Thursday, September 07, 2006

NAR: Home Prices To Fall, Speculators To Get Burned



From the National Association of Realtors:

Home Sales Forecast Lowered, Prices To Dip Temporarily

Home sales during the rest of the year will be lower than earlier projections as the market works its way through an inventory and price imbalance, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said the most obvious effect in the near term will be with home prices. “A year ago we had record home sales and tight supply with buyers bidding over the asking price,” he said. “This year sales are slowing, homes are plentiful and sellers are negotiating. Under these conditions, we’ll probably see prices dip temporarily below year-ago levels as the market works through a build up in housing inventory.”

“This is a normal pattern during a market correction, but home prices should return to positive territory within a few months and annual appreciation will be slower than historic norms,” Lereah said. “Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points – buyers in most of the country who plan to stay in their home for a normal period of homeownership can pretty well bank on those historic averages, but people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned.”

From Marketwatch:

Realtors expect home prices to fall

U.S. home prices will probably fall temporarily as the housing market corrects, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Prices should bounce higher in a few months, said David Lereah, chief economist for the real estate group "as the market works through a build in housing inventory."
Median existing-home sales prices should rise about 2.8% this year and 2.2% next year, the realtors said in their monthly economic outlook. Median new-home prices are expected to rise 0.2% in 2006 and 2.4% in 2007.

"This year sales are slowing, homes are plentiful and sellers are negotiating," Lereah said. "Under these conditions, we'll probably see prices dip temporarily below year-ago levels as the market works through a build up in housing inventory."
Lereah said home prices typically appreciate at the rate of inflation, plus one or two percentage points. Buyers who plan to stay in their homes should see those gains, but "people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned," he said.

The group is forecasting existing home sales to fall 7.6% in 2006 and a further 1.7% next year. New homes sales are expected to fall 16.1% in 2006 and 7.1% in 2007. Housing starts are projected to fall 9.6% this year and 9.8% next. The forecasts are slightly below the group's projections from a month ago.

101 Comments:

Blogger thatbigwindow said...

"This year sales are slowing, homes are plentiful and sellers are negotiating. Under these conditions, we’ll probably see prices dip temporarily below year-ago levels as the market works through a build up in housing inventory.”

so, it sounds like David is saying that $500k 2br cape will only go for $480k in the coming months and then look out..it will be worth $980k next year because the market would have worked off that excess inventory! better buy now!

9/07/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger thatbigwindow said...

also, funny how he admits that flippers are going to get burned. I thought Real Estate was a sure way to make tons of $$$

I better read Rich Dad Poor Dad a few more times.

9/07/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised he said:

"but people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned.”

in a press release.

This kind of statement really makes me question his professionalism, in fact, I think they expose him for the two-bit econo-hack he is.

Nothing more than a PR mouthpiece.

grim

9/07/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The messagge I am getting from his report is, housing prices are going to still climb, but just more slowly..? He is not admitting prices will decline.
Is there any truth to anything he says?
jj

9/07/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger thatbigwindow said...

don't forget...behind that fancy economist title, he always will be a realtor...

9/07/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

This guy is a scream. Oh my God, does he realize how much he's exposing himself? We should be calling him "Baghdad Bob".

9/07/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if the recent negativity in his statements vis-a-vis RE forecasts has to do with putting pressure on the Fed to start cutting rates soon. All the RE shills will take such forecasts and the present conditions as proof that the Fed is overbearing and keeping "honest hard working" people "out of houses". RE is sinking under the weight of a 5.25% Fedfunds rate which is squeezing the freeflow of those ultracheap ARMs. They need it to go back to below 4% if they have any hopes of putting a floor beneath prices.

EconRealist

9/07/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger NJGal said...

They can drop rates all they want but I think we've borrowed heavily from the future - buyers will not be returning in droves even if rates are cut.

9/07/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe because people aren't going to pay $600,000 for a crap house or $350,000 for a one bedroom railroad 'condo' apartment in a tenement in Jersey City.

Its because people are sitting it out and renting not because an overall slowdown in the economy.

Rents are rising by the fastest rate in 16 years & it is even more apparant in the suburbs of NYC and in the 'other 4 boros' outside Manhattan..

There is very little availability of rental apartments and landlords get many applications per vacancy.
Nearly impossible to rent with less than a 700 FICO score unless you can prepay a years rent in advance.

Still it is a better deal than coming up with a 20% down payment + another 7% for closing costs & paying another few hundred in RE taxes & HOA fees and then having to deal with 'board approval' before even purchasing.

9/07/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

The truth is that David Liar-a-realtor® doesn’t give 2 s**ts about housing prices. What he does care about is a drop off in sales. His message here is basically “sellers; please lower your prices, you’re killing us realtors® “Buyers; here is your big chance to buy on the dip. Don’t worry, you won’t lose money”.

The way he sees it 6% commission on $400k is a whole lot better than 0% on $500k.

9/07/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prices should bounce higher in a few months, said David Lereah, chief economist for the real estate group "as the market works through a build in housing inventory."

In a few months, 2012???? David we are are in the very beginning stage of a long, painful down move. This is just mile 1 of a 26 mile marathon. If sellers listened to this guy they must be wondering, why drop prices now, let's just wait for a few months when the bounce higher begins. Until there is a much needed market adjustment in pricing, it does not matter what happens with interest rates. Just ask Japan.

BC Bob

9/07/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

From the Boston Globe:

`Priced below assessment'

Falling prices have created a new twist in the suburban Boston real estate market: More homes are selling for less than their assessed values.

Massachusetts house prices slumped 3.5 percent in July, the biggest monthly drop since 1993, as a slowdown in sales brought about by rising interest rates created a glut of homes on the market. As a result, home prices are falling below assessments, which are the estimated values communities place on homes to determine property taxes, their primary source of revenue.
...
In today's declining market, some homes are now selling for less than the assessed value in stable communities like Newton, where top-ranked schools and a short commute into Boston help homes hold their values, and in volatile markets such as Lowell, where professionals and foreign-born residents drove up real estate prices.

``Before, it was, pay no attention to that assessment. Now it's, pay no attention to that asking price," said Bill Wendel...

9/07/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

From Bloomberg:

U.S. Home Prices May Fall as Inventories Favor Buyers

U.S. home prices may fall this month for the first time since 1993 as a record number of homes for sale gives buyers the upper hand in negotiations, the National Association of Realtors said.

``We'll probably see prices dip temporarily below year-ago levels as the market works through a build up in housing inventory,'' David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said in the report released today in Washington by the real estate industry's largest trade group. He didn't provide a monthly median estimate.
...
The last time the monthly U.S. median price for an existing home fell below the year-ago level was February 1993, when it dipped 1.1 percent. The group will report existing home prices and sales on Sept. 25, which represent about 85 percent of U.S. housing sales. The Commerce Department will report new-home prices and sales on Sept. 27.

9/07/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A LITTLE LATE TO YELLING FIRE!

I believe many that bought into his old rap may have grounds for lawsuit.

9/07/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The way he sees it 6% commission on $400k is a whole lot better than 0% on $500k"

Excellent observation. Lereah is truely representing the basic interests of the NAR. They are preparing sellers to stop living in denial and start dropping prices ASAP. Perhaps they hope that there will be buyers that jump into the market with a 10-15% discount. For the NAR, the volume of sales is more important than the price.

9/07/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

What I find interesting is that Mr. Lereah never mentions that “we’ll probably see prices dip temporarily below year-ago levels” in only certain or regional markets.

It seems that Mr. Lereah sees a very near future where prices dip so much that it will effect the “national” overall price gain/loss that they’ll have to report.

Rich

9/07/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fearless leader must now be hearing grumbling from the troops ....
no commish = starving realtor.

what slime.

WATCH THE SELLERS GET TOOLED ON BY NAR.

ANY BUYER WITH PRUDENT STRONG FINANCES WILL BE PAMPERED.

9/07/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a realtor, I would like to let you all know that sellers are currently offering monitary bonuses to sellers agents who can sell their home. That goes to show how some will do anything but lower the price. I have even seen sellers (not builders, normal homeowners) offer incentives to buy their house (like a year paid landscaping, or free internet for a year, etc)Again, anything but lowering that price

9/07/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Who has been suggesting the bonuses, the listing agent or the seller? My money is on the listing agent.

grim

9/07/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...I have even seen sellers (not builders, normal homeowners) offer incentives... probably because their realtor tells them to try that first!

9/07/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last of the buyers are to smart to bite on a $10k landscaping con-job.

25% haircuts are in order.

9/07/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"my money is on the listing agent.
"

you are probably right

9/07/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

incentives are a marketing gimmick that obviously hasn't worked to clear inventory. only a moron would think $5000 worth of landscaping services or granite countertops is a good reason to buy an overpriced house. sellers use these gimmicks because the equivalent price cuts would be laughable (i.e., in the neighborhood of 1% or less).

realtors understand that marketing gimmicks won't sell houses anymore. who cares if the seller is offering you a bonus if the place is overpriced? it's a bonus contingent on an impossibility. this is why the head of the realtors is calling for price cuts. gimmicks have been tried and failed. it's time to throw sellers under the bus. sales are going to stagnate until we start to see major price cuts

9/07/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

talk'em down, i'll say!

talk'em down!!!

and never trust a person with a picture on his business card!!

:-)

9/07/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

"Under these conditions, we’ll probably see prices dip temporarily below year-ago levels as the market works through a build up in housing inventory.”

Lereah said. “Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points – buyers in most of the country who plan to stay in their home for a normal period of homeownership can pretty well bank on those historic averages"


That's quite a promise. Is he going to back that promise up with a written guarantee?

9/07/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and never trust a person with a picture on his business card!!"


I love that. A trusted advisor used to say, you don't need to know what a good worker looks like unless they're a stripper or a whore.

Pat

9/07/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Who has been suggesting the bonuses, the listing agent or the seller? My money is on the listing agent.

Grim. A few months ago, I think you posted a blog from a seller having a tough time selling a home in Clifton. The seller mentioned that his agent suggested not lowering the price, but rather bumping the commission from the 5% he negotiated to the full 6% and adding a bonus for the buyer’s agent. The theory goes that you first must “sell” the home to the buyers agent who will then in turn work harder to sell it to the buyer.

9/07/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous jay said...

"Lereah said home prices typically appreciate at the rate of inflation, plus one or two percentage points."

Okay Mr. Lereah, you are finally admitting that the 75-100% appreciation we have seen in the last 5 years was a speculative asset bubble. Thanks for the bullsh**.

9/07/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger lindsey said...

What surprises me is that Lereah continues to peddle an obvious fiction that makes him look like an ass.

Existing down 7.6
New down 16.1

Can someone please ask him how those numbers can hold when purchase mortgage apps continue to come in 20+ percent below yoy levels?

At least he's gotten a little closer to reality, his existing prediction is for a 17 percent worse situation than he saw last month and his new sales number is off a staggering 25 percent.

My guess, existing has to finish the year down closer to 10 percent. He may be in the ballpark on new which will probably be only a bit worse at 17 or 18 percent, but I may be being optimistic.

9/07/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay Daveyboy...
“Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points"

Okay 1-2 % above inflation so

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE 12-20% PER YEAR INCREASES THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS BOY?

AND WE ONLY GIVE BACK A LITTLE?

YEAH OKAY!

KEEP SPINNING BOY.

9/07/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger lindsey said...

BTW, in hard numbers Lereah's predictions translate to 508K fewer sales of existing homes and 200K sales of new homes.

And that's off totally revised 05 sales. off his January estimate for 05 existing sales have declined 708K and new has dropped 210K.

His initial prediction for the year in January was a 4.4 percent existing home sales decline and 6 percent new home sales decline.

07 is going to be pretty nasty once the construction and RE-related layoffs start sinking in.

9/07/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://photos1.blogger.com
/blogger/3791/
1451/1600/ShillerIndex.jpg

A "long" way to fall.

1 to 2% above inflation means
35% drop to FAIR VALUE clown!

9/07/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous dreamtheaterr said...

Just a general observation over the past few months - why do realtors who write on this blog, or letters from realtors cut-paste into this blog, have such atrocious spelling?

I guess it goes to show the kind of people proliferating in the RE profession.

9/07/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lereah,"people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned," he said.

Oh really David??? Why didn't you relay this information last year??? Too late, this train has left the station.

BC Bob

9/07/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

http://photos1.blogger.com
/blogger/3791/
1451/1600/ShillerIndex.jpg

A "long" way to fall.

1 to 2% above inflation means
35% drop to FAIR VALUE clown!

9/07/2006 12:40:37 PM


Please do not post this picture again. Everybody has seen it - everybody supports it completely and everbody is convinvced by it.

9/07/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

"why do realtors . . . have such atrocious spelling?"

I can't figure it out either. it's especially amazing to me when I see an add for a multimillion dollar house that is riddled with spelling errors (happens a lot).

If I was selling such a house and saw that the add had a spelling error, I would fire the realtor. For the amount these people are asking for commissions, the idea that they wouldn't even take the time to proofread is amazing

9/07/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"dreamtheaterr said...
Just a general observation over the past few months - why do realtors who write on this blog, or letters from realtors cut-paste into this blog, have such atrocious spelling?

I guess it goes to show the kind of people proliferating in the RE profession.

"

Your just jellous you cant acksess the MLS

9/07/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Lereah purchased a condo in Florida last year (#431 MADISON AT SOHO II CONDO).

I've been dying to buy the mortgage and deed records to see how he financed.

Florida State Property Records

(Search mortgage records for last name Lereah at the above link)

Anyone care to make a contribution to this blog?

grim

9/07/2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger delford said...

thabigwindow: And they should buy in River Edge, because prices never go down there, never.

9/07/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned"

Talk about hindsight being 20-20! Is this guy an idiot or what?!?!??

9/07/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had a conversation
with a major realtor.

told me most real estate agents
are worthless. and many are already
of extended leaves.

We have a correction going on.

9/07/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

Lereah said. “Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points"

Well, I had plotted the Price Vs Rate of Inflation chart.
Comparision of Home Prices with Rate of Inflation

According to this plot, we are so far off from Inflation + 1% or +2% line. I guess it will take at least 30% decline to meet 2% line.

9/07/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

My position is, and will continue to be, that Northern NJ needs a 30-35% decline in real terms to revert to the mean justified by current fundamentals.

grim

9/07/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

grim said...
My position is, and will continue to be, that Northern NJ needs a 30-35% decline in real terms to revert to the mean justified by current fundamentals.
grim
9/07/2006 01:17:29 PM

you should explain the difference between real and nominal

9/07/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

From Wikipedia:

Real versus nominal value

Nominal value is the value of anything expressed in money of the day, versus real value which removes the effect of inflation. An example in terms of currency is constant Dollars. Often real value will be expressed as a number in real terms.

In economics, the distinction between nominal and real value is often made. It corresponds to the distinction between money and inflation-corrected numbers.

Nominal numbers - such as nominal wages, interest rates and gross domestic product (GDP) - refer to amounts that are paid or earned in money terms. A paycheck shows money wage and a car loan agreement indicates the nominal interest rate. Nominal GDP refers to the amount of money spent to buy the production of a country.

Real numbers - real wages, interest rates, and GDP - are corrected for the effects of inflation. They indicate the value of these numbers in terms of the purchasing power of wages, interest, or total production. That is, they try to estimate how many goods and services a wage, an interest payment, or total domestic income will buy.

9/07/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

As an example:

Property valued at $500,000 today and inflation is 5%.

A year passes - the property continues to be valued at $500,000.

The nominal prices change is zero. However, on a real basis [inflation adjusted], the property is worth $476,190 [=500,000 / 1.05].

Why?

Because one year later your $1 must be worth $1.05 to keep pace with inflation.

To keep the "real" value intact, the home should have appreciated to $525,000. It didn't.

You lost 4.8% on a real basis.

Don't tell that to a realtor [head will explode] or an RE bull [will call you a bitter renter].

chicago

9/07/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Much appreciated

9/07/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Post. read up again Dummies


Shailesh Gala said...
Lereah said. “Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points"

Well, I had plotted the Price Vs Rate of Inflation chart.
Comparision of Home Prices with Rate of Inflation

According to this plot, we are so far off from Inflation + 1% or +2% line. I guess it will take at least 30% decline to meet 2% line.

9/07/2006 01:15:09 PM

9/07/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

‘The U.S. inventory of unsold existing homes rose to 3.86 million in July, the highest ever, according to NAR. The number of new homes for sale reached a record 568,000, according to Census Department data.’


Anyone that buys now deserves to get Pummeled.

9/07/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

>>My position is, and will continue to be, that Northern NJ needs a 30-35% decline in real terms to revert to the mean justified by current fundamentals.

grim, some fundamentals have changed which might justify prices a bit higher than historical norm. you have the $500k tax free law. you also have rock bottom interest rates that mean people can afford more home for the same monthly payment (and unfortunately many still look at this to determine affordability).

while i believe we'll see a haircut on home prices at today's levels i'm skeptical we'll see 35% real downward adjustments unless we have some exogenous shock to the US economy.

9/07/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

CF and Grim,

Thanks for the econ 101.

9/07/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Please do not post this picture again. Everybody has seen it - everybody supports it completely and everbody is convinvced by it."

We have a new moderator. If someone starts reading this blog tomorrow, no chart for them.

9/07/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been dying to buy the mortgage and deed records to see how he financed.

Florida State Property Records

(Search mortgage records for last name Lereah at the above link)

Anyone care to make a contribution to this blog?



Grim,

No need to pay for this information, or at least most of it. Check the records here for free:


http://publicrecord.hillsclerk.com/

Looks like he paid $169.5K for the condo, with a $110K first mortgage and a $25K HELOC, if I'm reading things correctly.

Standard 20% down, it looks like to me.

9/07/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

richard

Every once in a while, when I'm tired, I also start to slip, falter and fade, thinking "there are reasons" prices are so high, blah, blah. Then I almost shell out the dough.

I just slap myself in the face, and say, if that were true, then rents would be equivalent.

Ouch. There you have it. Fundamentals are not in place, or cost of housing would be slightly lower than rent, including all tax breaks, maintenance, etc. Housing is an expense to me.

Where I live, you can buy a nice house for $300-$350k. Taxes are $5500-$6000. You can get a so-so house for $220k.

http://tinyurl.com/olcs6

Or you can rent a decent place for $1100-1500.
http://tinyurl.com/o35yq
http://tinyurl.com/opy72

My county has a lower cost of living than yours; so shouldn't the argument hold true? Unless where you live, things truly ARE different.

When the day comes that I can buy that $350 house for $180k, wake me up. For now, I'm going back under my umbrella.

Pat

9/07/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buffett: Real estate slowdown ahead
The Oracle of Omaha expects the housing market to see "significant downward adjustments," and warns on mortgage financing.

I would be surprised if there aren't some significant downward adjustments, especially in the higher end of the housing market."


On mortgage financing
Munger: "There is a lot of ridiculous credit being extended in the U.S. housing sector."

Buffett: "Dumb lending always has its consequences. It's like a disease that doesn't manifest itself for a few weeks, like an epidemic that doesn't show up until it's too late to stop it Any developer will build anything he can borrow against. If you look at the 10Ks that are getting filed [by banks] and compare them just against last year's 10Ks, and look at their balances of 'interest accrued but not paid,' you'll see some very interesting statistics [implying that many homeowners are no longer able to service their current debt]."

9/07/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

pat, the two items of which i speak do affect affordability and profit. these are different than historical constructs hence my comment prices might remain a bit higher than fundamentals. am i saying today's prices will remain? no way as the standard deviations from history are way off but i can see them shifting a bit due to the above factors.

while inventory is growing i've yet to see any reason to applaud given prices have shot up in NNJ on average 80-100% in 5-7 years and have gone down maybe 5% recently. waiting out this market depends on what kind of price drop you're looking for. if you're waiting for 35% real adjusted prices it might take a couple of years. i expect to see a downward sawtooth pattern as different buyers jump in as prices drop.

9/07/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Thanks for the Lereah mortgage info.

grim

9/07/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of "realtor" or should we call them "get real tors"...have a funny story...

I am looking for a 2BR rental for my mom who just sold her place in NY. I cold-called the real estate agency listed on Realtor.com I tell her that my mom is coming down next week to take a look at places...what does she say..."Oh...well....hmmm...I don't know if this will be available next week..." Now, I already know that this unit has been on the market since April...but this fool is trying to get me to get all anxious over nooothing!! So I say to her..."Oh...Is the rental market that hot right now"...She backs off right away..."..Why don't you call me when your mother gets into town"....!!! I tell you...the craziness will never end...here they come trying to rent out all of those unsold units!! Better hurry the 30% of people with out their own underwater homes are now storming to rent...

9/07/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard said...

"grim, some fundamentals have changed which might justify prices a bit higher than historical norm. you have the $500k tax free law. you also have rock bottom interest rates that mean people can afford more home for the same monthly payment (and unfortunately many still look at this to determine affordability)."

Richard,

Excuse my ignorance but how does the 500k tax free law fundamentally support higher prices??

Also, real incomes are flat compared to 60-100% appreciation in house prices since 2000. I feel this is the issue, not interest rates. Also, if long rates keep on coming down it may be a harbinger of things to come; deep recession/depression??? If this is the case a 35% reduction (peak/trough) in prices may just the beginning. Just my opinion.

BC Bob

9/07/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BC Bob:

Get the heck out from under my .99 umbrella.

Oh, wait...maybe there's room for two 99ers under here.

Free rent, WiFi and beer.

Pat

9/07/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,

Now you're talking like a realtor. You're throwing everything in except the kitchen sink. However, I'll take the beer!!!!

New promotion, close by Thanksgiving, free beer for 2007!!!

BC Bob

9/07/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Reuters: "Realtors slash home sales forecast"

http://tinyurl.com/z9oy7

9/07/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Today's interest rates are not significantly lower than historic levels:


1965 4.49%
1966 5.13
1967 5.51
1968 6.18
1969 7.03
1970 8.04

1971 7.39
1972 7.21
1973 7.44
1974 8.57
1975 8.83
1976 8.43
1977 8.02
1978 8.73
1979 9.63
1980 11.94

1981 14.17
1982 13.79
1983 12.04
1984 12.71
1985 11.37
1986 9.02
1987 9.38
1988 9.71
1989 9.26
1990 9.32

1991 8.77
1992 8.14
1993 7.22
1994 7.97
1995 7.59
1996 7.37
1997 7.27
1998 6.53
1999 7.05
2000 7.62

2001 7.08

9/07/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

30-year fixed rates can be had today for 6.25%, lower for ARMs. i'd say that's historically lower than average. IMO i also believe these rates are going down not because of a recession but because there's too much cash sloshing around looking for a place to park. we shall see.

9/07/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LA Times today;

And Robert Toll, chief executive of Horsham, Pa.-based Toll Bros. Inc., told Reuters that the current national housing slump was worse than the "soft landing" predicted by some.

He said today's market recalled the real estate recession of the late 1980s, when prices took more than three years to recover.

"This isn't a soft landing — it's harder than a soft landing," said Toll, whose company builds move-up homes in nine states, including California.

But Toll denied that the market was headed for a more dramatic decline. "We are not crashing," he said.

Toll argued that demand for housing and consumer confidence had been hurt by concerns about terrorism, the Iraq war and the U.S. government response to Hurricane Katrina.


Harder than a soft landing??? Sounds like he consulted Yogi Berra about that one. Terrorism, Iraq, Katrina???? Bob, there is one other reason you forgot to include regarding the demand for housing and consumer confidence. Buyers, on the sidelines, must be waiting for O.J. to find to real killer before making their next move!!!!!!!!!

BC Bob

9/07/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

while there's all sorts of speculation on why the other side of this housing market will crash hard and fast, it's mostly opinion at this point. the only concrete thing you can say today is prices are retreating slightly from peak sales and the inventory buildup is happening quicker than most predicted.

i believe the most accurate way to see price movement is taking comparable homes (e.g. 3BR, 1.5BA colonial) in a section of town and compare sales price over time. inventory buildup should put pressure on pricing but so far it seems to be most sellers are holding out. this is why i think the next 12 months and in particular the spring is going to be so telling for this market. i don't expect prices to hold up.

9/07/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW he is telling the future, why didn't he tell the future a year ago to the flippers.

9/07/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard said...
"while there's all sorts of speculation on why the other side of this housing market will crash hard and fast, it's mostly opinion at this point"

I agree that the fall will be hard. However, I don't think it will be fast. This can be a slow grind down for awhile, chinese water tortue. Lower highs and lower lows, stairsteps down. I feel the end result will be a crash in prices, not in time. The fall of 2007/winter of 2008 may be the beginning of a more pronounced downside move in prices.

BC Bob

9/07/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was selling such a house and saw that the add had a spelling error

Like misspelling "ad"?

Sorry, couldn't resist! :0)

9/07/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"free beer for 2007!!!"

Who knows ? Maybe in a couple of years there will be cookies, soda and even beer to get people to come for open houses.

Googling, found a 94 NYT article about Manhattan RE then.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9901E7D71538F930A25751C0A962958260

9/07/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone have advise on what to offer for this home, it was originally listed at 639k , now its 509k. My wife wants to buy it, i want to wait. so were going to have to make an offer. We just sold our house in NJ and were moving to MASS. Thanks
http://tinyurl.co.uk/ue00

9/07/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"My wife wants to buy it, i want to wait. so were going to have to make an offer."


Easy to see who wears the pants in your house. :)

9/07/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

From Marketwatch:

St. Joe to exit Florida homebuilding; take $10.7 mln charge

St. Joe Co after Thursday's closing bell said it plans to exit homebuilding in Florida, resulting a reduction in its workforce. In connection with the plan, St. Joe said it expects to take a charge to earnings of about $10.7 million. The charge consists of about $2.3 million for one-time, cash termination benefits to employees and $8.4 million of non-cash charges related to the write-off of capitalized homebuilding costs at several communities. About $9 million of the charges will be recognized in the third quarter, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based real estate operating company said.

For those who might not recognize the name, the St. Joe Co. is the largest private landowner in Florida.

jb

9/07/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw this on realtor.com...can you say desperate!!

BUYER'S REMORSE PUTS THIS TERRIFIC HOME BACK ON THE MARKET-DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO SHOW THIS LOVELY HOME-VERY EASY TO SHOW!!Great Price! Beautiful 5 year young colonial with over 3,400 s.f. of living area in picture pretty cul-de-sac! No new construction hassles here. Extra's and upgrades built-in! Need 5 bedrooms or a 1st floor office? Maybe a 3rd floor media or exercise room? Huge "great" room with gas fireplace? And all on more than an acre

9/07/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, I'm at the beach, and overhear a realtor talking loudly to a couple. She said she has been showing some houses in Mantaloking but the buyers are "wishy- washy" - she just wants them to "hurry up so she can make her 25k commission." She then went on to say, she is tired of driving to Jersey City buying knock-off designer bags and selling them for double at parties - "it's not like it's illegal or I'm selling drugs to kids" - were her exact words!! Some ethics she has learned - yikes. Buyers look out!
bc

9/07/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Massachusettes House market is FALLING APART...have a feeling it will sweep Jersey very soon!!

9/07/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"The Massachusettes House market is FALLING APART...have a feeling it will sweep Jersey very soon!! "

9/07/2006 07:18:45 PM

How right you are. Grim had a post on this thread regarding prices below assessed value in Newton. If you are not familiar with the area, Newton is known for its top rated schools and proximity to Boston, approx 8 miles with no bridge or tunnel. It is similar to a Short Hills, Upper Montclair, Upper Saddle River. For years they have been saying in Beantown that it is different in Newton, it is immune to any real estate slowdown. Very similar to some of the arguments regarding Bergen County. HMMMMMNNNN.

BC Bob

9/07/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from post this morning about
nj economy growth rate at 5 yaer low
"The regional bank's latest monthly forecast projected modest economic growth of 0.6 percent through the spring".
If this number is negative does that mean this state is in recession?

9/07/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"BUYER'S REMORSE PUTS THIS TERRIFIC HOME BACK ON THE MARKET"


More like the first few mortgage bills arrived, combined with the realization that 'flipping' the place in two years for a profit is no longer an option.

No appreciation, means no short-term "owners."

Mmmmm, more inventory.

9/07/2006 07:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chicagofinance,

But isnt it also true that if you have have fixed rate mortgage and inflation is 5% that every year you pay less for your house? If that is true is would appear that the percentage of your income going to housing decreases every year.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

thanks



chicagofinance said...
As an example:

Property valued at $500,000 today and inflation is 5%.

A year passes - the property continues to be valued at $500,000.

The nominal prices change is zero. However, on a real basis [inflation adjusted], the property is worth $476,190 [=500,000 / 1.05].

Why?

Because one year later your $1 must be worth $1.05 to keep pace with inflation.

To keep the "real" value intact, the home should have appreciated to $525,000. It didn't.

You lost 4.8% on a real basis.

Don't tell that to a realtor [head will explode] or an RE bull [will call you a bitter renter].

chicago

9/07/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Sorry that updates were light tonite (it's the grimsters b-day).

grim

9/07/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Anonymous said...
chicagofinance,
But isnt it also true that if you have have fixed rate mortgage and inflation is 5% that every year you pay less for your house? If that is true is would appear that the percentage of your income going to housing decreases every year.

anon - you are asking and assuming a bunch of different things here, but based on the gist of what I think you are asking - yes

remember though that the house itself and your mortgage are two different things, so even though they are strongly interrelated, you want to maintain the distinction

as an example, you can re-finance the mortgage without having to sell the house

9/07/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy birthday!

9/07/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

But isn’t it also true that if you have have fixed rate mortgage and inflation is 5% that every year you pay less for your house?

Yes, which is one reason why buying typically makes more sense than renting over the longer term. However, things are pretty far from typical right now.

It is true that inflation will erode the burden of a fixed rate mortgage, so ever year your payments actually go down in real terms. However, there is much more to the equation than this. You also have closing costs and a down payment, which must be paid up front. There is an opportunity cost associated with that. Also, most of what you pay in the early years goes toward interest and not building equity.

Also, because a home with a mortgage is a leveraged asset, you could lose a lot of money if the home loses value. Let’s say you put 10% down on a $500k house. If the value of your home drops by 10%, your down payment just vanished into thin air.

9/07/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Happy B-day!

9/07/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

For Lack of Anything Witty I Foist this Moronathon for Grim B-Boy

Googled up fresh for you!


Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Your September Horoscope by Susan Miller

A difficult full moon lunar eclipse in your opposite sign of Pisces is due on September 7, causing a crisis of sorts, and you'll not have much time to think about your response. Full moons are always emotional, and a lunar eclipse makes it doubly so. No matter what timetable or plan you devised for your relationship, that schedule will probably go right out the window now.

This could be a blessing, though, because as a Virgo you tend to analyze things a bit too much. Go with your intuition. Voice honest feelings. You will get farther than if you sat down and slowly built a strategy. There simply will be too many things happening on various fronts in early September that will be out of your control, so rather than try to mange events, go with the flow. With an eclipse in the intuitive and nonverbal sign of Pisces, you will need to let your inner voice guide you.

Virgo values being helpful to others, keeping to their word, and following the moral course. Yet there are many sides to moral questions. You might not have seen the situation from inside out. While this may be a very angry eclipse on September 7, it will shed a great deal of light on the situation and also clarify your perspective.


Summary

A lunar eclipse in Pisces on September 7 will make it clear that you've put your faith in someone who may not have deserved it.

You will see this person's character (or lack of it) quite clearly at this time, and will likely be sorely disappointed with what you learn.

It seems there will be a parting of the ways, with no way back. The lesson of the month is that the past cannot be recreated. Look forward, even if the episode proves painful.

Keep to your healthy routine, with good breakfasts and lots of fruits. Don't sideline your workouts either - this month, with an eclipse opposite your Sun, you will need to keep yourself in tip-top shape.

By the solar eclipse in Virgo, September 22, you will be able to announce a plan for the future and set it in motion. This will be a rare and vital time for you, for you will have control at long last and others will be listening. You will see yourself in a new light, and clearly, others will, too.

Years from now, you'll look back and say, "In September 2006 my whole life changed. Little did I know at the time, but it was to change powerfully for the better from then one."



Is this somehow related to David Lereah?

9/07/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you had a really nice Birthday, JB.

Pat

9/07/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger njresident286 said...

Hope you have (had) a great birthday and the celebration continues into the weekend!

you will remember this birthday as the one where the president of the NAR publicly stated we will see falling prices

9/07/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous trrol said...

Happy B-day Grim.

I had mine yesterday - damn, the time flys.

9/07/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ye Grim...
Happy Birthday to you.

SAS

9/07/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger 007 said...

Happy Birthday.
Thanks for all the great work.
I hope I made it on time.

9/07/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Grim!!

Okay, the rest of you...I have a question to pose regarding realtor "ethics" and would like your opinions.

Hypothetical example: want to rent a place that I see advertised (unit A). Real estate agent who is not the listing agent tells me that the unit I want on top floor (unit A)is rented but she is going to show me another unit on middle floor (unit B). She then quotes the same price for Unit B as Unit A, although they are listed on MLS with a $100/mo difference. Also find out that unit A is not rented. What should one do? BBB? Letter to president of the real estate agency?

Thanks for your input!

AFE

9/08/2006 12:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy b-day grim

-thanks for all your effort in compiling NNJ housing info. This site has saved my ass since it is my first home purchase.\

-cs

9/08/2006 01:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim,

Happy belated and many more!!!!!!

BC Bob

9/08/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger thatbigwindow said...

Happy Birthday Grim!

9/08/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy b-day!

and yes, this site has saved me from being a greater fool as booya bob would've said it. thank you and very grateful for this site!

9/08/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AFE

Somehow you got in touch with an agent who is NOT the listing agent for Unit A. Benefit of the doubt to the Unit B agent...maybe she has old info or different info on A.

Write an e-mail to the A unit agent, with a cc to the other B unit person.
---
Hi, I'd like to confirm that Unit A is open for rent in XYZ Building.

Please let me know, as I would be interested. Please respond to all recipients of this e-mail, as I am also interested in another unit.

---

Once you confirm in writing that A is available, then rent it if you want it. You don't have to do anything else unless you truly feel Agent B was attempting fraud, rather than just some innocent misinformation.

9/08/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 10:16

Thanks for the input. Here is some additional info to my example. Imagine that the listing real estate agent for unit A owns unit B and works in the same office as the real estate agent I have contact with. Now does that change your opinion?

thanks,
AFE

9/08/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. You just need to have everything put in writing about unit A if you want unit A. I work with others who innocently misinterpret communications often.

Be sure you continue to copy both agents on all e-mails and if there is anything going on there, it will stop when they have to put it in writing to you. At that point, they know you have documentation if you end up in Unit B and A is still advertised, when you indicated your distinct preference for Unit A. Then you could have a fair housing issue, if, for example, the real issue is that you have kids and owner of A told Agent A and B no kids.

9/08/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 11:10

Thanks. Also, does the owner of Unit A have a breach of contract case against her agent if she learns that she is telling folks her listing is already rented out, but hey look the exact same unit one floor below (even tho it is now established that unit A is not rented out!) ??

AFE

9/08/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Roadtripboy said...

I'm very late to the party (pun intended!), but Happy Bday Grim! You've certainly more than earned the evening off after all the work you've put into this great blog. Have a cocktail or three and enjoy! May I recommend a Sapphire martini up with olives?

9/08/2006 11:36:00 PM  

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