Thursday, December 20, 2007

Placer Popluation Growth At Lowest Level Since 1971

From the Sacramento Bee:

A few years ago, Placer and El Dorado counties were red hot, flush with Bay Area transplants and drawing more residents each year at a tremendous rate. Now that trend is cooling. Both counties grew at a slower pace in the past fiscal year than during any of the previous 35 years, according to population estimates released Wednesday by the California Department of Finance... Placer County hasn't seen a lower rate of population growth since 1971, according to state figures. And El Dorado's hasn't been this low since 1968.
The driver for the change appeared to be a statewide drop in domestic migration – movement from one part of the country to another. Instead, all of California's growth this year came from natural increase – more births than deaths – and immigration from other countries.
Changes in the housing market help explain the domestic migration trend, several experts said. With housing prices down everywhere, Bay Area bargain hunters may not have the equity to move or may be able to afford something closer to home.
Then there are the foreclosures. California residents who have lost their homes, [California's chief economist, Howard] Roth said, are opting to move out of state. In all, about 90,000 more people left California than came here from another state this year, and Roth said that trend may be cause for concern. When more residents leave than arrive, he said, it "often relates to what people think of California. Our economy is slowing down. We had a pretty big housing bubble that burst."
From the Sacramento Bee:
Rising construction costs and rapid growth have prompted Roseville elected officials to increase two developer fees and establish a new one, despite the sluggish housing market....City Manager W. Craig Robinson said cost pressures are affecting the city's ability to build promised facilities, many of which are needed to serve new development.
Building industry representatives, however, say the fee increases come at a bad time. "During this downturn, and probably for the foreseeable 18 months ahead of us, we think the market will continue to decline," said K. Hovnanian Homes' Frances Knight. "We suspect that the projections on building permits are going to be worse than estimated currently."
Wendy Gerig, Roseville Chamber of Commerce's chief executive officer, asked the council to delay the fee increases until the economy picks up. This year, a record number of businesses dropped their chamber membership because they folded or had financial constraints, Gerig told the council.
From the Sacramento Bee:
A recent Rancho Cordova forum, organized by Councilman Ken Cooley, drew about 80 people to City Hall to hear presentations by nonprofit organizations on options for those who miss mortgage payments and state and federal officials on what options they have to stave off foreclosure.
Past advice has gone out the window since the subprime collapse,...[Mike Himes, homeownership services director at NeighborWorks, a national nonprofit] said. Two years ago, the idea was to get into a house as fast as possible and eventually refinance the loan, he said. "Did anyone know two years ago there'd be a crash in the market?" Himes asked.
From the Stockton Record:
Stockton remained on top, with one foreclosure filing for every 99 households - more than six times the national average. Modesto had the No. 2 spot, with one foreclosure filing for every 104 households, and Merced took the No. 3 spot, with one foreclosure filing for every 106 households.
Steve Carrigan, Stockton's economic development director, said he doesn't see a downswing in foreclosures coming any time soon to the Stockton area. "It's bad, and it's going to get worse," he said. "We're going to have to weather this."

Weston Ranch Realty owner and broker Steve Clark said he hasn't seen any signs that the foreclosure scene is improving. A lot of people still come into his office hoping to list their houses in hopes of selling to avoid foreclosure, he said. Typically, though, they owe at least $100,000 more on the house than they could get for it, he said. "We can't list it," he said he tells them. "Nobody will buy your home and help you out of this mess."

There have been hardly any sales all this year, anyway, he said, adding that his office mainly handles property management for rental homes - an active scene. "I don't see a change any time soon," Clark said. "It's terrible, and I have a hard time seeing where the silver lining is."


smf said...

Rising construction costs and rapid growth have prompted Roseville elected officials to increase two developer fees and establish a new one, despite the sluggish housing market

Wow, what a great idea...NOT!

Morons, just complete morons.

And I know developers, and they usually will start to shun areas with higher fees, to go to other local places with less costs.

And this increase will do exactly that, probably leading these morons (who were used to the excess money from the bubble) to keep incresing fees.

Jacob said...

"Did anyone know two years ago there'd be a crash in the market?" Himes asked.


Did anyone involved want to listen?


Diggin Deeper said...

"And this increase will do exactly that, probably leading these morons (who were used to the excess money from the bubble) to keep incresing fees."

Leave it to small town guvment to know what's best for their growing communities. And if developers won't build, then residents pay for the services anyway in the form of higher fees that were supposed to be passed on to those with deep pockets. Here come the parking meters, traffic cops on the prowl, and pay toilets at the city parks.

smf said...

The better question DD, is what did these governments do with the excess bubble money they received?

They certainly did not increase services, but from people I know, they did increase pay and benefits.

Diggin Deeper said...

Yup....but the easiest way to reduce that problem is to let those people go, freeze wages, and slash variable OH costs. Job losses at the government levels (state, county, or city) have not occurred yet. I'll bet we'll see that happen later next year when the economy grinds down towards recession.

Patient Renter said...

Somehow this post reminds me of Snaith, and his souffle analogy. Snaith, where ya at? How's the souffle tasting? Still think there was no bubble? 20% down not enough for you yet?

paranoid renter said...

If it kept growing at the rate it was growing it'd take 20 minutes to drive 1 mile. Traffic is already pretty bad around where I live, although it _is_ getting better, so perhaps people are moving out.

Cow_tipping said...

Silver lining - here it is dumbass ...
Every house that gets repoed, decreases the value of all houses by its sale price. AKA, a million dollar house selling on the repo market - selling to a person who will live in it, not back to the bank ... will set back the value of the whole area by 1 million ... aka, a million houses that are there will drop by $1.
See lots of people gain a little. BTW its all made up, the number is closer to like 50K than $1 .. cos you only got ~20K houses.
You dont lose a house to foreclosure, the person who will buy it eventually and live in it gains a house to low ball.
I cannot imagine that in a city where average income is 56K ( income for 95831) can have houses selling for 500K+. I'd bet they will drop all the way to 150K, 95831 is all tiny ass houses on tiny ass lots built in the 60's and 70's. I know, I used to live there. The saving grace is that absolutely cool park that I lived right on the edge of. I cannot wait to buy one of those houses for what I'd consider true market value. But I am patient and currently burdened with a mortgage of my own and live 1500 miles away.

sacramentia said...

...And there will be a recovery at some point in the future, but right now it doesn't seem like anyone wants to listen to that either.

History will repeat, people will start moving back to California, and the markets will stabilize at some point. In the meantime, a lot of pain for a lot of people.

Cmyst said...

Sure there'll be a "morning after". Before that happens, though, I think the whole nation and much of the world is in for a very rough ride.

My prediction is that things will hold steady until February, then they'll start to tip and they'll tip fast, because there is nothing holding any of this up except the consumer. Everyone will put on their best face until the holidays are over.

I got out of my stock funds this morning and put my retirement money into a money market fund. I'm seriously thinking about putting everything else that I can scrape up into a foreign currency account at Everbank. I feel the same way about the general economy now as I felt about housing in late 2005.


When the economy turns to crap, raise fees and taxes. Brilliant policy. Hillary must already be President.

dvobell said...

cmyst, I'm so with you.

Talking head talk about the 'newly strong,' 'resurgent' Dollar is just baffling. On what evidence are people relying in reaching the conclusion that the US$ is strong? Some currency speculators taking short-term profits one week? Whoopee.

The US economic indicators I see reported, even in the MSM these days, usually have "since the Depression" right after them.

The only reason the Chinese/Japanese/Brits haven't bailed on the US$ yet is because they have such massive stacks of them on the table. If YOU were kicking a$$ at the poker table, would YOU want to admit the chips weren't worth shiite? We already see them shuttling money out of the Dollar as surreptitiously as they can, which is Not Very.

Now the question is, does the Worldwide Carnage caused by the collapse of the Fractional Reserve/Greenback Ponzi Scam bring other currencies (esp. Euro/PacRim) down with it?

President Dick Cheney doesn't think so:

That article is from 18 months ago. I think ole' Darth did JUST FINE in the last year and a half, going short on America.

And all signs point to the worst being yet to come, si?

Diggin Deeper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diggin Deeper said...

The dollar is merely a pawn in a chess match between two opposing forces that are racing to take hold in our everyday lives.

When we're fiscally balanced, inflation and deflation are forces that cancel each other out. ie. the goldilock's society. But somehow we've allowed both out of the box at the same time.

Deflation is taking dollars off the table faster than the Fed can inject new ones to pick up the slack. This week the ECB said it would make available $500 Billion to allow banks to operate without restriction. And the dollar rises? Go figure. The Fed cuts a quarter point and then begins auctioning $ Billions of short term notes to 93 banks who get to remain anonymous. Reports this morning that Merrill Lynch is looking for a $5 Billion infusion from Singapore's wealth fund, Temesk. Citi, Bear Stearns, others sell parts of their companies to Sovereign Wealth Funds and gather up much needed cash. The tide's going out and taking all the overinflated assets with it, including real estate prices and anything related to it.

This week we got the CPI numbers which showed that non core prices rose at rate not seen in 34 years (hmmm that would be 1973 during the beginning of the stagflation era). Tangible non discretionary prices are rising fast and with more dollars flooding in to stop deflation, there's no reason to think that prices for everyday necessities won't continue to rise. Lower demand will cool these prices down some say. BS! Take food off the table or heat out of homes and people die! There are millions of people in the world that don't grow their own food anymore. If anything, demand for these items will grow due social changes happening in countries far outside US influence.

Which force wins out? Who knows? Like a rubberband being stretched, inflation races one direction, deflation the other. To cure one you need dollars and lots of them. To cure the other you need to take as many dollars out of circulation as you can.
The one that backs off first gives allows the rubberband to remain intact.

Cmyst said...

I vote inflation.
Other than housing, what is dropping in "value"? It's a damn shame that so much was based on housing for so long, but like Diggin' said -- we have to eat, we have to keep warm, and many of us have to drive.
And the cost of doing all those things has gone up considerably, few of us have gotten raises that are significant, and they just keep printing the money. It's no wonder the stock market keeps going up with the printing presses smoking!

The rubber band analogy is a good one. There's no avoiding the snap, it's just a question of when.