July 20, 2007

Enough of the infamous bubble cities - how's the housing crash doing around the USA and around the world today?

How are home prices and unwanted housing supply doing in your neck of the woods, you non-bubble-city HP'ers?

Tell us about your local conditions (no lies you silly realtors), post local story links and highlights, and give us the word on the street.


Iowa City?
Big Sky?
Mexico City?


Anonymous said...

Upstate NY Shi**ing the bed fast.... no jobs here.

"As seen in the Rochester Business Journal, June 29, 2007: A New York City business magazine ranks Rochester as No. 1 among metropolitan regions of more than 1 million people in quality of life. "

WTF? This is a lie - I live here! AND THIS IS A LIE!!

Anonymous said...

In Alameda,CA more houses with "coming soon!" signs sprouting up...

Inventory is starting to pile up here with more condos coming on the market. Open homes on Tuesdays nights by the more desperate.

Dead_mans_Mortgage said...

Is that Ophra's Dog house? If so it available now.

Anonymous said...

10 Top zip codes
The places hit hardest by foreclosure. (Click here for the top 500)
Zip City State Total filings
44105 Cleveland OH 783
30310 Atlanta GA 709
80219 Denver CO 705
48228 Detroit MI 679
95823 Sacramento CA 634
48205 Detroit MI 634
48224 Detroit MI 583
89031 N. Las Vegas NV 575
80239 Denver CO 553
48219 Detroit MI 549

Anonymous said...

Nice photo! Man they're putting houses on smaller lots these days

Anonymous said...

In Tulsa, OK. Price appreciation has been about 3%/yr for last 5 years. (Non bubble?)

Huge new homes being constructed everywhere. 4,000 sq.ft. homes with multiple chimneys common. (Bubbly?)

No new starter homes being built anywhere. Its like young couples are skipping that step.

Anonymous said...

In beautiful and battered southeast Michigan here in Ann Arbor, likely one of the best markets in the area 3 properties above 1 million dollars(just barely) sold in the last 6 months.A cursory glance at the local real estate web sites lists 44 more. The year prior 13 sold all year.

Daphne64 said...

Thanks for noticing the middle part of the country exists. Here in Kansas City we're still doing pretty well. The condo idiocy has not totally escaped us, you can find a few hundred condos for sale at 300k and up - money that will buy a McMansion here.

As far as single family houses go, the market is still pretty balanced apart from too many McMansions on the market.

I think we will not be totally unscathed, though. I look at my neighbors and wonder how they can afford their houses - we are about the only two professional household around, and we are not able to save much, so I don't know people working in customer service can do it (credit cards and the now-closed housing ATM, I think).

I am starting to look into the mechanics of buying real estate at auction.

Anonymous said...

Upstate New York, 90 miles above NYC, inventory up a little, prices stagnent, sales slow. We're somewhere in limbo between boom and bust.

Anonymous said...

Hey Upstate:

Rochester is much better than this sh*thole DC- at least you guys have Garbage Plates, Genny Light, can actually afford a home, and possibly a boat or summer home on the Finger Lakes or 1000 Islands. Here, I am paying 2500/month for a POS townhouse because I cannot afford to buy anything, my commute sucks, I have no savings and all the people are assh*les. And, a beer is 5-7 bucks. DC sucks the fatty.

Anonymous said...

New York . . .

Tangental to the topic -- is it possible that rent control (the lack of a free market for landlords) is responsile for preventing NYC prices from crashing?

sinis said...

WTF?!?! Got this off CNN Money:

When the housing rebound comes
How you'll know when home prices are finally recovering.
By George Mannes, Money Magazine senior writer
June 19 2007: 10:40 AM EDT

(Money Magazine) -- If you're the sensitive type of homeowner, you may want to skip the rest of this paragraph, which recounts the unrelentingly grim news about home prices.

At least 42 percent of major housing markets are in decline, with some projected to fall by double digits over the next five years.

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One alarming sign: The National Association of Realtors has reversed its usually sunny outlook and is now predicting a 1 percent drop nationwide in existing home prices in 2007, the first such prediction in the four decades since NAR started tracking prices.

Still, no bear market lasts forever, and indeed, predictor NAR, quickly recovering from its unusual flash of pessimism, is forecasting that prices will bottom out this quarter.

How will you know?

Because housing markets are intensely local, it won't do much good to check national figures. Instead, stay alert to leading indicators of recovery in your local market, such as:

Inventory is declining
A local broker should be able to tell you the months' worth of inventory - that is, the estimated amount of time, given the current pace of sales, that it would take to sell all the homes currently up for sale.

In markets with fewer than 6.5 months of inventory, homes tend to be appreciating faster than inflation, says Mark Dotzour, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M; above 6.5, prices are lagging inflation.

Above nine or 10 months, prices start to drop, creating an ice-cold market for sellers. Compare the current data with that of the previous few quarters to see whether the trend is downward or upward.

Houses are selling faster than they used to
While you're asking your broker about inventory, ask how long the average house that sells has sat on the market and how that compares with figures from last quarter or six months ago.

Generally, if the average house is selling in less than a month, it's a seller's market. By 90 days it may be a buyer's ball game.

Realtors are feeling better
Your broker's thoughts might not be reflective of what's really going on. So check the website RealtyTimes.com and click on Local Market Conditions to read agents' reports on specific markets with ratings from 1 (buyer's) to 5 (seller's).

The agents have an agenda - they pay for the privilege of posting - but their collective wisdom and specific entries can help you determine the mood.

"Buyer activity is moving cautiously upward yet not returning to the high levels seen in 2004 and 2005," writes one realtor in Minneapolis.

Sellers are acting less desperate
Either by reading the classifieds or by scanning FOR SALE signs on your way to work, pick a handful of homes comparable to yours or one you might buy (think similar size and school district) and check on them weekly.

Does the asking price get reduced? Are the owners constantly holding open houses? Are they throwing in incentives? Does the ad gain more exclamation points?

All this should give you a hint, says Sacramento broker Elizabeth Weintraub. "If you're seeing no decrease in FOR SALE signs, balloons and banners and OPEN HOUSE signs, and the SOLD signs aren't popping up right away, that's pretty much telling you it's still a buyer's market."

Are the insinuating that prices are going to rebound in the near future? Shit the Dow is tanking today and the dollar ain't doing any better.

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis - Star Tribune
Hennepin County Foreclosure Map


The "bad" part of the city is in the NW corner.

Georgia On My Mind said...

Boston 'burb prices haven't dropped yet. Our best and brightest are still fleeing to New Hampshire and the Carolinas.

slim pickens said...

Up in Northern Wisconsin in Lake country there are a flood of lake homes for sale. All the fools from Chicago and Milwaukee came up and bought these "condos" which were the cabins I wnet to when I was a kid. They smell like mold, built in the 40's and they are 3 season, which up here means you can use em for 3 months!!! They paid 300-400K for these dumps with SHARED water frontage.

They come up on the weekends drive 300 400 miles in their SUV's leave there garbage all over the place then leave.

I am SO THANKFUL that these places are all for sale. They thought they were an INVESTMENT, now hopefully they will leave and people that live here can afford property again.

THere are a ton of homes for sale at 500K to well over one million dollars. The average income around here is about 24K

DO the math.

I pray for 10 dollar gasoline

that will put a stop to it.

Cheers to all and have a great weekend!!!!! Just not up here!

Rordogma said...

Austin TX reads....Condo Glut coming to a neighborhood near you.

Anonymous said...

Long Island, NY...ALL OF IT...

Still ridiculously overpriced, it's as if nobody here has gotten the memo. When a 3 bedroom house in a neighborhood where you're more likely to get killed before you can pay off your 300 year mortgage is close to $400k, you know trouble is abound.

Yo Mamma Eat Corn said...

Fresno, CA, everybody became homedebtors here in the last five years. Tons of SF bay area speculators, locals, and L.A. transplants caused the median price to triple from 2001 to 2005. Since 05, the prices have scaled back 15%-20% but still nobody is buying. The median income here is like $33k and the foreclosure meltdown should be tremendous... for quite awhile the zeitgeist was "just get in....if you don't you'll be priced out FOREVER!!!" The only thing propping up prices is that this place is still relatively cheaper than SF and LA, so they keep moving here...

Virtualco said...

Cape Coral, FL...

3/2 with a one car garage (entry level) saw on handmade sign on corner of busy intersection. $135,600. This would have sold 18 months ago for $200,000. 30% or so drop in price.

Sign must have been penned by a FB as the penmanship was very neat.

Anonymous said...


big supply, no buyers . . . prices down at least 10% in upper middle class, 20% in lower-middle, no bids in upper. Prices probably go lower, down 30-35% total by the end ($200K house in '04 (our top) will trade at $140K-$150K). However, the absolute levels were low so not impacting consumption much, i.e. people here in the upper mid and mid have been responsible with debt and are not underwater as a nice 4 bed 2 1/2 bath was going for $200K-$230K in a nice neighborhood so people aren't choking on the debt. The lower end is where we see the real pain as poor folks all stretched to buy houses and are now being foreclosed upon, so real bifurcation.

Anonymous said...

As predicted the state budgets will be the next hit. How do you short a state budget?

State's job growth hits the brakes
Employers show a net gain of 400 positions in June after adding 4,800 in April and 16,200 in May. The financial services and construction sectors see the biggest drops in employment.
By Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
11:49 AM PDT, July 20, 2007

Dragged down by big losses related to the real estate slump, California's employment engine ground to a near standstill in June with a net gain of 400 positions, state figures released today show.

By comparison, the state added 16,200 jobs in May and 4,800 in April.

As expected, financial activities and construction were the biggest losers among six sectors that posted employment declines in June, according to the Employment Development Department report.

Reflecting layoffs by troubled subprime lenders and the big chill in home building, the financial activities sector lost 5,700 jobs, while construction shrank by 5,300. By comparison, the other four declining sectors lost a total of 5,900 jobs.

"Slowing state job growth has been primarily caused by the slowdown in residential building and resale activity," said Stephen Levy, senior economist for the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy. "A continuation of the slowing will cause problems for this year's and next year's state budget."

Despite slow job growth, the state's unemployment rate held steady at 5.2% after rising in May from 5.1% in April. By comparison, the U.S. jobless rate was 4.5% in June, unchanged from May.

A steady unemployment rate means the number of jobs is growing at about the same pace as the number of people seeking them.

"For the past year the state has matched the national job growth rate, although unemployment has risen here but not in the nation because the state labor force has grown by nearly 300,000," Levy said.

Since June 2006, the state's employers have added 204,700 jobs, an increase of 1.4% for a total last month of 15.2 million.

Sectors gaining jobs were led again by the educational and health services category at 8,600 jobs. Government employers added 4,600 jobs, while the leisure and hospitality sector hired on 3,300 workers. Other services added 600 jobs, and professional and business services added 200.


Anonymous said...

Zip 92262, and 92264 Riverside CA, straight down the toilet.Major price drop,300K down from last year now commun. Too many homes for sale,the area is under siege. Realtors moving out of states by the wagon full.I guess they are scared to be rolled in tar and featherd by some home owners who drank their koolaid back in 2005. Still waiting for that October mortgage reset, what a desaster ! We are going back to 1998 .

Anonymous said...

They're not making any more land!

Anonymous said...

Seattle king county is at the edge inventory is growing by leaps and bounds

Anonymous said...

they keep closing schools in seattle because familes cannot afford to live there

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
They're not making any more land!

July 20, 2007 7:30 PM
Kilauea volcano add 23 acres of land mass to Hawaii island each year.

Bob Reno said...

Homes sales down 29% in June from last year. No one seems to be panicking yet, but few homes over $160,000 (about 3 x local wages) are selling. Neighbors having their second open house in the last month on Sunday. No one showed up last time, but they still ain't budging on the price.


finn said...

Prices in Helsinki are still rising and so is total credit. Defaults are rising but still very low. Everybody has an ARM. A fixed rate is considered a special type of mortgage..

Anonymous said...

Keith, not a good week for dogs in the USA. Football star Michael Vick got indicted by a federal grand jury (usually the sign of a very strong case) for dog slaughter.

And by the way, one of Oprah's dogs choked to death on rubber ball as well.

Anonymous said...

Stephen said...
New York . . .

Tangental to the topic -- is it possible that rent control (the lack of a free market for landlords) is responsile for preventing NYC prices from crashing?

Studio apartments in Manhattan went for an average of $1,995 a month last year, according to an analysis released Friday by Citi Habitats, a Manhattan rental brokerage firm. That's up from $1,659 in 2002.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment shot up to $2,737, compared to $2,227 in 2002, and two-bedroom apartments climbed to $3,893, from $3,198 in 2002. Three-bedroom apartments saw the largest percentage increase: more than 36 percent, from $4,059 in 2002 to $5,534 last year.

The increase did nothing to decrease demand. The overall rental vacancy rate for Manhattan last year was less than 1 percent

Anonymous said...

Stephen said...
New York . . .
Tangental to the topic -- is it possible that rent control (the lack of a free market for landlords) is responsile for preventing NYC prices from crashing?

The drop in the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies certainly has helped since NYC is a very popular destination for foreigners.

Anonymous said...

Portland, OR... we're on the right shoulder, I think - prices have gone down about 10% since last year, I think. Builders were slowed down, but the bigger ones are starting up again. I'm seeing the first foreclosures against contractors in the local Business Journal. Oregon tends to be late to recovery, and late to go into recession... by about 6 months. Bend, especially, I think will fall off a cliff, because there's nowhere to commute to for work.

Anonymous said...


That dog lied on his stated income, and never got pre-approved!

carlgrace said...

Raleigh, NC is still a seller's market. We hired a few people from out of town and they are having trouble finding houses that don't sell quickly. Raleigh never bubbled up so it probably won't deflate too much. It is still cheaper to buy than rent if you can come up with the down payment. Usage of ARMs was very low here, so I would imagine it will be one of the more stable markets in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

West Palm BEach, Fl-

I am a realistic RE Broker who enjoys this site! The scene in Palm Beach County is scary indeed. I also do appraisals and the work from the firm is down about 30% from last year. On the local MLS we have eclipsed the 30,000 listing mark. According to the MLS there have been only 8,850 sales since the begin of the year! That's over 3 times the inventory in a declining market! To me this is scary and what's even worse it seems like it is almost everywhere. People here are definitely in denial mode still driving around their expensive luxury sedans or even worse H2s. Yesterday the sun sentinel had an article called "South Florida #1 cost to live increase in nation" here is the link:http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/local/sfl-flzcpi0719pnjul19,0,3467934.story
To be honest I am scared! I will be ok b/c I am not deep in a hole and I am living in a income property which I have only seen a 10% decline in price. Single familys and THs are the ones who are screwed! I am considering leaving myself if I get a good job offer! It's getting tough here but nobody is paying attention. ignorant and uniformed!

Mammoth said...

Anonymous said...
West Palm Beach, Fl-

"I am a realistic RE Broker who enjoys this site! The scene in Palm Beach County is scary indeed.

I am considering leaving myself if I get a good job offer!"
Anybody here want to hire this RE broker?


cleveland steamer said...

The situation here in Cleveland is very bad.

Poorest large city in America, thanks NAFTA, thanks WTO. Layoffs and plant closings are a daily occurrence here.

Down here on the ground, it is very ugly. We are ripe for riots a la Cincinnati 2001. I moved a mile west from Cleveland into Lakewood a month ago to escape the section 8 infestation but am afraid it will soon follow.

In my neighborhood, the "Gold Coast" of Lakewood, every apartment building has a for-rent sign. The economy is so shitty here that we have not been inundated with Mexcrement as of yet.

I don't know how much longer landlords can keep holding onto money sinkholes before the inevitable wave of section 8 swarms west and destroys Lakewood.

You can buy condos here 2BR/2BA for $80K, 3-4BR houses for $100-140K.

Anonymous said...

Here in Fantasyland, everything is going GREAT!

SausageKingOfElgin said...

Austin TX - they're building condos like crazy here. Rordogma is correct. It's kinda bubbly in Austin, but not yet insane (by national standards anywho.) I bought a nice little house in a farm town to the east (which is, honestly, completely off the radar) and telecommute. Nice to be surrounded by farms if things get... exciting.

I think Austin is about to take a hit though...


Raleigh NC (my real hometown) - the fleeing yankees pumped up the prices and demand doesn't seem to be slowing yet. I'm actually priced out of my hometown, so I truly "can't go home again."

Anonymous said...


pointer said...

Where are you located? Around Stevens Point, WI, land is still going up. I haven't been paying attention to homes, as much as I have been recreational/buildable land. Last year a farmer had to drop his acerage to $2K/ac before it sold (after being on the market for 2 years), and some relator owned property just got listed at $5K/ac. These are large chunks of land, in the middle of the country with no services or even road frontage. With fuel prices the way they are, it costs to much to farm, and you simply can't justify those prices, while the ave person can't afford the land for rec use.

Plus, $400K homes have been going up like crazy around here the past few years. That building rate has definitely slowed down, but current owners are sticky with prices.

There are a lot of boomers around here who have no money saved for ret, yet they think they are just going to sell their homestead, and retire. I think they are going to be in for a surprise.

The few senior agents I've talked to have actually been pretty honest about the market. In fact, when they are honest with the seller about what they are actually going to get, the seller yells at them, and calls them an idiot. Then moves on to some new agent that promises the moon. Of course the property never even shows.

Like you, I'm also waiting for some land up north to start dropping. I'd love to talk shop with you a bit more about the local conditions. Got an email addy I could contact you at?

Send me an email at ironmandave2000(at)hotmail (dot) com. I don't check that account that often, so let me know if you send something there.

Anonymous said...

About that volcano, yes it does add a bit of land, but google "Hawai'i island great crack". (Stop laughing and do it.) New land, oh yes, but not for long.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta - We "had no bubble" here. But things appear to have gotten miserable even before some of the notorious bubble zones. People here have no wiggle room. Crime and destitution on the rise.

bitterLArenter said...

Los Angeles CA-I can't remember when I've seen so many for sale signs, twirlers, flags, and weekday open houses. Certainly not since the mid 90s. Laurel Canyon between hollywood and ventura blvd is lousy with them. , even places with hidden drives are having open houses. Love it! LA Times just said all these different places had prices go up a few days ago. With all the RE ads they get on weekends, they better keep it up.

my house is not an investment said...

buford ga-Ive got my neighbors trying to sell a house, no qualified takers. I have new neighbors (4 women with 2 kids)who do not speak english but have 4 cars and lots of family who visit. Our neighborhood also has lots of renters and man do they look like renters. Then there are the handful of homes who have been foreclosed, vacant and empty. The homes were selling for $240k 2 years ago but they are now maxed out at $226k. Gwinnett County's inventory is soooooo high. Yet they continue to build. I have 8 subdivisions within a 5 mile radius of our house, most of those homes are in the 300k range. We drove through a few of those neighborhoods and there are NO buyers. Homes have been sitting a long time empty but yet they are still building and what is even more odd they are still clearing land to build more homes!?! Atlanta suburbs are in complete denial.

K.W. - Southern Ca. said...

It will be interesting as we see prices drop lower and lower across the country as 2008 approaches (massive ARM resetting).

It appears so many US citizens still accept the belief that housing should be an entitlement for the few.

We'll see how many continue to believe this myth as time progresses.

We have a long,long fall in prices yet to come.

I spoke to a friend from Germany who told me how crazy the housing situation is over there as well.

In Germany, houses are built to
last generations, and my friend had
a laugh at how flimsy the housing
here is built, he and his family couldn't believe anyone would live in such poorly built places.

It appears the entire world will experience the free-fall in housing on a massive scale - that
is a certaintly.

Anonymous said...

Bakersfield CA- ground zero of nearly every issue discussed in this blog. Take your pick-- subprime, loan fraud, illegal immigration, inventory glut, vacant homes, mortgage fraud, rampant flipping, speculative buying, and local government enablement. You will find more farm laborers with houshold incomes in the low 40s, living in houses bought in the 290s, paying on toxic mortgages than you will anywhere else in the world.

From MLS...

5,155 properties match your search
There are 5,648 available properties in Bakersfield, CA

Hahaha. Good luck. This doesn't even include new construction -- of which we have a sh!tload.--

Back during the 2005 boom, I saw an appraisal come in at 260K, 4dbrm (1 coverted), 1.5 bth, urban barrio location, built in '49, chain link fence in front yard, 2 cars parked on grass, 3 in driveway, backyard converted into a corn field, and get this-- a big, mean looking, charging, pit bull clearly visible in the appraisal photo.

I could write a book, but I think that says it all. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Naperville IL (Chicago suburb) doesn't seem to be insanely overflated for a change. Just bought a very nice place the other day for $420k which sold for $312k in 2000, it would have been $800-900k in many other similar suburban markets.

Don't get me wrong, it's definitely a bad time to be a seller. I've noticed the market being flooded with houses which aren't moving over the past several weeks, but thats mainly due to people with ambitious asking prices who need their expectations readjusted. 120 days and $40-80k of pricing reductions later though, things are much more sensible.

Anonymous said...

Bend oregon. Inventory exploding, sales way down, construction jobs going bye bye. We are absolutely screwed here. There are very few good paying jobs except construction and RE. In bend, we build houses and then sell them to each other. Used to be a neat little town, not any more. First chance I get, I'm outta here. PS....The real estate spin here is enough to make you want to vomit.

K.W. - Southern Ca. said...

We're going back *much* further
than 1998.

It's important to keep in mind
the housing crisis is global.

Anonymous said...
Zip 92262, and 92264 Riverside CA, straight down the toilet.Major price drop,300K down from last year now commun. Too many homes for sale,the area is under siege. Realtors moving out of states by the wagon full.I guess they are scared to be rolled in tar and featherd by some home owners who drank their koolaid back in 2005. Still waiting for that October mortgage reset, what a desaster ! We are going back to 1998 .

Keyser Soze said...

2 nephews just purchased nice 2-stories for ~$85 sq/ft in Bloomington and Springfield, Illinois.

I live in Sedona, AZ and the market is slow with lots of 'for sale' signs. I was going to buy in 2005 but got p*ssed off when half a million would only buy a dump...or a nice mobile home. Some times my ill-temper pays off! lol

Anonymous said...

Unless you`re a millionaire, DC does indeed suck the fatty.

Michigan's West Coast said...

All the NEW condo developments in West Michigan (Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Muskegon) are amazing!! - just for the fact that after they build them, they only sell 2 or 3 units while the remaining 95% are empty unfinished units with no drywall. Just cobwebs in fact, yet they keep building and building and building them! (Must be alot of money to be made in developing empty condo buildings!)

Anonymous said...

WTF? That dog's house is nicer than my apartment?!!?

Anonymous said...

Columbo from Columbus, OH here. We're barely in the denial stage. Homes selling (3 full pages in the paper last Sunday!). I hope New Albany crashes HARD - I want to live there one day.

edd said...

Handyman Special. In sight of Superdome.
Quiet neighborhood (until sundown).
Free FEMA trailer for kids playtime, with
free gas masks and health insurance (but
flood policy extra). Next door fixer-upper
good for a dog that's not picky.
They ain't makin more land here.

Anonymous said...

540 square foot flat in Krakow, Poland bought in 1990 for 7,000$ (district Nowa Huta) could sell now for almost 80,000$. Three years ago it was worth around 30,000$. The latest price per square meter in the oldest part of Krakow is around 8,000 Zloty (2,900$). You know what, Brits are going nuts. Although, between May and June real estate market prices dropped down almost 2%.


Quentin Daniel said...

Atlanta not on list. No bubble here. Houses in my neighborhood sell at asking price in a few days.

What's wrong with Atlanta??