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People Already Have Been Borrowing Up To Their Eyeballs

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Stacey Woods, a Realtor in Palo Alto, said she was introduced to the St. Joseph statue and its legend by a colleague three years ago. Last week, Stacey was back at the SILVAR office needing St. Joseph’s help with another home. There is nothing wrong with the home other than she believes it was originally priced too high.”

“‘If a home is priced correctly, it will sell,’ said Woods. She finally convinced the seller to reduce the price of the home, but also decided to purchase a St. Joseph statue for good measure.”

“The Aspen area’s real estate market may be heading into its next down cycle and sellers of high-end homes will likely have to adjust their prices to more realistic levels, a local appraiser said. Part of the problem, Randy Gold said, is sellers with unrealistic expectations. ‘There are a lot of people that are dreaming with these kind of listings,’ he said. Too many sellers ‘have no idea that their properties are not worth what they are asking.'”

“The number of homes for sale in the Hamptons soared to nearly 2,200 at the end of last year, a rise of more than 80 percent compared with a year earlier, appraisal company Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman reported. ‘It is more a buyers’ market than it is a sellers’ market,’ said Judi Desiderio, chief executive of Town & Country Real Estate.’There are bargain hunters out there, and they’re saying to sellers, ‘I have cash and this is what I’m willing to pay.'”

“Hamptons inventory has hit its highest level since at least 2006, said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel, which has been tracking Hamptons data since that year. Sales activity tumbled by nearly 35 percent, year over year, with 360 closed deals in the fourth quarter, the lowest number in five years. The decline in sales, influx of listings and resulting inventory pileup is a ‘measure of the disconnect between buyers and sellers,’ Miller said.”

“Single-family home sales in South County declined nearly 18 percent in January, compared with the same month last year, according to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. 5 Charlestown homes sold, the same as last year. The median price dropped to $380,000 from $449,900.”

“In Seattle, the median home price hit $730,000, up from $711,000 the previous month but still down from a year ago. On the Eastside, prices fell to $900,000 — down from a month ago and a year prior. Condo prices continued to fall — down 8.4 percent from a year ago across King County, the biggest decline in seven years. The median condo across the county sold for $380,000, down from a record high of $466,000 last spring. The number of condos sitting unsold more than tripled in the past year while sales continued to decline.”

“The cool-down also continues in Snohomish County, where the cost of the median single-family house fell 2.1 percent from a year prior — the county’s first annual drop since 2012. The median Snohomish house sold for $475,000, down from last spring’s peak of $511,000.”

“Within the City of Vancouver, the price for detached properties averaged $2,070,030 last month for sales on the multiple listing service, down sharply from $3,080,563 in October, 2017, according to an analysis of publicly released sales data by real estate agent Steve Saretsky. The last month that Vancouver’s average detached price dipped below $2.1-million was in February, 2015.”

“The price for detached houses sold in the City of Vancouver set a record-high average of $3,080,907 in April, 2016. ‘It’s a combination of factors coming together at once, and you can call it a perfect storm,’ Mr. Saretsky said. ‘You would get real pain. People already have been borrowing up to their eyeballs,’ he said.”

“The Dutch housing market may be beginning to cool down, and house prices have actually fallen a fraction in places like Wassenaar, Amstelveen and Rotterdam, according to price monitor Calcasa. ‘The housing market always slows in the fourth quarter and you often have price drops in some areas, but this is a lot more than we usually see,’ Calcasa spokesman Rogier van der Hijden told the Telegraaf. ‘Prices in the fourth quarter have risen less than in previous fourth quarters and that is a sign the market is cooling down.'”

“Cracks are forming in the real estate market of Nairobi, forcing developers to offload homes at a discount in a move that could spark angry demands from homeowners who paid full price for units. High profile builder HF Group has priced some of its city houses at a 30 per cent discount, while Soil Merchants, and Edermann Property have been offering hefty discounts on some of their ongoing developments.”

“The problem with this strategy, as has been proven in China, is its potential to spark social unrest when existing homeowners protest against price cuts offered by developers to new buyers. In October last year, for example, Garden Holdings, China’s biggest housing developer by sales, slashed prices of its homes by up to 30 per cent igniting violent street protests as angry buyers who paid the full price smashed the showrooms of one of its projects in Jiangxi – demanding a refund.”

“China’s housing unicorns are getting dangerously good at financial engineering. In Beijing, for example, it costs 40 years of an average resident’s income to buy a home. Yet in a city of 22 million, just 17,000 units are available for rent, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Danke is a middle-man, not a landlord. It signs long-term leases with individual owners, then renovates the apartments into dorm-like spaces to sublet on short-term contracts.”

“Danke says it partners with reputable financial institutions, and that risks are well managed. Its flats all have smart locks that can be triggered when tenants miss repayment deadlines. But the firm is in a low-margin business with high legal risk from landlords and regulators. A rival’s bankruptcy in 2017 ruined the credit of thousands of indebted tenants. Getting too clever with funding could bring the whole house down.”

“Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer has played down concerns over the fall in house prices, describing the slump as a ‘cyclical adjustment’ that is being managed well. Appearing before the government’s banking inquiry, Mr Hartzer also said the Hayne royal commission was a ‘sad indictment’ on the entire financial sector.”

“Amid a debate about how house prices may affect the economy, Mr Hartzer argued the decline in prices was a ‘natural response’ to the increase in housing supply, rather than any clampdown on credit availability by banks. Mr Hartzer also reiterated the bank’s view that falling house prices were not being caused by tighter lending policies by banks. ‘The bigger issue is that not as many people, particularly investors, are applying for loans.'”

This Post Has 141 Comments
  1. ‘But the firm is in a low-margin business with high legal risk from landlords and regulators. A rival’s bankruptcy in 2017 ruined the credit of thousands of indebted tenants. Getting too clever with funding could bring the whole house down’

    They can always do self driving cars.

  2. ‘Hamptons inventory has hit its highest level since at least 2006, said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel, which has been tracking Hamptons data since that year’

    So the most shacks for sale – ever.

  3. ‘The price for detached houses sold in the City of Vancouver set a record-high average of $3,080,907 in April, 2016’

    Ever so often, the truth comes out. It was that same spring prices in Vancouver shot up something like 30%, then collapsed in short order. The high end detached stuff wiped out that 30%, classic mania blow-off. And what did we see in California and Seattle last year? Why an almost exact replay of what happened in Vancouver over three years ago. And it just keeps getting worser.

    So that’s your future Redfin. You’ll be eating crow into the next decade, not to mention loses on your flips.

        1. This is important, so pay attention!

          “Procedure for burying a St. Joseph statue when selling a home:

          Make a hole in the ground that is large enough to bury the St. Joseph statue vertically.
          Place the statue upside down in the ground. (Head first in the hole here!)
          Then face the statue TOWARDS the home that is to be sold.
          For nine consecutive days, pray the St. Joseph Novena included in your kit or here. Others say just keep praying! (This sounds like an all around good game plan to me).
          Once the home is sold, remove the statue from the ground.
          Display the statue in a place of honor in the new home.”


          1. “I’m probably going to hell for this one.”


            “We finally sold our house in Houston and it only took us 987 days to do it. We also ended up coming to the sale having to pay a ton so that was great. In the middle of signing all of the paperwork I mentioned to Victor that we should probably disclose that we buried that-guy-I-couldn’t-remember-the-name-of in our yard years ago and Victor looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Probably because you’re not supposed to say that in front of realtors. Then Victor told me to be quiet, but I mentioned that we’d probably go to hell for not digging the guy back up. Then Victor explained that I was talking about a saint I’d buried upside down in our front lawn to help sell the house and the realtor looked at us like we were insane because apparently she’s not Catholic. And technically neither are we, but at the time we were pretty desperate to sell the house and I was willing to bury just about anyone in the yard to stop having to pay two mortgages.

            “In the end we ended up having to bring a giant check to the signing so technically I’d say Saint Joseph and I failed each other. I did, however, write a small note to the people buying our house which said ‘There’s a guy buried upside down under the oak tree in the front yard. He’s yours now if you want to dig him up. Hopefully he’ll bring you better luck than he brought us. There’s also half a cat buried in the backyard. No extra charge for either.’”


          2. Could a statue sell your home? | ABC7 Chicago Archive | |


            “As home sales plummet, sales of Saint Joseph statues skyrocket.

            “Last year at this time, he was selling about 40-50 statues a month. Today —

            “‘Around eight hundred!’ said Castonguay.”


          3. Al Capone said: “You can get so much farther with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.”

            Mr. Banker says: “You can get so much farther in selling your house with a statue of Saint Joseph and by lowering the price than than with a statue of Saint Joseph alone.”

          4. In late 2008, I actually did that, after being blackballed trying to sell FSBO, then use a discount agency. Realtors are liars. As soon as I hired the local champion it sold in 3 weeks. Visitors kept asking “how come I never saw this one?”

  4. I’ve been a long time on/off reader going back probably over a decade now, I’ve probably made a few posts along the way (though I don’t remember what screenname I might’ve used) but generally don’t have the time to post. I like the blog and appreciate seeing an alternate narrative to customary cheer-leading.

    But if I could offer a little constructive criticism, it seems like there’s a bit too much group-think going on among the regular posters here and real lack of diversity of opinions. Now I apologize if the purpose here is simply a cathartic release of pent-up frustration about how crazy the world is. And if so, I’ll crawl back into my hole and just observe. But I would’ve thought the goal here was to gain an objective view to allow one to make better decisions based on a predicted future.

    I’ve been thinking about making this post for some time, but the accusations about “trolls” in a previous thread drove me to finally make it. OK, so one person posted under 2 identities, fair enough to criticize. Another John was similarly called a troll. But honestly they appeared to me to be genuine, thoughtful semi-objective posts. I largely disagree with their conclusions, but they didn’t seem to be antagonistic just rile people up, just a different (and valid) viewpoint.

    Don’t get me wrong, I largely agree with the consensus around here that we’re in an [almost] everything bubble. That we’re in a condition of complete over-saturation of global debt. That many of metrics used don’t accurately portray what is truly happening. But I have a lot more uncertainty than most here seem to have about when and how things are going to play out. I think the discussion here would benefit greatly from a bigger variety of opinions and a little more humility / objectivity that the future is very unpredictable and we really should simultaneously consider that a range of possibilities and how each might play out.

    Thanks for listening, a kewpie doll to the first to call me a troll.

    1. I have some simple advice for trolls or anyone else who posts here, for that matter: If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

    2. I’ve been doing this going on 15 years and I know a troll when I see one. Example:

      ‘It’s time to finally concede that a real estate crash is not going to happen outside of NYC and San Fran Bay area. …Betting against the Fed to expand credit and increase the money supply has rarely worked in the past 100 years. We are not going to be lucky enough to have another real estate crash in our lifetimes’

      We already have a second crash. Look at Seattle. “It’s time to finally concede”, what a load of horse hockey. And I worked over a thousand foreclosed shacks that the Fed didn’t do one thing to stop but did a bunch to create.


      ‘The housing market seems to have bounced back sharply all throughout the country in February’

      No it didn’t. That’s objectivity.

      ‘I’ve been rooting for the real estate market to collapse to pick up a bargain some where but I’m confident now that this will never happen’

      This is the oldest troll job on the intertubes. “Oh guys, I’m really with you but I’m throwing in the towel!” Like this is some Iraq war propaganda exercise.

      ‘Betting against inflation is a dangerous bet in America that has been failing for close to a century at this point. The only way to hedge inflation is to buy land and the stock market. End of story’

      Dangerous? Close to a century? This troll is a nut job. “End of story”? How’s that for a variety of opinions?

      Feeding trolls is a waste of time, and always degenerates into cursing. I’m not going to spend hours every day moderating mud-slinging by a bunch of people I don’t know, will never know and probably wouldn’t like them if I did. Would you? Just what part of the day would you dedicate to that? Say 1PM to 6PM? Do you have that available? Well I’ve done the troll war thing and it goes on 24/7. I’m never doing that again.

    3. Why would you wait until the absolute peak in most markets to make this post? Seems suspect, to me. The housing market is not like the stock market. It doesn’t just blow off quickly, in massive fashion. That’s why they call housing “illiquid.” It is an arduous process to buy and sell houses, and the trends take a long time to develop.

      Right now we are in the rampant inventory build mode. Over the course of the next year, the cracks that appeared last year will reveal themselves to be massive canyons. But prices never go straight down. There are fits and starts, and there are times when it will appear that the market is “recovering,” when in fact it is anything but. You need sales all the way down as you had them all the way up.

      Even with massive QE from the Fed, I fail to see how they can maintain these prices or, worse, inflate them even further. There are too many markets, too many houses, period. And people are maxed out on debt. Regardless what has happened, I do not believe an economy can indefinitely survive based entirely upon massive asset price bubbles without wages supporting prices.

      1. I do not believe an economy can indefinitely survive based entirely upon massive asset price bubbles without wages supporting prices.

        No way it can’t how it ends I don’t know? Bad or worse ? MMT gets going it will be worse.

        1. Well, if I buy at the bottom with ultra low rates and MMT kicks in we should get inflation, which will make the property a good hedge. If we get inflation and rates go up significantly I doubt we’ll see home prices increasing due to monthly payment increases, but at least I’ll have locked in a 0.9% interest rate!

          RE is only going to be a not-horrible investment if you buy at the bottom and hope rates never go up. Would be an interesting weekend topic to discuss how MMT handles inflation scenarios. Here’s one guy’s take:
          MMT argues that inflation can sometimes result from ANY source of excess demand when an economy is at full production capacity, and therefore unable to increase production. This could be demand from the foreign sector or the private sector or, yes, from the government through fiscal policy. The ‘cure’ for this type of inflation is to reduce that excess demand (if supply cannot be boosted). One way to do that would be tax increases. But other ways may be government spending decreases, or policy that makes it more expensive to borrow or lend. Generally, MMT supports strengthening the ‘automatic stabilizers’ in the economy and that is where the Job Guarantee program fits in.

          1. We have had a form of MMT in QE1, QE2, etc. The Fed’s balance sheet at $4T is basically unelected MMT directed at the housing sector.

          2. directed at the housing sector.

            Specifically it is directed at the banks. And I guess the FedGov.

      2. I think you misunderstood me. I don’t disagree at all with your general narrative, I’m just surprised there isn’t a bit variety of opinion and sometimes there’s quite a bit of hostility towards any dissension.

        Personally, and it’s just an opinion which I’m aware could be very well be wrong, I’m in 100% agreement with your 1st paragraph. The second: “rampant inventory build mode” is more than likely correct, it certainly appears that this trend is starting. But there are very few domestic markets where inventory would currently be considered anywhere close to high yet. Likely they’re headed that way, but I don’t consider it 100% baked-in. There have been other short-term spikes in inventory, most recently in 2010 & 2014, that didn’t amount to anything. I’d guess we’re witnessing a change in the long-term trend, but but I wouldn’t completely discount that there is more bubble to be blown.

        And the 3rd paragraph is the big question. You are of course correct that the economy cannot survive indefinitely on ever-increasing debt & price bubbles w/o wage growth. But have we already reached the saturation point? Maybe. Is it possible that there could be long-term higher levels of household leverage than historical norms based on suppression of interest rates and policies that reward players as long as they don’t rock the boat? Possibly.

        And not so sure about your views on the power of the Fed (and really we should include the political system here too, because fiscal policy is also going to play a big role in how this plays out). I think it’s important remember, in the majority’s mind, QE etc. was a huge success. Saved the world, it did. This is true even among those who were actually hurt by the policies. Most don’t even realize it. So while a little more skepticism is creeping into our collective conscious, I believe the Fed (and govs and all world central banks) probably have more legitimacy and latitude with what they’ll be allowed to do than ever before. Some argue they don’t have as much “ammunition” to work with, but I believe that, if necessary, actions will be much bigger & much more extreme next time than they were the prior. I think they’ll enact them much sooner before things get “bad”.

        Will it work again? Well, relative to the cost in unintended & future consequences – No. But will it accomplish the primary goal of preventing (delaying) asset price crashes and preventing insolvencies of big players – probably yes.

        I don’t believe we get the big reset that most here expect until we have a round of stimulus which is commonly recognized as a complete failure and there’s a dramatic change in the political/power structure. And this doesn’t seem imminent to me.

        1. I think it’s important remember, in the majority’s mind, QE etc. was a huge success. Saved the world, it did.

          Thanks for the laugh!!!!!

          1. QE etc. was a huge success

            It was pretty darn good for a few. I guess what they think matters most. At least until the rest of us vote.

          2. @UrsaTaurus

            There is plenty of dissension and healthy debate around here. Ben this and doesn’t run out debate. But like Blue and QT have said, if you think QE was a success then I think we are going to find very little common ground. If you consider creating most distorted housing market in history and reflating the bubble even more, and globally for that matter, to be a success. Well, yeah, QE was a resounding success.

        2. I think it’s important remember, in the majority’s mind, QE etc. was a huge success. Saved the world, it did.

          The Federal Reserve cue card:

          Step 1: Create fake money stealing value from everyone

          Step 2: Loan the fake money to people with interest

          Step 3: Take people’s stuff when they can’t repay the debt

          Step 4: Get government to enforce our fraud

          Step 5: Plunder humanity

        3. So while a little more skepticism is creeping into our collective conscious, I believe the Fed (and govs and all world central banks) probably have more legitimacy and latitude with what they’ll be allowed to do than ever before.

          The Fed and all central banks were created for one purpose: to serve as the oligarchy’s chief instrument of plunder against the 99%. Ten years of Fed “emergency measures” have been directly responsible for creating unprecedented wealth inequality, feeding rampant speculation and malinvestment that have made housing unaffordable for the increasingly pauperized middle and working classes, and moving the Wall Street grifters’ gambling losses from their books to the public ledgers, including $2.3 TRILLION in toxic-waste mortgage backed securities.

          Before you tell us about the central bankers’ “legitimacy,” you might want to note the rising tide of populism and nationalism among the screwed-over proles who are finally on to these gold collar criminals and their bankster accomplices. The days when they can carry out their swindles against the 99% with impunity are numbered.

          1. Ursa was not disagreeing with any of you. “In the majority’s minds” is something MrBanker often alludes to. It is important to consider all of the factors which may have an impact on how this may play out. That is what I am interested in an obviously I have a contrarian bias otherwise I would not be here.

    4. The information Ben posts every day (that part above the comments section) offers the broadest diversity of opinion of any blog I’ve ever read.

      Realtors, analysts, developers, politicians, activists, buyers, sellers – Ben includes quotes from them all, and they vary wildly in their assessment of the housing market. Bubble vs. no bubble, temporary dip vs. permanent crash, tough lending standards vs. easy lending standards, oversupply vs. undersupply. Every possible perspective has been thoroughly documented here for 15 years.

    5. I am the other John you are talking about getting the troll accusation. No worries, man. I’m still here posting about the SoCal bubble I see all around me. No point addressing the previous posts. The data will be the data. As Thomas Paine quipped “time makes more converts than reason”.

    6. I agree with most of what UrsaTaurus said. Yeah, the market is definitely slowing down, but no one really knows how this will play out. A little humility is a good thing. A lot of folks on here are dreaming they will be able to buy a beach house on the cheap some day — and who wouldn’t? — but I think that contributes to a biased perspective. However, there is lots of useful information, which makes worthwhile, even if it is just one side of the story.

      1. no one really knows how this will play out

        No we don’t but expect the crashing of the biggest bubble in history to be rough. Buckle up!

      2. “A lot of folks on here are dreaming they will be able to buy a beach house on the cheap some day — and who wouldn’t?”

        Funny, because I haven’t seen anybody here saying that. You just made that up, right? Or can you point us to a post?

        Coastal beach properties are always going to be expensive. That is never going to change. But they’re still overvalued every bit as much as everything else. Nobody’s going to be shocked when the $3M beach bungalow craters in price to $1.5M. It’s still not affordable for the masses, but it’s a massive haircut nonetheless.

        1. Exactly, said it well Chinbabwe. And once the coastal markets start to tank (hopefully because foreign money is also choked off), then there goes Austin, Portland, Boise, Denver, and Salt Lake, etc.

        2. Or can you point us to a post?

          Ed in DC posted a link IIRC to a Dana Point property then commented about waiting for a fire sale in Del Mar or Carmel Valley. Since he wanted a fire sale, I suggested he consider Paradise. So Reality Check’s observation is quite correct.

          1. Ed is more hyperbolic than other commenters. He claimed that he could buy a home for each of his two children in flyover country then claimed Long Beach was too expensive. He also fantasized about crushing a widow at the negotiation table.

      3. A lot of folks on here are dreaming they will be able to buy a beach house on the cheap some day — and who wouldn’t? — but I think that contributes to a biased perspective.

        You just mischaracterized about 95% of the HBB regulars. If there’s a common thread, it’s a belief, based on objective data and verifiable realities, that the housing market has been grossly distorted by the Fed’s deranged money printing and ultra-easy credit that have encouraged and enabled people to buy into a housing bubble that is doomed to implode under the weight of its own unsustainable valuations and unaffordability. It’s also a sense of anger at policymakers, regulators, and enforcers who cravenly served as adjuncts to the FIRE sector with no regard at all to the consequences to the financial system or the millions of people who are going to be foreclosed on because they financially overextended themselves to buy overpriced homes with loans they were never going to be able to repay.

        1. Fed’s deranged money printing

          Very little is outside the scope of the housing bubble. Every thing that goes to build, and the machinery to get it done and the trucks and gas and especially the food we all need, was jacked up in price because of it. 99% of the people on the planet should be mad as hell.

        2. I don’t necessarily disagree with a lot of that, but many of these “distortions” have existed for decades and won’t go away. The prices are largely driven by historically low interest rates, but the inflation many (including me) expected has not materialized. It may be 2006 redux is right around the corner, but I think it is just as likely there will be a more modest price drop. My basic point is that most of the people commenting are hoping that the day of reckoning is imminent, thereby proving them right. And yes, whether they admit it or not, many hope for an opportunity to buy that “shack” in a location they like. (Does anyone really want to live in Phoenix? Come on, now). Mortgage Watch is constantly posting “data” which doesn’t remotely support is apparent conclusion there is already a massive free fall in prices all over the country. To me it looks like prices have started to flatten in a few formerly very hot markets. Maybe 2006 redux is imminent, but be aware of the dangers of confirmation bias.

          1. Mortgage Watch is constantly posting “data” which doesn’t remotely support is apparent conclusion

            This point has been made many times. Mortgage Watch is a fixture here on HB.B and ZeroHedge as Big Fat Bastard. The data is what it is, just ignore the conclusion.

          2. most of the people commenting are hoping that the day of reckoning is imminent

            It will certainly come. How long a day is remains a mystery. The distortions are not permanent. Some may hope for a reckoning, but they might not like it when it comes. Some heed the warnings and try to be prepared somewhat. Who will care about being right more than being unscathed?

          3. “My basic point is that most of the people commenting are hoping that the day of reckoning is imminent, thereby proving them right.”

            This is a false premise. Most of the people here are calling a spade a spade, which is the fact that the Fed and .gov have blown an enormously destructive housing bubble that is completely unsustainable, and will likely end with devastating consequences not unlike the last one.

          4. Some heed the warnings and try to be prepared somewhat. Who will care about being right more than being unscathed?

            Exactly why I’m here! There have been less than a handful of sites that I’ve found in the last 13-14 years with this kind of information and reader engagement.

    1. This post is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. One year ago, this data shows there were TWO houses on the market and Mortgage Watch infers a huge drop based on the average listing price of just those TWO homes (which by the way, are apparently much larger than the average current listings). Why would someone believe this listing price data reflects a real change in value? Because they are seeing what they want to see.

    1. Of further note: The 5-year Treasury yield seems to be seeking lower levels. It already spiked down to 2.402% at one point this morning, lower than the current 1-month Treasury yield. This suggests that at least some market believe a 2.402% average risk-free yield is the best they are going to get over the next five years; otherwise they would do better on shorter-duration bond purchases at higher yields.

  5. Jezuz f’n Christ not the St. Josephs thing again. I remember learning about that back at tail end of Bubble 1.0. Maybe you could also get a Voodoo doll and bury it next to St Joe’s statue, cuz why not?

    1. Check This out …

      St. Joseph Home Selling Voodoo Doll
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      What many fail to realize is that Voodoo and the Catholic faith have a long history of being practiced side by side in the South and the Caribbean.

      Many Voodoo Lwa spirits have Catholic counterparts so it is natural and genuine that the most effective St. Joseph dolls
      to offer seeking sale of a home or real estate should be crafted by
      a Voodoo master.

      This IS NOT a mass produced souvenir or toy like so many tourists purchase
      online or on a trip to the New Orleans French Quarter.

      All of the Voodoo Dolls offered through Full Moon Magick Shoppe are
      authentic, powerful magick, one-of-a-kind, handmade creations!

      This One Is Packed With a Voodoo Ritual for you to release!

      This Voodoo Doll shall be handcrafted for you by Papa Crow, perfected and ready for you to make the proper offering and prayers.

      The St. Joseph Voodoo Doll comes complete with…

      – Handmade St. Joseph Voodoo Offering Doll
      – Complete Simple, Easy to Follow Instructions
      – Nine Day Novena Prayers for Success


      This is a powerful Voodoo artifact.

      Be sincere and respectful or do not reserve one.

      You have been warned and I cannot accept any responsibility for ANYTHING
      that happens to your intended curse recipient!

      This work shall be made into the doll in a Voodoo ritual performed by Papa Crow especially for you and tailored to your needs, goals, and desires!

      You shall use as directed to release all desired result of doll.

      The use of the St. Joseph doll requires the poppet to be
      buried in the soil on the property to be sold.

      Follow the simple instructions exactly!

      What Can This Work Do?

      ~ A positive and proactive means of adding success to the
      sale of your home or real estate

      ~ Bolster faith and prayer direction toward success and
      happy results.

      ~ A perfect means to seek faith blessings and
      saintly assistance.

      Here’s what other folks have to say about the
      St. Joseph Voodoo Doll…

      “I wanted to update you on the progress, the home sold,
      for asking price, in the time I asked for, and every item
      I had asked for came thru as I requested.”
      Tracie D.
      Council Bluffs, Iowa

      “We got an offer… and we are hoping to move the needle up!
      Blessings Papa!
      BLESSED BE!!!”
      Samantha S.
      Longmont, CO

      “Wonderful product and exceptional service. Would use again.”
      Kimba V.
      Wallingford, PA

      Real Voodoo Dolls!

      Papa’s Voodoo Dolls are crafted in the traditional method using all natural
      materials. Stuffed with Spanish Moss and decorated with human
      attributes, this doll is more of a work of art than a toy.
      Clothing is meticulously wound around the moss framework,
      eyes hand painted onto the head, and small details added to personalize.
      Every doll is absolutely unique!

      All of this before the work is even begun.

      Your Voodoo Doll will be unlike any other!

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      Your order includes the hand crafted doll.
      These dolls range from app. 6″ to 8″ tall, and not just some fabric twisted into a humanoid shape.
      You also receive three large pins to complete the ritual and complete instructions.

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      The St. Joseph Voodoo Doll and Work Guarantee

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      You are bidding on a tangible item.
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      You must be 18 years or older to purchase. All products and services of Full Moon Magick Shoppe should not be considered professional help and are not a substitute for any professional, medical, financial,
      psychological or legal help.

    2. LOL, exactly what I was thinking. People are stupid, and this is just more proof. A thing is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. Burying a statue in the yard will not effect that in the least.

  6. Vancouver r/e has been fueled by Chinese money for 30 years. The fundamentals like median income mean or interest rates or what have you are irrelevant. As long as there are rich Chinese looking to park their money somewhere, Vancouver r/e will stay inflated. Maybe that $3M average falls to $2.5M, but it’s not going to $500K.

      1. Ahh my bad. I read it as $3M, but it was $3M at the peak.

        Why do the Canucks use average instead of median by the way? Average can get skewed with a few ultra high sales.

          1. not if i get in and overbid you in this never ending hot “buy now or be priced out FOREVER” market! im gonna be rich, RE only goes up, to the moon, retirement here i come, housing piggy bank, susanne told me to buy and i believe her.

    1. If China capital controls prevent outflows of money into foreign real estate, then what will happen?

      In the past five years the Chinese Government has genuinely been cracking down on capital outflows. There are two reasons for this.

      First, capital flight draws down their foreign reserves, and therefore makes it harder for them manipulate the price of off-shore traded RMB. Second, in the spirit of anti-corruption, capital controls make it more difficult for corrupt officials and businesspeople to transfer money. So it’s a huge domestic-political win for the Party.

      Will capital controls work? I’m not sure. Money will always flow through the cracks. But I know five years ago it was significantly easier to buy USD in China with my RMB and transfer it abroad. Now it requires a lot more paperwork and there are total limits in place. Plus a bank manager needs to approve any transfer before it is OK, which was not the case before.

      So if this money flow stops, what will prevent Vancouver prices from collapsing? Prices are no longer based on local incomes or interest rates. It’s mostly external forces. If those external forces stop, then something will have to give. And I don’t imagine Vancouverites earning $50,000 after tax will be able to jump into $2 million+ homes, especially if the idea of perpetual 5%+ gains evaporates.

      1. …If those external forces stop, then something will have to give…

        Real Estate certainly has been the laundry asset of choice for many years.

        But with the advent of Bitcoin and other crypto, it would seem to me that [Bitcoin] would be the laundry method of choice.

        One theory of mine is that the whole reason Bitcoin still exists is because it is the “currency” of choice for money laundering and organized crime.

        Thus, I think it is going to get harder and harder for the REIC folks to make statements like “rich people from [choose a location] are going to bid up R/E prices”. Just yet another REIC fantasy.

        1. @octal77:

          Great points.

          But Bitcoins and other cryptos are not necessarily legal in China anymore. In 2018 the government cracked down on mining. Banks are not allowed to handle transactions with bitcoin trading accounts. Online platforms (at least on Chinese Intranet) were taken down and are not accessible.

          From a global standpoint, I think you’re right. There is a lot of room for capital to flow into these so-called crypto currencies and lots of incentive for it to happen, too.

          1. Online platforms (at least on Chinese Intranet) were taken down

            Heard there were to be no more IPOs, but hadn’t heard that.

          2. @BlueSkye:

            Online exchanges in China were banned in 2017, as was mining. With a VPN you can access these sites, but they are not accessible with normal internet in China. See here:


            Trading platforms that explicitly state RMB transactions:

            Here is the odd part: Chinese internet allows RMB to Bitcoin transactions via WeChat and Alipay.

            This it not being stopped as far as I know. Traders in Hong Kong handle the foreign exchange particulars. If I were conspiracy minded, I’d say some big wigs are giving this the nod by allowing relatively easy trade between RMB and Bitcoin for Mainland Chinese internet users, but not allowing foreign currencies to get into the mix. The geniuses in Hong Kong get to handle that part of the trade, and hopefully pay the emperor his due.

    2. “Maybe that $3M average falls to $2.5M, but it’s not going to $500K.”

      It’s already fallen to $2M, and still falling. Try to keep up.

    1. “The number of underwater properties fell 14 percent last year, as 351,000 borrowers no longer owe more on their loans than their homes are worth”

      This is the interesting part to me. I find it hard to believe that anyone is still under water. Prices are above post Bubble 1.0 peak. Someone who bought in 2006 or 2007 has paid 12-13 years of principal off, and the home is worth as much if not more than purchase price. So how the hell can you be underwater?

      Refis with cash outs? Or people who simply stopped paying the mortgage and have been living rent free, in which case, it doesn’t matter if they’re over or under water, the house is no longer theirs.

      1. “I find it hard to believe that anyone is still under water.”

        So do I. So I did a search and came up with this:

        “Despite the enormous gains in the housing market, and the rapid surge in home prices in recent years, nearly 2 million people still owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth.”

        However, the question is still not answered. But the article contains some interesting stuff, which makes it a worthwhile read.

        Why do underwater homeowners keep paying the mortgage? – MarketWatch

        1. Here’s an article that gives this reason:

          “While the percentage is declining, families in communities with stagnant property values are ‘trapped in their homes with no easy options to regain equity other than waiting,’ said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow.”

          “stagnant property values”

          Millions of U.S. Homeowners Still Under Water on Mortgages – Bloomberg

    2. “Are you a homeowner? Here’s how much richer you are now”

      Ironically, nearly everyone I have ever known who is a “homeowner” (i.e., has a mortgage) lives paycheck-to-paycheck.

      1. Homeowner is not “ie has a mortgage”. 35% of homeowners, own their homes free and clear of a mortgage. You need to meet some new people.

        And you act like most renters are flowing in cash and can miss 10 paychecks. I’ll tell you a little secret….they aren’t and can’t.

        1. Doomed, meet me. Nice to meet you. We could easily buy cash, but prefer to rent for the mobility it gives us, not to mention we think prices are stupid high right now. And we’ve got a sweet rent deal negotiated right now.

          1. And we’ve got a sweet rent deal negotiated right now.

            IIRC, you live onsite during the week at a property you manage in SLC and on the weekend with a relative in St. George where your wife and son reside. To Doomed’s ill-placed point, you are by no means a typical renter.

          2. @Redpilled Redhead

            I’ll be the first to admit that I have a good situation. It is something that I worked out though. If I did not have this situation, I would go to a low cost of living area though. Even when I was in university I lived with family. That was a choice I made and an opportunity extended to me. It allowed me to save and get ahead while many were loading up on student debt. I fully recognize that very few people would be able to do what I am doing. But I think they should do their best to get creative and reduce their rent in any way possible. If I were single, I would honestly consider living in a vehicle.

          3. That was a choice I made and an opportunity extended to me. It allowed me to save and get ahead while many were loading up on student debt.

            You make it sound as if you’ve sacrificed. From my perspective, you just look selfish.

          4. From my perspective


            My mother was a redhead, a refined and generous woman, but she would tell you what she thought rather directly.

      1. You make it sound as if you’ve sacrificed. From my perspective, you just look selfish.

        My mother is a natural redhead, as are all of my sisters. My mother taught me to be gracious, not to judge before you have all the facts, and a dose humility. You presume far too much; you don’t even have any idea of the poverty I grew up in. My entire childhood was basically spent working for free at family businesses that never panned out and then later being a father figure for 5 younger siblings. My father caught a lucky break maybe 12 years ago and things changed for him.

        1. not to judge before you have all the facts

          Idealistic but impractical. Many decisions/judgments in life must be made without all the facts.

          1. Cue SJW violins. “You can’t judge until you have all the facts.” Yeah, that’s not how humanity made it this far. Read Gavin DeBecker.

    1. Personally, I think the biggest predictor of inequality is how much of one’s income is devoted to rent/mortgage payments. My heuristic is that if you don’t have to pay a mortgage or rent, you are likely already wealthy or on your way to becoming so.

      1. My heuristic is that if you don’t have to pay a mortgage or rent, you are likely already wealthy or on your way to becoming so.

        Or a parasitic millennial.

        1. Or just old and bought decades ago and had enough sense to pay off the mortgage rather than suck out equity.

      2. “biggest predictor of inequality is how much of one’s income is devoted to rent/mortgage payments”


        How many $1200 iphones one purchases per year, how man $12 craft beers one purchases in a week and how many $250 pairs of jeans one purchases per month?

        It always amuses me when a 24 year old with a brand new iphone, a brand new Mac, dressed head to doe in designer clothes while sipping a $7 latte, whines how hard it is for milenials to get ahead. And it’s all Trump’s fault of course. Well Trump and those dastardly boomers that keep them down.

        1. Craft beers, iPhones, and designer jeans may be frivolous, but they pale in comparison to an over-extended mortgage payment. Avocado toast is NOT the reason millennials can’t afford a home. It’s because there is a housing bubble.

          1. If they just wouldn’t have purchased that $250 pair of jeans, they could have afforded that $850,000 rotbox in Seattle, dontcha know?

          2. It adds up fast. Eating out every meal, Ubering daily and buying the latest i-gadget adds up fast. It’s the milenial mindset though. I buy cool gadgets and eat avocado toast, while Uncle Bernie or Aunt Kamala will pay for my “adult” things like rent, food and health insurance.

      1. “Today St. George is the largest city in Washington County and the eighth-largest city in Utah. Its metropolitan area is home to nearly 120,000 residents. It has consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing areas in the nation for the last two decades, even surpassing Las Vegas in per capita growth. St. George has become a popular retirement destination as well a respite for those seeking a second home in a more moderate climate. New residents are attracted to St. George’s scenic beauty and its close proximity to unparalleled recreation, including Zion National Park, Lake Powell and Grand Canyon National Park.”

        1. Here’s a St George story from about 40 years ago:

          Galen and I were both headed south on Interstate 15 en route to Los Angeles. About 50 miles north of St. George Utah, I got on the radio and told him that with his help, we could mess with the minds of the Mormons in St. George. That town had a number of people who had nothing better to do all day than listen to their CB radios.

          When we were a few miles outside of St. George, I got on the radio and said, “Hey Galen, what’s this I keep hearing about some moron table-knocker choir here in Utah?”

          “I don’t know. Why would anyone want a choir of morons anyway? And what’s with the table knocking?”

          That’s all it took.

          We could hear St. George Mormons ranting about those stupid truck drivers almost all the way to Las Vegas.

      2. “From what metro do people come to vacation in St. George? Genuinely curious…”

        People (many Germans) from Europe who come to see the local sites, like Zion & Bryce Canyon Parks, and others who come here for the Golfing, the Senior games and other events like the mini-Ironman that happens here each year.

        They’re building these short term rentals all over Washington County. Many of the local towns have designated areas where they may be allowed to legally operate. But the VRBOs and ABnBs that are happening inside residential areas are causing all sorts of problems for local townships including not getting licensed and neglecting to pay the applicable fees and taxes that they are required to collect for the town that they are operating in.

        The Park Center Drive short term property, listed above by OAMany, is located in Coral Canyon. The State had to take over that particular development when their partner and original development group (SunCor) went bankrupt after the last crash.

        Many of the SFRs around here are second properties owned by people that live up north and use them when they wish to get away from the cold weather. A lot of people from Ca, Az and Nevada (over 50% of the local buyers) also have personal vacation homes (sometimes more than one) here that they look as “investment properties” that they can “cash-in” sometime in the distant future.

        The large amount of secondary homes in this County is one of the reasons that the last crash was so severe here. Many of those investment houses flooded the already over-saturated inventory of properties dropping demand and pricing even lower than we local bubble watchers could have ever predicted.

      3. I live in the Boston area and I love southern Utah and its incredible, otherworldly scenery. Of all of the places that I have traveled to it may be my favorite. I don’t think that I could live there full-time because of its remoteness but as a vacation spot it’s 10/10.

    1. $409,000 for attached product in St. George, Utah? That’s worse than Bay Aryan pricing. That place should be like $50k, because, let’s face it, nobody wants to go to St. George.

      1. St George is beautiful. The housing prices are not. It is genuinely amazing some of the hikes, climbing, and national parks in the area.

        1. Yes, to visit, but to live? There are no jobs that even remotely justify the prices. $409k for a condo in that area is insanity, worse than anything I’ve seen in the Bay Area.

          1. What jobs are there that justify $10M homes in Aspen? Check out r/e prices on northern Flathead Lake in Montana, then tell me about the jobs to price ratio. $10/hr jobs with $1M lake houses. But how can that be????!?!?!?!?? Uhm I dunno, it just is.

            This always drives me nuts, hearing the “there are no jobs that justify prices” argument. People don’t buy vacation/retirement homes where there are jobs. They buy them where they want to spend time.

            St George has been experiencing huge growth as a retiree area. Weather’s great, golf courses galore, taxes are low, Las Vegas is 90 mins away and it’s surrounded by amazing natural beauty and national parks. What more can you ask for as a retiree?

          2. “But how can that be????!?!?!?!?? Uhm I dunno, it just is.”

            It’s called a MASSIVE housing bubble, something apparently lost on you.

          3. You are right though about the mismatch, although that condo I posted was a vacation rental. There were townhomes going up right at $200k last summer. They were 3 bd/2 bath and nothing special, but less inflated than the resort stuff going up. The housing prices don’t match the wages here so unless you already purchased before the big increase, you are shelling out lots of money in rent or your mortgage payment is a big chunk of your take-home pay. It’s a big “rent-burdened” party for anyone who has purchased after 2015.

          4. Median income in SoUtah is around $54,000.00 for a married couple. The same as it was about 12 years ago.


            Government, the DRM Hospital and Skywest (which almost went BK during the last crash) are the larger local entities that pay decent wages in Washington County.

            However, most of the locals who are trying to make a decent living in the county work in construction or some other house related business like engineering, plumbing, cement, real-estate sales, appliance sales, tile/granite sales, furniture, blinds, awning sales, carpet sales, etc, etc.

            Last crash, the construction jobs and all that growth disappeared and for the first time in history Washington County experienced negative population growth.

            Unemployment went over 15% (again first time ever for the County) and many of those home related business workers walked away from their houses because they didn’t save any money for a rainy day during the bubble years.

            Many of the individuals who have moved here over the last few years cashed in their house “equity” in whatever state they lived in and bought properties here with their profits. Most are retirees and all the ones that I have met appear to have spent almost all of that equity on their present home.

            Prices on properties (both SFRs & MFRs) here locally have spiked way higher this time (20-30% more) than during the last bubble. We have a much higher distance to fall from when the bubble pops this time.

      2. “because, let’s face it, nobody wants to go to St. George.”


        St George Population:

        1990: 29,108
        2000: 50,274
        2010: 72, 842
        2017: 84, 405

        1. Published 12:05 a.m. ET March 22, 2018

          ST. GEORGE, Utah — St. George is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S., according to new estimates from the Census Bureau. There were an estimated 165,662 people in 2017 in the designated metro area, which includes most of Washington County in southwestern Utah, up 4% from 2016, according to estimates released Thursday.

          The news may not surprise area residents used to coping with the constant road construction; looking up at new homes, new stores and other construction projects; and watching as housing developments expand away from the city centers and into the surrounding desert.

  7. For the bear that said 3M Vancouver houses wont go back to 500K, NEVER SAID NEVER. LOL

    “The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal Friday, was for $150 million, according to a source familiar with the deal.

    Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi investment fund, purchased 90% of the building for $800 million in 2008. Real estate firm Tishman Speyer had owned the other 10%.”

    Wait this is not even at top bubble prices yet.

    “Still there have been a number of high profile skyscrapers purchased for top dollar in recent years, including the Waldorf Astoria hotel, which Chinese firm Anbang Insurance purchased in 2016 for nearly $2 billion, and the Willis Tower in Chicago, which was formerly known as Sears Tower — once the world’s tallest. Blackstone Group (BX) bought it for $1.3 billion 2015.”

    1. Just a bit greedy here 😮

      2/27/2019 Listed for sale $12,988,000 -10.4%
      1/23/2019 Listing removed $14,488,000 —
      10/18/2018 Listed for sale $14,488,000 +555.6%
      8/11/2016 Sold $2,210,000 —

      1. Not gonna give it away. Looking at those 8’s on the dream price and hopes for a 10M+ profit, I can guess which audience these greedbag is attempting to catch. They spent to much time flipping it, the would be buyers took the bus back to China town. Ride it down you hopeful greedbag 🎢


      By ROBERT HANLEYDEC. 22, 1981

      “White liberal racism is a real problem here in Colorado.”

      Maybe so but like my father taught me when I was a kid, not doing exactly what a police officer tells you to do seems like a problem there too. If a cop tells you to put something down it’s sound advice to put it down.

      Back in 1981 I was working for a North American moving company out of Connecticut. I got sent with a driver to New Jersey for a pick-up. We hit a truck stop for coffee on the way there. We got back in the truck and were on the on ramp when the blue lights went off. I looked at the driver and laughed (figuring it was a bad taillight or something) told him I was going to run back in the truck stop for something, when I opened the door and swung my leg out there was a New Jersey State Trooper with his gun pointed right between my eyes as he screamed “DON’T MOVE!”

      Guess what, I didn’t move and except for my eyes getting as big as saucers I didn’t do anything for the next ten minutes that those State Troopers didn’t tell me to do.

      As it turned out the driver and myself fit the description of 2 of the guys who killed the Dude at the top of this post. They kept us there for damn near 2 hours making sure we were who we said we were.

      Point is Black, White, Brown or Purple had I not done exactly what that cop said. 1980 would have been my last Christmas.

      1. “Point is Black, White, Brown or Purple had I not done exactly what that cop said. 1980 would have been my last Christmas.”

        You’re bringing to mind some of the things Michael Brown reportedly did when confronted by the Ferguson police officer which he probably shouldn’t have. The NPR headlines about the slaying of an “unarmed black man” persistently glossed over these messy details, to create the impression that race was the only relevant factor in what transpired.

      1. That’s terrific.

        But your statement was “nearly every homeowner I know” is doing X. I replied, that nearly every renter is also doing X. To which you replied, oh no I’m special and doing Y, And yes you may very well be special, but you are an outlier.

        The link you provided says 1.35M “wealthy” people rent. It says nothing about whether or not they live paycheck to paycheck. You make assumptions that a) renters behave better financially than owners and b) making $150K a year means not living paycheck to paycheck. I hate to break the news to you, but plenty of people making well above $150K a year are broke, renters, owners you name it. I speak from experience. When I was younger and stupider, the second I earned an extra $1, I spent that extra dollar. Over the span of 3 years I nearly doubled my income and yet I had nothing to show for it since I doubled my spending too. That was my big wake up call, and I made some drastic changes in my life. But I, like you am an anomaly. The vast majority of people spend that extra $1 as fast as they can. In some cases they spend an extra $1.05. We’ve all seen the articles which show a majority of people don’t have $1000 in the bank. So yes, by all means let’s all pat each other on the back for being prudent with our money, but also realize we are a rounding error in the grand scheme of things.

        I also find it amusing that earning $150K HH income is now considered “wealthy”. Even in flyover country $150K is meh money. In Seattle or New York that’s barely middle class.

        1. Agree on all counts. I’ve had one or two years when my salary was abnormally high (over $100k). But otherwise I’ve mostly been around $35k to $55k. It helps that when I married my wife we worked and saved like we were Chinese and waited 7 years before having children. Spending money for me is painful. Even when I was earning $12/hr I managed to sock away almost $80k because I managed my living expenses in a way that most would have considered extreme. I beat the drum of housing because the stats show that 30-40 years ago the big three (housing, transportation, and health care) consumed about 40-50% of household income. The number now is like 70-80%, which is why I say that avocado toast isn’t the problem. You can buy a lot of avocado toast when you don’t pay rent. Not that you should, but when the necessities crowd out all spending, I think going after tech gadgets and Uber eats misses the mark.

          Spending has always been difficult for me. Always has been, perhaps maybe it always will be. I’ve practiced deferred consumption almost my entire life. The turning point for me about loosening the purse strings has been taking care of older patients. So when I get flak for buying a model 3 Tesla, I get a bit chaffed when people jump to conclusions. My auto purchase is a small fraction of our savings.

          I my orientation with money comes from growing up in a family with no money. I have hoarded savings and been rather miserly. It has taken a lot of internal coaxing to give myself permission to spend on something that is frivolous.

  8. Fed Policy vs. ECB Policy: A Comparison | Mises Wire

    (some snips)

    “As asset and real estate prices recovered thanks to the Fed’s monetary policy, banks’ balance sheets were further stabilized.”

    Price equals value. US banks were saved in part because real estate prices recovered. Real estate prices recovered because Americans have been conditioned to believe that real estate always goes up and easy financing fueled this belief.

    “The large asset purchases of the Fed and the ECB through the quantitative easing programs led the commercial banks to maintain huge reserves at the central banks. The Fed decided to remunerate these excess reserves in 2008. With the interest rate on excess reserves climbing to 2.4% over the past few years, the Fed has transferred 95 billion dollars to US banks via this channel.”

    US banks were saved in part because the Fed decided to transfer 95 billion dollars to the bank’s coffers.

    “In contrast, the rising interest rates and the successful financial stabilization policies of the Fed have attracted large shares of these capital flows to the US, which have strengthened the quality of US credit portfolios.”

    Money leaving European banks and landing in US banks strengthened the financials of US banks.

    Pure financial magic, all of it.

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