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A Lot Of People Will Be Unable To Sell Or Rent Those Homes

A report from CNBC. “CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday delivered a dire message about the financial future. ‘Home buying had been a real engine of the old economy. I’m betting these numbers collapse,’ Cramer said. ‘The whole housing cohort’s a house of pain until we get this virus contained.'”

From Yahoo Finance on New York. “The luxury housing market in New York City is grinding to a halt at the hands of the novel coronavirus. In recent years, the luxury market in the city has been experiencing a glut of inventory. Even when the stock market was reaching record highs In 2019, the high-end real estate market remained weak — puzzling since the real estate market usually correlates with the stock market. Now that the stock market has turned, things are likely to get ugly for the housing market.”

“‘I have no expectations going forward for contracts signed at $4 million and above. If a few trickle in, I would expect that the buyers got fabulous deals bordering on steals,’ wrote Donna Olshan, president of her namesake brokerage. ‘Between the coronavirus and the stock market finishing its worst first quarter in history, real estate looks bleak—if you are a seller.'”

The Daily Independent in Arizona. “‘It is very early in this process,’ said Mark Stapp, executive director at The Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. ‘Only in the last two weeks has there been any data to show any profound effect. You are starting to see Escrows cancel.’ Mr. Stapp also offers the perspective that much of the rental marketplace accounts for a significant amount of the overall housing marketplace in the Phoenix metropolitan area. “

“‘The growth of the single-family market buys by institutional buyers followed by the ibuyers and the advent of the single-family, short-term rental market: those three things together were consuming a lot of inventory making the inventory tight,’ he explained. ‘What happens when those stop? A lot of people will be unable to sell or rent those homes. These are things that are going to happen over the next few weeks.'”

The Colorado Springs Gazette. “If home seekers who’ve lost jobs can’t qualify for mortgages or if jittery buyers stay put in rental properties rather than taking on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in monthly house payments, the single-family market could see its first downturn since the Great Recession.”

“‘March seemed to be still strong, but I have a feeling it’s coming,’ said Carrie Bartow, board president of the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs. ‘People are not going to be able to qualify for mortgages or the person that could have qualified in February for a mortgage may not be able to qualify for a mortgage in May because of the change in their employment situation.'”

The Santa Fe Reporter in New Mexico. “An analysis that accompanies the report says as early as February, as COVID-19 sent the stock market on a downward trajectory, lending markets for homebuyers changed too. ‘With volatility across all the financial markets, lenders began tightening underwriting standards and some buyers found they no longer were approved for a loan,’ it reads. Santa Fe Properties broker Dave Feldt agrees that’s the area where Santa Feans could see big change. Lending has always been based on past performance such as job history, he says, but now lenders are looking forward with questions such as ‘What do applicants have for jobs right now? If all the sudden the applicants for the loan have both been furloughed,’ he says, lenders are ‘done.'”

“That means speculation and upsizing could slow. ‘The advice I give to clients, and I think this is reasonably solid, ‘If you are buying a house, buy a house because you need a place to live, and you need to stay there and you need to be able to stay there,’ he says. ‘But if you are trying to keep leveraging up and all those other things, that may be thinking of the past.'”

From US News and World Report. “The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into all facets of life, including paying rent or the mortgage for some, and for those in a better financial position, buying a home, selling one or moving to a new rental. The more financially strained homeowners are, the more houses you’re likely to see for sale and the fewer buyers there will be, which is typical of a market at the beginning of a recession. ‘I expect prices to go down a bit after this, and I expect people to be able to buy maybe their dream home that they wouldn’t be able to buy before this,’ says Daniel de la Vega, president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Coral Gables, Florida.”

“Sellers who are interested in a quick real estate deal through an iBuyer, like Opendoor or Zillow Offers, will have to wait. Both Opendoor and Zillow Offers, as well as similar firms, have paused transactions. This reduces the chances that iBuyer employees are exposed to COVID-19, and it also reduces the chances of mass attempts to liquidate homes for cash in a financial panic.”

The Turlock Journal in California. “As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the U.S. economy and ghosts of recessions past arise, many people have one question on their mind: How will all of this affect the housing market? On Wednesday, Central Valley real estate team The Del Real Group hosted an informational webinar in Stanislaus County. ‘We hear a lot about 2008 — is this 2008? Is this going to be a housing crash? People are freaking out,’ real estate agent Daniel Del Real said.”

With construction deemed essential and the development of homes moving forward during the pandemic, real estate agent Aaron West said the market is headed toward what most would consider a ‘normal’ state, rather than the seller’s market that existed prior to the pandemic.”

The Orange County Register in California. “I’m worried about median home prices dropping 15% by the end of 2020. In the past few weeks, I’ve taken more than two dozen calls from clients and column readers with high anxiety about their jobs and businesses. How will they continue to make their house payments? What we are also seeing is an almost insurmountable amount of coronavirus-related challenges to get both purchase and refinance mortgages funded. Here is just a sampling of the stressors.”

“The Internal Revenue Service has temporarily stopped validating the accuracy of tax returns for mortgage lenders. This is especially challenging when it comes to self-employed borrowers. The good news is many lenders have workarounds. Mortgage payoff demand statements, HOA documents, employment verifications subordination agreements are taking several weeks in some cases. Property access is a challenge when interior home inspections and interior appraisal inspections may be required.”

“Mortgage companies largely do not have sufficient staffing to manage the current heavy refinance application volume. Working remotely creates additional delays and obstacles for underwriters and loan processors. Pre-funding employment verifications and still-in-business company verifications add that much more lender detective work.”

From People.”Kaley Cuoco has sold her Mediterranean-style villa in Tarzana, Calif., for $3.95 million after almost a year on the market. The actress, 34, first listed the private, gated home for $6.9 million in May 2019, just as the hit show came to an end after twelve seasons. After three months with no takers, she cut the price by over $2 million. The final sale price is $2.95 million (or about 42 percent) less than her original listing.”

“Cuoco originally purchased the home from Khloé Kardashian for $5.5 million in 2014, according to Variety’s Dirt.com, meaning she lost over $1.5 million on the purchase.”

From Realtor.com. “The singer and pianist Michael Feinstein has had a devil of a time trying to sell his grand mansion in Southern California. The golden-voiced singer initially listed his Tudor Revival-style mansion in the Los Feliz neighborhood in April 2018 for $26 million. As the months flew by, the classic residence popped on and off the market, with a number of price cuts. Two weeks ago, it reappeared on the market for $9,995,000—a staggering 62% off its original list price.”

This Post Has 144 Comments
  1. I’m planning posts on lending, commercial real estate and international later today. Lots happening.

    ‘Home buying had been a real engine of the old economy. I’m betting these numbers collapse…The whole housing cohort’s a house of pain until we get this virus contained’

    ‘Sir, this is a Wendy’s.’

    1. “jittery buyers stay put in rental properties”

      No jitters, and I’m not buying.

      If the economy craters to the point that renting here no longer makes financial sense, I’ll move out of state and buy acreage for cash so I can grow my own vegetables and raise livestock.

      1. What states are options for states you are looking at as of now. I’ve been looking at lake front property in South Carolina and Georgia. I’m currently in Florida in the Tampa/St. Pete’s area.

        1. I enjoyed by stays on the shores of Lake Greenwood back in my misspent youth. Of course, some of that enjoyment was from the company I was keeping at the time.

          Central SC is a nice place to settle.

      1. Hotel and AirBnB demand are both dead until after the quarantine measures end. Reputable hotels may fare relatively better in recovery, if they convince travelers that COVID-19 safeguards are in place.

        1. 2/3 of the ICU patients in the U.K. are obese. To make sense of that statistic, one needs to know what fraction of all UK residents are obese.

    1. Here’s another map, showing projections by state:

      http://covid19.healthdata.org/projections

      This isn’t peer reviewed data, and it’s a model, so it could be wrong. But the trend is promising: hospital stays are expected to peak anywhere from now until the end of May, depending on social distancing. By July this is supposed to be mostly burned out, again assuming social distancing. I don’t believe this includes the use of masks, which basically enhances social distancing. I wonder if it includes the candidate drug treatments.

  2. My daughter is in Bellingham, WA, which is a college town supported by students at WWU. They’ve gone on-line for the Spring quarter, so a large number of students have left town, ignoring their leases. Summer is always lean too until Fall nears. My daughter is actively looking for a rental deal right now from someone who has owned outright for years. The rest of the student market has been gamed-up by the over-leveraged REIC. The entire downtown area caterers to the student crowd, so the sheets of plywood are coming soon. The area should be an interesting place to model from an economics point of view.

    1. ” …so the sheets of plywood are coming soon.”

      $peaking of “Coming $oon!” :

      “Pro$perity is just around the corner!” Herbie Hoover 1929
      $ad.

      Early in his term, Hoover won high marks for progre$$ive measure$, such as the National Institute of Health; construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River; and labor, banking, and penal reforms. But his unfortunate place in American history was sealed in the wake of the “Black Thursday” $tock market$ cra$h of Oct. 24, 1929.

      In the months immediately following, Hoover coaxed the Federal Re$erve Board to increa$e the money $upply and to make more credit available. But his insistence that, “Prosperity is just around the corner” rang hollow in the face of rapidly growing unemployment and mounting bank failures. In the words of journalist Walter Lippmann, Hoover came to seem “an irresolute and easily frightened man.”

      He also, in 1930, signed the widely criticized and protectioni$t “Hawley-$moot Tariff Act,” which served to deepen the already entrenched Depre$$ion

      1. Hmmm…One guy to blame for decades of excess by the entire population. That seems right. It’s even easier if they wear a black suit so we know who the bad guy is at the beginning.

        1. History has given a disproportionate share of the blame and credit for U.S. economic experience to the occupant of the White House.

          1. True enough. I don’t like the current occupant very much, but what is happening was 40 years in the making. He might have slithered to a second term before it did without the virus.

            The cast of characters opposed to him isn’t much either. Nor are the leaders of the House and Senate. We need a sweeping generational change.

            Don’t just anyone who was over age 12 but under age 30 at the moment when someone said “don’t trust anyone over 30.”

          2. USA President’s (No $he’$ yet!) i the one that get$ the re$pon$ibility of this National Hope: “Leader$hip”

            $ad, …but true.

        2. ” …exce$$ by the entire population”

          $orry pal, don’t$ be draggin’ me$elf into yer POV!

      2. When we sold a rental last year, our realtor confidently said we wouldn’t have another recession until 2023, and it wouldn’t effect housing much. Unemployment is at lows, wages are up, rents are up. I could tell he thought I was stupid for waiting for a recession before buying again. And that I thought the recession would come soon, though I didn’t know Etsy would trigger it. I responded by saying that the strength he’s describing is pretty much the same situation we had prior to the depression – low unemployment, housing and rents doubling over a decade, wage increases, people parting, credit flowing. And after the crash, housing was cut in half. Landlords were grateful to have tenants who would pay enough to cover expenses.

        After the last recession, I heard of blackrock -or was it black stone?- buying up a lot of foreclosed properties and starting the trend of jacking up rents in our area. I’ve been wondering for awhile if when we get a big crash, if they aren’t going to be the first in line to try to unload those rentals? Also expecting even more fraud, gross mismanagement, and ponzu schemes coming out in the open.

        1. We need a sweeping generational change ??

          Term limits…One 6 year term and then out for both houses…Same for POTUS…One 6 year term…No Pensions…That should cull the heard of power hungry leaches…

          1. No Pensions…That should cull the heard of power hungry leaches…

            I don’t think “pensions” are the mainstream of the money flows.

        2. if they aren’t going to be the first in line to try to unload those rentals? ”

          I think they already did and realtors are idiots

    2. The rest of the student market has been gamed-up by the over-leveraged REIC. The entire downtown area caterers to the student crowd, so the sheets of plywood are coming soon.

      – The business model for “luxury student housing” model was broken from the get-go. It’s an oxymoron, like “jumbo shrimp.” There was never a market for it. This was discussed and documented on this HBB.

      -Standard student housing is now set to contract significantly due to the sudden shift to online learning to to CV.

      – Students will quickly learn that online learning is so cool, rad, sweet, etc. Students will also quickly realize that tuition is WAY too high and who needs room and board, when I can learn at home, from virtually any state our country.

      – Higher ed (.edu) is a cartel that’s about to loose it’s monopoly status. The higher ed bubble was already popping. Cause was as in the case of all of the other bubbles: Government (i.e. taxpayer) guarantees of stratospheric loans (student loans in this case).

      – Enrollments at brick and mortar universities have already been declining, along with those fat tuition payments for “diversity officers”, and the rest of the extremely bloated bureaucracy. Meanwhile, adjunct professors are “living the dream” at poverty wages.

      – Change is a good thing. The CV pandemic is only going to accelerate the trend that was already in place. Bubbles popping everywhere. They always do.

      1. That will work for most liberal arts majors, especially if you can get everyone on video cam via Skype or Zoom or similar.

        But you’re still going to needs physical facilities for STEM labs and trade schools and the performing arts. I guess schools could join into some kind of accreditation partnership to offer unlimited credit transfer for lab classes offered near the student’s home. Or schools themselves could decide to be on-campus only. Oh sure, some will argue that you can learn science and engineering online. I’m skeptical about that. It will be interesting to see how an online degree would be viewed vs. an in-person degree for the same major.

        But no matter how it shakes out, luxury student housing is TOAST, as it should be.

        1. It will be interesting to see how an online degree would be viewed vs. an in-person degree

          I don’t think the barriers are all that high. My first job as an engineer was very focused on my field of study and the grades I got in all those “labs”. None of the labs focused on the actual technique of the employer. The next job was unrelated in technique to the first and my qualifications were mostly the things I bragged about doing at the first job. I had to show an engineering diploma. Grades didn’t matter. A few jobs later they didn’t actually confirm that I had a diploma and they certainly didn’t care what the field of study was, only my work experience. I spent the last two and a half decades working as a mechanical engineer despite my degree being in chemical engineering. Running a distillation column in college lab always irrelevant. They just want to know you can think and learn and do. A year of actual OJT is worth more than all the college labs. Just my take.

      2. Actually, i am hearing from folks close to the WA Dems (Murray, Cantwell) that they will insist on student loan forgiveness – so best of all worlds for the students that borrowed $100k for a basket weaving degree

      3. I suspect that online education will become far more widely recognized as a viable low-cost alternative for higher education to the traditional ivory tower experience on campus. I have two sons who abruptly shifted to an all-online course format over the past two weeks.

        1. shifted to an all-online course format over the past two weeks ??

          Santa Clara University sent everyone home several weeks ago…Remainder of the school year is online…

        2. I have two sons who abruptly shifted to an all-online course format over the past two weeks.” yea me too and we fight over the computer chair because I am also working from home on PCB Design. Had to figure out how to turn the Wirebond layer on because my boss wants my designs to be easy to copy by our teams in Vietnam and China. So they get to hear me cuss at the computer program just like if I was at work. I use jabber and WebEx and keep my camera off sorry boss not working… And the microwave oven disrupts the WiFi which is weird ? Is it leaking? putting RF noise on the AC power line ? Maybe I should borrow a spec analyzer from work .

          1. Electrical engineer here, with an old leaky microwave oven of my own. The problem is that the microwave operates very near the frequency range of the older 2.4 GHz WiFi. There is a huge power difference between a 1500W magnetron and the puny FCC-limited power output of the WiFi router.

            One suggestion: Try the 5 GHz band. If your WiFi router doesn’t support it, it’s pretty old and might be a security hazard anyhow. You will probably have less interference there than on 2.4 GHz.

        3. Online Study is great for SOME. However, online/home-study success is heavily reliant on self-discipline of the student, hence the high dropout and failure rates:
          “Online courses have a 10% to 20% higher failed retention rate than traditional classroom environments (Herbert, 2006). Totally, 40% to 80% online students drop out of online classes.”

      4. A lot of learning cannot be done effectively, nor well, remotely. This is a stopgap measure for now, and I am hearing it is quite bumpy.

        There’s a reason most of the online schools have a poor reputation, they deliver cookie cutter information delivery with little pedagogical consideration to delivery. Ever try to hire one of these graduates? Tons of research on how most students perform exceptionally poorly with self-directed online education. It’s better for continuing education than anything else.

        A LOT needs to change about higher ed, including the financing model. But, attending a lecture is only one part of the experience, especially for STEM and business majors, where co-located collaboration, labs, etc.. are a key part of the experience.

        Enrollments are down due to demograhpic changes. Many small colleges will get killed off or absorbed, and the big players will only get bigger. I know we all hate the bloated higher-ed model and administration on here, but there is still yet to be any educational delivery method more effective than a 4 year degree.

        1. Although nearly impossible to quantify, especially in the short-term, I suspect success in careers connected to certain Major areas is correlated with the social skills acquired in face-to-face interactions experienced in the classroom and campus environment.
          Already, I’ve read treatises about younger folks happily chatting in with others in the insulated internet cyberworld but, conversely are terrified of face-to-face interaction with self-same peers.
          This may not be such a huge deal with Accounting Majors, but could be, with say, Business Management. Skyping may help, but I suspect still won’t be effective in preparing students for the real world as the on-campus experience.

    3. Bellingham was primed for a price correction even before the virus. It used to be a fairly affordable place. However, over the last decade home prices have run way ahead of what the local economy can support.

      1. “However, over the last decade home prices have run way ahead of what the local economy can support.”

        Indeed. My daughter is “leasing a bedroom” among a motley bunch of snowflakes within a single family investment home from one of the shyster RE management firms in town. Two have already departed presumably skipping-out on their individual lease.

        1. Read the lease, especially if you as a parent signed the lease as a Guarantor. Most student housing leases have a “jointly or severally” clause that stipulates if any of the roommates skips out on the shared living arrangement, the rest are liable for the deadbeats’ share of the rent and utilities. There’s no way in hell I’d be a Guarantor on a lease like that under the current circumstances.

          1. “Read the lease, especially if you as a parent signed the lease as a Guarantor.”

            I didn’t co-sign. The property management firm wanted a co-signer, but in the end they needed the money. I (we) wanted her to stay in the dorms, but she was stubborn.

            “Most student housing leases have a “jointly or severally” clause that stipulates if any of the roommates skips out on the shared living arrangement, the rest are liable for the deadbeats’ share of the rent and utilities.”

            I reckon so, but I have not seen the lease.

          2. Her lease expires on Aug 31st, so she’ll be spending the summer there unless a better place surfaces in the meantime; then it’s two rents. It’s a great lesson for her with minimal downside impact. Actually, I glad she’s getting this experience, which she’ll likely never forget.

          3. I (we) wanted her to stay in the dorms, but she was stubborn.

            Is she paying, or you? Is this little angel pulling the strings?

          4. Years ago I signed my last lease renewal. Later I was checking my credit report and was surprised to see that I owed $20,000+ to the management company, as a debt to be paid off. Well, I guess it raised my FICO score.

          5. “Is this little angel pulling the strings?”

            You can’t exert your will on a young woman without breaking her spirit, which she’ll need in her future to deal with rutting men and pugnacious women. The best I can do is support her financially and explain the benefits and consequences.

        2. presumably skipping-out on their individual lease ??

          Credit score goes bye-bye…Good luck with your next rental…

        3. My daughter is “leasing a bedroom” My sons leasing a bedroom and hes home and I am still paying rent , annoying for sure. lease is up in August . If I get laid off its no more paying so sorry.

          1. “Most student housing leases have a “jointly or severally” clause that stipulates if any of the roommates skips out on the shared living arrangement, the rest are liable for the deadbeats’ share of the rent and utilities.”

            With me I rent the bed that’s it , hes a junior at UC Davis so the pain is almost over for me… the PhD is on him. Genetics major. I told him to take a virology class might come in handy.

      2. Bellingham was primed for a price correction even before the virus. It used to be a fairly affordable place. However, over the last decade home prices have run way ahead of what the local economy can support.

        You can count the entirety of western WA in this statement.

  3. someone who has owned outright for years

    Ahhhh you caught my little trick…..been doing this most of my life renting from older folks or those who inherited the house, who dont need to get every last dollar out of me to survive.

  4. Signed all the title companies closing papers and getting very close to wrapping up my sale of my Tampa Bay winter condo. And than I will be out of FL Thank Goodness! Even without the virus I was glad to be out of FL It is so messed up; not that anywhere else is paradise but I could fill a page of the systematic/troubling issues with Florida!

  5. Nice overall summary here:

    The Santa Fe Reporter in New Mexico.
    ” ‘What do applicants have for jobs right now? If all the sudden the applicants for the loan have both been furloughed,’ he says, lenders are ‘done.‘ ”

    That means speculation and upsizing could slow. ‘The advice I give to clients, and I think this is reasonably solid, ‘If you are buying a house, buy a house because you need a place to live, and you need to stay there and you need to be able to stay there,’ he says. ‘But if you are trying to keep leveraging up and all those other things, that may be thinking of the past.’

    – This applies to the U.S. economy, but is broadly applicable in many Western nations:
    – Manufacturing was outsourced to China over the past several decades. Many jobs with good salaries went with it.
    – Enter financialization, with particular emphasis on real estate. RE and the service sector largely replaced the manufacturing base. This was supported by high debt levels; high debt levels necessitated ultra-low rates. Low rates and easy credit led to serial asset bubbles, with the Fed as chief pusher and enabler.
    – For the third time in 20 years, the financial heroin supply chain has suddenly been cut. Bubbles always pop. There are “corrections” to “correct” the financial imbalances, malinvestments, and misallocation of capital from the previous expansion. The Fed is trying to prevent this, but it’s not possible. The SHTF for the third time in 20 years, but this is the third, and largest, the “everything” bubble. The depth of the unwind is proportional to the size of the excesses on the way up. Plan accordingly.

  6. Woman cuts line at Shady Maple, slaps another for not maintaining social distancing

    by CBS21 News
    Thursday, April 2nd 2020

    LANCASTER COUNTY — The East Earl Township Police Department are trying to identify a woman they say cut the deli line and a slapped another customer for being to close to her.

    Police say on April 2 around 8:30 a.m. the pictured woman cut the deli line at the Shady Maple Farm Market. After cutting the line, she angrily accused customers around her of not maintaining social distancing.

    When confronted by a customer, police say the suspect slapped the other customer and quickly left the store.

    https://news4sanantonio.com/news/coronavirus/woman-cuts-line-at-shady-maple-slaps-another-for-not-maintaining-social-distancing

    1. suspect slapped the other customer ??

      People “already” on edge…If it gets a lot worse, which it may, that’s when the guns come out…Plywood on the windows are not going to help…Desperate people will take what they need…Criminal elements will take what they want…Then its Marshall law…

      1. No it wont happen, because that will require D Mayors to call out the guard on their own voters. Instead they will let them loot and then blame Trump for not doing his job.

      2. they will let them loot ??

        Not when the looting comes to neighborhoods…Thats when the guns come out…There are a lot of valuables behind some of those front doors…

      3. People “already” on edge…If it gets a lot worse, which it may, that’s when the guns come out…Plywood on the windows are not going to help…Desperate people will take what they need…Criminal elements will take what they want…Then its Marshall law…’

        And the police will be nowhere around cause they will be sick with CV and under staffed.

        When anti-gun co-workers tell me guns will be no use against the government because they have tanks they don’t really get it.

      4. Never wanted to need a gun. However, after 08′ crash, I figured it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. There’s already been a massive increase in homeless folks wandering the streets before CV19 and it’s not going to get better.
        If anyone comes banging on my door, I’ll feel a hell of a lot better with my pistol in hand instead of a baseball bat, mace or a knife.

        1. Great Uncle Cal, lived through the dust bowl on a Central Kansas farm along the Santa Fe Trail. He was tall, wiry and soft spoken. I’ve been to his house back when. There was a billy club always hung on the inside of the front door. By habit, he opened the door with his right hand unseen on the handle of that. I never asked him if he had used it.

          1. I wonder if your uncle knew my Kansas relatives, though Grandpa had already headed east of his Kansas homestead to become a small town southern Illinois K-8 schoolteacher by the time of the Great Depression.

          2. I was in Kansas with my great uncle Rudolph in July 1969, at the time the Apollo 11 moonwalk was taking place and broadcast live on TV. He insisted during the entire broadcast that the whole thing was a Hollywood production and a hoax: “A man cannot walk on the moon!”

    2. We had an all out cat fight at the local Safeway when one woman cut in front of another. The video was great — and since its a small town everyone knows who the two women are. Responding police officers called it mutual combat and sent the women on their way. They couldn’t have arrested them anyway as the local jail is only accepting
      people arrested for felonies and domestic violence.

  7. Oh dear…I hope none of these WeWork wanna-be IPO millions counted their chickens before they hatched, and signed mortgages on overpriced shacks and skyboxes. Lots of Millennials who thought they’d ride the Fed’s Everything Bubble to untold speculative riches are now getting the shock of their life.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-03/some-wework-staff-planned-their-lives-around-a-stock-deal-that-just-collapsed?srnd=premium-middle-east&sref=5CqwjcI3

    Less than a year ago, WeWork was on pace for an IPO that would add to the rolls of tech millionaires. New York was bracing for an infusion of wealth akin to the bonanza that beset Silicon Valley overnight when Facebook Inc. went public in 2012. An IPO or multibillion-dollar stock transaction like the one SoftBank agreed to with WeWork provides the seed money for people to buy homes and start businesses. For WeWork, those opportunities evaporated with little forewarning, coming as a shock to some shareholders who had already begun laying the foundation for their new lives.

    1. How long will they be able to wait for a bailout to rescue them before they go down with the Titanic?

    2. As someone who was involved in Stess tests and living wills for a TBTF Bank early it will be interesting to see how the banks handle it.
      Some of the scenarios were worse than what I think is happening now.
      I guess we will find out!

  8. ‘Home buying had been a real engine of the old economy. I’m betting these numbers collapse,’ Cramer said.

    Looks like Mr. “Bear Stearns is fine!” is trying to redeem himself by telling the truth for once.

    1. I’m always impressed when an attorney speaks the unvarnished truth. Desperate times warrant desperate measures.

  9. “If home seekers who’ve lost jobs can’t qualify for mortgages or if jittery buyers stay put in rental properties rather than taking on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in monthly house payments, the single-family market could see its first downturn since the Great Recession.”

    I’m staying put in my rental house, but I’m not a jittery buyer. I’m a serene renter enjoying my celebratory adult beverage as insanely overpriced shack prices start to shed trillions in artificial Yellen Bux valuations. Calm as a cucumber, that’s me, whereas my debt donkey neighbors are as nervous as a six-year-old at the Neverland Ranch.

    1. I’m loosely paraphrasing here, but, a Doctor/expert discussing CV19 on youtube said he was lecturing on CV19 to a room full of Wall Streeters. He said the “Q and A” at the end of the lecture was like having scared toddlers asking him how to walk into the dark hallway. They were all scared sh*tless.

  10. ‘We hear a lot about 2008 — is this 2008? Is this going to be a housing crash? People are freaking out,’ real estate agent Daniel Del Real said.”

    I’m not freaking out. I’m rather enjoying the spectacle of the Fed’s Everything Bubble imploding and true price discovery laying waste to 11 years of speculative malinvestment.

    I love the smell of panic in the morning. It smells like…victory.

    1. “Is this 2008?” No one would be asking this if they didn’t already know it was true all along.

    2. Also, weren’t people “freaking out” when house prices doubled and tripled in less than a decade? When they were signing offers on the hoods of their cars at open houses? Out-bidding each other by hundreds of thousands of borrowed dollars? Panic buying WAS the freak out. This is just return to reason.

        1. +1
          Intense Greed+Fear=Desperation-driven irrational, impulsive risk-taking behavior.
          Intense Painful Reality+fear=Desperation-driven paralyzing inaction and/or mental instability-driven behavior.

  11. What we are also seeing is an almost insurmountable amount of coronavirus-related challenges to get both purchase and refinance mortgages funded.

    Coronavirus may have been the pin the popped the bubble, but the Fed’s Ponzi markets and asset bubbles were imploding under the weight of their own hubris, mark-to-fantasy accounting, and debt long before a customer at a Wuhan wet market dined on a sick bat or scaly mammal.

  12. Two weeks ago, it reappeared on the market for $9,995,000—a staggering 62% off its original list price.”

    And from his self-imposed exile on Butt-hurt Island, that REIC shill who assured us that it was purely and simply unconceivable for shack prices to drop 50%, stamps his little feet with renewed fury.

  13. Does it seem like the Fed’s various recent lifesaving exercises are already forgotten?

    Economic Preview
    Coronavirus has capsized the U.S. economy and it’s still sinking to even lower depths
    Published: April 4, 2020 at 9:28 a.m. ET
    By Jeffry Bartash
    Mass layoffs send consumer confidence plunging; prices to follow
    The coronavrus is causing large segments of the U.S economy to sink like the Titanic, but there’s hope the economy can start to be refloated later in the summer. Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Like the sinking Titanic, every major bellwether on the U.S. economy is plunging to uncharted depths.

    The upcoming week won’t be any exception. The historic pace of layoffs — some 10 million jobs in the last two weeks of March — probably won’t slow much in April, if at all.

    Wall Street is bracing for up to 5 million new jobless claims in the first week of the month, suggesting the number of jobs lost because of the coronavirus pandemic has already topped 15 million.

  14. Are quarantine measures good or bad for a marriage? I guess it depends. My wife and I are getting along better than usual so far, due in part to her having dropped many time consuming tasks that normally prevent us from interacting much which are no longer relevant, given cancellations in the music world. However, if we are still under quarantine by August, it’s hard to say where things will stand. I’m trying my hardest to not be annoying, but it’s a challenge, given the absence of social distancing at home.

    1. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      Chinese society
      Strain of life under lockdown sparks divorce surge in China
      The number of filings to end marriages has doubled in the past decade
      Women are often given custody of the children but they receive little financial support
      © Getty Images
      Sun Yu and Xinning Liu in Beijing yesterday

      Helen Wu realised she wanted to divorce her husband once and for all after two months of being stuck at home with him and their two children in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic first started.

      “I did everything from cleaning to grocery shopping to tutoring my children,” said Ms Wu, who normally works as an accountant at a machine tools factory. “All my husband did was play video games and walk out of the room when we found my son had wet the bed.”

      The 38-year-old Ms Wu filed for divorce as soon as authorities began to lift the lockdown late last month, brushing aside her husband’s appeals to reconsider. “The epidemic gave me a chance to make up my mind,” she said.

      Once a cultural taboo in China, divorces have more than doubled over the past decade to 4m in 2019 as people, particularly women, become less tolerant of unhappy marriages.

      But the trend has accelerated in recent months as mandatory self-quarantine measures introduced in January have forced Chinese couples to spend more time together, exacerbating marital problems.

      More than a dozen cities have reported a surge in divorce filings since March, when marriage registration agencies returned to work following the lunar new year holiday, Financial Times research shows.

      The runaway growth of failed marriages has fuelled concerns about the welfare of Chinese women as the country’s courts are less generous than their western counterparts in granting child support and alimony payments in divorce rulings.

      “The disease has accelerated the long-running trend of rising divorce rates,” said Pan Jun, a Hangzhou-based family lawyer. “And women are more likely than men to suffer financial losses in the process.”

      Rising incomes among women are thought to be behind the longer term increase in China’s divorce rate. Official data show the average monthly income of urban women rose from Rmb2,799 ($394.56) in 2007 to Rmb7,667 in 2017.

      Some of the upsurge in divorces since the outbreak began might have been demand that built up while marriage offices were closed. But local officials said the majority was because of the strain of the lockdown.

      In the western city of Yinchuan, an official at the local civil affairs bureau, which issues divorce certificates, said so many couples had put in requests it was impossible to get an immediate appointment.

      “There has been a marked increase in divorce filings since the outbreak of the virus,” said the official.

      Couples in Shanghai, the nation’s commercial hub known for its western lifestyle, face even longer waiting times. When local civil affairs offices opened in the middle of February after being closed for three weeks, they were deluged with divorce filings. Couples who would normally receive an appointment within a week had to wait for up to a month.

      Among other local authorities reporting a rise in marriage break-ups, the Tongzhou District Civil Affairs Bureau in Sichuan province said it received 232 divorce requests between late February and end-March. That compared with fewer than 180 in the same period a year earlier.

      Civil affairs bureau officials in Yunnan, Shaanxi and Ningxia provinces said about two-thirds of divorce filings in recent weeks cited the stresses of dealing with the virus or the quarantine measures.

      Underlying some of the filings may be an increase in domestic abuse during the outbreak. Police in Qianjiang county in the worst affected province of Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital, reported 83 domestic abuse cases in February and 85 in January. That compared with 47 and 43 a year earlier.

      Chinese law requires courts to issue restraining orders to domestic violence victims within 72 hours. Lu Xiaoquan, a Beijing-based women’s rights lawyer, said during self isolation some of his clients were still waiting for the document a week after reporting the incident.

      “Victims had no choice but to wait,” said Mr Lu. “That made them more vulnerable to an abusive spouse.”

      Experts said the rise in divorces would leave growing numbers of women in poverty. Lawyers in some of China’s wealthiest cities, including Shanghai and Hangzhou, said child support for a divorced parent ranged from Rmb3,000 to Rmb4,000 a month, low compared with the cost of living in these cities. Courts often refused alimony requests.

      The Chinese legal system did not take a person’s economic status into account in divorce cases, said Liu Chun, a Guangzhou-based family lawyer. Women usually earned less than men and were more likely to be given custody of the children.

      Ms Liu said most of her female clients could afford to divorce. But she said the overall divorce rate would be higher if more women earned more.

      “Women will live with an unhappy marriage if they find it difficult to support themselves after the divorce,” said Ms Liu.

      1. On the other side of the coin, not only are there covid-related shortages of dollars and toilet paper, but also of condoms and sex toys.

        The Financial Times
        Retail & Consumer industry
        Condoms and sex toys in demand from social isolators
        Sales are soaring but supply chain disruptions mean shortages loom
        A Berlin shop selling erotic merchandise. Germany’s largest domestic producer of condoms saw sales nearly double in March
        © Carsten Koall/Getty
        Guy Chazan in Berlin April 2 2020

        The coronavirus shutdown has brought swaths of the global economy to a standstill, but for producers and purveyors of condoms and sex toys, business is booming.

        Ritex, Germany’s largest domestic producer of prophylactics, saw sales nearly double in March. The company, which is based in the north-western town of Bielefeld and is still operating, said its sales of condoms last month doubled compared with the same period a year ago, to 12.7m.

        The same trend is happening in other countries. Ann Summers, the British lingerie chain, said sex toy sales last week were up 27 per cent over last year. Its best-selling item was the Whisper Rabbit, which it markets as its quietest vibrator.

        1. I posted a link above to a coronavirus model state by state. Main upshot: if we keep lockdowns until May and full social distancing after, we should see caseload drop dramatically by the end of July. Masks will help even more.

          That doesn’t mean it’s over though. My guess is that we will still experience local lockdowns for the next year at least. Everybody, if you can, PLEASE keep six weeks of supplies on hand in case your area gets a sudden lockdown order.

          1. “Masks will help even more.”

            You’re a scientist. Could you please post some scientific evidence on this?

          2. You’re a scientist. Could you please post some scientific evidence on this?

            We have the best scientists money can buy. You point to the end result you want, and they magically get there. I prefer to just look at places like Taiwan for evidence that they help mitigate the spread.

          3. So it seems like if you have been tested and don’t have COVID-19, there is no benefit to wearing a mask, aside from protection against attacks by health vigilantes.

            And I wonder if this study considered that home-produced masks designed for show and worn repeatedly may fail to block transmission?

            It also sounds like they based their findings on people with full-blown symptomatic cases…i.e. people who shouldn’t be out shopping. I definitely agree these folks should wear masks, and should only go out if their lives depend on it. I personally have not heard a fellow shopper or neighborhood walker utter a sneeze or cough on any of my recent outings.

            I’m attributing this rush to require masks as a symptom of the COVID-19 panic.

            Brief Communication
            Published: 03 April 2020
            Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks
            Nancy H. L. Leung, Daniel K. W. Chu, […]Benjamin J. Cowling
            Nature Medicine (2020)

            Abstract

            We identified seasonal human coronaviruses, influenza viruses and rhinoviruses in exhaled breath and coughs of children and adults with acute respiratory illness. Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.

          4. Provide scientific evidence…
            You are asking the wrong question. It is a risk reward question.

            Question What risk is there to wearing a mask? NONE
            REward: POSSIBLY not getting 😷 sick.
            Life is about risk /reward. Maybe the potential reward is small (unless in NY City) for wearing a mask, but the reward is still bigger than the risk.

          5. “I bet this guy wishes the woman who coughed on him had been wearing a mask.”

            Wearing an improvised mask wouldn’t have prevented a COVID-19 infected woman with active symptoms from infecting anyone else on the bus. People with active cases shouldn’t take the bus or even leave home.

          6. “POSSIBLY not getting 😷 sick.”

            That’s not even the argument being made for the push to force everyone to wear masks. Rather it’s that people wearing masks won’t get others sick.

            This urban legend was already circulating the last time I got into an airplane, on March 9. Upon seeing a few people in the waiting area wearing masks, the colleague I was traveling with expressed a desire to ask them whether they were wearing masks to protect themselves or to protect others (but she refrained from the urge). She had “heard” that masks were supposed to help prevent the spread.

            Now what began as a rumor has been elevated to a scientific finding.

          7. Rather it’s that people wearing masks won’t get others sick.

            Asymptomatic spreaders may not know they are spreaders. Until the antibody test is readily available, we are being asked to proceed as if each one of us is an asymptomatic spreader.

          8. That’s an extremely risk averse stance. I’ve essentially been in quarantine for over two weeks and have no symptoms. I am highly skeptical that I have it or that I will catch it from one of my fellow shoppers who just came out of hiding for an hour to buy food. I acknowledge that work trips I took earlier this year to NOLA and NorCal exposed me to risk, but it’s been too long since then for me to worry about being in the incubation phase.

            The paradigm shift that society has just collectively undergone is far more frightening to me than the disease, IMHO.

          9. The paradigm shift that society has just collectively undergone is far more frightening to me than the disease, IMHO.

            Agreed. And, it’s being used to push unfavorable agendas.

    2. “However, if we are still under quarantine by August…”

      I can see face masks and social distancing measures voluntarily lingering, but not a shelter-at-home order lasting that long unless there are bodies strewn about à la post tsunami.

      1. I guess it all depends upon how long it takes for the new case rate to drop and for the existing cases to resolve (recovery or fatality).
        Once enough people have had been given the antibody test, it may become possible to implement a more nuanced policy, where those who already recovered are allowed more freedoms than those still at risk.

        1. Once enough people have had been given the antibody test

          And when do you propose this is?

          1. Good question, and beyond my knowledge of disease propagation rates to answer. My hunch is that, other things equal, the maximum transmission rate occurs at the point when active cases and previously uninfected individuals are roughly equal and near their largest shares of the population. Once over half have either recovered or are not susceptible, the case transmission rate presumably slows. Of course quarantine reduces the number of close social interactions and opportunities to spread. It’s complicated!

          2. All of the above requires sufficient use of the antibody test to document where we are, except there may come a point in the process where other signs of slowing propagation emerge.

        2. may become possible to implement a more nuanced policy Current models of coronavirus spread don’t take this into account. Antibody tests could be game changers.

    3. I guess the ilegals that got laid off who were working under the table are sweating it because they aren’t getting the $1,200.00 check.

      They are also worried that they will be turned down on getting a C19 text or medical care.

      They have some charity orgs giving them benefits like 400 dollar gift cards. Rent will be hard for these people.

      But, this is the kind of messed up situation that results from having borders open.

      I thought I heard that they were giving out a lot of emergency free care, but who knows.

      Also, some people are having a hard time getting a C-19 test if the doctor doesn’t feel they are sick enough.

      Isn’t the idea to get treated before something gets worse and it’s. harder to treat? It’s weird to me what they are doing.

      1. I guess the ilegals that got laid off who were working under the table are sweating it because they aren’t getting the $1,200.00 check.

        Is this something you read or heard or what? Aren’t most illegals working under the table anyway? How would anybody know they were “sweating it?” Curious where this info comes from.

        1. I’ve read sob stories in the media about how the mortgage debtors are getting deferments, but the poor renters aren’t. One article highlighted a family of “undocumented” immigrant renters that will suffer due to this bail-out.

      2. How do you treat it? If you aren’t dying of pneumonia, you just need rest, fluids, and more rest. Like the normal flu.

        1. When I talk about treatment I’m talking about high risk that tend to go into the more extreme outcomes quickly. If they got some of those meds they might never go into a need for breathing machines.

    4. Are quarantine measures good or bad for a marriage?

      I don’t know, but I’m noticing a cultural difference that’s a bigger challenge now than normally. Apparently in China love means telling your spouse (quite often) what you think they should change about themselves to make their life better. While my definition of love emphasizes respecting each other’s autonomy :-). Or maybe it’s just a Mars/Venus thing…

      1. I’d say Mars/Venus more than intercultural, as I’m getting some of that with my all-American spouse.
        Although with my wife outnumbered 4-1 by males at home under quarantine, we are able to collectively nudge her to not go overboard with her male rehabilitation efforts.

        1. her male rehabilitation efforts seem to be an essential part of a female psyche. Some are better at that than others. About 90% of my professional co-workers (i.e. nurses) were women. I benefited greatly.

          1. I won’t deny that responding constructively to female criticism of my male shortcomings has been beneficial in some respects, but it is still painful to listen to it.

          2. female criticism of my male shortcomings The cleverest women know how to turn that into “encouragement”.

      2. my definition of love is taking delight in someone’s existence. That someone could be yourself, your SO, a friend, a parent, your child, anybody’s child, plants & animals in the back yard, you name it. Not feeling that delight is not loving.

      3. While my definition of love emphasizes respecting each other’s autonomy 🙂

        I’m with you on that one. Although I do wish he would nest the measuring cups properly.

      4. Apparently in China love means telling your spouse (quite often) what you think they should change about themselves to make their life better.

        Ugggh. Sounds like you’ve got a nagger.

    5. Psychologist N. Brandon said he would make couples in troubled marriages agree sit together in their closed bedroom for long periods (hours) with no TV and no Cell Phones to filter out outside B.S. They could talk, of course. He said often they’d start talking things through, sometimes have sex. Quite often the absence of outside distractions would force them to start communicating better and things improved, but not always.

  15. Earlier today I was finishing up my Federal and State tax returns and it got me to thinking about what a difficult position state and local governments are in these days.

    The bulk of my income tax payments are remitted on a bi-weekly basis through payroll withholding, as are almost everyone else’s taxes. Every two weeks Uncle Sam and the state government take their slices of the pie and in April we true up the tally.

    Some years they refund me some cash and some years I write them a check for the shortfall, but the majority of the funds are paid over the course of the year.

    What happens when over 25% of the work force is suddenly out of work and no longer getting a paycheck? Well, many things that normally get paid no longer get paid, including income taxes.

    To channel Captain Obvious, this virus is doing a lot of damage.

    New York, like many places, is looking at a major shortfall in revenues at a time when public services are facing higher demand.

    I don’t claim to know how this is going to play out over the next 3 years, but my sense is that it’s going to be a long time before things are “back to normal”.

    Now go wash your hands.

    1. Are you filing by the usual deadline or the late one?

      Our kids are all filing on time, as they are owed refunds. We’ll file at the latest possible time, due to owing.

      1. All else equal, I would have waited until July but in 2018 I had some non-recurring income events. As a result, my adjusted gross income in 2019 is a a little bit lower than it was in 2018.

        So in order to maximize my portion of the free cheese, I elected to file now.

        1. Free cheese depends on when you file?

          Unfortunately I think we will still owe…our freelance earnings opportunities peaked big time in the last year of a boom. And needless to say, live music performance now is dead as a doornail.

          1. Free cheese depends on when you file?

            I think he’s referring to eligibility for the $1200 checks, meaning that his 2018 return makes him ineligible while 2019 improves the situation.

    2. Jobs float a lot of. boats.
      That is why loosing our job and manufacturing base and sales tax base to places like China was a disaster for the USA.

      All this only made us weak and China and the greedy Globalist stronger and richer. Put a tariff on their goods so nobody wants the cheap crap anymore.

      Gun up the jobs and manufacturing here, even if it cost 20 percent more. It would be worth it.

    3. I’ll bet sales tax receipts are plunging too. Our little burg closed some facilities, like the library and the rec center. I have no idea if the staff is still getting paid or if they are being forced to use their paid time off first.

      I could see road work projects getting put on hold too.

      In our little burg the city is excessively dependent on sales tax receipts, as voters “deBruced” sales tax to exempt it from TABOR collection limits. The last time everything melted down the city slashed budgets and there was even talk of layoffs.

    4. NY State (Cumuo) and others are asking for phase 4 bill (another $2-3T) to include $s to make up the difference from incoming tax revenue and their projected budget.

      Lots of $s will go to NY, NJ and LA

  16. I read this virus has been around for some months now , at least on the west coast. So how do we know if we haven’t already got it ? Maybe some heard immunity is already going on here on the west coast and that’s why its spreading slower ??

    1. I’d like my family to get antibody tests, as I suspect some or all of us may have had it and recovered. At least three of us had flu symptoms and persistent coughs that lasted for weeks before clearing up. Could have been seasonal flu not covered by the vaccine or COVID-19.

  17. “Cuoco originally purchased the home from Khloé Kardashian for $5.5 million in 2014, according to Variety’s Dirt.com, meaning she lost over $1.5 million on the purchase.”

    Oh the horror! It was still cheaper than renting!!!

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