October 27, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Is your neighborhood littered with foreclosures?

Are there for-sale signs everywhere you look?

What are your friends and neighbors saying?

How far do you think home prices have fallen in your city/town? How much farther do you think they have to go?


Anonymous said...

I live in Mesa , Az and this neighborhood of mine now looks like a ghetto from all the foreclosures and the condition of these homes. Littered yards , weeds. Just terrible. Was pretty nice a few years ago. I lost count how many times that one house was flipped.

Now Arizona is putting up Photo Radar like crazy. All highways , interstate , and even right turn on red cameras. Frank at Scottsdalesucks is right. I guess this is the only way this loser of a state can replace the plummeting sales tax and property tax. And when those wealthy elite's come here to Barrett Jackson and the FBR open , get nailed with a right on red ticket at 10 am and a speeding on the 51 going 65 at noon , THEY WON'T BE BACK.

Anonymous said...

Here in Norfolk VA, I only see a few for sale signs in our area. Don't get me wrong, signs are out there, but I don't think its anywhere as bad as California or Florida. Last night at dinner a group of engineer types were sitting around the table and I asked how deep and how long will this downturn last. The entire group answered one year.

Anonymous said...

Mid Hudson Valley, NY
Not much change here, you do see a lot more ‘for sale’ signs
mostly cause people are in denial and not dropping the prices.

But over all, Realtors still run the coverage (news op-eds etc.) of all the local papers.

IMHO, the only thing that will solve the financial/credit/ whatever you wanna call it crisis; is for housing to get back to affordability.

Housing was due to level off anyway it needed to go down approx 40-50 % in the US and 60-70% in Europe.

Now with a bad economy affordability goes down even further, so housing would need to go down even more.

In this area life goes on as if its 2005, the crowd is still borrowing and spending on kitchen renovations etc. and lots of toys.

So long that there are jobs people will keep on spending knowing another paycheck in the mail next week to pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

I live in So Cal. The entire community of 8,000 homes was built between 1999 - 2008, so everyone could potentially be in a position where their home is worth less than they paid.

Lots of foreclosures. Lots of short sales. Lots of property taxes and HOA dues that are not being paid.

Lots of fake millionaires that are being exposed.

Lots of unemployed real estate agents and mortgage brokers eating Ramen.

Lots of divorces and women on the prowl looking for their next sugar daddy.

Lots of anger, depression and anxiety. (Attendance at my church is way up and the local pharmacy ran out of Vicodin last week)

The party is clearly over...

P.S. The trend down here is to throw "gold digger" parties, in which women get together with their gold jewelry that they no longer want. It is certified and weighed by a "gold expert" and cash is traded in exchange for the gold. Talk about a complete shift from the Botox parties of the free money era, circa 2005 - 2007.

Anonymous said...

My state is so out of cash that today they are selling bonds directly to individual taxpayers only.

My state is reduced to doing this because institutional buyers won't buy the bonds. Evidently institutional buyers are a little nervous about my state being projected to go bankrupt. However, since the average taxpayer is too stupid to be aware of this projection, the state still has hope for a complete sell out.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem, Pa., sales dowwn 14%. prices up 13% from last year, same month. Realistically my house went up about 75% in the last six years and now is worth 5% less than the peak. I put 25% down, 30 year fixed at 6.25%. No problem here in my neighborhood with foreclosures. I don't see many for sale signs. People tend to move in and stay for decades.

Anonymous said...

Lancaster, PA has been pretty immune. People here are fairly sensible and thrifty. We still have hardworking farmers. . .craftspeople. . .even blue-collar manufacturing jobs. We've been relatively unaffected by the bubble.


Transplanted Jersey Girl

Anonymous said...

Wile running in the west burbs of Denver on Saturday, I saw 3 for sale signs, 1 for rent (vacant) house and then political signs of all varieties in most other yards. The houses for sale have been so for over a year. This is in an upscale older suburb. Should have taken a picture - it was a classic scene of the current situation.

Anonymous said...

Acworth, GA here. For those that don't know, it's a small city northwest of Atlanta in Cobb County. I live in a subdivision that has single homes and townhomes mixed. There have not been any foreclosures, but I don't remember the last time a house was sold here. People keep their homes for sale and then pull them off the market a couple of months later.

I have noticed that a townhome subdivision next door is only half completed, and I think only half of the built townhomes have sold. I have also seen one area where the land was cleared and the lots were marked but it has been vacant for sometime now. I saw another area that was chained off and the bank had taken over selling the lots. Further in Cobb County I have seen other subdivisions having difficult times selling houses.

The slowdown has definitely hit Atlanta, but i don't think the bubble was as pronounced here as it was in other areas. Still, there are quite a few expensive houses that have been on the market for a long time here.

Anonymous said...

" hatephoenix said...
Frank at Scottsdalesucks is right. I guess this is the only way this loser of a state can replace the plummeting sales tax and property tax. "

Well, I wouldn't Go that Far. Sounds like a state FULL of losers and quick-buck artists from the posts here.

ALMOST as bad as Orange County, California. Another place that should be plowed under for fill...

Orange County is slum so foul it shouldn't even show up on maps...

Anonymous said...

No rest for dead at foreclosed Mich. funeral home
- 10/24/2008 2:28:33 PM

Even the dead can't escape foreclosure in suburban Detroit.

Five bodies and the cremated remains of 22 people have been removed from the House of Burns Memorial Chapel, a funeral home in Pontiac.

They were delivered to the Oakland County medical examiner's office for storage early Friday. The medical examiner's administrator, Robert Gerds, said some of the cremated remains date to the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Monday, 1:15 pm pst.

Dow DOWN 200+ points....

Where's the PPT?

George and Staff back on the bottle? Maybe hitting the pipe in the basement...

*McCain pandering Big Time with a promised Capital Gain Tax reduction.... and spending reduction in federal budget...

*Even a 11 year old non war hero crackhead knows the fastest way to get whacked on-the-street is to raise overhead while lowering revenues...


Mission Accomplished George! You Killed the Country in 8 short years. Daddy must be so Proud!

How are Jeb and Neil doing these days? Staying out-of-the-dock?

Anonymous said...

Depends on the area of town you're in.

In Tacoma, WA (home sweet home), the south and east sides of town have typically 1-2 for sale signs per block, whereas the north and west ends are maybe one sign every couple of blocks. Seems like prices are finally beginning to creep below $225K for an average house. Personally, I won't buy till we get at least to $150K or lower.
Definitely more for sales than is typical, but certainly not quite the epic wasteland of SoCal, AZ, NV and Fla.

Some of the other cities around here are doing worse, such as out in the boonies. I saw a block in Fredrickson with nearly every house for sale.

Even Seattle, our affluent neighbor to the north isn't immune. My friend's parents are moaning that they can't sell their 3 bedroom house in North Seattle. They paid like $985K a few years back, and now can't get an offer for more than $500K.
The times, they are a-changing.

Mark in San Diego said...

Not a lot of change in San Diego - prices just keep sliding, and people keep saying, "we will wait for a few years for the bottom" - the only problem is they have already been waiting for the bottom since 2006!. . .A classic in my downtown neighborhood - a 2/2 townhouse that was on the for sale market in April 2006 (went through 4 realtors) is now on the rental market with a price reduced. . .the guy needed to move for a job, and lowered his price about 10K every six months - always trailing the market. . .if he had listed at a decent price in 2006 it would have sold. . .now his mortgage and HOA is about $1000 a month more than the rent he can charge. . .AND it has been on the rental market for 3 months!!! Not a lot of renters with 7.1% unemployment!

Anonymous said...

Went for a walk this weekend and ended up in the just finished townhomes area, 8 or so all together. One had a "sold" sign in front of it, the rest are available, and could be yours for just 730K.
I mean, it's a nice area an-all, but 730K for a friggin' townhome is just nuts. Close to M$FT, though...

Mammoth said...

The number of “For Sale” signs here on the west side of Puget Sound seems to still be increasing. You can’t even drive a single mile without seeing at least one!

In the real estate insert from last Saturday’s local paper, listing after listing showed, in red, the word “REDUCED!” Most of these properties are still priced too high for families with low-paying local jobs.

In order to be able to make the monthly mortgage, you need to commute across Puget Sound to Seattle if you want a job that pays enough to afford one of these homes.

And sorry, but there’s a limited number of idiots out there who are willing to spend 3 or more hours per day commuting. If you want to sell it, just lower the f*ing price!


Anonymous said...

Which bank is the most secure nowadays?


Anonymous said...

Harper Woods (suburb of Detroit) we have a few foreclosures (3-4) around the neighborhood where I go running. One in particular on my block. However, they were over extended and finally fell into foreclosure last winter. However, it does not sound nearly as dire as CA, FL, or AZ.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the Hudson Valley, in NY. The market here has dropped a bit for single family homes (maybe 15%), but overall, they are offering incentives in lieu of lowering prices further. The condo/townhouse market hasn't seen much trouble. It takes 6-9 months to sell a decent unit, but overall, prices are down 3-5% from the peak.

You see a handful more signs out, but I'm more concerned about the increasing numbers of commercial properties that are for rent or for sale, which can't be a good sign! Yet the stores are all still full, and every night the restaurant parking lots are jammed. We are still within commuting distance to NYC, and far more reasonably priced than any suburbs on the outskirts of the city, so that will always keep our values propped up, better than other areas anyway.

Not many friends around to chat with - they all bought foolishly over their means and have been working multiple jobs to pay for it since!

Anonymous said...

Here in Greenwich, CT, where they're still trying to get 750k for a 2 BR ranch "starter home", the fix is truly in: Greenwich does not allow realtor signs in yards. I believe the ordinance has something to do with them being "unsightly",but no doubt the weaseltors are using this to their advantage, considering there are about twice the homes on the market as there was two years ago. BTW, that 750k "starter" was selling about 10 years ago for around 280K. So, if you think CA and FL look bad, wait till reality starts to hit New England...

Anonymous said...

My wife runs our church's food pantry for the poor. This past week she saw a Realtor she recognized who was a consistant mid-level producer come in for a box of free food.

I guess she needed a change-up from the Ramen.

Devestment said...

Someone told me this morning that we are at bottom. We aren't even close. I await the new administration and the bill for all the free money the past few years. I can't wait to see the impact of 50% or higher capital gains taxes on employment. Jump in suckers, have a slice of dead cat!

Anonymous said...

West Chester, PA

Not much in the way of foreclosures here - at least not that I can tell. No groves of for sale signs or anything like it. Building of townhouse community continues and one house down the road took over a year to sell and it still went for some $550,000 - amazing.


Anonymous said...

North Orange County, CA... the older developments pre 2000 are doing OK. However have all seen substantial price drops 30-40%.. the Newer developments are in the process of getting their asses handed to themselves.
Boom Boom out go the lights !!!

Anonymous said...

Central Oklahoma, prices still rising, inventories of new houses insane in some places. I have noticed a few pre-owned houses that have languished more than a year on the market. The crash is coming, but I think it will be limited to banks and builders that built too much in the wrong areas. I do not believe that lending standards will ever tighten, and they will certainly never go back to 20% down, right now you can get $5K back on a new house with zero down. Foreclosures are rising.

Anonymous said...

Are any houses worth even 10% of their asking price? I think not!

Anonymous said...

Washington DC Citypaper has an amusing column called "Buyers Market" that includes the "slash rate". HAH!


Down elevator!

Anonymous said...

NOVA still overpriced! Still praying for that crash and burn ala Florida, Cali, and Arizona.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Lake County, IL on the North Shore of Chicago, which is supposed to be quite a ritzy area.

LOTS of for sale signs. LOTS of big out-of-scale homes that are empty. LOTS of stale listings with price drops that are about 6 months behind the curve.

I don't see any "foreclosure" signs out here, but I do know from real estate listings that homes are foreclosing. Maybe they think the signs are tacky or something.

The Chicago Trib ran an article on Sunday about how the North Shore wasn't immune to the housing downturn. Shock!

It said, though, that after a 10% drop in the last year, sellers have come down "as low as they can go" and won't be dropping the prices any further.

Oh yeah? There's 11+ months of inventory up here. Let's see how you feel about those prices come spring.

Anonymous said...

Scottsdale, AZ

Startwe home at least 350k.
Not much change here so far.
Needs to lower at least 50%.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

saw a former 750,000 trying to be sold for an overpriced 150,000

Anonymous said...

and i get laborers at 2 dollars a day in half the developing word of billions of people and they do not "need" 200,000 dollar houses..............

Anonymous said...

Southern York County had no run up, hence, no collapse. Lots of empty houses, lots of For Sale signs, no buyers. The sky rocketing property taxes are driving a lot of people out. You can buy down in Harford Co Maryland, right across the line, pay more, get less house for the same money, but nowhere near the property tax burden. The only increase in York Co is in the purchases of condos in the retirement villages. You know, the places where you plunk down a couple hundred grand and then give them your SS and pension checks for the rest of your life in return for a place to stay.

Anonymous said...

I live in the northern surburbs of Dallas and my neighborhood only has one house for sale out of about fifty. I don't see any empty houses either. Prices here didn't really shoot up. Anyone can find a house in a good neighborhood here for $70/sf.

Anonymous said...

Palm Beach county, Fl here....ground zero for all that is wrong. Nothing has changed....foreclosures galore!

Anonymous said...

I live in southeastern Pennsylvania, right outside of Allentown, Pa. The peak of home prices probably occurred here in the last half of 2005. There have been a few foreclosurs in this older suburb where I live, but the vacated houses seem to be sold after a while, at least if the owner reduces the price. From watching transactions reported in the paper, and especially from attending real estate auctions, I try to get a feel for the trend in prices. I would guess that home prices around here are down a good 10 to 20% from the peak, with the bigger houses taking the bigger price reductions. One type of real estate which seems fairly immune to the decline is small farms and country homesteads. Those kinds of places seem to be going for about as much at auction as they used to sell for a few years ago during the time of peak prices.

Anonymous said...

I have been against buying and waiting for the real estate floor forever.

Well last week I found a poorly advertised short sale on a home in a great area 1/2 mile from the Ocean with a view. Value on the home peaked at around $1.25M in 06, and current appraisal is $1.0M+ (based on comps in the last 3 months for smaller older homes within 1/4 mile).

I offered $550K and the bank says my offer is very "strong" based on my high credit score and large Down Payment.

Hate to say it, but 45%+ OFF is enough to get me into this market.


Anonymous said...

High Desert, California. Lots of for sale signs and new bank auctions signs popping up all over my area. The local paper still prints fell good stories about it's a great time to buy a house and investors are getting good deals on group investment buys. But in the comment section below the story people are posting and ripping the story apart from A to B with cold hard facts. Then a day or so later the story and comments disappear till the next fluff story comes out. Stick a fork in my area it's done.

Anonymous said...

I was speaking the other day with someone with whom I've been close for a number of decades now. He lives in the San Fran area (East Bay/Berkeley) and owns a home. He told me that a realtor called him the other day and said that home prices in his neighborhood/area have held up pretty well and now might be a good time to sell. And then he told me that now is a good time to buy b/c places are so cheap.

I didn't want to tell him that 1) it's not realtor but realtwhore, 2) she's just trying to get 6% before the year ends, 3) she's lying about house prices in his area, and 4) wherever prices are at now they will be a lot lower in the future.

He seemed to still be in denial about his home's price so I think there are definitely folks out there who are thinking the same. It's the realtwhores, of course, who are trying to convince people that there house price is still ok.

I just let it pass because this topic is not something worth challenging him on. I just let it go and told him I might start looking around a bit.

In my condo complex of four 40 story buildings in Manhattan, I received a notice the other day that a unit had been sold. That's the only one I can think of ALL YEAR! Last year it seemed like there was a sale every week.

Around the corner from my place I checked out some For Sale listings. Saw a one bedroom on the Upper East Side that had been reduced from $850k to %775K. I also noticed a bunch of other units for sale that were definitely lower than what they were last year. For the city they actually seemed like ok deals, but they will be going lower for sure.

Anonymous said...

Also in Mid Hudson Valley NY. I have noticed a lot more houses for rent and the prices to rent has come down 20% to 30%. A lot of rent to own offers in the ads.

Anonymous said...

Northern VA / MD

Homes still very disconnected from historical fundamentals, and jobs are going away.

Bottom line? With average rentals HALF what it costs for a mortgage, owning a house is just TOO expensive of a proposition, unless you have massive savings, or money to burn.

Who wants to lose money by buying plus have to pay skyrocketing taxes, insurance, maintenence in this kind of environment??

Smart people will hunker down in a nice cheap rental and save money--They will need it!

Anonymous said...

In some ways, this is a bit like the Land Rush of the 1800's. Many people "took on" property, only to find their situation untenable.

Lousy location, difficult neighbors, poor employment after the ranch/farm failed, and tied to the property and the state by repressive laws.

Today, people are walking away (again), but Big Brother has a lot longer reach. You are NOT free after defaulting on your mortgage. Even if you pay cash, the tax man and his deputies still own a piece of you.

Why would anyone want to be owned by a house, in this new America?

Anonymous said...

Greenwich, CT...thanks for the report, that's my hometown.

As for Manhattan Beach, CA... the market is through the roof and not showing many signs of falling. Ocean front homes on 30 x 90 foot lots are all well above $10 million now.

Moving off the strand, things are also sky high and appreciating. One example, a simple house was built in 2005 for $1.6 million. It is now on the market for $2.95 million. Go figure.


Anonymous said...

Nope - no homes for sale in my neighborhood. When one does go on the market, its not usually more than a couple of weeks before its sold. For some strange reason, the housing market implosion hasn't hit my neighborhood in north Fulton County, Georgia.

Anonymous said...

Here in San Bernardino, CA. Realistically, prices have fallen by 50%. Unfortunately, from today's prices it can still fall another 50% (75% drop from peak) to get to home prices in 1997. I think next year will test California. Tax revenue will be way down and our state govt has done little to cut spending.

Anonymous said...

Perfect thread for me... Just got back from my big road trip through SoCal.

Passed through Santa Barbara in the dark, but talked to friends who are retirees there still living in the house they bought 40+ years ago. They say that the gasping is now audible as affluent appearing families shoulder oppressive housing debts and sinking values begin to nibble at a market previously viewed as unsinkable. My grandparent's Victorian beach shack, where I was raised, is now a rental. The lot split and condo permits the new owner fought so hard for look as if they won't be realized in this market.

The south beach towns of L.A. look as glossy and brash as ever. Hit the strand at 8 a.m. and you'll see a whole lot of chihauhuas and botoxed flesh power-walking past... But friends who make their home in L.A. share our concerns. There is a high degree of vulnerablility underlying this thin veneer of affluence.

Drive east of L.A. toward the great inland empire, and you catch glimpses of the housing crisis in full tilt. Big ass homes, big ass cars, big ass boats, big ass commutes... Neighborhoods punctuated by tell tale brown lawns and drained pools. At a taqueria in Yucaipa, a realtor has tacked up a flier advertising limo tours of foreclosed properties. (A limo? For chrissakes why? So you can feel like the little bald guy in monopoly??)

And then Palm Springs... Creepy chem lawns sweating in the hot midday sun. Sprinklers sprinkling sidewalks in midday. And I think to myself, "We're giving up wild salmon for this? WTF!?" Lots of beautifully preserved ancient cuts of human beef sporting around in perpetually air conditioned miniature environments: Condo to Lexus, Lexus to golf cart, golf cart to clubhouse, clubhouse to Lexus, Lexus to CVS... (I'm not kidding... there appears to be a chain pharmacy on every other corner. Really.)

And every neighborhood, from the 5 million dollar golf course homes to the vintage trailer parks, are behind gates. It's crazy, considering all day long the gates flap open to let in all number of riff raff without whom none of these old farts could live - gardeners, cleaning ladies, dog walkers, dry wallers, physical therapists, home nurses, etc. etc.

The desert is like the anti-sustainability poster child for the u.s. History will not be kind to us for this. I ate dinner one night at a function held at Arnold Palmer's Restaurant. Listening to the sprinklers rain in the dark, sitting under the hot blast of propane patio heaters, watching entire tables send plates of half eaten luxury meat proteins away with the busboys, I ruminated over how in a world where there is thirst and cold and malnutrition we underestimate just how easy we are to hate.

Up until Palm Springs I thought maybe it could all get fixed. Now I'm not so sure it should... L.

Anonymous said...

Cincinnati , Ohio
Outlying properties with acreage seem to be selling with about a 10% reduction from 2006 peak.

What amazes me are the vast numbers of vacant homes in the older neighborhoods. Decent neighborhoods where you can buy a 3 bedroom 1950s ranch for as little as $45,000.

I know a guy who just bought a 4 bedroom, 3 bath victorian with 5 fireplaces for $12,000. It was not a foreclosure--- it was an estate and the kids had been trying to sell it for two years.

No buyers want the smaller square foot older homes. Everyone has become accustomed to it having to be BRAND NEW.

Anonymous said...

I sold in 2005 and now renting here in Fl, The area i did live in was nice before the boom now there our tons of foreclosures and the homes conditions our a mess imo. I could buy a home like the one i sold for about 35,000 more with better upgrades but i would not buy into the area again. I see the foreclosures selling off at really cheep prices there's one that sold for less then the first owner before the boom.

Hawver said...

Chicago IL - East Ukrainian Village: I've seen maybe one or two for sale signs, and no foreclosures in my neighborhood. Heck, they are even gut rehabbing a couple buildings on my street. Still glad I didn't let the wife talk me into buying back in 06 though.

Anonymous said...

In the wealthy North Shore Chicago suburb of Highland Park, the local not-much-to-do police are warning residents about an increase in copper thefts. As in pipes and gutters, etc.

Can you say economic crisis?

Can you say vacant McMansions?

Anonymous said...

In my town in Fairfield County, Conn., there are for sale signs everywhere. Many for rent signs now too--on the homes that didn't sell. So what should one do in this market? List your 2 bedroom for 795K and then later try to lure buyers with a 759K price tag.

Prices are coming down, but they were so high to begin with that it looks like the bubble's going to take a looooong time to deflate here.

Anonymous said...

In Orlando, just east of the University, in a bland sea of houses. not many signs up. a for sale sign here, another there, an up-for-auction sign over yonder. Either this is a tiny bubble insulated from the rest of Florida, or someone is doing a good job hiding signs.

Peahippo said...


Q. Is your neighborhood littered with foreclosures?

YES, but not as you might think. Foreclosures and long-term on-market properties are being "staged" into the market. Empty properties that have no valid reason for sitting empty, just do. Rents are being held artificially high. That's a good way to measure that denial is STILL a strong market force. I'm literally watching houses pass from homedebtor, to the lender, to Fannie Mae or another lender, with 6-12 months for each step, and with 30-50% loss at each step. Absolute auctions commonly go for 60% of assessed value, and these are for fairly good houses in the first place. (And YES, the county assessor is high on crack cocaine, given these ridiculous assessments.)

Q. Are there for-sale signs everywhere you look?

YES. But as I said before, there are still a LOT of houses that are empty, having been on/off the market for YEARS (1-3), hence the ones marked for sale are only a minority of them. Maybe 1/3 of the houses that should be on sale, are actually on sale as market information tells me. The rest are stealthed. LOTS OF DENIAL.

Q. What are your friends and neighbors saying?

DENIAL. They are still buying $100K houses when $50K houses are just as good. They are still "buying upwards". Banks are still lending to those with stellar credit (read: those fools who can't save money). Everyone expects the market to come back "any time now". It's a "great time to buy". In other words ... straight-up NAR propaganda.

Ironically, I'm looking to buy, in the $15/sf range, since it will save me about $500/mo for my rental costs. I'm only going to spend $20000 (CASH) for such a house. So I'm just a different bird than 99% of the population of debt-seekers. I'm looking for the hard fixer-upper in working-class areas ... you know, where the yuppies have been fleeing for decades since they wouldn't get caught dead in the same houses they were raised in.

Q. How far do you think home prices have fallen in your city/town? How much farther do you think they have to go?

Prices FOR HOMES THAT SELL must have fallen at least 50%. As most others on this blog know, price falls for homes that don't sell are much less.

P.S. I love hearing that the housing bubble didn't touch Toledo, Ohio. WHAT AN EFFIN' LIE. Factories and other sustainable businesses were in free flight out of this area, yet house prices rose strongly during the same period. The issue is that with flight of the capital base, prices for houses should have started FALLING back in the late 1990s around here. The county government "foreclosure task force" is overwhelmed with people's requests, and they just can't act in time to save any of them, in my opinion. The banks in Toledo are going to become landlords, since even trying to auction a house for $35K in a working-class neighborhood is a bit of a chore.