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Sellers Are Worried About Taking A Big Hit

A report from AFN News Services. “There’s good news and bad news for homebuyers and sellers in the pandemic’s wake, according to Realtor.com. ‘While many cash-strapped buyers have eagerly anticipated prices falling, triggering a real estate bonanza similar to the Great Recession, that’s not likely to happen this time around,’ the site said.”

From Bloomberg on New York. “At the start of 2020, New York’s luxury real estate market was finally showing signs of life. There was still a large oversupply of new condos on the market, but buyer and seller expectations—never aligned in the best of circumstances— were slowly beginning to move in tandem. Now, more than two months into the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown, with the summer sales season looming, the industry is once again bracing itself for an uncertain market.”

“‘Prices had been falling for several years at the high end,’ says Jonathan Miller, the president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. ‘The question is: Will sellers and developers at the top of the market capitulate to another step-down.'”

“‘We had 20 transactions last week [ending in May 17] in new development sales,’ says Shaun Osher, chief executive officer of the real estate brokerage Core NYC. ‘But closings don’t define where the market is right now; they define a market that’s already gone by.’ Because the spring sales season was effectively canceled, Osher says, ‘We have a huge pent-up inventory of product that’s going to flood the market in the next 30 to 60 days, and it will be interesting to see what that does to pricing and consumer confidence.'”

The Destin Log in Florida. “Many city dwellers were considering a move out of urban population centers prior to the pandemic; the health scare has accelerated that exodus. There was already a move afoot of residents relocating to areas with friendlier state income tax laws while fleeing states with high property taxes. Former residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are flooding Florida and purchasing homes. Of course, there is a flip side. They have to sell their existing homes back East, where there’s an oversupply of product and an undersupply of buyers.”

“Not all metro areas are holding steady. The Dallas Morning News reports that April saw the biggest annual decline in home sales in nine years there, with home purchases down 17% from a year ago. Pending home sales are down 22%. Median home prices in some Dallas suburbs are down 35% from a year ago. So this is a huge and sudden downward swing.”

The News Gazette in Illinois. “The 16,000-square-foot Hidden River mansion north of Mahomet is under contract to be sold to a family for use as a private residence, a developer says. Like the previous owners, the new ones plan to remain confidential, said Shawn Tabeling, of Tabeling Development Co. The asking price for the mansion and the 15 acres of land it sits on was $1.9 million when it was listed late last year. That was reduced to $1.5 million, and while Tabeling declined to disclose the price before the sale closes, he said, ‘We had a few parties interested after the price reduction.'”

“The mansion was built in the early 2000s for software developer Bruce Artwick. While Artwick owned it, the estate was once listed for $14.9 million and later for $6.9 million. He owned it until 2015, when it was sold at auction for $4,000,005. While the sale of the 200 acres to Tabeling hasn’t yet closed — ‘Any day now,’ he said — he said previously his company would be buying the land for less than the 2015 auction price.”

From Forbes on Illinois. “The Last Dance documentary chronicled Michael Jordan’s triumphant career with the Chicago Bulls. But The Last Chance could describe the fate of his famed Chicago home that’s languished on the market for years. The icon’s Highland Park, Illinois home was recently price-chopped again, listed for $14.9 million (roughly half its original $29 million ask price). The flat market during the current coronavirus pandemic might better explain the recent price slash.”

From Realtor.com on Colorado. “The golf legend Greg Norman has relisted his massive Colorado ranch with an equally massive $10 million price reduction. Now available for $40 million, the 11,900-acre property, Seven Lakes Ranch, has been on the market since at least 2016, when it was listed for $55 million. Last year, that was trimmed just a bit—down to $50 million. After this month’s cut, the ranch is even more enticing. For a deep-pocketed buyer in search of a large parcel of land, the most recent price slice represents a 27% reduction from the 2016 asking price.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican. “Amid shutdowns in the state and across the nation, vacation-rental owners in Santa Fe have been flooded with cancellations. With the city’s major art markets and other cultural draws, such as the Santa Fe Opera, canceling events scheduled throughout the summer, the local short-term rental industry, which generates up to $50 million a year through some 1,400 properties, has taken a big hit.”

“Rental owners decry rules they say are forcing them to remain closed while hotels and other lodgers reopen or continue serving a limited number of guests. ‘There is a discriminatory policy going on,’ said Richard Woodruff, co-owner of Adobe Casitas Vacation Rentals.”

The Spokesman Review in Washington. “A Spokane Valley-based short-term rental company with nearly 250 employees is permanently closing as a result of financial struggles caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Stay Alfred, which has been temporarily closed since March, was working with investors to raise a round of funding to keep the company afloat, but investors rescinded the offer. ‘They ended up pulling the funding at the last minute, and we had no anticipation that funding wasn’t going to be coming in, and it kind of took the company down,’ Jordan Allen, CEO of Stay Alfred, said Wednesday.”

“Prior to COVID-19, Stay Alfred had more than 230 employees and was on track to generate $100 million in revenue this year, Allen said. The company, which became known for popularizing the concept of upscale travel apartment rentals in walkable locations, had operated more than 2,200 units in 32 markets across the country, including 15 units at The M Apartments in the former Macy’s building at 612 W. Main St.”

“Stay Alfred is currently liquidating assets, including its Spokane Valley headquarters, which has generated interest from companies looking to relocate from larger metro areas, Allen said. A point of contention among customers was that they weren’t receiving refunds for canceled reservations. The company is assisting customers with transferring their existing reservations to other short-term rental providers. It also is working to sell some of its assets, with the funds to go toward guest refunds, Allen said.”

“Allen said it’s heartbreaking the company is closing, but he’s thankful to have worked with a great team. ‘We are so thankful for everything the community has done to support us, and we wish we had done a better job of winding everything down,’ he said. ‘I’m really proud of our team and what we were able to accomplish. If COVID-19 hadn’t happened, we would have been able to create a global hospitality brand.'”

The Times Standard in California. “Sales of existing homes in the county fell by double-digits in April from the previous month, and are down over a third from last year. The California Associations of Realtors reports home sales in Humboldt County dropped 12 percent between March and April, and are down 36 percent compared with where they were at this time in 2019. The market however remains strong for sellers, according to Dean Kessler of the Kessler Real Estate Team, who said low interest rates are motivating serious buyers to make a move.”

“‘After six months, I think things will fall off big time — a lot of (potential buyers) could be out of work, or feeling the effects of a loss of work,’ he said.”

From Bloomberg. “While sales are way down, the lack of inventory has propped up prices and led to bidding wars. ‘Since the pandemic began, demand fell off a cliff,’ said Taylor Marr, an economist at Redfin Corp. ‘What most people overlook is that sellers also pulled back.'”

“Not all real estate agents see cutthroat competition. Nina Hatvany, a luxury agent with Compass in San Francisco, said buyers are coming back to the market but the complications of showing houses during a pandemic has weeded out all but the most motivated people. And, even then, there’s sometimes a mismatch between what people think a property is worth.”

“‘I’ve got plenty of buyers saying, ‘I’m ready to buy if it’s a good price,’ she said. Meanwhile, ‘the sellers are worried about taking a big hit.'”

“Home prices will hold up, at least through the summer, but declines are coming, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. Once foreclosure moratoriums and forbearance programs end, lenders will start repossessions as unemployment persists. Ultimately, as many as 2 million homeowners will lose properties because of the the pandemic, he said.”

From DS News. “The nationwide delinquency rate hit its highest single-month increase in history in April, according to the First Look at April mortgage performance data from Black Knight. According to Black Knight, some 3.6 million homeowners were past due on their mortgages as of the end of April (including the roughly 211,000 who were in active foreclosure)—the highest number since January 2015.”

“This is an increase of 1.6 million since March, the largest single-month jump on record. The national delinquency rate nearly doubled to 6.45% from March, the largest single-month increase ever recorded, and nearly three times the previous record for a single month from back in late 2008. Delinquency increases in Nevada (+5.2%), New Jersey (+5.1%), and New York (+4.9%) led the states, while Miami (+7.2%), Las Vegas (+6.2%), and New York City (+5.4%) topped the 100 largest metro areas.”

“Looking ahead, Black Knight estimates there could be 4.9 million loans in forbearance by the end of this month if the number of loans entering forbearance declines by 10% per day moving forward. By the end of June, there would be 5 million loans in forbearance, accounting for 9.4% of all active mortgages in this scenario.”

“Under a ‘more pessimistic scenario,’ with the two-week average going forward and a 10% decline beginning in mid-June, 5.4 million loans would be in forbearance at the end of this month, according to Black Knight’s calculations. This would account for 10.1% of all active mortgage loans.”

This Post Has 104 Comments
  1. ‘Median home prices in some Dallas suburbs are down 35% from a year ago’

    I’ve posted these original stats previously. But it’s groundhog day, multiple offers!

  2. ‘While many cash-strapped buyers have eagerly anticipated prices falling, triggering a real estate bonanza similar to the Great Recession, that’s not likely to happen this time around’

    The UHS are spinning furiously. Cash strapped buyers!

    ‘The nationwide delinquency rate hit its highest single-month increase in history in April’

    1. Isn’t that (“that’s not likely to happen this time around”) what the UHS always say?

      I’d bet real money the UHS said the exact same thing back in 2008.

        1. Fact: polygraphs come with a factory pre-set “Realtor” mode that responds to all subject responses with “Realtors are liars.”

  3. ‘Home prices will hold up, at least through the summer, but declines are coming, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. Once foreclosure moratoriums and forbearance programs end, lenders will start repossessions as unemployment persists. Ultimately, as many as 2 million homeowners will lose properties because of the the pandemic, he said’

    Even Ho Chi Zandi can see the writing on the wall, floor and ceiling. 2 millions, that’s some shortage comrade!

    1. Once foreclosure moratoriums and forbearance programs end, lenders will start repossessions as unemployment persists.

      Forgive my skepticism, but why wouldn’t they just continue these forbearance programs ad infinitum? They are then allowed to keep booking the loans as “performing,” thus avoiding any nasty balance sheet ramifications.

      1. Exactly. Given that can-kicking measures have worked well thus far, why wouldn’t they be extended indefinitely?

          1. Hawaii is going to use CARES $ to build tiny homes for the homeless meth heads and drunks.

            I say why bother? They emptied the jails of hundreds if not thousands of criminals over this phony panDEMic, why not house them there? Or are those reserved for small businesses owners who don’t comply and kids who want to have an in-person graduation ceremony?

      2. “…They are then allowed to keep booking the loans as “performing,..”

        Question for HBB CPA/accountancy readers:

        Is there any language in FASB 157 that would prevent multiple forbearance renewals?

        Effectively , banks would keep the full ‘value’ of a property on the books, yet grant endless forbearance renewals. Seems such a situation would be a catch 22 if not completely illegal to begin with.

        1. Effectively , banks would keep the full ‘value’ of a property on the books, yet grant endless forbearance renewals. Seems such a situation would be a catch 22 if not completely illegal to begin with.

          Sounds perfect then.

        2. I suspect that the bond holders who expect the payment streams on the bonds backed by our mortgage payments would rather foreclose, sell and get what they can. Banks don’t actually own much of the debt.

          1. bond holders who expect the payment streams on the bonds backed by our mortgage payments would rather foreclose

            Or they can just sell the bonds to the Fed for a “fair” price and avoid any losses without requiring any foreclosures.

        3. banks would keep the full ‘value’ of a property on the books, yet grant endless forbearance renewals.

          So you are suggesting the CEO tells stockholders Good New: our DQ and Charge offs are at near 0.0%.

          The bad news is we lost $200,000,000 because we didn’t collect any interest on our loans. I am assuming the regulators would not let the banks use accrual accounting for the earned interest number, but maybe they would. However, Eventually you have to adjust for the variances between accrued interest in loans and collected interest.

      3. why wouldn’t they just continue these forbearance programs ad infinitum?

        Because eventually Wile E. Coyote starts to notice he’s no longer on firm ground, and by the time he starts to blindly grope around, he’s already in free fall.

        This thing is going to visibly crash pretty soon. No way they can prop it up this time without completely destroying the dollar.

        1. No way they can prop it up this time without completely destroying the dollar.

          I think the eventual destruction of the dollar was the chosen path since 2008/9. And I think there is already a plan for when that happens. But in the meantime there are a lot of deflationary forces at work so it might go on quite a while like this first.

          1. And I think there is already a plan for when that happens.

            Probably. I’m sure the central bankers of the world have it all figured out after they destroy every currency.

          2. I doubt the plan is outright destruction of currencies, as organizations don’t tend to favor self destruction as a future action plan.

            Stretching the value of currencies to get us through the crisis without repeating the 1930s seems more likely to me.

          3. I doubt the plan is outright destruction of currencies

            I’m sure they plan to keep their wealth during the conversion. But I predict whatever it is will be electronic and will have a new/modified name to let everyone know how much better it is. So is the “dollar” in the name or in the wealth it represents?

        2. There is currently a shortage of dollars around the world, as 70% of all debt and transactions are in dollars. No dollar collapse on the horizon.

          1. There is currently a shortage of dollars around the world, as 70% of all debt and transactions are in dollars.

            Doesn’t matter. Currencies can be exchanged for each other. Their relative value is known.

  4. The Collapse Will Be Visible: “For Lease” And “Space Available” Signs Are Starting To Go Up All Over America

    May 20, 2020
    by Michael Snyder

    Initially, we were told that the coronavirus lockdowns would just “temporarily” disrupt the U.S. economy, but now it is becoming clear that a lot of the damage will be permanent. We are starting to see businesses go belly up all over the country, and this includes some of the most iconic names in the retail world.

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-collapse-will-be-visible-for-lease-and-space-available-signs-are-starting-to-go-up-all-over-america

    1. I recall after the previous crash we joked here about America’s hottest new retail chain, which seemed to be popping up everywhere: “Now Available”

  5. ‘While sales are way down, the lack of inventory has propped up prices and led to bidding wars.’

    The reader who sent this link in offered this:

    ‘Why would there be bidding wars with real unemployment in the US at 39%? Yes, that’s right, the real number is 39%, which is far higher than the Great Depression which peaked at just over 25%.’

    Which was my point yesterday about rising median stats. It’s just a lagging statistic. With millions losing jobs, going into foreclosure, nobody in their right mind would suggest shack prices are going up. But what does the REIC do? Lie right to our faces. What would an honest industry do? Explain that many of these sales were written prior to the shutdown, and that with lending collapsing, only wealthy people are buying more expensive shacks. Which pushes the median up. But as we can see, they are driving deals meaning prices are actually going down.

    ‘closings don’t define where the market is right now; they define a market that’s already gone by.’ Because the spring sales season was effectively canceled, Osher says, ‘We have a huge pent-up inventory of product that’s going to flood the market in the next 30 to 60 days’

    1. Which was my point yesterday about rising median stats. It’s just a lagging statistic.

      The median price can sometimes give off a false impression. Most of the people buying right now are the types who are fairly sheltered from the fallout, and they tend to buy much more expensive houses.

      1. That’s why I’m looking at $/ft2 trends. And I have to give Redfin credit for listing it.

        In my local area, I’m still seeing sales, but it’s taking longer and sales are definitely way down. Inventory isn’t down a lot, and is starting to creep backup. I wouldn’t be surprised if some pending houses go back on the market.

        1. Seeing several “pending” listings reverting back to active here on the northern California. In my neighborhood the only house that has actually sold lately was incredibly well priced (>20% below similar listings and under the jumbo loan line).

      2. Conversely, entry level buyers who are suddenly focused on nearterm economic survival are not buying now. So the bottom of the market is gone, leaving behind the misleading impression of a rising median.

        1. Conversely? Didn’t I say the same thing? (I’m no professor so maybe I’m missing something)

    2. “Which was my point yesterday about rising median stats. It’s just a lagging statistic.”

      Another way to look at it:

      When the whole market is cratering, but the bottom end is cratering much faster, the median can go up, despite the cratering volume of transactions.

      It’s all about the mix…

  6. ‘A Spokane Valley-based short-term rental company with nearly 250 employees is permanently closing as a result of financial struggles caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Stay Alfred, which has been temporarily closed since March, was working with investors to raise a round of funding to keep the company afloat, but investors rescinded the offer. ‘They ended up pulling the funding at the last minute, and we had no anticipation that funding wasn’t going to be coming in, and it kind of took the company down’

    So they were losing money all along. they even spent money they took from people who hadn’t got there yet, as we’ve seen repeatedly. Cee ya Alfred!

    1. A Spokane Valley-based short-term rental company with nearly 250 employees is permanently closing as a result of financial struggles caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

      This stuff is just nuts. The Spokane area is not a vacation mecca.

          1. Nope. It’s going to be a thing of terrible beauty. So many years of lies and fraud are going to be washed away by a hard rain.

      1. It’s interesting how each bubble has its signature feature. With the the previous one it was hardcore subprime lending: 100% financing, NINJA loans, with teaser interest rates that got strawberry pickers into million dollar houses.

        This time it’s vacation rental properties in places where people do not vacation. Sure, there have always been vacation rentals, but they were in vacation spots, like the beach.

        In the end, it is EZ lending that enables it all.

        1. The more I think about it, the more I believe the short term vacation rental sham is almost entirely responsible for the massive spike in rents. Remember, last bubble there was no rent price spike.

          1. Remember, last bubble there was no rent price spike.

            Which means last time we could point to how out of whack the prices were by comparing to rents. This time (at least where I am) the ratio is totally reasonable…because both are equally screwed up relative to incomes. I’m paying $3k a month for something that should be $2k. But it beats owning it for $600k when it should be $400k at the very most.

    2. “They ended up pulling the funding at the last minute, and we had no anticipation that funding wasn’t going to be coming in, and it kind of took the company down,” Jordan Allen, CEO of Stay Alfred, said Wednesday.

      “How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” —Ernest Hemingway

      1. What is interesting about Stay Alfred’s demise is that now investors aren’t willing to throw good money after bad. The is probably means a few things:

        1) Investors have decided that they need to hang onto every dollar they can.
        2) They don’t believe that the short term rental market will come back after the pandemic ends.

        1. If investors are hanging on to their dollars, then they’re going to pull the funding at the last minute for a lot more than STR. Unicorns beware.

  7. While sales are way down, the lack of inventory has propped up prices and led to bidding wars.

    Sure thing… gotta keep working the FOMO, on a bunch of lunatic people in SFBay… 3 days ago Uber did the 2nd round of layoffs, in addition to a lot more other startups. This https://layoffs.fyi/tracker/
    says to me that FOMO is just white smoke. Bidding wars yeah… OK

    1. I happen to think Silicon Valley RE will get hit especially hard, e.g.
      1-One of the most bubblelicious places
      2-Tech layoffs
      3-No more Chinese buyers
      4-Jumbo loans are disappearing
      5-Lots of new construction (including a lot that’s still being built). Homebuilders don’t care about what you think your home is worth.
      6-A lot of people are willing to gamble and overpay when they think prices are going to the sky. When RE prices stay level or go down, poof, a lot more buyers exit the market
      7-A sea change in attitude after the Wuhan coranovirus
      8-More work from home means can live farther from work
      9-IPOs are dead
      and that’s just off the top of my head

      1. 10. Impact on AirBnB. Probably will hit vacation spots harder, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of locals justified over-spending or getting a second home based on assumed AirBnB income.

      2. “…8-More work from home means can live farther from work…”

        The worm is really starting to turn at my own company (a Fortune 50 organization).

        It’s going to become the norm a *lot* faster than anyone imagined.

        A lot of companies are finally going to accept that working from home is worthwhile and productive. (it is for me)

        Just the monthly nut on the large industrial building that is (was) my office has just got to be $100K+/month if not more.

        When companies can save these kind of costs and get the employee to foot the bill for electric and their own TP, you just know things are about to change big time.

        IMO, anyone who moved to Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach (So Cal), over paid for a Crap Shack, spends (or spent) hours in a commute is totally and completely out of their minds.

        1. When companies can save these kind of costs and get the employee to foot the bill for electric and their own TP

          Those things are a win/win IMO. I’d much rather choose my own office environment and TP and I don’t mind paying for my electricity and higher quality TP :-). I’ll even pay for my own office cleaning and gym equipment and whatever else. I’d prefer to even buy my own computer in return for a small raise but that probably won’t happen due to security. The only question in my mind is when can I live anywhere in the world but not lose my job? Right now I still better stick within an hour or two of the office…

          1. The transportation savings alone are worth it. I know people who work in downtown Boulder who pay $10/day just to park. Plus the wear and tear and fuel expense of communting.

            Then there is the time saved not commuting.

          2. “the time saved not commuting”

            Why do you hate America?

            Denver is a waste of time. Yeah the money is too easy, but it’s a waste of time. So much traffic, so many sh*tty drivers. Already been hit and run once in broad daylight.

            Too $hort — Money In The Ghetto:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H-V_I7c7ak

          3. “The only question in my mind is when can I live anywhere in the world but not lose my job?”

            Good question since there are lots people willing to setup the SOHO in one of their bedrooms. An accountant friend of mine built an ADA compliant mother-in-law shack behind his house, and when she passed away it became the perfect office. There are tax advantages for both cases.

          4. “The transportation savings alone are worth it.”

            Indeed. Transportation expense is ridiculous once you start adding-up everything involved. The shear number of blue-collar owned shiny 250 series 4×4 trucks depreciating out in the elements in my corner of the world is mind-boggling.

        2. It’s so great to see this happening. Millions of people fighting traffic every day to go to a place where they push plastic buttons that they could push at home was colossally stupid and wasteful. To say nothing of the loud, smelly, disease ridden open work environments that have become so popular.

          The oil and commercial real estate industries will try to fight it, but I don’t see how they can win.

          1. Ive been talking to the wall even before netscape, we have too many people working at 9am and not enough at 9 Pm. Time shift work, I was always advocating reverse commuting in NYC.. And Now it looks like its going to happen asap, No more 2 hour jam packed highways or subways at rush hours…

          2. “to go to a place where they push plastic buttons that they could push at home”

            Great way to summarize it.

          3. Shift work is rough on people. I did swing and graveyards for about a year, and it messes with you.

            If we can just get the ones that don’t actually need to be present to just stay home, that’d probably be enough to make the commute reasonable for those that do have to be present.

          4. You might have misunderstood me not shift work but time shift work, instead of 9-5 you work from 12-8 3-11 Ive done rotation shifts, an you cant really plan for anything… or ask for the day off , or swap shifts with another person without a major headache.

  8. Amusing to see the all the attractive people modeling masks on Amazon. Weirdly amusing.

    1. “…all the attractive people modeling masks…”

      Wait until photos with masks start popping up on dating sites, like match.com.

      Perhaps the world will morph into a real life version of Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes wide shut”. You never know, at one of those parties you might be paired up with your Real Estate agent!

      1. Wait until photos with masks start popping up on dating sites

        Even funnier! “C’mon babe… what do you REALLY look like?”

  9. There seems to be a lot of DebtDonkeys milling around and brayong on the housing bubble blog lately.

    I wonder why that is?

    1. why that is?

      The deeply rutted road upon which they haul their carts of debt has become noticeably more inclined. It makes the cart feel heavier.

    1. I don’t see city people staying somewhere where Walmart and McDonalds set the standards for entertainment. They like their fancy stuff.

      1. I know of a techie who thought he’d eschew the city for a rural lifestyle. He bought 10 acres of raw land, built a decent sized house on it……and sold it within less than 3 years. The missus said “nuh-uh.”

        1. The missus said “nuh-uh.”

          Green Acres (1965-71): “New York lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas longs for a simpler way of life. So he buys a farm, sight unseen, and moves there to live off the land, much to the chagrin of his socialite wife, Lisa.”

        1. You can’t deliver the quaint little coffee shop down the block, or the outdoor cafe within walking distance.

          1. You can’t deliver the quaint little coffee shop down the block, or the outdoor cafe within walking distance.

            And both filled with the “right” people.

          2. You can’t deliver the quaint little coffee shop down the block, or the outdoor cafe within walking distance.

            Unless you live in the very core of the city, you don’t have those anyway. If you live in anything resembling a suburb, it’s all chains (Starbucks and Applenee’s) and you need to get into your car to get anywhere.

          3. I live in a village. Coffee shops and a variety of eateries are within easy walking distance. Walk the other way and it’s farms and forest.

      2. I don’t see city people staying somewhere where Walmart and McDonalds set the standards for entertainment.

        Some people love being a big fish in a small pond. Being part of the elite just because they can afford a new truck and rifle and toys with trailers. Some wives go all in on the local social club and school mom scene. But yes…others hate it. And they can stay in SF and enjoy the cheaper real estate and no self-protection from things that go bump in the night.

        1. And they can stay in SF

          I’ll bet those people who use the street as their toilet really add to the ambiance at those quaint outdoor cafes.

  10. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largesse out of the public treasury. After that the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits, with the result the economy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.” – Alexander Fraser Tytler

  11. ‘While many cash-strapped buyers have eagerly anticipated prices falling, triggering a real estate bonanza similar to the Great Recession, that’s not likely to happen this time around,’ the site said.”

    That’s what you said during the last housing bubble bust, liars.

    1. Translation: sales commissions are dwindling down to zero and we have no marketable skills to get a real job.

  12. Pending home sales are down 22%. Median home prices in some Dallas suburbs are down 35% from a year ago.

    Is that a lot?

  13. “The mansion was built in the early 2000s for software developer Bruce Artwick. While Artwick owned it, the estate was once listed for $14.9 million and later for $6.9 million. He owned it until 2015, when it was sold at auction for $4,000,005.

    Eleven million Yellen Bux screamed out their last, then were silenced forever. On a single transaction.

    Oh dear….

  14. The flat market during the current coronavirus pandemic might better explain the recent price slash.”

    The fact that this gaudy monstrosity is located in a city spiraling into dystopia under corrupt, incompetent Democrat (redundant) “leadership” would better explain the collapse in value.

  15. Now available for $40 million, the 11,900-acre property, Seven Lakes Ranch, has been on the market since at least 2016, when it was listed for $55 million. Last year, that was trimmed just a bit—down to $50 million.

    Schlonged Greedhead Ranch has more cachet, doncha think?

  16. George Will is a wine-and-cheese “conservative,” aka a cuck. The Washington Post is a globalist propaganda flagship. That said, Will nails it with this editorial, and the Post deserves full credit for publishing it. The American “justice” system has become a travesty, with defendants – including innocent ones – routinely being railroaded or bankrupted by legal bills if they try to defend themselves. This is a corrupt, broken system that makes a mockery of the Bill of Rights, regardless of where on the political spectrum you stand in regard to Gen. Flynn and his railroading at the hands of the DNC’s Chekists at the FBI.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/our-plea-bargain-system-can-make-the-innocent-admit-guilt-enter-michael-flynn/2020/05/19/27eb0fc6-99e1-11ea-ac72-3841fcc9b35f_story.html

    1. Plea bargains get a bad rap. I’ve been a public defender for 13 years and have only once let an innocent guy accept a plea bargain — and that was after his first jury trial resulted in a hung jury. He was looking at life without any chance of parole for 50 year and accepted an offer of immediate release and three years probation. That’s a DA’s way of admitting they don’t have much of a case.

      The thousands of other clients had all done something — maybe not what they were charged with but something. They all chose to mitigate their exposure by pleading. Interestingly I often try to talk them out of pleading but its their life on the line so its their choice.

      1. maybe not what they were charged with but something

        With all due respect, Lt. Gen. Flynn was anything but a career criminal.

        1. The cabal of Deep State operatives that conspired to overthrow the elected president, on the other hand….

      2. I’ve been a public defender for 13 years

        Well sure. The whole entrapment to overthrow the government of the USA is just a footnote to you.

        A law degree and didn’t learn punctuation or grammar, well there you go. Without all due respect, if you will.

      3. If you believed him innocent and esp. after a hung jury why didn’t you drop the charges or not retry? Why make an innocent man plead guilty?

  17. The Financial Times
    Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
    Gilts
    Gilt yields sink below zero as investors brace for more rate cuts

    Yields on 2- year and 5-year UK debt drop to record lows
    The key Bank of England interest rate stands at 0.1 per cent, the lowest on record © AFP via Getty Images
    Eva Szalay in London 3 hours ago

    Growing expectations for further rate cuts in the UK sent yields on government bonds below zero on Thursday, with debt prices fired up after Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey indicated that negative rates were “under active review”.

    The yield on the five-year gilt fell below zero for the first time, meaning buyers were willing to accept a nominal loss if they held the debt to maturity. Yields sank as far as minus 0.012 per cent, according to Reuters. Two-year yields hit a new intraday low of minus 0.062 per cent.

    The rally in bond markets comes a day after the UK sold negative-yielding conventional government bonds for the first time.

    The key BoE interest rate stands at 0.1 per cent, the lowest on record. Policymakers have been reluctant to follow peers in Europe and Japan into negative territory but investors are growing increasingly convinced that the scale of the blow to the UK economy from coronavirus could force the BoE’s hand.

    Speaking to parliament on Wednesday, Mr Bailey said he had “changed his a position a bit”, and while he did not want to suggest that negative rates were imminent, he did not wish to rule them out either.

    Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, said that investors were “pricing in the possibility of negative interest rates. After all the recent chatter and the testimony [on Wednesday] you could even say the BoE is paving the way for it.”

    “More and more market participants accept that there is a decent probability that the [BoE] will go negative, too, after years of suggesting that this is not an option,” said Peter Schaffrik, global macro strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

    The rally in government debt — seen as a haven asset in times of a crisis — came despite data showing the slowdown in the UK economy was easing.

  18. Given that the Fed has all risk contained, why worry so much?

    Outside the Box
    Opinion: We’re now seeing the sharp edge of volatility’s sword and it cuts deep
    Published: May 21, 2020 at 11:52 a.m. ET
    By Satyajit Das
    Central bank policies encourage speculation and many investors are in over their heads
    Everett Collection

    Central bank actions have for the most part suppressed market volatility since the financial crisis of 2008. This is part of a deliberate strategy to lower risk, which is measured by volatility. Reduced risk, it’s hoped, will facilitate borrowing to boost growth. Yet these measures have failed in their primary objective, instead encouraging speculation — which now exerts significant influence over markets and prices.

    Artificially low volatility has driven a wide range of investment strategies which generate small returns under stable conditions but are vulnerable to large losses under stressful conditions. Depending on how it is measured, an amount of more than $2 trillion and as much as $8 trillion may be exposed in this way.

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