December Otteau Report

From the Otteau Group:

NJ Housing Recovery Picks Up In December

After pausing in November due to the after effects of Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey home sales resumed their upward trajectory with a 7% increase in December compared to the same month one year earlier. YTD home purchase contracts rose by an impressive 21% in 2012. Shifting to the supply side of the equation, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey fell to their lowest level in 7 years.

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52 Responses to December Otteau Report

  1. grim says:

    From PhillyBurbs:

    Christie vetoes foreclosure bill again; sponsor says he won’t reintroduce

    Legislation intended to reduce New Jersey’s glut of foreclosed homes was blocked again by Gov. Chris Christie last week, and the bill’s prime sponsor says he has no plans to reintroduce it a third time.

    Christie vetoed the so-called Foreclosure Transformation Act for the second time Tuesday, stating in his veto message that New Jersey would tackle its high number of foreclosures by using $300 million in federal aid to offer financial help to homeowners in trouble rather than facilitating the purchase of vacant homes for resale.
    The governor also vetoed a separate bill that would have forced the state to use the federal aid more quickly.

    “Given the myriad economic challenges that we are presently confronted with, and New Jersey’s immediate challenge of recovering from Superstorm Sandy, the state’s foreclosure prevention program portfolio would be best served through the continued utilization of the $300 million of federal financial assistance, as opposed to the unavailable and, in some cases, unidentified state funding sources this bill relies on,” Christie said in his conditional veto, which deleted all of the language in the Foreclosure Transformation Act.

    The bill, which was approved by the Democratic majority in the Legislature in December, would have directed the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency to create a program to provide loans and financing to developers or other nonprofit groups to purchase foreclosed properties for resale or rent as either affordable or market-rate housing.

    “We’re pleased the governor vetoed the bill,” said Steve Lonegan, director of Americans for Prosperity, on Friday. “This was the most far-left liberal extremist piece of legislation I’ve ever seen. It will lead only to an explosion of government and a more extreme welfare state while ruining our communities. The idea of the government buying all these houses and flipping them as affordable housing — it’s radical.”

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. Comrade Nom Deplume, unhinged. says:

    Good morning Mike.

    Figured I would get that in before Ernest tells you to go f@ck yourself.

  4. Ernest Money says:

    This, from a guy who lives where they boo Santa Claus. ;)

  5. Fast Eddie says:

    Shifting to the supply side of the equation, the number of homes being offered for sale in New Jersey fell to their lowest level in 7 years.

    It’s because people can’t sell. They’re under water. They were duped by the sleaziest industry even known to mankind. There aren’t enough words to describe the level of deceit implemented in order to swindle the masses on the biggest purchase of their lives. Think about this logically: the talking @sshats keep insisting that sales are up, yet there’s nothing to sell. Those numbers, any numbers by the NAR are total and utter bullsh1t, just like their lackies who drink the Ponzi kool aid.

  6. Phoenix says:

    [5] Eddie, there are plenty in NJ that are not underwater. They are “not going to give their house away.” Or they are underwater as they had a house with equity and ran into contractors that would say “when I’m done with this house it will be worth x amount” while they are getting into position behind and pulling down the pants of the homeowner.

  7. Juice Box says:

    Sigh I am going to keep my kids off the Internet like the Amish do, the lawyer fees for the parents here could bankrupt them.

  8. Grim says:

    The rat says winter is over

  9. Juice Box says:

    Cumon Grim since when do Rats hibernate?

  10. Fast Eddie says:

    Phoenix [6],

    So, what you’re telling me is, that no matter how much salt and pepper you put on granite and stainless steel, it’s still really tough to eat?

  11. nwnj says:


    I’ve said it before, if you do indeed have cash, the only way to obtain value right now is to find a place(preferably empty) that needs work. Too many buyers out there with 3.5% mortgages looking for the move in ready places. Some of them won’t have the cash to do reno’s so at least you would eliminate part of your competition.

  12. nwnj says:

    And BTW, the housing market is still flat on it’s back. Mostly all of the asset classes are at all time highs and housing is still down 30%. I’d hate to see what gas prices would look like if they inflated enough to get housing back to 2006, we’re seeing seasonal all time highs in gas right now.

    The trains towns might be hot again but it’s a small part of the overall segment. And much like the mix shifts were distorting things at times on the way down, I think the same is happening as we bounce along the bottom.

    The more desirable places are selling for higher prices and everything else is flat or still falling. There are loads of people waiting to sell if things pick up. Not to mention the shadow inventory which has still not be purged in this state. Those will both smother any improvement.

  13. Fast Eddie says:


    Going to see one this afternoon. It’s dated, needs bath and kitchen updates. It’s on a main road in a “desirable” town. There’s simply nothing else to look at. What’s available is utter shit in the mid 500s and then it steps up to upper 600s to lower 700s. There’s no such thing as “really nice” in the 600 range. There’s a 150K void in the middle because, as we all know, everyone’s not gonna give it away. And, on cue, the one house that is seriously marked to market draws everyone in and the f.ucking m0ron sellers think this is their price point.

  14. Fast Eddie says:

    And what happens when 30 year rates clock in at 6.5%? Sure, everyone’s going to be solvent again, right? Everyone’s gonna get 4% annual increases in salary as well, right? And everybody will have 20% ready to put down, right? How come the house tour guides never visit here and give us their expert advice?

  15. BearsFan says:

    15 – And what happens when 30 year rates clock in at 6.5%?

    Eddie, I’m with you. I’m starting to struggle with the idea that the plan all along is, who cares? By then, it’s possible all that injected money that gets repatriated will lead to a small group of people gobbling up everything with cash. A few “haves” and many “have nots”. Few of the houses I saw late last year that just closed the last two weeks….two cash, RE LLCs, slightly below ask. Another that I actually bid on went for exactly what I bid 6 months earlier, but 30 yr adjustable FHA and owner lives near by (likely flip).

    The landscape is changing. I’ve never been more interested in the grims/chifi’s/JJs/joyce’s/list can go on (u know who u are), never been more curious than now how everyone sees these events. I’m still bearish and believe in the long term fundamentals will win out, but it’s also possible that this game can go on for a long time, and end only when these investors find better return elsewhere down the road, that might be when the ultimate crash does come, when returns elsewhere improve and they begin the great dump. All the while (years), incomes stay flat as none of this activity is long term healthy for economic growth.

    Just some thoughts…not married to any of it or prepared to defend, just a rambling.

  16. Ragnar says:

    Here’s a house that looks like a wedge of swiss cheese. Only $929k, open house tomorrow. I suppose it doesn’t have an attractive side from which to photograph.

  17. Jill says:

    Phoenix #98 from yesterday: Glad the info was useful. I’ll be calling him again after my mother’s estate is settled and after WT does this year’s inspections for revaluation. I’m going to get clobbered quite enough after having won an appeal in 2011.

  18. gryffindor says:

    Since last fall, my potential commercial real estate and home purchases have both fell apart.

    Home – granny agrees to $195k for old house with detached garage, we give a deposit. We ask for contingency to make sure township will approve variance to move garage and attach it to the house due to funny shaped lot. A few weeks later granny’s realtor says they have an offer with no contingency so what do we want to do? We said pass. This was in November. Today, I don’t see the house online anymore but I still see the for sale sign in the yard. I wonder if they really had an offer.

    Commercial property – owner has 2009 appraisal for $500k and firmly believes the shack it is worth exactly that. Agrees to $400k. I get a bank to approve me for the mortgage. My due diligence reveals that the other tenant’s lease is so pro-tenant, I have little recourse for 10 years when I become the landlord. That’s what happens when a tenant brings their own lease to the signing and the landlord doesn’t read it.

  19. grim says:

    The Fed has said they aren’t moving until unemployment is back down to 6.5% and/or inflation is running at a 2.5% pace. Although I’d argue that the first figure is the target, and the second figure is the desired outcome.

    At the current rate of job growth, it’s going to take something like 3 years to hit a UE of 6.5%, and the Fed starts raising, which is likely a necessary prerequisite for even beginning the approach a 6.5% interest rate. So that said, is this even a worthwhile discussion to have until we’re in the high sixes?

    Some would argue it’s an irrelevant discussion anyway, since the relationship between interest rates and home prices has been shown to act in both directions, or not at all, and from a mathematical perspective the correlation is shit. There have been plenty of times when home prices rose right alongside rising interest rates.

  20. cobbler says:

    ragnar [17]
    It looks like they had a standard split level, that was raised by a floor all the way through, and a fireplace was added. Plus was the increased living space, minuses are having to climb to the 3rd floor and conspicuous ugliness. Changing the siding may significantly improve the looks of this house, btw.

  21. Essex says:

    Some Male Soldiers Are Growing A (Yes, Just One) Breast
    Marc Lallanilla, LiveScience | Feb. 2, 2013, 1:47 PM | 813 | 3

    Like armies everywhere, the German military is filled with macho, chest-thumping rituals.
    But one battalion has found there’s a downside to all that chest-thumping: The male soldiers are growing breasts — and only on their left sides.
    The Wachbataillon unit performs precision military drills at official ceremonial functions, the German Herald reports.
    Many of their drills involve smacking their rifles against the left side of the soldiers’ chests. And all that pounding on the same spot has stimulated the production of hormones that cause man boobs to grow.
    “There is a very significant link between the activity in the … battalion and the development of the breast on the left side,” Dr. Bjorn Krapohl, director of plastic surgery at the military’s main hospital in Berlin, told the Herald. “They need to change the way they drill.”
    The growth of male breasts isn’t altogether uncommon: The condition is known as gynecomastia, and it’s caused by an imbalance in testosterone and estrogen levels.

    Read more:

  22. Anon E. Moose says:

    AR! GEN! TINA!
    AR! GEN! TINA!
    AR! GEN! TINA!

    The official Argentine statistics are sharply different from those private sector economists issue.For instance, last month the government said that inflation in 2012 was 10.8pc, while a group of private economists who collate their data put the rate at 25.6pc. Buenos Aires benefits from understating the data, because a large part of its sovereign debt is indexed to inflation.

    Cash is trash, boys and girls. The books are cooked. That couldn’t happen, could it? Not in Greece! (Oops.) Not in Argentina! (Oops.) Not in America! (Hmm….)
    Everyone got their inflation-protected assets in place? Who thinks $80B/ mo. poured into agency debt is going to just disappear? Just coincidence that the amount of debt bought by the Fed roughly equals the budget deficit?

    Buckle your seat belts, its going to be a bumpy ride.

  23. BearsFan says:

    grim, not to cherry pick time-frames, but the last 30 years (most relevant) suggest otherwise:

    ’75-’82, for sure its blown up. But I don’t think you could describe the correlation as “sh*t”?

    But the 6.5% UE, that’s a joke. We will never see that anytime soon. And at this point, what, the 30 basis point move in bonds last few weeks did what to the interest on the debt (where’s chifi or JJ)? 60 billion, something like that? They can’t stop. So I think we’ll see rates here for a very long time.

    for a laugh, here’s an article from 09 where you can see talk of rates dipping back into the 5’s as laughable. this all made sense at the time too.

  24. cobbler says:

    bearsfan [25]
    Actually it did very little to the bond interest budget outlay since most bonds being rolled over are short term whose rate didn’t change in any meaningful way (2 basis points for a 2-years) and is directly controlled by the Fed. Btw, if the 10-year circa 2003 is currently rolled over at the face value, the interest payments are better than halved.

  25. Essex says:

    MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. – Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a McCracken County man after he reportedly broke into a home while the family was out of town, and killed their pets.

    They’re looking for 36-year-old Richard Barnes.

    According to deputies, the family returned home on Wednesday evening to find Barnes in their home. He then ran out of the residence.

    Deputies say it appeared Barnes had been living in the home for a few days.

    Deputies found signs that the pets had been shot and killed inside the home with a rifle that belonged to the victims.

    It also appeared that the cats had been skinned and processed as wild game would have been.

    Nothing else was taken from the home.

    People who have any information as to Barnes’ whereabouts are asked to call the McCracken County Sheriff’s Dept.

  26. Comrade Nom Deplume, unhinged. says:

    [4] Ernest,

    They booed Santa in West Chester???

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume, unhinged. says:

    Went to Lancaster for the day. Never been. Much bigger city than I thought. And much more hip than I would have guessed.

  28. Essex says:

    29. Met with the heads of the big bank there once for a bidness oppty. They reminded me of the dutch masters. Hilarious.

  29. BearsFan says:

    26 – cobb, thanks for the clarification. I have read that The CBO says every 100 basis-point increase in interest rates adds near $100 billion a year to borrowing costs (I think Denninger). I guess that is not the case. Trying to understand this charade is hard if your not in the biz I suppose.

    So if the FED is holding mainly long term debt, the short term maturing bonds can be rolled over safely…it’s the long term risk down the road if rates are higher (the bonds that are being issued now at the apparent peak) that are the potential problem?

    Set me str8 on this please (what exactly is the risk to the national debt based on what the fed has done, and what are the timeline parameters)?

  30. cobbler says:

    If the Treasury has 10T of outstanding short term debt, yes, the rate increase by 100 bp (1%) will fairly quickly increase the budget outlay by 100B (though some of this will come back as taxes on the interest). Short rates are for all practical purposes controlled by the Fed, but they certainly will at some point be lifted from the current almost zero level. For that matter, Uncle Sam is paying less in interest now than a few years ago when the rates were much higher, despite having much larger debt.
    Fed holds mostly short to medium term maturities; they bought some longer terms since 2009, but generally don’t like it.
    To answer your question, there is no risk to the national debt from what Fed as such had done (except for the argument that low rates encourage reckless fiscal policy), the risk is from the Congressional actions since about 1980.
    I am sure chicagofinance can provide more educated and detailed feedback.

  31. Ragnar says:

    Bears, 15
    Things last longer than you think, then they collapse faster than you expect. That’s my experience following about 30 global markets the last 20 years. “Markets are slow to overreact” is a good expression for it.

  32. Essex says:

    Naughty :

    Her account of the sex parties Menendez allegedly attended in the Dominican Republic is the most detailed to surface since TheDC first began reporting on the story in November.

    She told her story to a tipster who forwarded the email to CREW; it was not included with the cache of documents he published online on Jan. 24. TheDC was first to report on that dossier about Sen. Menendez, which included an interview transcript in which a different women claimed she was 16 when she began sleeping with him.

    That young prostitute said she had sex with Menendez “three times at least” in 2009. “The first one in February, and then in May and June. I recall his visit in June so well because that month was my 17th birthday.”

    The woman whose email CREW released on Wednesday also recalled a sexual encounter with Menendez near her birthday, but said hers was in a different month.

    “The first time I saw him was more than three years ago at the beginning of March, because it was around my birthday,” she wrote.

    Read more:

  33. Anon E. Moose says:

    Morning entertainment — Spurs and “The American”

  34. yome says:

    #30 cobbler,
    When interest rates rise value of principal goes down. Investor loose money. So if interest rates goes up the Fed can buy debt at a lower value. No?

  35. yome says:

    #34 repurched debt at a lower value

  36. cobbler says:

    I don’t understand the point you are trying to make. If the rates go up, yes, the specific long-term bond will be cheaper, whether for the Fed or for you. The debt is the Treasury’s responsibility (=the taxpayers’).

  37. yome says:

    Let us say you are holding treasury bonds, when interest rates goes up your bonds will loose value if you need to sell. The Fed can repurchase the bond you are selling at the current market price

    As an explanation

    QuestionNow that interest rates have started to rise, how will that affect bonds?AnswerInterest rates, which recently hovered at their lowest levels in 40 years, are rising. Just as bond prices go up when yields go down, the prices of bonds you own now will generally drop as yields—interest rates—go up.

  38. cobbler says:

    What should concern the taxpayer is the total budget outlay for the interest payments, which is not affected by who owns the debt. The Fed returns the interest it is paid back to the Treasury, but this is a side effect, not the purpose of its operations.

  39. yome says:

    Monthly repurchase of bonds by the Fed got cheaper.

  40. yome says:

    If you own 1 mil worth of bonds and lost 50 percent of its value. Fed repurchase this bonds at 500k and put it in its book. The taxpayer pays interest on this bonds while the Fed is holding it in his books, which in turn pays itself the interest. No?

  41. yome says:

    And the beauty, you lost 50% of the value paid you with money that came out from thin air and now paying itself interest and can choose to destroy this debt. Suddenly it is not in the books, nobody owns it. Just some more 500 k paper money in circulation. No? Ok dont start with inflation

  42. cobbler says:

    Just do what you describe and get rich.

  43. yome says:

    Just saying. Could it be this is what the fed is doing? A lot of people are getting out of bonds

  44. Comrade Nom DePlume says:

    I have no conviction but I just cannot bring myself to support any team Fabius supports. So Go Ravens.

  45. yome says:

    109 yard kick return touchdown

  46. Painhrtz - So long and thanks for all the fish says:

    Jeez how many times has Shannon Sharpe been hit in the head he sounds like how iq is 12

  47. Hughesrep says:

    At least Art Modell is dead.

  48. Fabius Maximus says:

    I hold it true, whate’er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.

  49. Ernest Money says:

    Is the game over yet?

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