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We Didn’t Expect Them All To Be Vacant

A report from the Orange County Register in California. “Gina Kirschenheiter of ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ has sold her four-bedroom Coto de Caza home, parting with it for $100,000 less than she and her husband sought when it hit the market a year ago. The 2,208-square-foot, single-story house closed sale on May 29 for $875,000. It was listed on the MLS in June 2018 for $975,000, dropping to $939,000 in March 2019 and then $914,988 in May. The couple paid $840,000 for the house in 2016, according to property records.”

From Pop Culture on Texas. “After going on sale early last summer, the sensational Cherry Creek home known as the ‘Faceless Bunker’ featured on HGTV’s Fixer Upper is back on the market and has been stewing for 100 days, according to Zillow. With a price cut of nearly $51,000 last April, the four-bedroom and bathroom home is now $899,000 USD.”

“Located in Waco, Texas, the home was initially listed for $1.5 million last year. According to House Beautiful, the home was featured in season two, episode 12 and is located near shopping malls, schools, restaurants and churches.”

From Honolulu Civil Beat in Hawaii. “By day, Howard Hughes Corporation’s Ward Village in Kakaako is a bustling hub of trendy restaurants and boutiques anchored by gleaming luxury condo towers, a multiplex movie theater and a two-story natural foods store.”

“At night, however, the neighborhood has a different atmosphere. The street life dwindles, and the high-rises become dark monoliths. The buildings are so dark, in fact, they’ve inspired jokes by local business owners, says Tomas Kloosterboer, co-owner of Off the Wall, a hip craft beer and wine bar on Auahi Street.”

“‘We were laughing,’ he said, after someone commented, ‘Dude, there’s a power outage at the building.'”

“Despite the jokes, the nighttime slowdown is no laughing matter for businesses that invested in the area assuming the party would go on when the sun goes down. ‘If you drive by Kakaako at night, most of the units are dark,’ said Mayor Kirk Caldwell ’s chief of staff, Gary Kurokawa.”

“Kakaako is hardly the only place where investors buy properties that they rarely live in. In fact, across Oahu, approximately 5.3% of the long-term housing inventory is vacant, the city reported last month in its Oahu Resiliency Strategy report. It describes the proposed tax as a way to encourage people to rent out properties or, alternatively, to raise money to pay for affordable housing units.”

“According to the report, foreign investment in expensive vacation homes has doubled to approximately $1 billion annually in 2016 and 2017 from about $500 annually in 2008 to 2015. Mainland investors buy another $4 to 5 billion annually, the city reported.”

“Just how many of Ward Village’s condos are actually occupied isn’t clear. For the past five years, Howard Hughes, a Dallas-based real estate investment trust, has been redeveloping Kakaako at an astounding pace. As of March, the company had either opened or was planning just under 2,700 condominiums in its master-planned Ward Village project at the east end of Kakaako.”

“Neighborhood business owners welcome the idea of a vacancy tax designed to encourage more people to actually live in the residences. Among them is Brian Chan, owner of Scratch Kitchen and Meatery. After running the successful Scratch Kitchen and Bakeshop in Chinatown, Chan relocated to Ward Village in 2017.”

“At the time, Chan said, he believed it would be a vibrant center with thousands of residents living in the nearby condo towers. ‘That’s the main reason we got in there,’ he said. ‘We didn’t expect them all to be vacant. At night, it’s a ghost town down here.'”

This Post Has 81 Comments
  1. ‘the four-bedroom and bathroom home is now $899,000 USD…the home was initially listed for $1.5 million last year’

    But half off is unrealistic!

    ‘located near shopping malls, schools, restaurants and churches’

    Oh they got churches all right. Lots of churches.

    1. “The home was one of many Chip and Joanna Gaines worked on during Fixer Upper’s five seasons on HGTV. The couple decided to walk away from the show late last year to focus on their businesses and to raise their fifth child, Crew Gaines. However, they will be back with plans for a network called Magnolia, set to premiere later this year.”

      What timing they just quit when the housing bubble “shift” late last year. I’m sure the recent flipped didn’t sell at 1.5 M has nothing to do with it? Man, what is the property taxes in TX again?

      1. Yeah, they walk away from a TV show to “raise their fifth child,” and then come back to start an entire TV network?

        I pity the baby.

    2. I don’t see how one transaction, where someone set a ridiculously high price based apparently on perceived value of “bragging rights” shows a fifty percent drop in values in Waco. Besides, 50 percent would be $750,000 and still extremely pricey in the Waco market from what I have seen of the show.

      1. ‘still extremely pricey in the Waco market from what I have seen of the show’

        You don’t say? And it’s not supposed to be a flipping show, IIRC. This seller is fooked.

      1. “It’s a $100k house.”

        I don’t see any chickens running around or cars parked on the front lawn, so how about $165k?

        1. I lived for a decade in Waco and lived near there. I have friends who have a house on that block. $1.5 million was absolutely ridiculous. As is $900k. That is basically a $500k house for the Waco market. There are $1.5 million houses in Waco as there is plenty of money there but they tend to be large horse estates in the country with acreage and 2x the square footage of that place. For example:

          https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3066-Baylor-Camp-Rd-Crawford-TX-76638/2090614610_zpid/

          or

          https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/595-Lost-Hunters-Cyn-China-Spring-TX-76633/112169634_zpid/

          But they tend to sell really slowly because at that price in Waco you can buy your own 20 acre view lot in the country and have your own custom home built and have spare change left over.

          1. That is basically a $500k house for the Waco market.

            What do you do in Waco to earn $250K per year? The median household income is about $30K, right?

  2. ‘We were laughing,’ he said, after someone commented, ‘Dude, there’s a power outage at the building’

    There’s a photo at the link.

  3. ‘The 2,208-square-foot, single-story house closed sale on May 29 for $875,000. It was listed on the MLS in June 2018 for $975,000, dropping to $939,000 in March 2019 and then $914,988 in May. The couple paid $840,000 for the house in 2016’

    And after used house sales people fees they are getting dangerously close to having to admit shack prices are (gulp) down in Orange County. I wonder whatever happened to the 4,000 new empty shacks out there?

    1. Here’s the thing: these canyons of empty super expensive condos are all over the world. And have been for years. Yet the media waves it off and insists there’s no bubble. Pick any measure of a mania: speculation, ridiculous prices compared to incomes, overbuilding, 24/7 TV flipping shows, it’s all there.

      So just how does the media manage to avoid the bubble discussion? I read this today:

      ‘Exposé in “The Hill” challenges Mueller, media
      Claim that would-be key Russiagate figure Konstantin Kilimnik is a longtime American informant might be a game-changing story – in a country with a real press corps’

      ‘We’ve gotten to the point where news editors and producers are more like film continuity editors — worried about maintaining literary consistency in coverage — than addressing newsworthy developments that might move us into gray areas.’

      ‘Our press sucks. There are third-world dictatorships where newspapers try harder than they do here. We used to at least pretend to cover the bases. Now, we’re a joke.’

      https://taibbi.substack.com/p/expos-in-the-hill-challenges-mueller

      1. Not to mention MSM funded by advertising revenue. REIC/FIRE cartel is a major contributor here. “He that pays the piper calls the tune”.

    1. “It’s such a frequent occurrence, you can script out exactly how it will unfold: 1. media outlet will feature a conservative voice; 2. one or two fringe Twitter activists will get mad and call out the media outlet; 3. their followers will retweet and send out similar messages, all within a short timespan, making it seem like they’re louder in voice then they are. It’s exactly what they will do to me on Twitter today for writing this.”

    2. “These activists believe conservative ideas are wrong, hateful, evil, and even fascist. Why? Because these progressive voices deem it so and if you question them, well, you’re just part of the problem. It’s the type of hubris that makes them especially unlikable. Do we want to give these people the power to silence anyone? Nope. So, we call them out and make sure the community knows what they’re doing.”

      Kudos to this author!

      1. I love fiscally conservative programs, haven’t seen any in 50 yrs.
        “too big to fail” is not conservativism.

      2. Because “shut up”. No fascists to see here. Move along. Because the left would lose any rational logical argument on principle. Hence the inherent fascism of the left.

      3. “Do we want to give these people the power to silence anyone?”

        Don’t they have that power already? Look what they’re doing at YouTube and Facebook.

    3. Of course, he doesn’t name the conservatives he approves of. Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner sarcastically responded, “Only left-approved conservatives!” None exist; the only one they seem to like is Chris Vance, a former Republican, and they like him because he lets himself be used by progressives to attack Trump.

      The MSM keeps a few housebroken cucks like George Will around as their token “conservatives” who are just as slavish as progressives when it comes to worshiping at the altar of the globalists.

  4. How about renting them out for extended vacations? I would certainly rent something out for 3-4 weeks at $100/night.

    1. It’s a Mexico tariffs panic reversal move. There are more potential panic drivers to come, though…

  5. I think it would be easier to correct the current advantages the one percenter’s /fat cats have than to bring on socialism.

    The only thing I can conclude is they want people to take their eyes off the real culprits that have taken a greater piece of USA pie by ongoing policies of the traitor politicans.

  6. Newsom wants $260 million to extend Medicaid to more illegal immigrants in California
    by Kimberly Leonard
    | January 10, 2019 04:14 PM

    1. Tesla jalopies aren’t competitive with a fossil fuel auto at any price above $15k. Even if they were to sell them at $15k, what advantage is there?

          1. Teslamania. Not much math is required. It costs $100K to produce those cars (even if they sell for $50K) and 99% of that goes ultimately to pay for energy consumption from the mines to the lunchboxes. Most people couldn’t dream up a way to waste that much energy over the lifespan of a car. The virtuous Tesla drivers believe they are above the laws of thermodynamics.

            Elon says he’ll run out of OPM in about 10 months unless something fundamental changes.

          2. That article was written by Edward Niedermeyer. He wrote a post in 2008 called “Tesla Deathwatch”. 11 years later and still kicking. I’m not sure I would put much stock in what he is writing.

          3. Incorrect. It was published in 2018.

            Shahan is still major stockholder in Tesla and anything he says about Tesla can’t be trusted.

            The fact remains that overall cost of a Tesla is 38% more than a comparable sedan.

            Sorry.

        1. Which changes nothing.

          Shahan is still a major stockholder while publishing garbage on Tesla behalf and Tesla overall costs are 38% higher than a comparable sedan.

  7. Somewhere Jonathan Gruber is chuckling.

    “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

    Undocumented immigrants to get health care in Gavin Newsom’s California budget deal

    BY SOPHIA BOLLAG AND ADAM ASHTON
    JUNE 09, 2019 05:58 PM, UPDATED 47 MINUTES AGO

    The agreement includes funding to let undocumented young adults under age 26 enroll in Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income Californians. But it doesn’t extend that eligibility to undocumented seniors, as state senators had proposed.

    The budget includes a fine on people who don’t buy health insurance known as an individual mandate. The fines were initially implemented as part of the federal Affordable Care Act law known as Obamacare, but Republicans acted in 2017 to roll them back. Newsom and legislative leaders say re-imposing the penalty at the state level will shore up the state’s health insurance marketplace and keep premiums from rising dramatically.

    https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article231310348.html

    1. Unbelievable. People who make too much $$ to get Medi-cal, but too little to afford insurance will be forced to buy health insurance anyway … not for themselves, but for illegals.

      MediCal for 65+… I’ll pay in to Medicare for 35 YEARS before I see a penny of benefit, yet illegals get to walk in and get it for FREE. And these seniors are hardly contributing or paying much taxes.

      Why is this? Why this fascination with illegal immigrants? It seems to go fat beyond “Christianity” and making more Democrats.

      And on a side note, check out the picture of the round-faced undocumented claiming “health4all.” They are going to need a LOT of healthcare, namely metformin.

  8. ONE THING, I’ve Never seen addressed on the H.B.B., is the explosion of puppy ownership that has resulted from all these Greenspan/Bernake/Yellen – GBY – Bucks floating around. IMO – strictly accendotal – this year, was this THE biggest year – ever – for people to get pets. Maybe they just want protection for the downturn alot of people expect to happen, IDK.
    Also, do you all, P.B. esp. ever consider Brandon Smith’s idea that the central banks of the world via the B.I.S. – want – to crash things, rather than, keep the boat afloat. Consolidate power, problem, reaction, solution, etc, and ALL THAT.
    i.e. Plans of mice and men, and then there is rats, ‘er, pigs, al la Farmyard, who want to rule us all, muahhhaha, oh wait,.. that’s Mr. Bankers intro.

    1. “Brandon Smith’s idea that the central banks of the world via the B.I.S. – want – to crash things, rather than, keep the boat afloat.”

      That’s lame. Crashes are easy to precipitate, hard to avoid. The central bankers could crash the global economy in a heartbeat if that were their aim.

      What is interesting is the possibility that crash avoidance through serial stimulus and repeat hair-of-the-dog hangover cures might ultimately culminate in a far worse crash than occasional bloodletting through minor recessions. I believe that is what we saw in 2007-2009. What the central bankers seem to miss is how their free crash insurance encourages bad heads-we-win, tails-you’re-screwed gambles.

      1. Here’s a nice description of what too much plunge protection aill get you.

        When the ‘herds get spooked,’ this is what a stock market crash could look like
        By Shawn Langlois
        Published: June 10, 2019 11:29 a.m. ET
        Beware the herd!

        Every time the market seems to be caught in a death spiral these days, buyers are quick to step up to nab the discounts. That buy-the-dip mentality has, again, been bolstered by the idea that the Fed is ready to step in with a rate cut.

        But Charles Hugh Smith, the writer of the Two Minds blog, says the central bank, which he describes as “the Plunge Protection Team,” is what will ultimately be the undoing of this fragile bull market.

        “Irony of ironies: Such complacent confidence in the efficacy of central bank interventions is actually setting up a crash scenario,” he wrote on Monday. “Crashes and melt-ups are both manifestations of herd sentiment.”

      2. What the central bankers seem to miss

        They’ve gotta know. They’ve GOTTA know. All their talk is just talk IMO.

  9. “Seattle Progressives explode when they heard conservatives on radio, TV”

    Oh, FFS. You’re taking the word of a local crank sponsored by a creationist think tank? I know you’re conservative, but do you REALLY want to set your personal gullibility bar that low?

    Rufo’s a snowflake who construes any type of criticism directed his way as harassment and threats. He even threw a tantrum when he was told online to get bent. Oh yeah, THAT’S threatening. Sure.

    1. I’m a libertarian, have been my entire life.

      ‘Rufo’s a snowflake who construes any type of criticism directed his way as harassment and threats’

      You are reacting sort of like he described. He should just STFU, right? Why not address the specifics he mentions.

      There are some fudged up attitudes in this country about free speech these days.

      1. Whenever a howler expresses “concern” for someones “credibility”, you know you’re getting down to the core of the issue.

      2. I have been surprised by all the people who think Assange should rot in hell. I would think they would like to know the truth about as many things as possible.

      3. ‘Rufo’s a snowflake who construes any type of criticism directed his way as harassment and threats’

        Somebody give me a milkshake! 🙂

  10. radioactive homes for sale at Woodlands in Simi valley CA .

    KB and Lennar and all single stories sold out at Lennar. IMO KB was inferior quality based on the interior fixtures. they all has sheer walls thats a newer code earth quake country. And super low flow toilets 1 gallon a flush. And giant master bathrooms with giant picture windows in them so you can see the neighbors easily.

    maybe the radioactive dust is gone by now ? but it does It looks like fire hazard country up that canyon. starting at mid-700K with 300 dollars a month HOA for not much.

  11. It’s the principle (i.e., free speech) and defense of that principle that matters, not the people. If party affiliations were switched, I’d be saying the same exact thing. This scenario, however, is the dynamic in which we now live.

  12. “Gina Kirschenheiter of ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ has sold her four-bedroom Coto de Caza home, parting with it for $100,000 less than she and her husband sought when it hit the market a year ago. The 2,208-square-foot, single-story house closed sale on May 29 for $875,000. It was listed on the MLS in June 2018 for $975,000, dropping to $939,000 in March 2019 and then $914,988 in May. The couple paid $840,000 for the house in 2016, according to property records.”

    Gina was very lucky!

    https://www.movoto.com/coto-de-caza-ca/market-trends/

    Feb 1, 2018 was peak bubble prices with median price 1,788,000.

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