Weekend Open Discussion – Part II

Now Open, Part II!

Prior weekend thread closed due to comment overflow.

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106 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion – Part II

  1. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Even Renters Aren’t Safe

    ON a cold evening in March, Desiree Dookhoo was at home in Ozone Park, Queens, studying for a nursing exam, when she heard someone trying to open her front door. She demanded to know who was there and threatened to call the police.

    “It’s Richard from the bank,” a voice answered. “Your landlord has lost the house.”

    Many renters may believe that they have avoided the chaos of the subprime loan crisis and the mortgage meltdown simply by renting and not buying, but they may not be as insulated as they think. Buildings with tenants are going into foreclosure as well.

    “This is a growing problem nationwide,” said Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, a research company. “Landlords of all stripes could potentially get caught up in this very severe downturn.”

    “I suspect that it’s going to be more of a problem for lower- to middle-income markets,” Mr. Zandi added.

  2. grim says:

    From the Record:

    They’re not giving at the office

    The North/Central Jersey office market is off to a weak start this year.

    Nearly 2 1/2 million square feet of vacant space was added to the market in the first quarter, according to CB Richard Ellis, the largest commercial real estate company in the world, a dramatic shift from the previous quarter’s positive absorption.

    Net absorption, the difference between the amount of space vacated and the amount of space filled, “went into a downward spiral” in the first quarter, ending at a negative 2.44 million square feet, CB Richard Ellis said. This is a 2.73 million-square-foot decline from the absorption gains made in the first quarter of 2007.

    The surge in negative absorption is based mostly on two large blocks of space coming onto the market at once: Johnson & Johnson’s 749,000 square feet in Parsippany and Alcatel-Lucent’s 1.67 million-square-foot campus in Holmdel. Even if these properties were removed from the equation, North/Central Jersey would still end the quarter with slight negative absorption.

    The vacancy rate in the region rose 1.4 percentage points from the previous quarter to 18.7 percent. North/Central Jersey’s office vacancy rate has hovered near the 20 percent mark for the past five years.

    “We have high vacancy rates in New Jersey compared to other markets,” said Paul Giannone, executive vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle, a global commercial real estate firm based in Chicago. “We just haven’t been delivering the jobs needed to absorb all the space.”

  3. HEHEHE says:


    Does this mean that renter’s should ask landlord’s for THEIR credit reports?:)

  4. nakedtruth says:

    Has anyone seen the countrywide reo blog.
    Is there a problem with getting a mortgage from countrywide? I’M not buying just curious, I think prices are way too high.

  5. jack says:

    i believe hov will out last the market turndown

  6. grim says:

    From the Washington Post:

    Horrors of a ‘Crisis’

    During presidential elections, when candidates postulate this or that “crisis” for which each is the indispensable and sufficient cure, economic hypochondria is encouraged, so a sense of suffering is rampant. Recently the Wall Street Journal, like Joseph Conrad contemplating the Congo, surveyed today’s economic jungle and cried, “The horror! The horror!”

    Declines in housing values and the stock market are causing some Americans to delay retirement. A Kansas City man had been eager to retire to Arizona but now, the Journal says, “figures he’ll stay put for another couple of years.” He is 59.

    So, this is a facet of today’s hydra-headed “crisis” — the man must linger in the labor force until, say, 62. That is the earliest age at which a person can, and most recipients do, begin collecting Social Security.

    The proportion of people aged 55 to 64 who are working rose 1.5 percentage points from April 2007 to February 2008, during which the percentage of working Americans older than 65 rose two-tenths of one percentage point. The Journal grimly reported, “The prospect of millions of grandparents toiling away in their golden years doesn’t square with the American dream.”

    Oh? The idea that protracted golden years of idleness are a universal right is a delusion of recent vintage. Deranged by the entitlement mentality fostered by a metastasizing welfare state, Americans now have such low pain thresholds that suffering is defined as a slight delay in beginning a subsidized retirement often lasting one-third of the retiree’s adult lifetime.

    The standard definition of a recession — two consecutive quarters of contraction — means we still are probably several months short of being in one. The 9.9 percent first-quarter decline of the Standard & Poor 500 barely ranks among the 40 worst quarterly losses in the index’s history. Leave aside the 39.4 percent decline in the second quarter of 1932. The economy experienced no long-term trauma because of the declines of 10.3 percent, 14.5 percent and 23.2 percent in the third quarter of 1998, the third quarter of 1990 and the fourth quarter of 1987, respectively.

    Yes, in January single-family homes in major metropolitan areas lost 10.7 percent of their value from last January. To find such a large decline in a year you must peer back into the mists of prehistory, all the way back to . . . the 1990s. Furthermore, the vast majority of homeowners will remain well ahead, even after the market corrects for housing inflation.

    Subprime mortgages are a small minority of mortgages, and only a minority of subprime borrowers are not making their payments. Casting this minority of a minority as victims of “predatory” lending fits the liberal narrative that most Americans are victims of this or that sinister elite or impersonal force and are not competent to cope with life’s complexities without government supervision.

    The politics of this may, however, be more complex than the compassion chorus supposes. The 96 percent of mortgage borrowers who are fulfilling their commitments, often by scrimping, may be grumpy bystanders if many of the other 4 percent — those who found the phrase “variable rate” impenetrably mysterious — are eligible for ameliorations of their obligations.

    What next? Adults still burdened with student loans have not yet announced their entitlement to relief, but as they watch this subprime drama, they might.

  7. grim says:

    WaPo is on a roll this morning..

    Bailout Nation

    As every parent knows, the danger of cutting a special break for one child is that all the other children will demand the same thing. “It’s not fair,” goes the inevitable refrain. “You said Susie could eat ice cream and watch TV until midnight, so why can’t I?” The parents start caving, and family discipline is shot.

    We’re now in a comparable cycle of bestowing special economic favors on members of the national family who have been hurt by the credit market crisis. “It’s not fair,” argue the housing interests and consumer advocacy groups. “Bear Stearns got a financial bailout, so why shouldn’t we?” And they’re right, by the simplest schoolyard definition of fairness.

    So the line grows of people demanding breaks on financial obligations they can’t afford. Last week, the Bush administration agreed to rescue 100,000 homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure on their mortgages. Congressional Democrats promptly announced that this wasn’t fair enough and that they intended to expand the bailout to as many as 2 million distressed borrowers.

    But why stop there? What about onerous commercial mortgages? And credit card debt? And student loans? Why should anyone have to pay back anything? It’s not fair.

    Economists talk about avoiding “moral hazard” — the danger that by insuring people too generously against risks you may encourage them to take even greater risks. Who are they kidding? We are now so deep into this hazard that we ought to invent a new name for it. Moral myopia, perhaps.

    Congress will say yes — it would be manifestly unfair to do otherwise. But after shredding the moral hazard barriers, we should understand that the next financial crisis, when it comes, is bound to be even worse.

  8. grim says:

    i believe ara’s hair will outlast the human race

    The guy has got swagger, I’ll give him that. The James Bond of the public builders. Bob Toll? He was the kid that got beat up on the playground during recess.

  9. ithink-ithink says:

    Piece of artillery crashes into home in Jefferson Twp.


  10. Clotpoll says:

    think (9)-

    It’s all fun and games…until somebody puts an eye out.

  11. Clotpoll says:


    Maybe I shouldn’t be so keen on repairing my grenade launcher…

  12. HEHEHE says:

    I just walked by that Maxwell Place development in Hoboken last night and Toll still does not have the main building anywhere near being finished. If I owned one of those units I’d be pissed.

  13. Orion says:

    I don’t usually address school topics but this one caught my attention.

    I wonder how many other school districts have these type of expenses.

    From nj101.5 website:

    “A review of the KPMG audit for the Union City School District (formerly known as an Abbott district) shows the following:

    ·One individual was paid for 14 pay periods after termination at the employee’s request.
    ·Two individuals were paid 21 and 24 pay periods after termination.
    ·The audit report says that, according to the contract, school bus drivers are paid 6 hours of overtime each month in order to charge their cell phones.
    ·One bus driver in the 05-06 school year earned $73,125 in overtime, which accounted for 237% of the driver’s base pay. In other words, the driver earned over $100,000 in wages that year.
    ·A bus driver in the 04-05 school year earned $61,456 in overtime, 217% of base salary.
    ·One bus driver in the 05-06 school year earned $51,725 in overtime, 204% of base salary.
    ·$150,000 for an annual lease of the Ronald Dario Swimming Complex, which was used only part-time in year 05-06; and $100,000 for 04-05, again for part-time use?
    ·The district spent $72,843 for cable TV spots.
    ·$55,000 was sent to a PR company for helping the district to prepare monthly superintendent’s newsletters, which were sent out in August 2004.
    ·Another approximately $50,000 was expended in printing costs for 1,000 posters and 25,000 brochures.
    ·$32,302 was sent to a DC law firm to help the district secure grants
    ·$26,000 in monthly payments were made for website development. Monthly?
    ·The district paid $2,315 to send kids to Medieval Times. See the following link: . Medieval Times is a chain corporation, which provides dinner and a live jousting show.
    ·$2,600 for a staff party.
    ·Taxpayers spent $9,268 for hotel expenses incurred for an out-of-state administrative retreat.
    ·$3,476 was spent to send 28 students to visit colleges; one trip went to Boston.
    ·The district spent $3-K to pay for “floats for [a] Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
    ·A firm called Furia Rubel, based out of PA, was paid big bucks from the district for PR and website development. Just singling out the period from October 2004 to February 2005, the firm received over $148,000. And the payments don’t stop after that.
    ·A trip to a Poconos resort, paying for a “field trip” for 140 seventh graders and chaperones back in June 2004.
    ·$400 for a “clown show” at Gilmore school, which the auditor labeled “questionable.”
    ·$13,411 monthly payment for 39 cell phones used by bus drivers.
    ·A “Cocktail Dinner” for 50 people at the Old Tapas Restaurant — $1,150. “Food for staff.”
    ·$21,125 for 25,000 brochures called “Keys to the City,” which were sent to the entire City.
    ·$1,716 for an LCD flat panel TV for the HR Director’s Office.
    ·$2,268 to the Sheraton Edison Hotel back in February 2005, which paid the tab for students and two teachers. According to the audit report, no agenda was found and they were unable to determine the purpose or necessity of the trip.”

    By: Kevin McArdle

  14. Al says:

    Good Morning!!

    GSMLS 35072 – what is the all time high???

  15. pretorius says:


    “San Fran is down double digits YOY with a weakening dollar”

    NAR data shows San Francisco metro up 5.5% YOY and San Jose metro up 11.2%.

    S&P/C-S ignores the San Jose metro, where the country’s highest priced homes are. This market remains strong because local economic conditions are getting better.

    Before you criticize the NAR data as flawed because the realtors don’t want to show negative numbers, recognize that the same reports shows nearby Sacramento metro down 18.5%.


  16. Al says:

    What next? Adults still burdened with student loans have not yet announced their entitlement to relief, but as they watch this subprime drama, they might.

    I’d love that, and since we are on it lets also get relief on credit card debt and car loans..

  17. grim says:

    Wait, I didn’t take out a student loan, does that mean I get the shaft there too?

    And no credit card debt either, so I miss out?

    Surely there must be some bailout I’m eligible for.


  18. pretorius says:


    Just sent you some Las Vegas stuff in Excel format.

    Please post the file if you get the chance.

  19. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Corzine: Rebuild roads, bridges, mass transit to boost NJ economy

    New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine has an idea in mind to lift the state from the economic doldrums _ a massive statewide initiative to repair aging roads, bridges and mass transit that would create thousands of new jobs.

    But there’s one problem with that idea.

    Legislators continue to balk at Corzine’s plan to increase highway tolls to pay debt and fund transportation projects, leaving the state with dwindling money for the massive new construction that could bring those new jobs.

    But the former Goldman Sachs chairman thinks the national economy is in recession and worries the federal government isn’t doing enough to help.

    The $42.1 billion his administration would like to spend on transportation projects in the next decade would give the economy a much needed spark, Corzine contends.

    “The economic distress that we see nationally, not just here in New Jersey but nationally, ought to be supported with job creation that actually comes from putting people to work in widening the turnpike, building a tunnel, building mass transit,” Corzine said.

    The state has lost 10,300 jobs so far this year.

    “To sit and not try to be stimulative to the economy right now is a big mistake,” the Democratic governor said.

  20. pretorius says:

    Thanks grim.

    Data clearly shows improving housing supply situation in Las Vegas. It is still bad out there. Months of inventory = 15. That’s a lot better than recent peak level of 27 months.

    By comparison, New Jersey months of inventory = 11 which is in line with national average.

  21. jamil says:

    “New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine has an idea in mind to lift the state from the economic doldrums ”

    uh..How about reducing spending and taxes instead?
    Deny public money for illegal immigrants. This would cut health care costs alone by >$50B. Even NY Times reported last year that NY state Medicaid wasted up to $40B every year for illegals and outright fraud by various “community groups”. NJ can’t be better in that sense.

  22. Pat says:


    Walking Out of a Mortgage And Into Years of Hurt

    They are on a roll.

  23. John says:

    BOTTOM LINE owning a big fancy mcmansion house has lost its cache. It is about as acceptable as a 8 mile per gallon SUV. It is deemed something only a fool buys. Yea newlwed couples and people with kids on the way may buy cause they have to but that did not get us 100% increase in values between 2001 and 2006.

    Till that mindset changes 7k tax write off to buy a money pit wont do anything.

  24. Pat says:

    So who’s the WP trying to convince?

  25. chicagofinance says:

    grim Says:
    April 12th, 2008 at 8:07 am
    i believe ara’s hair will outlast the human race

    The guy has got swagger, I’ll give him that. The James Bond of the public builders. Bob Toll? He was the kid that got beat up on the playground during recess.

    grim: when you are born rich, everything seems irrelevant….just ask Jim Dolan, Paris Hilton, or Donald Trump.

  26. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Pat 25 Sounds like themselves.

  27. Sean says:

    re: (20 & 22) 4 out of 5 tinfoil hat wearing quasi-economist bloggers will agree that infrastructure investments are coming in NJ and across the nation, and will be a government sponsored bubble. If you are lucky you will be able to buy in on one of these PP3 quasi-governmental companies that will be formed. Your great great gand kids will remember you fondly as the one who was able to buy a 99 year lease on a highway.

    If Corzine is really serious, he should be telling the State education dept to mandate that the high schools teach students on how to weld and finish cement.

    Then if Corzine is really serious the illegal workers need to be deported as well. Nothing gets me angrier than seeing a taxpayer financed infrastructure improvement job with loads of illegal workers on it.

  28. bairen says:

    #13 Pret

    Bay Area home prices drop a record 13.2%


    From Jan 07 to Jan 08. Me thinks this trend is continuing.

  29. bairen says:

    30% of homes for sale in San Fran are in some stage of foreclosure


  30. bi says:

    15#, 18#, pret, thank you for the valuable data set.

  31. grim says:


    Let me know when you buy in Vegas, I’ll stop by for drinks. Likewise, if you are even in the Eurozone, give me a call.

  32. Sean says:

    Speaking of Ara Hovnanian, NAR and the other real estate pundits who have been calling “bottom” lately here is something to ponder about calling “bottom”, it has only been one year correction so far…


  33. grim says:

    First day on the bike this year, wife says I’m getting lazy.

    20 miles and I near died. Wasn’t there a story just this past week about the negative impact of blogging on cardiovascular health?

  34. BC Bob says:


    Let me know when you are shorting crude again. Your call to sell at $68 was a gem.

  35. BC Bob says:


    What was your point, yesterday, regarding NJ RE prices in comparison to the UK?

  36. BC Bob says:

    We talked about this scenario approx 1-1/2 years ago. While the carnival barkers were crowning PE as the new king’s, the masked men were stripping equity and burying these firms with massive debt. Buckle Up.

    “SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Home furnishings retailer Linens ‘n Things, weighted by an increasing debt load and declining house market, may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by Tuesday, according to a published report.”

    “Should Linens ‘n Things file for bankruptcy, it would represent one of the first major retailers to go under in this slowing economy and one of the largest private equity buyouts to fail amid declining credit market conditions, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation. Private equity firm Apollo Management LP bought the retailer for $1.3 billion in February 2006, the paper reported. See story in WSJ.com See also MarketWatch First Take”


  37. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Out With the Old: Storied Mansions Fall in Greenwich
    In Rush for Empty Lots,
    Buyers Demolish Homes;
    The Passing of Greyledge
    April 12, 2008; Page A1

    GREENWICH, Conn. — Col. Raynal Bolling, an architect of American air power in World War I, died of a German bullet in 1918. The aviator’s Greenwich mansion, featuring 13 fireplaces and a shooting gallery, survived until 2007.

    Hedge-fund manager Spencer Lampert spent $7.6 million to buy the home, designed by the same firm that created the New York Public Library. Then, last year, Mr. Lampert razed it to the ground. Asked to describe what he has in mind for the now-vacant six-acre lot, he said in an e-mail: “Planning on building a house.”

  38. victorian says:

    #34 – Grim, where do you go for a ride?

  39. grim says:

    From the WSJ Developments Blog:

    Home Price Declines Forecasted Through 2009

    How long will your house keep losing value? Depending on where you live, home prices could continue to decline for the next two years, says PMI Group Inc., chief economist David Berson.

    “There are a chunk of cities where the risk that prices will be lower two years from now is pretty high,’’ says Mr. Berson, whose latest report forecasts the risk of home price declines through the end of 2009. (See full report.)

    As you might expect, the cities at the highest risk are those where home prices rose the fastest during the boom: Riverside, Calif., Las Vegas, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Phoenix.

    In the fourth quarter, home prices across much of the U.S. fell 8.9% from a year earlier, according to S&P/Case-Shiller. Mr. Berson is expecting the S&P/Case-Shiller index could fall another 15-25% before the market fully recovers.

    Although sales and new home construction may rebound before the end of 2009, prices could remain under pressure because of the glut of home and foreclosed properties on the market.

  40. ADA says:

    I know this a a NJ blog but in case anyone is interested in westchester.


    Bidding Wars? In This Market?

    ASK LESS, GET MORE This four-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath house in Pelham Manor was listed at $1.2 million but sold for $1.35 million.

    NO sooner did Marcella J. Carberry’s two-bedroom co-op in Scarsdale go on the market in early March for $395,000 than her phone began ringing and the offers rolled in. “Considering how terrible the real estate market is these days, you could have knocked me over with a feather,” said Ms. Carberry, who — like other fortunate sellers receiving multiple bids on their homes — had the enviable job of choosing among the good offers.

    The number of foreclosure actions in Westchester is soaring, according to the county clerk’s office. Sales were down 8.5 percent for the fourth quarter of last year compared with the corresponding period the year before.

    Although official numbers are not yet tallied for the first quarter of 2008, the slowness in the market that began to take hold last year “is really here in Westchester now in a serious way,” said P. Gilbert Mercurio, the chief executive of the Westchester County Board of Realtors.

    Bidding wars may be anomalous in this environment, but they do happen. Mr. Mercurio is one of several experts who theorize that multiple bids result from a combination of shrewd pricing and falling inventory levels, as some sellers take their homes off the market and others hold off putting theirs on.

    “With the supply limited,” he said “people are competing hard for the few properties that are exceptional,” and the owners of those properties have sized up the market realistically in pricing their homes.

    Sona Davidian, owner-broker of C. S. McClellan Real Estate in Pelham, describes similar circumstances there: Of the 130 sales that went through brokers last year when the market was more robust, Ms. Davidian said, 25 percent were sold at or above asking. This year so far, there have been just a couple — but among them was a 90-year-old four-bedroom colonial in a sought-after neighborhood in Pelham that sold in a bidding war for $150,000 more than the asking price.

    The owners originally listed the house at $1.2 million, far less than they would have hoped for in flusher times, but the relatively low price drew three offers in five days. In the end, the house sold for $1.35 million, which is what the asking price probably would have been in 2005, when the market was far stronger, Ms. Davidian said.

  41. ADA says:

    Susan Maddock, manager of the Armonk office of Sotheby’s International Realty, said that even selling a house at a loss may be in a person’s best long-range interest.

    She cited the case of a couple who listed a four-bedroom ranch in Armonk at $859,000, about $30,000 less than they had paid for it in 2004. But they succeeded in selling, and then paid $1.39 million for a larger home that had been listed at $1.9 million but had languished on the market for close to a year. “In the long run,” Ms. Maddock said, “those sellers are going to come out ahead.”

    If sellers of a well-priced property actually find themselves poised to get multiple offers, according to Ms. Hellman, there are other factors to consider.

    “Most owners try to get the best price for their property,” she said, “but that can be a delicate balancing act.”

    One option is to allow offers within a period of three or four days with the expressed intent of accepting the highest and best. Another is to accept an early offer orally, which is not binding, and change your mind later if a better one is proffered.

  42. Painhrtz says:

    Can someone help me with MLS listing number 2459505 in Oakland. the Address would be greatly appreciated. It looks like it is on 202 but I’m not sure. thanks in advance.

  43. BC Bob says:

    Is the public starting to act rational or irrational? Are they starting to actually surmise that our govt is lying to them? Our leaders, elected to represent their constituents, would never allow this lie to fester? Would they? Is it possible the masses have ignored this fabrication while they were drinking the kool aid? As the hangover sets in, does our govt’s misrepresentation precipitate outrage?

    “Kimberly Stevens, a 42-year-old resident of Lewisville, Texas, and a Croesus follower, is also refusing to buy into the official Washington line that the nation’s inflation rate is only 3.4%. This outraged reader says, “As far as I am concerned, Bernanke, President Bush, Clinton, Obama and the rest of them live in a fairy-tale world. They do not go shopping each week and have no idea what the cost of goods is.”


  44. Sean says:

    The unemployment rate is low. The jobless rate is high, so says the NY Times today.


    Men in the prime of their working lives are now less likely to have jobs than they were during all but one recession of the last 60 years. Most of them do not qualify as unemployed, but they are nonetheless without jobs.

    The unemployment rate paints a less gloomy picture. Among men ages 25 to 54 — a range that starts after most people finish their education and ends well before most people retire — the unemployment rate is 4.1 percent. That is not especially low, but it is well below the peak rate in all but one post-World War II recession.

    Only people without jobs who are actively looking for work qualify as unemployed in the computation of that rate. It does not count people who are not looking for work, whether or not they would like to have a job….

    In the latest report, for March, the Labor Department reported the jobless rate — also called the “not employed rate” by some — at 13.1 percent for men in the prime age group. Only once during a post-World War II recession did the rate ever get that high. It hit 13.3 percent in June 1982, the 12th month of the brutal 1981-82 recession, and continued to rise from there…

    As can be seen in the accompanying chart, there has been a long-term decline in the proportion of prime-age men with jobs. That decline has been masked by rises in the number of older people with jobs and by a steady rise in the proportion of women working outside the home. But even among women there has been some slippage. The proportion of women ages 25 to 54 without jobs was 27.4 percent in March, a figure that is higher than it was during all but one month of the 2001 recession.

    The negative trend can also be seen in the other chart, which shows the annual change in the number of working men in the 25 to 54 age range, using a three-month moving average to smooth the figures.

    In the last half-century, that figure has turned negative only after recessions have been going on for at least a few months, although it has often stayed negative well after the recession officially ended. The lags have ranged from four months after the start of the 1960-61 and 2001 recessions, to 15 months after the beginning of the 1973-75 downturn, with an average lag of eight months. This year, the figure turned negative in January.

  45. ithink-ithink says:

    I’m not worried about ya Clot, I’ll just be sure to move a few hundred yards away from you.

  46. ithink-ithink says:

    Anybody have details on this one?
    1086 Rector Road 08807

    c-n.com says $49k but i think that’s a typo.

  47. Sean says:

    Renters of the World unite! Sign this petition to stop the bailout!

    {sarcasm off} this is a real petition.


  48. Orion says:

    Re: #34

    Jeepers you’re right.
    Clothes are tight. Need to spend more time outdoors…

  49. Sean says:

    Rebuilding of America, the next bubble.


  50. njrebear says:

    Misfired artillery crashes into [JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP,NJ] girl’s bed


  51. BC Bob says:

    Sean [46],

    It would actually be funny if it wasn’t so damn sad. It’s true, you have to qualify to be “officially” unemployed. Another snow job by our govt. When you dig into the BLS #’s, (Bulls*it #’s), you’ll see unemployment is closer to 10% as opposed to their reported 5.1%. Only they can come up with a category, marginally displaced and discouraged, to cushion the real #’s. It’s the BLS’s own version of a SIV. They have moved half of the unemployed off the balance sheet. Criminal!

  52. jmacdaddio says:

    Grim –

    Last Sunday’s NYT ran an article about the health risks of blogging.

    I need to get myself back on the soccer field! This winter was not kind to my waistline.

  53. rhymingrealtor says:


    I had kept a total graph of gsmls inventory starting in spring of 06, very rudimentary just the figure from the first page and monthly averages, I did not back up and had a crash, my computer is currently at a place to see what if anything I can get back. I did post some figures here last time asked, of anyone has them.


  54. syncmaster says:

    Hi, can someone get me status on GSMLS 2472728?


  55. grim says:

    Sold, $338.9k

  56. Essex says:

    54…my ankle…ouch.

  57. GJV1 says:

    Why do they call it unemploymnet tax if they
    are going to use it for something else. The
    individuals responsible for the raid should
    be jailed.

    The governor said the fund that pays weekly unemployment benefits is projected to fall below a minimum reserve level, triggering an automatic $350 million increase in employer payroll taxes as of July 1.

    “We should avoid imposing a $350 million tax increase on employers during this national recession,” Corzine said. “I am asking for the Legislature’s help to address this problem now to prevent this tax increase, so that businesses will have a stable and certain tax environment for economic growth in New Jersey.”

    The problem comes after legislators and governors diverted $4.7 billion from the fund from 1993 until 2006 to help hospitals pay for treating uninsured patients.


  58. afe says:

    Anybody have any idea what this “new” sales gimmick is all about, found on realtor.com?


  59. kettle1 says:

    Does anyone here see it actually being possible to fix either the state of federal Governments. maybe i need to take my meds, but t the more you read the news, the deeper the systemic rot seems to go.
    if for no other reason then the 1976 Supreme Court ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, that basically stated that money = speech. What group/s in the US will ever be able to out “speak” the wealthy or the corporations? that court ruling was and will be one of the pillars of our ultimate downfall

  60. Herring123 says:

    Re bubble T shirts, how about “Chicks Dig the Lowball” (maybe with a picture of a house so its not interpreted the wrong way)

  61. syncmaster says:

    grim, #57 – thanks!! I don’t recall what LP was but I don’t think it was a lot more than that.

  62. njpatient says:

    Happy birthday to me
    Happy birthday to me
    Happy birthday dear me
    Happy birthday to me

    (Trivia: the tune you know is copyrighted still, whoch is why the tone-deaf jacka$$es at the TGIFridays sing that freakishly hideous tune you’ve never heard before).

  63. njpatient says:

    1 grim

    I rent (you didn’t know that) and if my landlord got forclosed, I’d say to myself “pity I only rent this forcloded house. If only I owned it!!!”

    Not sure the point of that article.

  64. njpatient says:

    Let me just say that it is obscene for my completely non-RE-related M&A clients to have added nearly 2M sqf to NJ this quarter.

    They could have added to their actual f*cking line of work.


  65. njpatient says:

    … because:

  66. John says:

    next week with all the banks reporting will be lots of fun!!!! Good RE dirt.

    Back in 2000 I bought a car at a dealer auction, plain old sable for a great price. Well my friends tried to get a late BMW/Benz no luck back then, none at auction period. Well last week friend who does auctions had 2006-2007’s Lexus 350, BMW 525, Benz e and s430 our the wazoo. They are coming back in droves off the 24 month leases plus repos are sky high. Scary stuff bought with home equity. Anyhow I am going to get a BMW 525, funny thing the auction only takes cash. I guess they only want to get burned once. My friends e-class with an expiring lease the dealer offered her 8K off original residual to buy it.

    Looks like BMW/Mercedes is taking a bath in 2008. Hard to sell 55K 2008 E classes brand new when they are banging out 2006 E classes at 28K at the auction.

  67. njpatient says:

    6, 7 grim

    Who would ever have thought I’d be forwarding WaPo stuff to the whole world…

  68. Salty Steve says:

    …the sky is not falling.

    We will see 20-25% peak to trough prices in NJ (maybe a teensy bit higher in some of the NJ shore locations). That’s it kids. If you think it’s going to get worlds better than that, you’re fooling yourselves.

  69. njpatient says:

    17 grim

    I’ve still got ~90K in student loans. However, its gov’t guaranteed at 3.2% fixed rate, and after Bergabe’s through with it, the federals will owe ME money.
    Inflation is my bailout (and I’m heavy in inflation indexed securities, so if Bergabe keeps it up, I’ll be a happy man).
    Of course, I thought writing classical music for a living was a good idea, so probably best to ignore me…

  70. njpatient says:

    21 pret

    And how does that compare with the historical avg?

    I kid – we all know the answer to that Q.

  71. njpatient says:

    26 chi

    G*d bless you, my son.

  72. njpatient says:

    32 grim

    Ha! Pret just got back from buying commercial property in the UK, and I fear he’ll be in Vegas next and Manhattan the month after.

    My greatest fear re pret is that he is employed by a REIT client of mine, g*d forbid.

    I like my clients to remain solvent.

  73. njpatient says:

    The folks who follow berson are known as the “Berson bears”.

  74. njpatient says:


    I’m stuck in limbo as always, but you’re spot on as always.

    I do hope you are at the next GTG. I hate having my tongue tied behind my back on a daily basis.

  75. reinvestor101 says:

    It’s funny, as soon as I read this, I thought about Clodhopper and his fasination with grenade launchers. Interestingly enough, he’s made a couple of nervous little posts in response to this.

    Clophopper is not your run of the mill housing terrorist. He’s almost miltia-like in his strindency. He’s a rebel looking for a cause.

    He’s dangerous and needs to be watched and watched closely.

    ithink-ithink Says:
    April 12th, 2008 at 8:23 am
    Piece of artillery crashes into home in Jefferson Twp.


  76. Pat says:


    Second, in the summer of 2006, the company simply stopped estimating the losses on loans it would have to buy back, a breach of standard accounting practices, according to the examiner.

  77. gefilte says:


    We forecast US house prices to fall 18%-20% from peak to trough
    and 11%-13% from current levels
    We are nearly halfway through the current housing cycle. A return to the
    normalized median US house price ($204-$209K) implies a decline of 18%-
    20% from peak levels observed in 1Q2007 ($256K), and a decline of 11%-
    13% from current levels ($235K).

    We can explain 96% of quarterly variation in
    house prices from 1972 to 2004 using only two factors: disposable income
    and long-term rates. But since 2004—when sales of exotic mortgage
    products spiked—house prices have remained above levels supported by
    Goldman Sachs economic forecasts. Now that secondary market liquidity
    supporting exotic mortgage products has all but evaporated, we forecast the
    median US house price to return to a “normalized” level.

    The Worrisome Six: State-by-state house price forecasts
    We replicated our national house price model for each state. We reserve
    our greatest concern for house price depreciation in six states, where we
    forecast values to fall by more than 25% from current levels with more
    than 85% confidence. The Worrisome Six: AZ, FL, VA, MD, CA and NJ.

  78. gefilte says:

    I should add the authors:
    James Fotheringham
    Daniel Zimmerman, CFA
    Monica Gabel

  79. Sean says:

    I had lunch today at the cafe right next to the train station in Ridgewood across from Wachovia bank. Awesome greek salad, I would recommend the place if I could remember the name, it borders the parking lot at the train station, service and people working there are great and the food is above average, they had imported italian sugar, and ken the prper way to dress a salad and grill chicken.

    I spent the better part of the day cruising my old stomping grounds of Bergen county. Much has changed, less bulldozers and lots of forsale signs.

    I will be back Sunday for the open Houses….. wish me luck..

  80. RentinginNJ says:


    Nice find

    What I find most fascinating though is that this pretty much sums up the mainstream/consensus option on this bog for quite some time now:

    – Affordability is the biggest driver of home prices over the long term – home prices are highly correlated to income levels
    – Irrational exuberance & fear fuel by toxic mortgages and a complete disintegration of lending standards drove home prices well beyond what was affordable for local population
    – This could only be sustained if prices rose continuously – allowing distressed homeowners to sell or refinance and protecting the collateral of lenders, so they could continue to offer mortgage exotica.
    – But eventually, even teaser rates aren’t good enough. Even they become unaffordable and the pool of greater fools runs dry
    – Stagnant prices aren’t good enough. A “soft landing” is impossible. It’s either keep the Ponzi scheme going or land hard.
    – As the market begins to fall apart, lending standards tighten, the desire to pay 50% of ones income on a mortgage goes away, and the fear of getting “left out” turns into the fear of buying a depreciating asset. This becomes self reinforcing as prices fall further.
    – As with every other bubble in the history of free markets, prices will return to the mean – one supported by income levels

  81. njpatient says:

    Recoward 101

    I think only a small number of people hate America as much as you do.

  82. BC Bob says:

    Frozen Four;

    BC 4- ND 1;

    BC National Champs!! Beacon St. is on fire

    Investor David,

    Forget about Rosalita, Come Out Tonight!

    Next Boom? Crack Up Boom? Short the crack heads.


    Keep it up, soon to be 25.25.

  83. vin says:

    anyone has any idea about east brunswick market. the prices look like they are down 10%, all the houses i was tracking and liked in the 550-650 range are under attorney review. any input will be great.

  84. Clotpoll says:

    Orion (13)-

    “The district paid $2,315 to send kids to Medieval Times. See the following link: . Medieval Times is a chain corporation, which provides dinner and a live jousting show.”

    Dude, lay off the jousting. It’s the sport of kings!

  85. Clotpoll says:

    grim (34)-

    What happened to your urban pentathlon dreams?

  86. grim says:

    Have you seen the price of bullets lately?

  87. grim says:

    From the Dallas Morning News:

    Price of ammo to shoot up

    The baby needs milk. The car needs gas. The gun needs bullets.

    Rising dairy and oil prices grab the attention of shoppers and motorists. But the increasing price of ammunition – a consumer product the government considers when calculating the rate of inflation – has largely gone unnoticed.

  88. Clotpoll says:

    patient (64)-


    Seriously, happy b-day!

  89. reinvestor101 says:

    Bullshlt. I love this damn country. It’s people like you, Inpatient, and the Clodhopper who are the greatest threats this country faces.

    Clodhopper has been here railing against almost anything that is organized. He hates his own profession, he hates real estate investors, he hates home buyers..I can’t think of a thing he does not hate about this great country. Funny, no one has challenged him on this. By your silence, you indicate you agree.

    Unlike the run of the mill housing terrorist who simply follow slogans, Clodhopper is capable of putting forth philosophical underpinning of his hate. That has attracted the sheeple housing terrorist who is resentful of not having bought a house when they were supposed to. Somehow, Clodhopper has some of you convinced that the government prevented you from getting a house. No one has repudiated him except me.

    He’s dangerous and needs to be watched.

    njpatient Says:
    April 13th, 2008 at 12:44 am
    Recoward 101

    I think only a small number of people hate America as much as you do.

  90. Clotpoll says:

    Steve (70)-

    While your crystal ball is plugged in, can you give me the Man U/Arsenal winner today?

  91. Clotpoll says:

    tard (77)-

    Thanks for reminding me of why it really is necessary to get my grenade launcher fixed.

  92. Clotpoll says:

    grim (89)-

    Bullet prices going up in Texas?

    That’s their definition of a state emergency.

  93. Clotpoll says:

    Tard (91)-

    “Somehow, Clodhopper has some of you convinced that the government prevented you from getting a house…”

    Wrong again, pellet-brain. The gubmint was in there from the get, promoting the “Ownership Society”, helping peddle fast, easy money and generally tossing gasoline on a fire of dubious debt incurred by even more-dubious borrowers.

    Ironically though, the gubmint may now actually be able to prevent solvent and prudent individuals from owning homes…via the bailouts you whine for on such a regular basis.

    When the proposition of owning a home becomes idiotic, only idiots will own homes.

  94. reinvestor101 says:

    I’m against big government Clodhopper,but the damn government was doing what it needed to do to regulate the credit markets and to ensure there’s an ample supply of money and credit for this damn country to function. I don’t see why the hell you have a problem with that. We needed people to own their own homes. What the hell is wrong with that? The government provides all sorts of incentives via the tax code to encourage investment, but I guess you have a problem with that as well. To your and Kettle’s warped way of thinking, there should be no guiding hand or central authority. Hell, you just want to fence off your world with your damn junkyard dog, shotgun and a grenade launcher. Let me tell you something, you’re not going to be able to do that.

    What has caused our problem here is a few radicals not willing to believe. Their unwillingness to believe has stalled the markets and has resulted in reduced availablity of credit. It has nothing to do with the government but has more to do with people like you undermining the markets with negative talk. The Fed is doing everything it can (as it should) to counter this influence. It’s not trying to prevent solvent people from buying a damn house, but trying to create a scenario where they can.

    Clotpoll Says:
    April 13th, 2008 at 7:52 am
    Tard (91)-

    “Somehow, Clodhopper has some of you convinced that the government prevented you from getting a house…”

    Wrong again, pellet-brain. The gubmint was in there from the get, promoting the “Ownership Society”, helping peddle fast, easy money and generally tossing gasoline on a fire of dubious debt incurred by even more-dubious borrowers.

    Ironically though, the gubmint may now actually be able to prevent solvent and prudent individuals from owning homes…via the bailouts you whine for on such a regular basis.

    When the proposition of owning a home becomes idiotic, only idiots will own homes.

  95. Pat says:

    It was njp’s birthday yesterday? I thought he was just singing.


  96. grim says:

    Hippo Birdie Two Ewes

  97. spam spam bacon spam says:


    Do you know where I can go to learn more about/watch commercial RE activity in NJ?

    I can’t find any blogs or columnists who focus on office/commercial/industrial goings-on in NJ…

  98. Clotpoll says:

    tard (96)-

    “Hell, you just want to fence off your world with your damn junkyard dog, shotgun and a grenade launcher.”

    Tard, it is the surfeit of whining, crying leeches like you that has led me to the above-stated opinion.

  99. spam spam bacon spam says:

    oh yeah, and a very happy birthday to you!

  100. Clotpoll says:

    tard (96)-

    “It has nothing to do with the government but has more to do with people like you undermining the markets with negative talk.”

    So, me and the cabal of a few thousand (maybe) individual investors who are long commodities, short the consumer and loaded up on SDS are dragging the market down?

    9 out of 10 of the people I know well enough to talk stockpicking with tell me I’m out of my mind. I don’t even bring it up at parties anymore. The only WS guy I know who tells me I’m on the right track is a poster here (BC).

    You attribute a great deal of influence to such a small, quiet group. I think you’re in the great majority on this issue, not me.

  101. PA says:


    I think NJ will end up being an almost perfect microcosm of the national bust.

    There will be NV/FLs of the bust, which in NJ will likely be Hudson County, where the most subprime, speculative, bubbly activity took place. The price declines will be large.

    Then there will be the legacy towns where the declines will be relatively small. These towns will resemble NC or Seattle while the long term fundamentals remain intact.

    The rest of the towns will be in the middle and the declines will be more proportional to the ratio of risky lending.

    But, hey, I’m neither from NJ or an economist so what do I know.

  102. Aardvark says:

    Does anyone have any good Comp-Killers? I need a fix!

  103. Confused In NJ says:

    Senator Menendez sent me an EMAIL adising he is sending $ millions of tax payer dollars to Poland to build a Jewish Memorial Museum. I replied back to him that the USA is Bankrupt and he needs to address the National Debt. Also, it was the Germans who should pay for the Museum, not the Americans. Guess he doesn’t know WWII History.

  104. still_looking says:

    #91, dude, get help. seriously.

    #102, just SDS? how ’bout SKF?

    yeah, yeah, the usual disclaimers….

    BTW, Clot – have to hand it to you. Called you about an issue re bad family stuff a while ago… you were spot on right. I’ll call you next week if you are interested in hearing the details.


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