The fear is gone?

From the WSJ:

Housing Ends Slide but Faces a Long Bottom

Nearly six years after home prices started falling, more U.S. housing markets appear to be nearing a new phase: a prolonged bottom.

Hitting a bottom, of course, isn’t the same as a full-fledged recovery, which is still years off for many housing markets—as well as for millions of people who purchased homes or took cash out during the bubble.

The good news is that housing construction and home sales appear to have hit a floor. Home builders cut back heavily in the past four years and began construction on just 434,000 single-family homes last year, the lowest level on record. Research firm Zelman & Associates estimates builders will start construction on 540,000 homes this year, a 24% increase.

Sales of previously owned homes, meanwhile, are up 32% from their low point of mid-2010, when sales plunged following the expiration of home-buyer tax credits.

That leaves prices as the last measure that hasn’t yet stopped falling. But there are signs of progress on that front, too, as the pace of declines is slowing.

In February, home prices fell by 2% from their level of a year earlier, according to CoreLogic Inc., a real-estate-data firm. But after excluding foreclosures and other distressed sales, prices were down by just 0.8%, the smallest year-over-year decline since May 2010.

“If you remove the distress, you’re looking at housing prices not falling much further,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., a New York-based appraisal firm.

The problem, of course, is that foreclosures are still a very high share of sales in many of the hardest-hit markets.

Housing economists are debating whether that shadow inventory will spoil any housing recovery. “That’ll be like a ball and chain,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic. “It won’t prevent a recovery, but it could drag it out over several years.”

Ms. Zelman, who was among the first to warn that the air had begun seeping out of the housing bubble six years ago, said the shadow inventory is “not going to result in the double dip that people always talk about.” She points to a burgeoning appetite for housing from investors, who are scooping up homes that can be converted to rentals, and six years of pent-up demand from traditional buyers who feel better about their financial prospects. “The fear is gone,” she said.

Ms. Zelman, who was among the first to warn that the air had begun seeping out of the housing bubble six years ago, said the shadow inventory is “not going to result in the double dip that people always talk about.” She points to a burgeoning appetite for housing from investors, who are scooping up homes that can be converted to rentals, and six years of pent-up demand from traditional buyers who feel better about their financial prospects. “The fear is gone,” she said.

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

136 Responses to The fear is gone?

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    I’d like to talk about affordability today, so let’s kick this off.

    According to the American Community Survey, the average family income in NJ was $106,125.

    Using the ‘ol standby 28/36 front and back end DTI’s, we get the following for housing and overall debt.

    28 – $2476.25/mo
    36 – $3183.75/mo

    $345,000 loan, $9,000 property taxes, $750 insurance, 3.5% 30y mtg gives us a monthly PITI of $2460.

    Assuming a 20% down payment, we get a purchase price of $430,000, and this is using conservative DTI numbers (not typical of NJ). Not only that, but it leaves an additional $707 on the table for existing debt service.

    $430k buys a decent place, pretty much “average” in terms of location, fixtures, finishes, etc.

    Does this look so out of line?

  3. grim says:

    Pushing the front end DTI up to 30% (which isn’t crazy for NJ, given the fact that it is a high cost housing state), pushes the numbers up to $456k on the purchase price, $10k on the property taxes, which gets you a pretty nice place. *** And it takes into account the taxes.

  4. Pierre says:

    The 3.5% is key. Affordability now isn’t bad; good like selling in a few yrs with rates bak to 6%

  5. Pierre says:

    Luck

  6. grim says:

    good like selling in a few yrs with rates bak to 6%

    Do you mean during the extremely strong economic growth period, with corresponding low unemployment, that would warrant rates being at 6%?

  7. Pierre says:

    You mean this is it?

  8. grim says:

    Last time mortgage rates were floating above 6%, the unemployment rate was floating around 5% (actually sub 5% for many months in the period).

    A bit of a doomer’s paradox, no? You can’t simultaneously call for economic collapse and rising interest rates, since they run counter to each other. Likewise you can’t call for rising interest rates to be the trigger, since rising interest rates will more strongly correlate with improving economic factors (income, gdp, employment, etc). “An improving economy will trigger the recession,” seems like a bit of a silly argument to make.

    (I suppose you could argue that mortgage rates could rise without economic improvement, given a very strong increase in demand for mortgage money. But again, the argument leaves a bit to be desired “strong demand for housing will be the trigger for the next housing down cycle.”)

  9. Xroads says:

    Grim

    Were old DTI numbers based on the fact most Americans had a pension they could depend on? These days most everybody is saving for retirement on there own. Should this be taken into account and a new DTI standard be set? What should we be spending if we’re putting %15-20 away in a 401k?

  10. grim says:

    The other factor is whether or not we should be looking at the mean/median of the full set of families, or instead focusing on the mean/median of the top 2 or 3 quintiles (those who would actually qualify to purchase a home).

    This would probably push the $450k/10k case under the 28% front-end.

  11. grim says:

    Were old DTI numbers based on the fact most Americans had a pension they could depend on? These days most everybody is saving for retirement on there own. Should this be taken into account and a new DTI standard be set? What should we be spending if we’re putting %15-20 away in a 401k?

    In the 70s and earlier the back-end DTI was 25% (there was only one), during the bubble the back-end got into the 40s (and even higher if borrowers didn’t disclose debt). I believe the 28/36 split has been around since at least the early 80s.

    (edit: just poking around the web and found a reference to a back end of 28% in the early 80s, so maybe the 28% front-end didn’t come into play until the late 80s/early 90s (aka: the last bubble)).

  12. grim says:

    Ok, found the tiered breakdowns in the 2010 ACS..

    Let’s take a look at Bergen County:

    Family Income
    Mean – $123,384
    Median – $97,394

    $100,000-$149,999 – 20.8% of Families
    $150,000-$199,999 – 13.4% of Families
    $200,000+ – 14.8% of Families

    Total above $100k income – 49% of families

  13. grim says:

    Somerset hits a whopping 58% of families above $100k, and just about 35% above $150k.

  14. borat the dictator says:

    Last

  15. grim says:

    xroads – Are we talking about the cost of housing (rent or buy), or simply the cost to buy? The “DTI” picture looks much worse if we’re talking rent.

    In Bergen County, more than half of all renters are paying in excess of 30% of gross income, and that would be considered a “front-end” cost.

    In Hunterdon you have more than half of all renters (51.1%) paying more than 35% of gross income. Even worse in Mike’s ‘hood, where that number shoots all the way up to 59.1%.

    These numbers make renting look like an even worse decision (over moving, not buying).

  16. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Grim. Uber found bowing/leaning basement wall (approx 1 inch). I need to get structural engineer asap but in your opinion, is this an issue or deal killer?

  17. Japan will see 6% interest rates before we do. The only discernible, consistent Fed position from the outset of Depression II has been ZIRP to infinity. We are trapped in a Bernank/Geethner/Krugman circle jerk that will end up with all of us back to the 16th century.

    We are screwed. The patient is dead. Doom is imminent.

  18. 50 years of debt deflation crisis, dead ahead.

    If TPTB can continue the silliness into QE3 and QE4, I will revise my call to 100 years.

    You guys all know that I’m not some lone nut making this call; plenty of folks at a higher level of expertise than me see it the same way.

    Lots of days in hell yet to go.

  19. grim says:

    Assuming block foundation, correct? (issue is more common with block than with poured) How old is the house? Any signs of previous repair? Sometimes this can result from back-filling the foundation too quickly, or compacting close to the foundation (backhoe, loader, etc) and doesn’t represent a major structural issue. High or low on the wall, in relation to the grade? Mid or high on the wall can sometimes point to freeze/heave due to poor surface water control (improper grading, etc), especially in below-grade unconditioned spaces (aka: under-house garages). However, I will note that horizontal cracks are completely different animals from vertical cracks and should probably seek engineering.

    Request that the seller share in the cost of the engineering inspection. Base your decision on the outcome of the inspection.

  20. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Actually the whole central banking financial system is antiquated and no longer effectively responds to this modern era. A total collapse of the global fiat economy, however unlikely, would not spell doom. It would usher in a tremendous opportunity.

  21. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Thanks grim. Built in 74 and yes its cinder blocks, the top part of wall is leaning in to basement 1 inch more than bottom part of wall. There have been about 5-6 verticle cracks (minor) throughout basement but none horizontal. There is also evidence of mortar filling some of the cracks. Also if you look outside at back of house you can see evidence of 1 inch settling in foundation and it spreads up small section of back of house. Apparently when basement walls shift 1 inch, every part of back of house shifts 1 inch too. Which could create problems for windowsand doors…

  22. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim you mean me? “Even worse in Mike’s ‘hood, where that number shoots all the way up to 59.1%.”

  23. Shore Guy says:

    B.B King can do a follow-up to the Thrill is Gone

  24. 3B says:

    #2 1. The assumption is 20% down. I do not think there will be that many people that have saved 20% down for a house, after coming out of (if we really have) a recession)
    2. 9000.00 in property taxes is low in a lot of Bergen Co towns.
    3. Student loan payments.
    4. Flat Incomes, rising property taxes.
    5. Child care expenses.

    Then throw in commuting costs, car payment and all the other monthly outlays, and perhaps things do not look quite so affordable.

    Many times things look great on paper, and that is the only place they look good.

  25. JJ says:

    I thought everyone in Hunterddom was millionaires. Lets say you make one million a year income, spend 35% on housing that leaves 750K a year left over for spending.

    That 30%, 40%, 50% logic is flawed. A family of five making 100K gross income spending 35% of salary on housing is doomed in a death spiral. A family of five making 500K not so much.

    grim says:
    April 30, 2012 at 7:54 am
    xroads – Are we talking about the cost of housing (rent or buy), or simply the cost to buy? The “DTI” picture looks much worse if we’re talking rent.

    In Bergen County, more than half of all renters are paying in excess of 30% of gross income, and that would be considered a “front-end” cost.

    In Hunterdon you have more than half of all renters (51.1%) paying more than 35% of gross income. Even worse in Mike’s ‘hood, where that number shoots all the way up to 59.1%.

    These numbers make renting look like an even worse decision (over moving, not buying).

  26. 3B says:

    If inflation becomes out of control we can have high interest rates and a lousy economy. We have had that before. High interest rates do not always reflect a rocketing economy.

  27. 3B says:

    Was out yesterday for national open house weekend. Looked in three towns, lots of balloons, not a lot of people from what I could see. Realtors acknowledging that many asking prices are still too high, encouraging buyers to put in bids.

  28. Mike says:

    2 & 24 There’s still that fear / chance the affordable 430K home can become a 375k affordable home

  29. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “If inflation becomes out of control we can have high interest rates and a lousy economy. We have had that before. High interest rates do not always reflect a rocketing economy.”

    DING, DING , DING!

  30. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Grim 3b offers the best criticism of your affordability logic. Just ising avg income is overlooking the fact that the new generation of home buyers, those in early or mid 20’s are drowning in student loan debt and cant find jobs. This is seizing up the whole evolution of home buying. Immigrants are expected to fill this gap but we dont bring in that many immigrants so its not going to be drastic. Each year for the next 20 years a wave of baby boomers are going to be listing their 40-50 yr old suburban money pit onto the market for a substantial premium. The 25 yr old buyers are going to look at the price and say that its worth about 100k less, and even at that discount they would rather buy condo closer to city, culture and smart people, young buyers dont want to be stuck in suburbia anymore. This disconnect will create a rude awakening for sellers and will weigh on prices.

  31. seif says:

    “If you remove the distress, you’re looking at housing prices not falling much further,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc.”

    also, if you remove the high unemployment, staggering debt, student loans, outrageous property taxes………

  32. Juice Box says:

    6% interest rates? The BOJ has had Japan at or near ZIRP for 2 decades and are headed for another decade perhaps worse than the last two.

    I am with Krugman on this, which is “We are Doomed”. The elites don’t want to hire you or your kids, there will be destruction of the remainder of the middle class.There exists no political will to fix things in DC.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/were-doomed-2/

  33. Xroads says:

    24- 3G

    5. Child care expenses. Great point! I’d like to know if property taxes were as much of a burden 50 years ago as they seem to be today. Again is it enough going from %36 to 28 DTI to allow a couple to save for retirement? It just seems there are expenses today that were not thought about when coming up with the DTI # even in the 80’s. And Grim I was talking about buying not reting

  34. 3B says:

    #33 xroads: Forget 50 years ago, they (property taxes) were not as much of a burden in many Bergen Co towns 7 or 8 years ago.

  35. chicagofinance says:

    big divide in suburbs of NYC versus Phila….two different markets….

    grim says:
    April 30, 2012 at 6:06 am
    I’d like to talk about affordability today, so let’s kick this off.

    According to the American Community Survey, the average family income in NJ was $106,125.

  36. 3B says:

    #30 Nean: You are right, I did even address the demographic change, and the societal change. At least in this area I don’t see any 25 year olds out buying houses (like they were in my day, which is only the late 1980’s). Many of them are still un or under employed, and many have absolutely no desire to buy a house in the “burbs” any time soon.

    Just as a disclaimer, I have to buy before year end, but I am fully convinced that prices will continue to fall.

  37. BearsFan says:

    3G/XRoads – 5. Child care expenses. Great point!

    Echo this. Always overlooked. Plays a huge role.

  38. 3B says:

    #28 Mike: I looked at a house yesterday, that started at 475k, 4 beds 2 baths, LR/DR FR nice street, needs some updating. It is now down to 375K. I bet the owners had no idea they would have to drop the price that much, as during the bubble it would have fetched 550k. And yet here it is now at 375k, and still sitting. Who’s to say it can’t drop another 50k or more. Oh and the property taxes are over 12K a year.

  39. livinginpa says:

    I don’t know. While it is true in my neck of the woods that there seems to be a bit more traffic out there this spring, and less attractive inventory, I just don’t think the fear is gone. Lots of personal anecdotes of people out of work and underemployed. In the “move up” realm, I hear more people say…”if I manage to sell my house, I’ll just rent. No rush to buy.”

  40. Juice Box says:

    re#36 – 3B – re: 25 year olds and under/unemployment. The housing cheerleaders are are ignoring household formation data and it’s significance.During the 70s-80s when the boomers formed their own household they “inflated” household formations. Recently household formation has been roughly half what it was in the the 70s-80s. Census data shows about 30% of households are doubled up meaning allot of adult children living with their parents for an extended period. Unemployment for those that should be buying the Boomers POS homes is at 12% official and unofficial or part time stopped looking for work much, much higher. We aren’t Spain but we are not far off.

  41. Anon E. Moose says:

    3B [36];

    Just as a disclaimer, I have to buy before year end, but I am fully convinced that prices will continue to fall.

    Right there with you. I’ve come to learn that by spending all my money, rather than holding some of it back, I can bribe the hangman for a soft velvetty noose and quick, clean kill.

  42. 30 year realtor says:

    The tax issue is very big. Just saw a house listed in Fair Lawn that I used to own. 2500 square feet on about a third of an acre with property taxes of almost $17,000. List price is in the mid $500’s. I sold it in 2003 for $517,500 and the taxes were under $10,000.

    That big tax bite for a house that will sell for around $500 throws off the ratios and affordability formula.

  43. 3B says:

    #40 Juice: I agree. I have been talking about this for some time now. The 20 somethings are in no psotition, or have no desire to buy any time soon. Heck they are not even all that interested in getting married. I have a wedding coming up, first one in a long time. The couple late 20’s (these particular 2), could buy a house in the “burbs”, but have absolutely no desire, and children that is years away. Ironic too when you think of the big school additions that have been constructed over the last 7 or 8 years in Bergen Co.

  44. xolepa says:

    (30)
    I don’t think the kids of the baby boomers who grew up in the suburbs will be looking for inner city condos and that lifestyle, as you suggest. Talking with my oldest one’s friends (Ivy league graduate types), they go where the money is. And for a lot, that means the boonies. As some would say, flyover country. Unfortunately, for those that mock the mentality of the flyover country folks, they are getting more educated because, frankly, that’s where the jobs are going. NJ/NY liberal mindset mentality scares away a lot of corporate types, because it’s not mainstream. My oldest, now in med school, wants a New England QE style victorian after he starts practice. Condos and the like aren’t even mentioned.

  45. JJ says:

    You would think after getting a Medical School degree he could do more than just practicing being a doctor. I don’t want my car fixed by someone practicing to be a mechanic. I wonder where that expression came from?

    xolepa says:
    April 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

    (30)
    I don’t think the kids of the baby boomers who grew up in the suburbs will be looking for inner city condos and that lifestyle, as you suggest. Talking with my oldest one’s friends (Ivy league graduate types), they go where the money is. And for a lot, that means the boonies. As some would say, flyover country. Unfortunately, for those that mock the mentality of the flyover country folks, they are getting more educated because, frankly, that’s where the jobs are going. NJ/NY liberal mindset mentality scares away a lot of corporate types, because it’s not mainstream. My oldest, now in med school, wants a New England QE style victorian after he starts practice. Condos and the like aren’t even mentioned.

  46. xolepa says:

    BTW, My father said he would die if he ever moved into a Condo/Townhouse or something similar that was governed by an ‘Association’. He did pass away after 3 years of that living. It’s the thought of living in something even closely akin to a collective farm. Same with me. That’s how we grew up. That’s how we lived.

  47. JJ says:

    Doctors in New York City area surprisingly make very little. Hospitals, insurance companies, medicare dont really care your expenses are way way up or malpractice if very high here, . A doctor in Peoria is very rich. A doctor in NY not so much. All that education, expense, residency blah blah blah to get a 300K job by the time you are 40 does not make sense in Bergan Country anymore. I know good looking guys who play lacross or something in college, buddy gets them a job in finance or wall street and they are making that salary by 35 without no nights, weekends on huge debt. in Peoria where people with college degrees make 50K at age 40 and a doctor makes 300K being a doctor makes a lot of sense. A doctors salary gets you a cape, used car and only lux I have seen is when returning cans for deposit at Stop and Shop if a Trader Joe can or two is mixed in you can just throw them out rather than walk over to Trader Joe. Now that is living large.

  48. JJ says:

    Did he need permission from the association to die?

    xolepa says:
    April 30, 2012 at 10:46 am

    BTW, My father said he would die if he ever moved into a Condo/Townhouse or something similar that was governed by an ‘Association’. He did pass away after 3 years of that living. It’s the thought of living in something even closely akin to a collective farm. Same with me. That’s how we grew up. That’s how we lived.

  49. photan says:

    I have been a long time read of this site. My first bid for the house I like in NJ was not successful.

    I was thinking of bidding another house this year that has oil tank (above ground) that is installed fairly recently 1997.

    The house used to have below ground oil tank that has since removed and the issue professionally remedied.

    Should I run away from the house, or there is something that I need to do that we reduce my risk. Would the inspector check for previous remedied site, or I should redo the check again (with recertification). I would really does not want to fork out 5-figures money to fix issue that was not done right the first time.

    If all is good, is it worth to convert oil to gas heat to avoid future issue. The house was build in the early 1980s.

  50. xolepa says:

    (49)
    The ‘village’ where he was living at the time of death has oldtimers so old that we would call it zombie land. Picture 90+ year old residents assembling at sunset to take walks up and down the main street. Chiller Theater couldn’t assemble a better cast.

  51. Zack says:

    Sparta NJ

    What do you guys think? It seems that you can get a Mcmansion in the mid 500’s that used to go for mid 800’s during the boom years. Taxes seems to be around 15K, which is pretty much standard in NJ. You get a 10 year old house for 500’s and you also get about 4000 sqft of space. Seems like a good deal?

  52. Uptown Brown says:

    Same experiences yesterday (0-4 visitors at each house with all realtors stating the sellers are “very motivated”).
    What’s more, the realtors apparently think that those who’ve fared well are rubes.
    My experiences remain that realtors are padding last yr’s high valuations so as to give negotiation room to the max price of last year, and otherwise sell above last year’s max pricing. It doesn’t make sense with so few qualified buyers and so few with incomes and cash flow available to buy.
    Do a simple search of the neighbors’ filings with the county clerk readily shows how all neighbors (but for the exceptional elder couple looking to move-away retire out of NJ) continually refi’d, and those that remain married are cash-strapped.
    It’s like the realtors and the banks want a common risk pool…of soon to fail homeowners.

    This was in reply to 27
    “3B says:
    April 30, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Was out yesterday for national open house weekend. Looked in three towns, lots of balloons, not a lot of people from what I could see. Realtors acknowledging that many asking prices are still too high, encouraging buyers to put in bids.”

  53. xolepa says:

    (48)
    Banker types may have better work hours but do they hold the same job security? Same piece of mind? My middle one’s GF, again IVY league graduate, will be starting at big WS firm as an analyst (junior, I believe) in September after graduation. She beat out hundreds in the interview process, interned for 2 summers there. But: She can walk in and get canned her very first day on the job if the taste of the economic times is bitter that hour, or after two years of working 70-80 hour work weeks she doesn’t make the grade and get’s cut. BTW, she had other interns attempting to sabotage her work: removing meetings from her electronic calendar, e.g.
    Ah, tell me how great again it is to work on Wall Street.
    And I worked there, too, for a short spell, back in the late 70s and again, in 9/11 timeframe. Saw people crying after hanging up the phone. Lighting cigarettes up with shaking hands (when they allowed indoor smoking), et al. All work related. Great lifestyle.

  54. Xroads says:

    Zak

    BOE wants you to have 30k taxes! There is no thought of austerity in this town! The current political environment is downright embarrassing. I’m actually leaving the town heading back to the shore where family is. The McMansions here have been the hardest hit along with the 2 bedroom lake houses. Good luck!

  55. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [48];

    …a [blank] in Peoria is very rich.”

    Its easy to be rich when a middle-class house can be bought for $120k. The mortgage on that amount won’t even pay the tax bill in most NNJ towns. I was out to dinner Saturday trying out a newish restaurant on Long Island — simple salad, entree, basic desert and one drink each still cost $50 a person. The decor didn’t enhance the taste all that much. In Peoria a hamburger lunch costs $5, not $15; and a nice dinner like I had is $25, not $50. In Life 2.0, Karlgaard calls this the urban yuppie surcharge.

  56. Uptown Brown says:

    3B,

    If you don’t mind, where (town) was that house?

    This is in reply to:
    “3B says:
    April 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

    #28 Mike: I looked at a house yesterday, that started at 475k, 4 beds 2 baths, LR/DR FR nice street, needs some updating. It is now down to 375K.”

  57. Anon E. Moose says:

    3B [27];

    That’s the listing agent trying to get you to do their job for them. They shuold ahve told the sellers the realistic market value of the property. Instead, they took the listing (aka, lottery ticket) that might, just maybe, pay off big. In the mean time, they can beat up the sellers with market offers like one you might make.

    Savvy buyers know the seller is not ready to accept market price, so they don’t bother offering. But the listing agent can’t let the ‘lowballers’ wear the black hat in the conversation is there is no offer. In the absence of an offer, its the realtor’s fault; If the offer is too low its the buyer’s fault. In the seller’s mind, its never their own fault for pricing too high.

  58. Juice Box says:

    Not Peoria but I stayed at a Doc’s house near Indy while I was there for the Superbowl. Their neighborhood is all 6k sq ft McMansions, surrounded by farmland areas just off the highway, the older small enclaves were selling for 100k, the McMansions were 500k. Docs at Indiana University make less than they do in NYC but they do seem to live a more comfortable lifestyle. I took my son to see a Doc in the Midwest last Christmas vacation and the female Doc working was a New Jersey transplant from Bergen County. She said lifestyle is better in flyover county, and she would never want to live and practice in NY Metro again too expensive and people are just too “needy” was how she put it.

  59. Brian says:

    52 –

    Are you looking in the Lake Mohawk section?

  60. JJ says:

    Only win win situation is cheapskates like me who live in NYC we get paid the NY Prem as things cost more but I don’t buy anything.

    Best deal are folks with rent controled apt in NYC their salaries are high for the NYC prem, but with monthly housing costs at 700 bucks and no cars, heat, or gas or RE Tax bills they are living large.

    $50 bucks a pop is cheap. BTW Pops/Paddy McGees in Island Park and all the summer places opened up in last week or two and already the crowds are coming. Economy cant be that bad. I was down in Long Beach on Saturday. BTW Ashley Madsion voted Great Neck Long Island as town married people are most likely to cheat. You go Great Neck, number one in SAT Cheating and Cheating Spouses!!

    Anon E. Moose says:
    April 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

    JJ [48];

    …a [blank] in Peoria is very rich.”

    Its easy to be rich when a middle-class house can be bought for $120k. The mortgage on that amount won’t even pay the tax bill in most NNJ towns. I was out to dinner Saturday trying out a newish restaurant on Long Island — simple salad, entree, basic desert and one drink each still cost $50 a person. The decor didn’t enhance the taste all that much. In Peoria a hamburger lunch costs $5, not $15; and a nice dinner like I had is $25, not $50. In Life 2.0, Karlgaard calls this the urban yuppie surcharge.

  61. Happy Renter says:

    re Grim’s [2] opening post …

    Let’s talk about affordability.

    “According to the American Community Survey, the average family income in NJ was $106,125.”

    Median household income is probably a more relevant statistic, but OK.

    “Assuming a 20% down payment”

    Ha ha! Good one! Nothing like a good laugh on a Monday morning.

    For your hypothetical 430K house, we’re talking about a 20% down payment of 86K. The proposition that any substantial number of new home buyers are going to be able to come up with 86K for a down payment is laughable on its face. Our populace is so effed up at this point, most households can barely live within their means, let alone live below their means long enough to save up close to 100K in cash. Studies that show most people have saved less than 25K for retirement, and have less than 1K saved for an emergency, illustrate the point. Sure, there’s the Bank of Mommy and Daddy, but that only gets you so far in terms of people who have any chance of coming up with 20% down.

    “Using the ‘ol standby 28/36 front and back end DTI’s”

    What happened to the old standby of pensions? What happened to the old standby of one spouse staying home and raising the kids? What happened to the old standby of college that didn’t bankrupt the next generation of potential first-time homebuyers before they even got out of the starting gate (with their largely useless degrees in hand)?

    And what happened to the old standby of not spending more than 3.5 times annual income on a house? That would put you at a 371K sales price.

    Also, as others have noted, I don’t think the old standby DTIs, that were developed at at time when most households had one wage-earner, make sense anymore. Nowadays, most of those households are two-income households. And who moves out to the ‘burbs in NJ? Those with kids. So now you have a very major expense that needs to be factored into the equation: childcare. Also, as others have noted, nowadays we’re supposed to be contributing 15-20% of our annual income to retirement savings (although of course, because we’re so effed up, few are doing anything remotely close to that). Add in the ball-and-chain of student loans and you’ve got a very good case that the old 28/35 DTI standby makes no sense anymore.

    “$9,000 property taxes”

    Another good laugh. Even assuming that’s a reasonable number for the hypothesis, there is a tsunami of uncontrolled state debt/liability heading our way. And nothing — nothing — stands between Joe Homeowner and the NJ “families” that run our local governments and will jack up taxes to whatever it takes to get “what they have coming to them.” Of the (small number of) potential home buyers smart enough to be able to save up 100K in cash, how many will balk at the idea of making their savings hostage to the union gangs that dictate their taxes?

    “A bit of a doomer’s paradox, no? You can’t simultaneously call for economic collapse and rising interest rates”

    I don’t need to call for economic collapse and rising interest rates: Chindia and the BRICs are calling that one for us. Again, there is a tsunami of economic reckoning heading our way, and to think that we will not see rising interest rates on our fantasy paper dollars unless we see robust economic growth is whistling past the graveyard. Rates will rise and our economy will continue to stagnate (at best) or collapse (at worse). Doesn’t take much imagination to think what will happen to housing prices when Uncle Sam is no longer running the printing presses and juicing up the housing market to keep the junkie stoned. Did someone say collapse?

    When the government stops manipulating the housing market and running the printing presses like madmen, either of its own volition or when it’s forced to stop, then we will see what looks out of line. Until then, the only conclusion I draw is that it is all going to crap.

  62. JJ says:

    Juice Box I once consulted in Wisconsin for a few weeks. Talk came to home improvement and the person from NY said he was getting blinds and curtains put in living room and dining room. The folks in Wisconsin all looked at him like he said he was painting his nose green. All four said why would you do that? He replied so people wont see me at night. They were like why would people be looking in your house at night, he went to explain how close his neighbors were and how close house was to street. Stunned silence. Now had never heard of curtains drapes other than bedrooms. They all lived on 10-20 acres and was like if a deer wants to watch me watch TV so be it.

  63. xolepa says:

    (48)
    My best working lifestyle imaginable is to be a full professor at a highly rated, but small liberal arts college. You are making real decent money, have tenure, teach 10-16 hours a week, have one year paid off every seventh and keep your self in the company of young men and women as seeing yourself age through the passage of time. Living in a small New England town means paying cheap money for houses. A lot of these colleges are situated as such because the professors homes are within walking distance of campus.
    Went to my daughter’s upcoming NESCAC college in upper NE last week. Man, talking about lifestyle jealously.

  64. JJ says:

    “According to the American Community Survey, the average family income in NJ was $106,125.”

    That is an irrelevant statement. The average family income in NJ of a family buying a home is all that should matter. Winos, welfare moms and unemployed people are in the average, they arent buying homes.

    Freeport LI has a Porsche dealership. Average income in Freeport is like 60K. Porsche dealership sell lots of porsches. Average income of potential Porsche buyers is all that matters.

  65. gary says:

    Great posts today!! I’m actually pretending to work here at my temp job and haven’t been able to post. The bottom line? Taxes, taxes and more taxes. We said it before and this issue is now turning to code red. The prices of houses in our area will continously sink as the need to fulfill those debt obligations increase. We are not anywhere near bottom in our neck of the woods.

  66. Brian says:

    55 –
    Sparta put to a vote the new athletic fields in March. I think they wanted to sell 4.5 million in 15 year bonds to build new athletic fields with artificial turf, press box, replace the track etc.

    It was voted down.

    What did you think of the Newton-Sparta Road expansion project?

  67. Double Down says:

    “We have all three branches of government trying to keep people in four bedroom houses who can’t afford chicken coops.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/insight-falling-u-home-prices-drag-buyers-under-170255137.html

    Insight: Falling home prices drag new buyers under water

    By Tim Reid | Reuters – Thu, Apr 26, 2012

    (Reuters) – More than 1 million Americans who have taken out mortgages in the past two years now owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, and Federal Housing Administration loans that require only a tiny down payment are partly to blame.

    That figure, provided to Reuters by tracking firm CoreLogic, represents about one out of 10 home loans made during that period.

    Even for loans taken out in December – less than four months ago and the last month for which data is available – nearly 44,000 borrowers, or about 7.5 percent of the total, now find themselves under water.

    CoreLogic says a significant factor causing recent home loans to slide under water has been the availability of government-insured mortgages that require only a small down payment.

    These loans, insured by the FHA, require a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent of the purchase price, providing only a small cushion of protection against a drop in home prices that could drive a borrower into negative equity.

    “This is creating a new wave of underwater borrowers,” said Gary Shilling, a veteran financial analyst and well-known housing market bear. “We have all three branches of government trying to keep people in four bedroom houses who can’t afford chicken coops.”

    Jason Opalka took out an FHA-backed loan on his two-bedroom property in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida, in August 2010. He was helped by Certified Mortgage Planners of Orlando, who negotiated the FHA-backed loan with the lender, Freedom Mortgage, based in New Jersey.

    Opalka was refinancing another FHA-backed loan he had obtained in 2008, for $196,000, then at an interest rate of over 6 percent.

    Under the refinancing, he borrowed $192,278 at an interest rate of 4.5 percent. Opalka, looking at the paperwork, is still surprised at the down payment he had to make in 2010, for a property valued at the time for little more than the loan was worth and in which he had almost no equity.

    His down payment was just $3,000 – or about 1.5 percent of the total loan.

    Less than two years later, local real estate estimates now value Opalka’s home at no more than $110,000.

    “I’m at least $80,000 under water,” Opalka told Reuters. “We never expected to go under water. We never expected prices to fall like they have. We definitely didn’t see this coming. If I’d known this, we probably would have rented.”

  68. 3b (26)-

    And thank God we had Volcker during those wretched stagflation years. My fear is that we fall into some sort of dead economy/high inflation trap again…and there won’t be any Volckers around to save the day. Instead, we’ll just have gacks like Krugman who think that causing a Weimar-like event would be really cool.

    Then again, I think it’s much more likely we get a rapid, “unforseen” hyperinflationary event that just wipes out Amerikan civilization. Then, it’ll be back to 100 years of slow, torturous debt deflation (since we’ll never, ever, ever default).

    “If inflation becomes out of control we can have high interest rates and a lousy economy. We have had that before. High interest rates do not always reflect a rocketing economy.”

  69. 3b (27)-

    I went to the open house at the money pit next door to me yesterday and asked the agent if he was on food stamps.

  70. 3b (38)-

    I think it’s a no-brainer that any kind of “normal” SF home (3-4 bedrooms; 2400 sf or under) in NJ that has taxes of 10K or greater is not worth more than 300K, regardless of location or township.

  71. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [2] grim – affordability. Sorry, but that does look out of wack. I don’t think a 3.5% 30 year fixed is attainable by many, even less so for families just cracking 6 figures in income. In addition, the whole interest rate scenario is artificial and bogus, so when that situation reversed it will impact future equity/value/prices, etc. The yardstick that I measure by is 2.5 x average income. Except for Hawaii, San Francisco, and some other choice locales even 3 x average income was traditionally over-priced until the bubble created artificial circumstances that produced 6,7,8 &9 x average income pricing. When the average NJ family can actually *save* a 20 % down payment and buy a $265K house (all other things being equal), then we will be at fairly priced…

    …on the way down, that is. Prices will actually drift lower still (reversion to the mean) before a bottom is hit. JMNHO (non-humble).

  72. Zack (52)-

    No. Those are the slums of the future.

  73. xolepa says:

    Taxes in my town here in Hunterdon county have not risen in 3 years. Not saying they are low (17K for me). However, the county freeholders were tea-party types years before that name become popular. They have layed off dozens of county employees, and most importantly, call the department heads bluff when it comes to staffing and expenses. They are businessmen/farmers first. That’s the county portion of my tax bill. The local tax bill has also been stable. What no one on this forum is considering is that the baby boomers here are not selling because they know they won’t get squat by doing so. But, by holding on, the school age population shrinks. This will inevitably cause layoffs in the local education industry, including possible shut down of schools. This happened before in NJ, in the 70’s, as the baby boomers grew up and graduated.

  74. Happy Renter (62)-

    IMO, that’s the post of the year.

  75. xolepa (64)-

    My daughter goes to Hobart/Wm. Smith. Good god, what a nice town. I’d move there now if I could.

  76. Outofstater says:

    I agree with Happy #62. NJ has nothing set aside for retiree healthcare and the public employee pensions are underfunded. If one assumes that the obligations will be met, where will the money come from? The taxpayers. Even Rahm in Chicago gets it when he said forget about trying to recruit a company to come to Illinois – we won’t be able to recruit a family to come here. There is no money; there is only debt. There will come a point when the taxes are so high and the services so bad that you won’t be able to sell your house. If I’m missing a solution, please tell me! Right now, I think you should all get the he(( out of Dodge while you still can.

  77. Zack says:

    I am not too familiar with Sparta, but a casual search on Zillow yields more than a dozen properties in Sparta (MacMansions built in 2000, 4000sqft) which you could probably get for mid 500’s. Used to go for 800K -1M during the boom years.
    A lot of sellers. Not sure if it is taxes that is driving out residents. It could be middle class folks who bought houses on NINJA loans and now reality is setting in.

    Wifey wants a McMansion. We looked at Warren NJ and the same house will cose you about 1.2M. But Warren has a lot of rich folks, so downside might be limited. Sparta on the other hand has a lot of wannabes, which is probably why house prices have come down by 30% from the peak.

    Brian says:
    April 30, 2012 at 11:40 am
    52 –

    Are you looking in the Lake Mohawk section?

  78. chicagofinance says:

    Going to this thing tonight……how bad is this going to be? The friggin’ belly of the beast….

    Decision 2012
    Hunter Journalists Look Forward to the 2012 Election
    A c-cktail reception and engaging discussion featuring Sewell Chan ’94, Nick Confessore ’94, and Aaron Retica ’84 of the New York Times, Amy Davidson ’88 of the New Yorker, and Chris Hayes ’97 of MSNBC
    Monday April 30
    6:30 PM C-cktails
    7:30 PM Program

    Covington & Burling LLP
    The New York Times Building
    620 Eighth Avenue, 43rd Floor

  79. daddyo says:

    Good to meet you Nom.

    My brew-day was interrupted by going to the park and playing soccer, and I left the grains to mash for 3 hours with no ill effects. Huge thumbs up to “brew in the bag” method. Also, the big gap in our fence you walked through was caused by a car that ran it over last week.

    Only anecdotal, but I have to say the number of “under contract” signs in Brigadoon this spring far outpaces anything I’ve seen in the past 4 years. As a renter, I get a little anxiety seeing everyone buy, and then I come here, and feel all better again after reading a gary post or two.

  80. Anon E. Moose says:

    On taking the plunge:

    “If I raid my 401k then I’ve got the granite counter tops. If the government raids my 401k, then somebody else gets the granite counter tops.”

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/141818/

  81. gary says:

    daddyo [80],

    What’s the average price in the Brig for 2012 as opposed to same time in 2011?

  82. John says:

    re 77
    “If I’m missing a solution, please tell me!”

    One distasteful solution is hitting the reset button. It will have a very fancy name and be disguised as to what is going on but other than exploding economic growth in the coming years or hyper inflation to wash away our debts – that’s about it.

  83. Jill says:

    3b #34: My taxes were just over $4K in WT in 1996. Before I won my appeal last year, they were $8400. Now just over $6900. Now what has happened in the last 15 years to cause my taxes to more than double? It isn’t as if we get more services. By the way, the rec commission wants to spend $3 million for artificial turf ball fields so that our youth sports facility can be the “crown jewel” of the Pascack Valley. Never mind that the roads are chewed up by trucks, the strip mall is 1/3 empty, foreclosed houses are growing moss on their vinyl siding, and the 5-Star Gas station is leaking oil into the groundwater and won’t fix it unless they get their zoning variance to double the number of gas pumps and build a convenience store in a residential zone.

  84. 3B says:

    #71 There: You said it all. I feel exactly the same way.

  85. 3B says:

    #84 Jill: Understood. But WT as a town has one of the most reasonable property taxes of any town in Bergen Co. $6900 in land of the Unicorns, unheard of. I would advise the residents of WT not to spend that obscene amount of money. Residents should be happy with a nice town and “reasonable taxes”. If you guys go the wannabe route like River Edge, you will destroy the town.

    We were out looking yesterday,(including WT) every Realtor at the open houses we looked at asked where are you coming from when we said River Edge, the first comment was OMG the taxes are so high there!!!! No talk about blue ribbony schools and all the rest.

  86. gary says:

    Here’s a little secret that I’ll let you all in on; the buyers control the prices. Shhh!!! Don’t tell anyone!

  87. 3B says:

    #69 There: We will not have a Volcker again, when he started to have some real influence again during the financial crisis, he was quickly returned to pasture.

    And I am also convinced that we will ultimately see high rates again, and that will have a negative impact on housing prices, coupled of of course with the $700.00 to $1,000.00 a year increase in property taxes, and thats for a “good”year.

  88. Brian says:

    78 –

    For that price range look on West Shore Trail on lake mohawk. Everything revolves around the lake in the summer. It’s the gated part of the lake mohawk section and you’d be by the Golf course and the country club.

    Some of those houses are older converted summer homes but I’ve seen where some of them are completly knocked down to the foundation and rebuilt making it basically a new house. Anyway, not exactly mcmansions but worth a look if you go there to look at houses.

  89. Mike says:

    No. 62 Line Of The Day- Doesn’t take much imagination to think what will happen to housing prices when Uncle Sam is no longer running the printing presses and juicing up the housing market to keep the junkie stoned.

  90. 3B says:

    #66 gary: Agreed.

  91. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [2] grim – Your statement might be a good one to put in a time capsule:

    “$430k buys a decent place, pretty much “average” in terms of location, fixtures, finishes, etc.”

  92. 3B says:

    #62 Happy: Amen!!!

  93. 3B says:

    #57 Uptown. River Edge.

  94. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [92] time capsule. For reference you might also include a note that states on the date the above was said $430K represented about 258 troy ounces of gold or 473 gallons of gasoline.

  95. The Original NJ Expat says:

    473,000 gallons of gasoline.

  96. 3B says:

    #53 Uptown: Yep agreed. I did not witness the so called fever or hurry or enthusiasm for people to buy, that is supposedly what we are seeing this Spring in our area. And lots of houses to choose from in all price ranges.

  97. 3B says:

    grim is entitled to his opinion or analysis of the current landscape for housing, but I am quite surprised that he linked higher interest rates only with a robust economy.

  98. JJ says:

    Jill inflation has averaged 3% a year since 1996. If you do a compond interest calculator you will see the present value of 4k in 1996 is $6,418.83.

    Your current taxes are $6,900. Inflation adjusted your taxes rose $481.17 over 16 years or $30 dollars a year increase. Most of that $30 was for increased insurance, pension costs, health care and higher fuel costs. On your $30 bucks a year extra what do you expect.

    Jill says:
    April 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    3b #34: My taxes were just over $4K in WT in 1996. Before I won my appeal last year, they were $8400. Now just over $6900. Now what has happened in the last 15 years to cause my taxes to more than double? It isn’t as if we get more services. By the way, the rec commission wants to spend $3 million for artificial turf ball fields so that our youth sports facility can be the “crown jewel” of the Pascack Valley. Never mind that the roads are chewed up by trucks, the strip mall is 1/3 empty, foreclosed houses are growing moss on their vinyl siding, and the 5-Star Gas station is leaking oil into the groundwater and won’t fix it unless they get their zoning variance to double the number of gas pumps and build a convenience store in a residential zone.

  99. Fabius Maximus says:

    #89 Brian
    I looked down there back in 2007. The biggest downside was trying to get out of there in the mornings to either 15 or 80. The McMansions I looked at were in bad shape for their age. One realtor described the foundation crack I saw as I drove up as “mearly cosmetic”. Another had the developer wheeling out the SS appliances for Kenmore black to reduce the price. The best place I saw was on Woodport Road. The builder did a beautiful semi commercial flip. We couldn’t agree on price and he rented it.

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

    78 Zack get a new wife cause that is the dumbest thing I have heard in a long time. It is like saying I would love an overtaxed expensive to heat and cool built crapshack. If that is not possible get on route 15 south a 6AM when you get to route 80 at 645 and route 287 at 715. you’ll know why the McMansions are cheaper in Sparta. by the way that is good weather. If it is snowing you will see the snow melt before you get to 80.

    Lake mohawk has a nice Octoberfest though.

  101. gary says:

    “If you remove the distress, you’re looking at housing prices not falling much further,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., a New York-based appraisal firm.

    And if my aunt had a nut sack, she’d be my uncle.

  102. seif says:

    the recovery is in full swing!

    purchased almost exactly 1 year ago at $1.235 now being offered at 12% increase

    MLS# 1213826
    Price: $1,389,000
    Town: TENAFLY
    Address: 908 HEIGHTS LN

  103. Fabius Maximus says:

    #100 redux
    And wouldn’t you know its back on the market. If you get a chance take a tour of this place.
    http://m.weichert.com/propertydetails.aspx?p=37489209

  104. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Having grown up in Rockaway Township in the 60’s and 70’s I remember when Route 80 used to be pretty good. Sure it used to clog up coming West up the hill in Denville during *late* rush hour, but it used to open up again when you got to the Rockaway exits. A little bit of brake lights from the queue trying to get on 15 North, but not too bad. I can’t believe how bad it is now. We’re only out that way when we come down from Boston to visit relatives in Blairstown. I would say the last half dozen trips to Blairstown, I’ve never even gone near route 80. We come in to New Jersey from the top and ultimately go South on 94. I won’t even entertain the thought of going West on route 80 on a “regular” mid week day unless I know I can get past Route 15 before 3PM. I know I’m old when I sound like my FIL who has lamented for the last 30 years how there never used to be so many cars on the road. Oh well.

  105. Brian says:

    100 –

    I’m not a fan of McMansions in general (not that I can afford one). Sparta township is pretty big, there’s a sampling of just about every style of home from POS capes to ranch, to mcmansions built in 90’s or 00’s to what they call “Crane Homes” which are basically summer homes built in the 40’s when they dammed up the walkhill to make lake mohawk. Arthur Crane was the developer, thus the term crane home. Of the different houses in Sparta I really like lake mohawk best. You can find crane homes in a variety of conditions from totally neglected to completely redone and as a result I would imagine prices and conditions would range wideley. Summers on lake mohawk were awesome fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding etc. McMansions are nice and all I just liked being on the lake better.

    And yes, I live the commute, I’m out of the house by 6AM everyday. :(

    Anyway if you go to Sparta make sure you go to Kroghs and have the Oatmeal Stout. Maybe you can get the realtor to pay.

  106. A.West says:

    Zack (78)
    Split the difference between Sparta and Warren and join me in the NE section of Bridgewater/Martinsville. My wife was talking to Warren & Greenbrook moms yesterday at one of my daughter’s functions, they were aghast when hearing that the Bridgewater elementary school system was offering some services that their schools weren’t. There are now a lot of 4000+ sf houses on the market in my development. 3 in a row on Severin. Put in a low bid on all 7 or 8 and see who really wants to sell. You get an extra bed and bath for the same $ in Bridgewater over Warren, and per square foot, the taxes would be lower as well. So far I’m liking my decision to buy in Bwater over my initial plan of Warren/Greenbrook.

  107. Brian says:

    Three of the 10 richest counties in the United States are in New Jersey

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/3_of_10_richest_counties_in_co.html

    I feel richer already.

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

    Brian obviously their taxes are not high enough ; )

  109. JJ says:

    Hunterdoom is prized for its high taxes, lack of any commericial tax base and long commute to NYC.

  110. 3B says:

    Paul Krugman hosting Ron Paul on Bloomberg TV today from 4 to 5. That should be interesting.

  111. JJ says:

    Investment Grade Bond Yields hit a record all time low today. Also long term muni bonds are near all time record lows today.

    Old Folks who were smart to move to munis and investment grade bonds from March 2009 to March 2012 when money market and bank CD yields collasped maybe in for a shocker. Unless they went long term non-callable bonds they are going to get full calls, partial calls the rest of year like nobodies business. Ouch. I got a call notice today on a 4.75% muni. Normally no muni with an under 5% coupon gets called early. They are low hanging fruit. But man on man coupons are down.

  112. The Original NJ Expat says:

    I thought there was pant up demand for man on man coupons?

  113. Jill says:

    JJ #99: My $6900 taxes are not what I’m complaining about. My $8400 taxes were.

    Zack #78: Tell Wifey to watch “Holmes on Homes” or “Holmes Inspection”. Make her watch a marathon. She’ll change her mind about a McMansion right quick. I watched an episode of the latter on Saturday that involved a McMansion cr@pshack with water entry points everywhere. Do not let her be swayed by granite and tray ceilings and bridal staircases.

    ChiFi #79: Chris Hayes? I would be SO there. Hayes is my age-inappropriate crush. He is 32. That means I am not quite in JJ’s league for cradle-robbing.

  114. Juice Box says:

    The train is gonna be empty if this keeps up.

    “Consultants and Wall Street recruiters say banks could eliminate nearly 21,000 jobs from their securities divisions in New York alone.”

    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/04/30/wall-street-layoffs-21k/

  115. Juice Box says:

    Tomorrow is going to be hippie punching day downtown and Bryant Park in Midtown.

  116. xolepa says:

    (110)
    JJ, Hunterdon does not look to NYC as you do. Perhaps it is the center of your universe, but not ours. That is why we live here and not there. To most of us here, NYC is a nice place to visit, but not live. Even the neighboring counties are looked as overcrowded, polluted, inhospitable places. There was a ten year period here starting in the early 90’s where no murders occurred in the county. And we would hang every one of those that did if we had the chance. It didn’t start with that Bruno Hauptman guy, either.
    And I will forgive you for being ignorant of the way the state imposes penalties on us for seeking commercial ratables: For each market residential unit built, we are required to set aside low-income ones. For each business hiring new employees, the towns are required to set aside low-income housing. For each addition to a residence, the town must impose a surcharge on the permits to provide for low-income housing.
    What’s the results: Screw Trenton. Why build? Why feed parasites?

  117. JJ says:

    So you are saying you like to live near White Christian college educated professional people? You kids will never have street cred. I was out in Dinner in New York last night. There was a homeless man and a couple of shady characters by my truck. One kid is like Daddy what are those people doing by our car. I am like they live here and I am by a bus stop. I got to street cred up my kids. They are becoming studio G’s I only like hanging out with Original Gs.
    xolepa says:
    April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    (110)
    JJ, Hunterdon does not look to NYC as you do. Perhaps it is the center of your universe, but not ours. That is why we live here and not there. To most of us here, NYC is a nice place to visit, but not live. Even the neighboring counties are looked as overcrowded, polluted, inhospitable places. There was a ten year period here starting in the early 90′s where no murders occurred in the county. And we would hang every one of those that did if we had the chance. It didn’t start with that Bruno Hauptman guy, either.
    And I will forgive you for being ignorant of the way the state imposes penalties on us for seeking commercial ratables: For each market residential unit built, we are required to set aside low-income ones. For each business hiring new employees, the towns are required to set aside low-income housing. For each addition to a residence, the town must impose a surcharge on the permits to provide for low-income housing.
    What’s the results: Screw Trenton. Why build? Why feed parasites?

  118. Uptown Brown says:

    JJ,

    In re 99 – You’re getting a 60% increase in dollar pricing. Given that it takes 60% more dollars to buy that same whatever existed in 96, that seems right to me. (Cars, grills, and durable goods in general)
    Where did you get your compounding factors?
    I mean are you using country-CPI or are you using the BLS’s CPI for a specific MSA?

    BTW, while the CPI compounder is one way to price it, just remember that the trend in 96 was far more bullish than now. Although, the crystal ball isn’t as clear – waiting for the 2-tier Euro currency coming in a few months, and yes, I’ve heard similar for the US$ (one for domestic inflation, and one for trading internationally).

    UB

  119. daddyo says:

    gary [62]

    I wish I had a better idea of what was selling in Brig, just a gut feel it seems like the lower end stuff. Even so, houses that have been on the market for 2-3 years are going UC.

  120. JJ says:

    I thought May Day was for Commies and Union Folk not Hippies.

    Juice Box says:
    April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Tomorrow is going to be hippie punching day downtown and Bryant Park in Midtown.

  121. west (107)-

    Agreed. Watchung/Warren/Green Brook skools suck in comparison to Bridgewater. I never understood all the schmucks who would tell me they would ONLY live in Watchung/Warren and that it was “for the kids”. All the riffraff Stirling/Gillette kids bring down Watchung HS, too.

    Green Brook’s elementary skool is in a flood zone and gets hammered in hurricanes.

  122. brian (108)-

    I live in the “richest” county in Amerika. Only thing exceptional here is how many people driving Range Rovers are on food stamps.

  123. 3b (111)-

    Call me if a bare knuckles fight breaks out.

  124. xolepa (117)-

    In a way, jj is just as much a troll as reinvestor 101. He just works the Don Draper meme.

  125. jj (118)-

    Most of my Hunterdon hunting pals have a personal arsenal that gives them all the “cred” they could ever wish to have. A couple of them against a SWAT team would be a fair fight…and not one the SWAT team would be guaranteed to win.

    “So you are saying you like to live near White Christian college educated professional people? You kids will never have street cred.”

  126. BTW, we keep our food pantries in Hunterdon well-stocked with venison…both hunted and roadkill. Lots of high-quality protein for the indigent.

  127. JJ says:

    Thank God, my plan is if world melts down is to eat your food. Guns are for nancy boys, Chuck Norris and me will karate chop up.

    There Went Meat says:
    April 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    BTW, we keep our food pantries in Hunterdon well-stocked with venison…both hunted and roadkill. Lots of high-quality protein for the indigent.

  128. From David Rosenberg, Gluskin/Sheff:

    The Next Credit Bubble

    “Could well be in student debt, where outstanding loans surged $117 billion last year to over $1 trillion. More than 80% of 18-24 year olds that have taken out college loans still have a balance and 30% have more than 20% owing. This overhang has far-reaching implications beyond Sallie Mae’s balance sheet — it is also a reason why the young first-time homebuyer is notably absent from the real estate market and why this may well remain the case for some time to come as this key demand group works off the mountain of student debt before applying for a mortgage loan. For a sense of how this student loan saga is unfolding, also have a look at Trying to Shed Student Debt on page A3 of the weekend WSJ — as the deleveraging cycle is about to take on an entirely new deflationary dimension.

    The lack of demand from the traditional first-time homebuyer group (the U.S. real estate market is really getting most of its underpinnings from investors buying up distressed units to then rent out) is compounding the inventory overhang that is, in turn, maintaining downward pressure on home prices in the vast majority of markets.

    Take a look at page A2 of today’s WSJ (Housing Ends Slide but Faces a Long Bottom): banks still own 450,000 foreclosed properties, there are another 2 million units right now in the foreclosure process and there are an additional 1.7 million homes in some form of delinquency. This means total supply (actual and potential) of over 4 million units and that does not include the near-record 3.6 million vacant units being held off the market for “unspecified reasons”. This means a total vacancy rate in the owner-occupied sector of between 5% and 10% which is huge excess supply and likely a dead-weight drag on housing values for some to come, even if demand does manage to soon outstrip depleted rates of new construction.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/rosenberg-takes-student-loan-bubble-wagon-and-1937-38-collape-summarizes-big-picture

  129. Essex says:

    Sometimes I wonder aloud.

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  131. Chau Kriener says:

    My grand father constantly used to watch YouTube humorous videos, hehehehehe, because he needs to be cheerful forever.

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