Thursday, August 24, 2006

New Home Sales for July

The Commerce Department released its July 2006 new home sales report. "Sales of new one-family houses in July 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,072,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.3 percent (±11.5%)* below the revised June rate of 1,120,000 and is 21.6 percent (±10.1%) below the July 2005 estimate of 1,367,000."

The figure was weaker than the average Wall Street estimate of a pace of 1.105 million units. The level of new home sales was down 21.6% from the pace a year earlier, when many analysts had warned about a property market bubble.

The average sales price fell to $230,000 from $233,800 in June. It has been falling since a peak of $257,000 in April [corrected] but is virtually unchanged from the level a year ago of $229,200. (RTE Business)
More bad news for the 'soft landing' cheerleaders. The 'soft landing' theory is being put to rest. Soon the argument will merely be how hard will the landing be.

143 comments:

  1. Prices are going down. ACCEPT IT!

    Enjoy the rollercoaster ride.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What do you think David "Irving Fisher 1929" Lereah has to say about this?
    The average sales price fell to $230,000 from $233,800 in June. It has been falling since a peak of $250,000 in February .

    $250k to $230k is an 8% drop in about 6 months annualized to 16%!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Housingheads will keep redefining the meaning of soft landing and glossing over the consequences, while exaggerating the claims of bubbleheads to discredit them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I suppose economists everywhere cheer their models when they see indicators like home sales and rental markets moving predictably:

    http://realestate.msn.com/Rentals/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=797247>1=8479&wa=wsignin1.0

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hard vs Soft landing is like the old joke about recession vs. depression.

    Your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession. You lose your's, it's a depression.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Most of you who do not own or can not afford to buy at current prices believe the market will drop more than 50%. Hard landing

    Most of you who own only your primary residence believe the market will drop only 10%-15%. Soft landing.

    Most of you who own more than 2 houses believe the market will not drop at all and the worst case is remaining flat. No landing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. anon 9:48 AM ,
    "Your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession. You lose your's, it's a depression."

    well said.

    The real bob

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Most of you who own more than 2 houses believe the market will not drop at all and the worst case is remaining flat. No landing."

    Not true.

    50% drop unlikely but 35% drop is very likely. 2 home + owner.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "50% drop unlikely but 35% drop is very likely. 2 home + owner. "

    Why don't you sell one of your w homes if you believe 35% drop is very likely?

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Soon the argument will merely be how hard will the landing be."

    This has been the only real issue in my mind for the last year or so. The soft landing theory has always been hogwash.

    As a former homeowner who sold and now rents specifically because of the bubble, I foresee declines of approximately 50% in the DC metro area with outlying areas and condos and TH's being hit the worst.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "50% drop unlikely but 35% drop is very likely. 2 home + owner. "

    Why don't you sell one of your 2 homes if you believe 35% drop is very likely?

    You should have sold one of your 2 houses once you had your belief.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Heard one of the RE Complex say this on CNBC.

    "The housing data comes so often, it comes out every month. The Builders have been there for years."

    WOW! Now blame the frequency of the data.

    And he also blamed the large margin of error in these Govt. numbers.

    Was this also not the case when these numbers were going up last year?

    I think the reality is much worse than what the RE Comples is making public.

    ReplyDelete
  13. anon 10:16,

    2 home + owner should not sell because the costs involve will equal or exceed the projected 35% drop.

    Capital gains, depreciation recapture, likely AMT, lost rent and fix-up costs, commissions, loss of low interest rate financing, where to put the net dollars?, loss of tax benefits, loss of time down the amortization schedule etc. etc.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anony 10:16:

    Why? Perhaps the individual bought all properties before the 2001 run-up, refinancied on fixed mortgages at record lows, and has enough equity to sustain the ownership even after 50% drops.

    I wouldn't sell in that situation either.

    [note: I don't know the particulars of this person's situation; I only know that there are plenty of people who have made sound financial decisions, just as there are many who made very foolish ones. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.]

    ReplyDelete
  15. Earlier this year, "soft landing," from what I heard its advocates saying, meant a flat real estate market. Now they seem to be saying 10-15% decline.

    In real terms, I think we have already seen a 10-15% decline.

    Someone else already said it, but if prices continue to fall, I think we will see "soft landing" get redefined several more times.

    A Redskins fan

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Why? Perhaps the individual bought all properties before the 2001 run-up, refinancied on fixed mortgages at record lows, and has enough equity to sustain the ownership even after 50% drops.

    I wouldn't sell in that situation either."

    If you are very sure RE will drop more than 35% and still do not want to sell one of your 2 homes, it really does not make sense and it is a truly foolish decision, no mater when did you buy your property.

    Even put your money in CD, you get 5% return.

    You are not a true beliver that the RE will drop more than 35%

    ReplyDelete
  17. anon 11:10,

    Re-read my 10:49 post. Selling would not make sense.

    ReplyDelete
  18. David,

    Actually the price peak was in April, not February. But it makes the fall look all the more dramatic:

    Jan 2006 - $244,900
    Feb 2006 - $250,800
    Mar 2006 - $238,800
    Apr 2006 - $257,000
    May 2006 - $235,800
    Jun 2006 - $233,800
    Jul 2006 - $230,000

    ReplyDelete
  19. And the Aug 2005 median was 240K.
    I doubt it will increase next month.
    That should make for a substantial
    year-over-year decline next month.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "The housing data comes so often, it comes out every month. The Builders have been there for years."

    Yeah, and check their stock prices.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Although, in all fairness, the builders did well today.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yah they did well. Down about 50% on their way to being down 75%!

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Why don't you sell one of your w homes if you believe 35% drop is very likely?"

    Why because I like my houses I bought BACK in early 1990's at fire sales. I have sold off all investment propertiies in last 2 years.

    Housing is extremely overpriced. Yopu buy now you will become a new underwater Bagholder.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "I have sold off all investment propertiies in last 2 years."

    Why because I could not justify holding them price vs rental incomes. 2% cap rates is not very good. I can do much better elsewhere even after paying gains.

    Anyone buying a house and especially a condo is a bagholding fool.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thats true. Builders are sinking millions into stock buy back programs which is providing a good cushion.

    They are about 40% off this year, they still have a long way to fall.

    Housing is hitting brakes, but has not crashed yet.

    The builder stocks are hovering just above some key technical supports. Once that breaks they will fall to new lows. Another six months or so.

    And most important market euphoria/psychology has not gone negative. But as all this bad news begins to sink into the psychology.
    It will be a dot com like bust all over again in the next 6 to 8 months.

    Their balance sheets show, assets are 80-90% in unsold inventory.

    ReplyDelete
  26. When the MSM, NAR, some realtor, or even a blogger says

    "There are no buyers right now."

    I'm hearing/reading that all time now and it's a little perplexing to me.

    At the very least this is a great exaggeration. If there are locally 1000 houses for sale ... or 100,000 nationwide, you can't assume that all of these people are investors. Can you? Realistically, there are 900 local buyers or 90,000 nationwide.

    I realize that, while in 2005, there were more investors buying than selling. And that 2006 there are probably more investors selling than buying.. but there's still PLENTY of people trying to sell one house and buy another.

    So does this change in investors really explain ALL of this change in sales levels?

    I'd be interested in hearing opinions/perspective from all sides on this.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "but there's still PLENTY of people trying to sell one house and buy another."

    I think you answered your own question.

    This is what a classic pyramid scheme is . When the lowest in the chain fails,
    the entire structure falls apart.

    The move-up buyers cant sell starte homes to first time buyers.
    Because the market has exhausted all the first time buyers
    by going into an overdrive for the last few years.

    ReplyDelete
  28. That was :

    "The move-up buyers can't sell their starter homes to first time buyers."

    ReplyDelete
  29. Here's another thought about DC. It is, to a significant extent, a transient city. Many come here "for a few years" and leave.

    Many of these people are those who fill the "high paying professional" jobs that are touted on this board. Traditionaly, these are not people who have bought real estate in the District. Rather, in the knowledge they will not be here long, they have rented.

    In the past several years, while the market was rising, many of these people bought. And why not? Prices are rising, I'll make a few bucks.

    Now that prices are falling and more are becoming aware, I will bet that this, significant and well paid portion of the DC population will revert to its rental habit. New, short to medium term residents will have no interest in buying real estate here.

    I wonder if that might have an impact?

    ReplyDelete
  30. The average sales price fell to $230,000 from $233,800 in June. It has been falling since a peak of $250,000 in February.

    Those are median numbers, not averages. The average numbers are higher.

    ReplyDelete
  31. It will help landlords.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yep. Lord knows they need it these last couple years.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "
    Now that prices are falling and more are becoming aware, I will bet that this, significant and well paid portion of the DC population will revert to its rental habit. New, short to medium term residents will have no interest in buying real estate here."

    But, as a bubblehead, don't you also beleive that the national economy is headed for the toilet in the next few years? If that is the case, people will stay close to cities with the strongest job markets. DC's job market is considerably more stable than Detroit, Columbus, Pheonix, Denver, etc.

    How do those two notions reconcile themselves with you?

    ReplyDelete
  34. "DC's job market is considerably more stable ".

    Irresponsible Deficit Spending by the Federal Govt, does not sound very stable.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Irresponsible Deficit Spending by the Federal Govt"

    If you are in DC: walk the talk and leave the area.

    And enjoy the recession.

    ReplyDelete
  36. anon said:
    "Irresponsible Deficit Spending by the Federal Govt, does not sound very stable."

    I'm curious as to how "irresponsible" spending would hurt the local economy. By "irresponsible" it sounds like you mean either "too much" spending or spending "on the wrong kind of projects." But, wouldn't spending of any kind in this area be good for the local economy of this area? ... and the more spent here the better? Just curious about your rationalizations here ...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Looks like some of the paychecks here are indeed coming from the wreckless
    spending of the Pentagon.

    This spending is akin to the Reagan era buildup in So Cal which led to the eventual
    collapse of aerospace industry in the area. Once the Federal Govt pulled the plug.

    DC area is poised for a double whammy.
    The federal spigots being turned off
    and secondly the housing bust.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I like the msnbc stories right next to each other.

    'New Home Sales Slide' right next to
    'Mortgage Rates Drop'

    The favorite scenario for bubbleheads - as home prices slide and drop, the Fed is pressured to keep rates low - resulting in cheap houses and low rates.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The media does not drive the market and has no power to. if "they" wake up one day and print giant headlines that "housing booming again", it will do exactly nothing. "hype"- or "bearish hype" more accurately, by the media is not at all driving the real estate market. the real estate market is competitve, which by definition means that no one entity can move it- including the media. there are big-time fundamentals at work here that are far, far greater than the media. i would agree that they pepetuate the existing mood, but can in no way move markets.

    ReplyDelete
  40. anon 5:07,
    "The favorite scenario for bubbleheads - as home prices slide and drop, the Fed is pressured to keep rates low - resulting in cheap houses and low rates"

    The party train is over, the Fed "missed the boat" last year.
    There's no way the Reserve board can fix this train wreck. It's fun to watch them try.

    ReplyDelete
  41. anon said:
    "This spending is akin to the Reagan era buildup in So Cal which led to the eventual
    collapse of aerospace industry in the area. Once the Federal Govt pulled the plug."

    there's just one slight difference, in case you hadn't noticed, this is the nation's capital and I haven't heard any talk of moving it elsewhere. When the plug got pulled on Calif, that was because the Reaganites didn't like the liberal politics there and they moved the money to other more sympathetic areas including here. I.e., it wasn't that the government stopped the spending as you implied. Yes, it's always possible that the feds decide for whatever reasons that they want to move things elsewhere, but in light of the increasing consolidation of command, control, and communication occuring via IT projects under oversight from federal agencies located here, this scenario is highly unlikely ... at least for the long-term horizon.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I agree with Lance. This is the center of gov't.

    ReplyDelete
  43. the media does indeed have the power to sway the public ... do you think it co-incidental that the rush to buy stopped right after the mainstream media starting publishing accounts of a bubble as prophezided by blogs such as this one? The bubble theory created the bubble ... or at least the allusion of one. Some folks will get hurt because for whatever reason they have to sell during this self-prophesized "bubble" period. But, it won't take long for things to right themselves and for normal appreciation (and normal prices) to return. However,in the meantime some people will suffer greatly because of the media's cheerleading. And some bubble cheerleaders will profit handsomely from the circumstances they themselves created. They'll know well enough not to wait to buy once the havock they have caused takes effect. But like when someone yells "fire" in a crowded theater, in the end everyone will know there was no bubble.

    ReplyDelete
  44. va_investor said...
    "I agree with Lance. This is the center of gov't."

    So, what! Doe's that make the DC market different? No

    ReplyDelete
  45. "Reaganites didn't like the liberal politics there"

    Yep. And DC is very conservative.
    It only votes 80% Democratic. Maryland
    and suburbs of VA all vote strongly democratic.

    If they took political leaning in these decisions. Salt Lake City and Phoenix
    would be getting all the federal spending dollars.

    They did not take the federal spending anywhere else from So Cal and Boston.
    They just turned off the spigots.

    Where were all these (hot) jobs before 2001?
    DC was the Capital even then.

    Now I am thinking why do I even try.
    It's lance.
    Enuff.

    ReplyDelete
  46. anon said:
    "Now I am thinking why do I even try.
    It's lance.
    Enuff."

    no, you really shouldn't try ... what you just said is so indicative of a total lack of knowledge about anything to do with the political realities here (including the politics of the region) that it is just laughable and not worthy of a further response.

    Incidentally, Reagan didn't take anything away from Mass. 'cause there was nothing left to take. Nixon had already done that after they were the sole state to vote against him in '72.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Nope. Boston did pretty well under
    Reagan in the 80's.

    I bet you have a degree in Political
    Sciences as well , along with your MBA.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Lance, I buy houses, call 1-800-Kiss-my-@ss. No matter what condition it's in. I pay 20 cents on the dollar! Better call now!

    ReplyDelete
  49. "But, it won't take long for things to right themselves and for normal appreciation (and normal prices) to return."

    At last, Lance and I are in agreement. Normal prices are about 150 times one month's comparable rent. Normal appreciation is one or two percent above inflation.

    Hmmm....

    I've noted that my neighbor bought last fall for, I don't recall exactly, but about 375 times my monthly rent. Apples to apples comparison. We shall see what "return" to normalcy means.

    ReplyDelete
  50. "Nixon had already done that after they were the sole state to vote against him in '72."

    So I am guessing if a Democrat wins in 2008. DC will have the same fate.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I usually wont comment on lance's stuff, cause its like feeding the trolls, but this is just too much. So lets begin.

    "the media does indeed have the power to sway the public ... do you think it co-incidental that the rush to buy stopped right after the mainstream media starting publishing accounts of a bubble as prophezided by blogs such as this one? "

    Are you on drugs lance? I agree with you that media has the power to sway, however, in this case the bubble startet popping way before the the media picked up on it. Blogs like this have been around for years, the media is only just recently started to comment on housing. Please, please, stop lieing, its getting ridiculous.

    "The bubble theory created the bubble ... or at least the allusion of one."

    enough said, this is complete crap. How about people buying anything they could get their handds on regardless of financial risk. How about the advent of the IO loan to consumers like you which greatly increase the purchasing power. This is just such a dumb statement.

    "Some folks will get hurt because for whatever reason they have to sell"

    wait, you are right here...

    "during this self-prophesized "bubble" period."

    Get off the drugs. No such thing as a self prohesized bubble.

    "But, it won't take long for things to right themselves and for normal appreciation (and normal prices) to return."

    This is true, after a significant drop, the trend line will prevail. I agree with you, again.

    "However,in the meantime some people will suffer greatly because of the media's cheerleading."

    Or how about because they bought a home that they couldnt afford, or maybe because they were greedy and tried to strecth to buy that 2nd,3rd, or 4th house.

    "And some bubble cheerleaders will profit handsomely from the circumstances they themselves created."

    I dont hope to profit, I hope to buy a nice place in a good area for a GOOD VALUE. No bubble head created this idiotic scenario, people like you taking IO loans strecthing themselves to buy houses that they can afford IN THE FUTURE rather then buying what they could afford now created this bubble.

    "They'll know well enough not to wait to buy once the havock they have caused takes effect. "

    Once again, you created it I didnt. I didnt strecth and take some IO loan, I moved here and rented. I didnt tell anybody to buy or not to buy. Well thats not true, I told my friend at work not to buy and he thanks me every day.

    "But like when someone yells "fire" in a crowded theater, in the end everyone will know there was no bubble."

    Well, this is just a dumb statement and has no relevance what so ever. But hey, please keep posting your nonsense. You should post next how all bubbleheads are poor, we live in group homes, or we are afraid of commitment. I will just keep dealing with facts, statistics, and what my eyes have seen. What I have seen is people, much like you, buying places they couldnt afford out of greed who will have to pay the piper unstead of just playing it safe with something that is just suppose to provide their family shelter from the weather.
    good luck, from your tone it sounds like you will need it.
    the real bob

    ReplyDelete
  52. (Forget who posted this)

    "we've never had a time when sales prices went down while the economy was going up."



    It's for this reason I believe the downside of this market will be far worse than others. Your right, it is different in this regard. But the upside of this psuedo economy has been all real estate based, nothing more. That's what makes it different. It stands to reason that housing would slow first, and then the economy it was based on would follow suit and collapse. If you believe what the talking heads on Bloomberg, MSNBC, and the like are telling you about a healthy economy, think again. Greenspan temporarily avoided the recession we were inevitably headed for buy pouring liquidity into the market, dropping rates to nothing, turning his head as lending institutions dropped their lending guidelines to nothing, and created, not one of the nations biggest asset bubbles, one of the worlds biggest asset bubbles. The oncoming contraction is going to be pretty dire, I'm afraid.

    But, even after a severe contraction like the one we will have, real estate will once again revert to "mean" and appreciate slightly above inflation. Oh, and houses will once again be places to live and not something to speculatively invest in.

    ReplyDelete
  53. OK, enough for tonight, except this:

    Number one rule of politics, and now, real estate bubbles:

    "He who points out the piece of shit will immediately be accused of putting it there."

    So, I guess Lance is right. The real estate bubble is everyone's fault except that of the participants. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  54. "but in light of the increasing consolidation of command, control, and communication occuring via IT projects"

    Lance is correct about this. If you are unfamiliar with C4I, then it is unlikely that you are equipped to debate this topic.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Lance is wrong and the bubbleheads are right, so he accuses them of causing the bubble. It's that simple.

    I've thought David could be overly conspirational, but Lance takes the cake. He's in black helicopter territory.

    Even Investor has to admit that his boy Lance is breakin' down.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "He's in black helicopter territory."

    I know what your point is by using the 'black helicopter' reference.

    But in all seriousness: there really are black helicopters in the skies over DC.

    ReplyDelete
  57. "I usually wont comment on lance's stuff, cause its like feeding the trolls, but this is just too much."

    Yep. But some times he gives too good an opportunity to pass.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Keith, anon, and anon,

    My crystal ball shows no slowdown in defense spending - the opposite in fact. And no slowdown in any other gov't spending. So, Lance is correct.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lance,

    Have you ever heard of the BRAC decommissioning?

    Have you ever heard of COOP - continuity of operations planning?

    Have you ever heard of SARS or Bird Flu emergency preparedness?

    Ever heard of telecommuting initiatives?

    DC has been the center of government. It will continue to play a large role in the future but more and more agencies are looking to geographical diversity. 9/11 helped highlight how density can cause a real problem.

    Government will continue to grow, but to lobby that it will continue to grow strong in DC, especially with all of the post 9/11 initiatives, is short sighted.

    My $0.02

    ReplyDelete
  60. he is correct about government spending, he might be, but he is definitely COMPLETELY wrong about everything else.
    the real bob

    ReplyDelete
  61. that's right, the media plays no role whatsoever in forming beliefs, values, urgencies, or anything else. the media just reflects what is ... as it just broadcasts everything that is out there never being selective or tonal in its non-judgemental broadcasts.

    ever hear of voice of america? or tokyo rose for that matter?

    ReplyDelete
  62. if the media caused the bubble burst they caused the bubble in the first place. You arguments are without logic. There was far more media coverage of "get in now or be priced out forever" then ther is "housing slumps". Notice the tone difference. Housing slumps. Not, you IO idiots are about to get busted. But you right, government job growth will sasve the day. OH wait, mytwocents is right on the money. I work at an agency who consolated the majority of its resources to the dc metro area. As of 2001 we have had a new initiative of geographic diversity mandated by the executive level. I hate to tell you all government agencies got the same initiative.
    the real bob

    ReplyDelete
  63. The Real Bob,

    And I've worked with several different agencies to know they're all working on this.

    When the agencies finally do begin moving their people and offices, the contractors will follow.

    The money spent won't be any less, but it'll most likely be spread out more broadly.

    My $0.02.

    ReplyDelete
  64. waiting for godotAugust 24, 2006 10:59 PM

    anyone know how to see how many listings have expired recently? (dc area would be nice to review)

    I suspect thatthey are up, but never hear anything about them

    ReplyDelete
  65. "9/11 helped highlight how density can cause a real problem."

    When the (very dense) Legislative Branch moves out of DC because of CONOPS concerns, it is time to abandon the continental US.

    ReplyDelete
  66. "When the (very dense) Legislative Branch moves out of DC because of CONOPS concerns, it is time to abandon the continental US. "

    Yea, cause that is what we are talking about here the legislative branch. brilliant comments. They are going move the president to wyoming. just dumb.
    the real bob

    ReplyDelete
  67. Huh.

    "And I've worked with several different agencies to know they're all working on this.

    When the agencies finally do begin moving their people and offices, the contractors will follow."

    But we're not talking about the leg branch.

    Anyone here actually a defense contractor?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Investor, Lance claimed that the media caused the slowdown. Are you buying into his idiocy?

    ReplyDelete
  69. OK, so Dept of the Interior might move to Wyoming. Exec., Leg., and Judicial branches stay. Always will.

    DoD stays in the region yet builds operational robustness in the event the "smoking hole scenario" is realized. (the defense people here will understand what I mean by that)

    But, if the smoking hole scenario is realized, WTF difference does it make if the Dept of the Interior is in WY? Your life is over - the missles will fly.

    I love all these cowards who would abandon their Nation's Capital at the drop of a hat. Or a bottle of water on a commercial flight, as the case may be.

    ReplyDelete
  70. The president is located mostly in TX, bob. You're the dumb one.

    ReplyDelete
  71. As others have pointed out,Lance has gone into kooky territory with his blame the messenger crap.

    After all, Lance didn't blame the media for the runup, did he?

    As I've said before, I always thought David was wrong for blaming enybody bu the buyer who got caught up in the craze. But now Lance has gone off into the gamma quadrant. Lance is way out there now, farther out than David ever was.

    ReplyDelete
  72. anon 8:12, it was joke. Ie the vice president is from wyoming, he wears the pants, etc... That might have been a little to deep of a joke for you. I guess your the idiot.
    the real bob

    ReplyDelete
  73. "Lance has gone off into the gamma quadrant"

    He partied with James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise while he was there.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Investor, you've totally lost it if you're defending Lance. He's a joke. You've gotten so caught up into taking sides that you've totally lost your judgement.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Investor, I noticed you haven't mentioned Lance's kooky argument blaming the media. You know he's wrong. You just don't have the honesty to admit it.

    Investor, do you truly blame the media for the recent housing slowdown?

    Failure to answer is an implict admission that Lance is wrong and you're too dishonest to admit it.

    ReplyDelete
  76. yea, because a blog is a spelling/gammar test.
    If you can do better after happy hour, go ahead, otherwise....go away troll.
    bob

    ReplyDelete
  77. Keith,

    I think psychology is a major factor in these cycles. MSM pounding the table about doom and gloom certainly increases the swings - just as it did on the way up. Just look at all the TV shows - Flip This House, Property Ladder etc.- as well as all the magazine covers about making it rich in real estate.

    Now the opposite is happening. It is simple "herd mentality".

    ReplyDelete
  78. don't worry bob. I live in dc ( I'm not afraid to be here), and I work in the defense sector in Northern VA. I'm not afraid. You go on and get as far away from DC as you can to assuage your fears. I'll keep working to keep you safe so you can get drunk and blog till your heart's content.

    the anti-bob

    ReplyDelete
  79. anon 8:22, you make no sense what so ever. Who said anything about being afraid? Its a government initiative to diversify agencies, not mine. Talk to me when you do 8 years in the military about being afraid. Oh how I love the trolls.
    the real bob

    ReplyDelete
  80. Seems like most of the housing cheerleaders have gone. Is the fight over, have they finally got the message? The market is busted and all have run off. Farewell!

    ReplyDelete
  81. "Talk to me when you do 8 years in the military about being afraid. Oh how I love the trolls"

    LOL! I am personally acquainted with a retired Marine Colonel who lives in a gated community in Fairfax because he's afraid of the riff-raff in the DC area.

    Now, please do continue to make assumptions about my background while continuing to reveal more about yourself.

    So exactly which agencies are moving out of the DC area? Don't confuse CONOPS with physical relocation.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Oh wait, let me sign that last post so that you know I'm not a Troll.

    "the anti-bob"

    ReplyDelete
  83. yea, that one military guy sets the standard. I would agree to that if you houseing head agree that the herndon auction house sets all comps for the herndon area!
    not likely. No one said agencies are moving entirely out of the area. they are starting to geographic diversity. Meaning, instead of bringing all people here, they are moving SOME of the people elsewhere, thus diversity. NOT ALL, I REPEAT, DIVERISITY. And I didnt make assumptions about your background, you made them about mine, like saying i was afraid for some reason. If you reread my previous post I did not make an assumption about your background merely a statement about mine.
    bob

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  84. Va_Investor said:
    "MSM pounding the table about doom and gloom certainly increases the swings - just as it did on the way up."

    Well said.

    And since the media is always looking for a new story, when it got tired of reporting on the "it's the highest it's ever been" real estate "market", it learned about the bubble blogs and hooked on to a new story. Of course prices would have stopped climbing with out the media saying a word, and they might even have gone down some, but without the media playing the situation for all it is worth, you wouldn't have people selling off their properties well under market out of a sense of panic (like the lady in Herndon) or others waiting so long on the sidelines for prices to drop (like Redskins ... well, maybe not like Redskins as he will NEVER buy). Like you said, it's the herd mentallity. My prediction is that when all is said and done in some 18 months or so, house prices in most localities will be selling at marginally more than they are today, while condos in most localities (and McMansions in far off suburbs) will be selling for just slightly less than where they are now. And had the media (and the bloggers) not created the panic to begin with, the prices would have just settled at these points. Instead we are going to have enough disjunction to cause some people to panic and some bubbleheads to jump in an pay well undermarket value for "non-comp" properties. I have nothing against someone bargaining for the best deal possible. But when they have helped create the very situation which "squeezes" the other party, then that is analogous to "extorting money".

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  85. DC is "different", but probably not as much as the bulls like to believe. BRAC jobs moving to Fort Belvior aren't going to support the NoVa bubble since most of the workers will trek from Spotsylvania or those other way out counties. As it is now, most of the people in my Reston office commute from Fredericksburg or WV.

    The DC government is still as business unfriendly as ever, so no new jobs there. Crystal City is about to be turned into a concrete bat cave by BRAC. Yes, there will continue to be plenty of Fed work in NoVa for the middle brow consultants (really IT integrators) of LM, BAE, IBM, Accenture, etc, but those guys don't make as much as you might think.

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  86. Anon said:
    "So exactly which agencies are moving out of the DC area? Don't confuse CONOPS with physical relocation."

    Perhaps Bob thinks Ft. Belvoir is outside the area? And of course, wouldn't it just make more sense to create more primary targets so that you can spend more to defend each individually?

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  87. " And had the media (and the bloggers) not created the panic to begin with, the prices would have just settled at these points. Instead we are going to have enough disjunction to cause some people to panic and some bubbleheads to jump in an pay well undermarket value for "non-comp" properties."

    you broke me lance, you write stuff that is such complete nonsense I don't have the effort to respond to it anymore. You are right, it was ok for the media to create the bubble, but not to burst it with there one story in the wall street journal. I still have yet to hear a story on the nightly news about the bubble.

    How about a little self reflection. PEOPLE LIKE YOU CREATED THE BUBBLE. Take some responsibility for your actions. That is the whole problem with this mess, people not being responsible, fiscally responsible. You can lie all you want about IO loans, but the truth is people only took them to stretch to get in a house that they couldnt afford, like you, creating this panic in the hopes that either appreciation would make them rich or at least their salary would catch up to cover the costs. Be honest with your self, you are at fault.
    the real bob

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  88. Lance said...
    "But when they have helped create the very situation which "squeezes" the other party, then that is analogous to "extorting money"

    That's how it works in DC, correct Lance?

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  89. Rule #1. Lance is always right.
    Rule #2. When he is wrong, see previous rule.
    The amount of time he spent on this forum is astonishing. I suspect that he is in deep fear with his IO loan. But he will never admit this... Boring...

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  90. Lance,

    Can you please make up your mind what your position is and then try to clearly state it?

    Your posts are a stream of non-coherent consciousness. There are repeating themes but it's increasingly tiresome teasing them out of all of the noise.

    My $0.02.

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  91. Lance,

    Some inconsistencies:

    It's okay to mine your own deal on the way up (your home purchase) but it's extortion on the way down (any bubblehead as a future buyer).

    It's always a good time to buy (your position) is somehow in perfect agreement with H's comments which most assuredly do not purport this claim.

    Herd mentality coupled with the media is "well said" by VA Investor, yet, it doesn't apply on the way down.

    Seriously, you try to twist every good point on this blog - whether bearish or bullish - into some sort of variant of something you've written. In reality, the only thing you consistently repeat, and seem to originate, is that:

    1. It is always a good time to buy.
    2. Buying today is always good because inflation makes future mortgage payments cheaper.
    3. Most people have itemized deductions that are approximately equal to the standard deduction.

    If you've contributed anything more, I apologize, I've missed it amidst all of run on paragraphs you've contributed.

    My $0.02.

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  92. Herd mentality coupled with the media is "well said" by VA Investor, yet, it doesn't apply on the way down.


    Humm...

    Why not?

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  93. anon said:
    "Anonymous said...
    Herd mentality coupled with the media is "well said" by VA Investor, yet, it doesn't apply on the way down."

    I didn't say this. I actually didn't directly address whether the media's stroking of the fires "on the way up" was a good thing or not. I just addressed their actions in helping bring on a recession. But now that the subject has been raised. How can it be considered a bad thing when the media encourages growth and the economic prosperity it brings? And can't bubbleheads see how very different the media's encouraging economic stagnation is?

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  94. Lance,

    Its like someone eats the most unhealthy things, becomes obese, doesn't excerice and smokes. Suddenly, someone warns them that this lifestyle inevitably leads to a heart attack. The person gets all nervou s and anxious and the heart attack happens. Whose fault is it?

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  95. Belvior might technically be in the DC area, but the bulk of the workers there live in the southern counties that have pretty much endless room to add crappy housing developments. Not too many high end condo owners trekking out to Belvior from DC or Arlington.

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  96. There is a huge amount of new construction down there now and more on the way. If you haven't been down Route 1 lately, you will be shocked.

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  97. Anonymous said...
    "Lance,

    Its like someone eats the most unhealthy things, becomes obese, doesn't excerice and smokes. Suddenly, someone warns them that this lifestyle inevitably leads to a heart attack. The person gets all nervou s and anxious and the heart attack happens. Whose fault is it?"

    I disagree with your analogy. The exhurburance of the real estate market was driven by one thing: rising prices. So, because of rising prices we ended up with a slew more houses and condo buildings being built, a slew of half empty and dilapitated neighborhoods being rehabilitated and turned into even more housing, people having jobs in the construction and mortgage industries, and generally more economic prosperity for everone. All because prices were rising. Was it bad for the media to "cheerlead" on the rising prices. With the falling of prices, we will end up with the opposite of this prosperity. We could end up with the recession that bubbleheads keep wishing for. And what does that bring to the table ... other than allowing a bubblehead to purchase more of a house than he could have previously? Hardly altruistic motivations. So, no cheerleading for economic stagnation is not a good or admirable thing in my book.

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  98. anon said:
    "but the bulk of the workers there live in the southern counties that have pretty much endless room to add crappy housing developments."

    A study release a couple weeks ago found that most traffic to the base after it became fully functional would be from the west and north. (It was in the Post).

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  99. david's mom gives head to Remax agents.

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  100. One for VA_Investor:

    "The kind of landlord I am
    Date: 2006-07-21, 10:37AM CDT


    1. Responsible for the weather
    My building manager called to say one of the tenants wanted a discount for the days it was hot outside. Why? Because it was also hot inside. Their electricity is fine. They could run both air conditioners and fans and keep a supply of popsicles, just like I did in my apartment. My response: Will you pay extra if the weather is nice?

    2. In charge of the animal kingdom
    A tenant complained about mice. I sent over an exterminator several times. He stuffed steel wool in holes, baited traps, sprayed outside etc. Eventually he refused to go back because the tenant continued to leave open packages of food on the floor and counters. She insisted I was responsible for the problem. As if I commanded the mice to invade her house.

    3. Menace to domesticated animals
    One tenant was convinced I was poisoning her and her wooly mammoth dog with carbon monoxide. (What will I think of next?) Fire department went over there. Gas company went over there. City of Evanston sent an inspector. Everyone who tested got the same result. No discernable level. She tried to deduct $200 from her rent to pay for her vet bill. This woman also accused me of running a bicycle chop shop in the basement. And wanted me to compensate her for a parking ticket she got in front of my building.

    4. Pet killer
    I hired a carpenter to fix something. With the tenant’s permission, the carpenter went into the apartment. Apparently the act of opening the door scared the dog. The dog ran down a set of internal stairs, bumped his head and died six weeks later. This story was condensed to “Landlord killed my dog.” There are several neighbors who will not even say hi to me. One of whom made it his mission to make sure my landscaping is always in 100% compliance with arcane City ordinances.

    5. Made of money
    Tenant asked to break her lease because the price of her anti-depressants went up. No mention of the car she just purchased. Maybe she thought the hint of mental illness would scare or embarass me. She was three months into a twenty four month lease. 24 month lease she specifically asked for.

    6. Heartless
    Contrary to popular belief, I do not enjoy evicting single mothers at Christmas time. It takes months to evict and the landlord rarely recoups the back rent or court costs. FYI, I do not think it is more important to make your car payment. Thanks for asking.

    Please pay your rent on time and remember, I am not omnipotent or an evil genius. A lease is a business arrangement.
    And one more thing, why oh why wait until Sunday at 8pm to call and say your heat has been out since Friday afternoon? You call immediately if the microwave burns your popcorn.





    * this is in or around Evanston"

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  101. Very funny and resonates with me. I think we have shared some tenants. I am fond of saying that "my tenants can't even change a lightbulb". At least they pretend they can't.

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  102. Anon 5:49,

    This is hilarious. Whenever I start thinking I need a rental property, I'm going to re-read this and think about REITs instead.

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  103. "But now that the subject has been raised. How can it be considered a bad thing when the media encourages growth and the economic prosperity it brings?"

    While I still don't buy your premise of this all-powerful media to blame for your mistakes, let's play your game for a second and pretend the big bad media causes the runup and the falldown:

    If the media's cheerleading had an effect in encouraging the bubble, then it did indeed do a disservice. By reinforcing a speculative bubble, the media led people to make foolish decisions like buying houses they couldn't afford and expecting appreciation to pay off for them. In addition, speculative bubbles cause investments that turn out to be less productive than other investments that could have been made, which makes the economy less productive.

    In the US case especially, the housing bubble was moving too many people and resources to the housing sector, when, given our fiscal and trade imbalances and debt position, resources and jobs will eventually have to flow to export-producing areas.

    The housing bubble therefore exacerbated the likelihood of eventual recession that comes when your economy goes through a large sectoral shift. The larger the sectoral shift, the greater frictional unemployment you will have as people who lose jobs in one sector will not instantaneously find jobs in the new sector.

    I will say one thing for the housing bubble. There might be a nice second-best effect from the bubble in DC, NY, LA and other areas. Local governments in these areas tend to be too restrictive in their zoning and other rules, which tightens the supply of housing. A housing bubble, while bad for builders and those who bought near the top, is good for future populations, as it creates "excess" housing (from the point of builders and current homeowners), which generates some housing at not-at-unreasonable prices. This is probably good in the long run for the area, as more people can afford to live here and actually sustain an economy. In other words, the excess investment from the bubble balances out the overly restrictive zoning of the local governments.

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  104. I completely disagree that the media is fueling the current sell-off.

    WHY?

    1. Flippers might sell because of the media. Very few primary-residence owners ever would. Mainly because it would mean selling now and renting to make sure that they cashed-out. Most people don't do that with the home they live in.

    2. In NoVA, we started seeing the plethora for-sale signs at the end of last year. LONG before the media started reporting on it.

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  105. Keith said...
    "A housing bubble, while bad for builders and those who bought near the top, is good for future populations, as it creates "excess" housing (from the point of builders and current homeowners), which generates some housing at not-at-unreasonable prices."


    And, shabby housing stock that's been renovated by flippers adds even more, since some iffy neighborhoods (or older condos) are now desirable.

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  106. Anonymous said...
    "I completely disagree that the media is fueling the current sell-off.

    WHY?

    1. Flippers might sell because of the media. Very few primary-residence owners ever would. Mainly because it would mean selling now and renting to make sure that they cashed-out. Most people don't do that with the home they live in."

    Several of the bubbleheads on here have specifically owned up to doing exactly what you say "very few primary-residence owners would" ever do. 'Sara in DC' as well as 'Keith' come to mind as examples.

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  107. Anonymous said...
    Keith said...
    ""A housing bubble, while bad for builders and those who bought near the top, is good for future populations, as it creates "excess" housing (from the point of builders and current homeowners), which generates some housing at not-at-unreasonable prices.""

    I agree with the second part of your post ... i.e., that the cycle makes more needed housing available (and more affordable). But, I think you are confusing a "business cycle" with a bubble. If it truly were a bubble, then prices would have risen of because of price manipulation and you wouldn't be seeing the any of the very benefits which you yourself are admitting to. Are you following what I mean? Bubble are bad because they don't provide real benefits, right? But here we have real benefits coming out of the rising prices. So, was this really a bubble?

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  108. I can see a huuuuge bubble brewing, on the horizon. This is the bubble of media fueld sell off frenzy. I too will sell just like everyone else. Before you know it we all shall camp out in the forest, hold hands and sing Cumbaya. Just like the commies do it in Russia. Just goes to show if you are hell bent on destroying the strongest economy in the world, fueled by the robust real estate sector, then you too should call yourself a terrorist. All of you bubble heads might as well call yourselves anti-Americans, cause you have no faith in the strenght of the American dream. As far as I know you are just a bunch of losers who have no clue on something called inflation, and how many have used their property as their only strongest viable alternative to an otherwise corruption riddled stock market to hedge their retirement savings. Thank you bubble heads, you all and the media, might ...just might convince the terrorists that they don't have to do much since you are doing your best in destroying the only good thing that is left in today's economy. Thank you all ignorant degenerate, jealous bastards.

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  109. Funny how the desperate re bulls blame those pointing out the truth. The bubble is popping. You overpaid ofr a house with the expectation of flipping it for 20% more....well you lose. You made your own bed you sleep in it. Those that were prudent and savers will swoop down and bleed you dry of your negative equity. sorry free markets work in both directions chump.

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  110. Sorry anon 7:40, the best deals will go to the investors and most homeowners will be able to weather this cycle.

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  111. Dude, I am a REAL investor, I make money with a worthless piece of realestate. I never ever ever overpay. How do I know that? Cause I make a minimum of 200% return on my investment. The ones that will suffer are the poor mom and pop that buy to rais a familly.
    All of you bubble heads and your media frenzy friends are just another wing of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad. You see who you're hurting? It's the hard working 2 job holding folks that strive to get a piece of their American Pie. Investors if they are worth their education, seldom very seldom get hurt, since they are survavilist. In other words, they dont' depend on a J O B (just over broke) to make ends meet. Many like I are used to work 13-18 hours 7 days a week to run their own companies and investment funds. Bubble head commies, think twice before you start something you will regret eventually.

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  112. anon said:
    "You overpaid ofr a house with the expectation of flipping it for 20% more...."

    funny, I don't know of any homeowers buying a house with the intention of "flipping it for 20% more" ... Only flippers and apparently Bubble heads think in those terms.

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  113. the bubble is going to pop sooner or later. it's been an issue for a long time. we just have to rethink what we are about to do so that we don't end up losing a lot of money when the bubble pops.

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  114. The only way the housing market will crash is if the dollar is worthless and is used like a toilet paper to whipe one's ass. In Argentina, and Russia this did happen once.
    The US economy is resillient, and extremely taugh. Unless some of the whimpy bubble heads in here, who spew rage, hatred and jealousy while foaming at the mouth.
    Just cause you all are broke, it doesn't make it ok to wish the demise of a great nation. You all and the media are just a bunch of silly bitches.
    REAL ESTATE HAS AND ALWAYS WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE BEST INVESTMENT VEHICLE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.
    So long you dooms day and nay sayer suckers.

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  115. david's mom gives head to Remax agents.

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  116. david's mom gives head to Remax agents.

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  117. "I have nothing against someone bargaining for the best deal possible. But when they have helped create the very situation which "squeezes" the other party, then that is analogous to "extorting money". -- Lance, August 24, 2006 8:39 PM

    Funny, but that exact sentence would have been appropriate in or around 2004. Of course, from the opposite perspective (say, a first-time buyer).

    As for media involvement; of course media attention on an issue can influence it. But rarely does media attention to an issue *cause* that issue. If David is going to list the media in his "who to blame for the bubble" post, then it certainly makes sense to list them among those leading towards an *accelerated* decline (but not the decline as a whole).

    Va_Investor, while I respect your experience, and I agree that *many* homeowners can weather the cycle, I think there's enough evidence of a problem, including homes that have *no owners* (built on spec), that a reasonable decline should be expected.

    Finally, some of the arguments are getting ridiculous, especially from many anonymous posters simply seeking to provoke (yes, yes, I must be a "hard working 2 job holding folk" who is also a "commie" member of "Hamas", or something). David, I'd suggest you start implementing some controls (such as required logged-in users) before you start losing users who actually contribute to the conversation.

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  118. The question I think will be how will rising rents affect the slowdown in housing.

    “As they and others lease instead of buy, rents have risen 7 percent in the past year, according to a new analysis by Delta Associates. In suburban Maryland, rents for luxury high-rise apartments rose 11 percent.

    snip

    “Even so, rents are expected to rise 5 to 9 percent annually over the next few years, said economist Gregory H. Leisch, chief executive of Delta Associates.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/04/AR2006070400969.html

    Here is a link to the report (the PDF is from 2004, the summary is through mid-2006):
    http://www.deltaassociates.com/content/marketinformation/marketinformation.php#retail

    Eventually a declining home market will meet with a rising rental market, but most other downturns in housing were due to major economic recessions – thus also keeping rent in check. While the exuberance pushed prices beyond reason, I have to wonder if – assuming no major economic trouble – whether the rents may catch up with housing faster than in cities/cycles of real estate.

    Also, I agree that screaming under anonymous names really hurts any semblance of discussion here.

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  119. H said...
    ""I have nothing against someone bargaining for the best deal possible. But when they have helped create the very situation which "squeezes" the other party, then that is analogous to "extorting money". -- Lance, August 24, 2006 8:39 PM"

    H, it was market forces that caused prices to rise. (Lower interest rates -> greater demand at old prices -> pushing of prices up to new levels). It is fear based on gloom and doom predictions coming from bubbleheads that is causing prices to decrease. The first is the market working in its accepted manner. One can't make a judgement as to whether it is good or bad because it just is. The second is a distortion of the market caused by certain individuals who hope to profit from the fear they are sowing. This is bad .... and immoral at the least. It is like the guy who screams fire in a crowded theater for his own selfish reasons.

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  120. What's the matter h? You can't handle an intelectual conversation?
    Must you hit and run every time the conversation gets a bit above your ability to utter anything more than the word "bubble"?
    So far any of you losers haven't been able to prove the reasons why your scare tactics and the media's complicit involvement is not the cause of houses languishing on the market.
    The economy is doing well, and the sellers are deffinitely not lowering prices. So what gives?
    All this talk about bubble is just another way of you all saying you can't afford a house therefore no seller shall reap the rewards of his or her's hard work of maintaining their property and added equity with a long honest hard work day's pay.
    Bubble heads want hand outs, just like the communists. If that's what you want, then why not go to Europe or even Canada? Kentuky has a good housing assistence program. Just don't expect to get a nice gov. voucher where it's getting hard by the day for the average renter to find an affordable roof over their head in the Washington area. Losers want handouts, investors and hard working home owners get rewarded for their efforts.
    h you saying that we should ban free speech is another communist/ fascist agenda of yours. You wish to 1. ban free speech and 2.hope for the destruction of the backbone of the US economy...that being the real estate market.
    Now I see where you bubble heads come from, the same cave as the rag heads. BUBBLE HEAD=RAG HEAD.

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  121. The numbers are in, and homeowners just saw their wealth shrink - by a lot. The numbers will only get worse. Now Fortune's Shawn Tully dispels four myths about the future of home prices.

    http://money.cnn.com/2006/08/24/real_estate/pluggedin_tully.fortune/index.htm

    From CNNMoney.com

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  122. "So far any of you losers haven't been able to prove the reasons why your scare tactics and the media's complicit involvement is not the cause of houses languishing on the market."

    This guy's such a moron, that he doesn't even know how dumb it is to ask someone to prove a negative.

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  123. "So far any of you losers haven't been able to prove the reasons why your scare tactics and the media's complicit involvement is not the cause of houses languishing on the market."

    This guy's such a moron, that he doesn't even know how dumb it is to ask someone to prove a negative.

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  124. "Bubble heads want hand outs, just like the communists."

    So bubbleheads' pride that the free market is indeed bearing out their predictions makes them communists? Who knew? I thought the free market was the antithesis of communism.

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  125. What about put options, are those communist?

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  126. "REAL ESTATE HAS AND ALWAYS WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE BEST INVESTMENT VEHICLE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD."

    Keep up the chatter bubblehead. Tell that to your buddies that overpaid and are "trying to sell", but getting no interest and NO bids. I smell disaster for these folks.
    HOW'S THAT NEGATIVE CASHFLOW FEELING?
    YOUR PUMPER BUDDIES JUST SAID REAL ESTATE IS THE GREATEST INVESTMENT ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH.

    NOT!

    The Moron I am responding to next year will be no where to be found and will be in hibernation licking their financial wounds.

    Good luck fool. A good lesson for many to learn. Keep your eyes open as the desperation becomes more apparent from the rah rah rah crowd.Also watch for starving realtors HARASSMENT. quite prevalent in the early 1990's.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Bob

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  127. A big attitude adjustment coming to the rah rah rah board posters.

    Get used to it cuz your attitude is going to get bruised!

    Big fat ego bloated heads will be humbled as deperation and reality overcome them.

    I see a massive attitude adjustment ahead for these rah rah bubbleheads.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Bob

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  128. Any notice that the rah rah rah pumping real estate crowd is getting might cranky lately?

    Things are slow and the commish checks are evaporating. While the RE Wantabee Tycoons are stuck with their bloated overpriced spec home and noone wants it.

    Hehehehe

    david has stirred up a hornets nest of rah rah re bubbleheads.
    A yera from now thye will be driven into submission and hibernation. And not a peep from them.

    Booooooooooyaaaaaaaaaa

    Bob

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  129. I thought all the jobs were moving to Loudoun county?

    Buyers, Sellers Exchange $500M in NoMa's Last Push

    by Prahba Natarajan, Staff Reporter


    Remember the old joke about NoMa being DC's dingy version of SoHo?

    NoMa has had the last laugh.

    Nearly $500 million and half a dozen properties have changed hands over the past few months in what could be the last wave of buying and selling in NoMa, the area north of Massachusetts Avenue, before shovels turn dirt.

    The doubling of land values in just over a year has investors and developers trying to get in on the area's projects, most of which are already in the planning and permitting stage or ready to break ground.

    Plans for NoMa, once a crime-infested industrial wasteland, have evolved to the point that the goal now is to create DC's SoHo or Greenwich Village, with plenty of retail and condominiums as part of the $20 million square feet of development on the drawing board.

    Developers and real estate groups left out of the original NoMa corridor plan have bought their way in with hefty cash infusions to projects like First Place at 52 and 60 L Street NE, which Tishman Speyer bought from J Street Development for $80 million. J Street bought the property in 2005 for $34 million.

    Other newcomers include ING/Brookfield, which bought 77 K Street NE from The Cafritz Co. in a recent deal.

    The demand that prompted Akridge to cash in on a 7-acre parcel for $122 million has made it lucrative for other landowners to put their properties on the market: Douglas Jemal's Square 670, with rights to build more than $1 million square feet in a mixed-use parcel; Stephen A. Goldberg Co./Prudential's first phase of Capitol Plaza, a 291,838-square foot office building to be completed in November; and the 688,000-square-foot residential portion of Tishman's newly acquired parcel.

    NoMa, even at its current prices of $50 to $80 per square foot, remains affordable compared with the $300-plus the space in the Central Business District fetches these days.

    "Core areas such as the CBD and the East End reached build out, so developers have no option to go out to areas such as NoMa and Southeast and Southwest in order to secure future development opportunities," says Margarita Foster, research director at Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers, which brokered deals for several of the owners.

    The rapid increase in NoMa prices surprises insiders, but doesn't raise any red flags.

    "It's bringing a diversity of development talent to the area," says Gerry Widdicombe, economic development director of the Downtown Business Improvement District.

    For instance, StonebridgeCarrass which bought Akridge's 7-acre parcel earlier this year, originally planned to build just an office development, but will now include high-rise residential, a large grocery store, a fitness center and a lot of retail space.

    Farther down the block, at the corner of New York and Florida Avenues NE, MRP Realty plans another mixed-use site with office, hotel and apartments, according to principal Bob Murphy.

    All these plans are expected to boost confidence in NoMa, where the biggest tenant now is the federal government. Though there are private companies in what is technically considered NoMa, none is in what developers consider the main NoMa corridor.

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  130. H, it was market forces that caused prices to rise. (Lower interest rates -> greater demand at old prices -> pushing of prices up to new levels). It is fear based on gloom and doom predictions coming from bubbleheads that is causing prices to decrease. The first is the market working in its accepted manner. One can't make a judgement as to whether it is good or bad because it just is. The second is a distortion of the market caused by certain individuals who hope to profit from the fear they are sowing. This is bad .... and immoral at the least. It is like the guy who screams fire in a crowded theater for his own selfish reasons. -- Lance

    Lance,
    Rising inventory, rising interest rates, rising unaffordability, stagnant wage growth in the middle class, higher inflation, higher gas and energy prices (40-90% increase in MD electric rates this year), rising # of new homes in an area (more supply) - none of these are market forces? Honestly Lance, I try to give you the benefit of the doubt, but some of your claims are simply incredulous. Somehow an out-of-the-norm rise in prices comes from neutral market forces, but any decline in prices is immoral doomsaying stealing money out of the pockets of orphans and lepers?

    You'll never be able to own if you don't buy now!; Buy now, prices will never drop!; - how is this not the same tactic you accuse others of - screaming fire in a crowded theatre? Who benefits most from the stampede on the way up, Lance? The 70% of people who own their homes and enjoy rapid appreciation, or the 30% who do not? And do you honestly think that people stopped buying because the media told them to? Or because, perhaps, things got too expensive? That no-home-owning minority suddenly has an awful lot of power. I thought we were all just bitter, poor renters in group homes?

    Nice tin foil hat by the way.

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  131. You know the song. Now read the lyrics!

    Send in the Clowns

    Isn't it rich, are we a pair?
    Me here at last on the ground,
    You in mid-air.
    Send in the clowns.

    Isn't it bliss, don't you approve?
    One who keeps tearing around
    One who can't move
    Where are the clowns?
    Send in the clowns.

    Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
    Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours.
    Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
    Sure of my lines;
    No one is there.

    Don't you love farce?
    My fault I fear,
    I thought that you'd want what I want,
    Sorry my dear
    But where are the clowns
    There ought to be clowns
    Quick send in the clowns

    What a surprise!
    Who could foresee
    I'd come to feel about you
    What you felt about me?
    Why only now when I see
    That you've drifted away?
    What a surprise...
    What a cliche'...

    Isn't it rich, isn't it queer
    Losing my timing this late in my career
    And where are the clowns
    Quick send in the clowns
    Don't bother, they're here.

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  132. Lance,

    How can you say with a straight face (type font I suppose??) that fear is driving the prices down but didn't do so on the way up?

    What about the waves of people:

    - buying now before they're priced out forever.

    - using escalation clauses before they're priced out forever.

    - waiving inspection clauses before they're priced out forever.

    These are all desperate tactics employed because buyers were scared into making a decision now. Was it despicable? Yes.

    Fear works both ways. The media will hype it both ways. Either way, buying and selling out of fear will most likely lead to poor choices and detrimental consequences.

    Yet another regurgitation of inconsistency from Lance...

    My $0.02.

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  133. Lance said...
    “But, I think you are confusing a "business cycle" with a bubble. If it truly were a bubble, then prices would have risen of because of price manipulation………”

    -Bogus appraisals stress housing market
    By PAUL WENSKE
    The Kansas City Star
    Many Americans no longer can trust appraisals to accurately reflect their home’s value.
    An independent and unbiased appraisal — once considered the bedrock of any home sale or loan — today is often built on shifting sands, according to concerned appraisers in Kansas and Missouri as well as nationwide.
    Their concerns were underscored Thursday when Belton real estate investor Brent Barber pleaded guilty to orchestrating the Midwest’s biggest mortgage fraud to date, one that relied on inflated appraisals and sham documents to fabricate 300 fraudulent loans worth almost $20 million.-

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  134. "Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
    Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours.
    Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
    Sure of my lines;
    No one is there."

    Did Stephen Sondheim write this -- or "Suzanne"?

    Jerkstore

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  135. "Eventually a declining home market will meet with a rising rental market, but most other downturns in housing were due to major economic recessions – thus also keeping rent in check. While the exuberance pushed prices beyond reason, I have to wonder if – assuming no major economic trouble – whether the rents may catch up with housing faster than in cities/cycles of real estate."

    Completely agree with you on this. Based on the current home price level and rental growth rate, it will not need 50% RE haircut for a declining home market to meet with a rising rental market.

    A 20% RE market drop, 8% annual rental growth and 4-5% household income growth over 3-5 years period will be enough to make it happen.

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  136. "What's the matter h? You can't handle an intelectual conversation? Must you hit and run every time the conversation gets a bit above your ability to utter anything more than the word "bubble"? ... You wish to 1. ban free speech and 2.hope for the destruction of the backbone of the US economy...that being the real estate market. Now I see where you bubble heads come from, the same cave as the rag heads. BUBBLE HEAD=RAG HEAD." -- AnonyTroll 10:03 AM

    Someone forgot to lock your cage this morning?

    Sellers aren't lowering prices? Golly. I suppose all those "Price Reduced" signs are simply decorative. I'd speak with you further, but apparently I'm too busy clamping down on free speech and undermining our government, all the while feverishing chanting "bubble" under my breath.

    By the way, from all apperances, the backbone of the US economy is credit, not real estate.

    Was there a full moon last night or something? I know, I know. Do not feed the trolls.

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  137. h I think it's best you get out of your cave once in a blue moon and get the facts. Fact no. 1 you will not get a hand out from me or anyone else selling their homes for that matter.
    fact no. 2 there are more homes on the market because there is a staring contest between buyers like you who want a hand out as well as buyers of new housing who are scared due to the herd mentality. Scared by the lies you spew and your commi friends who control the media. VS. the sellers who refuse to budge on the price, or better yet who play a shell game on unsuspecting morrons like you.
    Face it ignoramous, there is no such thing as getting something for nothing in life. You might have gotten a discount from Ford or GM, but this seller will only take qualified buyers with cash who understand that they are paying more because of location rather than the brick and mortar. Idiots like you, who live with mom and dad aren't qualified to formulate and express taughts that are above your level of comprehension.
    Please stop making yourself look like a jackass. You have time and time again proved that you have absolutely no clue on matters of economy. REAL ESTATE IS THE BACK BONE OF THIS COUNTRY. Credit without colateral is deffinitely possible only in your conveluted daydream. Let's presume that you were right, what did MacDonald's founder Ray Krock answer when asked what business he is in? Why do Banks bother building branches? Why do companies worth billions in asset chose to conduct business in a building located in a particular area, rather than just do research and business in the woods? If credit is the backbone of this great nation.........why won't foreing banks purchase only debt and nothing more? Why do they bother aquiring real estate worth billions in their investment portfolio?
    Wanna know more why real estate is trully the backbone of this great nation, rather than credit? Ask a farmer, better yet, start reading not just on the current economy, but do also read on the economic history of this nation. Going way way back to the Spanish inqusition, on how the Spanish empire would have been worthless without the gold mine real estate from the New world.

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  138. H,

    I may be forced to sprinkle birdseed on the hood of your car if you continue to feed the trolls.

    :)

    My $0.02.

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  139. Ugh. Anon is clueless.

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  140. I wish Anon would at least learn to use a spell check...That's even more painful then the ranting....

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  141. You know, if I really felt like it, I could get one of Lance's very recent fear-mongering posts about how those of us too "stupid" or "poor" to buy would always be priced out of housing in the DC area.

    Then I could juxtapose that aginst Lance's paranoid whining about the media and the all-powerful bubbleheads causing the price drop because they scared everybody.

    But that would kind of belike hunting dairy cows with a high-powered rifle and scope, now wouldn't it?

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  142. "It is fear based on gloom and doom predictions coming from bubbleheads that is causing prices to decrease."

    Lance,
    Keynes used to talk about 'animal spirits' affecting prices. Current stock prices are a good example. After 16 quarters of double digit earnings gains, the S&P is just poking along. At some point in the next week or next decade it will 'OK' to buy stocks again, just as the last five years of real estate appreciation ramped up to high levels after it became 'OK' to buy real estate again after the crash in the late 80's, early 90's.

    Animal spirits, psychology, herd mentality, whatever. People get hurt when they don't see what is happening in context. I have many wealthy educated friends who bought stocks for the very first time Q4 1999. A good friend bought a track of California real estate in 1989. (CA real estate ALWAYS goes up they told him). Lost big on that one. Had to sell in 1993 to cover some bills.

    So the bubbleheads spreading gloom surely contributes, but another factor is inventory. Man, everything is for sale in many areas. For Sale signs are springing up like mushrooms. And lenders are no longer fighting each other to give 120% loans.

    Actual falling prices have to be terrifying for prospective buyers. Once the illusion of ever rising prices is pierced, suddenly committing 50% of one's monthly take home pay or facing a big ballon in 3-5 years, well, the agent has to be a GREAT salesman to make it seem good. And heaven forbid if they actually have to make a substantial down payment. That just plain un-American!

    So buyers have more to fear from actual market actions than anything the bubbleheads are saying. Bubbleheads can't talk it down any more than the NAR can talk things up.

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  143. does this blog have a spell checker. I keep seeing typos after I post.

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