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We Could Have A Significant Problem On Our Hands

A report from Realtor.com. “The nation’s surging home prices don’t seem to care about the recession the country is mired in. It has all led some to wonder: Are some markets getting too hot? Could we be entering the dreaded bubble territory once again? ‘Some markets are overvalued,’ says Javier Vivas, realtor.com’s director of economic research. ‘Growth of prices in a recession is pointing in that direction. Some markets are seeing increased risks of price corrections.'”

From KUT in Texas. “Unemployment in Austin is more than double what it was this time last year. Thousands are out of work, either working fewer hours, furloughed or laid off. Yet home prices and sales in the Austin area are higher than normal. ‘The power that (a low mortgage interest rate) gives you as a buyer is really huge,’ Jen Klentzman, an Austin real estate agent, said. ‘You might have thought you needed to be at $300,000, but with the interest rate in the twos, you might be able to afford that $350,000 house. So, it’s allowing prices to stay up because buyers can afford more house.'”

“Socar Chatmon-Thomas, who’s been a real estate agent in Austin for 20 years, worries that some homes may start coming on the market because their owners can’t afford to pay their mortgages any longer. ‘We’re going to start seeing some pain,’ she said. ‘Right now we don’t in Austin. ‘I’m sure we have people here in this city right now who have a mortgage … and are in forbearance. That person does not have a job and that person does not have the pandemic pay any more … what happens next?'”

From KJZZ in Arizona. “Real estate sales in the Phoenix area hit a record not seen since 2007 this summer, according to Arizona State University real estate professor Mark Stapp. Stapp says many factors — including lowered interest rates — are leading to this boom. ‘When you combine the fact that affordability is increasingly a problem, coupled with this potential eviction foreclosure crisis, we could have a significant problem on our hands,’ he said. ‘I think the closer we get to the election, and the more distance we have from the stopping of (economic) stimulus, to the election, it’s going to get even worse.'”

From Palm Springs Life in California. “It seems unlikely, but the coronavirus has created ideal conditions for a dramatic spike in home sales in the Coachella Valley. Michael McDonald of Market Watch LLC told an audience of real estate agents that the conditions are organic, unlike the housing bubble of 2004–2006. ‘That market was driven by an overuse of variable-rate mortgages,’ he says. ‘When interest rates started going back, we had a reset problem, and the only solution at the time was foreclosures. Now, we have forbearance to keep people in their homes.'”

“Incidentally, Walter Neil, CEO of Franklin Loan Center, reminded the agents that forbearance — temporarily suspending mortgage payments — prohibits would-be buyers from borrowing money. ‘To buy, sell, or refinance, they need to get out of the penalty box,’ he says. ‘There are four options to do this: lump sum payment (reinstatement), payment plan, deferral (most common), and loan modification.'”

“Moreover, Neil adds, ‘We’re seeing a lot of appraisals come in below the selling price, requiring buyers and sellers to come together and negotiate. That’s going to continue to happen when we’re in an environment where appreciation is rapidly happening.'”

“How long can the market ride this wave? ‘No one really knows,’ McDonald says. ‘There are no excesses in this market, none that I see. One of the signs of a tipping point is when people are buying because they’re afraid that if they don’t, they’re going to miss out. We’re not anywhere near something like that. Things are solid here.'”

The Wall Street Journal. “Some mortgage lenders are asking customers taking out a mortgage to confirm they don’t intend to seek forbearance, a move meant to keep losses low during a pandemic that has put millions of Americans on shaky financial footing. The unusual requirement comes in the form of a new document included in many borrowers’ closing paperwork. While the language varies, the forms generally tell borrowers that they won’t be allowed to skip payments until their loans are backed by the government, according to forms reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.”

“Lenders can still unload loans that are already in forbearance. Government-backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said this spring they would begin to buy loans in forbearance, but at a discount of either 5% or 7% of the loan’s value, depending on whether the borrower is a first-time homebuyer. The Federal Housing Administration said it would insure loans in forbearance but could charge the lender a 20% fee if the loan goes into foreclosure.”

“Many lenders have responded by tightening credit. Credit-card issuers are closing accounts and lowering credit limits. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index, designed to gauge access to a variety of mortgage products, shows consumer access to home loans fell about 17% between March and July.”

“For mortgage lenders, the forbearance penalty is an added concern. ‘The hit more than wipes out your margin—over something you have no control over,’ said Esther Phillips, senior vice president of sales at Key Mortgage Services Inc. ‘You can’t control what customers do after you close.'”

“Lenders are still doing everything they can to avoid it, including tightening credit, with wide-ranging effects. Many have raised minimum credit scores and lowered maximum debt-to-income ratios. Bernadette Kogler, chief executive of RiskSpan, a mortgage analytics firm, said lenders are going to pull back on credit and ‘make fewer loans that might go into forbearance.'”

From Habitat Magazine in New York. “It’s New York City real estate’s equivalent of Cher and the cockroach: the pied-a-terre tax on high-dollar, non-primary residences simply cannot be killed. Originally proposed by Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, the luxury tax has been voted down numerous times but now appears to be back on the table, Forbes reports, as the city faces a huge tax revenue shortfall because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Cody Vichinsky of Bespoke Real Estate, a firm that focuses only on properties listed at $10 million and above, does not believe a pied-a-terre tax would provide the revenue boon touted by its proponents. Quite the opposite. ‘It’s been reported that if the pied-à-terre tax passed the Senate, it would cut properties priced in the $25 million plus range by 46%,’ Vichinsky says. ‘This would act negatively towards everything that the bill is trying to accomplish, or says that it will accomplish. The entire market would suffer as a result, and the real estate investment potential would weaken in New York.'”

“Broker Rachel Lustbader of Warburg Realty believes there’s an elephant in the room: the effect the pandemic is having on potential apartment buyers at all price levels. ‘People don’t want to commit just on the assumption that we’ll have a vaccine and life will be back to normal,’ Lustbader says. ‘We don’t know how safe the city will be. We (also) don’t know if we’ll be at a point when the appeal of the city will be available: Broadway, movies, theater, department stores and boutiques. That will still be an unknown.'”

From Boston 25 News in Massachusetts. “Families living near so-called ‘Methadone Mile’ describe their neighborhood nightmare ‘reaching new extremes’ in recent months. From a weekly increase in homeless encampments to daily reports of human feces on people’s properties – some have finally had enough. Boston 25 News spoke with several South End residents who have put their home on the market or are planning on doing so in the next month.”

“‘A lot of things that make this neighborhood wonderful don’t exist anymore,’ said new mother Alexandra Krotinger. Krotinger and her husband plan to put their East Springfield home on the market next month. They said they are doing so for the safety of their 11 and a half-month-old son and for their own sanity. ‘I just can’t live like this, and my family needs better,’ explained Krotinger. ‘I keep thinking we’ve reached the boiling point and we haven’t.'”

“Krotinger is among a long list of neighbors who report an increase in daily encounters of human feces on front steps, sidewalks and in alleyways. Neighbors believe the closure of public restrooms during the pandemic and the increase in the number of homeless people congregated in the area has contributed to the escalating problem. ‘Why do I have to weave around piles of human poop in with my stroller,’ questioned Krotinger. ‘It doesn’t make any sense that I’m living in Boston. It’s like a Third World country.'”

“Neighbor Elizabeth Schwartz, who’s a mother to a 16-month-old boy, just put her Mass Ave condo on the market last week. ‘It breaks my heart that I have to leave because I don’t want to leave,’ said Elizabeth Schwartz. ‘It’s just too much.’ Schwartz said she recently had to clean human feces off her front steps after reporting it to 311. ‘If it’s on private property, the city won’t clean it up,’ said Schwartz. ‘Human waste is something you see close to every day.'”

“She said the noticeable increase in homeless encampments, creeping closer to people’s homes, are also hard to ignore. ‘It’s hard to believe you’re driving through a world class city,’ she added.”

From The Stranger in Washington. “It seems Seattle is on the path for a very bad 2021 and 2022. This possibility will become all the more real if Boeing decides to concentrate its production of the 787 Dreamliner planes in South Carolina. The decision, the Seattle Times reports, might be made as early as next month. And if Boeing does move two of its assembly lines over to South Carolina, which is very likely, then an estimated 30,000 employees in Everett are ‘expected to be the loser[s].’ This job loss would extend and deepen the recession that greater Seattle is presently experiencing.”

“For much of the previous decade, Seattle experienced a construction boom like no other. Sixty to sixty-five cranes flew over the city at any given moment. And more buildings were in the works. The total Manhattanization of downtown Seattle seemed only a few years away. This Mahattanization was coupled with an explosion of human-scale or Parisian-scale (around five stories) luxury apartments.”

“It is now impossible to open a local paper or national news website without being met with a story about how Seattle is run by reckless Marxists, or how it is losing small businesses because of rising crime, or how the police department is fleeing the ungrateful city for pro-cop places like Pierce County. And now the BLM protestors are so radical, so rabid, so savage, they’ve moved beyond defiling the statues of dead slave owners and are now defiling the statutes of dead white rock stars from the 90s.”

“What will 2021 and 2022 look like? Because the right is not offering a real solution to the city’s economic problems, these problems will only worsen if the right wins the day, which will likely be the case. But what Seattle should do is generate more income from top earners, significantly increase the spending power of wage earners, and initiate a new building boom, but this time directed at the production of affordable housing.”

“If nothing in this way is done, our downtown will remain as empty as it is today, even after the pandemic is under control. (The idea of getting rid of COVID-19 entirely is a fantasy.) And our glistening skyline will become frozen in time. Or, put another way, it will become nothing more than a sculpture of early third-millennium irrational exuberance.”

This Post Has 138 Comments
  1. ‘Some markets are overvalued…Growth of prices in a recession is pointing in that direction’

    Ya think? Light bulb goes on at UHS.com.

    ‘The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index, designed to gauge access to a variety of mortgage products, shows consumer access to home loans fell about 17% between March and July’

    So how are prices really up when lending is drying up faster than a loogie on a Phoenix sidewalk? Oh, and MBA, why do you pull lending when it suits you, but cry like a little baby over a half point fee?

    ‘Government-backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said this spring they would begin to buy loans in forbearance, but at a discount of either 5% or 7% of the loan’s value, depending on whether the borrower is a first-time homebuyer. The Federal Housing Administration said it would insure loans in forbearance but could charge the lender a 20% fee if the loan goes into foreclosure’

    Oh dear…

  2. ‘Why do I have to weave around piles of human poop in with my stroller…Human waste is something you see close to every day’

    ‘It’s hard to believe you’re driving through a world class city’

    You aren’t Beth, it’s a sh$t-hole, literally.

    1. “‘Why do I have to weave around piles of human poop in with my stroller”

      Do they still have the X Games?

      Sounds like this could be a new sport.

      1. The last time I saw anything like this was in a border town in Mexico in the 90’s. Stay klassy with a K Boston.

        ¡Ay, caramba!

    2. The United States isn’t capable of producing a world class cities. When they do well, they are drained and used as cash cows. When they do poorly, they are used as social landfills.

      BTW, the South End featured in the book Common Ground, about the Boston busing crisis of the 1970s. At the end of it, White families who had chosen to live there decided it had gone to hell and moved out.

      But it recovered to be better than before. It’s a cycle.

  3. ‘It’s been reported that if the pied-à-terre tax passed the Senate, it would cut properties priced in the $25 million plus range by 46%…This would act negatively towards everything that the bill is trying to accomplish, or says that it will accomplish. The entire market would suffer as a result, and the real estate investment potential would weaken in New York’

    Yesterday we were discussing Marxism and New York. People try to deny what has happened here. It’s now common for people to declare “cancel rent”, without having to acknowledge this is commie talk that would require the elimination of capitalism. Or that mobs should have the ability to smash windows and take whatever they want. These cities are going down.

    1. ‘It is now impossible to open a local paper or national news website without being met with a story about how Seattle is run by reckless Marxists’

      Ahem…

      ‘or how it is losing small businesses because of rising crime, or how the police department is fleeing the ungrateful city for pro-cop places like Pierce County. And now the BLM protestors are so radical, so rabid, so savage, they’ve moved beyond defiling the statues of dead slave owners and are now defiling the statutes of dead white rock stars from the 90s’

      Are we done yet?

      ‘what Seattle should do is generate more income from top earners, significantly increase the spending power of wage earners, and initiate a new building boom’

      Now that’s some central planning. Yer done!

      1. generate more income from top earners

        AKA tax the producers to give to the rioters. And he wonders why Boeing is leaning toward moving to South Carolina. 🙄

        1. I have a theory about this. It’s best understood in the twin realignments in the US and the UK. Brexit people are raciscts they said, so anything they oppose should be supported. Brexit called for law and order, nationalism in trade, and of course controlling immigration. The opposition doubled down on the positions and lost big when Boris swept in. One key point here in the US: when a top dem party guy in Illinois asked out loud, when did the Democrat Party become the party of illegal immigration? After 2016, the dem position went from somewhat controlled immigration to complete open borders with free incomes, health care and tuition for all!

          Oh and capitalism. I distinctly remember Pelosi say a while back we are a capitalist country. But the President is against socialism/globalism – so we gotta support that! In both countries, the opposition went to extremes with the idea that it must be the answer cuz these people are in power are racists.

          What’s ignored is that millions of people who voted for Obama – twice – voted for Trump. Districts that hadn’t voted for the Tories for 80 years swung solidly for them in the last election. They’ve misread the shift. It’s ironic because the big protests against globalism in 1999 were in – Seattle!

          ‘1999 Seattle WTO protests, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Seattle,[1] were a series of protests surrounding the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, when members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) convened at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington on November 30, 1999. The Conference was to be the launch of a new millennial round of trade negotiations.’

          ‘The negotiations were quickly overshadowed by massive and controversial street protests outside the hotels and the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. The protests were nicknamed “N30”, akin to J18 and similar mobilizations. The large scale of the demonstrations, estimated at no fewer than 40,000 protesters, dwarfed any previous demonstration in the United States against a world meeting of any of the organizations generally associated with economic globalization (such as the WTO, the International Monetary Fund, or the World Bank).[2]’

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Seattle_WTO_protests

          1. And this is why we read the HBB.

            I was at the World Bank protest in Washington D.C. in April 2002. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the death of a protestor in Genoa, Italy in July 2001, this could have become a heated scene.

            I didn’t assault anybody or throw any sh*t. I went back home to Ohio, and watched the “bipartisans” destroy our country and our economy for another decade.

            The Silent Majority doesn’t need to burn and destroy things. And our patience is infinite, until it isn’t…

          2. You can see it on a number of issues: shutdowns, masks, HCQ, all provoke an extreme knee-jerk opposition.

          3. Sounds like you’re predicting another Trump win, with votes from the Silent Majority. I’m not so sure. Trump’s 2016 win was a squeaker in the battleground states, and only because Hillary got complacent and many Dems felt safe in protest voting. Trump won’t have that element of surprise again. I don’t think Trump is going to gain any voters from 2016, but Biden will definitely gain voters, from those who voted for Jill Stein and those who stayed at home for Bernie. It doesn’t take much to swing a battleground state back.

          4. I guess what I’m theorizing is that doubling down on positions that cost you the last election is foolhardy. And I do think it comes down to issues, not personalities. Even this Seattle writer knows BLM is Marxist. This kneeling, anti-American stuff isn’t good visuals.

          5. I don’t think Trump is going to gain any voters from 2016

            Enough African-Americans will #WalkAway from the Democrat party and vote Trump this November.

          6. I thought the African Americans already walked away in 2016 when they saw an all-white ticket. That was also part of Hillary’s loss — the loss of AAs. My guess is they will just walk away again, not actively vote for Trump. So Trump still doesn’t gain any of the new voters that he needs. And I thought Kamala was supposed to bring in the AA women.

          7. So Trump still doesn’t gain any of the new voters that he needs.

            If you don’t think that this “let’s get rid of the cops” and “burn cities down = peaceful protesting” isn’t hurting Dems and handing Trump voters, you’re sorely mistaken. These are gifts.

          8. I thought the African Americans already walked away in 2016

            DJT had 8% of the AA vote in 2016.

        2. They already tried Chicago as a HQ. I don’t know why they didn’t move to St. Louis when they bought McD-D.

          1. STL and Boeing are sitting together very nicely ty
            Between the T-7, the F-15EX, and the F/A-18, Hazelwood MO (suburb STL) should be rolling steady & heavy for a number of years. Good stuff.

    2. Ben,
      Capitalism died in 1971. Where have you been? We live in a distorted system, sort of socialism for corporations, and state interventionism to protect profits. Nothing can fail anymore.

      1. That’s a bunch of BS. Try going to the grocery store, show your party card, and walk out with some frozen french fries. Or stop paying your phone bill.

        I’ll say this again: all this “it’s distorted, you can’t win, don’t even try” crap is a cop out to excuse not doing anything. I’m going to a foreclosure auction next week. If you want to see capitalism in action, try one.

        1. “I’ll say this again: all this “it’s distorted, you can’t win, don’t even try” crap is a cop out to excuse not doing anything.”

          It’s helplessness. Bonafide grade A limp-wristed helplessness…..

        2. In California your “party card” comes from the EDD with a BofA logo on it. They don’t yet follow you into the voting booth to make sure you vote “correctly” but they sure come close with the blizzard of BS they shovel at us.

          1. So you’re happy to take the check (socialism/communism/someism) but you’re unhappy that you’ll be asked to vote to keep it going? Smells like teen hypocrisy to me.

    3. Or that mobs should have the ability to smash windows and take whatever they want.

      Or that District Attorneys installed by Soros and his ilk will coddle the criminals while ruthlessly advancing globalist agendas like gun control.

  4. ‘We’re seeing a lot of appraisals come in below the selling price, requiring buyers and sellers to come together and negotiate. That’s going to continue to happen when we’re in an environment where appreciation is rapidly happening’

    ‘There are no excesses in this market, none that I see. One of the signs of a tipping point is when people are buying because they’re afraid that if they don’t, they’re going to miss out. We’re not anywhere near something like that. Things are solid here’

    Click! Good old Palm Springs Life. I can count on them to put out a classic, ‘this is a bubble’ report. BTW, this post is too long, but even so I had to pare back the crater significantly. If I have time I’ll post a bunch more later, especially CRE which is in free-fall.

  5. “Could we be entering the dreaded bubble territory once again? ”
    These people are either ill willed, or completely clueless. Real estate has been in severe bubble territory for the last three-four years. And then again, I doubt anyone with some basic math skills could have missed that one. I tend to believe this is massive manipulation and brainwashing. And it seems to work pretty well when you have education for profit an buying your education of the free market.

    1. “And it seems to work pretty well when you have education for profit an buying your education of the free market.”

      It works well for me. I merely lay out a laughable loan proposal on my desk for a totally dumbed-down schmuck to read, to understand, and to sign, and then sit back and relax and marvel as I watch him eagarly sign it.

      For the next thirty years or so he will toil at a job he most likely will grow to hate but nevertheless he will dutifully send to huge chunks of his paychecks to me each and every month. All because I laid out a contract containing what a properly educated person would determine to contain some extremely outrageous loan terms.

      Fifteen minutes of work on my part, thirty years of work on his part. I have three things to say about this:

      1. I like it.

      2. I love it.

      3. I want some more of it.

      😁

      1. Speaking of being dumbed-down, here’s a Blast from the Past …

        “It was my equity that I cashed out, I don’t see why I have to give it back.”

        Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      2. So what are you saying? That taking advantage of someone who is less educated in your area of expertise is game?
        That guy may be an expert in his own area. Are you saying that he should take full advantage of you when you need his help?
        Like I said, everything legal is not Ethical, and laws cannot replace a Moral Code. It only shows how derailed our entire society is anymore.
        That’s why there is this major difference between liberal education, focused on creating character, and buying some education to learn some skills.
        A person of character will do a great job at any skill level, whereas a low character will use his skills against his fellow man and brothers.

        1. Relax, his shtick is a parody of the banking class. He isn’t advocating for it, he’s making fun of it, as well as reminding us that they don’t care one whit about the “little people”

          1. I’m not making fun of the banking class, I am targeting their customers.

            The easy marks are the customers who soon discover what the definition of the term “adjustable” means soon after the terms of their loan become “adjusted”.

            Does a person really need an advanced degree to understand that he cannot afford the ruinous terms clearly spelled out in legally binding terms on a loan document that he most likely never bothered to read? At what point is this puke moved from enjoying the status of “victim” to enduring the status of dumb-assed fool?

  6. “Bernadette Kogler, chief executive of RiskSpan, a mortgage analytics firm, said lenders are going to pull back on credit and ‘make fewer loans that might go into forbearance.'”

    But lending is solid. I was told so by the newspaper and TV. Why would anything change if lending for the past decade has been on the up-and-up?

  7. “the forms generally tell borrowers that they won’t be allowed to skip payments until their loans are backed by the government”

    That’s some solid lending right there.

    1. “the forms generally tell borrowers that they won’t be allowed to skip payments until their loans are backed by the government”

      Welcome to clown world lending.

  8. Michael McDonald of Market Watch LLC told an audience of real estate agents….” “… and the only solution at the time was foreclosures. Now, we have forbearance to keep people in their homes….’”

    So Michael McDonald, what you’re really saying its business as usual -just keep on selling crap shacks that no one can afford…

    So Michael McDonald, tell us what you see when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror.

    I thought so.

    1. So Michael McDonald, tell us what you see when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror.

      He doesn’t see a problem. Recall Upton Sinclair’s words: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it”

  9. ‘You can’t control what customers do after you close.’

    Perhaps they could reinstitute prudent underwriting standards?

      1. “Insiders are now unloading stocks – here’s why you shouldn’t see this as a sell signal

        In other news, petting great white sharks while swimming in bloody chum water is highly recommended.

          1. Yeah, people die there a lot. We’re going to go drive around Yellowstone on Saturday in the RV for fun. Just hanging in the hometown for this week because I need to be online more reliably than normal because of a coworker being out this week. By Labor Day we’ll continue east. I’m thinking of checking out the northern Michigan beaches everybody says are so nice next. Wife and daughter swam in Glacier National Park but that was too cold for me.

  10. * I was reading about the strategic petroleum reserve, and its potential use during the oil price crash right after the pandemic started as a price and demand stabilizer.

    * We also have a cheese reserve: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/11/government-cheese-phenomenon-usda-american-cheese-surplus.html – “In the 1970s, the USDA stepped in to help control volatile milk prices, and it became very profitable to produce milk. So, farmers started producing way too much of it, which was then turned into way too much cheese.”

    * Canada has a maple syrup reserve: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/why-does-canada-have-a-strategic-maple-syrup-reserve/261869/

    * I realized the Fed’s balance sheet is like a “strategic debt reserve” and serves the same purpose as the oil, maple syrup and cheese reserves – price and demand stabilization. Right now, buying so much debt drives debt prices up (and yields down). Yet on the other hand, they’re always shooting for inflation to purportedly reduce the value of that debt, while at the same time, bidding up the value of the debt. Curious.

    1. the Fed’s balance sheet is like a “strategic debt reserve”

      I’d like the FED members to be used as a strategic organ harvesting reserve.

  11. Today’s WaPo has an opinion piece titled “Money to stop evictions could also help stop crime.”

    I feel like I’m watching a Scorsese movie. Give us protection money or we’ll commit aggravated assault.

    I don’t object to extending the unemployment bennies for at least another 6-12 months — on the condition that we stop these ridiculous rent moratoriums — if only to keep the rent/mortgage food chain intact. If you can’t pay your rent on $2400/month (for one person!) then you need to go somewhere cheaper. But a year from now, that needs to stop, and we need a CCC and some real jobs for citizens.

      1. So do I. Send me twenty dollars and a SASE and I will disclose to you a sure fire method for getting people to send you money in the mail.

        1. We’re in a pandemic. These are pandemic bennies. Once the pandemic is over, bennies are over.

          LOLZ. Oh, really? Where is the precedent for “pandemic bennies?” Oh, that’s right, CONgress just made that sh!t up and started sending some preferred people $31,200 per year ON TOP of their regular UE benefits. Sham.

  12. ‘There are four options to do this: lump sum payment (reinstatement), payment plan, deferral (most common), and loan modification.’”

    There’s a fifth option, Walter, and that’s to just stop paying the mortgage and either squat until you get evicted, or walk away. But I guess you’d rather not talk about those options.

  13. ‘The hit more than wipes out your margin—over something you have no control over,’ said Esther Phillips, senior vice president of sales at Key Mortgage Services Inc. ‘You can’t control what customers do after you close.’”

    Ah, but now reckless underwriting is going to get most costly for mortgage brokers, Esther. If you don’t like it, find honest work for a change.

  14. The entire market would suffer as a result, and the real estate investment potential would weaken in New York.’”

    Cry me a river, REIC scumbag. Shelter never should’ve been turned into a speculative commodity.

  15. How long can the market ride this wave? ‘No one really knows,’ McDonald says. ‘There are no excesses in this market, none that I see.

    Realtors are liars.

  16. “‘A lot of things that make this neighborhood wonderful don’t exist anymore,’ said new mother Alexandra Krotinger.

    I bet Ms. Krotinger hasn’t made the connection between her vote for “compassion” and the steaming piles of feces on her front lawn.

  17. ‘It breaks my heart that I have to leave because I don’t want to leave,’ said Elizabeth Schwartz. ‘It’s just too much.’

    You reap what you vote, Liz. But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and stamp your little feet.

  18. “It is now impossible to open a local paper or national news website without being met with a story about how Seattle is run by reckless Marxists, or how it is losing small businesses because of rising crime, or how the police department is fleeing the ungrateful city for pro-cop places like Pierce County. And now the BLM protestors are so radical, so rabid, so savage, they’ve moved beyond defiling the statues of dead slave owners and are now defiling the statutes of dead white rock stars from the 90s.”

    Seattle is the template for where the Democrats want to take every town and city in America.

    1. After the shots ring out, some marchers can be heard trying to reason with the men.

      Oh! So when they aren’t in a position to threaten and intimidate people, suddenly they want to have a reasoned discussion and be “peaceful”. Imagine that!

      1. Two dead commies in Kenosha last night. Andy Ngo’s Twitter has some graphic footage of a looter missing a chunk out of his arm, shot live on camera.

        Unlike Seattle and Portland, the Midwest doesn’t f* around.

        1. Trump was correct in that “looting leads to shooting.” Of course, the left interpreted it that Trump would order shootings himself. 🤨

        2. A mob chased a guy with an AR-15, yelling they were going to “beat his ass.” The guy tripped and fell, and one of the BLM-Antifa would-be attackers jumped on him – and got shot. Another punk with the same intent got shot, and the rest scattered like roaches.

          Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

        3. Lemme guess: the two shooting deaths of BLM looters/rioters in Kenosha last night are being categorized as “COVID-related.”

  19. GIG BLAST Van Morrison calls on music industry to stand up to ‘pseudoscience’ around Covid-19 by holding full capacity concerts

    Aoife Finneran
    25 Aug 2020

    VAN Morrison has called on the music industry to stand up to the “pseudoscience” around coronavirus by holding concerts with full capacity.

    He fumed: “Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudo-science and speak up.”

    https://www.thesun.ie/tvandshowbiz/5823986/van-morrison-calls-music-industry-stand-up-covid-19/

    1. Lemme guess, this guy never got past biology in high school?

      This is not a pandemic for shallow thinkers, that’s for sure. There are treatments that work early but not late, yet some insist the treatments don’t work at all. There are still talks of second waves, when the original wave concept is based on summer lulls, which we did not have here. There are people who will object to one type vaccine but not to another type of vaccine, yet people are polled whether they will accept “the” vaccine. There are two strains of the virus, and it appears possible to be infected by both. Antibody immunity fades but T-cell memory immunity remains, yet people still think that we are immune for only 3 months. We had months of asymptomatic transmission before people figured it out. Masks block more virus at the exhaler than the inhaler, which means everyone has to wear one — good luck with that. Certain demographics are more affected — and no one wants to distinguish between higher infection from careless behavior and higher death rates from co-morbidities. Early arguments about case fatality rate vs. population mortality rate lost significance as we found that 10% of the symptomatic struggle for months with possible permanent damage.

      All of these seeming conundrums can be fully explained, but those explanations can’t be fit on a bumper-sticker, but instead they are decision trees and flow charts, too complex for much of the population. And for every one of these examples, this complexity is being exploited to further either a political or economic agenda. And frustratingly, there’s not much any of can individually do. What a mess.

      1. If we stop counting asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, the count of asymptomatic cases will go to zero, and we can stop worrying about asymptomatic community spreading.

        And if we collectively ignore that over 1000 U.S. citizens still regularly die of COVID-19 on a single day, we can stop worrying so much and start enjoying rock concerts again.

        We Can Make Believe!

        1. CDC now says people without symptoms who have been exposed to COVID-19 don’t need to get tested
          Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 7:56 a.m. ET
          By Jaimy Lee

          The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday updated guidance to say that Americans who have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes and do not have symptoms do not need to get tested. “You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one,” the CDC said. This is a change from previous guidance that said people who had spent more than 15 minutes with an individual who has tested positive for the virus should also get tested, regardless of symptoms. The U.S. has conducted more than 73 million tests this year, and about 6 million of them have come back positive. The CDC’s decision has been criticized by some in the medical community. “Our work on the ‘silent’ spread underscores the importance of testing people who have been exposed to COVID-19 regardless of symptoms,” Alison Galvani, an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis, tweeted. “This change in policy will kill.” It is estimated that up to 40% of people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning they do not demonstrate common symptoms of an infection like coughing or muscle aches, according to one research letter published in May in JAMA Network.

          1. This measure is not only a coronavirus death accelerator, but it’s also an economy killer.

            What are these people thinking?

          2. I saw the comments on this article. They think Trump is just trying to suppress the case count. I looked up the actual CDC document (instead of news stories about it) and couldn’t find a clear reason why a test was not necessary. I dunno, maybe they want to conserve tests the way they conserve masks.

            What I don’t understand is the CDC’s idea that you need to be in close contact with an infected person for 15 minutes in order to be exposed. That’s a long time. If you really need that much exposure, then why bother with or installing all that plexiglass in the stores? Nobody interacts with anyone for 15 minutes straight.

          3. To estimate the number of asymptomatic carriers, you need to sample asymptomatic individuals who may have been exposed.

            Or you can choose to ignore asymptomatic cases and hope for the best.

            It’s a societal choice.

          4. What I don’t understand is the CDC’s idea that you need to be More guesswork on their part. The most common tests only measure byproducts of the actual cause of infection. So deciding whether those who measured + are infectious or not, is also guesswork.

      2. This is not a pandemic for shallow thinkers, that’s for sure.

        Shamdemic.

        Is there a virus? Yes. Is it bad? For some people. Is it overblown? IN THE WORST WAY EVER.

        1. I think they are including other flue cases in the death count to up the cases. On a yearly average 80 percent of nursing home people die within 6 months of respiratory deaths.

          This is all fraud because they get more money if it’s labeled a Covid death.

          1. I think they are including other flue cases in the death count to up the cases. Perhaps. But if you drill down through the reports on the CDC web sites, you can still find stats for actual flu deaths as opposed to COVID-19 deaths. Couple of weeks ago I found that (in the under age 18 group) there have been about 180 deaths from influenza and about 90 from COVID-19. The very first death in CA in this age group was not reported until 31 Jul 2020. 20 states had no COVID-19 deaths in that age group as of 29 Jul. Not that any official CDC spokesperson or any MSM outlet will ever publish disturbing facts like these.

  20. ‘The power that (a low mortgage interest rate) gives you as a buyer is really huge,’ Jen Klentzman, an Austin real estate agent, said. ‘You might have thought you needed to be at $300,000, but with the interest rate in the twos, you might be able to afford that $350,000 house.

    That $300,000 house was a $100,000 house back when I was still there. Here’s a typical example not far from where I was living in ’08

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/12214-Scribe-Dr-Austin-TX-78759/58306486_zpid/

    42 years old, 1/5 acre lot, 1,335 sq ft – nothing special in a subdivision of nearly identical nothing specials, not close to downtown or anything special. Even just before the ’08 crash kicked in you could find plenty just like this for under 100K, maybe 85-90K for less than great examples.

    Up 300-400% in ~12 years, totally driving out ‘working class’ families (or putting them deep in debt).

    On the flip side, apartment rents in the same area (since I was renting nearby while divorcing the [redacted], I remember rents very well), are up 15-20% in 12 years. Maybe +25% for the most sought after units.

    Helluva disconnect there. “The Market” can justify sending houses out of reach, but apparently there are too many renters who can’t pay through the nose to justify rents following along. Now, that’s not an indicator of trouble, is it?

    1. Another sh!thole with a Democrat mayor burns.

      Not surprising, it’s what Antifa does. They are the Dems red guards.

    1. Love it! Supposedly he accidentally went to the wrong school of music without knowing. There were two different sections, and he went to the ballet section. He would have never composed it otherwise! But most of it is just a collection of old dances. The Nutcracker even more so. Critics never really appreciated the Russian school. The composers never followed to many rules. His teacher refused to conduct his first piano concerto. Said it was a mess. 🙂

      1. Academic musicologists never warmed up much to Tchaikovsky. But classical audiences vote in his favor with their feet and ticket purchases. The Nutcracker reportedly keeps many ballet troupes in shoes.

        1. Nope, no Nutcracker for me. Since most productions bring in kid dancers from local ballet schools, the show is usually riddled with stage-mom backstabbing over whether their precious angel is a mouse or a soldier or whatever.

      1. Richard Hodges stepped out of his office to buy his first gold bar in the City of London. Over the next decade, he built up his personal collection to several kilograms’ worth, stored in his “own little Bank of England basement.” Hodges, who also works as a money manager at Nomura Asset Management, thinks central banks’ stimulus has ushered in an “age of currency and asset price manipulation.”

        Now every criminal who reads this article knows who to go rob and kill for a bunch of gold. I sure as hell wouldn’t want this info printed about me in the age where you can Google home addresses and all sorts of personal info.

  21. No “pent-up demand” for $500,000 starter homes happening here:

    “Long-term unemployment helped define the Great Recession. Countless networks, relationships and skills that bound employee to employer were ripped apart in the global financial crisis. It took about eight years for the unemployment rate to recover from that brutal dislocation.

    Now economists fear it’s happening all over again. The devastating surge in unemployment in March and April was supposed to be temporary, as businesses shuttered to avert the greatest public health crisis in more than a century. Most workers reported they expected to be called back soon.

    But nearly half a year later, many of the jobs that were stuck in purgatory are being lost forever. About 33% of the employees put on furlough in March were laid off for good by July, according to Gusto, a payroll and benefits firm whose clients include small businesses in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Only 37% have been called back to their previous employer.”

    https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/As-permanent-economic-damage-piles-up-the-Covid-15512819.php

  22. Guess whose turn it is to worry about whether there’s a housing bubble?

    You guessed it: The used home sellers!

    1. Trends
      Home Prices Hit Record Highs. Is It a Bubble About to Burst?
      By Clare Trapasso | Aug 24, 2020

      The nation’s surging home prices don’t seem to care about the recession the country is mired in. They can’t be bothered by the deadly coronavirus pandemic or the double-digit unemployment that’s come as a result. Instead, prices are defying logic, expectations, and even belief, as they shoot up to record highs amid an unprecedented health and economic crisis.

      It has all led some to wonder: Are some markets getting too hot? Could a significant correction be around the corner?

      Such questions have become louder in recent weeks, in the face of some startling growth numbers, particularly in some high-priced California and less expensive Rust Belt, Midwestern, and Southern markets.

    2. Trends
      Is the U.S. Hurtling Toward Another Housing Crash?
      By Clare Trapasso | Apr 22, 2020

      All of us have a mind-boggling range of challenges to deal with in these stressful and uncharted times of COVID-19. But for many home owners, sellers, and buyers, one concern rises to the top: Are we heading straight into another housing crash?

      Little is assured these days, and our current situation is without precedent. But most housing experts believe the wave of across-the-board home-price slashing and desperate sell-offs that characterized the aftermath of the Great Recession are far less likely to materialize this time around..

  23. As the elites meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to plot out the next escalation in their financial warfare against the 99%, Jerome Powell and the Oligopoly media are packaging their “inflation is good!” pitch for the screwed-over proles.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-jacksonhole-framework/framework-review-complete-feds-powell-starts-hard-sell-for-higher-inflation-idUSKBN25M16E

    On Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell begins what may be the tougher task: convincing the public that the central bank can and will deliver in the wake of a pandemic that has arguably eroded trust in U.S. institutions and put a huge chunk of the labor force on the unemployment rolls.

    It is a hard sell on a confusing topic – the thrust involves telling Americans that higher inflation will be good for them in the long run – and analysts have already begun second-guessing whether a new Fed “framework” will fare any better than the current one in an environment where monetary policy may be nearing the limit of what it can do to help the economy.

    1. On Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell begins what may be the tougher task: convincing the public that the central bank can and will deliver in the wake of a pandemic that has arguably eroded trust in U.S. institutions and put a huge chunk of the labor force on the unemployment rolls.

      “Convince the public” my asz. This clown works for the .1%ers and nobody else.

      It’s too bad a group of hundreds of thousands of angry Americans with pitchforks and worse won’t show up to Jackson Hole and decimate this entire cabal.

    2. It is a hard sell on a confusing topic – the thrust involves telling Americans that higher inflation will be good for them in the long run

      On what planet is inflation good? What person has ever said, “gosh, I’m loving this inflation?”

      These people are crooks, selling a lie.

    1. Cuz we’re all in this together? Even long-term renters who wouldn’t touch a mortgage with a ten-foot pole?

    2. Our landlord sent an appraiser over yesterday in preparation to refi. Looks like he beat the fee increase!

    1. Not much sympathy from the comment section. Pics in the UK Daily Mail clearly show that the BLM thug shot in the arm and another one shot in the torso were clearly intent on inflicting serious bodily harm, along with fellow members of a mob, on a kid on the ground who used his AR-15 to defend himself and repel his would-be attackers.

      1. “…the BLM thug shot in the arm…”

        In the military they’d say, “Well… he’s gotta tug on it with the other hand now.”

    2. Just think about how nuts it was to gut American jobs to Communist China and other Foreign Countries. So now we have a Political party protecting China and accusing the President of killing 170 thousand people , when it was China that unleased this virus World Wide.
      Who in their right mind would think that taking away the means of production and survival from USA Citizens and transporting it to a Commie Country like China was anything but treason.

      So now we have a Political party that is promoting a Commie agenda , as if that’s the American way.
      Whoever you give the jobs and manufacturing to becomes the power.

      Whatever it takes to restore the previous America that was looted by the forces that got the Politicians to betray America.

      A Country without borders isn’t a Country anymore.

      Look at Biden, a senile old corrupt Political hack, in which the evidence shows his Son was enriched by Foreign bribes by the Ukraine and China.

      The evidence shows that the Politicians sold out America to Globalism, Monopolies, and Big Government Commie takeover . This is what is messing up the USA It’s class warfare because of the looting of America by these forces. Now the Commie sector is looting the Cities while big Corporations are donating to this lawlessness.

      The Resistance has shown their true colors in every way and it isn’t a pretty picture.

      1. One thing about America was that in general it was a law and order Country. Now it’s appears that is under attack.
        But, it was apparent to me that when they started letting the homeless go lawless and poop in public that worse was to come.
        But , it’s clear that the leaders of these Cities don’t solve problems . All they know is asking for more money but doing nothing to solve problems.

    1. There was a time when Eva Braun was not the governor of Michigan
      There was also a time when legislatures would convene, pass legislation & if necessary amend constitutions to “adjust” what executives could and could not do. Some states still allow for recalls of governors.

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