Sunday, May 14, 2006

Open Forum

Recently, there has been many more comments for each post on this site. I truly do welcome comments. That being said, I will be providing open posts where housing market related topics can be discussed. Please try and keep comments on other posts related to the post at hand.

45 comments:

  1. David, This is exactly my point. You post photos of extremely atypical housing options (like the alley houses), or of victorian-era homes with cinderblocks where the windows used to be, and then you expect all the comments to revolve around how ridiculous the housing market in DC has become.

    People from other parts of the country who don't know DC (including 'reporters' from the Post Express), see these inflammatory, biased posts of yours and think they represent the housing market here. Then you claim to be a booster for DC, and deny my allegations that you come across as being anti-DC.

    I'm guessing that you live in Silver Spring. I "know" Silver Spring. I've spent a lot of time there OUTSIDE; not sequestered in an automobile. Silver Spring has become another yuppified, wanna-sorta-be-urban enclave of people who claim to be "from DC". SS is NOT DC.

    I humbly submit that you want a DC real estate crisis to emerge so that you can live out your urban fantasy and buy a home with character in this beautiful city. You could have done it years ago; but, ummm, errr, deep down; you wouldn't want to live embedded in a neighborhood of working class people with complexions that are different from your own. After all, you wouldn't have wanted your property value to decline had you made the smart choice to buy in DC when you had the chance....

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  2. bryce,

    You are making assumptions. Most of which are completely untrue. If you continue with your assumptions I will delete your posts from this blog. You are warned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Then, please David, explain the facts here in an open forum.

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  4. I need to retain a certain amount of anonimity which thus prevents me from revealing some of the things you want me to reveal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fine. But understand that a lack of complete information leads any logical person to make assumptions or inferences.

    Did you see that news story I posted from the Washington Business Journal? The city is seeking to add tens of thousands of new housing units in the next 15 years to accomodate growth. How does that play into your posts about alley houses and boarded up windows?

    (tens of thousands of new units in a decade and a half indicates that there is a housing crunch occurring. Fifteen years is not a long time in the life of a major city on the East coast of the United States)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bryce-

    Your single-minded and obviously time-consuming crusade to discredit this blog can only mean one thing--it is too close to home for comfort for you for whatever reason. While many may disagree with David's views and even take issue with some of his numbers, they are usually in a polite respectful form that questions the facts and his interpretation, not personal attacks about where he lives, his personal preferences, and his choices on where to live.
    Obviously you think David and his blog have a major imapct on the DC housing market, or else why would you waste so much time posting your mean-sprited thoughts? Are you really that afraid that his words alone will cause the market to implode? Do you really think he has that much influence on the buyers in this market? If what he posts is so untrue, the market will reflect that, don't you think? With 2 straight months of price declines, albeit small ones, a trend is clearly emerging. Contrarian views on blogs are always welcome, but you're just becoming tiresome...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Also, his numbers are not selective--you can go to MRIS.com and see them for yourself. DC proper prices are down in APril '06 from April '05 with onventory more than double. Fewwer sales + more inventory = lower prices.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nikki, prices are down and inventory continues to grow in DC as well.

    http://dcbubble.blogspot.com/2006/05/old-threads-underserved-high-end-condo.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Glad to see I have an impact on you, nikki. :-)

    I have no doubt in my mind or in my heart that this blog has absolutely NO impact on the real estate market. I own a home in DC, I've owned it for years and plan to live in it for the foreseeable, long term future. I don't have any problem with a decline in RE values. It doesn't "scare" me at all.

    The problem that I do have with this blog is that it has crossed into being biased against our nation's capital. I've attempted to counter nonsensical notions ranging from the size of rats in DC (did you see that post?) to David's own unenlightened comment about what the alley he was standing in might be like during the nighttime. Give me a break with all this anti DC crap.

    If you can't stand DC, stay out and don't post negative things about YOUR nation's capital. In fact, I suggest moving away altogether. Your livelihood no doubt hinges upon the fact that you live and work in the "DC Metro area"; the lynchpin of which is Washington DC.

    If enough of you move away, housing prices might decline enough so that people who CARE about where they live can move in and make a positive contribuition. We aren't talking about Tuscon AZ or Boise ID here. We are talking about YOUR Nation's Capital. Be indifferent if you'd like, but stop perpetuating the negative misconceptions that are being posted here to bolster the "bubblehead" position.

    Stick to facts and metrics, and let the multi-generational negative bias about YOUR Nation's Capital go. Can you do that? Can you help make it a role model instead of a national disgrace?

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Are you really that afraid that his words alone will cause the market to implode? Do you really think he has that much influence on the buyers in this market?"

    First, I'm a better writer than either David or you. My words are clearly influential.

    Secondly, I'm no longer talking about the housing market in DC. I'm talking about deep-seated, long-lived misconceptions about YOUR nation's capital. I really like the Baltimore Aquarium and all, but you don't find me trying to rally support for Baltimore.

    So many people in the metro DC area spend a great deal of time in Washington. There are world-class educational, dining, cultural, entertainment, and EMPLOYMENT opportunities in DC. Yet the same people who exploit those opportunities, like David, talk down about the very city they take advantage of. They wouldn't lie down to go to sleep here if thier lives depended upon it, yet they spend the better part of thier waking hours here. Why can you not see that? It has nothing to do with overinflated housing values!

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  11. nikki, you're right.

    here is a more realistic view of the situation in DC; and it is moderated by an actual citizen of DC who takes his citizenship seriously. (note that there is a huge difference between "citizens" and "occupants" in any community.)

    http://dcbubble.blogspot.com/

    I recommend that everyone at least take a look and review some of the recent posts there. (not the comments, just the posts)

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  12. "it has crossed into being biased against our nation's capital"

    So sanctimonious! I myself love DC and have lived in the heart of the city since I moved here.

    That does not blind me to what it was before, and I am not threatened by others' misperceptions.

    While I do not see David doing this, "city-phobia" is a common phenomenon among suburbanites in the U.S. Much of my family feels sorry for me for living in the city, because I "have to" walk places, and many Americans just assume that all cities are rat-infested morasses (word?) where you walk over homeless people and passed-out junkies.

    I think your mind will be more at peace if you accept it as part of the culture, because I can't imagine how you avoid this attitude while living and working in the U.S.

    I just go on walking around and enjoying my neighborhood and short commute, as they enjoy driving everywhere. We are all happy this way.

    ReplyDelete
  13. bryce,

    1) My agenda is NOT to put down DC. I think it is a terrific city. I have slept in the city. I will be more concious of the views I share about he city of Washington.

    2) You need to stop the continuous personal attacks and assumptions about me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "With 2 straight months of price declines, "

    The median was up in DC this month. If a pattern is emerging, it's the virtually all of what you read on this site is nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "Fewwer sales + more inventory = lower prices. "

    Umm, no it doesn't = lower prives.

    ReplyDelete
  16. On another note I drove out to the Dunn Loring metro to try to find the infamous bubblicious bench. No luck. I'm wondering if they made some changes because of the Washington Post story. I also went to a few open houses in the area. Didn't seem to be too many people out looking but I saw a lot of places "under contract" so I presume places priced right are still selling.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anon 12:07, I agree with everything you wrote, including use of the word "sanctimonious". Thank you.

    But if being a bit sanctimonious offsets or otherwise counteracts even a small portion of the wave of wrong ideas about living in this or any city; then I've made a positive difference (maybe).

    Did you see all the posts here about how people *must* move away if they want to have children? That isn't/wouldn't be a *must* if people would just *choose* to make it a better place for children. It is in our collective power. To say that it can't change is to contribute to the problem. Besides, in the past 14 years or so, I've noticed a discernable *increase* in the number of young couples with a child (singular) living in DC.

    Thank you for sharing your experience ("Much of my family feels sorry for me for living in the city, because I "have to" walk places..") You've essentially encapsulated what I'm trying to convey. I'll close by saying that DC and perhaps the country as a whole would be a better place to live if your family and everyone else could just see the ills of *suburban* living when compared to the benefits city living. (not the least of which are thousands of great old solid brick houses :)

    bryce

    p.s. David, it isn't personal.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Did you see all the posts here about how people *must* move away if they want to have children"

    Just a note: There were comments on posts. Not my postings. Let us not confuse the two.

    "p.s. David, it isn't personal."

    Ok.

    ReplyDelete
  19. http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/rfs/160683456.html

    better give your house a name and great story if you want it to sell!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I feel compelled to point out another one of David's oversights, which is that he has made NO comment on the continued strength of SFHs and even condos in Arlington and other close-in suburbs. Check out ACTUAL DATA (i.e. not deranged ramblings) here:

    http://www.nvar.com/market/mktsum.lasso
    and
    http://www.nvar.com/market/mktreports.lasso

    I challenge anyone to review the last year's worth of sales data for the close-in locations and point to any material price softening. Is inventory up? Sure. Are days on market up? Sure. Would I want to own a townhouse in Ashburn? Maybe not. But homes are still selling at the high prices of last year in the close-in locations. Again, this has been posted numerous times by others and has seen no response.

    And on the D.C. topic, a number of posts by David, and especially the inferences he and others draw, are not only anti-urban (which is fine) and anti-DC (which is fine) but are bordering on a "the big bad city has dark places with bad people" which has racial connotations that are most assuradly not fine and which I find very offensive.

    ReplyDelete
  21. While some think that David is biased toward a painting a negative picture of DC, there are obviously some who think that we should love DC with open arms. We can all choose to be biased one way or the other. It's our right to feel whatever way we want to feel about DC, to point out the good, the bad, or the ugly. Every city has all 3 of those things.

    I live up in Columbia, MD, and I take a commuter bus down to K Street several blocks east of 16th. From what people tell me at work, the area used to be a bunch of parking lots, with hookers hanging out at street corners in broad daylight. What a difference 5-10 years make -- now the area is filled with 12-14 story buildings and modern condo developments. Still, I only have to walk about 3 blocks north from where I work to find people with bloodshot eyes asking me for money. "Come on, a guy needs to eat", said one. So people can see what they want to see, either way.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "I work to find people with bloodshot eyes asking me for money. "Come on, a guy needs to eat", said one. So people can see what they want to see, either way."

    I'm sorry... I'm laughing at this perspective. (It isn't personal because I don't know you, but I really did laugh out loud wheen I read this)

    I see deranged people from time to time too. And I still love DC.

    I'm pretty familiar with Columbia MD. *My opinion* is that anyone who'd choose to live there is likely not a candidate for an urban lifestyle. Your priorities likely revolve around issues such as having everything look the same, and having an expanse of lawn to water and mow.

    Kudos to you for taking a mass transit option to THE source of income in your life: Washington DC.

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  23. The way I see it, the only thing that has propelled this market to the current dizzying heights has been the expectation of continual price appreciation at a level that significantly outstrips rental rates and income growth. Everyone knows this cannot go on forever.

    The further prices detach from fundamentals, the bigger the pop.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Bryce - since you feel so passionate about DC, why don't you just start your own blog and stop reading this one. Maybe you could name yours "DCisthebestandisntabubbleandbubblemetersucks.blogspot.com"

    Really, move on man. You sound like the little old ladys who say "I can't stand listening to that Howard Stern even for a minute, and by the way did you hear what he talked about today?"

    If you don't like this blog or the views expressed here move on!

    ReplyDelete
  25. John in clarendon, you sound like a little old lady who says things like "I cannot stand all the awful things that Bryce writes. They are just so upsetting to me. By the way, did you read what Bryce wrote today?!"

    You are a hypocrite, John in clarendon. And your blog is lame compared to David's.

    bryce.

    ReplyDelete
  26. bryce-

    I am from Maryland. I love Maryland. I currently live in Maryland. My only problem with Maryland these days is that it is not enough like the Maryland I grew up in. And my first choice for where to live would be Maryland.

    BUT, no question, I believe there is a housing bubble in suburban Maryland.

    And how can you rip David for busting on DC, when many of his examples have been from Maryland, and some from Virginia?

    Frankly, you sound desperate. You have gone beyond defending your position to attacking people for opinions they probably don't even have. I have usually disagreed with you, but you have made some good points about center cities perhaps being better locations in times of high energy costs. But this attack seems mostly personal (and completely unfounded).

    A Redskins fan

    ReplyDelete
  27. It isn't personal if I don't know him, right? How can it be otherwise? Please explain. He won't accurately convey his background here; not where he is from, not where he lives, not his profession, his family status, etc. Yet all these things are said to be relevant to one's motivations in the housing market.

    Secondly, David IS portraying DC as a bad place. He says he "loves" the city, but his examples of housing in DC tend to focus on the extreme and the dramatic. He doesn't live in DC. He exploits the opportunities it affords him (i.e. employment), yet he potrays the source of food on his table as a bad place. My pointing this out isn't an act of desperation; it is an attempt to be factual.

    For some reason, for my detractors, this all keeps coming back to me being "desperate" and "scared". What am I afraid of? You don't everything about me, but you know more than I know about you or David; because I've accurately reported my background here. I've reported my financial status, where I live, when I bought, etc. But that seems lost on everyone, including you. Why is that?

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  28. You made specific assumptions about his attitudes above. That is what I meant by personal.

    We don't need to know each other's personal details to debate and discuss the housing bubble. Whether there is or is not a bubble does not depend on us as individuals.

    I don't agree with your assessment of what David puts up here. I have seen lots of condos, rowhouses, and single family homes from all over DC and Maryland, and some from Virginia. It is not just all burnt out properties from DC. However, burnt out properties at high prices, or in neighborhoods with high prices, may show the disconnect between prices and values and therefore be useful.

    A Redskins fan

    ReplyDelete
  29. I wrote: (Emphasis on the second sentance:)

    "He won't accurately convey his background here; not where he is from, not where he lives, not his profession, his family status, etc. ***Yet all these things are said to be relevant to one's motivations in the housing market.***"

    Now change it to: "Yet all these things are relevant only if they are brought up by a bubble cheerleader. Anyone else is prohibited from raising them as legitimate motivations/topics, even if they agree that housing prices are inflated."

    Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

    Did you see the Simpsons on Sunday? This has become analgous to the Creationism vs. Evolution argument as portrayed on the show yesterday. And I bet the cheerleaders see themselves as the Evolutionists, while the realists see themselves as the Evolutionists. Funny how that works.

    Human nature; go figure.

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  30. David, I think it's time for Bryce's non-contributory, goading posts to be removed from this blog. It is detracting from the reasonable and conscientious discussion about the RE market.

    My feeling is that this is a blog to discuss the housing bubble. If you feel the contents are not to you standards, go start your own, it's pretty easy. If you want to engage in reasonable debate, go for it. But the facts are that DC prices are down from 4Q 2005, and they were also down from April 2005. You can argue until you're blue in the face about what prices are holding up where, blah blah blah, but you cannot deny that overall prices are down.

    ReplyDelete
  31. David, Nikki is threatened by me to the point of censorship. You don't appear to be there.

    If anyone sees generalized, presumptuous anti-"housing head" comments like; "you're in over your head and you are scared to death and threatened by this blog, yadda yadda", please remember that those are the very comments you are railing against when they come from anti-"bubbleheads"; e.g; "you're jealous 'cause you don't own a home, you should have bought when you had the chance, yadda yadda."

    So now those types of comments are off limits regardless of where they come from... Right?

    oh, and Nikki? Median price of homes sold in DC happens to be up. Look into it.

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  32. D in DC (proper)May 15, 2006 4:04 PM

    When I began reading this blog I thought the purpose was to explore the existence of a possible housing bubble.

    In my opinion the quality of the posts and comments have declined at a rapid rate. Its reached the point where David's posts in bold are presumed fact, most of the posts refer to obviously cherrypicked data, and most posts igore all other data that does not support the bursting bubble hypothesis. Now that the existence of the bubble is presumed by this blog (despite data, which if viewed objectively--I know something in very, very short supply here--is not conclusive) I rely on Bryce to inject some realism. Thus, if he's censored, I'll also stop reading your blog.

    And Nikki this blog, at least not anymore, is not a "reasonable and conscientious discussion about the RE market." With or without Bryce this blog is mostly a lot ranting, opinions, and projections by people wanting and predicting a real estate crash. It's all emotion, objective reasoning is typically not employed here.

    Finally, I view some of David's posts as "anti-DC." Although I'm a DC resident I'm not as offended as Bryce, but I understand Bryce's frustrations. He's also right about David's world view on real estate. He's always negative. Of course that's his stock in trade when you're selling a blog to bubbleheads wearing blinders. But its still fair to ask David: Where's the positive post? Where's the story about the people who're happy with their home purchases? The elderly whose only asset is property. Etc., etc.

    ReplyDelete
  33. By the way, Nikki is bashing me on her blog, and deleting my posts that attempt to defend my position. She is literally practicing censorship because she doesn't like what someone has to say.

    I know, I know, I can start my own blog if I don't like it. But the fact that I'm being asked to leave just points to the fact that these bubble blogs are biased.

    bryce.

    ReplyDelete
  34. bryce,

    I have not asked you to leave. Please continue to post. I enjoy being challenged if the challenges are reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  35. d in dc,

    "Its reached the point where David's posts in bold are presumed fact"

    They are merely the highlights of the post.

    "Now that the existence of the bubble is presumed by this blog"

    It always was. Read the top of the page "A blog dedicated to the premise that there is a Housing Bubble in many locales in the USA"

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks David. :-)

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  37. On the topic of inflammatory, baseless posts, check out Nikki's made-up real estate listing here. She is using hyperbole to get her point across, and that is fine, right? Apparently, it is fine as long as she is the only one doing it.

    bryce

    http://baltimorehousing.blogspot.com/2006/05/listing-of-day_12.html

    ReplyDelete
  38. SFH in Arlington have DECLINED in price YOY (median AND average)...

    http://www.nvar.com/market/marketstats/apr06/arsf0406.PDF

    condos too but we all knew that already.

    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  39. d in dc (proper)May 15, 2006 5:27 PM

    David, thanks. I guess I misunderstood the premise of this blog.

    At least there's still the http://dcbubble.blogspot.com That's an objective, good blog without any presumptions that detract from your blog. So it seems I'll move over to there.

    Bryce, I looked at Nikki's blog. First impression is she's psychotic, I mean she simply dismissed government-sourced information she disagrees with as "an obvious lie."

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am the poster from Columbia, MD that mentioned the guy with bloodshot eyes asking for money. Trust me, once I got a safe distance away, I was laughing about it too. Not that I don't feel sorry for a guy who's hopped up on drugs, but it's weird that I could walk a few blocks away from the modern area where I work only to have something like that happen a few blocks away. (It seems that other strange characters come close to work when the Powerball jackpot gets really high too.)

    Not sure why you're so passionate about DC and getting on David's case, but we all want to be good at something.

    By the way, I live in Columbia because I can have a nice SFH in Columbia, not because I don't like DC urban life. If I have to make priorities, my first priority is having a decent sized place of my own that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. I can always experience DC when I'm off work, although I realize it's not the same as living there.

    ReplyDelete
  41. OK; remember that I'm posting this in David's "Open Forum" slot.

    A resident of Columbia MD who works downtown posted a day or two ago about how undesireable DC can be because he sometimes get asked for money by strangers on the street.

    Serendipity entered my life this evening, and I was panhandled too. I was panhandled by a woman who asked me for money just outside of a Giant Supermarket in Northeastern Fairfax county. While inside, I was asked by a man who had trouble reading to help him find a can of "Dole Mixed Tropical Fruit, 12.5 OZ"; for which he had a coupon.

    So if DC is undesireable because things like this occur here (I'm home now), then what does that line of thinking say about what is happening to the "desirable" suburbs?

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  42. "Trust me, once I got a safe distance away, I was laughing about it too. "

    Did you think he was going to pull a gun and start firing just because he had bloodshot eyes? I had a guy approach me to ask me for money about two years ago (in DC). After *TALKING* with him for a while, I learned his name and a bit about his life. Then he told me that he was surprised because "people like me" typically are rude or scared of him. (based soley upon the way he looks)

    So if someone is in a socioeconomic class other than your own, you go out of your way to avoid them? I encounter plenty of disturbed and/or mentally ill men and women in the "middle class". Only they drive nice cars and keep their clothes cleaner than lower-class people.

    Yeah, I guess I could always go up to Columbia to take advantage of all the positives it has to offer, and then head back home at night. But I'd be pretty bored, because it doesn't offer much other than bland homogenaity and social isolation. (I know, I know, you venture out to PTA meetings and the occasional restaurant. You interact with the waitress and the teachers..) Do you get any excercise? Do your children get any excercise? How much time to they spend in front of the TV vs. in the National Gallery of Art?

    By the way, it is my *opinion* that suburban values actually lead to materialisic, consumer-oriented lifestyles that are devoid of any character (just like Columbia). Columbine High School is an excellent example of how alienating the suburban lifestyle can be for children.

    The anti-social suburban lifestyle is a natural prelude to paranoia and a lack of interpersonal skills. The "obesity epidemic" is a direct result of the suburbanization of America.

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  43. Bryce,

    Like you did with David, you are assuming things that people did not say.

    You are assuming things about my life that are not true.

    You are assuming things about running into people near my workplace, and my reactions toward them, that are not true.

    You are assuming that I have certain opinions about DC that are, again, not true.

    Enough already.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Huh? You make clear statements to the effect that vast swaths of the city just beyond the "safe and clean" place where you work are dangerous. You make general statements about the "kind" of people you meet who venture into your squeeky clean location; you outright state that you are afraid of those people, and indicate that you manage to be amused about your encounters with those kinds of people after you get a "safe" distance away.

    How am I misinterpreting that? Do tell.

    bryce

    ReplyDelete
  45. "the modern area where I work only to have something like that happen a few blocks away."

    Do you realize that your "modern area" was probably walked upon by none other than George Washington, over 200 years ago? How absurd is it to expect that your nation's capital be "modern" and that any location that isn't "modern" is suspect? Your safe and clean area was bulldozed at some point and made safe and acceptable for people who take the bus in from Columbia, right?

    Or am I misinterpreting the word "modern" in the sense that you intended to use it? What do you mean by "modern"? Sounds like you are dancing around another topic, really.

    bryce

    ReplyDelete