skip to Main Content
thehousingbubble@gmail.com

Really, Are You As Rich As You Think You Are?

A report from the East Hampton Star in New York. “There is already evidence of a real estate slump in the United States. The average price of luxury home sales is falling, as is the number of sales. Long Island specifically is suffering as sales decrease and homes lose value. This is rather astonishing given that the rest of the economy is still on steroids.”

From Patch New York. “Hundreds of new buildings with thousands of units are slated to open up in 2020 during what promises to be a tumultuous year for New York City’s real estate market, experts say. The glut of high-priced luxury homes hitting the market during a presidential election means anything is possible in 2020, experts said. ‘There is a disconnect between what buyers are seeking and what developers are offering,’ added CORE market analyst Garrett Derderian.”

From Curbed Boston in Massachusetts. “Declining prices? Check. Slowing construction? Check. More cautious prospective buyers and shrinking inventory? Check and check. The Boston-area housing market is poised to have a much different 2020 compared with the previous few years. What seemed once like the surest thing—putting your place on the market in the Boston area at a desired price—seems less sure now.”

The Santa Cruz Sentinel in California. “November’s median price, the midpoint of single-family homes sold in the county, dropped from $911,250 a year ago to $889,500, according to Gary Gangnes of Real Options Realty, who tracks the numbers. One single-family home that sold close to the median in November, at $884,000, is at 161 Belmont St. in Santa Cruz. Frank Murphy and his team at Keller Williams Santa Cruz, were the seller’s agent in the sale. The home, originally listed at $949,000, was on the market for 29 days before the owner accepted an offer, he said. ‘Sale prices are holding steady,’ Murphy said.”

“A lot of what happens in real estate depends on what people perceive to be happening, Murphy said, and not what is actually happening. For example, people outside of the real estate market will see a price reduction on a home and think other houses will do the same, he said, when the seller had a ‘misinformed idea’ about the value of the home and needed to adjust it.”

The Star Beacon on Ohio. “Janis Dorsten, a broker for Gillespie Realty LLC., said she has been working with foreclosures for more than a decade and continues to be busy even though the volume and intensity of the crisis between 2008 and 2015 has abated. She said social and economic changes made foreclosing a way out of a bad situation that was formerly only a possibility in the worst of circumstances. ‘It is not happening as much,’ Dorsten said, but has noticed a slight uptick in 2019.”

“Working with people in foreclosure is very difficult because their financial situations have taken such a bad turn. Dorsten said people are just trying to keep the housing and lights on and haven’t paid their mortgage for months. She said they try and get the person to work with the bank to save the home, but it is often too late. ‘I work with houses where you go ‘Oh my goodness,’ she said of the condition of the homes.”

The Canadian Press. “Housing assessments are in the mail for nearly two million homeowners in British Columbia, but those in Vancouver may have already searched their properties online to learn that values have fallen dramatically. The figures released Thursday by BC Assessment show the typical value of a single-family home in Vancouver has dropped 11 per cent, from $1.76 million to $1.57 million, as of July 1, 2019. The decline is more dramatic in the costly University Endowment Lands on the city’s west side, where average single-family home values fell 16 per cent from $5.9 million to $4.95 million. The average value of condominiums in Vancouver also fell by seven per cent, from $740,000 to $686,000.”

“Vancouver’s housing prices saw large gains from 2015 to 2017 that were unrelated to local incomes, prompting a flurry of intervention by all three levels of government. The current downturn reflects the ongoing stabilization of the market, said Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program. ‘This is part of a really important conversation here, which is really, how precarious was the market? Is it realistic to expect 15, 20 per cent increases per year?’ he asked. ‘How much of this is really meant to tap on the brakes before the vehicle breaks down on you?'”

“Federal measures including the mortgage stress test and more rigorous identity and income verification have had an impact, along with new taxes imposed by the provincial and Vancouver governments, he said. The province levied a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver in 2016 that recently rose to 20 per cent and expanded to other areas including Greater Victoria and the Fraser Valley. Yan also said China has made it more difficult to move money out of the country, potentially reducing the flow of foreign capital to B.C.”

“The new assessments may ground homeowners to a more realistic understanding of their actual wealth as opposed to their wealth on paper, he said. ‘Really, are you as rich as you think you are?’ he asked.”

This Post Has 136 Comments
  1. ‘The current downturn reflects the ongoing stabilization of the market…‘This is part of a really important conversation here, which is really, how precarious was the market? Is it realistic to expect 15, 20 per cent increases per year?’ he asked. ‘How much of this is really meant to tap on the brakes before the vehicle breaks down on you?’

    This should be something all of the REIC has to answer to. How precarious? Year after compounding year, they pushed and pressured weak minds into thinking this was a no-lose, one way bet. Then they’re like Boston – fooked.

    Think back just months ago. For how long were we told “prices are going up faster than wages” yet “loans are rock solid”. The only way shack prices can outpace incomes for long periods is crappier loans and fraud.

  2. ‘A lot of what happens in real estate depends on what people perceive to be happening, Murphy said, and not what is actually happening. For example, people outside of the real estate market will see a price reduction on a home and think other houses will do the same, he said, when the seller had a ‘misinformed idea’ about the value of the home and needed to adjust it’

    I wonder how they became misinformed Frank.

    1. “…people outside of the real estate market will see a price reduction on a home and think other houses will do the same…”

      Of course, for years prior, the REIC party line was when 1 home in a neighborhood goes *up* in “value”, all others will follow in lock step. Your personal stairway to $$$ heaven.

      1. I wrote to a realtor who wrote me “with prices falling and interest rates low, it’s a great time to buy!” So I said hi I think things are overpriced are you willing to write lowish offers and she said sure and I’ll provide comps to justify the offer. Lol. The problem is that the recent comps aren’t low enough!!! Do you think she’ll provide comps related to wages, range of housing prices and distribution of incomes, speculation levels and forecasts for such? Or just the most recent highest sale prices?

        1. “…“with prices falling and interest rates low, it’s a great time to buy!…”

          My question to your REIC agent: In the history of the REIC has there every been *not* a ‘great time to buy’?

          REIC agents will then provide whatever made up nonsense to justify purchase. (probably highest comps)

        2. “Do you think she’ll provide comps related to wages, range of housing prices and distribution of incomes, speculation levels and forecasts for such? Or just the most recent highest sale prices?”

          Your county tax assessors office can provide you with a snapshot of recent sales prices around the neighborhood that you are watching. Timing the bottom is difficult to do in an economy driven by credit cycles because the little people don’t know when the credit spigot will be opened.

          1. Sure, but I’m not trying to time the bottom just trying to avoid the tippy top! The REIC here will say appreciation is slowing but still happening and I can see that may be true but I also see some selling attempts at prices lower than what it was bought for a year or so ago.

  3. Long Island specifically is suffering as sales decrease and homes lose value. This is rather astonishing given that the rest of the economy is still on steroids.”

    More MSM hogwash. The economy isn’t on “steroids”; this so-faux “boom” is due solely to the crack cocaine being mainstreamed into the financial system by at least $16 trillion in Fed printing-press “stimulus” while the real, productive economy is being systematically looted by the Fed’s financial oligarchy accomplices. The fraud of this debt-based “prosperity” will be exposed once loan delinquencies go parabolic and cascading defaults hit real estate developers later this year.

    1. I consider the eCONomy to be “on steroids.” It’s fake, not natural, just like the physique of a bodybuilder on steroids.

      1. Without home equity cash outs I suspect that sales of pickups, fancy SUVs, etc. will crash. What percentage of cars were being financed with HELOCs during the previous bubble? I seem to recall that it was 40% and that’s about how much cars sales dropped during the Great Recession.

        1. And last time, as I recall, people were paying their car loans before their mortgages. Methinks that fact is part of the reason why Santander only verified income on 6% of their subprime auto loans, pushing through the other 94% without so much as a looksee, a$$uming people would behave the same way this time around. The problem for them is that cars are so expensive that a car payment is as much as an old mortgage.

      2. “It’s fake, not natural, just like the physique of a bodybuilder on steroids.”

        James Baldwin would say that it’s like a loaf of Wonder White Bread…just puffed-up air!

  4. “Declining prices? Check. Slowing construction? Check. More cautious prospective buyers and shrinking inventory? Check and check. The Boston-area housing market is poised to have a much different 2020 compared with the previous few years.

    Gosh, this almost looks like a bursting bubble.

    1. I wonder what happened to that HBB poster in Boston who was contemplating buying the home he was renting. IIRC the house itself was falling apart. We all told him not to buy. I hope he didn’t.

      1. HBB poster in Boston

        One Bostonian (Jay?) was thinking of making an offer in January/February on a house that he’d liked for years but I got the impression he didn’t live in it. Another Bostonian (Suze?) didn’t seem in any rush to buy. Is there a third Bostonian?

        1. Hmm, I think you’re right that it was Jay. Vaguely I recall he lived in one floor of an old house which had been converted to a duplex, and he was contemplating buying the whole house and converting it back to single family. I believe he was single, so he had the option of either living in it or re-sell it. But it needed A LOT of restoration work to be livable. That’s why we told him not to buy. If you’re going to spend 100+ large to restore an old house, you’d better buy cheap.

        2. Yep, I’m still here. Lowly renter, cowering at cocktail parties amongst the landed gentry, land-lords and ladies.

          I’ve been watching this particular condo in Gloucester, a solid 60 minutes drive north from Boston (with no traffic). Gee, it listed for $559K in April 2019 and now it’s down to 435K.

          https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/158-Hesperus-Ave-APT-3-Gloucester-MA-01930/56045902_zpid/?

          If it wasn’t an hour away, wasn’t a 3rd floor walk up, had more than one bathroom, and it didn’t have a $550 month HOA fee…..

          Prices do seem to be falling. Cambridge is still very pricey….although Zillow reports the market temperature is “cool” and it’s a buyer’s market. This condo “gut reno” listed at $899,900 in September 2019 and four months later has dropped a cool (almost) 100K to $799,999. Positively cool and clinical in it’s millennial gray styling. And such history – built in 1869, not too long after the end of the civil war!

          https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/116-Reed-St-1-Cambridge-MA-02140/2104253601_zpid/

          1. condo in Gloucester

            I don’t know what you do for a living, or if you have to stay close to your family, but taking out a 30 year loan on that overpriced attic condo conversion would be nuts.

          2. The upper cabinet to the left of the kitchen sink in the Cambridge property has an unfinished bottom! The staging in the office is also ridiculous.

          3. Halfway between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA is an economic wasteland, where any job is considered a good job. Median HOUSEHOLD incomes are still in the $3X,XXX range. You used to be able to find old craftsman fixers for $35,000. You can now find those same houses listed at 10x that amount, after some lipstick-on-a-pig flip job.

          4. “Lynn, Lynn the city of sin….you never come out the way you came in.” That’s a little ditty I remember from my childhood living in the Boston area.

            Condo prices in Lynn have reportedly increased by 116% since 2012. Lynn includes a pleasant seaside promenade and a beach that I used to swim in as a kid (doubt I’d venture in these days). Sections of Lynn are quite gritty and it is known for it’s opioid problem. That said, it does have some nice, big old Victorians/condos….that have doubled in price in a short time period.

            Re: Gloucester condo: yes, watching for entertainment mainly although I have considered relocating. No, I’m not planning to take out a 30 year mortgage at my tender age, nor do I wish to continue living in a top floor walk-up! Studies have shown that people who live in upper floor walk-ups live longer but it gets to be a hassle with bundles and aging knees.

          5. “Halfway between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA is an economic wasteland, where any job is considered a good job.”

            Sound like that flood plain, Chehalis?

      1. Ann Arbor with a tax rate in 2019 of 2.55% just voted for an additional 2 mils for the schools to give them a BILLION additional $s over 10 years for like HVAC . Because sometimes it’s not quite perfect. Teachers were even against it because they’d been screwed and not given raises or resources for years with the bloated administrative ranks crying poverty. But voters here —especially in off year elections when there is nothing else on the ballot —always say yes to virtue-signal -y things without even learning about the specifics. This was closer than usual though—somehow more people than usual weren’t excited to give on average merely another 40$ a month for the children.

  5. “The new assessments may ground homeowners to a more realistic understanding of their actual wealth as opposed to their wealth on paper, he said. ‘Really, are you as rich as you think you are?’ he asked.”

    The more pressing question these FBs might want to ponder is, how much more fake wealth is going to evaporate once the central bankers’ Everything Bubble implodes under the weight of its own debt, fraud, and mark-to-fantasy valuations?

    1. If they cashed out equity hopefully they didn’t spend it all on granite countertops or whatever.

      1. Home improvements are generally considered acceptable uses for HELOCs and cash-outs, provided you have equity and don’t take out too much cash. Granite countertops and windows at least retain some of their value on resale.

        Boats and boobs, in the other hand… 🙄

          1. Salma Hayek’s bought boobs on display at the Golden Globes last night created quite the Twitter storm.

        1. Replacing functional working items with another material pencils out to zero dollars. 100% loss.

        2. countertops and windows at least retain some of their value

          A small fraction. To make such “investments” with borrowed money is financial stupidity.

          1. Expansive soils are a common problem in parts of the Centennial state. I know of people whose windows were damaged as their house shifted and who had to replace most if not all their windows.

            As for fancy countertops, they are stupidly expensive compared to formica. But above a certain price point they are expected if you want to sell.

          2. I wouldn’t call it full-on stupidity; it’s all a matter of degree. if someone has really old decor and lot of equity, then it’s not a terrible thing to take a little out to update the house. I could do that now, but as the Swollen Cheeto says, my items are functional and working for the moment. And, as I told a friend, my goal is to burn the note, and I’ll never do that if I keep upping the number on the note. So, I’m saving up for the improvements little by little.

          3. And these are the same fools that borrowed for 15 or 30 years for a rapidly depreciating asset.

    2. Wealth don’t evaporate…they merely change hands. Just like energy don’t get destroy but they transform from one form to another. In this case, for someone to buy at the peak bubble price, someone would have to sell at peak bubble price. That money is still there somewhere though the speculators (foreign or local) are getting a good a$$-pounding. I think this money will go into other bubbles like the bond and stocks bubbles.

      1. stocks bubbles

        My RMD from an inherited IRA is quite nice this year! Unfortunately, it’s going towards our horrendous health care expenses courtesy of Obamacare.

      2. Wealth don’t evaporate…they merely change hands”

        it evaporates if it GAPS down in price which it does in a crash.

      3. don’t get destroy

        You must be thinking about “real money”. The illusion of wealth created out of thin air by credit expansion certainly can return to the nothing that it came from.

          1. This is what is killing me about my current situation. Husband and I came from nothing, we had to support parents before they died so no inherited IRAs like so many peers have or parental support as younglings or newbie parents. We’ve for various reasons not bought a shack previously but saved some cash and stored for kids and retirement and he wants to convert the real money into the pretend wealth except at this point in the cycle I doubt that the values could do anything but fall! He just doesn’t care. But at the same time he’s really frugal in many ways and when the monthly cost of this foolishness proves to be higher than he expected, he’ll want to rebudget for rice and beans. I’m not a filet and champagne kinda gal but I’m not going to digest those beans well I don’t think

          2. he wants to convert the real money into the pretend wealth

            Have you asked him how he would really feel if that hard-earned “real money” used for a down payment evaporated after converting it to housing “wealth”? Or if it’s worth risking your marriage over?

      4. If wealth is created by increased prices and these increased prices evaporate then the associated wealth evaporates.

        If debt was exchanged for this wealth then all that is left after the wealth has evaporated is the debt.

        1. I keep telling husband, who said the other day, I’ll be less pissy when I own my space, oh you mean when you owe for your space.

          1. In this case logic will not suffice. Tell him you are mortally afraid of going deep into debt right now.

          2. “In this case logic will not suffice. Tell him you are mortally afraid of going deep into debt right now.”
            Lol I’ve tried and it’s funny that you mention that just now because his latest tactic is to tell me I have an anxiety disorder! He’s got cannon fodder for that blast because having grown up in bad circumstances I have some issues sure. But he’ll pathologize me at will for less important things. One aspect of this joyful shack search is the idea of living in this weird outskirt here — it’s violently dangerous like 5 blocks from “nice” little subs planted in recent years out in ex (and some current) farmland. It’s weird, it’s a friggin ghetto of low cost townhouse Apartments and some SFHs with actual gun play shootings etc etc with a 1/4 mile of field between its 1 mile radius plunked into the wild and homes marketed to folks who work at the nearby Toyota Hyundai and other technical centers nearby. Schools are terrible but ours are done with them and houses are newer and cheaper than closer to town. I hate this idea— I would rather be in an actual urban and dangerous area like where I grew up than in the woods with outposts of desperation 1/4 mile away like some freakin mad max outpost. That’s my anxiety disorder talking then he’s decided. See how this works?! Also Further along in that one direction you hit the chunkier crime-ridden area in full sub-Urban-y blast, only save-your-soul center after praise-be-god-why-not-live-differently outpost and a liquor store and a bunch of trailer parks. I’ve told him why not buy one of the waaaaay cheaper shacks closer to the projects? At least we’d be able to afford ammo right? Wtf? This is an affordable living solution for people who make like twice the median area income?! In what but the bubbliest universe does this make sense?!

          3. I’ve told him why not buy one of the waaaaay cheaper shacks closer to the projects? At least we’d be able to afford ammo right? Wtf?

            Classic.

            I think most people on here have at least some anxiety or they wouldn’t be here, but that’s a topic for another day :-).

            I’ve been through divorce. It sucked. But I think I’d rather go through it again than do what he’s asking you to do.

  6. Really, are you as rich as you think you are?’

    – Well, are you, punk?

    – The ‘wealth effect’ cuts both ways…

    “You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.” – Warren Buffett

  7. From Curbed Boston in Massachusetts. “Declining prices? Check. Slowing construction? Check. More cautious prospective buyers and shrinking inventory? Check and check.“

    – Same scenario, different MSA. “Beware the Billy Goat.”
    – “When the homeowners cry and the Realtors lie, that’s Ebola.”

    1. Nonsense. I was told Boston only ever goes up. To the moon, straight line. If I don’t buy now and “get on the ladder” I will be priced out FOREVER.

      1. That is correct! The Boston Globe even said so, in a July 2019 article: “If You Don’t Already Own a Home in Massachusetts, it May Be Too Late”.

        That one sent shivers up my spine.

    2. When you’re sliding in to third and the market’s sinking like a turd…
      That’s ebola, that’s ebola.

  8. They have Trillion$$$$$$$ of tool$, now $uddenly, they need MORE new power$ & tool$!

    Economy & Politic$ |Federal Re$erve

    Yellen says regulator$ need new power$ to combat potential a$$et bubble$

    Former Fed chairwoman backs restrictions on credit growth and limits on mortgage lending

    MarketWatch | Jan. 6th 2020 | By Greg Robb
    Financial stability concerns may hamstring the Fed’s efforts to slash rates to boost demand, she noted.

    Speaking on the same panel, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said it would be best to make sure that financial institutions are holding more capital.

    The alternative, limiting a bank’s ability to make loans, only makes a downturn worse, he noted.

    Already, experts said that the shadow banking sector is growing at a rapid clip in the U.S. given the search for yield.

    Read: Shadow banking is growing, creating uncertain risks for the economy

    Regulator$ still don’t know exactly who is inve$ting in some of these new non-bank$ and the worry is that they are using borrowed fund$ to do so, thus creating a ri$ky “leverage-on-leverage” environment.

    In a panel discussion, Yellen said these low rates “could engender risks to financial stability as investors reach for yield and take on leverage.”

    Given the environment, countries need strong tool kits to fight potential asset bubbles “and this is something that is lacking in the United States,” Yellen said.

    In other countries, regulators have tools to restrain rapid credit growth and the ability for regulators to place limits on loan-to-value ratios for mortgage lending.

    “I believe such tools are needed here to free monetary policy to focus on monetary policy objectives,”

  9. I’m listening to the AEI loan conference. Credit tightening “significant” and across the board.

      1. Their focus is government guarantee entities: Fannie Freddie FHA and USDA etc. FHA is still going long on the riskiest loans. Mandates from FHFA are forcing their hands. Still a long way to go undoing Mel Watt era.

        1. Here’s a title:

          ‘The FHFA Director has set as a goal the de-risking of the GSEs’ footprint. High risk loans (those with an MRI greater than or equal to a 12% stressed default rate) currently account for 21% of their July-September footprint and could be eliminated. The GSEs’ high risk loans are about evenly split between purchase loans and refis. The biggest risk drivers are purchase loans with CLTVs > 95%, DTIs > 43%, and refis.’

          1. Another:

            ‘Over three-quarters of the GSE business today is noncore related. Core business is defined as the acquisition of conforming limit loans of sustainable risk that finance the purchase of a primary owner occupied residence. Noncore business has at least one of the following attributes: cash out refinance, no cash out refinance, second home, investor home, above the conforming loan limit, DTI > 43%, or CLTV > 95%. There is still plenty of room to de-risk the GSEs and shrink their footprint.’

            Cash-out refi has “exploded.”

          2. ‘Agency Total, Refi, and Purchase Loan Counts’

            ‘Agency volume was up a whopping 70% from a year ago. The increase was primarily driven by an increase in refi volume due to significantly lower interest rates, which have fallen sharply since November 2018.Compared to a year ago, no-cash out refi volume was up 622% and cash out volume was up 64%.’

          3. Cash-out refi has “exploded.”

            If it’s finished appreciating then it’s time to sell it to the bank.

          4. San Jose, CA Rental Rates Crater 11% YOY As Bay Area Housing Prices Plummet

            …Don’t forget to select price from rental chart.

            As a noted economist said, “Houses are rapidly depreciating assets that empty your wallet everyday it owns you.”

    1. Great resource. I listened to the November AEI podcast and the phrase “credit tightening” was repeated often. They said FHA, first time buyers and composite were all down yoy, FHA down “substantially.”

  10. See what happens, ya start off trying to save.the.whales in the ’70’s, now it’s bats & koala’s! (Anywho’s, all they really need is rakes, just a little raking, fire problems solved! … $ad)

    Reuters |WORLD NEWS | JANUARY 5, 2020

    Koala mittens and joey pouches: Australian bushfires spark global knitting frenzy

    By: Jane Wardell, Nur-Asna Sanusi

    The Animal Rescue Craft Guild said on Monday it has been deluged with offers of help after putting out a call for volunteers to make bat wraps, joey pouches, birds nests, possum boxes, koala mittens and other snuggly homes for marsupials.

    Donations to the volunteer-run group have come in from as far afield as the United States, Britain, Hong Kong, France and Germany.

    “It’s been going crazy,” Belinda Orellana, a founding member of the guild, told Reuters. “The response has been amazing.”

    Blazes across Australia in recent weeks have scorched through 8 million hectares of bushland, an area the size of Austria.

    Some experts estimates put the number of animals, including domestic pets and livestock, killed as high as half a billion, with potentially hundreds of thousands of injured and displaced native wildlife.

    “It’s the poor little souls that survived where we come in,” said Orellana. “Our group creates and supplies items to rescue groups and carers around the country who take in and care for the wildlife.”

    Orellana said the guild supplied thousands of rescue groups around the country and demand was growing, adding there was urgent need for fabric donations.

    Originally formed a few months ago to make dog and cat beds and coats for animal pounds, the guild’s Facebook page has 75,000 members. Many of the crafters have crocheted, knitted and sewed a range of items including koala mittens for burned paws and pouches for infant “joey” kangaroos who have lost their mothers.

    Lara Mackay, a new volunteer who lives in New Zealand, has just made her first makeshift joey pouch, which she enlisted her cat to test out at home.

    “I’m planning to make as many as possible and am asking fabric outlets for fabric donations to sew,” Mackay told Reuters.

    In Singapore, Leslie Kok was working on her fourth joey pouch and meeting up with other volunteers to share materials and tips.

    “I will knit as long as there is a need for the pouches,” Kok said.

    Closer to the fires, Simone Watts in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, saw the plea for help and set to work turning pillow cases into beds for bats or flying foxes.

  11. Takes more than raking but controlled burns are essential. They were stopped because the zealots of the AGW religion did not want to add co2 to the atmosphere. Quite ironic given what is happening. Again and again AGW zealots are actually hurting the environment. Diesel was pushed in Europe to reduce co2 emissions is another example

    1. I think diesel caught on initially in Europe because it was taxed much less than gasoline and diesel cars get better mpgs. It was about consumers saving money because the PTB jacked gasoline taxes up the wazoo.

      1. True Colorado, but using less gallons was promoted as a way to reduce co2 emissions. The truly dirty air was ignored despite being real pollution because co2 emissions were being reduced. I am tired of a beneficial gas being used as an excuse to kill birds, fill the environment with toxic metals as cadmium and fill dumps with unrecyclable Carbon composite fibres in the name of the environment. It is about crony capitalism and world government.

        1. I think the surge in diesel sales in Europe caught the PTB by surprise. And they had to know what it was going to do to air quality in major cities, so I don’t see any reason why they would have promoted it. In many Euro cities diesels are now forbidden.

      2. Maybe the best option is to physically remove the underbrush and small trees and burn the stuff for fuel or make sawdust or compost. But of course that’s ridiculously expensive.

      3. “I think diesel caught on initially in Europe because…”

        Check out the specs on the diesel 2020 Audi SQ5 TDI…347-hp and 517-ft*lbs of torque! Of course, turbo diesel is not for sale here in politically correct, gelded cuck land unless it’s one of the big-three’s $70k pickup trucks.

        1. Given that diesel cars are banned or in processed of being banned in most major Euro metro areas, they too are cucked. Diesel car sales in Europe have dropped over 50% since 2015.

          Elon must be rubbing his hands in anticipation.

          1. So many Euro zone cities are worried about modern diesel NOx while so many homes are still heated with coal pellets producing that awful smelling air not to mention the latent radon.

  12. Since newish Audi RS3s aren’t depreciating like normal German small near-luxury cars would usually do, I made the call to keep driving my old car for now and look harder at Tesla Model Y Performance in a few more years.

    Got the big turbos put on the 335xi over Christmas, tuning an ethanol mix over the last week. Dynos at 550awhp, having a ton of fun playing with the software. We’ll see how hard it is to keep it running for a few more years at this power level.

      1. It’s a manual. I have a almost-race clutch to solve that weak link, the transmission itself doesn’t seem to be an issue in these cars.

        1. Cool. I have heard of manual gearboxes giving up the ghost when subject to too much power. But yeah, slushboxes are very susceptible to power beyond the original specs.

          1. Yeah, depends on the car. But my experience is that below a certain limit manuals last almost forever…and that limit varies for each car. For mine it seems to be very high.

            Automatics on the other hand, die more often but at least give you some warning compared to a manual that’s fine until it’s suddenly completely destroyed as the other gears try to play rock crusher with the remains of the one that gave up. Or in the case of Japanese AWD drive cars, with the remains of the center diff that just failed catastrophically. I went through many iterations of that 15-20 years ago on my Mitsubishi. By the end I knew what it take to make it bulletproof but it took a lot of bad experiences to get to that point. Luckily the parts were cheap.

      1. Good points. But that third row can still be critical for some people sometimes, even if it only fits kids. Another thought I had when I saw the truck was that they need to make THAT into a big SUV. It would sell a lot I think.

        1. make THAT into a big SUV

          Does increasing the tonnage make it more or less exciting to drive?

          When my little kids were in the back seat, I drove rather conservatively in my old Firebird.

          1. Does increasing the tonnage make it more or less exciting to drive?

            With enough power almost anything can be fun to drive…if you enjoy overpowered messes like I do. A car that was designed for all the power from the beginning isn’t as fun as one that’s pushed far beyond it’s original design. IMO.

            Got to take my coworkers for joyrides today while I have ethanol in it. Fun times were had by all. No tickets, no breakage. They were amused that I was continuing to datalog and make software changes between runs.

          1. He also said that the first prototype of his Mars rocket should launch in a few months. It seems that overpromising on schedules is a way of life for him. Will SpaceX launch a crewed Dragon capsule this year?

          2. I still maintain that The Boring Company, which is the most boring (of course), will be Musk’s most successful venture.

    1. The first one:

      1/11/2020 Home in default $222,726 past due
      11/3/2016 Loan issued $215,350

      A loan was issued by QUICKEN LOANS INC on 11/3/2016 in the amount of $215,350.

      The second:

      12/14/2019 Home in default $300,373 past due
      8/28/2016 Loan issued $289,975

      A loan was issued by THE FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK on 8/28/2016 in the amount of $289,975.

      1. Defaults from 2016 loans? Unpossible! According to the press, prices were still shooting to the moon until, like, last week or whatever.

        P.S. Ben, I’m interested in the “potentially huge auction trend” you discovered and mentioned earlier. Hope you can clue us in soon!

    2. That Moose Creek house was listed at $80k in 2009, sold for $285k in 2016. Or up +256% in 7 years. Totally normal, definitely not a bubble.

  13. Long-time lurker, posted a few times a few years ago, nothing lately. Just curious — whatever happened with the sinking tower of San Francisco?

    I did basic search and it appears there was a tenament settlement of some kind back in August:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/29/millennium-tower-san-francisco-settlement-leaning

    Only going to cost them 100 million dollars:

    “Details of the settlement remained under wraps as they were reached during confidential mediation, but it would require Millennium Partners and Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) to pay for the $100m plan to fix the building. The settlement would also require the defendants pay every homeowner in the building for their estimated losses caused by the notoriety, McCarthy said, but it is unknown how much each resident will receive.

    “Even with the fix, there’s still going to be some stigma to the property,” he said. “You see tour buses go down Mission Street that stop and point out Millennium Tower. At some point, when these people try and resell their units, the stigma from the sink and tilt will reduce the value of what it should be.””

  14. El Dorado Hills, CA Housing Prices Crater 10% YOY As One Sacramento Area Broker Discloses, “Sub-Prime Mortgages Are Our Bread And Butter For Over 10 Years

    https://www.zillow.com/el-dorado-hills-ca/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

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

  15. I have been completely wrong about everything the past 5 years. I never thought the stock market could do what it’s done, I never thought it possible for house prices to hyperinflate, once again, to the levels we see today. I never thought auto prices could continue to outpace wages in such a grotesque fashion, I never thought the doubling of rents was possible – I never saw any of this. I feel just like I did in 2005, like everybody is rich and I am slowly falling behind. I don’t have any debt, mind you, but I am subjected to the increase in the cost of living.

    1. I have been completely wrong…I don’t have any debt

      You did the one thing that can keep you whole and maintain a higher standard of living. That’s no mistake!

      The side of the road will be littered with the bones of those debtors who appeared to be getting “ahead”.

    2. I have been completely wrong about everything the past 5 years.

      I’m with you. But keeping that in mind, we have to think about what can they still do that we don’t think they can?

    3. I never thought the doubling of rents was possible ”

      I did see rents going up with Blackrock buying everything in sight 2012.
      I remember the movie “its a wonderful life” except it’s not Hollywood in the real life. I think Blackrock has sold out by now probably to Calpers or some other stupid money fund.

      Stock market ? I think its share buybacks with borrowed money.

    4. I never thought auto prices could continue to outpace wages in such a grotesque fashion

      My current set of wheels is 7 years old. It runs fine, but has some rattles and the interior is showing a little wear. To replace it with something new and comparable would cost close to $40K, which is a lot more than I paid 7 years ago, so forget it. If something breaks (like a rear trailing arm that began to creak over speed bumps) it usually happens once in a blue moon and isn’t all that much to get fixed, in the case of the trailing arm, it was $250, and would have been even less had I done it myself.

    5. “I feel just like I did in 2005, like everybody is rich and I am slowly falling behind. I don’t have any debt, mind you, but I am subjected to the increase in the cost of living.”

      Best of all your betters are going to tap you to help pay down their client’s debts. The window dressing says it’s a republic, but in practice it’s a democracy. Then you’re dead.

Comments are closed.

Back To Top