Thursday, May 17, 2007

'Right Now There is Fear About Housing'

From the Sacramento Bee:

Lengthy housing slump expected

Here's the forecast from two more experts on the housing market: The slump is likely to continue through the rest of this year and most of 2008.
"I think we're going to be dealing with this all the way through 2008," Countrywide Home Loans Executive Vice President Jack Haynes told Sacramento home-building industry representatives Wednesday.

"We think it's going to take until mid to late 2008," Timothy Sullivan, president of San Diego-based Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors, told the gathering. The two spoke at a downtown Sacramento seminar about the economy and the housing market, and how home builders can weather it.
Year-over-year declines [for existing homes] were 2.1 percent in Sacramento County and 6.5 percent in Placer County, the two biggest segments of the area's housing market. Yolo County posted a 4.2 percent gain in sales prices, the region's only year-over-year increase...New homes, though, continue to show double-digit annual declines of 22.3 percent in Sacramento County and 12.5 percent in Yolo County. [Median price for all sales was -7.0% in Sacramento County].
Many in the real estate business have said the loss of 100 percent financing and some riskier subprime loans for people with spotty credit histories has eliminated up to 30 percent of would-be buyers.
Sullivan of Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors blamed the market slowdown on tighter lending rules as well as the lack of urgency among other buyers. "Right now there is fear about housing," he said. "There is fear you can't win at housing."
DataQuick Sales/Price Data by County [pdf]
DataQuick Sales/Price Data by Zip


Lander said...

I believe the 22.3% drop in the new home median is the largest decline I've seen so far for Sacramento County.

smf said...

Overall affordability of a product is not a matter of financing, it is a matter of PRICE ALONE.

There is nothing in this world that would make our much desired Ferraris affordable to us, unless they drastically drop the PRICE.

There are a lot of people who are in houses that are not and CANNOT be made affordable in any way.

Brokers and agents do not favors (except for their commissions) by letting people into houses they know they cannot afford.

And we still have the stupid mortgage commercials! My $267K loan at 30 years, 5.25% fixed is at $2000/month. Heard a commercial this morning for a $300K loan with a $1300/month payment and no neg-am. Guess they forgot to mention a few things.

Gwynster said...

As we mentioned in the last thread,
homes 350k and up are dead in the water.

Some of the new plans I'm seeing (1200 to 1600 sqft, no hoa and very little MR on small lots) seem to be seeing activity.

SMF, please tell me you work for KHOV so I can beg you to begin offering your courtyard and 0 lot line developments in Woodland and Dixon >; )

Out of everything I've looked at, these seem to have the most going for them, namely a good price point in the right location.

Gwynster said...

"Guess they forgot to mention a few things."

A woman here at work did a refi. She's very proud of the fact that it's fixed! Here is the funny part, it's fixed for 5 years. I had to explain what that meant. She'd a bit less proud now. She says she'll be selling at profit in 5 yrs so it doesn't matter.

smf said...

Sorry, I don't work for HOV, but where I work we do a lot of work in Northern California. Have done so for 18 years.

I was doing a lot of residential, but this year has seen plenty of project cancellations from the residential side.

Plus I had another commercial builder tell us yesterday that 'Lincoln is dead'.

All my experiences are personal or first hand knowledge from people I know. And I have plenty of stories to tell.

Funny enough (or stupid I should say), there are still plenty of wannabe investors out there.

We are tracking Gold River, have seen a house where a wished 150K profit is now turning into a loss. A friend told us about this house someone was trying to flip, they were an interior designer. They drive a Hummer...need I say more?

Patient Renter said...

"We are tracking Gold River, have seen a house where a wished 150K profit is now turning into a loss."

That can't be possible. According to Real, Gold River is holding tight.

smf said...

"That can't be possible. According to Real, Gold River is holding tight."

Sorry, ain't happening now!

Noticed from Zillow that Gold River was always a little more expensive, and the price runup started there in about 2004.

There was still flippers there in late 2006! The house we saw was purchased for $690K in 10/2006. IIRC, the original price was $850K, and now it is listed at $699K.

Now there seems to be more lower priced inventory there.

And no, there higher priced areas will suffer as much as the lower priced areas.

Sippn said...

Reread the article, sounds like they said recovery in 2008 - that's 7 months away.

Its like buying cars on a rainy day.

smf said...

"Reread the article, sounds like they said recovery in 2008 - that's 7 months away."

Moot point, I don't recall them being right with their predictions lately, have you?

This doesn't even come close to what happened in the 90's, because the great unspoken situation is the amount of hanging inventory out there.

I think that conservatively speaking, there are at least 20% more homes than people available to occupy them, at any price. There is nothing in this world that anyone can do to bring sufficient amount of people to the US to occupy these homes.

This overhang will take a long longer that 2008 to be absorbed.

lexi said...

Recovery in 08.... hahaha that's
hilarious! No way Jose.. the economy has been thriving on housing starts, free money from
equity and all the goodies everyone
was buying. It was a great party
(thanks Greenspan)
but the free money is over and it's
just a matter of time till the full
headache of the hangover sets in.
Got aspirin?

lexi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lexi said...

ATLANTA — The lack of enough skilled workers to build up U.S. infrastructure could be solved if the government eased restrictions on immigration, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said Thursday"

Now that Greenspan has caused the
worst housing bubble in history he's moved on to attack U.S. citizens and their salaries by lobbying for more
immigration from Mexico so business
owners can save more money. He
really only cares about his fed
buddies and them all making billions upon billions while you
and I work for less and less money
and pay more and more for housing
gas and you name it. The guy is
a wolf in Government clothing. I personally refuse to buy a home
in this artificially inflated market he caused. I'm not going
to enslave myself for life to a house I'll probably never own outright and worse yet... if I do
I'll still owe like 500 or more a
month in property taxes a month.
Thanks Greenspan.

Fanchew said...

The California Association of Realtors just announced that Sacramento is the 2nd most affordable area in the State the first-time buyer median price at$310,670, with a minimum qualifying income of $62,640. What they don't include in the article is that the U.S Census pegs Sacramentans' median household income at about $49,874. No wonder the market is still slumping.

smf said...

"The lack of enough skilled workers to build up U.S. infrastructure could be solved if the government eased restrictions on immigration, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said Thursday"

Greenspan made a funny!!!

Go to any construction project and find out how many Mexicans are already working there. I've done so, and there are so many that supervisors are almost required to speak Spanish.

Why do you think the unemployment rate has not gone up dramatically? Because the people getting laid off are here illegally. And this is not anecdotal, this is from personal knowledge and a coworker who has family here illegally.

Greenspan's a bit behind the times.

lexi said...

Yeah... but those are unskilled greenspan wants to
start threatening and depressing
US citizen SKILLED worker jobs.
As follows...

Alan Greenspan wants to depress wages

Well, it's a little more complicated than that. The former chairman of the Federal Reserve said that the US should allow more skilled workers to immigrate in an attempt to close the income gap in the US economy. He made these statements at a conference on American economic competitiveness on Tuesday. Story from Bloomberg News.

WASHINGTON -- Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said allowing more skilled immigrants to work in the United States would help keep the income gap from widening.

Inequality of incomes is the "critical area where capitalist systems are most vulnerable,"

Greenspan said yesterday in Washington at a conference on maintaining the competitiveness of US capital markets convened by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. "You cannot have a system that we have unless the people who participate in it believe it is just."

Allowing more skilled workers into the country would bring down the salaries of top earners in the United States, easing tensions over the mounting wage gap, Greenspan said.

"Our skilled wages are higher than anywhere in the world," he said. "If we open up a significant window for skilled workers, that would suppress the skilled-wage level and end the concentration of income."

I'm sure the business leaders at the conference love the idea. They already use this for unskilled workers through illegal immigration, why not expand it to skilled workers? I'm all for legal immigration but I don't like it being used as a tool to drastically change the United States.

To be quite honest, this does not surprise me. Just look at Bill Gates, who wants an unlimited number of visas for foreign workers. What about American workers? Who cares.

Labels: Alan Greenspan, economics, immigration

Patient Renter said...

"The California Association of Realtors just announced that Sacramento is the 2nd most affordable area in the State the first-time buyer median price at $310,670"

Don't forget that this "affordability" estimate DOES NOT use a traditional 30 year fixed mortgage.

smf said...

"I'm all for legal immigration but I don't like it being used as a tool to drastically change the United States."

The entire subject is another completely different discussion, but to give a brief synopsis, the US population is not growing enough from its native population to keep the numbers up as required to maintain the economy humming.

Imagine what happens to midwest towns when their population starts to disappear. Their in-town economies go down the drain, quickly.

Therefore, if you want a growing population and your natives are not providing that, it is a logical solution to get more educated individuals to replenish the country.

lexi said...

Well, it's not that we don't have
enough skilled workers..... it's that our skilled
workers are MAKING Too much money
per Greenspan. I think him wanting
to bring in workers who are skilled
and will take less money is valid
on housing on the point that he helped drive our housing market up
and now he's working and talking
about trying to drive skilled workers salaries down. Like most
people are barely making it now
with the cost of housing gas etc
and now he wants to bring in immigrants (mexico likely) who want
your job...not a construction job
or landscaping job....
or the jobs "American's won't do"
but the jobs that middle class
American's are doing...who's going
to buy houses then? Housing more
than doubled and now he's trying to
cut middle class salaries.....
this can only harm the housing market even further in the future.
I mean it's probably going to happen. The government wants it to
happen and that's why we have such
a problem and will continue to
have a problem because they want
unskilled workers and now apparently skilled workers. The middle class is getting squeezed
and the outcome will only affect
housing more.

Gwynster said...

Frankly, if the guest worker program goes through, I expect to some see some hostile demonstrations by anti-immigration proponents

lexi said...

I agree Gwenster..

and my question is for Greenspan
is after causing housing prices
to be the most unafordable in
history is depressing wages
going to help the economy? It's
like pulling off butterfly wings
with him. Too bad after causing
the US's biggest housing bubble
he didn't just go celebrate like
going to Disneyland. No...he's trying to promote more immigrants
(illegal or legal) who will take
a lower salary and have no qualms
about putting three families in
a home in order to make the mortgage payment. Yeah, that can
only be good for us all right?
Sure... and now is a great time to
buy. Bend over....

Gwynster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwynster said...

While I agree that us Gen Xers are going to bear the brunt of his policy suggestions, there may more to it.

Remember we have the boomers retiring sooner then many think. Could he be thinking that it would be better to open the borders, allowing the immigrants to begin paying into the tax pool AND to have them begin to fill in the middle class as our wealthy boomers leave the system?

Example: My DH works in a UCD service department. Half of the existing staff will be retiring in 4 years. That number blew my mind too. Now do we use guest workers to fill the entry positions so that he can move up the management ranks?

Now that sort of policy screams of racism and classism and "all kinds of mean nasty ugly things" **nods to Arlo G**.

It would result in an socio-politcal and economic environment that would turn around and bite us in the @ss, deservedly so. However that is the sort of crappy thinking I expect from the Feds.

lexi said...

Gwenster:Now that sort of policy screams of racism and classism. It would result in an economic environment that would turn around and bite us in the @ss, deservedly so. However that is the sort of crappy policy I expect from the Feds.

True!! Too bad we can't "import"
some better politicians and
pay them less of a salary!! :)
As for housing... they really created a mess and apparently they
thought everyone would keep buying
as their need to be a homeowner was
stronger than their sensibility and the fact that they'd actually like to be able to afford to put food on the table of the home they buy. Too bad we're not as dumb
as they thought... recession
is on the way ..

James said...

May 17, 2007

To the allegations of the KCRA 3 Real Estate fraud investigation,

These allegations are false and incorrect. I at no time have fraudulently engaged in any real estate scam. I have commented to the KCRA3 several times that these allegations are false an inaccurate. I will let the courts solve this dispute and determine its legitimacy. I am confident that my lawyer Dennis Hay of Willbanks, Hay & Wood, LLP, will resolve this matter and the facts will come out.

James Martin

Perfect Storm said...

Nobody was talking to you james, but we will enjoy watching your name spread all over the local and hopefully national media very soon.

whatsthis said...

A very educated response perfect storm, If you have nothing good to say then do me a favor at least, and keep your blog comments to yourself., Thanks Perfect storm
James All I can say is goodluck.

Cmyst said...

Another fundamental flaw in Greenspan's theory is that the income disparity he is attempting to address hits again at what is left of the middle class. The growing gap is actually at the top end of the scale, more like what we had in the US just prior to the Great Depression, during the Robber Baron era. And it's pretty much what has happened now, as well: wealth was massively moved from the working and middle class to the wealthiest class.
The irony is that people who are middle class believe themselves to be wealthy. The middle class -- even the upper middle, like MDs and successful small business owners, is not seeing an increase in income. It is the very tippy-top that is, and that is where the income gap is growing.
Much like the "average" home price, the "average" income is thrown off by people who are making huge amounts of money -- but most of us have experienced stagnant wages and let's face it, some pretty bad inflation in the cost of living.
I often ask myself, at what point do the obscenely wealthy have enough?

lexi said...


Excellent Post!

whatsthis said...

cmyst, I agree,

Sittin' Out This One said...

Wow, I think the foreclosure dam broke yesterday. 192 homes in Placer county had notice of trustees sales filed yesterday. Add 192 houses to the listing inventory in four weeks. How many houses sold in Placer County last week. I bet is was less than 100. Could foreclosures be exceeding sales? Ouch.

Perfect Storm said...

Yeah Jim good luck trying to beat the rap.

Perfect Storm said...

Oh by the way I will enjoy KCRA keeping me informed about Jmaes progess.

Perfect Storm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perfect Storm said...

This is what James posted before,

I know all of you will post your opinion and bad or good I would love to here.

My opinion of you is not good.

Perfect Storm said...

Hey James has your lawyer told you about any downside to your ordeal, you seem pretty upbeat, like the whole thing is a big mistake. I'm sure it was just a big mistake what happened, I mean why would so many people make those accusations against you? So anyways lets say your wrong and the accusations are you know not going your way, as crazy as that sounds, I know it is implausible, but you know just for kicks, has your lawyer told you anything like maybe a little jail time or prison time is coming your way?

whatsthis said...

Perfect storm, Lets think about this, These are alleged verbal allegations. . they say they were duped, they signed loan docs. Thats an allegation. Now the VFM on there loan applications is not good for James, But think about it, I would say I didnt put it down. It's all he said she said. wouldnt you agree perfect storm...the courts are going to want hard evidence not just someones allegations. Think about it, anyone could say anything, and these people signed the loan docs. I am not saying he is not guilty I am just saying from what we know, its not probably a loss cause in the courts. Now if authorities did a sting and actually seen him and heard him do these things then we have a different story. Just curious of your thoughts

norcaljeff said...

Where's little Jimmy Castro? Ya know, I've never seen Jimmy and Sippin in the same room at the same time!! LOL