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Buyers Expect A Perfect House, At A Great Price And The Seller To Cave In On Everything

A report from the Daily Independent in Kentucky. “The Ashland area real estate market continues to demonstrate significant strength despite coming off a record year for home sales in 2018. Veteran real estate agent Cindy Conley-Jones said sales are hot in Boyd County in part because of USDA loan incentives that allow for zero down purchases in rural areas.”

“There were some dips in price points, according to the numbers from the Board of Realtors. Adding up the monthly median closing prices over seven months, the median closing price dropped by 2.9 percent. Total dollars sold dropped by 4.8 percent.”

The Press Herald in Maine. “Before the foreclosure auction, Jack and Sue Cary had lived in their retirement home on Nicklaus Drive for nearly three years. They had signed a contract to pay developer Bernie Saulnier Jr. $345,000 in cash to build the one-story house in his new subdivision, The Legends. They paid more than $200,000 in contracted installments and, after the closing was delayed, were granted occupancy while waiting to complete the purchase.”

“But Saulnier never closed the sale because of unpaid liens, they said, leaving them living in a house they didn’t legally own. On June 4, after Saulnier’s primary lender foreclosed on his $1.5 million loan, the Carys’ house, seven undeveloped lots and another occupied house in the neighborhood were auctioned off and purchased by the same lender, County Mortgage of Newton, Massachusetts. The Carys, who say they could not afford to pay twice for their house, stood on the sidewalk and watched as it was sold for $350,000.”

“‘You want to know what it was like?’ Jack Cary, 71, said. ‘It was like getting shot and knowing you’re dying.'”

“Saulnier, however, disputes the town’s claims there is a lot of unfinished work in the subdivision. He said he had intended to take care of a few remaining issues and close with the last two homeowners before the project ran into financial trouble. He could not move forward with work on the subdivision after encountering unexpected costs, an investor stopped raising money and County Mortgage changed the terms of his loan, he said.”

“‘If the investor doesn’t continue to invest or the lender doesn’t continue to lend, there’s no money to finish stuff,’ Saulnier said.”

“After years of unfinished work and flooding problems from improper drainage, the residents of the neighborhood tried to get police and the Maine Attorney General’s Office to open investigations into Saulnier’s handling of the subdivision. But neither has, the residents said. ‘This is the neighborhood from hell,’ said Geraldine Day, who moved to The Legends three years ago.”

The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. “The spring home buying market — traditionally the strongest of the year — didn’t do much to boost overall home sale prices in greater Hartford this year, a new report Friday showed. John M. Zubretsky, president of Weichert Realtors-The Zubretsky Group in Wethersfield, said the spring market ended up with a disappointing finish. ‘It started out with a bang and then it stalled,’ he said. ‘It just didn’t maintain.'”

“Part of the reason, Zubretsky said, is that buyers have turned very demanding in a market that is still recovering. ‘They expect a perfect house, at a great price and the seller to cave in on everything,’ he said.”

The Press Democrat in California. “The leading bidder for a 72-acre Santa Rosa site slated for affordable housing has pulled out of the process amid worries about prolonged delays from litigious neighbors and the two-step, county-city approval required to build up to 750 units on the former county hospital complex. Both the withdrawn bid and a preceding proposal put forward under a controversial failed sale to a local developer two years ago stood to be the single largest housing project in Santa Rosa in a generation.

“The threat of a similar lawsuit loomed large over the California Community Housing Agency proposal and even played into the property’s low appraisal, which dropped to $4.24 million from $7 million in 2016. EAH Housing and Oakmont Senior Living, the other two bidders, each promise 25% of the housing built in their projects would be considered affordable. Either deal, however, would be lower than the $11.5 million offered in 2017 by local developer Bill Gallaher.”

From WBIW in Indiana. “Ball State University economists dismiss news media accounts and social media posts that the Midwest is suffering from a housing shortage. ‘I hate to throw a wet towel on this, but there is no housing shortage,’ said Michael Hicks, director of the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research. ‘Prices haven’t caught up with inflation.'”

“While the Indianapolis area is in a building boom, areas of the state that have experienced population loss are most at risk of too many empty single-family houses, according to the study. Indiana has roughly 316,000 such units, which is enough vacant homes to house nearly a third of the state’s residents. And, about 62 counties face markets where speculative new home construction is not profitable.”

“The presence of so many empty homes, as well as a home building industry facing unprofitable conditions, are challenges that Indiana shares with other Midwestern states, the study found. ‘We also found that the oversupply of vacant homes suppresses home values in counties and regions where they are most concentrated,’ Hicks said. ‘This in turn attracts lower skilled workers to communities with more affordable housing.’

This Post Has 183 Comments
  1. ‘The Carys, who say they could not afford to pay twice for their house, stood on the sidewalk and watched as it was sold for $350,000…‘You want to know what it was like?’ Jack Cary, 71, said. ‘It was like getting shot and knowing you’re dying.’

    Well, it was cheaper than renting Jack. Cheer up, you’re a spring chicken, you’ll bounce back.

    1. How do you not have a clause in the contract that holds thee builder liable in the case of non-performance. Ok, I get that the builder may not have any other assets to go after, but it shouldn’t have left them with a claim that could be (partially) satisfied by taking ownership of the lot and unfinished work?

      1. What a terrible situation they find themselves in. Completely ruinous. With the myriad scenarios that can go wrong in home purchases and the disproportionate negative effect they can have on one’s life and quality of living, I find it astounding that people are willing to take this type of a risk. The saying goes, “Don’t put your eggs in one basket.” Yet most people have all of their hopes, dreams, assets, etc. riding on their home, sweet home.

        1. Yeah, gambling on shacks is nuts. They are illiquid, expensive to maintain and carry. When it goes against you it can last for way longer than most people can ride out. And in a mania the price declines can wipe most people out in a very short time.

          Another day another report of wide spread zero down, subprime loans.

          1. I have to disagree with you on that. If you can afford the payment and the after tax cost is close to renting, a 30 year fixed mortgage, it makes perfect sense. In most cases, within 10 years or so, that fixed mortgage will be less in real dollars than your rent would be and any appreciation is a bonus. Is there risk? Sure, but there is also risk to renting because rents can and do rise above a fixed mortgage and may end up being more than you can afford. Homes might not be the best investment, but the average Joe isn’t going to go out and invest the money he saves on a mortgage and even if he does, that investment probably has more risk than the house. Of course, there are times when buying a house is particularly risky (Say Southern California right now), but if you can afford the payment and have a solid job, you can ride it out.

          2. If you have to take out a 30 to get a monthly commitment equal to rent, the first thing you should do is move to a cheaper neighborhood. The last thing you should do is get that mortgage.

            And dont forget about that 20% you buried 6 feet under ground for the foreseeable future. You aint getting a return on that anytime soon. Or were you going zero down?

          3. Yes, you have to put something down, but if you can hold on to the asset (i.e. it is affordable in the first place), you should be able to at least get it back plus a bit over inflation (based on long term average appreciation). As I said, there are better investments, but the average Joe will just consume the money instead or doesn’t have the capacity or knowledge to adequately make that investment and might just leave it in a savings account. Since savings accounts pay basically nothing, you can think of it as a forced savings account. Is that money better in a home or a savings account? In general, over the long haul, it is much better in the home. I know this is boring and conventional, but it has worked pretty well for lots of people for a long time.

          4. As a wise man once said, “If you have to borrow for 15 or 30 years, you can’t afford it nor is it affordable.”

            He’s right.

            So the Carys paid cash instead, like you’re advocating, and they lost everything. How is that any better?

            If they had financed a mortgage for the house instead, the worst they would have been out was 20% or so.

          5. I agree with Reality Check and feel like we’re doing a little bit of tough guy posturing here.

            If someone expects to hang close to ap lace for a couple of decades or more, the long term trends for a lot of places are highly favorable if they purchase, even with a short term disaster.

            Sure, there’s trade-offs, but there’s more things like quality of life and control over ones domain that need to be considered as well.

            I mean what good is it go through like Alfred Hawthorne Hill (Benny Hill) did? – He saved crazy amounts of money, only ever rented a flat and never owned a car despite being a multi millionaire. He never married (despite proposing twice) and had no kids, and died three years after his show was cancelled. Died rich, but lived poor in many ways.

          6. They could have rented a house for half the monthly cost. And saved themselves $300k.

            But as our host always says in jest, it was cheaper than renting.🤣

          7. In most cases, within 10 years or so,

            The bigger risk I see here is the risk of tying one’s residence to the city, state, and region of that economy. Things can change quicker than people realize for a local economy. This gets forgotten during the boom years.

            Suffice it to say, there are times when renting is better and when buying is better. But I wouldn’t buy a place unless it were a small percentage of my net worth. For most people buying these days, their house is multiples of their income and so they are by definition not diversified as the bulk of their investment is in their house via forced savings. But that is one house in one area. The house could be in a flood zone, tornado area, have termites, have a shaky foundation. The principle of risk management is to make sure one catastrophe doesn’t wipe you out. In my mind, only the very wealthy should be buying houses because when a black swan type event happens, it will be a small percentage of their net worth.

          8. “In most cases, within 10 years or so, that fixed mortgage will be less in real dollars than your rent would be and any appreciation is a bonus. Is there risk?”

            What would happen to someone who buys a home at peak price, just before the economy goes into a recession, only to find himself unemployed, unable to pay the mortgage, and owning a home that is 30% underwater compared to the mortgage balance?

            Seems like a bad form of correlated risk…

          9. Everyone should have six months of savings to buffer against job loss, etc.. but bad things can happen and you can lose your house, but if you were renting, you could be just as homeless. I guess if you had that down payment in a bank account, you might be better off, but that would be a terrible financial decision in most scenarios. If it is invested elsewhere, it is at risk in a recession, just like your job. As I said, everyone should have six months of expenses and good health and life insurance and that covers 99.5 percent of scenarios. You want to live your life based on the .005 percent scenario, be my guest.

          10. By the way, I’m not saying buy now. Even if I have a long term horizon, it is wise to avoid buying at peak prices if possible. The trouble is that it is tough to know when that time is.

          11. Everyone should have six months of savings to buffer against job loss, etc.. but bad things can happen and you can lose your house, but if you were renting, you could be just as homeless.

            Completely agree with the idea of having an emergency savings of 6 months. But so few people have that these days because they are living paycheck to paycheck and they have so much debt. Also, it would help if people put 20% down, but the average amount down these days is low, maybe like 3%. So I hardly find that prudential risk management.

            I also don’t see near as big of a risk in renting with regards to being homeless. If something does happen to the dwelling you are renting, it is not a grave financial issue to your well being. A mortgage is a form of forced savings. For many people in the past it has been a good bet. But that was during a different time when employment was more stable and home prices were more reasonable. I think people are erroneously copying what worked 40 years ago to today and are going to end up being burned.

            You want to live your life based on the .005 percent scenario, be my guest.

            There is a great thought experiment in Nassim Taleb’s book “Fooled By Randomness” where he explores risk. Consider a slot machine with 1000 possibilities. 999 of those possibilities you pull the lever and you get $1. But 1/1000 you lose $1000. Would you take that risk? You shouldn’t take that risk, but why? It’s relatively risk-neutral in the amount won/gain vis-a-vis probability. But the point is not the probability of an event happening that matters, it is what that tail risk does to you. So no, you shouldn’t plan your life based on the 1% events, but you should make sure that if (and when) they happen, it won’t devastate you.

        2. “…but if you were renting, you could be just as homeless.”

          Although not out your life savings, which is where many middle class families find themselves after losing a job and getting foreclosed during a recession. It happened to people I know personally in the 2007-2009 episode.

      2. There may be assets, probably are. But it’s all protected behind LLC’s, etc. Didn’t everybody know this? It’s been in place for decades.

      3. “The Legends”
        Home of big egos and small brains. These names crack me up.

        Reminds me of where I used to live. there was a road called Meatpacking road, about 15 miles long, and low and behold; when it goes into the County Club the name magically becomes County Club Lane.
        side note;
        Just south of Raleigh there is a “custom” builder advertising $56/square foot under roof. That price is down from $60/sq. ft as advertised last year.

    2. “But Saulnier never closed the sale because of unpaid liens, they said, leaving them living in a house they didn’t legally own.

      B…b…but I thought once you took out a mortgage, you became a homeowner.

      1. No, once you get the deed, you are the homeowner. Was there no title company to oversee the transaction or a title policy issued? Police are the wrong people to call. A competent real estate attorney first. Then the local or state construction industry licensing board. If criminal fraud, then the FBI or other enforcement agencies with white collar crimes units.

    3. What’s the advantage of buying an unbuilt house compared to buying one that already has been built?

  2. ‘the property’s low appraisal, which dropped to $4.24 million from $7 million in 2016…lower than the $11.5 million offered in 2017’

    Less than half.

  3. ‘sales are hot in Boyd County in part because of USDA loan incentives that allow for zero down purchases in rural areas…over seven months, the median closing price dropped by 2.9 percent’

    Underwater. DONG!

    1. It hard to flip and recover the 7 to 10% in closing costs and other overhead 6 months later when it’s going down, down , down (into a ring of fire)

      Soft Landing? No, CRASH landing if you are a flipper.

      1. Flippers are still swarming like ants at a picnic in San Diego. The last couple of years out here there is less flipping going on at the pancake grill in IHOP than on the MLS. Thankfully, it appears this can’t go on much longer.

        1. I haven’t even noticed a drop in flipping activity anywhere. But I’m not surprised, because flippers are about the dumbest “investors” there are. It takes several years of price declines to wake those sheep up, and usually they will only stop when the banks stop lending them money.

  4. Good morning, Ben, Prof Ber, OneAgainstMany, RedpilledR, scdave, Carl M, Bubbleville, Chino, Albuquerquedan, oxide, rms, aNYCdj, Mr. Banker, and all the rest of the regular crew…

    I’m just sitting with my leg elevated here watching the sun come up as pain hits a solid 9 again.

    PSA: “Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they are gone…” – Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

    1. Knee surgery suck’s big time….I feel your pain…I compare it to having a really bad toothache…. Ice, Ice Baby…Get that range of motion back…

      1. Working on it, but I could be hitting it harder. The biggest problem right now is schedule – I have not yet a full night’s sleep and the hours I do get sleep are quite varied.

      1. Interesting. A lot of the pain is manageable, but when it isn’t is sure isn’t. I’m almost completely off the Rx Meds. Down to about 4 percent of what I was taking the first week. I can describe it as a rough landing with turbulence.

      1. Your kind thoughts are appreciated. Keep up the good posting too! I enjoy reading everyone here.

        1. I had synvisc injections in both knees after diagnosed with extensive thinning cartlidge. Some have no relief with it, but it has been a miracle for me. Back on tennis court (clay courts playing doubles). It is synthetic synovial fluid. Essentially an oil change in the knees. Only buys time but worth it if you get years. Knee replacements eventually but good for now.

    2. Greetings, MGSpiffy:

      I had both knees replaced last year, one in August, one in December. Recovery speed, while quick at first, has been glacial. In other words, I went from walker, to walking stick to no aid required in 3-4 weeks. While I have full mobility now and last saw the physical therapist in March, there is still some mild muscular soreness, though very minor, which I am told should completely go away in another 6-12 months. I am now able to go on long walks, even on steep inclines, be standing for hours and the joint pain is gone, though the new knees click, especially when climbing stairs (that also seems to have slowly improved). You learn the meaning of patience while recovering, of course you already know that.

      Regular workouts on a stationary bike at home were very helpful in getting the range of motion to 140+ degrees. Another joy was getting the leg to extend (make it straight). That involved some very painful physical therapy. It took almost 3 months to get it straight on the right knee. Fortunately with the other one it took only three weeks.

      Regarding the pain and swelling, are you using one of those icing machines? I found it to be very helpful during the first months. I bought an Ossur brand machine. I’ve seen them in Amazon for $199. Was worth every penny IMHO.

      Best wishes in your recovery.

      1. In Colorado

        What a well written and informative timeline that was.

        Happy to hear how well you came out on the other end of your knee replacements and I wish MGSpiffy godspeed in his recovery as well.

        1. It’s all appreciated guys. It really is. I bounced back pretty quick, walking without the cane after 2 weeks. (I was driving my self to PT too, but I couldn’t tell anyone because meds).

          @In Colorado – thanks for sharing your own personal timeline. I like collecting other people’s experience as data points. It helps me be clam and remind me that I’m on track more or less.

          The pain and various soreness remains, and it looking like it’s going to be at least partly a long, slow fade out. I’m up to 115 degrees range of motion, coming up on 6 weeks, but I’m not hitting my exercise as much as I feel I should be. I vow to change that.

          I don’t have and iceing machine, but I had 3 ice packs, 2 of which were specifically for the knee, with 3 insertable cold packs. I’m not using them much anymore, though I probably should, and the swelling has kicked back up. Going to see Weird Al the other day and standing in the huge VIP / Photo signing line probably didn’t help things.

          I’ll be keeping on with the PT at least through September.

          Yeah, I’m hearing the knee click some times, but then not at other times doing the same thing. It’s just a tad… un-nerving at times.

          1. The knee clicking thing is annoying. Not because it hurts or interferes with movement or anything. It just feels “wrong”, a gentle reminder that you have bits of metal and plastic where you once had bone and cartilage and that it’s an imperfect solution.

            Still, far better than it used to be. Last year I was in DC, before the surgery. As I walked up Capitol Hill from the Mall, I had to stop for a moment because my knee began to hurt like crazy. A few weeks ago I walked up a much steeper dirt path to the summit of Prospect Mountain, a much steeper and higher climb and was able to do it with no issues. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

          2. Exercise will get that knee to bend.

            Here is what I did with the exercise bike:

            I would lower the seat until it became difficult to do a complete cycle. So I would go back and forth with the pedal, warming up until I could “get over the hump”. After a few days it would get easier, as less “warm up” was needed. Once I could do it without the back and forth warm up, I would lower the seat another notch. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually I reached the lowest seat position and 140+ degrees of motion.

          3. You’re reminding me of my four months ordeal with Achilles tendon repair convalescence, two decades ago almost to the day. There were lots of ups and downs, and it took time to regain muscle strength once the cast was gone. But I regained my athletic mobility, and never had another problem with pain or injury once the healing was done.

          4. Good to hear from you MGSpiffy, glad your recovery is coming along. Today was a travel day for me (back to home base), so I missed a lot of the posts. I am rooting for your recovery. Did the orthopod ever put you on a passive motion device? When I worked on the orthopedics floor that as a favorite of our docs. They also liked those On-Q balls (e.g. the nerve block I think you had).

      1. I’ve talked with a lot of people about their recovery experiences. Everyone seems to have a unique story. One thing I have noticed is that, in general, the older you are, the harder it is to recover, which I suppose makes sense.

        I’ve met people who don’t even try to climb stairs, saying it’s just too hard. I’ve also met people who stand on their feet all day at a grocery store checkout stand. Some people whose knees never clicked (they seem to be the exception, not the rule). Some people claimed to not have experienced any pain after the surgery (lucky ducks), some who were in intense pain for months. I would wake up 2-3 times every night the first month after surgery from pain. After that it was smooth sailing. It really is a “your mileage may vary” kind of experience.

      2. @Mafia Blocks – Interesting link! You finally convinced your not always just goading us 🙂

        P.S. Next time you post cherry -picked pricing data for Mercer Island use this: “As unseasonably cold temperatures cause the Seattle Freeze to keep foolish buyers at home”

    3. “…with my leg elevated…”

      There’s just now way around the long recovery time either with Earth’s gravity contributing to your swelling limb.

      “The gravity on the Moon is about 17% what it is on the Earth. So if you weigh 200 pounds on Earth, you will weigh 34 pounds on the Moon.” –Internet

      1. Another thing that helped with the swelling was to wear an elastic “sleeve” around the knee. Per the PT, it pushes the fluid out of the knee, and it did help a lot, though it wasn’t terribly comfortable, especially at first when knee and leg were very swollen. Even after the initial recovery I would wear it if doing something physical, say like mowing the lawn. I don’t wear it anymore.

        Anyway, hang in there. As Bubbleville said, this will pass.

        1. Another thing that helped with the swelling was to wear an elastic “sleeve” around the knee. Per the PT, it pushes the fluid out of the knee, and it did help a lot ??

          The one that worked best for me was the neoprene that has the hole for the Patella….I got one that was undersized a bit to give a lot of compression and I would put it on immediately in the morning as I got out of bed when the swelling was at it lowest….That compression helped a bunch to limit the swelling that occurs as you are moving around, going out etc….It does get a bit uncomfortable after awhile but it works…When I took it off, I immediately went to the ice bags and elevated my leg…

          1. thanks guys. A lot of the time I’ve been wearing compression socks under regular socks, which are often under thermal socks.

            All the fluid in the leg has pretty much drained away for a while now thanks to all those hours with the leg elevated and iced and the compression. It was huge purple splotching from the buttocks down through the ankle for a while there.

            I’m a little more socially presentable now, thankfully.

          2. Ah yes, the compression socks. My doc also made me take Xarelto (clot prevention) and wear compression socks for the first six weeks.

            He also prescribed Percocet for the pain, which I didn’t really find to be all that effective, so I stopped taking it.

    4. Sorry about your painful ordeal. Hope the pain soon gives way to improved quality of life.

      1. Thanks, Professor.

        I didn’t mean to make that big a deal out of it. I had been sitting there in the zero-g chair with leg up for a couple hours watching the sun come up when I saw Ben’s new post with 0 comments, so I just felt like saying “hi” to everyone. I web surf to distract myself in that situation.

        1. I like to think of everyone who has had a TKR as being members of a club, and always willing to share and cheer each other on through the recovery process.

          It has to be one of the most invasive surgeries out there. I remember when the bandage fell off, about a week after the surgery, and seeing that 8-9 inch scar, held together with staples, for the first time and thinking “what did I let them do to me?”, especially since it still hurt a lot and was swollen more than I thought was possible.

          Now I look at my knees and the only thing that visually betrays what was done is the scar, and those dark post op days feel like a distant memory.

          1. Same experience (both done 10 weeks apart, end of ’16) except I had a nasty looking infection with the second one. It was the only time I almost lost it, since I was still taking care of my mother (she had MRSA and passed away six weeks after my second op). I was convinced I had infected myself, but it cleared up quickly with antibiotics. Now I don’t even think about it, good as new. My knees clicked more before. I could never have worked in a library.

            My friend in NYC is getting them both done at the same time. She works in the orthopedic unit in a NY hospital and says that’s the way they do it now. I asked doctors here (LV, NV) for a 2 in 1, but no doctor would.

    5. Sorry, MGSpiffy. Pain meter at nine sounds unbearable. Stay strong, hope the worst of it passes soon.

      1. Appreciated, Boo.

        It’s not all the time pain like it was a few weeks before, but more like our stock market – every so often it just spikes like crazy, then once calmed down it usually stays that way for a while.

        As I told the doc last time, the trend line is clearly going down, but the volatility is clearly increasing.

        And as @BubblevilleCa says – this too indeed will pass – I just don’t have a fast forward button to skip the getting there part. 🙂

    6. ACL surgery was a painful recovery but worth it. I hope it gets better.

      The injury was more painful then breaking a bone.

    7. Saw your post about Benny Hill. It is sad, he did make a lot of people laugh. Of course, his show would never be allowed to air these days.

      1. He had the extreme thrift practically beaten into him as a child.

        Sad to have so much and enjoy so little of it, as well as not to find love. You can’t take it with you – there needs a balance as we make the best of what we have in our time here on this earth.

        Of course, his show would never be allowed to air these days.

        OMG, can you even imagine if that came out today in the current climate. It would be like SJWs swarming in the World War Z movie…

        1. OMG, can you even imagine if that came out today in the current climate. It would be like SJWs swarming in the World War Z movie…

          In this climate I think that means someone will make something that bad or worse. That kind of a reaction is irresistible to some people.

          1. Look there are more sexually explicit comedy shows today, but his humor would not fly because his humor was not politically correct. It would not be commerical since it would to lead to boycotts. None of it was done with malice and you knew it was just meant to be exaggerations of real life but now we live in a world where Epstein could get away with being a pedophile for decades but laugh at a hetrosexual male’s over the top attraction to females and it is treated like a felony.

          2. ” but laugh at a hetrosexual male’s over the top attraction to females and it is treated like a felony. ”

            Is you fat?

  5. ‘If the investor doesn’t continue to invest or the lender doesn’t continue to lend, there’s no money to finish stuff’

    Real world meets all the people who constantly say, “oh, central bankers won’t let prices fall, it’ll be to the moon forever!”

    I had dozens upon dozens of trolls here that said the exact same thing in 2005. Wa happened trolls?

    1. You would need to see a replay of the financial markets doomsday scenario that played out from September 2008 through March 2009 before central bankers would take interest in saving the world again.

      Meanwhile, CR8R.

  6. “Part of the reason, Zubretsky said, is that buyers have turned very demanding in a market that is still recovering. ‘They expect a perfect house, at a great price and the seller to cave in on everything,’ he said.”

    Just look at the language. They are portraying the buyer as some kind of a vicious hyena preying on a helpless, injured deer.

    1. What happened? Weren’t the prospective buyers busy writing letters, offering over list with escalation clauses and promising to feed the squirrels just a few months ago?

      Man… if I had won a bidding war that way recently, I might be feeling a bit the fool right now…

      1. ‘Before the foreclosure auction, Jack and Sue Cary had lived in their retirement home on Nicklaus Drive for nearly three years’

        Jack and Sue didn’t need another shack. They were gambling. It’s important to note speculation. All these people putting zero down are gambling too, using borrowed money and with no skin in the game.

        1. The entire eCONomy is based upon gambling and debt, whether it’s houses, the stock market, crypto or otherwise. We don’t produce anything anymore.

          1. Masses of drug addled idiots covered in wretched tattoos is what this country has devolved to. I was watching a video a few nights ago of a mountain biker that was trying to go for a world record – longest backflip. He over rotates on a practice run and ends up in the hospital, where he takes a call from a buddy – they’re flipping a house and his buddy is a contractor; I guess he’s the guy with the money bags. Wife, young kids, what could possible go wrong? Besides ending up in the hospital of course.

          2. All the FBs who wrote love letters should get “No Ragrets” tattooed on their necks.

            I saw “No Ragrets” on a bumper sticker driving back to home base last week. I got a good chuckle at it!

          3. The entire eCONomy is based upon gambling and debt, whether it’s houses, the stock market, crypto or otherwise.

            The really crappy part is how it’s get more and more rigged with regards to wealth concentration (really the end game of *any* system as the winners at min-maxing emerge). A lot of people unfortunately and correctly have determine that they have to roll the dice for any chance to get ahead in the current system. And that it’s often better to use other people’s money.

            We don’t produce anything anymore.

            Hard for the little guy to come up with something and not have it copied by the walmarts and chinese and clones sold at lower prices the moment he sees success, and when he attempts to protect his intellectual property, he can’t afford to fight the big boys.

        2. “All these people putting zero down are gambling too, using borrowed money and with no skin in the game.”

          Also gambling: Whoever supports these programs on the lending side of the equation…

    2. “They are portraying the buyer as some kind of a vicious hyena preying on a helpless, injured deer.”

      Hey, knock it off; That’s my job!

    3. They expect a perfect house…

      What they expect is to get a free renovation. That is, take a $350K house, do $50K of reno, and pay $400K.

        1. I had to think about it for a second. It could mean:
          1. The seller makes no profit off the reno at all.
          2. The buyer wants a reno pre-done so they can effectively finance it in a mortgage instead of coming up with cash
          3. The buyer can hold his nose in the air and refuse to pay the $400K, meaning they want the reno for less than cost.

          1. The situation of bubble, followed by the crash is also applicable to classic and exotic cars. Prices on cars like the more common Enzo era Ferraris (Dino 246, 308, etc) which are 30 to 50 years old shoot up so much during the bubble that people are willing to spend the money for a quality restoration, thinking they will make even more money on it in when they sell it.

            Then when the bubble pops, as it did in the early 90s and 2008-ish, prices come tumbling down fast.

            The smart guys are the ones that waited and get a dream car they always wanted for less than the amount sunk into restoring it to better than new condition. And the seller, I mean greater fool, they take a bath on it and often thankful they got rid of it at all.

          2. forgot to Add: someday if I’m feeling flush I wouldn’t mind picking up a 246 Dino GT or 308 GT4 to drive around on weekends. Don’t care that they don’t have 500+ horsepower.

          3. @RR – Not a bad choice at all. From all accounts, a nice improvement over the Cali T.

            Have you seen Doug DeMuro’s video review of it yet?

          4. Doug DeMuro’s video review

            I’m sure my husband has. He builds all sorts of cars just for fun.

          5. 246 Dino GT or 308 GT4

            Sounds like a hole to pour money into :-). I’m liking what I’m seeing with the new Vette, though, and I’ve never been a mid engine guy. Should be very reliable compared to the Europeans. Especially if you track it at all.

          6. @Carl, it’s a purely ‘first (mid engine) cars I ever saw, imprinted as a child’ sort of thing.

            Sounds like a hole to pour money into 🙂

            That’s why I buy one after the bubble pops for a fraction of what the previous owner put into doing a concourse level restoration 🙂 As a product of their time,with 1970s level tech, they actually are quite able to be maintained by their owners for a fraction of the cost of a dealer, or what a much newer Ferrari tends to cost. Quite an owners community has sprung up providing improvements and replacements for NLA parts.

            And more importantly, they can be driven with regularity.

            I know a lot of people with late models exotics (a friend has 10(!) ) , and most barely rack up any miles.

            I used to go out to the track when I had my Euro M5 wagon. After my ankle self-destructed and my ex- burned everything to the ground, it was long gone and I haven’t driven a manual since.

          7. I used to go out to the track when I had my Euro M5 wagon. After my ankle self-destructed and my ex- burned everything to the ground, it was long gone and I haven’t driven a manual since.

            Yeah, as much as I love the manual dance my next car won’t have a clutch pedal. Gives up too much performance against a modern DCT.

          8. An accident or female empowerment?

            A scorched earth divorce. Though over a decade ago, here are a couple choice quotes from her in the just last few years.

            You screwed me out of alimony! (By moving states AFTER the divorce was final) I deserve Seven Thousand Dollars a month for LIFE!” (can you hear the feet stomping?)

            Everything would have been just fine if you had let me have all the arrangements (other lovers/boyfriends/BDSM partners) I needed and we would still be happy together!

            Can you sense her view of herself? If I didn’t have kids, i wouldn’t have to put up with this crap…

          9. I assume your ex didn’t use your last name in a state-wide corruption scandal such that wife 2.0’s child had to have hyphenated last name.

          10. I assume your ex didn’t use your last name in a state-wide corruption scandal such that wife 2.0’s child had to have hyphenated last name.

            Wasn’t her fortunately. She did burn a few more short term partners while I was paying for everyting from what I was able to gather, but she settled down with hubby 2.0 13 days after the last alimony check cleared. Had him lined up and on the back burner. Funny thing, he never was anywhere near as successful or high earning as I was, and over time that’s had an ~interesting~ effect on her as she rewrites history.

            Ah well, it’s my fault for not seeing the red flags (or red hair) for what they were, or regaining my sanity and leaving sooner.

          11. “…but she settled down with hubby 2.0 13 days after the last alimony check cleared. Had him lined up and on the back burner.”

            Yep, monkey branching.

    4. “Part of the reason, Zubretsky said, is that buyers have turned very demanding in a market that is still recovering. ‘They expect a perfect house, at a great price and the seller to cave in on everything,’ he said.”

      Those jerks. Don’t they understand that the whole system depends on them willingly overpaying? Think of it as paying it forward. You’ll get yours later.

      1. Sanity in the market, what a concept!!! Much better than “writing offers on the good of a car” type market IMO.

  7. When will WeWork’s $47bn bubble burst?

    ‘Until now, losses have not mattered; WeWork has been lavished with venture capital in the manner of a technology start-up. It has raised $13bn from backers, the most prominent being Japan’s SoftBank, whose founder, Masayoshi Son, once told Neumann that he backs entrepreneurs who fight crazy, not smart.’

    ‘Some say that Neumann, a former officer in the Israeli navy who sold babywear before starting WeWork, does not just fight crazy — he is crazy. His company’s mission statement is to “elevate the world’s consciousness” — a lofty aim included in the company’s float prospectus.’

    ‘At the moment, however, WeWork looks like little more than a traditional — albeit large — office provider that has created modern, comfortable spaces and installed beer taps to attract start-ups. It takes long leases on space, typically 15-20 years, and lets it on short-term deals.’

    ‘What makes it different, it claims, is technology. Industry insiders are sceptical. “It certainly is not a tech business. It’s no more tech than housebuilding,” said one. “Everything has tech. They say they do something different, which anyone in our industry knows they don’t.”

    ‘SoftBank had planned to invest $16bn during its last funding round, but slashed that amid a rout of listed technology stocks. This accelerated the need for WeWork to float. “If they don’t, they’ll run out of money by Christmas,” said one source. “They have to do it, it’s not optional. They’re burning so much cash.” Access to a $6bn debt facility from banks hinges on WeWork pulling off its float.’

    ‘Fears about the company’s rapid expansion linger. “There’s something reckless about the scale of the growth,” said one competitor. “The real estate principles that drive our business seem to be lacking.”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/when-will-weworks-47bn-bubble-burst-9wpbmc6w8

    1. Look for more “WeWorks” as Powell hammers interest rates to zero and the “search for yield” gets even more desperate.

  8. From Yesterday;

    rms
    August 17, 2019 at 4:59 pm
    There’s a one-time residential swap that can be done in California, IIRC. ??

    The one time swap you refer to is either prop #60 or Prop #90 and that is for your property tax….The thread was discussing Capital gains treatment for a primary residence…If you are suggesting that you can do a IRS 1031 exchange for a primary residence you are incorrect…

    whirlaway
    August 18, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Well, if the prices decline 20% ??

    I never make investments or tax driving decisions on “well If’s”…Because the “if” may never come…

    1. In this case, the decline has already happened to the extent of about 12 percent. If you are lucky it will stop at or before 20 percent.

      1. In this case, the decline has already happened to the extent of about 12 percent ??

        Maybe in your zip but not in mine….

          1. “Zillow…LOL…Hilarious…”

            What is YOUR source for the numbers? Zillow’s numbers are constructed based on sales recorded. Until you can prove that those numbers are fundamentally wrong (AND what the right numbers are), I will assume that you know either know nothing or, are not interested in knowing.

          2. “That would be a terrible misassumption…”

            Have a good time with your delusions!

            I will not waste any more of my time on you.

          3. HBB can scoff at the Zestimate, but that number is being seen as a reasonable estimate by buyers. Seriously. Even if the Zestimate started off as pure bunk, without competing estimates, Zillow’s lies are being made true.

          4. “I will not waste any more of my time on you.”

            That’s a good plan. He’s an instigator, choosing to pick fights here.

    1. ‘Apartment rents in Dallas and Fort Worth are losing steam as the area follows a national trend of slower multifamily rent increases. Dallas rents in July averaged $1,232 — a month-over-month increase of only a buck, according to national apartment listing service RentCafe.’

      ‘Like Dallas, Fort Worth saw rents increase by just $1, hitting an average of $1,119. Arlington average rents decreased $2, settling at $1,024 in July. Denton’s July rent averaged $1,211, up $3, and McKinney’s rent was flat at $1,262.’

      ‘Apartment rent increases decelerated across the U.S., according to the July Rent Report by the Santa Barbara, California-based company. Only eight of the 260 cities in the study saw month-over-month jumps of more than 1 percent.’

      ‘The low month-over-month increases in July are a clear sign that the peak rental season is nearing its end, RentCafe’s report says. The trend is in line with last year’s data. Once the busy late spring to early summer period winds down, rents are expected to slow their growth throughout the rest of the year, RentCafe’s report predicts.’

      https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2019/08/16/apartment-rent-dallas.html

      These aren’t effective rents which include vacancy and concessions.

  9. “‘If the investor doesn’t continue to invest or the lender doesn’t continue to lend, there’s no money to finish stuff,’ Saulnier said.”

    Don’t Ponzi schemes work off the same principle?

  10. “‘They expect a perfect house, at a great price and the seller to cave in on everything,’ he said.” (Agent)

    Just months ago it was to a buyer: “waive the inspection, offer more for the house, add your love letter and give them (seller) everything they want and increase your earnest money check and make it non-refundable”

    This is why this r.e. sales industry is full of itself. They get offended when the market moves from a seller’s market to a buyers market. Who do the agents think brings the money to the table to create the magic of income and net proceeds? B-U-Y-E-R-S. Who are really paying for the commissions? B-U-Y-E-R-S, as it’s financed into the purchase price of the home. Don’t think that’s true? Then ask the buyer to come up with 3% on an “average” $500,000 house in west coast cities to pay their agent directly, PLUS closing costs. They can’t so the real estate industry and the lending industry allow it to be financed into the purchase price and conveniently call it a “seller” expense on the seller’s side of the Settlement Statements I prepare. Try explaining this to an agent and they get a deer in the headlights look.

    1. “Try explaining this to an agent and they get a deer in the headlights look.“

      Agents don’t care where the money comes from as long as they get there “well deserved” commission. I for one am in favor of the RE industry moving towards ibuyer or little or no agent commissions. UHS add an unnecessary overhead cost to an already over inflated market.

  11. Can we all agree that recession fears are overblown, and those with free cash should take this sentiment gap as an opportunity to buy the dip?

    1. With more stimulus soon to come, I don’t see how you can go wrong buying stocks.

      The Financial Times
      Global Economy
      Investors position for fresh wave of economic stimulus
      Billions flood into government debt amid signs of global slowdown
      The 30-year US Treasury yield has fallen below 2% for the first time
      © AFP
      Adam Samson and Tommy Stubbington in London and Brendan Greeley in Washington 2 hours ago

      Investors are anticipating a fresh wave of stimulus measures to tackle flagging growth, as the White House said it was considering a new round of tax cuts to boost the economy.

      Central bankers will gather at their annual Jackson Hole meeting in Wyoming on Thursday as warning signals from financial markets add to rising pressure to come up with ways to support the global economy.

    2. Overblown? Not at all. Those not leveraged deep in debt will do well, those working many ‘side hustles’ will be in trouble. I’ll spare you any witty quotes and just let you watch the events unfold. It’ll get worse before it gets better.

      1. Many commentators vigorously disagree with pessimistic bond traders.

        ‘I don’t think we’re having a recession,’ Trump says, touting economy
        By Associated Press
        Published: Aug 18, 2019 8:10 p.m. ET
        Larry Kudlow also dismisses slowdown fears
        Associated Press
        President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, N.J., on Sunday.

        BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. — President Donald Trump dismissed concerns of recession on Sunday and offered an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets.

        “I don’t think we’re having a recession,” Trump told reporters as he returned to Washington from his New Jersey golf club. “We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.”

        1. Trump has completely lost sight of the little guy. All he cares about is the stock market and that’s a huge mistake. More than 50% of people have zero exposure to it.

        2. One thing I’ve learned about economics is that psychology matters a lot. Fundamentals matter of course too, but people forget about the emotions and beliefs behind consumers. What DJT says has a huge influence on a sizable amount of the country. Even if many places are legitimately hurting, the fact that they got “our guy in the white house” can give them satisfaction. I think DJT has been great for a lot lagging places in this country, not necessarily because of his policies but because he made them feel like they were winning, worth something, and gave them hope. That is something that the dem candidates should really pay attention to.

          1. raising biz taxes in the next recession won’t be good
            100% of dem ticket is calling for higher biz taxes. Dalaney wants high cap gains

          2. Personally, I have no problem with raising taxes on business because their share of taxation has gone down and down for decades and profits have gone up and up while little of the spoils are going to workers. But I would first go after all those companies what have a near 0 effective tax rate because of good lawyers and tax loopholes. It’s completely an anathema to our democracy that some businesses pay near the effective corporate tax rate of 21% (now) while some businesses pay 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, etc.

            I also think that capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. It would reduce speculation. Sure, you could adjust for inflation or something, but no need to tax capital at a different rate than labor.

    1. Excerpt from the article:
      Graffiti scrawled across the walls of the equally poor neighborhood of Wong Tai Sin captured how economic issues play into people’s willingness to protest: “7k for a house like a cell and you really think we out here are scared of jail?”

      1. As one commentator has been saying for a while – when people are pushed and pushed and pushed to the point where they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.

        1. Already happening here, too. People are not obeying the rule of law because they’ve become desperate.

  12. I’ll announce this again tomorrow, but I’m going to be in Miami FL for three full days next month: the 18th, 19th and 20th. I don’t recall if I’ve ever had a regular poster in Miami though, so I have no idea about the prospect for a meet up, but I’m open to it.

    I’ll be doing a little R&R, real estate tourism, try to attend a foreclosure auction or two and shoot some video of the crater. I’ll be staying in the Brickell area south of downtown.

      1. from AZ to Miami in AUGUST !?
        wow. that’s a major climate change. dry to very humid!

        you could head down 75, then 41, pickup Palmetto or Snake Charmer, then take Alligator Alley over to the East coast.

        hit some beaches. they’re great.

    1. Negative yield ebola is infecting the entire world’s bond market.

      Negative yield debt
      Source: Bloomberg, J.P. Morgan
      Sat at 5:07am

      More than 30 per cent of bonds issued in the world have negative yields, and it is rising rapidly.

      1. Denmark is handing out mortgages with negative interest rate. It boggles the mind. Is this a backdoor universal basic income?

        1. Is this a backdoor universal basic income?

          I’m starting to think so. Except it’s not really universal. You’re required to sign the dotted line special to get it. But I think it would be an effective way to continue to levitate/increase house prices if done right.

          1. They are different but they are both tools to support globalism. The quickest way for the developing world to develop is to have it be the world’s factory. Of course, people in the developed world need to be the consumers not a producers. But with no factory jobs to support consumption how do you get money to them? One is to create housing bubbles which are used to create home equity which then can be spent. The other is to just give them money financed with government deficits. Both mean the developed world is getting poorer while the developing world gets richer. To the Globalists that is not a bug but a feature since leveling out the standard of living is another goal. When eating meat in the US is as infrequent as in Africa, they will proclaim success and have world government. However do not expect them to live like the serfs.

          2. When eating meat in the US is as infrequent as in Africa, they will proclaim success and have world government.

            What do you have against vegetarians ABQDan? I find my Chipotle veggie bowl quite tasty.

          1. Actually, dtRumpsis de$ires to sell Ala$ka back to Ru$$ia. He plans to use the “finder$ fee” to pay off his golf debt$ in $cotland. $table Genui$! 😂

    2. If a recession is two years out, then Trump has nothing to worry about.

      Global markets on ‘borrowed time’ as the inverted yield curve signals a recession is on the way
      Analysis By business reporter Stephen Letts
      Updated Thu at 1:32am
      Bond market trading points to a US recession within two years, souring sentiment on global share markets. Reuters: Simon Dawson
      There’s an old saying: “Bonds never lie”.
      Key points:
      – Yield curve inversions are seen as solid predictors of recessions over the next one to two years
      – Equity markets often enjoy a last gasp rally after a bond inversion, but on average fall 30pc once recession bites
      – Rising trade tensions, crumbling manufacturing data, low inflation and weaker US profits are key drivers of the collapse of short term bond yields below the 10-year rate

      Right now the US bond market is staring investors straight in the eye and saying, “there’s a recession on the way”.

    3. The negative yielding bonds have left financial journalists befuddled. For instance, there is confusion in the article posted below about interest versus principal payments at negative interest rates.

      And not to quibble, but isn’t $US16.7 more like $17 trillion than $16 trillion?

      The bond ‘black hole’ is getting larger and scarier with a third of the global market now negative
      Analysis
      By business reporter
      Stephen Letts
      Updated Sat at 6:25pm
      Around $US16 trillion in global bonds now have a negative yield.
      Reuters: Dado Ruvic

      The weirdness in financial markets at the moment seems boundless.

      In the past two weeks the proliferation of negative-yielding bonds has erupted — 30 per cent of the global, tradeable bond universe is being sold with a guaranteed loss attached to the coupon.

      That’s an eye-watering $US16.7 trillion dollars’ worth; $25 trillion in Australian dollars.

      The bizarre concept that the safest bet in the market — holding a bond to maturity — costs you money mutated out of the global financial crisis as several, notably European, central banks kept cutting interest rates all the way below zero.

      The Bank of Japan joined in five years ago and the new financial black hole started to expand — at first sucking in billions, now trillions from large financial institutions such as pension funds and insurers.

      In effect, creditors willingly enter a deal with debtors knowing they are going to get burnt.

      It turns the whole financial world on its head. Just imagine a bank giving you a mortgage and saying “don’t worry about the repayments, we’ll pick up the tab”.

    4. Doesn’t theft normally entail coercion? Nobody’s putting a gun to anybody else’s head to force them to buy negative yield bonds

      ‘It’s theft’: RT’s Keiser Report unearths ugly truth about negative yield bonds
      Published time: 18 Aug, 2019

      The negative yielding bonds are, in truth, an “instrument of forced inflation” aimed at the “destruction of purchasing power,” Karl Denninger of Market-Ticker.org told Max Keiser in the episode.

      “Negative yielding bond is forced inflationary instrument: you buy it, you’re guaranteed inflation in the amount of a negative yield,” he says, blasting the tool as plain “theft” by any government that issues these bonds, which is done in an effort to nominally expand a country’s GDP.

        1. Greater fools, they breed like rabbits. Since they are incapable of learning from their own mistakes nevermind others, they are ready to ride the buy and lose rollercoaster. They probably are proud they are buying five percent from the top instead of at the top like last time.

      1. “Doesn’t theft normally entail coercion?”

        You’re on vacation in the $wiss Alps, back @ her home in $an Diego, someone enters your home & $teals your granda.fathers watch from 1865 = coercion?

  13. Want to know the key to housing market happiness?

    Rnt, don’t buy.

    Especially when prices are cratering.

    1. Health and Wellness
      Don’t retire early, buy a home, or be a lawyer if you want to be happy, researchers say — here’s why
      Published Fri, Aug 16 2019 11:18 AM EDT
      Updated Sun, Aug 18 2019 12:28 PM EDT
      Alex Palmer, Contributor

      In an age of anxiety and uncertainty, Americans are more stressed than ever.

      So it’s no surprise that we’re all searching for ways to add more happiness to our lives. I did a quick Google search on “how to be happy” and more than 6.7 billion results came up.

      But I wanted to find more than just inspirational quotes and one-minute clips of adorable baby goats, so I set out to find more interesting, tried-and-true, science-backed tips on how to achieve long-term happiness.

      Over a period of more than two years, I studied hundreds of academic studies, interviewed psychologists, sociologists, and happiness researchers about what brings a person joy. I even wrote a book, “Happiness Hacks,” to share my findings.

      Happiness is far from a simple concept. It can refer to a wide range of moods, emotions, sensations, and traits — each with benefits and drawbacks.

      Here are some of the most interesting tips:

      2. Rent (instead of buy) a home

      “Should I rent or should I buy?”: This question has tormented people for decades — with no easy answer. Considerations ranging from personal budget to family size to location can influence how one comes to a decision.

      For those looking to enhance their happiness, however, the answer might be to stick with a rental.

      In 2017, The Telegraph conducted a survey of 5,800 participants seeking to determine whether people were happier renting or owning their homes. The survey questions focused on how financial circumstances contributed to happiness and stress levels. The results showed that those who rented detached, single-family homes were the least stressed.

      Although the study revealed that people who rent homes tend to spend a greater portion of their finances on housing, it also showed that homeowners were just as likely to list money as their biggest concern. Also, those who rented single-family homes were more likely than homeowners to report good work-life balances.

      Not only that, renters reported enjoying relaxing at home more than homeowners, who tended to put traveling as one of their primary keys to happiness.

      This isn’t to imply that a rented home is always a happier home; owning a home has its perks, and the decision should mostly come down to whether people are financially — and mentally — ready for homeownership.

      If you don’t want to deal with the extra costs and maintenance of owning a home, consider simplifying your life and reducing stress by renting a place.

      1. when and where?
        2021-22 should be ok
        2020 recession knocks out trump
        lefties raise biz tax and recession gets deeper

      2. “If you don’t want to deal with the extra costs and maintenance of owning a home, consider simplifying your life and reducing stress by renting a place.”

        Negative yields, longer lifespans and renting the roof over your head from a private equity firm? 🙂

  14. MSM now is talking about a recession by the end of 2021, well even Trump supporters are not saying he has repealed the business cycle. However as all this talk shows the MSM thinks a recession is necessary to beat Trump. A 2021 recession is to late to hurt him in the presidential race and too early to hurt him in the 2022 elections.

  15. what’s the yoy in your area?
    N VA 1.45%, less than inflation,but shacks selling fast as Trump has cut $) from fed budget

  16. The trade war with China is for the little guy. Any deal on trade would send the stock market to record highs, even a poor deal. So he doesn’t just care about the stock market and the Globalists. That was the policy of every president since Reagan. It is not his policy. Open borders and no tariffs would get the Dow to 30000

    1. The Washington Post posted an article about how Chinese are really ramping up their STEM R&D programs. The TDS commenters, of course, took the opportunity to spew for their hate for Trump and his anti-science stance. Never mind that the gov has been decimating basic research funding since the early 90s. And how do they expect the gov to fund R&D when we have 50+ million baby boomers who need medical care and Social Security, 30+ illegal immigrants sucking school and low-pay jobs, crumbling infrastructure, and a million homeless/drug addicts using massive resources?

      Besides, who would trust any research coming from a Chinese scientist who has a social credit score to maintain?

      1. If they are cranking up their R &D, it may suggest that it is getting harder to steal our Technology. Unfortunately, I think our schools are not as good as they used to be teaching people how to think. We are getting much more like other nations who teach people what to think. It is the former which promotes innovation. Thus, the reason that totalitarian countries seem to lag in developing technology after their scientists have been subjected to their schools for a few decades.

  17. It’s just not the case in PNW. There are still heavy amounts of “As Is” including permitting issues, no permits, off-grid w/no expectation of electricity for years, you name it. Houses are flying off the shelves from the eye view. Granted it may not be 100 offers in 1 day, but they are steadily flooding out as quickly as they flood in…still in joke territory. Perhaps a bit more inventory but you still have to practically wait outside the house in your car while calling the agent to put in an offer and then you still get the run around and wonder who got the house in the end as the “pending” sign magically appears soon after on Zillow.

    1. Lars,
      The population influx to western washing continues almost unabated, and I’m hearing similar for Portland/Eugene. I wonder if that, combined with a lack of virgin buildable terrain is keeping the momentum going for now.

      I say sales momentum, as that’s separate from pricing. In the greater Seattle area, prices are stalling and cuts are being made, especially north of $1M, around what I can see.

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