600,000 REO homes and rising

From CNBC:

Foreclosure Math: Shadow Inventory Adds Up

It’s the real key to the housing recovery.

If we know exactly how much shadow inventory of foreclosed properties will come to market, and we know the general demand, then we can get an idea of how much pain there is ahead in the still-fragile housing recovery.

The trouble is that the government doesn’t report the number of homes held on bank’s books or in private label securities, despite the fact that it counts just about everything else this country buys and sells.

So we know that in Q2 Fannie Mae’s REO inventory (real estate owned, i.e. repossessed) stood at 129,310, Freddie Mac’s at 62,178 and FHA’s at 44,850. Collectively 236,338 homes, which also happens to be an increase of 13 percent from Q1 and 74 percent from Q2 of 2009.

Moody’s estimates that private label repossessions stand at 203,665. So add it all up and you get close to 540,000 and then you add in other smaller banks and lenders that don’t report anywhere we can find.

“My best guess right now is that REO held by Fannie, Freddie, and FHA, and other government entities, and banks and thrifts is just under 600-thousand, but unfortunately it is on the rise,” says Lawler.

Now compare that 600,000 number to the 564,000 homes that the National Association of Realtors reported sold in June.

That’s all homes, not just distressed homes.

So fewer homes sold than exist in REO.

Yes, there are plenty of cash buyers out there, looking to scoop them up, but they will do so only at very reduced prices. So here we go again on price pressure.

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

161 Responses to 600,000 REO homes and rising

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    NJ man charged in $200M real estate scheme

    A New Jersey man who federal prosecutors say operated a real estate investment scheme that defrauded investors of at least $200 million was arrested Thursday morning at his Lakewood home on charges of bank fraud and wire fraud.

    A federal judge in Newark ordered Eliyahu Weinstein detained pending a bail hearing scheduled for Tuesday. Weinstein’s attorney, Ephraim Savitt, had sought his client’s release, disputing claims he was a flight risk.

    Weinstein never owned many properties he claimed were his and sold his fake and real interests multiple times using forged deeds and other bogus documents, prosecutors said. They also claimed he played off his connections to the Orthodox Jewish community, exploiting its customs and business practices to bilk victims.

  2. DoughBoy says:

    Damn, I’ve never been so close to first before!

  3. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Alleged Fraud Targeted Jews

    Over the past five years, a New Jersey man allegedly amassed a personal multimillion-dollar collection of jewelry, clocks and watches through a $200 million scam that targeted Orthodox Jews.

    The collection included manuscripts and antique Judaica items valued at about $6.2 million; a jewelry and clock collection that cost about $7.6 million; and jewelry and watches valued at $6.2 million, including items from Bulgari, Cartier, Omega and Harry Winston, according to a criminal complaint unveiled on Thursday.

    The items were stored in New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Israel, according to prosecutors in Newark who brought the charges.

    Eliyahu Weinstein, 35 years old, of Lakewood, N.J., allegedly used his contacts in the Jewish community to meet potential investors and falsely represented that he owned or could purchase properties.

    “It is always offensive when someone steals from others to finance his own luxurious lifestyle, but it is especially galling to exploit a community with whom one shares an inherent trust,” said Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey.

  4. grim says:

    From the Courier News:

    Mortgage broker charged in loan scheme in Somerset, Union, 4 other counties

    A Union County mortgage broker faces numerous charges following the latest arrest by New Jersey authorities in what the state Attorney General’s Office describes as a scheme operating in Somerset and five other counties that stole millions of dollars from unsuspecting lending institutions by creating a network of phony real-estate buyers and inflating property appraisals.

    Nuno J. Sousa, 34, of Elizabeth, was arrested Wednesday by detectives from the state Division of Criminal Justice’s Major Crimes Bureau, division Director Stephen J. Taylor and Attorney Gen. Paula T. Dow announced Thursday.

  5. grim says:

    8 out of 10 Wall Street Analysts agree, all of this fraud was completely unexpected.

  6. Final Doom says:

    Excuse me, is this the blog for Muslim hatred?

  7. Final Doom says:

    grim (5)-

    I bet a bunch of people are expecting the next flash crash, though.

    All the shorts have been routed throughout the summer and now there’s nothing underpinning the markets except air.

  8. Juice Box says:

    Automatic IRA’s coming.

    3% of everyones pay should create a nice Stock Market Bubble.


  9. NJGator says:

    I would invest in the criminal GS.

  10. dim says:

    The whole shadow inventory thing is bizarre. I don’t get how it’s possible for these properties to stay off the market for such a long time. Are people living in those places and maintaining them? Who’s paying the taxes on them?

  11. Pat says:

    The whole shadow economy thing is bizarre. I don’t get how it’s possible for these goods & services to stay off the radar for such a long time. Are people making a living while the tax gap grows?

  12. Pat says:

    I’m going to start auctioning off my purple heart door tags on ebay.

    I saw somebody selling receipts at a yard sale. How cool is that.

  13. Confused in NJ says:

    ALBANY, NY (08/12/2010)(readMedia)– New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward announced today that an Ogdensburg woman faces felony tax charges for her role in trafficking 209 cartons of untaxed cigarettes.

    Charged in the case was Sally A. Fisher, 67, of 257 Belmont Courts in Ogdensburg. Fisher was arrested in the City of Ogdensburg on August 11 by State Tax Department investigators following an investigation. During the arrest, agents found the untaxed cartons of cigarettes, which represent an estimated $9,600 in unpaid taxes to the state of New York.

    She was charged with Possession of Untaxed Cigarettes, a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in state prison and Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in state prison.

    Following her arraignment before Ogdensburg City Court Judge George E. Silver, Fisher was released under the supervision of the St. Lawrence County Probation Department. She is scheduled to reappear in Ogdensburg City Court on August 17.

    The office of St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duve will coordinate the prosecution of this suspect.

    Good thing she’s not an illegal alien, or they couldn’t give her eleven years in prison.

  14. Fabius Maximus says:

    “Depending on what you do and what you have (your “tax profile”), there may be something better. Increasing numbers are discovering this, and I am trying to make a practice out of making sure clients have a seat in the lifeboat. Because once you start hearing it debated on MSNBC, it’s too late.”

    Nom, this is where I lose the understanding of you. I keep trying to work out where you come from and what you stand for. I don’t you see standing up for America and defending to the last, for you that seems to be someone else’s problem. When TSHF, you’ll be in Canada. Back in the 60’s they called that “Draft Dodging”

    People may mock RE101 for his “Rib Rocked American”, but for all the rhetoric, this shows up for you as a dead metaphor.

  15. Fabius Maximus says:

    “Oh, and those same liberals told me last year that I was delusional for suggesting that government actions that increased the cost of labor would result in companies refusing to hire. Follow the news much?”

    Still maintain that I’m not a liberal, but I’ll stick behind, that companies decisions will always come down to “Cost of Carry”. While cost of labor is a factor of that it is not the definitive factor. If cost of Carry is positive, there is a green light for hiring.

  16. dim says:

    11: In NYC, condos with REOs have left associations resorting to suing banks for maintenance fees; liens are put in place for taxes. In co-ops the association also has to deal with the tax bill. In multi-owner dwellings, if one owner bails everyone else is on the hook for picking up the slack.

    I don’t know how it works in the NJ single-family world so I was just curious. Sorry if it was a stupid question.

  17. Fabius Maximus says:

    “You don’t let enemies build monuments at the spot where they attacked you.”

    I think the American Batlle Monuments Commision have a more diplomatic view here.

  18. Fabius Maximus says:

    #16 Dim

    “In NYC, condos with REOs have left associations resorting to suing banks for maintenance fees;”

    This is a minor inconvience with Cono/CoOps vs the Fannie/Freddie rules on 70% owner occcupancy in a building. A lot of pople are waking up to the fact that they can’t sell and a lot of new consrtruction is now going rental.

  19. Mr Hyde says:


    I cannot speak for nom, but for me, assuming i had the cash to buy into nom’s plan B, I would. For me fighting for the county is one thing, but my family comes before “my nation”. A Nom style plan B with a back door to canada allows me to protect my family’s well being.

    From a seudo-philosophical point, history tells us what the hand full of likely outcomes are from here on out for our nation and none of them will easy. Given such conditions and assuming one has the financial resources, implementing a plan B is simply prudent behavior for the welfare of ones family and not necessarily an act of abandoning a nation.

  20. schabadoo says:

    For the multitude of John Galts on the site

    I guess those public roads are good for something…

  21. Al "Fat Thumbery" Gore says:

    Nice, got my Ketadyne water filter today. Also get to pick up my Springfield 45.

    Something wicked is coming this way.

    False flag –> Carrier straights of Hormuz –> War –> skyrocketing oil –> double demand for Federal Reserve Notes overnight.

  22. Smathers says:

    God Ayn Rand was an idiot..

  23. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Manhattan Luxury Condos Try FHA Backing in Sales `Game Changer’

    Whitney Gollinger, marketing chief for a Manhattan condo building with an outdoor movie theater and panoramic city views, is highlighting a different amenity to spur sales: the financial backing of the federal government.

    The Federal Housing Administration agreed in March to insure mortgages for apartments at the 98-unit Gramercy Park development, known as Tempo. That enables buyers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent in a building where apartments range from $820,000 to $3 million.

    “It’s a government seal of approval,” said Gollinger, a director at the Developments Group of New York-based brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “We need as many sales tools as we can have these days, and it’s one more tool.”

    The FHA, created in 1934 to make homeownership attainable for low- to moderate-income Americans, is providing a lifeline to new Manhattan luxury condominiums after sales stalled. Buildings featuring pet spas, concierges and rooftop lounges are applying for agency backing to unlock bank financing for purchasers. The FHA guarantees that if a homebuyer defaults on his mortgage, the agency will pay it.

    At least nine Manhattan condo developments south of 96th Street have sought approval for FHA backing since the agency loosened its financing rules in December, according to a database of applications kept by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The change allows the FHA to insure loans in new projects where only 30 percent of units are in contract, down from at least 50 percent. About 1,900 apartments in New York’s most expensive neighborhoods would be covered by the applications.

  24. Mike says:

    What happens to the people that walk away form their mortgages or settle a $300,000.00 loan for 3,000.00 with their company. Does all this info just get washed away in the future so they can go out and do it again?

  25. Confused in NJ says:

    Well, at least the FDA admits they will never have the resources to guarantee the safety of drugs manufactures overseas.


  26. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Frist!!!! Things don’t look too good out there:)

  27. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Yes, there are plenty of cash buyers out there, looking to scoop them up, but they will do so only at very reduced prices. So here we go again on price pressure.”

    The RE vigilantes. Sorry 50.5, your ass is grass.

  28. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “I don’t get how it’s possible for these properties to stay off the market for such a long time.”

    Easy. You mark paper that’s is worth .20/dollar, at par.

  29. Smathers says:

    Well, maybe I’m not so smart financially. Wish I was smiling like that guy. He doesn’t have to pay back his loan!


  30. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    From the article @ 31,

    Well, I’m also not a quant. However, looks like a 50% haircut. I guess Frank was right all along, Hoboken is on fire.

    Too bad the dolt didn’t take my advice 3 years ago on that communist Hoboken site; told all the cuckoo juice drinkers to sell their crap 4 walls and a roof and move into loonies. Result? I get banned from the site and crapboxes are now selling at 50% off. Classic!

    “Eric Hairston plans to be among this group. During the boom, he bought as an investment a three-apartment property in Hoboken, N.J. At the peak, when the building was worth as much as $1.5 million, he took out a $190,000 home equity loan.”

    “The building was sold this spring for $750,000.”

  31. God Ayn Rand was an idiot..
    You know, as sympathetic as I am to a lot of Libertarian ideas, etc. I just can’t stand the fascination with and idolization of Rand.
    Seriously people it’s awful writing, just awful. The novels are barely fiction and the plots exist largely just to string together what amounts to self-fellating bloviating essays on the social contract. That, in itself, wouldn’t be intolerable if it weren’t for the ham-fisted lack of any subtlety and condescending tone of it all.
    My initial reaction to the first 100 pages of The Fountainhead was; ‘That’s not writing, that’s typing”.*
    Would it be possible to put Rand down for a while and maybe pick up some Cormac McCarthy? How about Post Office? Come on, you’d like Bukowski.
    Also, I just don’t get the fascination with Rush either. How many times can you listen to Moving Pictures?

    * Apologies to Capote.

  32. sas says:

    so, we got a shadow inventory, stealth inflation, and a shadow govt.

    I love pestacides.


  33. #25 – Nice to know the FHA is guaranteeing payment on Yoko’s Dakota place should all the Beatle money dry up.

  34. Cindy says:


    I found this article informative. I am still learning “how things work.”
    This whole scenario just stinks. I used to love Mervyns. I know, it’s only business.

  35. Confused in NJ says:

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – Protestors have been rallying outside Target Corp. or its stores almost daily since the retailer angered gay rights supporters and progressives by giving money to help a conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. Liberal groups are pushing to make an example of the company, hoping its woes will deter other businesses from putting their corporate funds into elections.

    A national gay rights group is negotiating with Target officials, demanding that the firm balance the scale by making comparable donations to benefit candidates it favors. Meanwhile, the controversy is threatening to complicate Target’s business plans in other urban markets. Several city officials in San Francisco, one of the cities where Target hopes to expand, have begun criticizing the company.

    “Target is receiving criticism and frustration from their customers because they are doing something wrong, and that should serve absolutely as an example for other companies,” said Ilyse Hogue, director of political advocacy for the liberal group MoveOn.org, which is pressing Target to formally renounce involvement in election campaigns.

    But conservative organizations are likely to react harshly if Target makes significant concessions to the left-leaning groups.

    The flap has revealed new implications of a recent Supreme Court ruling that appeared to benefit corporations by clearing the way for them to spend company funds directly in elections. Companies taking sides in political campaigns risk alienating customers who back other candidates.

    Target’s $150,000 donation to a business-oriented group supporting Republican Tom Emmer, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, was one of the first big corporate contributions to become known after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out prohibitions on corporate spending in elections earlier this year.

    The Minneapolis-based chain has gone from defending the donation as a business decision to apologizing and saying it would carefully review its future giving. But the protests have continued.

    Demonstrators marched near Target’s Minneapolis headquarters on Thursday, and two Facebook groups focused on gay rights are organizing protests at Target stores nationwide this weekend. Immigrant rights supporters have joined the protests, citing Emmer’s tough stance on illegal immigration.

    The company is in talks with the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights organization that wants Target and electronics retailer Best Buy Co., which gave $100,000 to the same group backing Emmer, to match their donations with equal amounts to help gay-friendly candidates.

    Fred Sainz, the group’s vice president for communications, said he is optimistic both companies will respond to the demand. Target has long cultivated a good relationship with the gay community in Minneapolis, and its gay employees have protested the donation.

    “The repair has to be consistent with the harm that was done,” Sainz said.

    MoveOn, which had feared a heavy flow of corporate donations to groups that help conservative candidates after the Supreme Court decision, protested outside Target headquarters last week.

  36. Will end of days have wi-fi? says:

    Yikes says:
    August 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    NJGator says:
    August 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Through the police blotter today, we discovered that our neighbors are not as bright as we gave them credit. Their kids (youngest is 4)sleep alone on the ground floor, they sleep upstairs. Burglars came in through an unlocked door on the ground floor.

    Do you think that the burglars are going around, house by house, simply looking for unlocked doors? Or had they been targeting these people? Either way, that’s terrifying.

  37. Cindy says:

    Grim/ Chicago – @ 8 – automatic IRAs- Isn’t this right out of “Nudge?”

  38. Cindy says:


    “U.S. Retail Sales Rise Less Than Economists Estimated.”

    Or….U.S. Retail Sales UNEXPECTEDLY Fail to Rise.

  39. Yikes says:

    anyone else having a hard time explaining to friends/family why stop paying your mortgage makes sense?

    I’m talking about the ones who ‘did the right thing’ (ie they actually put down money on a house, had hoped to retire there, but then things fell apart). how best to explain it to someone that it makes more sense NOT to pay the mortgage until you get kicked out, and then you have 10-20k saved up as a nest egg to move and start over?

  40. Final Doom says:

    Don’t forget what will be the first continent to go under:

    “According to Bank of Spain data, Spanish banks were responsible for borrowing a third of all the amount lent out by the ECB in July, or €140 billion (and €130 billion net of redeposits). This number is higher than the already record €136 billion the month before. And even though it is presumably priced in, it is somewhat hilarious to think that an entire European country’s banking system continues to subsist purely on the liquidity provided by the central bank: Spain continues to be locked out, joining Greece and likely Portugal in the biggest capital markets shut out in history as no matter what the National Lampoons Stress Tests (remember those?) indicate.”


  41. homeboken says:

    Yikes – it is impossible to teach someone that doesn’t want to learn. I had a long discussion with my MIL and her boyfriend about how the home ownership ideals are starting to change amongst younger generations and that owning one’s residence will not the be the cornerstone of “The American Drea” (whatever that is).

    I was met with a thousand yard stare and silence.

  42. Final Doom says:

    yikes (41)-

    I only deal with people who either already stopped paying their mortgages or happily follow my advice to begin doing so.

    Talking to family and friends about anything other than pets and the weather is a waste of time. Speaking of real world issues will quickly reveal that you don’t really have any friends and your family thinks you’re a load.

  43. Final Doom says:

    The upside of knowing you don’t have any friends is that it will be easier to shoot them if it becomes necessary.

  44. sas3 says:

    Yikes, even when it makes financial sense to walk away from a house, it may be a confidence shaker for many people. I’ve tried explaining this to someone I know — about how he should tell the bank that he will walk away, etc., to get them to re-mod his loan. He said something like he didn’t want to lose the house — something on which he is quite a bit behind. He used words like “coward”, “taking the easy way out”, etc.

    I haven’t seen anyone who lost a home that was not unhappy about it. The ones that have a dozen homes may be able to let go of one or two, but for regular people it is pretty tough.

  45. Final Doom says:

    home (43)-

    You should check some of the blogs at Realtor.com. Every once in awhile, they float a “is homeownership still the American Dream” thread. The responses are hilarious…and virtually all an emphatic “NO”.

    I wonder when they will stop running these polls.

  46. #43 I was met with a thousand yard stare and silence.

    I’ve gotten similar looks as well. There is an awful lot of both psychological inertia and cultural conditioning that may have to be overcome before people can look at a home purely in financial terms.

  47. sas3 says:

    Doom, you must be saving a lot of money for a downpayment on an ammunition depot?

  48. Final Doom says:

    sastry (46)-

    Nah. The one thing I’ve noticed over the past three years is that people I help short sell are far happier at the closing (actually, they never attend the closing) than my “regular” buyers and sellers.

    It’s like getting out of prison.

  49. Final Doom says:

    sastry (49)-

    I have all the ammo I need but not as much as I want.

    Apologies to Phil Gramm.

  50. Final Doom says:

    tosh (48)-

    I’ve found that a $3,800 mortgage payment due and $12 in my prospect’s checking account is a wonderful tool for focusing the mind.

    “There is an awful lot of both psychological inertia and cultural conditioning that may have to be overcome before people can look at a home purely in financial terms.”

  51. sas3 says:

    Yikes, it is also a bit hard to convince someone to walk away from a house if you are also not in the same boat. It may end up sounding the wrong way, “I make my payments, but I think you shouldn’t make yours… [because?]”

  52. Cindy says:


    Parting shots from David Rosenberg – on CNBC this AM

  53. Juice Box says:

    Cindy – Rumor has it Elizabeth Warren was seen coming out of the White House yesterday afternoon, our gal may get to head the new Consumer Agency after all.

  54. sas3 says:

    Juice #55, after Obama discovers his spine…

  55. dim says:

    Doom – what do you think of the other side of the short sale transaction? Are they walking into a (cheaper) prison?

  56. freedy says:

    more bad news for atlantic city . Casino gambling heading to queens. Genting NY,
    sub of an off shore company will put 4k slots at Aqueduct.

    Sad. would someone try to get hold of the AC boss and explain they have to do something to save it. Perhaps the Donald can step in .

  57. Painhrtz says:

    SAS3 did you just denigrate fearless leader, how dare you break ranks ; ) Doom I think the only way the culture will change is when everyone realizes we are collectivelly fcuked

  58. sas3 says:

    Pain, oh well, there’s a lot to complain about Obama’s positions on DADT, bank bailouts, financial reform, public option, etc. I think he should not be afraid of picking up battles. Clinton had more to fight, and won many battles — and gave the presidency on a platter to Gore, who promptly dropped it.

  59. homeboken says:

    Sas3 – ManBearPig is Real.

  60. jj says:

    There will be a flyover of a 1958 DC-7 aircraft today starting at 10:30 am. The flight is expected to last aprox 1 hour. The plane will depart from Teterboro Airport and travel over the Hudson River to the Verrazano Bridge, where it will then head out towards Long Island before returning to Teterboro Airport. This flyover will occur again on August 14th.

  61. Painhrtz says:

    63 homeboken serial?

  62. relo says:

    41: Fear is debilitating emotion. Couple that with pride (or loss thereof) and it can be a double whammy. The irony, as Clot points out, is that by staying the course it becomes self-fulfilling. Many default, no pun intended, to this path as the horrible certainty is preferable to the unknown.

  63. homeboken says:

    From the WSJ – I haven’t yet seen unemployement presented this way.

    The jobs picture is much worse than they’re telling you. Forget the “official” unemployment rate of 9.5%. Alternative measures? Try this: Just 61% of the adult population, age 20 or over, has any kind of job right now. That’s the lowest since the early 1980s—when many women stayed at home through choice, driving the numbers down. Among men today, it’s 66.9%. Back in the ’50s, incidentally, that figure was around 85%, though allowances should be made for the higher number of elderly people alive today. And many of those still working right now can only find part-time work, so just 59% of men age 20 or over currently have a full-time job. This is bullish? (Today’s bonus question: If a laid-off contractor with two kids, a mortgage and a car loan is working three night shifts a week at his local gas station, how many iPads can he buy for Christmas?)

  64. NJGator says:

    Doom – Pssst Baristanet’s got a thread going finally on Fried’s latest China trip. Didn’t want you to miss out on any of the fun.

  65. Libtard in the City says:

    Will end of days have wi-fi (38):

    “Do you think that the burglars are going around, house by house, simply looking for unlocked doors? Or had they been targeting these people? Either way, that’s terrifying.”

    Based on the police reports I’ve read, I don’t think they target at all. Many have accidentally gone into bedrooms where the owner was sleeping. These petty burglars are not professionals. Almost everyone that is caught has a crack pipe in their pocket along with a screwdriver. I’m serious. As my buying agent said, “we live among a lot of poor people in Montclair.” I honestly think our 6% property tax increases and the impact it has on rents in the south end of town combined with the the lack of sh1tty employment options are directly responsible for the uptick in thievery. I unlocked and opened the windows last night as the overnight temps finally dropped into the 60s. As much as it scares the bejeezus out of me to sleep with windows open, I refuse to live in fear. I’m fairly certain these poor thugs are unarmed and wouldn’t be able to obtain their next fix by hurting anyone physically. They have mostly been stealing laptops and jewelry.

  66. Juice Box says:

    House I am interested in is a REO. 4 BR, 4 BA in exclusive neighborhood near all the things I like. Would make for a good mother/daughter since I may need to take in the in-laws sometime in the future.

    Ask is still around 1M but with absolutely Zero Demand they are gonna have to give it to me.

    Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
    Oh, time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
    I said, time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
    Oh, time, time, time is on my side
    Yeah, time, time, time is on my side

  67. Outofstater says:

    #78 You might want to consider sleeping with a loaded .38 within reach.

  68. Outofstater says:

    Rats. 70! Lib! Stu!

  69. Libtard in the City says:



    So I can spend the rest of my life in court? Much safer to throw a knife at him or to kick his crackhead @ss.

  70. Outofstater says:

    So in New Jersey, if you shoot an intruder, you’re the bad guy? Okay then, a baseball bat.

  71. Libtard in the City says:

    I’m not sure if it’s only in NJ and trust me, I’m no expert. Kill anyone anywhere with a gun and you will have wished you hadn’t. Especially if the invader is unarmed.

  72. Libtard in the City says:

    And I support the right to bear arms. But only to vote with a bullet (sound familiar?) when the time comes.

  73. #76 – I thought NJ was a ‘Castle Doctrine’ state?

  74. sas3 says:

    #71 Juice…. you saw AMC this week too?

  75. chicagofinance says:

    Heard this guy on the radio yesterday. He makes a general point about interpreting data, once again it is the old “mix issue” we used to discuss years ago

    …..“There’s a price premium you can get from a short sale,” Chang said in a telephone interview. “That makes it look like prices are going up when they’re not.”

    Morgan Stanley Sees San Francisco Housing Double-Dip, NYC Gains
    August 06, 2010, 12:01 AM EDT

    By John Gittelsohn

    Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) — San Francisco home prices declined in May and New York values rose even as the S&P/Case-Shiller Index showed the opposite, according to Morgan Stanley.

    San Francisco prices fell 1.2 percent while New York gained 0.8 percent in May, Morgan Stanley said in a report, which looked at homes that weren’t in foreclosure or involved in a short sale, in which a buyer pays less than the amount owed on the mortgage and the bank agrees to take a loss.

    Short sales increased by 30 percent nationwide over the past year, destabilizing the housing-price indexes, said Oliver Chang, a U.S. housing strategist at Morgan Stanley who co-wrote the report. Proceeds from short sales are 15 percent to 40 percent more than foreclosed homes, driving up S&P/Case-Shiller indexes even when values of non-distressed homes are falling, Chang said.

    “There’s a price premium you can get from a short sale,” Chang said in a telephone interview. “That makes it look like prices are going up when they’re not.”

    San Francisco home prices rose 1.8 percent in May from April, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values, which measures all sales. San Francisco’s gain reflects both a decrease in the number of distressed sales as a share of transactions and an increase of short sales among distressed sales, Morgan Stanley said. San Francisco prices have gained 21 percent since reaching a low in March 2009, according to the Case-Shiller index.

    ‘Complete Picture’

    Taking apart sales data, as Morgan Stanley did, gives a distorted view of the market, said Karl Case, co-creator of the S&P Case-Shiller indexes, and a former economics professor at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

    “We don’t think it’s right to pull out distressed sales,” Case said in a telephone interview. “You don’t get a complete picture.”

    Demand has declined since April, the deadline for homebuyers to sign contracts to qualify for federal tax credits worth up to $8,000. An index of pending home resales dropped 2.6 percent in June from the prior month to a record low since the index was created in 2001, the National Association of Realtors reported Aug. 3.

    New York area prices increased in May because short sales and foreclosures accounted for a stable share of the market, Morgan Stanley said. Its report analyzes single-family home data, most of which is outside Manhattan. The median price of a Manhattan apartment rose 7.6 percent to $899,000 in the quarter ending June 30, New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said July 1.

    Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington are other cities where values of non-distressed homes have declined as the property indexes increased, Morgan Stanley said.

    “We expect actual home price performance to weaken further,” the Morgan Stanley report said. “Our analysis was performed on May home price data, which were affected by the strong gains in sales due to the expiration of the tax credit. With the weakness in sales that has since ensued, we expect home prices to weaken as well, further contributing to the double-dip effect we can already observe.”

    –Editors: Rob Urban, Larry Edelman

    To contact the reporter on this story: John Gittelsohn in New York at johngitt@bloomberg.net.

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

  76. Satara says:

    What are the possibilities of: To preserve home prices not going down the tube,Fannie and Freddie being eliminated and holding most of this REO and banks holding REO’s just destroying this homes to bring down inventory and write the losses off.BO talked about bulldozing Detroit FK homes at one point it will make more sense than keep throwing money to save homeowners from FK when the main reason of FK is depreciating value.

  77. Al "Fat Thumbery" Gore says:

    Intruders have to be inside the house literally and the defender has to be able to prove that his life was threatened. Its always a good idea to have a throw away. Humans dont see well in the dark.

  78. renter says:

    “Talking to family and friends about anything other than pets and the weather is a waste of time. Speaking of real world issues will quickly reveal that you don’t really have any friends and your family thinks you’re a load.”

    maybe the most profound thing you ever said….

  79. Pat says:

    dim 10, it wasn’t a dumb question. It was carving out a minor symptom of a terminal disease, therefore I could replace your nouns and work back up to a social level problem.

  80. Yikes says:

    Thanks, guys.
    This person should walk away, or at the minimum, stop making payments. They simply don’t want to lose the house, as it is probably 200k underwater.

    Problem is, they make just enough for mortgage reduction folks to reject them. It would actually be a better move for them to lose their job and get the mortgage reduction.

    Then what? No benefits (still has income through alimony). Can’t collect SS $ for 2 more years.

    I told them the best move is to stop paying, ride it out as long as possible, and then suck it up and move on. It just doesn’t make sense to keep sinking money into a losing proposition.

  81. RentinginNJ says:

    #76 – I thought NJ was a ‘Castle Doctrine’ state?

    It is.
    It only applies inside the home. Outside the home, you are required to retreat or surrender possession of an item.

    Inside the home, you are not required to retreat or surrender possession of an item, however:
    1) The encounter must be sudden and unexpected.
    2) You must reasonable believe that you are in danger.
    3) You tell the intruder to leave or disarm and they refuse.

    That being said, I would feel much more comfortable exercising castle doctrine rights in a state that is a little more friendly to gun rights.

  82. Ben says:

    You know, as sympathetic as I am to a lot of Libertarian ideas, etc. I just can’t stand the fascination with and idolization of Rand.

    Anything that Ayn Rand deservedly gets praised for, she stole from Ludwig Mises and Freddy Hayek. Milton Friedman kinda did the same thing. He used their theories and put his spin on it and used it to appeal to the masses.

  83. Final Doom says:

    dim (57)-

    Most of the time, yes. Anyone who buys any home (other than an investor, getting a 25-30% discount in a cash deal) in this area, in this selling environment, should have his head examined.

    This thing is going to crash at such a low level, the market will take 20-40 years to come back.

  84. Final Doom says:

    homeboken (67)-

    Welcome to the reality I’ve been living for the last three years. The UE numbers given us by the gubmint and MSM are pure bullshit. We are in a depression…and have been for some time.

  85. Final Doom says:

    Stu (70)-

    Have you ever seen what it takes a cop to subdue someone high on crack or meth? It might change your mind.

    “I’m fairly certain these poor thugs are unarmed and wouldn’t be able to obtain their next fix by hurting anyone physically.”

  86. Final Doom says:

    yikes (85)-

    Except you can’t get a mortgage mod if you’re unemployed.

    “Problem is, they make just enough for mortgage reduction folks to reject them. It would actually be a better move for them to lose their job and get the mortgage reduction.”

  87. homeboken says:

    Anybody catch Rick Santelli go berzek on CNBC? I am pretty amazed his comments were not buffered, it was brilliant.

    Zerohedge has the clip if you haven’t seen it.

  88. Libtard in the City says:

    Santelli’s rating must be down.

  89. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [9] NJGator

    “I would invest in the criminal GS.”

    I did.

    Remember, the trend is your friend.

  90. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [86] renting

    “1) The encounter must be sudden and unexpected.
    2) You must reasonable believe that you are in danger.
    3) You tell the intruder to leave or disarm and they refuse.”

    Unless there is video or witnesses, these are all easy tests to satisfy.

  91. schabadoo says:

    Have you ever seen what it takes a cop to subdue someone high on crack or meth? It might change your mind.

    I thought it was standard to use PCP as the example to frighten people…

  92. Libtard in the City says:

    You guys are all so dramatic.

    I’ve got good life insurance and a large barky dog. I sleep well at night.

    Plus, I lock my doors.

  93. Have you ever seen what it takes a cop to subdue someone high on crack or meth?

    Usually about the first 5 mins of The Wall -or- Run, Lola Run!


  94. Juice Box says:

    re #81 – Satara think about it, a bulldozer knocking down every 10th house on your block, that empty lot isn’t going to do anything for property values, it may artificially lower inventory but you still have to have DEMAND for a big mortgage for this whole thing to work.

    Got Demand? I think not.

    Better yet picture the bulldozer trying to knock down occupied homes. There are loads of squatters out there now, and in many places the Sheriff is refusing to foreclose or evict.

    Gonna be a long walk home. As I said in an earlier post there is a million dollar REO I have in mind that I would like to buy, but the thing is I ain’t paying 2006 prices for it. No way no how, I will take my Pony (bailout) in the form of a home that is priced
    with a historic income to price ratio not some 8 or 10 to one freak valuation.

  95. Painhrtz says:

    Tosh- Run Lola Run can only truly be appreciated in German with subtitltes

  96. #100- Pain – There is no other way to watch it.

  97. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    OT, should Jerry Manuel be replaced by Nurse Ratched?

  98. Libtard in the City says:

    Forget Manuel, terminate Manaya Mañana.

  99. Final Doom says:

    Baseball is a corrupt, degenerate sport. All players, managers and executives should be jailed.

  100. cobbler says:

    juice box [99]
    Not necessarily so. Overall, the U.S. is grossly overbuilt if you look at the available footage of residential RE per capita and compare with average productivity, incomes, etc. for us v. say Switzerland. Arguably, the fact that despite the shoddy economy there is very little RE price drop over there (from the level much higher we’ve ever had, actually) suggest that without demolishing part of our housig we’ll see the 20-40 year housing depression forecasted by Doom. [and it will end because in 40 years enough houses will fall apart to eliminate the excess].

  101. Juice Box says:

    cobbler – re: “eliminate the excess” One could argue that the population in the US is growing somewhere around 30 million + per decade. In only a few short years there again will be a shortage, housing starts are way way down now after all.

    I would think as many do that further growth is unsustainable, mostly from an energy standpoint, since peak oil is here and we have declining oil fields all over the world now. I would say it will all come to a boiling point by the time I retire, hopefully by then I will be sitting on a nice bar stool in my favorite pub in Ireland away from this mess.

  102. chicagofinance says:

    Have you seen the interior of this fcuking thing? Bad acid trip meets Logan’s Run….


  103. Juice Box says:

    Grim when is the next GTG?

  104. grim says:

    Need one quickly.

    21st? 28th? Late afternoon?

    Maybe Friday the 20th or 27th?

    We need to get something on the calendar a little bit more regularly. Maybe a rotating schedule: nyc/gold coast, north jersey, central jersey, shore.

  105. Pat says:

    Naw. Rollerball.

    Mike’s drinking beer and they have Clot on announcements. JJ’s the white hat guy speaking gibberish. Grim is checking the ratings. Stu’s in the funny hat. Tosh is the one being told, “And don’t screw up.” Laughing purple shirt guy is make.

    Sastry gets kicked out.

    Essex is, of course, on guitar. Everybody else take your pick.


  106. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [109] grim

    I need one too. Badly. Very badly.

    20th, 21st, 27th all good.

    Can I get a shout out for central jersey? Hasn’t been one there in a while.

  107. Juice Box says:

    Did John collect on his Ambac Bond bet? Would be a good a chance as any for a GTG.

    chicagofinance says:
    August 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Yes. I just want to make sure that we get everyone to show up who wants in….as a public service as it were….people…please weigh in…..

    20.jj says:
    August 3, 2010 at 9:35 am
    Chifi, you flatleaver, where is my AMBAC beer? IBM issued three year bonds yesterday at par with a 1% coupon, talk about signs of a top of a bubble. Please god tell me before they reflate the RE bubble so I can get back in.

  108. brewcrew says:


    I don’t see too many people working in those pics. And what is with the dim ambient lights with the laser show on the ceiling? All it will take is one ankle-biting toddler getting tripped over, and the uber-expensive lighting effects will be cut out in favor of fluorescents.

  109. on bar stool 7 days a week says:

    Why are Las Vegas & Phoenix house prices down 50% but Hoboken condo prices are down only 10-20%? Price to income ratio remains ridiculous around here.

  110. on bar stool 7 days a week says:

    chicagofinance, how do you interpret Shiller data showing NY area condo prices are have been rising for months? Is this “mix shift” or genuine positive price momentum?

  111. on bar stool 7 days a week says:

    mifune, do you live on Staten Island? If yes, you’re the most intelligent person there based on your postings to this blog. I realize that is backhanded compliment.

  112. sas3 says:

    With Nom on this one… One more vote for Central Jersey. All dates good…

  113. sas3 says:

    Anyone know if Firestormik is still in Edison?

  114. Confused in NJ says:

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed allowing a mosque near ground zero, saying the country’s founding principles demanded no less.

    “As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country,” Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York City and the nation

  115. Outofstater says:

    #121 So, what is radical Islam’s take on the Prez. Do they want him dead because he is the leader of the great satan or does he get a pass?

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [118] sastry

    “With Nom on this one…”

    Well, that is one for the record books.

    [120] confused

    Well, at least the Micromanager in Chief didn’t jump into a big old pile of manure like he did on Gates-gate. If you are gonna pick a side to alienate, make sure that they can’t hurt you politically. He’ll still carry NY state.

  117. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [122] pat

    The counterrevolution has begun.

  118. Final Doom says:

    confused (120)-

    Wow. What a surprise: Bojangles kisses the enemy’s ass yet again.

    This guy is retarded. You’d think after his idea of engaging hostile nations blew up in his face 4-5 times, he’d get the idea.

  119. Final Doom says:

    stater (121)-

    Bojangles is the best thing radical Islam has going for it. He both shies away from confrontation and provides ample evidence for their arguments that we are soft, stupid and cowardly.

  120. Final Doom says:

    plume (124)-

    Screw GTG’s. When does the Star Chamber convene?

  121. gary says:

    Invite Rick Santelli to the next GTG.

  122. still_looking says:

    Doom, 127

    Amen, Brother!


  123. Confused in NJ says:

    Swede faces world-record $1m speeding penalty
    The Swede was driving a Mercedes SLS AMG – which has a top speed of 317km/h A Swedish motorist caught driving at 290km/h (180mph) in Switzerland could be given a world-record speeding fine of SFr1.08m ($1m; £656,000), prosecutors say.

    The 37-year-old, who has not been named, was clocked driving his Mercedes sports car at 170km/h over the limit.

    Under Swiss law, the level of fine is determined by the wealth of the driver and the speed recorded.

    In January, a Swiss driver was fined $290,000 – the current world record

  124. Confused in NJ says:

    Are Muslim Americans, like the Mormons, only allowed one wife, or does their Religion trump that Law?

  125. Final Doom says:

    Fcuk everyone and everything. EPL starts tomorrow!!!!

    Geordies will take down ManU on Monday and have 30 points by Boxing Day. City will continue to piss away money; Spurs will contend for the title; Chelsea are a bunch of old wankers (Lampard scores 20+ again); Blackpool will stay up; Hammers will surprise everyone (Scott Parker!); Cottagers will get Europe; Villa will hire Bradley and vie for relegation; what can you say about a bunch of lowlife Scousers?; Jermaine Beckford is the truth (along with Everton’s pink kit); Cheer up Roy Keane/oh what can it mean/to a sad bastard Mackems/and a shit football team; Gooners will entertain…and give up tons of goals; Wolves?; Baggies (relegated)?; Stoke (urrrp); Birmingham will make Europe (Cameron Jerome!); 10,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire; Bolton hustles and loses (relegated); goddamned ManU will contend for the Prem (and go broke).

    Winner? Tottenham Hotspur. Champions League: Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, ManU. FA Cup: ManU.

  126. chicagofinance says:

    For you Trader Joe people in Monmouth. It is coming to Shrewsbury in the strip mall next to the library on 35.

  127. Final Doom says:

    Hankering now for a proper English fry-up and a few pints of Newcastle.

  128. cobbler says:

    RE crisis at NYC cemeteries (prices skyrocketing, no space left):

  129. Fabius Maximus says:

    Clot the bulb went on my DLP and the replacement will probably show up Monday, so I have to jury rig something for tomorrow.
    You’ll see the wrong end of 3-0 on Monday. I’ll take a point at Anfield.
    Hammers will go down with the Baggies and I’ll throw Wigan in there as well.
    Top 6 Chelsea, ManU, Arsenal, ManCity, Spurs, Liverpool.

  130. still_looking says:


    if you are awake – can you call me?


  131. Final Doom says:

    gluteus (138)-

    Wigan won’t go down. They are quality. Good manager, Rodallega…and they got rid of Titus Bramble.

  132. still_looking says:

    wtf are you doing up? still slogging knob creek?


  133. grim says:

    137 – Very nice…

    Accordingly, per square foot, burial plots in centrally located cemeteries rival the most expensive real estate in the city. A private mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx can easily cost more than $1,000 per square foot.

    “We have people who would like to disinter Mom and Dad and sell the graves back to make some money,” said Richard Fishman, the director of the New York State Division of Cemeteries.

  134. Outofstater says:

    #126 I think our Prez is what Ahhnold would call “a girly man.”

  135. Confused in NJ says:

    143.Outofstater says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:34 am
    #126 I think our Prez is what Ahhnold would call “a girly man.”

    I think Ahhnold has become a girly man going against the California peoples vote.

  136. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [136] Doom

    “Hankering now for a proper English fry-up and a few pints of Newcastle.”

    Time and place???

  137. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    still looking.

    You have mail. Snail and email.

  138. firestormik says:

    Sastry, I am still in Edison. BTW how about GTG in Princeton? Thriumph bar there makes nice beer.

  139. Yikes says:

    Libtard in the City says:
    August 13, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I unlocked and opened the windows last night as the overnight temps finally dropped into the 60s. As much as it scares the bejeezus out of me to sleep with windows open, I refuse to live in fear. I’m fairly certain these poor thugs are unarmed and wouldn’t be able to obtain their next fix by hurting anyone physically. They have mostly been stealing laptops and jewelry.

    Left windows opened overnight? Can’t remember the last time I did that. Maybe never. Baby steps – I gotta slowly wean myself off locking the bedroom door each night.

  140. Yikes says:

    re, Castle Doctrine …

    This descriptions for Pennsylvania is wordy & confusing:

    Pennsylvania 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 505 on the defense of self says there is no obligation to retreat from the home or workplace unless the actor was the initial aggressor or, in the latter case, set upon by a co-worker; however, “surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto” and “complying with a demand that [one] abstain from any action which [one] has no duty to take” are listed in addition to retreating as avenues which, if open to the actor but not taken, invalidate justification for the use of deadly force. Deadly force itself is not justifiable unless “the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat.” 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 507 allows the use of deadly force if the actor believes there has been an unlawful entry into his or her dwelling and believes that nothing less than deadly force will end the incursion; if the person on the receiving end of the deadly force is “attempting to dispossess [the actor] of his dwelling otherwise than under a claim of right to its possession;” or if deadly force is the only thing that will prevent a felony from being committed in the dwelling. In any of those cases, the property owner must first ask the interloper to desist — unless the owner believes that doing so would be “useless,” “dangerous,” or would result in the property being defended coming to substantial harm before the request to desist could be effectively communicated.

  141. Final Doom says:

    Thanks for the head up on the Mayor Fraud thread at baristanet, Gator.

    I stopped by a few times today and dropped a deuce there.

  142. Final Doom says:

    Yikes (148)-

    You should do what rich people in Colombia do: put a wall around your house, and finish it with a screed coat filled with broken glass.

  143. sas3 says:

    Doom/Yikes, how about adding living quarters for an armed “watchman” (and his family),to go with the walls and barbed wire?

    I wonder what would a burglar find in a middle class or upper middle class house? The most valuable things that can be stolen seem to be cars and small size electronics.


  144. morpheus says:

    How are you doing? How are you holding up? Must send some home brew your way. Or at least bring a keg to your home after what you have been thru. BTW: tapped the IPA. . .very tasty.

    Grim: when is the next GTG? I really must attend one of these.

  145. NJGator says:

    Facing bleak job prospects, student loans, N.J. law school grads wonder if it was worth it

    The angry rants first surfaced last summer on an anonymous New Jersey blog.

    Law school is a “scam,” the blogger wrote. Administrators are greedy “charlatans” who could not care less about education, and students are but “hapless lemmings” who have been tricked into paying a fortune to enter “America’s most overrated, miserable and saturated industry.”

    Within months, the blog was drawing up to 5,000 unique readers a day, many of whom praised the anonymous writer — known only as Law is 4 Losers — as a hero for exposing the lies they say they, too, were fed about secure jobs and generous incomes.

    The blogger is Scott Bullock, a 2005 Seton Hall University School of Law graduate who agreed to reveal his identity to The Star-Ledger for this article. Yet Bullock, whose outrage stems from graduating with more than $100,000 of debt but meager job prospects, says he is merely tapping into a groundswell of resentment against the nation’s law schools.

    As they enter the worst job market in decades, many young would-be lawyers are turning on their alma maters, blaming their quandary on high tuition, lax accreditation standards and misleading job placement figures. Unless students graduate from schools like Harvard or Yale, they “might as well be busing tables,” Bullock said.

    “It’s really just a big Ponzi scheme,” said Bullock, 33, of Bridgewater. “They’re just cranking kids out for $45,000 a year.”


  146. still_looking says:

    morph, 153

    Thanks for asking – I’m okay. I had a rough few moments today, and this week, but the evil genie is back in the bottle and I’m okay. I – thankfully – have a spouse who can make me laugh just about anytime, anywhere. I also have a rare gem of a godfather who watches over me. His guidance and influence are my other lifeline. He has a gift for teaching perspective. He really keeps me sane.

    I’m really blessed in a lot of ways.

    I appreciate all the thoughtfulness. Sometimes it helps just to have a place to vent. I’m always grateful to grim for that.

    I’m really okay. I guess it’s almost time for me to scold everyone about routine testing and the other yucky medical crap I’m known for. Let’s see….. shall we talk about the prostate?? I’m sure there are a few men that are over 40 yrs old around… :)


  147. still_looking says:

    Gator, 155

    Ah, yes… I love that article. Not for the dearth of prospects for law grads… but it just reinforces my decision to cancel my LSAT score and flee.

    With apologies to all the lawyers on the blog – by virtue of your association with this blog, you are exempt:

    Shakespeare was right. Too bad his idea isn’t enactable.


  148. still_looking says:

    Oddly enough,

    If they spent those three years in physician’s assistant school, did a one year internship, and worked in emergency medicine – they’d be making close to $70K and wouldn’t be some pompous ass’s lackey.

    Law school course #1: Speaking 101.

    Extend and expand every syllable when possible and interject as many adverbs and adjectives as you can. Remember, we are billing for each 15 minutes.

    It’s not, “Remember Roe vs Wade?” It’s, “You, of course, doooooooooooo recaaaaaaalllll the verrrrrrrrrrrrry exhhhhhhemplary and well known laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark caaaaaaaaaase of the Supreme Court of the Uniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiited Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaates, knowwwwwwn as, ahem, Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroe verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrsus Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade, don’t you?”

    I think you get the picture.


  149. Final Doom says:

    No final demand for law product or “justice”. Ergo, law and law edumacation bubble bursts.

    We are hurtling back to the 16th century, folks.

  150. SG says:

    Thoughts of real estate double dip deter investors

    Whether the housing market is in another free-fall or not, just the thought of a double dip is forcing real estate investors to re-think how and where they spend their money. And maybe even if they should spend it at all.

    “The days of flipping real estate, commercial or otherwise are pretty much over,” says Tom Casey, a certified financial planner at Casey Thomas & Associates, who advises his clients on real estate. “There are very few hot markets for flipping with so many people unemployed and property values down. It’s really a time for renting property, not trying to sell it for a profit.”

    What’s forcing the shift to buy and rent is a depressed U.S. housing market that can’t recover its once sky-high values. From 1999 to 2006, housing prices doubled. But those days are gone and the doubling is now in the opposite direction.

    “Housing is entering a double dip in prices,” says Paul Dales, chief economist at the research group, Capital Economics. “They are headed down even more over the next 18 months by as much as 5%. Anyone looking for a short term gain by selling a property is heading for trouble.”

  151. SG says:

    Homeownership to decline further, housing analyst predicts

    Somewhere, somehow, in the last decade the so-called American Dream seemed to insinuate itself into the Bill of Rights. Government policy, among other factors, pushed homeownership to a lofty 68% of all households.

    That was then.

    The number has been steadily backsliding in the last couple of years, and housing analyst John Burns says he got “a lot of heat” for his recent report predicting that homeownership would drop below 62% — and maybe further — if the number of “strategic defaulters” who walk away from their underwater mortgages continues to increase, he said.

    consider the minuses Burns said were weighing it down:

    •Higher immigration levels. Not only do the majority of immigrants not have the money to buy homes, they also are cash-spending consumers who don’t have the credit histories requisite for home buying. They historically rent for five to seven years on average, Burns said.

    •Tighter lending policies than in recent years, though they’re still generous by historical standards.

    •Catapulting mortgage default rates. Burns estimates that 8 million homeowners aren’t paying their mortgages, and 6 million of those will lose their homes. Government rescue programs aren’t working because homeowners have too much credit card debt, he said.

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