December & Q4 Otteau Report

From the Otteau Group (


In the most positive sign for the New Jersey housing market in more than a year, contract-sales activity in December moved into positive territory for the 1st time since August 2005. In December, contract-sales activity ran 2% higher than December 2005 providing solid evidence that home buyers are beginning to reenter the housing market in response to lower home prices and continued low mortgage interest rates. The December performance follows lesser improvements in year-on-year home sales in October and November, and marks the first time in 16 months that the housing market experienced a higher volume of monthly sales activity than the prior year.

A more sobering view however comes from Unsold Inventory which actually increased in December by 1% or about 800 homes. While this increase is not significant from a statistical perspective, it does send a clear message that greater increases in home sale activity will be needed to reduce current inventory levels and restore balance to the housing market. At the December sales pace, Unsold Inventory represents a 10.6 month supply which far exceeds the balance point at which home prices will rise. By comparison, there was a 7.8 month supply one year ago. Therefore, while recent market improvements may signal the end of the housing decline, it should not yet be interpreted as a return to higher prices. Also keep in mind that these improvements have been fueled primarily by lower home prices suggesting that Right-Pricing! remains the key to successful home marketing.

Fourth Quarter Otteau Reports can be found at the Otteau site:

The Otteau Report

Big thanks to Mr. Jeff Otteau for providing this data to us. Compiling this data and releasing it in such an easy-to-use manner is a tremendous undertaking. Please be sure to thank Jeff and the rest of his organization for their work.

This entry was posted in New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

254 Responses to December & Q4 Otteau Report

  1. SNJ Mark says:

    And no mention of the unseasonably warm temperatures in December 2006?

  2. SNJ Mark says:

    The spammer is back.

  3. NJGal says:

    Hmm, how is a 2% rise in sales a signal to an improving market whereas a 1% increase in inventory is “statistically insignificant?” Aren’t BOTH insignficant, and in fact we’re staying “flat” in the face?

  4. says:

    For starters they will finance the lion’s share of the so called 20% property tax reduction with the funds they save from doing away with the homestead rebate checks. What a disappointment. The current crew hasen’t even tried to get anything done. Vote all these incumbents out that goes for county officials also

  5. says:

    There is less than 2 days for you to email your state legislators, now in a special legislative session, and demand a reduction in property taxes. Only 3500 people have emailed so far. Can YOU email ONE short letter NOW? You can find out which State Senators & Assemblymen represent your STATE District by looking up your town on the NJ Legislator web site:

    Read all about the special session at

    You can write something like:

    Dear Legislators:

    We are outraged that despite all the legislative talk, we Jerseyans (more so than any other state in the nation) are having to foot the bill for the unfair manner in which NJ funds its public schools. Local governments should be sharing services and cutting costs dramatically. There is soooo much waste! Abuse of public monies should be stopped! State pensions and health care benefits should be in line with what the rest of us are paying! The time for talk is over. The time for action is now!!!

    Please let your special legisaltive session MEAN something. We voters are tired of legislative inertia. PLEASE DO SOMETHING NOW TO REDUCE THIS UNFAIR BURDEN ON THOSE OF US WHO PUT YOU IN OFFICE!!!

    Thank you.

  6. Clotpoll says:

    LOL!! Right off the bat, comment #1 is the favorite bear spin to any remotely positive news: unseasonably warm weather!

  7. BklynHawk says:

    This doesn’t seem to say much either way in my opinion. December was slow both months. The real fireworks will be coming up shortly.


  8. BklynHawk says:

    both years, not months…

  9. Seneca says:

    Isn’t one month not enough data to indicate a trend? If Jan and Feb show similar results, then we have a potential bottom-in the making, otherwise its just a Biz Markie data point.

  10. Tick says:

    Im amazed at how quickly they think its a sign of a turn around. Wish every time my stocks had a good month it meant the company was turning around.

  11. gary says:

    OMG, are people insane? How de-sensitized has everyone become? 525K for an average, bland split in a seemingly desirable neighborhood and that’s a bargain? Sigh… You know, talking with neighbors, friends and co-workers about real estate, investments and finance in general just leaves me absolutely perplexed at times.

    I can’t believe the sheep mentality and the reasoning people come up with when discussing financial issues. My wifes aunt said the price of houses will never go down in her town because the schools are so good and the town is so desirable. It’s a town in Passaic County, that’s all I’m going to say.

    How about this one: a cousin of my wife (again with the wife’s side :0 ) said she “heard” that 529 plans are no good!! No information why, just that they’re no good. Here’s a friend of mine’s investment advice: “make a dollar, spend a dollar.” How’s that one?

    Everybody reading this, please do me a favor, DO NOT CONSIDER BUYING A HOUSE NOW. Don’t do it. Don’t follow the crowd because somebody told you “the prices have come down”. 500K for somebody’s dank smelling piece of sh*t is not a bargain. Wait untill there is blood in the street. When the mainstream media starts using the words “panic” and “home sales” in the same sentence, then it’s time to buy.

    I will repeat this over and over until I see cob webs hanging from the “Open House” signs piled up behind the realtors office.

  12. Zac says:

    Go Gary ~ Go Gary ~ Go Gary
    right on man.

  13. Richard says:

    frankly i don’t know how to read that chart. clearly 2006 sales were well below 2005 but the trend lines are completely different and just because they intersected doesn’t mean anything from a forecast perspective. you can say just from the chart that we’re in uncharted territories.

    jim can you post data for all the years you have like you do periodically? that would be more telling.

  14. gary says:

    Zac, I need a drink. LOL!!

  15. sas says:

    Can you believe this shit?
    Merck is really getting desperate.

    “Merck lobbies to require cervical-cancer vaccine for schoolgirls”


  16. James Bednar says:

    jim can you post data for all the years you have like you do periodically? that would be more telling.

    Keep in mind my graphs are closed sales, not contracts.


  17. Commercial RE Consultant says:

    Clot: LOL!! Right off the bat, comment #1 is the favorite bear spin to any remotely positive news: unseasonably warm weather!

    LOL Clot, Isn’t Otteau a residential appraisal firm. They/He wants to put a positive spin on the market. Who the heck looks at one month for a trend…..I know quite a few residential appraisers, and they are all seeking to expand their services into things like property management, etc.

  18. skep-tic says:

    bottom line is most people spin the data they way they want to see it.

    All of the new listings I’m seeing still have the dream prices. The price cuts on the rotting inventory are all in the 5% range.

    Clearly, most sellers choose to believe that 2006 was a momentary pause on the road to RE riches.

  19. Seneca says:

    This may come as a surprise to many of you but music industry sales increased by 19 percent in 2006.

    >> bottom line is most people spin
    >> the data they way they want to see it

    They sure as hell do. RE bears and bulls included. Figures lie and liars figure. And the beat goes on…

  20. BC Bob says:

    You can’t make this crap up. The market has been in the sh*tcan for the past 12 months and they are cheering a 2% rise as compared to last Dec??? Again, dancing at the lows. We are in deep piles but at this time we are not getting deeper, yet. Very constructive?? At the same time, unsold inventory is at 10.6 months compared with 7.8 months one year ago. This is a most positive sign??? I guess you can spin that your Mercedes falling off a cliff is also a positive…………….if your mother-in-law/lawyer/or realtor[can’t resist that one Clot] is in the car.

    Trends are not made, nor do they change, in a day, week or month. Of course there will be relief rallies, counter trend moves. These are just market head fakes. Don’t be fooled and get sucked in by the hype. This baby has a long, long way to go on the downside. Just picture it as a staircase, lower highs and lower lows. Don’t gey caught up in the day to day, week to week reports. Just keep your eye on the longer term #’s/charts, at least 6 months-year of data. Everyhing else is just a bunch of short term noise in the bigger scope of the of the long term erosion of this market.

  21. RentinginNJ says:

    In December, contract-sales activity ran 2% higher than December 2005 providing solid evidence that home buyers are beginning to reenter the housing market


    December had the lowest number of sale for the year. Also, we are now in year 2 of the slowdown, so the YOY numbers are nothing to brag about.

    A more sobering view however comes from Unsold Inventory which actually increased in December by 1% or about 800 homes

    Looks like a similar pattern to last year. Sellers are looking to beat the spring rush. While driving around last weekend in Wayne and Clifton, I was shocked at the number of open houses for a weekend in early January. It looked like something more typical of July.

    I think the increase marks the beginning of a tidal wave of inventory.

  22. RentinginNJ says:

    Hmm, how is a 2% rise in sales a signal to an improving market whereas a 1% increase in inventory is “statistically insignificant?” Aren’t BOTH insignificant, and in fact we’re staying “flat” in the face?

    Good point.
    Looking at the chart, if we are being generous, contract sales were roughly around 6,000 sales. 2% of 6,000 is 120.

    Inventory increased by 1% or 800 homes. 800 is 1% of 80,000

    So, an increase in sales by 120 homes is “solid evidence that home buyers are beginning to reenter the housing market”. However, an increase in inventory of 800 homes is “not significant”; just noise in the numbers?

  23. Clotpoll says:

    One statistical item we’ve all got to keep in mind now:

    As we’re finished with ’06, year-over-year comparisons going forward should be viewed as unreliable indicators. Any ’07 uptick vs ’06 must be viewed in the light of an outperformance against radically-lower comparisons and expectations.

  24. syncmaster says:

    5 Myths About Suburbia and Our Car-Happy Culture

    By Ted Balaker and Sam Staley
    Sunday, January 28, 2007; B03

    They don’t rate up there with cancer and al-Qaeda — at least not yet — but suburban sprawl and automobiles are rapidly acquiring a reputation as scourges of modern American society. Sprawl, goes the typical indictment, devours open space, exacerbates global warming and causes pollution, social alienation and even obesity. And cars are the evil co-conspirator — the driving force, so to speak, behind sprawl.

    Yet the anti-suburbs culture has also fostered many myths about sprawl and driving, a few of which deserve to be reconsidered:

    1.Americans are addicted to driving.

    Actually, Americans aren’t addicted to their cars any more than office workers are addicted to their computers. Both items are merely tools that allow people to accomplish tasks faster and more conveniently. The New York metropolitan area is home to the nation’s most extensive transit system, yet even there it takes transit riders about twice as long as drivers to get to work.

    In 1930, the interstate highway system and the rise of suburbia were still decades away, and yet car ownership was already widespread, with three in four households having an automobile. Look at any U.S. city and the car is the dominant mode of travel.

    Some claim that Europeans have developed an enlightened alternative. Americans return from London and Paris and tell their friends that everyone gets around by transit. But tourists tend to confine themselves to the central cities. Europeans may enjoy top-notch transit and endure gasoline that costs $5 per gallon, but in fact they don’t drive much less than we do. In the United States, automobiles account for about 88 percent of travel. In Europe, the figure is about 78 percent. And Europeans are gaining on us.

    The key factor that affects driving habits isn’t population density, public transit availability, gasoline taxes or even different attitudes. It’s wealth. Europe and the United States are relatively wealthy, but American incomes are 15 to 40 percent higher than those in Western Europe. And as nations such as China and India become wealthier, the portion of their populations that drive cars will grow.

    2.Public transit can reduce traffic congestion.

    Transit has been on the slide for well more than half a century. Even though spending on public transportation has ballooned to more than seven times its 1960s levels, the percentage of people who use it to get to work fell 63 percent from 1960 to 2000 and now stands at just under 5 percent nationwide. Transit is also decreasing in Europe, down to 16 percent in 2000.

    Like auto use, suburbanization is driven by wealth. Workers once left the fields to find better lives in the cities. Today more and more have decided that they can do so in the suburbs. Indeed, commuters are now increasingly likely to travel from one suburb to another or embark upon “reverse” commutes (from the city to the suburbs). Also, most American commuters (52 percent) do not go directly to and from work but stop along the way to pick up kids, drop off dry cleaning, buy a latte or complete some other errand.

    We have to be realistic about what transit can accomplish. Suppose we could not only reverse transit’s long slide but also triple the size of the nation’s transit system and fill it with riders. Transportation guru Anthony Downs of the Brookings Institution notes that this enormous feat would be “extremely costly” and, even if it could be done, would not “notably reduce” rush-hour congestion, primarily because transit would continue to account for only a small percentage of commuting trips.

    But public transit still has an important role. Millions of Americans rely on it as a primary means of transportation. Transit agencies should focus on serving those who need transit the most: the poor and the handicapped. They should also seek out the niches where they can be most useful, such as express bus service for commuters and high-volume local routes.

    Many officials say we should reconfigure the landscape — pack people in more tightly — to make it fit better with a transit-oriented lifestyle. But that would mean increasing density in existing developments by bulldozing the low-density neighborhoods that countless families call home. Single-family houses, malls and shops would have to make way for a stacked-up style of living that most don’t want. And even then the best-case scenario would be replicating New York, where only one in four commuters uses mass transit.

    3.We can cut air pollution only if we stop driving.

    Polls often show that Americans think that air quality is deteriorating. Yet air is getting much cleaner. We miss it because, while we see more people and more cars, we easily overlook the success of air-quality legislation and new technologies. In April 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that 474 counties in 31 states violated the Clean Air Act. But that doesn’t mean that the air is dirtier. The widely publicized failing air-quality grades were a result of the EPA’s adoption of tougher standards.

    Air quality has been improving for a long time. More stringent regulations and better technology have allowed us to achieve what was previously unthinkable: driving more and getting cleaner. Since 1970, driving — total vehicle miles traveled — has increased 155 percent, and yet the EPA reports a dramatic decrease in every major pollutant it measures. Although driving is increasing by 1 to 3 percent each year, average vehicle emissions are dropping about 10 percent annually. Pollution will wane even more as motorists continue to replace older, dirtier cars with newer, cleaner models.

    4.We’re paving over America.

    How much of the United States is developed? Twenty-five percent? Fifty? Seventy-five? How about 5.4 percent? That’s the Census Bureau’s figure. And even much of that is not exactly crowded: The bureau says that an area is “developed” when it has 30 or more people per square mile.

    But most people do live in developed areas, so it’s easy to get the impression that humans have trampled nature. One need only take a cross-country flight and look down, however, to realize that our nation is mostly open space. And there are signs that Mother Nature is gaining ground. After furious tree chopping during America’s early years, forests have made a comeback. The U.S. Forest Service notes that the “total area of forests has been fairly stable since about 1920.” Agricultural innovations have a lot to do with this. Farmers can raise more on less land.

    Yes, American houses are getting bigger. From 1970 to 2000, the average size ballooned from 1,500 square feet to 2,260. But this hardly means we’re gobbling up ever more land. U.S. homeowners are using land more efficiently. Between 1970 and 2000, the average lot size shrank from 14,000 square feet to 10,000.

    In truth, housing in this country takes up less space than most people realize. If the nation were divided into four-person households and each household had an acre, everyone would fit in an area half the size of Texas. The United States is not coming anywhere close to becoming an “Asphalt Nation,” to use the title of a book by Jane Holtz Kay.

    5.We can’t deal with global warming unless we stop driving.

    What should be done about global warming? The Kyoto Protocol seeks to get the world to agree to burn less fossil fuel and emit less carbon dioxide, and much of that involves driving less. But even disregarding the treaty’s economic costs, Kyoto’s environmental impact would be slight. Tom M.L. Wigley, chief scientist at the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research, calculates that even if every nation met its obligation to reduce greenhouse gas, the Earth would be only .07 degrees centigrade cooler by 2050.

    Wigley favors a much more stringent plan than Kyoto, but such restrictions would severely restrict economic growth, particularly in the developing world. Nations such as China and India were excluded from the Kyoto Protocol; yet if we’re serious about reversing global warming by driving less, the developing world will have to be included.

    The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that during the 20th century the Earth’s temperature rose by 0.6 degrees centigrade and — depending on which of the many climate models turn out to be closest to reality — it expects the temperature to rise 1.4 to 5.8 degrees by 2100.

    What does the IPCC think the effects of global warming may be? Flooding may increase. Infectious diseases may spread. Heat-related illness and death may increase. Yet as the IPCC notes repeatedly, the severity of such outcomes is enormously uncertain.

    On the other hand, there’s great certainty regarding who would be hurt the most: poor people in developing nations, especially those who lack clean, piped water and are thus vulnerable to waterborne disease. The IPCC points out that the quality of housing in those countries is important because simple measures such as adding screens to windows can help prevent diseases (including malaria, dengue and yellow fever) from entering homes. Fragile transportation systems can also frustrate disaster recovery efforts, as medical personnel are often unable to reach people trapped in flooded areas.

    Two ways of dealing with global warming emerge. A more stringent version of Kyoto could be crafted to chase the unprecedented goal of trying to cool the atmosphere of the entire planet. Yet if such efforts resulted in lower economic growth, low-income populations in the United States and developing countries would be less able to protect themselves from the ill effects of extreme heat or other kinds of severe weather.

    Alternatively, the focus could be on preventing the negative effects — the disease and death — that global warming might bring. Each year malaria kills 1 million to 3 million people, and one-third of the world’s population is infected with water- or soil-borne parasitic diseases. It may well be that dealing with global warming by building resilience against its possible effects is more productive — and more realistic — than trying to solve the problem by driving our automobiles less.

  25. njrebear says:

    Dimon sees a sign of recession
    J.P. Morgan CEO also says NYC’s place in world markets a ‘parochial’ issue

    “We can do business anywhere around the world,” Dimon said. “We would like to see New York thrive because we have a lot of people here, but I don’t think it would damage us dramatically,” if more business moved overseas.

  26. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:


    Where’s the crash? The sh*t can market? Come on crybabywannabes, median price is up from October 2006 to January 2007 (look at the lowball data), and now December sales show improvement. Shout as you will, but the data shows the NJ RE market is not falling off a cliff. Sorry to disappoint the crybabywannabe bears here.


  27. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:

    BC Bob #18,

    Thanks for your long, emotional diatribe ignoring the data that fails to conveniently fit your bearish view.

    You are wrong – again.


  28. BklynHawk says:


    So, inventory doesn’t matter?

    If a buyer has 50% more houses to choose from, you don’t think that’s going to force sellers to change tactics? Like, lower prices?

    Or, they can just pull their houses off the market? December was the month for that, and inventories still went up! As I mentioned above, we have a few weeks before the rush for the doors by sellers.

    It really is going to come down to who can hold out longer. My guess, buyers.


  29. RentinginNJ says:

    median price is up from October 2006 to January 2007 (look at the lowball data)

    “Lowball” is interesting & fun to read, but it’s hardly a data set intended to be used to gauge movements in the median price of homes sold in NJ. It’s just a unscientific sample of homes that sold for less than OLP.

    The Case/Shiller index was published today, which shows a drop in home prices in the NY metro area since October.

    Since we are on the topic of statistical rigor, Moody’s has this to say about the quality of Case/Shiller data:
    Case Shiller Indices (CSI) are recognized as the most trustworthy and authoritative house price change measures available. They are market-specific and accurately track historical residential house prices over time.

    CSI offers:
    – A total market measure not based on conforming loans;
    – Actual sales that do not include refinances;
    – Tiers for 35 metro areas.

  30. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:


    “The purpose of Lowball! is to show buyers that the market has changed and buyers now have considerably more leverage than sellers. Just a short time ago, Lowball! offers would have been laughed at and discarded, however, not any more. The fact that so many under-asking offers are being accepted is clear proof that the market is changing.”

    Lemme see, the lowball data shows homes that sell ABOVE LP and OLP. Lowball data is from most if not all NJ counties, has over 1000 data points per month and is based on recent actual sales. But in your bearish estimation, the data is only good for showing homes that sell for under OLP. I get it now, lowball data supports only the assertion that homes sell for less than OLP, but somehow fails the statistical validity test when it shows the RE market is stronger than most on this blog care to believe. Thanks for the clarification.


  31. BuyNextYear says:

    “If a buyer has 50% more houses to choose from, you don’t think that’s going to force sellers to change tactics? Like, lower prices?”

    My spin on this is that even with median prices holding steady, the increasing inventory will result in buyers getting more or better house for the money.

  32. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:


    I agree with you. The market is getting better for crybabywannabes, but it certainly is not crashing.


  33. Rich In NNJ says:


    “median price is up from October 2006 to January 2007”

    Do you have access to NJAR data for October to December? If so please post it as they haven’t released median prices for the Q4.
    Wait, and January 2007? Are you a realtor pulling stats? Please share.

    Thanks, Rich

  34. David Lereah vs. Peter Schiff video catfight on Neil Cavuto. Meow!!!

    Blowhard homedebtors Neil Cavuto and David Lereah team up to take on Peter Schiff on whether there’s a housing crash underway.

    Peter talks about prices are ridiculously high, bid up in a speculative mania with lax lending standards, how renting is significantly cheaper than buying, and how Lereah and the NAR are acting like the dot-com stock touters in the ’90s. He predicts a collapse of 50% to 70%.

    The Corrupt David Lereah spouts about how the media is talking about a bust when it’s not a bust, and how their $40 million ad campaign is to counter the bubblemeisters. Pleads that people shouldn’t compare the real estate bubble to stocks in the ’90s.

    Hilarious video. Enjoy!

  35. messier11 says:

    All that chart shows is that from March through October, ’06 contract sales were substantially lower than ’05 and that December ’06 was the slowest month of the year. The housing bulls are hoping that because Dec.’06 is starting on a slightly higher footing than Dec. ’05 started at, we should expect to see at least the same sales in ’07 as ’06.

    But, the flaw is that because Dec ’05 wasn’t a good predictor of the ’06 sales as compared to all of ’05, why would Dec ’06 sales fair any better in predicting Dec ’07? It won’t.

  36. still_looking says:

    I guess I got moderated???


  37. still_looking says:

    my (I guess moderated?) post should have been prefaced with the usual “off topic” response disclaimer. FWIW.


  38. James Bednar says:

    A piece on the Otteau report ran in the Star Ledger this morning..

  39. James Bednar says:

    I’m going to keep this post at the top of the page for today. I posted it late yesterday afternoon and don’t want it to get lost at the bottom of the main page.


  40. James Bednar says:

    Hopefully, we will get some data on the January market later this week (or early this weekend).

  41. James Bednar says:

    Fourth Quarter reports are also available from the Otteau site, link has been posted in the body of the main post.


  42. James Bednar says:

    From BusinessWeek:

    Finally, Westchester home prices drop

    After creeping up to a record high last summer, housing prices in Westchester County are finally showing signs of decline.

    The median selling price of a house in the fourth quarter of 2006 was $630,000, down 3 percent from a year earlier, the Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service said Tuesday.

    It was the first such decline since 1994.

    The long run-up in prices in Westchester, one of the nation’s highest-priced real estate markets, had slowed in the last couple of years as the national market cooled. But prices were still going up slightly until the record price of $716,125 was reached in last year’s third quarter.

    In Putnam County, median price was $420,000, up 2 percent. The Greater Hudson Valley Multiple Listing Service reported earlier this month that the median price of a Rockland County house was $475,000, down 7 percent.

    Tuesday’s report said Westchester’s price decline could be blamed on buyer resistance to the long-climbing prices. It said sales were hampered by sellers’ reluctance to realize that circumstances have changed.

    The report predicted that prices would continue to fall in the first several months of 2007, then stabilize.

  43. James Bednar says:

    From the Mass. Republican:

    Soaring foreclosures sign of trouble ahead

    Real estate is considered a somewhat reliable investment: homeowners expect to buy low and sell higher, but the equation isn’t foolproof.

    Consider, for example, the fate of homeowners who are forced to sell a house purchased in the midst of a real estate boom that later went bust. They’re faced with the predicament of having bought high – and being forced to sell for lower than the balance on their loan. It’s a phenomenon that seems to occur every decade or so – and, for many Massachusetts homeowners, the time is now.

  44. pesche22 says:

    NJ , the welfare state is a Sad State of

    Read today papers , makes your head spin.

    Sports guy resigns, EnCap, Taxes, illegals,
    Jersey city, Newark , want more money.

    As BC Bob say,you can’t make this stuff up

  45. metrofuser says:

    Holiday data is inacurate and has been for years. Very suprising Otteau is using and calling near bottom..

  46. BC Bob says:

    “The market is getting better for crybabywannabes, but it certainly is not crashing.”


    Nobody said that prices will crash in the first year of the bust. I always stated, it will be 5-7 years of slowly declining prices. Actually, I am very suprised how far prices how come down in just the first year. In addition to this, add all the incentives. This results in a dance along the bottom??? It’s a very ominous sign. Prices come down like a slow leak. From peak to trough, it will be a crash. One years time???? Better chance that Hillary will introduce universal health care.

  47. BC Bob says:

    If China slows, you can take off your dancing shoes, save them for the next bottom.

    “China’s stocks tumbled the most in at least 21 months after a lawmaker said shares are overvalued, fueling speculation the government will act to limit investment.”

    “There is already a bubble here,” said Zhang Ling, who oversees about $1.1 billion at ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management Co. in Beijing. “Concern is mounting that the government will intervene to pop the bubble.”

  48. Commercial RE Consultant says:


    I agree with you. The market is getting better for crybabywannabes, but it certainly is not crashing.

    But it appears to be getting better and better and better! This housing market will not crash like the stock market..It will take at least two years. The only people crying waaaaaa are going to be those who bought in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Most, if not all of the indicator, are heading south. Stop ignoring the overall housing indicators. Inventory, foreclosure rates, availability of financing, income levels, tax increases, affordability, etc.

    One more thing:
    Your blog name is juvenile. Anyone (including out of work idiots) could have owned a home with the exotic financing that was/is available. Are you a 20 year old real estate broker? I am real curious what you do for employment?

  49. BC Bob says:

    “Any ‘07 uptick vs ‘06 must be viewed in the light of an outperformance against radically-lower comparisons and expectations.”


    Good point.

  50. James Bednar says:

    From Marketwatch:

    GDP surges at 3.5% rate in fourth quarter

    The U.S. economy shook off a summer slump and surged ahead at a faster-than-expected 3.5% annual growth rate in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.
    Fed by robust consumer spending, a drop in energy prices and big turnaround in the trade balance, the economy notched its highest growth in a year, offsetting the drag of the weak housing and auto sectors.

    The 3.5% growth rate was much stronger than the 2% recorded in the third quarter, and handily beat the 3% expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

    Consumer prices fell 0.8% annualized in the quarter, the first quarterly decline in 45 years and the biggest drop in 52 years.

    The core personal consumption expenditure price index, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 2.1%, slightly above the Federal Reserve’s 1% to 2% comfort zone. Core inflation has risen 2.3% in the past year, down from 2.4% in the third quarter. Market-based core inflation rose 1.7% in the quarter.

    Final sales of domestic product rose 4.2%. Final sales to domestic purchasers increased 2.4%.

    Disposable personal incomes rose 5.4% annualized, with the personal savings rate improving to a negative 1% from 1.2% the previous quarter.

    For all of 2006, the economy grew 3.4%, after growing 3.2% in 2005 and 3.9% in 2004.

    The report, with its strong growth and temperate inflation, should reassure the Fed that its current interest rate target of 5.25% is appropriate, although the stronger-than-expected growth creates a risk of higher inflation. The Fed has been counting on several quarters of growth below the long-term potential of above 3% to damp down inflationary pressures.

  51. James Bednar says:

    Will we see the 10Y yield make a move towards 5% today?


  52. BC Bob says:

    “Will we see the 10Y yield make a move towards 5% today?”

    Another market dancing along the bottom [price, not yield]

  53. thatbigwindow says:

    “Anyone (including out of work idiots) could have owned a home with the exotic financing that was/is available.”

    True…they would have given a mortgage to a squirrel

  54. RentinginNJ says:

    This housing market will not crash like the stock market..It will take at least two years.

    I expect to see a similar patter to the late 1980’s RE bubble

    2006 was the year of the “Mexican Standoff”; sales dropped significantly and inventory climbed as buyers and sellers largely held their ground. Prices were a mixed bag, neither climbing nor falling off a cliff.

    2007 – 2008(or 09) Will see falling nominal prices as the laws of supply and demand exert themselves on the housing market. Foreclosures will rise as the Ponzi scheme of serial refinancing breaks down. Speculators will be chased from the market (despite media assurances that speculators have left the market, many are still around; either thinking 2006 was a fluke or simply not being able to sell at a loss). Prices, however, will still remain high by historical standards.

    2009 – ??? (5 – 10 year). Prices will be flat or growing at a rate less than inflation as the fundamentals catch up with prices. At the end of the flat period, houses will be relatively cheap from a historic perspective.

  55. thatbigwindow says:

    Although we just bought a house in December, I still can see prices mimicking what happened in the 80’s bubble. Not necessarily a bad thing, sure we overpaid for this house (if you look at what it will probably be “worth” in a few years) but we look forward to purchasing a second house when the prices go even lower.

  56. BC Bob says:

    “Your blog name is juvenile”

    Commercial [48],

    Similar to his/her assessment of this market. Anybody has to either be a moron or in a coma to think that RE prices crash in one years time. Make no mistake about it, the structural aspect of this market has crashed. This is simply a precursor to future falling prices. By the way, does he/she think that blackboxes are going off telling John Q that’s it time to sell???

  57. BC Bob says:


    Great analysis. I’m in your camp. Fear will start to set in after this spring.I feel the bulk of the damage will be done in 2008-2009. When the dust finally settles, it will be flat, maybe up/down a little[inflation rate] for a long time to come.

  58. Richard says:

    today’s RE market has to be looked at from a regional perspective taking into consideration the key aspects of population growth, employment and speculative behavior. this is why i’m having a hard time looking at anything nationally. this is a NNJ RE blog so our focus should be on what affects this region of the country.

    jim anything you can post on population growth trends, employment stats, job quality, building activity etc. for this region will serve this community far more than national statistics.

  59. bergenbubbleburst says:

    Commerical RE: # 48 I would also add those who purchased in 2003 as well

  60. BC Bob says:

    “jim anything you can post on population growth trends, employment stats, job quality, building activity etc”


    Have you been paying attention?? Grim does a fantastic job of posting this all the time. I can almost quote James Hughes and migration trends. Jobs??? Whay else do you need to know besides the fact that Jersey is producing govt jobs and service workers. New high paying quality jobs??? Extinct, at this time.

    Hard for me to comprehend that you have missed all these stories/posts regarding these same topics.

  61. bergenbubbleburst says:

    More noise and distotion, and similiar to what happened las time around, soothing word, and convoluted reports that the housing market was improving, its safe to get back in the water.

    The reality than as now is it is just getting started, although I have to say, the price declines have been even swifetr then even I would have thought.

    I think there is going to be a lot of crybabywannabehomesellers come this Spring.

    Suck it up cream puffs.

  62. thatbigwindow says:

    “trolling, trolling, trolling down the river..”

  63. bergenbubbleburst says:

    BC BOB, The 2 growth areas for job creation, over the last 3 years, restaurant worker, and home health care attendant;who eles can afford 500k crap capes or condo shacks.

  64. Richard says:

    bob i’m talking about more correlated empirical data for this region. he does some of this like the # of homes under contract per region etc. i’m less interested in how couple X took out a toxic loan and are now underwater or other regional data that has little bearing on our own.

    i must’ve missed the memo where you were assigned as jim’s PR person.

  65. BC Bob says:

    “i must’ve missed the memo where you were assigned as jim’s PR person”


    You did ask for a wake up call regarding certain parameters. Wasn’t sure if these topice were included?? By the way, is this the only memo you missed???

  66. Richard says:

    4th quarter GDP 3.5%. very impressive.

  67. thatbigwindow says:

    350k for a move in condition colonial is not bad in my opinion. If a house is priced correctly, it will sell.

  68. RentLord says:

    Does anyone have the percentage of vacant SFH? I think it was about 20% (please correct me, but it’s pretty high)

    Unless there is a strong, sustainable growth in price trend, it is just foolish to buy now.

    Just rent one of those single family houses that are gathering dust for much less. In fact even if it costs more to rent, it does NOT make sense to be tied down with all your eggs in one basket.

  69. Rich In NNJ says:

    (I already posted this but it’s in moderation due to the number of links*. It should end up being post #69)


    I think the data Jim collects and presents himself is MLS data many others can not get, unlike the data you’re looking for.
    But he does present stories and data about NJ from other sources.

    (*Links on NJRER)
    NJ Economic Growth Lags

    Fed Beige Book – Focus on Real Estate

    Leaving New Jersey

    New Jersey Economy Lagging

    Lack of affordability impacting NJ competitiveness

    $9.25 Minimum Wage in NJ


  70. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob Says:
    January 31st, 2007 at 8:20 am
    If China slows, you can take off your dancing shoes, save them for the next bottom.

    Bost: 2007 China will keep the dam intact, but I’m on board with the Chicago research on Chinese banks. Once we get to the other side of the Olympics, head for the hills. I’m sure a good swath of market participants will be front-running this development in 12 months.

    2007 will be the further folding of the weak RE hands/flippers/jokers

    2008 will be when real people start to be bloodied – Street guys have to be wondering whether 2007 bonuses will good/bad…….we have to see how many months of strength we continue to have. When does the spigot turn off?

    Bottom Line: Until you have a story in the WSJ or major weekly magazine, we are NOWHERE

  71. James Bednar says:

    Economic Indicators from the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development:

  72. James Bednar says:

    New York Fed Index of Coincedent Indicators for NJ:

  73. njrebear says:

    ” this is a NNJ RE blog so our focus should be on what affects this region of the country.”

    Wait a min…
    Does this mean the assertion that NYC market will always go up because it is global/national market is wrong?

    if NYC market can go up with global growth, it should come down when global growth slows.

  74. James Bednar says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Construction outlays fall 0.4% in December

    Spending on private residential construction projects fell for the ninth consecutive month in December, pushing total construction outlays down by 0.4%, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The pace of spending was lower than the 0.1% increase expected by economists. For all of 2006, construction outlays were up 4.8%, the smallest gain since 2002. Compared with December 2005, however, outlays in December 2006 were down 1.4%. In December, spending on private projects fell 0.8%. Private housing outlays fell 1.6%. Private nonresidential outlays rose 0.9%. Public construction outlays rose 0.6%.

  75. Al says:

    As a major destination of foreign immigrants, the net gain from international migration
    (+357,111) was the largest source of population growth in New Jersey during the first
    six years of this decade. Natural increment (surplus of births over deaths) was another major
    source (+254,766) of the state’s population growth between 2000 and 2006. However,
    New Jersey experienced a net loss of 277,900 residents due to domestic migration during
    the same time period.

    Wow NJ population is being replaced by immigrants….

  76. James Bednar says:

    The construction spending press release can be found here:

  77. James Bednar says:

    Property tax reform bombshell dropped.

    GOP calls tax aid unconstitutional

    The state Attorney General’s Office is reviewing Republican claims that a $2 billion property tax relief program making its way through the Legislature is unconstitutional, even as Democrats dismissed the claims as groundless and political.

    “If we don’t get this fixed now, I guarantee somebody’s going to file a lawsuit and the whole thing’s going to go down,” Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R- Morris) said at a news conference yesterday. “If I were the people of New Jersey, I wouldn’t be spending the checks yet.”

    Gov. Jon Corzine and other Democrats quickly dismissed the Republican claims.

    Republicans claim a property tax relief bill that the Assembly approved 71-8 Monday is flawed be cause it would offer tax credits that vary based on a homeowner’s in come. That, they said, runs afoul of a provision in the state constitution that requires all property to be taxed based solely on its value, not on the income or personal characteristics of its owner.

    The “uniformity clause,” they maintain, prevents policymakers from adjusting tax rates to discriminate against unpopular groups.

    To clear up the problem, Republicans want Democrats to offer uniform levels of relief to all homeowners regardless of income — or to seek voter approval for a constitutional amendment specifically authorizing a graduated tax credit program.

  78. James Bednar says:

    From Reuters:

    Subprime home loan improvement sparse, lenders say

    Tighter mortgage underwriting to the riskiest homebuyers has helped improve loan quality but has far to go before defaults are reduced to acceptable levels, according to some of the biggest subprime issuers.

    Lenders including New Century Financial Corp. (NEW.N: Quote, Profile , Research) and Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. (LEND.O: Quote, Profile , Research) are scrambling to reduce the number of early defaults on their loans that surged at rapid rates in 2006. Investors are increasingly forcing lenders to buy back the loans, hurting profits and prompting originators to improve quality at the expense of volume.

    Changes include cutting back on no-downpayment loans or loans to borrowers who do not prove income. Fremont Investment and Loan, a unit of Fremont General Corp. (FMT.N: Quote, Profile , Research), on Monday said it ended relationships with 8,000 brokers who were closely correlated to its loan default rate, which is among the industry’s highest.

    “We haven’t seen the turnaround yet,” Brad Morrice, chief executive of Irvine, California-based New Century, told investors late on Monday. “The goal is to keep making changes until the early payment default levels are acceptable.”

    “Constant tightening of guidelines has had the impact of trending down on volume,” which shrank about 6 percent in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier, he said.

    Lenders changing their underwriting criteria is “like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic,” Chris Flanagan, head of asset-backed securities research at JPMorgan, said on an ASF panel on Tuesday.

    “It’s incredible to me that there’s a notion of a significant tightening” in underwriting, he said.

    Morrice at New Century said the company hasn’t completed changes to underwriting standards to reverse the rapid rise in defaults from low rates in 2003-2005. Improvements may be detected in the current quarter, though they may not be seen until June, he said.

    “We suspect things are going to get somewhat worse before they get better, and we are planning accordingly,” he said.

  79. curiosd says:

    Can you believe this shit?
    Merck is really getting desperate.

    “Merck lobbies to require cervical-cancer vaccine for schoolgirls”

    SAS, actually, this is a good thing… 70% of women develop some form of this by their 30s… this will eradicate the problem. agendas or not, this is a win-win medically/health wise for all women.

  80. 2008 Buyer says:

    “Keep in mind that these improvements have been fueled primarily by lower home prices suggesting that Right-Pricing! remains the key to successful home marketing,” Otteau said.

    That’s accurate and creditable statement. One of the major resources appraisers use when coming up with a number on a house is comps. Which is always lagging what’s really happening in the market. And they are even more unreliable if the comps are old (like in today’s market where home sales are slow) or no homes near the subject property. I would venture to guess that appraisers (much like realtors) are over valuing homes today. Does the board agree? The incentive to placing a trully accurate value is not there because RE agents and mortagge brokers would not use them any more.

    Having said that, I personally tend to discount information a little bit when I consider the source. Although nothing about the RE industry is rocket science and can’t be learned, just as I wouldn’t take mortgage advice from a realtor at face value, why would I take homes sales reports from an appraiser without a grain of salt?

  81. chicagofinance says:


  82. thatbigwindow says:

    curious d – and how do they develop it? they contract HPV.

    Sorry, I don’t think something like that should be mandatory. The solution isn’t to require the country to be medicated.

    The less gov’t the better off we all are. I don’t need the gov’t to save me from myself.

  83. Hard Place says:

    Those GDP numbers sure make the likelihood of a Fed rate cut look minute.

  84. 2008 Buyer says:

    WOW, That’s a Bold Statement, He’s talking about the small mom and pop firms though. i hope.

    Mozilo: 40-50 B&C Firms a Day Going Bust

    Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo estimates that 40 to 50 subprime firms are going out of business each day, a trend that likely will continue all year. During a conference call discussing Countrywide’s earnings, Mr. Mozilo — in response to a question — said analysts are seeing reports of two to three firms failing each day, but that the number is much larger. Addressing the carnage in the subprime sector, Mr. Mozilo said, “I think we have a way to go on that.” Company president David Sambol said Countrywide is beginning to see its subprime volume increase because of all the firms leaving the sector. Meanwhile, Mr. Mozilo declined to comment on news reports that the company might be talking to Bank of America about an alliance in mortgages or a merger.

  85. lowball says:

    “Many sellers today are demanding prices that their neighbors had obtained during home sales of a year earlier, said P. Gilbert Mercurio, CEO of the Westchester-Putnam Board of Realtors. In the meantime, some buyers ‘think there are fire sales going on,’ he said. ‘They’re waiting each other out,’ he added.”



  86. IAN says:

    Any one tell about the boonton town and township? How is the school and neighbourhood?
    I am considering to put an offer on one of the houses I liked.

  87. James Bednar says:


    I’m in if you are.. :)


  88. still_looking says:

    did that post get deleted or moderated too???? Hello?

  89. still_looking says:


    is there a reason my recent posts are vanishing?

    thanks in advance.


  90. James Bednar says:


    Email me exactly what you have posted, for some reason your posts are being pushed into auto-delete (not even moderation).

    The auto-delete filter is really just made up of vulgar words, but there are some drug trade names included as well (to filter spam robots).


  91. Richard says:

    bob and pat, obnoxious squared. you guys need to learn how to talk to people.

  92. clayton says:

    Boonton is a so-so town. I think they share a high school with Mt. Lakes so that is a major plus. Houses are much more reasonably priced than surrounding towns (Montville, Mt. Lakes, Kinnelon).

  93. RentinginNJ says:

    Boonton is a so-so town. I think they share a high school with Mt. Lakes so that is a major plus.

    Both Boonton Township and Mountain Lakes pulled out of Boonton High School. Just Boonton and Lincoln Park use the school now. Its a pretty bad high school with crummy test scores.

    Boonton actually has a section of housing projects, which impacts the schools.

    Boonton and Boonton Township are totally different towns. Boonton Township is a very nice town and they go to Mountain Lakes High. Everything else being equal, go for Boonton Township.

  94. BC Bob says:

    “bob and pat, obnoxious squared. you guys need to learn how to talk to people.”


    LOL. Squared??? How about the Pythagorean theory regarding irrational #’s??? Perfectly construed with this market.

    Talk???? You have it all wrong downtown. The key is to listen. There is a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth.

  95. RMB says:

    This is very off topic. But I have yet to find any really good BBQ in Bergen County… I need to get ribs and wings ect.. Anyone know of any place?

  96. thatbigwindow says:

    RMB: Try Famous Daves in Mountainside (not too far from Bergen County)

    Also, Austin’s in Rochelle Park has really good BBQ ribs.

    Other than that, I have no clue :(

  97. BC Bob says:


    Did you try Jim Dandy’s in southern Bergen?? I believe in Rutherford and North Arlington??

  98. pesche22 says:

    housing stocks on fire today. xhb up .86
    no recession on ws.

  99. RMB says:

    The only place I have heard about is Cubbys in Hackensack.. But I heard mixed reviews,,,

    Bob/window.. Haven’t heard of either..I am new to NJ.. Thanks.. I will look them both up..

  100. Rachel says:

    RMB: I am the ultimate Memphis style BBQ snob and haven’t found good BBQ in this area either. The best I found is Virgil’s in NYC. Other than that try Hot Rods in Wharton or Indigo Smoke in Montclair. Famous Dave’s is awful. Houston’s in Riverside Square has awesome ribs.


  101. BC Bob says:

    “I need to get ribs and wings ect.. Anyone know of any place? ”

    Where is Clot???

  102. RMB says:


  103. Richie says:


    Improvement? Did you see that slide from October through December? How’s that improvement?

  104. thatbigwindow says:

    Virgils was pretty good, although I usually get pulled chicken which I didn’t really like at Virgils. Way too salty

  105. still_looking says:


    email sent to njbubble@…


  106. RMB says:

    Agree on the pulled chicken..But the brisket and the ribs are yummmmmmmmeeeeeyyyy

  107. chicagofinance says:

    new and untested….still working the kinks out but promising

  108. chicagofinance says:
  109. Tick says:

    I would expect to see prices of 5-6 year ago because of:

    1. increased and increasing property taxes
    2. increased insurance rates
    3. declining pay rates
    4. rising health insurance
    5. finally increased interest rates. They arent going to stay low expect at least 2 more points in the following years to come.

    Companies in NJ arent simply going to give thier employees more money. The first to go were the people the second wave is going to be the companies/jobs because the same jobs can be done in other states for much less.

    This is why there was a significant growth in NC and TN in the last couple years. Parts of Florida as well have seen nice increases while other parts continue to decline.

    While those areas are starting to see some cooling its only estimated the reasons for the cooling is the inability of other areas being able to sell to move to the more popular areas.

  110. chicagofinance says:

    if you are zipping through the Lincoln tunnel

  111. Tick says:

    I should have included a lot of NJ people moving to Texas as well.

  112. James Bednar says:

    If you are ever in Montclair, I recommend Indigo Smoke on Bloomfield Ave. It’s a little bit on the fancy-pants side, especially when compared to the typical Southern “picnic tables in a warehouse” kind of joint. I believe it’s KC-style bbq.


  113. Rich In NNJ says:

    RMB Says:

    This is very off topic. But I have yet to find any really good BBQ in Bergen County… I need to get ribs and wings ect.. Anyone know of any place?

    I don’t know where you are in Bergen County but Broadstreet Smokehouse & Grill opened in Ridgewood but, I’ve yet to try. I believe they have one in Elizabeth as well.

    All of our steaks are prime Certified Angus Beef and expertly grilled to your taste.
    8oz Filet Mignon…26.95
    12oz Kansas City Strip Steak…19.95
    14oz Rib Eye…22.95
    16oz T-Bone…24.95

    Kansas City Rib Platter…15.95 half slab / 22.95 full slab
    Texas Brisket Platter…14.95
    Pulled Pork Platter…14.95
    Veggie Delight…13.95
    BBQ Chicken…13.95
    Combination Platter – Any 2 of the above…19.95


  114. chicagofinance says:

    tick: are people moving to Texas for the BBQ?

  115. ithink_ithink says:

    cnbc says its a buyers mkt, must be true.

    will it take all of ’07 to fix seller mentality or that the globe is broke by ’08 to do it?

    i’d like a rate raise this afternoon. but probably not until oil & corn tag team prices in the summer.

    ‘do you want a recession?’ boss asks.

    ‘some of us would like a fighting chance to own a house’ fellow renting coworker replies.

    … great depression… apocalypse… at least we’d have a chance.

  116. Pat says:

    Man, is it ever lunch time! Gotta go fire up the Lean Cuisine.

  117. BC Bob says:

    The quants [blackboxes]rule the street. Are there too many hedge funds chasing too few opportunities?? Are asset prices distorted by the sheer number??



    “Mark Carhart looks out over the packed New York conference and tells investors that Warren Buffett has it all wrong”

    Traditional stock pickers like Buffett, a fabled raconteur, do have one redeeming quality, Carhart jokes: “They tell great stories.”

    “The hiccup will cost Goldman Sachs. During a December conference call, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar told analysts to brace for a sharp fall in reported hedge-fund and other incentive fees during the first fiscal quarter of this year.”

    “It will be significant,” Viniar said.

    “Hedge fund managers industrywide face a sober reality: The days of easy money are over. Since 2000, this corner of the financial world has more than doubled in size.”

  118. ithink_ithink says:

    ‘apocalypse’ courtesy

  119. chicagofinance says:

    James Bednar Says:
    January 31st, 2007 at 12:57 pm
    If you are ever in Montclair, I recommend Indigo Smoke on Bloomfield Ave. jb

    grim: ever BBQ coral? What is the best sauce?

  120. bergenbubbleburst says:

    Rachel #104 Memphis style. Oh I could really go for soem Corky’s right now.

  121. James Bednar says:

    Is everyone ready for the 2:15 Fed Parse-a-thon?


  122. Pat says:

    Yup. Specially now that I’m all filled up with pretend ribs.

  123. James Bednar says:


    I used to have a pair of giant clams, Tridacna Squamosa. They were each the size of a football. I’ve heard stories that the giant photosynthetic clams are black-market delicacies around the Pacific rim. While I never really gave much thought to eating them, it would only be appropriate to prepare them teppan-yaki, or perhaps even tempura.


  124. Tick says:

    No its just that Texas is on the job rise. There are several areas that have recently had some explosive growth its not that we made more people its that the housing, taxes, insurance, water costs, etc are much better in those areas.

    For example a lot of people when thier houses increased 100%+ took the money elsewhere and were able to clear a new home or the majority of thier home in those areas. (NC, TN, FL, TX). Were talking nice new homes. Thier income really doesnt matter so much any more because they arent being robbed into working for a mortgage, taxes, and insurance.

    Like myself when my last 2 homes in NJ went up 100K on the first one and 150K on the second one for litterally no reason other than a housing boom it wasnt rocket science for us to say lets take that 250K and move to and area like NC where you can get a new 3000 sq ft house for 250-300K. I will say I remodeled the kitchen and bath in one home and the bath in the second all for less than 5K even on the kitchen so nothing worth 100K increase on either. Jobs pay about 80% of NJ. Insurance is half of NJ. Property taxes are 25% of NJ. Even if I made 50% of what I was making in NJ I was ahead of the game because the majority of my cash wasnt going to the banks interest rates on a mortgage despite how low they were. As for schools you just need to be selective in the area you choose to live in.

    I have friends who have 6000sq ft of living space now that thier basements are finished off and those homes cost them about 400K (Good Builders) and are walking distance to the lake and with the top schools in the state that could rival any school in NJ. Its that kind of difference in living that is making people ask themselves why I am killing myself in NJ?

    A good friend of ours moved to texas and bought 20 acres and a new all brick house in Texas with his income and the amazing part if he was transfered from Jersey and got a 20K pay increase. I have had several other friends/co-workers from NJ move there as well.

    A few others moved to just above Cape Canaveral in FL. Cant remember the name but that was a booming area and still might be.

    I and a few friends get a lot of calls for working in TN. Even ones that will pay for you to move there.

    Remember your free to move about the country and if family is keeping you there get them to move as well.

  125. James Bednar says:

    As for eating coral, I’d be a bit concerned over the neurotoxicity issues. Many of the soft varieties (non-calcifying) harbor palytoxin.

    From Wikipedia:

    Palytoxin is an incredibly complex marine natural product containing 71 stereochemical elements. Palytoxin, isolated from soft coral, is considered to be one of the most toxic non-peptide substances known, second only to Maitotoxin. Professor Yoshito Kishi’s group at Harvard University first synthesized palytoxin in 1994. This feat is still considered today by many to be the greatest synthetic accomplishment ever.[1]

    Palytoxin targets the sodium-potassium pump protein by binding to the molecule such that the molecule is locked in a position where it allows passive transport of both the sodium and potassium ions, thereby destroying the ion gradient that is essential for most cells.

    Typical symptoms of palytoxin poisoning are angina-like chest pains, asthma-like breathing difficulties, tachycardia, unstable blood pressure, hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), and an electrocardiogram showing an exaggerated T wave. The onset of symptoms is rapid, and death usually follows just minutes after.

  126. MJ says:

    How the mortgage rates moved in 2006. Its easy to figure out why the RE market didnt crash in the second half of 2006. Also note where we are heading now,250&st=zz&c3d=False&web=brm&cc=1&prodtype=M

  127. James Bednar says:

    Here was SL’s moderated post:

    Re: HPV vaccine –

    HPV vaccine has been found to nearly eliminate the risk of cervical cancer in women. As HPV
    (human papilloma virus) can be spread even via non-int***ourse contact the recommendations for vaccination include girls as young as 9.

    Nearly 90% of cervical cancers are a direct result of the malignant strains of HPV — the more “benign” strains cause genital warts.

    As an ER doc, I have seen firsthand the results of cervical cancer (unnecessary deaths) – I can’t imagine why anyone would be against a vaccine that would nearly eliminate the risk of getting it. Problem is, the vaccine is most effective in girls that have not yet been infected with HPV.

    Also, the vast majority of patients are completely unaware of HPV, it’s relationship to cervical cancer or that there even *is* a vaccine for it.

    Just my humble opinion, FWIW.


  128. Clotpoll says:

    BC Bob, Rachel (104, 105)-

    I am not the person to speak with concerning BBQ above the Mason-Dixon. IMO, the stuff served up here is all soupy, ketchup-slathered hackage. Even the best fascimiles, such as Blue Smoke in NYC, just seem to be missing something.

    However, you might want to pick up the phone, call The Rendezvous in Memphis (901) 522-8840 (or, and have them FedEx you some of the finest porcine edibles to ever meet a smoke pit. The price is surprisingly reasonable, and your personal definition of BBQ will be changed forever.

  129. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi & Grim (126)-

    Lookout for those glow-in-the-dark giant clams! People eat that sh*t cause it’s expensive and dangerous (kinda like fugu).

    A perfectly safe- and tasty- giant clam is the NW Geoduck (pronounced “gooeyduck”, also known in Japanese cuisine as “Mirugai”.

    All you have to do is quickly parboil them, remove the shell, gut-bag (yum!), and valve sheath (double yum!), then slice the remaining valve and body very thinly on the bias with a sharp knife. From that point, you can make a whole variety of warm or cold salads by adding sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, scallions, peppers, etc.

    Of course, the first time you clean and handle one of these disgusting creatures, it will completely kill your appetite and quite possibly make you retch.

    Good times.

  130. Rachel says:

    Clot–I went to Memphis last year for a weekend full of BBQ, blues, and a little Elvis. My favorite was the Germantown Commmissary. . I was blown away by how good it was compared to Rendevous. BTW, I agree Blue Smoke was awful. This talk is making me HUNGRY!


  131. Seneca says:

    Looking at Otteau’s report for Union County, I find it interesting that of all the “premiere” UC towns, Clark has the most months of projected absorption of inventory at 11. Eleven!!! It is interesting because of all of UCs “premiere” towns, Clark is probably the least exceptional.

    One way to read this is that Clark sellers are the least in touch with reality. No downtown to offer, no NJT train. It does confirm what I have been seeing though in the homes I follow for sale there: minimal or no price reductions and asking prices for existing homes on par with prices asked for new construction.

    A developer is building new McMansions there that are literally on top of the Garden State Parkway with asking prices of $950k+++. One of the concessions the builder is making is free allergy medication for your kids to counteract all the soot they will inhale from playing in the backyard.

    OK, not really. This explains why many homes are hitting the 365 DOM mark (multiple relists of course).

  132. chicagofinance says:

    grim: you need sedation

  133. Clotpoll says:

    BC Bob (47), ChiFi (72)-

    Back to the serious stuff (gaming the future):

    Agree with others here that China won’t pull the plug until after the Olympics. Nothing but happy-happy ’til then. Of course, by 2009, they may be chin-deep in their own toxic wastes…a whole different kind of problem.

    Why is it that Wall St has deemed Chinese securities as investment-grade, buy-n-hold type stuff…but India, Russia and S. America get traded furiously, based on fundamentals that are more the US’s than theirs?

    Why so much institutional respect for a communist dictatorship, with a rigged economy that could go “poof” at any moment?

  134. utlm says:

    I’ve been to Famous Dave’s in Mountainside exactly once. The ribs I ordered had a pretty obvious case of freezer burn.

  135. BC Bob says:


    Investment banking business.

    By the way, Chinese stocks are trading at approx a 38X multiple, compared to approx 14X in other emerging markets.

  136. Clotpoll says:

    Rachel (133)-

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about! I grew up in Germantown, and my Grandma’s house was across the RR tracks from the Commissary. If grilled & smoked meat was really carcinogenic, my whole body would be a giant squamous cell by now. Ate a lot of Q from there while growing up…

    That’s also about as good as BBQ gets. Sandwiches might even be superior to Rendezvous (but nothing beats Rendezvous ribs). I think of Commissary as being more “lunch” BBQ, while Rendezvous is “dinner-style”.

    BTW…I just read what I wrote, and I think I am really fu**ed up.

  137. bergenbubbleburst says:

    Memphis is amazing during Dead Elvis week, but all the natives try to get out of the city for that that week. It is the biggest generator of revenue for the city of the year.

  138. TG says:

    I did a search of my zipcode at and was AMAZED at how many REO’s, pre-foreclosures, and homes to be auctioned were listed in my area. Also a lot of the prices listed are way below comps – more in line with the 2002-2003 prices range.

    Do those prices get bid up much at auction? Has there always been that kind of volume of listings, or is this the result of the ARM’s and low credit-issuing standards so often discussed here? If the volume is that much higher these days, wouldn’t that translate to less bidding at the auctions?

    I can think of a couple downsides to buying at auction: needing the cash up front, the auction fee (10%?), not having been able to check out the place thorougly, etc. What else am I missing?

  139. The Kid says:

    Grim and others-

    I’d like to thank you all for putting the idea in my head, The Kid has decided to attend a Real Esate class and get a Real Estate License.

    The only reason being, if the Real Estate world has so many untrustful people in it, minus some here, The Kid might as well do it on his own.

    The Kid refuses to pay 6% or even 5% to someone, when The Kid could do the work. By paying for a $600 RE class now, I’ll be saving the $21,000 (figure $350K house)in commission in a few years.

    Still Learning, The Kid

  140. The Kid says:

    Side Bar to The Kids Post:

    The Kid currently LOVE his job. Thus, this move is strictly for pleasure and just knowing the business. And knowing is half the battle.

  141. Clotpoll says:

    Burst (140)-

    I had the honor (?) of attending Elvis’ funeral, along with 1,000,000 other necrophiliacs. Sat in the “honored guests” section on top of the Goldsmith’s parking garage (LOL!) with a 6-pack of Dixie Beer, a couple of wikis and high-powered hunting binoculars. Still one of the most surreal experiences of my life (it may only be topped by experiencing my own death)…

    The only thing weirder than Elvis in death was Elvis in life. He only went out in public after midnight…or if he could rent whatever place he wanted to go and ensure that he and his crew would be the only people there.

  142. Clotpoll says:

    Hey Kid (142)-

    The first thing you’re gonna learn when you come out of licensing is that many brokers won’t take you on if all you intend to do is trade your own account.

    Those who will take you on may want 1/2 or more of any potential commission your deals generate.

  143. chicagofinance says:

    The Kid:
    If you changed your name to “Rickey” or “Bo”, I would be ETERNALLY grateful!!!

  144. Clotpoll says:

    Beware man who refers to himself in third person.

  145. James Bednar says:

    Interesting little snippet from Kevin Depew over at Minyanville.

    Five Things You Need to Know: As Most Expected, GDP Unexpectedly Strong, FOMC: The Drama That Wasn’t, Irrational Echo?, But What If?, Subprime Lending: The Rush to Disassociate

    . But What If?

    Ok, but what about this assertion that there really is a stock market bubble in China, any truth to that?

    Speaking of Chinese bubbles, yesterday we noticed that the New York Times ran a front-page story on China’s renewed love affair with stocks: “Chinese United by Common Goal: A Hot Stock Tip”.
    Among the irrationally exuberant datapoints:
    – In Shanghai, one of the most popular local television programs is “Stock Market Today.”
    – Recently, a mutual fund raised $5 billion in a single day.
    – “When I go to the beauty salon, even the girls who give me a manicure are talking about stocks!” said Shirley Lei, a consultant in Shanghai who worries that inexperienced buyers could be cheated. “They ask me, ‘What should I invest in?’ They say they are doing research.”
    China-related stocks, ETFs and ADRs are down across the board this morning.
    The iShares Xinhua 25 ETF (FXI) is off nearly 3%.
    Of course, to put things in perspective, FXI was up more than 80% in 2006.

  146. The Kid says:



    Help The Kid understand, I can’t just learn the business and obtain my license in RE?

    What if The Kid doesn’t want to practice? But only be able to handle my own transactions. How is that possible?

  147. Pat says:

    I still like “Elwood” if anybody needs a name.

  148. thatbigwindow says:


  149. still_looking says:

    best ribs and BBQ? Make your own at home!!
    along with the best mac and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, greens, black eye peas- always start with dried!! sides of corn bread (or corn pudding) and finish with home made apple crisp covered in french vanilla ice cream, walnut caramel sauce or a good fudge brownie!!!

  150. lowball says:

    NO 2007 REBOUND, trolls!

    “Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo estimates that 40 to 50 subprime firms are going out of business each day, a trend that likely will continue all year. During a conference call discussing Countrywide’s earnings, Mr. Mozilo, in response to a question, said analysts are seeing reports of two to three firms failing each day, but that the number is much larger.”

    “Addressing the carnage in the subprime sector, Mr. Mozilo said, ‘I think we have a way to go on that.’”

  151. Clotpoll says:

    (149) The Kid can do that. However, you have to be an active, licensed agent affiliated with a broker to get MLS access. If you leave your license with the state or hang it at a referral company, you cannot join a MLS or access MLS info.

    You could just work the FSBO, pre-foreclosure market and use other channels to get MLS info…but that might get a little tedious.

  152. still_looking says:

    btw, with all the clam talk… I have a giant pot of new england chowder cooking right now… (canned clams unfortuately, but so be it…)

  153. The Kid says:


    Since you indirectly inspired this, what is your plan of action? RE: Real Estate License

    Do you plan on being a practicing agent? Just curious as to your course of action.

    Clot: Please define “active”.

    The Kid

  154. Michelle says:

    #90 – Ian:

    Which house are you looking at in Boonton / Boonton Township? If it’s in the Township I can probably give you some more info on it. Boonton and Boonton Township are totally different towns. Boonton Township has an excellent elementry / middle school and the kids go to ML High School. Boonton the schools are pretty rough and I would try to avoid.

  155. Clotpoll says:

    Bo Knows RE (156)-

    “Active” means your license hanging in a RE office that is doing business and answering the phones every day (as opposed to a referral brokerage, which does not engage in sales and merely “warehouses” licenses of inactive agents).

  156. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob Says:
    January 31st, 2007 at 1:47 pm
    Clot,Investment banking business.
    By the way, Chinese stocks are trading at approx a 38X multiple, compared to approx 14X in other emerging markets.

    Clot: I agree that Bost has it right…..follow the money. Remember, the rating agencies are not the market. You can think of their opinions more as “guidelines”. The bastards had Enron as investment grade as late as October 29, 2001 when the company went bankrupt on December 2, 2001.

    Don’t think that there isn’t a lot of political and business related pressure to foster a beneficial environment. China owns tons of UST while the other BRIC players do not.

  157. bergenbubbleburst says:

    Elvis is still the KIng,as large in death,as he was in life.

    I was always amazed to see the bus loads of toursists coming to visit Graceland,a nd the tears and crying, also very surreal looking at Graceland, and then seeing the surrounding used car lots, fast food palces,and housing projects.

  158. James Bednar says:

    From the Fed:

    For immediate release

    The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 5-1/4 percent.

    Recent indicators have suggested somewhat firmer economic growth, and some tentative signs of stabilization have appeared in the housing market. Overall, the economy seems likely to expand at a moderate pace over coming quarters.

    Readings on core inflation have improved modestly in recent months, and inflation pressures seem likely to moderate over time. However, the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain inflation pressures.

    The Committee judges that some inflation risks remain. The extent and timing of any additional firming that may be needed to address these risks will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information.

  159. chicagofinance says:

    no dissent – although Lacker is no longer a voting member

  160. Clotpoll says:

    Is “The Kid” actually Rickey? You decide. Here’s a quote from Rickey to Kevin Towers, then the GM in San Diego (left on Towers’ answering machine during one of Rickey’s frequent “breaks” in employment):

    “This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.”

  161. BC Bob says:

    JB [148],

    Is Barbara Streisand day trading Chinese stocks??

    By the way, I read that approx 90% of the inflow[Dec,06], from small stock investors, were going to emerging markets. Typical, chasing last year’s returns.

  162. bergenbubbleburst says:

    Clot #154 As far as the MLS, service, I could live with the set up as it is, if they just provided a little more information.

    Specifically if one could see what the property taxes are, instead of having to call the listing agent, or going to the town and checking the tax records. We could do much of our own research, and save both ourselves and the realtor time.

    I am in the process of doing this now, and it is time consuming.

  163. The Kid says:

    What is the difference in what a RE Agent sees on their MLS and what the general public sees on something like GSMLS or MOMLS?

    The Kid

  164. thatbigwindow says:

    The Kid – RE Agents can see tax info, full address, information on what type of heating/flood plain, etc…we can see lots of goodies.

  165. thatbigwindow says:

    Also RE Agents can see sold, withdrawn and expired listings as well which is really helpful when determining what to bid on a house.

  166. Pat says:

    Thekid: look at the difference between what the GP sees in NJ and what folks can see in PA..

    Does it make you feel deprived? Now, add DOM, relisting dates, etc.

  167. thatbigwindow says:

    Oh, also days on market too.

  168. Clotpoll says:

    What can Clotpoll say? Clot not happy that NJ MLS systems withhold info from public. Clot say not right, but Clot just one man.

    Clot say stick it to da man, but Clot not know how.

    Clot want to play baseball.

  169. Rich In NNJ says:

    Question for those who DO have access to NJMLS.
    Can someone go under Toolkit and pull Statistical Reports for the following:
    1/1/2007 – 1/31/2007
    County: 2

    Please let me know the number of sales for the month. Up until mid-day yesterday it was around 329, today it shows around 69.
    I want to know if it’s just me that’s getting screwed up reports.

    Thanks, Rich

  170. FirstTime says:

    Rate Lock Advice ? Should I lock the rate now as they seems to be moving upward.
    Planning to buy in NY.NJ is out of reach.

  171. BC Bob says:


    Laughing my *ss off, of course on the behalf of Clot.

  172. pesche22 says:

    housing stocks rocking. Everything is
    fine. Hurry to your local office.

    (with check book)

  173. James Bednar says:

    Dow 13,000!


  174. pesche22 says:

    hurry train leaving station

  175. Rich In NNJ says:

    I rising tide lifts ALL boats

  176. Clotpoll says:

    Surging tidal wave sinks all boats.

  177. bergenbubbleburst says:

    pesche #177 Train can leave, I am staying in the waiting room;the express train to lower prices in the Spring is arriving shortly.

  178. Rich In NNJ says:


    A rising tide lifts ALL boats

  179. Clotpoll says:

    C’mon, let’s see who the real cowboys are here!!

    Who here’s gonna trade GOOG into the closing bell, then thru the numbers and finally, the conference call? Now’s the time to get naked long…

    Man up, or go home.

    This is not to be construed as investment advice or an offer to sell securities, as when I was in college I once sat in a tent filled with nitrous oxide for a few minutes longer than I think I should have.

  180. Rich In NNJ says:

    “Surging tidal wave sinks all boats.”

    Aye! ALL boats.

  181. Al says:

    Hey who else seeing weird thing happening in the markets:

    GDP growth is at 3%/year, inflation is at below 2%/year and stock markets are raising at 1% a DAY!!!!!

    Anyone esle seen either hyper-inflation of Bust bigger than .com one??? Come on economy can not be based on sole desition of FED’s not to raise rates.

  182. Al says:

    I wonder what would my boss say if I ask him for 20% pay raise at the next meeting……

  183. Clotpoll says:


    Tell your boss that if he doesn’t give it to you, you’ve got somewhere else to go where you can make 20% y-o-y on your money.

    I halfway think stocks are getting bid up with a lot of money that poured out of RE when all the players realized a 20% yearly gain wasn’t their birthright.

    Notice how lots of stockbrokers became mortgage guys when the .com bubble burst? Look now at how many of them are going back to securities dealing.

    Hot money chasing temporary big gains.

  184. pesche22 says:

    # 182 buy the calls.

  185. SG says:

    Nutting writes: “Here’s what Lereah was saying throughout 2006 and into 2007, and what the market was doing:”

    January 2006
    Lereah’s forecast: “The market is in the process of normalization.”

    Actual sales: Fourth-quarter sales fell at an annual rate of 12.6% to 6.94 million annualized.

    Lereah’s post-mortem: “The level of home sales activity is now at a sustainable level, and is likely to pick up a bit in the months ahead.”

    April 2006
    Lereah’s forecast: “Home sales will move up and down somewhat over the remainder of the year but stay at a high plateau.”

    Actual sales: First-quarter sales fell at an annual rate of 8.6% to 6.79 million.

    Lereah’s post-mortem: “This is additional evidence that we’re experiencing a soft landing.”

    July 2006
    Lereah’s forecast: “The market should even out just below present levels.”

    Actual sales: Second-quarter sales fell at an annual rate of 6% to 6.69 million.

    Lereah’s post-mortem: “The market is stabilizing.”

    October 2006
    Lereah’s forecast: “We expect sales activity to pick up early next year.”

    Actual sales: Third-quarter sales fell at an annual rate of 22.2% to 6.28 million.

    Lereah’s post-mortem: “This is likely the trough in sales.”

    January 2007
    Lereah’s forecast: “The good news is that the steady improvement in sales will support price appreciation moving forward.”

    Actual sales: Fourth-quarter sales fell at an annual rate of 2.3% to 6.24 million.
    Lereah’s post-mortem: “It appears we have established a bottom.”

    Oh this so much reminds me of the story, The Boy who Cried Wolf !!! Accidently my 6 yr old daughter got it from Library yesterday and was reading it to me.

  186. Pat says:

    Instead of predicting sales and inventory, we could predict D.L.’s “forecast” for the next four quarters and see who comes closest with the phrases.

    A nice little line chart of sales,with clickable hash marks..when you click on it, DL’s face pops up with a cartoon quotation bubble.

    Did somebody do that already?

  187. rhymingrealtor says:

    All you have to do is quickly parboil them, remove the shell, gut-bag (yum!), and valve sheath (double yum!), then slice the remaining valve and body very thinly on the bias with a sharp knife. From that point, you can make a whole variety of warm or cold salads by adding sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, scallions, peppers, etc.


    Has anyone ever mentioned you might know just a little too much about too much?? How about your wife when you in the kitchen doing the above mentioned atrocities??


  188. pesche22 says:

    goog, blowout quarter.

    rising tide lifts all boats

  189. RentinginNJ says:

    I halfway think stocks are getting bid up with a lot of money that poured out of RE when all the players realized a 20% yearly gain wasn’t their birthright.

    I wouldn’t be suprised. It’s happend before. Look at this from 5 days after the NASDAQ crashed…

    NEW YORK (CNNfn) – The Dow Jones industrial average posted its biggest point gain in 17 months Wednesday [Mar 15, 2000] as investors dumped high-flying technology stocks, replacing them with beaten-up drug makers and financials.
    “All of a sudden, you turn your back and the old names are going up,” William Roe, money manager at Melhado Flynn & Co., told CNNfn’s market coverage.

  190. BC Bob says:


    Buy the rumor, sell the news???

  191. chicagofinance says:

    no – just front running today, and it DIDN’T blow out Clemens-fish

  192. chicagofinance says:

    I’m sorry Cano-fish

  193. Seneca says:

    Hey, Listen-crybaby-poopie-pants, I replied to your reply in Lowball if you have a moment.

    Sometimes I feel like everyone who reads this blog has a job where the whistle blows at 5pm and you all check out.

    James, if you feel like posting a completely useless chart with regard to the NJRE discussion, how about a summary view of Visitors by Hour for the past few months so we can see when the lulls in the conversation are happening. The 5pm-6pm time period seems to be right up there with the 2am-8am time period.

  194. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    January 31st, 2007 at 3:20 pm
    Who here’s gonna trade GOOG into the closing bell, then thru the numbers and finally, the conference call? Now’s the time to get naked long…

    Clot: should have loaded up on Dell calls
    Michael Dell Replaces Rollins As CEO

  195. BklynHawk says:


    But, this new website is working on the logic of crowd thinking with home prices…

    Users get to vote for what they think a house price should be…

    JB, we should start nominating houses for this…


  196. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:

    Rich #33,

    Median price information based upon lowball data presented on NJ Real Estate Report (excel files).

    Commercial RE #48,

    The assertion that prices are not dropping in NJ is based on data and information in this blog. I make no forecast, prognostication, tarot card reading or ouija board consultation regarding the market later in 2007, 08, 09 or beyond. If anyone can predict any future market, or has accurately predicted such markets before, he/she most certainly wouldn’t making postings here.

    I work in supply chain management for a large company. My work focuses on information, facts and data, and using this information to make business decisions and drive profitability. Keeps me engaged, and from posting on this blog during the workday.

    A challenge for many people, is keeping human emotion and personal agendas out of the interpretation of numbers and information. Crybabywannabes here use data and apply emotion and personal desire to assess the RE market. That is where I come in and express disagreement. Someone needs to do it.

    As for my blog name – it reflects much of the conversation on this blog. Nothing personal, just an assessment on my part.

    Note I enjoy this blog and the ability to contribute. Including the crybabywannabe scream.


  197. Zac says:

    Dear Crybaby,
    I’ve never been in private home for sale that came with a bar-code to scan for a price. Contrary to your opinion. Residential Real Eatate is directly influenced by human emotion and personal desire.

  198. UnRealtor says:

    Well, it’s the end of the month, time for the bank to pay my rent for the month.

    And for recent Greater Fool “owners,” time to empty the checking account for the month.

  199. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:


    Thanks for an idea for a new blog name ;)

    I posted on more response under lowball.

    I, too have wondered about all the postings during the work day.


  200. Rich In NNJ says:


    Here is ALL inclusive NJMLS data for Bergen County SFH, Condo, Co-op and Townhouses
    Month Median $ %Gain/Loss
    January $475,000 -1.0%
    Feb $479,500 0.9%
    March $470,000 -2.0%
    April $450,000 -4.3%
    May $489,000 8.7%
    June $492,000 0.6%
    July $490,000 -0.4%
    August $500,000 2.0%
    Sept $450,000 -10.0%
    Oct $447,000 -0.7%
    Nov $447,500 0.1%
    Dec $465,000 3.9%
    Jan-07 $450,000 -3.2%

    2006: -.2%
    Jan ’06 – Jan. ’07: -.4%

    Lowball data is not inclusive, so your statement is inaccurate.
    “median price is up from October 2006 to January 2007”

    Median price is down from October 2006 to January 2007


  201. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:


    lemme see… October median $447K, January median $450K. Difference = +$3K.

    Looks like up to me, from October-January.

    It’s all in the interpretation of the data.

    Lowball data supports the median increase, too.


  202. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:

    Zac #201,

    That’s why the proverbial $550K POS cape sometimes sells, and why some sellers price it the same.


  203. UnRealtor says:

    People are priced out at the “low” end of the market — $500K cape cods. People with lots of loot buy whatever house they want because a few hundred grand doesn’t matter.

    The result? Median home price rises.

  204. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:


    Let me get this straight. When the facts show a price drop, it is interpreted statistically valid, but when facts show a price increase, you write it off as due to data outlyers? My friend, you have no objectivity on this subject whatsoever.

    Listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners scream….


  205. Clotpoll says:

    KL (191)-

    Way before my RE days (early ’80s), I spent a good deal of time lurking in the kitchens of various 3-4 star NYC restaurants (Quilted Giraffe, Huberts, Chanterelle, Bouley, etc). I can do more with a knife than stab myself. Restaurants are also the reason I entered RE almost $90,000 in debt. Great work, crummy pay.

    And, if you don’t watch me prep them, my giant clam salad is very, very tasty.

    OK…there’s the BP fastball right down the middle; knock it out of the park!

  206. Pat says:

    lttcbwbho: posting during workday

    From my seat, if I run a job with wait or on certain conference calls I can tab over. I read the news, check some numbers, read work-relevant Federal site releases, this site and fundalarm updates ;) all at once. It’s great. It helps having a pre-retirement job that I can do in my sleep – couple of years ago I dropped out on career and got a life instead.

  207. UnRealtor says:

    CryBaby #208,

    In the first place, I don’t put too much stock in NAR data at all.

    I base my opinion on prices by watching transactions in the towns I follow, especially when houses have recently sold for what the “owner” paid 2-3 years ago.

    I’ve posted several examples here, with MLS #s, of owners who took big losses ($100K+).

    So I look at my own data, and watch as properties are listed, re-listed, and relisted again, and then finally sell at a loss.

    Have you ever brought a check to the closing? Just imagine writing “One Hundred Thousand Dollars” on check # 4511.

  208. UnRealtor says:


    especially when houses have recently sold for below what the “owner” paid 2-3 years ago.

  209. Pat says:

    UnRealtor, it seems the same for several posters here who watch the micro data as compared to the “reportables.”

    Neighborhood transactions and changes over time just don’t seem transparently reflected. But the numbers are the numbers. It doesn’t mean I’m paying LP for a house that’s been listed for over a year, is reduced twice (but only I know that), and in addition has new unreported comps at thousands less.

    So the benefit accrues to the buyer with the most data. It’s always that way. Just more difficult in the RE market.

  210. AntiTrump says:

    #34 Broadband:

    I look at the NAR campaign and feel sorry for the many people who are going to face financial ruin by believing these scam artists.

  211. BC Bob says:

    “Crybabywannabes here use data and apply emotion and personal desire to assess the RE market.”


    If emotiom had anything to do with it, I would be naked long multiple properties now. It’s only when emotion is removed do you have a realistic picture of this industry. That picture is ugly/cloudy.

    You mention that you make no forecast for later in 2007, 2008 or 2009. Isn’t that the essence of this discussion??? In other words, are your points mute?? Are you bewildered??? Would you rather simply make a forecast for 2006??? It’s all very confusing to me.

  212. AntiTrump says:

    #51 JB:

    There seems to be a floor at the 4.9% yield for the 10 year note. The bond market correction will be an extended one like the housing market correction.

  213. skep-tic says:


    obviously most of the people who visit this site want to see RE prices fall. there is a fair amount of cherry picking of data designed to showcase this point.

    but just because the bias of most here may be plain to see, it does not mean that an overall bearish view of residential RE is wrong.

    look at the comments of any CEO in the HB sector. Take your pick of any analyst at a major Wall St IB. Ask anyone in the mortgage business. They will all say the same thing– housing is f*cked– totally disconnected from fundamentals; unsustainable. Even reputable realtors are admitting this at this point.

    The only positive thing anyone with any credibility can say at this point is that maybe, MAYBE, the worst decline is behind us. That the market will just be flat. And as has been noted here repeatedly, such forecasts always discount the potential for recession.

    The fact is that anyone with half a brain can see that housing prices can’t keep doubling every five years into infinity; that very few people can afford to buy at the prevailing prices; and that most recent purchases have been based on an insane amount of leverage

  214. Al says:

    I do not know how anyone can seriosly measure home prices right now – there is no starter homes sales going on whatsoever. First time home buyers are just can not buy.

    So most sales you see are either people with lot’s of money who are looking for a particular quality home and not too worried about the price or someone who manage to sell their home before the current slump.

    check out the starter homes – they are all sitting on the market since last summer.

  215. AntiTrump says:

    #172 Clot and MLS.

    Clot wonder what the SEC would do to brokerage firms that hid information from the public about companies when they sold the shares.

    MLS = Real Estate Cartel.

    According to American Heritage Dictionary Cartel means:

    “A combination of independent business organizations formed to regulate production, pricing, and marketing of goods by the members.”

  216. AntiTrump says:

    #187 Clot Says:

    “I halfway think stocks are getting bid up with a lot of money that poured out of RE when all the players realized a 20% yearly gain wasn’t their birthright.”

    I hope you are correct. I have been heavily invested in stocks since late 2004. More than I am comfortable with, I have been wanting to ease up a little but party doesn’t seem to end. I’ll probably lighten mid year.

  217. AntiTrump says:

    Guys please ignore listentowhatisface !

    Just the login name he has chosen is proof enough that he is here to try to get people to buy through emotional taunts.

    Used to work until a year ago and he must be getting desparate.

    Sign. “Please don’t feed the listentowhat’sisface. It can ruin your personal finances”

  218. njrebear says:

    subprime bust winners on Jan 31 are –

    1] DeepGreen Financial – GONE!
    2] Concorde Acceptance ?


  219. Clotpoll says:

    DonaldTrump (219)-

    OK, after about 1,000,000 posts, the point has been made clearly: NAR and the RE biz are a closed, self-dealing cartel. I can neither apologize for- nor defend- this state of affairs.

    Perhaps the larger question is: what does the individual seller or buyer now do in order to fully access relevant info and obtain real help in making a buy or sale? The problem has been identified…but, what’s the solution. People keep showing up here looking for solutions, not witty, erudite banter (although it’s here in spades).

    There are plenty of individuals and RE companies who will “pull back the curtain”, fully disclose and give honest advice. However, anyone who falls under the thrall of Mr. Lereah and NAR deserves to get whatever comes next. One would have to be heavily medicated to fully swallow the Kool-Aid being dispensed by these charlatans.

    Caveat emptor.

  220. Zac says:

    ~ now doesn’t that feel better Clot ?

  221. njrebear says:

    I see that Citi bank has cut interest on its Savings account from 5% to 4.75%.

    At the same time Ing is now offering 5.3% checking accounts!

  222. njrebear says:

    “NAR and the RE biz are a closed, self-dealing cartel. I can neither apologize for- nor defend- this state of affairs.”

    The three day battle has finally ended :)

  223. syncmaster says:

    Anyone remember the site of the Ford plant in Edison on Rt 1? Near the CompUSA? Some time ago I recall talk of them builing housing on that site. Looks like those plans are gone, now it’s going to be commercial. Not surprising, given the housing slump…

    A new redevelopment plan for the 98-acre Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in Edison was unveiled today on the developer’s Web site..


    Hartz Mountain plans to turn the former plant into a sprawling retail center including two big-box retail stores bookending the site, and a four-acre concentration of eateries and entertainment venues in the center.


    Original discussions had included some housing on the site, but the latest plans call for retail, office space and a hotel…

  224. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:

    AntiTrump #221,

    Challenging the dominant and collective mindset on this blog is exactly why its readers, especially those who do not post (and who read the blog after work hours), should pay attention to my postings. These postings:
    1) Make to attempt to ‘predict’ the real estate market.
    2) Look at data in a different, unemotional and unbiased way than the crybabywannabes do.
    3) Make no attempt to get people to buy. Postings simply put a different perspective on the some of the flotsam floating around here.
    4) Poke fun at crybabywannabes, especially those who believe shouting “THE SKY IS FALLING” loud enough will cause that RE market to crash potentially to their benefit.

    Sorry you dislike my blog name. It is most appropriate here for a number of its contributors.

    I enjoy reading the references to me made in postings during the day when I am not on line. Someone else here has an audience and a different way of interpreting facts and data. Get over it.

    “You all laugh at me because I am different.
    I laugh at you because you are all the same.”


  225. Clotpoll says:

    Zac (224)-

    What makes you think I was feeling bad before I said that?

    BTW, I’ve said it here about 5 or 6 times in the past.

  226. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:

    Pat #210

    Thanks for the candor.


  227. UnRealtor says:

    “I see that Citi bank has cut interest on its Savings account from 5% to 4.75%.”

    Guess their ‘billion dollar cost-cutting’ has started.

    Unfortunately for them, HSBC has just bumped their online savings up to 6%:

  228. UnRealtor says:

    Was just looking at some older Summit listings, and what the hell were these bagholders smoking?

    $1M for a Cape Cod? (MLS 2253755, closed June 2006)

  229. UnRealtor says:

    $1.25M for a glorified row house? (MLS 2259123, also closed June 2006)

    These new bagholder “owners” have absolutely lost their minds.

  230. UnRealtor says:

    Ooh, here’s a nice one:

    165 Blackburn Road, Summit NJ
    MLS 2259167 – Closed $930,000 in June 2006

    MLS 2326670 – Closed $920,000 in Jan 2007

    Bagholder caught in the machine.

    This bagholder lost:

    $55,200 (6% paid to realtors)
    $65,200 total loss in only six months

    You know what this “owner” said at the closing table last week? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

  231. Seneca says:

    I don’t know what is more disturbing: the reasonable response I got from listenttcbwhw when I asked for input on home pricing (see latest Lowball post) or the fact that both of us consider Modern Materials Handling regular reading.

    A few highlights from listen (paraphrased, hopefully correctly):
    – some sellers are asking for prices that are one hundred thousand dollars or more over 2005 and 2006 prices and therefore, only the most recent sales are the ones that matter in determining value
    – The seller has the right to ask any price he wants, but you/I don’t have to bite.
    – Finding and buying a house is not an exact science and trying to quantify intangibles is difficult
    – don’t let a RE agent tell you a home is worth more than it is

    Folks, last months sales and inventory data tells us only one thing. Much like a flight coming into LaGuardia on a Friday evening, the NJRE market is in a holding pattern. There are no trends here. If next month we see declining sales of 1% or an increase of 1%, its still no trend. Trends come from month after month of similar performance. Significant increases/decreases of 5% or more can indicate what is coming for the Spring but it is unlikely the ship is gonna sink fast. Its like many have been saying, the market is on a slowboat to China.

  232. Hard Place says:

    I’ve noticed Summit has some of the more ridiculous sales. I think Short Hills prices are reasonable compared to Summit.

  233. UnRealtor says:

    RE post #234

    The house sold for $580,000 in Dec 1999.

  234. listentothecrybabywannabehomeowners says:


    I know the seller, MLS 232667 in Summit. Family with three school age kids; husband was killed in an automobile accident last last October.

    It’s interesting you know the commission paid on this transaction. I understand the seller got a break.

    Yes, his widow is a bagholder. Enjoy gloating over her and the children’s misfortune.


  235. chicagofinance says:

    Cut? Cut? Hike!
    As State Lawmakers Mull Property-Tax Cuts,
    The Cullens Brace for a Home Reassessment
    February 1, 2007

    This week New Jersey lawmakers have been making noise about cutting property taxes. And it’s about time, since homeowners in my state pay the highest property taxes in the nation.

    Lawmakers are considering a bill that would lower property taxes for most New Jersey homeowners by as much as 20% and cap annual property-tax increases.

    We’re not getting too excited, though: It’s more likely that our property taxes are going to rise rather than fall in the coming years — tax break or not. We were notified this month that our home is being reassessed as a part of a townwide revaluation. That’s left me trying to estimate what our new home assessment might be, factor in the proposed tax break, and figure out the effect on our future tax bills.

    Under one proposed plan, the FAIR program would go away and property-tax credits would be offered based on income. Households earning between $150,000 and $250,000 (like ours) would get a 10% reduction. Households with incomes of between $100,000 and $150,000 would get a 15% break, and households with incomes of $100,000 or less would get a 20% tax break. (Households with income over $250,000 would get nothing.)

    The bill would also cap annual property-tax increases at 4%, whereas currently they average about 7%. (There are provisions that would allow higher increases if residents voted to approved them.)

    Under the new plan, our property taxes would be reduced by about $623, which would come in the form of a credit on our tax bill. That’s nowhere near bringing us in line with what homeowners in other states pay in property taxes, but it’s better than getting back just $200. And we both like the idea of capping tax increases, along with the right to vote on more substantial tax hikes.

    Last year my husband Gerry and I paid $6,226 in taxes on our 2,400-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home. For the last five years, our taxes have risen an average of $200 a year, and so I’ll assume we’ll be looking at another $200 increase when our town resets its rate in July. That’s about average for our state: New Jersey collected $2,099 per capita in property taxes in 2004, according to the most-recent figures available from the Tax Foundation, a research group. (See where your state ranked here5.) Combine that likely increase with the proposed tax relief, and our taxes would wind up going down about $200.

    Still, these cuts are merely proposals — it remains to be seen how much, if any, tax relief lawmakers can provide. And even if the New Jersey measure is passed and we do get a $623 credit this year, it’s very likely Gerry and I — and countless other homeowners in New Jersey — will see our property taxes jump soon.

    Here’s why.

    Today our home is assessed at $168,100 — a figure derived from 1991, the last time our town performed a revaluation. Since then, we’ve seen an unprecedented run-up in home values and made some upgrades to our home. (To be fair, these projects would have resulted in an assessment anyway.)

    We purchased our home from my father-in-law for $190,000 in 2000; according to the National Association of Realtors, the average home-sale price in our area (our county falls under New York: Edison region) was $415,100 in the third quarter of 2006.

    To get an idea of our home’s current market value, I turned to real-estate site Zillow.com6, which offers its own fair-market-value estimate based on publicly available information. The estimate can also can be customized to reflect upgrades or wear and tear on the home.

    After I plugged in the cost of the mid-range kitchen remodel, the family-room upgrade and the deck/patio addition we’ve completed in the last five years, Zillow gave me an estimate of $475,100, based on comparable home sales in the area. That sounded too high, given the relatively soft housing market in my town. A search for comparable homes on Realtor.com7 showed similar houses selling in the low- to mid-$400,000s. I called my friend Julie, a real-estate agent in our town, to get a feel for conditions on the ground; she said $439,999 would be the price she’d recommend were we to list it for sale. So let’s assume, after some haggling, our home would sell for $429,999. (We’re lucky in the timing of the reassessment — as early as mid-summer last year comparable homes in my neighborhood were selling for $475,000 or more.)

    New Jersey’s property taxes are based on fair market values. My town’s general tax rate is calculated by dividing the amount the town needs to meet budget expenses by the total assessed value of all its taxable property. Then our individual property taxes are calculated by multiplying the tax rate by the assessed value of our home. (Our town has hired an outside home-appraisal contractor to perform assessments.)

    For 2006, our town’s general tax rate was 3.704, or $37.04 per $1,000 in assessed value. At an assessed value of $429,999, our taxes would leap to $15,927 a year (based on the current tax rate) from $6,226, a 155% increase. Even with our lawmakers’ new proposed property-tax credit, our final bill would work out to $14,330 — still more than twice the tax we’re paying now.

    Give me a moment while I let these figures sink in.

    OK, I’m back.

    How likely is it we’ll end up paying property taxes in the five figures? Hard to say. The revaluation will result in a sudden surge in our town’s total assessed value of taxable property, so while our home will be assessed at a higher level, the tax rate should come down. We’ll be keeping our eye on our town’s budget expenses in the coming years to see if the revaluation also results in a sudden surge in spending.

    Whatever happens, a jump in our property taxes will probably result in a higher whack from the alternative minimum tax. Property taxes are deductible for federal and state taxes, but the AMT lessens the tax break. The AMT was created back in 1969 to ensure wealthy taxpayers would pay at least some tax by chipping away at certain deductions, including property taxes. But the tax wasn’t indexed for inflation and in the last few years it’s been hitting middle-income families, particularly in high-tax states such as California, New York and New Jersey. In 2006, the AMT hit us for $1,591, up from $952 the previous year.

    As much as we’ve been dreading the coming property-tax reassessment, we’re going to make sure the new assessment is fair. With one contractor handling such a large townwide revaluation, errors are bound to happen. According to the Homebuilders Association of America, there are many ways assessments can go wrong, including faulty comparisons with other homes in the area, incorrect information about the size, amenities and condition of the home, and simple math errors. Indeed, last year some homeowners outraged by exorbitant assessments went so far as to sue the assessors8.

    Making sure a home is valued fairly is crucial — not just to prevent homeowners from paying more tax than they should, but also to ensure that property taxes don’t scare off potential home buyers. And the chances of winning an appeal are good. Less than 2% of property taxes are appealed, but between 75% and 90% of homeowners who do appeal are successful in lowering their tax bill, the HBA says. In a few states (though not New Jersey), homeowners who appeal are automatically granted a lower assessment.

    If your home is being reassessed, check with your town’s tax assessor for guidelines on how to appeal before the assessment takes place. Many towns impose time restrictions on how long you can wait to appeal, while others may require expensive documentation that could lessen any benefit you’d get from a lower estimate. You can find more information on how to appeal a property-tax assessment at the HBA’s Web site9.

  236. Clotpoll says:

    Funny thing, stats. When they line up with the bear case, it’s cheers all around.

    When they buck the trend, they are dismissed as “anomalies”, and the buyers are labeled bagholders.

    RE is a funny beast. You don’t know if you’ve overpaid until you attempt to sell; there’s no closing bell and squaring of positions every day at 4 PM. Many of today’s most egregious alleged bagholders may turn out just fine if they intend to occupy their new purchases through the entire run of the current cycle.

    One of the best posts I’ve seen here lately was somebody who kinda mentioned the obvious (which sometimes never gets acknowledged): you can’t assume that everyone else’s motivation and reasons for taking action are the same as yours.

    That’s what makes it a market.

  237. njrebear says:

    Chinese market correction may not be over
    Stocks up ‘too much, too fast,’ Matthews China Fund manager says

    The sharp overnight decline in Chinese stock prices reflects Beijing officials’ mounting concern over heady and unsustainable speculation, a mutual-fund manager specializing in Chinese stocks said Wednesday, and he warned that investors should brace for more upheaval.
    The fund manager said he’s lately become cautious about Chinese consumer and financial stocks….

  238. UnRealtor says:

    CryBaby #238, don’t be upset over the cold reality of the declining market.

    The house went on the market, the market spoke — the owner took a loss.

  239. profuscious says:

    Ian #90,

    “Any one tell about the boonton town and township? How is the school and neighbourhood?
    I am considering to put an offer on one of the houses I liked.”

    Ian, if you are thinking about investing in the Town of Boonton, I would suggest the following:

    try walking around the town a bit, get a feel for the community, do some shopping on Main Street, or enjoy some libations at The Upper Crust (they have great teas). Walk around the schools in the morning or afternoon when the kids are going to/from. Look at the schools’ report card on the web.

    Just don’t let the elitists spoil your impression, because believe it or not, not everyone wants to live in Stepford.

  240. njrebear says:

    China stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell sharply for a second day Thursday, with property, financials and industrial shares leading the declines as investors pared positions amid concerns of excessive valuations and worries that the government may intervene to cool the market.

  241. BC Bob says:

    “I know the seller,”


    Just a low blow. Totally unwarranted. How the hell did Unrealtor know the circumstances of the family?? Total horses*it post.

  242. Home Seller says:


    Clot- I mentioned that in another thread. Again, I find that using a realtor is somewhat similar to using a financial advisor. People CAN sell their house or attempt to manage their wealth ON THEIR OWN. However, some people for various reasons WANT the help of a professional and pay a fee to do it. I gladly pay my financial advisor a flat fee to help me achieve my financial goals. I also felt that paying my realtor 5% was worth it to help sell my house.

    Some people can’t stand to hear what I said above, however as the old saying goes, “there is more than one road to Dublin”


  243. bergenbubbleburst says:

    Seneca #235 A somewhat reasonable post until you get to the part abou it being unlikely that the market will sink fast.

    We need to get to the Spring/Summe seeling season before any body can reasonably amke that statement.

    2006 was the year of acceptacne for many that the party was over.

    2007 is when the reality sets in.

  244. UnRealtor says:

    1. Denial (mid 2005)
    2. Anger (early 2006)
    3. Bargaining (early 2006)
    4. Depression (mid 2006)
    5. Acceptance (early 2007)

    6. Capitulation (late 2007)

  245. bergenbubbleburst says:

    HomeSeller #244 True,a nd many of the people who purcashed int he alst 3 years or so, are going to be taking the rocky road…. to Dublin.

  246. Seneca says:


    From your fingers to the big guys ears, I wouldn’t mind if the process sped up a bit. I see a very small minority of listings that are priced to move, still far too many asking prices in the stratosphere so I am not prepared to say the writing is on the wall. My point is that you can’t look at last months data to see with 100% certainty that by Spring, buyer is King.

    It could take longer than that, I hope it does not, I would love to be in a new home by end of this year but I won’t make it happen at any cost.

    >> We need to get to the Spring/Summer
    >> selling season before any body can
    >> reasonably make that statement.

    Could not agree more.

  247. bergenbubbleburst says:

    Seneca #248 Agreed, i too would like to be in a hoem by end of 2007,a ctually had hoped for end of 2006, but alas it was not to be.

    I am starting to see soem litings that have had some significant price reductions, bu they are still high, and even worse, the ones that are possibilities the property taxes are just insane.

    I have to stay where I am for a numebr of reasons, so I am extremely limited where I look.

  248. UnRealtor says:

    Anyone looked at rental prices for a house? Many of these Grubbers are charging the rent equivalent of the purchase price mortgage.

    So it could be around $3-4K to rent a crappy cape.

    The listings are sitting for months, but still, these people are out of their minds — who would spend $40-50K after-tax dollars a year on rent?

    Check and select “rental” while selection your search options.

  249. UnRealtor says:

    while selecting your search options.

  250. Seneca says:

    Unre – I have actually started doing this rental search option and most of the homes for rent I see are not asking for monthly rent on par with the monthly mortgage. I think longer term homeowners can afford to ask for less than covering mortgage costs at today’s prices since they bought pre-boom. It may be a good option if I have to move prior to the asking prices settling down.

    Still have to pay movers twice though so hopefully can avoid this.

Comments are closed.