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Owners Are Losing Interest, Losing Money Or Losing Hope, And Are Now Considering Transacting

A report from the Herald Tribune in Florida. “A new 5,335-square-foot Casey Key home with a private beach will be auctioned, without reserve, this month. The luxury house on Casey Key was built last year and has never been occupied, according to Heritage Auctions, which is handling the March 23 sale. It’s a Florida Coastal Colonial-style home with an assessed value of $3,277,400, according to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser. An auction without reserve means the property will be sold regardless of price.”

From Oregon Business. “‘Portland was probably overrated when it was at its peak,’ muses Chris Nelson, principal at Capstone Partners. Nelson and others acknowledge that downtowns are hurting. ‘The most difficult sale we have right now is the condo, where the city is your living room,’ says Drew Coleman, president of Oregon Realtors. ‘People are looking for suburban or rural locations while the desire for city dwelling has plummeted.'”

From Bisnow New York. “Manhattan’s high-end residential market received a boost last week. The market is partly moving because sellers are slashing prices, in some cases taking a loss. The priciest deal of the week, two apartments to be combined at 551 West 21st St., went under contract at an asking price of just shy of $26M. It previously sold for more than $31M in 2016 and was first listed at $40M in 2017.”

From AM New York. “As many New Yorkers began to leave the city, rents started to drop. By the end of the second quarter of 2020, StreetEasy found that Manhattan rents were falling and potential renters were boosting their searches in Brooklyn and Queens. According to StreetEasy, in November of 2020 rents in Manhattan dropped 12.7% year over year, the biggest drop since the Great Recession.”

“‘There are 12,000 empty apartments in Manhattan. We’re in a time where tenants can take longer than 5 minutes to think about where we want to live. Landlords are going to have to add more concessions. In 2019, 5 or 6 people were going after the same space,’ said Allia Mohamed, CEO of openigloo. ‘Even though people are coming back to the city, there are still decreases in rent. … Rent has decreased 17% in Manhattan and 13% in Brooklyn.'”

From Livabl in California. “One-bedroom rent in Los Angeles continued to decline in February, falling 2.1 percent month-over-month to $1,900. Compared to the same period last year, rent was down 15.6 percent, according to Zumper, which has recorded softening Los Angeles rents since the pandemic began in March of last year. Two-bedroom rent also took a hit, dropping 1.5 percent from January to February. The median rate of $2,660 per month was 11.3 percent lower than where prices stood a year earlier.”

From Bisnow Silicon Valley in California. “Postal service change-of-address data indicates a net migration of 53,000 households out of S.F. from March to November in 2020 compared to 17,000 in 2019, S.F. Chronicle reported. The migration resulted in steep drops in apartment rents in S.F. ‘The threat is — and it’s a serious one — if we don’t solve the housing problem, affordable and worker housing, I believe we are headed toward becoming a Detroit,’ Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone said.”

From Forbes. “Recently I was involved in a panel discussion that covered, among other topics, the reuse of pandemic-affected commercial real estate. During this discussion, one panelist asserted that commercial real estate, currently, is under-demolished. An aspect of what I do is to buy and sell properties, and to me, this seemed an odd statement. So, I looked deeper. It’s true that there is a lot of property that will likely just sit forever. Prospective tenants will be few and far between.”

“Any bank would have the same trouble as another landlord would have when seeking tenants for an aged property during an economic calamity. A nonbank owner could walk away from a property and suffer whatever losses come, and the bank’s problems increase to the level of ownership. That means they will be responsible for the local and state property taxes and all other issues until the property has moved off their books. That is not a bright outlook for anyone.”

“If you have a hopeless situation with a property, perhaps demolition to grade is an option. A major out-of-the-box rethink by governments will be needed to remove the parcel, perhaps by increasing the taxes on remaining parcels, considering the stock of properties will have shrunken.”

From Yahoo Finance. “Hotels, leisure parks and malls have seen their incomes evaporate as the world essentially shut down. Lockdowns pushed about $146 billion of commercial real estate into distress, serious risk of bankruptcy or default at the end of last year, concentrated in hotels and retail, according to Real Capital Analytics. Pimco teamed up with mall landlord NewRiver REIT Plc to buy a mall in the center of Sheffield, England, at a ‘significant discount,’ according to a statement. The site can accommodate 1,100 rental apartments and dorms for 300 students.”

“‘We are increasingly seeing owners who are losing interest, losing money or losing hope, and are now considering transacting,’ said Bill Benjamin, head of real estate at Ares Management Corp. ‘There will be some very exciting cyclical opportunities to buy assets at deep values.'”

From Blog TO in Canada. “Toronto condos and apartments are offering more perks than ever in order to lure in new tenants, and one building is even offering to pay for your move. As buildings in the city struggle to fill their vacant listings, landlords and property managers are enticing potential renters with move-in incentives like free internet, month-long free rent, and gift cards. The number of move-in perks have seen a spike since the beginning of COVID-19, says listings website Rentals.ca, and we should expect incentives to be a common offering until demand for condo units catch up to supply.”

The Evening Standard in the UK. “Demand for rented properties in London has dropped by as much as 43 per cent in the last year. SpareRoom showed that no area of the capital has been spared a plummet in interest. West Central London saw the biggest downturn, with year-on-year demand dropping 43 per cent, while East Central London also took a considerable hit, dropping 39 per cent. Even perennially popular hipster magnet East London saw interest drop by 19 per cent. Becky Fatemi, director of central London estate agent Rokstone, agrees that domestic migration of renters out of London is partly at fault, but highlights that it isn’t the only factor affecting demand.”

“‘The disappearance of international students and the switch of AirBnbs to long term rentals means there is currently an oversupply of rental accommodation in the capital and therefore rents, in the centre of London particularly, have fallen,’ Fatemi says.”

From Ekathimerini in Greece. “The pandemic and the resulting crash in the tourism industry also greatly affected short-term rentals, with total earnings falling to €467.4 million from €989 million in 2019, a drop of almost 53%. The average occupancy rate of short-term rentals dropped to 36.1% from 50% in 2019. In other words, reservations accounted for just over one-third of available days. The most popular destinations were not immune to this decline; quite the contrary.”

“The picture becomes even worse when one takes account of just the active listings. Thus, in December, fewer than 20,000 available listings had at least one reservation. Even at the height of last year’s tourist season, in August, just over 60,000 listings were active. This is proof that the short-rental market was operating at well below capacity in 2020 and a sizable number of property owners saw little or no business.”

From Gulf News. “‘So, how much have your rents dropped?’ Over the last 14 months, and even before the pandemic showed up, this has been the trending topic for UAE residents residential rental declines swept across the city. No single location was immune, because there would always be one or more landlord willing to drop his asking rate. And it’s starting to happen more frequently as winning a new tenant or retaining an existing one has become one difficult task. For tenants, it’s about finding they are holding all the aces in this particular game – and bragging about the ‘unbelievable’ rent drop in the latest contract renewal has become another talking point for many residents.”

“‘I asked my landlord for a discount and he gave it to me just like that. This is a huge saving – I have had a salary cut and paying a lot on my petrol as I have a sales job. So any saving goes a long way,’ said Ahmed Al Hamzy, who is staying in a studio and paying Dh30,000. His landlord has given him a Dh5,000 cut.”

The West Australian. “Jumping into homeownership is no easy feat for many, and servicing a mortgage can be challenging, forcing some into a distressed sale when they cannot make ends meet. A distressed sale occurs when the homeowner is under significant financial stress which forces the sale of their property, or they default on their loan and the home is sold as a bank or mortgagee sale.”

“Ray White Whiteman & Associates Director David Whiteman said a multitude of factors could affect someone’s ability to service a loan, making distressed sales common. ‘Economic factors are a part of life, and health implications can affect our ability to service debt,’ he said. ‘I think the financial literacy issue is massive. Financial literacy is not something that is taught in schools, and if it is not passed down by a parent it is common for people to have a lack of understanding on how to organise their money.'”

“Mr Whiteman recommended seeking a financial advisor before the situation became dire. ‘When things get tight, seek help straight away to get back on track,’ he said. ‘Unfortunately, it is common for some folks to try and wish the problem away, which seldom helps. In the case when issues are ignored, people stop communicating with their bank, get into default and try to wish away the problem – the trouble gets bigger. If a bank forecloses on a person, generally there is an additional cost to the borrower to go through that process.'”

“If worse comes to worst and you have to undergo a distressed sale, Mr Whiteman said the process was the same as any other sale. ‘The process of sale is essentially the same as any other and certainly buyers would not be made aware of the distress unless the seller specifically wanted this to be the case,’ he said. ‘A good and experienced agent can walk you through the process and provide sensible options to move forward in the best possible way.'”

This Post Has 104 Comments
  1. ‘A new 5,335-square-foot Casey Key home with a private beach will be auctioned, without reserve, this month. The luxury house on Casey Key was built last year and has never been occupied’

    Mentions red-hotcakes…

    1. The only red hotcakes I’ve heard of is houses with room for home offices and at least 0.25 acre of arable land. Not luxury, not condoze.

      The house itself is ugly AF and way out of place. What is “colonial coastal” style, other than a total oxymoron? A house right on the Gulf should be full of light pastel colors, shiny tile, and walls of windows. Instead, it’s got Behr Swiss Coffee paint and dark wood flooring, dark kitchen island, and dark wood window mullions, blocking that million-dollar view. No tropical gardens, no outdoor shower or poolhouse to rinse off after dipping in the ocean, no pool…

      1. I would love to live in a house outfitted the way you describe. I would sit in shade while enjoying the view and aa cold rye whiskey neat. I love a waterview but I hate being in the sun even though I am a Florida native. Not evryone worships the sun.

      2. Checkout the other house for 19,9 million. That house does the ‘colonial coastal’ style well. ‘Colonial Coastal’ is the PC derivation of the original style which is ‘Anglo Caribbean’. The dark floors (often Cherry wood) are part of the style.

      1. Portland, OR has been, and still is, an industrial city with foundries, heavy iron-works and major railroad engine rebuilding to name a few. California has gutted its blue-collar industrial output so thoroughly that you can’t even get metal parts galvanized…all in the name of environmentalism.

    1. By “city dwelling” he must literally mean downtown which isn’t large, – ie, by 15th Ave on the West and 7th on the East, you’re out of “downtown.” – or he means only condos.

      Right now I’m watching everything that’s not a condo within 60 blocks of downtown under $1M go pending within 30 days. 60 blocks is neither suburban, nor rural. A significant amount of those are over $650K and pending within a week. Most aren’t worth half that and this was unthinkable just a few years ago. The current frenzy is quite breathtaking in its insanity. I wouldn’t have said so 5 years ago, but this place is well and truly effed.

  2. ‘if we don’t solve the housing problem, affordable and worker housing, I believe we are headed toward becoming a Detroit’

    Let me get this straight Larry. Unless you crater, yer Detroit.

    1. Postal service change-of-address data indicates a net migration of 53,000 households out of S.F. from March to November in 2020 compared to 17,000 in 2019, S.F. Chronicle reported.”

      Migration seems to be driving up prices in places like AZ. A 2 acre lot in Cottonwood is going for about 150k. Any buildable lot about 50k …land in a hick town in the desert where summers are 100 degrees. How much air is left in this bubble? My mind is just blown trying to comprehend it at this point.

      1. How much air is left in this bubble? My mind is just blown trying to comprehend it at this point.

        Jerome Powell says the FED has “plenty more tools.”

  3. Today’s image file for the Lockdown Lovers, 55K upvotes edition:

    https://i.redd.it/qmz78sqvyok61.png

    In a public statement yesterday about re-opening Texas, Governor Abbott said that “anyone who wants a job can get a job.”

    Happy ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of “fifteen days to flatten the curve.”

    1. Top voted comment on the above Reddit screenshot:

      “The fear of looking like an anti-masker overrides my fear of the virus itself”

    2. Politico — CDC’s draft guidelines for vaccinated Americans call for small steps toward normal life (3/2/2021):

      “The CDC guidance, which could be released as early as Thursday, will include recommendations that Americans limit their social interactions to small gatherings in the home with other fully vaccinated individuals, wear masks in public and adhere to other public-health measures such as social distancing for the foreseeable future.

      But the agency’s advice is likely to disappoint many who hoped the increasing pace of inoculations would allow some common restrictions to be relaxed immediately for vaccinated people.”

      https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/02/cdc-draft-guidelines-for-vaccinated-americans-472451

      Would allow?

      This isn’t cuck Europe, this isn’t cuck Canada, and this isn’t cuck Australia. If you enjoy living in cuck California, please visit the /r/coronavirus sub-reddit and enjoy the cuck-fest.

      If you want to read the only non-cucked sub-reddit (where I get most of these image files for the HBB’s enjoyment), go here:

      https://old.reddit.com/r/NoNewNormal/

      1. Yeah, I want to let the same guberment that runs the DMV run every aspect of my life. We need to ignore the urine soaked mattress people and tell these control freaks to go to hell. I went through a TSA checkpoint the other day without a mask. The guy asks for my ID and without looking says, “please remove yer mask.” Then looks up and says, “oh you aren’t wearing one. Proceed.”

        1. Image file from /r/Texas:

          https://i.redd.it/02qtq500gtk61.png

          These mask cucks have all of the personal autonomy and emotional maturity of a 4 year old child who refuses to potty train, and every Reddit upvote on content like this are the lazy parents who indulge their child sitting in their own filth.

          1. It’s time to stop paying people to stay home and open up the entire economy. This is absurdly ridiculous at this point. And they are extending these enhanced UE bennies through August? Just WTF are they doing?

          2. Vaccines freely available by end of July, need 3 weeks to get immunity, extra unemployment stops in August. That was before Biden or somebody convinced Merck to help out J&J and pull that July dat forward till end of May.

          3. Sorry, my vaccine and virus news was run out of town a few days ago by posters much smarter than me. Go ask them.

  4. ‘If you have a hopeless situation with a property, perhaps demolition to grade is an option. A major out-of-the-box rethink by governments will be needed to remove the parcel, perhaps by increasing the taxes on remaining parcels, considering the stock of properties will have shrunken’

    So the building was worth less than nothing, and get on yer knees and beg for a tax cut? Where do I sign up for this bonanza?

    1. I can’t think of another “investment” that goes negative. Not stocks, not bonds, not PM….. But houses sure do.

    2. There is no problem that government can’t solve with more regulations and higher taxes.

  5. ‘I asked my landlord for a discount and he gave it to me just like that’

    That’s the spirit!

  6. ‘making distressed sales common’

    Wa?! But one a dime Australia went from craterville to the whitest hotcakes imaginable?

    Could be somebody is a lion.

  7. ‘‘We are increasingly seeing owners who are losing interest, losing money or losing hope’

    It’s all of the above Bill. So now they want to sell. Interesting this impulse to get out when the sweet equity isn’t coming in. It suggests that the operating income was never sufficient, which would mean these “owners” were really gambling all along!

    1. Everybody’s a speculator in everything now. The FED and .gov, through their insane cheap money scams, have created a nation of gamblers.

      1. Everybody’s a speculator in everything now.
        I read on Bloomberg where you can but a percent of a pair of Shoes! Think Jordans
        Sneakers Turning Into an Asset Class This a Podcast which I didn’t listen to but WOW, This bubble is dumber than the 1997-2000 bubble. (Pets.com anyone?)

  8. ‘The most difficult sale we have right now is the condo…the desire for city dwelling has plummeted’

    It’s a socialist sh$thole Drew. It’s no big loss though, right? These Portland airboxes cost what, 10k or 20K pesos?

  9. ‘Widespread state and central bank support, coupled with a more conservative approach to borrowing by real estate investors in the run-up to the outbreak, has held off fire sales so far’

    Wait for it:

    ‘Hammerson Plc, the U.K.’s largest retail-focused listed landlord, trades at a discount of about 95% to the reported value of its net assets’

    So 95% isn’t a fire sale? And I was told here that central bank saves everybody?

    Sacré bleu!

    1. I expect that it won’t be long until publication of all Dr. Seuss books will cease, because “reasons”. I wonder what Universal Studios will do with its Dr. Seuss attractions in its theme parks?

      It crosses my mind that there are a lot of used Dr. Seuss books in circulation. Many are boxed and stored in attics and basements, so I don’t expect they will go away. But since kids will eventually be told at school that Ted Geisel was a “bad person”, they will reject the books when grandma brings them over. I also expect that places like goodwill might discard any donated copies, and that over time the books will be harder to find.

      I lived in Mexico when it was a one party state. The government was authoritarian, but the level of repression was nothing close to what I’m seeing now in the US.

      1. I just read that Universal is already making plans to retire anything Dr. Seuss related in their theme parks.

  10. Did you hear that bond yields are spiking anew today? I thought the central bank controlled all the levers. Have they decided to increase longterm rates and release some of the hot air out of the stonks bubble?

        1. have always tracked

          “An ounce of silver is a day’s wages. Gold is a month’s wages.”

          Doesn’t square well with a $15/hr minimum wage!

        2. “Inflation up –> rates up –> PMs up.”

          This time is different, as it was artificially engineered historically low interest rates that drove many into PMs.

          1. Sharp price declines in gold, silver amid firmer USDX, rising bond yields
            Jim Wyckoff
            Wednesday March 03, 2021 08:22
            Kitco News

            (Kitco News) – Gold and silver futures prices are sharply lower and near their session lows in early U.S. trading Wednesday. Rising government bond yields and a rebound in the U.S. dollar index at mid-week are negative outside forces working against the precious metals markets. Also, buying interest in the safe-haven metals has been limited recently by rallying stock markets and a rebound in the U.S. dollar index. And then there are the shorter-term, chart-based futures traders who are piling on because of the more bearish near-term technical postures in gold and silver. April gold futures were last down $24.10 at $1,710.00 and May Comex silver was last down $0.649 at $26.225 an ounce.

    1. The Financial Times
      Markets Briefing Sovereign bonds
      US tech stocks fall as government bond sell-off resumes

      A measure of US inflation expectations has hit 2.5% for the first time since 2008
      Colby Smith in New York and Naomi Rovnick in London
      24 minutes ago

      A sell-off in US government bonds intensified on Wednesday, sending stocks sharply lower for a second straight day.

      The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond, which acts as a benchmark for global borrowing costs, climbed to nearly 1.5 per cent at one point and stood at 1.47 per cent by mid-afternoon in New York, up nearly 0.08 percentage points on the day.

      Treasury trading has been particularly volatile for a week now — 10-year yields briefly eclipsed 1.6 per cent last Thursday — but the rise in yields has been picking up pace since the start of the year and the moves have begun weighing heavily on US stocks. This is especially true for high-growth technology companies whose valuations have been underpinned by low rates.

      The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite index was down 2 per cent on Wednesday, on top of a 1.7 per cent drop the day before. The broader S&P 500 fell by 0.7 per cent.

    2. Examples of Widow Makers
      The Granddaddy of Widow Makers
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-economy-boj/bank-of-japans-balance-sheet-now-larger-than-countrys-gdp-idUSKCN1NI07Z

      Shorting Japanese government bonds (JGBs) is perhaps the most well-known widow maker trade of all. Traders have shorted JGBs over the past two decades as Japanese government debt spiraled ever higher. Usually, this trade would make sense. But the Japanese central bank has repeatedly pushed interest rates to unprecedented lows—even below zero—and this drove JGB prices to record highs, making “widows” of many traders over the years.
      —————————–

      Now, this all goes on without the threat of inflation. Could the Fed do the above as well? I don’t see why not. The central bank exists to finance governments (it existed long before the “dual mandates” came into being) and low interest rates support that end:

      The Bundesbank head added that the ECB is ready to adjust the pace of asset purchases if needed though, saying that “we want to preserve favorable financing conditions for the non-financial sector — that’s not just looking at financing costs for governments, it’s a much broader picture.”
      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ecb-said-see-no-drastic-120338902.html
      —————————–

      Could it monetize the US government bond market in the face of inflation? I dunno. The history of recent monetary policy has been that of pushing limits – going off the gold standard, novel asset purchases (the first mortgage backed security was purchased in 2008 ( https://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-are-5-things-to-know-about-the-surge-in-fed-mortgage-bond-buying-2019-11-16 )).

      Mortgage rates track US 10 Year Treasuries. The central bank buys huge numbers of both of these types of debt.

      In light of Japan’s experience (in a deflationary environment) and the ability of the Fed to bring down interest rates over the years (in a low-inflation environment); in a moderately inflationary environment, could they take over the treasury and mortgage markets? I think that’s where the system is headed overall. Bursts of inflation would be very welcome to the central bank as it would very effectively transfer purchasing power from savers to debtors, and they have a bank-centric view of the economy, believing debtors, are the engine of the economy.

      Would attempts to suppress interest rates by government and housing debt monetizing while inflation is rising lead to more inflation? Maybe, maybe not. There’s also that huge pile of debt: https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/hhdc.html which requires servicing, so that might eat up dollars flooding the system.

      Maybe, those dollars are not captured evenly by the various tiers of the economy (monetary policy largesse seems to unevenly reach the various tiers of the economy).

      Will those dollars go into paying down that debt by flowing to people who hold the debt? At the same time inflation reducing the value of the debt?

      Inflation is dangerous for politicians though, and they control the Fed. So that is the weak link in the sustained higher inflation playbook (note 1980 for the Senate: https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/reelection-rates ). The Fed might like it but their masters might not.

      Lot of moving pieces, but if rates start pushing up too much, the Fed will certainly try to reduce them it seems to me.

    1. I think in the next year, CA will see

      Even more rolling blackouts and fires that could have been easily prevented.

    2. will see $6 per gallon gasoline

      I’m expecting $4+ in my little burg. It was as low a $1.80 just a few months ago. About $2.40 now.

    3. If it increases poverty and misery for the working class and middle class, globalists support it.

      Globalists gonna globe.

    4. The moral hazard of the 2009 Banker/Lender bail out by Pelosi/Obama was the decent into lawlessness, as more of the same looting of the Government’s tax coffers, by Big Monopolies.
      The to big to fail Monopolies are now engaged in a big power grab to dictate policy in the US that is anti US Citizen , and America comes last. They are looter parasites and don’t care about over half the Country.
      Their ring leaders, like Bill Gates, have these agendas that are some kind of tranny against the populations where they are forced into policies that take freedoms and choice from people for some kind of Monopoly Dictatorship based on fake narratives.
      The to big to fail has become the to big to stop their criminal power grab.
      So , nothing but rigged markets and a effort to defeat and silence the Citizens that are the victims of this REIN of the Monopolies with corrupted Government. Criminal rigging of elections is really the act of criminals.
      So yes, 2009 bail outs the decent into lawlessness.

  11. “Manhattan’s high-end residential market received a boost last week. The market is partly moving because sellers are slashing prices, in some cases taking a loss. The priciest deal of the week, two apartments to be combined at 551 West 21st St., went under contract at an asking price of just shy of $26M. It previously sold for more than $31M in 2016 and was first listed at $40M in 2017.”

    It was still cheaper than renting!

    1. Greedy POS thought they could flip it to the greater fool for $8 millions profits in just one year? I guess they ran out of greater fools.

  12. These comments bring to mind the plight of California landlords. How does it feel to be forced into housing tenants who refuse to pay rent simply because they were granted the legal right to live rent free by fiat? And what kind of rent concessions are California landlords willing to make in order to attract paying tenants? Seems like a great topic for further investgation.

    “And it’s starting to happen more frequently as winning a new tenant or retaining an existing one has become one difficult task. For tenants, it’s about finding they are holding all the aces in this particular game – and bragging about the ‘unbelievable’ rent drop in the latest contract renewal has become another talking point for many residents.”

    1. Is $52.6 billion alot?

      Business
      Newsletter: What happens when the rent comes due?
      Illustration: a man and a woman are hanging off the edge of steps, weighed down by balls and chains representing debt.
      The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and made it difficult for people to pay all their bills.
      (Nicole Vas / Los Angeles Times)
      By Andrew Khouri, Rachel Schnalzer
      Feb. 2, 2021 4:59 AM PT

      Good morning. I’m L.A. Times Business reporter Andrew Khouri, filling in for Rachel Schnalzer to bring you our weekly newsletter.

      The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and made it difficult for people to pay all their bills. A series of eviction moratoriums — temporary rules that give tenants more ground to fight eviction — has kept roofs over many people’s heads. But that has not relieved tenants of the obligation to eventually pay the rent debt they’re accumulating.

      Sooner or later, the moratoriums will end, smashing the current holding pattern. Here’s a look at this emerging problem and what may happen next.

      How big a problem is this?

      Estimates vary on how much rent debt exists, and it’s difficult to know the true size and scope of the problem. Calculations so far are based on surveys and models rather than hard data because the pandemic economy and people’s circumstances are so fluid.

      One report from Moody’s Analytics and the Urban Institute estimates that 9.4 million U.S. households owed an average of $5,586 each in back rent, utilities and related late fees as of January, for a total burden of $52.6 billion.

        1. What do you think these state-based stimulus pork is for? To make the renters whole. If Newsome hands out 12 months of rent and there are still mail-in ballots, that might be enough to keep him from being tossed out.

          Meanwhile, the LLs are going to get screwed as central banks foreclose and buy up the actual properties. Honesty is for suckers.

      1. Back in the 80’s I was living in coastal North San Diego county and was trying to find cheaper digs to live in. I saw an ad in one of those free “newspapers”, and it was very affordable. The ad said they would be showing it at a certain time.

        So I head out at the appointed time and arrive at the address. There were at least two dozen potential renters there already. After a few minutes, the land lord shows up and shows us the rental from the outside. I think it was a large, fancy garden shed in the backyard, and my first thought was “is this even legal?” Several, including yours truly, turned away as soon as we saw the shack, but many stayed on to check it out.

    2. refuse to pay rent simply because they were granted the legal right to live rent free

      My husband’s La Jolla tenants with a million dollar view of the Pacific Ocean are at least $30K behind on rent.

  13. I got a text yesterday from a friend looking to buy. She saw a house that had 18 offers $200K over asking price.

  14. Check out these shenanigans on 11739 Treadwell Dr, Poway, CA, 92064. The listing agent increased the price range $300K 3 minutes before updating the listing to pending. Only the upper ends of the ranges show up on Zillow and Realtor.com.

    02/24/202 14:35:29PM PENDING $1,950,000 – $2,250,000
    02/24/202 14:32:14PM ACTIVE $1,950,000 – $2,250,000
    02/15/2021 10:03:01AM ACTIVE $1,775,000 – $1,950,000
    02/04/2021 7:37:23PM PENDING $1,675,000 – $1,775,000 02/02/2021 10:08:51AM COMING SOON $1,675,000 – $1,775,000

    1. Shenanigans of all sorts related to house buying/selling are picking up pace around here as well. If before was a brewing mania, we’re swimming in froth on top right now.

      Are you still looking to do a 1031 swap, or is my memory just that awful?

      1. Shenanigans of all sorts related to house buying/selling are picking up pace around here as well. If before was a brewing mania, we’re swimming in froth on top right now.

        Commander Powell sees no sign of inflation anywhere. He does, however, see a need for more QE – LOTS more. He’s got trillions and trillions in cue with Operation Twist 3.0, QE 6 (or whatever number we’re on), etc. This madman is hell bent on making Weimar Germany look like pikers.

      2. No 1031. Sold the Encinitas house end of September. Proceeds waiting in the bank.

  15. Found this excerpt, a book “Medical History of Michigan” which I found at the loc.gov website:

    It is regretfully recorded, but the obligation of an amateur historian to near-truth should
    not be disregarded, that Flint’s letter, to which reference has been heretofore made,
    indicates that there were “designing” doctors as well as lawyers, to say nothing of “tavern
    keepers, farmers, grocers, shoemakers, tailors”—and probably “realtors”—although that
    euphemism was of a century later development. The recollection of the writer is that the
    latter were in the olden time referred to as “land sharks.”
    In the early days (now remote, those of the present displaying higher and invulnerable
    cultural standards) “such a system of knavery” (as that shown by the history of banking in
    the western states) “could only be developed in a country where avarice and credulity are
    permanent features of character.”

    The persistence of human flaws throughout history is noteworthy.

  16. Nobody on high seems to recognize the housing inventory squeeze as a symptom of the housing mania that has taken hold in the U.S. as a consequence of holding interest rates too low for too long. So long as the belief persists that home ownership is a certain path to riches, thanks to the magic of home equity wealth gains, it should come as no surprise that people are buying and holding more homes than they need to live in, in order to get on board the gravy train. The situation is a slow moving version of the GameStop short squeeze that recently led investors to grab the stock and drive a massive price spike.

    1. Where Have All the Houses Gone?
      The inventory of homes for sale is startlingly low. The pandemic is part of the reason, but it’s not the whole story.
      By Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui
      Published Feb. 26, 2021
      Updated March 2, 2021
      The number of homes for sale nationally has plummeted
      468,000 homes for sale
      Note: Includes condos, townhouses and single-family homes. Source: Altos Research

      Much of the housing market has gone missing. On suburban streets and in many urban neighborhoods, across large and midsize metro areas, many homes that would have typically come up for sale over the past year never did. Even in cities with a pandemic glut of empty apartments and falling rents, it has become incredibly hard to buy a home.

      Today, if you’re looking for one, you’re likely to see only about half as many homes for sale as were available last winter, according to data from Altos Research, a firm that tracks the market nationwide. That’s a record-shattering decline in inventory, following years of steady erosion.

      And it’s one flashing sign that the housing market — which can defy basic laws of economics even in normal times — is acting very, very strangely.

      1. “The number of homes for sale nationally has plummeted”

        The figure suggests the national inventory of homes for sale has plummeted from a level near 1,500,000 at some point in 2015 to the recent level of 468,000, a decline of nearly 70%.

        I wonder if the investors who snapped up houses while rates stayed persistently low in recent years will decide to hang on to them in the coming years as rates normally and demand weakens as a result.

    2. Also the record low mortgage rates has led the “money is free right now” mindset, which also is driving people to pick up that extra house.

    1. Something ain’t right. House sold for 1.3 million about 3 months ago. Presto, being flipped for an extra $500,000. Is this location something special? Really makes you wonder to what heights people are crossing their fingers these markets will get to.

  17. This deranged lunatic Jerome Powell and his merry band of banker scum need to be stopped. They have blown such massive, destructive asset price bubbles that they have completely distorted the economy, and destroyed the lives of millions of people. I am now seeing homeless people and homeless camps almost everywhere as people have no hope of affording shelter. This is beyond despicable.

  18. Today is Thursday, March 4th and Joe Biden is not the legitimately elected president of the United States.

    The U.S. Capitol is surrounded by fences topped with razor wire, and Congress is not meeting today, because the Democrat Party know that the 2020 election was stolen.

    The 2020 election was stolen.

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