May 31, 2008

Funny REALTOR comment of the day


A bit paranoid maybe? Or is it because REALTOR isn´t a real profession?

Enjoy... And no, you don´t have to be nice...

Yeah right ... blame it on the REALTOR's for bring the house prices down ... Blame the economy on the REALTOR's too for that matter. You have to be a real IDIOT to think and say such a statment ... blaming it on REALTORs ... give me a break.If your going to say such stupid comments first educate yourself on the topics first.

We REALTORs do a service like in any other profession. Whether you want to use our service is up to you ... just like in any other service.

Example .. how hard is it to do paint a house, change a pipe in the kitchen, change the oil in your car, add numbers and subtract managing a store ... it's the same. It's a service that you pay for because YOUR lazy ass does not want to get off the couch and do it yourself. If you do get up and do it yourself ... than great.

To generalize ... is to be an ignarant idiot.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

If you could live anywhere in the world and money or work were not an issue, where would that be?

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"For speculative capital, nimbleness is the essential attribute. Rushing in when it sees an opportunity and heading for the exit at the first sign of trouble, speculative capital has too often turned upswings into bubbles and downward cycles into crises"

- Henry Kissinger, May 2008

It was all fun & games when hot money hedge fund speculators jacked up home prices via unregulated lending. But now, the fun's over, as people starve

When you step back and take a look, all these bubbles were really just low-interest-rate-enabled hot-money speculative hedge-fund driven attacks.

First they went after the dot-com stocks. That was pretty fun.

Then they moved on to real estate and houses. You know how that turned out.

Then they moved onto gold, silver and the metals, and artwork and Euros too. And oh, that was quite the party.

After that, it was food - corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, etc. Which of course is leading to starvation and death and soaring food prices.

And then finally, they went after the oil. Black gold. Which of course is disrupting commerce worldwide and putting an "oil tax" on billions around the globe.

So what's next? Is there ANYTHING that hasn't been attacked yet by these locusts? Is there ANYTHING still in their way?

Maybe baseball cards? Cocoa Puffs? Zebras? Electricity?

Just wondering... Did any of you burn down 50 Cent´s house?

Probably just another over-leveraged homedebtor looking to get out from under an unsaleable debt-trap... The timing is kinda odd though, eh, even if it´s not the Cribs crib...


May 30, 2008

HousingPANIC dedicates this song to John McCain and Dick Cheney

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Will $10-a-gallon gas be a good or bad thing for America and the world?

Bonus: What will the impact be on urban planning, transport and housing?

And then the Brits woke up to realize that they had the most obvious and laughable property bubble in the world

My only question is - what took so long?

Gordon Brown, get ready to be blamed for the biggest housing crash in UK history. Even though in the end the Housing-Ponzi-Scheme-obsessed Brits only have themselves to blame.

Anyone in the US want to give our friends in the UK any advice when it comes to housing crashes? Here's mine, it's pretty simple: Last one out's a rotten egg...

Any suggestion that Britain's overblown, over-hyped and over-valued property market is due for a soft landing after the excesses of recent years has just been exploded. We've had the boom: welcome to the bust.

House prices have fallen for seven successive months. Over the past six months, prices have dropped at an annual rate of 11.4% and over the past three months at a 16.1% annualised rate.

The International Monetary Fund has said that 30% of the rise in house prices in the UK cannot be explained by economic fundamentals: a fall in prices of that magnitude is now on the cards. A crash was inevitable.

And now we have RepublicanPANIC

The good news? The GOP brand is mortally wounded thanks to the incompetence and arrogance of Bush and Cheney. "Republican" may be even lower than "realtor" in the American lexicon today. The voters are rightly pissed, and they're going to take it out on the party of Bush something fierce in November.

The bad news? That leaves the incompetent, big-government, high-tax Democratic party.

God help us all.

So, what to do in November? Vote against EVERY incumbent except Ron Paul. Start over. Send a message to our elected officials that the voters are awake again, and that they answer to us.

Or not and just continue on into the abyss...

Wall Street Journal: The Republican Panic

If there is such a thing as a useful election defeat, then Tuesday's Republican loss in a special House election in Mississippi would qualify. Maybe this thumping in a heretofore safe GOP seat will finally scare the Members straight, or at least less crooked.

Democrats won with 54% of the vote in a district that a Republican won with 66% in 2006 and that President Bush carried in 2004 by 25 points. It was the GOP's third special election loss this year, and it has Democrats predicting that November will be another rout of 2006 proportions.

Oklahoma's Tom Cole, who runs the National Republican Congressional Committee, captured the GOP reaction when he declared that "There is no district that is safe for Republican candidates."

May 29, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

So do you think society in general now understands that the speculative, out-of-control, runaway increase in house prices, which of course was unsustainable and not supported by any fundamentals, was not a good thing afterall?

(btw, record fall in prices reported
today in the UK - and away they go...)

Here's some of the home price drops by city. Can we all agree now that REALTORS and the NAR are thoroughly & forever discredited?

Chicago -10.0%
Detroit -17.9%
Larry Murphy's Las Vegas -25.9%
Connie De Groot's LA -21.7%
Miami -24.6%
Minneapolis -14.1%
Greg Swann's Phoenix -23.0%
Leslie Appleton Young's San Diego -20.5%
San Fran -20.2%
Kendra Todd's Tampa -19.6%
Lawrence Yun's Wash DC -14.7%

May 28, 2008

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day (propaganda version)

“I still like and admire President Bush. But he and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war"

-Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, May 2008

HP is in Vienna this week. Anyone got any good tips?

Haven't been here before amazingly, so any tips appreciated. Making my way back to overpriced London...
And my tip of the week is get to Bulgaria before the rest of the yanks figure it out

So the NAR is saying in public that all is fine, and prices have bottomed. But in REALTOR magazine, they're telling the 6%'ers to cut the prices fast

Saw this from a post over at the always-entertaining Active Rain blog:

From REALTOR Magazine. In the June 2008 issue, on page 42, there is the following statement.

Tip 3: Build in a preset price reduction. While all our practitioners agreed that arriving at the right price the first time is the goal, sometimes you have to be a little more flexible, especially if you are in a marketwhere prices are in decline.

So.. nice to see the NAR FINALLY adopting the correct strategy, at least internally. It's the price stupid. It'll always be the price stupid. The 6%'ers aren't eating anymore because the NAR chose to lie and spin and deceive, when they should have been shouting at the top of their lungs this message:

"Home prices got wildly inflated in the US in a wave of massive speculation and fraud. If you're a seller, cut your price, cut it dramatically, and get out now. If you're a buyer, 50% off peak prices in most markets should be your target, at the highest, and a P/E ratio that makes sense. And as always, REALTORS are here to help you (while taking our 6% off the top of course)"

Yup, that would have done the trick.

May 27, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

So, with the election looming, should we count on gas prices plummeting and a couple terror alert warnings again?

(Add those two to the $600 checks from Big Daddy Government and stupid-low interest rates, and those crafty little incumbents might be able to live another day after all...)

So have you figured out yet that you're getting destroyed by inflation, and that your government is lying to you?

Ben Bernanke hates you.

I mean he really, really hates you.

And to make matters worse, your incompetent, ignorant and corrupt political leaders are failing you.

You're on your own.

Peter Schiff mocks the idiots on Kudlow & Co.

Schiff was right on housing. He was right on gold. He was right on foreign stocks. And now he's right on the run-away inflation that's taking over the world.

May 26, 2008

HP'ers who are retired or over the age of 65 - what advice can you offer your fellow HP'ers?

What did you really do right in your life?

What could you have done better?

Were you prepared for retirement?

What was your biggest mistake?

What worries you the most?

What gives you the most hope?

I think about 2% of HP'ers are retired or over 65, but I'd like to hear from them. Feel free to chime in on these even if you aren't 65/retired.

And then the realtors, after two years of not eating, finally turned on their lying and deceptive National Association of REALTORS masters

The hungry army of 1.2 million ramen eating realtors should march on the NAR offices in Chicago and demand an end to Lawrence Yun's happy talk and spin, the NAR's non-stop "we've hit bottom" and "prices aren't falling" spew of lies and deception.


Because this line of BS is actually hurting the 6%'ers, a HELL OF A LOT more than helping. Besides destroying their dwindling base of dues-payers' credibility (what very little of that there's left), the monkeys at the NAR are also confusing would-be sellers into not pricing their debt-traps at saleable prices, and transactions (that aren't REO's) dry up.

No transactions = no commissions = no NAR dues = more ramen

As we've said for years, the NAR should be out there saying "prices are plummeting and will fall even more. If you're a seller, lower your price, lower it big-time, and get out. If you're a buyer, get even more aggressive with your low-ball offers"

Instead, the NAR happy-talk is just freezing the market, as sellers point to the NAR spin as a reason to NOT lower prices, and buyers don't buy, because prices are still way to high.

Meanwhile, the realtors don't eat. And they're getting pissed.

Here's the latest, thanks to the
NJ Real Estate Report, who's still kicking HP's ass in that REIC contest btw...

Real estate agents debate local statistics

The latest positive numbers for home sales and prices have divided real estate agents, ordinarily a group uniformly upbeat about the housing market.
Some doubt the numbers, even though they're from their own association, and say it's making it tougher to get home sellers to reduce their prices to more realistic levels.

In particular, Dawe said the figures from the National Association of Realtors, and other information gathered from state and local Realtor groups, seemed to disagree with what the Multiple Listing Service showed.

"As we talk to our sellers about the declining market we are actually facing and the fact that they have to be aggressive in pricing their homes if they expect to find a buyer, the statistics in your article are baffling and impact our credibility with customers," Dawe said.

To Eileen Raynes, an agent with Rosenthal Realty in Margate, the higher sales and price figures were a very welcome break from media coverage she described as "standing on a corner screaming 'Get your dead fish.'"

Bruce E. Breunig Jr., broker at Century 21 Alliance in Margate, admitted that "we Realtors remain part of the problem. We blame the media for fueling the downturn and try to counterbalance it with our own positive spin."

Here's the new "catch a falling knife" spin from one realtor in California: "Congratulations--you timed the market! This is what you waited for!"

Now we have "WEEKEND BLOW OUT SALE!!" on houses.

On houses.

What next, houses down at the dollar store? Houses at the flea market? Houses from a shady-looking guy out of the trunk of his car?

An HP'er reported on these fire-sale Ruxton Pacific Townhomes in Redondo Beach in the local conditions thread, but they and their new realtor huxter deserve their own posting I'd say.

Here's some of the great copy from this failed development's new pimp, Ed Kaminsky. Sounds like someone selling used cars to me..


Congratulations--you timed the market! This is what you waited for!

Memorial Day BLOW OUT SALE going on now through Sunday.

WAS $849,000 now starting at JUST $599,000!!! . . . . . .

The builder says:"Sell them ALL this weekend!". . . . Secure yours today or kick yourself tomorrow! Doors open at 11:00 a.m., Thurs., Fri. Sat. & Sun.! . . . . . . .

May 25, 2008

BUBBLETALK - Open thread to talk about the housing crash, mortgage meltdown, idiot realtors on commission and whatever else is on your mind

Have at it..

And vote early and vote often for HP at this REIC blog contest (current hilarious leaderboard here)

So how bad is the Housing Panic in your town today?

Just checking in - where do you live and what's it like on the ground there today?

Denial? Desperation? Panic?

A sea of for-sale signs?

Empty Home Depot parking lots?

Unemployed realtors and mortgage brokers out looking for their next get-rich-quick scheme?

Moth-balled condo project eyesores?

Fire away...

So the "Mortgage Research Center" aka the "FHA Loan Center" is having a little contest... Oh, won't they be surprised..

I assume that eventually they'll pull HousingPANIC and any other bubble blog from this awards "contest", the likes used by traffic-deprived blogs like Swann's ("he who shall remain unlinked") to dupe the unsuspecting into visiting their sites.

But since HP'ers have absolutely ZERO reason to visit the "FHA Mortgage Center", a site set up by the "Mortgage Research Center", who being 'masters of the internets' also have niche sites here and here, is just another one of many for-profit lenders posing as if they are unbiased, patriotic, caring and pro-consumer, I thought it would be a terrible hoot to win their little "contest", while giving them the traffic the so crave.

Until they get wise and pull us of course..

So do your thing HP'ers - just click on their nifty banner, then click "vote" - should take about 2 seconds, no registration needed. You can vote once a day, and let us know when they finally get around to kicking HP out of the contest. Thanks to a couple of HP'ers who pointed me this way btw...

Ah, I love REIC hi-jinx. Any other website we need to hit (and screw up their google search results) today?

Fly monkeys fly!

May 24, 2008

HousingPANIC Quote of the Week

“The federal government should not be in the business of bailing out bad investments. This bail out comes at the expense of all taxpayers regardless of whether they were at fault for the housing crisis”

Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, May 2008, speaking out against the Democrats' stupid and un-American Housing Gambler Bailout plans

Well, now we know why Hillary is staying in the race. Just as we expected. Amazing.

"Sociopath" folks, pure and simple.

I'm just calling it like I see it.

Funny, a lot of us just kinda knew. But for her to ACTUALLY SAY IT, that's the shocking part. Meanwhile, you-know-who better hire some private security, and no more open-air mass rallies please. And Hill, even if the worst happens (or you make it happen), got some bad news for ya - it'll go to Gore, not you. Now leave. Go away. You're disgusting. And you're scaring the kids.

Here's some headlines that read like HP, and then watch Olbermann absolutely destroy this monster. Absolutely destroy.

The Cancer That Is Hillary Clinton

Clinton apologizes for Kennedy assassination comment

Clinton faces uproar with Kennedy assassination comment

We've Now Figured it Out - Hillary is Staying in the Race Why?

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

With gas prices soaring, the dollar in free-fall, inflation roaring, and an epic Fed-caused housing crash and debt crisis underway, why aren't there protests outside of the US Federal Reserve headquarters yet?

May 23, 2008


What, no more Mike Norman, Connie De Groot or Tom Adkins on Fox?

Wait until 4:08 on this video when one of the 'experts' goes nuclear on Schiff for speaking the truth.

What, you didn't think we could keep spending like this with no repercussions, did you? Silly Americans.

Remember when you're at the gas station and grocery store this weekend to consider the hundreds and hundreds of billions we've wasted in Iraq. Remember to consider why we as a nation put two free spending oil men with military industrial complex connections into the White House. And remember to think about our $53 trillion debt, and who we owe it to.

And then take another look at the prices you're paying. And the price our country paid. And take a look around at the kids. You know, the ones who end up getting stuck with your bill, the ones who'll hate you one day.

And maybe then it'll all come together for you.

Here's a good piece in the IHT for your consideration by Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont. Add him to the HP short list of politicians who are allowed to stay in DC. We need more "Independents" in the Senate. Don't forget that it took both corrupt political parties to get us into this mess, and keep us there for so long.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956

A budget U.S. taxpayers can't afford

Today, Bush's military budget is $515 billion, more than half of all discretionary spending. This is in addition to the $200 billion a year being spent on the war in Iraq, and another $16 billion spent on nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, as military spending explodes, the middle class in America is shrinking, poverty is increasing and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider. While we now spend $94 billion more on defense than three years ago, poverty and hunger are increasing, 47 million Americans lack health insurance, and an entire generation of young people wonders how to afford college.

Read this tale of screwed housing gamblers in Florida over at the "Real Estate and Housing Outlook" insider blog

"They wanted to know how they could pay $19M for something only worth $7M. They were sure the Baby Boomers were coming and would buy up everything"

Real Estate and Housing Outlook Blog, May 2008

(Read the whole post here...)

A HousingPANIC Angelo Mozilo tribute: "Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da. If you're not greedy, you will go far"

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da
If you're not greedy, you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Countrywide’s Mozilo Calls Borrower’s Plea “Disgusting”FOXBusiness

Countrywide's Mozilo stinks at mortgages & emailBaltimore Sun

In reply to e-mail, Countrywide CEO criticizes plea for loan helpUSA Today

Countrywide CEO Mozilo's e-mail sets off furoreReuters

Mozilo on distressed borrower's appeal for help: "disgusting"Los Angeles Times


Countrywide, Mozilo in Hot Water Over Troubled Borrower FlapHousing Wire

May 22, 2008

George Carlin on houses and "stuff"

I always loved this routine. Probably had an impact on my life. Thanks HP'ers for reminding me. F*cking classic.

HP'er comment of the year - "I think there is more to life than having more and better "stuff" than other people"

I couldn't have said it better myself...

This whole thing is just really sad to me.

Some of the people here have legitimate things to say, otehrs are just insulting one another and bragging about their "success". What is our definition of success? Does it just have to do with the bottom line?

Yes, money is important, but what about family, friends, travel, having time to enjoy life? I know I sound totally corny to many of you, but I think there is more to life than having more and better "stuff" than other people.

Why are we so concerned with not just keeping up with the Jonses but showing them up? It's just STUFF - who cares?

We lost our home in a fire less than a year ago, and let me tell you, it really doesn't matter. It really is just stuff. We got ourselves and the kids and even our pets out and that's all that matters.

I just think that we've been brainwashed into thinking that all of these material possessions are so important, and they're really not. If we could learn that what we already have is just fine, that we don't need to constantly upgrade to something "better" - TV, house, car, spouse - we'd probably be a lot happier.

If we can get over this need for THINGS to define us and provide status, maybe we can be a lot more free to spend time with people we care about and enjoy life. It will be over one day and you can't take your stuff with you.

-Anon HP'er, May 22, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Is the Inflation vs. Deflation argument now over?

(Bonus question - when will the US Fed be forced to raise rates?)

So now we have the Art Bubble. When is ArtPANIC? And is EVERYTHING going to bubble now?

Man, these bubbles are EVERYWHERE.

Bubble in rice
Bubble in oil
Bubble in houses
Bubble in gold
Bubble in Euros
Bubble in art

I could go on and on...

These past few years have seen so many mis-allocations of resources, so many bubbles, and now such a massive wall of money worldwide chasing too few goods, combined with a collapse in the US dollar that makes dollar-denominated things skyrocket in price.

So when will it end? Or will it end? The housing bubble is over, but the other ones go on and on and on.

These past few days saw Roman Abramovich, one of the Russian oil guys (who also owns last night's loser Chelsea), drop $120 million on a couple of paintings, even though he's never been a collector in the past. Hmmm... And we also saw the Rothko painting above go for... wait for it... $50 million. Not bad for a few minutes of work I'd say.

Inflation folks is gonna get so out of control now that it'll make your head spin. It's not just rice, it's not just oil, it's not just art, it's... EVERYTHING. You've got a couple billion people in China and India who want basic things like cars and TV's and meat, and that changes everything. You've got countries and people printing money now with $135/bbl oil. And you've got a world who can't produce enough goods (or food) to meet demand.

So everything bubbles. Well, almost everything. Everything except for houses of course.

Get some popcorn and sit back. But you might want to stock up before the price goes up again.

May 21, 2008

You lost. Go away.

At this point, I seriously don't understand what she's doing or what she's thinking.

Is she staying in the race just so she can raise money from suckers to pay off her debt?

Is she staying in to damage Obama to the point that he'll lose and she can start running again in a few months for 2012?

Or is she staying in because she seriously thinks there's some math or scenario that overturns the will of the people and gives her the nomination?

Serious post - why do you think Hillary won't quit? When do you think she will?

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"Meanwhile, watch the market crash next week. That's how it works, right?"

-Me, Sunday night, after saying I've been accumulating buy-and-hold mainly foreign stocks over the past month, right before the US market as if on cue and to teach me a lesson again about talking about stocks on a housing blog, gave a few percent back

(meanwhile, I'm buying more... thank you sellers! and what are you all doing?)

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

What's the best economic decision for a typical upside-down screwed homedebtor?

Door #1: Stay in their depreciating debt-trap, paying their bloated $3000 a month mortgage, their $300 per month homeowners association fee, their $300 a month tax bill, and their $200 upkeep and repair charges

Door #2: Walk away and rent a similar (or exact same) house for $1000 per month. Total.

Door #3: Hope for a Housing Gambler Bailout so that they can keep doing what's behind Door #1

LET THEM EAT CAKE! Angelo Mozilo ( has just discovered the power of the internets (and the 'reply all' button)

Gotta feel a bit sorry for the Great Orange One. He's gonna go to jail, we all know that. He's gonna have his assets seized, we all know that. His company is going to go bankrupt and all his employees are going to lose their jobs, and some will go to jail too, we all know that. And what's left of his reputation has been destroyed, we all know that.

But now, on top of EVERYTHING that has gone wrong for him lately, he stupidly hits "reply all" to a desperate homedebtor's anguished email, calls him disgusting, blames blogs and the internets, and is exposed by the MSM worldwide for the cold, heartless, corrupt fool he is.


Make sure you send Angelo and crew a nice letter too HP'ers. I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

Here's Angelo's response on the original LoanSafe thread that exposed him, and internal Countrywide email cc list that some might enjoy having their hands on: wrote:
This is unbelievable. Most of these letters now have the same wording. Obviously they are being counseled by some other person or by the internet. Disgusting.

And here's the LA Times covering the mess. Oh, this will be fun.

Countrywide Financial Chairman Angelo Mozilo's e-mail sets off a furor - He calls a borrower's plea for help a "disgusting" example of form letters inundating the Calabasas mortgage lender.

Apparently clicking "reply" when he meant to hit "forward," Countrywide Financial Corp. Chairman Angelo Mozilo ignited an online furor Tuesday by describing a mortgage customer's plea for help as a "disgusting" example of form letters inundating the Calabasas home lender.

Mozilo's e-mail rocketed back to the customer, Daniel Bailey Jr., who had asked Countrywide to modify the terms of his loan so he wouldn't lose his home of 16 years.

Yes, I can taste the irony. When it comes to Housing Bailouts, Barack Obama is wrong. McCain is confused. And Bush is The Best President Ever

Choosing a president shouldn't be a one-issue process. Look where that got us with Bush. I cast my support for Obama because of a list of issues on which he is right, in my book, and McCain is wrong.

On housing, both McCain and Obama are wrong, Obama being even more wrong than McCain - who actually I'm not sure today which way the wind is blowing. On housing, the Democratic party is wrong to want to bail out speculators, and the Republican party is wrong to want to bail out lenders and banks.

Pretty much the only politicians right on housing are the Libertarian-leaning Republicans, like the few I've posted here the past few days. And Ron Paul of course.

My prediction? Bush will indeed veto this bill, in his most brilliant act as president. But then a new bill will come up, which bails out the banks and lenders he favors more, and failed flippers less, and he'll end up signing that one.

Here's Obama's latest position:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., called on Bush to "abandon his veto threats and commit his administration to working with Congress" to enact the measure quickly. "American families need urgent relief, and these are important steps to help innocent homeowners, without rewarding irresponsible lenders," the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement

Here's McCain's latest (confused) position (and I haven't seen him comment yet on the House or Senate bills):

Senator John McCain, who drew criticism last month after he warned against broad government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis, pivoted Thursday and called for the government to help qualified homeowners with subprime mortgages refinance and get federally guaranteed 30-year mortgages.

Here's Bush's latest position:

Officials have warned that President Bush would veto a similar House-passed measure, calling it a burdensome bailout that exposes taxpayers to undue risk.

Here's HousingPANIC's position:

No f*cking Housing Gambler bailouts!

Jay Butler, Director of "Real-Estate Studies" at Arizona State University, flunks out

Other blogs like housingdoom have always been a bit dubious of Butler and his reports - almost as much as we've taken on the hilariously corrupt Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, and their paid REIC shill Nicholas Retsinas.

But I haven't been too hard though on Butler, because he hasn't been stupid enough to attack HP'ers, unlike "Chicken Littles" Retsinas. And he's had some
good quotes now that it's too late.

That said, the biggest housing bubble in America, and now one of the biggest real estate crashes, happened right under Butler's nose in Phoenix Arizona. And when he could have been and should have been shouting at the top of his lungs in 2004, 2005 and 2006 that wild illegal fraud and rampant speculation had gripped the Arizona real estate market and doing something about it, he did nothing, while putting out misleading soothing reports, and calling bottom every chance he could.

Well, today the chickens really came home to roost, and the REIC-ad-supported Arizona Republic (don't worry, it's a real reporter on the beat, not rolodex-of-realtors-Reagor) actually did their job for a change and exposed Butler's Arizona housing reports as a total farce.

Cheers to the Republic for exposing this mess. And I fully expect Butler to admit to his glaring error, and if he has any honor, to resign immediately. ASU isn't a legit school anyway, but when the people of Arizona needed 'experts' they could trust, they got Butler. And Swann. And Reagor. And now one hell of a housing mess on their hands.

Valley home-sales reports are at odds - Trustee-sales figures skew real-estate picture

One sign of the Valley's troubled housing market is the growing incidence of lenders assuming ownership of homes.

Ironically, the increasing number of those transactions has led to a false perception that the real-estate market may be showing signs of recovery.

The confusion stems from a report on April home sales by Jay Butler, director of real-estate studies at Arizona State University's Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness.

Butler compiles a report each month on home-resale transactions in Maricopa County.

The report said home resales were up 15 percent compared with the same month in 2007, the first year-over-year increase since July 2005.

That conflicts with a report released Monday by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service indicating a 12 percent decrease in home sales in the same period.

The reason is Butler's report does not differentiate between "trustee sales," in which banks take over properties from borrowers in default, and routine home resales.

More than one-third of the sales reported by Butler for April, or 2,025 of the 5,585 total, were trustee sales.

When real-estate consultant Scott Smith saw Butler's latest report, Smith said he knew something was wrong with the numbers. Smith, who owns a real-estate services firm and tracks area home sales "on a daily basis," said Butler's April sales figures were simply too high.

"After checking the data several times . . . there is no doubt that Mr. Butler made a big mistake," Smith said.

May 20, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

What was the stupidest thing you saw a friend, co-worker or family member do during the housing bubble?

Here's Paul Volcker, a giant of a man compared to Ben Bernanke, on the housing crash and mortgage meltdown, and what the Fed's role SHOULD be

The damage that Bernanke has inflicted upon the United States won't be seen until a few years down the road. Similar to Greenspan, who was treated as a god when he retired, only to be seen as a corrupt and incompetent goat now.

Volcker did what had to be done when it had to be done, and it was hard (but necessary). Bernanke on the other hand did what was easy. And you'll see down the line what that causes.

HousingPANIC Classic Quote of the Day

"The stuff I did is technically mortgage fraud, but it's not officially called that until someone prosecutes me and proves that that is indeed mortgage fraud"

- Casey Serin, June 2007 (still waiting... still waiting...)

Mortgage brokers really care about old people. I bet they do reverse mortgages for free out of the goodness of their hearts

"Daddy, what do you do for a living?"

"Sorry son, I can't tell you, it's too shameful"

(note - I have no idea if the company in the video is good or bad. I do know that their pitchman is pretty slick - I'd check my watch after shaking that hand)

What goes up must come down. Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and LA get some housing crash love

Funny how the five cities that got mentioned here the most over the past few years are now the five cities with the biggest housing crashes underway. Oh, wait, no, that's really not funny. Interesting, yes. Funny, no.

"Year-round golf and pro athletes" - now THAT was funny.

Here's the blurb on Phoenix from the smartmoney housing crash report headlining right now.


Tumbleweeds aren't exactly taking over the streets of Phoenix, but the city has seen quite an exodus from a couple of years ago when speculators and real estate developers descended on it en masse. More than 67,100 single-family homes were built in Phoenix between 2000 and 2006, according to the Census Bureau, with home values rising by 127%.

Once home values started to unravel, however, speculators started abandoning their rental and investment properties. "People will go to much longer lengths to avoid defaulting on a primary residence than on a secondary home," says Wyss. Now, home values are down 24% from their peak.

May 19, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Why do you care more about the housing crash, who's gonna win Idol, and missing white girls on tropical islands than you do about hundreds of thousands of dead people and millions and millions suffering at the hands of their corrupt governments in Burma and China?

Serious question. Serious answers please.

Here's why the incumbents are going to get deservedly whacked this November

Iraq was bad.

And then The Great Housing Crash changed everything.

May 18, 2008

What role did MTV Cribs have in people taking out liar's loans, committing mortgage fraud, and generally living WAY beyond their means?

You know, before they got foreclosed on. Before they realized people making $50,000 a year can't live in $5 million homes. Before the realities of life kicked in.

MTV Cribs is evil. Make no mistake about it. MTV Cribs did more damage during the housing bubble than you can ever imagine.

Buy stocks. Sell houses.

Here's the S&P 500 chart for the past three years. You'll note that most HP'ers went to cash last fall, and avoided the carnage through March. And then many of you have posted here or written me that you've gone back in and scooped up some bargains recently. Nice. And of course, a lot of HP'ers made a lot of money shorting REIC stocks these past couple of years. Again, nicely done.

I don't give stock picks here because when I have in the past (short or long) all we get is daily "HA! I told you! Countrywide is ROCKING! DOPES! CFC to $100!" kind of garbage. And many of us have been wrong about the general market before - thinking that it would fall further and earlier as housing crashed, although any stock connected to real estate and lending did.

So I want you all to be clear over the past few weeks that I've modified my neutral stance. Previously I was a picker, and not a bull and not a bear. I recommended buying good companies with good earnings with good P/E ratios and good future prospects. But now, when it comes to stocks, I'm a bull and have been buying 'buy and holds' with both fists over the past month and change. The last straw was Bernanke's bailout of Bear Stearns, which sent a message to the world that moral hazard is not a concept known to the US Fed.

So call me Larry Kudlow, call me Jim Cramer, call me what you will, but when it comes to good stocks - not any stock, not all stocks - good, solid, well run companies in thriving global markets, I'm a bull. I'll throw out one name so you know the kind of stock I like: Apple. 'Nuff said. (disclosure - I own AAPL of course). Also most of the stocks I own are foreign, or multinationals with significant foreign exposure.

So why the change in general outlook?

Because I firmly believe that Ben Bernanke and the federal government have fully committed to inflating a new stock market bubble, to bail out the housing bubble, which bailed out the last stock market bubble. And that's just the way it is. We're a bubble economy, and we need financial speculation to drive income and tax growth since we can't do it with jobs.

Reckless central banks around the world are also on board with The Next Bubble, which as you can all plainly see is causing soaring inflation, but so be it. Don't fight the Fed(s).

America has lost its manufacturing base. We're $53 trillion in debt and counting. Our currency has been debased (which artificially masked stock price declines, but not a lot of folks understand that). Our incomes are flat to declining. And damn, we're good at causing bubbles. And we're good at passing off the pain and day of reckoning to future generations. One day, that day will come. But thanks to "moral hazard? what moral hazard?" Bernanke, and the free spenders in DC, that day will be pushed out again.

The stock market may go up, it may go down, it may crash tomorrow, it may have wild days and weeks both ways. And you're supposed to "sell in May and go away" don't forget. So whether you're a bull or a bear (or neither), don't bore with the hourly and daily updates on which way things are going. But do feel free to share what companies you like and why.

And remember, stocks are not houses, and it's the P/E stupid - it's always the P/E stupid.

House prices have a long, long, long, long, long way to fall. Inventory is still massive, people can't get loans, foreclosures are soaring, it's significantly cheaper to rent than 'own', consumer perceptions have changed, and the massive fraud still has to be cleansed from the system.

Housing prices will indeed bottom one day. But that day is not here, not by a long shot. It's the P/E stupid - whether it's a stock or a house. And stock P/E's look sooooooooo much better than housing P/E's right now.

Finally, DON'T DO ANYTHING WITH YOUR MONEY BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU READ ON THE INTERNETS. Do your own research, make your own decisions, and have only yourself to blame - for acting or for not acting. Just like you did with the housing bubble.

Good luck out there HP'ers. Cash was king. Go make yourself some money with your money, let us know what you're up to, and if you agree or disagree.

Meanwhile, watch the market crash next week. That's how it works, right?

Latest HP Hero: Senator Jim Bunning, who wants to rename the housing bailout bill the "Bailout of Irresponsible Lenders and Borrowers Act of 2008”

Finally, some sanity from DC. If the GOP wants to re-invent itself after the Bush Debacle (while returning to their fiscal-responsibility roots), they need to make the biggest stink possible while fighting the Democrats' housing gambler bailout bills.

Jim Bunning, you sir, along with Ron Paul, can stay (for now).

Contact Bunning to show your support here

Bunning Campaigns Against ‘Bailouts’ in Housing Bill

The Senate Banking Committee plans to vote on legislation Thursday that would create a new regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and allow the Federal Housing Administration to insure up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages. Lawmakers plan to file up to 70 amendments during the committee vote, with 31 of those coming from Sen. Jim Bunning (R., Ken.).

According to a summary of all the amendments, Sen. Bunning wants:

“to stop the bailout of the rich”
“to prevent the bailout of illegal aliens”
“to prevent the bailout of homeowners who used their homes as a credit card”
“to stop the bailout of sex offenders”
“to stop the bailout of drug offenders”

Another of Sen. Bunning’s amendments would change the name of the bill from “The Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008” to the “Bailout of Irresponsible Lenders and Borrowers Act of 2008."

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

If the NAR and REALTORS on COMMISSION didn't have monopoly control over the MLS, and America's bribed congressmen in their pocket, would they stand any chance of stealing 6%?

Bonus Question - will the MLS still be the dominant monopoly property listing service in five years?

What will Americans cut back on the most as the housing crash continues, the Housing ATM remains closed, incomes remain flat, and inflation roars?

1) Eating out at restaurants

2) Taking nice vacations

3) Entertainment (bowling, movies, clubs, etc)

4) Shopping (clothing, cars, electronics, etc)

5) Vices (strippers, gambling, drugs and hookers)

6) Other (_______)

May 17, 2008

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"George W. Bush is unworthy of the presidency. He is a disgrace to himself, our Nation, and the high office he holds"

- Democratic operative Paul Begala, May 2008, going beyond spin and just calling a spade a spade

Charge it. Charge it. Charge it. Oh, crap.

You know you love it when the mighty fall..

May 16, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

You know the drill...

HousingPANIC Classic Quote of the Day

From 2006:

While Greg Swann was dissing HP'ers and talking about year-round golf, this wise man was telling anyone who would listen what was about to come... And then it came.

"A significant decline in prices is coming. A huge buildup of inventories is taking place, and then we're going to see a major [retrenchment] in hot markets in California, Arizona, Florida and up the East Coast. These markets could fall 50% from their peaks."

Kenneth Heebner, CGM Realty Fund, a man who could see the future, as quoted in the July 5, 2006 Wall Street Journal

Ahhh, the return to sanity. Banks checking over home appraisals and verifying the buyer's income and ability to pay before making the mortgage.

Seems like the good ol' days again, eh? You know, before everyone lost their minds, anyone could get a loan, and homes became lottery tickets...

Lenders tighten loan rules, demand more money down

"The days of simply stating your income are over," said B.J. Perez, mortgage broker and owner of Monarch Mortage in Sparks. "You have to be able to prove income and prove that you have money in the bank."

"Banks are just picking apart the appraisals on houses right now," Wiseman said. "I've seen several cases where the bank doesn't accept the appraisal and the loan just tanks."

"Now, lenders want proof of income, proof of how much money you have and proof of where that money is coming from. Now, they're only making loans that make sense."

May 15, 2008

$5 gas is on the way. So will you be changing your driving habits? Or cutback on other spending to make up the difference?

Olbermann destroys Bush again in a Special Comment. I think at this point it's safe to say George W. Bush will not have a peaceful retirement

And his embarrassing speech today isn't going to help.

The Worst President Ever. History will not be kind.

Here's Olbermann, doing what others should have been doing all along. Go ahead, the few Bush supporters left, rip on the messenger. Meanwhile, the other 84% of us will nod our heads, and wonder how the hell America was stupid enough to put this man into office for eight long years.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Barney Frank wants the FHA to bail out failed flippers and mortgage fraudsters. Problem? The FHA thinks that's a really f*cking stupid idea.

Monkeys I tell ya. Monkeys.

You'd think Barney and the FHA would have had a little chat before he put together his housing bailout turd.

But that would be competent.

Thanks to Luke over at USNews for the tip. And thanks to Barney Frank for showing us just how well-deserved Congress' record-low approval rating is.

FHA Chief Criticizes Rescue Plan

While most government officials scratch and claw for more authority, Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Brian Montgomery is pouring cold water on a housing rescue plan that would make his agency the linchpin of an expanded federal effort to keep people in their homes.

The House of Representatives last week passed a bill championed by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank that would enable struggling borrowers to refinance into more affordable loans guaranteed by the government. The legislation would require a significant expansion of the FHA—an idea recently endorsed by Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke.

But speaking to a roomful of real estate agents this morning at the National Association of Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, Montgomery expressed his opposition to the legislation recently passed by the House:

"As one colleague described it, it is "on steroids" because it throws sound underwriting out the window.

"It moves us toward a federalization of the mortgage market, forces taxpayers to pay for bad loans, and doubles FHA's portfolio, adding hundreds of thousands of risky loans in a Byzantine process that will take years to sort out and create a regulatory nightmare."

Isn't the housing "crisis" actually pretty darn good news?

* Home prices will fall to a level that will make it attractive for non-"owners" to buy

* Young couples will again be able to live the "American Dream", and buy a home they can afford

* The crash has washed away the mortgage fraud and crazed speculation

* The fundamentals will make sense again, making real estate an attractive investment class for intelligent investors

* Housing will no longer be seen as a get-rich-quick scheme. Homes will be treated as homes, not lottery tickets

* Angelo Mozilo will spend the rest of his life in jail, and will have his assets seized

* Housing porn TV shows will be few and far between

* Realtors will go the way of travel agents and buggy whip salesmen

So, what other good news will come about because of the "housing crisis"

Scenes of monkeys running around during the greatest housing crash in human history

Who says C-span is boring. I flipping love it!

Monkeys I tell ya. Monkeys.

Why wasn't this debate going on years ago, when it could have done some good?

Memo to DC: It's too late. Let the market correct. And try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

HousingPANIC Definition of the Day


Pronunciation: \ˈig-n(ə-)rən(t)s\
Function: noun
Date: 13th century

* the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness

Now comes the fun part - who will Obama and McCain pick as their Vice President candidates? Ted Strickland and Kay Bailey Hutchison come on down!

Getting a veep pick right is pretty tough, but I'm gonna take a shot. In order of likelihood:

1) Ted Strickland
2) Wes Clark
3) Tom Vilsack
4) Michael Bloomberg
5) Jim Webb

1) Kay Bailey Hutchison
2) Lindsay Graham
3) Charlie Crist
4) Tim Pawlenty
5) Joe Lieberman

Obama has to shore up his "white-guy" base, while taking Ohio from the GOP, and appealing to Christian conservatives. Strickland does all three.

McCain has to try to steal Hillary's female voters, while appealing to right-wing conservatives, and adding a bit of historic flair to his ticket to match Obama's story. Hutchison is an obvious pick.

So there you have it. You heard it here first. Again.

Who's your pick (will be / should be)?

"It may be gloomy in Florida, but it's great here"

I don't doubt that the housing crash is less severe in places like Kentucky, who didn't see the insane run up in home prices like they did in Phoenix, Miami, San Diego etc.

But the Great Unwinding, the crackdown on fraud, the inability to get a no-down, no-doc liar's loan mortgage, and a return to sanity and the fundamentals is affecting every market in America. Every market. Kentucky - got some bad news for ya. You're not that different.

Group says Central Kentucky home sales down 16 percent

Members of the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors sold 835 properties in the first quarter of 2008, the association said, but that total was down 16 percent from the same period of 2007.

The median sales price -- half of all sales were for more and half for less -- declined 1 percent for the 2008 quarter and dropped 5 percent in March 2008, versus the same periods of 2007, the association said.

May 14, 2008

Just wondering.. Does anyone seriously believe the hilarious US government inflation report out today - which showed nearly 0% inflation?

I do believe the US government has lost all credibility as of today. Not that they had much anyway, but now it's just laughable.

Inflation pressures eased a bit in April despite the biggest jump in food prices in 18 years.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent last month, compared to a 0.3 percent rise in March.

The unchanged reading for energy reflected a big 4.8 percent jump in natural gas prices, offset by a 2 percent decline in gasoline costs.

The reported drop in gasoline prices reflected the government's accounting process, which discounts expected seasonal price changes.

HousingPANIC Shocking Admission of the Century

Q: Mr. President, for the record, is global warming real?

A: Bush: Yes, it is real, sure is.

(Next he and the ignorant crowd will come around on evolution, the big bang, the housing crash, and that Iraq was a clusterf*ck of historic proportions. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking...)

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Would you use a realtor if they worked for an hourly wage, versus trying to steal your money by taking a percentage of the sale?

If so, how much per hour do you think their work is worth? (you know, unlocking those lock boxes, printing things off the internet, pointing out the granite countertops...)

And the results from West Virgina are in...

I've gotta give it up for West Virgina. Now THAT'S an interesting state...

May 13, 2008

SeekingAlpha: "NAR's Lawrence Yun Continues to Mislead on Housing"

I believe it's time for Yun to step aside. Just another sad chapter from the National Association of REALTORS on COMMISSION.

Yun has ruined his life, at a young age. Never to be trusted again. Such a shame. But there's one way out Lawrence - TURN ON YOUR EVIL MASTERS. BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU. ADMIT TO THE CORRUPTION AND LIES. COME CLEAN.

Or not.

Special Note: Google/Blogger has locked down LawrenceYunWatch and we can't post. Yes, they have the power to do that for absolutely no good reason (or at the request of their REIC advertisers). We're currently "under review" which they say can take up to a month. If anything ever happens to HP, I'll relocate the blog to FYI.

Here's the anti-Yun editorial today over at SeekingAlpha:

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun continues to prove he's lost in the woods.

I'm sure most of you who have followed the real estate market recall his long list of ridiculous predictions. Do you remember when he claimed house prices would rebound in 2007? His quotes continue to supply stand-up comedians with new material.

One could reasonably argue that Yun is committing consumer fraud by trying to entice people to buy into a market that is poised to fall further. I suppose he thinks his ridiculous predictions will restore confidence in the real estate market. If in fact his role is to spread optimism, the NAR should be legally required to post an appropriate disclaimer stating their real purpose.

FLASH: National Association of REALTORS reports home prices fall by biggest amount ever recorded. Lawrence Yun continues to have no credibility

Seriously, NAR, enough is enough. You have zero credibility. And every time you have Yun paraded out to spew more bullsh*t, you just look stupid. Even more stupid than you looked the day before.


Home Prices Post Steepest Drop in 26 Years

Single-family home prices dropped 7.7% in the first quarter in the largest year-over-year decline since the National Association of Realtors began reporting prices in 1982

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of NAR, attributed much of the record decline to liquidity problems dragging down high-priced markets.

"These are highly unusual results because there were very few jumbo loan originations in the latest quarter," he said. "So sales are much slower in high-cost areas."

Here's how one screwed Miami condo investor thinks he's gonna break even on his depreciating debt-trap.

It's gotta suck for millions of investors around the country (and around the world) who bought debt-traps that only rent out for a fraction of what it costs to "own".

Negative cash flow on a depreciating condo or house is the worst of both worlds.

I liked this spreadsheet though. Oh, the optimism. Yup, the price is gonna go up, not down. Yup, rental income is going to ABSOLUTELY SOAR. And no, expenses won't increase - not at all!

Amazing. And sad.

Too bad this poor sap didn't do a spreadsheet BEFORE he bought his debt-trap. Too bad millions didn't bother doing a spreadsheet before they took out toxic loans or listened to realtors on commission.

And too bad that just because you put numbers on a spreadsheet doesn't make them true.