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It’s An Understood Dynamic That They’re Going To Have To Cut Their Pricing

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “After two years of historic year-over-year home value jumps in the greater Nashville market, a cooling trend has taken hold. Sellers are dropping prices, buyers are getting more concessions and competition for properties has eased. Cities from coast to coast are experiencing similar housing market deceleration — with the most extreme downturns in Seattle, San Francisco and other areas that saw the most dramatic gains in recent years.”

“‘The places where the slowdown is more apparent are places that were moving at such an incredible, unsustainable pace,’ said Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow. ‘When prices go too far, too fast, demand starts falling back and appreciation slows down.'”

“The year-over-year median home sale price dropped in January for the first time since February 2012 in metro Portland, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service. Sellers are feeling their power erode, with homes sitting on the market longer and more of them selling for less than the listed price.”

“‘The aggressive price increase we saw in the past few years simply became unsustainable as too many potential homeowners were priced out of the market,’ said Tim Duy, a University of Oregon economist. ‘Prices just became too high. We forget how abnormal this market had gotten.'”

“Total active listings in Pasadena were up 43.5 percent over last January. Jordan Levine, deputy chief economist for the California Association of Realtors said that the tables have turned for California and it’s a challenging environment for sellers. ‘Supply-side problems have become demand side problems,’ Levine said. ‘We’ve gone so many years without enough housing. As a result it pushed the prices up faster than income. Homeowners are pushed out of reach so that’s a demand problem.'”

“One of the only builders of affordable homes in Denver says bad city policy is forcing him to stop new construction. Gary Gibson is unable to sell his affordable townhouse in Stapleton due to the rule changes. Gibson bought the home in 2016 and said his housing cost debt-to-income ratio was nearing 50 percent at the time, but the city didn’t mind since he received mortgage lender approval.”

“Currently, Gibson faces the prospect of paying two mortgages as he and his new wife and baby are set to close on a new home, out of the affordable housing program, this week. ‘Disaster,’ he said. ‘Utter disaster.'”

“Market experts say a general malaise has settled over the uppermost tier of the residential market in Manhattan, because there is a large inventory of competing projects. ‘Developments that came at the height of the market are now yielding to a softening market and it’s an understood dynamic among builders that they’re going to have to cut their pricing in order to sell,’ said Frances Katzen, a broker at Douglas Elliman.”

“The heady days are clearly a thing of the past. ‘The Canadian housing market is going through a period of decompression: It is now well over two years since the first policy intervention to head off house price bubbles in Greater Vancouver and Toronto, along with addressing the affordability crisis in both metro areas,’ said economist Andres Carbacho-Burgos of Moody’s Analytics.”

“The cost of property in London’s most expensive neighborhoods tumbled in 2018, with buyers using the U.S. dollar making the largest savings. During 2018’s fourth quarter those buying top London property in U.S. dollars are estimated to have averaged a 36 percent saving compared to 2014’s peak prices.”

“Hong Kong’s newest micro-sized housing project has been priced at levels that represent a double-digit percentage discount to similar offerings released only a few months earlier. The offer of cut-price micro flats reflect the eagerness of the developer to adopt a lower pricing ­strategy as the residential market continues to cool. ‘Developers now do not dare to price their new homes at a high level. Also, nano flats like this have seen extremely bad results recently,’ said Derek Chan, the head of research at Ricacorp.”

“Housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show home loan approvals slumped 6.1 per cent in December 2018. Louis Christopher, CEO of market analyst SQM Research, said the ‘atrocious’ figures are driven by a lack of confidence in the housing market.”

“Christopher says investors are spooked. ‘We have been seeing a big fall off in investor demand. Initially, that was triggered by investors not being able to get a loan. Now they’re scared of the housing market. They do not want to actually get the loan.'”

“Those wanting to buy a home are waiting for the market to hit rock bottom. ‘Very few people believe we are at the bottom of the housing market. We certainly don’t. We think there will be more falls to come,’ Christopher said. ‘It’s a tenant’s market and it’s a buyers market. And it’ll become even more of a buyers market and even more of a tenants market overall.'”

This Post Has 161 Comments
  1. ‘Christopher says investors are spooked. ‘We have been seeing a big fall off in investor demand. Initially, that was triggered by investors not being able to get a loan. Now they’re scared of the housing market. They do not want to actually get the loan’

    I’ve said for years, if you want lower prices, just pull the gravy on loans. Now speculators don’t want to borrow. Forget the “we needta build more shacks” crap.

    1. Ahem…

      ‘Gary Gibson is unable to sell his affordable townhouse in Stapleton due to the rule changes. Gibson bought the home in 2016 and said his housing cost debt-to-income ratio was nearing 50 percent at the time, but the city didn’t mind since he received mortgage lender approval’

      ‘Currently, Gibson faces the prospect of paying two mortgages as he and his new wife and baby are set to close on a new home, out of the affordable housing program, this week. ‘Disaster,’ he said. ‘Utter disaster’

      Gary’s affordable housing plan put him in two loans, simultaneously! That’s double the affordability. Note how a “rule change” works. Let’s get the gubberment out of loan backing and we’ll really see a lotta lower prices.

      1. Complete and total fraud, in plain view. Pour some more of the “Gov Gravy” on the problem, that will fix it for sure.

  2. “Christopher says investors are spooked. ‘We have been seeing a big fall off in investor demand. Initially, that was triggered by investors not being able to get a loan. Now they’re scared of the housing market. They do not want to actually get the loan.’”

    Wait until speculators and FBs panic and slash their prices, only to see them go bidless. That’s when the real fun is going to start.

    1. “Wait until speculators and FBs panic and slash their prices, only to see them go bidless.”

      The debt too, wait until speculators and FBs panic and slash their debt.

      Oh, wait they can’t slash their debt. The debt, it gets to stay.

      “That’s when the real fun is going to start.”

      You got it.

      😁

      1. They can walk away from their debts. And trust me, they will.

        The value of the underlying collateral, i.e. shacks, could be significantly impaired once the jingle mail starts coming in to your office en masse, Mr. Banker.

        Oh dear….

        1. No big deal. I’ll just have my bought-and-paid-for congress critters pass a bail-out-the-banks bill and disguise it as a bail-out-the-homeowners bill.

          Same as always.

          1. Voters may not bend over for you and your Wall Street grifter pals with the same alacrity that they displayed back in 2008, Mr. Banker. The Goldman Sachs puppets didn’t fare so well in the 2016 Presidential Election.

          2. The voters won’t be consulted. And this time there won’t be congressional hearings and approvals and the MSM won’t report on it. The central banks will execute the bail out behind closed doors. It is not politically viable for them to admit that only a few years after untold trillions were pumped into the banking system that every penny of it has been squandered on yet another debt-based Ponzi scheme.

          3. The voters didn’t exactly bend over. There was a peaceful protest movement called Occupy Wall Street. The Obamanites used tear gas and the implicit threat of lethal force to break it up.

  3. From the Hong Kong article

    “The 22-storey residential block named AVA 228 – a project in Sham Shui Po featuring 160 flats – has priced the smallest of an initial batch of units, measuring 151 square feet, at HK$18,563 per square foot, or HK$2.8 million (US$356,750)…”

    Unbelievable.

  4. Sellers are feeling their power erode, with homes sitting on the market longer and more of them selling for less than the listed price.”

    Be afraid, FBs. Be very afraid. It’s not just your “power” that’s eroding – it’s the artificially inflated value of your shack, thanks to all the QE and loose lending since 2009. Now it’s time to pay the piper. The implosion of Housing Bubble 2.0 is going to dwarf the 2007-2011 housing bubble bust, only this time around the Fed has squandered all its ammo, and voting for another Wall Street bailout would be political suicide.

    1. We’ll see QE 3.0 and asset purchases. Helicopter Bendover. There is no political opposition on the left or right to printing money this time.

      1. Like hell there’s not. When the sheeple see their purchasing power relentlessly debased as the Fed propels us down the road to Weimar 2.0, they’ll start waking up. Donald Trump rode to power on an wave of public anger over our rapacious elites and their swindles against the bottom 95% – don’t think Les Deplorables aren’t increasingly on to the Fed and its swindles.

        1. Les Deplorables disagree with their leader!?

          “As a candidate, Donald Trump pledged to balance the federal budget and lower the national debt, promises that are proving difficult to keep.

          Once he won, Trump considered an unusual approach that was quickly slapped down by his chief economic advisor, according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which went on sale Tuesday.

          “Just run the presses — print money,” Trump said, according to Woodward, during a discussion on the national debt with Gary Cohn, former director of the White House National Economic Council.

          “You don’t get to do it that way,” Cohn said, according to Woodward. “We have huge deficits and they matter. The government doesn’t keep a balance sheet like that.”

          1. Les Deplorables disagree with their leader!?

            Les Deplorables voted for Donald Trump as a middle finger to The Swamp and the crony capitalist status quo like Crooked Hillary. I have no illusions about Trump, but Les Deplorables are still out there and still despise the globalist elites and their creatures in the Republicrat duopoly.

          2. veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House

            My gut tells me Bob Woodward is part of Operation Mockingbird.

          3. They agreed with him muchly, and they believed him bigly, so when he tells them that he’s not raising deficits it’s just the boohoo liberals he defeated against all odds the elite who hates him because he’s ‘real’ and not politically correct, they believe him too. You ever look at twitter or yahoo comments to watch his peeps support him? They really believe his lies and giveaways to the Republicrat crony capitalists he allegedly was fighting.

        2. If I remember correctly the bail out legislation was written such that, in effect, it authorized perpetual bail outs without further legislative approval. This was part of the “tool box” the fed wanted so it could act “independently” to secure the financial system in case there was another critical event. I don’t think they need to go to congress for authorization. They can just hand out however much money they want to whomever they want and nobody can stop them and nobody can find how much money was doled out and to whom it was given.

    2. “voting for another Wall Street bailout would be political suicide.”

      You give the sheeple way too much credit. Besides, who else do they vote for? Under our system, no one outside the two major parties has a chance. And those two major parties are equally guilty of creating our mess.

      1. When both parties are captured by their globalist moneybags and corporate cartels, then it’s time to withdraw the consent of the governed. Refuse to participate in Wall Street’s Republicrat puppet show, and only vote for independent candidates who are not bought and paid for by corporate and oligarch money. AOC, despite her myriad faults, managed to bilge a ten-term corporate stooge who only got 1% of his campaign contributions from small individual donors. She’s far from perfect, but voting out the corporate and globalist stooges in both parties is a good start.

        1. Yep and the “governed “ are finally starting to realize they can ask this of their candidates. We have no hope of democracy if we don’t get money out of politics. It’ll be interesting to see how the Dem field shakes out for 2020. If they commit to ending corporate money taking for the election it would be very helpful to their case and this cycle could represent a real possibile inflection point for the country. Clinton blocked that with the help of the whole corporate Dem machinery last cycle. JUST the money taking would be a revolution. Run on.a platform of toothsome steps to end the effects of Citizens United and it would be huge.

          1. Is it crazy to believe (as I do) that all campaigns should be funded only by public money? Or a combination of public money supplemented by small donations from individuals?

          2. Ah, but the Supreme Court ruled that money is speech and so free speech means endless dark money. Of course, the parties could say no, we just won’t take it for campaigns, but there would be no teeth in such a guideline if money is speech and then the Dems could argue they’d be ‘hamstrung’ etc etc etc.

  5. ‘When prices go too far, too fast, demand starts falling back and appreciation slows down.’

    Lower prices are great, as they indicate that long-elusive affordable housing goals are finally close to being achieved. And the faster we get there, the better!

    1. From the Net…

      The sellers of a property in ‘contingent’ or ‘active contingent’ status have also accepted an offer to buy the home. But with a contingent listing, the contract is contingent upon the buyer’s ability to sell his existing home, i.e., if the buyer doesn’t sell his home, he is able to back out of the contract.”

      I don’t know what is considered “normal” but a week doesn’t seem to me to be a very long time when it comes to selling a house.

      1. Note the term “to sell the home”, meaning the sale of the previous home has been completed. This term is a bit different than something like “in the process of selling a home”.

        The process of selling a home can take quite a while (as in more than a week) and there is no guarantee that the process will be completed until it is actually completed.

        This is my input; I am inviting others to submit their inputs.

        1. More from the Net …

          “A settlement contingency, on the other hand, is used if the buyer has already marketed his or her property, has a contract in hand and a settlement date on the calendar. Because the property isn’t truly sold until the settlement (or closing) takes place, this protects the buyer if the sale falls through for any reason.”

  6. “…said Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow. ‘When prices go too far, too fast, demand starts falling back and appreciation slows down….”

    Stand back everyone.

    We need to leave the heavy thinking to the professionals.

    Guess that is why Zillow pays Skylar Olsen the big bucks.

    I’ll bet he stayed up all night thinking of that one.

    I am sure we will all look forward to Skylar’s next Twitter missive.

    1. ‘When prices go too far, too fast’

      But we’ve had people tell us for years this was unpossible. Why Jingle said loans were rock solid. There’s no fraud nor subprime hanky panky. So how could it be that prices went “too far too fast”? And if prices did, doesn’t that suggest when prices fall as they are now, some of those loans might, (gasp) default?

      Interesting how many false assurances and assumptions can come unglued with this one simple acknowledgement.

      1. I maintain the point that lending today is much tighter and of greater quality than in 2006. There are very few 100% LTV “fog a mirror” loans today.

        Sure, the market may be turning, a peak may have been reached, but the magnitude of the correction will be much than the 2008-2012 correction.

        The change today is mostly the result of a buyer’s weariness in this market. The buyers I know are continuing to pile money into savings and are ready to acquire a house when conditions are more favorable.

        That situation is completely different than 2008 when bank owned properties when begging for a year.

  7. OT, but on the national topic du jour… A little fact checking about this “crisis at the southern border.”

    Stats from the Border Patrol demonstrating how many people attempting illegal entry are apprehended each year along the southern border (BTW, I love that BP still calls them “illegal aliens”).

    In FY 2017, 303,916 total were apprehended. If you scroll through, you’ll see that’s the lowest number in decades:

    https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2017-Dec/BP%20Southwest%20Border%20Sector%20Apps%20FY1960%20-%20FY2017.pdf

    Meanwhile, in the same FY nearly twice as many people are thought to have overstayed their visas: “At the end of FY 2017, there were 606,926 Suspected In-Country Overstays”

    https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/08/07/dhs-releases-fiscal-year-2017-entryexit-overstay-report

    Am I the only person concerned that our prez is seriously talking about declaring a national emergency to deal with something that clearly isn’t ? A cynic would think he is just posing, meanwhile the flow of cheap labor continues.

    1. iffin’ ya ever chase a mouse into a corner, watch how high they can JUMP!

      This is illustrated in the fairy.tail book:

      “The mouse that roared!” . .. By Trumpsisis Tantrumosis Chaotia

      1. There’s that word again: “Luxury” … Could bee the ones with “$pecial.$kills.$ets”, are setting up shop to provide high.cla$$ product$ for these folk$:

        Barneys$ aims to be the ‘Hermè$’ of cannabi$
        MarketWatch | Published: Feb 15, 2019

        You will soon be able to buy a $terling-$ilver pot grinder for $1,475 and other luxury cannabi$ acce$$ories at Barney$’ Beverly Hill$ flag$hip store

        Cannabis has gone high-end.

        Barneys New York aims to light up the marijuana market with its own posh pot boutique called The High End, a head shop of sorts selling smokers’ accessories from rolling papers and leather ashtrays to bespoke glass bongs and cannabis-infused candies. The company will roll out these luxury marijuana accessories at its Beverly Hills location in March, with other locations in California to follow.

        The department store teamed up with Los Angeles-based cannabis purveyor Beboe — referred to as the “Hermès of Marijuana” by fans and its celebrity clientele — to curate pricey products for the shop and market them to defy the traditional stereotype of marijuana being the drug of choice for unmotivated, broke potheads with the munchies. Or, as Beboe co-founder Scott Campbell says the accessories are for “ex-punk rock stoner kids who now make a little money and can buy nice stuff.”

        The global marijuana market is estimated to hit $31.4 billion by 2021, up from approximately $7.7 billion currently, according to data published by Forbes citing cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group.

        1. If you look at that list of National Emergencies, you can see that these are all to circumvent normal protections for people conducting business because they are potentially doing business in support of terrorist or human-rights or drug-trafficking behavior…
          This one was just a tantrum and to get around the fact he couldn’t make this happen politically, pure and simple.
          Then, he absolutely destroys his own potential case by admitting it is not really about anything besides him not getting purse-string approval from Congress for his desires, not citing emergency except with fake claims, it’s pretty sad. Coulter is right…

          1. “This one was just a tantrum and to get around the fact he couldn’t make this happen politically, pure and simple.”

            I argue that he and Congress never actually tried to get it done. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don’t think wall funding ever came up for a vote during the last Congress. You know, when his party had a majority in both houses.

          2. I think it did actually and he had some funding in it for walls but it also had some concessions to the Dems on DACA I thought so the Stephen Miller wing of the GOP shot it down.

        1. I love the anti-globalist movements! Of course the media won’t cover it, they are owned by global corps and billionaires who benefit from globalism, but Trump is scamming the masses who support him imho to pretend to be anti-globalist. He’s always benefitted from globalism, his babies and babies-in-law benefit, and he’s no more truly anti-globalist than the SV billionaires who pretend they care about the people and try to appeal to the “liberals” as HRC tried to do.

          1. to pretend to be anti-globalist

            I suppose then you also assume that everyone who voted for him was only pretending to give the Globalists the middle finger.

          2. No I fully believe many people who voted for him–certainly in the primaries–were truly anti-globalist. Many who voted for him in the general election also were truly anti-globalist. But Trump himself was merely pretending to be anti-globalist and it should have been obvious. He’s a NYC real estate developer who launders money for oligarchs and Saudis…putting on a red hat and pretending to be ‘against China’ is a ruse we should have been able to see through. I didn’t vote for him btw but I could not vote for HRC either.

      1. Most look very ‘procedural’ in nature, like sanctions almost, ways to circumvent regular protections for people by claiming that they must be targeted for being potential terrorists/aiders-and-abbetors-to-bad-international-actors etc. This one feels very different on its face, even forgetting that he essentially shot himself in the foot with his lack of actual argument that its an emergency and straight-up saying that it’s *not* really an emergency. Am I missing something?

        1. Honestly, it’s hard to follow what you’ve written.

          “IRL President Ann Coulter” but Trump’s not her puppet.

          “[B]usiness in support of terrorist or human-rights or drug-trafficking behavior” is the reason for this national emergency.

          “[H]e’s no more truly anti-globalist than the SV billionaires who pretend they care about the people and try to appeal to the “liberals” as HRC tried to do.” – ?????

          1. Trump is an idiot for how he’s tried to “sell” this alleged national emergency. That is, by pretty much straight up saying there isn’t one. Did you see his rose garden conference?

            He worries too much about what Coulter and Hannity say about him–he could have continued to *work* with Congress to make a decent pitch for many real changes to improve immigration issues, but he’s not really into work, as Coulter has rightly pointed out.

            Trump is not actually an anti-globalist, I argue, because he does not address important issues like H1-B visas, or endless speculative investment skewing US markets and financialist abuses and endangerments–he doesn’t do this any more than the neo-liberals and Silicon Valley billionaires who claim that globalism benefits everyone do. He just scams his base into thinking he cares, does some dog-whistle stuff about America first and how awful this or that is, and throws some welfare to the farmers while trying to force the Chinese to buy some more soy or whatever and lying to coal miners about the feasibility of their industry moving forward.
            And those other national emergencies were about restricting the banking and assets of people involved in terrorism or supporting repressive governments internationally…if you want to argue that this is what an emergency measure to SPEND billions of taxpayer dollars on fencing is doing also, then I think you’d have to make a more thorough argument that they are the same.

          2. “He just scams his base into thinking he cares”

            I’m glad I am not the only person to have noticed this. But it’s not just the Donald who does this.

          3. No of course not Trump is not the only one at all. Obama was a bigger faker in many many ways indeed but trump was supposed to be draining the swamp instead of deepening it, while lying so very very much. I can only hope that the hugeness of his scams will prompt the media to also fact check MORE and subsequent pols as much. They gave HRC a huge pass and that is what helped bring us to here. Well, that plus helping A Clinton get a candidacy in the first place. I was tempted to get a Giant Meteor 2016 bumper sticker lol

          4. Not draining the swamp?

            FEDERAL BUREAU OF “INVESTIGATION”
            James Comey, Director – FIRED
            Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director – FIRED
            Jim Rybicki, Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor – FIRED
            James Baker, General Counsel – FIRED
            Bill Priestap, Director of Counterintelligence (Strzok’s boss) – FIRED
            Peter Strzok, Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence – FIRED
            Lisa Page, Office of General Counsel – FIRED
            Mike Kortan, Assistant Director for Public Affairs – FIRED
            Josh Campbell, Special Assistant to Comey – FIRED
            Michael Steinbach – Head of NAT SEC Div – FIRED
            John Glacalone – (Predecessor to Steinbach) – Head of NAT SEC Div – FIRED
            James Turgal – Assistant Director – FIRED
            Greg Bower – Top Congressional Liaison – FIRED
            Trisha Anderson – Principle Deputy General Counsel – FIRED
            Randy Coleman – Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Div – REMOVED

            Public disclosures of “retired” or “left” are euphemisms for optics.

          5. Oh yeah I forgot when he ran on draining the swamp he was talking about the FBI right…not about lobbyists running departments and backroom deals with foreign governments to get stuff in exchange for contributions right… and when he said he would cut down on H 1 B visas he actually meant he would give low wage IT from wherever paths to citizenship like he just promised last week that’s right

          6. Not draining the swamp?
            FEDERAL BUREAU OF “INVESTIGATION”
            James Comey, Director – FIRED

            Nice, Red. I C U Q 😉

          7. Not to mention the GOP congress people who left, like Jeff Flake, that globalist open borders dog. I think there were dozens who didn’t run like Paul Ryan, another globalist open borders dog.

            Jeff Flake: ‘I’ll Take the Globalist Moniker, Thank You’ | Breitbart
            https://www.breitbart.com/…/jeff-flake-i-will-embrace-globalist-moniker-thank-you/

            Aug 1, 2017 – Jeff Flake (R-AZ) proudly wants to be called a “globalist.” Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018 and is vulnerable to a primary challenge, …
            Huckabee Blasts ‘Globalist’ Flake’s Criticism of GOP for Supporting …
            https://insider.foxnews.com/2017/08/…/jeff-flake-opposition-globalist-mike-huckabee

            Aug 1, 2017 – “The problem is you’ve got globalists like Jeff Flake who are in total disarray with conservatives,” the former Arkansas governor told host …
            Sep 15, 2017 – Is there no longer a place in politics for someone like Jeff Flake? …. attacked him on Breitbart.com as a “big-government globalist”—and Trump …
            Democrat Senator Praises Flake for His Globalist Commitments …
            https://www.libertyheadlines.com/dem-senator-praises-flake-globalist-commitments/

            Oct 26, 2017 – (Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Senator Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, announced his retirement plans at the end of his term in 2018. In the same …

          8. You seem to have wildly unrealistic expectations for the two years Trump’s been in office. Evidence that the swamp is being drained is out there if you look.

          9. You also fail to recognize that Trump is negotiating on a public stage. He uses tried-and-true negotiation styles and tactics that the MSM then uses to make Trump look mercurial, hypocritical or lying.

          10. Much like a businessman, Trump has made a number of strategic rotations within his cabinet:
            John F. Kelly – Secretary of Homeland Security then White House Chief of Staff
            Mike Pompeo – Director of the Central Intelligence Agency then United States Secretary of State
            Mick Mulvaney – Director of the Office of Management and Budget then White House Chief of Staff

            Consider what each might learn or do in his first position that would help in his second.

      2. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

        1. Eye like this one:

          “He’s so crooked, he couldn’t stand in the shadow of a corkscrew! ” … H. L. Mencken

          “One.size.fit$.mo$t” … Politician$

        2. Globalist has become such a hobgoblin term indeed. I would love to see some evidence of Trump draining a swamp besides the FBI after they threatened his legitimacy with investigation, but nobody’s provided any. It’s convenient that he can set up a bugaboo of globalist as a weapon against those who oppose him but he’s as cozy with globalists as any other billionaire and picked a bunch for his cabinet as much as they play at being not. They’re just not as ‘cool’ as the more academic -y elite that the Republicrats pick.

          1. There are only so many qualified people for these positions and sometimes enemies are best kept close.

          2. lol. how can counter-evidence even possibly be presented if the response is “well, they’re actually enemies he’s decided to keep close”? lol.

      3. kinda blew it here… (definition of an emergency?)
        While speaking with reporters outside the White House, Trump said “I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster.”

        1. It was crazy bad, he said he didn’t need to do it just that this will be ‘faster’ which is patently ridiculous as well. Listen to the whole statement he made— he truly lost any hope of winning the court battle, and gave Dems huge reason and fodder for dragging in DHS to testify about the numbers he claims he got from them and his generals whom he claims told him they’d love to spend their money on this. He could stop being a pathetic baby and be strategic but, apparently, it’s too much work. I never like agreeing with Ann Coulter but this time it’s necessary

          1. he said he didn’t need to do

            Yet he is the President, and has powers legally afforded him. I think all the cry-babies must start by presuming that he is not President, because it’s just unpossible.

          2. Perhaps there are ‘crybabies’ here from those videos but not all Trump opponents fit that bill, just fyi. I was THRILLED Trump won (even though I didn’t vote for him, but hey in MI it was good enough to just fail to vote for HRC!), and initially excited to see what he would do, and now am really hoping Mueller has some real stuff and not iffy stuff. Because he’s not actually competent imho. I guess I am with Ann Coulter, yikes!
            “He’s president” isn’t good enough for a court challenge. I think even the SCOTUS might not be able to give this to him given what he’s said here. Roberts is very aware of how terribly Trump has deeply challenged people’s already-low belief in the integrity of the court. If you want better control of illegal aliens, you need a better deal-maker than Trump is. We’ll see how much of his “winning” in life has been smarts and how much graft, soon, I hope! Maybe it’s all good and he’s not a grifter lol but I doubt it.

          3. Is there some inherent distinction from impossible? Is it used strictly in relation to Trump?

            No, it predates Trump by quite a bit. I think it originally came from the police chief’s son on the Simpsons? Implies someone is probably an immature idiot even if their intentions are good.

    2. If there is no national emergency now there very likely will be. Mexico’s oil fields are in rapid decline and the country already is a virtual narco state with a socialist president. Colombia and Brazil have found out there is an emergency when a neighbor becomes a failed state. Four million illegal immigrants so far creating severe problems.

      1. The American Military Indu$trial Complex$ … Thrive$ on such i$$ues … Their inve$tment opportunitie$ are acce$$ible on Wall $treet.

        Got U$ Defen$e $tocks?

      2. Yep. The emergency is the dictatorships stealing from the people. “MEX is a socialist country” LOL!

    3. The Border Patrol is using the proper language as illegal alien is the correct legal term.

      A gentlemen that my wife works with at our local hospital had the misfortune of having his son murdered by one of these “undocumented” types a few years ago. His young son was shot in the back of the head by an illegal mexican, execution style, and was then left to die on a lonely stretch of dark and dreary road.

      The illegal had been deported numerous times from our country but he continued to return. He had an outstanding warrant, for a previous murder in the US, at the time that he ended the life of my friend’s son.

      The illegal’s claim to justify the murder was a debt of $50.00.

      I’ll be sure to pass on your opinion to the father about that laughable fear of a “crisis at the southern border”.

      Fugitive profiles:
      https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/fugitives/profiles.asp#lagoa

      1. It is nuts to think El Paso, TX had no wall in 2005. Looks like the problem is Central America is a shettthole now from the drug cartels and they are running for their lives. Mexicans have work at the Ford plant.

  8. Eye’s gonna make organic popcorn bag$ with custom labels. Yesterdays Charles Hugh Smith’s article has given me in$pritation$!

    1. ‘horrendou$ con$equence$’
    2. ‘exhau$tion$’
    3. ‘non.bank.entitie$’
    4. ‘prerece$$ion $helter.$hack price$’
    5. ‘Mr. Ben’s HBB mi$$ing $hortage$’
    6. ‘Thornberg’$ rah.rah. pom.pom cheer$!’
    7. ‘Eeee-bola ____________________ (in$ert city)
    8. ‘$mack ’em with a 24# trout!’
    9.

    Please send additional idea$!

    Anecdotal 1$t clue$ for HBB ll … “WILL BEE DIFFERENT … thi$ time.” I

    “Here’s How They Mi$$ed the Early Clue$ of the Financial Cri$i$”

    2007 Financial Cri$i$ Explanation, Cau$es, and Timeline

    By Kimberly Amadeo| Updated February 04, 2019 | the balance

  9. ‘Gibson bought the home in 2016 and said his housing cost debt-to-income ratio was nearing 50 percent at the time, but the city didn’t mind since he received mortgage lender approval…Currently, Gibson faces the prospect of paying two mortgages’

    If he had a DTI of 50% in 2016, what ever would his DTI be now with two shacks? And how in the world did that get past Senator Running Deer? It’s almost like they are handing out loans like sugar candy! Jingle said this could never, ever happen!

  10. My favorite quote from the Pasadena article, which hits close to home since my office is there:

    “The home may be unrealistically priced,” he said. “Buyers have so much data available to them and they’re very savvy. They know when a house is fairly priced.”

    Funny how the rhetoric changed so fast, as this time last year the “savvy” buyer would have bid 100k or more over asking price and waived all contingencies!

    1. No, only the buyers *now* are savvy. Those who bought last year were the other kind, who had no clue about fair pricing.

      1. My point exactly, as the media described those who overpaid without contingencies over the last 2-3 years as “savvy” and “sophisticated” buyers. Perhaps I should have made my sarcasm more clear 🙂

  11. ‘The aggressive price increase we saw in the past few years simply became unsustainable as too many potential homeowners were priced out of the market,’ said Tim Duy, a University of Oregon economist. ‘Prices just became too high. We forget how abnormal this market had gotten.’

    I didn’t forget Tim. The question is, in what year did things become abnormal? Was it 2016? How about 2012 or 2011? It matters a lot because we start to see how far out on a limb these “aggressive” buyers are.

    1. “Abby Normal” markets since 2009. We’re in the Twilight Zone of centrally planned markets via central banks. Powell caved on rates and QT only a few weeks ago. Markets are addicted to cheap credit. Looking for an intervention in the housing market next.
      Party on dude! I’m sure everything is just fine.

  12. The realtor I’d been working with to buy something–who I liked because he seemed to be honest enough to be saying that things had gotten outrageous last summer and had to get more realistic–has just disappeared from my emailbox. His auto-generated listings are still coming, but he’s just not answering his gmail. It’s weird.
    He did mention when I asked how someone could think their used-condo should be worth as much as the nicer new ones being built just across the road that, well, the competition for listings is so fierce that agents will list at whatever the seller insists they should/could get just to get the damn listing, so it’s hard to connect asking-prices to market-conditions. I wonder if he had to get a different job or something.
    I haven’t texted him yet, I was sorta wondering how long it would be before he’d answer my 5 or 10 emails. So far going on 2 weeks. Husband is still insisting on buying now, even though I sooooo don’t want to. Things are losing steam here in some ways but not in others. Indeed just before my realtor fell off the planet we were in communication about a house I thought was okay, didn’t really love the location at all but it was priced somewhat reasonably, and it went contingent in less than a week and he stopped getting back to me after promising that he would find out more about it after we went to an OH because he knew the listing agent and could gauge interest. The seller bought the house like 5 years ago and stood to make a mere 50% on it, so that felt like wow, such a bargain, but it’s near the (recently closed but still running gas operations) landfill, and had some issues but seemed generally okay and was in the desirable school district as opposed to the homes a little down the road in a cruddy district. So poof it went quick.
    I wonder if he took a new job, or just decided he couldn’t actually help me buy something in this market, or what. It’s not like we even spent more than a single look-see together so he could see how picky and unwilling to overpay I am lol. We seriously considered a place that was above my desire price-range and had many many problems, so I would think that would be a good portend for a potential buyer no?

  13. New job openings for Randy Neuman’s “$hort people”!

    Real estate investors could have been killed in booby-trapped Philadelphia house
    NBC news |Feb. 15, 2019, |By David K. Li

    A team of Philadelphia real estate investors said a house they purchased was booby-trapped with a swinging knife that could have killed someone

    A house in southwest Philadelphia was booby trapped with a knife – attached to an upside-down crutch – rigged to swing down to the face level of an unsuspecting victim.

    1. Just a performance art installation on the theme of catching Falling Knives. Trying to help those investors understand is all!

    1. Sam Musovic, who owns apartments close to where Amazon had proposed building its headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, said in a press release on Friday that he and a group of angry Queens residents would be protesting at an Amazon Books store near Herald Square on Friday.

      Damn, Sam, you & your fellow greedy landlords thought you had those obscene rents in the bag! Now the only thing left to do is to stamp your little feet!

    1. No Worrie$, damn the torpedo$, … cut the jib & prepare$ to come.about$!

      “The total dollar value of notional off-balance-sheet commitment$ came to $70 trillion$ as of 2012, or 6 time$ the $ize of the reported on-balance-sheet debt.”

    2. There’$ that word again: “exhau$tion”

      Americans faced record levels of debt at the end of 2018, with the amount owed by households ri$ing for an eighteenth con$ecutive quarter$.

      Overall debt rose by $32 billion$ to $13.5 trillion$ in the fourth quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in a report out Tuesday, bringing it to a fresh high.

      Total household debt was nearly 7% higher than a previous peak of $12.68 trillion$ seen in the third quarter of 2008, underscoring potentially vulnerable spots in an otherwise humming economy.

      “We are not in the ‘red’ zone of danger yet, but these measures are trending in the wrong direction, so it’s something to keep an eye on,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS. “There’s a ri$k there to the U.$. con$umer engine.”

      A record 7 million Americans have stopped paying their car loans

      $pending’s $lumping, manufacturing’s $lowing, and delinquencie$ are ri$ing. Warning $igns for the U$ economy are piling up.
      Gina Heeb Feb 15, 2019, | businessinsider

  14. “The realtor I’d been working with to buy something–who I liked because he seemed to be honest enough to be saying that things had gotten outrageous last summer and had to get more realistic–has just disappeared from my emailbox. His auto-generated listings are still coming, but he’s just not answering his gmail. It’s weird.”

    I posted this chart several day’s ago. Perhaps you can find it useful.

    https://goo.gl/images/qcAcDi

    If you were living in Southern California I would advise you to search for him along the banks of the Santa Ana River. If you are living elsewhere probably a nearby homeless shelter would a logical place to look.

    1. I’m gonna write another couple emails lol, I’m not rushing this. My husband wants to give him a call so he can get him on the case but I’m in delaaaaaaay mode. I keep telling hubs that there’s nothing he gets to us that I don’t see myself on realtor.com anyway, so we’d just need him for scheduling a showing for now, which we could do in any case by calling someone else or just clicking a box anyway these days right? Maybe he took a cruise to feel better after all this nasty weather…

  15. Just a little tidbit from MI

    https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/02/gov-whitmer-freezes-10-million-slice-of-pork-served-to-tiny-township-by-lame-duck-republicans.html

    We just got a new Dem governor after Rep Rick Snyder of Flint water fame, and this story is indicative of how the farmlands near places like Ann Arbor MI are being developed quickly and extensively, with the help of “economic development” special task forces that had been hot hot hot under “smart nerd” VC and tech governor Snyder. He apparently wasn’t just using his ‘smarts’ but also he and the GOP infrastructure’s abilities to sneak through state-money –*sneak* it through when the deal would seem to be non-existent or non-useful and give-away to politician/political contributor– to help their cronies build stuff and maybe later claim that it will cause actual development. I wouldn’t doubt that Snyder–who used to live in a condo downtown AA before the masses drove him out with protests about the water–has some investment skin in the game too. These are all such small potatoes amounts, and his mansion outside of AA is so “insanely cheap” as US mansions go, I’m sure they thought it would never get noticed.
    Just another example of how if you are well connected, the cost of development can be covered without even making promises about anything like jobs or providing allegedly “needed” new housing. Such money was not available for fixing our worst-in-the-nation roads, or Flint’s water, Ann Arbor’s water, Kalamazoo’s water, Grand Rapids’ water, etc etc etc…

  16. The real winner$:
    “It is likely that over the coming months, the lawyer$ in Wa$hington will be far busier than the bricklayers in Arizona and Texas and California.”

    There’s gonna bee some real Texas/Tayhoss excrement.kickin’ when the less.than.brown skinned “don’t tread$ on me” landowner$ find out that “Federal.National.Emergencie$” dTrump any of their early concern$ about “Federal.Eminent.Domain$” i$$ues.

    Somebody best email Sam Houston!

    1. Forgot the BBC credit:

      Trump national emergency – A major land grab by the president
      Jon Sopel |North America editor | BBC News

      1. “Land Grab” is a loaded phrase so I’ll provide the legal definition and some further detail.

        Eminent Domain — The power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.

        Federal, state, and local governments may take private property through their power of eminent domain or may regulate it by exercising their Police Power. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the government to provide just compensation to the owner of the private property to be taken. A variety of property rights are subject to eminent domain, such as air, water, and land rights. The government takes private property through condemnation proceedings. Throughout these proceedings, the property owner has the right of due process.

        1. Bundy insists U.$. government can’t own land — no matter who’s president

          By Ken Ritter | The Associated Press |Published: January 9, 2018

          Land Management. “This is the last fire they’re going to set.”

          “Bartrum dismissed Bundy’s contention that the federal government has no authority over vast public land in the West, saying in a draft law review article that “constitutional doctrine, well-settled in the Supreme Court, expressly recognizes the federal government’s power to acquire, retain and regulate” property within a state. ”

          $tates right$ advocates$ have their own thought$ regardin’ those rule.of.law$ challenge$ … & Texas is an “open carry” State.

          1. There have been appalling abuses of this doctrine in recent years. IIRC, those abuses related to mineral rights benefiting a select few. Spoken as attorney, I can’t think of a stronger argument for eminent domain than national security.

          2. Boy, that was lickety.split like, looks like it’s gonna bee a lawyer$ shoot.out @ the “knot.so” OK corral! … Oh Marshall Dillion, trouble$ come to town!

            Texas landowners file first lawsuit to block Trump’s national emergency declaration

            Reuters |POLITICS |February15, 2019 / 5:11 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO

          3. It will be interesting to see these lawsuits because the land owners will presumably get to argue why a Wall is not needed on their land correct? You would think if they find it a problem in their area of border they would want the help

        2. I’ve seen the redress in eminent domain, it’s non existent. The government wins every time. Defending it is such a weird look from proponents of smaller government

          1. In how many cases? You’ve demonstrated on 2-3 occasions a tendency to extrapolate from insufficient data sets (one homeowner’s outstanding water bills, one anecdote of someone buying “pairs” of properties).

          2. Seriously repill I don’t need to worry about your evaluation of my arguments if you can honestly with no further explanation keep citing all the previous national emergency declarations and try to say that Trumps latest is just the same. This board includes many bits of anecdotal tidbits and if you’d like to counter with a thesis covering it thoroughly go ahead—I have a doctorate in data-analysis field so I will happily read it and give you a grade 😉

          3. I have absolutely no interest in spoonfeeding your condescension. It would be an exercise in futility.

    1. “We put, I think, 15 different apartments into contract, purely speculative, based on the Amazon move,” he said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “All 15 of those buyers called yesterday, freaking out, saying, ‘Should I pull my deposit, can I get it back? Is there an Amazon contingency in my contract?'”

      BWHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! Why no, speculator scum, there was no Amazon contingency in your contract, but we’d be happy to go back retroactively and add one for you so you can get all your money back. Does that sound fair?

      !

    2. However, “we are still doing deals. Nothing has changed,” he said on “Power Lunch.” “Long Island City has been an exciting and hot neighborhood for the past 10 years, and it will continue to be a hot and exciting neighborhood.”

      Au contraire, Eric. First, “exciting and hot neighborhood” of the past ten years was due due solely to the trillions in Yellen Bux lavished on hedgies and mega-speculators in Manhattan. That punchbowl has been taken away. Second, and more ominously, the proles who got priced out of affordable housing are now taking their revenge at the voting booth, giving us such delights as AOC who despite her child-like grasp of economic fundamentals understands her constituents’ desire to soak the rich who have been screwing them over.

      So, Eric, things are about to get “exciting and hot” in a whole new way for those massively overpriced neighborhoods and the speculators who had things all their own way under Ben, Janet, and the corporate Democrat crony capitalists, but now a new wind is blowing.

  17. While everyone seems to be focused on whether the Fed is going to go reverse course on “qualitative tightening” now that the Fed’s asset bubbles and Ponzi markets are looking more and more shaky, the more worrisome issue is the increasing reluctance of foreigners to go on funding our deficits. After all, who in their right mind is going to buy monetized debt that is going to be printed (inflated) away by the Fed, or repudiated since there’s no way we’ll ever repay $22 trillion (and rising fast). As more investors dump U.S. debt, will the Fed be forced to hike rates sharply enough to defend the dollar and its own shattered credibility?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-15/foreign-investors-dump-record-amount-treasuries

    1. Why wouldn’t the Fed just monetize the debt for a few years, and let inflation run “higher than expected” until the outstanding debt shrinks down to size in real terms? Then pull a Volcker, reining in interest rates before they become uniformly punitive for very long?

  18. I think DC attorneys are very happy today. Lots of work for them coming up.

    (insert lawyer jokes here)

  19. Are you looking forward to sliding down the Slope of Hope with Mr Market?

    Opinion: Why the stock market might soon careen down a dangerous ‘slope of hope’
    By Mark Hulbert
    Published: Feb 15, 2019 2:36 p.m. ET
    The prevailing mood has shifted from extreme pessimism to extreme optimism

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — Sentiment conditions on Wall Street are flashing short-term danger signs.

    That’s because the mood has shifted from the extreme pessimism that prevailed in late December to nearly as extreme optimism today. Some call current conditions a “slope of hope.”

    Consider the average recommended equity exposure among the Nasdaq-oriented market timers I monitor (as measured by the Hulbert Nasdaq Newsletter Sentiment Index, or HNNSI). In late December, this average was lower — at minus 72.2% — than at almost any other time since I began collecting data in 2000.

    That’s why contrarians, in late December, were forecasting a powerful rally.

    Today, in contrast, in the wake of a 17%-plus gain in the S&P 500 (SPX, +1.09%) and a 20%-plus rally in the Nasdaq (COMP, +0.61%) the HNNSI has risen to plus 73%. That’s higher than 90% of all comparable readings since 2000.

    In other words, as you can see from the accompanying chart, in six weeks’ time this group of short-term stock-market timers has increased their average equity exposure by more than 140 percentage points: Away from being aggressively bearish (recommending that clients allocate three-fourths of their trading portfolios to short-selling) to being almost as aggressively bullish (now recommending that three-fourths of clients’ portfolios be long).

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