1.2 Million Households Disappear, Putting Downward Pressure on Home Prices and Rents

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Fri, 04/09/2010 - 13:53 | 293496 seventree
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Not all multi-generational or multi-family households will work out, it depends on the personalities involved. But some will and these people will rediscover the rewards of economy: it is possible to live comfortably without 1000 sq ft per person, without $100/mo cable and smartphone bills, without spending hundreds each month on dining and entertainment. I'm not suggesting we will all go back to the little house on the prairie, sitting on the porch and whittling. But if and when jobs and wages start to recover, some of these people (and their offspring) who have made their peace with a smaller lifestyle will be less receptive to the siren call of high living. Business sectors that suppy their needs will have to adjust their expectations accordingly. Better to have a smaller economy that perks along steadily, than one that boils over and makes a mess to be cleaned up.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 17:22 | 293688 SofaPapa
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The "downshift" you are describing here is heresy to the MSM supported propaganda called the American Dream.  As such, if the elite continue to hear you suggesting things such as this, you may find yourself burning on a stake somewhere.  America without conspicuous consumption, indeed!  Didn't you see the GWB advertisements from 2002-2007?!

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 12:06 | 293318 Fyodor Does DF Ski
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This is positive news, folks. C'mon, this will obviously spark a nice uptick in retail sales at Home Depot and Lowes, led by more "House for Rent" and "For Sale By Owner" signage skus. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 12:01 | 293308 Gimp
Gimp's picture

There are about three kids in my neighborhood who are all graduating from Universities over the next month, bright kids, A students who all went to above average schools. They will have degrees in Accounting, Finance and Business. Not one of them has a job lined-up. Must be the worst time to  graduate in the last thrity years. They will probably be moving back home.

Is this the new American dream????

To all the scumbag politicians thanks for F**K all.


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 11:33 | 293226 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

I'm sure the census will confirm this..............

Living with the "Rents" again and your brothers and sisters. Just like old times!


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 10:07 | 293062 SgtShaftoe
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My inlaws are living with us after the construction biz blowing up in Phoenix.  We left Orange County before property imploded moving to the midwest.  They've been here for 2 years.  This article is spot on. 

I'm a native Californian originally, but there's alot of baristas and such that are former Orange County mortgage brokers living back in the midwest now with their parents. 

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 08:16 | 292902 obamaphobe
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The MBA is full of mortgage brokers.  They frauded the system by creating empty households.  Every investor or second home purchased was a primary residence or household according to them.  We did not lose 1.2m households because they were not there to lose.  In Florida, 40% of the originations in 2004 thru 2006 were actually investor owned and these scam artists had most of them as primary residences.  Now they come up with this wonderful stat so that we can feel sorry for them and create more govt welfare to subsidize home lending so they can make the lease payment on their BMW.  Fuxx them!

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 10:19 | 293084 Agent P
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That was a question I had after reading the article: What fits the definition of a household according to the MBA?  I couldn't find it on their website (though I only spent about 5 minutes looking). 

If you're right, and some/all of the spec properties were included in the figures, then I totally agree the 1.2M number is grossly inflated. 

Can anyone confirm this?


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 08:01 | 292890 watmann
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There is an error in the thought process of the article in that many of  the homes that have been or are being foreclosed on remain occupied bythe former owners even after the bank has foreclosed as an empty house is a disaster for a lender. Thereafter these non paying tenants now have disposable income to spend in retail as they are no longer paying real estate tax or mortgage payments. This is part of the reason for the rental number vacancy increasing.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:32 | 292994 downrodeo
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Also, don't forget about banks sending agents or third parties to go bid up the price of REOs at auction to maintain housing prices. They buy them back and leave them on the shelf. Otherwise, we might actually see some sort accurate quantification of home value, you know, what somebody is willing to pay for it. Welcome to Charadeville.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 12:50 | 293399 Lao Zhao Fei Hu
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Agreed. Bankers and Capitalist Roaders interfere with natural economic process.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:58 | 293047 swamp
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The ramp up was a charade, now the ramp down is a charade too?!?!? One endless crap machine.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 10:32 | 293108 umop episdn
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Nope, it's still the ramp up. It's just going up 'oppositely,' despite all the efforts of the RealTWhores. It is one endless crap machine, tho.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 05:50 | 292837 lucky 81
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i haven't been actively searching for articles about homelessness lately but there are stories of hunger among the dispossessed in california. people walking along the highway in groups. aid agencies unable to cope. its happening now and not all of these people speak spanish. many of them probably wish they had somewhere else to go. there but for the grace of God.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 05:48 | 292835 Ilargi
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Do note that the report MSNBC references does not yet include 2009 or 2010.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 05:25 | 292825 verum quod lies
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I'm with three chord sloth; on balance they take more than they give to the country (and not just in easy to measure economic numbers), thus, their disappearance is a net good thing. Even on a purely economic basis, it's per capita that matters and their disappearance would help that, and help unemployment of citizens.


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:06 | 292949 downrodeo
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Verum, what evidence do you have to support that "on balance they take more than they give to the country"? I notice that immediately after you say that you dismiss using empirical evidence saying, "and not just in easy to measure economic numbers...". First, please do show me the easy to measure economic numbers. Second, what else are you talking about? Are they tearing apart the moral fabric of our country? Give me a break.


The only thing that will help unemployment is entrepreneurship. Anthing else (govt. works projects and other expenditures, for example) is just a charade that will only distract and give the illusion of doing something. It's simply redistributing funds.  


Illegal immigrants pay most of the same taxes that we "citizens" do (you think they get a discount on cigarettes at the gas station for being illegal?). They don't file income taxes but that also means they don't recieve any money back from the federal government.

So if we can't use the easy to measure economic numbers then what rubric should we be using?


It seems to me that you're trying to veil xenophobia in a dubious economic argument.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 12:02 | 293314 verum quod lies
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First, it is far from a “dubious economic argument.” It is in fact accepted knowledge in the field, but not promoted by the politically correct. The leftwing crap about me “tearing apart the moral fabric of our country” is beyond silly, as you are factually wrong. The expert on the matter is Georg Borjas (here is the link: http://www.borjas.com/, since searching for basic evidence seems to be overwhelming for you). He makes sensible arguments and it is overall sensible stuff. Mostly supply and demand and the fact that not all groups are equal in thir ability to contribute to an economy (especially an economy needing entrepreunship, technical skills and knowledge, etc.).

Second, the “xenophobia” accusation is pure ad hominem. Question: “When do you know you are winning an argument with a leftist/socialist/Marxist (fill in the blank)?” Answer: When they call you a xenophobe, racist, Nazi, ...

Finally, no they do not on average pay the same taxes, are net beneficiaries of government programs (i.e., take more than they pay in taxes), and when becoming citizens tend to vote for more government handouts (again, see Borjas). Furthermore, being from California, I can unquestionably state that no they have not been a net benefit to that state, let alone the country, and I don’t expect them to be (and the numbers bear witness for those not afraid to look and think).

 What are you smoking downrodeo?

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 14:17 | 293555 downrodeo
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Your right. Ad hominem attacks don't feel good. This isn't the place for it and I'll refrain.


Now, don't you agree that most of the problems we're facing from illegal immigration is due to their illegal status?

The point is they are going to be here anyway. I guess I am arguing for amnesty. My grandfather came to this country on a boat. He worked on a farm and it wasn't easy for him but at least he didn't have the state making a criminal out of him just for seeking a better life. Worse than that can be the citizens of the state who toe the establishment ideas on the subject. We forget so easily that we we're all immigrants or decend from them. 

We should make it easier for them to enter our economy legitimately. Not even you can aruge aginst that.

Unless you think the solution is deportation.


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 21:44 | 294067 verum quod lies
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You may argue for amnesty, I would argue against it. Illegal is part of the problem (e.g., not respecting the laws of the land), another piece is the basic national question, which I will focus on here. Is a country just some random collection of people? No it isn't, or history suggests it doesn't last very long (e.g., China vs. say the U.S.S.R. or Yugoslavia). Does a 'wealthy' country have the obligation to take in anyone that wants to move there? I would answer that no, or else it will not last long as a country. For example, I saw a survey estimate the other day that there where well over one billion people who would like to move to the U.S. today. Would the U.S. be a better place by being more like a third world slum? If the U.S., or any other country allowed this (with the possible exception of China because of their numbers) they would shortly cease to exist as a cohesive entity. This isn't rocket science and only requires one to look at this from the perspective of the country in question, not from some cultural Marxist bent. If the citizens' of a country like the U.S. and not some elite's wishes matter most (e.g., the general push for amnesty has been and is from wealthy business owners who want cheap labor or something close to slaves, ethnic lobyists who want more of their kinsmen for mostly ethnic reasons, and democrats who want a permanent voting block for social programs), then immigration should be tailored for the needs of the people of that country and not for everybody else but them.

My story, George Borjas's story (who's family came to the Florida by boat from Cuba), your story, doesn't change the facts of the effects of not just mass illegal immigration from cultures that don't do well forming modern industrial economies, but even legal immigration from those places when assimilation is no longer pushed or even encouraged. The key again is what is a nation? A cultural Marxist would answer the rhetorical national question the opposite of my answer, for them no nation should exist and nobody has the right to defend their way of life (except if it is a socialist dictatorship of some sort) or unless it is some protected group (e.g., most groups but Europeans). For them, there should be no assimilation, and any 'rich' nation is 'rich' because it is effectively stealing from the other countries. The fact is that if you moved the whole western world (of which I would include Japan, Korea, and even parts of China, etc.) to Mars most of the 'poor' countries would still be poor (i.e., when compared to the countries that moved to Mars), which is at least a part of why many from the third world try to come to places like the U.S. in the first place.

In short, it is not my job to watch my state (California) and my country (the U.S.) slowly but surely turn into a thirdworld hellhole to avoid being called a name (e.g., compare L.A. of the 1950s to today and ask yourself, do people matter?). Wasn't it Reagan who said something like "facts are funny things". Well with respect to immigration they sure are.

In addition, with effective unemployment north of 20% (see, e.g., Shadow Statistics), we should no way in hell generally encourage people legally or illegally to enter the enconomy (there should be at least a general moratorium at least until that drops below 'full employment'). Should any country with even 10% unemployment encourage immigration (legal or illegal)? If they won't why should the U.S.? Why not China? Zimbabwe? No, a country should set its immigration policy in a way that benefits its citizens, not everyone else's citizens. In my opinion, a country has a social compact aspect to it (e.g., you abide by the laws and do your piece and the country won't be invaded, you can expect a fair shake in court, etc.), and many of the things wrong today are because individuals (especially elites in Washington, large public companies etc.) are treating both immigrant and citizen as slaves. One of the reasons people are so angry I believe is because many sense whatever tacit argeement/compact they thought they had is now long gone and/or is quickly disappearing in the rearview mirror.

Finally, no, the whole 'we are all immigrants' thing is another cultural Marxist chant. It may be generally true but specifically false. Yes, of course if you buy the Darwinian notion that we moved out of Africa and populated the planet, then all humans are generally 'immigrants' in that sense (but also note that those humans that moved to various locals evolved); but no the Chinese are not Germans and vice versa. This is currently politically correct third rail stuff that your grandfather would know as true, yet today we are told to ignore factual common sense and accept blindly all that political correctness tells us. For example, the abilty to dunk a basketball or do calculus is not distributed evenly from person to person or even among the various peoples of our fair planet, and that should also impact our immigration policy. Combne that observation with the desire to be a cohesive country that holds certain beliefs and expects a certain average level of material well being for its citizens, and immigration policy should not be taken lightly; and yes U.S. policy, or lack thereof, has been an abject failure for several decades and needs to change.

To sum up, we don't agree; and the basic differences are that:

1) I want a U.S. that doesn't descend into third world status.

2) I want a U.S. that respects the rule of law along the lines that it was originally set up to do (i.e., ala the Founders and the Constitution).

3) I believe a country, any country, has the right to choose who gets in and who doesn't; and that right shouldn't be dependent on the average color of the skin of its citizens.

4) Oh yeah, I think laws should be enforced. Deport away; but it would be probably be easier just to, for example, E-verify and penalize firms that hire illegal aliens and let them mostly self-deport.


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 11:41 | 293242 verum quod lies
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It is not a "dubious economic argument". Read Borjas (http://www.borjas.com/), he is the expert on this matter as it relates to wages. It is really just simple supply and demand. Anyway, the evidence firmly supports my comments. Also, it might help a bit if you put away the leftist "xenophobia" comment. It probably doesn't add anything to the sorting through facts and adds an emotional element that probably doesn't help. In addition, not all groups are equal when it comes to producing economic wealth, paying taxes, voting for socialism, etc. Even you know that, but hidie behind the line that if others don't believe the lolipop silliness you peddle that it is "tearing apart the fabric of our country". Ease it down a notch and think about it, and read some Borjas and digest the numbers.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 10:02 | 293054 swamp
swamp's picture

Xenophobic is a disguised racist call. So let me state this clearly, you and your LA RAZA group are racists.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:57 | 293044 three chord sloth
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I've never seen a study that includes all tax costs and still make the case massive immigration is a net positive. Indeed, when education costs alone are 10k per year its unlikely they could be a net positive. So Verum is right to call most of these studies dubious.


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:53 | 293029 Oquities
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your economic arguments are just as specious, but you use the shameless diversionary tactic of calling out xenophobia also.  common sense alone can tell you that an excess supply of workers broght on by illegal immigration should lower the overall wage rate and thereby reduce the jobs available at a living wage for citizens.  removal of this excess supply should cause a rise generally in pay and job availability.  are you an illegal, or perhaps dating one?

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 13:16 | 293452 downrodeo
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You are incorrect sir. I need only point to the fact that they are here anyway and thus already lowering the wage rate. I will explain where I was coming from:

My argument was that if they had a legal status they would have bargaining power to ask for a decent wage. This would, in turn, eliminate the artificially low wages that exist. These wages are artifically low because firms take advantage of the perpetual threat of deportation in order to pay these workers wages lower than what they are worth.

If you don't believe me, come to Arizona and go into any resturant kitchen. I can almost promise with certainty that you will find a dishwasher or a cleaning lady who is being paid less than minimum wage (which is also against the law).

you're right, I should keep xenophobia out of it... I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

I will say this though: before you dismiss arguments for amnesty please walk a mile in their shoes.


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 08:39 | 292916 Neo-zero
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Especially when you see articles like this one from Mish.  Higher skilled workers will compete with lower to just stay above water.  Think about it with the massive over capacity in the system and the de-leveraging of the consumer do we need 15 to 20 million unskilled workers!



Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:29 | 292975 downrodeo
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Illegal workers leaving the country is not going to spur investment in new businesses (allowing them to expand and create jobs). I will admit that I believe there is some truth to the assertion that illegal workers depress the wage market, but that should only encourge U.S. citizens to push for some kind of legal status for them. That way, they can charge a decent price for their labor.

Having said that, when you focus away from the banks and on the illegal immigration problem, you're doing exactly what the banksters want you to. We're all getting divided up over something that is not the issue.

Immigrants did not cause any of the problems we're facing. It was the bankster class. Simple as that. We outnumber them 10,000:1 and yet somehow they still call all of the shots.

It's almost time to do something about this. We're not quite ready, yet, but it will happen; it's just a matter of time.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 11:53 | 293284 Attitude_Check
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I agree the whole issue of being lax on illegal immigration is all about helping the "elite" who like exploiting labor, paying under the table and without benefits.  Lax immigration laws and porous border directly enriches these scum, at the expense of the rest of us.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 12:08 | 293328 three chord sloth
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The elite can recognize a kindred spirit when they see one. Every illegal immigrant has shown they have the proper moral code... the willingness to break the law when it's in their financial interests to do so.

It's the unenlightened self-interest of short-term thinkers everywhere, as played out on the big stage of national politics.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 13:05 | 293435 downrodeo
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Yes, I think you've nailed it TCS!

The elites are going to team up with illegal immigrants. Then they will take your 401K and use that to take a cab to the hospital where they will strangle your grandmother with Obama's birth certificate.


Look, I think you're missing the point. They WANT you to be distracted by illegal immigration, global warming, cap n' trade, american idol, and tiger wood's sex life. That way, you'll never have the energy to think through all the ways in which they're making us into a slave class. Once that happens, they will have us by the short and curlies. At that time, no distinction will be made between you (a legal citizen) and an illegal immigrant. We'll all be grist for the mill.

My advice is to try and understand why we're being flooded with illegal immigrants.

The answer is that their economies have been destroyed and they're coming here for a better life (much like your ancestors). You paint them as criminal masterminds just looking for a law to break.

If they could come here legally, you can bet your bottom reserve note that they would.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 18:26 | 293785 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

Wow, you should recognize snark when it stares you in the face. I'll give it one more shot, even though it's unlikely you'll see the light... you've been well-propagandized.

First, they aren't coming here because their economies have been destroyed... their economies never were.

Second, the reason their economies never were much is due to the culture of the people. The culture of the nations where the vast majority of illegal immigrants come from are "padrones" cultures, top down oligarchies. A strong ruling elite, a small,weak, dependent middle class, and a large uneducated underclass is the norm.

Third, that is the reason assimilation is frowned upon today. The criminal new American oligarchy wants to solidify their position by normalizing the elite/prole model of society. The fastest way to do that is to import people who already accept that model, and then force the acceptance of their culture.

Fourth, the destruction of American exceptionalism is a vital part of everything discussed here at Zero Hedge. Once America joins the majority of the world and accepts the need for an elite to rule, the robber barons have won. Then they just change their public face according to the public's mood, but the ruling elite stay in the driver's seat behind the scenes.

Please do not compare immigration today to the immigration of yesteryear. Without the strong assimilation-into-American-exceptionalism credo that existed top to bottom a century ago, the two waves of newcomers will end drastically different. We are not making them into us, we are becoming them. And that is the end game.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 16:32 | 333209 downrodeo
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 Look, I essentially agree with you. The reason I am trying to defend illegal immigration here is because what is being done to us today (i.e. the controlled demolition of our economy) is being done to them as well. It has not happened in the same way or at the same time, yet we are all victims of the machinations of the robber barons (that, and our own inability to effect any sort of change). I'm simply trying to point out that no matter what the policies were that caused this mess, we're all in it together. The less we divide ourselves, the greater our strength.



Fri, 04/09/2010 - 11:49 | 293273 Attitude_Check
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So the illegal immigrants that knowingly broke US law to enter the US are victims?


And if they are made "legal" despite the obvious disdain for US law, that will overturn supply and demand effects on wages?



Fri, 04/09/2010 - 10:28 | 293102 umop episdn
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downrodeo spake, and said: ""...when you focus away from the banks and on the illegal immigration problem, you're doing exactly what the banksters want you to. We're all getting divided up over something that is not the issue."" Thank you, downrodeo. TYTYTYTYTYTYTY.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 02:34 | 292731 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

I'm hoping a lot of these lost households are due to illegal immigrants leaving the country. Then I'd put this in the good news category.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 13:03 | 293426 Lao Zhao Fei Hu
Lao Zhao Fei Hu's picture

Cockroach never stays in house with no food. Take away food and cockroach disappears. Take away job and money and illegal immigrant disappear. This is intent of E-Verify. Already, illegal immigrants looking for a new house to invade, E-Verify will become effective in July, if the Little Man in Washington lets it stand.

Sun Zi said "To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence. Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

Evolution always less painful than revolution.

To capture and deport 30 million illegal immigrant will leave big hole in economic rug, leave too many empty house and unpaid accounts. Better to starve cockroach out of house than to poison family to kill little cockroach.


Fri, 04/09/2010 - 08:54 | 292931 downrodeo
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TCS, what do you have against somebody coming to this country to try and make a better life for themselves?  (sorry, don't want to make this into a skirmish on illegal immigration but you opened this door...)

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 10:49 | 293140 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Not TCS, but the point was "ILLEGAL immigrants"......big difference.

Some cannot see the difference between Immigrants, and Illegal.

99% here, were /are Immigrants..........

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:51 | 293026 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

I have a problem with our nation, through policy or neglect, slashing the earnings and standard of living of native born citizens through unfair competition. It's no secret that the bottom two quintiles have stalled or lost ground economically over the past two decades, and this is primarily due to immigrant labor undercutting salaries.

If this immigrant labor were spread equally over the whole earnings spectrum I'd have less of a problem, but as things stand its hammering the bottom forty percent of our natin and helping the upper classes. That's a crappy thing for one group of citizens to do to another.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 03:04 | 292747 Lao Zhao Fei Hu
Lao Zhao Fei Hu's picture

Be careful what you wish for. Big hole in rug always in wrong place; cannot cover with furniture.

30 million consumer leaving US make big hole in economic rug. Cannot cover hole with fake money.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 02:12 | 292720 Lao Zhao Fei Hu
Lao Zhao Fei Hu's picture

Wise man change numbers on house. Children can not find home anymore. Children can not move back in. Wise man maintain peace in home. Problem solved.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 00:20 | 292625 Cammy Le Flage
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Neither did anyone for the matter.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 00:19 | 292624 Cammy Le Flage
Cammy Le Flage's picture

I did not disappear.  I should have but I did not.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 00:11 | 292615 3ringmike
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Thu, 04/08/2010 - 22:55 | 292546 Bear
Bear's picture

I think you have it wrong ... Stop paying your mortgage, you lose 'homeownership' status but still live in the home. These people will make up the difference ... Mark to Maybe Someday

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 14:11 | 293542 Miyagi_san
Miyagi_san's picture

60-90 days delinquent turns into 18- 24 months

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 00:00 | 292611 Cursive
Cursive's picture

I have the same sarcastic view.  Hey, I'm 38, live at mom's and just bought my ipad!

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:24 | 292977 ZakuKommander
ZakuKommander's picture

Those without the costs of home ownership or apartment rental -- living at home or with friends -- can provide just enough added revenue to mall stores to explain the paltry BTE retail revenue results we're seeing.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 22:36 | 292525 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

I guess the lost numbered homeless are among the no longer unemployed but still unemployed. Nice.


GW does not need to write for NYT, he has more readers here on ZH than nutjob imbecile Krugman on NYT.

Screw MSM, can't wait for the day those spitfraks go the way of the dodo bird. Thats exactly what those clownfraks deserve.


Then they can be a non statistic. Seems only fair.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 12:36 | 293376 Voluntary Exchange
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One has to somehow suspend common sense or be downright dishonest to conclude that Keynesianism (Krugman's meal ticket) in any way solves economic problems or predicts human actions. No wonder the liars and cheats who call themselves “government” and “mass media” use it. Austrian school economics for those who prefer useful predictions and accurate models of human behavior!


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