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There’s Only So Much Housing That We Can Take

A report from the New York Times. “Prices for ultraluxury condos in New York have been declining since peaking in 2016, according to StreetEasy. The site found a mismatch between decisions by developers to keep building bigger, better condos and the number of people willing to buy them, causing a glut at the high end. ‘What we have in any market cycle when the talk turns to amenities are signs that sales are slowing,’ said Jonathan J. Miller, president of Miller Samuel.”

“‘During the housing bubble, one of the big amenities was the pet spa,’ Mr. Miller said. ‘That branding gives you the impression of dogs and cats lounging in chairs by the pool with a drink and an umbrella. All it was was a slop sink in a closet.'”

The Daily Times Chronicle in Massachusetts. “City Council President Michael Anderson voiced continued apprehension about encouraging the construction of dense housing complexes along Commerce Way and other areas of the community. He remains concerned about the area becoming oversaturated with apartment units.”

“‘The MAPC has a slant towards housing. They’re always looking for more residential units to take the burden off Boston, but there’s only so much housing that we can take,’ said Anderson, who believes that the creation of too much housing will eventually create a strain on city resources.”

The Oregonian. “The construction glut has left high-end buildings in particular with apartments to fill, and many have offered discounts or freebies to lure tenants, pushing effective rents down even as the sticker price remains high. There are still hundreds of apartments under construction across the metro area, with more planned.”

The Times Free Press in Tennessee. “One of the biggest apartment complexes in Chattanooga’s central city is getting a bigger property tax bill after it converted half of its rental units into Stay Alfred Vacation Rentals. ‘We don’t give PILOTs [payment in-lieu-of-tax breaks] to hotels,’ said Donna Williams, administrator for Chattanooga’s Office of Economic and Community Development.”

“As Chattanooga has added housing units faster than employment has grown in the past decade, Market City Center has struggled to find both residential and commercial tenants. Most of the 36,183-square-foot facility remains vacant.”

From Patch Livingston in New Jersey. “This home on Fawn Drive in Livingston was selling for $2.6 million… now it’s been reduced to $1.69 million. Features: HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!”

From Forbes on California. “After five years on the market, the just-closed sale of a 7,625-square-foot home in the Del Mar region of San Diego goes to Jenny Craig, founder of the eponymous weight loss company. The home was first put up for sale in 2014 for $39.5 million and came down in price several times, most recently to $27 million in March of this year. The sale closed this week for $22 million. Despite its 44% price reduction the home still comes in near the top of the highest-priced home sales for Del Mar and all of San Diego County.”

From NBC Bay Area in California. “According to CoreLogic, Bay Area home sales have seen a steady decline over the last year. CoreLogic reported that sales fell 2.2% from July of last year while the median home price dropped by 4.1% to $815,500 in the nine-county region. The report also noted that total home sales in the Bay Area for July of 2019 were the lowest since the same month in 2011.”

“The counties that experienced the largest decreases in median sale price were Napa, Marin, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties. Napa’s median home sale price was down 4.6%, from $669,600 to $638,500. Marin’s sale price was down 3.6%, from $1.1 million to $1.06 million. Contra Costa County saw a decrease in median home sale price of 2.8% from last year, from $635,000 to $617,500. San Mateo dropped 2.8% as well, from $1.369 million to $1.33 million.”

The San Francisco Chronicle in California. “Bay Area homes are getting slightly more affordable thanks to falling prices and lower mortgage rates. The median price paid for all new and existing homes and condos in the nine-county region fell to $815,000 in July, down 4.7% from June and down 4.1% from last July, according to CoreLogic.”

“July was the third consecutive month prices fell on a year-over-year basis, starting with a 1.9% decline in May and a 2.2% dip in June, CoreLogic said. Last month’s drop was the biggest since December 2011, when the median price fell 10.5% year over year. ‘Before this March, the median sale price had risen on a year-over-year basis for 83 consecutive months,’ it said. The highest recorded median was $875,000 in June.”

“Prices for resale condominiums took the biggest price hit in July, falling 10.9% year over year to $668,500. ‘Lower mortgage rates and the slowing, if not elimination, of price growth in many areas makes a meaningful difference for some buyers,’ CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said.”

“Tiffany Schrader-Brown and her husband bought a two-bedroom, one-bath home in Berkeley about seven years ago. Three years ago, they rented it out and moved to Philadelphia. When they came back this year, they wanted a bigger home for their family. They wanted a fixer-upper, since they are more affordable and she designs homes for a living, but ‘it seems like every one of them a developer has purchased. A lot have already been purchased and flipped,’ Schrader-Brown said.”

“But Schrader-Brown is optimistic. ‘The market is changing now — I think it’s going to be more hospitable for me in the coming months, I hope. It seems that the smaller homes for people with one or two children seem to stay at a higher price point; the ones that are a little bigger seem to be declining.'”

From Metro on California. “Kaley Cuoco has slashed $1 million (£815,000) off the asking price for her house after failing to entice a buyer in three months. The actress put her Californian mansion up for sale after the season finale of the sitcom, originally asking for $6.9 million (£5.6m) for the 8,000 square foot home. However, Kaley has now taken $1 million off the price tag, now asking for a cool $5.95 million (£4.8m). The star bought the Mediterranean-style villa in Tarzana in 2014 for $5.5 million (£4.4m).”

This Post Has 124 Comments
  1. “Prices for ultraluxury condos in New York have been declining since peaking in 2016, according to StreetEasy.

    Wha…???? Prices peaked in 2016?

    Odd, I don’t recall a single real estate “expert” saying the top was in back in 2016.

  2. ‘‘The market is changing now — I think it’s going to be more hospitable for me in the coming months, I hope’

    You are fooked Tiffany.

    ‘They wanted a fixer-upper, since they are more affordable and she designs homes for a living, but ‘it seems like every one of them a developer has purchased. A lot have already been purchased and flipped’

    So what you are saying is everything has been wrung dry of profits looking for a greater fool. And then it stops. Every shack and airbox will now lose money. Gosh, something like that might smack even bay aryans upside the head.

    1. “But Schrader-Brown is optimistic. ‘The market is changing now — I think it’s going to be more hospitable for me in the coming months, I hope.

      There is no greater red-flag indicator of harpy with an outsized sense of entitlement than a hyphenated last name.

    2. Tiffany could, you know, play the long game and wait…

      … wait… probably a couple years, until some of the flippers are truly fooked, and buy something at a fire sale/forclosure price.

  3. “Most of the 36,183-square-foot facility remains vacant’

    Shortage!

    ‘was selling for $2.6 million… now it’s been reduced to $1.69 million. Features: HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!’

    But it’s Fawn Drive! FAWN!

    ‘That branding gives you the impression of dogs and cats lounging in chairs by the pool with a drink and an umbrella. All it was was a slop sink in a closet’

    So how many thousands of Yellen bucks extra for the slop sink?

    1. The $2.6 million ($72 a square foot) asking price is on the high side for new multi use construction. The reduction to $1.7 million is dead on. Nobody will lose a penny if it sells at that price. Given the collapsing demand for housing of all types, they’ll be thanking their lucky stars if a sucker comes along.

      1. You’re mixing two separate articles, the ‘Chattanooga’ multi use was 36183 sq ft. ‘Fawn Drive’ property is in New Jersey and 7302 sq ft.

        Hence, $356 sq ft down to $233 sq ft. Facts, just facts.

    2. The property tax is $3441 per month.

      PER MONTH

      $41,292 PER YEAR.

      The house could be free and few could still afford it.

      1. It is something that is largely ignored during an inflating bubble, because people are just looking to make some quick money on the value increase. Once prices stall out and reverse, all of a sudden people become concerned with carrying costs.

  4. “According to CoreLogic, Bay Area home sales have seen a steady decline over the last year. CoreLogic reported that sales fell 2.2% from July of last year while the median home price dropped by 4.1% to $815,500 in the nine-county region.

    That negative wealth effect is going to be brutal for FBs who levered up on debt in the expectation that shack prices would only go up.

  5. ‘The home was first put up for sale in 2014 for $39.5 million and came down in price several times, most recently to $27 million in March of this year. The sale closed this week for $22 million. Despite its 44% price reduction’

    And UHS will tell you “oh, prices are down 2 or 3%”. Here’s a weekend topic: are you still waiting for the REIC media to tell you the bubble has popped? Cuz they lie about practically everything these days.

    1. Before prices come down sellers start making concessions. Before builders start dropping, prices they offer incentives. New home prices are down about 5% from the peak. Throw in the incentives and it is probably at least 7-8%. Replacing furnaces; clearing dead trees; fixing plumbing, roofing, and wood damage…these are costs to the seller that we don’t get to see in the statistics when the market turns.

      1. “Before prices come down sellers start making concessions.”

        Anyone remember how builders ten years ago were throwing in a free car or a prepaid lease on a car if you bought a new shack?

    1. Fundamentals stopped mattering back in 2008. In these rigged, broken, manipulated “markets” kept afloat by QE-to-infinity, Amazon’s ludicrous valuation makes perfect sense…until true price discovery shows up.

        1. That should raise all boats in the stawk mawket. Of course it will be yet another salvo fired in the war against savers.

      1. Fundamentals stopped mattering back in 2008. In these rigged, broken, manipulated “markets” kept afloat by QE-to-infinity

        This is one of the things that frustrates me from the standpoint of looking to invest seriously for the first time in 15+ years. A lot of the information, advice and counseling that is out there on investing seems to still have the “old rules” and assumptions from before the neutron bomb was dropped into the money supply.

        And that’s one of things I appreciate about the ‘hive mind’ here and elsewhere. Many of you are thinking and pointing out the manipulations going on and asking the hard questions that the MSM sure wont.

        1. Investing into the downside of the biggest speculative mania in history has got to be challenging.

          Fortunately for me, all I have to do now is figure out how to dissipate what was saved in the most fun manner.

    2. From what I’ve read, Amazon Web Services (AWS, the cloud business) provides more net income than the rest of the company, and is what keeps the stock price up, because it has grown so quickly. Perhaps Wall St. is worried that the low hanging cloud fruit has been picked and with rising competition from Microsoft, Google, Oracle and others, that the good days for AWS might be over.

      1. From my vantage point, there’s still a lot of potential growth in cloud services and usage to come, and a lot of that can come from other big industries like Health care and Insurance.

        Whether that new business goes to Amazon and AWS or their competitors like Microsoft’s Azure, Google Cloud Services or smaller cloud players like Rackspace, Verizon, Limstone, etc is the real question. (there are a lot Cloud Service providers out there you may not have heard of).

        I wonder if there is Cloud Service Index fund or something like that.

        1. I do see further potential for Software as a Service (SaaS), but that isn’t really what AWS does, IIRC. But AWS does rule in IaaS and PaaS, where it has left Microsoft, Google and everyone else in the dust.

        2. I know of one, SKYY. It’s an ETF and has done pretty well.

          I think that we are getting to a saturation point with AWS though. IAAS makes sense if data is not your core business but does not make sense if it is. The recent Capital One AWS S3 “hack” is a leading indicator.

  6. OT, but the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a stunt double speaking live right now at the National Book Fair in Washington, DC.

    The audience seems convinced that it’s really her…

      1. I’d like to know how RBG has managed to survive 2 (colon and pancreatic), possibly 3 (lung), of the most deadly cancers.

        1. Money and connections. There are 2 healthcare systems – 1 for you and I, and 1 for RBG and the like.

          1. Money and connections.

            Necessary but not sufficient, particularly with these three cancers and their current standards of care.

        2. Speaking of cancer, an acquaintance found out that he had colon cancer early in July. He passed away a week ago.

          1. Given the time between diagnosis and death, the answer to rms’ question is most likely no. My mother passed away from colon cancer three years ago at the age of 65 after 3 years of treatments.

          2. Sorry to hear that.

            WHO statement on processed meat and colon cancer:

            8. Processed meat was classified as Group 1, carcinogenic to humans. What does this mean?

            This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. In other words, there is convincing evidence that the agent causes cancer. The evaluation is usually based on epidemiological studies showing the development of cancer in exposed humans.

            In the case of processed meat, this classification is based on sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer.

            https://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/

          3. I honestly don’t know, but as RR said, I suspect not. They say that by the time you feel any symptoms, it is way too late. I myself do get periodic colonoscopies, as pre-cancerous polyps have been found (and removed) in the past. I think I’m due for the next one next year (so much fun).

          4. “They say that by the time you feel any symptoms, it is way too late…”

            Which means, essentially, that anybody who gets colon cancer before the age of 50 – the first recommended screening – is a dead man/woman.

          5. A former co-worker retired after forty something years, and he died within six months of colon cancer. His wife later said he didn’t like going to doctors, dentists, etc., so no preemptive possibilities. He was energetic, always helpful, not lazy by any measure. He probably would have enjoyed another good twenty years.

  7. “However, Kaley has now taken $1 million off the price tag, now asking for a cool $5.95 million (£4.8m). The star bought the Mediterranean-style villa in Tarzana in 2014 for $5.5 million (£4.4m).”

    $0.45 million is $450,000. We’ll see if she gets that much out of final sale.

    1. Wasn’t she getting paid $1m per Big Bang episode towards the end? She has to have enough money to never need to work again, which is good for her, because she’ll never land another gig like that again. Last I heard, she’s voicing Harley Quinn in a cartoon show.

      1. You have to wonder if she and the other actors are secretly angry that the gaiboi pulled the plug on the whole thing.

        1. I guess he figured he had all the money he would ever need, and can now pursue “real acting”. That said, he wasn’t above portraying a very Sheldon like character in those Intel commercials.

          It will be an experience for most of the cast to now fade into irrelevance; but if I had the kind of money they do, I could keep myself happily busy.

      2. I think so, but remember than in Clownaf… i mean California, the Tax Mman is going to take right about 50% when you make that kind of money as “normal working income” (as opposed to investment income which gets the sweet capital gains treatment).

        1. You mean Uncle Sam and Auntie Cal combined?

          They still have more money than any of us ever will, unless they foolishly piss it away. Can’t fly first class, gotta have my own Gulfstream, etc.

          1. Yup, combined. Cali Taxes are a one of the (several) big reasons a lot of people I know won’t consider taking a job that requires moving down there, despite the larger comp packages. At least one person I’ve had the conversation with also cited the possibility of “lifetime alimony in the people’s republic of California”. 😉

            It takes having your head really screwed on straight to not let lifestyle creep get the better of you when you have success at that level. $DEITY knows I’m part of the group that had to learn the lesson the harder way.

          2. “It takes having your head really screwed on straight to not let lifestyle creep get the better of you when you have success at that level. $DEITY knows I’m part of the group that had to learn the lesson the harder way”

            My current car is 7 years old (and purring like a kitten). There was a time when I would have traded it in well before that or even … lease it. Not having a monthly nut: priceless.

          3. My current car is 7 years old

            Alas, I just retired my 20 year old ride with 340,000 miles on it. It was still running great, but the frame was beyond hope.

          4. In the Spiffy’s garage are two paid off cars, a 2006 5-series wagon and a 2008 Honda CR-V. Both have just about 100,000 miles, and are probably good for another 5-10 before parts availability starts getting to be an issue. The plan is to keep them for a long, long time. A Tesla might be the only thing that could change that.

            For the more paranoid among us, those older cars may be among the last generations of automobiles that aren’t reporting in constantly via cellular modem. Nearly all the currently sold cars are connected in some way. That’s great because you can get real-time traffic info, but has anyone considered the flip side – that everywhere you go is logged somewhere, at least level that cell-tower tracking permits, and with GPS info for newer cars?

            The BMW we have actually does has a cellular modem to “phone home” the maintenance status so the dealer can bother me out of the blue to remind me to come in for service… if it wasn’t for the fact it’s a 2G GSM modem and almost all of the country has phased that out.

          5. A Tesla might be the only thing that could change that.

            I think you will love your car. We’re planning on getting my wife one in the next 6 months. Pearl white is now standard, which is the color she wants.

            I went with the model 3 over the S, but your salary and earnings could put you in S/X range. They definitely have different looks. Even so, the model 3 is really hard to beat value for money. Model S performance gives you that unbeatable speed for any car at that price.

            My advice would be to skip full-self-driving (for now). It’s cool, but IMO not worth the money (yet). If I were to do it again, I would not add full-self-driving until all the cool promised features are actually rolled out. On the other hand, auto-pilot and traffic-aware cruise control are a must. I also would get the long-range battery. That is totally worth it in my opinion. Range goes from 240 to 310 and it just makes road trips that much more enjoyable. But if it’s just a commuter car for around town, then standard range+ is going to be just fine.

          6. Model S performance gives you that unbeatable speed for any car at that price.

            Any factory stock car at that price. For car guys who like to modify, the P100D makes a nice target for a $60k Audi RS3 with some software changes, E85, and a new turbo. And if I’m not mistaken you can’t be in Ludicrous mode all the time :-).

        2. And if I’m not mistaken you can’t be in Ludicrous mode all the time :-).

          I think you actually can judging from a cursory glace and the model S owners’ boards. Not something I have to worry about though since I’m kind of a slow, boring driver! 🙂

      3. Kaley is worth about $50 million. That’s usually enough, unless she starts collecting diamonds and planes like Elizabeth Taylor.

        1. The unfortunate reality is that humans generally increase their standard of living as their pay goes up to a level that is unsustainable based upon said income. It’s essentially greed. People are never happy, always wanting more. $50 million is 10x the amount any human being needs to never work again and live the life of a king.

  8. $17 trillion and counting. Any thoughts on where this ends?

    The Unstoppable Surge in
    Negative Yields Reaches
    $17 Trillion

    By John Ainger
    August 30, 2019

    The global stock of negative-yielding debt is now in excess of $17 trillion as rising market volatility lends extra force to this year’s unprecedented bond rally.

    Thirty percent of all investment-grade securities now bear sub-zero yields, meaning that investors who acquire the debt and hold it to maturity are guaranteed to make a loss. Yet buyers are still piling in, seeking to benefit from further increases in bond prices and favorable cross-currency hedging rates—or at least to avoid greater losses elsewhere.

    1. It does seem like it’s only a matter of time before US Treasuries go negative as well. After that, who knows? Negative interest on CD’s and savings accounts? Negative rate, 30 year mortgages?

      As long as there is a deflation, what is the limit? And if you have cash, where do you park it? Do you “play it safe” with negative rate instruments or do you go to the speculative asset casino?

      Or do you stuff your cash in a mattress? But if you do that, it could be seized, because “only organized crime handles large amounts of cash”, plus it would sound some alarms if you showed up say at a car dealership with a briefcase full of cash (plus why pay cash when you can get a negative rate car loan?)

      1. Wouldn’t that be funny if it was true? Alas, a google search shows that he owns multiple mansions in the US and Europe.

  9. ‘The San Francisco Chronicle in California. “Bay Area homes are getting slightly more affordable thanks to falling prices and lower mortgage rates. The median price paid for all new and existing homes and condos in the nine-county region fell to $815,000 in July, down 4.7% from June and down 4.1% from last July, according to CoreLogic.” ‘

    – “slightly” more affordable, “falling prices”, “down 4.1% from last July” [YoY], … Hmm, I think I’m seeing a trend here. The sales and price decline is now fully underway in the leading left coast markets. Where are all of those Chinese and Canadian buyers? Price is set at the margins. No one paying over asking now. What happens next? High-end market leading. Beginning to “trickle down” to lower-tier and secondary MSA markets. As per the script (i.e. housing bubble 1.0).

    ‘July was the third consecutive month prices fell on a year-over-year basis, starting with a 1.9% decline in May and a 2.2% dip in June, CoreLogic said.’

    – But I was assured that prices never fall in that utopian SF market. How could Thornberg be wrong? Isn’t he an acknowledged “expert” in his field? So it’s not unicorns forever?

    Prices for resale condominiums took the biggest price hit in July, falling 10.9% year over year to $668,500. ‘Lower mortgage rates and the slowing, if not elimination, of price growth in many areas makes a meaningful difference for some buyers,’ CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said.”

    -Takeaway from that statement: “It’s always a good time to buy.” Knife-catchers step right on up.

    – I think multi-family is probably more hosed than single-family. There be BKs for the multitude of “lux” MFH developers and lenders. Another prime example of malinvestment and market distortions based on false signals from the Fed and their enormous steaming pile of cheap credit and Yellen bucks searching for financial extinction.

  10. “…many have offered discounts or freebies to lure tenants, pushing effective rents down even as the sticker price remains high.”

    Everything is an accounting gimmick, designed to hide the real numbers. Whatever happened to honest accounting, or am I foolish to believe it ever existed?

    1. Whatever happened to honest accounting, or am I foolish to believe it ever existed?

      I don’t know…but I thought that accounting used to be boring and honest…and if anybody got caught doing otherwise they were in big trouble no matter who they were. I thought it was only confirmed criminals who kept two sets of books (and how quaint…you actually needed one set that looked honest).

      1. accounting used to be boring and honest

        Accounting isn’t as black and white as most people think.

          1. My understanding is that he gets hired by shareholders/partners to audit companies. His fee is a percentage of any misappropriated funds his firm finds. From what I have heard he is doing very well.

    2. “Whatever happened to honest accounting, or am I foolish to believe it ever existed?”

      – GAAP vs. non-GAAP + stock buybacks + guidance games = current valuations + questionable earnings.
      – FASB Rule 157: mark-to-market vs. mark-to-myth = zombie banks + corps.
      – U.S. “budget” (oxymoron): balanced budget: debts/liabiities = assets; current U.S. debt to GDP = 106% (not including off balance sheet liabilities)
      – Audit the Fed? Uh-huh.
      – Money printing + debt monetization = Argentina economics/Banana Republic

      “When it becomes serious, you have to lie”. – Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the Eurogroup, April 20, 2011

      “The U.S. economy, once the envy of the world, is now viewed across the globe with suspicion. America has become shackled by an immovable mountain of debt that endangers its prosperity and threatens to bring the rest of the world economy crashing down with it. The ongoing sub-prime mortgage crisis, a result of irresponsible lending policies designed to generate commissions for unscrupulous brokers, presages far deeper problems in a U.S. economy that is beginning to resemble a giant smoke-and-mirrors Ponzi scheme. And this has not been lost on the rest of the world.” – Hamid Varzi, International Tribune

  11. Here in Santa Rosa, the city council is pondering adding a 15% fee per square foot to provide funds for aiding the homeless.
    And they are indicating that the construction cost of homes is $300 per square foot.
    They do not seem to realize that 15% of $300 is a lot of money!

    1. I guess since Prop 13 ties their hands on raising property taxes, they’re resorting to adding new construction “fees”. We’ll see how that works out: “Santa Rosa city council can’t explain why new construction is down, while rising in neighboring cities. ‘No one saw it coming’ said councilors Dewey, Cheatham and Howe.”

      1. Prop 13 is insidious in how its exacerbated the bubble which is driven by loose monetary policy and low interest rates.

        The other aspect of Prop 13 which is underappreciated in my view is that local municipalities couldn’t get market-rate property taxes since the prop 13 capped them. So they pushed for more commercial and neglected residential. This had the effect of discouraging enough building which is already a problem because input costs in CA are so high (e.g. you can’t build affordable, it doesn’t pencil). So what was marginally affordable just skyrocketed in the face of minimal new development. What gets built is luxury for the tech winners and the worker bees “drive ’till they qualify”. And so you have the rise of super commuters and all sorts of weird stories about the the working homeless security guards living in their vans in the parking lots of Mountain View.

          1. OneAgainstMany never saw a crushing tax on the middle class that couldn’t make thing more affordable! Oddly though, never seen OAM champion crushing taxes on BEVs to make them more affordable?

            I don’t see how Prop 13 plays that great of role in the housing bubble. If Granny sells her house she needs to find a new shelter of some kind – unless she just evaporates? Seems like a zero sum game?

          2. To me the answer is not having a distorted taxing system whereby you have one group that is largely sheltered from the real property tax rate and another that has artificially suppressed tax rates. The rate should be the same for all. It’s the unintended consequences of what was thought to be a good idea in theory. Many economists have written about this. But the fact is that it benefits one constituency at the expense of another.

        1. For those who think anyone is advocating higher taxes on middle-class, you need to Google “prop 13 shell corporations” first. No one has had it so good as the businesses that use those loopholes.

          And ChuckSA, it is not a zero-sum game. When the house changes hands, its taxes change and can get stepped up to much higher levels. A neighbor of mine who lived in that house for 40+ years was paying $2300/yr. But the bloke that bought their house a few years ago, is paying $20,900/yr now.

          1. If the house stays in the family, then Prop 13 stays in place. The entire thing is discriminatory, in my opinion. It should be illegal.

          2. In my experience, Prop 13 limits a property’s turnover either by owners passing it on to family or not downsizing because downsizing can be more expensive. That being said, there are ways to around Prop 13 like Mello-Roos.

    2. “15% fee per square foot to provide funds for aiding the homeless”

      The Homeless Cause seems to be the new cash cow for local governments to tax and fee the people in to oblivion..

    1. I have a cluster of 8 of them on a hill behind our house (Southwestern Germany). Ugly to look at and you can hear them at night but Frau Merkel says they’re great.

  12. This family is disgusting…

    “The Sackler family siphoned $11 billion from Purdue Pharma L.P., the Oxycontin maker the family owns and which is facing numerous lawsuits, in an attempt to evade “catastrophic liability,” Oregon’s attorney general said Friday….

    ….Much of their money appears to be overseas. A review by The Associated Press found the Sacklers have shielded their wealth in a web of companies and trusts. Some are registered in offshore tax havens far from Purdue’s Connecticut headquarters.

    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/oregon-official-family-shifted-billions-011957320.html

    1. They are disgusting and the fact that they masqueraded as philanthropists makes it even more deplorable.

        1. George Soros is always described as a “billionaire philanthropist” in the MSM, rather than a wrecker of nations and cultures.

    2. None of them will ever spend a day locked up behind bars. I lost a high school friend to an oxycontin overdose in 2002, before it was making any headlines.

      Meanwhile, the fentanyl keeps pouring in from China by the ton.

      Young people in America have realized they have no future, there’s nothing worth working for or trying for, and the globalists are more than happy to supply them with the cheap narcotics they need to mentally check out of society and being a productive member of the economy and society.

      America isn’t a country, it’s a game.

    1. To cratering going on elsewhere. Ben will get to it eventually. Maybe he’ll have a whole post just for AZ.

      1. It’s in Ben’s post above.

        ‘was selling for $2.6 million… now it’s been reduced to $1.69 million. Features: HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!’

        But it’s Fawn Drive! FAWN!

  13. October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.

    — Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson

    1. September is the worst month for stocks — and it’s even gloomier after a downbeat August
      By Chris Matthews
      Published: Aug 30, 2019 5:11 p.m. ET

      S&P 500, on average, falls 1% in September
      Getty Images
      When the kids go back to school, stocks suffer

      Stock market investors hate to see summer end, and it’s not because they fear shorter days or the back-to-school rush.

      August is typically a weak month for stock market performance, and September is the only month that, on average, is worse for equity-market prices.

      1. All of the covered calls I wrote on AMAT and MU expire this month. I hope that they’re “in the money” and get called away so I can buy more Au/Ag.

  14. Court Overturns Conviction Of Five-Time Deported Immigrant Who Shot Kate Steinle

    August 31, 2019

    A California court overturned the conviction Friday of a five-time deported homeless illegal immigrant who shot Kate Steinle in 2015.

    The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge erred in not giving the jury “the momentary possession instruction,” NPR reported.

    “It is undisputed that defendant was holding the gun when it fired. But that fact alone does not establish he possessed the gun for more than a moment. To possess the gun, defendant had to know he was holding it,” the appellate court wrote, according to NPR.

    Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate was deported five times before he shot Steinle on a San Fransisco pier in 2015. Zarate was a seven-time convicted felon and Mexican national. Before he shot Steinle, Immigration and Customs Enforcement lodged a detainer for Zarate with the San Francisco sheriff’s office. The office did not honor the request, according to former Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan’s statement.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/08/31/kate-steinle-immigrant-conviction/

    1. the bullet ricocheted off the pier and hit Steinle

      To be convicted of a specific charge, it must be proved beyond any reasonable doubt. A history of criminality just isn’t enough. Baby/bathwater.

  15. The No. 1 most expensive state to buy a home in — it’s not New York or California

    By Jacob Passy
    Published: Aug 31, 2019 10:30 a.m. ET

    Home prices were actually lower in Massachusetts than other notoriously expensive states such as California and Hawaii. The median listing price in Massachusetts was $479,900, versus $550,000 for California and a whopping $632,500 for Hawaii.

    However, Massachusetts had a relatively higher effective property tax rate (1.18%) than both of those states. Even then, the Bay State had far from the highest tax rate in the country — that honor went to New Jersey, whose property tax rate of 2.43% contributed to it ranking as the second most expensive state nationwide.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-no-1-most-expensive-state-to-buy-a-home-in-its-not-new-york-or-california-2019-08-29

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