meat, do you own a lot of gold?

  68. Brian (68)-

    That, and firearms.

  69. No recovery. No chance. No way. Next stop: hell.

    “We can reduce the federal government to a glorified assisted living facility and we still wouldn’t be able to balance the budget.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/how-fund-government-year

  70. Nicholas says:

    Meat,

    I don’t think you understand selection bias. I’m not saying that your conclusion is wrong. I agree with you, we will likely see further price declines this year. What I’m saying is be careful of letting selection bias creep in.

    Perhaps I didn’t explain selection bias very well. This site might help.

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

    Specifically I’m suggesting that you should be aware of data bias – Rejection of “bad” data on arbitrary grounds, instead of according to previously stated or generally agreed criteria.

    I’m proposing that you list out the fundamental factors that affect housing and then collect ALL data regarding those factors and weigh it according to merit. Don’t throw out data because it is from a specific source (e.g. NAR, Gov, Homebuilders, municipalities) because you think they are innately dishonest.

    I attempted to list the most important factors affecting housing as we move forward from here. I then look for data, good and bad, that tells me how to weigh those factors in making an assessment.

    My assessment of those factors indicates that there is an overhang of housing, individual investor confidence is low, financing is tough to get outside of government subsidy, and jobs and income are scarce for first time homebuyers.

  71. Brian says:

    That’s cool. My wife won’t let me bring guns anywhere near our house. I guess I understand knowing how our toddler is. He gets into everything.

    My Dad bought gold at like $300 an ounce. He sold it when it doubled. I thought he did pretty well. I never thought I’d see it get to $1700 an ounce.

    What’s your plan if people move money to other assett classes? Wouldn’t it be bad for you if gold prices moved the way they did in the early 1980’s?

    69.There Went Meat says:
    March 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm
    Brian (68)-

    That, and firearms.

  72. Nicholas says:

    Meat,

    I stand my ground on selection bias. Your statement is a prime example of selection bias. Data is data. If they say home sales are up 30% then does it matter if they are lemmings? You cannot disregard this data just because they are lemmings.

    I have never encountered a homebuilder (either individual or publicly-traded) that possesses the intelligence required to actually do what you say. Virtually all of them are lemming-like in their behavior. They build and build, all the way off a cliff sometimes.

    What I do is then go out to other sources to confirm the data if I have reason to believe that it is suspect. Here is a graph from the census bureau of new single family homes for sale. As I stated before this chart will not reflect February data for another month or so but this could be a very good sign, we have to keep an eye on this trend.

    http://www.census.gov/briefrm/esbr/www/esbr051.html

    From this chart it shows me that housing stock is still in an overhang.

  73. Libtard and the City says:

    Is Nicholas trying to be Clot’s fairy godmother?

    Captain Sunshine, what say you?

    And speaking of selection bias… I think I found JJ’s facebook page.

    http://tinyurl.com/jj-on-facebook

  74. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [5];

    [analysis of mortgage application data]

    What about the purchase apps that go nowhere? Where are those reflected in the data?

  75. Anon E. Moose says:

    3b [16];

    Many of these older people are stuck because they are stuck on getting peak bubble prices, and refuse to give their house away. They stubornly wait for prices to come back, and that is the problem. The prices are not coming back to bubble levels

    +1

  76. Libtard and the City says:

    “My Dad bought gold at like $300 an ounce. He sold it when it doubled. I thought he did pretty well. I never thought I’d see it get to $1700 an ounce.”

    Here’s some perspective (channeling JJ).

    When I was a kid, Bazooka Bubble Gum cost 2 cents a piece. Gold cost $150 per ounce.

    Today, that same piece of Bazooka cost 20 to 25 cents depending on where you buy it.

    You would have done just as well hording bubble gum.

  77. Libtard and the City says:

    “Many of these older people are stuck because they are stuck on getting peak bubble prices, and refuse to give their house away”

    My parents finally gave in and are selling their active adult home down in Jackson NJ, for more than 40% less than what they were offered for it back in 2009 when they first weighed offers on it. They have finally come to the realization that what they lost in gains in NJ will be equal to the discount they’ll receive when they purchase their final resting place (home) in Florida.

  78. grim says:

    Did a little more digging on the new construction, here are the stats:

    2 Farm View – $559,950 (List) – UC on 2/27/12 – 2769sqft
    3 Farm View – $619,950 (List) – UC on 3/22/12 – 3010sqft
    4 Farm View – $699,950 (List) – UC on 3/12/12 – 3550sqft
    5 Farm View – $669,950 (List) – UC on 2/15/12 – 3278sqft
    7 Farm View – $639,950 (List) – UC on 2/22/12 – 3010sqft
    9 Farm View – $629,950 (List) – UC on 2/7/12 – 2769sqft
    8 Farm View – $649,950 (List) – Still Available – 3264sqft
    (I believe 6 may still be under construction)

    Sorry guys, that’s bordering on crazy levels of activity. They put the sign up in late fall and started building this year. Just about all gone, like I mentioned above.

    You sure all builders are idiots? They bought the 4.5 acre lot for $995,000 in December of 2010 and subdivided into 10 individual parcels. By my calculations, the builder might clear close to a million dollars in profit here.

  79. Nicholas says:

    I believe that there are some smaller builders that got hit hard because they didn’t see the writing on the wall. The larger builders survived because they had buffers and adapted. That implies that someone is thinking.

  80. Nicholas says:

    Grim,

    Did you estimate the carrying costs for 1 million dollars tied up for over a year. Factor in the costs for water, sewer, roads? Materials and workers wages to finish the homes? My guess is that it is probably a lot less profit then you can imagine.

    Unless you have your own startup capital.

  81. nwnj says:

    Question for everyone, is the board recommendation of first valley for financing still standing? Thanks.

  82. grim says:

    Speaking of new construction, I have a feeling towns are going to become a little bit more receptive to infill development like this as a way to expand the tax base.

    In the example above, the taxes on the property were $46,890 a year. Those houses will easily be $15,000 per, which increases the tax rolls for the property to $150,000, triple the previous amount.

  83. seif says:

    anybody? how would i find out the 2003 level price for homes that I am looking at today?

    seif says:
    March 28, 2012 at 11:35 am
    “Home prices in the region have dropped 25 percent since the market peak in mid-2006, and are now at the levels of late 2003.”

    how do you determine the 2003 price level of a home?

  84. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [79];

    Right on 202 — low lying area, no? I don’t see much elevation to the river.

  85. nwnj says:

    #84 – Find comps that sold around that time?

  86. Brian says:

    That statement was probably made while looking at nationwide price trends. Robert Schiller’s is one graph. I’m not sure there’s a simple answer. It probably involves mind blowing mathematics and the services of a yale professor.

    http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller/

    84.seif says:
    March 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm
    anybody? how would i find out the 2003 level price for homes that I am looking at today?

    seif says:
    March 28, 2012 at 11:35 am
    “Home prices in the region have dropped 25 percent since the market peak in mid-2006, and are now at the levels of late 2003.”

    how do you determine the 2003 price level of a home?

  87. nwnj says:

    #87 – Not at all. Just look for houses with similar charactersistics(lot size, sq ft, pool, etc.) in the area that you’re looking that sold in 2003. http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin/prc6.cgi?menu=index&ms_user=glou&passwd=data&district=0801&mode=11

  88. seif says:

    i am having trouble finding them in that year in the areas that I am looking…a lot of ’05, ’06, ’07, etc. i was wondering if there was some other way to come up with a realistic price.

  89. Brian says:

    Yep, that would be an educated guess. It might give seif an idea of what to use for a potential bid. Still a bit of a guessing game though. I had a GSMLS realtor login at one time. That would be an ideal tool.

    88.nwnj says:
    March 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm
    #87 – Not at all. Just look for houses with similar charactersistics(lot size, sq ft, pool, etc.) in the area that you’re looking that sold in 2003. http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin/prc6.cgi?menu=index&ms_user=glou&passwd=data&district=0801&mode=11

  90. grim says:

    81 – I factored in $50k carrying costs, $150k for the initial site prep, $100k salary for the project manager, still leaves me looking at about a million in profit. The price per square foot I used for the build is in-line with good quality construction. Judging from what I’ve seen them building, they aren’t stucco crapshacks.

    85 – No, the water never even made it to the post office on Pompton during the worst floods last year. What you can’t see on the map is that all the homes are up on a hill overlooking the farm, it’s actually a decent view and a nice looking neighborhood. The only real negative is that you are off Black Oak, so the neighborhood is basically self contained to the street.

    The buyers all got good deals, these homes SLAM recent comps hard, and the builder made good money.

  91. grim says:

    seif – How do you know whether the 2003 price is too high or too low? Base your bid on recent comps. I can show you plenty of homes that sold for significantly under their “2003 price”, so you’d be overpaying if that was the case.

  92. seif says:

    92 – i totally agree. i am not making any bid but i was just curious where these houses fit in with the statements you always hear like “back to 2003 levels” or “NNJ has dropped 25% from peak.”

  93. seif says:

    a couple houses i have looked at are priced ABOVE the price they were bought for in 2005-2007! they have both made updates and improvements but they just haven’t got the memo about prices being at 2003 levels now or down 25% from peak. i just don’t get it….and the worst part will be when someone actually jumps in and buys them for close to the listing prices or maybe 10% lower.

  94. grim says:

    93 – Problematic due to a number of factors. Individual differences in areas: The level of declines seen in say, Paterson, are significantly greater than declines seen in Short Hills. Differences in price levels (look at the Case Shiller Tiered indexes). Improvements made to the property in the past (almost) 10 years. Changes to the local neighborhood that impact property values (for example, a number of neighbors remodeled significantly, or a neighbor let their home go to crap), etc.

  95. 3b says:

    #83 grim: River Edge just did their reassesment. Apparently alot of the Mc Mansions built in the last few years on 50×100, or 75X100 lots (some even smaller) were paying in the neighborhood of 14k to 18K.

    The town believed the older homes were subsidizing the Mc M’s. Now many of these McM’s are going to being anywhere from 20K to 30K a year in property taxes.

    There are those who now believe this will kill the tear down rebuild with Mc Mansion activity. There are those who believe people won’t pay 20k to 30K a year in taxes to live in River Edge in a Mc Mansion on a small lot.

  96. grim says:

    For example, based on the most recent Case Shiller tiered index for the NY Commuter area:

    Homes Under $272875 – Down 32% from Peak

    Homes $272875 – $434818 – Down 28% from Peak

    Homes Over $434818 – Down 20% from Peak

    Overall Market – Down 25% from Peak

  97. Brass Balls says:

    75×100 is considered an oversized lot in most of Bergan County, Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County. It deserves high taxes. I know plenty of folk making well over 500K living in plots under that size.

  98. 3b says:

    #78 Lib: The old timers seem to be the worst in trying to explain to them the party is over. Also they always complain that the country is in a mess, yet when you try to explain to them that a large part of the mess was due to the housing bubble madness they don’t want to listen.

    I have a family member who has been trying to sell for 2.5 years!!! In all fairness I don’t think it is this person’s fault, but rather the kid who is selling it.

    Had no offers for two years, finally got an all cash offer for 100k less than their asking price. The house was purchased for 50k, 30 odd years ago. They turned the offer down!!!! 6 months later the house is still sitting there!!!

  99. 3b says:

    #98 75×100 is considered an oversized lot in most of Bergan County.

    Put a Mc Mansion on it, and the lot is tiny. Many of them do not even have room for a patio or deck. Who wants to BBQ and sit out on their driveway.

  100. seif says:

    i understand that there are too many moving parts to blanket every house with those same figures but here is an example:

    a home that traded for $725K in 2005, owner put in $100K of work (new kitchen, finished basement, 2 average bathroom updates).

    so, figure you give them a GENEROUS $75K back on those upgrades (just for argument sake) and you are looking at $800K. knock off the 20% decline from peak and you are looking at $640K….the house is listed at $785K today.

  101. Fabius Maximus says:

    #42 gary

    “Yes, this is the method by which democrats use to secure votes and to dupe the masses into believing that they have their best interests at heart. ”

    So where do “death panels” and”class warfare” fit in to that diatribe or are you giving the GOP a pass as usual?

  102. Libtard and the City says:

    seif…Welcome to reality. Buy a fixer upper. Do the bathrooms and kitchens how you would like them. The only people selling homes at decent prices are the ones who didn’t waste their money on upgrades. Oh…and it might STILL take you three years to find one priced fairly. That’s nearly how long it took us.

    On the tree removal front. Trusty Tree of Glen Ridge absolutely kicked @ss. I give them my full-fledged, Captain Cheapo, 3-coupon recommendation.

  103. grim says:

    101 – Given the situation, the asking price probably has more to do with what the owner can afford to sell it for, not its current value.

  104. Libtard and the City says:

    I was looking forward to the death panels. I still don’t know why it’s OK to euthanize our pets, but we must all pay to replace Grandpa’s heart at 105.

  105. Fabius Maximus says:

    JJ

    The problem with your CO strategy is that the inspectors now realize their pension is on the line if the screw up so they are now being extra careful. My friend just sold and got shafted for non permits on stuff that was “missed” on the last CO. Worst part is that he had to bring stuff done in the 80’s up to today’s code.

    So lets hope that when you come to see you don’t have to rip all the sheet rock off that addition to replace the electric cable with the new color coded wire required by today’s code. If the permits were done properly, a lot of stuff can get grandfathered.

  106. 3b says:

    Here is what 15K a year in property taxes can get you in the land of the Unicorns. The tax records indicate that the information was updated on March 9th. I do not know if that means it reflects the reassesment, and the taxes may be lower. Even if they are lower , by what 2 or 3k maybe at the most? Still an ugly yearly tax bill; not t0 mention the house needs a ton of work.

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1210976&dayssince=&countysearch=false

  107. gary says:

    Fabius [102],

    Ahh… yes… thanks for reminding me. That’s correct. Without class warfare, the democrats can’t manufacture selective outrage; thus, no voting block. And the death panel thing? Well, I’m sure the commrades working for the local politboro health clinic will show compassion when selecting who gets the medicine ration and who doesn’t.

  108. seif says:

    103/104 – i have been in that reality…going on my 3rd year as a renter after selling my NYC apartment (FSBO, no broker). I have been patiently waiting and biding my time. i am sure in some cases the owner cannot afford to go lower or they are looking at bringing cash to the closing….just seems like stalling on the inevitable.

  109. Libtard and the City says:

    Either their stuck, or they’ll foreclose.

  110. Fabius Maximus says:

    #80 nicholas

    Builders survived because they are able to control the burn rate of their cash. Undeveloped land doesn’t have the same tax hit and they can always sell to raise cash. Inventory is not a problem as at the worst they can offload at cost and then build to spec.

  111. xolepa says:

    (83)
    Until you consider those 10 houses may be sending an average of 1.5 kids thru the school system. At minimum $12k per kid, thats $120k in extra school costs the taxpayers have to shoulder. Who wins? The builder, of course. Our town fathers figured the math out years ago. That’s why most of the zoning here is now minimum 8 acres per house. Ordinances were always passed around holiday season, when the councilmen/women knew the builders were out of town on vacation.

  112. xolepa says:

    make that $180k not 120. And I’m a math major

  113. grim says:

    So, what you are saying is, existing landowners and their families should lose the value of their investments through restrictive zoning, simply because they didn’t sell out when everyone else did? How is that fair? How long did the previous owner of that property shoulder $47,000 a year taxes for? All the while sending no kids to school. So, where exactly, did that money go? Clearly, the town had no issues collecting that amount based on the “value” of the property. Likewise, all other taxpayers had no issue being subsidized by that property for years.

    Secondly, are you sure you are looking at the right problem. You don’t think $12k per pupil is a bit out of line? How many kids does California send to the Ivy Leagues every year for half of that?

  114. gary says:

    Catholic schools educate a kid at around $4000 per year and are better prepared than most public “institutions”. Shh!!! Don’t let the proletarians find out, they may be get p1ssed at the NJEA and charge with pitch forks!

  115. grim says:

    I guess NJ is the only place in the world where economies of scale actually work in reverse.

    I think we might be better off if Farm View just secedes from Wayne and becomes it’s own township, they can certainly do it cheaper.

  116. Fabius Maximus says:

    #108 gary

    Yup, a big pass as usual.
    The GOP have been running on selective outrage for years. I do love that this years wedge issue has blow up in their face. I can’t wait for November to see the breakdown of the GOP female vote and see how hard the reproductive rights argument has hit them.

  117. xolepa says:

    This is a small portion taken off DataUniverse and the numbers are over 3 years old:

    NJ School District Per-Pupil Costs, 2005-2009

    District cost
    per pupil**

    State average cost per pupil

    Percent
    above/below
    Hunterdon Alexandria Twp GH 0708 $11,560 $11,521 0.3%
    Hunterdon Bethlehem Twp I 0708 $12,626 $11,521 9.6%
    Hunterdon Bloomsbury Boro GH 0708 $11,154 $12,776 -12.7%
    Hunterdon Califon Boro I 0708 $13,448 $11,521 16.7%
    Hunterdon Clinton Town I 0708 $11,530 $11,521 0.1%
    Hunterdon Clinton Twp I 0708 $11,420 $11,521 -0.9%
    Hunterdon Delaware Twp GH 0708 $14,217 $11,521 23.4%
    Hunterdon Delaware Valley Regional GH 0708 $13,988 $13,106 6.7%
    Hunterdon East Amwell Twp I 0708 $12,098 $11,521 5.0%
    Hunterdon Flemington-Raritan Reg I 0708 $11,712 $11,521 1.7%

    This is NJ, baby. and NNJ is even worse, I would assume. I’m probably saying mostly unfair but who said life was fair. The local sheep farmer/neighbor made sheep dung pies and brought them to the council meeting when they voted to up the minimum zoning. He knew he was screwed. On the other hand, another family sold their development rights for $500,000 on their 300 acre farm here 15 years ago. To them, it was fair.

    And that Ivy League remark is quite funny, though. My oldest, Ivy League Grad has two close friends from Cal who went to school with him. My middle son, a soon to be Ivy grad also has a girl friend from Cal, also same school. Never discussed property taxes with them, though.

  118. Fabius Maximus says:

    #115 gary

    Catholic schools are for the most part tax exempt and even with that are closing in record numbers because the dioceses and the parishes can’t afford to subsidize them any more.

    The $4K is not even close to the cost of running the school even with the cheaper salaries, but don’t let that get in the way of your argument.

  119. Nicholas (71)-

    You forget how long I was in the belly of the beast. The calls I make on housing are not for shock value; I make them because I’ve seen the fraud, insolvency and worthless paper. It is exponentially worse than anything we’ve been told…and the same cretins who built the doomsday machine are now bigger and more powerful than when they nearly destroyed the world.

    Next time around, it won’t be a Lehman-sized event. It will be a literal cataclysm.

  120. Brian (72)-

    I think the only major movement of gold before another parabolic rise will be liquidation to meet margin calls when everything else collapses. My guess is that will be the last BTFD moment.

  121. Nicholas (73)-

    Wake me up when all that crap closes title.

  122. Brass Balls says:

    I have a CO for everything in my house. If you look at my title all COs match. Plus all work done to code.

    Stuff like my bathroom having separate hot and cold faucets and no regulator to prevent you from getting scalded if someone flushes toliet are all ok as I have COs from back before that was a requirement. Plus since I have everything to code I wont have an inspector in my house if I sell. I hate to get hung up selling my house if I sell.

    I co’d everything when I bought house. The guy had money in escrow. I self reported every thing. Even work that was done 20 years ago. Stuff I do for instance is I have a permit for a 21 round pool. When I replaced it I did another 21 foot pool. If not it does not match orginal survey that shows 21 foot pool or orginal permit from 21 foot pool. That way I am grandfather back to when pool was put in. 1982. Replace identical to orginal permit is a strategy I see again and again. Codes from 1982 are loosey goosey next to 2012. You might find changing it slightly or getting a new permit might cost you a lot.

    Fabius Maximus says:
    March 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm
    JJ

    The problem with your CO strategy is that the inspectors now realize their pension is on the line if the screw up so they are now being extra careful. My friend just sold and got shafted for non permits on stuff that was “missed” on the last CO. Worst part is that he had to bring stuff done in the 80′s up to today’s code.

    So lets hope that when you come to see you don’t have to rip all the sheet rock off that addition to replace the electric cable with the new color coded wire required by today’s code. If the permits were done properly, a lot of stuff can get grandfathered.

  123. grim (91)-

    I think a deal such as this one is basically a needle in a haystack in NJ. Most infill is stuff along gas pipelines, near power lines or single lots. That is a coup for the builder, no doubt.

    I wonder how many more sites he has lined up of this quality and potential.

  124. brass (98)-

    I wonder how this comps against a plot at Forest Lawn.

    “75×100 is considered an oversized lot in most of Bergan County, Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County. It deserves high taxes. I know plenty of folk making well over 500K living in plots under that size.”

  125. Whoops, no comp. Living/dead = apples/oranges

  126. Brian says:

    Makes sense though, since you have a position in gold, that you would hope people would be scared of other assetts and flock to gold.

    I’m curious, do you own it as a hedge, or is the majority of your savings invested in it?

    121.There Went Meat says:
    March 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm
    Brian (72)-

    I think the only major movement of gold before another parabolic rise will be liquidation to meet margin calls when everything else collapses. My guess is that will be the last BTFD moment.

  127. Unless you’re of the living dead…

  128. Brian (127)-

    Can’t hedge against Armageddon. I just like owning things that don’t lose what little of their illusory value that still attaches.

  129. BearsFan says:

    120-121 – Meat, you are dead on. Remember, at 50 to 1 right now with gold, silver is your friend.

  130. Fabius Maximus says:

    #119 redux

    Oradell/ River Edge
    Cost per pupil $13,981

    Bergen Catholic (from the web site0
    Tuition for 2012-2013 is $14,055. This covers approximately 85% of the cost of a Bergen Catholic education. Rising costs to provide a Bergen Catholic education necessitate yearly increases in tuition and fees.

  131. grim says:

    124 – It’s all about basis on the lots, I think we can agree on that. At $300k a lot, this development wouldn’t have ever seen the light of day. You couldn’t replicate this model with tear down. I know a few guys looking to assemble parcels in a similar strategy, but that kind of model takes years to pan out.

  132. Fabius Maximus says:

    BTFD only really works when you STFH!

  133. Brian says:

    I guess the point is, if all of your money is invested in gold, and nothing else, I understand why you would constantly post here trying to scare people. It furthers your agenda. Buy more gold. You’ve bet the farm on it.

    Maybe your right, gold could increase in value.

    Just trying to understand where you’re coming from.

    129.There Went Meat says:
    March 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm
    Brian (127)-

    Can’t hedge against Armageddon. I just like owning things that don’t lose what little of their illusory value that still attaches.

  134. bears (130)-

    I never forget hi-ho. It’s sort of like the freebase of PMs, and it’s always nice to own at the beginning of big moves up in the sector.

  135. Brain (134)-

    If you think that I think simply shilling for PMs at this blog will move them one iota, you are dumber than I am.

  136. Brain (134)-

    I’m in gold because I’m out of the game of placing bets.

  137. The casino for placing financial bets has lately been rigged against folks like us.

  138. Jill says:

    3b #107: OMG, that place makes my POS look like a palace. I thought no kitchen could be more heinous than mine.

  139. Brian says:

    shilling for PMs?

  140. Anon E. Moose says:

    Brian [134];

    “Where you sit is where you stand.” I forget who first told me that…

  141. gary says:

    Fabius,

    It’s 3.5K to 4K per student for Catholic elementary school. My wife is a Catholic school teacher for 10 years (6 years public prior to that) plus my kid went to school there. For high school, Paramus Catholic is at 8K, DePaul is around 10K. What’s the price per student in the Abbott districts now… something like 20K plus? Someone here posted it the other day.

  142. Brian says:

    So True

    Anon E. Moose says:
    March 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm
    Brian [134];

    “Where you sit is where you stand.” I forget who first told me that…

  143. Bocephus says:

    129. Guitars, Fast Cars, and a good lookin’ woman.

  144. gary says:

    Fabius,

    I can give a flying f*ck about liberal/conservative social issues… reproductive systems, gay, straight, whatever. I could care less if people want to marry a f*cking pineapple but, don’t ask me to pay for it. When I’m asked to pay for the assistant assistants Superintendents assistant at $140,000 per year or how $878,000,000,000 is going to save the world but I have to pay for it, then that’s when I’m ready to load up. If people want to adhere to a certain ideology, that’s fine. Let them reach into their pockets and ask like-minded souls to contribute as well. I’ll fund my own life style and don’t expect anyone else to pay for it. And I don’t think my Father spent two years on a German border to say “Hail to the Czar.”

  145. Fabius Maximus says:

    #144 gary

    How much subsidy is going into the catholic schools and when they close the doors, where do they relocate the kids to?

    Next up:
    Don Bosco
    Total Cost of Attendance for the 2012-2013 Academic Year:

    Tuition – $12,800.00

    Underclassmen Student Fee – $535.00 (Senior Fee – $785.00)

    Annual Capital Improvement Fee – $500.00

    Registration Fee – $850.00 ($500.00 is credited towards tuition)

    Total – $14,185.00

    The cost of books, advanced texts, religious texts, workbooks, and laboratory fees depends on the student’s course selection for that academic year.

  146. chicagofinance says:

    RE101: You willing to come down to Rockville to grab some pizza?…I don’t want to go any further up the interstate….

    Captain Sunshine says:
    March 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm
    Oh Mr. Meaty man! You made a joke! You are so funny. You made us all laugh.

    I will stop by your City of Jersey today and we can have a tickle fight! Wheeeeeeee

  147. Were I truly a shill for PMs, I’d be bleating for everyone to hoard cash.

  148. moose (143)-

    I assume that where you still sit is in a position to teabag your bankster overlords.

  149. Brian says:

    Guaranteed winner. Bet the farm on it.

    146.Bocephus says:
    March 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm
    129. Guitars, Fast Cars, and a good lookin’ woman.

  150. gary says:

    Fabius [148],

    I’m well aware of all the Catholic High School tuitions. I’ve lived it and continue to live it. Believe me, I know. And I’m well aware of the course selections… too aware! And every Catholic School is not going to close.

  151. Anon E. Moose says:

    Meat [151];

    I assume…

    Actually, you do quite alot of that on this board, with predictable results.

  152. Anon E. Moose says:

    REALTORS say people just dying to buy property near cemeteries (http://yhoo.it/H1WigO). Bid ’em up! Happy days are here again…

  153. grim says:

    155 – My broker took a prime BC listing with a pair of very old graves in the yard. Couldn’t sell it, even at a killer price. Har har.

  154. Al says:

    The real question is how much value does the petrodollar give to the USD in percentage terms. These will be remembered as the good times.

  155. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [1] grim,

    If the brig is any indication, remodelers are busy, very busy.

  156. moose (154)-

    In your case, I do assume- given the fact that you won’t disclose what informs your pathological self-interest- that you are some sort of bankster toady.

    Of course, were you to tell us what you do for a living, I wouldn’t have to make assumptions. Until then, all I can do is make assumptions as to your motivations.

    Say what you want about me, but my life is an open book. Everyone here knows what I do, where I stand and, hopefully, that I have no agenda…or something to sell…or some ideology I want to push upon someone else.

  157. plume (161)-

    How much are they charging to ring a 1/2 acre lot perimeter with Claymores?

  158. Hi my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and come with almost all important infos. I’d like to see extra posts like this .

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