June 01, 2007

UK report on "mortgage slaves" giving up their lives and families for the sake of their dumb-ass crippling mortgage

Funny, right after our post a few days ago on "mortgage slaves" here comes the MSM version. Nice to see the MSM reading HP. Glad we could help.


It's true though - how many people do you know stuck with a crushing mortgage, who can't go out, can't travel, work too many hours, and have become slaves to a home that is now losing value every day?

It's gotta suck when you've overpaid for something. It's gotta REALLY suck when you've overpaid for something, you can't get rid of it, and it's ruining your life.

HP's message to the Mortgage Slaves of the World: Just Say No. Don't fall for the hype. Get out now, get out while you still can, and rent (or keep renting).

You'll be glad you did.

Nation of mortgage slaves among Britain's young couples

Massive mortgages are turning a generation of young couples into wage slaves, it has been claimed.

A report warned that the spiralling price of housing means Britain is in danger of becoming the "grossly divided" society of have and have-nots not seen since Victorian times.

First-time buyers who manage to make it on to the property ladder and parents with young families are like "bonded labourers" tied to their jobs.

The bleak report by academics - called On The Treadmill - says "super-size" loans are pushing soaring numbers of parents to desert their children in order to work long hours.

Many are taking on second jobs to pay a mortgage which could be up to seven times' bigger than their salary.

For these young homeowners, the burden of mortgage debt will place great stress on those who have families.

"Both debt-harassed parents are forced to work increasingly long hours to meet the payments.

"Little time will be left for family life and little disposable income with which to enjoy it."

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It's true though - how many people do you know stuck with a crushing mortgage, who can't go out, can't travel, work too many hours, and have become slaves to a home that is now losing value every day?"

I honestly can't think of anyone.

The sob stories you pull out of the MSM always revolve around some working class slobs who got in over their head. Yeah they're idiots. They are also in a very small minority of people.

Anonymous said...

First the media steals from press releases now they're stealing from blogs

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck with a crushing mortgage that is less than paying rent....dammit!!! How dumb I am.

Anonymous said...

Keith is censoring again...read the part in the article about the joys of renting once couple experienced....

keith said...

Oh, notice the picture of the couple shopping for homes via a store window?

Yes, it's THAT inefficient here in the UK. There's an endless sea of "stores" that sell real estate via a one-page overview and a photo. Like in the 1800's I'd imagine.

No MLS, no central database, and yes, that inefficiency leads to lack of information and higher prices.

And the estate agents do NOT want anything to change. Ignorance is power for them. Just like the US in that respect.

Yet change it must and change it will.

Anonymous said...

keith said...
Oh, notice the picture of the couple shopping for homes via a store window?

Yes, it's THAT inefficient here in the UK. There's an endless sea of "stores" that sell real estate via a one-page overview and a photo. Like in the 1800's I'd imagine.


-------------------

HUH? Every small town in America has the same thing, a small real estate office with pictures of available homes in the front window.

You have to get out more.

keith said...

last anon - US is nothing like UK when it comes to storefront real estate offices.

The best retail real estate here - where you find the shops, restaurants, etc, I'd say about 10% - 15% is realtor offices

They do it this way because they don't have an MLS. At least in America you can see (via your controlling, corrupt realtor) all the homes for sale in a town. In the UK you can't do that - you have to shop for homes estate agent by estate agent.

People in the UK don't even know how many listings there are in a city - and if they're going up or down. Unlike in the US, where we were able to see cities like Phoenix home inventory soar from 5,000 to 60,000 in a matter of months - a great signal to get the F out of dodge if you were a seller.

It's truly an ignorant, inefficient market here. And the estate agents want it that way.

Westchester Chick said...

anon 12:08 I guess you're lucky that you bought at a time when it was cheaper to buy than rent or you live in a place where home values didn't "froth". One of my coworkers just bought a 4 bdrm house for a little over $500K as an investment and is renting it out for $1,800/month. He can't possibly be breaking even. If I were to buy that same $500K home with 10% down with a traditional 30 year my payment would be ~$3,100/month (this is without tax, upkeep and insurance). For people looking for a place to live right now, it is far cheaper to rent - in this scenario alone I would already be saving at least $1,300/month or more once 70% of taxes are factored in.

As far as slaves to a mortgage - it's a choice these people made in order to have the lifestyle they believe they wanted. It's not a choice I would ever make but there are a lot of ways to have fun without spending a lot of money. I wonder if the housing boom will lead to more divorces for couples stressed out by their payments or if more people will stay together because they can't afford to leave each other.

Anonymous said...

Keith you are losing it man

http://www.home.co.uk/search/
by_map.htm?area=londonc

It will show you every piece of property for sale in London.

Anonymous said...

"Little time will be left for family life and little disposable income with which to enjoy it."

Nor can you take your house with you when you die.

keith said...

Rightmove was set up by the estate agents here to be a quasi-MLS, but it doesn't allow "private" sellers like houseweb from participating. Thus there is not one complete source of info.

Just like the US - the realtors vs. the disintermediators, and it's ugly.

____________


Internet threat

It's estimated that 75% of all people looking for property carry out a search on the internet. Since HouseWeb started a decade ago, many other private sale sites have sprung up.

Some, like PropertyBroker, have been around for eight years and focus on London and surrounding areas. Many other recent ones target the entire country.

Estate agents have recognised this threat and are fighting back. In 2000, they set up Rightmove, which this year was valued at more than £400m on the London Stock Exchange.

Rightmove is far and away the most viewed property site in the country. It is among the top 10 most viewed websites in the UK.


Estate agents we deserve?

As private sales companies such as HouseWeb and PropertyBroker started to attract more customers, Rightmove wrote to its private sale customers, telling them they could no longer advertise their properties on Rightmove.

Rightmove says it cannot rely on the accuracy of the details from private sales sites, as they are not bound by The Property Misdescriptions Act, which only applies to estate agents.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6172846.stm

Anonymous said...

>> No MLS, no central database, and yes, that inefficiency leads to lack of information and higher prices.

What, no entrepreneurs in the UK smelling an opportunity? Well, never mind - Google's new (free) real estate database is coming online now anytime...

The Thinker said...

Even if "information wants to be free" the fact is, information is bought and sold on a regular basis for quite a high premium.

In fact, every profession practices in information arbitrage. Information arbitrage is selling information to those who do not have access to it. Information arbitrage is generally disguised as "professional services." In order to profit on information arbitrage, barriers to acquiring information must be erected.

This is not only true in Real Estate sales, it is also true in my own profession, lawyering. Auto mechanics, computer repair centers, financial planners, they are all profiting from their knowing something you don't.

In fact there are only two businesses that do not rely solely on information arbitrage, they are (1) manual labor and (2) manufacturing. If you are not a laborer and you do not make something than you to are profiting from knowing something or otherwise having access to certain information that would be difficult for others to know.

Lets not single out the real estate agents.

Anonymous said...

High home prices may have been great for the Boomers but they SUCK for their kids

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. I enjoy seeing stupid people pay.

Priced out forever? More like slaved out forever! Hahahaha..

Anonymous said...

I remember about 15 years ago having a conversation with my parents. They were telling me how it would be impossible for me to ever own my home at these (1990s) prices and they felt badly about it for me. Gee what do you know, I ended up owning 4 (sold 3, each for insane profits live in the 4th now). So much for my pity party.

Now the same crap is being thrown out there. Young people can't afford homes. The end of the world is here. Blah blah blah.

Every generation it's the same thing. Young people think they've been screwed over by the previous generation. The previous generation thinks young people are complete idiots who will never achieve anything.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Anonymous said...

UP TO 7 TIMES INCOME???

Ha. That's nothing. It averages 8-9 through much of California and 10-12 in some places. Plus our interest rates are higher than in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Keith keeps urging people to sell and stop being "mortgage slaves." But to whom can they sell? Every sale of a still overpriced property creates new mortgage slaves, even though they have a lower cost basis. The creation of new mortgage slaves won't cease until house prices have adjusted downward to something close to their proper and sustainable market values.

Anonymous said...

what an article! Like Cindy Sheehan got dissed by the democrats, for smoking them out on their ways, I often get smoked out too when I suggest to friends that they rent because I'm countering their belief that being a "home owner" has status.

hopefully, I stay in the job market, save and retire early!

Anonymous said...

There's an endless sea of "stores" that sell real estate via a one-page overview and a photo

we have that kind of realtor here in minneapolis too!

I just went to one of their websites and it was suspended for lack of payment! I still see their store downtown though.

they're called ff-realty.com for "financial freedom realty."

maybe that name no longer plays in this market! LOL.

Anonymous said...

A friend of my wife's and her husband sold their house in Missoula, MT in 3 weeks. Asked $295,000, sold for $287,000. Buyers are a retired couple from Seattle paying cash. House cost $189,000 4 years ago and they put $20,000 worth of renovations into it, did all the work themselves.

It's not all doom and gloom out there.

dean said...

Now the same crap is being thrown out there. Young people can't afford homes. The end of the world is here. Blah blah blah.

I don't think it's impossible to own a home. I think the particular area in which I wish to purchase a home is overpriced, however, making owning a home where I want to live a dubious move.

I could afford a home, but the sacrifices I'd have to make to do so aren't worthwhile at the moment. Few people are saying that "homes are unaffordable." Most people are saying that buying an expensive home right now is a bad deal, which it certainly is.

Anonymous said...

what strikes me as funny is this concept that if something sold for a certain price, it's taken as a valuable data point. Yet we know nothing about the people who set these data. They could be crazy, stupid, corrupt, under duress, etc.

There are actual logical ways to value assets via math. But, most people out there think "well my house is worth $X because someone (greater fool) was willing to pay for it."

The hard part for the people who do understand finance and economics is that as long as there enough fools out there, and the banks are willing to lend them money (more fools) the longer it takes for gravity to take its inevitable effect.

The Thinker said...

Owning your own home was generally considered a sound financial move because the structure of the loan enforced fiscal discipline in the family while equity slowly built up over time. In 30 years, the home would be filly paid for and there would be one less financial burden upon entering retirement.

Today all of these factors have reversed. The onerousness of the loan payments actually prevents sound financial planning because it sucks money away from saving for college, retirement and everything else. No equity is achieved because of the need to continuously refinance to keep up with the payments. In 30 years there is no free and clear home ownership.

Modern "home debtorship" is a financial folly. This is too bad because home ownership has many non-economic advantages.

area 51 said...

WATER COOLER TOPICS.

I can hardly carry on a conversation with my co-workers. I want to talk about the housing crash and the economy, but they want to talk about gambling in Reno, motorcycles and make silly jokes. Maybe it's because they ALL own and most are losing money. I keep getting the, "When are you gonna buy a house?", routine. They are almost hostile about it. Misery loves company.

Anonymous said...

Talk about letting the inmates run the asylum!

I love these No documentation, only stated income loan doc's!

One guy just sent to prison for stating income as over 1mil annually.....when his actual income was less than 25k!

He qualified for a 3.7 mil loan!!

CHEERS

marinite2 said...

Get out now, get out while you still can...

The problem with that advice is that you are condemning someone else...the new buyer.

IMO let the current owners suffer the fate that they signed on for.

Anonymous said...

Few people are saying that "homes are unaffordable." Most people are saying that buying an expensive home right now is a bad deal, which it certainly is.


-------------------------
Um no, people are saying homes are unaffordable. That is the thesis of the doom and gloom crowd. Homes cost too much, nobody can afford one without some crazy loans, therefore values will drop.

Anonymous said...

area 51,

Not my watrer cooler. My co-workers know the deal. They're smart people and can figure out the last 5 years was out of wack.

Most if not all own a home but then again most have been in their homes for 10-20 years. If they sold and rented, their rent wold be higher than mortgage payments, that is for the ones who haven't already paid off the mortgage.

I am the youngest one in my small group. I'm 32 and the average age of my co-workers is mid 40s. I moved for this job last year, sold the old home and now rent. When the discussion turns to real estate - and it often does - nobody has yet to tell me anything other than I'm doing the right thing. And some have seen the home I'm renting and know I'm not living in squalor.

Don't assume - like Keith does - everyone bought a $800K home in 2005 with a negative option arm, makes $40K a year and thinks renters are idiots. Simply not true.

dean said...

That is the thesis of the doom and gloom crowd. Homes cost too much, nobody can afford one without some crazy loans, therefore values will drop.

Given that people HAVE taken out a lot of crazy loans, the people you're criticizing happen to be in the right on this point. The sub-prime lending market didn't just implode for no reason, you know... people certainly WERE assuming more debt than they could handle, and this is definitely putting downward pressure on home prices.

Anonymous said...

"HP's message to the Mortgage Slaves of the World: Just Say No. Don't fall for the hype. Get out now, get out while you still can, and rent (or keep renting). "
----------------------------------
It seems to me that to sell something there must also be a buyer... You advise people to sell but not buy...at least not until prices are 50% of what they are now.

If sellers refused to sell then prices wouldn't come down either, pay my price or go away. If buyers refused to buy prices will come down....if, if, if, if you had @#$% in one hand and 'if' in the other which fills first...

Renting is not an option for some, myself for instance. It is hard to find someone with enough ground and willing to rent to me with my horses, dogs and cats. Even with glowing praises from every landlord that I have ever had.

I believe that we are in a downward trend, I believe that it can and will get bad, but even in bad times people still buy and sell.

"Bitter" renter said...

"Now the same crap is being thrown out there. Young people can't afford homes. The end of the world is here. Blah blah blah."

In Silicon Valley where I live -- NO-ONE can afford a home now unless you just vested your google stock. Not only that, but prices aren't even declining that much. Its going to be interesting, because there will start to be an exodus out of this area.........

Anonymous said...

The stock market is up again while homedebtors and out of work realtrolls and mortgage brokebacks have no money to invest. HAHAHAHAHAHA

Anonymous said...

housing-watch.com:

Phoenix inventory down 0.7%
San Diego down 0.7%
Las Vegas down 0.2%

tide is turning losers, keep talking about 90% price drops

sweet potatoe said...

Keith,
Read an article in the FT that the EU is planning on imposing a 1% property tax to fund Arafat’s widow who is a great victim and about to go broke.
Did you hear anything about that in the rest of the media out there?
Any mention that Bono is planning a global tour to raise awareness?

Anonymous said...

Hey Keith what's the rent situation in England like? Are renters seen as second class citizens like they are in the US?

yuccatree3 said...

I wonder if the housing boom will lead to more divorces for couples stressed out by their payments or if more people will stay together because they can't afford to leave each other.
_______________

++++I'd say more of the former than the latter. In olden times, couples stayed together for the kids, but I don't think that happens much any more. Nowadays, the couple divorces, the guy remarries and stops paying child support, and the gal ends up renting a one-bedroom apartment with all her children....

Stephen said...

Thinker,

You know what George Bernard Shaw said: all professions are a conspiracy against the laity. How true.

I understand what you're saying, but I think that a distinction can be made. Lawyers (I am one to) provide information that is available to the general public, but is difficult and time consuming to obtain (sometimes even for us). In addition, once a layman obtains this information, he will probably have a difficult time utilizing it effectively.

If I understand correctly, the MLS is actively concealed from those who are not in the real estate profession. Thus Realtors create the inefficiency that they exploit.

I do not see other professions that actively create inefficiencies in order to create, in turn, a need for their existence.

Anonymous said...

Oh great gods of HousingPanic, lend me your ears.

OK here is the situation. I am renting a home for $1700 a month right now. My landlord told me he is going to sell. So I am thinking of buying since I love it here, so does the wife. He is asking $425K, I figure he'll take $400K. He is not desperate, he owes $200Kish.

My income is $120K(wife has some part time income but that's our play money which we never include as real income), 31% tax bracket (state/fed). We're both in our early 30s. Property tax is 3800 a year. Insurance about $900. No HOA fees. House is in good shape, 45 years old but totally renovated so I'm estimating $2000 a year for maintenance. Pool and yard service is $175 a month combined which landlord pays for currently and which I'd pay for as well.

We have access to $100K in non-retirement cash right now earning 6% pre tax. We have about $350,000 in various retirement accounts.

My calculations are as follows:

I get a 6.5% 30 year fixed for $300K with a $100K downpayment. Mortgage will be $1900. Tax, maintenance, repairs another $733 a month, total $2633. Plus the lost after tax interest on the $100K of $345 for a grand total of $2978.

However of that $2978 I will be paying off priciple of $271 first month, brings it down to $2707. Tax savings from interest and property tax $600 a month, I'm down to $2107 net cost of owning this home after all expenses are accounted for.

That is still $400 more a month than rent, granted. But like I said this house is great, and god almighty the thought of moving again just doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. I also don't think I can find as cool of a home to rent. In this neighborhood rentals are nonexistent. House is 2800 sq ft, almost 2 acres of land, 25 yard long pool and surrounded by homes much more expensive, I feel like the poor guy on the block sometimes. Many of the homes are owned by people who've lived in them for 20, 30, 40 years. Neighbors on one side have been there 38 years (!!). Other side 14 years. So not much of a chance of FBs about to foreclose from a resetting arms anytime soon and drive down the value of everyone else's home.

It's also a non-boom area. Appreciation 2000-2006 was less than 40%. Prices didn't skyrocket up so I don't see them falling.

My only concern is the whole buying thing. Getting back into debt again makes me uneasy. I have no other debt to speak of, no credit card debt, no car loan, nothing.

I'd like some obective advice as to why I shouldn't buy.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Keith keeps urging people to sell and stop being "mortgage slaves." But to whom can they sell? Every sale of a still overpriced property creates new mortgage slaves, even though they have a lower cost basis. The creation of new mortgage slaves won't cease until house prices have adjusted downward to something close to their proper and sustainable market values.

June 01, 2007 3:00 PM
--

What Keith is saying is that you should sell your house NOW at a price that SELLS. That will probably lower than the going average, but it will have multiple benefits.

Anonymous said...

When the discussion turns to real estate - and it often does - nobody has yet to tell me anything other than I'm doing the right thing. And some have seen the home I'm renting and know I'm not living in squalor.
--

I sat out the housing boom and bust. If I had a magic crystal ball, YES, I would have jumped in around 2001-2 when the geting was good. But now I'm way out-priced for what I want (a house, not a condo, with a garage in a safe hood).

I have had many people that were very hostile to me and my wife about out stance, lately turn around and tell us how smart we are.

Humans are funny creatures....

Anonymous said...

In Silicon Valley where I live -- NO-ONE can afford a home now unless you just vested your google stock. Not only that, but prices aren't even declining that much. Its going to be interesting, because there will start to be an exodus out of this area.........

--------------------------------

Obviously lots of people can afford to buy, otherwise Silicon Valley would be a ghost town. You like most bitter renters assume that because you can't afford then nobody can afford. Well I have news for you Spanky, there are thousands upon thousands of people in and around you who could write a check for a house and not blink an eye. Just because they don't hang out with you doesn't mean they don't exist.

When I worked in San Mateo in the late 90s, I knew many people who had already made millions off stock options. I'm not talking paper millions, I mean real, sold the stock millions. Then they went to a new start-up and did it again sometimes twice more. Dumb luck in many cases, but the money's the same. People focus on the money lost in the .com bust but fail to look at the money made before the bust came. I'm somewhere in the middle, had $3 million on paper, ended up with $500K when I cashed it all out. I got the hell out of Dodge soon after, but had I stayed I could have easily afforded a home too.

These folks I'm talking about aren't the ones driving 911s. The 911 driving types were the VPs/Presidents/CEOs or VCs of the companies that my co-workers worked for. Instead of a couple of million they walked away with $50 million. The people I'm talking about are the regular Joes, driving a Camry, guy/gal next door except with $2M in the bank thanks to being hired as the 14th employee and given 10,000 options at $0.30 strike price. Trust me young Spanky, they're there and have all the money in the world to buy a home whether you approve or not.

hip-Anonymous said...

BUSTED - Flip that house star going down!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070601/ap_en_tv/house_flipper_investigation

Anonymous said...

That is still $400 more a month than rent, granted. But like I said this house is great, and god almighty the thought of moving again just doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. I also don't think I can find as cool of a home to rent. In this neighborhood rentals are nonexistent. House is 2800 sq ft, almost 2 acres of land, 25 yard long pool and surrounded by homes much more expensive, I feel like the poor guy on the block sometimes. Many of the homes are owned by people who've lived in them for 20, 30, 40 years. Neighbors on one side have been there 38 years (!!). Other side 14 years. So not much of a chance of FBs about to foreclose from a resetting arms anytime soon and drive down the value of everyone else's home.
--

As long as your math is right and you can stand to lose that $100k for the down, and you don't mind paying $400 more a month for something you already have, I say go for it.

On the other hand, what's the hurry?? What if 12 mo from now, when this guy can't sell you can low ball him to the low 300's? You would feel very foolish giving him $400+.

But ofcourse THAT won't happen, right???........

The Thinker said...

Anonymous (the Spanky guy) brings up an excellent point. There ARE a great number of working rich, millionaire next door types. By some accounts, there may be about 7,000,000 such families in the USA.

HOWEVER, they certainly do not all live in the Bay Area. Certainly some of them must live in the New York area, northern Virginia, Los Angeles, etc...

If they all lived in the bay area then perhaps the present housing values could be sustained, at least in the bay area. But the fact is, even these every day millionaire only make up about one out of every 100 households. This class of people cannot be expected to hold up the entire US housing market. Also, do you think these people live in 2br capes by the railroad tracks? THEY DON'T! That's the weirdest part of all this. In my area even crappy little capes in decent areas sell for over $700,000. Please don't tell me millionaire are buying these places. Chances are most houses have either been bought before the 2001 bubble began or they were bought with some exotic mortgage "product."

Once the exotic mortgages dry up and once more people start trying to sell their houses (think estate sales) unless 70% of all Americans are millionaires, we will have to see a serious valuation collapse.

It is true that there are a lot of millionaires out there, perhaps too many, however, unless each millionaire wants to buy 98 houses, support for housing prices will have to come from the average wage earner.

Anonymous said...

Summer 2006:

Should I buy stocks or that $500,000 crackhouse in Compton?

The realtor says there's never been a better time to buy.


DOH!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just because they have $2 million in the bank doesn't mean they will buy overpriced crap in the Bay Area ghettos.

Besides, why would someone with $2 million in the bank take out a high-interest no doc 100% loan or even a subprime loan?

Then you have the Phoenix area. Don't tell me there are tens thousands of millionaires over there to buy up the 50,000+ inventory.

Amtex said...

In my market in Florida, houses are renting for $1200-1500 and on the market for $400,000-500,000.

Even being generous with a rent multiplier, these places are still 50-60% over priced. To me it is that simple, as long as I can rent for that much less than buying, I will rent.

Paul E. Math said...

To the anon considering buying, I don't think it's a completely insane idea for someone in your position to buy, given the situation you describe. It sounds like a very unique opportunity.

However, everyone thinks they are getting a very unique opportunity and justifies the cost on that basis. Be sure you are being really objective, be sure that there really is no other house out there that you could rent that wouldn't be better for the same amount of money that you would be paying if you bought.

Even if your area didn't rise much it can still fall. Sure, all real estate is local but there is still some arbitrage. If prices drop in other areas then there will be downward pressure even on your area.

What is the average price to average income ratio in your area? What is the average price to average rent in your area? Are they in line with historic averages? If they are then you may be right that the price of your home will remain relatively stable. But if not...

Personally, I wouldn't do buy.

Yeah, moving is a pain, but you can pay someone to do it all for you. What will it cost you? A grand or 2, not much. Moving is not as big a pain as we sometimes build it up to be in our minds.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah they're idiots. They are also in a very small minority of people."

Well, once again I reveal the 2005 census figures, which show that only 17% of American households earn more than $100k in combined incomes (have you seen the divorce rate lately?), and that the average amount in retirement accounts in the US is only $8,000. That's right folks, negative savings, average credit card balance of $10,000, and only $8k for retirement. Hey, but they have a mortgage and upside down car leases...they are rich! True financial geniuses here showing off the house that the banks owns.

Anonymous said...

"I do not see other professions that actively create inefficiencies in order to create, in turn, a need for their existence."

Healthcare industry (see Michael Moore's "Sicko"), car salesman, lobbyists, brokers of anything, insurance industry, travel agents...the list goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people here, trolls or not, need to check the average household income on wikipedia, based on Census. You guys need a wake up call of how little money the great majority of Americans make.

You guys talk like 50% of American households earn more than $100k per year to buy these expensive homes offered all over. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Making a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, a household earning $100k should buy a home 2.5 X Gross Annual Income, which translates to $100k X 2.5 = $250k home price.

Now, since the 2005 census figures show that only 17% of the population earns that much, where are all these top of the pyramid home buyers able to afford an infinite inventory of homes costing $400k plus seen around the country? You can troll or justify your purchases the way you want, but the numbers don't lie.

Here, check the census figures for yourself at wikipedia:

http://tinyurl.com/3xl93u

a.creampuff said...

"There ARE a great number of working rich, millionaire next door types. "

But...the hallmark of 'the millionaire next door' is that they are so tight with money they could rub the buffalo off a nickle. No WAY anyone with that mentality about money is going to buy a house that is too fancy or way overpriced. If you're counting on them for a bailout, good luck.

Anonymous said...

You guys talk like 50% of American households earn more than $100k per year to buy these expensive homes offered all over. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Making a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, a household earning $100k should buy a home 2.5 X Gross Annual Income, which translates to $100k X 2.5 = $250k home price.
-----------------------------------
2 points:

1. Median income is $46K for a household in the US. But that number is irrelevant. What is relevant is the median household income for owners and that figure is much, much higher. I'm not going to go do research and find the numbers. I will tell you in my zip code, the difference in median income between renters and owners is almost $40K higher.

2.It's funny that on HP every government piece of data is dismissed as lies, yet this median income number is gospel. Median income is $46K, the gubermint says so therefore it must be true. No it isn't.

You are forgetting that a huge amount of money in this country is earned but not reported. Hundreds of billions of dollars are earned but not reported. Think of all the cash jobs out there.

Personally I pay a guy down the streey $40 every 2 weeks to mow my lawn. That's $1000 a year just from me that is nowhere to be found in the median income statistics. I pay a woman in the area to take my dog for walks and feed her when I am gone from home. Not much, $15 a day, but again it is cash, never reported in median income statistics. And think of all the times a plumber or electrician gives you an estimate for $500 on the books or $300 off the books.

Add all that up and the median income is a hell of a lot higher than what the gubermint thinks it is.

Andrew Hac said...

QUOTE:
[ Anonymous said...

I'm stuck with a crushing mortgage that is less than paying rent....dammit!!! How dumb I am.

June 01, 2007 12:08 PM
]

Here comes another Ignorant Repulican Poor Trailer White Trash Incesting Hillbilly Bigfoot Peckerwood Cracker Nuthead DUBYA Arse-Kisser. The sad thing about it is nowaday the nation of the United States Of Americano is overflowing with these sub-human-standard trashes everywhere. Hope there is a plague coming soon to cleanse out the wound that human society have to endure for so long, like the book "The Stand" by Stephen King.
And Oh! By the way, you all DUBYA Arse-Kissers and Republican Incesting White Trash out there, how is thing coming along with that WMD thing ? You know, the one branded "Axis of Evil" thing that you all DUBYA Arse-Kissers and DUBYA, His Holy Swaggering Highness himself wanted to find so badly back in March 2003 ? Can you kind of call me or email me when you all find out where the Iraquis are hidden that WMD thing. Thanks ahead !!!

Oh! Since the United States Of Americano was the one leading nation to build the foudation of the United Nation, we thus are exempted from the Geneva Convention in term of the POW matters... I wonder what the North Vietnamese people thought about the same Geneva Convention concerning Americano POW back in the 1960's and 70's.

Americano... What a name... What a nation... What a people...

Anonymous said...

"Add all that up and the median income is a hell of a lot higher than what the gubermint thinks it is."

First of all, we HPs don't believe in inflation stats and unemployment figures because those are very easily manipulated by "taking food and energy costs out" of the calculations, or not considering unemployed people who have give up looking for a job because there aren't any.

However, Census is based on IRS data, which are taken from W2s and tax fillings. It's not perfect, but much more trustworthy than inflation and unemployment figures.

Second, if you are trying to sell us the idea that the guy who mows your lawn for $40 and the other person who walks your dogs are capable of buying homes that costs over $400k, we are not buying a bit that BS.

Third, I'm not sure which Soprano family you belong to or which ghetto neighborhood you live in, where most of the people are capable to evade taxes to the tens of thousands of dollars. If you are doing that and you are legal in this country, you will be caught, no doubt. Regarding the illegal workers, there's no way they are earning $100k cash...NO WAY! And why would anyone pay any cash to a crook contractor so he can run with the money is beyond me. Sounds like a stupid idea to me.

Finally, let's give you the benefit of the doubt, even though you don't come up with any solid data from reliable sources to back up your absurd claims, but let's. If that many people are earning that much money, the way you claim, logic dictates that there wouldn't be so many foreclosures, NODs, fire auction sales, etc, going on all over the country, and companies like NOVASTAR would be thriving.

Hey, if every dog walker can buy a $400k home and households have such a high median income like you say, there wouldn't be so many foreclosures or home inventory glut of unsold properties all over the country.

Your claims are illogical, unfounded, and lack reliable sources to back it up. Anyone can check the amount of foreclosures, inventory glut, auctions, NODs, etc. As a matter of fact, our friend OC Renter at Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking blog does a superb job tracking some of this data. Regarding household income, like I said before, you can check reliable data from Census at wikipedia.

Anyone "unbiased" would agree that both of these sources are more reliable than your urban myth stories of how you lawn guy who makes $40 every 2 weeks can afford to buy a $400k home, or that the MAJORITY of people are scamming the IRS on tens of thousand of dollars.

Another thing, the average credit card balance is $10,000, we are experiencing years of negative savings, 40% of the population can't afford/don't have health insurance, and workers have on average just $8,000 in retirement accounts. If all the dog walkers who earn $40 every 2 weeks are "swimming" in money like you say, why the rest of America is so screwed? BTW, these figures come from Money Magazine, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal. Once again, simple logic contradicts everything you have said.

Nice try, though.

Anonymous said...

7:47:

You're living in a fantasy world if you don't think people evade taxes by the tens of thousands a year.

Maybe hourly $12 workers like you don't. Anyone who owns a small business, contractors, self employed do, it's tax evasion city.

The $40 mower is every 2 weeks. That's $1000 a year for one client you cretin. If that guy has 20 clients, well you do the math Einstein, $20K a year unreported income.

Get a clue and come on into the real world.

Anonymous said...

renters are treated even more like second class citizens in the uk than the us. that said much less is expected of renters in the uk in terms of not trashing our hovels, but then again when you move into a place it is rarely in good condition.

here's one for keith:

http://www.propertysnake.co.uk/site/search

this tracks the houses on rightmove which have been cut in price! could get much busier in the near future methinks....

Anonymous said...

"Get a clue and come on into the real world."

Here we have another patriotic Republican, proud of evading taxes.

Sure buddy, high school drop outs (like you) dog walkers are buying $500k homes with their "under the table cash earnings". Man, you must have the IQ of Dubya. You are delusional with your pathetic urban myths which no one believes.

Another thing, if you pay someone to walk your dog, you must be the size of an elephant. How's that piggy face going? oink oink!