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Buyers Are Willing To Wait To See How Low Sellers Can Go

A report from the Real Deal on New York. “Inventory has been on an upward trajectory in Manhattan. In the fourth quarter, sales listings swelled 12 percent, according to Douglas Elliman — with co-op listings climbing 24 percent. But on the Upper East Side in particular, co-ops currently on the market far outnumber condos.”

“‘There are these grand apartments on Park Avenue that previously would have been commanding high prices,’ said Louisa Gillen of The Simple Real Estate Co. ‘Now, even at a nice discount, they’re still sitting.'”

“Gillen pointed to several of her own deals in the neighborhood that have closed at significant discounts. One co-op at 655 Park Avenue sold in November at 22 percent below its last asking price of $4.2 million. Seeing these sales will affect the offers buyers make going forward, she said.”

From Boston.com on Massachusetts. ” The median pending sales prices for single-family homes and condos in Massachusetts in December were a little bit lower than than they were in December 2017, offering a very faint glimmer of hope to stressed out buyers in a seller’s market that is bucking the national trend.”

“For single-family homes, the median pending sales price last month was $375,000, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported Wednesday. That’s a 1.3 percent decrease. For condos, that figure was $352,500, reflecting a 2.1 percent drop compared with December 2017.”

The Sacramento Bee in California. “After seven years of price increases, Sacramento’s housing market hit a plateau in 2018. What are we in for this year? Our team: Dean Wehrli is an analyst for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Erin Stumpf is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. Greg Paquin heads The Gregory Group, a real estate research and data firm. Pat Shea is president of Lyon Real Estate. And Ryan Lundquist is an appraiser.”

“Are we in a bubble, like the one that burst in 2008? All five experts: No.”

“What happened to Sacramento real estate in the last half of 2018? Lundquist: In one word, the market has been in a slump. Sales volume was down 11 percent from the last year. There have been (homes) on the market that haven’t sold. Prices have been more flat. We had the lowest December in sales volume in the last 11 years.”

“Wehrli: Construction and labor costs continue to push pricing (up) in the new home sector. This exacerbated already-high prices which are probably the biggest reason for the slowdown. Stock fluctuations haven’t helped, particularly for buyers with jobs based in the Bay Area. Many potential home buyers figured prices were at a peak, or about to peak. These buyers are trying to time the market. They … are willing to wait to see how low sellers can go.”

“Are there any trends emerging this year that we should keep our eye on? Lundquist: I think the market is poised for buyers to gain more power than sellers. But not total control. Buyers are making the mistake that sellers were making. Sellers thought they could command whatever price they want. Buyers are making an equal mistake of saying I can offer whatever I want.”

This Post Has 115 Comments
  1. ‘offering a very faint glimmer of hope to stressed out buyers’

    Enjoy the bust:

    Mass·hole
    /ˈmasˌhōl/
    nounvulgar slang•US
    plural noun: Massholes

    -a contemptuous term for a native or inhabitant of the state of Massachusetts.

    1. …. a word frequently invoked while driving on New England and Northeast highways and interstates.

    2. Wicked pissa funny, kid! I have encountered many Massholes on the highway, let me tell you! They are also historically referred to as “Boston drivers”. Lots of pent up anger, hostility and who knows what else is coursing through their system.

      Speaking as a native Mass, er…person I truly hope you are correct about the impending bust. Because many, I daresay even *most* people think this area (meaning greater Boston) is “immune”. We are now the third most expensive city (reportedly) in the country for renting a 1 BR apartment, median $2,450.00. Ya got yah Hahvahd, ya pahk yah cah in the Hahvahd yahd, ya got yah MIT, yah got many other colleges and universities, yah got lotsa hospitals and kid, we even got Tech and we got lotsa Biotech!

      I say “greater Boston” because if you want to drive out to the sticks, an hour or more out of town, e.g. Ashby, what they call “outside 128” you can get a good deal. If you want to drive 45 minutes on the Mass Pike to Worcester (Woostah) you can get a good deal but….then you have to live in Woostah). Except now that historically 45 minutes is now more like 60 minutes because the traffic is ridonculous!

      In my fair city of Cambridge, many housing “values” have doubled in the last 6 years. So, a condo that would have cost you $350K in oh, let’s say 2012 is now $650K and they are (were?) selling like hotcakes, sometimes 50-100K over asking. (I can’t remember personally ever buying a hotcake, however…hmmm.)

      I could post a few examples from my favorite propaganda site, Zillow, but I’m too busy crouching in my ivory tower near Harvard and crying into my double mocha soy decaf latte.

      1. I enjoyed my last visit to Boston, 1st week of October. Camped at Wompatuck State Park & drove around the city a few times. Even braved the congestion around Fenway Park just before one of the season semi-final games. Traffic congestion is something there, but I think the drivers are overall better and more considerate than those in my part of NE OH. Almost none will cut you off just to gain a single car length. Semi truck traffic is minimal near downtown, since it is the end of the line for truck travel to the East Coast.

  2. ‘Many potential home buyers figured prices were at a peak, or about to peak. These buyers are trying to time the market. They … are willing to wait to see how low sellers can go’

    Yeah, everybody is acting like a fix and flip viewer. “Oh, let’s just wait and buy when the neighbor loses everything!” But there’s no bubble, say the experts. You had your boom California, enjoy the bust.

    1. It’s pretty sad when the only strategy to afford shelter is to wait until somebody else ends up in financial ruin. Is this really a responsible way to manage the world’s largest economy? This is the best we can do? Despicable. I am absolutely disgusted with human beings at this point. Nothing whatsoever was learned from the previous bust.

      I just saw a house listed for sale at $370k. This is a house that I personally inspected back in 2009 which was not built to code, and which eventually sold for $55k, as is. The problems with the house cannot be remedied. It is a tear down.

      After a handful of “flips,” the current owner paid $225k in 2016, an outrageous bubble price, and now those suckers think they’re going to make almost $150k in a few short years, because they themselves overpaid by a multiple of 5x. I think it will end up in foreclosure, but this entire charade is vomit inducing.

      1. May I safely assume that any competent home inspector would see and point out the problems? I’m wondering why anyone paid anything for it, if it’s in such bad condition?

          1. Exactly – bogus appraisal and inspection – if there even was one.

            The house was illegally built without a building permit back in the early 1990s. It is listed as “non-conforming” by the county.

            A few of the problems that I remember off hand:

            Slab on grade foundation which is failing. It appeared to be poured in multiple steps by the owner, almost like a do it yourself patio. The plumbing within the concrete did not have the proper slope, so the toilets and sinks back up. There were multiple pvc pipes exiting the slab for unknown reasons – a real headscratcher.

            The more obvious signs of shoddy construction were that nothing was plumb, level or square. The stair steps to the second floor had grossly irregular rise/run, so much so that it looked like something a child constructed. One step was 5″ up, the next almost 9″ sort of thing. And that doesn’t even get into the fact that they felt spongy, like they could fail.

            In any given room you could look at the corners, whether ceiling or wall, and see that they were crooked. Whoever built it must not even have used a level. The roof was so bad that instead of cutting the sheathing and roofing at the appropriate angle on the small ridge at one area, then installing a cap, they simply bent the metal roofing over that area. These people had no framing square nor idea how to use one. I could go on but it was really, really bad. I feel sorry for whoever got swindled by the people who put lipstick on a pig and sold it.

          2. “I feel sorry for whoever got swindled by the people who put lipstick on a pig and sold it.”

            Where’s the lender’s due-diligence?

  3. More rate hikes coming too…

    And people have not even started to do their 2018 taxes yet…those NE and California folks will be paying their “fair share” with the state income and property tax deduction caps….

    1. I’m looking forward to hearing how disappointed the FBs are when they find out how new tax laws impact there investments. As the home values go down along with there deductions, we will surely be hearing sad “poor me” stories how they got screwed and they had no idea as the realtors failed to mention new tax implications

      1. I do feel sympathetic for established homeowners, those in their houses 20 years are more. There’s nothing wrong with paying off a mortgage, downsizing, and using the proceeds to help fund retirement. Unfortunately they’ll be getting less than they budgeted for through no fault of their own — some friends’ parents just had a devil of a time selling their home of 35 years in New Jersey.

        I agree; no sympathy for the flippers and speculators. And anyone who bought around or after fall 2017. They should have read the fine print.

        1. Indeed, using a house to partially fund retirement is one of the major reasons to buy a house in the first place. That said, anyone who lived in the house for 20 years is probably not getting less than they *should* have budgeted for. Even with the booms and busts, house appreciation isn’t far off the 3%/year line from inflation.

          But if they HELOCed or cashed out or stopped saving in IRAs and 401Ks because they house would jump 10%/year for the next 15 years…. yeah, no sympathy there.

          1. fund retirement is one of the major reasons to buy a house

            May I submit that borrowing large sums of money over long periods of time for something that deteriorates and is relentlessly taxed is definitely not an effective way to save for the future.

    2. The party is on at the Fed through June 2019, at least. It’s pretty unclear how they will ever escape the low rates trap they set for themselves and fell into, given they seem unable to do so during an economic boom.

      1. Fed chatter confirms interest rates on hold until May at earliest
        By Greg Robb
        Published: Jan 10, 2019
        9:29 a.m. ET
        Central bank seen holding steady in January and March
        AFP/Getty Images
        A view of the Federal Reserve. The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates again for months.

        Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting and recent speeches by officials confirm that the Fed will be on the sidelines for months, analysts said.

        “The next rate hike is unlikely to occur in March, and instead, we expect it to take place in June,” said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays, in a note to clients.

        1. Trump absolutely clowned Powell, as Powell folded like a cheap tent in the wind – a real bummer in my opinion.

          The upside is that Trump laid the blame for any economic meltdown squarely at the feet of the Fed, where it belongs.

          1. Sort of. Powell is set up as the fall guy for the overly extended period of easy money that preceded his tenure.

          2. Lo$t.in.tran$lation:

            If the $tock Market & U$ Pre$ident influence the FED, who do ye $quarely place$.thee.blame?

            Raising = bad!
            Lowering = good!

          3. “If the $tock Market & U$ Pre$ident influence the FED, who do ye $quarely place$.thee.blame?”

            This is Obama’s bubble and disaster.

          4. Oh, thought you said this:

            ” … laid the blame for any economic meltdown $quarely at the feet of the Fed, where it belong$.

          5. “Merely one link in a long chain.”

            = “True.Believer$” ending on the $reets of Dire $traits

            (Get your) Money for nothin’ chicks for free
            Money for nothin’ chicks for free
            Money for nothin’ chicks for free
            Money for nothin’ chicks for free
            Money for nothin’ chicks for free
            Money for nothin’ chicks for free

            (I want my, I want my MTV)

          6. “Oh, thought you said this:

            ” … laid the blame for any economic meltdown $quarely at the feet of the Fed, where it belong$.”

            Right, and you asked this:

            “If the $tock Market & U$ Pre$ident influence the FED, who do ye $quarely place$.thee.blame?”

          7. “Powell is set up as the fall guy”

            Why not? He has been on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2012, and despite voicing reservations, voted in favor of QE3. He’s as culpable for our current mess as anyone else in a position of influence who failed to try stop the travesty of QE.

          8. From Bloomberg: ‘Powell… described himself in September 2012 as “somewhat uncomfortable with the road that we are on” as he voted for the measure [QE3].’

            Not as uncomfortable as the many people who have been and will be financially devastated by the bubbles inflated and preserved by continued QE.

            ‘Powell also showed sensitivity to public perceptions toward the U.S. central bank. Part of his backing for MBS purchases in September, he said, was because it could be understood and welcomed as support for housing and the broader economy.’

            “It stands a decent chance to actually be noticed and appreciated by people who are neither Fed watchers nor professional market participants nor economics bloggers,” he said.’

            Every day people welcoming and appreciating ZIRP and unaffordable housing? Delusional.

          9. Not as uncomfortable as the many people who have been and will be financially devastated

            Some of us have been living like the financial version of Rambo. Weren’t devastated and won’t be.

  4. “Buyers are making an equal mistake of saying I can offer whatever I want.”

    Oooooh! Buyers! Listen up! This expert says you are making a {{{mistake}}}! Listen to him! He is an E.X.P.E.R.T 😀

    Get outta here, Lundquist.

    1. Please listen to him. His employment needs you to listen to him…looks like someone thought this “bubble” was gonna go forever and didnt save much for that rainy day

    2. Why is the appraiser talking about buyers and low ball offers? So funny watching these REIC folks veer way out of their lane! Stick to what you know Ryan!

  5. Wow those sales numbers on the Sacramento article must be making some brown spots in them el dorado / Folsom specuvestors pants…

    “We’ve always been less expensive. We’ve been getting “cooler” lately and getting more notice. There will be heightened focus on our market. (But) we don’t have a market where rich cash buyers are buying everything up.”

    Wonder if the retraction of all those “rich cash buyers (Chinese)” will have some negative effect on the mania in Sacramento. Even though pricing there is lower than the Bay Area, it actually rose at a higher rate. Homes sold for under 100k and have been listed 3-4x that over the span of this last bubble. They have a long way back down to go…

    1. The area I’ve been watching in Folsom/EDHills seems to have kind of locked up after Thanksgiving. Almost no new listings and nothing selling. Prices haven’t come down much yet. It feels like sellers think it will pick back up after the Super Bowl so no reason to list or reduce prices now. And buyers just sit and wait. Should be an interesting spring.

      1. “Should be an interesting spring.”

        Indeed. Both sellers and buyers are on strike. The thing is most buyers don’t have to buy whereas most sellers have to sell. The negative 38% sales for el dorado county should be somewhat of a sign that sellers may need to start lowering prices but mabye they rather chase the market down in hopes for a knife catcher.

      2. I bought some truck parts and things from an FB in Placerville back in 2009. The guy was cleaning out his garage to make the mortgage payments – an older contractor who never saved for a rainy day. His business was failing.

        His anger was simmering just barely below the surface. He was short with his wife, his friend, everybody around him. I never asked him anything personal, he was just offering up how bad things were going in his life, that he didn’t think they were going to be able to save their house which they had lived in for 30 years. I am sure he “harvested” that sweet equity.

        People in the hills around Sac are largely lower to middle income. It ain’t “special” around there, and once the bust gets going, that area gets absolutely eviscerated.

        1. The weirdest thing I see is how much they were paying back in ~2005. Some of the houses I look at were built back then and haven’t even risen that much in price since then. In 2010 they were WAY underwater. So the runway foam specifically saved them if they hung on…unless they pulled equity out in the last few years.

        2. “People in the hills around Sac are largely lower to middle income.”

          It’s been sometime since I’ve been through there, but Shingle Springs seemed like a nice educated working-class exurb whereas up in Placerville it was like “The Hills Have Eyes.”

          1. I like Placerville. First real Texas BBQ I’ve found in California. Smoked by a Texas transplant that just sold out. So far the food has remained the same and only the service has fallen apart. And it’s on the way to the best you-pick style fruit farms in the area.

  6. “After seven years of price increases, Sacramento’s housing market hit a plateau in 2018.

    REIC propaganda lines notwithstanding, there’s a big difference between a plateau and a peak, as those of us who live in Colorado can attest. Speculators and FBs are about to learn this difference the hard way.

      1. Wait until the first driver, high on mushrooms, slams into a well-connected family, killing the kids.

        1. I$ you implying that the driver won’t bee from a well-designed family?
          ($earch: Gallo wine family head.on causes death)

      2. Of course they are. They lost their monopoly on legal weed and need to find some other market to corner. Can’t wait until the 16th street mall is the nation’s first legal shoot-em-n-smoke-em open-air park.

        1. It’s disappointing what’s happened to this country. I think we’ve passed the point of no return. I can’t even go anywhere without getting a lung full of somebody else’s vape, irrespective of state.

      3. Awe$ome, more American bidne$$ oppoortunitie$ for organic$ $ole proprietor$! … p$ychedelic!

        p$y·che·del·ic
        [ˌsīkəˈdelik]
        ADJECTIVE
        relating to or denoting real e$tate that produce$ hallucination$ of grandeur and apparent expan$ion of wealthine$$.
        synonym$:
        unreal · un$ubstantial · illusive · illu$ory · illu$ionary · imaginary · chimerical · ethereal · phanta$magorical · trance-like · $urreal · p$ychedelic · nightmari$h · Kafkae$que · gho$tly · gho$tlike · vague · dim · hazy · $hadowy · mi$ty · faint · indi$tinct · unclear

      4. Drug Overdose Death Rates in US Women Rise 260% in 2 Decades
        By Sara G. Miller, Health Editor | January 10, 2019 01:18pm ET
        Drug Overdose Death Rates in US Women Rise 260% in 2 Decades
        Credit: Darwin Brandis/Getty Images

        Drug overdose death rates in women in the United States have increased by 260 percent in the past two decades, according to a new report.

        The authors of the report, published today (Jan. 10) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), described the drug overdose death rates among women as “unacceptably high,” underscoring the need for targeted efforts to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths among women.

        The researchers looked at overdose death rates among U.S. women ages 30 to 64 from 1999 to 2017. In 1999, there were 6.7 overdose deaths per 100,000 women, or 4,314 total overdose deaths, according to the report. By 2017, that rate had risen to 24.3 deaths per 100,000 women, meaning 18,110 women in the selected age group died from an overdose that year. [America’s Opioid-Use Epidemic: 5 Startling Facts]

        The rates of opioid overdose deaths among women ages 30 to 64 increased by 492 percent, from 2.6 deaths per 100,000 women in 1999 to 15.5 deaths per 100,000 women in 2017, according to the report. The largest increase was for deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl (a rise of 1,643 percent), followed by heroin (915 percent) and prescription opioids (485 percent).

        Drug overdose death rates increased for other drugs as well, including cocaine, benzodiazepines and antidepressants.

        Age shifts

        The largest increase in overdose death rates over the study period was found among women ages 55 to 64, where rates rose by nearly 500 percent from 1999 to 2017. Overdose death rates also rose in women ages 35 to 39 and 45 to 49 by approximately 200 percent, and in women ages 30 to 34 and 50 to 54 by 350 percent.

        In 2017, overdose death rates were highest overall among women ages 50 to 54. That year, the overdose death rate was 28.2 deaths per 100,000 women in that age group. In 1999, the highest rate was found in women ages 40 to 44, at 9.6 deaths per 100,000 women.

        The researchers also found that the average age of overdose death among women increased by 2.8 years, from 43.5 years in 1999 to 46.3 years in 2017. What’s more, the average age of women dying from drug overdoses increased for every drug class with the exception of synthetic opioids. This finding is further supported by previous studies that have found a recent increase in overdose deaths and drug-related emergency department visits for women ages 45 to 64, the researchers wrote.

        1. The loneliness of transitioning from an Instagram “you can’t afford me” girl to an childless and obese “boxed wine and cats” feminist is difficult to imagine. Only one escape.

          1. Occasionally I get asked why I married a Chinese woman. They certainly have their share of “you can’t afford me” girls there too. Not so many cats and wine ladies though. But I think the critical difference is attitude and then weight. Even the most cynical are still polite to men, including the ones they have no interest in. And even the fatter ones still look pretty good to western eyes. It’s a good combination.

            And in economic terms I would say that Asian women and western men are both economically undervalued in their own cultures. So it’s kind of natural that they would gravitate toward each other in the value investor sense. Notice what happens when you put Asian men and western women together. It’s like oil and water…both sides see nothing in it for them.

          2. @Carl,
            I know of plenty of very dysfunctional marriages involving Chinese women here in Silicon Valley, although SV is one difference, and having kids is another (brings out the Tiger Mom and competitiveness in them).

          3. I know of plenty of very dysfunctional marriages involving Chinese women here in Silicon Valley

            Oh yeah, I can see lots of ways it could be horrible. But overall still better odds than with the American women described by rms. Which is a category that an unfortunately large percentage fall into.

    1. Yes. Mark Calabria:

      https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47679-its-official-trump-nominates-mark-calabria-to-lead-fhfa

      He appears to be a a career Fed at HUD, in and out of lobbying, seems kinda centrist. He wrote the 2008 law that put Fannie/Freddie under conservatorship, but now he wants to cut them loose. Currently on Pence’s staff.

      Without digging more, I think this guy would do all right. He certainly won’t hatch some hair-brained scheme to allow illegals to pay group mortgages.

      1. “…he wants to cut them loose.”

        Does that mean winding down the government-sponsored duopoly and restoring competition to the mortgage securitization sector? Would private mortgage insurance also come back, instead of the taxpayer funded too-big-to-fail kind that pretty much guarantees a need for future bailouts when all the high risk (aka subprime) loans the GSEs securitized blow up?

        1. Why grab the taxpayer$ monie$, eye’s thought “In$urance” was $uppose to “indemify” against lo$$es? … (Hehehe)

        2. TBH I don’t think they’ve thought out the details yet. But I hope so. IMO Fannie and FHA should be limited to low-cost loans for middle class/poor people. Sure, the rich won’t like that they aren’t eligible, but who cares. The rich aren’t eligible for food stamps either.

          1. “…limited to low-cost loans for middle class/poor people.”

            Doesn’t handing out low downpayment loans on a subsidized*, preferential basis to this group serve to drive up prices to unaffordable levels and create incentives for them to live in more luxurious accommodations than their modest means would otherwise allow?

            *Taxpayer-funded mortgage insurance of high default risk (aka subprime) mortgages is a subsidy.

          2. I think that was the original idea behind the $417K limit. The problem is that richer folks were allowed to tap into the $417K housing and buy up all the inventory, so that there was none left for the regular folks. That’s what drove prices up so high, especially in CA.

  7. WHEN to buy? I happened to meet someone who is waiting. He can buy a house for 100% down, but says he will park his cash in 5-year CDs, and wait until the highest available yield on the 5-year CD falls below 1% (currently it is at 3.1% or so). And if he is in a brokered CD, he can even sell his CD for a small (3-5%) gain when the time comes.

    1. I don’t know why he would want to wait of the yield on CDs to reach 1%. If CD yields get that low, then the Fed will have likely resorted to slashing the meager interest rates we have now in order to further inflate/reflate the housing asset bubble. It would probably be better to wait for CD yields to get to around 5-6%, because that would mean that interest rates are normalizing. WSJ did an article yesterday entitled “Housing is the Canary in Interest Rate Coal Mine.” Their conclusion (no surprise to HBB readers here): at this point, house prices are basically a function of interest rates. So interest rates go up, expect housing prices to decline. Interest rates go down, expect housing prices to go up. Except for we kind of will hit a lower bounds with the ZIRP and eventually we will have tapped out the supply of greater fools willing to become indentured servants. So even if interest rates stay low, home prices could stay flat or go negative if buyers go on a collective strike, which appears to be happening.

      1. @OneAgainstMany:

        I think his reasoning is that the house prices will collapse (say by 20 or 30 or 40 percent, depending on location). The Fed will lower interest rates to 0 a la 2009, in a bid to reflate the housing bubble (and the stock bubble, which also would have collapsed). But housing prices would not immediately bounce back (in fact, in the 2009-2018 bubble, housing in some places bottomed as late as mid 2012).

        1. Everyone who would borrow has already borrowed right up to their eyeballs, so they can’t borrow much more. Interest rates were already at historic lows as bubble1 burst, and asset prices continued their descent until fed opened their “borrowing window” and expanded their balance sheet buying non-performing assets.

          This is the “Riding The Tiger” problem… you can’t get off without being eaten.

      2. @OneAgainstMany:

        I see your point as well. So, it might be a strategy to wait for the 5-year CD to move 2% in either direction. That means either below 1% or above 5%.

        Probably this gentleman feels the former scenario is much more likely. We shall see. In either case, I think he is doing the right thing..

      3. “…(no surprise to HBB readers here)…”

        The inverse relationship between interest rates and home prices has been discussed here countless times. But now that the Wall Street Journal has written about it, I guess that makes it true.

        1. Here is an added Mr. Professor:

          Despite wage growth, the average American $uffers as co$t of living ri$es at a faster pace

          Latest findings by PayScale runs counter to the latest Bureau of Labor $tatistics data
          MarketWatch / Published: Jan 10, 2019

          “A decline in real wage$ means the average person can purcha$e even le$$ today than they could last year when wages are measured against inflation,”

    2. He needs to weigh the costs of renting for 2-3 years waiting to time the CD market. If he’s truly anticipating a crash, sure, go ahead and wait. Also, if he has accumulated enough cash to buy, is he near retirement age? Kids out of school? From the sound of it, he is either single, or is an empty nester with full control over wifey. He shouldn’t buy if he thinks he’s going to relocate.

  8. Housing market headlines today:

    “Realtors say the government shutdown is sinking home sales“

    I was waiting for this one…

    1. LOL. They have invented a new excuse! Add that one to the following list:

      – holiday season
      – weather too cold (winter season)
      – too rainy
      – too hot
      – too nice (so people go on picnic instead of looking for a house)
      – summer season (people on vacation)
      – Super Bowl season
      – Oscar weekend
      – Emmy/Grammy/Sammy/Tammy/whatever weekend

      1. Least we not forget:

        – “We are only in a soft spot.”
        – “The Killer Bees are moving Northward!”

      1. DC papers are full of sob stories of Feds not getting paychecks, struggling to pay rent, etc, due to the partial shutdown. Funny, I didn’t hear many of these stories back during the 2013 shutdown, and that was a full shutdown, not a partial. To be fair, right about now is when the 2013 shutdown ended.

  9. Couple spec built homes just up the hill from my cheap *rental* cut their prices 7% after being listed for probably a year and a half. Its amazing how dumb and greedy people are and bubbles always bring out the worst.

    1. We’ve already blown way past the top, but sellers haven’t accepted reality. The mls is still chalk full of dreamers who won’t even sell their house for half the price they’re asking. I laugh out loud at some of the stuff asking $700k+.

  10. Look out below!

    $3,619.51 Bitcoin price
    −$383.53 Since yesterday (USD)
    −9.58% Since yesterday (%)

      1. As of right now, $3,615.44. Holy crap. I thought that there would at least be a floor based on electricity costs. Once ₿ hits the electricity floor, presumably people would stop mining, and the value of existing ₿ would rise.

        But the real weakness with ₿ and crypto in general is that there is no government backing it up. If it goes out of style, so to speak, and no one accepts, then there’s no reason for the value of any ₿ to go up.

        Hope that Arrogant Joe in Baltimore cashed out before ₿ crashed. Last we heard from him, he was “not a consumerist,” but he was eyeing a very nice crib near Westminster MD.

        1. “I thought that there would at least be a floor based on electricity costs.”

          The claim that mining costs somehow put a floor under the value of an intrinsically worthless electronic currency makes zero economic sense. That was just one of a number of elaborate stories made up by technogeek scam artists to get people to trade away their hard-earned cash for cryptocurrency.

          1. “If it goes out of style, so to speak, and no one accepts, then there’s no reason for the value of any ₿ to go up.”

            Another big problem with any particular cryptocurrency specie is that unlike fiat currencies, which are operated as government-sponsored monopolies, there is unlimited free entry in crypto.

        2. But the real weakness with ₿ and crypto in general is that there is no government backing it up.

          Real fiat has an army behind it.

          1. Yeah, a keyboard warrior army has some limitations no matter how good their automated scripts are.

      1. They would have been better off investing that Facebook lawsuit money in RE. I won’t feel any sympathy to watch those two lose it all in the crypto mania

        1. “better off investing that Facebook lawsuit money in RE…”

          Facebook, bitcoin, meh. It’s called “real” property for a reason. At the end of the day, dirt and water and seeds and sunlight are all that matters.

      2. $ell bitcon$, buy Big Mac$!

        Big Mac Index shows the dollar is at its $trongest in 30 year$

        The Economist’$ purchasing-power indicator shows mo$t currencie$ undervalued ver$us the buck

        MarketWatch / Published: Jan 10, 2019

  11. Baaaaaaahawwahawwwwa!!! $$,$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.00

    Fed Chairman Powell says he is ‘very worried’ about growing amount of U.$. debt

    “I’m very worried about it,” Fed Powell said Thursday. “It’s a long-run i$$ue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face.”
    Total U.$. debt is about $21.9 trillion$, of which $16 trillion$ is owed by the public. The sustained annual U.$. deficit is now believed to be more than $1 trillion$.

    Thomas Franck| MSNBC Published 1/10/2019

    “Total U.S. debt is about $21.9 trillion$, of which $16 trillion$ is owed by the public. In part because of continued rate increa$es under Powell, the intere$t co$t on that debt could $tart to become a bigger and bigger burden.”

  12. Has anybody else noticed glitches with websites where a search doesn’t yield all of the appropriate results? For instance, querying all houses in a particular zip code fails to populate all of the inventory, and a subsequent search produces different results? Imagine if you’re a seller and your house doesn’t show up. LOL.

    Aside from housing, I’ve also noticed this at online retailers. You query “jackets” or something, and you don’t get all of the brands/models, etc. Only when you drill down to “brand” or something do you see everything. Or, it’s the opposite, where you query a brand and only see a partial list of what is actually available for sale, and you have to open up the search parameters to actually find everything available in a particular brand.

    Anyway, I’m noticing this from vast numbers of websites, so it appears there’s some substandard programming/website building going on.

    1. Anyway, I’m noticing this from vast numbers of websites, so it appears there’s some substandard programming/website building going on.

      If I’m understanding correctly I think it’s intentional. Everybody is pretty familiar with the concept of most people only looking at the first page of results. So I think there are some games going on with what to put on that first page when there’s actually much more available.

  13. So I think there are some games going on So do I. No matter how very specific I make my search engine queries, the first few pages of results are predominantly stuff I tried to exclude by the terms I used.

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