Thursday, April 02, 2009

WSJ: Home prices "still no bargain"

Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Arends says home prices still have a long way down:
Homeowners are watching anxiously for any signs of housing market stabilization. So, too, are all those who believe the market may hold the key to the economy.

And yet the most recent data makes for more gloomy reading.

The closely watched Case-Shiller index, which tracks prices across twenty major cities, shows that through January the crash was getting worse, not better. ...

How much further will prices fall across the country? Nobody knows, of course. But history says the bigger the bubble, the bigger the crash.

Those "professionals" in the market continue to be wrong-footed. Early last year I wrote that even though prices in Florida and California had collapsed, those markets were still overvalued. Naturally I was on the receiving end of lots of angry emails from real estate brokers who told me I was an idiot (or worse). Events since then have borne out my analysis. ...

Even today, prices overall have only reverted to levels seen in late 2003. Yet by that stage the bubble was already well inflated. You would expect a crash of this scale to retrace its steps much further. To find pre-bubble prices you have to go back to about 2000 – when values overall were about a third lower than they are today.

It's true that mortgage rates, now at 4.5% to 5%, are currently very low. But relying just on that is far too simplistic. Rates were also low from 2003 through 2005 – as many pointed out, disastrously, at the time. ...

Over the long term, average home prices have tended to track average earnings. And by this measure the market may have much further to fall.

I looked at Case-Shiller's index back to 1987 and compared it to federal data on average earnings. ... By this (admittedly very simple) measure, today's home prices are actually more expensive, in relation to average earnings, than at the peak of the 1989 property bubble.

Equally noteworthy is that when the last property bubble burst, it took about eight years before the market showed really strong signs of revival. This bubble was far, far bigger.

40 comments:

  1. In the previous property bubble burst, how long did it take for things to really bottom out?

    Revival would certainly take longer - the first sign of recovery is that the prices stabilize..

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  2. I have said since 2006 that prices wil go back to 1998 levels. What goes up must come down - floow the bell-shaped curve!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoy your blog, but have you considered that by quoting articlesl at great legnth you're violating copyright. Or, put another way, you're stealing the work of others.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Major Announcement - Sizzle-Lein is being transferred!!!

    Raytheon announces major move to Loudoun County.

    http://loudounextra.washingtonpost.com/blogs/living-loco/2009/apr/01/raytheon-announces-major-move-loco/

    Just because I will work in Lo Co doesnt mean I will live there. Just wait Sizzlington - Im coming for you.

    Got bacon?

    Sizzle-Lein

    ReplyDelete
  5. "JackRussell said...
    In the previous property bubble burst, how long did it take for things to really bottom out?

    Revival would certainly take longer - the first sign of recovery is that the prices stabilize.."

    First sign of the bottom was about 2 years after the 1990 peak. By 1992 all the price declines were pretty much over.

    After that however, we had 4 years of absolute stagnation - prices didnt really rise - or fall - just flatlined.

    My guess is at the end of this year we will reach the beginning of the bottom - how long we stay in that flatline part is anyones guess...

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  6. Anonymous 12:20

    I'll agree that this is fairly close to what happened in some areas. "Last time".

    This time is only somewhat different. It has some things positive: like the growth of the federal government.

    But some things negative: Overbuilding was massively larger this time.

    In addition, the number of foreclosures is much greater in some areas (outlying areas) and the recession and job loss is much greater.

    History tells us that after a very large bust people are very jittery.

    Look at the stock market as an example. We have had steeper selloffs and greater loss of investor confidence, in large part because of "lessons" learned 7-8 years ago. We very well may see a dead cat bounce later this year, but the fundamentals are still out of whack. This means that people are more likely to walk away at the first sign of trouble. Noone will want to relive the personal failures of 2008-2009 any time soon.

    Chuck Ponzi

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  7. Chuck - I agree for the US. I was just referring to DC (particularly NOVA) where we are getting close. Sales are so strong, outermost areas are running out of inventory at an incredible pace (inventory -60% YOY). DC employment market is one of the strongest in the US. (we are still gaining jobs here).

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2009/03/30/daily74.html?surround=lfn

    Fall of 2008 as unemployment, stock market, etc kept getting worse, the number of DC area home sales kept getting better and better, inventtory kept going down. If all the gloom and doom of the economic market cannot cause the local housing market to slip further, I dont know what will.

    In the end, it comes down to fundamentals. We have a lot of people (stupid IMHO) who want to buy, and we are rapidly running out of people who are willing to sell. This is exactly what we saw in 2005, only in reverse.

    Again, all this means is markets will STABILIZE. The idea of price GAINS is in a galaxy far far away.

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  8. "Sales are so strong, outermost areas are running out of inventory at an incredible pace"

    I got to say, the lack of any spring bounce in inventory is really amazing. From Jan 1 to April 1, Nova listings went up

    +59% in spring 2006
    +14% in spring 2007
    + 7% in spring 2008
    -17% in spring 2009

    This is NOT the normal pattern, not by a longshot. New listings are coming on, but sales are so strong inventory just keeps falling - incredible.

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  9. "The Anonymous said...

    This is NOT the normal pattern, not by a longshot."

    EXACTLY! we have only seen this one other time - Fall 2005 when inventory started RISING instead of falling like it normally does. We all know what happened after 2005...

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  10. I'm not surprised that agents get irate when someone says the market is still overvalued. The agents have a vested interest in having people get excited about the real estate market. As long as people are scared away from the market, the agents don't get paid. "Follow the money".

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, dear, the market is going to fall.

    Hello?

    Who isn't saying that "housing has way more way more and much more way more to fall" before it is sucked into the poltergeist hole, swirled around, and re-emerges as holy memory shrine in Wal-Mart.

    Housing is going to be the new nuclear power: too cheap to meter, too cheap to price, too cheap for paperwork.

    That's right folks.

    Congress is getting ready to rewrite the mortgage lending rules, eliminating all points and junk charges, enabling people to charge a house on their credit card. That's in anticipation of housing prices that are due to stablize at exactly .00087 of income -- affordable for all, even your pets will be able to afford a condo at these prices. WOOT.

    You read it here first. So get your plastic ready, open a beer, turn on the TV, and sit back and relax. It's yours baby, all of it. Keep falling, baby, baby, baby, it's like living in an ocean of beer, it's so wonderful.

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  12. How can people even contemplate the possibility of the market stabilizing when affordability still sucks, credit is tight, people are losing their jobs in hundreds of thousands PER MONTH?

    WTF is wrong with these economists who claim this crap that we are bottoming out and are going to go back up?

    Are these dumbfucks on crack?

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Are these dumbfucks on crack?"

    Probably, its easy to get on the alphabet streets in DC where the prices for homes are triple what they are in the over priced burbs.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "in DC where the prices for homes are triple "

    So lets take a closer look at this statement, shall we?

    Prices in DC are triple what they are in the outer 'burbs. OK, so what does that mean in terms of demographics? That's right, po' folks and those who use and sell drugs are migrating outward. Only rich folks can afford to remain in DC. Not that rich folks don't use drugs, but they're less inclined to mug people and burglarize homes in order to keep up with their drug habits. Get it yet?

    Hasn't there been a spike in 'burban murders, from Frederick MD to Fredricksburg VA to Leesburg VA? Why yes, yes there has. Use The Google to look into it.

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  15. Hasn't there been a spike in 'burban murders, from Frederick MD to Fredricksburg VA to Leesburg VA? Why yes, yes there has. Use The Google to look into it.

    We're exporting all our social iils to NoVa. If you check your copy of The Plan, it's on page 342.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Only rich folks can afford to remain in DC."

    You are delusional. There are tons of crackheads and street walking whores in DC. There are entire neighborhoods that I would be scared to drive through inside the beltway. The stupidest thing is someone that doesnt know the area, can make a wrong turn, drive 2 or 3 blocks and be in one of the highest murder rate areas in the US.


    "Hasn't there been a spike in 'burban murders, from Frederick MD to Fredricksburg VA to Leesburg VA? Why yes, yes there has. Use The Google to look into it."

    Yeah when you start out with 3 murders a year and you get 4 murders the next year thats a 33% spike in the murder rate! Boy oh boy these spikes!!!

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  17. "Yeah when you start out with 3 murders a year and you get 4 murders the next year thats a 33% spike in the murder rate! Boy oh boy these spikes!!!"

    You got robbed buying drugs, didn't you? "Cause people who aren't involved in drugs typically don't have problems.

    Or was it the tranny hooker you were going after? Did she turn out to be a vice cop?

    ReplyDelete
  18. "We're exporting all our social iils to NoVa. If you check your copy of The Plan, it's on page 342."

    Quite right, old chap! I need to check the Table of Contents in my copy of The Plan before I go spouting off willy-nilly like that!

    Cheerio!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Middleburg, Va.(WUSA)-- The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office continues to work with the Middleburg Police Department in the investigation of a series of commercial burglaries in the downtown business district of Middleburg.

    On Friday, March 20, 2009, investigators with the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division, working in conjunction with officers from the Middleburg Police, executed a search warrant at a residence in the 100 block of West Marshall Street. A search of the home discovered a distribution quantity of cocaine, assorted distribution materials such as cutting agents, packaging materials, and a digital scale. Also located in the home was marijuana, over $1,500.00 in cash, and a Remington 12 gauge shotgun with the serial number removed. William "Martin" Thomas, 36, of Middleburg, was arrested and taken to the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center where he was held with no bond on narcotics and weapons charges.

    On Saturday, March 21, 2009, three businesses in the downtown area were discovered burglarized. The Saddlery Liquidators, Lou Lou Too, and White Bench were forcible entered and money from the cash register and other property stolen.

    The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division continues to investigate a series of incidents in the Middleburg area. On March 12th, 2009 a woman reported an attempted sexual assault at a barn just outside of town. On March 15th, 2009 seven businesses in the downtown area were burglarized. On March 17th, 2009 Mr. Jeffrey Allen O'Brien, 18, of Middleburg was arrested after he was found in the 100 block of W. Marshall Street in possession of a replica shotgun and handgun and a small amount of marijuana and found notes detailing plans to kill cops and judges and burn down apartment complexes to terrorize everybody's spring and summer.

    The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention will conduct two presentations in Middleburg on business and personal safety. The presentations will be held at the Middleburg Town Hall on Friday, March 27, 2009 at 6pm, and on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 9 a.m.

    Anyone with information regarding these commercial burglaries is asked to contact Investigator D. Crandall of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There are entire neighborhoods that I would be scared to drive through inside the beltway

    One time I was at a church picnic, and this big gray dog ran up and barked at me. To this day, whenever I smell Alpo I wet my pants. So I sympathize with you.

    Phobias are strange things.

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  21. "Phobias are strange things."

    Yeah so are street walkers and corner standing crack dealers. Drive by shootings and robberies are pretty strange.....hell holding someone up at gun point for their ipod on the metro is also pretty strange. Lots of strange shit going on those alphabet streets. enjoy your rowhouse buddy.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Three wounded in Sterling Park drive-by shooting

    Top
    By Jana Wagoner
    Source: Loudoun County Sheriff's Office
    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 2008
    UPDATED THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 2008

    A 19-year-old, 20-year-old and a 21-year-old were shot in Sterling Park Sept. 17 -- the third violent crime in Sterling Park in less than a week.

    Police say the three latest victims were standing near the intersection of East Poplar Road and South Buckingham Court shortly before 9 p.m. when a vehicle passed by them.

    A little while later, the vehicle returned, and shots were fired from it, hitting the three victims, Loudoun County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kraig Troxell said.

    Several people called 911 when they heard the shots fired.

    All three victims were taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, Troxell said.

    The vehicle that the shots were fired from is described as being dark in color, possibly green or teal, Troxell said.

    After the shootings, investigators conducted a door-to-door canvass around the area in search of leads, Troxell said.

    There is no word yet on whether they found any suspects.

    "We must put a stop to this violence," Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) said in an e-mail Sept. 18. "For the last seven days, helicopters arrive every other day to either search for criminals or to pick up shooting victims."

    Delgaudio was referring to the violent week Sterling Park residents have seen.

    On Sept. 12 through Sept. 14, two people were shot and one was stabbed in two separate incidents.

    "Sterling can and must be restored," Delgaudio said.

    Anyone with information about the latest shooting is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 703-777-0475. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

    Anyone with information leading to an arrest and indictment could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What's this? A heroin distribution ring in.... gasp!.... Centreville?! Oh, I do declare that I have the vapors! Somebody please fetch me a mint julip!

    Centreville heroin ring suspect puts up legal fight

    Fairfax County
    By Gregg MacDonald
    Source: Fairfax County Times
    SATURDAY, MARCH 28 2009
    UPDATED SATURDAY, MARCH 28 2009

    Although 12 of 15 suspects in a Centreville heroin distribution ring have pleaded guilty to charges, at least one of the remaining three is mounting a legal defense.

    Antonio Lamont Harper, 33, of Washington, D.C., is suspected by police of being one of the main channels of heroin from D.C. to the Centreville area.

    Harper was indicted Feb. 12 by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin resulting in death and serious bodily injury, which could yield a 20-year sentence.

    According to the indictment, Harper was also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of the heroin conspiracy. That crime carries a mandatory minimum five-year sentence in addition to the sentence for the drug conspiracy.

    At a motions hearing March 20 in U.S. District Court, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema denied five motions by Harper's attorney, but decided to continue a sixth motion to suppress evidence from a search warrant until March 27.

    The motion to suppress is an attempt to throw out key evidence found in the apartment of Harper's girlfriend, where the gun and other drug-related items were found.

    According to court documents, at about 10:50 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2008, Harper was arrested outside his girlfriend’s home in Clinton, Md., as he was leaving the apartment and getting into a car. Law enforcement agents patted him down and found what they suspected was crack cocaine and heroin in his pockets. They also asked him if they could enter the apartment to interview him, and Harper consented.

    According to the motion to suppress, Harper did not give consent to search the residence. Harper's girlfriend, the motion claims, only did so "after being told by police that her refusal ... would give them probable cause and that they would make her sit on the couch until they went and secured a search warrant."

    The motion also claims that even before the girlfriend consented to the search, "the residence had already been thoroughly searched by police."

    Court documents submitted by Acting U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente tell a different story. The documents claim that police performed only a protective sweep prior to obtaining consent for a search of the residence and that nothing was seized during the protective sweep.

    Among the items seized during the search were a loaded .45-caliber pistol with an obliterated serial number, ammunition, and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia and packaging materials.

    Documents submitted by the U.S. attorney's office also deny that police told Harper's girlfriend that her refusal to sign the form would give law enforcement officers "probable cause" and that they would make her "sit on the couch."

    On March 27, Harper withdrew the motion to supress. His trial is set for May 4.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh man, we can spend hours on the prostitution in suburban VA. Let's get started with a sampling, shall we?


    Prostitution In Virginia
    Posted by: Mike22Va ()
    Date: February 09, 2006 02:16PM

    In this picture you will see a prostitute from the 1980's she is one of the many who have migrated to Fairfax County. How many are there out there? I wonder what the number is, well if you do a search on the arrest list you will find 429 results. I rarely hear of sting operations being conducted. So how are all these people being caught? One must wonder.
    Attachments: (click for pic!)

    http://tinyurl.com/ceblj4

    ReplyDelete
  25. See more articles from The+Washington+Post

    13-Year-Old Allegedly Solicited Prostitution; Sources Say Youth Told Police He Ran Sex-for-Hire Ring at Reston Middle School

    Article from:
    The Washington Post
    Article date:
    March 14, 1998
    Author:
    Wendy Melillo ; Victoria Benning
    More results for:
    reston prostitution | Copyright informationCopyright 1998 The Washington Post. This material is published under license from the Washington Post. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Washington Post. (Hide copyright information)

    A 13-year-old Reston middle school student was arrested yesterday and charged with soliciting other youths his age to perform sexual acts in exchange for money, authorities said.

    The arrest came after the youth, a student at Langston Hughes Middle School, told authorities he operated a prostitution ring, sources familiar with the investigation said. The youth was charged as a juvenile and held last night at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center on two counts of "receiving money for soliciting other juveniles to perform sexual acts." The offenses allegedly occurred March 6.

    More than half a dozen youngsters allegedly were involved, police said. But police also said they had ...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Awww, VA still calls them "bawdy houses", how quaint!

    Former Dumfries Mayor Says He's 'Completely Innocent'
    Emily Cyr

    DUMFRIES, Va. (WUSA) -- The former mayor of Dumfries has been charged with running a brothel.

    Seventy-two year Melvin Bray tells 9NEWS NOW reporter Peggy Fox that he is "completely innocent but maybe naive for not knowing what I was getting into."

    Bray says he knew prostitution had been going on under the previous owner but he says he bought the place to start a sport therapy clinic and thought that's what the Korean women employed there were going to do.

    He says the women were "probably doing something behind my back."

    An owner of a neighboring business in the strip mall where the alleged brothel was says prostitution has been going on for years at the storefront. He says it's part of a huge prostitution network that brings the young women in from other countries and moves them around from city to city to keep them from developing relationships and escaping.

    Eight other people were charged in the case. Three young women were charged with prostitution; they are Korean Nationals who list there address as 7229 Centreville Road, Manassas, Yorkshire Sports Therapy. Three men are charged with frequenting a bawdy place, and two women are charged with maintaining a bawdy place.
    Those charged are:

    # Melvin Bray, 72, of 4150 Basset Court, Dumfries, was charged with Maintaining a Bawdy Place.

    # Mison Cattlin, female, 47, of 7229 Centreville Road, Manassas, was charged with Maintaining a Bawdy Place.

    # Ok Kim, female, 23, of 9229 Centreville Road, Manassas, was charged with Prostitution and No Massage License.

    # Jung W. Jaebun, female, 41, of 7229 Centreville Road, Manassas, was charged with Prostitution and No Massage License.

    # Mihyante Kwon, female, of 7229 Centreville Road, Manassas, was charged with Prostitution and No Massage License.

    # Hee M. Jeunge, female, 52, of 7229 Centreville Road, Manassas, was charged with Maintaining a Bawdy Place.

    # Sung N. Lee, 50, of 4355 Ivy Mountain Court #43, Annandale, was charged with Frequenting a Bawdy Place.

    # Mahdi E. Sutherlin, 44, of 20592 Sutherlin Place, Sterling, was charged with Frequenting a Bawdy Place.

    # Fred, Qreitem, 35, of 9337 Rustic Breeze court Place, Manassas, was charged with Frequenting a Bawdy Place. Written by Peggy Fox
    9NEWS NOW http://www.wusa9.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=60975

    ReplyDelete
  27. Heroin Death Prompts Advice For Parents
    Posted By: Peggy Fox 5 months ago

    CENTREVILLE, Va. (WUSA) -- "This stuff is so potent, it can kill your child in an instant." Greg Lannes is grieving. His only daughter, 19 year old Alicia, died on March 5th. The former cheerleader, and graduate of Westfield high school, with 18 college AP credits, died of a heroin drug overdose.

    The FBI says Alicia's boyfriend, 19 year old Skylar Schnippel, gave her the heroin. She overdosed twice before. The parents sent her to rehabilitation and tried in vain to separate the couple.

    "He said he was clean, that he'd protect her," says Lannes.

    Schnippel is one of ten people charged in a Heroin distribution ring operating out of Centreville Virginia and targeting young people. The FBI says the ring is responsible for three deaths, including Alicia's.

    The FBI says this young heroin ring would buy their drugs for $20 a bag in D.C. or Baltimore, and turn around and sell it for $40 a bag here in Virginia. Their buyers were mostly current and former Westfield High School students.

    Peggy Cook, the director of residential services with the Community Services Board for Fairfax County says parents need to realize powerful drugs are easily available to their teens.

    "Kids don't realize how strong these are. They see drugs being sold on TV and we get desensitized. "

    Greg hopes by speaking out, he'll reach other families before it's too late.

    "Get the blinders off... talk to your children, if you suspect they're doing drugs, make them take a drug test. They may be angry, but you may save their life."

    The young people charged in the heroin ring could face a minimum of 20 years behind bars... that's the penalty for distributing drugs that lead to a death.
    Written by Peggy Fox
    9NEWS NOW
    http://www.topix.com/forum/county/fairfax-va/TNCT0O44RJDM39ARS

    ReplyDelete
  28. Spotsylvania Deputies Receive Sex Services in Prostitution Cases

    By Jon B. Gould
    Associate Professor and Acting Director, Administration of Justice Program, Department of Public and International Affairs and School of Law, George Mason University
    Monday, February 13, 2006; 12:30 PM

    In Spotsylvania County, as part of a campaign by the sheriff's office to root out prostitution in the massage parlor business, detectives have been receiving sexual services from "masseuses." During several visits to Moon Spa on Plank Road last month, detectives allowed women to perform sexual acts on them on four occasions and once left a $350 tip, according to court papers.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/02/13/DI2006021300573.html

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Oh man, we can spend hours on the prostitution in suburban VA. Let's get started with a sampling, shall we?"

    Yeah cause the only place in the DC metro area is the immigrant areas of VA. Lets keep talking about VA and completely ignore places like potomac MD!

    ReplyDelete
  30. "places like potomac MD!"

    You don't live in Potomac, do you?

    ReplyDelete
  31. House fire deaths ruled a murder-suicide

    April 4, 2009 - 10:44am

    HERNDON, Va. - The deaths of two people in a house fire early Thursday morning in Herndon was a murder-suicide, investigators say.

    An autopsy determined Chi-Len Chen, 55, of 12115 Eddyspark Drive, was stabbed and killed. Ho Bih Chen, 55, of the same address, died in the fire.

    Neighbors reported the fire around 4 a.m. Thursday. Firefighters found the two adults dead in the home and investigators found apparent ignition points for the fire inside the home.

    Police and fire investigators worked jointly to determine how the two died.

    Fire officials estimated damage at $370,000.

    (Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
    HERNDON, Va. - The deaths of two people in a house fire early Thursday morning in Herndon was a murder-suicide, investigators say.

    An autopsy determined Chi-Len Chen, 55, of 12115 Eddyspark Drive, was stabbed and killed. Ho Bih Chen, 55, of the same address, died in the fire.

    Neighbors reported the fire around 4 a.m. Thursday. Firefighters found the two adults dead in the home and investigators found apparent ignition points for the fire inside the home.

    Police and fire investigators worked jointly to determine how the two died.

    Fire officials estimated damage at $370,000.

    (Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Police identify man found dead near I-270 ramp
    April 3, 2009 - 5:17pm

    GERMANTOWN, Md. - Montgomery County Police have identified a 40-year-old man found dead in February near Germantown.

    Police say Gerardo Botello, of an unconfirmed address, was identified using a New York state fingerprint match.

    Botello's body was found Feb. 5 near the ramp of eastbound Father Hurley Boulevard onto southbound I-270. A preliminary autopsy shows Botello died of a gunshot wound but police don't know where and when he was killed.

    Police say it's more likely he was killed somewhere else and his body was dumped near the ramp.

    Police have very little information about Botello and are asking for the public's help to learn more about him and how he died. A laundry tag in his jeans read Carlos Quintero, an alias police say Botello was using.

    (Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    GERMANTOWN, Md. - Montgomery County Police have identified a 40-year-old man found dead in February near Germantown.

    Police say Gerardo Botello, of an unconfirmed address, was identified using a New York state fingerprint match.

    Botello's body was found Feb. 5 near the ramp of eastbound Father Hurley Boulevard onto southbound I-270. A preliminary autopsy shows Botello died of a gunshot wound but police don't know where and when he was killed.

    Police say it's more likely he was killed somewhere else and his body was dumped near the ramp.

    Police have very little information about Botello and are asking for the public's help to learn more about him and how he died. A laundry tag in his jeans read Carlos Quintero, an alias police say Botello was using.

    (Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    ReplyDelete
  33. "You don't live in Potomac, do you?"

    Yes I rent here. I wouldnt dream of buying at these prices though.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "GERMANTOWN, Md. - Montgomery County Police have identified a 40-year-old man found dead in February near Germantown........
    Police say it's more likely he was killed somewhere else and his body was dumped near the ramp."

    Yeah cause he was actually shot in downtown DC and then someone drove way outside of the DC area to dump the body.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Yeah cause he was actually shot in downtown DC"

    Yeah, lots of shootings going on amongst the cherry blossoms this weekend. One guy from Oklahoma shot another guy from New York City, then a guy from California loaded the corpse in his VW van and they hit the road for Gaythersburg.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Exurbs. The new slums?

    Budget cuts could diminish Prince William police force
    April 5, 2009 - 11:44am
    Hank Silverberg, WTOP Radio

    PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. -- The crime rate is up slightly, the crackdown on illegal immigration is still in effect, but Prince William's county's police force could have fewer officers on the street under the proposed 2010 budget.

    With revenue down and a board of supervisors talking about a tax cut something had to give in the county's $1.7 billion budget. Everything is on the chopping block not just the police, including schools and the fire department.

    Police Chief Charlie Deane says he may lose four officers and some civilian staff, unless he can get grants from the federal stimulus package.

    "Hopefully we will see some assistance there," Chief Deane said.

    Deane says the cuts comes as the county deals with a 3.1 percent increase in crime. Original projections based on population increase called for 25 more officers by 2010.

    There's another hearing on Prince William's budget plan coming up at Battlefield High School at 7:30 Thursday night.

    (Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Regarding the quote:

    "Ignore all the affordability nonsense. That just tells you interest rates are low."

    Here's a problem with that statement:

    All affordability percentages are from CAR:

    In 1983, interest rates were 12.5%, affordability was 31%

    In 1987, interest rates were about 9%, affordability was 32%.

    In 1992, interest rates were about 8%, affordability was 33%.

    In 2001, interest rates were about 6.75%, affordability was 32%.

    If affordability reflects low interest rates, how do you explain having virtually the same affordability with a 12.5% interest and a 6.75% interest rate?

    In 2006-2007, you had the lowest affordability ever at 12% with a 6% interest rate.

    Now, in 2009, you have an all-time high of 54%affordability with a 5% interest rate.

    If affordability reflects “low interest rates”, then how do you have a 12% affordability rate with an interest rate {6%} that was lower than in any of the years 1983, 1987, 1992, and 2001?

    Affordability measures the percentage of households that can afford to buy the median priced home. It takes into account interest rates, earnings, and the median price.

    High affordability doesn’t make people want real estate and low affordability doesn’t make them shy away from it.

    What is important is the direction of affordability. If affordability is going up, it is usually an indication of a soft real estate market; as in 1983 and 1982.

    When affordability is going down, it’s a sign of a real estate market that’s gaining strength, where people are making money. That’s what happened in 1987 and 2001. In both cases, affordability would continue to decline, mainly because of very strong price increases. The more real estate went up, the more people wanted in.

    Now, with prices in California at 50% off their peak, and affordability at all time highs, people are hesitant to buy. That doesn’t make it a wise decision; just a common one.

    People do buy on monthly payments and right now, the monthly payment is on sale.

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  38. Ex-Miss Maryland USA charged in drug dealing conspiracy
    April 5, 2009 - 9:23pm
    Freeman Klopott
    Examiner Staff Writer

    A former Miss Maryland has been charged with intending to distribute cocaine after Montgomery County police raided her Germantown home and found drugs, cash and ammunition, police said.

    Tia Shorts was crowned Miss Maryland USA in 2004. Her boyfriend, 30-year-old Joey King, was arrested Tuesday after being pulled over by officers who found heroin, cocaine and an undisclosed amount of cash in his car, police said. Later that night, police said, they also pulled over King's brother, James Gilbert King, 32, and their 67-year-old mother, Hyacinth King, finding cocaine, cash and a loaded handgun in their car.

    Police said they then obtained a search warrant for Shorts' home and found the drugs, ammunition and cash inside. All three have been released on bail.

    (Copyright 2009 by The Examiner. All Rights Reserved.)
    Freeman Klopott
    Examiner Staff Writer

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  39. Man, I don't know how anyone can live out in MD or VA. What a cesspool.

    I hope my property values aren't impacted by their failure to get their house in order.

    So sad.

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  40. Poverty - coming soon to a suburb near you.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE4AR60M20081128

    Thanks for taking our inside the beltway excess poverty. That concentration of poverty we had held down property values for a long time. Now its gone and our prices have risen because of it.

    Thanks - suburbia!!!

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