Largest percentage of price declines since ’79

From the AP via Yahoo:

Housing Sales Fall in 40 States in 4Q

The slump in housing deepened in the final three months of last year with sales falling in 40 states and median home prices declining in nearly half of the metropolitan areas surveyed, a real estate trade group reported Thursday.

The National Association of Realtors report showed that the biggest declines were in former boom areas.

The biggest percentage decline occurred in Nevada, a drop of 36.1 percent in the sales pace in the final three months of 2006 compared to the same period in 2005.

In other former boom areas, Florida saw sales drop by 30.8 percent, in Arizona sales were down 26.9 percent and they fell 21.3 percent in California.

The Realtors said that while sales declined in the fourth quarter in 40 states, six states showed increases and one state, Utah, had an unchanged sales pace. Three states did not report enough data to make comparisons.

Nationally, sales declined by 10.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to the same period a year ago.

The median price of a new home, the midpoint where half the homes sold for more and half for less, was $219,300 in the fourth quarter of last year, a drop of 2.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

Median home prices fell in 49 percent of the 149 metropolitan areas surveyed in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. That was the largest percent of metro areas reporting price declines since the Realtors began tracking price data in 1979.

From the National Association of Realtors:

Fourth Quarter Metro Home Prices & State Sales Likely Have Hit Bottom

Total existing-home sales including single-family and condo, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (1) of 6.24 million units in the fourth quarter, down 10.1 percent from a 6.94 million-unit level in the fourth quarter of 2005. Even with the general decline, six states showed increases in the sales pace from a year ago and one was unchanged. Complete data for three states were not available.

In the fourth-quarter, metro area single-family home prices, examining changes in 149 metropolitan statistical areas, (2) show 71 areas had price gains from a year earlier, including 14 metros with double-digit annual increases, and 73 areas had price declines; five were unchanged.

The national median existing single-family home price was $219,300 in the fourth quarter, down 2.7 percent from a year earlier when the median price was $225,300. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. For all of 2006, the median price rose 1.4 percent to $222,000.

In the fourth quarter, the largest single-family home price increase was in the Atlantic City, N.J., area, where the median price of $339,800 was 25.9 percent higher than a year ago. Next was the Salt Lake City area, at $223,600, up 22.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005. The Trenton-Ewing area of New Jersey, with a fourth quarter median price of $289,000, increased 18.9 percent in the last year.

Regionally, the Northeast saw an existing-home sales pace of 1.04 million units in the fourth quarter, which was 6.6 percent below a year ago. The median Northeastern resale single-family home price was $274,600 in the fourth quarter, which is 2.5 percent below the same period in 2005.

After the Atlantic City and Trenton-Ewing areas, the strongest price increase in the Northeast was in Pittsfield, Mass., with a median price of $220,600, up 4.7 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, followed by the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area of New York with a median price of $198,700, up 4.1 percent.

From the National Association of Realtors:

Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas (PDF)

2006 Year over Year Change in Median Price

Allentown-Easton-Bethlehem, PA-NJ 1.6%
Atlantic City, NJ 25.9%
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 2.3%
New York-Wayne-White Plains, NY-NJ -3.8%
NY:Edison, NJ -4.2%
NY:Nassau-Suffolk, NY 0.3%
NY:Newark-Union, NJ-PA 3.1%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 3.3%
Trenton-Ewing, NJ 18.9%

2006.Q3 – 2006.Q4 Change in Median Price

Allentown-Easton-Bethlehem, PA-NJ -7.5%
Atlantic City, NJ 32.2%
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA -2.8%
New York-Wayne-White Plains, NY-NJ -11.6%
NY:Edison, NJ -11.6
NY:Nassau-Suffolk, NY 0.5%
NY:Newark-Union, NJ-PA -6.3
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD -5.8%
Trenton-Ewing, NJ -1.7%

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70 Responses to Largest percentage of price declines since ’79

  1. skep-tic says:

    wow, pure desperation on the part of the NAR

    when will we finally see the interview where the reporter questions NAR on its many previous bottom calls?

  2. Richie says:

    Yup. We’ll be hearing “this is the bottom” for the next 2-3 years.

  3. SG says:

    Allright, I guess, I should start looking for Flipping opportunities in AC or Trenton.

    I guess even Wallstret may decide to join me. After all trading & gambling have some similarities, may be those dealers can make better trades.

  4. Al says:

    Ohh yea and you are paying for demolition!!!

  5. James Bednar says:

    From the Motley Fool:

    Fogging the Mirror in Mortgage Lending

    Indeed, while the buying and selling of homes is a relatively straightforward exercise — many of us do it frequently throughout our lives — there is a group of what economists might call “exogenous factors” that collectively are complicating the housing market and clouding predictions about its future health. One of these factors is the recently ballyhooed phenomenon of subprime lending and the growing reverberations in the housing and mortgage markets that have resulted from increasing defaults by subprime borrowers.

    I actually have a better term for the sort of housing mortgages that are now infamously called subprime. Until very recently, about the only thing one had to do to arrange a zero-down and perhaps interest-only (and ultimately adjustable-rate) mortgage on a home was to be able to identify the desired house and then figuratively fog a mirror from a credit perspective. Verification of employment and income were unnecessary with what came to be known as “stated-income loans.” And so, I think what we saw might better be referred to as “mirror-fogging” lending. It won’t surprise you to know that a slug of those mirror-fogging mortgages now are being unserviced. (I think it’s interesting and amusing that Roget’s Thesaurus lists “fink out” and “crap out” as synonyms for “default.”)

    The whole mirror-fogging phenomenon and its aftermath have effectively resulted in yet another anchor dragging down the housing market. In some locations — including Florida — we’re seeing rapidly escalating costs for homeowners’ insurance and relatively frequent policy cancellations among hard-hit carriers. Last month, Florida’s governor and its legislators hatched a plan that gives a state insurer more latitude in competing with private insurers. One result of that plan — which reportedly is being considered in Louisiana as well — is that Floridians, even those with little chance of sustaining hurricane damage, may be affected financially by storm-related expenses. These and other frequently underappreciated subordinate considerations almost certainly will continue to affect the housing market negatively.

  6. Seneca says:

    “When we get the figures for this spring, I expect to see a discernible improvement in both sales and prices.” – David Lereah

    This is what sellers are hearing and reading. They don’t read this blog. They want a price that improves upon the 2005/2006 price and they will just watch month after month go by wondering why their homes don’t sell.

    The MSM will spend three days covering one presidential candidate’s assessment of another presidential candidate as being an articulate, bright and “clean” guy but we can’t spend 30 seconds asking Lereah to explain calling a housing market bottom month after month after month?

  7. BC Bob says:


    No response regarding the infinite barrage of positive tidings???

  8. rhymingrealtor says:

    I just came in to check Palisades Park for a client, he just called while I was out. Wants to know if I think he can sell the house now, the one he couldnt sell Sept-Jan. My answer was let me look at the market.I’ll call you back. Of course if he lowers the price he could have sold it in the fall but alas he awaits the spring miracle. Let me look for the signs of it.. tata


  9. RentinginNJ says:

    Ben’s blog has a story today about speculators getting burned in Florida. The thing that makes the story interesting is that it highlights 2 examples about speculators from NJ taking a beating in Florida.

    While NJ didn’t see the same level of flipping and pure speculation as some other areas, I would bet that a lot of the money used to fuel the speculative frenzy in places like Florida came from the NY Metro area.

    What impact will this have on NJ’s economy? If you HELOC’d your NJ home to speculate in Florida, what happens when you can’t sell there? I wonder how many bag holders will try to sell their NJ home and just move into their Florida Condo?

    “George Tannous, a New Jersey resident, and several friends and family put down sums ranging from $2,500 to $7,500. ‘Each investor very quickly had a credit line established at Coast Bank amounting to as much as $300,000 each,’ Tannous said.”

    “Joanne Inglese, another New Jersey investor, was told to expect a 10 percent slice of the gross sales price of her home, or about $30,000, for the use of her credit. She has since seen $70,000 drawn from her Coast Bank loan for an uncompleted home, liens from subcontractors who have not been paid by CCI and the prospect of a badly damaged credit rating.”

  10. Jamey says:

    Wow, RR, PalPark?

    My neck of the woods–I live in Birkenstockandvolvosburg, bka Leonia.

    Bad schools, culturally divided populace (the commercial district’s shop signs are almost exclusively in Korean), non-existent zoning laws, industrial pollution, over-crowding, etc.

    Hard sell. The old guard are still making a killing on the 3brs they bought for in 1967 for $37k. But folks who’ve bought in the past five years are singing the blues.

  11. James Bednar says:

    Found some good news, home builders think the market is improving..

    Home builders’ confidence returns

    U.S. home builders are still pessimistic, but are growing much more confident in the housing market, according to a monthly survey released Thursday by the National Association of Home Builders.

    The NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index rose to 40 in February from 35 in January. It’s the highest since June 2006. The index had fallen to a 15-year low of 30 in September. A year ago, the index was at 56. The index has been below 50 for 10 months.

    In the 1989-92 housing slowdown, the index was below 50 for 36 consecutive months.

    About 40% of builders are confident about the market, the index shows.

    Over time, the index is correlated with housing starts, which have fallen 18% in the past year. The Commerce Department will report on January starts and building permits on Friday.
    Builders in all four regions were more optimistic in February.

    All three components of the index improved in February. The current home sales index rose to 42 from 36, the buyers’ traffic index rose to 31 from 26 and the future sales index rose to 55 from 47, the first reading above 50 since June.

    “Builders are becoming increasingly convinced that the abrupt downslide in home sales is in their rear view mirrors and they see better times as they look at the road ahead,” said David Seiders, chief economist for the home builders, in a press statement.

    The results are “consistent with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s assessment to Congress this week that there are signs of stabilization on the demand side of the housing market,” Seiders said.

  12. SNJMark says:

    Why are Trenton prices going up? I know there was a bit of urban renewal occurring, ie. decrepit buildings being transformed into luxury condos, but it’s still a damn scary place. It’s probably an anomaly caused by some higher-priced homes moving.

  13. bergenbubbleburst says:

    It s all in the rear view mirror? What is with these guys, maybe they better start using their side view mirrors.

  14. BC Bob says:

    “Michael Steinhardt, the investment pioneer whose hedge funds returned more than 20 percent a year for almost three decades, says the bull market in U.S. stocks may be coming to an end after more than four years.”

  15. James Bednar says:

    Year over Year Change in Prices

    Allentown-Easton-Bethlehem, PA-NJ 1.6%
    Atlantic City, NJ 25.9%
    New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 2.3%
    New York-Wayne-White Plains, NY-NJ -3.8%
    NY:Edison, NJ -4.2%
    NY:Nassau-Suffolk, NY 0.3%
    NY:Newark-Union, NJ-PA 3.1%
    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 3.3%
    Trenton-Ewing, NJ 18.9%

  16. Still Looking says:


    I live in Pal Park and I cannot wait to get out. Terrible services, government graft and complete overcrowding. Do not suggest this place to anyone.

  17. James Bednar says:

    2006.Q3-2006.Q4 Change in Prices

    Allentown-Easton-Bethlehem, PA-NJ -7.5
    Atlantic City, NJ 32.2%
    New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA -2.8%
    New York-Wayne-White Plains, NY-NJ -11.6%
    NY:Edison, NJ -11.6
    NY:Nassau-Suffolk, NY 0.5%
    NY:Newark-Union, NJ-PA -6.3
    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD -5.8%
    Trenton-Ewing, NJ -1.7%

  18. BC Bob says:

    By the way, Richard wanted a wake up call when median prices were -7.0%. Good morning Richard.

  19. Marito says:

    Hi everybody,

    I’ve been lurking here without posting for months. Just wanted to add a quick comment/question to Jim posting re: the Q to Q changes from fall to winter 2006. The 10%+ average in many areas account for, I guess, people who had had houses in the market for a long time, needed to sell and were facing the start of a slow season (in yearly terms). In a certain sense they were the ones who maybe foresaw or admitted that the creeping slow down was not going to be seasonal this time. They also probably had had their prices unchanged since fall 05.
    Question is: how much chance do you see of the other ones, the ones that chose to withdraw and are going to relist in a few weeks, getting the message? How seasonal and extended can the scare be for you to have 10%+ average price reductions in one quarter? do sellers look at this statistics? looks like an onslaught, is it?


  20. rhymingrealtor says:


    Here are the facts as I presented them to him. 24 Homes for sale 4 sold in the last 6 months 2 in august 1 in november 1 in jan. 4 under contract in the last 6 months 2 in jan. If jan is a trend then 12 mo supply if it is not than 24-30 mo supply -thats the facts but who knows how his will fare. It currently expires in march, he wants to know if I think It will be better to list in July, he does not want to know if he should reduce it.He can’t -won’t.

  21. BC Bob says:

    “he does not want to know if he should reduce it. He can’t -won’t.”


    How many others fit this category?

  22. chaoticchild says:


    I grew up in Fort Lee, I know the Palisades Park / Fort Lee / Edgewater area.

    The myth in the area is always close to NY and Rich Asian with suitcase of cash will buy up all properties.


  23. njrebear says:

    “Housing Sales Fall in 40 States in 4Q”

    That can’t be true. Housing is always a local market.

  24. twice shy says:

    From today’s WSJ pg D1, column on Work & Family.

    Wiki: “a website designed for collaboration. This enables team members to create content and suggest changes 24/7.”

  25. James Bednar says:

    From Reuters:

    Lehman says GM could face $900 mln rebate to GMAC

    General Motors Corp may have to pay up to $950 million to shore up former financial arm GMAC because of a declining market for subprime housing loans, brokerage Lehman Brothers said in a report issued this week.

    Lehman Brothers analyst Brian Johnson said in a report issued on Tuesday recent profit warnings from financial companies active in subprime mortgages suggested GM would need to contribute more cash to GMAC for loss provisions.

    “We believe that GM may need to ‘true up’ the GMAC close by contributing an additional $900 million to $950 million to GMAC in (the first half),” Johnson said.

  26. twice shy says:

    “The slump in housing deepened in the final three months of last year . . .”

    That’s the lead sentence. The verb here is “deepened,” not moderated, stabilized, or bottomed. When a slump is deepening, reasonable folks might conclude things might continue to deepen, perhaps for another few months or longer. Hope Mr. L knows how to swim.

  27. njrebear says:

    Bring on a Lender
    Bring on a Realtor (The evil ones of course)
    Bring on a Flipper
    Bring on a great big zoo!

    But when we’re through
    Good night,
    try to sleep tight,
    Turn off Your light.

  28. Richard says:

    >>By the way, Richard wanted a wake up call when median prices were -7.0%. Good morning Richard.

    -2.8% in my neck of the woods is no collapse so i’m still sleeping. the weak attempts at comparing one property that someone overpaid for with another bought at an estate sale and calling them the same type of house/lot size is a weak attempt at calling a macro trend. prices aren’t collapsing but they’ve certainly flattened out.

  29. Hehehe says:

    Any of you ever use Property Shark? How reliable is their data? They had the Following for Hoboken:

    We analyzed all sales of property class Residential (2) in this 7030 zip code since 1980. In each year we found the median sale price (half of sales were higher, half were lower) and the median size of the properties sold (half were bigger, half were smaller). We also computed the median price per square foot for this property class and the value of this property (1,331 sf) if it were to sell for the median price per square foot.

    Year # of Sales Median Price Median Sq. Ft. Median $ per Sq. Ft. This Property at Median $ per Sq. Ft.
    2006 444 $490,000 525 $423 $563,386
    2005 849 $465,000 805 $505 $673,099
    2004 577 $390,000 812 $439 $584,961
    2003 37 $390,000 0 $0 $0
    2002 21 $485,000 0 $0 $0
    2001 15 $340,000 0 $0 $0
    2000 8 $610,000 0 $0 $0
    1999 14 $290,000 0 $0 $0
    1998 368 $165,000 0 $0 $0
    1997 356 $153,000 0 $0 $0
    1996 256 $142,500 0 $0 $0
    1995 184 $133,000 0 $0 $0
    1994 24 $135,000 0 $0 $0
    1993 7 $196,000 0 $0 $0
    1992 3 $215,000 0 $0 $0
    1990 1 $235,000 0 $0 $0
    1989 1 $183,000 0 $0 $0
    1988 2 $123,000 0 $0 $0

  30. njrebear says:

    Bring on a Reechard as well.

  31. BC Bob says:

    Subprime May Give Fed Crisis Cover

    By James Cramer,

    “Am I Mr. Brightside? No, I believe that subprime’s awful, even worse than the bears think. When I look at the cancellations that a KB (KBH – Cramer’s Take – Stockpickr) or a Toll (TOL – Cramer’s Take – Stockpickr) has, I know that the same rate applies to those who took these loans down. That’s maybe 30%-40%, not the 7%-10% default that their models presume when employment is this low.”

    “If anything, they’re saying there might be a fire. I say it’s raging, which is why I believe the crisis is about to give us that May cut that I am counting on to take the Dow up 17% this year.”

  32. bergenbubbleburst says:

    #31 And that young Richard is how the process happens. Watch and learn Grasshopper.

    It happened before, it is happpening again, all of your jumping up and down will not change it.

    is it differetn this time yes Grasshopper it is different in onlt that there was so much more recklessness and lax lending standards this time, which will make the down turn so much more severe.

    Wacth listen and learn Grasshopper

  33. bergenbubbleburst says:

    #23 pal park is in serious decline, horrible schools, down trodden town center, starting to look mroe like a small town in West Va, than a prestigious Bergen Co surburb.

  34. BC Bob says:

    “prices aren’t collapsing but they’ve certainly flattened out.”


    Never said collapsing, your words. I always talked about a slow leak, Chinese water tortue.

  35. Clotpoll says:

    KL (23)-

    Stick a fork in him. He’s done.

  36. Clotpoll says:

    Grim (28)-

    That is some truly shocking sh#t.

  37. Clotpoll says:

    Guess GM’s good news from earlier this week about the improving health of their pension plan and improved investment returns just went out the window.

    This dog of a stock deserves to be beat back dwon to about $18…and I might be too generous at that.

    All disclaimers apply. Of course, GM is one of America’s finest companies.

  38. clayton says:

    KL (23) – about a year and a half late for Pal Park. 50×100 lots used to go for $600-$700k. Lot of overpriced duplexes on the market and builders are finally starting to figure out that they can’t make money doing teardowns anymore.

  39. Al says:

    Ooohh Noooooooo Save Wisconsin – kind of funny to read for people from NJ…

    Proposed Property Taxes Could Go Up 4%

    WAUSAU–If you’re a homeowner or are looking at buying one soon, you may be see an increase in the property tax you pay. Under the Governor’s proposed budget, the increase could be as much as 4 percent.

    This all comes after Governor Doyle proposed as much as a 4 percent increase in his State Budget address Tuesday night.

    In the city of Wausau, if you own a 150 thousand dollar home, you could end up paying an extra 157 dollars.

    If you’re out looking to buy on the market and this increase is passed, Realtors say you may have to look at buying a cheaper home.

    President of Security Realty in Wausau Glen Witter says, “It’s going to affect the amount of money they have available to buy a home on a monthly basis and it could affect the value of a home that they can afford by as much as $2,000.”

    For home buyer LeeAnn Kitchell, this property tax increase affects what she’ll buy.

    “It does affect our monthly payment, my families budget is definitely affected by what we pay in property taxes.”

    But would this limit LeeAnn’s family on where they plan on settling?

    “You tend to look at different areas, around Wausau, there are different ranges of property taxes and for my family’s budget, it definitely affects where we look for decent property tax rates that won’t affect our monthly payment too much.”

    The increase would not only challenge buyers and Realtors, but the entire community.

    Witter says, “Any increase in taxes in any municipality, in any area, affects the ability of people to buy a home, and home sales could slow.”

    While some areas in the economy could slow, some home buyers believe it’s important to fulfill the needs in a community.

    Kitchell says, “Each community has to look at what their needs are and hopefully their leaders are being fiscally responsible and only good use that rate if they absolutely feels necessary or if there’s a lot of growth if they need to add services such as Kronenwetter, Westin, Mosinee.”

  40. James Bednar says:

    From Barrons:

    Don’t Forsake the Foreclosures

    ON MONDAY, REALTYTRAC PUBLISHED its January Foreclosure Report. According to the company, the report includes homes in all three phases of foreclosure: preforeclosure (notice of default), foreclosure (notice of sale) and real-estate owned (those properties that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).

    Foreclosure activity in January continued to increase, rising to its highest level since RealtyTrac began disclosing the data two years ago. As we have written previously, we believe the upward trend in foreclosures is indicative of the heightened leverage taken on by home buyers through the past several years of robust price appreciation and record-low interest rates. Recent failures from regional subprime mortgage lenders further illustrate this point.

    We remain concerned with the potential inventory overhang that may result from these foreclosures, as default notices do not typically show up as inventory for six months following the initial notice.

    In addition, we believe it is becoming increasingly likely that rising foreclosure rates may result in tighter lending standards, higher spreads on both subprime and prime products, and the inability for marginal buyers to qualify for financing as easily as they had in recent years.

    All of these events should impact the demand side of the housing equation — an issue that investors are not paying enough attention to, in our opinion.

  41. njrebear says:

    Front page story on CNN –

    Record home price slump
    Fourth quarter report from Realtors shows largest price drop on record as markets with price declines now outpace those with gains.

  42. SG says:

    Sign up for NJ RE Report Network first meeting February 16th 6:30 PM at,

    The venue is Sheraton Tara at Parsippany

    In my opinion, the first meeting tomorrow will be kind of Victory Lap for JB’s effort. He was one of the few who kept saying housing is in Bubble, and today CNN recognizes downturn on Front Page. I think for his 2 or more years of effort on educating all of us, we definitely owe him a drink.

  43. SG says:

    The best quote today so far in CNN article was,

    She said that since most home owners stay in a home six years on average, a look at five-year price gains shows most homeowners are doing OK despite the recent weakness. The median five-year price gain is 41.8 percent, according to the group’s figures.

    Like everyone is US had their 6 year term starting only in year 2000. Ha Ha Ha !!!

  44. BC Bob says:

    “The median five-year price gain is 41.8 percent, according to the group’s figures.”

    And where is the disclaimer stating that past performance does not guarantee future results??

  45. njrebear says:

    After reading about the biggest price decline ever, how many bagholders do you think called to cancel their contracts?

  46. Pat says:

    It’s printed on jars of Peter Pan marked 2111.

  47. SG says:

    Database offers salary, pension info

    Gannett New Jersey

    With more than 2,400 municipalities, agencies, authorities, school districts and other government bodies, there is little wonder that New Jersey spent nearly $23 billion last year to pay its 450,000 public servants.

    Their salaries range from the base minimum to more than $500,000. Until today, though, you had no way of finding out quickly and anonymously what a public employee was paid.

    As part of the Courier News’ mission to provide public information to residents, the newspaper has posted on its data records Web site,, nearly all employees who draw a paycheck from the government.

    Click on “Public Employees” to access the searchable database.

    From there, you can search by name or list employees by town, agency or department. There also is an option to allow you to see the employees paid more than $200,000 last year. A second link will take you to the employee list for public-school educators.

    But the most surprising find might be the administrator of the borough of Lincoln Park in Morris County, the fourth highest-paid official in PERS. With 11,000 residents in 7 square miles, most of which is in a flood zone, the town paid Administrator Joseph J. Maiella $293,032 last year. That comes at a cost of about $71 per household, or $26 per person, to support his salary.

    He is the highest paid municipal employee in the state, according to the PERS list. Maiella said he is worth every penny.

    Besides being the administrator, Maiella wears six other hats in town: engineer, planner, director of development, engineer and planner for the Planning Board as well as the Zoning Board, and the town’s purchasing agent.

    “Everything has been lumped together,” he said. When told that he was paid more than George D. Warrington, executive director of NJ Transit who was paid $288,916 last year, Maiella said, “I am surprised that I am number 4. But I guarantee you that no one else in the state has the combination of licenses and certifications that I have.”

    Maiella, 57, said he works 60 to 70 hours a week, and some days he starts at 5 a.m. and doesn’t leave for his North Haledon, Passaic County, home until midnight.

    He said he believes he saves the borough money because if it had to hire an engineering firm to replace him as borough engineer it could cost the town more than $300,000 a year — just for that one job. Mayor David C. Runfeldt said about a third of Maiella’s salary comes from application fees instead of taxpayers.

    Runfeldt said he has been on the governing body for eight years and “nobody has complained about (Maiella’s) salary.”

    “”He is very good at what he does,” Runfeldt said. “I don’t think it is high for him at all.”

  48. SG says:

    Data Universe Link to find Public Employees Salary information

  49. New In Town says:

    re 42
    As a recent arrival here from Wisconsin, I miss faminly, good roads, competent government, and empty paved backroads for biking.

    I do not miss the cold.

  50. Willow says:


    “empty paved backroads for biking”

    I lived in Los Angeles for three years and really got into biking while there. Even though it’s a very congested area, there are bike paths at the beach and mountain bike trails in the mountains. When we moved back to NJ, the bike went into the garage and has been brought out very rarely. It is very dangerous to ride here.

  51. James Bednar says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Rep. Watt doesn’t want `adversarial’ subprime oversight

    U.S. Rep. Melvin L. Watt, D-N.C., said Thursday he is hoping to address issues raised about subprime mortgage lending in a “collaborative” not “confrontational or adversarial” way, as lawmakers continued confronting the Federal Reserve about rising foreclosure rates.

    Watt, who chairs the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said in an interview he had discussed holding a joint hearing on subprime lending with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

    He said they had not discussed the timing of a hearing or what potential legislation might look like. The banking industry and consumer groups have differed over what legislation aimed at curbing abusive lending practices should look like.

    The banking industry has been on the defensive for months, arguing that these loans are not inherently predatory and make credit available to borrowers who normally wouldn’t be able to own homes.
    Watt agreed.

    “Subprime loans are important in the market, and all subprime loans are not predatory,” Watt said. “The biggest challenge you have is trying to figure out how to distinguish between predatory loans and make what you write in legislation or regulation apply only to them, as opposed to subprime, nonpredatory loans.”

    Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., has called for more scrutiny over certain mortgage products that he has said are causing a homeownership “crisis.”

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that banking agencies would clarify guidance “very soon,” extending certain underwriting and disclosure principles to certain subprime loans, such as ones with low teaser rates that quickly rise.

    “I would just say now that I hope that in our guidance and our supervision, that we have conveyed to lenders that those three principles – good underwriting, good disclosure and good risk management are broad – good business principles – they can be applying those to all the mortgage loans they make,” Bernanke said at a House Financial Services Committee hearing.

  52. hobokenite says:


    “Any of you ever use Property Shark? How reliable is their data? They had the Following for Hoboken:”

    I have an account on there, but I haven’t really used it.

    Having said that, I find the #’s for number of sales somewhat difficult to believe. I have a very hard time believing that there were only 37 sales in ’03.

  53. rhymingrealtor says:

    Clot & Clayton

    I know, I know, Clayton if you knew how many times he said its a 50 x100 lot. I have said over and over but these homes they have put on these lots are not selling, I know what they are asking, but they are not selling.
    Clot, I don’t have the listing he came to me before he closed on this FSBO, (realtor owned) I gently said not a good deal, he thought he found a diamond in the rough. I explained it was listed before it was FSBO and it did’nt sell. He thought he got a deal. An empty house so far from my base is too difficult, I worry about pipes, agents leaving doors open, and it aint selling so why take it. He’s with an agent from that area, she can’t sell it. He’s going to ” Rent it ” when it expires (march). Then list again in July, I’ll be sure to take it then! Because David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said it appears the fourth quarter was the bottom for the current housing cycle. I could definitly sell it for 430,000 but since he paid 460& closing cost well…. why bother.
    But the heck with all that, he bought a condo in clifton from an estate- he lives in the building so he knew the widow had passed. He’s closing on 3/15 whoopee I get that one soon!
    You can’t tell a wheeler dealer anything.


    PS: Clot, don’t you have any tales from the crypt , We always get your wisdom, lets get some of your stories.

  54. still_looking says:

    — not like I’m having an identity crisis but, just for clarification

    Still Looking is not me still_looking…

    ..and I’m in Bergen County.

    (now back to your regular scheduled program….. ;-)


  55. Clotpoll says:

    KL (57)-

    I’ve always hesitated to share my “war stories” here, because most of them occurred so long ago. Hence, few of my stories are illustrative of today’s market.

    What my stories WOULD illustrate, however, are the depths to which an unsupervised human being will sink in order to scr@w a fellow human being. I went through a period of holding a very grim view of mankind…until I decided that I would no longer take on clients upon whom I knew I’d end up secretly wishing disaster.

    I pretty much have only good and generous feelings toward my clients of the past few years. I’ve been able to cobble together an interview process- of sorts- that has allowed me to winnow out the crazymakers before I’m joined to them at the hip in agency.

    I also have learned to make it a practice to say “no” to propositions that don’t look, feel or smell right. I’ve learned the hard way that things not begun properly generally don’t end properly. I’m sure I’ve turned down some deals I should’ve gone with, but in general, I have few regrets.

  56. rhymingrealtor says:

    I don’t know if anyone remembers but this is the same gentlemen that bought a condo from me last summer to re-sell. I advised at that time it would be difficult to re-sell. He told me it was okay he would rent. His tennant is constantly late on the rent, giving it to him in 2 and three payments, she is tiring him out. Of course this has not dampened his enthusiasm at all, currently the only unit that has sold for more than he paid, was for only 5,000 more than he paid , considering his costs, he’s taking a bath. He’s gonna list that in july too. Im not sure why July is so magical, perhaps its because that’s my birthday (-:

  57. still_looking says:

    Clot and KL (and jb!)

    There should be a section (maybe in Humor?) where you can list your way-out stories (on both sides of the fence…)

    I recall going to see a house in whitehouse sta. The foundation was cracked and crumbling.. the inside of the house looked like a boarding/rooming house complete with bottles of JD and Jim Beam on every piece of furniture… and as we walked out a non-English speaking guy rode up on a bicycle and indicated he was being paid to repaint the place!!

    Something like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic… We went home and showered immediately…all the while praying we didn’t need a delousing too…



  58. njrebear says:

    time to repost Liereah’s exploits –


    Realtors’ economist stayed sunny all year
    Commentary: David Lereah saw bottom in first quarter, second quarter …

    There are two universal truths at the National Association of Realtors: 1) It’s always a good time to buy or sell a home; and 2) We’ve seen the worst of the housing market correction.

  59. Clotpoll says:

    Still (61)-

    Nothing as refreshing as a good, thorough de-lousing! As I always say, better safe than sorry…

    For your information and online pleasure, some timely tips from one of my favorite sites (and I’m sure soon to be one of yours, too),

    And, remember: don’t use kerosene or pet shampoos!

  60. Clotpoll says:

    Today’s test question for those who may still be wondering, “Am I a Dork?”:

    You are a Dork, if:

    You throw birthday parties for your kids and have them play Pin the Tail on the Lereah.

  61. Lincoln78 says:

    To Still Looking’s point [61], is there a way to post pics up? I have a feeling the 14 lock-boxes on the park bench sightings will become more plentiful…

  62. BC Bob says:

    Don’t know how you pin this tail?? From missles to hedge funds or the sign of an impending market upheaval.

  63. Clotpoll says:

    BC (66)-

    OK, that’s it. I’m in the game! Start gathering your spare change. I’ll have a Paypal link up soon for:

    Clotpoll Capital! We’ll be long and/or short a variety of selected worldwide securities, currencies and commodities. In addition, we’ll be focusing on various March Madness sports investment opportunities. The lockup period will be a most-generous seven years, during which time I’ll naturally be unable to discuss with you my super-secret investment strategies.

    WTF??? How could I do worse than Madeleine Albright…or Amaranth?

  64. chicagofinance says:

    Housing Report May Not Shed Much Light
    February 16, 2007
    Depending on whom you ask, the U.S. housing market is either on the cusp of recovery or the crest of collapse.

    Optimists point to reports that sales have stabilized, the dissipating glut of unsold homes and a pickup in mortgage applications. Just yesterday a survey of home-builder sentiment pointed up.

    The pessimists warn the blips in housing data are short-term bounces owed to warm early-winter weather.

    One might expect today’s report on housing construction to help clear the air, but it probably won’t.

    Economists estimate the Commerce Department will report that builders started construction on fewer new homes in January than they did in December, after adjusting for seasonal swings. But the 2.6% drop in “housing starts” that’s expected would represent small payback for a 4.5% December gain.

    These are very volatile numbers, and December was one of the warmest on record, allowing construction crews to break ground on more homes than usual. The weather went from warm to cold in January, making it a tough read.

    “The problem with weather distortions is that you can never know how much is weather and how much is underlying conditions until you see a nondistorted number,” says Banc of America Securities bond strategist Mike Cloherty.

    The next challenge for the industry could come from the shakeout in subprime mortgages. Investors stuck with loans gone bad complain the mortgage originators were too lax. That should lead to tighter standards, making it harder for would-be homeowners to buy a house.

    The optimists will shrug, but it could be awhile before anyone can say with confidence the housing market is recovering.

  65. njrebear says:

    Mortgage Refinancing Gets Tougher

    CitiMortgage, a unit of Citigroup Inc., last month began requiring that borrowers who take out a “stated-income” loan sign an affidavit attesting to the fact that information about their income in the application is accurate and hasn’t been modified by their mortgage broker or loan officer.

  66. UnRealtor says:

    Just did my ritual scan of listings, and there’s certainly no shortage of dummies jumping into the abyss.

    There must have been some pent up demand, mixed with people having little regard for financial losses, because late Jan/early Feb produced a bunch of Greater Fools under contract for obscene amounts of money.

    Glad it’s not me signing the papers.

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