Slump over? Not so quick.

But first, a musical interlude:

From the NYT:

Don’t Bet the Farm on the Housing Recovery

MUCH hope has been pinned on the recovery in home prices that began about a year ago. A long-lasting housing recovery might provide a balm to households, mortgage lenders and the entire United States economy. But will the recovery be sustained?

Alas, the evidence is equivocal at best.

The most obvious reason for hope is that, unlike stock prices, home prices tend to show a great deal of momentum. Correcting for seasonal effects, home prices as measured by the S.&P./Case-Shiller 10-City Home Price Index increased each month from June 1995 to April 2006, then decreased almost every month to May 2009. Since then, they have risen through January, the latest month for which data is available.

So, because home prices have been climbing of late, isn’t it plausible that they’ll keep doing so?

If only it were that simple.

Home price booms and busts do end, sometimes quite suddenly, as was the case for the boom of 1995 to 2006 and the bust of 2006 to 2009. Today, we need to worry about strong headwinds, as the government begins to withdraw its support of a still-troubled lending industry and as foreclosures are dumping millions of homes onto the market.

THE question now is whether a strong case has been built for a new bull market since the home-price turning point in May 2009. Though there is no way to be precise, I don’t believe it has.

Since that turning point, most public discourse on housing has not been about a new long-term view of the market. Instead, it focused initially on whether the recession was over and on the extraordinary measures the government was taking to support the housing market.

Now we’re shifting into a new phase. The recession is generally viewed as being over, and those extraordinary measures are being lifted.

Momentum may be on the forecasts’ side. But until there is evidence that the fundamental thinking about housing has shifted in an optimistic direction, we cannot trust that momentum to continue.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Bubble, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

133 Responses to Slump over? Not so quick.

  1. Mr Hyde says:


  2. Mr Hyde says:

    Montclair and Cabella’s, Great together!!!

  3. Essex says:

    I went to Cabellas and since I was from NJ all they would let me buy was a slingshot.

  4. Mr Hyde says:

    Sweet video grim!

  5. freedy says:

    home prices in Bergen C never go down.

    to close to NYC, and its all for the childs

  6. freedy says:

    Besides the depression is over , they said so.

  7. frank says:

    Bet the farm and more, NJ RE market is on fire this spring.

    Multiple Bids, but Not Exactly a War

  8. Mr Hyde says:

    How bout we open a knife combat and firearm training center right next to the volvo dealership that clot turns into a cabella’s?

  9. Essex says:

    Stick fighting…the state still allows us to own sticks just don’t sharpen them!

  10. Mr hyde says:


    we could add in Kali and eskrima as well.

  11. Final Doom says:

    I got a call from Soldier of Fortune magazine. They want me to find them some office space to rent in Montklair.

  12. Final Doom says:

    Evidently, their only requirement is that the office lend itself to heavy fortification.

  13. Final Doom says:

    Holy sh!t. Chicago’s multifam stock sinking under the waves. Think this problem is getting serious yet?

    “Owners of 96,000 two- to six-unit rental buildings in Cook County are upside-down on $12.6 billion of mortgage debt, potentially putting 42 percent of small rental buildings in the county at risk of default, new data show.

    A study by DePaul University’s Institute for Housing Studies, released Wednesday, also found that $3 billion in multifamily building mortgages already are in foreclosure, affecting more than 32,000 rental units in Cook County, or 6.8 percent of multifamily mortgages. That compares with about 38,000 single-family homes in foreclosure in Cook County.”

  14. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Commercial Real Estate ETFs: Boom or Bust?

    Gary Gordon of ETF Expert doesn’t think so. He expects REIT ETFs “to take a major hit between now and the end of the summer.”

    He reasons that:

    * Markets are forward looking by 6-9 months.
    * Mortgage rates are set to go higher.
    * $1.5 billion in commercial loans will be due between 2011-2014.
    * All this will make refinancing very difficult and will be reflected in market prices before 2011.

    Contrast that with embattled former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who told ABC’s Jake Tapper that the commercial real estate bubble has already popped, citing the fact that prices are down about 50%.

    Clot what do you think?

  15. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Distressing Details About Housing

    This analysis is projecting that existing home average price is most likely to hit a low in 2010 between 4% and 16% below the December 2009 value. This would be between 2% above and 11% below the 2009 low average price of $206,700 (January).

    What could break the pattern established over the past four years? What could put prices outside the probable price box? Here are two possibilities:

    1. The economy strengthens sufficiently that higher priced homes start to sell in greater numbers (and as a larger percentage of total sales) than seen in 2008 and 2009. In that event the average home price could come in above my designated probable zone, even if distressed sales remain high.
    2. A much weaker recovery than expected, and especially a double dip into recession, could shrink demand for housing even below the 2009 level. In such a scenario, the left hand side of my most probable box shifts to less than 6 million and takes the box “off the chart”. This would drive the lower boundary lower closer to $160,000 and, again, possibly “off the chart”.

    Interesting graphs check it out.

  16. Final Doom says:

    mike (14)-

    How’s Greenspan’s track record in the area of picking up on developing trends?

  17. Final Doom says:

    Mike (14)-

    SRS hanging around $5.50. Pretty damn juicy, if you ask me.

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    2010 Has the Look and Feel of 2007

    I based my predictions on ValuEngine metrics and data from the FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile, which to me is the single most important leading indicator for the US economy.

    * In March 2007, I saw that data from the FDIC was clearly starting to deteriorate. This was after the peak in home builders in July 2005, Community Banks in December 2006, and Regional Banks in February 2007. This weakness continues to surface quarter after quarter.
    * In October 2007, all eleven sectors were overvalued according to ValuEngine. Today, all eleven sectors are overvalued.

    The Housing Market Remains Weak – After some improvement in the second half of 2009, home prices will decline again in the second half of 2010, as tax incentives sunset, and foreclosures rise on difficulty with mortgage mitigations from the numerous government-sponsored programs.
    Bad Consumer and Real Estate Loans Are Still Rising – Subprime loans were viewed as isolated in 2007, but obviously the problems spread to the broader mortgage market and dragged down the economy. Defaults and foreclosures continue to rise in 2010 with four million possible by year’s end, up from 2.8 million in 2009. Many bad loans were pushed off balance sheet, and FASB rules now state that mark-to-market account has returned. The FDIC is allowing insured institutions until the end of 2012 to accomplish this. Our regulators are playing Kick the Can.

  19. Confused in NJ says:

    Fool me once, “Shame on You”; Fool me twice, “Shame on Me”! Caveat Emptor!

  20. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 16 my thoughts exactly upon reading.
    Clot 17 I am in there at 8 we shall see.

  21. Essex says:

    Note to self…ugh !

  22. Yikes says:

    has Shiller in the times this wknd been discussed?

    In May 2005, two months before the peak in the N.A.H.B. traffic index, Consumer Reports magazine had a cover article, “Your Home: How to Protect Your Biggest Investment,” that conveyed a very bullish sentiment.

    “Despite years of dire warnings from some economists that the housing boom is about to end, it hasn’t,” the magazine said. “Indeed, last year prices rose even more — about 11 percent nationally.”

    The article went on to give advice: “You can no more time the real estate market than you can the stock market,” it said. “If you need a house, and can afford one, go ahead and buy.”

    The article extended to the housing market the conventional wisdom that then prevailed about the stock market — namely, that it was quite efficient, without identifiable bubbles and bursts. According to this theory, there was an identifiable profit opportunity: buy and hold stocks, and by extension, housing, and watch your wealth grow.

  23. Yikes says:

    this is right in the wheelhouse of John and all the other Wall Street lurkers here:

    “People are fed up, and they want to have a good time,” said Rina Anoussi, a Manhattan travel agent who handles high-end clients. They don’t want Italy 101. They want more exotic destinations like Kenya and Tanzania.”

    because you can’t have a good time without spending money, obviously!


  24. Essex says:

    Ft Lauderdale is great without hoards of drunken morons. The decision to push the future leaders off onto other parts of the state is great. The big plush hotels have bought out most of the mom and pop crap shacks. Awesome deal for a room top floor beach view was full price the first night $500 and the next two nights was $67 as that was the last two digits of the year of the Starwood preferred person’s birthday. We made it up to them with drink and food purchases by the pool.

  25. Essex says:

    Apparently the Weston put $70m into the old Yankee Clipper.

  26. Cindy says:

    Did anyone else watch this yesterday? Michelson has been known to lose it in the clutch so who knows what will happen today…. but yesterday, he had the momentum and watching 13, 14 and 15 – I found myself screaming in my own living room. Amazing.

  27. njescapee says:

    Essex, It is nice up there. We take occasional weekend trips to Fort Lauderdale. A lot of the spring breakers migrated up to the fl panhandle.

  28. Yikes says:

    Cindy, yesterday’s highlight was Tiger flipping out and losing control once again.

    i dont see any other golfer shouting like this, what is Tiger’s problem?

  29. Cindy says:

    28 Yikes – Yeah, I saw – heard that. He said he was going to get control on the course – well, not so much.

    He was fading when he was down to 6 under but pulled himself together enough to only be 4 back. Man can he scramble. He is the ultimate Sunday golfer but the stats aren’t with him.

    From what I can remember, I think the announcers said only once has a Masters been won by someone who wasn’t in the final pairing.

    No matter what, should be good golf today.

  30. Cindy says:

    Grim – A musical intro @ TBP this AM as well: Bet Against the American Dream

    Broadway musical style…

  31. Nomad says:

    Give housing until mid-late summer and it will start to drop again. More talk about inflation, mtg rates already going up, inflation will show up sooner than expected.

    Right now, BOA is foreclosing around what, 7500 homes per month and than # is going to grow and predicted to peak in Dec (45,000/mo) – they want to dump all the Country Wide crap.

    BOA wants to take the hit and move on – can’t imagine other banks don’t want to do the same thing.

    Housing will bottom late spring or summer of ’11.

  32. Mr hyde says:


    bottom in 4 years from peak????? Unlikely. We may be through the big drops but then we face a slow harsh grind after that

  33. Wag says:

    Ket (10) I love the look on unknowing faces, when the eskrima sticks are produced and when their use begins, as the faces are equally shocked. Add boken and jo.. sticks kick ass.

  34. Qwerty says:

    “Recovery”? How is it every “expert” out there fails to see that a return to bubble pricing is not a “recovery” but a hopeless delusion?

    The market components at work in 2005/2006 (exotic mortgages, freewheeling lenders, low unemployment, frenzied buyers, etc) no longer exist. In fact, the existence of these things caused the inevitable collapse.

  35. Qwerty says:

    Read the whole Shiller NY Times article.

    Not one mention of flat incomes for the last decade, the exporting of manufacturing jobs to China, or the exporting of high-paying white collar jobs to India.

    Where do these “experts” think the money comes from to pay a mortgage?

  36. Nomad says:

    Hyde – you think the biggest hits to home prices are done? If you mean peak price to current price in % I would tend to agree but it would not surprise me to see another 5% – 10%, maybe not in the sand states because of the massive hit already but in the tri-state area, with taxes going up, house prices will have to continue to drop. Seems like asking prices in MontCo have dropped a bit in the last few months too. No stats on this but rather an observation.

  37. Final Doom says:

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been watching this Masters thing for almost 45 minutes now, and it’s slow death.

    Golf sucks.

  38. Final Doom says:

    If there aren’t gangs of drunken hooligans setting fire to stuff behind riot fencing, it’s not a sport.

  39. Jim says:

    Golf is a gentleman’s sport. They destroy stuff in their free time after the tournament is over.

  40. gary says:

    Qwerty 35 & 36,

    Amen, Amen and Amen!

  41. gary says:

    Doom 39,

    Agree. Sports doesn’t exist anymore. 1diot fans paying $400 a ticket on top of $20,000 seat licenses need to be shot. Bring back Roman Gladiators!

  42. Mr hyde says:


    no, I am saying we still have atleast one more big leg down then a long slow slog around the bottom

    I expect about 50%+ correction peak to trough and bottom to be in place sometime around 2015-2017

  43. SG says:

    How Dubai’s $14bn dream to build The World is falling apart

    Of Dubai’s absurd dreams, none has failed more spectacularly than The World – 300 man-made islands sculpted from sand; only ‘Greenland’ has been built on. And as Adam Luck reports, the $14bn dream has left a trail of death, debt and deception

    An estimated $14 billion was sunk into the project. In 2008 master developer Nakheel, effectively owned by the government, boasted that 70 per cent of the islands had already been sold. Developers, financiers, global banks, building giants and investors flooded in. But look out now from the fine white sandy shores of ‘Greenland’ and all you can see is emptiness and desolation. Instead of a millionaire’s playground there are 299 mounds of bare sand sweltering in the 40 degrees centigrade heat. Not even a desert-island shack has been built on any of the other islands, much less a luxury villa, boutique hotel, Michelin-starred restaurant or jasmine-scented spa.

    What happened, of course, was 2008’s global financial crash. Virtually overnight property values halved and the market collapsed. Hundreds of billions of pounds’ worth of building contracts were put on hold or simply disappeared in a puff of sand. It wasn’t until November last year that the full scale of Dubai’s debts began to emerge. Dubai World, which is the government investment arm that oversees Nakheel, was in hock to the tune of $60 billion.

  44. Cindy says:

    38 – clot….golf doesn’t suck. I loved it. The stats held up. Someone in the final pairing won. Mickelson did an awesome job.

  45. Nomad says:

    I have heard that the gov’t wants to have IRAs somehow under their umbrella to help finance the debt.

    Not sure if this is a wild rumor or if true and my info is way off base.

    Can anyone comment?

  46. Bob Wantanapolous says:

    $61B EU bailout, another $13B from IMF at below market rates. Party on mates. Currency markets in a frenzy. Merkel, send me my pension. 3 day workweek and Greek knockouts at Doom’s the other 2 days. That is 1 part Kahula, 1 part Ouzo and 1 part Tequila, white of course.

    The race to the bottom, paper, continues. Inflate or die. Time to take off the rose colored glasses. Start peeling back the onion. The core is Elvis Patterson.

  47. Bob Wantanapolous says:

    “I have heard that the gov’t wants to have IRAs somehow under their umbrella to help finance the debt.”

    Slam dunk. Actually, old news. What foreign cb or foreign investor wants good faith and credit? How many times do they need to be fcuked, before they scream ouch? Self directed retirement accounts are last man standing. The sheeple will be offered a “deal” [IRA’s and 401K’s] to invest in US treas sec. Other investment options? Sorry, pay a huge tax, in/out.

    Get out while you can. Pay the penalty/tax, go hard or Aussie/Loonie paper. Otherwise, you’ll be burning your treas for warmth.

  48. cobbler says:

    The crop of nuts in 2010 seems to be earlier and richer than even in the record-setting 2009.

  49. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (45)-

    Perhaps if the players ran from shot to shot, I could think golf is a sport. I just can’t square the concept of sport with a lack of running.

    It does appear that a golfer has to either have nerves of steel or be a sociopath in order to succeed, though.

  50. Final Doom says:

    Bob (47)-

    What paper gets buggered in the carry when every nation on the planet wants to be the buggeree?

    I nominate Robert Mugabe for the Nobel in economics.

  51. safeashouses says:

    # 50 FD

    “It does appear that a golfer has to either have nerves of steel or be a sociopath in order to succeed, though.”

    Did you miss your true calling? :P

  52. Bob Wantanapolous says:

    “I nominate Robert Mugabe for the Nobel in economics.”


    Would you be implying that AG was nothing more than a zombie option trader?

  53. Cindy says:

    50- Clot “Perhaps if the players ran from shot to shot…..” LOL….

    Here’s the quote from Bobby Jones:

    “Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch course – the space between your ears….”

    I read somewhere that Lacrosse players make great Navy Seals. This is all making sense to me now…

  54. cobbler says:

    Re. Mugabe’s Nobel:
    Currently, foreign currencies such as the South African Rand, Botswana Pula and the United States Dollar are widely used instead for nearly all transactions in Zimbabwe, and the current government of Zimbabwe has insisted that the Zimbabwean dollar should only be reintroduced if the industrial output improves.

  55. Yikes says:

    Wag says:
    April 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Nice digs:

    sweet, indeed. but $8.5 mil?

  56. Bob Wantanapolous says:

    “Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch course – the space between your ears….”


    The typical central banker; 5-1/2″ course.

  57. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh……

    51.Final Doom says:
    April 11, 2010 at 9:17 pm
    I nominate Robert Mugabe for the Nobel in economics.

  58. Cindy says:

    57 – HAHAHA – Is that you BC?

  59. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Obama: Al-Qaida would use nuke if it could

    “WASHINGTON – If al-Qaida acquired nuclear weapons it “would have no compunction at using them,” President Barack Obama said Sunday on the eve of a summit aimed at finding ways to secure the world’s nuclear stockpile.

    “The single biggest threat to U.S. security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term, would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Obama said. “This is something that could change the security landscape in this country and around the world for years to come.”

    They are laying the ground work for the big event.

  60. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:


    Nomad, the idea was bounced around but I dont think any bill was put together for a vote.

    SIEU proposed the idea of a European type national pension system. If they offer a voluntary annuity for surrendering your IRA then run.

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