Confirmation that the bottom has held?

From Bloomberg:

U.S. Housing Values Rose 6% in 2012 for First Gain in Six Years

Homes values gained an estimated 6 percent in the U.S. this year, the first increase since 2006, as the housing market began to recover from its worst slump since the 1930s, Zillow Inc. (Z) said today.

Values have climbed more than $1.3 trillion to $23.7 trillion since the end of last year and probably will continue to rise in 2013, the Seattle-based home-listing service said in a statement. Residential values had declined each year since 2007, with the biggest drop in 2008, when homes lost more than $3.2 trillion in value, Zillow said.

Low interest rates, improving employment and prices that remain almost 30 percent below their July 2006 peak have drawn buyers back into the market. A limited inventory of homes for sale has helped push up prices.

“The housing market really turned a corner in 2012, as historic affordability and sustained investor interest helped keep demand at a boil,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said in the statement. “As home values rise, and more homeowners are freed from negative equity, we can expect a continued slow transition to a more normal housing environment.”

Sales of existing homes increased in November to an annual pace of 4.9 million, up 2.3 percent from October and 11 percent from a year earlier, according to the average of 82 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Permits to build new homes, a proxy for future construction, rose to a four-year high last month, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

Rising demand is expected to fuel a “virtuous circle” that will drive economic growth, housing construction and price increases, Michael Widner, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., wrote in a note to investors yesterday.

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

91 Responses to Confirmation that the bottom has held?

  1. Fabius Maximus says:


  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Ahead of the Bell: US Home Sales

    Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes likely rose last month to their highest level in more than 2½ years, the latest sign of steady improvement in the housing market.

    Economists forecast that November sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.86 million homes, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be up 1.5 percent from 4.79 million in October. Home sales are on pace for their best year since 2007.

    The National Association of Realtors will release the report at 10 a.m. EST Thursday.

    Sales are about 11 percent higher than a year ago. But they remain below the roughly 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market.

    In October, sales of previously occupied homes rose 2.1 percent. But sales were still lower than in August, when they soared nearly 8 percent to 4.83 million.

    One reason economists expect an increase in November: The number of contracts signed to buy homes jumped in October to the highest level in nearly six years. Increases in signed contracts are usually followed by higher sales one or two months later.

  3. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  4. grim says:

    Seems someone has already named it, older article from Forbes:

    The Coming Mortgage Lock-in: Future Effects of Today’s Low Rates

    Mortgage rates are now the lowest they have ever been, at least in America, and possibly in the world. Today’s low rates will have lasting effects on labor mobility, the demand for new houses and the remodeling industry. The low mortgage rates will make it more expensive for homeowners to move to different homes in the future.

    Let’s run some numbers. Recent mortgage rates have been around 3.5 percent, at which rate a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of $200,000 has monthly payments of $898. Let’s say that a young couple buys a house today for $250,000, putting 20 percent down and financing the remainder. After a few years the babies arrive and the couple thinks about a larger house. They may decide that they can afford 20 percent higher mortgage payments, or $1,078 per month. How much house can they get with 20 percent higher monthly payments? If interest rates have moved up just one percentage point, then their monthly payments that are 20 percent higher support a mortgage that is six percent higher. That’s not a lot of improvement for the family.

    Suppose that mortgage rates have gone up not one percentage point but two, to 5.5 percent. Then a new mortgage would cost 26 percent more for the same old principal. In other words, it would be very expensive for the couple to move.

    How many homeowners would be affected? A rough estimate is that one-fourth of all families will feel locked in place by rising mortgage rates. (That is based on Zillow’s estimates that 54 percent of mortgagees have equity of at least 20 percent of their home value, and thus would probably qualify for a new mortgage. Many homeowners are underwater, and many more have too little equity to qualify for a new mortgage at today’s low rates. About one third of homes are owned free and clear. There are also about one third of all households that rent—they are not locked in to their current residence by low mortgage rates.

    With so many families locked in to their current houses, remodeling and additions will be a big business. The desire for more bedrooms, a larger kitchen, and nice cabinetry will be alive, but moving will be expensive, so many families will upgrade their current homes.

  5. Mike says:

    The sellers that did not let go of their mold shacks will make out!

  6. grim says:

    Also from Forbes (from yesterday):

    When Mortgage Rates Rise, Will Home Prices Fall?

    Some commenters suggested that home prices would fall after mortgage interest rates rose, adding further difficulties to those who might otherwise want to sell their homes and move.

    Home prices, however, are not likely to fall after interest rates rise. There’s logic for thinking so, but it’s incomplete logic.

    Here’s why home prices might be thought to fall. A house is a long-lived asset. The value of any such asset (real estate, stock share, or bond) is the sum of the future stream of cash flow or benefits, discounted by the interest rate. With higher interest rates, the discounting reduces the present value of those future income (or psychic benefit) streams.

    A simpler way to think of it is that at higher interest rates, fewer people can qualify for mortgages to buy a home; even if they qualify, they may not want to make higher payments. (This sounds different, but it’s merely a simplification of my first explanation.)

    How can this logic be wrong? Let’s start with history. The chart does not show too much of an inverse correlation, except maybe for the early 1980s. Here’s a table of changes. I took every case from 1976 through the present in which mortgage rates rose by one percentage point or more. I then looked at the FHFA’s Home Price Index for that period. It turns out that in every case, home prices rose over the period in which mortgage interest rates are rising.

    The one time in which home prices were falling was a time when mortgage rates were also falling. So what’s wrong with the theory described above?

    Interest rates on mortgages, bonds, and other long-term debt are not set by the whims of fairies. They are determined by two factors: inflation expectations and economic growth, which combine to set the supply and demand for credit. Mortgage rates only rise when people feel good about buying houses: inflation is pushing up home prices, and more people have jobs. The higher demand for housing pushes home prices up despite the higher mortgage rates.

    Of all the things to worry about, don’t worry about rising mortgage rates pushing down home values.

  7. grim says:

    5 – Talked to a couple of folks down on LBI.

    Lots of builders and investors going door to door, they are making deals on the spot, they are paying cash (yeah, not literally). Some of the prices I’ve heard whispered were very good, and I expect large raised homes to be built on those properties and the builders to make a mint. The catch here is you’ll need to have cash, no bank will lend on these properties.

    Lots of old timers are letting go at low prices, they can’t afford to rebuild nor do their kids want to take responsibility for rebuilding (or they simply can’t).

    Even a number who are patching up have intentions to sell once things “get back to normal”.

  8. grim says:

    JJ – If you didn’t buy your beach house already, it’s probably too late to get the best deals.

  9. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    2013: How Rising Prices Could Boost Housing Demand

    Potential buyers now have something they haven’t had in a long time: urgency (save for a few months when the government was paying people to buy homes with a first-time home-buyer tax credit). This next year will be the first time since 2006 where prices ended the previous year in positive territory. Surveys already show that buyers’ expectations of future home prices have improved throughout the past year.

    Just as falling prices have frozen buyers and sellers in place in recent years, housing strength may be even stronger than current indicators show given the powerful shift in sentiment that price increase may bring.

    “Every single thing about housing is flashing green,” said James Dimon, chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase, in an interview with CNBC last month. Household formation is rising, inventory is falling, and affordability is near a record high.

    Homeowner vacancy rates have been dropping and were down to 1.9% this fall, near the long-run average of 1.6% and down from a peak of 3% in 2008, according to Goldman Sachs GS -0.41%. Meanwhile, rising rents are likely to encourage more renters to buy. Finally, low prices and unattractive returns on other assets have fueled enormous investor demand for housing. While investors have begun to pare back in some of the hottest markets, such as Phoenix, they’ve been on a tear in others, such as Chicago and Atlanta.

  10. Mike says:

    Sorry Grim I was talking about the sellers up this way with moldy basements holding out for 2006 prices. I’m a big fan of the Jersey Shore and the same thing has been in the back of my mind also.

  11. JJ's B.Se says:

    No deals down where I wanted to buy anyhow. Whole market was frozen and where I was buying no one has to sell.

    I dont want to buy now anyhow till after Jan 1st, as we dont know what new assessed values are for homes down there, we don’t what flood insurance new rates will be and we dont know with fiscal cliff what deductions will get killed. Seems a lot of ifs. Also right now there is no price discovery. The first few buyers may get deals but they are taking chances as they dont know what prices will be.

    My contractors I talked to said they got lots of offers to buy damage homes from folks who cant afford to fix them. None want them at any price. They have their crews working 12 hours a day 7 days a week for next year at top dollar on insurance jobs and buying an investment property takes a lot of time and involves risk. Right now they are making cash left and right.

    Also wife is now thinking if we do it maybe a second floor or higher coop or condo off ground floor is way to go. In next storm let association deal with issue. But my concern there is I want to see full 2012 financials first as I bet some of those condos/coops may get huge maint hikes next year.

    I think if my home was not damaged I would jump in. But I still am working on a lot of damage in my house.

    Sales will roar back as undamaged folks are sitting on a sea of cash and are selling stocks/bonds these weeks to lock in low cap gains and need a place to invest that cash. Folks have a short memory for floods. Already it seems like old news to me and half my house is still a mess. But hey it is kinda like a dent on a car it bugs you first few days then you either fix it or ignore it.

    grim says:
    December 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

    JJ – If you didn’t buy your beach house already, it’s probably too late to get the best deals.

  12. All Hype - Mr. Oil, Mr. Gas, Mr. Coal says:

    Grim (9):

    Same talk as during the last housing boom. All we are doing is setting ourselves up for another monumental crash. I just went online looking at houses for the first time in 3 + months and have found that prices are still dropping. One house I seriously considered putting a bid for 6 months ago has dropped another 30k. The good news I take out of all this is now you can get a nice house for an almost reasonable price. If this pricing constitutes a healing housing market then that is a good thing. This whole buy now or be priced out forever mantra is all BS.

  13. Ernest Money says:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    William Butler Yeats

  14. 3B Buying says:

    #6 grim: And yet no mention about rising rates, and little to no growth, as in stagflation. Yep, lets just ignore that.

  15. JJ's B.Se says:

    NJ homes prices are weak, 6% is a nationwide average not a NJ average

    All Hype – Mr. Oil, Mr. Gas, Mr. Coal says:
    December 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Grim (9):

    Same talk as during the last housing boom. All we are doing is setting ourselves up for another monumental crash. I just went online looking at houses for the first time in 3 + months and have found that prices are still dropping. One house I seriously considered putting a bid for 6 months ago has dropped another 30k. The good news I take out of all this is now you can get a nice house for an almost reasonable price. If this pricing constitutes a healing housing market then that is a good thing. This whole buy now or be priced out forever mantra is all BS.

  16. Captain Sunshine says:

    Ah Shutup.

  17. JJ's B.Se says:


    Wished I owned more, but my 500 shares just popped harder than a pimple on teenager in a a fast food restraurant.

    NYSE EURONEXT (Margin)

  18. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That’s a good one. Remove QEx and see if the bottom holds. Japan has been holding their bottom for going on 30 years now.

    Confirmation that the bottom has held?

  19. grim says:

    12 – the crapshack fallacy

    The homes that don’t sell aren’t the ones making the market.

    The fact that it has sat for six months means the last ask was overpriced to market.

    The drop in price has more to do with the sellers getting tired of eating friskies, than the movement of the overall market.

  20. grim says:

    Crapshack fallacy existed once we passed peak too, except it more heavily influenced sellers, as they priced against overpriced comps.

  21. grim says:

    And no, there will be no new bubble.

  22. All Hype - Mr. Oil, Mr. Gas, Mr. Coal says:

    “The drop in price has more to do with the sellers getting tired of eating friskies, than the movement of the overall market.”

    The owners want to move to Morris County and need to sell the house prior to moving into a new one. So not a friskie eater just need to max the profit before moving up and out.

  23. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Grim I think there is going to be a bubble in Semi auto weapons. Sale are through the roof right now.

  24. JJ's B.Se says:

    Today I am happy with money I made off big board, tomorrow I am going to be even happy getting in on the big bang.

    chicagofinance says:
    December 20, 2012 at 9:22 am

    The End Is Nigh (JJ Preppers For Tomorrow Edition):

  25. Ragnar says:

    I don’t know if you’re reading from PA, but I’m likely going to need a good tax accountant and advisor. I’m moving from being a wage earner to a limited partner next year, which sounds like a whole different tax environment. If you know someone good around Somerset county, please refer.

  26. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [26] ragnar,

    Sure, email me at I will need some details.

  27. JJ's B.Se says:

    Chifi just sold half my NYX, but damm it I am having a hard time finding losers to sell.

  28. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [24] pain,

    I can confirm that.

    Dicks had cartons of cheap plastic hi cap mags in boxes, waiting to go on the shelves. I wasn’t interested but you know they are putting out boxes because the shelves will clear.

    Ironically, I am more sanguine. By having Biden chair a committee, Obama signaled that he doesn’t want to touch this right now.

  29. Ernest Money says:

    Good luck disarming Amerika. Methinks the NRA is going heavy on the offensive starting tomorrow.

    Eat my bread, do my will. They will “remind” their captured legislators of that, then proceed.

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Shiny way down this week. I’ve been waiting for this. I think the new Roth conversion is getting some shiny.

  31. Ernest Money says:

    I’m no NRA supporter, but I do think they will squelch any meaningful conversation about guns, mental illness or anything else that impinges on their agenda.

  32. Ernest Money says:

    plume (31)-


    That is all.

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [30] money,

    If they’re smart, they will go very light until the attack ramps up.

  34. 3B Buying says:

    #21 grim: We will see.

  35. 30 year realtor says:

    North Jersey price appreciation? It may occur in 2013 but it will be limited to certain communities and price ranges. No substantive appreciation on the horizon from my view point.

    Wells Fargo recently required their NJ listing agents to take 5 hours of online training to be prepared for the coming wave of REO. I believe there will be a substantial increase in properties sold at sheriff sales beginning in March or April of 2013. That train keeps picking up steam for several years to come.

  36. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [6];

    When Mortgage Rates Rise, Will Home Prices Fall?

    I thought this was what would kill the bubble in 2006, so WTFDIK? I thought that rates would come back up to reality, crushing prices from the peak. Instead, we had the crash anyway, but rates practically went negative. All the new money that Bernake flushed into the economy has to show up eventually. Its showing up in commodity prices (food, to name one). That’s why I don’t mind being heavily leveraged in land at low fixed rates. I’m so pro-inflation, I could run for mayor of the retirement home.

  37. chicagofinance says:

    I miss Ulquin Albani……especially with the Knicks playing well…..

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    December 20, 2012 at 9:54 am
    Shiny way down this week. I’ve been waiting for this. I think the new Roth conversion is getting some shiny.

  38. köyleri says:

    Pretty component of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to say that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment or even I success you access constantly rapidly.

  39. JJ's B.Se says:

    It turns out Grim comment about my RE taxes yesterday was off.

    When I said I everyone should with a storm damaged house should get their assessment lowered due to storm damage, he commented sure they will do that and raise my tax rates. How can town lower taxes on everyones home at same time when they have higher bills to pay due to sandy.

    Wrong. Turns out the town put in a FEMA request. Any reduction in RE taxes due to Sandy as a result of lower assessments to storm damage will be paid to town by US Govt. Also US Govt will pick up bill for a lot of town storm damage.

    It turns out Grim will actually be chipping in for my lower RE taxes. Thanks Grim.

  40. Juice Box says:

    re: # 40 – JJ “town put in a FEMA request.” Not so fast.

    The legislation in Congress has yet to pass, FEMA does not have enough cash to pay off what has been estimated to in the tens of Billions. The current Bill H.R.6581 is loaded with Pork, and has not moved out of Committee, no vote and it will be 2 months soon and a new Congressional Session, meaning a new Bill.

    Some town affected by Sandy have already begun issuing bonds. The tax increases for Operating expenses is bound to be around the corner, so pucker up.

  41. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    [29] Nom same at the Dick’s here

  42. Juice Box says:

    re: # 29 – “Obama signaled that he doesn’t want to touch this right now.”

    He is gong to have to deal with Boner (Boehner) sooner or later if anything gets done
    next session.

  43. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [42] pain,

    Bloomberg (ironic, huh?) reports that semiautos are being cleaned out at various stores they surveyed.

    Personally, I say get the high cap mags now. These will be banned first, and even if the assault weapon ban comes back, black rifles will still be sold but with a few cosmetic features removed.

  44. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


    You have mail.

  45. Brian says:

    My town has an alert right at the top of their website it reads like this:

    Property damage refers to damage to STRUCTURES that have been assessed. Tree damage and landscaping items are not considered in the assessment. Submission of the form does not automatically imply there will be a resulting change in your property assessment. Material depreciation will be evaluated on a case by case basis. All forms must be submitted by January 10, 2013 for consideration. ”

    So, I guess if your house was wrecked or damaged in the storm, you can appeal to pay less money in 2013 in taxes until your repairs are made. They jack you up again in 2014 if you fix it.

    That’s described in the form:

    “If an assessment reduction is granted due to material damage from the storm, the property will likely be subject to a
    future ADDED ASSESSMENT upon completion of the restoration work. The Added Assessment will be prorated
    beginning the 1st of the month following completion of the work. A separate Tax Bill is generated for Added
    Assessments in October.”

  46. JJ's B.Se says:

    Either way I win in a way. NYS is also on hook, and if all fails I dont live in an incorporate village or city. For instance Long Beach has its own tax base. My tax base is multiple towns since I am not incorporated and most towns suffered no damage in storm. So the money gets pushed to the other towns. Long Beach for instance is their own city with own police etc, if FEMA money dies, it wont work out for them. My case my bigger issue is dealing with the idiots in assessors office.

    I have a wizard of oz issue, dont look behind the curtain. My issue is ignore the den, laundry room and lower bathrom which is magically brand new with no permits or insurance claim info, and keep them in living room, porch, back deck and garage with unimpaired storm damage.

    If inspector is cool it will work. I just need to borrow an old car for that day to put in driveway. It is all BS anyhow. Bottom line home is worth less. Any inspector worth his fee will see there is a high tide line and anything below that line is either brand new, patched or hidden under trim, carpet or behind an appliance. It wont come out and smack you but stuff like rust on bottom of screen doors, and garage door trim that has new nails and new sheetrock on bottom and old on top in garage with a is easy to spot.

    Total bs, I think my house is easily worth 100K if sold today. Five years ago it might be worth more. Kinda like Jets tickets. But assessed value is todays value. All up Jersey short, SI, LI, NYC, assessments are going to be the next wild fight in 2013 followed by flood insurance fights in 2014. The Sandy story has turned ugly.

  47. Ragnar says:

    Thanks Nom

  48. Brian says:

    Fund Industry Leaders Urge “Sustainable Course” for U.S. Finances
    By Mike McNamee
    December 18, 2012

  49. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Thought some of you might like this the others might actually learn something in your anti gun flailings

  50. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Sales of existing home highest in three years

    Sales of existing homes climbed in November to the highest rate in three years, a trade group said Thursday.

    Existing home sales rose 5.9% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million, reaching the highest rate since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

    “Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.

    Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a rate of 4.9 million for November. The rate in October was revised down to 4.76 million from a prior estimate of 4.79 million.

    The median existing-home price rose 10.1% from the prior year to $180,600, according to NAR. The price gain reflects more upper-end transactions: Sales of million-dollar-plus homes are up 52% from a year earlier, compared with 17% for homes between $100,000 and $250,000.

    “Some, but not all of the strengthening in prices merely reflects a shift in the mix away from sales of discounted ‘distressed’ homes — from foreclosures and short-sales — toward more traditional sales,” wrote Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at Valhalla, NY-based High Frequency Economics.

    Elsewhere Thursday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that U.S. house prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in October, and that prices rose 5.6% from the same period in the prior year.

    According to NAR, all regions saw existing-home sales rise in November. Sales were up 7.9% in the South, 7.2% in the Midwest, 6.9% in the Northeast nad 0.8% in the West.

    Inventories declined 3.8% to 2.03 million units in November, representing at the current sales rate a 4.8-month supply, the lowest since September 2005.

  51. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Higher-End Homes Selling Again

    Sales of existing homes beat expectations in November, with Realtors reporting a surprisingly modest effect in the Northeast from Superstorm Sandy. An even bigger surprise was a huge gain in activity among higher-end homes. Sales of homes priced above $750,000 jumped 50 percent from a year ago, as sales of the lowest-end homes (largely distressed) fell 4 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    The change in the mix of homes selling pushed the median home price nationally (median defined as half selling higher and half selling lower) to $180,600, a 10.1 percent increase from November of 2011. This is a far higher jump than other so-called “repeat” sales indices have shown, because a median measure does not compare the sale prices of homes selling now to similar homes selling a year ago, but the median of all sale prices nationally, which is skewed to which types of homes are selling. Still, the shift to more activity in higher price ranges is important.

  52. JJ's B.Se says:

    takes 60-120 days to close on a home. most home purchases are pre-sandy homes closing mixed in with the big rush to close homes with lots of appreciation due to cap gains rising. After new years it will slow down, this is a cash for clunkers type number where sales are pushed up for other reasons. The tax one in particular. Lots of folks are paying 15k-100K bonus for a buyer that closes before new years.

    A 100K house bought 30 years ago now worth two million owner would pay an extra 8.9% in taxes after December 31 on gain. He is going to push that sale forward to December even if he has to pay buyer 100K to do it.

  53. grim says:

    45-60 is more typical unless it’s a contingent sale.

    Typically a nightmare to try to do a closing in 30 days if there is a mortgage associated, but it is doable. I find 45 is comfortable for most and has a bit of padding. Usually never touch a 60 day close unless the seller is moving out of state or whatnot, needing a lot of time to pack up and get out. Buyers start to get pretty antsy with closes over 60 days, lots and lots of sitting around with no information, news, etc. Both parties tend to drag their feet with these long closes.

    Sales contingent on other transactions? Short sales? Impossible to put a number on those.

    If you run a correlation between pending home sales and closed sales, you typically need to offset by anywhere from 1-2 months to get the correlations to peak.

  54. joyce says:


    Don’t let facts get in the way of JJ’s perceived views (a.k.a fantasies)

  55. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:
  56. JJ's B.Se says:

    interesting. so your taxes on home stays low until you fix problem and then they get jacked back up.

    So if I have damage in this town why would I ever fix it. Get a big bonus for an eyesore.

    I got similar form, I have no intention of noting fixed damage. However, there is damage I have no intention of fixing, at least till I try to sell. How is that handled.

    If I live a mess I get rewarded. Govt is stupid.

  57. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. unemployment rate falls to 9.6 percent, but state sheds 8K jobs

    New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.6 percent in November but the state lost 8,100 jobs in the same period, the state Labor Department said today in the first report to measure the jobs toll from Superstorm Sandy.

    Down from 9.7 percent in October, the jobless rate declined for the third straight month in November after climbing most of the year. But in another sign of Sandy’s widespread destruction, the loss of 8,100 jobs was the sharpest drop in 2012.

    Losses were spread almost evenly across the public and private sectors, which shed 4,400 and 3,700 jobs, respectively. Sandy made landfall in Atlantic City in late October, and the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes the casinos, felt the biggest shockwaves as it lost 6,900 jobs.

    “This is a remarkably good showing under the circumstances created by Sandy,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist of the state Treasury Department. “It seems clear that the storm generated some job losses, particularly in leisure and hospitality, but the total loss for the state was fairly modest, and the unemployment rate continues to drift down.”

    Local governments cut 3,800 workers, and the education and health services sector lost 5,400. The largest gain was in the professional and business services sector, which rose by 8,300.

  58. Ernest Money says:

    Double, double, toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

    Billy Shakespear

  59. Bozo the Clown says:

    Glad to hear that JJ is back and in one piece. Joyce clearly missed him. But her aim’s improving.

  60. JJ's B.Se says:

    And I even got Fema to pay to lower my toliets so my big donkey schlong fits

    Bozo the Clown says:
    December 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Glad to hear that JJ is back and in one piece. Joyce clearly missed him. But her aim’s improving.

  61. chicagofinance says:

    Isn’t that an arcade game?

    JJ’s B.Se says:
    December 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    donkey schlong

  62. JJ's B.Se says:

    Kinda like your investing style

    chicagofinance says:
    December 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Isn’t that an arcade game?

    JJ’s B.Se says:
    December 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    donkey schlong

  63. JJ's B.Se says:

    michael vick wants to be new qb for jets, tell you it is a dog eat dog business being a qb

  64. cobbler says:

    mentioning schlongs seems to attract robotic bangladeshi h00kers…

  65. 250K says:

    …and now for something completely different.

    I like my garbage collectors, mailman and newspaper delivery person.
    I already sent $ to newspaper delivery person via the mail as a holiday tip.
    If you do tip your postal carrier and garbage collectors:
    – how much do you give and;
    – how do you leave the tip for them?

    I can’t be home to hand deliver cards.

    Last year I was home and left a letter addressed to “postal carrier” in my mailbox, heard the mail get delivered, ran downstairs to say happy holidays and saw that mail was being delivered by a fill-in!!! Do I have any faith the new guy gave the tip to our regular guy? No idea if mail people operate on honors system. As for the trash collectors, seems gross to leave a card under a brick on top of the garbage can but they come around after 9am and I can’t be home. I guess they would rather get the tip than not?

  66. JJ's B.Se says:

    Leave a case of beer for garbage man, box of cookies and a card for postman

  67. Ernest Money says:

    Give .223 to those near and dear to you.

  68. Brian says:

    The tip I usually give is “don’t look directly into the sun”

  69. Ernest Money says:

    I advise people not to live in Sussex Co.

  70. Ernest Money says:

    …except Mikey, who has the game beat.

  71. BearsFan says:

    Im particularly fond of …”don’t eat yellow snow”

  72. Fabius Maximus says:

    I give the postal carrier cash and usually get a small USPS thank you card in the mail. If you don’t see the card, check with your normal carrier.

  73. Brian says:

    No one listens to you anyway.

    Ernest Money says:
    December 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm
    I advise people not to live in Sussex Co.

  74. Libtard at home says:

    I gave nothing to my public worker garbage men in Montclair because they sucked. Were the main reason that I moved. Really. They once threw out my garbage can!!!

    In GR, garbage is privatized and excellent. Will give $20 a head to whomever comes next week. Probably will give the post man $20 too. In Montclair, my postal carrier sucked too. Would always get neighbors mail and they got mine. Carrier on my route this year hasn’t flubbed even once.

  75. Useful information. Fortunate me I found your web site by chance, and I am surprised why this coincidence did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  76. Ernest Money says:

    Brian (74)-

    Keep telling yourself that as you do lackey work for your mutual fund gamblers. How many times do one of these guys churn their whole portfolio in order to get a 1.5% annual gain?

  77. Ernest Money says:

    Lots of cap gains and ex-dividend exposure. Sounds like a great business to be in as we go off the financial cliff.

  78. Ernest Money says:

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The California city of San Bernardino paid $2 million in cash-outs to employees for unused vacation and sick time in the three months before declaring bankruptcy on August 1, data reviewed by Reuters show.
    City officials chalked up the payment spurt to coincidence and other factors. Still, the payments may run afoul of a core provision of the bankruptcy code that imposes strict rules on the types of payments that can be made immediately prior to a bankruptcy, according to bankruptcy lawyers who are not involved in the case.
    In a court hearing scheduled for Friday, the city is expected to argue that it is so penniless that it needs bankruptcy protection and relief from payments owed to the California Public Employees Retirement System and other creditors.
    Yet in July alone, the city paid $1.2 million to 33 employees for unused sick and vacation time, with more than half of that paid out the day before the bankruptcy filing. The next highest similar total for a recent July was $471,149, in 2010. Reuters analyzed city data from 2008 to this year obtained through a public-records request.
    In the three months before the bankruptcy, 51 city workers received sick and vacation time payouts totaling $2 million. Most of the workers received the payments as part of their retirement, as provided for in union contracts, city officials said.
    Rhonda Haynes, the city’s acting human-resources director, said the timing of the payouts was a coincidence. July 31 is the normal cash-out payment date for employees who retired and received their final wage check on July 15, she said. Other city officials also suggested that general anxiety among older workers over the city’s finances led to a blip in retirements.
    Legal analysts said the cash-outs immediately prior to bankruptcy filing were troubling and could be a breach of the federal bankruptcy code. Payments made by a debtor 90 days prior to a filing can be subject to clawback if they are found to be “preferential.” Preference payments violate the bankruptcy code, a civil statute that does not provide for criminal sanctions.

  79. Brian says:

    Relax chip will ya? Have one of those fancy Belgian beers or something. Don’t worry so much.

  80. Ernest Money says:

    Yeah. Today was a good day. Nobody got shot.

  81. Essex says:

    79. Sounds like most firms. Take care of the employees first.

  82. Brian says:

    11 worst predictions of 2012

    Housing to slump, again2 of 11 Gary Shilling, an economist in New Jersey, delights journalists with his dour forecasts. Fear makes good headlines, of course, and he’s good at making them. Problem is, he’s been wrong on his biggest short — U.S. housing — all year.

    Shilling warned of a wave of foreclosures in 2012, predicting that some 3 million to 5 million homes would remain in a shadow inventory, flooding the market and hurting all U.S. home prices. But that just hasn’t happened. Foreclosures are hitting markets at an orderly pace, in large part because so many foreclosures have occurred in states like Florida that require a judge to approve the process. As Shilling cried wolf in 2012, homebuilder stocks roared back, home prices steadily rose, and new homes couldn’t be built fast enough in the U.S. Time for a new short, Gary.

  83. Sometime owner of home have to face financial problem. That time they go to bank and try to get some money showing their house. The bank take the chance and less the price of the house.

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