Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Housing Starts Rise, Permits Fall

From Bloomberg:

U.S. Housing Starts Rose More Than Expected in May

builders worked on backlogs of unfilled orders and used incentives to win new business in a slowing market.

Housing starts rose a greater-than-expected 5 percent to an annual rate of 1.957 million from 1.863 million in April. Building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 2.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.932 million, the Commerce Department said today in Washington.

Unfilled orders are helping to sustain home construction as sales ebb from last year's record. The increase in starts doesn't change the outlook for a slowdown in the housing market that's forecast to reduce U.S. economic growth this year, economists said.
...
Economists expected May housing starts to rise to a 1.869 million annual rate from April's originally reported pace of 1.849 million, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 60 economists. Estimates ranged from 1.775 million to 2 million. Monthly housing starts averaged an annual rate of 2.08 million units last year.

Building permits were forecast to fall to a 1.95 million pace from an originally reported 1.973 million in April. Housing permits averaged an annual rate of 2.16 million units a month in 2005.
...
Slowing sales have left a record numbers of unsold homes on the market. There were 565,000 new dwellings and 3.383 million previously owned residences awaiting purchase in April, according to the National Association of Realtors and the Commerce Department.
...
``I don't think anybody sees the light at the end of the tunnel yet,'' Rassman said. ``There's no indication this slowdown is ending.''

74 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

builders will build right into and partially through any kind of downturn in their sector which is happening right now. they'll make money albeit less margin. this will only serve to further erode the value of real estate which is a good thing for those who can't afford to buy a home but bad for existing owners.

6/20/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger InvestorDavid said...

Richard,

I don't think it's bad for the existing owners as long as they donn't plan to sell their houses or don't have a lot of equity loans.

6/20/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Seems we're not the only skeptics now.

From MarketWatch:

Housing starts rise 5% in May

The government cautions that its housing data are subject to large sampling and other statistical errors. It can take five months for a new trend in housing starts to be confirmed in the data. The standard error is so high that the government cannot be certain that starts increased at all in May.

6/20/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

investordavid, when you're leveraged 80% (for a traditional 30 year fixed with 20% down) on say a $500k purchase even a 5% drop puts you $25k in the hole not including fees if you have to sell. "on paper" that sucks. now with stocks it's more likely that you don't need to touch it but with a house there are a variety of circumstances that may force you to sell like a job loss/relocation, divorce, death, etc.

if people weren't leveraged so much wouldn't be that big a deal.

6/20/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger InvestorDavid said...

Richard,

Precisely.

As long as you don't have to sell and you are not leveraged too much, nothing to worry about. :)

6/20/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Investordavid - you asked the where the investors are putting their money, since it's not in housing or stocks, and I referred you to MMs...

Here's an article for you:

http://tinyurl.com/qntkv

Pat

6/20/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The resetting ARMs are probably the biggest reason people will need to sell.

6/20/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger njAndrew said...

How are the YOY numbers? All I hear is that starts rose 5% from the April low which doesn't count for much. What is the May YOY number?

Andrew

6/20/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

You can find the data here:

http://www.census.gov/const/www/newresconstindex.html

I don't have access to Acrobat or an Excel viewer here, so I can't see the numbers.

grim

6/20/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

I posted the following over at the forum as I thought Grim would not be able to get this article posted today due to traveling:

On Monday NAHB announced that the builder confidence index has dropped for June, again.
The market reacts with a resounding "Oh no!".
On Tuesday the Commerce Department says building increased 5% over April.
The market reacts with a "Whew!".

Okay, I'm thinking if the builders are worried right NOW then it's probably because their inventory isn't moving. So now the goverment is telling me that they built more BACK in May than was expected, increasing the the builders inventory. They also tell me how building permits have dropped. Less building in the future, slower economy.

But the market doesn't see it this way. So how does this NOT show the the economy will be slowing in the future and that housing is on secure footing?

Any thoughts?

6/20/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger InvestorDavid said...

Pat,

some of my money is in CD (getting a very good rate with the option that I can pull my money out any time without a penalty).

I am looking to get back into Precious metal again.

Thanks for the info.

6/20/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just keep an eye out next week for some really good deals.

6/20/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are the data (from grim's link):

Table 3. New Privately-Owned Housing Units Started

2005: May 2,034
June 2,078
July 2,070
August 2,075
September 2,158
October 2,046
November 2,131
December 2,002

2006: January 2,265
February 2,132
Marchr 1,972
Aprilr 1,863
Mayp 1,957

May 2006 from April 2006 5.0%

May 2006 from May 2005 -3.8%




007

6/20/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger delford said...

Can anybody give me the link for the forum? Thanks

6/20/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, delford. It's to the right, on the main page.


Hi, Investordavid maybe if you want, listen to this PNC report. They seems pretty conservative, like you, but realistic:
http://www.pncadvisors.com/market_commentary

Pat

6/20/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger InvestorDavid said...

Pat,

thanks for the link.

6/20/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger delford said...

Thanks anon

6/20/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. luxury home builder, the cancellation rate rose to 8 percent in the first quarter. It's normally 7 percent, said Chief Financial Officer Joel Rassman. I don't think anybody sees the light at the end of the tunnel yet, Rassman said. There's no indication this slowdown is ending."

Slowdown is ending? What a stupid comment, it hasn't even gotten started yet. This guy is a CFO?

6/20/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob? Bob, are you there?

I just wanted to let you know it's O.K. for you to go on vacation if you want to this summer. I got ya covered.

Reinvestor tells me in the "Weekend Open Discussion" that I've been promoted, officially, to a spot as worse than you.

Pat

6/20/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

I've got a question. Has anyone else noticed the fake/brought-in furniture ploy being used more and more lately?

I'm seeing empty houses with really ugly 80's furniture (that doesn't match the expensive drapes). Plus the pictures on the wall are those painted ones from the hotel art sales.

I didn't see this so much in January-March time period, just empty flipper houses.

6/20/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat -

Why are you attending open houses? Stop teasing the agents.

6/20/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I mean just from the pictures online.

I have to be careful going to open houses. I have bad luck.

At three different open houses, I said some unflattering things about the house, like "Well, at least the lot is big, we could do a tear-down" and then the agent told me that he/she owned the house. It was like weird karma.

Pat

6/20/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger new 200 Mbps BROADBAND over POWER LINES said...

The Arizona Republic How low will it go?
Home prices may dip 10% as fear grips Valley market


Catherine Reagor
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Greed drove metropolitan Phoenix's home prices and sales to new records in 2005. Fear is driving the market this year.

Home buyers are worried about paying too much and are waiting to purchase. Concerned about dropping home values, some owners are trying to cash out. Builders, struggling to sell even deeply discounted new homes, are scaling back production and warning of lower profits. Each day more people, from contractors and mortgage firms to real estate agents, are losing jobs or money in the metropolitan Phoenix's rapidly slowing real estate market.

Until recently, the market's slowdown had been considered a necessary, short-term hardship to offset last year's wild run-up in prices. But now many analysts and economists say it looks as if the slide will continue for at least the next six months, possibly pulling down home values as much as 10 percent before it's done.

"There's a psychological umbrella of fear in Phoenix's housing market now," said Tim Sullivan, a national housing analyst with San Diego-based Sullivan Group. "Buyers are uncertain."

The big question is, how much more will the market slow? No one is calling for the Valley's housing market to crash as it did in 1990 because the rest of the area's economy is so strong now. Sixteen years ago, the real estate market and the economy bottomed out together. It was the last time Valley home prices fell, as builders overspeculated on growth. They failed, along with the banks and savings and loans. New owners who were able to hang on had to wait a few years before home values caught back up to purchase prices.

With the housing industry accounting for at least one of every three dollars generated in the Valley's economy, any slowdown will hurt. Consumers will be particularly vulnerable: Analysts say the demand for Valley homes and housing prices both were hyperinflated by 25 to 30 percent last year, mostly because of investors.

"An adjustment in the Phoenix-area real estate market will be painful," said national housing analyst Barbara Allen of Avondale Partners. "The good news is because of Phoenix's continued growth, the market won't need to go down that much more to adjust."


Signs of trouble


Economists and analysts study a handful of indicators to gauge the health of a housing market: Home prices. Number of houses for sale. The length of time it takes a house to sell. Recorded sales. Investor activity. Mortgage rates. Foreclosures. Job growth.

Those indicators have been suggesting trouble for months for the nation's housing market. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his successor, Ben Bernanke, both have warned of a cooldown in the housing market.

In the Valley, where used-home sales are down 34 percent from last year's record pace and below 2004's more normal pace, the slowing is likely to be more acute.

"Phoenix's housing market had such a run-up in prices and so much new building, it's more vulnerable to a downturn," said Nicolas Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

He doesn't expect the market to crash, nationally or in the Valley. But he does say that consumers will have to start looking at their houses just as homes, not as moneymakers.

New data that includes used and new houses shows Valley home prices are down as much as 20 percent from last year's high. Prices aren't down all over, but some areas are showing steady declines.

The median price of a used home in Pinal County fell to $211,500 in this year's first quarter. That's down from the $220,000 the typical existing home was selling for at the end of 2005.

The median price of an existing Valley home was pushed nearly $60,000 higher last year by investors, according to Jay Butler, director of the Arizona Real Estate Center at Arizona State University Polytechnic.

The median price of a used home peaked last year at $263,000 in September. If prices fall 10 percent this year, as analysts predict, the median price of an existing Valley home would dip to around $238,000.

"Valley home values will drop a little," Sullivan said. "Look at demand and supply. Buyers are held back by fear, so supply is going up. That always has a softening affect on prices."


Some owners at risk


A drop in home prices alone won't be a crushing blow to the Valley's housing market.

But it could be for some homeowners.

"The only people who will really be affected are those who purchased last year, when there was fluff in the market," said Elliott Pollack, an Arizona economist and real estate investor. "But they will be OK if they stay in their homes for a little while."

Some may not be able to afford that. With mortgage rates climbing, the adjustable-rate loans that people took out in the past few years are about to jump higher, pushing monthly payments up hundreds of dollars.

Owners who used adjustable loans just to afford a house may be unable to pay the higher mortgage.

If they can't sell in the slowing market, where the number of homes for sale climbs to a new high each month, they could wind up in foreclosure.

Many other homeowners who tapped the equity that last year's run-up brought also will be vulnerable.

Home foreclosures have already started climbing in other parts of the country, and economists are concerned the same will happen in Arizona. Rising foreclosure rates are another indicator of a slowing market.

"The housing market got too pumped up last year; now it has to unwind," said Marshall Vest, an economist and director with the Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management in Tucson.

"What we are all watching and wondering now is whether it slows down to the normal levels of a few years ago or more."


Sure signs of slowing


Home builders began offering incentives early this year to try to sell their backlog of new houses in metropolitan Phoenix.

The deals keep getting better, signaling the market isn't.

Late last year, investors began walking away from deposits on new homes because they couldn't flip houses for quick profits as they did early in 2005. Regular buyers can't sell their houses to clear the way for them to close on new ones.

More than 64,000 new homes went up Valley-wide last year, but analysts say there weren't real buyers for that many. So far this year, new-home building is down 17 percent.

So builders are offering incentives worth as much as $100,000 to unload them. Recently, a few started offering to buy existing homes from buyers as a way to free them up to close on their new houses. That hasn't happened since the market crashed in 1990.

Because buyers aren't biting, builders are downgrading their sales forecasts, laying employees off, backing out of some Valley land deals and seeing their stock prices plummet.

A recent study from Hanley Wood Market Intelligence showed metro Phoenix ranked in the top five U.S. markets for new-home cancellation rates.

Sacramento, Las Vegas and Denver had higher rates of buyers walking away from new house deals. Some Valley builders are reporting cancellations as high as 40 percent.

"There was never the demand for more than 45,000 to 50,000 new homes in Phoenix last year," Pollack said. "It could take six to 18 months before the market absorbs the extra homes and gets back to normal."

Metro Phoenix led the nation for new-home building in 2004 but slipped to No. 4 last year. Housing analyst Allen, who is based in Scottsdale, said home builders are calling the Valley a "good long-term market," which she says means "they're worried right now."

The Valley also has a glut of condominiums, with at least 8,000 units planned and under way. Some apartment complexes that were converted to condos last year are being "reapartmented," or turned back into rental units because buyers don't want them.

The number of homes and condos for sale in the Valley recently hit a record 43,400. That's quadruple where the market was a year ago. Homes now take at least two weeks longer to sell than last year, but they have returned to a period that is considered normal. Some analysts, though, expect the length of time houses sit on the market to continue to rise.

"Phoenix's housing market drew a lot of speculators last year," said Paul Kasriel, an economist with Chicago-based Northern Trust Co. "The supply of homes for sale is high compared to sales now. The market is now very vulnerable."


Economy is saving grace


The combination of two ingredients makes housing markets go bust: overbuilding and job losses.

Metro Phoenix has just one: overbuilding.

The Valley has one of the most robust economies in the country, with an unemployment rate below the national average. So it can likely weather the housing market's downturn, economists say.

"Phoenix's local economy should remain fairly healthy. It will help support the housing market and home valuations," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist with mortgage firm Freddie Mac.

He said markets with high unemployment are much more susceptible to price declines.

This year, Valley employers are expected to add 100,000 jobs. The region also is expected to draw 135,000 new residents.

And while the number of homes for sale is at an all-time high, there are more houses - given all the building - than there were even a year ago.

Now, home listings equal 3.6 percent of all houses in the Valley, according to Arizona State University's Real Estate Center.

The ratio plummeted with listings in 2004 and 2005, but in 2003 it was 3.2 percent.

The drop-off in home building hasn't hurt construction jobs.

"A few months ago, there were expectations that, as building activity peaked, construction jobs soon would dry up, pulling down the rest of the economy," said Lee McPheters, economics professor at ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business.

During the first quarter of the year, there was an average of 231,000 construction jobs in Arizona. That's an all-time high and 13.5 percent more than the same period in 2005.

But big new commercial and public works projects are offsetting some of the losses of construction jobs in housing.


Watching and waiting


Metro Phoenix's job growth is robust, but it won't keep the economy totally immune from a bigger downturn in the housing market.

If buyers continue to sit on the fence, waiting for sellers to cut prices, sales will continue to fall. If investors get scared and slash prices, home values will decline. Rising mortgage rates will hurt everyone.

The next few months are the prime buying season and will give everyone an idea of where the housing market is headed.

"My sense is the worst is behind us, and the housing market will have stabilized with smaller jumps in listings and more steady sales by October," said John Foltz, president of Realty Executives.

6/20/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok.. I do have a question about taxes in Bergen County.. I thought they were only allowed to raise taxes by a certian percent..Each town has a tax rate... Anyone.. So if I was to by in the next couple of years.. My taxes could go as high as 2K

6/20/2006 01:03:00 PM  
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6/20/2006 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Oliver said...

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6/20/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. Pets Underfoot? Keep them out of the way ... preferably out of the house. Many people are acutely uncomfortable around animals. Nothing can stop a sale faster than man's best friend, wagging its friendly tail at a prospect with an allergy.
Go here for more ideas.

6/20/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many blogs, so little time. Got to get back to work on my own real estate sites. Enjoyed the visit. Stop by my site if you have a chance.

6/20/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AZ Republic poster -
next time just post the link please. waste of bytes of storage =)
thanks.

6/20/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how low will gold have to drop before one gets in at this point?

6/20/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hint #10 for . Arrange Bedrooms Neatly: Remove excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and window treatments, with freshly laundered curtains if you use them.

6/20/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:50am The CEO of the largest Gold company in the World 5 years go early early am on CNBC said that thru all the cycles they are only interested in going long Gold at $250 an ounce. You are late on Gold.

6/20/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant anon 3:54PM better now to find a basket of cheap biotechs which the subjective speculation there over the next 3 years will re-ignite the markets which are on the downturn. Speculative advise but thats the play for cap gains.

6/20/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hint #11 for . You Can Sell Pride Of Ownership. Cleanliness counts. Potpourrie works. So does a nice-smelling stew simmering on the stove. Happy buyers often tell us: "I liked the smell of the home." And you'd be surprised how many people walked away from a "perfect" home because "the owners were smokers."

6/20/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger delford said...

anon: There is no law that says taxes can only go up a certain % every year.

In Bergen your taxes consist of the school tax, which may be what you are thinking of, there is a cap of sorts on that, which limits the increase, but the amount is nominal. In addition to the school tax you have the municipality tax,and teh county tax. The school portion it the largest, and the county the smallest.

Taxes in my town have gone up 700 to 800 a year for the last 4 years. And if your town was reassesed in the last couple of years even more. A friend of mine's taxes went up 2k last year due to the reassesment, this on top of the $800 increase for the year 05.

This year we are looking at around an average increase of $780. Ugly, just plain ugly.

6/20/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is ugly..I am looking to Buy in Harrington Park and for a small house the taxes are about 8200..That is just plain crazy.. But looking at my relatives who live in Floral Park Nassau..NY they pay 10K for a 40X100 lot..

6/20/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/20/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm liking these hints. It sounds like Aunt Bee on Andy Griffith.

But the stew suggestion has got to go in our area - you'd turn off all the vegetarian immigrant prospects by cooking stew on the stove.

Pat

6/20/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger njAndrew said...

My Father pays 11k for a town-house in west orange, taxes crazy and only going to get worse.

6/20/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taxes, taxes, taxes...where do you go? The two towns I am familiar with that have low taxes are Millburn, and Cedar Grove. Also, Verona has low taxes in comparison to West Orange and Montclair. The issue is that Verona and Montclair are going through the reassessment process. Montclair will be hit hard due to their extreme deficit, but Verona is very stable.

Any other towns out there with looooow taxes?

6/20/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 5:10,

I agree. All towns in NYC metro have high taxes. Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk have worse taxes than NNJ.

If you choose to live in a NYC suburb. This is what you have to deal with.

6/20/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger InvestorDavid said...

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but here it goes again.

When I bought my house, the tax was $3K. Immediately after, it went up to $6K. After 6 years, I am paying $13K.

A few months ago, my house was appraised by the County at 80% highter than the previous value.

I am waiting to see how much they will lower the tax rate.

I live in northeast Bergen County.

6/20/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

Towns with low taxes that I know of: Essex Fells, Warren, ENglewood Cliffs.

All expensive towns.

6/20/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger InvestorDavid said...

Englewood Cliffs doesn't have a high school. That's why tax is low.

But the median house there is around $1.2M.

So if you have high school age kids, you have to send him/her/them to a private school.

6/20/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim Ghost

Essex Falls - dont' know this town

Warren - Yes, it is low. Because it is converting all the farmland and open areas to McMansion. And it has a regional HS (Watchung Hills) and services. There are over 100 McMansion being completed in this town this.

Englewood Cliffs - tax is only relatively low comparing to other nice Bergen towns. I know someone pays 10 k for a small range. And it doesn't have a High School. Think Private school $$$$

6/20/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As taxpayers of new jersey and
if you are a homeowner.

Your screwed. Period.

And of Course, what side do you
think Corzine is on?

He showed is true colors.

6/20/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:14pm "If you choose to live in a NYC suburb. This is what you have to deal with."

Or become an "extremist" ie; by respecting private property rights and keep your gun rights, cause without that your and your kids futures are in the hands of the McSleasy - Florzine types.

6/20/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...


Warren - Yes, it is low. Because it is converting all the farmland and open areas to McMansion. And it has a regional HS (Watchung Hills) and services. There are over 100 McMansion being completed in this town this.


Actually, I disagree partly. There is still a lot of preserved land in town. There are a lot of McMansions (but most are on 1.5 acres so its not really ugly). A lot of the town is zoned for 1-1.5 acres only.

There is a regional High SChool, but I'm not sure why thats so terrible. The other towns the High School is shared with are reasonably affluent as well, and by all accounts, its a good high school, if a bit large.

Essex Fells is in Essex County next to Roseland. Very expensive town.

I believe that Englewood Cliffs shares high school with Englewood although obviously parents would rather not send their children there.

6/20/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is scary...

``I don't think anybody sees the light at the end of the tunnel yet, There's no indication this slowdown is ending.''

6/20/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger aloha_mr_hand said...

I'm guessing Paramus may have comparatively lower taxes for a homeowner as the many businesses should help fill the city coffers.

Englewood Cliffs has got to have some public high school. Maybe it still is Dwight Morrow in Englewood. Every so often they tried to send students to Tenafly H.S., but I don't think that ever went through.

6/20/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...


I'm guessing Paramus may have comparatively lower taxes for a homeowner as the many businesses should help fill the city coffers.


Thats true. Paramus has lower taxes. On the other hand, the huge traffic in town is a serious, serious negative.

6/20/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Skeptic said...

InvestorDavid and Pat,

Investordavid - you asked the where the investors are putting their money

If you want a serious answer to this question, I can say a lot of money is going into venture capital and angel investments right now. Just look how packed the investor networks' meetings are these days :)

6/20/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"Englewood Cliffs doesn't have a high school. That's why tax is low."


Which school do they use? Is that school good?

6/20/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger REINVESTOR101 said...

As taxpayers of new jersey and
if you are a homeowner.

Your screwed. Period.

And of Course, what side do you
think Corzine is on?

He showed is true colors.


Now this is where I have a problem with our state. The real estate taxes are an outrage. Of course, the first problem is the tax and spend liberals that are always elected. They never met a tax they didn't like. The second problem is home rule. Since everyone wants home rule, the homeowner is saddled with paying a lot more for services like fire, police and schools. Hell, most towns in NJ are right next to each other. Why the hell is everyone paying for same stuff separately?

Regionalizing services makes a lot of sense, but noooo, no one wants to do that because they lose dollars and the political influence the control over those dollars yields.

The insanity is how government has evolved here. It's a sick system that leaves NJ a tax hell.

6/20/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Az Republic poster-

Don't know if there's a "policy" here about long posts but I for one am glad you posted the article in full.

Thankyou!

6/20/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

I think they use the Englewood High School (Dwight Morrow) in Englewood Cliffs. And no, that is NOT a good school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_Morrow_High_School

6/20/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

To add to that -- I believe really good students in Englewood Cliffs can get into the Academies @ Englewood, which is a magnet school.

6/20/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Realtors (or owners) on crack?

My parents live close to this listing:

MSL Number: 2276169
Status: Active
Address: Bellville/ 10-12 Maier St.
Type: 1 Family
Bed/Bath: 4/1
Price: $ 389,900.

Either this Realtor has duped them into believeing the house is "worth" the listing price, or the owners are a) nuts or b) deep in debt and NEED this amount to break even.

Maybe a combination of the two. Just another sign-of-the-times. The bubble is growing and will POP ever so loud...

6/20/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/20/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Paramoose, not Paramus
What a dump.

6/20/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Damn, it is good to be home.

grim

6/20/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/20/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger REINVESTOR101 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/20/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/20/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. All towns in NYC metro have high taxes. Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk have worse taxes than NNJ.


Actually, I looked in Westchester a few years ago and found that the taxes were much more palatable in Mt. Kisco than in Montclair. A $600K house on a quarter to half acre was around $7K - $9K compared to Montclair's $13K - $17K tax bill. Also, the homes in Mt. Kisco were well kept compared to the pricey dumps of Montclair. I'd be there today if the White Plains airport had more direct flights--a work in progress.

6/20/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

grim said...
Damn, it is good to be home.
grim
6/20/2006 08:55:41 PM

Let's do this right.....

There are proliferating signs that builders are responding to widespread expectations that the housing boom is ending. Robert Toll, chief executive of Toll Brothers Inc., the luxury-home builder based in Horsham, Pa., said the industry also faces an increasingly negative psychology among prospective buyers, despite historically low interest rates and a relatively strong economy. He attributes some of that negativity to media reports about the housing slowdown. "If you go to a party and tell people that you bought a new house, people look at you like you are crazy," he said.
============
Bobby-boy......shut the fuck up!

Welcome back to joisey grimy!

6/20/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddle Brook has low taxes ($7,500 for a center hall colonial), but the schools are only average.

6/20/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Miami Heat !

Our Nets beat em 2 of 3 in the regular season.

6/21/2006 02:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddle Brook, another
wonderful town. Ugh.

Why not try Wallington.

6/21/2006 05:51:00 AM  
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