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Borrowing Heavily To Invest In An Asset That Has Been Declining In Price

A report from the Washington Post. “For the past five years, the number of existing homes for sale has lagged below demand, setting the stage for a market that favors sellers. Could the tide finally be turning in favor of buyers? Maybe. A new study by Trulia found signs that the housing market in 50 metro areas is shifting in favor of buyers, up from five metro areas last spring.”

“Markets such as Las Vegas, San Jose and Seattle show the most dramatic shift toward buyers, in part because home prices in those areas have increased by more than 50 percent over the past six years. In recognition of the disconnect between what buyers can afford to pay and home prices in those markets, sellers are now making more price cuts and accepting offers below their original price.”

“Trulia researchers found that the Washington area showed a slight overall shift in favor of buyers in March. Nearly 45 percent of Zip codes in the region showed one or more signs of movement in favor of buyers, up from 14.6 percent of Zip codes last year. In the District, the market in Foggy Bottom appears to be shifting toward buyers, with the number of days it took to sell a house increasing 27 percent and an increase from 9.4 percent to 13.3 percent of homes with at least one price drop before selling.”

From Bloomberg on New York. “Manhattan’s would-be homeowners may not be comfortable buying expensive apartments right now. Instead, they’re renting them. ‘You have flexibility,’ said Grant Long, senior economist at StreetEasy. ‘For a lot of folks, borrowing heavily to invest in an asset that has been declining in price over the last year is something that’s difficult to swallow.'”

From WBUR on Massachusetts. “Some research suggests rising sea levels and flooding brought by global warming are harming coastal property values. In Salisbury, real estate broker Thomas Saab insists something is happening with home prices but is not sure whether climate change is behind it.”

“Two clients in the otherwise strong real estate market, he said, were recently forced to lower their asking prices by tens of thousands of dollars when prospective buyers voiced concerns about storm damage and risks. ‘Do I worry prices are coming down? Sure,’ Saab said. ‘Fewer buyers are willing to take the risk.'”

“Nancy Meehan, 71, is considering putting her coastal condo in Salisbury up for sale this year, but she worries buyers will be turned off by the winter storms. ‘All my life savings is in my home,’ Meehan said of the four-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, which she bought for $135,000. ‘I can’t lose that equity.'”

From Westword on Colorado. “This month, the Denver Metro Association of Realtors revealed that the average home sale price for the Mile High City in April hit $553,371, an all-time high. But Victoria Macaskill, an independent broker of Denver Homes, says focusing on this information can lead to a skewed and misleading impression about what’s really going on in the local real estate market right now that is regularly leading sellers astray.”

“‘They’re like, ‘The prices are at an all-time high!’ and that’s how they want to set their price,’ she notes. But doing so could backfire in a big way, in her opinion, which is why she feels ‘sellers need a re-education process.'”

“For example, that record-setting average price of $553,371 jumped up 4.55 percent over March — but in comparison with April 2018, as seen in the following graphic, it represents an increase of just 1.51 percent. ‘That’s a big difference,’ Macaskill points out. ‘Those data points aren’t being reported on,’ Macaskill feels, ‘which is why everyone thinks it’s a strong seller’s market.'”

“More opportunities could be coming by way of distressed properties. The supply is still modest: Macaskill divulges that notices of foreclosure sales went from eleven in Jefferson County circa April 2018 to 27 last month, and from twelve to 32 in Denver County over the same period. ‘It’s not a trend yet,’ she warns. ‘It’s not that dramatic. But it’s curious, and worth keeping an eye on.'”

From The Arizona Republic. “Metro Phoenix’s new condominium craze took a breather last year. ‘The resale market is selling well for the ‘right’ condos in well regarded buildings, but it has certainly softened a little,’ said David Newcombe, a condo expert.”

“Paradise Valley’s 85253 ZIP code saw condo prices fall 20% to a median of $325,000. Central Phoenix’s 85003 ZIP code experienced an 18% decline in condo prices. North Glendale’s 85303 area saw condo prices fall 17% to $99,308. Goodyear’s 85338 ZIP code posted a 14% decrease in condo prices. Downtown Phoenix’s 85004 ZIP code saw condo prices drop 9% to $245,000 last year.”

The Sun Sentinel on Florida. “An auction company is taking a crack at selling the waterfront estate of the late Fort Lauderdale billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga on Tuesday, with the bidding starting online and ending with a live auctioneer this weekend.”

“The listed price has been reduced to $19.5 million from $26.95 million, according to a broker. The sale will be conducted by Concierge Auctions of New York and Austin. There is no minimum bidding price, the company’s website says.”

From NBC Los Angeles in California. “An Orange County realtor is accused of scamming homebuyers and stealing more than $1 million in deposits for properties which California real estate officials say she had no right to sell. The NBC4 I-Team received emails and calls from buyers and realtors saying they’d been duped. They say the woman at the center of this scheme promised to refund their money but never did, or their checks bounced.”

“In one case, a home in Fontana was about go to into foreclosure. It was listed at $315,000 in a neighborhood of homes worth more than $400,000. Jesse Lawler said everything seemed to be on the up and up. His contractor-client put $5,000 down as a deposit, or so called earnest money.”

“But Lawler says the deal kept getting delayed, so he went to Yelp to check out the listing agent. ‘I started reading it and my stomach… hits the floor,’ he said. ‘In real estate you shouldn’t have to Yelp somebody. That’s why we’re licensed.'”

“The four-bedroom, two-bath Fontana home Lawler’s client wanted to buy is no longer listed for sale. Neighbors say it’s been in foreclosure several times.”

This Post Has 48 Comments
  1. ‘Those data points aren’t being reported on…which is why everyone thinks it’s a strong seller’s market’

    She’s saying they’re a lion.

    BTW, the servers were down this morning, hopefully they have stabilized.

    1. Probably not PPT. It looks like sell on the rumor. The real DOW drop will happen when the tariffs actually start hurting the bottom line.

      1. The stock market is so phony at this point I don’t know what would make it drop and stay there.

  2. ‘The four-bedroom, two-bath Fontana home Lawler’s client wanted to buy is no longer listed for sale. Neighbors say it’s been in foreclosure several times’

    Wa? There aren’t any foreclosures in California. Especially not in Fontana! Why I’ve been told you only need to scratch the dirt driveway in the front yard and gold nuggets will spill across the slip and slide.

    1. Gosh, next thing you know prices will be dropping. But I have it on good authority that such a development would be un-possible. Thus saith Chris Thornberg, anointed real estate expert.

  3. “In recognition of the disconnect between what buyers can afford to pay and home prices in those markets…”

    Gasp! A rare moment of clarity in the MSM.

  4. ‘Saab insists something is happening with home prices but is not sure whether climate change is behind it’

    ‘All my life savings is in my home…I can’t lose that equity’

    Here we go WBUR. Coastal shacks across the globe are sinking like a turd in a well, but blame it on weather. Don’t stop there – it’s Trumps fault! The Orange Man stole my equity!

    1. Don’t go to the comment section of the Washington Post. They *do* blame Trump fro every summer hurricane and winter storm. Because if only Trump will admit to climate change, he would have stopped all these storms single-handedly.

      1. I could see right through it. “Obammy gave me my life savings and Orange Man is gonna take it away, it’s all I got and Ima gonna have to eat gruel! Bahh!”

    2. Salisbury…Some research suggests rising sea levels and flooding brought by global warming are harming coastal property values.
      ????
      My dad lives there and they had one of the mildest winters in recent memory. Very little snow all winter and no major storms. Amazing how the MSM will blame falling prices on everything except the actual cause…the bubble.

  5. ‘Paradise Valley’s 85253 ZIP code saw condo prices fall 20% to a median of $325,000. Central Phoenix’s 85003 ZIP code experienced an 18% decline in condo prices. North Glendale’s 85303 area saw condo prices fall 17% to $99,308. Goodyear’s 85338 ZIP code posted a 14% decrease in condo prices. Downtown Phoenix’s 85004 ZIP code saw condo prices drop 9% to $245,000 last year’

    Catherine probably couldn’t bear to type that herself. Must have had an undocumented intern do it.

      1. The entire area used to be dirt cheap because the weather is almost unbearable 6 months of the year. People flocked there from other areas of the US almost exclusively because of the cheap prices. You could buy a brand new house in the west valley for $50k. Then bankers and bubbles happened.

  6. ” …which is why she feels $ellers need a re-education proce$$.”

    Yes, Maca$kill, & you’re just the u$ed.$hack.re$eller to offer up such le$$ons!

  7. ‘In real e$tate you shouldn’t have to Yelp somebody. That’s why we’re licen$ed.’

    He forgot$ to mention$ the co.dependent word: “Profe$$ional$!

  8. “… Markets such as Las Vegas, San Jose and Seattle show the most dramatic shift toward buyers, in part because home prices in those areas have increased by more than 50 percent over the past six years.”

    Along California’s South Coast (Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Carpinteria), the median SFH/PUD selling price bottomed in 2011-12 at less than $800,000. YTD (through April, 2019) the median is about $1,300,000 (up slightly from the 2018 median). That’s more than a 60% increase over a 7-year period.

    Barb
    Administratrix, Santa Barbara Bubble

    1. 2019 SB, is not as nice as it was in the 90’s. traffic, tourists, homeless, gangs…. wrecked it.

  9. In the Fannie Mae 1004mc addendum included in appraisal reports, there are 3 options for reporting market conditions. They are: increasing, stable, or declining. There is no provision for “shifting to buyers” or “normalizing” or other slang. Loan underwriters use these determinations for approval processes. They are supported with price and volume data in 3 time periods: 1 to 3 months, 4 to 6 months and 7 to 12 months. They are neighborhood specific. There are no provisions for YOY figures or “seasonally adjusted annualized”, although the last is a federal govt spec’d reporting class.

    The use of slang terms in quotes in media is an obvious cover up for reality. Some things never change.

    1. Some things never change

      Media reports a change when everyone already knows about it.

  10. “Paradise Valley’s 85253 ZIP code saw condo prices fall 20% to a median of $325,000. Central Phoenix’s 85003 ZIP code experienced an 18% decline in condo prices. North Glendale’s 85303 area saw condo prices fall 17% to $99,308. Goodyear’s 85338 ZIP code posted a 14% decrease in condo prices. Downtown Phoenix’s 85004 ZIP code saw condo prices drop 9% to $245,000 last year.”

    But I was told to buy a condo so I could get on the property ladder, stop wasting money on rent, and begin to build that sweet equity while I got rich.

    The good news is prices will be in positive territory very soon because real estate is always a good investment.

    1. “The good news is prices will be in positive territory very soon because real estate is always a good investment.”

      Real Estate won’t be a stable investment until buyers have to bring a 20% down payment and a solid credit history to the closing table. Until then it will be Uncle Sam backstopping these make-believe values.

      1. But the REIC told me if I wait to save up for 20% down prices will just skyrocket up forever, so I’ll never own a home. So I should get a loan at 95%+ and just “roll with it” or something!

          1. Am I too late? Did I call within ten minutes? The radio guy said I had ten minutes!

      2. And with a DTI ratio of 25% or less on a 15 year loan. Nothing else should qualify for a guarantee from Uncle Sugar.

    2. I realize overpriced shelter of any kind (especially in a bubble) is a bad decision. But the only place we’ve ever purchased was a condo in 2011, and we loved it. It was such a nice place to live. I quite like condos.

      1. Honestly one of the problems with the condos that I’ve seen in the SLC area is they are generally on a busy intersection and the entire inside area is devoted to parking lots for cars. Seldom are there green spaces.

        I wouldn’t feel comfortable letting a child play outside in a parking lot.

        1. Our condo was in Murray and it was before we had our son. But I’m totally okay with my kid growing up “urban” and learning to ride light rail. Murray park is close and is exceptional. Even now in St. George we live in an apartment with really no yard. But the parks here are close, plentiful, and amazing.

          1. “I’m totally okay with my kid growing up “urban” and learning to ride light rail.”

            THX1138

  11. Slowing…slowing…gone…

    US homes are staying on the market longer as the median price climbs
    April 23, 2019 8:42 am

    WASHINGTON — Softening demand is keeping US homes on the market longer, and homeowners appear to be thinking twice about listing their properties, according to the Zillow Real Estate Market Report for March.

    Beyond San Jose, six major markets areas saw an annual gain of less than 3 percent in March: Baltimore, Washington, Seattle, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, San Francisco, and San Diego. Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Las Vegas paced gains with a year-over-year increase of at least 10 percent.

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