August 31, 2008

Our work here is nearly done. HousingPANIC (the blog) will end on November 5, 2008

Longtime HP'ers know there were a few main reasons for this blog:

1) To warn others of what was about to come
2) To expose the lies of realtors and the REIC and our leaders in DC
3) To expose America's addiction to debt and over-consumption
4) To make housing affordable and stable for future generations

And now, what we warned was coming, it came.

And now, realtors and the NAR have been forever and irrevocably discredited. The REIC is in tatters. Congress' approval rating is at an all-time low. And our corrupted leaders have been exposed.

And now, debt is seen as disgusting, Hummer's are mocked, and yes, future generations may be able to afford a house, and not see a house as a lottery ticket or get-rich-quick scheme.

There is still much to be done. Angelo Mozilo and Michael Perry (and thousands more) need to be prosecuted for their crimes. Home prices need to fall until the economic fundamentals make sense again. Hundreds of thousands of realtors need to find new work and the remaining ones need to find a new business model. And every incumbent in DC needs to be voted out of office.

But our work here at HP is nearly done.

So, I've decided to end the blog the day after election day - November 5, 2008, the third birthday for this blog. HP is supposedly the #1 real estate blog in the land, so let's go out on top.

We'll know on November 5th whether America has decided to plunge into the abyss, by re-electing the REIC-corrupted incumbents in Congress by an overwhelming majority, while putting the unacceptable and dangerous McCain/(TBD) ticket into the White House. Or whether America goes in a new and better direction.

Make no mistake, housing prices will keep falling, ignorance in America will continue, corruption will go on in DC, realtors will keep lying to earn a commission, the taxpayer funded bailouts will continue, and our national debt will keep soaring.

But that'll be for others to discuss.

I hope you've enjoyed the blog. I hope you've made good financial decisions these past few years. I hope you were able to warn others. I hope you've had some laughs, and I hope you've gained some new knowledge.

10,000,000 views, 6,000 posts, and three years later, our work here is nearly done.

It's been an honor, with your help, to expose the truth.

Even while the truth has sucked.

What should America do with all the homes in hurricane and flood zones as climate change just gets worse and worse?

Eventually people living on the coasts, and in homes under sea level, will not be able to get private insurance. That day will come sooner than you think.

Then the question will be - should taxpayers foot the bill for people to live in places where hurricanes and flooding will continue to destroy their homes, year after year after year?

Should New Orleans have been rebuilt? When it gets taken out again, should it be rebuilt (at taxpayer expense) again?

[here's the latest path. good luck and godspeed to the people of Louisiana. and please, please think about moving, will you? it's just gonna keep happening, and the broke US government spent all the money in Iraq and on gambling bankers, and can't afford to take care of you anymore]

Let them eat cake.




A helpful hint to the GOP and their spinmeisters:

Postpone your convention. You do NOT want images on Monday night of Bush, Cheney and rich white folks partying it up on the anniversary of your Katrina clusterf*ck, as a new and more powerful hurricane Gustav slams into the Louisiana coast, reminding everyone of your incompetence and cronyism.

Trust me.

August 30, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day - Travel Edition

1) Do you have a passport?

2) What countries have you visited?

3) If money were no object, in which country would you like to live?

4) Do you feel travel enriches your life?

5) Would you like to travel more?

6) What is your favorite city in the world?

And then the British, having caused a historic European-wide speculative housing orgy, finally realized that the chickens are coming home to roost

"We’ve got our work cut out. The conditions are arguably the worst they’ve been in 60 years. And I think it’s going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought.”

- Alistair Darling, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, August 28, 2008

HousingPANIC congratulates Sarah Palin on her historic Vice Presidential nomination, and wishes her well as the debate moves into the general election

Miss Palin, although a political novice, adds a refreshing voice to the debate. Her experience in the Alaska PTA, and her in-the-trenches role as the mayor of Wasila Alaska shows that with perseverance, anyone in America can be President.

John McCain has shown the American people that he is not bound by political dogma or cautious behavior. John McCain is a man of boldness, a man who acts first, then asks questions later. America needs this type of bold, some would say reckless, leadership as we enter into an era of world geopolitical instability.

Sarah Palin will bring a fresh face and fresh thinking to the McCain campaign. America needs fresh ideas, fresh faces and fresh experience. Sarah Palin is a welcome addition to the campaign, and we hope to see John McCain show the strength, even given all the criticism coming from his own party, to keep her on the ticket through November.

Jim Cramer - if the government used home prices in the CPI reading, you'd see the biggest deflation since the '30s, calls the Fed "radical right wing"

Cramer predicts another 10% to 15% decline nationwide, and 40% to 50% peak to trough declines in bubble markets. He calls the Fed "reckless" and "radical".

Cramer: Fed's Destroying the Economy

Jim Cramer says the Fed is ignoring the U.S. deflationary crisis and is trying to reinvent the economy by destroying it.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

What percent of Americans are just hopelessly ignorant?

Bonus: Do you think it's getting better, or worse?

Here's a look at Gustav's path, a map of oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and the oilmen addressing the GOP convention while the hurricane hits

Fate plays a cruel hand sometimes.

And karma is a bitch.

Want a tip? Fill up the car now.

August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin's vice president job interview - EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Has the world gone mad?

Bonus: Is it getting worse?

Oh, please be Sarah Palin for vice president.. Please be Palin... But that would be too good to be true of course (since it would destroy McCain)


"Biggest political gamble I believe just about in American political history...that is not hyberbole. I can think of no choice of VP that approaches this"

- Pat Buchanan, August 29, 2008

Mitt Romney? Tom Ridge? Lindsay Graham? Rudy? Tim Pawlenty? Mike Huckabee? Kay Baily Hutchinson? Condi Rice? Charlie Crist?

Noooo!!! Nope, John McCain believes Sarah Palin is the best and most qualified person in the Republican party to take his place if he kicks off (he is kinda old). President Sarah Palin.

John McCain is an unacceptable and dangerous candidate for the office of President. And he has now proven himself to be the unstable and unintelligent doofus we feared he was.

This race is over, and it will be a historic landslide. Unless Palin pulls a Harriet Miers and withdraws in the next few hours or days (which I think is likely). Or the GOP pulls its head out of its ass and gets McCain to withdraw, and a viable candiate runs in his place.

The GOP die-hards must be reeling today.

Picture the Biden - Palin debate (if it happens). Poor girl. Seriously, poor girl. Getting her ready in a few weeks will be impossible. "OK, Sarah, there's a country called Georgia. And there's another country called Kazakhstan... And now let's get you up to speed on organizations. There's one called the UN. There's another one called the EU..."

After building sh*tty, ugly, break-down-prone gas-guzzling cars for decades, GM's Chairman wants $50 billion from the US taxpayer

HousingPANIC's message for overpaid and visionless GM Chairman Lutz:

Go away.

You and your crappy company (and your lobbyists) are no longer needed. Real car companies with good designers and smart management build cars people want. They've been doing it for decades. You don't, and thus you should learn to compete on your own, or go away.

Thanks for playing.

GM's Lutz calls for $50 billion in government-backed loans

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz was quoted by The New York Times as saying automakers deserve up to $50 billion in government-backed loans to build more fuel-efficient cars.

Lutz told reporters in an event near Chicago that the American auto industry is deserving of government loan guarantees to retool plants. The automakers and the UAW are urging Congress to appropriate $3.75 billion to back $25 billion in loans authorized last year

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"It fell off a cliff. It wasn't a bungee jump. It was jumping off a cliff with no bungee cord."

- Bill Rogers, Michigan homebuilder, August 2008

(a perfect quote for Manias, Panics and Crashes, 2010 Housing Crash Edition)

Barack Obama, soon to be elected by an awakened and fed up America as the 44th President of the United States

"America, we are better than these last eight years"

“Tonight, tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land — enough!"

-Barack Obama, August 28, 2008

You're the GOP. How do you take a hurricane hitting Louisiana on the 3rd anniversary of your Katrina clusterf*ck and spin it to your advantage?

(good luck again to the people of Louisiana and the gulf. Latest hurricane track here)

Serious question. You know there are overpaid political consultants running game theory all weekend on this one. Let's give 'em a hand... My prediction? The GOP postpones their convention. This will be big, big news. Other ideas:

1) Have Bush and Cheney skip the convention so they can get to New Orleans and man the crisis center and serve hot dogs to their victims (oops, I mean the hurricane's victims)

2) Cancel the convention all together. It was gonna be tough to put a happy face on the horsesh*t of the past seven years anyway

3) Say that all these hurricanes and government shelters are
working out pretty well for Louisianans, since their homes were crashing in value and they didn't have jobs anyway

4) Use the oil supply disruption in the Gulf as an excuse to drill for more oil in places that won't get taken out by hurricanes, like Malibu and Hilton Head

5) Have John McCain give his acceptance speech from a hurricane shelter, dressed in military gear, wearing a POW hat, carrying a gun, chewing tobacco

6) Have Kanye West perform his new song "George Bush Loves Black People" at the convention

7) Blame gays and abortion for creating a
vengeful god who hits America with hurricanes to send America a message that they should continue to vote Republican, The Party of God

8) Have Bush give another birthday cake to McCain as all hell breaks loose, and let a convention center full of rich white people party while on the CNN split screen a state full of poor black people suffers

Jim Cramer says FDIC has no plan

His solution - dump the crap on the US taxpayer. Get popcorn. The sh*t is gonna hit the fan. Especially with incompetent way-over-her-head monkeys like Sheila Bair running the joint. And get ready for the mother of all bailouts HP'ers. RTC2. RTC on steriods. Bankers and speculators gambled. And you and I get stuck with the tab.

Cramer: The FDIC Needs a Plan -- Now

Jim Cramer says the FDIC desperately needs to find a way to dispose of its assets.

August 28, 2008

Ron Paul throws the Fed and the GOP under the bus on CNN

I support Ron Paul 100%.

Picking between Obama and McCain was picking the best of what was left.

But America doesn't support Ron Paul. Nor will they in his lifetime. The empire is failing, and the people chose to let it happen.

Here's Ron Paul speaking the truth on the Fed, the two parties, and Russia/Georgia among other things. Truth you won't hear from Dems or Reps. Truth you especially won't hear from McCain.

Damn, I wish he'd run as an independent, just to get into the debates. Ron Paul has as much to do with the current GOP as Santa Claus has to do with Islam. I bet he's not even let in the door of the GOP convention next week.

Here's Peter Schiff on the commodities meltdown, the gold gutting and the dollar rise... Agree or Disagree?

Over the last few months, as the dollar rose more than 10% against a basket of other currencies, and as gold and oil sank to multi-month lows, many investors concluded that a threshold had been crossed, and that the bearish trend for the dollar and the bullish trends for commodities had finally come to an end. But rather than representing a sea change, these counter trend moves more likely signify that the established trends are about to kick it into a whole new gear. My take is that if you thought you had seen a bear market in the dollar and bull market in gold, oil, and other commodities, well, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Corrections are often vicious, designed to shake loose as many investors as possible prior to a major move. The best bull markets carry as little excess baggage as possible. With few speculators on board to sell into every rally, the true believers who remain can receive the full benefit of a fundamental upswing. Violent downward moves also force out those that were too highly leveraged, or those who showed up late to the party with little understanding of the true fundamentals. Those who panicked and jumped out too low often scramble to reestablish positions at higher prices, further fueling the bull market.

This recent correction saw the most dramatic change in sentiment that I have ever witnessed. But the head fake that caused the market to commit was in fact not worthy of a high school benchwarmer. With absolutely no significant developments that could explain either a bottom in the dollar, or a top in commodities, investors placed their faith in price moments alone. Once the numbers started to show some retrograde motion, everyone simply assumed that a real change had taken place, and the momentum buying and selling began. The rapid movement reveals how clueless participants in these trades had become. Even those fund managers that seem to understand the fundamentals were fooled by the sharp price movements and the rhetoric they spawned.

HousingPANIC would like to know if Cato Institute Housing Bubble denier Alan Reynolds has any more words of wisdom for the world

Why were so many 'smart' people so dumb?


I understand corrupt people (like realtors) denying the bubble. But economists and self-appointed think-tank gurus who didn't see it, well, they simply should be put out to pasture. Never to be listened to again.

Alan Reynolds, we await your mea-culpa. Make it a good one, OK?

(thanks Stephen for the link)

No Housing Bubble Trouble, by Alan Reynolds

Alan Reynolds is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and a nationally syndicated columnist.

January 9, 2005

The start of each year is prime time for economic pessimists, who try to persuade us terrible things are about to happen. A perennial favorite is the "housing bubble" about to burst, with a supposedly devastating impact on household wealth. This has been repeatedly recycled since June 2002 by bearish economic forecasters like Ed Leamer of University of California-Los Angeles and Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley.

House prices did not just "bubble" for no reason. The discounted present value of housing rose because 30-year mortgage rates fell from 9.2 percent in December 1994 to 5.8 percent in December 2004 (no, not because of a budget surplus). The drop in world interest rates raised home prices even more in foreign cities like London, Dublin and Sydney.

"Housing bubble" worrywarts have long been hopelessly confused. It would have been financially foolhardy to listen to them in 2002. It still is.

John Kerry threw McCain under the bus pretty good last night... I guess getting swift-boated by Karl Rove wakes you up (too late)

Oh, and while you weren't looking, thanks to the Housing Gambler Bailout Act of 2008, the US Debt Ceiling just got raised by another $800,000,000,000.

I blame the voters. I blame the American people.

Your children, and their children, and their children, and their children, and their children are going to hate you.

This economic behavior is shameful, it's immoral, it's corrupt, it's unpatriotic, it's self-centered and it's disgusting.

Never have the voters of the United States, through their government, acted so immorally and so unethically. Future generations will be disgusted by this generation of grotesque, consumption-crazed, debt-addicted Americans.

To make room for the bailout, the bill raises the federal government’s debt ceiling by $800 billion to $10.6 trillion.

This increases the cushion between the debt limit and the current federal debt to $1.1 trillion. The legislation thus opens the way for a government bailout of Wall Street that would make the $160 billion rescue of the savings and loan industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s pale in comparison.

August 27, 2008

People of New Orleans - leave. Leave now. Get out. Run. Now. You're on your own.

Global Warming + Bush/Cheney + Bad Luck = Disaster.

Will the GOP postpone their convention? Or will they read My Pet Goat, and let them eat cake?

(and just a note - stop building homes in flood zones America. It's only gonna get worse..)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — On the eve of Hurricane Katrina's third anniversary, a nervous New Orleans watched Wednesday as another storm threatened to test everything the city has rebuilt, and officials made plans to evacuate people, pets and hospitals in an attempt to avoid a Katrina-style chaos.

Forecasters warned that Gustav could grow into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane in the next several days and hit somewhere along a swath of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Texas — with New Orleans smack in the middle.

Here's the $53 trillion math.. One day, the MSM will start reporting the real number, not the $9 trillion BS number they keep feeding you

And then, right on schedule, the FDIC ran out of money and became insolvent (no matter how they try to spin it)



And then the music ended.

The bankers made their bonuses, had their parties, lived their lavish lifestyles. And the US taxpayer picked up the tab.

FDIC may borrow money from Treasury

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) might have to borrow money from the Treasury Department to see it through an expected wave of bank failures, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The borrowing could be needed to cover short-term cash-flow pressures caused by reimbursing depositors immediately after the failure of a bank, the paper said.

The borrowed money would be repaid once the assets of that failed bank are sold.

"I would not rule out the possibility that at some point we may need to tap into (short-term) lines of credit with the Treasury for working capital, not to cover our losses," Chairman Sheila Bair said in an interview with the paper.

Oh, you're gonna love this one.. Suzanne Researched It - The Remix

Say hello to Gustav.. stopping by to remind people of how incompetent Bush & Cheney were during Katrina (and coming ashore during the GOP convention)

Will a big hurricane hitting the gulf during the GOP convention remind people of.....

This or This or This


We were run by monkeys when we needed to be run by competent, uncorrupted and intelligent people. And as we all know now, America and the world paid the price.

Big time.

Meanwhile, good luck to the citizens in the gulf. You'll need it. You're on your own.

More Jim Cramer on housing, foreclosures, Fannie, Freddie and banks on the Today show

I don't care what a lot of you say, I like Cramer. He's an entertaining little monkey. And he was right about housing when he said "if you buy a house you're crazy" on the Today show a year ago (rewatch this classic). Oooh, the housewives and the six percenters didn't like that. But he was right.

He's wrong a lot, but he's right a lot too. Take him with a grain of salt, just another voice to consider. And he's a hell of a lot smarter than the likes of Mike Norman, Tom Adkins, Connie De Groot, Nicholas Retsinas, Greg Swann, Leslie Appleton-Young, David Lereah, Lawrence Yun, etc etc etc

August 26, 2008

What are the most important issues influencing your vote for president? Here's mine... Fire away (intelligently I hope)

It's been disappointing to read some of the brainless comments here on HP and elsewhere lately, from both the left and right.

Obama is a muslim. McCain's wife pops pills. Obama met a guy who was a 60's radical. McCain cheated on his wife. Obama didn't wear a flag pin.


America, if that's the case, is doomed. Ignorance has taken over. The brain-dead issue crowd, left and right, should be embarrassed and ashamed at their public ignorance . But I fear they are not, as they're too ignorant to realize how stupid and shallow they truly are. They are suckers, they are fools.

I like a good political argument, but one based on issues. I hate trivial crap like flag pins and spouses. That being the case, I wanted to get specific with you, loyal HP'ers and even the Bush/McCain trolls. I support Obama (reluctantly) over McCain because of these issues:

1) FOREIGN POLICY: The United States brand needs to be restored around the world. A nation of hope, dreams, morality and fairness, of hard work, honesty and integrity. George Bush and the Sith Lord Dick Cheney have done more damage to our reputation around the world in eight years than I ever thought possible. Trust me, I live 'over here', and we're hated. HATED. And rightly so. We've been arrogant, we've tortured, we've invaded sovereign nations on false pretenses, we're hypocrites, and we're frankly the neighborhood as*holes, and it's just getting worse. It's time for a major change. McCain is more of the same, if not worse, and even more hot-headed, arrogant and dangerous than Bush.

2) SUPREME COURT: McCain sees Alito, Scalia and Thomas as model justices for the Supreme Court, which will have two or three vacancies in the next four years. This makes him an unacceptable and dangerous candidate for the office of President in my eyes.

3) TAXES: McCain wants to give the rich another tax cut. Obama wants to give the middle class and poor a tax cut, while slightly raising taxes on "the rich" back to pre-Bush levels. I support Obama on this. It's immoral to put the burden of taxes on the people who can least afford it. I would like to see the entire tax system thrown away and the IRS abolished in favor of a consumption tax versus an income tax, but failing that, I'm for lower taxes on the middle class and higher taxes on people making over $250,000 a year, so is Obama. McCain is in the pocket of the rich and the corporations, funny for someone from the Party of God.

4) SOCIAL POLICY: Bush and Cheney have at every turn favored the rich and corporations, especially the oil companies and Military Industrial Complex, over the people. They and the GOP want into your bedrooms, your churches, your classrooms and your bodies. Obama has read the Declaration of Independence and US constitution, McCain either has not, or like Bush has chosen to ignore it. Gays and women have civil and legal rights even if you disagree with them, which Obama recognizes and McCain does not. This makes McCain unacceptable. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

5) PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES: Bush and Cheney illegally spy on Americans. They torture. And they were evil in the name of 'security' from bogeymen. They should be in jail pure and simple - they are traitors and criminals. McCain supports them. This makes him unacceptable.

I disagree with Obama and the Democrats on a whole host of issues, especially their desire to bail out housing gamblers and failing bankers with taxpayer money. I disagree with them strongly on social security and health care. But McCain is unacceptable as a candidate in my view. If he wins, I will re-dedicate myself and this blog (or another) to opposing him. However, I don't fear that. I believe in the American people, I believe they understand they were conned these past eight years, that McCain is just as bad if not worse, and I believe they'll do the right thing come November.

This election is the most important election in the past 50 years, if not more.

America is in trouble. Your kids, their kids, their kids and their kids may come to hate you.

It's time to say no more. It's time to take a stand. Or it's time to wither away.

FLASH: S&P Case-Shiller housing price index crashes a record 15% nationwide. Vegas down 29%, Swanndive's Phoenix down 28%, Miami down 28%

No, Lawrence Yun and the army of discredited real estate clerks on commission who said it was always a good time to buy a home do NOT want you to see this message.

S&P: Home prices tumble by record amount

NEW YORK - A widely watched housing index released Tuesday showed home prices dropping by the sharpest rate ever in the second quarter.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index tumbled a record 15.4 percent during the quarter from the same period a year ago.

The worst performing city in the index was Las Vegas, where prices plunged 28.6% year-over-year, followed by Miami, down 28.3%, and Phoenix, down 27.9%.

Fannie & Freddie have failed (once the accountants and US Treasury finally get around to admitting it). So, serious question, what should be done?

If F&F had only bought loans with 20% or more down and verified funds (not borrowed piggyback funds), they wouldn't have failed.

But that's not what happened, since their executives were motivated to enrich themselves, their lobbyists had Congress in their pocket, and their auditor was criminally negligent.

So now, we have by far the biggest financial failure in the history of the world on our hands. The taxpayer's hands, who backed up these pigs with an 'implied' guarantee that is now a real guarantee.

So what should be done now?

If the US doesn't make good on their bonds, economies around the world will collapse, including the US who'll never be able to borrow another dollar from China and friends again. So take that off the list - the US taxpayer will make good on their bonds, and hundreds and hundreds of billions if not trillions will be lost.

If F&F are allowed to continue, even after wiping out the common and preferred shares, there's nothing from stopping this mess from happening again in the future - privatize the gains while making the losses public.

So what's my solution?

Liquidate Fannie and Freddie - now. As fast as possible, as it'll only get worse. Wipe out the shareholders. And let the free market buy up any mortgage they want - WITH NO F*CKING GOVERNMENT GUARANTEE OR INVOLVEMENT.

I'm sure real companies with real desires to stay in business won't be buying Option-ARM, Negative-Am, Liar's Loan garbage in the future. And if they do, and they fail, Congress needs to pass a law that no bank or investment house in the future can legally be bailed out by the US taxpayer (got that Bernanke? got that Paulson?). Nobody is too big to fail. Once the market knows that, and it's codified into law, it's a new day.

Government is the problem, and has no business being in business. Fannie and Freddie proved it.

Some of the few remaining hard-core Bush/Cheney voters appear to be confused, predicting McCain to win in a landslide. So here's the electoral map

Have at it with this cool interactive electoral map. To change a state, one click for red, two clicks for blue.

Show us how McCain wins in a landslide. He carries New York, California, hell even Massachusetts right?

Good luck.

You'll need it.

For those of you who'd like to know the future today, the final electoral vote for 2008 will be... drumroll please... 309 Obama, 229 McCain.

Although I'm tempted to give housing-crash-central Arizona's 10 votes to Obama too. They're starting to hate the McCain there. And housing-crash-horror Florida is also a possibility. If you add both of those, it's 336 Obama to 202 McCain.

But again, educate us Bush supporters. Tell us how your boy gets to that "landslide". Tell us how the incumbent party, led by the Worst President of All Time, and now championed by the Oldest Candidate of All Time, gets put back in power during a historic economic crash and ongoing foreign policy disaster.

This sums up last month's NAR Used Home Sales report nicely

"These days, hammering a For Sale sign in the front yard of a home must feel a bit like driving a stake into the rotting corpse of a vampire; fear mixed with incredulity and the foggy notion that this unnatural gesture may not, in fact, work. And so we get headlines like those streaming across the wires this morning: "Existing US Home Sales Up 3.1 Percent in July." That's good, but only until nightfall. Then the bad craziness begins all over again.

Yes, sales rebounded in July from a 10-year low, but the median priced dropped 7.1% nationally and, worse, the number of homes entering the market hit a record. There were a record 4.67 million unsold houses and condos on the market in July, representing 11.2 month's supply at the current sales pace, the highest ever, according to the National Association of Realtors."

Kevin Depew, Executive Editor of, August 25, 2008

August 25, 2008

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"Here's the problem: If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed, then probably the financial system would receive such a body blow that it could be disastrous"

- Barack Obama, August 25, 2008

(here comes the trillion dollar bailout and government takeover HP'ers. But say goodbye to the common stock)

Nope, you can't make this sh*t up. Introducing "Happy Real Estate News" - and make sure you leave a nice welcome comment, OK?


How about "No-Spin Real Estate News"? Wouldn't that be better?

The REIC. What do we do with 'em?

Be sure to check out the Happy Graphs - you know, the typical ones if you're going to distort and spin, with no labels on their axis points and limited time frames so as to not show the epic and historic crash.

And make sure you click on the comments section HP'ers (until they shut it down later today). Make us proud...

Tired of gloom and doom stories about the US real estate market? We are, too. So welcome to Happy Real Estate News.

In real estate it's important to remember: there isn't one market out there, there are hundreds of thousands. And the factors driving these markets vary from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, even from street to street.

There's no denying that the mortgage meltdown has meant tragedy for many home owners. But take a look around.

You'll see there's very positive activity in many vibrant markets throughout the US. By focusing on the good news and passing the message around, we can help speed up the market recovery.

This web site is a reality check, based on actual facts on the ground. It's vital information you need to run your real estate business and educate your clients about the market in your area.

Too big for the government to let fail - yes or no? Lehman, Fannie, Freddie, WaMu, First Fed and GM get ready for their dates with destiny...

Which of these are too big to fail?

1) Fannie

2) Freddie

3) Lehman
4) WaMu
5) First Fed

6) General Motors

Get some popcorn HP'ers, and enjoy the show...
(note - I now hold LEH puts, should have had 'em all...)

Too big to fail? We'll see about that

The calamity in the financial sector will be remembered for the household names it damaged or took down.

The mess in the U.S. financial system is making me nostalgic for the dot-com collapse of 2000-2002. That, too, was a cataclysmic bursting of an insane market bubble.

We've already lived through several such systemic shocks this year. Countrywide Financial Corp., brokerage Bear Stearns Cos. and IndyMac Bancorp are history, the first two rescued just in the nick of time by larger rivals, the third seized by the government.
Now, shares of mortgage titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac trade for less than a fast-food lunch as the market bets that a government takeover is inevitable, if not imminent.

This week was another rumor-fueled ride on Wall Street. Fears of an impending failure of another major financial company were stoked by a speech early in the week by Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and a historian of financial crises.

"The worst is yet to come," he said of the U.S. financial system. "We're not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months. We're going to see a whopper, we're going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks or big banks."

By late in the week Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc., long on the list of the most at-risk institutions, was said to be shopping itself to potential foreign buyers, including a state-run South Korean development bank.

And shares of Washington Mutual Inc., the biggest U.S. thrift institution, on Friday fell to their lowest level since mid-July on renewed jitters about the Seattle-based company's viability.

I love democracy, especially when it's messy

Sometimes I don't blame the government for things like the Iraq Debacle and the Great Housing Crash.

No, I blame the people.

When you don't rise up against a corrupt and evil government (and media) serving the interests of corporations and the military industrial complex, you get what you get.

And as we all know now, we got what we got.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Why do real estate clerks blog?

A) To help their fellow man
B) As a selfless act of creative expression
C) To share their unbiased wisdom for the good of society

D) To generate leads in order to earn big meaty commissions for doing hardly any work

Renters do stuff like this

August 24, 2008

A star is (re)born

Better than a rickroll

check baby check baby check one two...

Rush - Subdivisions

Hat-tip to Frank for this gem

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknown

Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone

Nowhere is the dreamer
Or the misfit so alone

Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Somewhere out of a memory
Of lighted streets on quiet nights…

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Are our leaders in DC most concerned about

A) Innocent people losing 'their' homes

B) Their major donors (banks, investment houses and Fannie and Freddie) failing because the sheeple stopped paying

Century 21 Arizona is having a FREE seminar on "Why It Still Makes Sense to Buy versus Rent, The Housing Bubble and Media Myths and Industry Facts"

Feel free to register HP'ers! I think "Mickey Mouse", "David Lereah", "Foreclosed Victim" and "Doughboy Sucker" all need to reserve seats at the show! Hurry though, because space is limited!

Can't wait to hear about those pesky media myths, and how it's always a great time to buy! And since they're covering the "true facts about the housing bubble" I sure hope they show stories of all those people in Arizona who lost their life savings because of the commission-hungry realtors from Century 21...

Wallick & Volk and Century 21 Associates are offering a free seminar on Why It Still Makes Sense to Buy versus Rent, The Housing Bubble and Media Myths and Industry Facts.

In this seminar you will learn: The true cost of renting, The tax advantage of home ownership, How to overcome the fear of purchasing a home, The true facts about the housing bubble, What truly affects the growth of the housing industry, and How to increase your credit score 100 points in 45 days.

Additionally, attend this FREE seminar to receive a complimentary purchase analysis and homebuyers kit.

Seminar will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Location of seminar is the Century 21 Associates office located at 24 West Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

Please RSVP to 928-526-2121 or

Space is limited so be sure to register now.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Is debt a force of good, or a force of evil?

Bonus #1: Are you in debt?

Bonus #1a: If you are, how does it make you feel?

Bonus #2: If you're not, tell the people in #1 above what freedom tastes like. Maybe they'll be inspired.

And then the Iraq Debacle magic spin machine went nuts. Dick Morris: "we went into Iraq at the invitation of the government, not as an invasion"

Next they'll say there was no housing bubble, the US is not in debt, and that George W. Bush is the most popular and acclaimed president in history.

Truth and facts are no match for the GOP disinformation machine.

73 days until America decides if it's had enough of gasbags like Dick Morris.

Enjoy this clip. Watching Morris denying the Iraq invasion and foreign policy clusterf*ck of the century is like watching him trying to deny his hookers.

Jim Cramer predicts every home bought in America with an ARM in 2005, 2006 and 2007 will go into default as the upside-down homedebtors just walk away

"I am predicting 100% defaults on all non-fixed-rate loans from 2005 to 2007. No one in America is using that negative a forecast. Do you ever hear anyone say 100% of those loans from that era are going to default? I am."

- Jim Cramer, predicting that every homedebtor in America who 'bought' a home the past few years with an ARM, with their homes worth nowhere near what they paid for them, will simply and smartly turn in the keys and walk away, August 2008

(meanwhile, the realtors keep their six percent, and the mortgage brokers keep their bonuses and bribes)

August 23, 2008

Biden just ripped on "a government that does nothing while they watch the housing market collapse"

[UPDATE - HERE'S THE ACTUAL QUOTE - "We can't afford four more years of a government that does nothing while they watch the housing market collapse. As you know, it's not just the millions of people facing foreclosure. It's the tens of millions of your neighbors who are seeing the values of their homes drop off a cliff along with their dreams."]

.... um... maybe it's just me.. but wasn't the real problem that the government did nothing while home prices, aided by rampant fraud and speculation, went stupid?

Too bad we were run by REIC-corrupted monkeys who let the realtors, mortgage brokers, builders and bankers run wild, when they should have been on watch.

Next up - the epic and historic bailouts of Fannie and Freddie. Because Joe Biden and his friends in the Senate sat on their asses and did nothing.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Do you care what your credit score is?

Bonus #1: Do you even know what your credit score is?

Bonus #2: So why do you care what your credit score is? Looking to rent some money from a bank, or rack up more debt with the rest of the sheeple in order to buy crap you can't afford and really don't need? Looking to keep up with the neighbors? Looking forward to a life of debt slavery?

People don't write inspirational songs about John McCain and the Republicans. Why is that?

The world is rooting against John McCain. And hoping America finally pulls its head out of its ass after eight of the darkest years in American history.

Should be an interesting week next week.

This race is over folks, and the Great Housing Crash guaranteed that.

The GOP after it's destruction this election should get back to its libertarian roots, dump the religious and Big Brother crap, and reposition itself as a fiscally competent, pro-small-business, pro-science, pro-environment opposition party against out of control government meddling and spending. And offer up Reagan's hopeful shining city on a hill, not Bush and McCain's force of mean-spirited ignorance and destruction.

Until then, they'll rightly lose every election.


And now, here's some pompous celebrities for your viewing pleasure

Uh, Rep. Poe, you're not supposed to talk about this stuff, remember? Didn't you get Cheney's talking points?

Nice to see some in the GOP rising up. I sure miss the party that was against out of control government spending.

Too late though on this debacle, and you gotta wonder about the motives, but hey, still nice to see. Fight the good fight Rep. Poe. Your phones are bugged now, but fight the good fight.

Warning: You do not want your kids to see these charts

August 22, 2008

Open thread to talk about Obama's Vice President pick - Joe Biden

[UPDATE - ZZZZZZZZ.... I guess I'll go read some Neil Kinnock speeches.... boring pick, won't help him win a single vote. But at least Biden the attack dog will make McCain his b*tch..]

I like longshots and surprises, so I'd be pretty disappointed with a lying pompous career DC hack like Biden, the overwhelming favorite right now...

My top recommendations would be

1) Wes Clark
2) Mark Warner
3) Michael Bloomberg
4) Anthony Zinni

The worst picks I think would be

1) Clinton
2) Dodd
3) Bayh
4) Biden

In the end, it doesn't matter, unless the Veep is caught with a dead girl or a live boy. Nope, this election is about two things and two things only.

Obama and housing.

Jim Cramer thinks Fannie and Freddie may fail (i.e. be bailed out by you the taxpayer) by the weekend

Could be yet another historic (and busy) weekend, as Fannie, Freddie, WaMu and Lehman all get taken out?

Buckle up. Get some popcorn. And get ready for Ben and Hank to tell us more wonderful plans Sunday night.

One day, housing will bottom. Not 2006 like the pumpers said. Not 2007 like the pumpers said. Not 2008 like the pumpers said. Not 2009 like.......

I.O.U.S.A. - Go see this movie if you can

$53 trillion and counting...

Your kids, and their kids, and their kids, and their kids, and their kids, and their kids will hate you.

More clips and movie info here and here

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"Angelo Mozilo is not a bad man, he is a very good man"

-Disgraced Countrywide Toxic Mortgage former board member and Mozilo co-conspirator Henry Cisneros, August 2008, supporting his Don and hoping against hope that he won't be subpoenaed and charged with various financial crimes (again)

You will remember this ad for the rest of your life. HP congratulates the Century 21 ad team responsible for Suzanne, since you destroyed Century 21.

Burger King had Herb.

Century 21 had Suzanne.

And America had one hell of a housing crash.

Yup, it's all gonna be about housing folks. Here's McCain's attack ad attacking Obama after Obama attacked McCain after McCain attacked Obama

This race is getting ugly.

Kinda fun, no?

Never wrestle with a pig they say. You get dirty and they enjoy it.

Karl Rove is in heaven. But at least they're talking about housing (kinda)

August 21, 2008

é·lite n., pl. elite or e·lites.

é·lite n., pl. elite or e·lites.

A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status

When you're old and senile like John McCain, you start forgetting things. Important things. Like how fricking LOADED you are.

I like kicking the old fart when he's down.

Is that bad?

Check out this story on John McCain's Arizona mansion that he offloaded in 2006 - now some flipper wants 400% more! Ha ha ha hahaha ha ha!

Yeah, good luck with that. Stupid flipper paid McCain $3.75 million in 2006, and now the flipper wants $12 million? Try $500,000! Something smells fishy. Maybe they're betting he'll be prez, but more likely they'll be bankrupt and he'll be planning his retirement.

Or maybe they're looking for yet another cash-back stated income straw buyer mortgage fraudster in McCain's backyard?

John McCain - Unfit to Lead. (And there's still time for the GOP to dump the guy and give us someone credible)

Damn, this campaign cycle is QUICK. Here's Obama's attack ad on McCain and his seven houses

Well I guess the good news is that McCain probably lost a few million in the housing crash, especially on his crashing Arizona real estate holdings.

Not that he'd notice a million or two... being an elitist pig and all...

Anyone else get the impression this election is gonna be about one thing and one thing only...


HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Why do people drive all over town to save 2 cents on a gallon of gas, but they pay 6% (or thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars) to a real estate clerk for a few hours work without even thinking about it?

John McCain forgets how many houses he owns. And he calls his opponent an elite? Give me a break.

If McCain, who's loaded and has lived a life of luxury, can convince the American people that his self-made opponent who grew up on food stamps is an elitist by comparison, then yes, the American voter is truly dumb, and will believe anything.

I don't think he'll get away with it though. I have faith in America on this one.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think - I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told us in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where - I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

In recent weeks, Democrats have stepped up their effort to caricature McCain as living an outlandishly rich lifestyle – a bit of payback to the GOP for portraying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as an elitist, and for turning the spotlight in 2004 on the five homes owned by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Here's to the Bubble Man, the disgraced and discredited Alan Greenspan

History will not be kind...

August 20, 2008

FLASH: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Will Fail. (Oops, we wrote that three years ago. But here's the latest on Fannie and Freddie failing...)

First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win.

P.S. Hey, America, ya got another trillion or so to bail out the lobbyist-and-executive-bonus-fueled, corruption-enabled, mortgage-fraud-powered debacle at Fannie and Freddie? I mean, who needed kids to be educated? Who needed new bridges and roads? Who needed food for the poor? Who needed health care? Who needed jobs? Who needed retirements?

Silly Americans.

WAKE UP AMERICA!!! Vote 'em all out. Every REIC corrupted pig in DC who let this happen. Democrat. Republican. It doesn't matter.

And think about what the trillion-plus for Fannie and Freddie, and the trillion-plus for the Iraq Debacle could have done for America.

Fannie and Freddie shares hit 18-year low

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM - News) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE - News) dove to their lowest levels in more than 18 years on mounting fears of a government bailout that would wipe out shareholders of the two U.S. housing finance giants.

The two federally chartered companies own or guarantee almost half of all outstanding U.S. mortgages. The government is relying heavily on them to step up mortgage purchases and help stabilize the worst U.S. housing market since the Great Depression.

Jim Cramer on deflation. Anyone got whiplash yet?

Houses down.
Oil down.
Gold down.
Corn down.
Wheat down.
Used autos down.
Everything down.


May you live in interesting times...

So, if you were gonna 'buy' a falling knife (oops, I mean a house) with debt, what would you do? Mortgage broker? Bank? e-Loan? LendingTree? Pray?

One day, even HP'ers, bitter renters, bubble sitters and screwed homedebtors will "buy" another house.

The lucky ones will pay cash. The rest will need to take out a mortgage.

So, let's start talking about that day. It will come.

How will you go about getting the best rate on a mortgage, in a post-housing-crash world?

Now that we know mortgage brokers are crooks interested in earning the highest commission they can, while getting you to overpay for a loan, that one is a bit suspect.

LendingTree I hear earns their money by selling your info to lenders. Just another company who could care less about you.

Bankrate earns their money from ads from lenders.

And your local bank overcharges, Countrywide is toxic, DiTech is GMAC, and this whole mortgage business is just a mess.

So, what to do, when the day comes that you want to reach out and catch a knife?

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Why ISN'T it yet a good time to "buy" a house?

Where are we?

Depends on who you are I guess...

* Where are realtors and REIC?

* Where are upside-down homedebtors and failed flippers?

* Where is America? Where is the UK? Where is Spain? Where is Ireland?

Three months free rent. iPods. And a market in freefall. Welcome to Phoenix, where they can't give homes away, and they can't rent them out either

So what happens to a town when the industry that makes up 40% of its economy implodes in historic fashion?

What happens when hundreds of thousands of illegals who built the unwanted homes pack up and go home, and tens of thousands of realtors, mortgage brokers, appraisers, builders and other REIC lose their jobs?

What happens when the mortgage fraud is shut down?

What happens when home after home after home after home is empty and unwanted?

What happens when home prices crash yet another 22% in 12 months and rents drop another 9% year over year?

This is what happens. And no, year-round-golf and pro athletes didn't matter.

Apartments offering freebies, other deals

Renters rejoice - Apartment owners are dangling freebies in front of new tenants who sign 12-month leases.

One company, Mark Taylor, is even going so far as to offer a free iPod, a $25 iPod tunes gift card and two months of free rent to new tenants who lease any apartment in its 34 Valley complexes, including eight in Chandler, four in Tempe, four in Ahwatukee and two in Gilbert.

Renters can thank the struggling real-estate market and its deflated housing prices, increased foreclosure rates and depressed rents on single-family homes, condominiums and apartments. Add to that the condominium-conversion flop, which has led to condos reverting to rental apartments.

"This is a great time to be a renter," said Pete TeKampke, a commercial real-estate broker and board member of the Arizona Multihousing Association.