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Sellers Who Are Stuck With Few Showings And No Offers Have Been Gearing Down Their Prices

A report from Market Watch. “Dear Big Move, I’m struggling with the idea of selling a rental property that has both a high monthly maintenance fee and a high mortgage rate. The costs to keep this house are currently higher than the monthly income it generates. I recently refinanced in order to pull out $100,000, so now I owe $420,000 on the property, which is worth approximately $750,000. My recent refinancing increased my mortgage rate from 5.14% to 7.9%, essentially eating up all my cash flow. I’m on the fence. Should I sell, or should I refinance for a better rate to free up cash flow? Losing Money Fast.”

“Dear Losing, The fact that you’re bleeding money from this rental is not good. You need to either bring down your interest rate or raise rents so you can turn a profit in order to make it a worthwhile investment. But keep in mind that many people are sitting on the sidelines waiting for interest rates to fall, so you might not get your desired price if you decide to sell. The bottom line: You need to think like a real-estate investor and leave emotion out of this decision. If the property is not making money or it’s not going to at least break even at some point, you have your answer. But keep in mind that the real-estate market can surprise on the upside and that once you sell the home, you will not be able to take back that decision.”

The Real Deal. “New York’s luxury market lost some of its shine last year. Despite an uptick across the globe, luxury home prices in the city dropped in 2023 and sales fell by even more, according to Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report. Prices in New York fell 2 percent, ending the year 8 percent below their peak, according to the report, which measures price performance across 100 destinations worldwide. The downward swing in prices may be an opportunity for buyers, the report noted. (Brokerages tend to portray almost any set of circumstances as a rationale to buy.) Taken together, sales in New York, London, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney declined 37 percent last year.”

The Mountain Democrat in California. “Our real estate market is stuck in neutral. It isn’t going anywhere. If the Federal Reserve had lowered interest rates as anticipated, that would have jumped the market into first gear but that’s now unlikely. One-third of current listings have reduced their original listing price one or more times. That percentage will grow as more sellers lower their price expectations. Sellers who are stuck in neutral with few showings and no offers on their home have been gearing down their prices. Without more traction from buyers, home prices are slipping. The median selling price for a El Dorado County home during the last two months of last year was $620,000. That’s slipped to $600,000 this year.”

WLOS in North Carolina. “New data just released shows Asheville’s tourism industry has seen a slower-than-usual January. ‘The number of hotels and Airbnbs continues to increase year over year,’ said Brian Methvin, who retired in Asheville and serves as vice chair for Asheville’s Affordable Housing Committee. ‘The fact the occupancy rates go down is more a question of, are those business owners making the right economic decision to continue expansion?’ Jay Smilanic, who owns WNC Photo Tours Company, said he’s seen a slight dip in his January bookings compared to past Januarys, even though the month is typically one of his slowest months for tours. ‘It’s usually this time of year that we see our spring bookings come in, and I really haven’t seen any bookings — outside bookings — for one of the new offerings we do,’ he said. ‘Our standard custom half-day tour is usually booked by tourists. It’s a pretty good indicator of what tourism is going to be like, and, so far, those bookings definitely have not been coming in.'”

The Houston Chronicle in Texas. “There are 300 entirely empty office buildings in Houston. These zombie offices, tallied by real estate data company CoStar, aren’t just a problem for their owners: As the values of office properties plummet, the losses also affect real estate investors, pension funds invested in real estate and a city budget that relies on them to bolster its tax base. But office conversions won’t solve a chronic oversupply of outdated office space exacerbated by hybrid work. The problem is no one knows what will. ‘At the end of the day, conversions can help in very tiny projects, but generally, that is not a needle-mover,’ said Steve Triolet, senior vice president at Houston-based real estate company Partners. ‘Is it going to turn the market around and help alleviate our chronic vacancy? There’s no way.'”

Bloomberg on Illinois. “Chicago, like many other cities in the US, has struggled to recover from the pandemic, but its problems have been compounded by high-profile defections of large corporations, violent crime and disagreements between the city’s politicians and business community. Vacancy rates in the central business district climbed to a record in the fourth quarter, according to real estate broker Jones Lang LaSalle. Few office buildings have sold, but those that traded did so at deep discounts. A 41-story tower on 150 North Michigan Avenue exchanged hands this year for about half of the price it sold for more than six years ago.”

“‘Buildings are trading at generational low values,’ said Prime Real Estate Group’s Michael Reschke. ‘I’ve been in the business over 40 years and I’ve never seen such quality office assets being marketed at such low valuations. I think it’s a phenomenal time to invest.'”

The Globe and Mail in Canada. “An Ontario mortgage broker who arranged tens of millions of dollars in funding for a financially troubled real estate enterprise run by a former child actor is now facing nine lawsuits from lenders, including one of her employees. The lawsuits target Claire Drage, a mortgage broker with the Windrose Group who helped arrange funding for a real estate empire run by former child actor Robby Clark. Mr. Clark filed for court protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in January as his network of companies, which owns 405 rental properties in Northern Ontario, struggled to pay off debts of $144-million.”

“So-called ‘prom notes’ are not mortgages, and while they can look like simple loans between parties they are treated as securities – like stocks or bonds – under Canadian law. According to the CCAA filings, Mr. Clark’s companies were typically contracted to pay their lenders between 15 per cent and 20 per cent interest monthly. Unlike a first or second mortgage, these debts were not registered or secured against any of the homes. Lawyers for Mr. Clark’s secured lenders have warned the amount of debt his companies racked up before going insolvent could leave little room for repayment of unsecured debts, such as the promissory notes.”

“On Feb. 9, Ms. Drage sent her investors an e-mail that said she had to ‘pause redemptions and interest payments’ for the notes, because 45 per cent of them are no longer paying interest, a result of them being tied up in Mr. Clark’s insolvency. The message concluded by asking lenders to give her ‘breathing room.’ The e-mail kicked off a series of demand letters and legal claims. ‘It is becoming increasingly difficult to hold it together and stay focused on this with all the external ‘noise’ that is occurring. Even me writing this e-mail is against the wishes of my lawyer, in fear it gets shared with the media and then misconstrued,’ Ms. Drage wrote in the e-mail. ‘All this negative news and reporters targeting Lion’s Share specifically is only going to encourage borrowers NOT to repay us at all if they think they can get away with it.'”

From Le Monde. “Paris and the Ile-de-France region are no exception. The significant fall in real estate prices, already observed in the Paris region since the fall of 2022, is now seen throughout France. According to the Notaires-INSEE index published on Thursday, February 29, existing property prices nationwide fell by 4% year-on-year at the end of 2023, whereas 6 months earlier they were still rising by 0.5%. Between 2021 and 2023, the annual volume of transactions collapsed by 26% in France, from nearly 1.2 million to 870,000 sales. While prices fall across the board, the intensity of the drop varies from region to region. In Paris, the decline is more severe: Square meter prices stood at €9,770 in the fourth quarter of 2023, down by almost 7% in one year. ‘And it’s not over yet,’ said the notaries, based on their leading indicators. According to pre-contracts, the square meter price in Paris is set to fall to €9,410 in April, a drop of 8% in one year, and even more than 13% from the November 2020.”

Star Weekly in Australia. “Jess Rodriguez thought her dream was coming true when she purchased a home and land package to build in Ironbark Way, Doreen. She had saved hard to put down a deposit to be able to have somewhere nice and new for her and her nine-year-old daughter. Her mum had purchased land next door. Slowly, Ms Rodriguez’s dream came crashing down. Her chosen builder, Montego Homes, went into voluntary administration in January and was placed in liquidation last month. Ms Rodriguez also soon found out that even when the property is settled, she won’t be able to build. Ms Rodriguez and her mother intially believed that Montego Homes had taken out insurance policies as required of builders, but said they’ve since found out they are not covered. ‘Mum and I paid $30,000 each,’ she said. ‘It’s not like they didn’t expect it to happen. They [the government] knew the policies weren’t in line with obligations before the scheme ended. Everyday gets worse.'”

The Print in India. “Desolate streets, vast tracts of vacant farmland, partially built structures, and rows of abandoned multi-storeyed apartments as far as the eye can see. These sights greet one entering Amaravati, which not too long ago was touted and being developed as the capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Once bustling with aspiration and frenzied real estate activity, Amaravati is now struggling to find takers. A thick air of despondency looms over the mofussil city located on the south bank of river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district. Many projects taken up in 2016 including development of trunk infrastructure such as drainage, roads and power lines have either not begun or were abandoned midway.”

“‘There is nothing to do here today, no employment, nothing. Earlier, all of us had land where we used to cultivate. But we gave our land willingly hoping that development of the capital here would usher in overall prosperity in the area. There will be economic activity around the place, new employment avenues will be generated. But all our hopes lie shattered today,’ 35-year-old Narendra Karumanchi, a resident of Velagapudi village in Amaravati, told ThePrint.”

South China Morning Post. “Amid a sluggish second-hand home market where supply consistently outweighs demand and prices are slumping to fresh lows, many homeowners in China are taking to social media to sell their property in the hopes of finding a buyer more quickly and securing a better deal. The practice of bypassing the property agent is not exactly new. Another user on Xiaohongshu, named Zhang, listed two properties on the platform – one, which underwent renovation work, in Shanghai, and the other on the outskirts of nearby Kunshan city – and managed to sell them both last March. The Shanghai home took three months to sell, while the other one found a buyer after six months.”

“‘The benefit of selling on social media is that if your renovation matches people’s tastes, then it’s easier to find a buyer,’ said Zhang, who also declined to provide his full name out of privacy concerns. ‘Market conditions were quite OK around that time, but if I had tried to sell my house this year, or even in the second half of last year, I wouldn’t know if I could succeed, because there are too many listings on the market, and not enough buyers.'”

This Post Has 135 Comments
  1. ‘Lawyers for Mr. Clark’s secured lenders have warned the amount of debt his companies racked up before going insolvent could leave little room for repayment of unsecured debts, such as the promissory notes’

    That’s some sound lending right there.

  2. “I recently refinanced in order to pull out $100,000, so now I owe $420,000 on the property,…”

    “My recent refinancing increased my mortgage rate from 5.14% to 7.9%, essentially eating up all my cash flow.”

    One cannot fix stupid.

    1. “recently refinanced in order to pull out $100,000”

      The fact the answer doesn’t even address this stupidity says it all. Not surprising from MarketWatch.

        1. I have no doubt most what you read on MW is pure fiction. But I can tell you as a former mortgage broker that people recklessly treating their home like an ATM is not. True story or not, this is going on at an insane level right now.

          1. What’s more they loaned him an additional amount on terms that made it cash flow negative.

          2. Good catch. And cash-out refi against an income property is sub-prime. Conforming won’t do it, unless things have changed. Just as likely, though, this was fraud. Collusion with the LO to make it look like their primary property. Yeah….lending is rock solid this time around.

    2. “I recently refinanced in order to pull out $100,000…”

      Your father should have pulled out.

  3. Say it ain’t so.

    “Brokerages tend to portray almost any set of circumstances as a rationale to buy.”

    Imagine that!

  4. Do you live in a sovereign nation, with its own distinct history, culture, and border? Or do you live in a border less economic zone, which is, after all, what your betters want for you?

    CNBC — Immigration is ‘taking pressure off’ the job market and U.S. economy, expert says (3/2/2024):

    “In 2006, 15.3% of the civilian labor force was made up of “foreign-born” workers, or those born outside the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That share hit a record 18.6% in 2023.

    Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the increase in foreign-born workers is “taking pressure off the economy.”

    The growth in foreign-born workers comes amid a contentious immigration policy debate in the U.S.

    In mid-February, House Republicans impeached U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whom they blame for perceived shortcomings in border security. He now faces the prospect of a Senate trial.

    Meanwhile, cities are trying to absorb an influx of people arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. In December, the U.S. Border Patrol reported almost 250,000 encounters with migrants crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

    The problem is that native-born U.S. households are having fewer children and the baby boom generation is aging out of the job market, economists said.

    The Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, a nonpartisan federal agency, predicts U.S. deaths will exceed births starting in 2040, at which point immigration will account for all population growth.

    The CBO estimates the U.S. labor force will grow by 5.2 million people from 2023 to 2034, largely due to “a surge in immigration” that began in 2022 and will continue through 2026. As a result, gross domestic product will be about $7 trillion higher and revenues $1 trillion larger than they would have been otherwise, it said.”

    Will continue through 2026?

    “Camarota said immigration — along with factors such as globalization, weaker unions and a stagnant federal minimum wage — suppressed wages and made it harder for native-born men without college degrees to find jobs, keeping them on the sidelines and causing their labor force participation to decline. Foreign-born workers provide businesses with an easy labor supply, leading policymakers not to care as much about the U.S.-born groups being left behind, he said.

    “The labor market is tight as a drum,” especially for the types of lower-paid jobs many immigrants take, Zandi said.

    “There’s just no evidence at this point in time that immigrants are taking American jobs,” Zandi added. “They’re jobs that are simply going unfilled.”

    1. “There’s just no evidence at this point in time that immigrants are taking American jobs,” Zandi added.

      Since the invaders are mostly unskilled, semi illiterate, lazy communists who want to join the Free Sh!t Army, it is a pretty safe bet they aren’t taking anyone’s job.

      1. “150 North Michigan Avenue …”

        I worked in this building until the pandemic. My office shut down and I was moved to the suburbs, where I work now. It was a nice building but the location leaves a little to be desired for suburban commuters, too far east from the commuter light rail train stations. Also, 150 North Michigan is the iconic building with the diamond in the 80’s movie Adventures in Babysitting.

        1. Wrong thread!

          Many of the illegals are getting jobs but in their own underground almost parallel economies, in the back of ethnic restaurants, in the underground mechanics’ shops, barbers, etc…

  5. Salon (via Archive) — Running in fear: Laken Riley’s murder echoes the perils of female runners everywhere (3/2/2024):

    “My experience with this “watcher” happened when I was 19, around the same age as 22-year-old Laken Riley, the nursing student who was recently murdered while jogging near a lake at the University of Georgia in Athens. A 26-year-old man, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was charged with Riley’s murder last week. The motive remains unclear, but there is no justification to warrant the violence done to her — no explanation that will be sufficient to qualify the terror she must have felt in her final moments, while engaged in an act she presumably loved mere seconds before.

    Some conservatives, including Donald Trump, have already attempted to use Ibarra’s status as a Venezuelan immigrant who previously entered the U.S. illegally as political fodder, molding it to fit the GOP’s prior complaints about President Biden’s border policies. Not only do these sorts of claims advance racist rhetoric — a lá Trump’s “immigrants are poisoning the blood of our country” vitriol — but they detract from the more central issue of perpetuated male violence.”

    Detract from the more central issue? Got it, globalist scum.

    1. “When they notified ICE, federal authorities declined to hold him. Oregon officials declined to extradite him. With no authority to keep him in custody, Jose-Sebastian was subsequently released from our jail with a notification to the public.”

      March 3, 2024

      MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. —
      A suspect wanted in Oregon on rape charges has been taken into custody by Martin County Sheriff’s deputies.

      The undocumented Guatemalan man, 26 year-old Juan Jose-Sebastian, is wanted in Washington County, Oregon, on three counts of rape and sexual abuse, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies initially arrested Jose-Sebastian on charges of driving without a license, but his sentence for that crime was served. Upon notification of his pending release, jail officials discovered that Jose-Sebastian was wanted on a warrant for rape in Oregon

      Reaction from the community was swift, particularly actions taken by Congressman Brian Mast who worked immediately on this issue, along with Governor Ron DeSantis and ICE Officials out of Washington DC. As a result, ICE officials authorized MCSO to locate and re-arrest the fugitive from justice.

      1. Oregon officials declined to extradite him.

        Would they have extradited the man if he had been a white American citizen? If not, that sends a pretty strong message to the women of Oregon: If a guy rapes you and crosses state lines, meh, you’re on your own.

        1. hat sends a pretty strong message to the women of Oregon

          They’ll keep voting progressive.

          1. “They’ll keep voting progressive.”

            Progressives remind me of Logan’s Run, i.e., voluntarily reporting to extermination at age 30 in order to prevent overpopulation.

        2. I don’t know if you’re going to see this, but yes, white women in this country are so brainwashed, they think that a non american citizen non white man raping them is their fault.

  6. Economy
    Wall Street titans like Jamie Dimon, David Solomon, and Jeffrey Gundlach are still worried about a recession — and warn investors are too complacent
    Theron Mohamed
    Mar 2, 2024, 6:49 AM ET
    Jamie Dimon
    Getty/Win McNamee

    – Some Wall Street heavyweights aren’t ready to rule out a US recession yet.

    – JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, Goldman’s David Solomon, and DoubleLine’s Jeffrey Gundlach are among them.

    – Their worries include cash-strapped consumers, a softening job market, and a fiscal hangover.

    Recession fears have faded this year as the US economy keeps chugging along, stocks have soared to record highs, and the Federal Reserve has signaled it could begin cutting interest rates within months.

    Yet several top-tier executives, economists, and investors still see reason to worry — and aren’t ready to rule out a hard landing yet.

    1. March 1, 2024 at 6:31 PM EST
      Live Coverage Feed
      1 day ago
      Treasury Yields Fall After Soft Data
      By Sam Goldfarb, Reporter

      Treasurys are rallying Friday, driving the 10-year yield to its lowest intraday level since just before the mid-February release of a hotter-than-expected January inflation report.

      Treasury yields had been drifting higher in early trading but fell sharply following the release of soft economic data, including a weaker-than-expected report on manufacturing activity.

      The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 47.8 in February from 49.1 the previous month. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had anticipated a 49.5 reading.

      Separate reports on construction spending and consumer sentiment also fell short of expectations.

  7. [This article is in no way related to housing. It is being posted here to demonstrate how stupid people are and how this stupidity can be exploited.]

    Turns out sports gambling was a gateway drug.

    [some snips …]

    “While more and more Americans are getting used to wagering on games from their phone, sports betting is just the start. The next step is to get people to gamble on everything.”


    “But many online-gambling companies don’t plan to stick to just sports. The bigger-picture bet is that once someone gambles on an NBA or NFL game, they’ll develop a taste for gambling on other things, too. That will give companies more avenues to dip into consumers’ wallets, many of which are more lucrative than sports betting.

    “‘These companies do not make anywhere near as much money off sports wagering as they do with online casinos, but they do get their foot in the door with the sports wagering,’ Lia Nower, the director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University, said.”


    “The average sports bettor may spend about $1,000 a year, he said, but the average person doing iGaming could spend $5,000 — the action is 24/7, while there’s a finite number of sports games to bet on. And then there’s the lottery, where an average player will spend $300 a year. All that combined under one umbrella translates to dollar signs.

    “The more people gamble — and the more culturally acceptable gambling becomes — the more possibility gambling addiction becomes a bigger issue.
    “‘Sports betting is kind of like the customer-acquisition channel, and then you cross-sell them other things,’ Benyon said. ‘Ultimately, they’re trying to be digital leaders, and whether it’s lottery tickets, sports betting, I think these companies ultimately want to do everything.’

    “The drive into iGaming is particularly appealing because sports betting is a low-margin business. Companies have to pay leagues or third-party vendors for data and wait for games to happen. By contrast, online tables are open all year, around the clock, and there’s no one to pay to host the action. Plus, Nower told me, the payouts on games such as slots or roulette are much more favorable to the operator than sports betting.

    “Sports betting can also help to solve an age-old problem for casinos and other traditional forms of gambling: getting younger people hooked. A 22-year-old may not go to Atlantic City to hit up the blackjack table, but they’ll make a prop bet on a baseball game on their phone and maybe try out a few hands of blackjack while they wait for the result.

    “‘What we’re finding is since the legalization of online casino gaming and sports wagering, more people are wagering online and more people are wagering both in land-based and online venues,’ Nower said, citing a recent report on the prevalence of gambling in New Jersey she coauthored. ‘It’s this additive effect of more forms of gambling that are legalized and more ways in which you can gamble.’

    “Sports-betting companies want to not only break into people’s gambling budgets but also get into their entertainment budgets, said Chris Grove, a sports-gambling-industry investor at Acies Investments and a partner at EKG Ventures, which invested in Jackpocket. These companies could start to offer products that may be gambling but not feel like it to consumers, he said, adding that a lot of people didn’t really think of the lottery as gambling, even though it is.”


    “Expanding the offerings means greater risk of more people developing an unhealthy gambling habit. In New York, calls to problem-gambling hotlines have increased along with the tax revenue the state makes off sports betting.

    “‘The online space, which is 24 hours a day and in your pocket, is driving more involvement,’ Nower said. The more people gamble — and the more culturally acceptable gambling becomes — the more possibility gambling addiction becomes a bigger issue. It also depends how many states get on board with iGaming, which they’ve generally been more wary of.

    “The culture around gambling in America has meaningfully shifted in recent years, in no small part because of sports betting. I partake, though not heavily — I’ve been betting the same $20 up and down on the Caesars app for over a year. If New York legalizes iGaming, might I start doing slots on my phone? Personally, I don’t know. But companies are betting many will.”

    1. There is already betting in the video gaming world. Microtransactions in free games, while not exactly gambling, are highly addictive. But many games ask you to buy (with real money) a “loot box,” a closed grab-bag which may contain anything from a custom skin to a rare sword to Lionel Messi. Usually the loot box contains worthless stuff. In ~2021, the UK government had to crack down on it because the games are usually played by children under 18, where gambling is illegal. [In one highly visible instance, two kids unknowingly racked up $1500 on their parents’ credit card buying lootboxes trying to get Lionel Messi for their FIFA game. It was only discovered later that the lootboxes in the FIFA game almost never contained Lionel Messi.

      (Yong Yea, a noted YouTuber who follows video game news, is on top of this.)

  8. “Without more traction from buyers, home prices are slipping.”

    You say it like it’s a bad thing. This should be celebrated.

  9. Mortgages
    When Will Mortgage Rates Fall? Probably Not in March
    By Holden Lewis
    Updated Mar 1, 2024
    Edited by
    Mary Makarushka

    March mortgage rate forecast

    Mortgage rates are expected to go down sometime in 2024, but the decline probably won’t start in March. Instead, mortgage rates are likely to remain about the same because the economy hasn’t cooled off enough yet to cause them to fall.

    When the economy grows robustly, and plenty of jobs are created, prices tend to go up. And when those three factors coexist, they combine to push interest rates higher. That’s what happened in February, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see a reversal of those trends in March.

    A strong February leads into March

    Rates went up in February, with the average rate on the 30-year mortgage at 6.78% in Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, up from 6.64% in January.

    The culprit was a collection of strong economic data, released in February, that showed that the economy was running hot in late 2023 and into January. The overall economy grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the final three months of 2023. In January, the economy created a net 353,000 jobs and the core consumer price index accelerated. These signs of stronger-than-expected economic growth caused mortgage rates to rise in February.

    Mortgage rates are unlikely to fall until there are unmistakable signs, for a few months in a row, that the economy is slowing down. We almost certainly won’t see those signs in March, despite two years’ toil by the Federal Reserve.

      1. If Trump is the next administration, I don’t think he’ll care. IMO, he has three objectives: stopping the immigration/build the wall, stopping the war in Ukraine (not sure how), and getting revenge. I don’t think he’ll bother with trying to make America great.

      2. The massive default in private debt will cause deflation. China is experiencing it now.

  10. Unemployment Casts a Shadow Over California’s Economy

    Tech layoffs, fallout from Hollywood strikes and an uptick in rural joblessness challenge a state with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.

    A view along Hollywood Boulevard, including Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
    After the entertainment industry strikes last year, many workers in Hollywood and its tangential industries still haven’t found full-time work.Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times
    By Kurtis Lee
    Reporting from Los Angeles
    March 1, 2024

    For decades, California’s behemoth economy has outpaced those of most nations, holding an outsize role in shaping global trends in tech, entertainment and agriculture.

    While that reputation remains, the state has a less enviable distinction: one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.

    Nationwide, the rate is 3.7 percent, and in January, the country added 353,000 jobs. California’s job growth has been slower than the nationwide average over the last year, and the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high — 5.1 percent in the latest data, a percentage point higher than a year earlier and outpaced only by Nevada’s 5.4 percent.

    1. California’s Economic Dilemma: Rising Unemployment Amid Tech Layoffs and Hollywood Strikes
      California grapples with high unemployment amidst tech industry layoffs and slow recovery in key sectors, yet shows signs of resilience.
      02 Mar 2024 20:59 EST
      Nitish Verma
      Follow Us
      California’s Economic Dilemma: Rising Unemployment Amid Tech Layoffs and Hollywood Strikes

      For decades, California has been a powerhouse in the global economy, thanks to its leading roles in the tech, entertainment, and agriculture sectors. However, the state now faces economic challenges that have resulted in one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates. Despite a national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent and the addition of 353,000 jobs across the country in January, California’s growth has lagged, with a current unemployment rate of 5.1 percent. This situation is exacerbated by significant layoffs in the tech industry, a slow recovery from Hollywood strikes, and fluctuating demand for agricultural workers.

  11. “The median selling price for a El Dorado County home during the last two months of last year was $620,000. That’s slipped to $600,000 this year.”

    El Dorado County sits at around 90K median income. So homes are at about 6.5 times income? Sorry El Dorado, you got at least another 30% to go on the downside. And yes…’s that easy to figure out where home prices should be before you make a moronic decision.

  12. ‘‘The number of hotels and Airbnbs continues to increase year over year…The fact the occupancy rates go down is more a question of, are those business owners making the right economic decision to continue expansion?’

    The GSE’s will guarantee these STR loans.

    1. The GSE’s will guarantee these STR loans.
      I believe Fannie will lend to a person on 10 separate homes.
      Yeah, the GSEs do everything they can to get the money to flow in.

      1. Or their wife/girlfriend/baby momma/mother/father/daugther is the owner on paper but the real owner is someone else. Straw buyers are more common than you would think.

    2. “The GSE’s will guarantee these STR loans.”

      And the guarantees the GSE’s share prices, or else investors wouldn’t buy them. And yet the “free market” narrative is still shoved-up your ash!

    1. “AFFORDABLE HOUSING” as in government subsidies aka welfare, has been intentionally blurred with what is affordable by private non leeching buyers of homes.

  13. Posted in Housing
    California sees housing inventory jump double-digits for the first time in 19 months
    Avatar photo by Silicon Valley Association of Realtors
    February 28, 2024 3:12 pm

    Homes sales jumped double-digits statewide in January with the Bay Area recording 6.2% sales growth from the prior year.

    California home sales and inventory made a strong rebound at the start of this year following months of sluggish activity, according to new sales data from the California Association of Realtors.

    The number of homes sold statewide in January jumped 14.4% compared to the previous month of December, marking the highest level of activity in six months. In addition, the number of new homes listed for sale increased for the first time in 19 months. The California Association of Realtors attributed January’s rebound to the sharp drop in mortgage rates at the end of 2023.

    “It’s encouraging to see California’s housing market kick off the year with positive sales growth in January,” Melanie Barker, president of the California Association of Realtors, said. “While we’ll likely experience some ups and downs in home sales in the coming months as (mortgage) rates continue to fluctuate, the lending environment is expected to be more favorable in 2024, so the market should see more pent-up demand translate into sales.”

    1. “California sees housing inventory jump double-digits for the first time in 19 months”

      California Housing Affordability Tracker (January 2024)
      January 24, 2024 | Ross Brown

      “California Home Prices Far Exceed the Rest of the Country. As shown above, California home prices have long been—and continue to be—much more expensive than the rest of the US. Prices for mid-tier homes are more than twice as expensive as the typical mid-tier US home.”

      “Dramatic Increase in Monthly Payments for a Newly Purchased Home Over the Last Couple of Years. Monthly payments for a newly purchased mid-tier home—including mortgage, taxes, and homeowners’ insurance—have increased dramatically over the last couple of years. Payments for a mid-tier home were over $5,500 a month in December 2023—an 80 percent increase since January 2020.”

      “Purchasing A 2-Bedroom Home Now Much More Expensive Than Renting. Monthly rents have also grown significantly in recent years, but not as quickly as monthly payments needed to purchase a home. As shown above, monthly payments for a 2-bedroom home are nearly $2,000 more than renting an apartment or home.”

      “Costs of Buying A Home Have Grown by More Than Median Income. Affordability depends on both the costs of the housing, as well as the income and/or wages of households. Annual household income needed to qualify for a mortgage on a mid-tier California home in December 2023 was about $224,000—2.6 times the median California household income in 2022 ($85,300).”

      – One of these things is not like the other.

      – Rising sales is a positive development, but the 30 yr. fixed rate mortgage rate is still 7%, and prices are “to the moon” unaffordable.
      – Rising inventory may not be the positive indicator that they think it is…

      – I recently read that the State of CA is currently in recession, but CAR apparently feels that the unemployment rate has no impact on house sales.


      “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” – Chico Marx, “Duck Soup”, 1933

      “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

  14. 1)
    MAC10 | Jan 15, 2024
    Housing Bubblicious 2.0

    “Next, we see that with 0% interest rates secured by the 2008 bailout, home prices soon began levitating above trend again. During the period 2009-2014, the Fed was using their balance sheet (bottom pane) on and off to support markets. Starting in 2016 the Fed began balance sheet rolloff which means that as bonds matured, they received payment from Treasury and did not reinvest in newly issued bonds. They stopped explicitly supporting the T-bond market. Then the pandemic hit, and as we see the balance sheet doubled in a year. In addition, home prices inflected upward (blue up arrow). Currently, home prices are almost 70% above [68%] trend when measuring linear distance to the trendline.”

    – For comparison purposes, and per the same chart, Housing Bubble 1.0 was 37% above the trendline, so Housing Bubble 2.0 is roughly 2x greater than 1.0 in magnitude. I’m sure it’s nothing.


    MAC10 | Feb. 19th, 2024
    Housing Pandemonium

    “What we see in the chart above is that the U.S. home prices / income ratio has round-tripped back to the 2007 highs.”

    “The stock market is driving the economy via the wealth effect…”

    “Investors are totally oblivious to the fact that they are now caught in a feedback loop between hyper-levitating markets and the economy”

    “The booming stock market drives low unemployment which drives a still booming housing market. Someone has to pay the price. In the chart below (bottom pane) we see that personal interest payments relative to wage CPI have sky-rocketed because most of the new jobs being created are low paying jobs while most of the people retiring had high paying jobs. Which means that the financial strain on the active workforce is rising steadily.”

    – So, what happens when the Magnificent 7 / NVDA stock bubble deflates in a serious way?

    – House price to income and house price to rent ratios are (again) far from their historical values of ~3:1 and ~1:1, respectively. Mean reversion is a thing. The current admin. and their lapdog Fed hope that the wheels don’t come off the Biden bus until after Tuesday, November 5th. Let’s see what happens, but sooner or later, just like the 2000, 2008 bubbles bursting, the SHTF, or reality bites. The current (massive) 2024 bubble = 2000 stonks + 2008 RRE in the U.S. and RRE everywhere else, and much higher public + private debt loads. I’m sure this is fine also.


    – Humpty dumpty.


    Selected quotes from The Wizard of Oz, 1939

    Dorothy: “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?”
    The Scarecrow: “I don’t know! But some people without brains do an *awful* lot of talking, don’t they?”
    Dorothy: “Yes, I guess you’re right.”

    Auntie Em: “Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For 23 years, I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you, and now… well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!”

    The Wizard of Oz: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

    Dorothy: “Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!”

    [Dorothy watches the Wicked Witch melt]
    The Wicked Witch of the West: “[her final lines] You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!”

  15. The Atlantic (via Archive) — How to Tackle Truth Decay (3/3/2024):

    “Our belief in things we cannot ourselves verify relies on trust networks. If the connections to the experts are broken, our understanding of reality becomes untethered. Society then begins a slide into doubt and denialism, and “truth decay,” as a RAND initiative has called it, starts to occur. If we want to reverse that process, we need to rebuild the networks of trust.

    In my studies, I routinely use visual diagrams. So I would translate Putnam’s observation into this image showing the flow of information among people in a social network …

    This is the first stage in the decay of truth. The segment of society depicted on the left side of the network diagram is divided from all of the experts (green nodes). Let’s consider the case in which the experts are metallurgists who can tell the difference between real gold and fake gold. Imagine that you are one of the people on the left side of the divide. You no longer have trusted connections to metallurgists. Perhaps you have heard of them, but everyone you know feels the same about them: Don’t trust them. They don’t know what they are talking about. They act as if they can tell the difference between real and fake gold, but who knows? Even if they do know, they are probably lying to us to enrich themselves.”

    Lying to us to enrich themselves? See also: mRNA “vaccines” the climate hoax and the phony war in Ukraine.

    “The next stage of truth decay is that those who no longer trust the scientists and technocrats search for alternative sources of information, “truth” from outside the network of elite expertise.

    The implications are alarming. Acting on beliefs disconnected from reality can lead to catastrophic failures, such as the mishandling of health crises (for example, by encouraging people to ingest or inject bleach) and the acceleration of environmental collapse. The erosion of a shared social reality breeds deep distrust. Conflict entrepreneurs gain power and wealth by deepening divides through attacks on expertise.

    This fragmentation is not just an internal domestic issue; it’s a national-security vulnerability. Our geopolitical adversaries, notably Russia and China, learn that American society is easily manipulated by misinformation, and even our allies lose trust in the U.S. as a predictable and reliable partner.

    Finally, social-media platforms have become the major distribution channel for mainstream-media content, effectively giving the upper hand to algorithmic selection of emotionally provocative content over editorial control based on quality of information. I see no clear path to reining in social media. Government intervention is fraught in our politically polarized era, and severely limited by First Amendment protections. We can’t fact-check our way out of the problems either. If a media source is distrusted, its fact-checkers will be contaminated by that same distrust. And on social-media platforms, where the cost of generating false and misleading information is approaching zero with generative AI, no feasible way exists to fact-check at the required scale.”

    The required scale? Required by who, exactly?

  16. Until about five years ago, the hype machine propelling electric and autonomous vehicles was compelling, dreamy, full of Jetsons-style promise of transportation’s new world. EVs and versions that could drive you to the office while you sipped a cappuccino in the back seat inhabited the same razzle-dazzle universe as bitcoin, the metaverse, artificial intelligence and defi – bro talk for decentralized finance. Fortunes were made as the tech dream lured astonishing numbers of believers, most of whom had no idea what they were buying into. What was the Internet of Things?

    The hype machine has since moved on, as it always does when a rude reality check collides with overpromotion. Did we really need “smart” fridges that doubled as computers that could talk to us? Did we really need autonomous cars? Actually, they were a cool idea (though never as cool as mass public transportation). But they are not coming, at least not quickly.

    This week, Apple rolled its plans to create a self-driving iPhone on wheels into the ditch. The company started the project, known as Titan, about a decade ago and it was certainly ambitious, though news rarely leaked out about its progress – or lack thereof.

    At first, according to various reports, the idea was to build a fully autonomous car. Later, when it became apparent that the inadequate technology, the safety concerns and the missing legislation that would allow driverless cars on the roads would prevent the cars from hitting the market any time soon, Apple concentrated on EVs with only some self-driving capabilities.

    By then, the market was already cluttered with EVs of various degrees of sophistication and Apple apparently realized it could never turn itself into a profitable car maker. The 2,000 employees in its car division are being redeployed into generative AI. Is Amazon’s Zoox autonomous car subsidiary the next to call it quits?

    1. Here in Colorado you can get an “Electric Vehicle” vanity plate and I see them everywhere, because virtue signal. Those plates need some stickers that say “powered by burning coal.”

    2. “Until about five years ago, the hype machine propelling electric and autonomous vehicles was compelling, dreamy, full of Jetsons-style promise of transportation’s new world.”

      – But the Green New Deal?
      – Where’s my flying car?
      – Now everything is too expensive and the WEF and their globalist cuck puppets tell me I’ll have to eat bugs. 🐜 🐛 🪲 . It’s only a coincidence, I’m sure.
      – Things aren’t working out the way they told me when the Socialists got elected, going back to O’bummer 1.0.
      – EV range anxiety is a thing. Charging infrastructure shortage is a thing. Raw materials shortages needed to manufacture batteries and motors is a thing. Market saturation is a thing.
      – EVs were based on pseudo-science, political science. Actual CO2 reductions are not as advertised, when the all-in manufacturing and charging impacts are included.
      – Predictably, the business case, based on false science and governments picking winners and losers was a fraud, and is failing on it’s face in the real world. This includes ignoring the fact that China is the biggest coal consumer and CO2 emitter in the entire world, but the Commies love China and are giving Xi (Pooh Bear) a pass. Free markets, I hardly knew ya!
      – Hybrids make the most sense to me right now, and fossil fuels and ICE cars aren’t going away any time soon.
      – I want my nuclear reactor? Where’s my nuclear reactor? 😂

      – Moving soon to Galt’s Gulch…

      1. They need to build the cities around the autonomous cars, not the cars around cities. Everybody wants these autonomous cars cruising around big cities so yuppies can drink at bars all night. But they’d work better in suburban subdivisions with wide roads, less traffic, near zero pedestrians. But it’s not ‘cool’ to have autonoumous cars in the exurbs.

  17. I’m a former anchor of the CBC News program The National and I have an uncomfortable confession to make: I don’t watch the news.

    This is really hard to say but I don’t watch The National any more. I can’t tell you the last time I watched W5. I don’t get news from people who do what I used to do for a living. It’s sad, but it’s much more than that.

    The current model is not working. I don’t have a magic solution, but it seems there are a few basic considerations. How do we chase an audience? Can a large newsroom or network connect with a large Canadian audience? Can it face controversy and offer two sides on difficult discussions? And if it can, who will pay for it?

    1. See also: the above Atlantic article bemoaning lack of “trust” in phony “experts.”

      Here in the United States, read the New York Times and Washington Post, and believe the opposite. Whatever they are advocating or supporting, is against the interests of U.S. citizens, your future, and your freedoms.

    2. “We know that they are lying, they know that they are lying, they even know that we know they are lying, we also know that they know we know they are lying too, they of course know that we certainly know they know we know they are lying too as well, but they are still lying. In our country, the lie has become not just moral category, but the pillar industry of this country.”

      ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  18. New York Community Bancorp Inc. “is on its to own” to figure out its accounting and other issues as it faces fresh losses in its stock price and prepares to update its financials in the coming weeks.

    That’s according to Citigroup analyst Keith Horowitz, who commented after the regional bank disclosed “material weaknesses” in its accounting and other financial-reporting issues — news that sent its stock down 25%.

    “We expect more questions on whether NYCB will sell, but we do not see a lot of potential buyers here even at this price due to the uncertainty,” Horowitz wrote in a note to clients.

    While the material weakness “adds more fuel” to the fire around the bank, no additional financial impact is expected beyond the $2.4 billion goodwill impairment charge that it took for its fourth quarter, Horowitz said.

    The developments marked the latest turn in a roller-coaster ride for the bank since it acquired the distressed Signature Bank, a former S&P 500 component, in a deal brokered by the FDIC following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank one year ago.

    The bank may have to take further steps to protect against bad loans, said Tomasz Piskorski, a finance professor at Columbia University.

    “NYCB has also some unique commercial real estate risks tied to their exposure to rent-stabilized multifamily financing that experienced significant price drops also due to recent rent regulation,” Piskorski said in an email to MarketWatch.

    The FDIC may require the bank to increase its loss provisions.

    “It’s plausible they are exploring options to raise additional capital or seek a strategic investor,” Piskorski said. “If these avenues prove unsuccessful and their challenges persist, leading to further deterioration of their capital position, the FDIC may step in for an outright takeover, or they may face a distressed acquisition by another bank.”

  19. The disclosure is a “significant concern that suggests credit costs could be higher for an extended period,” Raymond James analyst Steve Moss said Thursday in a research note. “The disclosures add to our concern about NYCB’s interest-only multi-family portfolio, which may require a long workout period unless interest rates decline.”

    The bank’s trajectory shifted suddenly a month ago after a disastrous fourth-quarter report in which it posted a surprise loss, slashed its dividend and shocked analysts with its level of loan loss provisions.

    Days later, ratings agency Moody’s cut the bank’s credit ratings two notches to junk on concerns over the bank’s risk management capabilities after the departure of NYCB’s chief risk officer and chief audit executive.

    Now, some are questioning the stability of NYCB’s deposits amid the tumult. Last month, the bank said it had $83 billion in deposits as of Feb. 5, a slight increase from year-end. Most of those deposits were insured, and it had ample resources to tap if uninsured deposits left the bank, it said.

    “NYCB still has not provided an update on deposits, which we can only infer … are down,” D.A. Davidson analyst Peter Winter said Thursday in a note. “The question is, by how much?” Winter asked. “In our view, corporate treasurers were reassessing if they are going to keep deposits at NYCB when their debt rating was downgraded to junk.”

    The pressure on NYCB’s operations and profitability amid elevated interest rates and a murky outlook for loan defaults has raised questions as to whether NYCB, a serial acquirer of banks until recently, will be forced to sell itself to a more stable partner.

    Ben Emons, head of fixed income for NewEdge Wealth, noted that banks trading for less than $5 a share are perceived by markets as being at risk for government seizure.

  20. But keep in mind that the real-estate market can surprise on the upside and that once you sell the home, you will not be able to take back that decision.”

    The morons who trust the “advice” dispensed by the REIC industry of dissemblers are going to be forever inoculated against such stupidity when Housing Bubble 2.0 implodes for real.

    1. But also realize the market can surprise on the downside and the schlonging can leave you with a permanent limp.

  21. Mr. Clark filed for court protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in January as his network of companies, which owns 405 rental properties in Northern Ontario, struggled to pay off debts of $144-million.”

    Die, speculator scum.

  22. Illegal Aliens Will Get Interest-Free Home Loans Under New Democrat California Bill

    by Jamie White
    March 2nd 2024, 2:15 pm

    California Democrats once again prioritized illegal aliens over American citizens, this time by introducing a bill that would allow illegals to receive interest-free home loans.

    Democrat assembly member Joaquin Arambula (Fresno) last month introduced Assembly Bill 1840 that would extend a first-time homebuyer loan program to illegal aliens.

    This comes after California became the first state to provide “free” healthcare benefits to illegal aliens in January.

    That taxpayer-funded healthcare scheme also includes sex changes for illegal immigrants, the cost of which is believed to top $3 billion.

      1. Long since accomplished in Cal, where whites are not even 40% of the population anymore. I suspect that the bulk of those high tailing it out of Cal are white. How long until the percentage of whites is less than 30%? 20%?

    1. This comes after California became the first state to provide “free” healthcare benefits to illegal aliens in January. Also

      The Legislative Analyst’s Office projected the shortfall as $15 billion higher, or $73 billion. The analyst’s office had pegged the 2024-25 deficit at $58 billion in January,
      Where is the money gonna come from if interest free loans are being given to illegals along with free health care.
      My guess, since the shortfall grew by $15B in a few months that the shortfall will continue to grow throughout the year as rich and middle class people leave and revenue drops and entitlements continue to increase.

      1. Where is the money gonna come from

        A good question. they are probably expecting federal bailouts, but I don’t see the current congress funding them, though the brandon regime might try to do that via executive fiat.

    1. “White rural rage”

      In my rural neighborhood in Southern Colorado, I have deer in my yard.

      In my urban neighborhood near Denver, I have junkies and tweakers on the sidewalks, every intersection median filled with invaders holding squeegees, and I can’t drive five minutes in any direction from home without seeing encampments, replete with all their usual piles of garbage and stolen bicycles.

      1. The entire country is in a doom loop. The feds have to borrow $10B every day. The CPI isn’t going down: I was in the store yesterday and 1.5 quarts of ice cream is hovering around $7. A two liter cola was $3.79. It wasn’t that long ago that the price of those items was half of that, yet we are being told that inflation is under 4%. Between the warehouse club and the grocery store I spent over $300 yesterday, and it wasn’t that much stuff. Small wonder more and more families are struggling to buy groceries

        1. Some girl approached me while I was pumping gas into my car the other day, asking in her most winsome manner if I would please pump $10 or $20 worth of gas into her older Honda Accord because she was broke and needed to be able to get to her job to keep a roof over her head. I declined. Charity begins at home, and just lately my AO has been overrun with scammers of every variety.

          1. I had an honest to god gypsy approach me in a grocery store outside of Chicago several weeks ago. She was kind of dark skinned, I thought she was a ‘migrant’ from south america, but when I gave her a disgusted look and asked where she was from, she said Romania. The only dark skinned people in Romania are gypsies, and now they’re coming to America like everyone else too. what a complete disaster.

          1. I have seen bread prices skyrocket. Remember when the cheap hot dog bugs were $1? Now they are $2. Everything in the produce section has shot up a lot more that the cumulative 20% we are told. Beef tenderloin, which used to be $13.99 at the warehouse club is now $19.99. Pork prices have been steadier, and I make pork tenderloin dishes frequently.

          2. bread prices skyrocket

            I’ve seen the same doubling of bread, and the steak prices. Romaine is more reasonable than last year (small bright spot). Fortunately food is still way less than 10% of my spending. I shudder to think of when I was feeding four teenagers and their mother, and had a big mortgage on top of that.

          3. 10,000,000+ more people in America now and they got to eat too. It’s not like there’s some magic food producing machine like in Star Trek that just makes food. The supply chains are long, and expensive, with massive costs. They can’t just make more cows tomorrrow to feed 3,000,000 new immigrants just last year! Food prices are going up because illegal immigrants are inflationary. Same with rent, and used cars, and used car parts, and housing…

          1. It’s mind boggling and very scary. I think the game will collapse suddenly (no one could have seen it coming) and the CPI will soar like a SpaceX Falcon 9. As to when, I think it could be as early as this year, though probably later. There is still much ruin left in the old USA.

          2. the price of the stuff 10,000,000 illegal immigrants buy continues to skyrocket: food, shelther, healthcare gas, used vehicles. The stuff they don’t buy will start to fall: new cars, homes with mortgages, high end luxury goods, vacation hotspots. Stuff coming from China will be cheaper too because they are exporting deflation trying to sell stuff no matter what the cost. Deals on electronics and janky consumer goods are starting to appear. I just bought a new motherboard, a super fast processor and 32gb of ram for $350. I could be wrong, but this seems to be the trend.

  23. The Monopoly model of destroy the competition is no different than a military force destroying its opposition.
    So, what does the One World Order dictorship want?
    Monopoly Corporations, Banks , Big Pharmacy, Rich Elites, UN, WHO, and other co conspirators, want a fascist partnership with captured governments of World. This is to create a One World Dictorship of forced enslavement , no.freedoms, no representative government or constitutional protections for the populations of World.
    The blueprint for this One World Order power grab is the UN 2030 Sustainable Earth Agenda which is a licence to enslave, depopulate humans ,animals and plants ,and deprive humans of sustainable life.
    Banks will control your consumption pursuant digital currency based on your social credit score. 24/7 surveillance of humanity. You will eat bugs or fake food , mandated fake vaccine , and be deprived of sustainable energy , you will own nothing, issued 3 garments a year, living in prisons they control. AI will be the new power , with no regulation on that technology. All information will be controlled by this enemy and any dispute to their fraudulent narratives will be punished.
    They have already exposed their end game goals of this above the law, take over of Globe and forced dictorship against rights of humans in which they control all earthly resources, control consumption and can serial kill their captured humans.
    They have already reveals that they will control technology for their benefit, not to benefit humans.
    When you see the bulk of Governments doing nothing to stop this One World dictorship take over, than you know your Government is in partnership with the enemy of this world and humanity.

    1. So, what does the One World Order dictorship want?

      “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.” – 1984

      Orwell warned us, but we were too enthralled with degeneracy and the internet to hear him.

      1. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

        ― George Orwell, 1984

  24. The increasing strain of homeownership in the US
    By Emma Pitts, Deseret News | Posted – March 2, 2024 at 9:31 p.m.
    A government report discovered that so far in 2024, new home sales have risen, but less than expected.
    (Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)
    Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

    SALT LAKE CITY — Breaking into the housing market has become an out-of-reach dream for many Americans looking to own property. “The U.S. housing market has gotten so expensive that income would have to jump 55% to make buying ‘affordable,'” per Fortune.

    Although not exceptionally good news, a report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development discovered that so far in 2024, new home sales have risen, but less than expected.

    New home sales in January 2024:

    New homes sold: 661,000;
    New homes on the market: 456,000;
    Median sales price: $420,700;

    “While home sales remain sizably lower than a couple of years ago, January’s monthly gain is the start of more supply and demand,” National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told the association. “Listings were modestly higher, and homebuyers are taking advantage of lower mortgage rates compared to late last year.”

    As of Feb. 22, Freddie Mac reported that the United States average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 6.9%, and the 15-year fixed rate is set at 6.29%. With mortgage rates moving at an upward trend, home sales could be expected to stay moderate in the coming months, according to Reuters.

  25. Business
    San Diego sets record on price paid last year for luxury resort. So why the grim news for hotel sales?
    The main entrance at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
    The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe made history last year when it sold for what turned out to be the highest price paid per room for a hotel in San Diego County.
    (Hayne Palmour IV/For The San Diego Union-Tribune)
    Similar to what’s happening in the housing market, high interest rates are depressing the volume of hotel sales, which in San Diego County recorded their second biggest decline in 15 years.
    By Lori Weisberg
    Feb. 29, 2024 5:30 AM PT

    San Diego made history last year when the upscale Inn at Rancho Santa Fe sold for a stunning $1.2 million a room — even as the volume of hotel transactions experienced one of the biggest declines the county has seen in 15 years.

    The pricey sale of the 85-room inn belies a distressing trend seen not just locally but across the hotel real estate market statewide: a sharp downturn in sales fueled largely by high interest rates and a skittishness among lenders to finance costly transactions.

    1. It sure seems odd that someone would plunk down that much cash for a SoCal property when the smart money is leaving the state. I get it that some will stay put no matter what happens, but you would think they would batten down the hatches.

  26. A reader sent these in:

    Herein lies the problem:

    AI buffoonery is masking economic weakness.

    Dell is the latest “AI” stock going parabolic this morning on news that AI-related server sales have increased 40%. However, overall revenues were down -11% year over year, meaning AI is a small part of their total business:

    “The company said it is encouraged by momentum around AI, and that it expects to return to growth for fiscal 2025. However, the company noted that the macroeconomic environment is causing some customers to be cautious about infrastructure costs”

    The fusion of the stock market with the crypto market is now complete. Bitcoin is 90% correlated with Nvidia.
    It’s a $4 trillion financial weapon of mass destruction.
    Sponsored by artificial intelligence. Which is now rampant. And also in computers.

    Record Bitcoin ETF volumes today as Fidelity, which happens to be my broker – went full crypto-tard.
    “Fidelity now recommending a 1-3% crypto allocation in your portfolio. Gateway drug”

    An “expert” in that article predicts Bitcoin $750k. It was Jimmy Altucher who first predicted Bitcoin $1m.

    Back in late 2017. Followed by -85% decline.

    This is as far as Bitcoin can and still be considered in a correction of the all time high.

    They spit in your face, and then you vote for them.

    New car inventory hit its highest level since June 2020, in February – with 80 days of new car supply available

    Mother mary of bubblethum 🫧
    Semiconductor industry
    price to earnings .
    Exosphere valuation. ⚠️

    The delinquency rate among large banks hits 3%, the highest in 11 years.

    The delinquency rate among small banks hits 7.80%, the highest on record.

    I didn’t realize that this was not a joke

    Some Airbnb owners are really starting to struggle…
    I’m not sure what we should be more concerned about – that some of these are starting to fail, or that some people own 70 of them…
    (Seen in one of my facebook groups)

    For further context, this was posted as a comment to someone who was trying to sell their airbnb operation. I’m in many short term rental groups, because I like to keep a pulse on things, and sentiment has certainly shifted. I will post more as I come across them…

    Joann Fabrics preparing immediate bankruptcy filing this week – the company employs almost 21,000 employees

    Zillow playing games? This happens all the time, and I wanted to show a recent and perfect example of how the Zestimate changes. Any thoughts?

    So another private credit fund blows up. This was a glorified MIC with high risk assets. Really make you wonder what kind of garbage is sitting in normal MICs that people are investing in and in many cases are doing so using HELOCs. 🤨🤨🤨

    Used $TSLA (clean title) $5,500 👀 .. “I think the most profound thing is that if you buy a Tesla today, I believe you are buying an appreciating asset, not a depreciating asset.” — Elon 🤡

    UK based Sainsbury’s (Supermarket) to cut 1,500 jobs amid £1bn cost-cutting drive
    Everyone eating AI chips instead of fish and chips

    The number of new homes for sale is approaching the 2006-2007 highs in the West and South regions of the United States.

    1. Dell is the latest “AI” stock going parabolic this morning on news that AI-related server sales have increased 40%. However, overall revenues were down -11% year over year, meaning AI is a small part of their total business:

      My employer is also trying to cash in on the AI hype. I think that every who can is doing that.

    2. “Fidelity”

      I bought 25 shares of FBTC the first day it was offered, turned $1,020 in $1,350 as of now.

    3. New car inventory hit its highest level since June 2020, in February – with 80 days of new car supply available

      Matches what I saw when I took my car in for a recall. They had new inventory stashed everywhere.

    4. Joann Fabrics preparing immediate bankruptcy filing this week – the company employs almost 21,000 employees

      Looks like they are running out of old ladies who sew stuff.

      1. They don’t teach home ec much in schools any more and it’s the foreigners in asian countries that do all our sewing now. Poor illegal immigrants you think would be more thrifty being poor and all but they’re not sewing or mending their clothes either.

    5. “I didn’t realize that this was not a joke.”

      [It should be but it isn’t. (But it’s rapidly working towards becoming one. Stay tuned.]

      Neom: New satellite images show progress of Saudi Arabia’s ‘The Line’
      Recent aerial imagery shows construction of buildings and horizontal excavation resembling a line as flagship project of new city moves forward

      [Here are some snips. Go to the link to see the photos.]

      Construction is underway on “The Line”, the flagship project of Saudi Arabia’s Neom megacity, new satellite imagery seen by Middle East Eye shows.

      The $500bn megacity, which organisers claim will be 33 times the size of New York City, is due to include a 170km straight-line city. It is being built in the Tabuk province of northwestern Saudi Arabia.

      Two new satellite images analysed by Soar, an online digital atlas, show new developments in the province.

      The images were taken last month by CG Satellite, a remote-sensing satellite company in China.

      In the first image, which shows the central part of Neom, there appears to be significantly expanded work around the main construction base of the project, including several new buildings in the base village.

      There is also excavation activity and ground movement, according to Soar, in comparison to Google Maps satellite imagery taken before the project’s construction when the desert area was untouched. That activity appears to faintly be in the shape of a horizontal line.

      There also appears to be a mining operation, as well as earthworks near what will become Neom’s tourism visitor centre.

      The second newly published image, taken from the eastern part of Neom on the plateau heights, shows earthworks that clearly resemble a straight line.

      Analysis by Soar suggests this could potentially be deep excavation to prepare access to basement rock in the western areas of the new city.

      The new developments pictured in May 2023 include the removal of a tower on a power line in the area, likely part of the new city’s continued expansion.

      No cars or roads
      The Line will have no cars or roads and will be populated by one million residents from around the world, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced two years ago.

      The kingdom’s de facto leader also said that it would be possible to travel from one end of The Line to the other in 20 minutes, implying that a high-speed rail service would be built.

      Two parallel, mirrored buildings that are nearly 500 metres tall and 120km long are also planned as part of the project, according to designs uncovered last year.

      In addition to the horizontal city, Neom is also touted to include an eight-sided city that floats on water and a ski resort with a folded vertical village.

      The Saudi government has been accused of forcibly displacing members of the Howeitat tribe, who have lived for centuries in the Tabuk province in northwest Saudi Arabia, to make way for the project.

      At least 47 members of the tribe have been either arrested or detained for resisting eviction, including five who have been sentenced to death, according to a report by the UK-based Alqst rights group.

      MEE revealed last month that the UK government was facilitating collaboration between British businesses and the planned Saudi megacity Neom, despite allegations of serious human rights abuses taking place to make way for the project.

    6. predicts Bitcoin $750k. It was Jimmy Altucher who first predicted Bitcoin $1m

      All predicated on the notion that Bitcoin will someday replace other currencies. But, it has to really replace, not just be accepted alongside of. At some point it will become really clear that bitcoin will never fully replace a currency, and bitcoin will finally go to 0 and stay there.

      I do commend the early bitcoiners who took a chance, and sold out early to buy real assets like paying off the mortgage.

  27. This US economist just warned that 2024 will bring the ‘biggest crash of our lifetime’ — predicts a shocking 86% nosedive for the S&P 500. Here’s his 1 and only place to hide
    Dent says the crash is “not going to be a correction. It’s going to be more in the ’29 to ’32 level.”
    We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.
    By Jing Pan
    Dec. 20, 2023

    1. I’m already majority cash, time to sell off the rest of my S&P (FZROX and RSP) and sit on more cash?

      Regarding your reply a few weeks ago, I don’t have time to self-construct a “S&P 493” portfolio via options trading. Going with limited exposure to RSP after selling some FZROX (and increasing my cash position).

      I had never heard of NVDIA until a few months ago. $2+ trillion market cap, I don’t trust that…

      1. I had never heard of NVDIA until a few months ago.

        Prior to the rise of the AI nonsense, they were a high end video card and video processor chip (GPU) firm. Video gamers were their clientele.

          1. From what I have heard there is an ongoing transition to GPU’s, which cost more than regular CPUs.

        1. That 4090 video card they just released is a beast, costs $2000, outperforms any other gaming card on the planet, 4k resolution, raytracing, with high FPS. For a while they were impossible to get. But now my local microcenter has a dozen in stock…it’s not easy to sell a $2,000 gaming card to incels these days.

  28. Florida Homeowners Are Desperately Trying to Move Out
    Published Feb 29, 2024 at 4:00 AM EST
    Updated Mar 02, 2024 at 5:02 PM EST
    By Giulia Carbonaro
    US News Reporter

    Florida has the highest number of “motivated” sellers listing their properties on real estate marketplace app Zillow, according to data on the platform.

    A search showed that, as of Wednesday, February 28, there were 4,928 listings on Zillow’s app for Florida properties whose sellers described themselves as “motivated”—meaning they would accept lower offers from potential home buyers to sell quickly. Motivated sellers can be driven by financial loss, divorce or separation, job relocation or other personal issues.

    Vacation rental investor Rohin Dhar noticed the spike in motivated sellers in the Sunshine State, writing about it on X and wondering what was “going on” in Florida. Dhar compared Florida’s numbers to those of California, New York and Texas, which all had lower figures.

    As of Wednesday morning, California had 1,069 motivated sellers, while New York had 424 and Texas 1,775. Newsweek found that Florida was in fact the state with the highest number of motivated sellers in the entire country.

    Florida has more listings, in general, than the rest of the U.S. “because we have not only so many residential properties people live in, but also vacation properties, and it’s a large state to begin with,” Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Brad O’Connor told Newsweek. As of Wednesday, Florida had a total listings of 202,000 properties, against California’s 73,000, Texas’ 172,000 and New York’s 42,000.

    1. “Florida Homeowners Are Desperately Trying to Move Out”

      FOMO has turned into a turkey shoot!

  29. The CCP is ordering destruction of all Covid Health data.
    They didn’t use the Western Vaccine for starters. Wouldn’t want it to come out that they didn’t have excess mortality like the fake vaccine Countries had.
    Do you really think China would release a lethal bio weapon in their own highly populated Country. Starting with the fake footage of China people.dropping in the streets, and a China Doctor trying to alert World his patients were dying from something novel, ( than young Dr dies or .)disappears ). Do you really think China would allow this transmission by a young Doctor trying to alert World that his patients were dying from something novel.
    Than the argument over wet market verses lab release of pathogen . Lab leak is eventually confirmed .
    Did you know that no Country has given proof of isolation of virus , yet a genetic computer model of Covid give the basis of warp speed vaccine. Vaccine didn’t give immunity to Covid or stop transmission of Covid. Vaccine kills 17 million , and injured even more world wide.
    So, now ,China has ordered the destruction of all health data involving Covid , which no doubt is the model for the bulk of Countries that are currently covering up the death and injury and still are promoting the fake poisonous new technology experimental vaccine.

    1. It sure looks like the scamdemic was an excuse to test experimental mRNA gene therapy on billions of people. It was also a social experiment to see how many would comply and roll up their sleeves. Billions complied. I think the jab mandates were part of the social experiment, to see just how many would refuse the jab, even if it meant losing their employment. I recall that some Euro countries were even trying to impose huge fines on those who refused,

      All very Orwellian.

    2. no Country has given proof of isolation of virus

      I was under the impression that a Chinese scientists published the supposed genetic code of the virus and that was the basis they used to build the mRNA shot.

      Some lies were told.

    3. Did you know that no Country has given proof of isolation of virus

      The virus has been isolated and imaged via TEM as early as February of 2020. Do you even know what a TEM is?

      1. If it’s been isolated, how come all the electron micrographs show other objects in the picture?

  30. ‘On Feb. 9, Ms. Drage sent her investors an e-mail that said she had to ‘pause redemptions and interest payments’ for the notes, because 45 per cent of them are no longer paying interest, a result of them being tied up in Mr. Clark’s insolvency. The message concluded by asking lenders to give her ‘breathing room.’ The e-mail kicked off a series of demand letters and legal claims. ‘It is becoming increasingly difficult to hold it together and stay focused on this with all the external ‘noise’ that is occurring. Even me writing this e-mail is against the wishes of my lawyer, in fear it gets shared with the media and then misconstrued,’ Ms. Drage wrote in the e-mail. ‘All this negative news and reporters targeting Lion’s Share specifically is only going to encourage borrowers NOT to repay us at all if they think they can get away with it’

    02 Feb. 2024

    The rise of mortgage investment corporations (MICs) in Canada in recent times has been well documented: the channel was the fastest-growing mortgage segment nationally in 2019, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and has continued to surge in the following years.

    In 2022’s third quarter, the nation’s top 25 MICs saw their assets under management increase by more than 24%, far outstripping overall national mortgage debt growth of nearly 6%, the national housing agency’s spring residential mortgage industry report showed.

    That expansion had slowed noticeably by the opening months of 2023, marking the first time for six quarters that growth did not tick above double digits – but at 7.1%, it continued to outpace the rising national debt load.

    Despite spiking interest rates and an uncertain lending environment, the overall risk levels of the sector remained low in the first quarter of last year, CMHC said, although it flagged certain risk indicators including a climbing debt-to-capital ratio.

    1. And to think when I started a my current private sector job I had to supply proof that I had the legal right to work in the US.

      But yeah, it sure looks like a certain 13% of the national population is the primary target for replacement. I can’t wait for illegal immigrant air traffic controllers.

      1. Yes, as I like to say, the illegal immigrants are much less shooty and murdery than the 13%. Their crime rate is roughly only about a quarter or a third of blacks, still very high of course, and many multiples of whites and asians, but far, far less than blacks. Chicago is constantly lamenting that LA is a larger city but has a far lower homicide rate. That’s because the hispanics drove out all the blacks out of LA and the homicide rate dropped by 2/3rds. Chicago is roughtly 1/3 black, 1/3 white, 1/3rd hispanic, but the hispanic is rapidly encroaching into traditionally black areas – migrants and illegals and natives alike – and when they take over a sub-community, the murder rate drops from like 10 murders to 2 or 3 at most, often just 1 or 2, and its most often justs blacks who still live in the hispanic neighborhoods going about their murdery and shooty ways. This demographic stuff facinates me.

  31. ‘There is nothing to do here today, no employment, nothing. Earlier, all of us had land where we used to cultivate. But we gave our land willingly hoping that development of the capital here would usher in overall prosperity in the area. There will be economic activity around the place, new employment avenues will be generated. But all our hopes lie shattered today’

    That’s a country song waiting to be written Narendra.

  32. BRICS
    2 minute read
    BRICS: Major Bank Predicts ‘Hard Landing Recession’ for US
    Joshua Ramos
    March 2, 2024
    US flag capitol hill
    Source: The Hill / Mariam Zuhaib, File
    As the BRICS bloc has continued to embrace de-dollarization, one major bank has predicted a “hard landing recession” for the US. Specifically, Morgan Stanley has forecasted a tragic end for the United States following the Federal Reserve’s long-standing fight against inflation.

    The bank’s chief economist, Ellen Zentner, predicted that such a recession is “guaranteed” for the US when speaking to CNBC. Moreover, Zentner said that the full effects of the Fed’s tightening campaign won’t be felt until 18 months after the final interest rate hike.

    Morgan Stanely Expects Recession in 18 Months for US

    Throughout the last year, the BRICS alliance has enjoyed tremendous growth. Not just in its expansion efforts, but in its widened de-dollarization campaign that has gained significant global traction. Now, those efforts could have a massive impact on America amid a greater macroeconomic concern.

    Alongside BRICS actions against the greenback, one major US bank has predicted a hard-landing recession for the US in the next 18 months. Specifically, Morgan Stanley’s chief economist notes that the ongoing inflation fight is the key catalyst. Yet, a weakened US Dollar certainly doesn’t help matters. Subsequently, these have combined in what will set the stage for a tragic year to come for the country.

  33. “150 North Michigan Avenue …”

    I worked in this building until the pandemic. My office shut down and I was moved to the suburbs, where I work now. It was a nice building but the location leaves a little to be desired for suburban commuters, too far east from the commuter light rail train stations. Also, 150 North Michigan is the iconic building with the diamond in the 80’s movie Adventures in Babysitting.

    1. I have many fond memories of Chicago from young adulthood, but I was not man enough to take the winter weather. California has many challenges, but risk of freezing to death in the winter is not among them.

      1. Chicago winters have become far more mild in the past decade. A couple of cold spells and it’s over. It’s nearly impossible to even ice skate outside anymore in backyard ice rinks because it doesn”t stay below zero long enough. The trick to enjoying living in a cold climate is to embrace the winter both city and country – restaurants, nightlife, theater in teh city, ice fishing, snow mobiling, ice skating, winter hiking, in the country. I went ice fishing several weeks ago, we had to head up to the Upper Pennisula of Michigan to even find 8″ of solid ice on a shallow lake because Green Bay and all the great lakes were open water basically all winter.

        1. Now that I am old and thick skinned, I might be more tolerant. When I was young, the long, cold winters depressed me. But I have some fond memories, including time spent at U of Chicago with an ex-girlfriend.

      2. risk of freezing to death

        Unless you are unfortunate enough to be stranded on Donner Pass right about now.

        1. “…unfortunate enough…”

          Or just plain dull. Plenty of warnings were issued, yet I heard a news blurb, “Mother and her child buried in their stuck car.”

  34. “Biggest Price Drops from 2022 Peak: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Dallas, San Diego”

    No way! I heard San Diego real estate is red hot cakes and home prices there always go up.

  35. 5 major cities where pros predict home prices are likely to drop next
    Updated: March 2, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. ET
    By Alisa Wolfson
    Home prices are still rising, except in these spots.
    As many as 14% of the housing markets in a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey reported home price declines in the fourth quarter of 2023.
    Getty Images
    On a broad scale, home prices have gone up, up and then up some more: More than 85% of metro areas registered home price increases in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

    For aspiring homebuyers, that is no doubt met with a big “ugh.” But there may be good news on the housing front: Not only do pros predict that mortgage rates will drop in 2024 (you can see some of the best rates you may qualify for now here), there are, in fact, housing markets where home prices have been declining. Indeed, 14% (32 out of 221 markets measured) of the housing markets in NAR’s survey saw home price declines in the fourth quarter.

    “We tend to talk about the housing market at a national level and from that bird’s eye view, average home prices have increased,” says Kate Wood, home expert at NerdWallet. “But the on-the-ground reality that home buyers and sellers face will vary by location. It’s difficult to generalize even at the state level. Listing prices may be going up on average, but if they’re declining in your area, you may be able to make a strong offer at or possibly even below the asking price. It is truly, location, location, location.”

    So where are these elusive home price declines — and where might we see them in the future? Here’s what we uncovered.

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