Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In Come the Waves: Tech Spending

From the NPD Group:

The consumer technology industry, whose performance has traditionally outpaced the broader economy, is showing signs of being affected by today’s weakening economy, especially in certain cities, according to the Market Tracking Service provided by leading consumer and retail information provider The NPD Group, Inc.

According to NPD, five of the six designated market areas (DMAs) with the biggest declines in consumer technology spending for the fourth quarter of 2007 - among the top 30 DMAS based on population - were also housing markets with some of the most significant price declines for the fourth quarter of 2007 (as reported by The National Association of Realtors). Sacramento, Tampa, Phoenix, Detroit, and Orlando all experienced the largest declines in consumer technology spending, based on dollars per store.

Q4 2007 Consumer Technology Spending By Market

Total U.S. -4.3%
Sacramento -14.0%
Tampa -12.8%
Phoenix -11.2%
Detroit -11.1%
Orlando -9.1%
From ForeclosurePulse:
The five — Sacramento, Tampa, Phoenix, Detroit and Orlando — were also among the nation’s top metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) ranked by foreclosure rate, according to RealtyTrac, for the quarter studied by The NPD Group. Sacramento ranked No. 5 on RealtyTrac’s Top 100 metro areas for the first quarter of 2008, reporting a 135 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity and a foreclosure rate of one in every 55 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the period.
...
The point here is simple. People who bit off more than they could swallow in the last upswing of the real estate market now can’t afford to pay their readjusting mortgages, or their credit card debt, or higher prices on gas and food. So as the effects of the mortgage meltdown continue to trickle down further, how can consumers continue to afford the electronic toys and the supplies for them?

The answer is…increasingly…THEY CAN’T!
From the Stockton Record:
Attorneys who work at the downtown Stockton courthouse and rely on local residents to decide court cases say more potential jurors these days are begging out of their duty. They tell heartrending woes of losing their jobs and they fear home foreclosures...Attorneys describe jurors as the canary in the coal mine of the local economy, offering a glimpse into the tough times people are experiencing these days.

Ask San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Mark Ott, who recently picked a jury for a 21/2-month murder trial. Several people cited what Ott called "eye-opening" financial hardships. That is a marked change from a trial just six months earlier, he said. "You think in your mind there's no recession," Ott said. "Yeah, right."
From Home Front:
Reports swirled in the Sacramento-area building industry scene today that Fort Worth-based D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI on NYSE) had cut local staff and moved some functions to its Concord-based Northern California division.
Rep. Jerry McNerney in the Tracy Press:
Americans all across the county are feeling squeezed by the subprime mortgage crisis. Nowhere is that feeling more acute than here in San Joaquin County, where we suffer from one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates.
...
The road to recovery starts with stabilizing the housing market, and just this past week, the House of Representatives passed a foreclosure prevention package that will benefit all Americans.

5 comments:

Gordon Gekko said...

"The road to recovery starts with stabilizing the housing market, and just this past week, the House of Representatives passed a foreclosure prevention package that will benefit all Americans."

By "all Americans" he meant those that bought homes between 2004 and 2007 with little or no money down. For the prudent Americans, thank you for subsidizing their speculation.

Jacob said...

Actually by All Americans he means All Lending Institutions.

The best thing someone underwater by 100s of 1000s of dollars is to walk. Keeping people in their debt trap allow the bank to keep the full value of the loan on their books.

Deflationary Jane said...

CL foreclosure listings
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/fur/673785291.html
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/hsh/673538007.html (These people have multiple listing for anything not nailed down. Note the 510 area code)

Patient Renter said...

Rep. Jerry McNerney..... The road to recovery starts with stabilizing the housing market

So let me get this straight. The best way to recover from the damage caused by inflated home prices is to maintain inflated home prices? What an idiot.

Frank Jewett said...

I'm not in favor of the bailout, but most of us will be hurt by the correction, whether through losses to our retirement accounts, higher taxes to offset lower property tax revenues, cuts in services, or trickle down job loss.

Unfortunately it's a bit late to start bailing. Like the Titanic, the numbers are against us even if we are still well above water.

The focus now should be on reregulating banking to try to prevent this from happening again and investing heavily in new industries to create jobs. Better to spend $300 billion creating a government run solar cell factory than to spend it on a band aid for a broken knee. Let people earn the money by producing goods that can be sold abroad. Too basic?