Otteau April Newsletter & Weekend Open Discussion Part II

From the Otteau Group:


New Jersey home sales in March ran well below last year’s pace despite an increase above the February level. In March, contract-sales activity ran 27% below one year ago despite a 9% increase from February. The clear signal is that the housing market has further to fall.

While housing affordability in New Jersey has improved over the last year, home sales remain weak due to a variety of factors including tighter lending standards and low confidence in home prices. Adding to these housing troubles is growing concern about job security as the economy shows increasing signs of weakness. Particularly worrisome for the northern New Jersey submarket is a new Department of Labor estimate which projects as many as 36,000 job cuts on Wall Street, nearly double the previous estimates. Should this play out, housing demand in Manhattan and its surrounding suburbs will be further reduced.

As a result, expect the Spring selling season to be ‘late & brief’ with only a modest increase in sales activity. Given that contract-sales activity this year is the weakest in recent history (see chart at right), the 2nd half of the year will pose significant challenges for home sellers as prices continue to drift downward.

The one positive note for the housing market is that the growth in Unsold Inventory has slowed significantly and is actually declining in some markets. As a result, the New Jersey housing market has 10.5 months of for-sale inventory, down from 11 months in February. Expect a slower pace of home price declines in 2008 as the market gets closer to reaching a bottom point.

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213 Responses to Otteau April Newsletter & Weekend Open Discussion Part II

  1. 3b says:

    Al: (#307) From previous thread. Hold on, the declines are starting to accelerate.

    I would think another year should do it as far as really significant price declines.

  2. grim says:

    Just one comment regarding the following paragraph:

    New Jersey home sales in March ran well below last year’s pace despite an increase above the February level. In March, contract-sales activity ran 27% below one year ago despite a 9% increase from February. The clear signal is that the housing market has further to fall.

    March contracts are *always* higher than Feburary, it’s simply the seasonal nature of the NJ real estate market. The year over year comparison is the proper comparison to make when you are dealing with non-seasonally adjusted data.

  3. grim says:

    This is important, really important, so pay attention here.

    In 2004, between February and March, contracts increased by 34.1%

    In 2005, between February and March, contracts increased by 24.1%

    In 2006, between February and March, contracts increased by 30.6%

    In 2007, between February and March, contracts increased by 15.3%

    In 2008, between February and March, contracts increased by 9.6%

    Or, if you prefer to see it graphically:

    This is based on GSMLS data, geared mostly at Northern NJ.

    Otteau says that between February and March, contracts increased 9% across NJ. This is inline with what I am seeing on GSMLS.

    The point I am trying to make here is that a 9% increase between Febuary and March isn’t an improvement, and isn’t a positive number, despite being spun as such.

    In fact, it’s a terrible number. The average increase between February and March from 2004 to 2007 was 26%, this year saw 9.6%. Another sign that the market has not hit bottom.

  4. chicagofinance says:

    movinB Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 5:24 pm
    People still go out to movies? Netflix works great for us… and movies are coming to DVD really quickly these days.

    Who wants to pay $11+/ticket and barely hear the movie over the snoring bums and drunk hooligans?

    (Yes, this is what it’s like in SF, and I imagine NJ isn’t far behind, if not already there in places.)

    mB: Maybe I am in the severe minority, but I think SF is a pit. Napa/Sonoma and Marin County are great, but I don’t get the allure of everything else. The fact that it is so expensive to buy real estate there makes the entire area laughable. I WOULD go out of my way to visit Napa any time though…..

  5. BC Bob says:

    “Foreign currencies won’t be dragged down by US inflation?”

    movinBC [308],

    Only if they they are pegged to the dollar, or some combination of the following;

    1) Have a trillion dollar current account defecit
    2) M3 at 15-20%
    3) Are as large a debtor as the US
    4) Are printing faster than you and I change underwear.
    5) Have Bozo the Clown in charge of fiscal policy.
    6) Employ Bozo’s brother to shape monetary policy.

    Note: No disrespect meant towards Bozo.

  6. movinB says:

    #4 Chifi –

    You are preaching to the choir… That’s one of the many reasons why I’m moving back to NJ. The Bay Area is a lovely place to visit, but as I’ve said in the past, buying real estate here is out of the question for all but the very wealthy or very old (or very financially naive).

    Property taxes here are relatively low compared to NJ, but you’d probably have to put your kids in private school… and don’t even get me started on gas prices. NJ is at what, $3.50? We’ve been over $4 for weeks now, if not months.

    Through much soul-searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that the allure of the Bay Area comes down to good weather and good food… for whatever that’s worth to you. Life here is easy. Expensive… but easy.

  7. movinB says:

    #5 BC Bob –

    Makes sense… though I thought I heard somewhere that the euro’s only so high because of high demand. N’est-ce pas?

    Not that that has anything to do with US inflation or Bozo Bergabe.

  8. grim says:

    My neighbor, facing foreclosure and attempting a short sale, just cut his price by an additional $45,000. Personally, I don’t think he got any offers at the original short sale price ($25,000 under 2006 purchase price).

    Currently asking $70,000 under purchase price.

    Sorry man.

  9. Hobokenite says:


    Does he know you run this website?

  10. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Any info gsmls 2461588 When they bought what payed. 4 br vic

  11. lostinny says:

    Maybe its me but for all the houses I’ve looked at, it seems the lower end houses had higher percentage increases. For example, homes that should be in the 200’s are priced in the 400’s. This could be a 50% haircut. However, some of the higher priced homes that have been posted here may be considered a good deal when selling price is 450 but asking was 600. While a substantial amount in dollars, its 25% off the asking. So I wonder how much prices will come down on lower end homes when the seller, if capable, does the math and doesn’t want to lose 50%.

  12. grim says:

    Wyckoff Comp Killer

    10 Ward Ave

    Purchased: 7/21/2006
    Purchase Price: $460,000

    MLS# 2805297
    Sold: 4/24/2008
    Sale Price: $425,000
    (OLP: $514,900)

    7.6% below 2006 purchase price, a loss of more than $50,000 including commission.

  13. grim says:

    Wyckoff Comp Killer #2

    764 Hickory Hill

    Purchased: 1/12/2006
    Purchase Price: $802,000

    MLS # 2802725
    Sold: 4/24/2008
    Sale Price: $780,000
    (OLP: $879,900)

    This guy made out great compared to #13.

    Interesting note, 3 Wyckoff sales on the NJMLS hotsheet right now, 2 are comp killers.

  14. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim that’s got to hurt.

  15. grim says:


    $100k in ’87.

    Current listing is at 163 days, down from $270k.

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim Thank you ,yes they reduced to 240k.I passed by today on the main drag but a lot of house. I may go to look inside. Thanks again.

  17. bairen says:

    This is the complex I lived in Sydney. It’s like the area Pret described in the previous thread. Highrises near supermarkets and mass transit.

    We could walk to the train or bus line in 5 to 7 minutes. We were only paying $515 a week for our 2 bdr though.

  18. bairen says:

    #18 I would love to live in something like that over here, but I think they are veryxpensive and we would probably have to put the kids in private school.

    We could see the Anzac bridge from our balcony, and part of the Harbour Bridge.

    Plus it had a trpical rain forest for a garden and 2 koi ponds.

  19. twice shy says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 4:01 pm



    I thought a DP of 20% eliminates the need for MI on any residential purchase, whether primary, 2nd or investment? No? Have guidelines changed?

    The idea of putting 20% down and paying MI on top of that is ludicrous. Who’d buy under those terms?

  20. cooper says:

    NAR newsletter

    “Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market is performing unevenly. “Though mortgage rates are at historically low levels, some borrowers are facing restrictive lending practices in declining markets,” he said. “At the same time, many buyers continue to bide their time with a large number of homes to choose from, while other potential buyers remain on the sidelines.””

    he goes on…

    “Yun offered a caution. “With elevated inflation, the Federal Reserve should be extra careful about further rate cuts,” he said. “Mortgage interest rates, which do not move directly with Fed funds rates, may rise measurably and hurt the housing recovery if inflation gets out of hand. Monetary stimulus is plentiful – what is needed more at this point is a home buyer tax credit to get buyers off the sidelines and prevent the market from overshooting on the downside.””

  21. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Cooper 21 Do I smell fear in Mr Yun’s statement. The party is over buddy. Their bullsh*t propaganda is starting to wear thin & about f-en time.

  22. gary says:

    Mikeinwaiting [22],

    That’s the spirit!! Now you’re starting to sound like me. Bravo!

  23. lostinny says:

    Do you think I hold back too much?

  24. gary says:

    lostinny [24],

    Nah, you pretty much state your case and tell it like it is. No harm in kicking it up a notch, though. If you feel like letting it fly then, let it fly. :)

    For me personally, if I feel it, I’m showing it. lol!

  25. bairen says:


    “what is needed more at this point is a home buyer tax credit to get buyers off the sidelines and prevent the market from overshooting on the downside.””

    Denial has now moved to fear. next stop… capitulation.

  26. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gary I just hate those lying SOBs. I think some of these sellers are crazy & or stupid with their prices but this jerk should know better. They lie to people & could wreck their lives. No tolerance for the NAR if anyone should know the sh*t storm coming down it’s them.

  27. bairen says:

    Hey Otteau baby. maybe sales have slowed because the fervor has passed. The buzz is gone and the hangover is only just about to set in?

    maybe the masses have collectively realized that paying 525k with 8k a year in taxes for a pos cape is not a deal for the buyer (a great pne for the seller and the agents though)

    This Spring selling season is weaker then the Mets in down the stretch last season.

    It’s lower the GW’s IQ and Clinton’s taste in women.

  28. Against The Grain says:

    Re the motorcycle decapitation, donorcycle and sunglasses through the head thread:

    Ask any experienced EMT and he/she will tell you that they have witnessed the same type of mutilations as the result of passeger car or SUV accidents too.

    Hope you enjoy your illusion of safety, because that’s all it is – an illusion.

  29. grim says:


    You’ve got to take that down a bit. No such thing as a $525k pos cape anymore, the bar has been lowered a few notches.

    Even Millburn has 3 $499k capes listed, as well as a colonial at $499k and a $475k split. You can still call them POS, but you’ve got to drop that to $499k pos cape.

  30. lostinny says:

    29 Grain
    I have a friend that won’t wear a helmet when he rides. Says he doesn’t want to live as a vegetable after an accident. He’d rather just die. I hope he’s got a donor card.

  31. Against The Grain says:


    Me too.

  32. bairen says:

    Otteua baby,

    “Expect a slower pace of home price declines in 2008 as the market gets closer to reaching a bottom point.”

    Keep dreaming Otteau. Where do you live? Fantasy Island? Incomes flat to declining, energy and food skyrocketing. Housing is nearing the bottom?

    Housing will be nearing the bottom when Booyaa Bob, Grim, 3b, myself, gary, Clot, BC Bob and the other regular bears break out the checkbooks. It won’t be the absolute bottom, but within 5 to 10%.

  33. bairen says:

    #30 grim,

    I stand corrected.

    499k is still perverse.

  34. ricky_nu says:

    Well, with the abysmal housing figures coming out (in terms of # of homes sold etc), one must wonder, what are the mean and median home prices saying? Have they fallen in any substantial amount?

    Truth is, little is trading, and in order to get the volumes back up to normal (or close) , prices have a large amount to fall. In the market this is called “thin markets”, and true price discovery hasn’t happened yet. What does it mean? Sellers are sitting across from the table from buyers, playing a game of chicken.

    From where I sit, buyers currently have the upper hand in that there is plenty of inventory, ARM resets coming, and really very little good news on the horizon in terms of potential buyers being able to afford more (tight credit, job cuts, and dare I say, stagflation). Lets face, even if prices go up as a result of booming commodity prices, I think that the average American has very little leverage to stoke wage inflation. Only this will allow the potential buyer to afford more. We will not inflate our way into the current asset prices. It’s not going to happen.

    Housing costs to wages ratios will return to historic norms. They have a far way to go. Make no mistake about it, it is not different this time, and I don’t think rising wages will be the driver.

    I always used this analogy when viewing the stock market, comparing it to owning something like a pizza parlor. Would you pay 50 years of pizza parlor earnings to own the business? I think not.

    A true “clearing price” in housing will invite a flurry of activity, frantic trading, and I can assure you, we are no where near that point.

  35. Nom Deplume says:

    [19] barien

    Loved Sydney. Lovely stay at the Sebel before it closed for renovations.

  36. Nom Deplume says:


    Did not think I would see this, but a 7/3/1:1 CHC in Summit for 575K. Is it really a POS cape in disguise on Passaic or something, or is the market there starting to feel it?

  37. kettle1 says:

    please note the mortgage reset chart towars the bottom of the page.

    If you look at the chart, then we are not out of the woods until 2011. There is little chance that any significant # of these mortgage holders will be able to refinance between now and then given market conditions. and by then, these people will be way under water. We may be down the majority of the drop by 2011 but like the 90’s this is going to be a long slow bottom

  38. bairen says:

    here’s a cape for 599k n Chatham

    But look “lower level space with laundry, exercise area, storage and access to an attached garage”

    I believe that’s known as a BASEMENT.

  39. John says:

    Back to vacations. Has anyone stayed at the Seaview Marriott in Galloway New Jersey near Atlantic City, it looks out of this world. It is a Marriot Resort with outdoor pools and a golf course. I might stay there and was looking for opinions.

  40. cooper says:

    mike an bair

    I hold Lawrence Yun in contempt, outta order this whole camp fire’s out of order!

  41. PGC says:

    #41 Strawman

    Yes. I went for a $99 weekend Timeshare sale special. Sit though a 30 min presentation with a salesman. Show him my spreadsheet with the latest ebay prices, collect the coupon for the 2 free round of golf at one of the 4 courses. Go have fun on the course for free and then drive 20mins into AC for the nightlife. There is a really nice greek place beside the old hotel.

    This one is a bit overpiced. People usually dump them for a lot less.

  42. 3b says:

    #38 kettle:We may be down the majority of the drop by 2011 but like the 90’s this is going to be a long slow bottom.

    I think we will see the majority of the drop by this time in 2009.

  43. MrT says:

    remember…these prices are more than 50% below what europeans were looking at 3 years ago when priced in their currency…they will to a certain extent put a floor on the price…your landlord may have a funny accent…but don’t think housing is too overpriced…many germans, swiss, british i know are shopping for houses in ny, nj as an investment..they can’t believe how cheap it is to buy so much land and house for the money..(and they consider our energy prices ridiculously low..)

  44. gary says:


    So, let me get this straight; these Europeans are going to buy a 3 bedroom split in Glen Rock and then convert their Euros on a periodic basis to pay the taxes and utilities and other expenses? Are they going to move here permanently which means they’re now getting paid in US dollars? Or perhaps they’re going to rent it out and hire someone to cut the grass and replace the boiler when it springs a leak? And what about tax implications or other obstacles when living in one country and owning property in another.

    I’m not trying to break b*lls here but I don’t believe it’s as easy as it sounds nor do I believe there are flocks of foreigners looking to scoop up a piece of property in Jersey. Lotsa questions and ancedotal tales going on here.

  45. mr potter says:

    #41 John….

    Seaview is a great place near AC. Two great golf courses (The Bay and The Pines). Bay more scenic and a little easier and The Pines kinda tight. I think one of them hosted the PGA back in the 40s. Hotel is old world classic not fancy. More of a throwback…….Highly recommend.

  46. John says:

    Great, I am using a timeshare type offer, 199 for two nights three days, have to do 30 minutes before check out tour of place, wonder if there are any kids stuff to do nearby for the little ones.

  47. Clotpoll says:

    2x shy (20)-

    You have to take into account that NJ’s new classification as a “declining market” now has lenders whacking 5% off appraised values before calculating LTV. So, you can now see buyers with a 20% DP putting that DP against a property whose LTV the bank reckons to be 75%.

    There is also- at least theoretically- the odd chance of the piggyback loan being made every now and then. However, the rare piggyback that gets made will not exempt the borrower from PMI.

    What today’s announcement means- in real-life terms- is that for a 2nd home/investment property, they aren’t looking to insure anyone’s mortgage.

  48. ricky_nu says:

    re:appraisals –

    Funny thing about that, previously, lenders were using “forward” prices on homes to compute LTV (inflated values assuming price would go up). Nowadays, they discount the current market value by 10-20% when homeowners are looking for loans (if mkt value is $x, appraise it at .9-.8 times $x).

    can’t blame them, why lend on a piece of collateral that is sure to decline in value (can’t say I blame them!)?

  49. Clotpoll says:

    cooper (21)-

    The chief crackhead has now got religion.

    I now nominate myself for NAR Chief Economist. I beat Yun to this conclusion before Bergabe & Co even started whacking rates. I took all of 2 econ courses in college (macro, then micro), and the first thing I learned was that inflation destroys fixed income markets.

    Why is it that a bunch of f*&^ng PhDs can’t get this through their skulls…unless it’s driven in by the blunt end of a ballpeen hammer?

  50. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (26)-

    …just like we all worked so hard to keep the market from overshooting to the upside.

    Privatize gain, s@cialize loss.

    Bunch of f@#$ng losers.

  51. Clotpoll says:

    As of today, my new favorite word is f&*k.

  52. Clotpoll says:

    lost (31)-

    “Says he doesn’t want to live as a vegetable after an accident. He’d rather just die. I hope he’s got a donor card.”

    Good thing they can’t do brain transplants.

  53. BC Bob says:

    bairen [18],

    Is that US $ or AD? Why did you leave? After all, they have a currency backed by something tangible. We don’t even have a Koala Bear backing ours.

    Speaking of our currency, we carry a federal reserve note, which is legal tender for all debts, public and private. How valuable is our legal tender if we are paying for crap, debts, that our fed accepts as collateral? It’s a travesty, however nobody seems upset.


    Get to work, I need a silo with underground storage capacity. My legal tender is being flushed down the toilet.

  54. Clotpoll says:

    MrT (46)-

    Have you recently suffered a traumatic head injury?

  55. gary says:

    Clotpoll [54],

    As of today, my new favorite word is f&*k.

    Welcome to the dark side.

  56. Clotpoll says:

    gary (47)-

    Europeans are going to buy NJ POS capes, then turn them into grow houses, packed with illegal alien labor being paid under the table in Euros.

  57. Clotpoll says:

    gary (47)-

    When I see the Eurotrash looking to buy condos in my neck of the woods, I’m grabbing my family and heading for Tierra del Fuego.

  58. gary says:

    In early 2001, Mr. and Mrs. Gary were looking at houses almost identical to this in this development listed in the upper $200’s.

  59. Clotpoll says:

    ricky (51)-

    Righto. In my office, we just call it system of a down.

  60. Clotpoll says:

    BC (56)-

    You need to reclaim your straw man in due course.

  61. gary says:


    Yes Hans, we have this lovely cape just steps to the NYC bus. LOL! F*ck the Eurotrash.

  62. Clotpoll says:

    gary (64)-

    And, pray tell, HOW are all the Spaniards and Brits- who’ve already been flayed and gouged by their peculiar little own-to-let holocaust- gonna cough up anything for that festering, cabbage-ass NJ dump?

    Does anybody read a newspaper anymore? The Brits have already had a ’29-style f^&*ng bank run, complete with everything short of trash drum fires and Okies packed into trucks.

    In the 80s, at least the Japanese were punch-drunk enough to think they were richer and smarter than everybody else when they started buying up US trophy properties. The Eurotrash?

    No way.

  63. BC Bob says:

    Mr T.[46],

    Thanks for the comedy.

    What makes you think that some European will pluck down BP to buy an overpriced, overbought pos in NNJ. Don’t you think they may have alternative choices; crude at $60 BP, corn at $3.00 BP, Rice at $12.00 BP, etc.. They might want to buy tangibles that are actually increasing in value as opposed to a rat hole, depreciating, while the cost to carry increases.

    One other thought, how did the Japanese fare in the early 90’s with the same strategy? Wasn’t the Yen the new kingpin? Rockefeller Plaza and Pebble Beach, just to name a couple trophy properties, gone bust in Yen.

    As a Yankee fan, I have a better shot of Whitey Ford returning to cure our pitching woes, than the f*cked NNJ homeowner has of a foreigner removing the sinking hell hole, albatross from their back side.

    Keep your fingers crossed.

  64. BC Bob says:

    Clot [65],

    Scary, and at the same post time.

  65. Clotpoll says:

    BC (67)-

    My shrink pal might call it mass hysteria.

    I’ll pat us both on the back, and call it mass smart. :)

  66. Clotpoll says:

    Now, to the important stuff:

    Hansbrough passes on the NBA draft, will play senior year.

  67. Clotpoll says:

    Even more important:

    In about 9 hours, Man U will both secure the EPL championship and break Chelsea’s home unbeaten streak.

  68. bairen says:

    #42 cooper,

    Disgusting isn’t it?

  69. bairen says:

    #46 Mr. T,

    Any rent they collect would be priced in US dollars. Not to appealing.

    Also this ain’t the EU where its easy to move from country to country.

  70. bairen says:

    #56 BC Bob,

    That was in AUD. When we first moved to Sydney and signed the lease it was 59 cents to the AUD. We were paying $305 a week US after the currency conversion for a luxury 2 bedroom unit less then 30 minutes door to door from the heart of Sydney’s CBD and tourist area. We were 4 train stops north of the Harbour Bridge.

    My wife’s expat assignment ran out and she didn’t want to apply to become permanent residents. I had a great time over there, but the last 2 years I was a stay at home dad so it was like a long vacation for me. We had a baby over there. Daycare for an infant was around $600 to $700 AUD a week if you could find it. Most places had a 2 year waiting list for infants, so I quit my job over there and watched the baby. You had to apply like for daycare 18 months before the kid was conceived. WTF?

  71. BC Bob says:

    “Hansbrough passes on the NBA draft, will play senior year.”


    Can he break down the guards and shut down the 3? He may have to do it all.

  72. bairen says:

    #61 Gary,

    That’s why we’re really thinking about throwing in the towel and leaving NJ. All my relatives have bailed out except for my parents. Why live paycheck to paycheck and have an hour plus commute each way to live in a cape? There are lots of nice areas of the US where you can get a nice house for 225k or less and have a short commute. Our rent for our 2 bdr townhouse is twice what a mortgage would be in lots of nice parts of the US. Of course my rent is about 60% of what a mortgage would be to buy this dump.

    We like NJ but I don’t it’s worth the hassle. I know lots of people who have left and none have regretted it or moved back.

  73. MrT says:

    “Don’t you think they may have alternative choices; crude at $60 BP, corn at $3.00 BP, Rice at $12.00 BP, etc.. They might want to buy tangibles that are actually increasing in value..”

    Of course they can buy all sorts of things that are increasing..(those commodities are priced worldwide so those would be up in EUR as well)
    but if they are smart investors..they would have bought those commodities 3 years ago…the idea is to buy low and sell high…since US real estate is much lower than it was 3 years ago when priced in EUR that would probably be the smarter investment…at least if they are value investors.

    of course if the idea is that real estate in manhattan and new jersey is essentially worthless at any price..then yes I would agree it doesn’t make sense for them to invest in US real estate..but if they want it at 50 to 60% off peak prices…the ones I know do seem to love it..and consider the “POS capes, rat holes, ugly homes etc” much more appealing then what they can buy in EUR in their own country (or CAD,GBP,CHF…anything really)

    (same ones who fly here just to go clothes shopping because its so cheap) converting money is pretty easy these days…basically a click on a mouse on an online bank or a phone call will do it..

    and the super rich from the oil countries, russians, middle east etc are all over manhattan and waterfront properties..

  74. d2b says:

    Kid things near the seaview…30 minutes from Storybookland. It’s not Disney, but it’s clean. Perfect for kids under8, open everyday.

    OC Boardwalk- 30 minutes away.

    If your desperate- Jersey Shore Children’s museum. It’s located in the Shore Mall 20 minutes from you. It’s a Mall that’s seen better days and the museum is in an old store. It’s fine for rainy days and you would get a month’s worth of material from people watching.

  75. bairen says:

    Mr. T

    Just because something is down 30% or even 50% off the peak doesn’t make it cheap. It can still be way overpriced.

  76. PGC says:

    #70 Clot

    This one I’m actually taking Chelsea although the odds favor a draw.

    12:45 Chelsea vs Manchester Utd 11/8 15/8 9/5

  77. MrT says:

    As a Yankee fan, I have a better shot of Whitey Ford returning to cure our pitching woes, than the f*cked NNJ homeowner has of a foreigner removing the sinking hell hole, albatross from their back side.

    get ready for whitey…i know of a german who will be removing an albatross this weekend…A house in chatham he can’t believe he’ll have the opportunity to buy..

  78. Pat says:

    Mr. T needs to show up at a Bucks County sheriff’s sale.

    He can count the Europeans there buying properties and report back to us.

    Although, did I mention that I saw the crazy Russian who bought my old car going into an open house last week right after I did?

    I have to find a way to follow that guy around.

  79. bairen says:

    #80 MR T

    The Germans also thought they could beat the British and the Russians at the same time.

    How did that work out for them?

  80. ML says:

    Grim & follow realtor friends,

    Could you guys please check selling history for 175 PIERMONT RD, Closter? Thanks!

  81. bairen says:

    New T-Shirt slogan

    “I’d rather have my daughter working the pole then my son working for NAR”

  82. Al says:

    I just do not see europeans buying houses in Dunellen PIscataway, manville, somerville, bridgewater, hillsborough and such…. Manhattan – Jersey city waterfront – may be… but not other NJ towns.

    But dream on.

  83. Hobokenite says:


    “The Germans also thought they could beat the British and the Russians at the same time.

    How did that work out for them?”

    Actually, it was working quite well for them until the US entered the war.

  84. Hobokenite says:

    Here are some interesting stats for everyone to peruse. Not sure if it’s been linked here before or not.

  85. lisoosh says:

    Europeans are currently bailing out of their sinking Florida condo “investment properties in the sun” as fast as they can.

    Once bitten twice shy.

  86. SG says:

    Foxnews coming to rescue Greenspan image !!!!

    Greenspan is Right

  87. SG says:

    For all those Euro buyer,

    Why build houses if the mortgages aren’t available?

    Mike Farley, Persimmon chief executive, blamed the tightening in the mortgage market saying that for the first time in his memory there were simply not enough mortgages for the houses available.

    This is because there is growing evidence that potential buyers are postponing purchases in anticipation of further price falls. Housebuyers are also nervous about the possibility of losing their jobs.

  88. SG says:

    Beware of CNBC Talking Heads

    Good analogy of Financial market situation with the movie “Perfect Storm”

  89. grim says:


    We’ve talked about 175 Piermont a number of times, the history is a mess.

    Here is the summary.

    Purchased: 10/6/2004
    Purchase Price: $1,065,000

    Sold: 1/15/2008
    Sale Price: $760,000

    $300,000 loss to the seller.

    New owner had dreams of a quick flip.

    Listed on 1/17/2008 for $1,390,000. Listing expired after 3 months. Quick $600,000 profit? Yeah, sure.

  90. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    The Subprime Summer Vacation
    Sky-high gas prices. Airline misery. A weak dollar. Fears of a recession. For many Americans, it all adds up to downsized travel plans this season.
    April 26, 2008; Page W1

    Last summer, Kevin Leibel globetrotted to Austria, Chile, Argentina and Thailand. Not this year. “This is a summer of uncertainty,” says the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based research and marketing company president. “Prices are going up. Gas prices are astronomical. Traveling by air is a hassle.” Instead, Mr. Leibel plans to cash in his frequent-flier miles and take his wife to Phoenix in June, when most tourists stay away because of the sweltering heat.

    As families across the country plan their vacations, many are downsizing out of concern over the economy, spooked by talk of a recession, the weak value of the dollar overseas and home foreclosures. Add to that air-travel delays and the rising cost of gas, and some travelers are holding off planning, in hopes of nabbing cheap deals at the last minute.

    Some resorts and tour operators are responding with discounts and other incentives to try to fill rooms. Close-to-home destinations like suburban water parks and regional resort towns say they’re bracing for a spike in business as Americans look for fun things to do that don’t require much travel.

    Some summer rentals areas are becoming more competitive. Celia Chen, director of housing economics for Moody’s, an economic consulting firm, says markets that are a close drive to major cities, like the Jersey Shore in New Jersey, are expected to see a strong summer rental business this year. In the Hamptons, in New York, Corcoran vice president and associate broker Anja Breden says her summer rental business is up about 30% over last year.

  91. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    First-Time Home Buyers’ Few Options
    April 26, 2008; Page B1

    Homeownership, the bedrock of the American Dream, is a bit of a nightmare these days for many first-time home buyers.

    Lenders are demanding higher credit scores, mandating private-mortgage insurance on many more loans, and requiring larger down payments. Fewer first-timers qualify for the house they want, or they’re paying a larger monthly amount to own it.

    There are still some programs for first-time buyers that offer slightly more lenient underwriting standards that make it easier to get into a home, or discounted interest rates that make homeownership more affordable. But even these are tougher to qualify for.

    Freddie Mac requires a solid credit score of at least 700 for a low- or no-down-payment mortgage through its Home Possible first-time buyer program. Previously, it imposed no minimum. Freddie saw “an influx of business” amid the subprime bust, says Patricia McClune, a vice president, because it’s the only way to obtain 100% financing. Loan volumes are still up, but the tightened standards mean fewer first-timers qualify.

    Volumes at the Federal Housing Administration are up, too. The agency hasn’t changed its underwriting standards, but does impose income-verification and debt thresholds. Moreover, FHA loans require that a mortgage-insurance premium of 1.5% of the loan value be financed into the mortgage; and borrowers must pay an additional 0.5% mortgage-insurance premium every year. Together, that adds $75 a month on a $150,000 loan.

    “Every borrower faces a steeper hill” now, particularly first-timers, says Pete Ogilvie, president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers.

  92. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Not just people lose homes to foreclosures, evictions

    Saint was 6 months old when the bank took away his family’s home and he ended up at the Toms River Animal Facility, looking confused and frightened.

    The deaf pitbull-boxer mix did not do well at the shelter. He could not hear the other dogs, but he felt their vibrations. And they seemed to terrify him.

    When Pamela Hawes of Beachwood learned of his story a few days later and adopted him, Saint cried all the way to his new home.

    “He was like, where am I going?” Hawes, 45, recalled.

    Now 7 months old, Saint still gets anxious when he is left alone, but other than that he is thriving, Hawes said. He spends his days running around Hawes’ yard, playing and digging holes with her other dog. He loves running alongside her bike and chewing on rawhide bones.

    Animals like Saint do not always have such happy endings.

    Across the country, as the foreclosure crisis forces more families to move, many of them are leaving their pets behind, said Barbara Dyer, state director for the Humane Society of the United States. Some people no longer can afford to feed the animals, while others say goodbye because they are moving to rental homes where landlords forbids pets.

    Animal shelters unable to care for the influx of animals might need to resort to putting the pets to sleep, Dyer said.

    “It’s not the shelters that are the bad guys,” she said. “They’re doing the best they can.”

    The Humane Society first noticed late last year that pets were suffering the effects of the historically high foreclosure rate, Dyer said. By March, she said, the society felt concerned enough about the problem to create the Foreclosure Pets Fund, which gives grants of up to $2,000 to help shelters and rescue groups care for the additional animals.

  93. twice shy says:

    Clot [50],

    Thanks. Okay, 2nd home/investment property = 20% down and no PMI available. I can’t imagine that will stimulate a lot of sales down the shore this season.

  94. grim says:

    Here is a graph of the seasonal change in contracts between February and March, from 2004 to 2008, based on GSMLS contracts:

    That 9% increase in contracts doesn’t look very impressive to me.

    Note that the scale does not start at zero.

  95. Pat says:

    Al, I found you a hero. Somebody who believes in what they do, despite the fact that they get paid squat for it. In other words, somebody who would get the boot out of NJ.

    “Half the people I know say they’d take a bullet for me, and half say they’d be happy to provide the bullet,” he says…

    His annual salary is under $70,000. Self-Help pours profits into do-good-type investments.

    He just absolutely believes that every loan should be made by a traditional bank or credit union like his.”

  96. Pat says:

    Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, wrote an amendment to the Helping Our Veterans Keep Their Homes Act of 2008 that would increase the existing $144,000 loan cap to $729,750.

  97. Pat says:
    The subprime bust in microcosm: The saga of a failed mortgage package

  98. bairen says:

    I just spent $47.50 to fill up at 3.39 a gallon. Looking forward to $5 a gallon in July

  99. All Hype says:


    $5 a gallon is a bit high for this summer, you will have that pleasure next summer.

  100. House Hunter says:

    Looks like the gov’t stimulas checks go out Monday…any plans? Just for spite I think I will put some in the new 529 acct and save the rest

  101. House Hunter says:

    My husband’s barber, who loves to talk about all the credit card debt he has,can’t wait for his check, he is going directly to best buy for the flat screen he wants (not kidding) can’t make this stuff up

  102. House Hunter says:

    This is a good story as well, my husband knows a guy who together with the wife makes about 75,000 a year. They got approved to buy a 329,000 house but they have to put 5% down.
    comes out to about 2,600 a month for house and taxes, his check nets under 3,000 a month….he has taken a sip of the kool aid

  103. lisoosh says:

    I’m sure the techies know this but color me surprised:

    Chatting with a new neighbour who has worked for the cable company about Fios, and High Def.

    Turns out that my new TV (yes, HD, but the last CRT made by Sony, awsome picture, price a steal) already has a high quality tuner inside. Switched the cable from the digital box to the back of the TV – now the picture is 10 times better than when it came through their stinking box and I get all the HIgh Definition channels I was too miserly to pay extra for.

    Turns out the FCC rules require the HD channels be provided free (if it is also broadcast over the airwaves or you pay for the regular version), but as most people don’t know, the companies aren’t exactly offering the information.

    It’s nice to get something better for less money.

  104. grim says:

    Looks like the gov’t stimulas checks go out Monday…any plans?

    Set up a stand on the street corner Monday morning offering “Stimulus Check Cash Advances”…

    …with a 50% vig.

    TILA? Huh?

  105. grim says:


    My father (also a geek) says the quality of OTA broadcast HD is better than his cable HD (even with no-box).

    Of course, this requires you have an antenna (wha?) and a TV with a tuner that is capable of picking up broadcast HD. He actually put an antenna back up on his roof to get better HD reception.

    I believe there are already more free-broadcast HD channels than standard broadcast TV channels in this area.

  106. 3b says:

    #89 SG: House prices were rising because mortgages were becoming cheap not just because of the Fed rate cuts.


    That above line was form the Fox News Article.

  107. House Hunter says:

    LOL Grim…too funny

  108. ledward says:

    #116, I guess one of the reasons is that there are quite some Indian and Chinese. They save money. With layoffs in Wall Street, how long could it remains rebust? See ya half year later…

  109. dinra says:

    Any comps for Jefferson Township?

    Don’t follow that town, but I am being told that prices have not gone down at all and the houses bought for 360K in 2003 sell for 650K today.

  110. t c m says:

    from yesterday’s thread-

    grim Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    “Is your household completely car-free? I’m interested to know. I have a few friends in Hoboken, and they tell me while it might be possible to live car-free, it would be an inconvenience. They all still have at least 1 car. I’d be interested to know whether you could pull that off in Weehawken.”

    i lived there from 1987 to 1999 – with kids – and while you can definitely get away with just one car, and much less usage of that car, it would be absolutely awful to not have a car. i used it for groceries, pediatrician, to go to hoboken, jersey city, to visit my family in the suburbs, clothing shopping in other towns, just to name a few things off the top of my head. there were many many days that i didn’t use the car at all, but my life would have been very restrictive without one. weehawken is NOT manhattan – that’s all there is to it – period – done

    it’s also not a great place to raise kids. it was ok when the kids were small – you could be with them all the time as a parent, but knowing what it’s like to have teenagers, i am so glad i moved away before my kids were teens –

    and the schools……..don’t want to bring this up again, but sorry, i wouldn’t send my kids there.

    having said that, there are lots of things i liked about the area, but it’s not the panacea that pret. implies.

  111. sas says:

    “Buyers Market”

    we are by no means in a buyers market in NJ.
    yes, we are slowly getting there, but not this year or the next.

    Also, those looking to buy. I would suggest first raise cash, and prepare for a potential layoff and $4-5/gallon gas.

    These things should be a focus for many as layoffs will be hitting alot of sectors hard
    in the next year.

    Buying a house might want to stay on the back burner until the credit crisis shakes out, the layoffs pass, and maybe we will see some rate hikes to save this dangerously low falling dollar.

    just my thoughts, as I think the atmosphere will get worse before better.

    also, don’t forget this state has 50+ billion pension deficits. Deficits that will come out of your tails. Perhaps consider a move out of the state.

    my 2 pesos worth…


  112. sas says:


    speaking of NJ state pension problems.

    we should open a thread sometime with this being the topic.

    I think its a topic that gets overlooked frequently, it deserves alot of attention, and will effect everyone in this state, and your RE taxes.


  113. lisoosh says:

    Grim – I knew about the OTA HD broadcasts – there is a website that tells you the right antenna for the area and the best directions for signals. I’d been thinking about setting it up, but was a bit lazy (plus the extra hassle of organizing it as it isn’t my house).

    The current set-up was a quick, easy and cost effective fix.

  114. BC Bob says:

    Mr T [80],

    A German is buying a house in Chatham? Oh my. Let’s alert Toll, Hov, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, etc.. The crisis is over. As a matter of fact, there’s a huge celebration throughout NNJ today. I heard Paul Revere was zooming down Route 17, yelling the British are coming. He even swapped his horse for a hummer. Today, the new bull market, foreclosures and inventory has been laid to rest.

  115. sas says:

    “New Jersey Lawmaker Urges State Pension Changes”
    New Jersey Lawmaker Urges State Pension Changes

    “2007 a great year for N.J. double-dippers”

    “Taxpayers on hook for public pensions”

  116. grim says:

    Any comps for Jefferson Township?


    Peaks? I’d never let one of my clients buy there. I don’t care what they trade for. Anyone paying $600k in the peaks in going to be in for some real pain. Lots of those units were purchased, as you said, for the $300s just a few years ago. You know what that means? That original owners can undercut new owners tremendously and still walk away with a profit. Not a position that I’d want to be in.

    Here are some comps:

    200 Highpoint, Jefferson (Peaks)
    Purchased: 1/17/2006
    Purchase Price: $595,000

    Sold: 3/27/2008
    Sale Price: $510,000
    $85,000 loss, not counting commission.

    49 Hill Hollow (Peaks)

    Purchased: 7/7/2006
    Purchase Price: $562,500

    Sold: 3/25/2008
    Sale Price: $480,000
    $82,500 loss, not counting commission.

  117. grim says:

    From the AP:

    It’s deja vu over stalled Asbury Park building project

    Asbury Park residents had a reason to feel upbeat in 2006 when explosives leveled an unfinished condominium that had been slowly falling apart near the city’s boardwalk for a quarter of a century.

    But now the construction of a new high-rise — named Esperanza after the Spanish word for hope — is instead causing some distress because there’s been no construction for months.

    “What you heard in Asbury Park was people saying: ‘Look, it’s happening again. That’s the building they blew up. There must be Indian spirits on that ground,” homeowners’ association leader Sue Henderson told The New York Times in a tongue-and-cheek recounting of the situation.

    Hoboken-based Metro Homes said in December that it was halting construction and sales on the 224-unit condominium complex, citing the nation’s mortgage crisis.

    City officials initially threatened to go to court to get construction to resume, but their threats have softened recently as some in the town speculate that work might resume on a scaled back structure.

    Dean Geibel, president of Metro Homes, declined to disclose company plans.

    “It’s complicated, but we’re working on a couple different plans of action,” Geibel told The Times.

    Meanwhile, Asbury Park officials are trying to stay positive about the situation, and are pointing to other redevelopment projects around the city.

    “The Esperanza is not going to stop us. We’re just going to keep moving forward. And we’ve got a lot of other projects going on,” said Asbury Park Councilman John Loffredo.

  118. BC Bob says:

    “What you heard in Asbury Park was people saying: ‘Look, it’s happening again. That’s the building they blew up. There must be Indian spirits on that ground,”

    Will the song ever die?

    There is a blood red circle
    On the cold dark ground
    And the rain is falling down
    The church door’s thrown open
    I can hear the organ’s song
    But the congregation’s gone
    My city of ruins
    My city of ruins

    Now the sweet bells of mercy
    Drift through the evening trees
    Young men on the corner
    Like scattered leaves,
    The boarded up windows,
    The empty streets
    While my brother’s down on his knees
    My city of ruins
    My city of ruins

    Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
    Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
    Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!

  119. bi says:

    a few days ago, i was asking the status of a new listing in cranbury new jersey. it was listed $1.6M, which is 300K over 2006 assessed value. i found out it was sold in 2 weeks (not closed yet). everyday we hear bubble, write-down, and etc. but real local market seems not be affected that much – at least so far

  120. bi says:

    in barron’s this week, a poll from money managers says macain will beat the democrat by 57:43. seems the money is in favor of macain.

  121. 3b says:

    #127 bi: So one house tells it all? For every one story like yours there are 10 others that are exactly the opposite.

    And of course it has not sold it as you said.So time will tell what it sold for, or even if the deal goes through at all.

    According to a family memeber who does real estate closings every day. There are lenders pulling the financing the day before the closing date, and sometimes the day of.

  122. 3b says:

    #125 grim: Ugly, really ugly.

  123. bi says:

    SRS is traded near $80, down from $150 that morning when SecGen news was surfaced. with fed rate cut next week, it would be interesting to see if it will break that level or we will see the second shoe drop. by the way, i am calling long gold and short oil again hoping this time i am right.

  124. 3b says:

    #120 sas: but not this year or the next.

    I think we will see it next year, maybe not the absolute bottom, but large, significant,real price declines.

    So far the Spring selling season has been a bust. I think the sellers are fiannly getting it that th party is over. ANd those that can bea grressive in pricing will do so towards teh Fall of this year into 2009.

  125. 3b says:

    #118 dinra: Amazing that there sre still somw totally delusional, deeply in denial people out there.

  126. spam spam bacon spam says:

    can someone get me an address for MLS# 2444723 Alexandria Twsp

  127. Sybarite says:


    130 County Rd 513
    DOM: 224

  128. spam spam bacon spam says:

    and I need history on MLS 2506647…

    I *think* it was originally purchased as investment?

    87 Union Road Kingwood


  129. spam spam bacon spam says:

    ty sybarite!

  130. grim says:


    Sorry, but trying to compare the $1.5m+ market with anything below it is the same as trying to compare New Jersey with Nebraska.

  131. Al says:

    A question – Lets say I am looking for a loan at 2.5X my salary, with 5% downpayment. Credit score – 760. What are the possible rates I can get right now??

    What difference will 10% downpayment make?

  132. Al says:

    # Clotpoll Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Even more important:

    In about 9 hours, Man U will both secure the EPL championship and break Chelsea’s home unbeaten streak.

    Not so fast…

  133. John says:

    most germans in germany do not own a home. that is a usa concept, it is viewed as a money losing investment and a money pit. I doubt the germans are coming here to buy up real estate other than maybe a small pier a tier in NYC if they are here on business a lot. All the german laws favor renters and not home owners.

  134. John says:

    Wow that place has a lot of nerve charging 13 month old kids to get in as if they are going on rides, other than that it looks like a good deal.

    Storybookland 2008 Admission Prices
    $19.95 plus tax for each child or adult
    includes all storybook attractions and unlimited rides.
    No charge for children under 12 months of age.

  135. Al says:

    # John Says:
    April 26th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Wow that place has a lot of nerve charging 13 month old kids to get in as if they are going on rides, other than that it looks like a good deal.

    Couple of years ago my wife family went to Busch Gardens in Florida/Tampa.

    They had to buy a full price ticket for their daughter (4 years old). The kicker was is that she can not go on ANY rides as they all have heights limit!!!.

    We ended up writing certified letter to the Busch Garden’s corporate headquarters, threatening to sue them for deceiving business practices. Eventually they sent us a letter with their apology and full ticket refund.

    But as far as I know height rule is still there as well as 4 years old = full price ticket.

    The little girl was devastated as she just had to watch everybody else in a family to have fun.

    It would be nice if they had warned us in-advance – listing, on which rides she wouldn’t be able to go on.

  136. mr potter says:

    Asbury Park Mess

    Its is kind of amazing that all the efforts to re-ignite that town, pull the real estate projects out of bankruptcy and they are headed right back to financial problems………

  137. Shore Guy says:

    # 100 “When Pamela Hawes of Beachwood learned of his story a few days later and adopted him, Saint cried all the way to his new home.”

    After doing a zipskinny on the town, the real reaso the dog was crying was that he was being relocated to a town where he would be one of the most educated residents. What a dump.

  138. Shore Guy says:

    # 110 “comes out to about 2,600 a month for house and taxes, his check nets under 3,000 a month”

    Are electric, water, etc free with purchase? Oh, food and gas for the car (or NJT tickets) too?

  139. njpatient says:

    “home sales remain weak due to … low confidence in home prices”


  140. grim says:

    “People coming and buying these properties and fixing them up — it changed the whole flavor of the town,” said Kathy Ragauckas, the owner of Wish You Were Here, a boutique and espresso bar on Cookman. “It’s sort of like build it and they will come.”

    I know the prior owner(partner?), Tony. Worked with him for a few years, super guy.

    An Asbury rebirth isn’t dead yet, not by long shot. Change happens slowly, street by street, small steps.

    While the failure of Esperanza is a setback for the town, it says more about the end of the real estate boom than about change in Asbury.

  141. Sybarite says:


    I only provide a list price (LP) where a price reduction has taken place.
    OLP = Original List Price, LD = List Date, XD = Expired Date

    Here is the purchase/listing history, in chronological order:

    Bought on 3/02/05 for $585k

    MLS#: 2213072
    LD: 11/05/2005
    OLP: $1,175,000
    LP: $899,000
    REM: 4 BR farmhouse on 55+ acre parcel w/7 completed percs and soil logs. Home in need of renovation.Also listed ML # 2113134. Buyer to complete subdivision.3 access ways into property from public road, major subdivision possible/4 acre zoning
    XD: 05/05/2006

    MLS#: 2327563
    LD: 10/05/2006
    OLP: $799,000
    XD: 04/30/2007

    MLS#: 2402172
    LD: 05/02/2007
    OLP: $795,000
    XD: 06/30/2007

    MLS#: 2433128
    LD: 08/07/2007
    OLP: $775,000
    LP: $699,000
    XD: 01/31/2008

    MLS# 2506647
    LD: 04/09/2008
    OLP: $675,000
    Rem: Farmhouse on 55+ acers w/13 completed percs/soil logs,home in need of renovation,also ml#2506650,outbuildings,beautiful level prop great for farming or builder,pond. LA mom of seller subdivision possible

    MLS# 2506650

    LD: 04/09/2008
    OLP: $675,000
    Remarks: Gorgeous property,13 completed percs&soil logs.Great for farming or builders subdvn,some engineering work done,EZ access to major Rts,desirable location,LA is mom of seller,also ML#2506647

  142. Shore Guy says:

    # 145 Between the corruption in years past and a fetish for a “home run” project that will solve all problems at once, the city leadership has overlooked attracting middle-class residents to the town. Had they taken thr area one block from the beach and designated it park land (as it essentially has always been save for the Empress, the Stone Pony, and the Wonder Bar), and then taken the area from blocks 2,3, 4 for low rise (say four-story) condos and townhouses, and then allowed Esperanza-type buildings on the next block (which would have parking, etc, on floors 2-4) and living units on the higher floors (thus guaranteeing ocean views notwithstanding the distance back from the ocean) it would have created a human-scale city which would have had a chance to attract families. As it is, the ocean is being cut off from most of the town and it takes away the desirability of moving there.

  143. mr potter says:

    Shore Guy…..

    On top of the real estate mess. In the last few years, Asbury has experienced an huge uptick in gang violence. For a town of 17,000 people there is a whole lot of people getting shot. I think at least 5 already this year.

  144. lostinny says:

    An FYI – Sound City in Denville is going out of business. If you’re looking for a great deal on higher end home audio and video, check out what they have left. Yes I know we should all be saving and not buying things we really don’t need. But you know not everyone will heed that advice.

  145. Clotpoll says:

    Al (141)-

    Sir Alex had a mini-stroke and held out Tevez and Ronaldo. What the hell was he thinking??? And, don’t tell me it’s because he’s worried about Barca next week. They will run Barca off the field at Old Trafford (BTW, I’m not a Man U fan).

    Chelsea has now made this interesting, and Man U has no room for error. I cannot believe Avram Grant has a shot at winning anything; he is the worst top club coach on the planet.

  146. gary says:

    No, it still isn’t a buyers market, don’t believe a f*cking word otherwise. The sellers, with their 82 IQ’s, still don’t get the fact that their over-priced sh*t box is just like the other 30,000 over-priced sh*tboxs.

    And the nail technicians turned real estate “pros” still don’t get the fact that: A) the masses are broke, B) they don’t qualify for a loan and C) the ones perched on the side lines are grooming their beaks and sharpening their claws in anticipation of the maggot infestation signaling the commencement of the feast.

    Hey Realtors, ask your sellers how long they can hold onto a depreciating asset. I’ll check back in later, I have to go update my savings book still again to reflect yet another weekly deposit.

    Hey sellers, tick….. tick….. tick….. tick…….

  147. bi says:

    clot/bc bob,

    i know you are big fan of gold.
    GDX down over 20% from all time high of $57 on march 14, just 30 trading sessions ago. hold? double down? or capitulation?

    by the way, jim crammer mentioned he was buying gold mining in his trust/charity fund on its way down last frinday night. a couple of names poped one or two percent in after-hour trading. he is with you this time.

  148. Al says:

    Chelsea has now made this interesting, and Man U has no room for error. I cannot believe Avram Grant has a shot at winning anything; he is the worst top club coach on the planet.

    Grant is very lucky – Mourinho left his with one of the best soccer machines of modern times. It is not the best club or individual talent, but very good Team.

    Still MU have huge advantage – they have control over the situation.

  149. lisoosh says:

    I’m bored with perusing listings. There is nothing to do but wait until the brown goo hits the fan.

    Saw a listing in a development – all comps are LISTING at around $345 and sitting. This joker put in shiny floors, granite counter tops, a Sub-Zero and those fancy bathroom sinks and is asking $560,000!!! And for an empty house of course. HGTV mania at its most extreme. Nothing to do but let nature take its course, the bank take over, let it sit another 6 months till the pipes burst and they give up.

    I need a vacation from this market.

  150. Shore Guy says:

    # 153 “Asbury has experienced an huge uptick in gang violence”

    Mr Potter,

    It can be a scary place as the sun starts to set. I have no problem walking Cookman or the boards during the day. That said, as soon as the sun starts going down, I want nothing to do with walking more than a few feet from my car to my destination. It really should have a bright future given its geographic advantages. Deal lake, Sunset Lake, Weasley Lake, the Ocean and boardwalk — it has good train service and better access to the Parkway and Rt 18 than many other places.

    The political leadership’s focus on Lake Avenue and Ocean Avenue is shortsighted. The town is becoming like a loaf of bread with a wonderful crust (well potential for a wonderful crust, anyway) and a moldy, soggy center.

    Any plan that includes building highrise structures in the block between Kingsley and Ocean, I suspect, will doom the city to years’ more stagnation.

  151. bairen says:

    #156 Gary,

    Savings are so old school. Didn’t you listen to Greenspan and get the message that you build wealth by consumption?

    / sarcasm

    I can’t stand Greenspan. Bring back Volker.

  152. bairen says:

    #160 Shore Guy,

    I used to go to the boardwalk when I was a little kid. Was that building with the arcade stuff called? something casino?

    It was a ghost town the last time i went through a few years ago.

    The train service would not be a seller for the town. You’re looking at 2 hours door to door for commuting to NY. Maybe to get tourists down for the day or vacations the train could be a good deal.

  153. alia says:

    OT: (but hey, it’s the weekend and i need more books to read while I nurse)… there was a thread a while back about post-Apocalypse books. I would like suggestions of stories about people dealing well with crises (preferably no babies die. sours the milk.)
    Fer instance: the 1632 books. The later ones are meh, but I really enjoyed how in the first couple the hardy West Virginians beat the pants off the renaissance Germans.
    (plus, you can read ’em free! bonus!)

  154. Pat says:

    Did anybody else go grocery shopping today and just stand and look at the receipt?

    I remember my sister in maybe 1976 or 1977 telling me:

    What did you buy? Take it back. Take it back.

  155. Pat says:

    I didn’t understand inflation then. I just knew that it was my job to get the groceries.

    Today, I told my husband that I was extremely angry and would be voting with an angry finger in November.

    An angry finger. This didn’t have to happen.

  156. Shore Guy says:

    The Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall are on the north end (by Madam Marie) and linked by what I believe is called the Grand Concourse, or some such name) at the south end is the Casino. The west side of the building is the carousel building and the far eas side has now been torn down. It was used in City by the Sea and has been a deterioriating mess for years.
    I agree that the train ride sucks. The thing of it is, people take the train in from south of there (Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Point, Bay Head — yes I recognize that those towns are far superior to Asbury) and they have as much as 30 minutes longer commute via the train.

    There was another aracde building, the Palace (as in the line from Born to Run) about the kids behind the Palace (“Beyond the Palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard”), the boulevard being Lake Avenue. It too went to hell and it was torn down last year.

  157. bi says:

    164, 165, pat, i noticed that too. gas went up almost 30 cents in a few days. costco even does not have banana on stock. rice is limited to one per customer….

    by the way, i has been long food etf (PBJ) 2 months ago and i think it is a good hedge for food price.

  158. Shore Guy says:

    This relates to a discussion the other day about how North Korea may take advantage of the United States getting tied up with Iran before January 20, if we are misguided enough to do so.

    North Korean military engineers are completing an underground runway beneath a mountain that can protect fighter aircraft from attack until they take off at high speed through the mouth of a tunnel.

    The 6,000ft runway is a few minutes’ flying time from the tense front line where the Korean People’s Army faces soldiers from the United States and South Korea.

    The project was identified by an air force defector from North Korea and captured on a satellite image by Google Earth, according to reports in the South Korean press last week.

    It is one of three underground fighter bases among an elaborate subterranean military infrastructure built to withstand a “shock and awe” assault in the first moments of a war, the defector said.

    The runway, reminiscent of the Thunderbirds television series, highlights the strange and secretive nature of the regime that provided the expertise for a partially built nuclear reactor in Syria, film of which was released by the CIA last week.


  159. GW Bridge says:

    If you think Asbury Park has re-development issues. Just saw the headline in my local free paper regarding Fort Lee.

    It seems the Town&Country the developer of the Centuria development in the the heart of Fort Lee, south of the bridge “The old Hemsley Property” has not paid property taxes in a while. The development went into a hold pattern about a yr ago. Mayor/Council which are part of the REIC have been inquiring about the stoppage, but Town&Country has been mum, feeding the usual pr.

    Now with property tax non-payment that is going to be another empty 6 acres for another 20 yrs. It took 20yrs after the last collapse for someone to buy/finish building on steel skeleton office building that was eno ugly eyesore.

  160. Salty says:

    My in-laws have been staying with us the past week. They are leaving tomorrow.

    We currently live in a 2bd 2ba place with 2 kids.

    If/when we buy a house, I would jump on any house that has a detached in-law suite.

  161. bairen says:


    I spent $47.50 pumping gas at $3.39 a gallon

    $23 at Panera’s getting 2 days worth of pastries and a loaf of bread.

    I took my son bowling. $28 for 2 games and shoes. WTF? I thought bowling was a working man’s game.

    I just dropped $83 at Whole Foods. Believe or not Whole Foods is actually cheaper for a lot of stuff then regula grocers. I just avid Olive il for $40 a pint and focus on the store brands and whatever produce and meats are on sale.

    I’m now pretty much tapped out till Friday. I’ll have to bring leftovers and PBJ sandwiches all week.

  162. John says:

    al that story makes me want to drink a miller.

  163. bairen says:

    #164 Pat,

    With food and gas going up so much I’ve had to do stuff like bring my lunch to work 4 days a week.

    I never buy coffee or soda out. I make coffee at home and bring soda and snacks to work.

    We quit taking the family to the ice cream parlor and keep a couple of ice cream and sorbets in the freezer at home instead.

  164. Salty says:

    anyone have an address for MLS 2511231?

    5 bedroom? that will raise an eyebrow at the listed price… must be on route 10 or something.

  165. Frank says:

    RE market has deteriorated drastically last week in NJ, inventory up by 2% or 2000 units.
    Foreclosures are spreading like wildfire in towns like Hoboken and Westfield.

  166. Frank says:

    “Did anybody else go grocery shopping today and just stand and look at the receipt?”

    Food is actually very cheap if you shop at the right places, stay away from Panera and Whole Foods and shop at a local Chinese store and Aldi instead and you’ll be O.K.

  167. Frank says:

    People are paying $1M to $5M to live outside of Holland Tunnel at 505 Greenwich St in Tribeca. This building is between Holland Tunnel and UPS terminal.
    Why would you pay this kind of money to breath Tunnel exhaust and be awoken by UPS trucks all night? Am I missing something?

  168. Sybarite says:




  169. Salty says:

    …thanks Sybarite

    btw, if anyone hasn’t used the “Bird’s eye” view on to really search your properties, you’re missing out.


  170. NJCoast says:

    The carpet bagger developers have fallen on their faces in Asbury Park. Before thay came along the gay community was doing a stellar job fixing up Asbury Park house by house, block by block.

    Metro Homes never had any intention of building what was drawn. They, along with Paramount homes at North Beach, submitted grandiose plans to get the approval of the city and now are doing the old bait and switch.

    Still, if you want to go to a beach with a funky vibe, close parking and relativily uncrowded, Asbury Park is the place to go this summer. If rainbow flags offend or scare you don’t bother.

  171. Frank says:

    Hoboken listings are thru the roof.
    Wall St. jobs are finally hitting the RE market?

  172. Clotpoll says:

    bi (157)-

    Having Cramer on my side of the trade troubles me.

    As for being long gold in general, I’d suggest it’s no place for someone with as short an attention span as you…up or down market.

  173. Shore Guy says:

    # 177

    It is Manhattan, isnt that reason enough?

  174. Pat says:

    Frank, I went to the Pathmark for milk. No paper products, no plastics (no detergents/soaps/etc.).

    I grabbed four apples, five bananas, a bunch of grapes, an onion, a bag of salad,large strawberries, asparagus, a zucchini, milk, 9 cans of Friskies, some string cheese and a couple of jars of some spaghetti sauce that was on sale for a buck a jar. One box of cereal. Four pork chops, a pound of boneless chicken, a pound of burger, three cheap steaks, Crisco, big jar of pickles and one “Mommy, please, please, pink glitter nail polish.”

    The bill was $106.

    I am literally dreading going for the real order tomorrow. That was just the run-in- for milk stop.

  175. lostinny says:

    I went food shopping yesterday. I expected a bill of 150. It came to 125 before the coupons which brought it down to 122 and change. Normally I can keep it 80-90 dollars but I ran out of a lot of things I don’t buy every week (snacks, cleaning products, etc.). I hate running out of everything at once. I should have a black eye when I leave the store- I feel so beat up.

  176. Frank says:

    Here’s your problem, four apples, five bananas, a bunch of grapes, an onion, a bag of salad, large strawberries, asparagus, a zucchini at Pathmark will cost you $50 but at a local Chinese store it will cost you $10. Tomorrow instead of going back to Pathmark find a local Aldi and save your self another $40. Now you got $80 extra to spend.

  177. bairen says:

    #184 Pat,

    do you go to your local produce store for fruit and vegetables or an Asian grocer? We get a lot of our green vegetables, rice, noodles, and sauces from the Asian grocer (Only stuff from Taiwan or Japan, nothing from China). I don’t buy fish from it though. I suspect a lot of fish they sell comes from China or Southeast Asia.

  178. SG says:

    Wall Street, Run Amok

    How did all of the mechanisms operated by the mind-bogglingly well-paid men and women of the Street go so wrong that we saw a major investment bank, Bear Stearns, essentially disappear? How did Wall Street firms of ancient lineage take such immense losses that they made banks clam up on lending — at great risk to the economy?

    First, Maestro Einhorn points out that the fellows who run big investment banks have a strong incentive to maximize their assets and leverage themselves into deep trouble because their pay is a function of how much debt they can pile on. If they can use relatively low-interest debt to generate slightly higher returns, the firm earns more revenue and executive pay increases. Often, an astonishing 50 percent of total revenue goes to employee compensation at Wall Street firms.

  179. Pat says:

    lost, when my daughter was a baby in 2002, our bill was $140, including all groceries for the week, paper products, diapers, wipes and baby food. I BF as long as I could, too, so that didn’t even involve formula.

    We’re way over $200 a week now. It’s unbelievable that groceries are twice what they were in 2002.

  180. Pat says:

    bairen, we stopped buying a lot of stuff at the china fruit market. It was cheap, but the flowers smelled like fish. The pears tasted like fish.

    Yeah, we could get out of there for twenty bucks, but everything smelled like fish…and it was from China, so I was worried.

  181. SG says:

    India and China Housing Markets on the Bubble

    Housing woes in the U.S. have been a hot topic of late, but two of the world’s most populous countries may be in for a housing crisis worse than what the U.S. is experiencing.

    Both China and India are watching real estate prices soar, leading many to question how long the market will last.

    China for example, is boasting prices that would be considered absurd in the U.S. Three-bedroom apartments in cities such as Guangzhou or Shanghai are running for upwards of $300,000. These prices are especially high considering that the average salary in China is $160 per month, according to BusinessWeek.

    Is the bubble already bursting? It would seem that the early signs are already there, as supply seems to be far outweighing demand at current prices. Morgan Stanley Asia-Pacific Chief Economist Andy Xie said he believes that the bursting of China’s housing bubble is inevitable, according to the Epoch Times (China). The Chinese government’s delay in controlling their housing market, coupled with the rise in U.S. interest rates and a decline in personal savings in China, have all but forced the issue.

    Much like China, India’s housing prices have soared, rising 16 percent a year for the last four years. In Bangalore and Mumbai, prices doubled in both 2005 and 2006, according to the Economist. Apartments in Mumbai now cost an average of three times more than in Shanghai, even with incomes in India much lower than those in China. According to the Economist, the question is not whether the prices will fall–but by how much.

    The Hindustan Times (India) reported a 50 percent drop in actual transactions in mid-2007, as property developers were forced to drop prices some 5 to 10 percent in order to bolster demand in some of India’s biggest cities. The demand for both modest and upscale residences has seen a sharp decline, especially for downtown luxury residences, where transactions seem to have hit a standstill.

  182. Cindy says:

    (175) Frank

    “Foreclosures are spreading like wildfire in towns like Hoboken and Westfield.”

    According to a local realtor who does a weekly radio show here (Brad Maaske KMJ 580
    Saturday noon to 1)…..

    If you lived in Tracy, CA you would say the same thing. A $225,000 property flew up to $400,000 at its peak and can now be purchased as a foreclosure for $150,000 to 170,000.

    He said that locally (Fresno area) the drop in price varies neighborhood to neighborhood
    anywhere from 5% to 25%. The state average is 26%.

    He noted that all of a sudden there are sales. The banks are starting to have so much inventory that they have to move it and that now some of those lower comps can finally hit the books. (A friend’s nephew just purchased a foreclosure for $460,000 that sat on the market for over 1 year at $650,000.)

    He said there are just 2 markets out there now (this is for California)… in or out.. Those properties priced low enough that people consider them a steal or those that are priced too high.

    So there were no sales to speak of… then – bam – the banks are starting to get the picture. Evidently, they realize they have been leaving tons of money on the table as the homes they own just continued to slide. He said the banks should be hiring more qualified personnel who know how to close these deals and that they should be negotiating with current owners because the owners do not have the income to support the reset mort. payments.

    The point is, the comps are going to start hitting the books. It took 9 months to 1 year of homes just sitting there GOING DOWN IN VALUE…but for the first quarter of 08, some of the numbers will finally be available as comps..that to see a trend – you gotta have sales.

    I don’t know how that affects NJ but that is how it is starting to play out in Central California.

  183. Shore Guy says:

    I am the primary cook in our household and I like to shop daily for what we will eat that day. We eat lots of fresh fish, fresh produce, the beef tends to be tenderloin (but not large amounts, and probably works out to as much per meal as many other families spend on larger pieces of other cuts), we do not buy expensive breakfast cereal, we do not consume soda (although we do go through a couple gallons of Pelegrino a week), maybe 2 gallons of icecream over the course of a year, no chips and other savory snacks. I am finding it hard to get out of the store for less than $75 a day. Not long ago it was maybe $30.

  184. lostinny says:

    I don’t know how you do it.
    I honestly cannot remember groceries ever being cheap for me. Because of my restrictive diet, and god help me, where I live, I used to have to go to 2 supermarkets and a health food store to get everything I needed. It was cheaper to eat crap but then you are what you eat so I would feel like crap. Now at least I can go to Wegman’s and get everything in one spot. But nothing I buy is on sale anymore. Everytime I swipe that shopper’s card I hope to see something come off the bill but that doesn’t happen unless I have coupons. I
    *puts on gary costume*
    Inflation can suck it!

  185. Shore Guy says:

    # 194

    Isnt Wegmans wonderful. It was great when they came and rescued NJ from Path Mart and Shop Right, oh, and the old Stop n Shop.

  186. SG says:

    Backlash grows against the housing bailout

    Many Americans want no part of a government-funded bailout for troubled mortgage borrowers.

    NEW YORK ( — Why should American taxpayers have to pay to bailout reckless lenders and borrowers?

    The website, launched just last week, has a vitiation demanding that Congress not pass any bailout programs that reward risky borrowing and lending. To wit: “Let the free market sort it out!”

    The petition is gathering 40 to 50 signatures per hour, according to spokesman Adam Brandon, who adds that the site is already getting 15,000 visitors a day.

    “There’s a huge segment of the country saying, ‘We don’t want our money used for a bailout,'” said Brandon. is backed by FreedomWorks, the conservative, free-market Washington-based lobbying group run by former House majority leader Dick Armey.

    “A third of the American public rents,” Brandon pointed out. “They’re saying ‘I’ve been saving for a mortgage for years. I could have jumped in on a subprime loan too. Now I’m going to have to pay for a government bailout.” is another newly minted site devoted to the bailout backlash. “I just got really angry,” said blogger Morgan Ward Doran, an L.A.-based attorney who isn’t professional involved with the housing industry. “Everyone I hear from is against the bailouts.”

    The fastest way to return to normalcy is to let the market work, according to’s Adam Brandon. He acknowledges that the impact on some homeowners will be devastating, but that things will get even more painful if we don’t let the free market work its magic.

    “I feel terrible for people losing their homes,” said Brandon, “but the sooner we let the market sort this out, the sooner we can get back to growth. When the government gets involved, it can delay the inevitable.”

  187. Pat says:

    I went to Wegman’s until last year…it’s ten miles away, either North in Princeton or South from me… Since gas prices have increased, I’ve started using combined trip gas savings for my daughter’s college savings deposits.

    Please, do not feel for me. We can pay. I’m just cheap.

    I’m angry for my neighbors who are SOL.

  188. lostinny says:

    Shore 195
    The Wegman’s in Woodbridge isn’t the same anymore. The customer service has gone down hill and they don’t carry a lot of the products I used to like. Even so, it still beats the hell out of Pathmark and the like. God I hate Pathmark. I don’t need blaring announcements every 10 minutes. I’m food shopping, I’m not at a friggin concert!

  189. lostinny says:

    Pat 197
    I completely understand. I go to Wegman’s and get gas in the same trip, which is still 40 cents a gallon cheaper then it is here.

  190. bairen says:

    #194 Shore Guy,

    I used to love Wegman’s when we lived near one. Now we are closer to Whole foods and there are King’s all around us.

    I can not stand most of the other grocery stores. Poorly run, long lines, dumps (reminds me of commuting in NJ). you can smell the seafood and meats 50 feet away. Gross.

  191. Pat says:

    Shore 195
    The Wegman’s in Woodbridge isn’t the same anymore. The customer service has gone down hill and they don’t carry a lot of the products I used to like.

    This is good to know.

    The Pathmark near me in Pa is the same with the blaring speakers and the “Attention Shoppers” stuff… What is that?

  192. lostinny says:

    Pat 201

    They must do that in every Pathmark. God forbid you were literate and could pick up the circular and see what’s on sale. No. They have to blast it in your ears so you don’t forget. I cannot believe a food store can annoy me so much.

  193. SG says:

    Are central banks really to blame for the housing bubble?

    One of the few positive developments from the US housing bubble is that many mainstream economists have recognized the pernicious role played by the Federal Reserve. Indeed, some analysts on CNBC have discussed the outright abolition of the Fed.

    The case against the Fed is straightforward: In an attempt to jumpstart the economy out of recession, Greenspan slashed the federal funds target from 6.5% in January 2001 down to a ridiculous 1% by June 2003. After holding rates at 1% for a year, the Fed then steadily ratcheted them back up to 5.25% by June 2006.

    The connection between these moves by the central bank, versus the pumping up and popping of the housing bubble, seemed to be more than just a coincidence. On the contrary, it looked like a classic example of the Misesian theory of the business cycle, in which artificially low interest rates lead to malinvestments, which then require a recession to correct.

    The Fed’s role in the housing boom and bust is a classic illustration of the Austrian business cycle theory. Indeed, the Misesian explanation in this case is so compelling that more and more economists and financial analysts are being persuaded. Hummel and Henderson’s attempt to argue otherwise fails.

  194. SG says:

    Scandal of luring first-time buyers

    Gordon Brown is acting immorally by asking for rate cuts that could lead to negative equity

    Except the problem is not global. It’s British. House prices in Britain, at six times average earnings, are too high. That’s it. We all know that, we’ve known it for years. Property prices are nonsensical, exorbitant, unaffordable, immorally inflated by investors and a shortage of available land space to build new homes, exploited by a greedy City.

    Nothing could be more immoral, then, in the current climate, than using government efforts and taxpayers’ money to encourage first-time buyers to enter the housing market in order to stabilise the dodgy situation that banks and incautious borrowers have got themselves into through overlending and overstretching themselves: row, row harder, keep us all afloat! Yet that appears to be what the Government’s strategy is.

    The IMF says property prices are 27 per cent too high. Why would anyone with the interests of a first-time buyer at heart encourage him, or anybody else for that matter, to purchase at the top end of the market, with a long-overdue correction imminent?

    For most of us, a sharp correction will come as a blessed relief. House prices might make some sort of sense again; investors from the City and overseas will leave us alone and stop buying up the places we need to live in. A decent house in the country might become affordable once more for a local person, not just for someone from far away, paying cash.

  195. galgon says:

    Shore 193:

    $75 a DAY!? for food? Did I read that right? Thats over $2000 a month. Wow. How many mouths are you feeding with that? The two of us are spending around 500 a month right now although that has been creeping up as prices rise.

  196. Shore Guy says:

    205 Four of us.

  197. Pat says:

    Shore, I need you to do our shopping. We’re at maybe $750 for three.

    My issue is my husband goes out and buys stuff during his lunch hour every day that we don’t need. I do all the necessary buys on the weekend.

    But he’s a hunter.

    Should I stop buying everything on the weekends so he is happy and can hunt?

  198. Shore Guy says:

    I found that I was buying too much of some things when I did it on a weekly basis. Now, by going daily (more or less), we have far less waste. And, because I get to see what looks good THA day, meals are better.

  199. Shore Guy says:


  200. gary says:

    Cindy [192],

    Excellent post! It’s astonishing, absolutely astonishing that the price structure for housing in the Northern NJ area is still holding up as much as it is. And couple it with the worst property tax affordibility in the nation and one has to wonder what mechanism will be identified that caused the breach of economic principals we are now witnessing for the first time in history.

  201. rhymingrealtor says:

    I guess everyone went shopping tonight. I went late around 10pm. I hate to say this but I have been complaining about groceries for more than a year now. I am spending about $800.00 per month for a family of 4 and that does not include my husbands thrice weekly stops for a few things on his way home, and our order outs, & drive thru window forays. Food is costing us close to 1100.00. How can people pay a mortgage and eat??
    PS: I know we are terrible shoppers, but we always were.

  202. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Rhyming 211 They can’t. This will take some time to set in. When it does it will get even uglier.

  203. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Not working?

    Adrian Stevens can’t pinpoint the exact moment he decided to sell his restaurants and move to Florida, but he knows how he felt.

    He felt frustrated because his taxes and fees kept increasing. He felt confused because he didn’t know what would come next. And he felt sad because he had to leave New Jersey, the state where he was born and raised his family.

    “It’s death by 1,000 cuts,” Stevens said.

    More than two years after Gov. Corzine unveiled a strategy to jump start New Jersey’s economy, the state’s business climate continues to rankle executives and observers alike.

    They say the state’s chief attributes — affluent population, prime location and educated work force — are clouded by uncertainty over everything from how the state will resolve its budget crisis to new regulations.

    Until those issues are resolved, they say, employers will set up shop elsewhere.

    “The state has very serious challenges ahead of us,” said Mitchell Hersh, president and chief executive officer of Mack-Cali Realty Corp., a real estate investment trust based in Edison. “We have, in many respects, not made progress, and we’ve lost jobs to our neighboring states.”

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