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Rather Than There Being A Housing Shortage, It Increasingly Looks Like The Pendulum Is Swinging In The Other Direction

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “For the fifth time this year, home prices in Ada County have reached record-setting highs. Even if it benefits him with higher commissions, Rick Gehrke, a real estate agent who sells in both Ada and Canyon counties, said he doesn’t like a red-hot market. ‘Buyers sometimes make snap decisions to buy a home based on the pressure they feel to grab a place that may not remain on the market long. They’ve got to jump at something before it’s gone, and then they have buyer’s remorse and feel like they overpaid,’ he said.”

“Chapman University’s economic forecast has a decidedly different warning for the California economy: There may be no housing shortage. Chapman economist Jim Doti, he sees a chance of ‘severe weakness’ for the state’s real estate markets as demand for housing dries up as California’s population growth comes to a near halt. ‘Fewer people translates to fewer homes,’ says Chapman’s report. ‘Rather than there being a housing shortage in California as many people claim, it increasingly looks like the pendulum is swinging in the other direction.'”

“Most real estate experts in South Florida agree that the condominium market has cooled — at least for big, new, luxury product. Peter Zalewski, founder of Miami-based Condo Vultures Realty, says condo development potential persists in Pompano Beach and other South Florida markets, but not south of the airport, where more buyers are foreign nationals. That area is ‘where the sales have crashed,’ Zalewski said.”

“In a sign of the times, Manhattan’s priciest condo project this year doesn’t expect to crack $1 billion in sales. Facing an oversupply of new development condo units in the borough, this year’s most expensive condo projects have set the pricing bar far lower than in 2018, according to a TRD analysis. The stark contrast reflects what real estate agents and others have been saying: prices need to drop to interest Manhattan’s buyers, given the plethora of choices available to them. But some developers may find themselves handcuffed to out-of-touch prices because of constraints imposed by lenders or partners.”

“Every year, the Urban Land Institute examines an important element of the market for readers of Boston Agent magazine. Despite an overall positive economic outlook, affordability problems threaten the residential market. The ULI report referred to residential real estate as ‘the great unraveling’ and noted that ‘housing is a mess and getting worse.'”

“Prices actually fell in hot Alexandria and Arlington County, Virginia. The number of sales in Arlington County was down 12.6% from a year ago, and down 25.8% in Alexandria. And the median selling price in Arlington County, at $537,000, was down 4.9% from a year ago. The median selling price in Alexandria was $539,900, down 2.5%.”

“There aren’t many homes for sale for under $200,000 in metro Denver these days, but more than 5 percent of those that exist went for either considerably less or more than the initial tag. Price reductions were more common during October than has been the case in many recent years. This graphic depicts zip codes where the lists were lowed in October — something that occurred from 15.9 percent to 60.6 percent of the time. Well over half of the list prices were reduced in 80125, long a popular suburban destination; Roxborough Park, Highlands Ranch and Littleton are among its communities.”

“The $460,000 median sales price for Seattle condos in November remained unchanged from the prior month, though it was slightly less compared to last November by 3.16%. All areas of the the city experienced year-over-year declines in the median sales price with the exception of West Seattle.”

“The Toll Brothers are building the Stonebrook development near Spanish Springs, where homes have a more favorable price compared to other luxury homes that they have built in the past. Phillip and Diane Williams moved from Northern California to retire in what is now their new home. ‘The houses are also roughly 30 thousand dollars less expensive for the same house in Reno,’ said Williams. ‘7 to 8 hundred thousand where we came from, for a basic home. For something like this? Oh no, this would be more, this would be 9 hundred thousand.'”

“Agent Magda Mo hosted several open house events for this six-bedroom house in Markham to connect with buyers. In less than a week an out-of-town buyer checked out the home online, then in person, and tabled a $3.06-million bid. Her listing was one of four nearby that were on the market in early September, Ms. Mo said. ‘Only one of them since then has sold and the others are still on the market. That’s why I said to the sellers, we had to price this right, otherwise, these homes do sit.'”

“The latest official figures show prices in Dublin, which has seen the largest increase in residential construction, actually dropped 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to October. Prices were down 7.1 per cent in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, which is traditionally seen as a bellwether for the market. That compares to a 1.3 per cent fall in Dublin in the year to September and an almost 7 per cent fall in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in the same period, an indication that the fall in prices has sharpened.”

“Dubai property magnate Hussain Sajwani has repeated calls for an immediate halt to construction, warning the city faces ‘disaster’ if oversupply continues. ‘Nothing has changed,’ Sajwani told a CNBC-moderated panel. ‘The glut of supply we have, or we are going to have, will have an impact on the market. It’s the greediness of the developers,’ Sajwani said, pointing the finger at his competitors.”

“When Beijing introduced price caps for almost two-thirds of apartments in late 2016 as part of a program to provide homes for millions of middle-class citizens to buy, an array of cheap condominiums began springing up on the city’s outskirts. Three years on, the cramped, poor-quality units that are far from anywhere lie mostly empty. Beijing Yinghai, a project that’s still partially under construction, has tiny windows that don’t let in sufficient daylight, limited parking options and a huge electricity substation right next door. Wang, who declined to give his first name for fear of reprisal from the developer, is one unhappy buyer. ‘I used to feel lucky, thinking I could upgrade my living circumstances with fewer costs,’ said Wang. ‘But some things, like the windows, make me feel it’s public housing for the poor.'”

“One by one, developers have started to cut costs, leading to a ‘crazy price war,’ according to a sales executive for one of the projects. He estimates prices have come down by as much as 10% in some instances.”

“A Brassall, Queensland townhouse has sold after returning to the market as a mortgagee listing. The abode sold for $210,000. It has been on and off the market since 2016, with its latest asking price slashed $45,000 on its initial expectations. First listed in October 2016 for $275,000, the asking price had been slashed 5 times to where it most recently sat, $229,000. Last sold in 2009, the home transacted for $234,000, a marginal increase on the 2004 sale price of $210,000.”

“Financial troubles are mounting for Fotis Dulos as he faces a second foreclosure. Danbury Savings Bank is foreclosing on his New Canaan property at 61 Sturbridge Hill Road that Fotis Dulos was developing when his estranged wife went missing on May 24. In court documents filed Monday, Danbury Savings Bank claim Fotis Dulos and his company, Fore Group, are responsible for a $2.8 million note. The bank is seeking to take possession of the property or have the note immediately paid.”

“‘It is simple. The borrower isn’t paying the loan and the bank needs to get its money whether it is Dulos or anyone else,’ Ross Fingold, of Stokesbury, Shipman and Fingold, LLC, said on behalf of Danbury Savings Bank. The foreclosure ‘may result in a public sale of the residence,’ he said. ‘We have been patient. It is time to proceed forward.’ Fotis Dulos is also facing foreclosure on the Farmington home where he has been living and maintains an office. His mother-in-law, Gloria Farber, is suing him for $2.5 million in what she claims are unpaid loans and is also foreclosing on the 14,000-square-foot Farmington home that his company built in 2012.”

This Post Has 129 Comments
  1. ‘The houses are also roughly 30 thousand dollars less expensive for the same house in Reno…7 to 8 hundred thousand where we came from, for a basic home. For something like this? Oh no, this would be more, this would be 9 hundred thousand’

    Diane, meet Wang. Wang, Diane:

    ‘‘I used to feel lucky, thinking I could upgrade my living circumstances with fewer costs,’ said Wang. ‘But some things, like the windows, make me feel it’s public housing for the poor’…One by one, developers have started to cut costs, leading to a ‘crazy price war’

    You’re both fooked!

    1. Comparing San Francisco prices to Reno is absolutely asinine. They’re 200 miles apart, and Reno is a $15 per hour warehouse job town. No bubble there….

    2. ‘‘I used to feel lucky, thinking I could upgrade my living circumstances with fewer costs,’ said Wang.”

      Dirty Harry (1971)

      Callahan: I know what you’re thinking: “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question:

      ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?

      [The thief gives up trying to retrieve his shotgun; Callahan picks it up and starts to walk away, lowering the hammer.]

      Thief: Hey! [Callahan turns around] I gots to know…
      [Callahan recocks and aims his revolver and pulls the trigger, but the gun just clicks on an empty chamber, and he grins, laughs, and walks away.]

      Thief: Son of a b*tch…

          1. But they didn’t, they voted for Obama twice. He is the reason millennials will never have the wealth of baby boomers. He exported jobs to China and drove up housing prices with easy money and programs. The bubbles benefited people with houses and jobs with 401ks . Meanwhile millennials served coffee and drove for Uber while the Obama economy created a 109,000 jobs per month largely filled with illegals. I would feel bad for them but they voted for the globalist twice.

          2. @Albuquerquedan:

            But could we have expected McCain and Romney to not do the same — drive up asset prices, encourage job exports, and increase the illegal population?

            I don’t think there was any alternative in 2008 or 2012. It was two sides of the exact same coin.

            Romney got rich raiding pension funds and selling corporate assets. He would have doubled down on Obama’s policies. That’s why their debates were so hilarious — they agreed on almost everything!

          3. Paoburen I agree by the fall of 2008 it was too late but I guarantee that Mike Huckabee would have been much better. There was no surge of millennials for him. Plus there was no surge for candidates on the Senate and House races which wanted tough immigration policies and fair trade. Whether they were on the left or right leaning. No millennials supported globalism. I cast protest votes both times to at least send a message. Ralph Nader in 2008 and for a strict constitutionalist in 2012. When I voted for Trump it was the first time I voted for a mainstream candidate since 1992. I did not trust Clinton but he said he would tie human rights to trade with China. Of course one of his first actions was to do away with any review. I regret voting for him but a woman I was dating just insisted I was wrong about him and I hated Bush anyway. Just said to myself why fight about it, it is not like Clinton is going to get the electoral votes of Utah anyway.

          4. No millennials supported globalism.
            Let’s eat grandma
            Let’s eat, grandma
            No, millennials supported globalism.
            Commas are important

  2. ‘Last sold in 2009, the home transacted for $234,000, a marginal increase on the 2004 sale price of $210,000’

    Wa? But Australia is to the moon Alice?

    ‘Prices actually fell in hot Alexandria and Arlington County, Virginia. The number of sales in Arlington County was down 12.6% from a year ago, and down 25.8% in Alexandria. And the median selling price in Arlington County, at $537,000, was down 4.9% from a year ago. The median selling price in Alexandria was $539,900, down 2.5%’

    Eat yer crowz taxpayer…

    1. Not much crow here. Prices could drop because more condos sell than SFH (mix problem), or because the only sales are massive fixer-uppers or inheritance sales. Plus the inventory is very low because of Amazon HQ2.

      1. No, I’ve posted reports of VA square foot declines larger than those above. It’s like that guy the other day, “Denver is up baby!”

        Uh, no it isn’t.

          1. https://socketsite.com/archives/2019/12/luxury-one-bedroom-takes-a-180k-hit.html

            ‘After a month on the market priced at a loss, the list price for 333 Beale Street #8J has just been reduced to $1.398 million, a sale at which would be 11 percent below its February 2016 price on an apples-to-apples basis.’

            https://socketsite.com/archives/2019/12/down-a-million-in-dolores-heights.html

            ‘a block and a half from Dolores Park, was purchased for $3.75 million in September of 2014…And having been re-listed anew with an official “1” day on the market and a further reduced list price of $2.995 million in September, the re-sale of the Dolores Heights property has just closed escrow with a contract price of $2.7 million, representing a 28 percent drop in value since third quarter of 2014 on an apples-to-apples basis.’

            ‘At the same time, the Dolores Heights home at 4085 20th Street, which was reduced below its 2015 price two months ago, has yet to record a sale.’

            I still have people write me and say, “bay aryan prices are to the moon!”

            Yeah, whatever.

    2. 2 homes for sale in my hood of 1100
      17 in the whole zip code
      no crow here as orangeman fail to cut ANYTHING

  3. ‘The $460,000 median sales price for Seattle condos in November remained unchanged from the prior month, though it was slightly less compared to last November by 3.16%. All areas of the the city experienced year-over-year declines in the median sales price with the exception of West Seattle’

    Check out the stats at this link.

  4. ‘There may be no housing shortage. Chapman economist Jim Doti, he sees a chance of ‘severe weakness’ for the state’s real estate markets as demand for housing dries up as California’s population growth comes to a near halt. ‘Fewer people translates to fewer homes…Rather than there being a housing shortage in California as many people claim, it increasingly looks like the pendulum is swinging in the other direction’

    There never was a shortage. And now, loaded up with hyugge mortgages, the whole state is in a for an epic a$$-pounding. This is what you get for listening to idiots who are basically used shack sales people and various REIC clingers-on who all had a personal interest in pushing this shortage myth. Remember that radio ad I put on you tube from Orange County telling people to cash-out refi before the bubble pops? What a bunch of fools.

    1. “…as California’s population growth comes to a near halt…”

      One element of the Jim Doti report is that increasing number of housing units will become available because us (I include myself) baby boomers will either die off or move out of state to fund cheaper retirements and/or avoid California congestion.

      Jim Doti and his staff could have saved themselves an lot of research if they would simply become regular readers of the HBB.

      Posters here on the HBB, have been predicting this exact scenario for many years.

      Here in the OC, it’s going to be real interesting to observe demand for those 4/5-bedroom McCrackerBox monsters that come complete with sky high [and ever increasing] holding costs. Message to REIC: Good luck with that one.

        1. “…most of ca’s incoming are off the books…”

          (Sarcasm/on)

          And of course these folks will be driving big demand for 3/4/5 bedroom McCrackerBoxes being dumped by the BabyBoomers.

          Of course, your friendly REIC agent has no problem telling you that the sky is red. So attention everyone, now is the time to grab your checkbooks!

          (Sarcasm/off)

      1. I read an article a few months back that said that nearly 60% of CA residents said they wanted to leave the state. That’s unhappiness.

          1. Incomplete set of judgment criteria but OK. All I know is with my ex in Colorado, Folsom, California’s not a bad place to make the extra money needed to pay the alimony. If I was back in Colorado making 2/3 the salary it would hurt a lot more.

        1. “…nearly 60% of CA residents said they wanted to leave the state…”

          That 60% is about right based on my own informal hall-way lunch time chit chatting at my company.

          But here is a fun factoid: Even though we are an engineering group (with corresponding engineering salaries) many who I have talked to that *want* to leave California, can’t. Why? They can’t afford it! So much debt rolling around (even in the upper middle class) that it makes your head spin .

          1. Not surprised, those 50 year old homes they’re paying close to a million on need a lot of maintenance and the property taxes – oy vey! Add in the fanceee europeon car for him and the giant suv kid taxi for her along with the timeshare in mexico (totally safe – totally) and other annual vacations and the constant eating out and the zillion other expenses and it adds up quick.

            Broke out of the matrix years ago, every time I go back for a visit its worse by an order of magnitude. I’ve said it before, this country/eCONomy resembles Poe’s Mask of the Red Death, people partying like theres no tomorrow with this false sense of security while unbeknownst to them the plague has infiltrated. Always likened Prince Prospero to the original fraud bankster Greenspan. Poe might have even chosen to use the name had he written it in current times.

  5. ‘The former home secretary Alan Johnson last night tore into the left-wing “cult” running the Labour Party, dismissing Jeremy Corbyn as a leader who “couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag”.

    ‘In the TV moment of election night, Mr Johnson became the first senior Blairite to vent his frustration at the Labour leadership. He told Jon Lansman, founder of the pro-Corbyn group Momentum, to “go back to your student politics” and accused leftwingers of failing working-class communities through a misguided socialist experiment.’

    ‘Like other leading New Labour figures Mr Johnson had held his tongue before the election, fearing that public criticism of Mr Corbyn would invite blame from the leader’s supporters for contributing to defeat.’

    ‘However, as the scale of last night’s loss became clear, Mr Johnson could contain himself no longer.’

    “Corbyn was a disaster on the doorstep, everyone knew he couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag,” he said. Sitting next to the privately educated Mr Lansman, Mr Johnson said that “the working classes have always been a big disappointment for Jon and his colleagues” for refusing to back socialism. He said that Momentum was a “party within a party” who peddled a “culture of betrayal” which will be heard “more and more in the next couple of days as this little cult get their act together.”

    ‘As George Osborne, the former chancellor, looked on in astonished admiration in the ITV studio, Mr Johnson, 69, said: “I want them out of the party. I want Momentum gone. Go back to your student politics.” He added: “People like Jon and his pals will never admit this but they have messed up completely and it’s our communities who are going to pay for that. I feel really angry about this, that we persevered with Corbyn for this kind of experiment of back to the future.”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/alan-johnsons-rant-at-momentum-cult-tops-tv-moments-0m3wnq6l0

    1. “Corbyn was a disaster on the doorstep, everyone knew he couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag…Mr Johnson said that “the working classes have always been a big disappointment for Jon and his colleagues” for refusing to back socialism’

      What say you Bernie and Senator Running Deer?

        1. It’s gratifying to see socialism rejected. And after years of trying to overturn the leave referendum with delay tactics, the people are finally going out. The really good news is remainers were purged prior to the election, so the leave bloc is more solid than the majority numbers show.

          How to leave the United Kingdom

          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/general-election-result-leave-uk-how-boris-johnson-tory-majority-labour-a9244701.html

          1. ‘Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader of Britain’s Labour Party, announced Friday that he will resign as leader after his party’s historic defeat at the hands of prime minister Boris Johnson’s Tories. Corbyn called it a “very disappointing” night after only 203 of Parliament’s 650 seats fell to Labour members, the worst electoral result for the party since 1935. While he has vowed not to lead the party through another election, Corbyn said he will retain his seat during a “process of reflection.”

            ‘Even some members of his own party pressured Corbyn, 70, to not only step down as party leader but to resign entirely due to the loss, which they claim resulted largely from his failed leadership. “Corbyn talking about a period of reflection. I’ve reflected. You failed. Please stand down,” read a tweet from MP Margaret Hodge, a Labour member who kept her London seat.’

            https://www.nationalreview.com/news/jeremy-corbin-to-resign-as-labor-leader-after-defeat-in-general-election/

          2. ‘Boris Johnson may have been the architect and star of the Conservatives’ winning campaign but his victory owes much to Dominic Cummings, his chief adviser. And today the former head of the Vote Leave campaign poured scorn on “educated Remainer campaigner types” who failed to read the mood of the country that led to the resounding Tory victory.’

            “After the shock of the referendum, MPs and journalists should have taken a deep breath and had a lot of self-reflection [on] why they misunderstood what was going on in the country,” he said. “But instead a lot of people just doubled down on their own ideas and f***** it up even more. That’s why something like this happens against expectations.”

            ‘There is some justification for his typically acerbic claim. Mr Cummings, who is not a Conservative member, laid the framework for the Tories’ election strategy based on what he has believed for years was an out-of-touch London elite misreading the mood of working-class voters that have too often been taken for granted. Today, the strategy has been vindicated and Mr Cummings will have a key role recalibrating the government to serve the new Conservative heartlands.’

            ‘At its heart the Cummings strategy was based on the simple observation that working-class voters in the North and Midlands had been ill-served and alienated from politicians of all persuasions for years. Much less effort was made to address the structural imbalances in the economy which meant in real terms that people had work in these areas but not good jobs; low pay was offset by state handouts, and no effort was made to seed the industries of the future to replace those decimated in the 1980s.’

            ‘In the aftermath of the referendum he lamented the failure of Westminster politics — and what he characterises as the London elite — to grasp this. Brexit turned into a process row while the failure of parliament to ratify a deal raised the prospect of Brexit not happening at all. The people who voted for Brexit felt ignored again and betrayed.’

            ‘As he put it yesterday: “MPs need to reflect, the media needs to reflect and they need to realise that the conversations they have in London are a million miles away from reality.”

            https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dominic-cummings-blames-educated-remainer-campaigning-types-for-poll-rout-fq0xp5g3k

          3. Labour was out of touch with the devasted people in the rural communities in north England (Midland, north Yorkshire). There are waves of migrants from war devastated Afgan, Iraq coming to the UK on lorries (semi trucks) via the port of Calais along with peeps from China, Turkey, parts of old USSR etc. Lots of local youth (read white kids) whose parents had stable jobs in north England resort to theft to buy drugs and deal in drugs. No jobs for the young.
            Listening to the exit poll interviews, reminds me of the forgotten midwest people in the USA.
            This is what a “fence sitting” Jeremy Corbyn begets.
            The so called “elites” (educated or otherwise – who decided to call them that?) are out of touch with reality. At least this time in UK the people felt that their economic interest would be best served by the Torries.

            This is why I think that Trump will win a second term.

      1. It’s interesting how the left was so sure that Trump supporters were the new Nazis that were going to lead a fascist takeover. So far all I’ve seen is the lefties threatening to attempt a communist revolution each time they don’t get their way.

        1. Much of Hitler’s early support was from former communists. Nazi is the acronym for National Socialist after all. I do think that Republicans have to differ a rejection of globalism from a rejection of all things socialist. The majority of US people do want a safety net. They have rejected open borders and trying to compete without tariffs against people making ten cents an hour with no benefits, no health and safety protections, and no concern with real pollution issues. As my contract professor said about legal arguments, do not ride the horse too far in one direction.

          1. The majority of US people do want a safety net.

            They do want things like Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance. But they are also showing that they don’t want anything else that would have to be funded with new taxes, be it “Medicare for All” or Universal Basic Income.

          2. My wife’s recent injury has exposed us to the medical world, currently in rehabilitation therapy. It is easy to spot those who are eager to return to being productive, and those whom the government is trying to ween from disability and dependency. The medial workforce [knows] it’s a sham too…just like our current mortgage banking; professional lies so prevalent that the truth has to be avoided.

          3. The majority of US people do want a safety net. They have rejected open borders and trying to compete without tariffs against people making ten cents an hour with no benefits, no health and safety protections, and no concern with real pollution issues.

            I’d say they do want a safety net, but only for citizens. And the more aware are concerned about killing the productivity goose that lays the golden eggs that a safety net depends on.

          4. God Bless President Donald J. Trump And God Bless America!

            Fremont, CA Housing Prices Crater 22% YOY As Bay Area Staggers Under Weight Of Mortgage Defaults And Spiraling Layoffs

            https://www.zillow.com/fremont-ca-94539/home-values/

            *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

            As one noted economist advises, “Mortgage debt is the most toxic and damaging debt of all. Avoid it at all costs.”

  6. “The stark contrast reflects what real estate agents and others have been saying: prices need to drop to interest Manhattan’s buyers, given the plethora of choices available to them. But some developers may find themselves handcuffed to out-of-touch prices because of constraints imposed by lenders or partners.”

    Got it! Wait for the 50% off foreclosure sales!!!

    1. But, inventory loans?

      ‘but not south of the airport, where more buyers are foreign nationals. That area is ‘where the sales have crashed’

      Hey, money launderers just want to get their Yellen bucks out, it’s not supposed to harm the markets?

  7. The stock market was hoping for a Trump capitulation. It did not get it. What it got was China losing its main weapon against Trump to avoid more tariffs from Trump. Farmers win with the deal. Meanwhile substantial tariffs remain squeezing China. Globalists complain that this hurts global growth. Only because China is part of the global calculation. Remove China’s slowing economy from the calculation and growth is probably up worldwide. Finally, Time you are showing you are a globalist tool, the Hong Kong protestors are the people of the year, not a brainwashed teenage being manipulated by others.

  8. ‘The revolutionary “Nanopanel” sounds like a world-changing invention to warm Greta Thunberg’s heart. Nanotech Engineering of Irvine, Calif. says its “last generation solar panel” is “a lightweight, stronger than steel yet flexible Solar Panel that is more than three times more efficient than traditional solar.” It is “by far the most efficient Solar Panel ever created,” is only about the size of a “FedEx Envelope,” and can generate electricity even in the kind of dark and cloudy weather you see in Scandinavia.’

    ‘There’s just one problem, authorities say.’

    ‘The Securities and Exchange Commission says Nanotech Engineering and the “Nanopanel” are “fraudulent” hooks in a multimillion-dollar boiler-room operation running across the country “from Alaska to Florida.” Instead of developing new generation solar panels, Nanotech executives Michael Sweaney, David Sweaney and Jeffery Gange have allegedly been spending investors’ money on yachts, fancy clothes, tens of thousands of dollars of cosmetic surgery, dermatology, and spa treatments, and even thousands of dollars on “vaping products” and tobacco, the SEC said.’

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/revolutionary-solar-panel-company-frozen-by-sec-in-emergency-action-2019-12-12

        1. He’s probably recharging his batteries. [no pun intended] His indefatigable efforts of persuasion are the cloth preachers are cut from.

        1. Big difference between really protecting the environment and the fake green movement which seeks crony capitalist profits in solar and wind while ignoring bird and bat kill, toxic chemicals etc and all to prevent a beneficial gas from being released. We are re- terraforming the planet, co2 was getting to levels where plants could not even exist. We need to send the third world a bill for doing God’s work.

          1. “$41,968
            Income and Salaries for Missoula”

            Woohooo!! That’s probably median income. I was using per capita, but oh well, same story.

        2. With an average income of $25,000, it’s probably all most people can afford to do – play outside.

          1. That makes no sense, are guns, rods, boats, ATV’s, skiing, mtn bikes free? Do you ever get off the couch? lol!

          2. “That makes no sense, are guns, rods, boats, ATV’s, skiing, mtn bikes free? Do you ever get off the couch? lol!”

            It made perfect sense. I was talking about the outdoor activities which are free or very inexpensive, like hiking, building a snowman riding a saucer down a snowy hill – you know, the things we did as kids.

  9. Great post today Ben, as per usual; a snapshot in time from a global perspective of the continuing slow-motion train wreck in the housing markets.

    My summary comments on the entire post:

    – So much cratering; nationally and globally!
    – Sometimes I feel the schadenfreude kicking in, but then I realize that these poor marks/suckers/FBs are human beings who bought the Gov’t./REIC spiel hook, line, and sinker, and apparently not realizing the ramifications thereof. Poor bast*rds! Caveat emptor.
    – So, sometimes it’s:
    ‘I Love The Smell Of Napalm In The Morning’ – Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, Apocalypse Now (1979)
    – And sometimes it’s:
    ‘The horror! The horror!’ – Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now
    – In either case, events are progressing similarly this time to those of housing bubble 1.0 last time, but hey, at least there’s a “China trade deal” now and so “everything’s awesome” again! No worries, mate! Fair dinkum!

    1. With the China trade deal announcement, buckets of Quantitative Whatever, plus unlimited reserves of “everything is awesome” bullish optimism, I wonder why PPT intervention is needed just to keep the headline Wall Street indexes at the flat line?

      1. “…I wonder why PPT intervention is needed just to keep the headline Wall Street indexes at the flat line?”

        They (i.e. the Fed) had a monetary ‘bazooka’ last time around, but still the markets crashed back to earth.:

        If you’ve got a bazooka, and people know you’ve got it, you may not have to take it out.” – Henry “Hank” Paulson

        and then there’s ‘Super’ Mario across the pond, with Eurozone economy still mired in low-growth mode:

        “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. Believe me, it will be enough.” – Mario Draghi

        Part of Austrian economics theory states that a) economic booms are driven by credit expansion and contraction, derived from central bank money supply expansion and contraction, and b) that in order to maintain the (artificial) expansion, continued credit expansion and/or lower and lower interest rates are needed. Well that’s exactly what’s happening here: Repo “bazooka” now ratcheted up to about half-a-trillion (with a T) Yellen bucks (out-of-thin-air, or ex nihilo dollars). The stimulus, due to larger and larger debt levels is having a smaller and smaller effect each time. I don’t think it’s different this time, esp. since central banks are a one trick pony; they only know how to destroy sovereign economies, not repair them. It’s in their nature. China drank the same central bank/Keynesian Kool Aid, but their not letting on, since the State controls the media (kind of like, well, here!)
        Yes, “trillions of fiat money bucks is a lot, but this idiom still applies:
        “Trees don’t grow to the sky.” – German proverb
        Think Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and you won’t be far off.

        “Fiat money eventually always goes back to its intrinsic value – zero” – Voltaire

        Got gold?

        1. The “Everything Bubble” is off the charts at this point. Every asset, including gold, has seen sustained run-ups to the point where it is seemingly topped out.

        1. I was told it was because Deutsche bank was on the verge of collapse due to many loans to China. FED bailout to a German bank. A co-worker read this in a Taiwan newspaper. he said it was unfortunate I don’t read mandarin and US news is crap. IDK ?
          Anyone else hear this or just another conspiratorial thing in the information age.

          1. Interesting. I was guessing that was the problem on this blog just a few days ago. I think the condition of India’s banks is the other reason.

  10. PB, I would say it is flatline for the reason I stated above about the market wanting Trump to capitulate but also because it is already at record highs.

  11. A decade of tapping HELOC’s to keep up with debt has come to an end for many, now that prices are stalling and or falling. Look out below.

    1. They’ve been opening the spigot on HELOCs rather than closing it lately. It seems the fact that house prices are now falling has not dawned on lenders – or they are just blatantly ignoring the vanishing equity.

    1. The FED is propping up the stock market. The fact that they have UNLIMITED fiat care of the printing press, and a balance sheet that is a mystery and not up for audit, makes it unsurprising.

  12. We won!! China will go back to purchasing agriculture goods like it used to!
    Now if only Iran would agree to nuclear inspections! Let’s get to work on that!

    uhg…

  13. The nuclear program is just one problem with Iran. It’s financing of terrorism throughout the world is at least as big a problem. Obama turning over $150 billion dollars only helped Iran fund it’s nuclear program and the terrorist activities. Trump’s sanctions have severely cut Iran’s revenue. Iran’s attempts to force austerity on Iran has led to a backlash which threatens the Mullahs’s rule, it would not have slaughtered 1000 of its own people had it not.

  14. “They’ve got to jump at something before it’s gone, and then they have buyer’s remorse and feel like they overpaid.”

    That was step 1. Step 2 is to default on the FHA loan six months later.

  15. The Framers of this Constitution Republic created a Nation that put personal responsibility on each individual for their pursuit of happiness with Constitution protections.

    The Greek experiment with a pure democracy yielded that the mob would just vote that they be given stuff at the expense of some other group.

    Karl Marx created a Political theory of Communism that the State would provide each according to his ability and each according to his need.

    It pretty clear that Karl Marx was a slacker bum who even proposed that children should be taken care of by the State,.So this bum didn’t even want to take care of the numerous children he sired.

    A Capitalist took care of this bum Karl Marx, who in his childish dreams felt that a State should provide his needs.

    Karl Marks was no better than a college student living in their parents basement demanding that they should be taken care of as well as any children they sire.

    Today we have a movement in Politics to embrace Karl Marks idea that the Big Government will provide ones needs and who will determine what you get. This warped concept of equity in Communism is the opposite of equity.

    The idea that regardless of one’s actions they get their needs at the expense of others was the brainchild of a elitist bum named Karl Marx.

    Communist Countries have failed because people get sick of give me give me slackers that are parasites of productive people who should be rewarded for good action.

    I think it’s important to perceive what kind of man Karl Marx was in real life . It’s to bad Russia and Red China followed this evil misfit Karl .Marx, which resulted in over 100 million getting killed.

    Evil ideas produce evil results. Childish ideas that don’t understand human nature are destined to fail.

    The Framers put up a system that understood human nature, but today we see nothing but a attempt to tear down this legacy of brilliant men. All this done by people who think they are smarter than the lessons of history.

    These people that impeached Trump just torn down what the intent of the Framers of USA Government was. Now the kids in the sandbox are going to scream impeachment anytime they don’t agree with a duly elected President. The Executive Branch is weakened and demeaned.

    Karl Marx prevailed by this impeachment of Trump. Evil prevailed by the Russian investigations and FISA abuse . Evil corruption prevails by the Bidens and Hillary Clinton infractions ignored. They are taking a victory lap.

    Like when the creep Politicans bailed out the criminal culprit Bankers 10 years ago , it’s just as sad to view the Swamp corruption of today.

      1. I have seen so many hearings that my head is spinning. The only hope is that this will backfire on these creeps and they lose power.

        .

        1. Well I am, but not of them. I am frightened that if we do get into a war with China, it is that generation who will be called to protect us. Might have to start learning Mandarin now.

          1. The Chinese are 90% soyboys these days too. But their top 10% is just as hard core and at least as smart as ours and there are 4x as many. All they need is equipment. Good thing China isn’t a mfg powerhouse, [cough]. Luckily for us you can’t make fuel on an assembly line though.

    1. “Now the kids in the sandbox are going to scream impeachment anytime they don’t agree with a duly elected President.”

      Come to think of it, impeaching Slick Willy for lying about a dalliance with an intern already set a pretty low bar for impeachment, and also a precedent for an extremely partisan process.

      1. James Kunstler – “What is the Democratic Party today? Well, it’s the cheerleading squad for “seventeen” government agencies that add up to the craftily-labeled “intel community,” a warm-and-fuzzy coalition of snoops, false witnesses, rogue lawfare cadres, seditionists, and bad-faith artists working sedulously to hide their previous misdeeds with ever-fresh ones. They’re the party against free speech, against due process of law, the party determined to provoke war with Russia. They’re the party of sexual confusion, sexual hysteria, and sexual conflict, the party of kangaroo courts, cancel culture, erasing boundaries (including national borders), and of making up rules for all that as they go along — like the Nazis and Soviets used to do. The ideas and policies they advocate are so comprehensively crazy that their old support of slavery looks quaintly straightforward in comparison.”

        1. “the party determined to provoke war with Russia. They’re the party of sexual confusion, sexual hysteria, and sexual conflict”

          The two are connected. Obama really started to provoke Putin when he cracked down on homosexuality in Russia. The left was incensed with his bringing back the Russian orthodox church and its values in Russia. As I pointed out at the time, Russia had Christmas trees and the government promoted, Obama had a holiday tree.

      2. Clinton’s offense was under oath and was clear perjury but Republicans should have stopped at censure.

      3. Come to think of it, impeaching Slick Willy for lying about a dalliance with an intern already set a pretty low bar for impeachment, and also a precedent for an extremely partisan process.

        Some truth to that, although I think by the time it became an impeachment it was more about the lying and the finger wagging. But on a darker note, he also set the precedent for not leaving just because you were caught. Before him there was also an element of honor (which would be useful to the Ds about now) but he got rid of that. And I don’t think we’ve seen the worst of the consequences of that decision yet.

      4. Yep, lying about sex doesn’t strike me as the high crime that the Framers had in mind to take out a President.

        For me it would have to be something like selling out the Country or what Nixon did. Trump asking for a investigation into prior corruption doesn’t strike me as a crime. In fact I’m wondering why these matter have not been investigated before.

        1. ‘The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated on October 8, 1998, when the United States House of Representatives voted to commence impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, for “high crimes and misdemeanors”. The specific charges against Clinton were lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones and from Clinton’s testimony denying that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.’

          ‘In 1994, Paula Jones filed a lawsuit accusing Clinton of sexual harassment when he was governor of Arkansas. Clinton attempted to delay a trial until after he left office, but in May 1997 the Supreme Court ordered the case to proceed and shortly thereafter the pre-trial discovery process commenced. Jones’s attorneys wanted to prove that Clinton had engaged in a pattern of behavior with women that supported her claims. In late 1997, Linda Tripp began secretly recording conversations with her friend Monica Lewinsky, a former intern and Department of Defense employee. In those recordings, Lewinsky divulged that she had had a sexual relationship with Clinton. Tripp shared this information with Jones’s lawyers, who added Lewinsky to their witness list in December 1997. According to the Starr Report, a U.S. federal government report written by appointed Independent Counsel Ken Starr on his investigation of President Clinton, after Lewinsky appeared on the witness list Clinton began taking steps to conceal their relationship. Some of the steps he took included suggesting to Lewinsky that she file a false affidavit to misdirect the investigation, encouraging her to use cover stories, concealing gifts he had given her, and attempting to help her find gainful employment to try to influence her testimony.’

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Bill_Clinton

          1. Ok , in light of Ben Jones post above me, I guess Bill Clinton’s violations were a little more serious than I remembered.

          2. Snippet: “Afterward, she and the President moved to the Oval Office and talked. According to Ms. Lewinsky: “[H]e was chewing on a cigar. And then he had the cigar in his hand and he was kind of looking at the cigar in . . . sort of a naughty way. And so . . . I looked at the cigar and I looked at him and I said, we can do that, too, some time.”

            Great stories from the whitest house in the country!

    2. From the Foundation for Economic Education:

      These four in ten Americans, and the politicians who speak for them most vocally, are not advocating socialism at all; they are advocating what we should really call “transferism.” Transferism is a system in which one group of people forces a second group to pay for things that the people believe they, or some third group, should have. Transferism isn’t about controlling the means of production. It is about the forced redistribution of what’s produced.

      1. “transferism…”

        That’s just it that movements are done one step at a time. Than before you know it your free speech is taken away and the Big Government announces who the winners and losers will be.

        Reward and punishment is how real life works and any commie attempt to take away that reality is the daydream of childish minds like the slacker bum Karl Marks.

        Have you ever seen how welfare corrupts a person?I’m not talking about emergency relief and short term relief. Even MLK was asking for good jobs and investment in the black community, not welfare, if you examine his speeches.

  16. Yea like there is something in his taxes that the deep state does not know about and failed to use against him. Lol you people never give up on your delusional thinking.

      1. If there was anything to use

        I suppose that lies, accusations and just plain insults are a “thing”.

        BTW Red, I think “intent” is impossible to know without a confession. Possible motive however can be found by the circumstances. Just my thought.

        1. Possible motive however can be found by the circumstances.

          Agreed. The mental gymnastics in the IG Report and impeachment hearings this past week has been mind-boggling. 🤪

  17. There is something magical about the notion of a business cycle that always goes up…kind of like the idea that real estate always goes up. Or that a wave can keep getting bigger and bigger without ever breaking, so long as you keep adding more energy to the force that generates it.

    I guess it could happen, though every wave I personally have ever observed eventually broke.

    The Financial Times
    Opinion The Long View
    Investors grapple with reality of indefinite monetary support
    Markets adjust after bumper year for central bank stimulus
    Michael Mackenzie
    Mandatory Credit: Photo by SAM CORUM/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10474112c) US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the US Senate Joint Economic Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 13 November 2019. The hearing was held to hear Powell’s testimony on the outlook of the economy, which has seen record highs of the S&P 500 stock market.
    Michael Mackenzie 3 hours ago

    One striking aspect of 2019 is that it marks the fastest pace of central bank easing since the financial crisis.

    This support has crushed government bond yields and cushioned the blow of contracting global manufacturing activity, faltering business confidence and falling capital investment. Nascent signs of a bottom in the global economy suggest that the central bank easing campaign has stemmed the risk of a harder landing in the coming year.

    The robust recovery in equities (led by the US and Europe) and most areas of corporate debt in 2019 give the strong impression that sunnier times loom for economic activity and corporate profits. But the role played by the support from central banks cannot be overstated.

    Whether central banks are ultimately successful in their aim of extending the business cycle and affirming rising equity market valuations remains a point of some conjecture among economists and investors. Clarity over US/China trade and Brexit this week propelled global equities beyond their peak set in early 2018. But macroeconomic uncertainty stemming from the US election cycle, a slowing Chinese economy and trade rivalry will not fade as issues during 2020. And global disinflationary pressure remains a gnawing concern among policy officials, as indicated by the latest meetings of the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank this week.

    Both central banks sent a message that monetary policy will stay in easing mode for the foreseeable future, supported by their expanding balance sheets. Investors have been left in little doubt that central banks, led by the Fed, are reluctant to tighten policy and that, in fact, the door remains open for further easing.

  18. Does everyone want to live in Boise now?

    I go there about once a year on business. It’s nice enough, for a cow town.

    1. How do native Boisians feel about the Californication of their communities?

      The hottest housing markets of 2020 are far from the coasts
      By Jacob Passy
      Published: Dec 13, 2019 6:27 a.m. ET
      Home buyers next year are expected to flock to smaller, more affordable cities, according to Realtor.com
      Getty Images/iStockphoto
      Out: Living near the water. In: Living near the mountains.

      Forget Seattle, Denver and San Francisco. Boise, Idaho, is poised to be the hottest housing market at the start of the next decade.

      A new report from Realtor.com identified the housing markets that are expected to see the most notable home sales and price growth in 2020. Boise ranked No. 1, a marked increase from No. 8 a year ago.

      Driving Boise’s climb up the Realtor.com ranking is the massive influx of new residents from pricier parts of the country — in particular, California. Many of these out-of-state buyers are drawn by the city’s mild climate, outdoor lifestyle, strong schools and its major employers, including and Micron Technologies.

      Boise’s already seen a boom in terms of housing. A recent report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed that home prices in the Idaho state capital have risen 11.1% over the last year.

      1. Many of these out-of-state buyers are drawn by the city’s mild climate

        Maybe by Great Lakes standards it’s mild. By coastal California standards winters are frigid.

      2. Boise can have terrible bouts of air quality due to the atmospheric inversion layer. We never experienced anything close living along the Morro Bay – Los Osos coastline.

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