A great time to pay a commission!

From the NY Times:

Great Time to Buy (Famous Last Words)

“IT’S a great time to buy a home.”

Real estate agents were saying that in 2001, as home prices were rising. They also said it when home prices peaked in 2005 — in fact, David Lereah, former chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, published a book that year titled “Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?”

And many real estate agents said it was time to buy as prices began to drop — and continued to say it over the past several years as prices fell by an average of 33 percent in America’s 20 largest cities.

Mr. Lereah would acknowledge that he had gotten it wrong. But from the perspective of many real estate agents, it is always a good time to buy.

“What they are really saying is that it is a good time to be involved in a transaction that generates a commission,” says Barry Ritholtz, C.E.O. and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He’s also author of “The Big Picture,” an irreverent blog on markets.

If agents are always motivated to make a deal, buyers are often asking an impossible question: “Will the price of this house go up?”

Although the National Association of Realtors said for many years that home prices historically don’t fall, actually they do, and sometimes quite sharply. The housing market is complicated, and the future unknowable. Still, for clues to the overall direction of prices, Mr. Ritholtz advises buyers to look at three metrics: the ratio of median income to median home prices, which suggests whether people can afford a house; the cost of ownership versus renting; and the value of the national housing stock as a percentage of gross domestic product.

All those measures were aberrationally inflated during the housing bubble. And they still aren’t back to historical norms. We can get back to the norm in either of two ways, Mr. Ritholtz says: home prices can either drop an additional 15 percent or go sideways for seven years or so, while G.D.P. and income presumably grow.

Then there are property taxes.

In California, taxes alone can be $5,000 a year on that $300,000 house. In New Jersey, where property taxes are the highest in the nation, the extra cost can be even more. (The Star-Ledger of Newark calculated that, on average, residents in the town of Lodi pay 10 percent of their income in property taxes.) But who would have guessed that property taxes in that state would keep climbing, doubling over the course of seven years in some cases, even as home values stopped appreciating?

Mr. LLosa thinks that many people — including him — would be better off renting. People ought to buy a house for what he calls “warm and fuzzy feelings,” but they shouldn’t try to predict home prices. Nor should real estate agents, who aren’t much wiser.

“I don’t think real estate professionals should be in the business of telling people when it is a great time to buy,” he said.

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

193 Responses to A great time to pay a commission!

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. counties cut land preservation funds due to financial strains

    Tough economic times are prompting some county governments across the state to scale back popular open space and farmland preservation programs, to balance budgets and prevent tax hikes.

    Officials in Morris, Middlesex, Bergen, Warren and Mercer counties have either cut county open space taxes or are considering such action this year, garnering heat from environmentalists who term the decisions fiscally shortsighted.

    With land values at record lows and sellers seeking deals for parcels with great environmental value, preservationists say county governments should be ready to take advantage of the situation.

    They stress voters across the state have long provided overwhelming support for open space issues, repeatedly saying yes to taxation dedicated to preservation — even voting during the midst of the fiscal crisis last year for a $400 million state open spaces bond issue.

    But some county officials say they are under immense pressure to keep taxes down now at a time many people are unemployed or underemployed, and struggling to fiscally survive. To do otherwise would be unconscionable, they said.

  2. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Christie will propose constitutional amendment to cap tax hikes

    Gov. Chris Christie will propose a constitutional amendment limiting annual property tax increases to 2.5 percent when he introduces a budget Tuesday that will seek fundamental changes in spending at every level of government, according to administration officials with knowledge of the plan.

    Christie will also propose converting the state’s property tax rebate checks into direct credits on homeowners’ tax bills, eliminating what was once considered an almost untouchable fixture of New Jersey government and politics because of its popularity among voters. Some homeowners may still receive a refund, but the envelope from the state treasury containing an actual check that has arrived almost every summer for 30 years would be gone.

    Unlike the current 4 percent limit, the new “hard” 2.5 percent cap on municipal, school and county property tax levies would be all-encompassing, without exceptions for such essentials as rising health insurance or debt payments. The tax could be raised higher only if local voters grant their approval in referendums. The state also would be constitutionally barred from increasing its own spending on direct state services by more than 2.5 percent per year.

  3. Cindy says:


    “As someone who is planning to buy a house later this year, the idea of stretching out this process for years is appalling – not only for how it affects our buying plans, but because it virtually assures a lost decade ahead for the U.S. economy.”

  4. Cindy says:


    So I posted this article on the velocity of money yesterday.

    “The financial innovation that drove velocity to new highs is no longer part of the system.”

    But wouldn’t money move around if the shadow inventory (see#3) hit the markets and those with money waiting on the sidelines snapped them up at the right price?

    Folks would need furnishings, repairs etc. Sure, some banks will look pretty bad when they have to accurately price inventory – let the chips fall where they may.

    It seems like a way to get a buck circulating again. As it is, no one wants to commit funds. All they see is the 10-year slog.

  5. A.West says:

    Had to drive home from Princenton to Bridgewater last night. What a mess. 206 was out and didn’t even bother to try that. Took 95 and 287, but most of the roads between Warren (where we dropped off a stranded kid) and our house were out from water or trees. Came home and discovered one batch of windows weren’t able to stop horizontal rain, and had a little leaking.

  6. crossroads says:


    “let the chips fall where they may.”

    this should be what happens in a capitalist society but thats not what we live in anymore.

  7. d2b says:

    Fun to see the storm at the shore yesterday. Awesome waves at the beach.

  8. confused in NJ says:

    Main difference between old house construction and new house construction is the wind moves your bed in new house construction when it blows against the house. reminds me of the first and third little pig, brick versus straw.

  9. Cindy says:


    Crossroads @ 6 – Here we go….

    “It’s time to end the FASB (and shake up the SEC)

    “Recent “revelations” concerning the Lehman debacle highlighted a very important point: media and regulators alike have had their heads in the sand for decades. The headline of a recent New York Times article plainly makes the point: “Findings on Lehman Take Even Experts by Surprise.” If this is really true, it is quite an indictment on either the lack of intelligence or truthfulness of our regulators. Sadly, either one could be the case.”

    “Has FASB really “acted to improve usefulness, kept standards current, considered promptly any significant areas of deficiency and improved common understanding?” It is pretty clear threat they have broken every one of their stated precepts, and the SEC has been complicit in allowing this charade to continue.”

  10. Yikes says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    March 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I think she is more motivated to take down NJ state workers than Clot is.

    In fact, she is so furious, I think now I can sell her on the PA tax residency idea. She so doesn’t want these hacks to see another dime more than she needs to pay.

    I also think that I can convince her to complete the census as having just moved to PA, thus giving them 4 more citizens, and NJ 4 less.

    come on over. the water’s fine.
    might want to take a gander at the latest Philadelphia Magazine … they picked the 10 “awesomest” places to live in the great Philly region.

    a certain town in Bucks County gets a nod :)

  11. Yikes says:


    Are you moving to Nashville or what?

  12. jamil van jones says:

    “as having just moved to PA”

    Unfortunately, in addition to productive people moving to former red, now purple-states, there is also massive parasitic transition going on. People fed up with NJ (or CA, MA) taxes move to PA (AZ, NV, NH) but they will take their voting habits with them and in a few years the parasites have destroyed the new host state too. Then these people are surprised that taxes in PA (AZ, NV, NH) are just like in the old host state.

  13. xmonger says:

    To the financial gurus, of which there are several on this blog,

    If you had ~$1MM in liquid assets, no debt, and no real estate holdings what would you be in today? (Asset class and % of portfolio please)

  14. 3b says:

    #395 Veto From previous post. Yeah there you go again with the my block thing. I do not need to post comps from all those years ago to prove squat to you. As I said I live it;you were watching Inspector Gadget.

    You are an ignorant little man. My final post and comment to you ever.

  15. Cindy says:

    13 xmonger – I’ll take the million off of your hands. You will still have no debt and no real estate holdings, BUT you will also no longer need to worry about where to invest. A worry-free life – priceless. Deal?

  16. dan says:


    Add Florida to that list too.

  17. freedy says:

    come on veto, you can do it

  18. dan says:

    This might be a question for tomorrow morning with more people but my wife and I bought a car over the weekend and while we can pay it outright in cash, they’re offering 3.9% over 5 years and 4.9% over 60. What’s your inflations thoughts over this time period and should I just pay out or take the 3.9/4.9?

  19. Cindy says:

    13 – Just funnin with ya… Seriously? That’s a Chicago question.

  20. yo'me says:

    My Credit Union offers car loans against the house.Which works like a home equity so its tax deductible.Limit to the 100k home equity loan

  21. dan says:

    Sorry, I’m currently the renting type thanks to the board…….

  22. Shore Guy says:


    If you have the discipline to put aside the cash and hold it in reserve and NEVER spend it for anything else, ONLY THEN, would I be inclined to borrow the money. Of course, with liquid cash investments paying 1% or so, I would not be inclined to borrow at 2-3x that rate of return.

  23. d2b says:

    Yo- that is a house loan disguised as a car loan. Wondering if they require collision. I also wonder if the rates are better because of the colleratal is of higher quality.

    Dan- last two new cars I bought I was able to get a better deal on financing when pushing back a bit. I was pre-approved by the bank and told the dealer that I wanted the car but I needed him to match or beat the APR.

  24. Shore Guy says:

    That said, I tend to try to minimize risk when it comes to money management.

  25. confused in NJ says:

    Interesting, a registered Democrat running for NY Governor on a Republican/Independent/Conservative ticket. When queried on his Democrat status he basically said party doesn’t matter, representing the people does.

    Steve Levy, Suffolk County executive. Levy may also seek Republican, Independence Party and Conservative Party lines.

    They pinned him down on Marriage & Unions though, he only expects to get the Non Union vote and said Marriage is between a Man & Woman.

    He sounded good though, running on a program of Fiscal Sanity and Ethics.

  26. yo'me says:

    The beauty of it is you dont have to have equity on the house.Just makes it compete with leasing and deducting interest if you have a business

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [12] jamil

    Unfortunately, that is precisely what happened in NH. All the M@ssholes moved there, and enough of them brought their “vote themselves rich” attitude, and now NH taxes and government are quickly resembling the debacle south of the border.

  28. Mr Hyde says:

    I hate agree with Jamil @ 12….

    Bit that has been a problem in southern NH as all the bostonites moves to low tax NH with lower regulation, they brought their voting habits with them and have noticably impacted southern NH and have begun to reconstruct the exact beurocracy they were trying to escape

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [12] jamil

    We will likely never see this, and it will almost certainly get struck down in liberal courts, but the deed restriction on buyers could make a comeback.

    Many decades ago, deeds in many suburban areas had restrictions that forbade the owner to sell to minorities. These were stricken down as unenforceable. Now they are just so much verbiage on a deed.

    But suppose owners in some communities with new development decide that they want to keep the riff-raff out but without restricting their own operations. One way to do that is to get people to include a deed restriction on their land that prevents them from selling to liberals (read democrats).

    You could condition new permits on the deed restriction, and you could offer tax breaks to current citizens for encumbering their land with this covenant.

    BTW, the deed restrictions that kept out minorities were not stricken ab initio, but rendered unenforceable as against public policy. The public policy against racial discrimination is clear. But I am not aware of a public policy, except in some states with workplace legislation, that holds one cannot discriminate against people of a different political persuasion.

    The most obvious attack route, however, would be to claim (and somehow prove) that anti-liberal deed restrictions are a proxy for racial discrimination.

  30. Mr Hyde says:

    So does Christie have a shot at the constitutional amendment?

    If he can then that would seem to spell financial amargeadon for a substantial # of NJ’s fiefdoms

  31. Mr Hyde says:

    the deed restrictions are interesting. The imications would make for an interesting gtg chat

  32. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ket from last thread

    You don’t need to go see the movie. We now live in wonderland

    Maybe if I had a few of those mushrooms……

    Went to movies 1230 show sold out,Ok, 330 show sold out WTF it was 1200. Alice In Wonderland a cash cow. So went to mall, dead on a rainy day. Rockaway by the way.

  33. Jim says:

    I wish Christie much luck. It may be too late to get this thing under control, but you never know. I have no idea how unions, state workers, etc. think you can spend more than you take in. You just can’t sustain that amount of spending, not with jobs/business leaving the state.

  34. Barbara says:

    No doubt, in NJ its public workers vs private. I’m still surprised Christie managed to get elected given how many NJ families rely on public sector jobs and benefits but I gives me some hope. I think a lot of private sector people will leave if Christie can’t get it done. Speaking for myself, this is NJ’s last chance.

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [30] hyde,

    After reading/hearing/seeing what I have lately, I (and most definitely the spouse) are ready to wage political war on NJ fiefdoms. I will support Christie with full throat on anything he does to savage the entrenched bureacracy.

    One place he can start that will also rile the public sector is by appointing judges that will grant carry permits. Right now, you need an act of God to get one. Having more legally-armed citizens will send a message to the cops that they have competition.

    So when a future Corzine tells the rural towns, merge or lose your state police coverage, the locals can say “so what? We have our own guns.”

  36. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [31] hyde

    I am aware of deed restrictions on properties down south that prevents the owners from selling to anyone born north of the Mason-Dixon line.

  37. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [33, 34]

    Jim, Barbara,

    WE can b1tch on blogs all we want, but Christie’s agenda doesn’t stand a chance so long as the Assembly doesn’t change.

    WE have to let our assemblypeople know that we are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore. Serve notice that you will vote their asses out; work for their competition; and either vote them out or scare them straight.

    It only takes a few well-entrenched kingpin types to get ousted to send a very strong message to Trenton that folks are royally pissed off.

    It’s an old call, and a trite one, but the public sector machine gets their vote out. Until we get ours out, we will continue to be boned by the public sector.

    Get mad. Get Loud. Get active. Otherwise, you deserve what you get.

  38. veto that says:

    3b – i loved inspector gadget. I guess you were watching the golden girls?

    You werent the only person to remember and live through the 1988 crash. I did too. I grew up in nj. My parents bought in late 1987, which they still own. I guess that makes me a self proclaimed expert like you??? Sorry prices didnt crash down 40% through early/mid 1990. Maybe 15-25% at most. But do you think my anectdata about my house makes a bit of difference to the average of the region or state?? no, prob not. So i wonder why you keep bringing it up as such?

    I guess it was only a matter of time before a conversation with you succumbed to name calling and personal attacks. It must be frustrating when someone dare question your exaderated claims.

    Im not going to mudsling with you. You want to call names and make personal attacks, go ahead. Its telling when a guy who watched inspector gadget conducts himself in a more mature manner than you.

    You think nj prices crashed 40% from the 1988 bubble. I still doubt it. I still think that prices crashed 15-25% on avg, a little more than the case shiller index shows.

    Maybe one day you can find just one comp and share it with the board that backs up your claim. And since you saw so many homes like that on your block, you will prob be able to produce at least one??

    While we may agree that prices will continue to fall, we are miles apart on how much and why.

  39. Barbara says:

    I’ve been voting the opposition for 20 years :) point taken, the machine is well entrenched in my town and I’ve seen it in action, right down to the guy taking “attendance” at the polling station.

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [31] hyde

    In fact, considering the fact that the southern deed restrictions are still valid, one can get around the proxy by substituting a geographic one.

    Deed restrict the owner from selling to anyone from hard-core blue states. In fact, make it a backup deed restriction so if one is stricken, the second one kicks in.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [39] barbara,

    That is why I like my judge idea. Pit one part of the state against the other.

    Here’s another one: In the red towns, they should sell “parking” stickers for locals to put on their cars. Charge a very nominal fee, and it gives you the right to park anywhere in the town. Locals would also be easily identifiable. Enter into arrangements with other nearby red towns to cross-honor the stickers.

    By contrast, the traveler from Hudson County will stand out, and didn’t they just park illegally?

  42. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [28] hyde.

    Sorry, but no such word as “bostonites.” It’s Bostonians.

    Unless you are in NH; then they are called “flatlanders” or “m@ssholes” unless you like them, then they are “transplants.”

    And folks in NH who are actually from there are Granite Staters.

    I had a law school professor from Londonderry who would sprinkle things into his lectures like “So, you finally saw the light and moved to the Sovereign State of NH, and you wanted to . . . ” When I did move there and told him, he quipped “how did you pass the entrance exam?” I responded “I took your course.” Touche!

  43. Mr Hyde says:


    I was an interloper to both crowds

  44. Barbara says:

    frankly I’m uncomfortable with your deed restrictions idea because of its backdoor race restrictions perception.
    I’d prefer a good government approach (assuming the ultimate goal is to bust entrenched machines, not keep people from living in a town) encompassing term limits, friends and family shut out from positions, no pay to play, patronage etc.

  45. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 3b

    your both correct. In “real” adjusted terms 3b is correct. Also not that in his debate the nj FHFA HPI is probably a better index to use.

    If you look at the issue in nominal terms then the data shows a minimal bubble.

    My opinion is that the nominal data does not reflect the real world economic experience of living through that bubble

  46. Mr Hyde says:

    so we need to form our own political coalition.

    I know several nj state troopers and they generally seem to dislike the idea of armed citizens. They seem to see it as “illegitimate” competition

  47. veto that says:

    This house is prob my dream home.
    And not just because it backs up to soccer fields.
    Taxes: 19K


  48. Outofstater says:

    Dan – I’d write a check and be done with it. I think paying interest is like setting hundred dollar bills on fire – unless you’re making more on your investments.

  49. Outofstater says:

    #35 Why is it so tough to get a license to carry a concealed weapon in NJ? Isn’t that a right protected by the Constitution or is that just ownership? (I really don’t know.) Lots of people carry in the south and the cops don’t seem to have a problem with it. They’ve said that good guys with guns cut down on crime. I wonder why guns are viewed differently in the Northeast. Puzzling.

  50. Barbara says:

    I generally like that vintage but that house seems kind of dark (like most tudors, I guess) and the kitchen looks cheap and really dated. I’d expect better original details at that price range for that sq footage. The exterior is very handsome. Do a search in Glen Ridge or Montclair or Haddonfield in the same price range. You’ll see better houses.

  51. 3b says:

    #3* Just leave it alone grasshopper. And to set the record straight. I called you ignorant,nothing more. You were the one who in your haughty manner dismissed what I and others lived through as happening on my “block”. You used that term repeatedly. And then you demand that I provide proof to you? As far as you living through it you did not your parents did. Did they discuss it with you at the dinner table?

    Prices fell 40% or more simple as that. I will be having lunch with a friend tomorrow bought a co-op at the last peak for 125K, sold it for 42k in 1994. I will be sure to tell him. I know, I know it was just on his “block” or in his building, because Veto’s research say so. Lets just agree to ignore each other. And for the record no, I was not watching Golden Girls, which by the way was another ignorant comment. The fact that you could not see the difference says it all.

    This time I will keep my word and not respond to any more of your posts, for the good of the forum,and so that there is room for both of us.

  52. veto that says:

    “you did not your parents did. Did they discuss it with you at the dinner table?”

    3b – my parents are older then you so i guess, according to your logic, that makes them automatically right.
    And they told me to tell you that you are the grasshopper to them and that you are dead wrong about your rediculous exaderations- which bye the way you have now escalated to claim that your friend’s home crashed 66% from peak and that was representative of the whole region according to you. wow.

    And no i will definately not agree to ignore you. I will continue to call your bull sh!t exaderations each time you post them.

  53. Shore Guy says:

    This via cnet news (I can’t copy the urlfrom this device). Perhaps Cindy can offer perspective on the senate race:

    “Words, being playful things, sometimes like to play hide and seek.
    And I must say mine found a hitherto unexplored corner of the universe when I watched former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s new ad in her campaign to be elected to the Senate.
    You might remember that her first effort, the so-called “Demon Sheep” ad, resembled something that a mass orgy of acid enthusiasts might have come up with during a week-long retreat.
    However, this new ad, which poetically compares California Senator Barbara Boxer to a hot air balloon, suggests that its creators have been doing nothing but feed themselves the mushrooms of an exotic forest and the movies of Terry Gilliam for several long, giggly months”


  54. Essex says:

    47. My kind of house. Sister has one like it in the midwest. It just doesn’t pay to live large out here. They get you coming and going.

  55. Mr Hyde says:


    from the troopers I have spoken to they feel that gun rights stop at huntng rifles and even those ate suspect, as generally the only people who want guns must have nefarious outlooks or be “frnge”, as there is no need for “civilians” to have guns. That is that they “nj state police” are there for

    the funny thing is that the avegae trooper has AT BEST average ability with their weapons and more often, BELOW average. Most cops shoot twice pet year as required and that’s it.

    I am not attackng police as individuals but am on an institutional basis. If they are going to carry in the capacity they do, it should require above average skill as well ad continual training on a regular basis.

    And yes I have shot with many troopers before.

  56. Mr Hyde says:

    And yes, I may be illiterate.

  57. veto that says:

    50 barb, yes its dark and needs work and a wall knocked down to open up kitchen. Plus i hate pools – so that would have to go too. i guess technically it would need $100k before it became my true dream home. and Im sure there are nicer ones in that style with more sq footage but for my price range, and without moving farther away, its one of the better products ive seen. The stone exterior is amazing. Im sure thats why theyre keeping their price so inflated.

    Its walkable and convenient to downtown allentown and yet its all surrounded by farms, but still close to turnpike.
    After i hit the lottery, i would look for similar in glen ridge and montclair, and prob pay double for a product like that right?

  58. Barbara says:

    no IME you would get more house quality for the same money (minus the pool, which I hate too).

  59. veto that says:

    “In “real” adjusted terms.
    If you look at the issue in nominal terms then the data shows a minimal bubble.”

    Kettle, We are taling about the crash not the bubble and reality/history operates in nominal terms. Another words, you cant take inflation out in reality so nobody ever refers to it – besides us. its only a research exersize to look at price performance on a relative basis consider opportunity costs and buying power.
    He is saying that prices crashed 40% in nj – nominal. sorry it was more like 15-20%.
    Even if you wanted to look at the ‘inflation adjusted’ basis fhfa shows prices crashed 28% from 1987 to 1998.
    I’m sure their were outlier comps/towns showing more severe cases but i seriously challenge that nom prices crashed 40% throughout the state as an avg. 40%???

  60. Mr Hyde says:

    veto 59

    Just trying to steer things back towards facts.

    I am not jumping i the middle of this argument.

    NJ FHFA HPI (80’s/90″s):
    Cumulative Appreciation (Nominal) 116.2%
    Cumulative Appreciation (Real) 81.7%
    Cumulative Decline (Nominal) -7.1%
    Cumulative Decline (Real) -27.9%

    NJ-PA FHFA HPI (80’s/90″s):
    Cumulative Appreciation (Nominal) 31.6%
    Cumulative Appreciation (Real) 206.1%
    Cumulative Decline (Nominal) 25.0%
    Cumulative Decline (Real) -89.2%

    Case-Shiller NY Metro
    Cumulative Appreciation (Nominal) –
    Cumulative Appreciation (Real) –
    Cumulative Decline (Nominal) -31%
    Cumulative Decline (Real) -13%

  61. Mr Hyde says:


    Very nice house you found BTW

  62. Cindy says:


    Shore @ 53

    Here is the Boxer/Fiorina “movie.” At seven minutes, it can hardly be called an ad.

    The “big spending liberal” – “professional politician” known as Barbara Boxer may need to watch out this time around.

    All incumbents need to watch out this time around.

  63. 3b says:

    #52 Yep co-ops fell even more and that example was a co-op. In an affluent Westchester Co. town. In my town you could buy them for 25K cash;peak price 125k. But so what who cares, veto says it did not happen.

    But I am not going to argue with you quite frankly its tiring now after being frustrating and aggravating. As far as your parents and all that you referenced in post #52, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

    Since you have elected not to ignore me, and will challenge my so called bullshit every time I make a comment that does not fit your so called research and opinion, than I will simply no longer post. Part of the reason I came to this blog was because there are posters here like I who remember and actually lived it. Having to deal with some poster (who was not there) who is no going to harras me is simply not worth it.

    It’s all yours now kiddo. Enjoy!!!

  64. stan says:

    I vote Veto off the island! 3b wins this round.

    Headed to Spain later tonight. Will report back on what I see.

    SIL lives in Barcelona. Maybe she can fill me in on RE there.

  65. veto that says:

    60 – omg kettle check those numbers!!
    First of all, real should show bigger delines than nominal and yours are showing the opposite.
    Second, you are showing a 90% real decline!!! What kind of calc is that??? When did that happen??? Was that 1932? or 1992 lol..

    Here are the facts about the nj fhfa index and case shiller index ny metro (from what i see).

    Case shiller peaked in 1988/89 at a value of 85 and then hit a low of 72 in 1991, which was a 15% decline.

    FHFA peaked at 245 in 1988, and reached a low of 226 in 1991, an 8% decline.

    Both indeces continues to climb from 1991 through 1998 and then exploded upward from there.

    3b – the fact that it was a condo/co-op can be a significant piece of info. I remember clot saying something about condos/co-ops getting killed compared to other type of homes.

  66. Cindy says:

    3b @ 63 –

    I know you to be an honest, reliable poster. I do not know about R/E in NJ but when I bought my place here in CA in 1999, they said the prices had been flat for 10 years or so. Luckily, I caught the beginning of the upturn.

  67. Cindy says:

    3b – As I remember, You and BC Bob reminisced about this subject many times.

  68. veto that says:

    “3b wins this round.”

    Stan, if it comes to a vote on these boards the most negative person always automatically ‘wins’. That goes with out saying. Half you guys wont question anything. As long as its negative its got to be true. You even believe al the thermometer when he tells you the mailman is poisoning your mail.

    And if its really negative and it leads to armeggedon than its not only true, its fact.

  69. jamil van jones says:

    37 comrade: Unfortunately, to paraphrase Harry Reid: this war is lost.

    Parasites won.

  70. WHYoung says:

    29 “But suppose owners in some communities with new development decide that they want to keep the riff-raff out but without restricting their own operations. One way to do that is to get people to include a deed restriction on their land that prevents them from selling to liberals (read democrats).”

    Aren’t co-ops known for discriminating on against celebrities or professions, things other than “classical” discrimination? Maybe HOA’s will find a similar method.

  71. Mr Hyde says:


    You have the spreadsheet those numbers came from

    NJRER Bubble Analysis Rev2

    Its from the first joint piece we did. And i did have a cut/paste error in the data above. here it is strait from our joint spreadsheet:

    Growth Period Start (YOY, Real) Jun-83
    Peak Growth Rate (Real) 21.7%
    Absolute Peak (Real) Dec-88
    Bottom (Real) Jun-97
    Growth Period Duration (Start to Peak, Real) 3.5 yrs
    Decline Duration (Peak to Trough, Real) 9.5 yrs
    Cumulative Appreciation (Nominal) 116.2%
    Cumulative Appreciation (Real) 81.7%
    Cumulative Decline (Nominal) -7.1%
    Cumulative Decline (Real) -27.9%
    Average Growth Rate (Real) 11.8%
    Average Decline Rate (Real) -3.6%

    Case-Shiller NY Metro
    Growth Period Start (YOY, Real) –
    Peak Growth Rate (Real) –
    Absolute Peak (Real) Dec-87
    Bottom (Real) Mar-97
    Growth Period Duration (Start to Peak, Real) –
    Decline Duration (Peak to Trough, Real) 9.25 yrs
    Cumulative Appreciation (Nominal) –
    Cumulative Appreciation (Real) –
    Cumulative Decline (Nominal) -31%
    Cumulative Decline (Real) -13%
    Average Growth Rate (Real) –
    Average Decline Rate (Real) -2%

    Growth Period Start (YOY, Real) Dec-88
    Peak Growth Rate (Real) 21.6%
    Absolute Peak (Real) Dec-88
    Bottom (Real) Jun-97
    Growth Period Duration (Start to Peak, Real) 4 yrs
    Decline Duration (Peak to Trough, Real) 9 yrs
    Cumulative Appreciation (Nominal) 96.4%
    Cumulative Appreciation (Real) 51.9%
    Cumulative Decline (Nominal) -6.0%
    Cumulative Decline (Real) -24.8%
    Average Growth Rate (Real) 10.5%
    Average Decline Rate (Real) -3.0%

  72. veto that says:

    “Since you have elected not to ignore me, and will challenge my so called bullshit, than I will simply no longer post.”

    3b, wow, im shocked.

    I come here so people can challenge my thinking and my reality. Through healthy debate. Dont take it personal or make it personal by calling me ignorant and inciting inspector gadget.

    when everyone starts patting eachother on the back, blindly cheering on the rally or crash, thats when i’ll no longer participate.

  73. Mr Hyde says:


    I am not taking either side of the argument. It some areas things help up “relatively” well, while in others it did not.

    If nothing else, what the current events have shown us is that these indicies are a macroscopic view and that there may be towns untouched and others decimated that do not fit into the macro trends.

    I am more then happy to hear both sides of the debate as it forces me to support my position or correct it.

  74. Mr Hyde says:

    sorry, my typing sucks more then usual when on the iphone….

  75. veto that says:

    Kettle, i agree but double ceck your nom/real declines for the case shiller (maybe reverse them).

    hfha showed an 7% crash in the 80s/90s and case shiller showed a 15% crash. like i thought.
    So 3bs 40% and 66% crash claims really stand out as a huge sore thumb. I guess if they were condos/co-ops that might be a logical reason why. i really dont know.

    But i dont think 40% was a representative avg of the nj region for sf housing overall. Thats all i was saying.

  76. veto that says:

    “It some areas help up “relatively” well, while in others it did not.”

    yes i agree thats actually exactly what i was trying to communicate to 3b when i told him his block or his home was not representative of the nj region.

  77. stan says:

    I question everything I read.

    I just pointed out that 3b won this round. That is all.

  78. Yikes says:

    you guys see 60 minutes?

    Michael lewis was on it. if you missed it, watch online tomorrow.

    he drills Goldman and MOrgan and the street.

    this should, of course, be national news.

  79. veto that says:

    77 – hey, thanks for keeping score stan.

  80. veto that says:

    stan its weird. you post in the same half sentance fragments as 3b. Are you brothers. or just the same person?

  81. Yikes says:

    Lewis: “The world would be better off if that industry never existed.”

    – on some of Wall Street (which part was unclear)

  82. Michael The Real Estate Expert says:

    Sooo 3b got taken for a ride on his first condo purchase back in the 80s and wants to believe that his bad investment was a function of the market, instead of his own inability to determine when a bubble is undoubtably about to burst?

    1980s or 2000s doesnt matter.
    There is a sucker born every day.

    Not that my opinion matters. I only bought a 42 unit complex in the 80s so i probably dont know what im talking about.

  83. veto that says:

    82, in your opinion, what percentage did home nj prices crash on avg, after the 1988 peak????

  84. Shore Guy says:

    ” Barcelona. ”

    Barcelona? I thought you said you were going to Spain.

  85. Shore Guy says:

    Where is the board’s big KU fan? Out celebrating a number-one seed?

  86. dan says:

    Michael, lots of people bought real estate complexes bigger than yours that didn’t know what they were talking about.

  87. Stu says:

    I don’t think you should leave as you are a long-time, well-liked contributor here, but if you do, please take Jamil with you. Please.

    You are an excellent contributor as well, but sometimes it’s easier to agree to disagree then to be so argumentative.

    Now there’s an a-hole if youv’e ever seen one. :P

  88. safeashouses says:

    My parents bought a townhouse in 1992 at about 30% off the peak. It dropped another 10% or so over the next 2 to 3 years, then started going up. They sold it in 2001 or 2 for the 1988 peak price.

    I bought a townhouse in Somerset in 2000 for 30% below the 1988 peak price. At the bottom in 93 or so, they were going for 50% or more off the peak. In 2002 they were going for the 1988 peak prices.

    I think in the last bust townhouses/condos/co-ops went down 40 to 50%, SFH not as much. Although the beach houses/vacation homes got crushed also.

  89. njescapee says:

    Safe, I recall prices of condos in Quailbrook and similar complexes got crushed in the late 80s / early 90s. Do you remember the RTC rented a building on Davidson Ave? I think it was next to AT&T.

  90. Barbara says:

    BTW I was in Penn Station for 5 hours last night, stuck. NE Corridor shut down. No buses either. No help from MTA, NJT, no cops….NO INFO. No media, no internet via cell. Just a sea of people, lying on the floor, babies crying…we finally got enough pople together to split a limo out. NYC treated all of us with complete contempt. We also had a lousy time at MOMA, poorly controlled crowds even though we bought tickets ahead of time. Feeling ripped off this Sunday.

  91. njescapee says:

    Barbara, We had a similar experience in the MONH last year. Most of the staff are kids without any supervision. Technical problem at Planetarium show resulted in overcrowding of unlit waiting area. People started to faint. Was very ugly. Will never go back.

  92. Barbara says:

    thats really disappointing – MONH and MOMA are some of my favorite places, anywhere. MOMA forced us to buy tix 2 months ahead to get it so we had to go yesterday despite the severe weather. I expected to at least be in a comfortable space with my kids and be able to take in 100% of what I paid for. I’ve been less and less impressed with NYC in recent years. I’m getting old.

  93. safeashouses says:

    #89 NJescapee

    I didn’t know about the RTC in Quailbrook. I didn’t move to that area until the late 90’s. Whomever managed to buy at the bottom and sell at the peak in 2007 walked away with at least 200k tax free. Amazing.

  94. njescapee says:

    NYC is way over-rated. Really, it’s great for the very wealthy or very connected otherwise not a good place to go for straphangers.

  95. njescapee says:

    RTC had offices around the corner on Davidson Ave.

  96. veto that says:

    90 – barb thats si disturbing.
    I heard people were stuck in a train in the tunnel for 5 hours. that is my definition of hell.

    We had power out all day sat and into the night. It was pitch black everywhere. Called pse&g they said power will be restored on Tuesday. I just laughed, hung up the phone and sat there in the living room with candles.
    and that was just a rain storm.
    Can you imagine when nj gets hit with its first major hurricane?

  97. Stu says:

    Could you imagine if you were claustrophobic on the train?

  98. veto that says:

    stu thanks for the intervention.

    i’ll admit my arguments may persist to excess at times but in this case it yielded some nuggets.

    Im totally shocked that there are 3 or 4 people claiming that prices crashed 40-70% from 1988 to 1995 while the indeces show a mild 7 to 15% crash. If that is true, it makes me seriously reconsider if case shiller ny or fhfa means anything at all – both in the 1980s and today. those are huge discrepancies.

  99. Barbara says:


    “Could you imagine if you were claustrophobic on the train?”

    *waves* thankfully I was in Penn Station with a TGIF’s bar and plenty of pastries and pizza for my kids!

  100. veto that says:

    “I recall prices of condos in Quailbrook and similar complexes got crushed in the late 80s / early 90s”

    njescapee, what do you consider ‘crushed’?
    20% or 70%

  101. Barbara says:

    I have no stats, just what I experienced. I bought from 90-99 and the last guy who sold me his house bought it in 89, I bought it back from him at 89’s price. Not sure if that supports or refutes what you are saying but ime it looked like the market tanked 88-92 and was flat for the following 7.

  102. njescapee says:

    >40,45,50,55…% haircut

  103. veto that says:


    im not afraid of small spaces but i still hold my breathe every time passing through that rickety old tunnel.

    The pulaski skyway is completely crumbling but the underwater tunnel infrastructure is muraculously completely safe and sound?
    wow, thats amazing, i mean impossible.

  104. njescapee says:

    there was a huge condo glut back then. similar to the recent 55+ developments

  105. veto that says:

    i’ll post the index info from the 1980s/90s tomorrow or tues and you can all put your ancectdata together to decide if its representative or not.

    will be interesting to hear.

  106. veto that says:

    104 – yeah thats what im thinking is going on here.

    ive heard that before too.

    and i think thats prob why the indeces are completely deviated from what people here experienced with their condos and town homes but i’ll post the data anyway and you all can figure it out.

  107. njescapee says:

    v, i would expect that somerset county will have a different set of data points compared to the more densely populated nj counties

  108. jamil van jones says:

    90 Barbara: “treated all of us with complete contempt.”

    Sounds like a description of ObamaCare. But hey, Big Government is the Final Solution!

  109. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:



    I dont think the mailman is poisoning the mail but I do think they are the eyes and ears of the TPTB.

    I dont care what people believe. This economy is going to come crashing down but before it does it will be quantitative easing ad nauseum. Then when they are ready to pull the plug millions of Americans and their foreign creditors will lose everything they worked for.

    And to add some spice to my negativity how about this.

    Search on for Death Star that throws out deadly comets. Nasa scientists are searching for an invisible ‘Death Star’ that circles the Sun, which catapults potentially catastrophic comets at the Earth.

    Like the old saying on this board goes. Dont fear it or argue it, just embrace it.

  110. Barbara says:

    108. jamil

    hop on over to “HorizonBCBSofNJ” care, the contempt is already firmly in place and NOPE, I *don’t* have a choice.

  111. njescapee says:

    a little bit of history

    U.S. Seizes New Jersey Savings Bank
    Published: December 9, 1989


    Send To Phone

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 8— Federal regulators seized New Jersey’s largest savings association today after the institution recorded large losses from real estate ventures in New Jersey, Florida and Texas.

    Regulators transferred control of the City Federal Savings Bank of Bedminster, N.J., to the Resolution Trust Corporation, a Federal agency created in August to handle the problems of the nation’s troubled savings institutions.

    The concentration of real estate losses in New Jersey and Florida, as well as in Texas, underscored concerns voiced today in Dallas by L. William Seidman, Resolution Trust’s chairman, that real estate markets in the Northeast and Southeast appeared to be weakening.


  112. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [44] barbara

    “frankly I’m uncomfortable with your deed restrictions idea because of its backdoor race restrictions perception.”

    Didn’t I say that was a problem and why it probably would not fly?

  113. veto that says:

    Al, ha ha ha. you are good for a laugh buddy.

    Stay away from youtube. The lunatics on that site will scare you more than when you self diagnose a stomach ache using webmd.

    I watched your conspiracy video about global warming. That was another funny one.
    of course it started out with the old ‘flouridated water’ bit. That guy was all over the place. i havent laughed like that in months, so i owe you a thanks.

    I have news for you. The world aint gonna end. Face it, every five or ten years their is a new theory or new worry.

    First its the black prez who secretly wants to kill everyone, then its poision in our vaccines, or food shortages and now here you are warning us about the coming comets.

    last week you told us to learn how to use ham radios. what is this mash?

  114. veto that says:

    81 yikes,
    Saw that 60 minutes.
    very good piece.

  115. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:



    The earth will be just fine. The people will be broke, hungry or worse.

  116. veto that says:

    And how would you know if it was?
    Because of youtube?
    At first it was illuminati and their control of politics and the un but now it has escalated with you to aliens and comets.
    Just stop it. You are getting carried away now.

  117. Barbara says:

    perhaps you did, sorry – I often scan this blog too quickly. But I wasn’t implying anything about *your* intentions, I just assumed that as a lawyer, you were thinking out loud, tinkering.

  118. chicagofinance says:

    self-selected; I cannot disagree more…

    94.njescapee says:
    March 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm
    NYC is way over-rated. Really, it’s great for the very wealthy or very connected otherwise not a good place to go for straphangers.

  119. chicagofinance says:

    Barb: It’s not as if you were at the airport. You were in the middle of NYC. Maybe you guys could have gone to dinner, a movie, or found a hotel and crashed for the night. You expect a lot. It was a Saturday….

    90.Barbara says:
    March 14, 2010 at 7:56 pm
    BTW I was in Penn Station for 5 hours last night, stuck. NE Corridor shut down. No buses either. No help from MTA, NJT, no cops….NO INFO. No media, no internet via cell. Just a sea of people, lying on the floor, babies crying…we finally got enough pople together to split a limo out. NYC treated all of us with complete contempt. We also had a lousy time at MOMA, poorly controlled crowds even though we bought tickets ahead of time. Feeling ripped off this Sunday.

  120. Barbara says:

    11pm, 1 yr old, 6 yr old, 50mph winds, driving rain. Seriously, are you bored?

  121. njescapee says:

    chi, that’s what makes the world go round

  122. veto that says:

    121 – lol, i guess the cp zoo would have been a stretch?

  123. Barbara says:

    123 veto
    I’m waiting for the “a 1 yr old in NYC???? – GASP” routine. Wait for it…

  124. chicagofinance says:


    Hotel…get a room…be a grown up….

  125. Barbara says:

    did that, with limited cell phone battery left – no vacancies. Tournament weekend. Your urban sophisticate routine is 2nd only to your smartest guy in the room routine on the yawn scale.

  126. njescapee says:

    Barb, oh and while you’re waiting for turn down service, you could take the kids in the limo to Smith and Wolenskys for their specialty bird cage dessert. :-)

  127. Barbara says:

    I’m just too bumpkin, I didn’t think birdcages could be eaten! NYC, you’re such a mystery!

  128. njescapee says:

    is just ice cream and chocolate candy made into shape of a bird cage. :-)

  129. Barbara says:

    I know, I was being funny like

  130. Mikeinwaiting says:

    WOW, is it a full moon or what? First Veto, 3B & now Chi, Barb. We a wee bit testy today folks. Well entertaining to say the least. Hmm no moon must be something in the water. Al get on that.

  131. Barbara says:

    132. We all spend too much time on this board and as a result, our cycles have synched.

  132. Barbara says:

    Brace yourselves, Clot is going to be doomier and gloomier than ever. I’m talking about curing baby meats and inventing a new idol god. Lindt truffles will not help.

  133. still_looking says:

    Still no cable/internet/phone in bergen county…

    Re 111: that fu.cking bank cost my (abeit naïve) dad his retirement… I still haven’t made enough back shorting the shit out of the market or investing with buffet to recoup that loss.

    I was a young teenager trying to research City Federal on Valueline (stupid me) and didn’t understand what had happened til far too late. It was an expensive education.


  134. still_looking says:


    I think I have a girl crush on you…

    When I “calls ’em as I sees ’em” I get sneered at.

    My dad raised me with a very male attitude about life. It unnerves people is what I’ve come to realize… Even so, I don’t really give a shit what most people think… You seem to be the same and I like that…


  135. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Worth a read also go to comments some good stuff.

    But then again, while there are signs that the economy may be picking up, it is a strange type of recovery. It is what I call a statistical recovery. Let’s look at this litany from my friend David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff. He notes that there are measures of economic health other than the stock market and GDP. To wit:

    * More than five million homeowners are behind on their mortgages.
    * There are over six million Americans who have been unemployed for at least six months, a record 40% of the ranks of the jobless.
    * The private capital stock is growing at its slowest rate in nearly two decades.
    * Roughly 30% of manufacturing capacity is sitting idle.
    * Nearly 19 million residential housing units, or about 15% of the stock, is vacant.
    * One in six Americans is either unemployed or underemployed.
    * Commercial real estate values are down 30% over the past year.
    * The average American worker has seen his / her level of wealth plunge $100,000 over the last two years, even with the recovery in equity markets this past year.
    * Bank credit is contracting at an unprecedented 15% annual rate so far this year as lenders sit on a record $1.3 trillion of cash.
    * Unit labor costs are down an unprecedented 4.7% over the past year, and what has replenished household coffers has been the federal government, as transfer payments from Uncle Sam now make up a record 18% of personal income (and the Senate just passed yet another jobless benefit extension bill!).”

    Wow. 18% of personal income in the US is now from the US government (also known as taxpayers, current and future).


  136. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barb yes I know that to be true. I don’t think that goes for the boys.

  137. Barbara says:

    thats what makes it funny and stuff. Yeeesh, tough crowd.

  138. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Going to try & hit the hay this clock change has me all F ed up. Goodnight Moon.

  139. Barbara says:

    first of all, I didn’t know Bergen has been out of power for this long. You guys should have the power of Zeus at your disposal with the prices you pay up there. Did all your food go bad? I hate that.

    Yeah no pretty princess dreams for me. Hard knock life coming up so I don’t put a lot of stock in popularity or attention. I have found that lowered expectations and standards really work for me!

  140. still_looking says:


    We’ve got power – just no cabl and hence no internet, tv or phones – except cell phones. I’m scraping my way to posting from muy phone — which just is a true pain in the ass… Keep hoping we’ll get service by later today…

    Fully understand the hard knock thing


  141. still_looking says:


    We’ve got power – just no cable and hence no internet, tv or phones – except cell phones. I’m scraping my way to posting from my phone — which just is a true pain in the ass… Keep hoping we’ll get service by later today…

    Fully understand the hard knock thing

    sl. (Cannot get this to go- sorry for any duplicates)

  142. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    The $2 Trillion Public Pension Hole and What You Can Do About It

    LIKE A CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE, populist rage burns over bloated executive compensation and unrepentant avarice on Wall Street.

    Deserving as these targets may or may not be, most Americans have ignored at their own peril a far bigger pocket of privilege — the lush pensions that the 23 million active and retired state and local public employees, from cops and garbage collectors to city managers and teachers, have wangled from taxpayers.

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