March Home Sales – Recovery or not?

From the WSJ:

US March Existing-Home Sales Up 3.7% From February

Sales of previously occupied homes in the U.S. rose slightly in March at the start of the crucial spring selling season, but prices were weak, suggesting that any recovery in the struggling sector will be slow and modest.

Existing-home sales increased 3.7% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The results were slightly better than expected. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected home sales to rise by 2.5% to an annual rate of 5.0 million.

“While the increase is encouraging, we still do not see the gain as the start of a genuine recovery,” wrote Wells Fargo & Co. economist Anika Khan. She noted that February’s results were likely artificially depressed due to bad weather.

About 40% of existing homes bought last month were distressed properties–including foreclosures and sales in which the lender agrees to sell the home for less than the total mortgage amount. That was the highest percentage since April 2009.

Some analysts expect the housing market to improve later this year as unemployment drops. But they don’t expect a dramatic rebound. “The underlying trend for existing home sales is improving, but only at a gradual pace,” wrote Michael Gapen, senior U.S. economist with Barclays Capital.

The median sales price for an existing home was $159,600, down 5.9% from the year-ago median price of $169,600.

Meanwhile, the inventory of previously owned homes listed for sale climbed at the end of March to 3.55 million available for sale. That represented a 8.4-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with a revised 8.5-month supply in February.

The housing market has continued to struggle even as other segments of the U.S. economy show steady improvement. Last year was the worst year for sales of previously occupied homes since 1997, with about 4.9 million homes sold, according to the Realtors group.

Lawrence Yun, the Realtors chief economist, called the results “a decent figure, not a great figure.” All-cash sales are particularly strong, representing about 35% of all transactions, Yun said. That is likely an all-time high.

Still, many signs point to continued troubles.

From CNN/Money:

‘Uneven’ housing recovery continues

Sales of existing homes increased in March, “continuing an uneven recovery” in real estate, an industry group said Wednesday.

Home sales rose at an annual rate of 5.1 million in March, up 3.7% from February, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. However, sales were 6.3% lower than in March 2010.

hose reports are not bad, but not great either. Despite slight upticks in home sales and construction, the housing sector is still in the doldrums as supply continues to far outweigh demand for homes.

“Even as buyers scoop up deals of a lifetime, the river of foreclosed properties continues to flow,” Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a note to investors Wednesday morning.

The median home price slipped 5.9% to $159,600, compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, some buyers are still finding it tough to get a mortgage, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in a release. The average credit score to get a conventional mortgage has risen to 760 from 720 in 2007.

“Although home sales are coming back without a federal stimulus, sales would be notably stronger if mortgage lending would return to the normal, safe standards that were in place a decade ago — before the loose lending practices that created the unprecedented boom and bust cycle,” he said.

First-time buyers purchased 33% of homes in March, down from 44% in March 2010. Investors accounted for 22% of sales, up from 19% a year ago.

From CNBC:

Investors drove home sales up 3.7 pct. in March

Investors drove up U.S. home sales last month, plunking down cash to grab cheap homes at risk of foreclosure. But first-time homebuyers, who are crucial to a housing recovery, stayed away.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.1 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. That’s up 3.7 percent from 4.92 million in February. The pace is far below the 6 million homes a year that economists say represents a healthy market.

Many of those purchases are being made by investors, who are targeting cheap properties in areas hit hardest by foreclosures: Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tampa.

The evidence of their activity: sales of homes priced under $100,000 have risen 10 percent from a year ago. In that same period, sales of mid-priced homes, between $100,000 and $500,000, have fallen by more than 14 percent.

A big reason for that is fewer first-time homebuyers, the types of people who set down roots and raise families, are entering the market. Sales among that group fell to 33 percent in March. A more healthy percentage of first-time buyers is 40 percent, according to the trade group.

For March, sales rose 8.2 percent in the South, 3.9 percent in the Northeast and 1 percent in the Midwest. Sales fell 0.8 percent in the West.

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136 Responses to March Home Sales – Recovery or not?

  1. grim says:

    From the Curious Capitalist blog at Time:

    Housing Recovery: Not here yet

    There has been a lot more talk recently about whether we are on the cusp of a housing market recovery. I wrote that I believed the housing market would rebound in 2011 back in December. Earlier this month, my colleague Bill Saporito wrote a story about how two developers who had called the crash correctly were now betting on a huge bounce in housing prices.

    Well, the developers and others will still have to wait. The National Association of Realtors released their numbers on the housing market today. There was a glimmer of good news. Housing sales were slightly higher than analysts expected. And home prices were up from a month ago. But compared to where the housing market was a year ago, both housing sales and housing prices were down significantly. Homes sales were down 7% from a year ago. Prices dropped another 6%. The median price of US homes sold last month was $159,600, down from well over $200,000 at the height of the housing market.

    Of course, this is the time of the year that one would expect to see a housing rebound. April showers bring May open houses. It takes a few months for housing sales to be completed. So it may be a few months before we know if the spring selling season was a rebound or a fizzle. But there is some reason to be worried.

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. grim says:

    NY Metro area home prices down 2.2% year over year in March:

    EHS Release (XLS)

    Sales down 8.2% YOY.

  4. grim says:

    From the Real Deal blog:

    NJ office market stable in first quarter

    Leasing activity in New Jersey office buildings reached its highest first-quarter level since 2007 during the first three months of 2011, according to a report from CB Richard Ellis today, though activity was down from where it was during the fourth quarter of 2010. Lease renewals accounted for 47.1 percent of those transactions.

    Half of all new office leases were signed in New Jersey’s waterfront and Route 287/78 submarkets, CBRE said, but outside those areas, new space is still flooding the market more quickly than it is being absorbed. At the end of this year’s first quarter, there was 33.96 million square feet of office space on the market, up from 33.93 million square feet at the end of last year.

    Asking rents also increased during this time, up by an average of 34 cents to $24.46 per square foot statewide.

    “While challenges remain, our markets continue to show signs of improvement,” said Jeff Hipschman, senior managing director at CBRE. “Companies are choosing to remain in New Jersey and they have been hiring.”

  5. Essex says:

    Credit score requirements lowered to help borrowers
    Thursday, April 21, 2011
    Last updated: Thursday April 21, 2011, 1:27 AM
    Franklin Lakes – Oakland Suburban News

    “Ask the Realtor” is a weekly column from the 3,000+member RealSource Association of Realtors, serving northern New Jersey. Those in need of advice from a professional Realtor may e-mail, keying “Ask the Realtor” in the subject line. Every effort will be made to answer the question in a subsequent edition.

    Q: I do not have the best credit score. I am working through the economic hardship and expect my rating to improve, but not as quickly as I’d like. Is there a way for someone with a lower, but improving credit score to get a loan?

    Elizabeth B.


    A: Liz, please note that an estimated one-third of Americans now have FICO scores below 620. That said, there is good news for would-be borrowers like you with lower (and improving) credit scores. Wells Fargo & Co. recently announced that it will lower credit score requirements for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages from a FICO score of 600 to as low as 500. The loans, designed for low to moderate income borrowers who are unable to make a large down payment, are issued by federally qualified lenders and insured by the FHA. They allow the mortgagee to borrow up to 97 percent of the value of the home with as little as a three percent down payment requirement, which can come from a gift or a grant. To ensure responsible, sustainable home ownership, the revisions come with a few restrictions. Borrowers with scores below 580 will be required to make a down payment of at least 10 percent and have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 31 percent. Borrowers with scores of 580-599 will be required to produce a down payment of at least five percent. The FHA mortgage will only be available through Wells’ retail lending channel, not through third-party brokers or correspondent lenders. Wells Fargo is the largest originator of FHA-insured mortgages. Quicken Loans, which ranks third according to industry data, also announced it would lower FICO scores for FHA mortgages to a reported 580.

  6. The evidence of their activity: sales of homes priced under $100,000 have risen 10 percent from a year ago

    That’s a good sign at least.

  7. sx (5)-

    The trip-wired, random-timered dirty bomb (aka FHA) is now being packed to the brim with radioactive waste.

    However, when FHA finally detonates into a giant mushroom cloud of gamma emissions, it’s possible no one may notice…since there will be bombs going off everywhere.

    The stench of death is everywhere. This is the end of days. No one will be spared.

  8. 500 FICO to qualify at Wells Fargo?

    Everything that dies someday comes back.

  9. I have seen people in default on their current mortgages who have FICOs over 500.

    They could conceivably buy another home, then default.

    Come to think of it, I should default, then try this.

  10. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo 8, did they mention you have to have a pulse.

  11. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo there is a plan rent out new one hang in yours for 2 years paying zero then go into the rented one & hang another 2 years at zero. Four years on the cuff.

  12. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “Leasing activity in New Jersey office buildings reached its highest first-quarter level since 2007 during the first three months of 2011”
    Extend / pretend is working. Delay and pray.

  13. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “While challenges remain, our markets continue to show signs of improvement,” said Jeff Hipschman, senior managing director at CBRE. “Companies are choosing to remain in New Jersey and they have been hiring.”
    That was the recovery. You just missed it.

  14. AG says:

    Silver with a 46 handle in Asian trading no less. Unreal. I hope this cools off at 50.

  15. Lone Ranger says:


    Bulls should be praying for a serious pullback soon.

  16. Essex says:

    7. Smoke em if you got em brother.

  17. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Greenback on its way to all time low:

    I have a bad feeling about this Summer. Bergabe and the DC douchebags are close to end game time – the bond market is calling bullsh*t on another round of QE and nobody believes they’ll get the fiscal house in order. Riots in the street or WWIII in a year.

  18. gary says:

    New phrase for the ages:

    “Hey pal, can you spare a Mercury dime?”

  19. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Fun in Europe. JJ you picking THESE up, look at the yields!
    The clock is clearly ticking on Greece and Portugal’s default or severe restructuring, and the clock seems to be speeding up. Yesterday Greek 10-year yields rose to 14.75% and 2-year yields soared past 22%. If you think Greece is not going to default and force significant haircuts on its bondholders (including the ECB), you have a great opportunity to buy a 22% note that will pay off at par! Portuguese 10-years are at 9.28%; 2-years at 10.5% (see Chart below for the 2yr, click to enlarge). The Irish 2y and 10y are both over 10% as well.
    Looks likes it is all over except the singing.

  20. Mikeinwaiting says:

    HeHe you channeling Clot.

  21. mikey (10)-

    I saw dead people get mortgages during the boom.

  22. jamil says:

    real hope and change in NJ? End of the era of union thugs approaching?

    “New Jersey voters approve 50 – 46 percent of the way Gov. Christopher Christie is handling the state budget, but disapprove 52 – 44 percent of the way he is handling education. Gov. Christie’s proposal to limit school superintendent salaries is a good way to balance the budget, 69 percent of voters say, while 27 percent say it is meddling.

    By a 64 – 16 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of public school teachers, but by 45 – 30 percent they have an unfavorable opinion of the New Jersey Education Association. Teachers unions play a negative rather than a positive role in improving education, voters say 51 – 39 percent.

    New Jersey voters favor merit pay for good teachers 69 – 27 percent and support Christie’s proposal to limit teacher tenure 62 – 32 percent.

    “The outlines of Gov. Christopher Christie’s new schools plan win approval,” [Quinnipiac Polling Director Maurice] Carroll said. “Voters like merit pay and changing tenure to make it easier to get rid of bad teachers. They like the people who teach their kids, but they don’t like the teachers union. And they endorse Christie’s move to curb school superintendents’ pay.””

  23. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo 23 the worse part is that that is a fact not hyperbole.
    Hobo you should get a kick out of this, deglazed a pan with scotch yesterday, all I had handy.

  24. Everything that dies someday comes back. Hard to see how the USG will bust up this kind of attempt at cornering the silver market, though:

    “Gold and silver have surged to new record nominal highs in dollar terms (all time and 31 year) with the dollar falling sharply on international markets. Silver has continued to surge in all currencies and has surged to a new record nominal high of $46.25/oz (£27.85/oz and €31.54/oz) on growing rumours of a short squeeze involving a billionaire or state interest attempting to corner the silver market. The massive concentrated short positions of some Wall Street banks have incurred serious losses and a desperate attempt to close their futures positions due to the tight physical marketplace may be leading to a short squeeze. This is something that GoldCore and a few other analysts have warned of for some time. We have long said that the very small silver market was ripe for cornering by private or state interests and that appears to be happening on some level. However, there are an increasingly large number of silver buyers who realize the market can be cornered and they are buying in anticipation of this event. The blogosphere has again been ahead of the curve and dismissal of much circumstantial evidence of silver manipulation, a short squeeze etc. as “conspiracy theories” is becoming less easy to do. It looks like many investors internationally and one or a few private individuals and states are cornering the silver market. At one stage the Hunt Brothers cornering of the market was a “conspiracy theory” – it soon became fact.”

  25. mike (25)-

    Should’ve deglazed the pan with water and drunk the scotch.

  26. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I think at this point the Free Falling is reaching terminal velocity.

  27. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo did both, wanted to give it a try.

  28. Lone Ranger says:

    Silver squeeze, crude, high inflation, currency debasement, record high gold prices, crb raising the roof, the fed blowing out the roof, purchasing power destroyed, etc.. You all knew it was coming 4-5 years ago; its back to the 70’s.

    Now fashion? What’s next the Bee Gee’s?

  29. Confused In NJ says:

    17.Essex says:
    April 21, 2011 at 7:59 am
    7. Smoke em if you got em brother.

    Not in NYC, Bloomberg say’s smoking is worse then Nuclear Fallout, although I think he keeps a Pack of Camels for End of Days.

  30. Lone Ranger says:

    “Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold but with you forever I’ll stay
    We’re goin’ out where the sand’s turnin’ to gold so put on your stockin’s baby ’cause the night’s getting cold
    And everything dies baby that’s a fact
    But maybe everything that dies someday comes back”

    The Boss is a genius.

  31. All Hype says:

    Doom (29):
    When they raise the debt limit and continue QE2 to infinity we will be looking at the dollar index of about 60. $6 gas easily next summer.
    The preznit better find a new enemy to bomb or it will be riots across the country next summer, Greece style.

  32. Lone Ranger says:

    Brings back memories of Pret, his fav line;

    “Down here it’s just winners and losers and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line”

    His RE was his winning ticket. Anyone run into Pret lately?

  33. Shore Guy says:

    “did they mention you have to have a pulse.”

    I believe the documents actually state that, “borrower must demonstrate the presence of a pulse or affirm that a pluse existed, in the borrower, or his/her vicinity during at least one day in the preceeding 90-day period, unless such demonstration is deemed by the borrower as too burdensome, wherupon a mirror, fogged or unfogged, shall be deemed sufficient evidence of creditworthiness”

  34. Shore Guy says:


    He would be a bigger genius if he would go back on the road. I need a fix.

  35. All Hype says:

    Weekly initial unemployment claims: 403k.

    Same as it ever was…..

  36. ranger (35)-

    I think Pret joined Frank’s band of itinerant Mexican quants.

    Those Aztecs sure know how to crank out the algos. Hope the one they did that says the world will end next year isn’t correct, though.

  37. chicagofinance says:

    OK – give Martin Gore some respect too…..

    Death is everywhere
    There are flies on the windscreen
    For a start
    Reminding us
    We could be torn apart

    Death is everywhere
    There are lambs for the slaughter
    Waiting to die
    And I can sense
    The hours slipping by

    Death is everywhere
    The more I look
    The more I see
    The more I feel
    A sense of urgency

    There are flies on the windscreen
    There are lambs for the slaughter
    There are flies on the windscreen

  38. hype (38)-

    Of course, that 403K will be revised upward next week, so that next week’s initial announcement will appear to be a beat.

    BLS has been playing this game for years now. But Veets says we should trust them.

  39. Oh, and the rate of 99ers falling off the edge is accelerating.

  40. chicagofinance says:

    Very..very nice…
    When she finally complained, she was forced to make tiny hors d’oeuvres in what her male colleagues derisively called “the c–t corner,” she said.

    Sexism claims spur staff walkout at Gordon Ramsay’s London NYC restaurant

    Now this is a real kitchen nightmare.

    The cooks at the posh Gordon Ramsay restaurant in The London NYC hotel staged a walkout last weekend — and haven’t been back to work since — after a female chef accused the tough-talking TV chef of turning the eatery into a deep-fried frat house.

    The male chefs — who allegedly like to call themselves “Gordon’s Soldiers” — are steamed hotter than a plate of moules mariniere, after commis chef Janet Kim, 31, said sexual harassment was running rampant in the restaurant, which has been forced to stay closed since Saturday.

    ‘SUE’ CHEF: Gordon Ramsay can’t be pleased. The sexual-harassment complaints of commis chef Janet Kim (above) against executive chef Markus Glocker and others have spurred a walkout among cooks at the 2-star restaurant that Ramsay started at The London NYC hotel in Midtown.

    And though Ramsay no longer owns it or runs it, his influence as a consultant and his popularity with the staff is causing his namesake restaurant to marinate in a toxic broth of brutality, Kim claims. “We’re way past ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ ” Kim told The Post, referring to Ramsay’s reality-TV cooking show. “It’s more like ‘Dante’s Inferno.’ ”

    “It’s outrageous that someone as famous as Gordon Ramsay . . . would allow this to go on,” added Jeffrey Brown, one of Kim’s attorneys at the firm Leeds Morelli & Brown.

    In a complaint filed with the state, Kim claimed she was groped, called a “whore” and propositioned for oral sex at the two-Michelin-star eatery. When she finally complained, she was forced to make tiny hors d’oeuvres in what her male colleagues derisively called “the c–t corner,” she said.

    The trouble boiled over at the West 54th Street eatery last weekend when Kim reported to work after taking time off for her nerves, and the male chefs held a foodie mutiny.

    Kim says her colleagues refused to work with her because of her harassment claims. This led to them being suspended with out pay, she says.

    “Every cook in fine dining is suspended for walking out. No one will talk to me,” said Kim. Officials at LXR Luxury Resorts, which owns The London NYC, refused to comment, but a hostess who answered the restaurant phone at The London said they were suffering “labor issues.”

    The eatery is not expected to open until Tuesday.

    “There’s a lot of disappointment,” said one worker. “Some people stay here [at The London NYC] just for the restaurant. We’re referring guests to Daniel and Le Cirque.”

    Amid the turmoil, Kim has filed a complaint with the State Division of Human Rights against the hotel and Ramsay.

    She claims that she wasn’t the only fem ale assigned to the “c–t corner.” Her complaint says executive chef Markus Glocker “repeatedly assigned Asian females” to work there.

  41. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I have a family member who has gone off the grid with a ton of debt. Got so many calls from creditors trying to track her down I turned off my answering machine. She was a master of the minimum payments and credit card balance transfer. Makes me wonder if Bergabe hasn’t been consulting her all along.

  42. Lone Ranger says:

    Shore [37],

    I feel your pain, need it soon.

  43. 250k says:

    I believe the RE market in the Brig is moving at a somewhat healthy pace but I won’t go so far as to hide it’s dirty laundry in the closet.

    Someone want to pull the full listing history on this gem that finally sold? I believe it was a topic of conversation a few weeks/months ago?

    MLS 2817273 717 Harding
    The latest list date shows Nov2010 but I am certain it has been around the MLS much longer than that and at a higher OLP than the reported 559k. In any event it finally sold for 425k so a 24% discount to LP at a minimum but I think it is much more than that if you consider the full history.

    People really are stubborn aren’t they? The market is pretty good here overall if you just start out with a reasonable ask within 10% of market. In fact, you can get buyers to bid up your price by starting out below market. But you go 20% over market and you will watch your property linger for months on end. Still, there are sellers who bought at peak and are still listing at price points where they bought or higher!!! Insanity.

  44. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I wonder if Bernanke’s relatives get these calls:

    Hi my name is Wen Jiabao. I am calling regarding a special business opportunity for Ben Bernanke. I am prohibited by law from leaving the details of this opportunity on your answering machine. If you are not Ben Bernanke please disregard this message. If you are Ben Bernanke or know of his whereabouts please call me at 1-877-555-8786.

  45. Shore Guy says:

    This could NEVER lead to “COntribute to us or never get another government contract,” yeesh:

    Contractors required to disclose political contributions: draft order

    The Obama administration is determining how to require companies competing for government contracts to list their political contributions when submitting a contract bid….


  46. Shore Guy says:

    “the rate of 99ers falling off the edge is accelerating”

    As the fall off the cliff they get to experience the unbearable lightness of being.

  47. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore with the Chicago style politics this administration runs do they think anyone is fooled.

  48. Dink says:


    717 Harding was originally listed at $689,900. Dropped to $619,900 and then expired after 184 DOM. Sat for 121 more @ $559,000 and then sold @ $425,000.

  49. yo'me says:

    10 yr 3.38

    Did the US receive a downgrade warning?Chinese loves to keep the yuan low

  50. Shore Guy says:

    We were looking at an Outerbanks house, it is priced at twice what they paid for it around 2000, and has sat for over a year. I can’t understand why there has not been a bidding war over it.

  51. Kettle1^2 says:


    The long term historical ratio of gold/silver ratio is about 16. we are currently at about 33 ( we were at 60 – 80 through most of 2000 – 2010). if we stay at this low a ratio or closer to the historical average, then silver at or over 100 is a very high probability.

  52. Kettle1^2 says:


    need some more AK ammo?

    $2,190 FOR 10 CASES OF 11,200 ROUNDS DELIVERED
    (19 cents/rd)

  53. Kettle1^2 says:


    I’m not the one selling it.

  54. 30 year realtor says:

    33% of sales first time buyers. 40% of sales short sales. 35% of sales are cash buyers. I realize that there is room for overlap in these figures, but how can anyone look at these numbers and be thinking “recovery”.

  55. Kettle1^2 says:

    I wonder if anyone will even notice that we are about to break through the legal debt ceiling of the US government as of next week. HA, who am i kidding, laws are only for the little people.

  56. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Hype 38

    “Letting the days go by, letting the water hold me down”

    Sad when I have a job opportunity presented at the same salary with a significantly shorter commute and look at it as a raise

  57. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    “Same as it ever was”

    Hey ket, at those prices it is almost an investment strategy what is the country of origin? I don’t have a 7.62 but damn that seems like too good to be true.

  58. Kettle1^2 says:



  59. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Surplus or new manufacture?

  60. chicagofinance says:

    Goldman Sachs research piece. Anyone interested?
    The disruptive nature of tablet computing: A comprehensive analysis of the winners and losers in global TMT and Retail

  61. Kettle1^2 says:

    surplus in water tight containers

  62. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    knowing russina powder may not be such a good deal watertight or not. suitable for Hobo with a Shotgun though.

  63. daddyo says:

    717 Harding is barely worth $425k. It’s a complete do-over, but at least the neighborhood is nice.

    The 2 houses next to ours are still for sale, one of them being on the market for several months now. 301 Grove is probably $150k overpriced, maybe more. You’d have to be out of your mind to pay $770k for that house.

  64. freedy says:

    somebody take a look at this one . 1.1 million .

  65. freedy says:

    blue ribbon school system

  66. relo says:

    67: That’s reasonable. Buy now and be priced in forever.

  67. homeboken says:

    Re 67 – Looks like someone let their contractor get out of hand with the renovations and needs to recoup the cost.

  68. freedy (67)-

    In which room did the murder happen?

    And I don’t mean the murder of good taste.

  69. No one will be spared.

    BAC laid off 4,500 loan officers today. WFC laid off 3,500. All new RESPA procedures are in place for mortgage brokers & originators. Basically, they now work for flat fees and cannot engage in paying/receiving any kind of variable commissions or incentive comp.

    Dodd-Frank sure cleaned things up, huh?

  70. nj escapee says:

    ‘Jumbo’ Loans Squeeze Looms Over Home Buyers

  71. freedy says:

    question of the day. what’s it worth ?

  72. A.West says:

    Never heard of the town of Closter before. Buying that house looks like a sure way to get Closter f**ked.

  73. freedy says:

    anybody got the history?

  74. Juice X says:

    A. West – Closter is a wonderful Bergen County town if you are WT or your name is Mr. Kim.

  75. freedy says:

    closter does have a few nail salons

  76. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [48] shore guy


  77. Juice X says:

    re: # 48 – more red tape for nothing. 3.5 Billion spent annually just lobbying in DC and it’s already tracked.

    Campaign Contributions can be found on any number of websites.

    Let’s pick Boeing.

  78. Juice X says:

    Speaking of Campaign Contributions. How can your campaign Contributors be called protestors? These people paid $35k each $315k total to his war chest.

    Protesters interrupted President Barack Obama at a campaign fund-raiser on Thursday to complain about the treatment in detention of a U.S. soldier accused of leaking documents that appeared on the WikiLeaks website.

    Obama’s administration has been criticized for Bradley Manning’s treatment, although the president says the Pentagon has assured him the soldier is not being ill-treated while he is awaiting trial.

    Obama was addressing a room of about 200 people — many of whom paid as much as $35,800 to see him — when a woman in a white suit stood up and announced that she and nine others sitting at her table had written a song for him.

    Despite Obama’s protestations, they then broke into a song that called for the 23-year-old soldier’s release. They passed out “Free Bradley Manning” signs and the woman took off her jacket to reveal a black T-shirt with Manning’s image.

  79. Kettle1^2 says:


    35K to protest? damn.

  80. Kettle1^2 says:



    The jumps in oil and other commodities have nothing to do with begabe’s printing press right?

  81. Kettle1^2 says:

    how about that hi-ho? are we hitting $50 tomorrow or what. a bunch of late paper longs are going to get wiped out when a correction hits.

  82. sas3 says:

    Ayn Rand must be smiling in her grave… Those guys

    US federal authorities have filed a lawsuit against a marine services company based in Alabama for alleged demeaning treatment of 500 Indian employees, who were forced to live in “substandard” accommodations and given “unwholesome” food.

    Between 2004 and 2006, hundreds of Indian men paid Signal’s recruiters as much as USD 20,000 for travel, visa, recruitment and other fees after they were told it would lead to good jobs, green cards and permanent US residency.

    Many of the workers sold their houses and other valuables and took out high-interest loans to come up with the money, the ACLU said.

    When the men arrived at Signal in late 2006 and early 2007, they discovered that they would not receive the green cards as promised, but rather 10-month guest worker visas.

    “Signal forced them to pay USD 1,050 a month to live in crowded company housing in isolated, fenced labour camps where as many as 24 men shared a trailer with only two toilets,” the ACLU said.

    Signal officials have denied any wrongdoings.

    … and complained that the corporate tax rate is too high?

  83. Kettle1^2 says:


    Hey that’s globalization baby!!! Eat it up! how else do they compete with the labor practices in india and china?

  84. Juice X says:

    re# 84 – Kettle1 “ROOT OUT” FRAUD”

    Need to start at the Fed and their no interest loans. Here is a piece on it.

    There is also the rise in volume on Brent and the Dubai contracts. How is the CTFC going to regulate those foreign markets? Perhaps unintended consequences of Dodd/Frank or not Congress was warned that the speculation would move outside their reach. Perhaps it is time for another No Fly Zone over Dubai and London?

  85. A.West says:

    Yet more people turning government regulations into a racket. In this case the regulation is government restrictions on immigration. A 12 man to 1 toilet ratio is pretty good in much of the world. Our government run public schools give kids unwholesome food every day, I’d like to hear your critique of that.

    We all know that you think all businessmen are exploiters, that government is the savior, and that all individuals are permanently to be yoked in service to the collective. What else is new? How’s the view of Route 22 and public servants in action across the road in Plainfield?

  86. sas3 says:

    Ket, some of the middle men (either in India or in the US) rake in big bucks for “processing charges” and leave these guys at employer’s mercy. It used to be very common in cases of laborers and maids going to Dubai and other sheikdoms.

    Next up, Joe Barton or his ilk will apologize to Signal, and whip up his “patriotic base” about how the greedy Indians are stealing those wonderful jobs.

    This downward spiral of lax regulation coupled with blame-others rule will not end well.

  87. Kettle1^2 says:


    The root problem at hand is the government. Yes the corporations have captured the government and the political process, but the government itself is the root problem.

  88. Kettle1^2 says:


    whats your point? isnt that the idea behind creating a slave class laborer????

  89. Bystander says:


    Zillow shows 717 Harding relisted three weeks ago for 619K
    Flip happening?

  90. 30 year realtor says:

    The Closter property, listed 3/27/11 for $1.1. Was rented before that for $4500 per month. Purchased in 1986 for $610000.

  91. sas3 says:

    #90… The company was keeping people in trailers and charging 1k per month… plus 35 bucks per day for food. Those were not optional — if the guys found housing elsewhere, they’d still have to pay the 1k. That much rent for a trailer without a toilet in Alabama — and no visitors.

    You think what Signal did is fine?

  92. 30 year realtor says:

    Closter property worth $700 +- range. Even the 2007 sales on the block didn’t break 900.

  93. newbie says:

    Here is bloomberg on hamptons being bust due to weather…

    so, the helipad is also going vacant i guess.

  94. All Hype says:

    Kettle1^2 (84):

    I saw that headline on Zero Hedge. This is beyond absurd. Why is Eric Holder even in office? This guy is textbook do nothing gubbmint political hack. I wonder if him and Obamachev even believe for 1 second what they talk about. My guess is no way.

    I am truly enjoying the oblivion…..1500 mph in a fighter jet right into the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

  95. Fabius Maximus says:

    At least there are some good jobs to be had. Web 2.0 baby, pump up Prince on the Ipod cause ‘Tech jobs boom like it’s 1999’!

  96. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Hey chairman O here is my assessment

    1. Middle east is a f*cking poop hole
    2 We can’t exploit natural resources in America, might insult a caribou
    3 US dollar is in the tank

    Can I have an appointment at the justice department now? They truly take us for idiots.

  97. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Sas, depends on what county in Alabama.

  98. Kettle1^2 says:


    let’s be consistent. Icrap is made in china under relativly similiar conditions. Everyone seems to be ok with that. Everyone tells us that the USA is being out competed by asia. We should follow their shining example.

  99. Fabius Maximus says:

    #84 Ket

    Thats a suprising one for you. Do you need a quick refresher.

  100. make money says:

    I must have had over 30 people offer to buy my Knicks tickets this weekend.
    At first I was not happy, but then I started asking how much?

    For Game 1, I was offered 15K for two tickets, cash money!

    This is from someone who just finished having lunch with me and whined the entire time of how bad it is out there and how much his business is down. I’m begining to ask the same question as JJ.

    What recession?

  101. willwork4beer says:

    Don’t know if this has been posted. Just received from Fannie Mae. Apologies in advance for the crappy copy/paste. Android phones make it a pain to post.

    Fannie Mae is currently offering buyers up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance through June 30, 2011. The HomePath property buyer must meet the following qualifications to be eligible: Buyers and/or selling agents (the agent representing the buyer) must request the incentive upon submission of initial offer in order to be eligible.
    The initial offer must be submitted on or after April 11, 2011 and close by June 30, 2011. If an initial offer was made prior to the effective date, the offer is not eligible for the incentive. The sale must close on or before June 30, 2011. No exceptions will be made to this deadline. Only buyers purchasing a HomePath property as their primary residence may receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance. Second homes and investment properties are excluded from the incentive. Buyer must sign the Owner Occupant Certification Rider to the Real Estate Purchase Addendum. If a buyer’s total closing costs are under 3.5%, the difference will not be available as a credit to the buyer. Note: Fannie Mae can give no assurance on the time required to close, but initial offers submitted after May 15, 2011 are particularly questionable for closing by the incentive deadline of June 30.

  102. willwork4beer says:

    About the previous post: Draw your own conclusions. I’m going back to my Victory Headwaters Pale Ale/River Horse Summer Blonde tag team.


  103. Shore Guy says:

    Summer blonde tag team? John? Is that you?

  104. Happy Renter says:

    [74] OK, from the article about the “jumbo” loan and the max size backed by Fannie Mae …

    Bethany and Karl Schreiber are hunting for a nice big house in the pricey Washington, D.C., suburbs . . . .

    Beginning on Oct. 1, the government will dial back on the size of mortgages it guarantees in high-cost areas like San Francisco, New York and Washington.

    After that, the maximum loan amount that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will back is scheduled to drop from $729,750 to $625,500. And that may make mortgages more expensive or harder to get for buyers like the Schreibers, who are shopping in the $700,000 range and would prefer to make a downpayment of 10 percent or less.

    OK, you may be drawing your own conclusion about what impact the above will have on the housing market, but let us continue with the article to see how our protagonists interpret this information . . .

    “If we wait a year, we may not be able to afford as big a house,” Bethany said in an interview. “Rates and housing prices are probably going to go up.”

    Huh? Really? Mortgages for houses above 625K are going to get harder to obtain, and rates have nowhere to go but up, so the conclusion is that “housing prices are probably going to go up”?

    The amazing thing is that Bethany and Karl Schreiber are probably highly educated professionals. I just hope they’re not working for me, i.e. the government.

  105. jamil says:

    81 re Boeing

    difficult to imagine more outrageous Government thuggery than here:

    “In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina.”

    from nyslimes (i won’t link to that parasite site)

  106. Kettle1^2 says:


    I’m sticking to Sam smiths tonight


    Yes oil is manipuated. Not news. Chairman O’s propaganda is hillarious. The buttering of the dollar is more of a threat then the normal manipulation. And what happened to JPM after that last little game when oil ran up to 140+

  107. Kettle1^2 says:


    there seems to be a little problem with the following statement:

    “Rates and housing prices are probably going to go up”

  108. House Whine says:

    105. I don’t really get it either. I would say 2/3 of the friends, family, neighbors I know are doing very well financially. But the other 1/3 is having a rough time- mostly due to job loss. I don’t see the 2/3 r’s skimping on much. Still taking really nice vacations, getting new cars, etc. Very puzzling. Even the other 1/3 is still getting by, albeit not in the style they were used to.

  109. Dink says:

    Bystander #94,

    No flip. Zillow is showing its expired MLS # for some reason.

  110. NJCoast says:

    Shore and BC-

    Alejandro Escovedo and Jesse Malin at the Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, May 4th with surprise guest. Just saying.

    Musical whiplash. Tonight I’m feeding Harry Connick Jr. tomorrow Coheed and Cambria.

  111. Confused In NJ says:

    Eighteen stores closed so far this year at Phillipsburg Mall. A lot of the miscellaneous are gone like Liberty Travel, FYE Music/Video, Borders Books, Zales Jewelers, etc. Four Anchors still there, Sears, BonTon, Kohls, JCPennys.

  112. freedy says:

    whats the taxes on that 75 bowers lane in closter ?

  113. willwork4beer says:


    I knew as soon as I posted that I would get a JJ reference. But it was already gone into cyberspace.


    Sticking with Sammy Smith is always a good idea. You could do much worse. Easily.

  114. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Samuel Smiths Pale Ale my personal favorite, go for it.

  115. Mikeinwaiting says:

    And then again I’m half way through a bottle of scotch, beer is for hot days like soda or water.

  116. Fabius Maximus says:

    #48 #80

    Or it Could be, “If you have a lot of contributions, there will be more scruitiny on your application.”

  117. Barca-Real is nothing, compared to Celtic-Rangers.

    GLASGOW, Scotland (ESPN) — The four parcel bombs sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two prominent supporters of the Glasgow club were live devices that could have caused “significant harm,” police said Wednesday.

    The devices were sent in the weeks after a tumultuous match between Celtic and fierce Glasgow rival Rangers, two clubs with a history of sectarian conflict. The packages were intercepted before reaching their targets and did not explode.

    Detective chief superintendent John Mitchell of Strathclyde police said that after initial suspicion the packages may have been a hoax, forensic tests showed they were “viable devices.”

    “They were definitely capable of causing significant harm and injury to individuals if they had opened them,” he said.

    Although police didn’t discuss the motive behind the mail bombs, sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland and Glasgow are regularly played out between Celtic fans, who are mostly Catholic, and Rangers fans, who are mostly Protestant.

    The first parcel bomb targeting Lennon, a Catholic from Northern Ireland, was found March 4 and a second was intercepted at a sorting office outside Glasgow on March 26.

    Another package destined for Celtic-supporting Scottish lawmaker Trish Godman was intercepted at her constituency office two days later. A fourth package destined for Paul McBride, a lawyer who has represented Lennon, was intercepted earlier this week.

  118. hype (99)-

    I wish I held the tax cert on the house where Holder didn’t pay the taxes.

  119. make (105)-

    I’d say that guy is the prototypical greater fool.

    Hope your seats aren’t so close that you pal can projectile vomit onto the court when Melo starts chucking 30 footers in clutch time.

  120. relo says:


    One of the few things I remember vividly of a trip to Glasgow when I was a kid is how amped up my relatives and the rest of the hooligans were for Celtic/Rangers.

  121. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (84) kettle,

    Does that mean I can expect to hear from DOJ about my gains from USO?

  122. I truly never thought we’d see a president as stupid as GWB, but we actually managed to elect one who’s not only magnitudes of order dumber…but one who’s also accomplished the rare feat of surrounding himself with both the dumbest advisors from the previous administration AND the worst available new appointees.

    We are well and truly fuct.

    “In response to the president’s moronic witch hunt of oil “traders” which, for a POTUS so set on distinguishing himself from the prior administration, was only missing the phrasing “read my lips, no more speculators” for people to suffer the biggest glitch in the matrix to date, we decided to present this note from Jared Dillian, editor of the Daily Dirtnap published back in January discussing the imminent surge in food prices, which however ist just as applicable to the surge in any commodity, and most certainly crude. Dillian’s point is so simple we are not at all surprised that it is lost on all sock puppets in Washington. “I say that speculators have a very important role to play in setting commodity prices, and the very idea that we would limit the role that speculators play in commodity prices is an early signal that world food markets are about to get a good deal more unfree, which means we are about to undo all the progress we have made in the last fifty years. This is why speculators are important in setting prices. They make money. That is their job. Making money is an end in itself. But an interesting by-product of a speculator setting prices is that he forces the producers of the commodities to respond, and consequently, adjust production.” To be sure, there are always those speculators who in their pursuit of price disequilibria, through the wager of capital, will break the law, just as there are those who will commit criminal acts in every aspect of life. But for the most part, speculators operate within the confines of the law, as poorly drafted as it may be. Yet the core point remains: by pushing the clearing price substantially from the equilibrium due to excess demand (or supply) specs merely precipitate an equal and opposite reaction which promptly corrects this disequilibrium. As Dillian concludes when observing a hypothetical explosion in food prices: “Well, guess what: when prices are ten times higher, the market is going to be full of farmers, and nobody is going to complain very much about that.”

  123. relo says:

    98: Hampons bust due to HF guy’s in-laws roping him in to resident status and double whammy tax burden.

  124. relo (125)-

    It really is blood hatred there. There’s no other rivalry in football in which players and fans alike consistently opt for 100% scorched earth rather than finding some positive channel for their heated emotions. It’s no coincidence that a piece of human garbage like Gordon Ramsay made the first 11 at Rangers, and then melded his footballing experience with his abusive background to become the biggest televised a-hole in human history.

    That a goodly amount of America will pay money and spend time watching this huckster (who really is a great chef) engage in Third Reich-style mental torture of unwitting, unfortunate folks speaks ill of both the presenter and us, the stupefied audience.

  125. My pal Chris really got it right:

    “Clotpoll, it’s like this: rugby is a hooligan’s game, played by gentlemen. Football, on the other hand, is a gentleman’s game, played by hooligans.”

  126. Lone Ranger says:

    Isolation of the USFed and Bank of England and Bank of Japan has come. The small rate hike by the European Central Bank separated them finally. The Anglos with their Japanese lackeys are the only central banks not raising rates. With isolation comes all the earmarks on the path to the Third World.

    The shortage of gold is acute, as 51 million gold bars have been sold forward versus the 11 million held by the COMEX in inventory. Be sure that hundreds of millions of nonexistent fractionalized gold ounces are polluting the system. Word is getting out that the COMEX is empty of precious metals.

    Such extreme Silver shortage has befallen the COMEX that the corrupted metals exchange routinely offers cash settlement in silver with a 25% bonus if a non-disclosure agreement is signed. The practice cannot be kept under wraps, as some hedge funds push for fat returns in under two months holding positions with delivery demanded.

    The ugly daughters Fannie Mae and AIG are forever entombed in the USGovt. They operate as black hole expenses whose fraud must be contained. The costs involved are in the $trillions, all hidden from view like the fraud. Fannie Mae remains the main clearinghouse for several $trillion fraud programs still in operation.

    Compliments of Jim Willie

  127. Shore Guy says:


    If gold blows theough the ceiling, I wonder if we will see an attempt to replay the game plan from he 30s, with respect to private ownership?

  128. Shore Guy says:


  129. relo says:

    When my older cousins asked if I was for Celtic or Rangers, I was thinking along NBA/NHL lines and responded “Rangers, of course”. I learned some new words that day before my Mum explained the error of my ways.

  130. peg browning's shadow says:

    The Death of Right to Work
    After 17 months and $2 billion, the NLRB sandbags Boeing. .

    We knew that Big Labor had political pull at the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board, but yesterday’s complaint against Boeing is one for the (dark) ages. By challenging Boeing’s right to build aircraft in South Carolina, labor’s bureaucratic allies in Washington are threatening the ability of states to compete for new jobs and investment—and risking the economic recovery to boot.

    In 2009 Boeing announced plans to build a new plant to meet demand for its new 787 Dreamliner. Though its union contract didn’t require it, Boeing executives negotiated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to build the plane at its existing plant in Washington state. The talks broke down because the union wanted, among other things, a seat on Boeing’s board and a promise that Boeing would build all future airplanes in Puget Sound.

    So Boeing management did what it judged to be best for its shareholders and customers and looked elsewhere. In October 2009, the company settled on South Carolina, which, like the 21 other right-to-work states, has friendlier labor laws than Washington. As Boeing chief Jim McNerney noted on a conference call at the time, the company couldn’t have “strikes happening every three to four years.” The union has shut down Boeing’s commercial aircraft production line four times since 1989, and a 58-day strike in 2008 cost the company $1.8 billion.

    This reasonable business decision created more than 1,000 jobs and has brought around $2 billion of investment to South Carolina. The aerospace workers in Puget Sound remain among the best paid in America, but the union nonetheless asked the NLRB to stop Boeing’s plans before the company starts to assemble planes in North Charleston this July.
    .The NLRB obliged with its complaint yesterday asking an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production because its executives had cited the risk of strikes as a reason for the move.


  131. Siu Hisle says:

    Hey just wanted to let you know that I’ve and linked to your site (dofollow) from here:

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