April 16, 2007

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day


Gotta be Fear by now, eh? I know people are dumb, but they can't be THAT dumb, can they?

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Still PLENTY of denial - "I bought in 2004 so I'm doing fine - too bad HE bought in 2005"

Anonymous said...

Are prices down 25% yet (out of a total 50% drop in prices)?

Then no, not fear yet. Still anxiety. There is still "hope". When hope is gone panicked flight will ensue or the paralysis of shock.

Fear not yet.

Anonymous said...

Overall, I'd say we are entering the early stages of fear. Wait til IndyMac pops then within a few weeks we'll start entering full blown fear.

I think fear will last a long time. No less than 2-3 quarters. Wait til long term interest rates rise and the boxes in the desert start dropping 20+%. Then we'll see some real fear.

David in JAX said...

I believe we moved into fear in March of this year when the MSM finally started to print stories about the crash, bad loans, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'd say in NoVa/Metro DC we are slowly leaving denial & approaching fear. The facilitator of this move is the silent spring 07 housing market. We would have gotten to fear sooner but for the wait for next spring mantra of sellers & RE agents last year when places did not sell. While spring really has not sprung yet in both the weather sense as well as the RE sales sense one thing has bloomed: For sale signs & inventory. Sellers that pulled the property off the market in 06 and now are relisting have a short fuse. They are not getting their 05 asking price in the offers they are makes some cuts or converting to rental and they are seeing a fraction of sales occurring which are below expectations in terms of price. So bit by bit they are starting to come around, but some are still deluding themselves. It will take the full spring & early/mid summer selling season for it to fully sink in but we are starting to see FEAR!! Its early, but its a good sign. Give it a few years, in the interim I will rent and save the difference b/t my rent and what it would cost to own. When we trough I will be able to have the home I want and not just the home I can afford.

yes said...

Yes the stupidity of people know no bounds. Part of it is we can't take ourselfs away from American Idol long enough to figure it out too.

CashFLo said...

Anyone with a house on the market for months, watching inventory build up must be in fear. When they start lowering in earnest - not 5%, but racing the market down - that's the panic phase. I suppose anyone in foreclosure is even further down the graph, no?

Kerriella said...

I know I think that EVERY time Casey posts. LOL

xsparta said...

CNBC had a spokeswoman from the FDIC on today. She said it looks we are going to bail out homeowners that have teaser rate mortgages that are about to go bankrupt. So, a lot of irresponsible homeowners who stretched to buy that McMansion that have no-doc or a million dollar mortgage on 50K income are going to get away with it. Your tax dollar at work! SOB

Anonymous said...

No, not fear yet by any stretch of the imagination. Total denial. Total denial, A good friend who owns 6 parcels in west central florida says to me all the time, this is just a blip, a bump in the road, and not if but when helicopter ben loosens rates, the RE market will be right back to whence it came. No kidding.WOW.

I ask him if affordability has anything to do with the slowdown, unchecked taxes,unchecked insurance; upcoming mandatory shutter implementation in all coastal communities;(ave.25K per house) and he responds, they don't make land in Florida anymore. When rates go down, the buyers will return.

Yes he is just another a delussional republican, that will get to see up close and personal the consequeces of his actions for supporting team bush; as the bush built scheitt sandwich comes to a door near him.

Especially in Florida, as I believe just like in 1926, Fl. will be the canary in the coalmine; as the republican supply side extensively easy credit machine, will undo this country just like it did then, and I wonder who will be the next 'Roosevelt' in 08 hired to clean up the mess they have caused? AGAIN. Will the dumbasses ever learn, but then again; who can we turn to as the democraps eat each other just like they ate Imus last week, for a slur? Are you kidding me?

anonymous wimp said...

Here in the mid-Atlantic we seem to me moving from denial to fear.

Last summer people seemed indignant that they should get "their price". After all, their moron neighbor got 2-3x back what he paid for his house, why not us?
The wishing prices some people are beginning to confront the reality that
1) approx 20-40% of last year's buyers would be knocked out of this year's market due to credit changes
2)there's FOUR VACANT houses for sale on this street (including one that seems to be heading into pre-foreclosure).
3)People who are potential buyers like me woke up and smelled the coffee--only the dwindling supply of greater fools are willing to buy now--and many of them can't get a loan.
4)The economy is about to take a fall

I could go on..........

This spring and summer will be huge in determining the course of the housing slump.

Corey said...

Tuesday's One-Two Punch at http://infohype.blogspot.com

Stuck in So Pa said...

Keith, people have to have conscious awareness of the world around them in order to register an emotional response to their situation or surroundings.

Remember, you are talking about the average American here!

Who's on American Idol this week anyway?

michael said...

denial is still going strong in northern virginia.

Eric said...

I'm afraid we're still in denial in most areas, unfortunately. However, I think that areas that are in melt-down mode, FB's have entered into the fear stage; places like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Diego.

Here in Florida, I see total denial for nearly all homes. Some condo owners are in the fear stage, but most FB's are still in denial here. They'll soon move on down to fear though...

-Dragasoni-

Anonymous said...

Hey bubble fools,

The S&P500 is now at 1463. It was 1460 before the "crash" back in February. Remeber that crash? It was supposed to be the end of the world, the great depression was about to start, blah blah blah. If you don't recall, read the archived posts from that that week, you'll remember easily enough.

Well here we are less than 2 months later and it's all ancient history.

And where oh where is that housing crash already? SF Bay Area prices are up YOY by about 2%. This is getting kinda boring.

The Thinker said...

While various people are at various stages on this curve, according to what I've been seeing, most here in the NYC metro area are still in the anxiety stage and headed into denial. Fear will come with the winter snow and the unquestionable end of the 2007 selling season.

Denial does not end until the only "incentive" given to buyers is a substantially reduced price!

DM1976 said...

Still heavy in denial. Maybe some people are starting to feel fear, but I say we're just scratching the surface.

Never under-estimate the stupidity of people.

I think it'll be 3 to 6 months before we're in the fear stage. We need a few highly publisized ALT-A blowups, then the fear should start to set in. Also some prime conforming blowups. That would be a killer.

All in all it's not going to get fun untill the fear sets in... There's nothing like a panic'd heard. There will be a stampeed of Sheeple running from all the asset based investments. I'm just sitting and waiting to buy at the bottom... :)

DCBeltway said...

"Denial is still going strong in northern virginia".

I have to agree!!! Prices are not coming down fast enough out here in NOVA.

Lisa said...

I think the denial to fear progression will be a quiet one. Who wants to broadcast that they've made the biggest financial blunder of their lives? People don't want to admit that this has all been a huge sham, that they didn't have the money for that big house, new car, etc. but they went ahead and bought them anyway.

Also, I think denial ---> fear depends on how far off someone's ARM reset is. Once people are confronted with the reality that they can't sell and pay off loans, they can't refinance, they can't tap a HELOC to keep afloat, etc., that should be a huge attitude shift.

yer ol buddy said...

Im kicking ass. Recession is at least a year or more away.

onemorebeer said...

Brits just have totally lost their minds:

"Asking prices for a home in the British capital reached an average 379,846 pounds in the four weeks through April 7, up 25 percent from a year earlier, Rightmove Plc said today.
...
There's not much you can buy in central London for under half a million,'' said Richard Barber, real-estate agent at W.A. Ellis in the Knightsbridge neighborhood of Kensington.

Barber said his company helped sell two parking places near Harrods, the department store owned by Mohamed Al Fayed, for 200,000 POUNDS EACH."

Friggin PARKING PLACE for 200 000! What the hell is that?!? We clearly have the ultimate winner for the 2007 Darwin Award, UK Homebuyers.

Tom in Newport Beach said...

I sense no fear around here. Possibly some anxiety, but mainly, a lot of spending, filling up tricked out SUVs with gas every other day, and trying to keep up with the Jones. Just another day in paradise. My guess is, for the people who are even aware of the carnage in Miami, Vegas, D.C., etc., is that the sentiment here is, "They may be getting hit, but this is Orange County, and we are above that happening to us." I would welcome a 40-50% pullback here; it'd be entertaining to watch the squirming.

FaceDown said...

Anon @ 12:54pm wrote: A good story from personal experience and then proceeded to F it up with a bunch of misplaced blathering about politics.

To assign blame for this mega financial train wreck to a single political party is silliness. Step away from the talk radio (Air America, Hannity, Rush, Al, etc) and start thinking for yourself. You'll feel better when you come up with original ideas instead of just repeating what others have already said.

In regards to the original question: I think fear is still on the horizon. I am guessing that we are looking at July for widespread fear to start gnawing away at people. Some folks are already there. I think they are the canaries. American Idol watchers haven't gotten the word, yet.

Kenduffelsniffenspotzen said...

I think that here in Green Bay, Wisconsin, we are slowly moving from "euphoria" to anxiety. Some people a year ago were having trouble selling. A couple of builders went broke. One declared bankruptcy, the other was placed in bankruptcy by the bank.

Overall, I think most homeowners are still in euphoria here. Builders are already in "anxiety" mode. But they keep on building.

Mark in San Diego said...

Middle class people in San Diego seem to think the market will be "slow" for a few years, but if they hold on for about 5 years, things will be "back to normal.". . .working class people are of course being foreclosed upon - the lower end of the market in San Diego County is where the price implosion has taken place. The big question is how far up the chain this will reach.

Anonymous said...

There is still a huge amount of denial. Things have to get even worse to push us down to widespread fear, and then panic.

It's all unfolding, though...slowly.

Anonymous said...

In Santa Clara county people still have the sense that the bay area is 'special'...They are always waiting for tech to rally again. The montra is that tech salaries will keep the boat afloat. And the thing is...they could be right. The inventory is low enough here and I dont expect a huge wave of foreclosures. While people are definitely strapped to ridiculously high mortgage payments and rents are definitely cheaper, they probably can get by making the payments and refinancing. I think most are willing to hunker down and view their property as a 'long term investment'. Now, if we have a recession in the coming year and they start losing their jobs, thats a different beast all together.
Right now its a stand-off between buyers and sellers, neither willing to blink. For sales that do go through, I know for a fact that there are games being played with selling price (kickbacks to the buyer in the closing contracts, making the sales prices look artificially high). Surrounding counties are definitely taking a hit and the invaders are at the gates. We'll see if 'fortress' silicon valley can repel the attack. Its all about jobs, interest rates, and stock options...

yer ol buddy said...

Thanks Beranke, Sir Greenspan, and President Bush! My pockets are full and I am ready for you to present the next administration with the bill!

Anonymous said...

Hey wasn't there supposed to be a crash in England or something? I keep reading Keith's posts about a crash in prices. Is this what he means by a crash?

Ed Ewing
Monday April 16, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Want a place in the country? Dream on. The average price for a country cottage is now more than half a million pounds, according to a report out today. Knight Frank's prime country house index, which includes cottages, manor houses and farmhouses, reveals that prices for country homes have surged 3.1% in the last quarter and around 11% year on year.

A typical detached three-bedroom country cottage with a large garden now costs £547,000, up from £500,100 this time last year - an increase of 9.5%.

Yup sure looks like a housing crash to me. Better run for the hills everyone.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance for most of the sheeple, denial for most of those in the REIC and on Wall Street, fear for the few smart and/or honest people in those two industries.

onemorebeer said...

"Yup sure looks like a housing crash to me. Better run for the hills everyone."

Like saying, "What tsunami!? Come on, water is retreating!"

When somebody pays 200 000 pounds for mere parking place, that means only one thing: extreme housing bubble and soon there will be hell to pay.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Hey bubble fools,

The S&P500 is now at 1463. It was 1460 before the "crash" back in February. Remeber that crash? It was supposed to be the end of the world, the great depression was about to start, blah blah blah. If you don't recall, read the archived posts from that that week, you'll remember easily enough.

Well here we are less than 2 months later and it's all ancient history.

And where oh where is that housing crash already? SF Bay Area prices are up YOY by about 2%. This is getting kinda boring.

April 16, 2007 2:15 PM
-----------
Housing sector recession is not reflected in equities. When the dot.com bubble burst no one pointed ot housing prices to say everything is OK/overblown. Look at RE stocks (home builders, mortgage finance companies etc.) I'm sure if you look at that specific equities market sector you'll be singing a different tune. Or maybe not because you have a bias/vested interest in the REIC?

Arlene said...

I've been house-shopping out in the Pacific Northwest, where confidence still reigns supreme--but overpriced condo conversions still don't move, somehow. (I rented.)

I'd say we're at Fear's outer suburbs --but heading into Fear Central before the summer is halfway done.

Anonymous said...

"A typical detached three-bedroom country cottage with a large garden now costs £547,000, up from £500,100 this time last year - an increase of 9.5%.

Yup sure looks like a housing crash to me. Better run for the hills everyone."

Median household income in England is about £28000.

Its a bubble.

Anonymous said...

“Gee wizz Captain Panic, we keep hearing about the crash but the market keeps going up and up.”

Its 10:30 am in Phoenix.
The DOW is up 98 points to 12708.

Spock... “This is not logical, nobody is panicking.”

Captain Panic..”Just wait, and wait and wait some more the housing crash is coming” “Set your FAZER on Stun, we will have to shock these real estate agents into reality”

“But Captain Panic, I just sold my house at asking price.”

Captain Panic…”You are in denial, you couldn’t have sold a house. I have a headache, I will be in my quarters.”

Computer: “All hands, if you are not in fear, please start panicking now.”

Spock…”This is not logical, nobody is panicking.”

PHOENIX SUCKS said...

Keith,
I think to really understand fear. You need to go to Phoenix. This is where fear is everywhere. There is no denial. It is in full meltdown mode. We need to run a full column on FEAR IN PHOENIX. WHY BECAUSE NOBODY CAN SAY PHOENIX IS SPECIAL

Anonymous said...

Even though a housing crash looks like the obvious writing on the wall, I can say with a straight face that there may be no real crash.

The stock market was supposed to crash, right?

It hasn't happened yet.

Do not underestimate the ability of governments to artificially keep the house of cards propped up in the 21st century, where markets and the masses can be manipulated.

The Internet is a double-edged sword. Yes, we can all be informed quickly, but the same infrastructure also allows manipulation to happen quickly.

Renting is fine, don't get me wrong. But if you're banking on a full-blown housing market collapse, you could lose.

Anonymous said...

watch this & pass it on-> http://www.paperdinero.com/BNN.aspx?id=144

New Today! Heebner: “Home Prices Decline at Least 20%”

The always colorful Ken Heebner, portfolio manager for the Boston-based CGM Realty Fund, talks at length about his outlook for the nations housing markets. Heebner see the greatest home price decline since the Great Depression coming with at least a 20% decline.

Originally aired on: 4/13/2007 on Bloomberg

Running Time: 12 minutes 1 seconds

Anonymous said...

With Foreclosures Up, REOs Now Starting to Flood Market
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More than a quarter-million pre-foreclosures and notices of pending foreclosure auctions were filed nationwide in the first quarter of the year, according to data released today by ForeclosureS.com, a real estate advisory service. 253,803 notices of foreclosure were filed in the first quarter of 2007, up 22.5 percent from the 207,128 filings in the fourth quarter of 2006.

As large as those numbers are, they don’t include tens of thousands more now-vacant properties that actually were lost to foreclosure during that same period. Those REO, or bank-owned real estate filings, totaled 110,791 in the first quarter alone — one of the largest influxes of REO recorded in a single quarter in recent history.


“The numbers cast a dark cloud over the American Dream of homeownership,” says Alexis McGee, president of ForeclosureS.com. “Unfortunately for those overextended homeowners it’s a cloud that isn’t likely to lift any time soon either, especially in light of the recent troubles in the sub-prime lending market,” McGee added.

“Homeowners who can’t afford their monthly payments, rather than simply refinance their way out of trouble as many have grown accustomed to, will now have to sell their homes quickly, or risk losing their home to foreclosure,” McGee said. “That means in the coming months we can expect to see many more pre-foreclosure filings, more auctions, and more REOs.”

REOs Increase 50 Percent
Nationwide, auction filings alone for the first quarter were up almost 50 percent from the previous quarter–102,930 vs. 69,802 for fourth-quarter 2006. Pre-foreclosure numbers climbed, too—168,837 in first-quarter 2007 vs. 138,799 in fourth-quarter 2006.
Total March foreclosure filings in all three categories—pre-foreclosures, auctions, REOS—also were up substantially over February numbers–70,350 pre-foreclosure filings in March, up 39 percent over the 50,496 in February; 45,512 auction filings, up 52 percent over the 29,867 in February, and 45,561 REOs in March, up 50 percent over the 30,337 in February.

California led the nation in pre-foreclosure filings (49,016 year to date) and auctions (25,023 year to date); both numbers are up substantially from the same time last year, 139% and 277% respectively. Texas had the most REO or bank-owned real estate filings with 14,101 year to date, up from 11,226 a year ago. On a per capita basis, Ohio led in REO filings with 2.5 per 1,000 households (11,027 filings year to date) with Tennessee a close second—2.2 per 1,000 (5,022 filings). Colorado led in pre-foreclosure filings with 5.9 per 1,000 households (9,711 filings) with Florida a very close second with 5.8 foreclosures per 1,000 households (36,598 filings).

Regional outlook
The nation’s Southwest region continues to lead the nation in pre-foreclosure and auction filings, according to Foreclosures.com. In the first three months of 2007, 130,392 homeowners faced the prospect of losing their properties to foreclosure. A total 44,163 properties ended up as REO or bank-owned properties, too, according to new numbers and analysis from ForeclosureS.com’s expanded database that includes more than 2 million property listings.

Adding to the dismal statistics, the region includes 17 of the Top 20 counties in the nation in numbers of notice of auction filings and 14 of the Top 20 counties in numbers of pre-foreclosure filings.

Foreclosures hit home hard in the Midwest region during the first quarter of 2007. A total 31,641 pre-foreclosures and notice of auction were filed in the first three months of the year. A total 36,021 properties also ended up as REO—reverted back to the lenders, according to new, in-depth analysis of statistics from ForeclosureS.com.

Reeling from the effects of the region’s economic woes, Michigan ranked No. 3 nationally with 11,401 REO filings, and Ohio at No. 4 with 11,027 filings. But those first-quarter numbers for Michigan represent a 14 percent drop from the fourth quarter 2006, and for Ohio, an 8 percent decline.

“Despite the drop, both states likely will feel housing economics fallout from major auto industry and manufacturing cuts for a long time to come,” says McGee.

Deejayoh said...

Anonymous said...
Hey bubble fools,

The S&P500 is now at 1463. It was 1460 before the "crash" back in February. Remeber that crash? It was supposed to be the end of the world, the great depression was about to start, blah blah blah. If you don't recall, read the archived posts from that that week, you'll remember easily enough.

Well here we are less than 2 months later and it's all ancient history.

And where oh where is that housing crash already? SF Bay Area prices are up YOY by about 2%. This is getting kinda boring.


Denial. definitely denial.

Anonymous said...

Why GCC investors should fear a US crash and buy gold!
An implosion of hedge funds and private equity could be about to devastate global stock markets, while the US housing crash is the probably the start of a worldwide bear market for property. As both a safe haven and hedge against inflation gold and silver will rocket in a major financial crisis.
United Arab Emirates: 12 hours, 28 minutes ago



Gold will likely soar in value if the Fed cuts rates to deal with a crisis.


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You only have to look at the $1 billion pay checks for hedge fund managers to know that this manipulation of global financial markets using massive leverage just has to end in tears. These unregulated funds may shortly produce the equivalent of a massive secondary banking crisis with their high-risk borrowing activities.

Only last week the International Monetary Fund warned that the private equity sector was also facing a crunch. What happens when stock markets drop leaving private equity funds with overvalued and overleveraged positions in major corporations?

For the trigger to start a major crisis we need only look across the Atlantic to the housing downturn sweeping across the US mainland. Here we see individual borrowers handing back the keys on homes that they should never have been allowed to own in the first place.


HSBC already hit
This cost the giant bank HSBC a $10 billion charge against 2006 profits, wiping out most of the expected increase in profits that year. But commentators should be asking who is next, not pretending that we can continue with business as usual. For if HSBC can get the US markets wrong, what hope for the rest of us?

Sixty per cent of the US public expects a recession in the near future, according to opinion polls. Surely this bearish mood alone ought to be enough to pop complacent stock markets that have just recovered from their bout of nerves at the end of February.

The truth is that the US stock market has formed a 'double top' in the terms of chartists and will now push into a far more dramatic bear market downturn. What is to support it? What is the outlook for profits in a recession? Do you need more than one brain cell to make the connection between falling profits and stock prices?

In this environment the leverage that has fuelled the market recovery, with carry trade borrowing and the sundry other leverage techniques of the hedge funds and private equity whiz kids, will now act in reverse and deepen the downturn.


US rates to fall
Of course, the Federal Reserve would have to respond to such a crisis with lower interest rates, and rates are at a level from which a substantial cut can be made. But like the dot-com crash of the early 2000s, which was also followed by ultra low rates, this will not be enough to save many of the actors on this particular stage.

The US dollar would first rally on a big downturn as markets sold off and then resume its long-term decline as the reality of a likely long period of very low interest rates dawned.

In this scenario the only major asset class which would show strength, apart from long-dated bonds, would be precious metals as flooding the capital markets with liquidity would produce inflation and that money would flow into a very tight market for gold and silver; low interest rates would also make the nil return on gold look more acceptable.

In the GCC stock markets will shortly face the reality of a real estate correction and this coming US recession will impact the oil price to the detriment of government revenues and might end with local banking crises. Thus these bourses have yet to hit a bottom in this cycle.

Again local investors will probably turn to the safe haven of gold and silver, particularly if the US dollar looks like taking a further dive downwards. Next week Dubai hosts the fifth City of Gold conference and with gold trading picking up strongly at the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange this emirate is again positioning itself to capture a major global trend.

smug bastard said...

how about that GOLD???

Anonymous said...

I think what some posters misunderstand is the difference between how many of us use the word 'crash'. We're applying it to early-stage flattening, moderate downturns, and five-figure sweetening by homebuilders, for instance. We see these as signs that the crash-to-come is starting, when combined with ARM woes, regional full-swing crashes ala Phoenix, etc. So we say, 'the crash is here!' when, in reality, it's just the first, tiny, inconsistent start of it.

Also, understand that us crash-nuts have moved into defensive mode a while ago. Maybe prematurely, in some cases. But the idea is, better to be defensive early and keep you money than to get defensive when the herd does and lose it. Where our money/future is concerned, we tend to be really conservative at this point. It's not a good time to get cute.

As to the stock market, yeah, how about that? Although here's a tip: the stock market is perhaps the single best gauge of the herd psychology, since it's so current and immediate. When it does start going down, maybe by the summer, keep an eye on the real estate stories that start to pop up. They should be getting worse at that point.

Anonymous said...

We're still up there between denial and fear. Agree with the blogger who said there's still lots of denial.

Anonymous said...

I've said "buy gold and silver on dips" until I'm blue in the face, and have been called a fool here and elsewhere, but I'm stickin' to my guns.

Buy gold and silver on dips, you'll be soooooo glad you did.

Not much else is as sure a thing as that.

Take it to the BANK, you'll be smilin' all the way there.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:28:

LOL!! That is on the money what's happening with these bubble/crash hyterical people.

Anonymous said...

PHOENIX SUCKS said...
Keith,
I think to really understand fear. You need to go to Phoenix. This is where fear is everywhere. There is no denial.

~
Wrong, there's plenty of denial here in the Valley of the Sun. My ex-landlord is getting his head handed to him, but still acts like he's sure the market will turn back up soon. Same with a couple of guys where I work.

No shortage of denial in sunny, smoggy Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

What I'm seeing on this blog and elsewhere is massive CONFUSION, including Keith's thoughts on the Virginia Tech tragedy.

The housing market and the stock market aren't falling apart as fast as so many have predicted they would.

Sellers who can afford to keep their asking prices high will do so, and not ALL of them are FB's that are desperate to sell.

There is so much liquidity sloshing around in our economy, there's no telling how all this "money" will be confiscated from the lumpen and used to prop up markets that should be falling apart.

I say again, if you are BANKING on an imminent housing meltdown, YOU COULD LOSE.

It SHOULD be falling apart, absolutely, but look around. Is it?

Yes, it is; and no, it isn't. Depends on where you look and whom you talk to.

Anonymous said...

Yes NoVa/Metro DC is approaching FEAR. There is FEAR in the exburbs. Denial picks up as you go further in. Rentals are starting to out number units for sale in my zip. So that an indicator of moving away from denial. Problem is the owners are asking for WAY above prevailing rental prices. They want their mortgage and all other costs covered plus a profit so they still just sit vacant until it slowly sinks in that THEY are the ones who must suffer the loss and not ME. My current lease runs for 6 more months. I am watching several nice homes and once I am ready to move I'll hit the nicest that has the most desparate owner for a low ball RENT. Once a deal is done then I'll RENT until the bottem is definitively achieved. I'll save the difference for now and build up my down payment while simultaneously getting more for my money as prices drop. I'll keep my money in high yield savings accounts so that its purchasing power is not eroded.

Anonymous said...

California foreclosures near record levels
By David Streitfeld, Times Staff Writer
12:25 PM PDT, April 16, 2007


The number of Californians losing their homes to foreclosure rose in the first three months of the year to the highest level in a decade, a real estate information service said today, providing grim evidence that the shake-out in real estate is nowhere near over.

Foreclosures totaled 11,033, up 802% from the placid levels of early 2006, according to DataQuick Information Services in La Jolla. Foreclosures peaked at 15,418 in third-quarter 1996, at the tail end of the last big slowdown in the state. They bottomed out at 637 in the second quarter of 2005, as the most recent boom was cresting.

Tens of thousands of homeowners are being warned that they too are at risk. Notices of default, sent by lenders after about five months of missed payments, reached 46,760 in the first quarter, DataQuick said.

That was a jump of 148% from the first quarter of 2006, and the highest since 47,912 in the second quarter of 1997. The peak for defaults was in the first quarter of 1996, with 61,541.

"I figured they'd go up," said DataQuick analyst John Karevoll. "I didn't figure they'd go up this fast."

The default and foreclosure totals varied widely by area. Generally, the places with the cheapest housing--such as the Inland Empire and Central Valley--fared the worst.

Another problem spot is San Diego County, where the 1,183 foreclosures is the highest since DataQuick began tracking this information in 1988.

Most of the loans going into default now were made at the peak of the boom, when it seemed like the good times would continue forever and lending standards were lax.

In Los Angeles County, the default rate is almost 60% below the first-quarter 1996 peak, DataQuick said, an indication of strength in many sectors of the market.

david.streitfeld@latimes.com

Anonymous said...

wHEN DOES THE QUEEN PUT OUT THE GOLD TABLEWARE?

Anonymous said...

People can be really dumb. Dumber that one can even possibly fathom. Unfortunately, nature's process of natural selection is no longer viable. As the truly weak and stupid are now able to live in society and worst of all, reproduce. These are the people that in nature would probably have encountered any of these, eaten by a bear, fallen off a cliff, been washed away by a fast moving river, poked their own eye out with a stick, fallen off a tree and broke their neck, you get the point.

B. Franklin said...

As much as it pains me to point out, David Lereah raises a good point that ALL real estate is LOCAL: what effects San Diego is different from what effects Wisconsin.

Speaking of Lereah, he's quoted in this article, although his comment basically constituted no more than a "I already knew that, and didn't everyone else?" statement:

http://biz.yahoo.com/brn/070416/21069.html

Bankrate.com

Foreclosure forecast: Blizzard brewing

Monday April 16, 6:00 am ET
Michael Giusti

Economic forecasters worry the combination of a real estate market in the doldrums and unfortunate timing may be blowing in a blizzard of new foreclosure filings. The first flurries are already arriving.

December marked a tough milestone, with 1.2 million foreclosure filings reported nationwide for the year -- a 42 percent increase from 2005. While not a record high, such a sharp increase worries real estate experts that the worst may be yet to come, and the real estate market may suffer for it.

The strange thing about this wave of foreclosures, says Rick Sharga, vice president of marketing for the online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac, is that national economic conditions wouldn't have predicted such a sharp spike in housing troubles. As a whole, the stock market is in good shape, and employment numbers are strong.

Still, David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says economists do expect foreclosures to follow a downturn in the housing market, especially in markets that see unsustainable price appreciations.

"That was expected. Everyone was already talking about how foreclosures would go up, even before those numbers came in," he says.

That's because when housing prices fall buyers head for the sidelines, and homes sit on the market longer. That spells trouble for people who might be relying on endless appreciation to bail them out of financial trouble.

"Any time you take buyers off the market, that takes one more option off the table for owners who are in trouble," Sharga says. "With a red-hot market, you usually don't have a foreclosure problem."

But with sagging prices and longer times to sale, trouble brews. For example, when homeowners who are in financial trouble try to bail themselves out by selling their home, the sale may not come in time, and in some cases, it may not throw off enough cash to solve the family's financial crunch.

"The two worst things you could have happen if you are in financial trouble is losing money or time," Sharga says.

So, to some extent, this wave of foreclosures shouldn't be raising eyebrows. But economists are making rumblings that something else might be at work driving this foreclosure storm. That's because if a slumping market were the only factor at work, filings likely wouldn't have spiked so quickly and to such heights. Observers believe that the other factor might have to do with a popular mortgage trend many homeowners have been jumping on for nearly half a decade.

In mid-2003, mortgage rates hit their lowest point in years, with 30-year fixed rate loans going for little more than 5 percent. But many buyers passed on the stability of the fixed rate and pounced on the rock-bottom rates being offered on 3/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Those ARMs saw teaser annual interest rates of 2 percent and 3 percent and -- in cases with more exotic loans -- even less.

The trouble with ARMs is, after their introductory period, that interest rate adjusts upward to a market rate -- which is now closer to 6 percent. A 3/1 adjustable mortgage means that the introductory rate remains the same for three years. After that, it adjusts annually.

So now, those introductory rates on 3/1 ARMs taken out in 2003 are resetting, and homeowners who gobbled up the tantalizingly low interest rates back then are watching in horror as their interest rates, and, correspondingly, their monthly mortgage payments skyrocket.

"If you took out a 3/1 ARM, and it reset this year, you are looking at a 20 to 50 percent increase in your loan," Sharga says. "And that is on a pretty typical loan. With a more exotic loan, it could be higher."

For example, if you took out a $200,000 loan three years ago through a 30-year 3/1 ARM with a 2 percent teaser rate, and that loan reset to 6 percent this year, your payment would jump 42 percent, from $843 per month to $1,200 per month.

"It didn't look like it would be that bad on paper," Sharga says. "When you just look at the interest rate and see it going from a teaser to 6 percent, it looked manageable. But what so many people didn't seem to realize is what it would do to their monthly payment."

Even in the best scenarios, a 50 percent jump in the mortgage bill would be tough to swallow. But some homeowners flocked to ARMs and other more exotic loans as a way to buy larger houses than they might otherwise afford, and are now finding themselves in an especially precarious place.

Many buyers bought extremely expensive homes with these loans with the idea that if the market continued to appreciate, then when the ARM reset, they could refinance the loan at a longer term with a lower fixed rate.

"Everyone's first reaction when they get hit with a price jump after their ARM resets is to either refinance or sell," Sharga says. "But if housing prices have fallen, you might not be able to refinance at the original loan value. And if the house can't appraise for the original loan value, selling won't do much good, either."

With nowhere to turn to get out of the newly expensive loan, many homeowners are now facing potential foreclosure.

And while the timing of the ARMs and mortgage rates are combining to cause serious trouble in the housing market, other high-risk loans are also getting homeowners in depressed markets in trouble.

Lereah says some loans, such as interest-only mortgages or negative-amortization mortgages are also running into trouble now that home values have fallen off their highs.

"When you use those types of loans, a falling market is trouble," Lereah says.

Sharga says he is frustrated as he watches the spike in foreclosures.

"The vexing part is to see property owners say, 'I didn't see this coming.' But every document that they signed when they took out the loan had a page explaining this would happen," he says.

Aside from the national mortgage rate problems, Sharga says some individual markets are also suffering some specific trouble.

"The rest is local. What drives foreclosures in Greeley, Colo., has nothing to do with what drives foreclosures in Las Vegas," he says.

Sharga says Colorado in particular is suffering through some growing pains from aggressive mortgage lending and a high-flying housing market.

"Colorado was the least regulated mortgage market until very recently," he says. "They were writing some very risky loans. On top of that, homebuilders found they couldn't move the new homes they just built, and they started discounting them, which had a domino effect of falling prices."

Las Vegas and Florida, on the other hand, are seeing foreclosures as a result of speculative markets gone wrong, Sharga says.

"You had a lot of people buying speculatively without knowing what they were doing," he says. "Investors were buying homes at full price hoping to get their money back after a quick resale. But when the market flattened, those people got in trouble."

One state in the Deep South found itself in another unique situation.

"In Georgia, we saw an unusual amount of mortgage fraud," he says. "That is where rings of people, including appraisers and agents, artificially inflate a house and get it sold. Then when the new homeowners tried refinancing, they found their home wasn't worth what they thought it was."

And while it may seem logical that other Gulf Coast communities might be suffering through foreclosures caused by hurricane-related hardships, Mississippi and Louisiana actually posted modest foreclosure numbers in 2006.

Sharga attributes that lack of foreclosures to state-imposed moratoriums forbidding foreclosures in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, coupled with a surprising willingness of banks to work out troubles rather than take back homes.

"Uncertainty really motivated those banks to not call those mortgages," Sharga says. "The lenders just weren't in a hurry to take possession of a home that might or might not now be worthless."

Sharga expects to see the next wave of foreclosures in areas such as the Midwest where automakers and other employers are laying off large swaths of workers.

"We are watching closely in places like the Rust Belt because of layoffs and layoff concerns," he says. "What we expect we might see is an 'Am I next?' syndrome, where buyers stay on the sideline because they aren't sure if their jobs are secure."

The indicator that will most likely signal an end to the foreclosure storm is a decreased number of homes for sale on the market.

"As you read stories about the inventory of homes being consumed, it will have a positive effect on foreclosures," Sharga says. "As inventory comes down, it will reduce the amount of time it takes to sell the house, and that will help keep properties out of the foreclosure process."

But even with such dire statistics, Sharga stresses that the foreclosure number merely shows total filings, and not necessarily total number of homes banks have taken back from homeowners. That's because oftentimes when a bank begins the foreclosure process and sends a home to auction, bargain hunters snatch up the newly discounted home.

"That's what we are seeing in California," Sharga says. "They have almost no bank-owed properties despite relatively high foreclosure numbers."

Sharga suspects people who were forced out of the market as prices started to climb are now jumping at the house that they were looking at, but are now able to buy at a discount.

Regardless of what causes the foreclosure, when people snatch up properties at a discount, it has the potential to depress the rest of the housing market. As that pushes prices down, other homeowners may also find themselves in a tough financial situation with few good options available.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
“Gee wizz Captain Panic, we keep hearing about the crash but the market keeps going up and up.”

Its 10:30 am in Phoenix.
The DOW is up 98 points to 12708.

Spock... “This is not logical, nobody is panicking.”

Captain Panic..”Just wait, and wait and wait some more the housing crash is coming” “Set your FAZER on Stun, we will have to shock these real estate agents into reality”

“But Captain Panic, I just sold my house at asking price.”

Captain Panic…”You are in denial, you couldn’t have sold a house. I have a headache, I will be in my quarters.”

Computer: “All hands, if you are not in fear, please start panicking now.”

Spock…”This is not logical, nobody is panicking.”

April 16, 2007 5:28 PM
---------
You obviously missed the episode "Trouble with Tribbles" They were nice, cute & cuddly but because there were soo many of them they almost overwhelmed the ship.

Skyrocketing housing inventory (record breaking mind you) to include an unprecedented volume of vacant housing are just like the tribbles and they are gumming up the housing sector of the economy just liek the enterprise was gummed up. I have no idea why you're blending in the broader equities market into you're flippent, trite analysis. But when you look at the housing/mortgage related equites you will see a much different story. Don't try you're trite commentary with the thousands of REIC/Sub-prime workers who are now laid off. I'm sure that instead of a nice cuddly trible you'll have them gnashing at you're throat. Every economist worth is salt, to include TCDL!!, is saying housing is in a recession.

Anonymous said...

"I think to really understand fear. You need to go to Phoenix. This is where fear is everywhere. There is no denial. It is in full meltdown mode. We need to run a full column on FEAR IN PHOENIX. WHY BECAUSE NOBODY CAN SAY PHOENIX IS SPECIAL"

Zulu.."Holy Bubble Captain Panic, I didn't see any homeowners in Phoenix jumping out of windows yet."

Captian Panic..."Let me get out my tricorder.. Humm.. it says they should all be dead by suicide by now."

Spock..."This is not logical, everyone in Phoenix is going to work and acting like normal people."

Captian Panic..."If they won't kill themselves, we should lob a few photon torpedoes into Maryvale and Peoria, that might get the horror going"

Zulu..."Hey, 25845 more people just moved to Phoenix this week and the unemployment is under 4% again."

Captian Panic.” Lambs to the slaughter; Scotty, do you have that torpedo ready yet?"

Scotty..."Aye aye Captain"

Captian Panic.."Fire one... fire two."

Long pause....

Scotty..."No damage reported sir, they must have their shields up."

Spock..."This is not logical, Greg Swain is still blogging."

Computer: "All hands, please read your terror module, the halo-deck is malfunctioning, and people are not dropping their prices in Phoenix."

Spock..."This is not logical."

Bill said...

I believe we have enough people approaching desperation that we are at the inflection point. We may sit here a while and bake it in ... but we are there.

Geeeee said...

San Diego is still in denial. Most people around here think it's a momentary downturn. They obviously haven't seen a chart of the Case-Shiller housing index next to any other financial bubble in the history of mankind. Sh*t, most of the deluded morons in this town are probably too stupid to understand it if they did.

Anonymous said...

“Don't try you're trite commentary with the thousands of REIC/Sub-prime workers who are now laid off. I'm sure that instead of a nice cuddly trible you'll have them gnashing at you're throat.”



Worf…” Captain Panic, lots of Sub-prime workers are laid off and I think they are going to rush the shuttle.” “Their eyes are all red”

Spock…”Of course their eyes are red, they have been smoking Andromeda crystals for the last 4 years, forcing their evil low cost loans on the public.”

Captain Panic…”Now that lenders have lost their jobs due to their own evil ways, we will have to make the public suffer even more to insure planet “Negative Growth” continues to slide into the abyss.”

Jean-Luc Picard…”If we create enough negative energy fields in the housing market, we might get the whole economy declining.”

Dr. McCoy..”We are seeing lots of Real Estate agents coming into sickbay this week, something about Pork flavored Top Ramon shortages.”

DATA:… “I just want to be human”

Captain Panic, “ STFU DATA, we don’t want any of that language on the bridge.”

Spock…”Logically Phoenix should be imploding under the weight of the out of work sub-prime and realty workers”

Will Riker…” Hey the stock market hit another all time high today.”

Spock, “That is not logical”

Captain Panic, “I don’t feel so good.”

Computer: “All life support systems are working, the panic is only a faulty warp engine fluctuation”

Spock “That is not logical”.

Anonymous said...

Moving and renting sucks. I am in the process of moving to a rental home due to relocation. I will be renting while my home is being built, 7 months or so. So far have had to pay close to $1000 in deposits and installation fees for all utilities, cable, etc. I am also paying $5800 for a moving company. I have to ay a $600 pet deposit and a $2000 deposit to my landlord. I have to take 4 days of vacation too. Plus of course the stress of packing, unpacking. The time wasted on the phone conecting utilities and disconnecting existing utilities. The time spent changing addresses on all accounts.
The time I will spend waiting around for the cable guy to show up.

In theory moving every 6 months and having all the freedom sounds good. But it's a pain in the ass. I don't care if my home depreciates $50K next year, just the thought of not having to move again for the next 10 years will be worth it.

Pico said...

Toronto, Canada here... First off, no one here thinks there's a housing bubble in Toronto - myself included (maybe in condos, but otherwise no). So maybe that's denial, but prices are still going up the same 3-5% they have been for the last 15 years. Secondly, no one here even knows about the housing bubble in the States (and I work for a major American Bank). One guy from work, just got back from Ft. Lauderdale and his only comment on the housing market was "it's expensive". He even went looking for a place, but gave up when he couldn't find anything for under 3 bucks. Another guy is just back from the Masters and he says there is no bubble, everything's the same as it always has been. I don't think we're in "Fear" yet. I know I'm not in the States, but I think when "Fear" hits, the whole world will notice.

Markus Arelius said...

Right now I'm at "Excitement" - my landlord just informed me: no rent increase for 2007!

Sweet!

Anonymous said...

bubble maybe for the poor folks in the undesirable areas, but everyone wants to live here!

Anonymous said...

Shorting mortgage companies is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Fremont (FMT) gapped up 30% over the weekend. I just bought 4 10.00 puts when it peaked, knowing no matter what this stock does, it basically has NO FUTURE. There is nowhere for it to go. Within an hour it had gone down quite a bit and I sold off and make a quick $200.

I'm not saying this to brag. I'm just telling you how amazing it is that people are still investing in these companies. What possible future do they have. Even if they survive the sub prime, alt A defaults, the mortgage business will be crippled by tighter lending standards.

I think the U.S. economy is also in this state of irrational exuberance. The dollar is being kept afloat by smoke and mirrors.

robert said...

DM1976 said...

“I think it'll be 3 to 6 months before we're in the fear stage. We need a few highly publisized ALT-A blowups, then the fear should start to set in. Also some prime conforming blowups. That would be a killer.”

I agree. Keep in mind those that bought in the last 2-3 years during the “selling season”. Here we are knee deep into spring, and those folks are just now seeing the re-set.

The sub-prime/Alt-A debacle is slowly becoming old news (the MSM is finicky that way). Next up, more ARM re-sets, more MSM headlines and nothing waiting on the wings paints them rosy.

Yep, I give the next round of re-sets 3-6 months to really feel the effects on the wallet (heck, they are just now paying off Christmas credit card debt). Then, one glance at the inventory should get the snowball rolling right into fear. Possible heard mentality driving them to desperation by the winter, then its Christmas again (“heck seems like we just paid off last Christmas”).

bottom feeder said...

I think we are still in the denial stage. When you see consumer spending cut back drastically, that is where the fear begins. When people realize the home is no longer an ATM machine they will seriously cut spending(we already have, but I'm usually a step ahead of a curve).When people don't have money, that is when they become scared. When we hit this stage I think you see the curve from fear to depression happen more rapidly.
The area I live in is a somewhat wealthy county outside of Philly. (I should admit I am a realtwhore, but one of the decent honest type). We are seeing slow activity, but 200k and under properties are still moving(that's all people can afford). 300k plus homes are sitting. Prices have stopped moving up, and many properties are selling at 10% off list price. The buyer pool for the spring market seems VERY SLIM, but all the realtors in the office are still hoping it's coming. Me personally I am opening a used car lot selling low end cars(everyone needs cheap cars)and milking the cash flow off my rental properties(bought between 96 and 2001 which I should have sold last year, but since they have good cashflows I figured I'd weather out the storm).
My crystal ball(which is very cracked, so assume I don't know what I am talking about) says by 2010 your hose will be worth what it was in 2003 or 2004.When housing expenses are around 30% of your gross pay, or you can buy an investment property with a good cashflow we have hit the bottom of the curve and it's time to buy as much no money down RE as you possibly can. My goal is to buy 5 to 10 million dollars worth of depressed RE around 2010 or in that area. Keep it as rental property for 15 years or so until the next irrational buying cycle. I will sell 3/4 to the top of the curve(don't be a pig, cash out early). If it all works out I should be able to retire wealthy. If it doesn't work out I'll write a blog like that kid casey, and make money off being an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

“Don't try you're trite commentary with the thousands of REIC/Sub-prime workers who are now laid off. I'm sure that instead of a nice cuddly trible you'll have them gnashing at you're throat.”



Worf…” Captain Panic, lots of Sub-prime workers are laid off and I think they are going to rush the shuttle.” “Their eyes are all red”

Spock…”Of course their eyes are red, they have been smoking Andromeda crystals for the last 4 years, forcing their evil low cost loans on the public.”

Captain Panic…”Now that lenders have lost their jobs due to their own evil ways, we will have to make the public suffer even more to insure planet “Negative Growth” continues to slide into the abyss.”

Jean-Luc Picard…”If we create enough negative energy fields in the housing market, we might get the whole economy declining.”

Dr. McCoy..”We are seeing lots of Real Estate agents coming into sickbay this week, something about Pork flavored Top Ramon shortages.”

DATA:… “I just want to be human”

Captain Panic, “ STFU DATA, we don’t want any of that language on the bridge.”

Spock…”Logically Phoenix should be imploding under the weight of the out of work sub-prime and realty workers”

Will Riker…” Hey the stock market hit another all time high today.”

Spock, “That is not logical”

Captain Panic, “I don’t feel so good.”

Computer: “All life support systems are working, the panic is only a faulty warp engine fluctuation”

Spock “That is not logical”.

April 16, 2007 10:49 PM
---------
You forgot to include all the out of work, illegal alien, unskilled laborers as well as all the sub-contractors who are having to accept lower reimbursements for work done & laying off skilled US citizen labor because of fewer projects from Homebuilders and you might as well toss in something about homebuilders too (e.g the huge cash burn and land write-offs they are currently undertaking to just survive). Eventually you'll get all the players included into your trite little write up but by then I think that even you'll start to realize that we have a problem.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/business/17construct.html?_r=2&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

Looks like the illegals and the contractors who hire them are at desperation to me. Please work this into little star trek skit. If its good enough the author might be able to write a mini-novel, copyright it and get some royalties to give them a new income stream because I think the author is realtwhore currently living on ramen noodles.

Anonymous said...

“Looks like the illegals and the contractors who hire them are at desperation to me. Please work this into little star trek skit.” "I think the author is realtwhore currently living on ramen noodles."

Dude,

I am not a realtor, although I did sell off my real estate holdings over the last year in Phoenix, in this so called doomed market.

I would not use a realtor under any circumstances, because as you say, they are whores.

I paid off my primary residence and am debt free.

I am in cash positions in my portfolios and 401K.

Captain Panic and other Phoenix bashers are funny because this area is still growing rapidly, unemployment is still low and house prices are not plummeting (yet) on a grand scale.

If they do, it will not affect my finances.

I have no love lost for deceptive lenders, idiots who took out ARM's and Interest Only loans, Real Estate agents (especially Listing Agents) and over zealous builders and investors. They are responsible for the condition they find themselves in, not me.

Let them sink or swim.

On the other hand, this blog is based on a negative aspiration for the housing market to crash. It may very well do so, but I will not be jumping for joy when it hits or egging it on every step of the way.

As for illegals, I would welcome a climate where they no longer had jobs to go to, where Americans start to push back and demand employers be fined out of existence for hiring them. Where they run back across the border because they no longer are entitled to free benefits, medical care, education and anchor baby practices.

If the housing situation forces them out of work and out of the country, then this whole thing will have a silver lining.

Let the crash begin.

carlgrace said...

A lot of people are commenting that there is no problem, and people are getting "asking" prices. Not true. I sold a nice house at the end of last year, but only after 6 months on the market and a 10% price drop. Everyone is trying to keep their homes off the market right now until "things pick back up". Given that, it is very interesting that inventory is increasing. I think that over the next year or so more and more people will have to sell, like I had to, and prices will truly start to fall. House prices are VERY sticky. It took 6 years for my parents house in Oakland to hit rock bottom in the 90s from its peak in 1989.

Anonymous said...

I see people mention the stock market will crash because of housing, economy etc... Wall street does not coincide with main street. It never has. Equity prices are driven by supply and demand, period. It can rally in a horrible or great economy. If people stop spending, the economy suffers, but they may put the money in the stock market instead. Market goes up. My point, because the stock market is going up, does not mean the economy and housing are in great shape. In fact, it could mean money is being put away in equities and such, decreasing money being spent to buy goods and services. What do you think the result would be on the economy? Not good. Stock market rallies or declines mean absolutely nothing in regards to the current or future state of the economy. One does not affect the other. Wall street is just a money exchanging game. It means zero, zilch, nada. The media tries to tie them together, but it's worthless to do so.

Anonymous said...

**San Diego County**

Somewhere where between denial and fear!!!!!

Still lots of denial....but fear is starting to show!

Small cracks in a once mighty facade!

Anonymous said...

Calgrace: Ditto for me, 6 months, varying egrees of interest but it was the 10% price cut that sealed the deal.

anon April 17, 2007 7:42 PM:
Agreed there is not a direct correlation, there is some overlap b/t housing & the stock market and they are both subsumed into and a part of our economy. So while I am not a absolute as you in our position about interconnectivity I do agree that TOO many people think stock market health is an economic barometer and if its up then housing and the greater economy cannot be in bad shape.

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of moving to a rental home due to relocation... I am also paying $5800 for a moving company.

You are full of shet, if you are being relocated why are you paying a moving company?

If you really are paying the moving company you seriously need to find another line of work.