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What People Thought They Could Get For Their Home In January Or February Is Not The Same Today – And It Is Usually Less

A report from Westword in Colorado. “The real estate scene in Denver hasn’t fully transitioned into a buyer’s market. But it’s shifting in that direction, as indicated by how many more concessions metro-area sellers are willing to grant now as compared to the recent past. That’s the theory espoused by Fresco Real Estate‘s Veronica Collin, who’s proven to be an adept prognosticator when it comes to home sales in and around the Mile High City.”

“‘Houses on busy streets or with strange layouts or poor locations are sitting for a while now,’ she points out. ‘And we’re seeing price reductions amplified when agents aren’t pricing properties correctly. When flippers price their properties themselves, you’ll often see them go too high, and as a result, you’ll see them sitting for much longer and prices eventually coming down by $30,000, $40,000, $50,000.'”

“Such reductions aren’t the norm right now, Collin acknowledges, ‘but we’re seeing a lot of houses selling for under the asking price — maybe not drastically under, but it does provide some relief to buyers.'”

The Mail Tribune in Oregon. “Median home sales prices dropped from $328,000 to $285,000 in Talent from the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019. Phoenix also saw a drop from $322,775 to $286,500, statistics show. West Medford, the least expensive zone, dipped from $227,000 to $224,250, statistics show. Central Point, Gold Hill and Rogue River also saw prices go down.”

“Buyers and sellers should adjust their strategies, according to Colin Mullane, spokesman for the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors. After years of price growth that created a sellers market, the pendulum is starting to swing toward a more stable market, he said. Second quarter statistics show the inventory of houses for sale climbed 17.1% in Jackson County and sales fell 4.9% compared to the second quarter of 2018.”

“‘We’ve seen a lot of trends that are mirroring what’s happening around the country,’ he said.”

The Milwaukee Biz Times in Wisconsin. “Home sales in the metropolitan Milwaukee area fell 5.8% last month relative to June 2018, an extension of a slowing market the region has experienced over the last two months, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. June sales fell the greatest in Kenosha County, which recorded a 19.1% decrease relative to the same month in 2018. Following that was Milwaukee County, with a decrease of 8.2%.”

“However, GMAR added that even with home sales slowing, there are no signs indicating a collapse of the housing market the U.S. saw just over a decade ago. ‘This is not 2008,’ GMAR notes in its report. ‘There are no reports, or anecdotal stories, of unworthy buyers getting loans or crooked lenders handing out cash that precipitated the 2008 crash. All indications point to a soft landing.'”

From The Real Deal on Florida. “Verzasca Group’s Le Jardin Residences boutique condo project in Bay Harbor Islands is nearly complete with the majority of units presold. Yet, in an unusual move, the project filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week. By reorganizing, the project’s developer hopes to close on the units as part of a complicated legal maneuver.”

“The development group’s bankruptcy filing is tied to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in 2017 alleging that the group owes money on an EB-5 loan. EB-5 is a federal program that allows foreign investors the opportunity to receive a green card in exchange for an investment of at least $500,000 in an American enterprise that creates at least 10 jobs.”

From Fauquier Now in Virginia. “A 515-acre farm near Warrenton sold last week for $2.6 million. The property went on the market last year with an asking price of $4.6 million. The price dropped twice and most recently stood at $3.8 million.”

“Also last week, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank took possession of Hesperides, a 179-acre estate just north of Warrenton. Hesperides went on the real estate market two years ago with an asking price of $4.1 million. The bank took the property back in lieu of a $2.2-million debt.”

The Long Beach Business Journal in California. “Despite good job numbers, a robust stock market and general good economic news, anyone who is in the real estate industry or is trying to sell their home in today’s market can feel that things just aren’t what they were last year.”

“As the first six months of this year have shown, the market is softer and price expectations are having to be adjusted all over the board. What people thought they could get for their home in January or February is not the same today – and it is usually less.”

“According to Kate Seabaugh of the Burns Company, price appreciation has slowed across every major housing market. Basically, the urgency has gone out of the housing market, and we have entered a period where buyers are cautious and will walk from deals unless they get what they want.”

“The largest deceleration was in the San Jose, California region, where a year ago prices were up 20%. They are down 6% this year from last, a deceleration of 26%. ‘Last year, San Jose was frenzied with less than one month of supply and very strong job growth,’ noted Seabaugh in her market study. ‘Builders were selling homes faster than they could build them. In the second half of 2018, the San Jose market slowed substantially due to affordability issues, but conditions have stabilized this year.”

“In other California cities the deceleration rate is less, but still significant: San Francisco is down 15%; Los Angeles is down 7%, San Diego and Orange County are down 6% and Riverside-San Bernardino is down 5%. Nationally, along with the California markets, Seattle and Las Vegas have been hit with price decelerations.”

This Post Has 82 Comments
    1. When the words “soft landing” start to come out again, you know they’re fooked. You’re fooked, GMAR!

  1. San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver,Miami, Milwuakee…

    One of those things is not like the others. Are we in the “spreads to the heartland” phase now?

  2. Interesting to hear about increased inventory given that Olick published another shortage article today in CNBC.

    Real estate is a trend asset. Clearly the trend is not only changing but growing geographically in scope. These trends do not change direction and trajectory abruptly. So the trend is gradually going from inflationary to level to now which appears to be sloping downward.

    In last go around, this was followed by steepening downward as buyer sentiment eroded and eventually into a panic phase. Where we at on curve now? Next few months will illuminate but I do not expect to see abrupt upturn. Sometimes in stocks or securities maybe, but probably not real estate. For those who follow PMs, you may have noticed shifts in spot prices on gold and silver recently. Part reaction to lowering interest rates but also for safe haven purposes. PM equities have had great run.

    All following a time honored pattern. I think this is the real deal.

      1. You mean silver might actually go up substantially some day? ☻

        It _was_ up substantially…it was up at $55 at one point (what was that, 8 years ago?)

      2. Yes. I would. Since equities are leveraged to spot price, they rise more rapidly. Of course they fall the same way.

        Spot is currently about $15.50. If you believe housing downturn is coming now would be a good time to investigate prior spot prices at times of economic turmoil. During last real estate bust, safe haven seekers pushed the price of silver near $50. That’s over 3 times higher than today, and mining/explorers at higher multiples. Reversed once economic conditions and real estate improved.

        It all about timing. Gold/silver is counter cyclic to real estate and general economy. But not platinum/palladium since their demand is largely due to car sales per their use in catalytic converters.

        1. Silver is difficult to predict because it is both an industrial metal and a precious metal used as money. Whether it is going to trade like palladium or gold is always a question. My own view is that is underpriced and should be at least $20.

        2. That’s over 3 times higher than today,

          I don’t know, this sounds a lot like speculation but in a different asset class than housing.

  3. “The largest deceleration was in the San Jose, California region, where a year ago prices were up 20%. They are down 6% this year from last, a deceleration of 26%. … In other California cities the deceleration rate is less, but still significant: San Francisco is down 15%; Los Angeles is down 7%, San Diego and Orange County are down 6% and Riverside-San Bernardino is down 5%.”


    1. I love the REIC vocabulary and metric, “deceleration”. In fannie/Freddie designed and spec’d valuation forms, there are 3 official words used to describe market value trends. They are “increasing” “stable” or “declining”. There is no provision for “decelerating”. The BS never ends.

      1. I like “deceleration,” as it a useful metric for a collapsing bubble, especially at the point where last year’s record rate of appreciation has given way to current price collapse.

        1. Someone falling off a building has a rapid deceleration when he or she hits the sidewalk.

  4. Is real estate simultaneously crashing in multiple developed economy markets at exactly the same time?

    Or does this merely seem to be the case?

    1. Yes sir. Even in Australia which avoided the last housing bust. I believe it’s a comin here soon.

  5. See new CNBC article about architects billings being down as a predictor for commercial and multifamily. Naturally, in CNBC fashion, they claimed it does not predict single family. As if they think SFR and condos do not ride on the same tides.

    I clearly remember from the last downturn, that architect billings were one of indicators of that downturn. It’s all pieces that make up the larger picture puzzle. Same thing happening now? Time will tell, perhaps one of those history rhyming deals.

    Anyhow, check it out.

  6. At the beginning of year I was tingling with schadenfreude observing the impending real estate doom with mortgage rates at 5% and the Fed still talking about more interest rate increases. I started to plan my bargain hunting strategy for 2020. But with mortgage rates 100 basis points lower and possible rate cuts coming I’m getting gloomy again. Might be another couple of years or longer before there are any real bargains to be had. What to do in the mean time. More suspended animation in the interest rate gulag

    1. What rabbit will the Fed pull out of the hat after the effects of their current hair-of-the-dog hangover cure wear off?

      QE4, perhaps?

    2. Markets
      In a World of Negative Yields, India Bonds Rally to 2016 Highs
      By Kartik Goyal
      July 16, 2019, 1:22 AM PDT
      Updated on July 16, 2019, 3:00 AM PDT
      – Benchmark 10-year yield falls to 6.31%, lowest since Dec. 2016
      – Hopes of deeper RBI rate cuts fueling bond rally: DCB Bank

      Sovereign Indian debt streaked ahead, sending benchmark yields to 2 1/2-year lows, amid growing expectations of deeper rate cuts by the central bank and increased foreign demand.

      The yield on 10-year bonds declined nine basis points to 6.34% on Tuesday after touching 6.31%, the lowest for the notes since Dec. 2016. Yields have slid more than 100 basis points since April-end amid bets the central bank may add to its three rate cuts this year. And negative-yielding debt in much of the developed world is adding to the allure of high-yielder like India, traders said.

    3. Bloomberg
      Central Bankers Are Sick of Rescuing the World Economy Alone
      By William Horobin and Simon Kennedy
      July 15, 2019, 9:00 PM PDT
      – Monetary policy around the world near the limits of its power
      – Group of Seven meetings take place in France this week

      Global central bankers are again in the driving seat when it comes to propping up the world economy, but many are demanding governments join them in the rescue effort.

      Amid slowing global growth, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and perhaps even the Bank of Japan are all set to ease monetary policy in coming months. But with less room to act than in the past, their leaders are telling politicians they will need to assist if a downturn takes hold.

    4. The Financial Times
      US economy
      Betting man Kyle Bass wagers Fed policy will turn Japanese
      Fund manager who called subprime mortgage crisis predicts US rates will touch zero
      ‘Once an economy falls into the tractor beam of zero rates, it’s almost impossible to escape them’ – Kyle Bass, Hayman Capital Management © Reuters
      Ortenca Aliaj and Robin Wigglesworth in New York yesterday

      Kyle Bass, the outspoken hedge fund manager who rose to prominence through prescient bets against the US housing market, Greece and Iceland, is now wagering that US interest rates will collapse to near zero next year as the country enters a recession and the Federal Reserve is pushed into crisis mode.

      Investors expect that the US central bank will cut interest rates when it meets later this month, as a pre-emptive measure to ward off headwinds of trade tensions and slowing global economic growth, and to ensure that inflation creeps back up to its target of close to 2 per cent.

      Interest rate futures indicate that traders think this will be the start of a longer rate-cutting cycle, with the Fed potentially lowering rates by a full percentage point to 1.25-1.50 per cent by this time next year. But Mr Bass — the founder and chief investment officer of Dallas-based Hayman Capital Management — thinks the forecasts are too mild.

      1. “Once an economy falls into the tractor beam of zero rates, it’s almost impossible to escape them.” – Kyle Bass, Hayman Capital Management

        Hehe…have to steal this one! 🙂

        1. If they were financially responsible it wouldn’t be a big deal. But if they find themselves in that situation the odds that they were financially responsible is zero.

    5. You know what? I can definitely see the parallels:

      Wikipedia, “lost decade”


      Japan’s strong economic growth in the second half of the 20th century ended abruptly at the start of the 1990s. The Plaza Accord doubling of the exchange rate value of the dollar versus the yen between 1985 to 1987 fueled a speculative asset price bubble of a massive scale. The bubble was caused by the excessive loan growth quotas dictated on the banks by Japan’s central bank, the Bank of Japan, through a policy mechanism known as the “window guidance”.[8][9] As economist Paul Krugman explained, “Japan’s banks lent more, with less regard for quality of the borrower, than anyone else’s. In doing so they helped inflate the bubble economy to grotesque proportions.”[10]

      Trying to deflate speculation and keep inflation in check, the Bank of Japan sharply raised inter-bank lending rates in late 1989.[11] This sharp policy caused the bursting of the bubble and the Japanese stock market crashed. Equity and asset prices fell, leaving overly leveraged Japanese banks and insurance companies with books full of bad debt. The financial institutions were bailed out through capital infusions from the government, loans and cheap credit from the central bank, and the ability to postpone the recognition of losses, ultimately turning them into zombie banks. Yalman Onaran of Bloomberg News writing in Salon stated that the zombie banks were one of the reasons for the following long stagnation.[12] Additionally Michael Schuman of Time magazine wrote that these banks kept injecting new funds into unprofitable “zombie firms” to keep them afloat, arguing that they were too big to fail. However, most of these companies were too debt-ridden to do much more than survive on bail-out funds. Schuman believed that Japan’s economy did not begin to recover until this practice had ended.[13]

      Eventually, many of these failing firms became unsustainable, and a wave of consolidation took place, resulting in four national banks in Japan. Many Japanese firms were burdened with heavy debts, and it became very difficult to obtain credit. Many borrowers turned to sarakin (loan sharks) for loans. As of 2012, the official interest rate was 0.1%;[14] the interest rate has remained below 1% since 1994.

      1. “…banks lent more, with less regard for quality of the borrower, than anyone else’s. In doing so they helped inflate the bubble economy to grotesque proportions.”

        Sounds vaguely familiar.

        The Wall Street Journal
        Democrats May Inflate Another Housing Bubble
        Subsidies and regulations created the 2008 crisis. Guess what the 2020 candidates are proposing.
        By Jason L. Riley
        July 9, 2019 7:05 pm ET

        Politicians and regulators played a central role in the housing boom and bust that led to the 2008 financial crisis. But you’d never know that, judging from the Democratic presidential candidates’ housing proposals, which double down on the policies and interventions that caused the problem in the first place.

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to spend half a trillion dollars over 10 years on “affordable housing” subsidy programs. Under her plan, the federal government would provide down-payment grants for first-time home buyers…
        To Read the Full Story
        Sign In

        1. I’m guessing MMT will be dragged out to “prove” why a renewed wave of Fed-funded zero-downpayment lending funneled to Democratic constituents is good medicine for the economy.

        2. Democrats May Inflate Another Housing Bubble

          Inflate another housing bubble? That would imply that the inflation hasn’t already occurred and that there is not already a bubble. The horse has already left the barn. Too late.

    6. Mixed signals, for example showing mortgage applications for the week down but still 7 percent higher for the year. I think absent a Black swan event it is a slow grind to get housing prices and incomes back into a sane relationship.

      1. There’s naturally going to be a black swan event at the end of a housing boom characterized by double-digit price increases and record levels of speculative investment.

    1. It’s becoming more apparent that she is bought and paid for by the REIC to push a narrative, and is not reporting factually.

      Interviewing Skylar Olsen about how we all will pay more for housing, as prices are falling everywhere.

      1. Today she’s going to blame It on Donald Trump lol.

        The Chinese took away my precious housing shortage…

    1. They finally rented out Jeffrey Dahmer’s old apartment. The ad said “Apartment for rent. Roommates included – some assembly required.”

    2. The buyer is going to need more than $5K to repair deferred maintenance on that house.

      1. I doubt it.

        I wonder where the tipping-point exits that authorities decide raze a home where awful crimes took place?

    1. Good article it also shows how NG vehicles are a better transition. Have been arguing that for a decade on this blog. It maybe too late now, however that really depends on new battery technology. The present technology is a dead end, we are running out of Cobalt when EV sales are 2 percent of total car sales. Batteries use about 50 percent of the Cobalt mined. Using One’s 50 year supply at today’s use I think it is a little higher, a fifty fold increase in battery demand means less than a two year supply. Thus, a total ICE replacement is impossible and that does not even factor in the use of batteries to store solar and wind or the fact that the non battery uses of Cobalt will increase with time.

      1. ICE replacement is impossible

        It’s not impossible. It’s just stupid, as long as there is oil. What percent of the population is luxury virtue signaling with bags of money anyway?

        We’ve had the technology to build short haul electric vehicles as long as I’ve been alive. Look at golf carts. Just not as sexy as two ton self driving sports cars with full entertainment centers and lithium batteries.

        1. Impossible to replace with existing lithum ion batteries due to a shortage of Cobalt and yes stupid to try.

          1. I guess EVs are probably just a fad. Definitely not here to stay. Cobalt will limit their expansion for sure.

          2. probably just a fad

            No one can predict how long a mania will last. A logical person will not spend more to “save” and will not expend more energy resources to conserve them.

          3. No one can predict how long a mania will last. A logical person will not spend more to “save” and will not expend more energy resources to conserve them.

            And yet it is logical to spend money on things you derive joy from. People will spend more going out to eat even though logically they could stay in cook for less. It’s not logical to buy a sports car when a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla will do the trick. Tesla is making cars that people fall in love with. The difference is that it costs quite a bit less to maintain them than other comparable vehicles in the segment. It would be like spending more on a house you really want but then also paying less in property taxes.

      2. PHEVs are a fine transition vehicle. The Chevy Volt was amazing. Battery was tiny (only about 50 miles of range). But the serial hybrid meant that 90% of miles were driven on electricity. Too bad that GM discontinued the Volt earlier this year even though they got bailed out by USA after it built gas guzzlers and stepped right into a demand cliff of it’s own making.

        Now we see history repeating itself as Detroit has gone all-in with trucks and SUVs and demand is plummeting and oil prices aren’t even high and we aren’t in a recession. The history of the American auto association being taken over by the Japanese, the Germans, the Koreans, and soon the Chinese will be sad.

    2. The 800 pound gorilla in the room.

      There’s no free lunch. The ultimate goal here is to confiscate private transportation from the masses. They’re just hoping that they don’t find out until it’s too late.

    3. Facts are a stubborn thing. But when you are anti-EV (or a paid troll trying to preserve fossil fuels), you will hunt for anything to confirm your confirmation bias:

      “Now an analysis of the life-cycle emissions of the vehicles conducted by VUB university in Brussels for NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) goes into further detail based on several European markets. It’s a truly enlightening study going in-depth to isolate CO2 emissions based on every part of the vehicle cycle.”

      “As you can see on the chart below, even on an extremely polluting national grid, like Poland’s, a battery-powered vehicle still emits 25% less CO2 over its lifetime than a diesel car:”

      1. Do you really think we’re paid trolls here? Constantly talking up your own book. Constantly. Insults do not make a logical argument, ever. You hunted for this article, right?

        I am confident that if I picked this so-called analysis apart as an engineer, you wouldn’t change your drum beat one tiny little bit.

        1. Blue, I don’t think you are, but I have my doubts about poster below. Tin-foil hat brigade out in full force…

      2. anti-EV (or a paid troll trying to preserve fossil fuels)

        For added perspective, may I suggest TSLAQ and the Crowdsourced Short Sale of the Century with @TeslaCharts

        In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with TeslaCharts, one of the leading members of the online community known as TSLAQ, a group of largely anonymous Twitter users who exist to expose the reality behind the Tesla façade.

        TSLAQ is a hive-like collective of financiers, accountants, Ph.D.’s, lawyers, pilots, and members of just about any other occupational discipline you can imagine. What unites them all is Tesla, or more specifically, their outrage at a CEO who they believe to be a carnival barker running the biggest fraud in corporate America. In the words of TSLAQ’s most prominent member Mark Spiegel, Elon Musk is responsible for “the biggest single stock bubble in this whole bubble market.”

        According to an article about TSLAQ published for the LA Times, Russ Mitchell writes, “the channel has emerged as a crowd-sourced stock research platform,” where “contributors divide up research duties according to personal interest and ability, with no one in charge.” The “major aim” of this collective, writes Mitchell, “is to change the mind of Tesla stock bulls and the media.”

        Activist investing and short selling have been around for as long as anyone can remember, but short sellers have traditionally aligned with intrepid, up-and-coming journalists and prominent media outlets in order to “talk their book” and change public opinion about the stock by sharing their proprietary research into the company. Jim Chanos was famous for having worked to expose the fraud at Enron through various media contacts like Bethany McLean, while simultaneously shorting the company’s stock. In other cases, such as with SEC whistleblower Harry Markopolos, “No One Would Listen.”

        What is unique in this case is the emergent nature of the network behind TSLAQ. It is not proprietary, nor is anyone in control. TSLAQ is not a conspiracy of short-sellers. Rather, it is the spontaneous manifestation of a disparate collection of disaffected people united together by their commitment to exposing an increasingly dangerous fraud that they believe is being perpetrated against investors and the general public.

        In this episode, we bring light to this phenomenon and help to educate you about its history, its impetus, and its prospects for bursting what may be the greatest stock bubble in our entire bubble market.

        1. I’m not talking my book, I have no stock or any position in Tesla whatsoever. I just love my car.

          Remember Ed Niedermeyer from “The Drive”, well it looks like one of their content providers crossed over to the dark side and bought a model 3:

          How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Buy A Tesla
          Alex Roy
          The Drive
          17 June 2019

          Sadly, the truth was that even I—who had more Tesla miles than most owners still alive—had been infected with FUD, otherwise known as Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt. If one believes mainstream media reports, Tesla is the Theranos of transportation, Elon Musk its Elizabeth Holmes, and the company will be dead before my car’s first service. Let’s not forget a lack of spare parts, cars catching fire, the crashes attributed to Autopilot, and things like Autonomy Day, which some called Silicon Valley’s version of The Producers. Opposing the big outlets are Tesla investors of hilariously shallow technical knowledge and a constellation of stock shills—I’d call them whores, but that would be an insult to sex workers trying to make a more honest dollar—shamelessly rationalizing away any criticism of Elon Musk and Tesla with Whataboutism at its finest.

          But I wasn’t interested in any of that. I wasn’t buying $TSLA, which is going through a rough patch. I wanted to buy a Tesla. The only way to consider buying a Tesla is to become like a honey badger. If one doesn’t give a s**t about the promises, lies, idiots, trolls, fools, rumors, hopes or exaggerations, all that’s left is the glorious reality of the one fact that remains: the cars are amazing, delightful, stunning and unique.

          Elon Musk said at least one true thing on Autonomy Day: no car manufacturer on Earth has released a car that can compete with the 2012 Model S, and it’s still light years ahead of any other EV you can buy today. Autopilot. Drivetrain. Range. Charging infrastructure. User Interface. Navigation system. People can bitch and moan about build quality, but I’d rather own magic-with-a-defect than a work of art I hate. I’m absolutely convinced that the overwhelming majority of people who dislike Teslas have never driven one, and/or are shorting it.

      3. I am paid so much being a troll by the fossil fuel industry that I am going to buy a high rise luxury condo in Vancouver and throw 100$ bills off the balcony every night while I drink Domaine Romanée-ContI in my embroidered silk pajamas.

  7. what programs will the Orangeman come up with to save re?
    It will be HUGE.

    He was all in for wasting 45 billion on opioids.

  8. Of course we are in a real estate bubble that’s deflating. In the meantime it has been at the expense of yields on safe retirement funds. Of course this really screwed me as a retired person.

    But, I have refused to engage in these casino markets because you can’t take risks after a certain age.

    It helps that I live in a paid off house and I don’t take on any debt.

    1. Yes financial repression is nothing less than theft from the retired who can no longer take the risk of investing in the stock market.

    2. “It helps that I live in a paid off house and I don’t take on any debt.”

      +1 I’m there too, but I was fortunate to leave California early on, and buy the 2002-03 frozen winter dip in a small town. This opportunity is non-existent for today’s “house hopefuls.”

      Now I’m trying to get two kids through college debt-free, and I’ll probably just roll over like an exhausted Salmon when they’ve both graduated.

      1. I shelled out a fortune for kids college and medical bills regarding a death in the family. One of the companies I worked for went bankrupt, and we all got screwed over that one.

        It is very exhausting, but I only have myself now, even my old boxer died. I’m old , but I’m happy.

        1. even my old boxer died

          Sorry to hear about that. Boxers are great dogs.

          Would you like mine? He’s old, smelly, ungrateful, and generally grumpy. Oh yeah, expensive and deaf, too!

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