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Housing Bargains Can Scare Off Shoppers Who May Fear They’d Be Buying At Another Market Peak

A report from the Orange County Register in California. “California ranks high on a national scoreboard of yet another unflattering real estate trend: rapidly cooling home appreciation rates. Source: My trusty spreadsheet filled with Federal Housing Finance Agency data. California was home to three of the four biggest coolings among 232 metropolitan areas studied. The No. 1 cold spot was found in the San Jose-Santa Clara market. There, a 10.7-point drop wiped out gains and translated to last year’s 1.88% price loss. Next was San Francisco, which turned 10.4 points cooler to a 1.12% price loss. No. 4 San Rafael was 8.2 points cooler to a 1.93% loss. Cooling appreciation was the norm across Southern California, too.”

“Nothing goes up forever and this cooling may just be much-needed relief. Plus, California and the Western region are, by no means, the only spots for price softness. Appreciation rates were down in 31 of the states and 129 of the 232 metros studied. Meek appreciation, or even price declines, can be good AND bad. It does improve house hunters’ ‘affordability’ challenges. But those same housing ‘bargains’ can scare off some shoppers, folks who may fear they’d be buying at another market peak.”

From News 4 Jax in Florida. “A 275-acre development with close to 1,000 new houses could be on the way in Yulee. The Army Corps of Engineers said it’s received an application for a housing project proposed for west of Old Nassauville Road to be known as Amelia Passage. Vincent Faviano, who lives in Amelia Concourse, bought his house not too long ago and is worried about Amelia Passage affecting property value. ‘You know you have a buyers’ market and a sellers’ market and this is going to end up being so many additional homes in this area that property value has to go down,’ Faviano said.”

From Forbes on Florida. “Grammy award winner DJ Khaled recently lowered the price of his Miami mansion by $600,000, bringing the listing down to $5.99 million. This is the second price drop for the three-story waterfront estate since he put it on the market in December 2018. The ultramodern 6,697-square-foot home is in the prestigious gated community of Island Estates in the suburb of Aventura. It was listed at $7.99 million last December. Since then, it has taken a 25% price cut. Khaled purchased the mansion in December 2015 for $3.84 million. The record executive and producer spent more than $2.5 million remodeling the Mediterranean-style estate.”

From Curbed Boston in Massachusetts. “Unit 1 at 201 Marion Street in busy, busy East Boston hits a kind of modern Boston real estate trifecta. It’s effectively new—the product of a recent gut-renovation that left it with fresh appliances and central air and heat—as well as near the T (in this case the Blue Line’s Airport stop) and relatively affordable. The 690-square-foot two-bedroom, one-bathroom with a patio is asking $449,999. A washer-dryer is included in the price.”

“That asking pencils out to $652 a square foot. Both that per-foot price and the total tag are below the latest going-rate measures for Boston condos. The median condo sales price citywide was $700,000 at the end of January, according to the Greater Boston Association of Realtors. And the average price per square foot was $812.”

From Mansion Global on New York. “Affluent Manhattan house hunters signed 27 contracts for homes priced at $4 million or more in the week ending Sunday, the busiest week for the luxury housing hub so far this year, according to the latest report from Olshan Realty. Sellers of multimillion-dollar homes have had to take a more realistic approach to pricing over the past two years, as changes to federal and city taxes caused sales to slump. Last week, the average home to find a buyer went into contract with a 10% price cut, according to the Olshan report.”

The Denver Post in Colorado. “Above-average snowfall and rising concerns about the coronavirus didn’t put a damper on local home sales last month, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. ‘While the stock market struggled with fears of the spreading coronavirus, real estate stayed strong,’ said Jill Schafer, chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and a local Realtor. Sellers in metro Denver listed 5,122 properties in February, up 5.6% from January and on par with year-ago levels. Buyers closed on 3,429 homes in February, up 3.16% from January.”

The Houston Chronicle in Texas. “While most of the nation saw home foreclosures decrease, demonstrating a housing market recovery, Texas saw a spike in bank-owned properties. Some of these are concentrated in Houston’s suburbs, where vast square footage meets desirable school districts. Take a look at some bank-owned homes for sale south of town.”

“Kingwood: 14 Golf Links Court / list price: $699,000. Built in 2002, this 6,193-square-foot Kingwood home was formerly valued as a million-dollar property, according to a Houston Association of Realtor listing. Sugar Land: 3506 Alcorn Bend Drive / list price: $655,000. This dwelling will need some improvements, but the five-bedroom, 5,181-square-foot interior still has its original bones intact.”

This Post Has 150 Comments
  1. A comment from the Denver article:

    “Michael Steel: What is with the persistently negative tone of Denver Post articles about real estate? Are the Post editors bitter because they cannot afford to buy a home in metro Denver? Are they hoping to drive down prices so they can? Are they mad because they didn’t get into the market?”

    “Average days on the market – twelve, prices up 8.2% over last year, falling inventory, record low mortgage rates is not a market “holding its own.” Those are boom time seller market stats.”

    “The coronavirus is not likely to have any significant effect on real estate.”

    Stamp em Mike…

      1. According to Mike the newspaper is full of bitter renters.

        ‘What is with the persistently negative tone of Denver Post articles about real estate? Are the Post editors bitter because they cannot afford to buy a home in metro Denver? Are they hoping to drive down prices so they can? Are they mad because they didn’t get into the market?’

        1. Too late Mike. But remember this…. Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels. Nothing.

          Denver, CO Housing Prices Crater 17% YOY As On Broker Concedes, “Housing Is Becoming More Worthless With Each Passing Day”

          *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

          Go ahead….. Stamp those feet…. Do it!🤣

          1. “… Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels…”

            Yep. Simple concept. But very, very hard to get across to a whole lot of people.

            I can’t think of one other single consumer product [1] in which price *increases* are considered good thing by some.

            [1] Possible exception: So called collectibles. i.e. Wine, old furniture, etc. I suppose you can always fine someone who is going to pay a lot of money for an Arnold Schwarzenegger action figure in the original package. Why? I have no idea. But those folks do exist. (Maybe the same crowd who buys overpriced Real Estate??)

    1. some of the upper middle class (Lowry, Cherry Creek) are doing well.

      So these fancy pants that have management or medical or tech wages think the sky is the limit.

  2. ‘The No. 1 cold spot was found in the San Jose-Santa Clara market. There, a 10.7-point drop wiped out gains and translated to last year’s 1.88% price loss. Next was San Francisco, which turned 10.4 points cooler to a 1.12% price loss. No. 4 San Rafael was 8.2 points cooler to a 1.93% loss. Cooling appreciation was the norm across Southern California, too’

    Eat yer crowz Thornberg…

    1. Given that real estate statistics are backward looking, I wonder how far prices have dropped in SoCal already?

      1. Proud to say I performed it with her on stage…two separate occasions…as part of a local union backup orchestra! Was in the late 1980s. The woman is a diva, and songwriter Burt Bacharach is one of the coolest humans on the planet.

        1. That’s pretty cool , I remember that song when I was just a kid playing on the radio. Probably my parents were listening to the radio. Not sure who listens to radios anymore around here in S. CA its jam packed with horrible ads now. Pandora for me or maybe YouTube.

        2. Proud to say I performed it with her on stage…

          Cool. I performed with Lee Greenwood multiple times. Can’t remember if I ever backed up anybody more famous that that, I don’t think so. I was on Ralph Emery in Nashville once but it was an interview, no playing.

  3. Centreville, VA Housing Prices Crater 32% YOY As Fairfax County Economy Chokes On Rampant Mortgage Defaults

    As a noted economist said so eloquently, “A house is a rapidly depreciating asset that empties your wallet every day you own it. Rent a house for half the monthly cost of buying it.”

  4. Seems like this disease is pretty contagious.

    March 04, 2020 – 10:33 AM EST
    New York reports four more cases of coronavirus
    By Justine Coleman

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday announced four more coronavirus cases, bringing the state’s total to six confirmed patients.

    The virus spread from a Westchester County attorney to his wife, 20-year-old son, 14-year-old daughter and neighbor who drove him to the hospital, Cuomo said at a press conference.

    Yeshiva University and the Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) Academy and High School, where the son and daughter attend school, respectively, were closed on Wednesday.

      1. Great article, thanks.

        Turns out there’s a very logical reason why flu epidemics have a tendency to originate out of China. And it has nothing to do with bioweapon labs, Etc. 😉

      2. There’s that word again: “rabidmutation”

        (“just like it always was”)

        ” …And, because influenza mutates so rapidly, there’s almost nothing to be learned about the peculiarities of the 1918 virus from looking at the influenzas in circulation today. The only way to find out about the 1918 virus is to find the 1918 virus.”

      3. Gladwell later wrote some smashing best-sellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. I’m in the middle of Blink right now.

    1. Good.gawd! Who’s in charge of this growing Debacle!?

      San Antonio: CDC planned to drop cruise passengers at mall

      By TAMMY WEBBER / today

      Passenger Terri Feil of Houston said a CDC official told them in a conference call Sunday that the mall, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) from the base, was chosen to avoid the media.

      Feil said only people who were not going to the airport were to be dropped off at the mall. The Feils showed The Associated Press a text message they said was from the CDC indicating they were to be dropped off at the entrance by The Cheesecake Factory.

      “My husband was asking, ‘who made this decision?’” said Feil

      Webber reported from Chicago. Associated Press reporters Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Terry Wallace in Dallas contributed to this story.

      1. The bank of Canadia has gone full costco.

        ‘The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points Wednesday in response to the “material negative shock” of the COVID-19 virus. The bank lowered its target for the overnight rate to 1.25 per cent, down from 1.75 per cent. The last time the bank announced a rate cut was in 2015. The move comes one day after G7 finance ministers and central bankers pledged coordinated action in response to the virus. Shortly after Tuesday’s G7 statement, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its key rate by 50 basis points, to a range of 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent.’

        ‘In a news release Wednesday, Bank of Canada officials said much has changed since its last interest rate decision in January. “Before the outbreak, the global economy was showing signs of stabilizing,” the bank said. “However, COVID-19 represents a significant health threat to people in a growing number of countries. In consequence, business activity in some regions has fallen sharply and supply chains have been disrupted.”

        ‘Economic fallout from the virus has also led to lower commodity prices and a decline in the value of the Canadian dollar. “It is likely that as the virus spreads, business and consumer confidence will deteriorate, further depressing activity,” the bank said.’

        1. ‘Jim Bianco, president and CEO of Bianco Research, wrote a column for Bloomberg warning that the coronavirus could affect global supply chains to the point where de-globalization and a nasty re-rating of equities could occur, “I would argue that markets are signaling that the coronavirus is causing a secular shift in thinking [by declining after the Fed rate cut announcement] … the global supply chain, especially if more shortages develop in the coming weeks, will get a rethink similar to the worst-case scenario from the trade wars. This means de-globalization and returning manufacturing processes closer to home… Such de-globalization means a return of inflation … Gone might be the days of the stock-market peak last month, when shares traded at a forward price-to-earnings ratio near 20, one of the highest ever. This was predicated on all- time lows in interest rates and globalization. Now a p/e multiple near 12 to 15 might be the order of the day. This is fancy way of saying stock prices could decline 20% to 30%.”

          “Fed Did Right Thing, But It’s a Whole New Ballgame: Jim Bianco” – Bloomberg

          1. Re: prognostications about manufacturing returning home… Is this a bit overblown? I keep hearing about businesses and factories reopening already in China.

          2. I agree it’s unlikely manufacturing will return home, although I would love to see it.

            It’s much cheaper for China to just say sorry and promise never to do it again!

          3. Inflation? Nonsense – there will massive deflation of ALL ASSETS going forward. MASSIVE!

          4. ” … progno$tication$ about manufacturing returning home”

            It must be happening$, rumor has it, that China is thee.only A$ian country in A$ia!

          5. I think you’ll see Trump (or the Dem successor) make some noises about bringing home manufacturing of strategic items such as medical supplies or prescription drugs or electrical transformers. But I don’t think it will happen.

  5. So instead of Medicare for all, we’ll have bailouts for some — rich asset holders, public employee pensions, etc. Bi-partisan.

    At least the Democrats will allow those born after 1957 to provide themselves with medical marijuana and legal assisted suicide when they get old, after the country goes broke.

    1. The globalists, oligarchs and swamp creatures are making a comeback. Bernie got kneecapped last night.

      If you watched the results live you would have noticed that in states like Maine and Texas, for example, Creepy Joe was losing then came from behind late to win the states. How does it happen that all of the late vote count came in for Biden? Seems a bit suspicious, imo.

      The DNC has full control over this thing. Even in CA where Bernie won, Joe’s late vote count has swelled. He just needs delegates, and that is the largest haul by state.

      1. I’m as suspicious as the next guy when it comes to the DNC. But any chance significantly more of Joe’s fans had day jobs than Bernie’s fans?

          1. Another hundred years of incrementalism in the political process will bring us affordable health care.

            My brother is a self-employed master electrician with no employees. When he gets sick or hurt, he should just die, right?

            Bernie was the wrong messenger with (some of) the right message. Instead of policies that encourage formation of small business and self-employment, let’s just have a few more neo-lib wars and put them on Uncle Sugar’s credit card.

          2. I don’t agree with the neo-lib wars or socialized medicine. Our health care costs are high because we essentially subsidize health care costs for the rest of the world. In order to be profitable (and I’m not saying there aren’t abuses and middlemen, there are) most companies must launch their products in the US first. Single-payer systems outside of the US have tremendous bargaining power. They demand more clinical trials to justify use of new drugs showing benefit to the population versus the individual. They also demand most-favored-nation clauses and prevent increases in drug prices once a product launches. Our current HHS Secretary as the former CEO of Eli Lily knows all of this. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I’ve seen from him.

          3. “neo-lib wars or socialized medicine”

            I don’t agree with slavery either, but that’s what the employer linked health insurance model is.

            The state of Colorado may have a statewide public option health care system starting in 2022. In the least obese state in the country, that might actually work here.

        1. Biden and Bernie remind me of those two old coots in the theater balcony raging on everything at the end of every episode of the Muppets.

          Come to think of it, the whole DNC is a bunch of freaks that resemble the Muppets. I miss that show, but am not a fan of its real life manifestation.

          1. Aren’t all politicians freaks? “Liberal, democrat, conservative, republican … It’s all there to control you; two sides of the same coin! Two management teams bidding for control of the CEO job of slavery incorporated.”

      2. The globalists, oligarchs and swamp creatures are making a comeback. Bernie got kneecapped last night.’

        They want control again not some loose cannon president like we have now. All those loyal will be rewarded, everyone else.. IDK ?

      3. “Bernie got kneecapped” LOL
        Where to start? Biden caught up because the early voting was heavy Sanders.
        Most first time voters voted Biden.
        Only 13% showed up in the 18-29 age group.
        If the oligarchs were as powerful as you suggest, BErnie never would have gotten as far as he did.

      4. “Seems a bit suspicious” … Forwarded asap to:$, Shame.insannity, & Ra$h.limpbaughs

  6. “And so you wanna go to war? We’ll go to war and that is what this is. We cannot let Biden win. Biden’s not going to beat Trump. Biden is either near senile, or actually senile. Watch any of the tapes. And Biden lies nonstop. He’s gonna get caught. Okay, the media is covering for him, but they’re not gonna be able to cover when the republicans come for him or when Trump comes for him. He’s not going to beat Trump.”

    “And now here we go an establishment candidate that is far worse, with mental faculties under question, his record worse than Hillary Clinton’s. He lies 1000 times more than Hillary Clinton did right and you’re gonna run that guy against Trump, and we’re gonna lose to Trump again and possibly lose our democracy? Hell no. Hell no. No. Bernie Sanders is going to win this race.”

    1. February 19, 2013

      ‘The vice president has not one but two shotguns that he says he keeps in a locked cabinet at his house in his home state of Delaware, and he has given his wife, Jill, explicit instructions on how to deal with any would-be intruder. “We live in an area that’s wooded and secluded,” Biden said. “I said, Jill, if there’s ever a problem just walk out on the balcony here … put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.”

      “I promise you whoever’s coming in is not gonna,” Biden said. “You don’t need an AR-15 (assault rifle). It’s harder to aim. It’s harder to use and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself.” “Buy a shotgun,” he said.’

      1. Eye bet he’s afraid the “deep.state” is gonna take his guns away!

        (He drive$ a vette, with aviators, … so cooooool, … 📣 “Go.Joe!”)

        1. Loved that scene in “True Lies” where Arnie, the CA Guvernator! gives Jamie.Lee.Curtis “thee uzzi” & she drops it down the stairs.

          They musta removed the “” label.

          1. In California, ammo requires Prop 65 warnings. The mag capacity limits are not because ‘more bulletz bad’ but rather to leave space in the mag for all the Prop 65 paperwork.

  7. Dems are all in on Creepy Joe! Now Bloomberg has dropped out and endorsed him.

    And look how the stock market is going up after the Biden victory. Contrast to the way it went down after Bernie won. 😉

      1. Aw gee, I guess you got me there. I guess Trump’s behavior IS kinda creepy too. Thank you SO much for hinting at it in hushed tones, or else I never would have had even a whiff that such a thing could be possible. WhatEVER will the Trump supporters do when you finally come down from Mount Sinai with this breaking news?

    1. Even last week the Dems were begging Bloomberg to spend his money to support the Dem candidate.

      1. Naw, x60+Billion$.Bloomy, has per$onally $tated he’ll $pend ton$ to dethrone the “Orange.jesus” … (He’$ knot only is lot$ wealthier than donnie, he’$ still free roamin’ around NYC.)

        1. Yep, lil Mike just roaming around NY with his six bodyguards all armed with guns.

          But no guns for you.

          The contempt from Bloomberg for middle America is obvious. I mean how hard could farming really be?

  8. Harbor Bluffs, FL Housing Prices Crater 14% YOY As Gulf Coast Housing Prices Drop Like A Rock

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As a noted economist said, “I can ask $50k for my run down 10 year old Chevy truck but where is the buyer at that price? So it is with all depreciating asset like houses and cars.”

    1. If she comes back again in a later incarceration, I wonder if she will court the male vote, or continue to act like only womyns’ concern matter?

  9. Eye wonder$ iffin’ aqdanny.boy got this note?

    Home | Market$
    ‘We are giving up on energy’, says Jefferies analyst$, who compares beaten-down sector with ‘62 Mets

    MarketWatch | Published: Mar 4, 2020 | By Andrea R317834

    That’s the decision from analysts at Jefferies, in a note to client$ published Wednesday. By their reckoning, the sector has lost 40% in the year to date.

    As if to underscore how personal that big loss feels, they added, “Energy is the new ’62 Mets.”

    For some context, the 1962 New York Mets are often considered the worst team in major league baseball history. They won only 40 of 160 games that year — put another way, they lost 120 games — a feat never topped by any team since then. They were memorialized in a book by Jimmy Breslin called “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?” The title wasn’t Breslin’s idea: it was something the team’s own manager once said, in disgust.

    (To be fair, the ‘62 New York Mets were an expansion team, created after the Brooklyn Dodgers and Giants left New York City and as a part of the National League expansion. Ultimately, it would take the Mets until 1969 before the team emerged as World Series champs — not too shabby for a seven-year-old team.)

    Energy has also had a terrible losing record lately.

    In fact, the S&P 500 Energy sector is the only sector in an outright bear market, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

  10. Yikes! + (only a misdemeanor?)

    15 hours ago – Health

    Coronavirus patient defies isolation directions to attend N.H. event

    Axios | By Rebecca Falconer

    An employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) who became the first coronavirus patient in New Hampshire defied directions to stay away from other people, state health officials confirmed in a statement Tuesday.

    Despite having been “directed to self-isolate,” the patient attended a private event on Friday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said. The health authority said it issued “an official order of isolation” following the patient’s action.

    It said it’s contacting those who attended the event to recommend they isolate themselves for 14 days. DHMC has identified staff “who may have been exposed through close contact with the patient and will monitor those individuals’ self-monitoring or self-isolating,” the statement added.
    The big picture: The patient’s actions come as coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S., which has now reported over 100 cases and nine deaths. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services confirmed in its statement that there had been a second presumptive positive test result in the state.

    Of note:
    Per the CDC, states “have laws to enforce the use of isolation and quarantine” to control the spread of disease within their borders.

    “In most states, breaking a quarantine order is a criminal misdemeanor,” the CDC notes.

    1. “Minimum Wage Machine dispenses free money at the simple turn of a crank”

      Reminds me of a Quantum Leap episode where a person could withdraw as much as they wanted from an ATM. However, the more you withdrew, the higher your chances of “winning” the lottery, which was a means of population control.

  11. Do they $ell RV’$ in China?


    China Car $ales Drop Record 80% as Viru$ Emptie$ $howrooms

    Bloomberg New$ |March 4, 2020 | — With assistance by Ying Tian, and Matt Turner

    World’s biggest market dealt fresh blow as consumers stay home
    Sales have already slumped for two years amid slowing economy

    China’s car sales had the biggest monthly plunge on record as the coronavirus kept shoppers away, intensifying the pressure on automakers already battling an unprecedented slump before the outbreak.

    The outbreak has paralyzed the industry just as it was looking to gradually halt a two-year decline, with manufacturers now left with little visibility into when sales might recover. Automakers have poured billions of dollars into the world’s largest car market over the past decades in a bet on its growth potential.
    Everyone from market leader Volkswagen AG and electric-car maker Tesla Inc. to smaller local contenders have been pummeled as the spreading Covid-19 outbreak hit both demand and production. Wholesales from carmakers to dealerships probably plunged 86% in February, PCA said.

    Millions of companies in China are in peril as consumers stay home and output at factories remains disrupted. Activity in the country’s manufacturing sector contracted sharply in February, with the official gauge plunging to the lowest level on record.

    Coronavirus May Cause 6% Contraction in China’s GDP

    1. Do they $ell RV’$ in China?

      I saw a couple of camper trailers on display there once, but I’ve never seen a self propelled RV.

      1. I saw a couple of camper trailers

        Or as the Brits call them: caravans. Interesting to see a small hatchback tow an ultralight caravan behind it, when we are used to seeing a massive pickup tow a huge and heavy trailer behind it.

  12. Woe$er & woe$er …

    BUSINE$$ NEW$|MARCH 4, 2020 ,

    United Airline$ $lashes flying, freeze$ hiring on coronavirus$-hit demand

    Reuters | By Tracy Rucinski

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL.O) announced on Wednesday it is cutting domestic, Canadian and international flying and implementing a series of cost-cutting measures, some of the most drastic actions by a U.S. airline to date as the spreading coronavirus has depressed air travel demand.

    In a letter to employees, Chicago-based United said it was reducing U.S. and Canadian flights by 10% and international flying by 20% in the month of April and eyeing similar cuts in May.


    In addition to a hiring freeze, the airline is delaying merit-ba$ed salary increase$ and offering employees the option of taking a voluntary unpaid leave of absence.

    Until now, United had reduced flying only to areas most hit by the coronavirus, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has since spread around the world, with more new cases now appearing outside China than inside.

    The broader reductions follow moves recently announced by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK) and British Airways.

    “The experience of these and other foreign carriers is a further sign that the impact of COVID-19 on our industry – both internationally and here in the U.S. – continues to evolve rapidly,” United said in the letter, signed by CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby.

    The rapid, global spread of the virus has forced airlines to abandon their usual strategies for crisis management.

  13. This could need happen in the U$A!

    Associated Press:

    All $porting event$ in Italy will be played without fan$ for the next month over coronavirus$ fear$

    Published: Mar 4, 2020

    Schools and universities in Italy have been ordered to close until March 15

    MILAN (AP) — All sporting events in Italy will take place without fans present for at least the next month due to the virus outbreak in the country, the Italian government announced on Wednesday.

    That will likely see the Italian soccer league resume in full this weekend after the calendar was pushed back a week.

    Italy is the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak. More than 100 people have died and more than 3,000 have been infected with COVID-19.

    The Italian government issued a new decree on Wednesday evening, with measures it hopes will help contain the spread of the virus.

    All sporting events throughout the country must take place behind closed doors until April 3. Schools and universities have been ordered to close until March 15.

    1. I can’t say that I’ve seen any hoarding in my little burg, though the last time I was at the store was on Monday.

  14. Filed under: How to De$troy a Hou$ing.Bubble.ll (again!)

    Mortgage Lender$ Are Hiring Like Mad to Handle Demand as Rate$ Plunge

    By Shahien Nasiripour and Prashant Gopal

    Home loan firm tells employees ‘kiss your families goodbye’

    Bloomberg | March 4th | — With assistance by Michelle F Davis, and Rob Urban

    “If you’re not making a $1 million this year as a loan officer, you’re grossly incompetent,” Mitchell said. “‘I tell them, ‘We’re not working 40 hours a week, kiss your families goodbye.’”

    For many, there’s never been a better time to borrow. Donny Schulze, a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based loan officer for Embrace Home Loans Inc., said one of his clients on Monday locked a 2.75% interest rate on a Federal Housing Administration-insured 30-year mortgage. The borrower’s down payment was just 3.5%. That was a day before the yield on the 10-year Treasury plunged below 1% for the first time ever. Other firms were also booking loans below 3%, mortgage executives said.

    Schulze is advising some of his customers to wait before agreeing to rates being offered now, telling them that 30-year mortgage rates could drop to 2.5%.

    “There’s not a lot telling me that rates will move up,” Patterson said

    Executives at four of the nation’s 15 biggest mortgage lenders, already gearing up for a busy 2020, anticipate hiring thousands of employees this year to keep up with what they expect to be a flood of demand for purchase loans and refinancings.

    Lenders are zipping through applications so fast that some expect to blow past origination records they set just last year. At Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s largest mortgage lender, Monday was the busiest day for mortgage applications in the company’s 35-year history, said Chief Executive Officer Jay Farner. Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage, meanwhile, approved $2.5 billion of preliminary loans, a single-day record for the company, according to Alex Elezaj, its chief strategy officer.

    The drop in rates, coming as Treasury yields plunge, is taxing an industry that was operating near capacity and setting off a battle for talent. Eric Mitchell, an executive at Michigan-based Gold Star Mortgage Financial, is luring underwriters with signing bonuses and the chance to make big money. That assumes they’re willing to work long hours while the market stays hot.

    1. With zero down at a rate of 3%, you still have a monthly nut of $1,685 not counting PMI, property taxes and insurance at the median price around here. Prices can’t go up much more. There’s no wages to support that monthly. They’ve already stolen the future demand.

      1. “around here”

        I applied for a job in Durango this week. They loved my resume, but they said they can’t afford me after I told them what I’m making in Denver.

        Lot to build on in Durango: $125,000.
        Lot to build on in South Denver: $300,000.

        I guess it’s for the best anyway, it’s not like there’s gonna be any health care infrastructure left in small town America after another decade of “bipartisan” solutions.

        And to all those refi cube farm clowns, save your money and #LearnToCode so you can get a real job after the bubble. I sold HELOCs on commission for a TARP bailout bank in 2004-2005.

        1. Eye like Durango, CO … The steam train ride up & back to Silverton, CO is Awesome!

          Denver, out on the front.range flats … boring. (The mountain skyline view is cool, when ya can see it. & eye do like the remodeled Union Station!) … All.Aboard.Amtrak!

      2. “Prices can’t go up much more. There’s no wages to support that monthly.”

        I agree and kept thinking that the last 4 years here in Colorado Springs but they keep going up with zero signs of slowing down. I keep scratching my head wondering who exactly is buying these houses (same thoughts i had in 2006-07)

        Houses in the neighborhood I rent in that were selling for 250K-ish in 2016-17 are now selling for 350-375K with zero improvements.

        I know what the average salaries are here, they are not going up 10-15% a year, but housing is. I have noticed an upticks in foreclosures in my neighborhood as well, almost all fro house purchased in the last 18 months.

        Never understood why housing inflation is celebrated, but it is.

        Colorado Springs feels worse than Phoenix in 2007.

      1. There are so many people swimming naked right now that it’s almost unbelievable. I look around at all the $75,000 trucks, new RVs, boats, motorcycles, side-by-sides, etc. and wonder to myself which ones don’t have a pot to piss in. You never know until the whole thing comes to an end.

        1. I have to say that I haven’t seen this kind of excess where I live. Yeah, you see some pickups, some motorcycles, some boats, etc. I don’t know anyone with a Motorhome. There is one guy on out street who has a Tesla, and I think it’s the only one in the whole neighborhood. Benzes, Beamers and Audis are few in the neighborhood.

          And I have an anecdote: when a friend from Houston came to visit, he asked if Colorado was “poor”, because he didn’t see the same amount of ostentation he was used to at home.

          1. What part of Colorado are you in? here in the Springs I see plenty 5 figure 5th wheels, RVs and 50K pick up trucks. No idea if they are financed with equity loans or insane 7 year car loans but they are all over the place.

            I just had a discussion yesterday with a co -worker on what Full Size pickup he is going to buy to tow the new 5th wheel he is also buying.

          2. Loveland. Houses on my street are as high as 750K now, and like I said, there might be a luxury car or mega truck in the garage. A few have motorcycles. Don’t recall seeing a single boat, jet ski, motorhome, 5th wheel or a quad in the neighborhood.

            Maybe it’s different up north.

        2. Meanwhile, I’ve been eyeing the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4-door with just about every possible option, that I would pay cash for.

          Disclaimer: I rent and also drive my vehicles into the ground. (The newest vehicle I own is 15 years old)

          1. My dad is working on driving his into the ground. He was super bummed he wasn’t allowed to drive for a few weeks after his bypass surgery.

        3. “There are so many people…”

          The cursory view is a break-out in thirds:

          The top third (who have achieved the formal operations stage of development) own their homes and pay-off their credit cards each month. They can “see” what’s going on and plan accordingly.

          The middle-third are employed, but they’re spending more than they earn, so they’re unable to develop assets. They are often raising two sets of children due to divorce, and they’re in debt up to their eye sockets!

          The bottom third are uneducated and/or unskilled, unemployed or working part-time gigs and are often in failing health. They are typically homeless, and have no access to credit due to bankruptcies.

        4. My area is wall-to-wall beaters, including white vans and old pickups clearly being used for the junk business.

  15. Uh.oh! … (Is there USA national counter on line yet?)

    May bee these fellas will get to catch Ra$h.limpbaugh$ radio broadca$t, were he prognosticate$ that it’s “just.a.cold!” & he insists that he can provide “alternative.fact$” to help you believe him!

    Rocklin Fire, 2 AMR Employees Quarantined After Exposure To Placer County Coronavirus Patient

    March 4, 2020 | Filed Under: Coronavirus, Rocklin News

    Coronavirus Claims First Fatality In California; Patient Was In Placer County

    The patient had been in isolation at the Kaiser Roseville hospital. However, county health officials said 10 Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers and 5 emergency responders had been exposed to the patient and were now in quarantine.

  16. Eye thought$ were “True.Believer$” that the $illy “just.a.cold!” Coronaviru$ was a “Hoax” created to “bring.down” King dtRumpsis?

    Fox New $ Cancels Upfront Due To Coronavirus$ Concerns
    Jill Goldsmith |Deadline | March 4, 2020

    Has Fox News opened the floodgates? The network is the first to cancel its advertisers upfront presentation scheduled for March 24 due to coronavirus concerns.

    “In a precautionary effort to keep our employees, client and agency partners safe, we have determined that it would be best to cancel our upcoming event in New York based on public health concerns due to coronavirus,” Jeff Collins, exec VP, advertising sales, Fox News, said in a statement.

  17. Carolina Beach, NC Housing Prices Crater 14% YOY As Coastal Property Market Turns Toxic On Rampant Mortgage Fraud

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As a noted economist said, “I can ask $50k for my run down 10 year old Chevy truck but where is the buyer at that price? So it is with all depreciating asset like houses and cars.”

      1. Looks like Amazon is now asking everyone to WFH for the rest of the month.

        Time to set a new “days without wearing pants” record!

        1. Time to set a new “days without wearing pants” record!

          Hey! I WFH and I always wear … (runs off to bedroom closet).

    1. Last night MS sent out a “Major Change Update” about their plans to keep O365 and other cloud services going during this emergency. If you’re an O365 admin you’ll see it. They’re taking this as a no-sh1t threat now.

  18. So, first it was “Ok, Boomer.” Now I’ve heard it’s the “Boo Flu,” presumably because of its worse effects on the older generation.

  19. Domestic coronavirus numbers growing as mass testing begins.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency after announcing California had 53 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, including one death.–abc-news-topstories.html

  20. To list or not to list, that is my dilemma. I was planning to list on 3/15 but now I’m not so sure. There isn’t a house I’d want to identify as a replacement property and who knows what the news will bring in the next 10 days.

        1. Joe Biden sez guns have killed 150 million ‘Muricans since 2007. Shouldn’t there be a lot more vacant houses?

  21. The new death rate number is 3.4%. Too bad AlbuquerqueDan isn’t around to explain why it’s wrong and his and the CCP’s 2% number is right.

    Live updates: U.S. coronavirus death toll rises; cruise held off Calif. coast after passengers show symptoms
    As of late February, people have tested positive for the coronavirus in about 70 countries. Officials are taking “unprecedented” actions. (Amber Ferguson, Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)
    By Rick Noack,
    Siobhán O’Grady,
    Michael Brice-Saddler and
    Teo Armus
    March 4, 2020 at 8:20 p.m. PST

    California announced its first coronavirus-linked death Wednesday, bringing the death toll in the United States to 11. The death, which occurred in Placer County in Northern California, is the first U.S. coronavirus fatality to occur outside of Washington state, where a 10th death was confirmed Wednesday.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared a state of emergency in California, and he requested that a cruise ship be held off the coast after confirmation that a number of passengers and crew members aboard had developed symptoms consistent with coronavirus disease.

    Los Angeles County declared a local health emergency as officials confirmed six new cases of coronavirus there, and nine new cases were confirmed in New York. American workers face increasing disruptions to their routines as companies, schools and local governments implement precautions to curb the outbreak, with many firms restricting travel or weighing work-from-home arrangements.

    In China, the outbreak appeared to be easing. Far more new cases were reported outside the country than within, suggesting that Chinese authorities’ draconian efforts to curb transmission may be paying off at home, even as the casualty count mounts elsewhere. The World Health Organization said Tuesday that covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, has killed about 3.4 percent of those diagnosed with the illness — a higher rate than experts previously estimated.

  22. The Financial Times
    US Treasury bonds
    Investors in US Treasuries contemplate yields tumbling to zero
    Markets expect half-point rate cut from the Fed this week to be followed by more
    Below zero on the old analogue thermometer, close up shot, concept of a cold weather
    Sharp fall in 10-year yields has raised the prospect that rates could soon join Japan and the eurozone in the deep
    Colby Smith in New York yesterday

    In the wake of the first emergency interest-rate cut from the US Federal Reserve since the global financial crisis, investors have begun to grapple with a question that was once not even in the back of their minds: could US Treasury yields fall to zero?

    On Tuesday, the central bank slashed its main policy rate by half a percentage point, bringing it down to a range between 1 per cent and 1.25 per cent. The move came in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus, and prompted speculation that the Bank of England and the European Central Bank would soon follow suit with easing measures.

    Still, market reaction to the Fed’s cut was swift and at times unforgiving, suggesting investors thought more radical actions would be needed. US stocks fell dramatically and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield dipped below 1 per cent for the first time. That sharp fall in the 10-year yield — which at the end of last year sat at 1.92 per cent — has raised the prospect that rates could soon close in on zero, joining Japan and the euro area in the deep freeze.

    1. The timeline is disturbing. Two people caught COVID a month ago on the ship and are ill now. It is believed that they caught COVID on the ship. So the ship itself has been contaminated for over a month. Either there’s a superspreader in the crew, or that virus can live for MONTHS in systems like air ducts or sewers.

      1. hat virus can live for MONTHS

        The article says some of the passengers aboard were on the previous cruise.

        1. The article says some of the passengers aboard were on the previous cruise.

          I’ve heard of oldsters seriously talk about living on a cruise ship instead of assisted living, and their argument made sense. However, if it gives the ship long term “memory” for viruses even more than the crew…it really will kill the industry for everyone but assisted living customers.

    2. Got some glossy brochures from Viking for their river and ocean cruises. Big discounts.

      Even though the river cruises only have 200 passengers, the crews work cruise after cruise all summer.

    3. ” …which means the cruise ship industry and all industries associated with the cruise ship industry are $crewed”

      Aw, paw$haw, … without blinking.yer.lying.eye$, you’d accept their dotted line $ignature$, even iffin’ their teen daughter’s was ugly!

  23. Bradenton Beach, FL Housing Prices Crater 17% YOY As Retirement/Vacation Property Demand Plummets As Boomer Demographic Dies Off

    As a noted economist said, “I can ask $50k for my run down 10 year old Chevy truck but where is the buyer at that price? So it is with all depreciating asset like houses and cars.”

  24. News
    Orange County may have 2 new cases of coronavirus
    The cases involve a man in his 60s and a woman in her 30s who had traveled overseas
    This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (Photo courtesy of CDC via AP)
    By Theresa Walker | | Orange County Register
    PUBLISHED: March 3, 2020 at 6:05 p.m. | UPDATED: March 3, 2020 at 8:04 p.m.

    A man in his 60s and a woman in her 30s who had traveled to countries with widespread transmission of the coronavirus could be Orange County’s newest cases of the infectious disease, according to a news release issued late Tuesday afternoon, March 3, by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

    The release referred to “two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19” and said samples tested by the Health Care Agency were being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation. Results are pending.

    If confirmed, that would bring positive cases discovered so far in Orange County to three. The first infected person, who tested positive in February, has recovered, health officials said.

    1. The Financial Times
      Markets Briefing
      Stock rebound stalls despite promises of stimulus

      European markets fall even as Chinese shares hit two-year highs
      updated 9 minutes ago

    2. Dead cat splat?

      Market Extra
      How wild stock-market swings are ‘emotionally and intellectually wearing’ on traders
      Published: March 5, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. ET
      By Mark DeCambre
      1,000 points here, 1,000 points there, and now you’re taking about real stock moves
      Wild days on Wall Street are here to stay? Getty Images
      Referenced Symbols
      DJIA -2.46%
      SPX -2.30%
      COMP -1.96%
      VIX 17.79%

      Over the past few sessions, volatility has reigned supreme on Wall Street.

      Outsize moves in U.S. equity benchmarks have come at a daily clip lately. And you can blame coronavirus or Bernie Sanders or the Federal Reserve, but wild intraday swings and dramatic intersession moves may be here to stay, say strategists and market experts.

      Look no further than Wednesday’s move for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA, -2.463%), which notched a 1,200-point intraday gain, putting it on pace for its best weekly advance, up more than 6.6%, since 2011, as of Wednesday’s close. That is just after the blue-chip gauge, along with the (S&P 500 SPX, -2.302%) and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP, -1.964%) indexes, just registered the worst weekly skid since the 2008 financial crisis.

      1. 10-year Treasury note yield is stuck below 1%

        And here I was considered an idiot for buying long-term bonds when they “can’t go any lower”. Hah!

    1. Uh…they already have exported the coronavirus to countries on every continent except Antarctica.

  25. Nice to see Chuck Schumer threatening Supreme Court Justices in front of a a cheering crowd of abortion-rights protesters in front of the Supreme Court yesterday. I mean it’s not like a Left Wing nut ever went to a baseball field and tried to shoot all the Republican congressmen or anything.

    “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,”

    “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,”

    1. I hit the post button just as Schumer came on saying outrage is being “manufactured” about what he said yesterday.

    2. I mean it’s not like a Left Wing nut ever went to a baseball field and tried to shoot all the Republican congressmen or anything.

      Remember Waters encouraging people to harass conservatives when they are out in public? I hope Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are carrying or have bodyguards when out in public.

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