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Things Continue To Go From Bad To Worse, Housing Is The Epicentre Of The Downturn, Nosediving At A Breakneck Speed

A report from the Orange County Register in California. “Even with the happiest place on earth just a stone’s throw away, Realtors are feeling more like Disney’s Grumpy than Happy these days. ‘When I look at the statistics, we are not happy,’ Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors told his membership Tuesday, Nov. 14, in Anaheim. A doubling of payments led to a 32% drop in existing home sales over the past two years, curbing income for the vast majority of agents.”

The Wall Street Journal. “Realtors across the country are rethinking their jobs, and some are backpedaling from the profession, fearing that the heyday of their business is over. A court verdict last month stands to radically alter the way real-estate agents are paid for their work, and could result in far lower pay for the 1.6 million men and women who sell homes as their main job or as a side hustle. Nicole Noles Collins, a 51-year-old acupuncturist in Port Charlotte, Fla., got her license in 2020. Noles Collins says lower commissions from the homes she sells in Florida, which are priced between $100,000 and $350,000, wouldn’t be worth her time, especially now that business at her acupuncture studio is back to pre-Covid levels. ‘It’s completely negating the reason to be an agent in the first place,’ she says. While she had toyed with exiting, now ‘my goal is to completely transition out of real estate at the end of next year.'”

“Realtors are asking their bosses what the fallout could be for their industry as answers from management have been scarce. Josh Meacham, an associate broker in Show Low, Ariz., says there were more questions than answers flying at a recent talk with his team. ‘Does this mean we’re not going to have a job? Does this mean we’re not going to be able to do listings? Does this mean we’re not gonna make as much money?’ he says agents asked. And, ultimately: ‘Should we start looking at getting a different job?'”

The Washington Post. “Chicken in the freezer. Mortgage payments put off until the last minute. Cash stashed away to save for a Thanksgiving meal. Far from Capitol Hill, federal workers across the United States are facing yet another government shutdown. Jessica LaPointe, 44, Madison, Wis. Salary: $84,000. Number of weeks of savings: less than a month. Household size: 4. Biggest expense: $1,500 for one month of day care, $1,900 for mortgage. The single mother of four, who has three kids at home, knows some payments won’t go through if she isn’t getting paid. ‘If I’m not getting income, then there’s no blood from a stone there,’ she said. The idea of going into the holiday season without a paycheck is scary, she said: ‘Most of us live paycheck to paycheck.'”

“Allison Buettner, 29. Baltimore. Salary: $97,000. Number of weeks of savings: less than 4. Household size: 3, plus ‘the zoo’: three dogs, one bird, two lizards and a tortoise. Biggest expense: $1,300 mortgage, $250 per month in student loans, plus electricity, internet, groceries. If a shutdown kicks in, she knows she’ll have to wait until the last possible day to pay her family’s mortgage. If she misses an entire paycheck, she would have to call her mortgage company and ask to delay her payment. That could mean late fees, putting her ‘at the mercy of the creditors,’ she said.”

The Globe and Mail. “True North Commercial REIT, the publicly traded owner of largely Class B office towers across Canada, is halting its monthly distribution, sending the real estate investment trust’s units tumbling 15 per cent. True North, which predominantly operates in Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area, previously slashed its payout by 50 per cent in mid-March, but management announced Tuesday that it would halt the distribution altogether ‘for approximately six months or earlier if appropriate.’ Earlier this year, Slate Office REIT, which owns office properties in Canada and the United States but derives half of its operating income from the Greater Toronto Area and Atlantic Canada, slashed its own monthly payout by 70 per cent.”

The Week UK. “One in three house sellers are falling victim to a frustrating property market trend: ‘gazundering.’ In the past six months, 31% of vendors have been gazundered, which is when a buyer reduces their accepted offer just before contracts are signed and exchanged, according to research by House Buyer Bureau. Gazundering has seen a 97% increase in internet search interest since the start of the year, said estate agent comparison website, noting that cooling house prices mean the power is now ‘very much in the hands of the nation’s homebuyers.’ Now it is a ‘buyer’s market’ with less competition, and so sellers have little choice when their purchaser drastically reduces their offer at the last minute.”

“Securing a buyer is therefore ‘a task in itself,’ Chris Hodgkinson, managing director of House Buyer Bureau, told Metro. As a gazundered seller, ‘there’s really nothing you can do other than to accept the lower offer, or pull out of the sale completely.’ Ultimately, ‘there is something seriously wrong with the way that we buy and sell houses,’ wrote The Sunday Times money editor Johanna Noble last December. Legislation is needed, he said. Valuing a property amounts to ‘pretty much guesswork,’ and having an offer accepted ‘is no guarantee’ of a sale. ‘It’s like the Wild West out there.'”

From Reuters. “Troubled Swedish property group SBB reported on Monday that its losses widened in the third quarter and said it was ready to take a bondholder to court over payment demands. SSB is at the epicentre of a property crash that threatens to engulf the Swedish economy, having racked up vast debt by buying public property, including social housing, government offices, schools and hospitals. On Monday, the landlord said it was looking for equity partners to help reduce its debt after it reported a pre-tax loss of 3.13 billion Swedish crowns ($287 million) for continuing operations in the third quarter, compared to a revised loss of 2.56 billion a year earlier. SBB has slashed the value of its property portfolio by nearly 9% since the start of the year, it said. This came after analysts had warned property values could continue to see pressure from high interest rates.”

From CNBC. “Germany’s Olaf Scholz once set the goal of building 400,000 new homes a year, even before he become chancellor. Fast forward two years, and German housebuilding looks like it’s collapsing, putting pressure on both his hard-to-reach goal, but also the overall economy of the country. Over 22% of companies surveyed reported the cancellation of residential construction projects in Germany in October, a new record high. Meanwhile, 48.7% said there was a lack of orders — which compares to 46.6% in the previous month, and 18.7% a year earlier. Expectations for the residential construction industry fell to what the Ifo described as an ‘exceptional low.’ And this isn’t the only set of data that is raising concerns among onlookers.”

“The latest construction PMI survey for Germany by the Hamburg Commercial Bank fell to its lowest level in three and a half years at 38.3, which also marked a decline compared to September. ‘Things continue to go from bad to worse in Germany’s construction sector. The housing sector is the epicentre of the downturn, nosediving at a breakneck speed,’ said Cyrus de la Rubia, chief economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank.” in Australia. “A recorded conversation with a mortgage broker forced to drive an Uber part-time because his business is ‘dead quiet’ points to darkening economic storm clouds. Financial market strategist Jessica Amir last night shared the stark exchange she had with a Sydney ride-share driver named Tim. The man operates his own mortgage brokerage but has been forced to supplement his income because he’s ‘turning people away’ who apply for home loans they can no longer service.”

“Retail mortgage interest rates are currently sitting at about six per cent thanks to 13 hikes by the Reserve Bank in almost past 18 months. As a result, when someone applies for a home loan, they’ll be assessed on whether they can make repayments with interest of at least nine per cent. ‘I have so many borrowers come to me, they’re saving up money, and [saying], ‘OK, let’s go borrow some money’ but they can’t service it,’ Tim tells Ms Amir in the video. ‘Their borrowing capacity has dropped down really badly. I’m telling you, most of the lending institutions at the moment are looking at [an interest rate] of nine per cent – minimum.'”

“And as Ms Amir pointed out, the RBA and major lenders believe the full impact of rising interest rates is still yet to be felt. The RBA’s rapid run of rate rises has put extraordinary pressure on household budgets, with average mortgage repayments rising from $2570 in April 2022 to a staggering $4151, according to financial comparison website Canstar. That equates to an additional $1581 per month on average or an eye-watering $18,972 more per year. ‘Rising costs across the board have made homeownership even more of a dream for many,’ Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said. ‘The threat to those with a mortgage is particularly acute – nearly two-in-five are struggling to pay. It’s no wonder that most Aussies don’t think now is the time to buy.'”

From CNBC. “The size of unfinished, pre-sold homes in China is about 20 times the size of property developer Country Garden as of the end of 2022, according to a Nomura report on Wednesday. ‘We estimate that there are around 20 million units of unconstructed and delayed pre-sold homes,’ said Nomura’s Chief China Economist Ting Lu and a team. About 3.2 trillion yuan ($440 billion) is needed to complete those remaining units, according to the analysts’ estimates. Apartments in China are typically sold ahead of completion. Ensuring construction of the homes has been a government priority since delays make people less willing to buy new apartments.”

“‘In our view, amid the collapsing property sector and widespread credit fallout among property developers, home buyers might get increasingly impatient while waiting for the delivery of their purchased new homes,’ the Nomura report said. Last year, many homebuyers in China decided not to pay their mortgages on property purchases due to long delays in construction. Developers have faced a financing crunch since Beijing’s crackdown in 2020 on their high reliance on debt. Covid-19 restrictions last year also made construction difficult.”

“‘Assuming 20% volume growth in new home completions for the current year, developers will only manage to deliver 48% of the homes pre-sold between 2015 and 2020, leaving 52% still subject to delays,’ the Nomura analysts said.”

This Post Has 58 Comments
  1. ‘The size of unfinished, pre-sold homes in China is about 20 times the size of property developer Country Garden as of the end of 2022, according to a Nomura report on Wednesday. ‘We estimate that there are around 20 million units of unconstructed and delayed pre-sold homes’

    Is that a lot?

  2. ‘Securing a buyer is therefore ‘a task in itself’…As a gazundered seller, ‘there’s really nothing you can do other than to accept the lower offer, or pull out of the sale completely’

    That’s the spirit Chris!

    1. “Legislation is needed, he said. Valuing a property amounts to ‘pretty much guesswork,’ and having an offer accepted ‘is no guarantee’ of a sale. ‘It’s like the Wild West out there.’”

      Funny how no one was clamoring for legislation when homes were doubling in two years. But when suddenly folks start lowballing offers it’s “the Wild West” out there. Hilarious!

  3. ‘‘Does this mean we’re not going to have a job? Does this mean we’re not going to be able to do listings? Does this mean we’re not gonna make as much money?’ he says agents asked. And, ultimately: ‘Should we start looking at getting a different job?’

    Yes yes yes and YES!

  4. A court verdict last month stands to radically alter the way real-estate agents are paid for their work, and could result in far lower pay for the 1.6 million men and women who sell homes as their main job or as a side hustle.

    You’re obsolete, my baby
    My poor old-fashioned baby
    I said, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time
    Well, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time
    I said, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time
    Yes, you are left out
    Out of there without a doubt, ’cause
    Baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

  5. “Realtors are asking their bosses what the fallout could be for their industry as answers from management have been scarce.

    Coffee is for closers.

    1. Try “fathers.”

      What I want to know is how someone managed to get enough education to qualify for a $97K job, and have four kids too, all by the age of 29.

      1. OK, I confused two of the people. The single mom is 44. Oh well.

        Here’s another example: “When Shadone Taylor went through a government shutdown in 2013, she applied for unemployment benefits and food stamps to keep enough food on the table. ”

        I don’t know about food stamps, but I’m pretty sure that FedGovs do not get unemployment during furloughs, because they’re guaranteed to get any back pay.

  6. Who is offended by this?

    “root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country”

    Radical left thugs.

    Don’t let the Language Police™ tell you how to think.

    1. On behalf of vermin who have no voice, I must protest being compared to Democrats. This is defamatory and hurtful to the vermin of the natural world, as opposed to the vermin of #ClownWorld.

  7. Who’s buying all this optimism being thrown around the last couple of days. Is anything really cheaper these days where you live? Because they’re telling us they’ve got a handle on it now.
    So I guess we should all go out and max out those credit cards on Black Friday.

    1. “Who’s buying all this optimism being thrown around”

      See also article below pending to post, with 47% of households reporting that expenses exceed income.

    2. hey, no worries here: outsourced my production to Ms. Hannigan’s Orphanage. why, those little tykes are real go-getters ItellyaWHAT!
      workhouse?! pshaw! they even get out for pizza once in a while.

  8. CNBC — UBS projects inflation is coming to an end, but that’s ‘little comfort to households,’ chief financial analyst says (11/15/2023):

    “The slower pace of inflation is little comfort to households still dealing with the cumulative effect of rising prices,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

    “The strain on household budgets is real.”

    Consumers have struggled to keep up with high prices and higher interest rates across the board.

    Nearly half, or 47%, of adults said their monthly expenses exceed their monthly income, according to a recent report by First National Bank of Omaha, and 62% of adults said they are living paycheck to paycheck, studies also show.

    47 percent is that a lot?

  9. Sephora has drastically changed the way people shop for fragrances in its stores, and it’s blaming store thefts for it.

    Sephora told CNN that it has removed all fragrances – which it said are among the most targeted items for theft – from stores shelves and displays and replaced them with fragrance tester bottles.

    Everything has to be locked away in Joe Biden’s America.

    1. Everything has to be locked away in Joe Biden’s America.

      Where I live if I go about 2.5 miles North (into the city) batteries and other such items are locked and about 3.2 miles north of my house there are a number of people living in tents. Both men and women. However, if I go about 2 miles South of my house, (out of the city) exact same food store, nothing is locked up.

    2. “Everything has to be locked away in Joe Biden’s America”

      The Target on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Dumver is now locking up aluminum foil, because people were stealing it and smoking fentanyl and meth INSIDE THE STORE.

      79.55% of votes in the City / County of Denver in 2020. Actual votes too, not stuffed ballots.

    3. ““I wouldn’t have guessed that Sephora was the next retail chain locking away products because of theft, but I’m not surprised this is happening,” said Mark Skertic, a retail crime expert…”

      So, a retail crime expert — who presumably knew about Wal-Mart locking up its makeup, couldn’t predict that a makeup store was the next store to lock up its makeup? Truly he has a dizzying intellect.

      PSA: Makeup is the easiest thing to shoplift because it’s so small.

    4. Meanwhile, also on the shoplifting front:

      “Fort McNair Army civilian guilty of abusing his GSA gas card”

      Tyrone Norman Dais, 54, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty yesterday … and will pay almost $34,000 in restitution. Dais repeatedly purchased gasoline for private vehicles using a General Services Administration fuel credit card… From April to October of 2023, Dais frequently arranged to meet private vehicles at area gas stations and used his GSA credit card to purchase their gas. In total, Dais made more than 400 unauthorized purchases.”

  10. MarketWatch — What still hasn’t ‘gone back to normal’ since the pandemic? Reddit users have 16,000 answers and counting (11/15/2023):

    “A thread on Reddit’s homepage on Sunday asked, “What is something that still hasn’t gone back to normal after the pandemic?” It had garnered more than 16,000 comments as of Monday evening.

    The replies spanned the gamut, with users venting their frustrations about everything from waning civility to more expensive dog food.

    The rising cost of living featured prominently in complaints about the post-pandemic world.

    In response to the question, “What is something that still hasn’t gone back to normal after the pandemic?” one Redditor simply stated, “the cost of things,” which resonated with many, as evidenced by the fact that it was upvoted nearly 24,000 times …

    given that shoppers experienced a 40-year high in inflation in 2022, prices of some items remain elevated. New cars, for example, hit a record high in 2022 and are still out of reach for many. Reddit commenters singled out used car prices, pita bread and plywood as products that they had noticed soaring in price.

    Consider the average price of a 12-ounce bottle of orange juice, which is up nearly 25% from a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Or home prices, which are still up 2.5% from a year ago, despite mortgage rates surging to a 23-year high and home-buying demand falling apart.

    “It’s brutal now. People often talk about house prices and groceries and yeah that’s bad too, but the one I don’t hear enough people talk about is utility bills,” one Redditor noted.

    “Dollar wise I find those went up by an insane amount. Last year natural gas alone basically doubled,” they added.

    “I just bought my dog’s food. 40lb bag, same as always. $SEVENTY FIVE GODDAMNED DOLLARS$,” one user wrote. “[It] makes me afraid that there are people out there absolutely having to choose between feeding their dogs or feeding themselves. I’m lucky, I can afford to just complain about it.”

    I’m surprised the Reddit moderators even allowed the thread to remain up, considering their unanimously one sided censorship of *anything* reflecting negatively on the Brandon regime.

    1. Even if the orange man retakes the presidency, it’s going to take years to undo the damage caused by the usurper.

  11. Climate Change Crisis is a fraud.

    The social engineers of how to take over the globe, and create a total control grid on resources and humans , is the biggest threat that humanity faces.

    Rich Entities, Banks, Monopoly Corporations, Big Pharmacy, Organizations, Trillionaires, United Nations, etc. have a pre-planned agenda to literally rule the world.
    How insidious that these Entities arent even a Country, but they inflitrated global governments to collude with their power grab.

    Create so called global emergencies to justify their radical change and total dictorship over human freedoms , resource allocations, forced technology, and a One World Order /Great Reset.
    Convince the world that co2 carbon emissions and human activity requires total control of human activities and resource consumption.
    Create Global Panademics by creating bio-weapons that are unleashed, than deliver one solution fake expiermental vaccines that are marketed as “safe and effective”, while dispute and information is censored by Media and Internet so informed consent on vaccines could be obstructed to defraud public.
    Than cover up the massive deaths and injuries from the vaccine experiment technology that they knew was unsafe for human consumption, and not even effective in stopping transmission of the released so called bio-weapon Covid.
    When it becomes apparent that vaccines are not stopping people from getting Covid, than claim the vaccines kept you from dying even if you got Covid, with no proof their claim is valid.
    Use bogus PCR tests to determine Covid cases, that don’t determine Covid cases.
    Go for total control over information, by claiming its hate speech, disinformation, conspiracy theory, and censor dispute to the contrived fraudulent narratives.
    Bribery, extortion , job loss threat, fraud, you name it to force compliance to counter measures to bogus Climate Change and Panademic emergencies.
    Transfer of Power by treaty to corrupt UN/WHO, to supersede all US constitutional protections, done by the puppet Joe Biden , who was put in power by a rigged election.
    Promote divide and conquer tatics, division, proxy wars, diversions, crime waves, transgender rights, racism narratives, anything to break down a society that can function.
    Promote solutions to problems that are not sustainable or logical solutions, and in reality would create disasters of epic porporations, like reduction of crop production, withdraw of energy and fossil fuels, solar and windmill not sustainable replacement, taking of cars, invasion of borders, and promotion of One World Order , 2030 UN sustainable earth agenda . Enforce the ridiculous solutions to their fake emergencies. Allow no dispute to their doomsday narratives, or the solutions.
    Make promises they aren’t going to keep, to get their dictorship, than just enforce their planned dictorship.
    No signs of our Government stopping this insurrection by the One World Order Entities.

    1. deliver one solution fake expiermental vaccines that are marketed as “safe and effective”

      Two words: Turbo Cancer

      This will garner less attention than “died of suddenly”, and the numbers will be easier to hide at first.

      Of course, it will get out of hand and impossible to hide. The medical- pharma industrial complex will shrug and say that there is no explanation for why there are so many turbo cancers.

      1. I’ve been to the mountaintop

        I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land.

        And what I saw might as well have been a big neon sign that said…

        “Climate Change Crisis is a fraud.”

  12. Ok, since we the people , don’t have representation were it counts, and the Power grab is commencing by these Psychopaths, what are our options.
    -Just not complying
    – Waiting until it gets so disfunctional that your hamstrung from doing anything.
    -Create a alternative world apart from New World Order agenda.
    -Revolt in extreme way, to undo power grab.
    – Put up with their attacks and just accept their end game plans for humanity.
    – Have billions of people storm their monopoly control on resources, and have the people take control over the resources.
    -Peacefully protest
    -Seek recourse thru the Judicial process. Seek recourse by elections that are rigged, or somehow stop the rigging.
    -Boycott the agenda and refrain from doing business with culprit in collusion with take over.
    – Have a armed Revolution and take back Government .
    – Throw all cellphones and internet away in a big pile so they have no means of technology control.
    – Have faith they are so ridiculous that their pre planned agendas will fail and backfire on them .

    And lets say they are sucessful in their take over. Can they even sustain it because its so dystolic and bizarre, fraudulent and anti humanity.
    Just saying.

    1. And lets say they are sucessful in their take over. Can they even sustain it

      Well, their “vision” is massive global depopulation, via plummeting birth rates and reduced lifespan due to obesity, big pharma mystery meds, engineered famines, etc.

      The trick is whether they can continuing living their hi tech lifestyles while the rest of the world collapses. Obtaining spare parts for their Gulfstreams could become tricky.

      1. Another possible outcome is what they call the “great tilt”.
        This is a where all the actions by the Powers that Be create a unpredictable tilt in another direction that topples their best laid plans.

        1. Perhaps, but what I have observed is that as long as they have something left to lose most people won’t rock the boat.

  13. Overleveraged Homes A Scary Reality For Many In Brampton, Mississauga & Durham – Nov 8
    Team Sessa Real Estate
    38 minutes ago. CANADA

    Brampton, Mississauga, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering Real Estate Market Report for the week of Nov 2 – Nov 8, 2023.

    18 minutes. Classic double shack FB story at the beginning.

    1. “LILLEY UNLEASHED: Does Trudeau get it? People are done with him”

      Problem is Trudeau and those of his ilk don’t care.

      And so far they’ve been right.

      2 comments from the video

      4 hours ago

      2/3 of Canadians never wanted him as the PM to begin with – He won with just 32% of the vote!

      35 replies
      4 hours ago

      Do you think he actually cares about polls involving little people like us citizens?!

  14. Mayorkas Asked Directly About DHS Hiring People Saying Hunter Biden Laptop Story Was Russian Disinfo
    Forbes Breaking News
    3 hours ago

    At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) questioned Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas about Hunter Biden’s laptop and the response to it.

    3 minutes.

  15. This song is about an American soldier who is trained as a sniper in the Vietnam War and must face his demons when he returns home. It was written by Andre Pessis and Kevin Wells; in 2008, Pessis told a group of students about this song when he was a guest speaker for Pyramind Sound. In the late ’60s, Pessis paid a young Huey Lewis $20 to record a demo of “Walking on a Thin Line,” which he wrote for a documentary of that name about the Vietnam War. The song wasn’t used in the movie, but many years later became a hit for Lewis when he recorded it for the Sports album.

    Walking On A Thin Line · Huey Lewis & The News

  16. Ex-convict saves Texas police officer after carjacking suspect shoots him

    Nov 14, 2023 HOUSTON

    A man sprung into action after a Houston police officer was shot in the line of duty on Saturday.

    “I saw that one cop get shot and I’ve been shot before in the same leg and it made me know what he was going through,” Lally said. “I just seen somebody needed help and I ran over there.”

  17. Will investors be upset upon learning that the Fed meant it when it said rates would remain higher for longer?

    1. Economy
      The market thinks the Fed is going to start cutting rates aggressively. Investors could be in for a letdown
      Published Wed, Nov 15 2023 2:57 PM EST
      Jeff Cox

      Key Points

      – The most recent indications on the CME Group’s FedWatch gauge point to a full percentage point of interest rate cuts by the end of 2024.

      – This week has featured two important reports, one showing that consumer prices were unchanged and wholesale prices actually declined half a percent in October.

      – “They’re not going to want to signal that now is the time to start talking about decreases in interest rates, even if fed funds futures already has that incorporated,” former Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren told CNBC.

    2. Don’t be fooled: Huge one-day stock rallies are more common in bear markets
      Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:18 p.m. ET
      By Mark Hulbert
      Bear markets are more volatile than bull markets
      MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

      Bullish stock investors should temper the enthusiasm with which they greeted the stock market’s explosive rally in the wake of this month’s better-than-expected report on inflation.

      That’s because huge rallies are more likely to occur during bear markets rather than in major uptrends.

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