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Guest Post: It's Always The Best Time To Buy

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog,

“The continuing shortages of housing inventory are driving the price gains. There is no evidence of bubbles popping.”David Lereah, NAR mouthpiece/economist – August 2005

“The steady improvement in home sales will support price appreciation despite all the wild projections by academics, Wall Street analysts, and others in the media.” David Lereah, NAR mouthpiece/economist – January 10, 2007

“Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady. In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country. We expect a seasonal rise of inventory this spring, but it may be insufficient to avoid more frequent incidences of multiple bidding and faster-than-normal price growth.” – Lawrence Yun – NAR mouthpiece/economist – February 21, 2013

I really need to stop being so pessimistic. I’m getting richer by the day. My home value is rising at a rate of 1% per month according to the National Association of Realtors. At that rate, my house will be worth $1 million in less than 10 years. My underwater condo (figuratively – not literally) in Wildwood will resurface and make me rich beyond my wildest dreams. Larry Yun, the brilliant economic genius employed by the upstanding and truth telling NAR, reported that median home prices soared by 12.3% in January (down 3.7% from December) over the prior year and there is virtually no inventory left to sell – with a mere 1.75 million homes in inventory – the lowest level since 1999. The median sales price of $173,600 is up “dramatically” from last year’s $154,500 level. I’m sure the NAR meant to mention that home prices are still down 25% from the 2005 high of $230,000. Every mainstream media newspaper, magazine, and news channel is telling me the “strong” housing recovery is propelling the economy and creating millions of new jobs. Keynesian economists, Wall Street bankers, government apparatchiks and housing trade organizations are all in agreement that the wealth effect from rising home prices will be the jumpstart our economy needs to get back to the glory days of 2005. Who am I to argue with such honorable men with degrees from Ivy League schools and a track record of unquestioned accuracy as we can see in the chart below? 


Mr. Lereah added to his sterling reputation with his insightful prescient book Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust—And How You Can Profit from It, which was published in February 2006. I understand Ben Bernanke has a signed copy on his nightstand. According to David, he voluntarily decided to leave the NAR in mid-2007 as home prices began their 40% plunge over the next four years. He then admitted in an interview with Money Magazine in 2009 that he was nothing but a shill for the real estate industry, no different than a whore doing tricks for $20. Except he was whoring himself for millions of dollars and contributing to the biggest financial fraud in world history:

“I was pressured by executives to issue optimistic forecasts — then was left to shoulder the blame when things went sour. I was there for seven years doing everything they wanted me to. I worked for an association promoting housing, and it was my job to represent their interests. If you look at my actual forecasts, the numbers were right in line with most forecasts. The difference was that I put a positive spin on it. It was easy to do during boom times, harder when times weren’t good. I never thought the whole national real estate market would burst.”

After Mr. Lereah slithered away from his post he was replaced by the next snake – Lawrence Yun. He proceeded to put the best face possible on the greatest housing collapse in recorded history, assuring the public it was the best time to buy during the entire slide. Five million foreclosures later he’s still telling us it’s the best time to buy. Why shouldn’t we believe the National Association of Realtors and the mainstream media that report their propaganda as indisputable fact? These noble realtooors only have the best interests of their clients at heart. Remember when they warned people about the dangers of liar loans, negative amortization loans, appraisal fraud, nefarious mortgage brokers, criminal bankers, corrupt ratings agencies and the fact that home prices had reached a high two standard deviations above the normal trend? Oh yeah. They didn’t make a peep. They disputed and ridiculed Robert Shiller and anyone else who dared question the healthy “strong” housing market storyline. In late 2011 this superb, above board, truth telling organization admitted what many financial analysts and “crazy” bloggers had been pointing out for years. They were lying about home sales. Their data was false. Between 2007 and 2011, the NAR reported 2.95 million more home sales than had actually occurred. This was not a rounding error. This was not a flaw in their methodology, as they claimed. It was an outright fraudulent attempt to convince the public that the housing market was not in free fall. These guys make the BLS look accurate and above board.   


We are now expected to believe their monthly reports as if they are gospel. The mainstream media continues to report their drivel about the lowest inventory level in 14 years without the slightest hint of skepticism.

The Incredible Shrinking Inventory

We are told by good old Larry Yun that there are only 1.74 million homes left for sale in this country and at current sales rates we’ll run out of inventory in 4.2 months. Oh the horror. You better buy now, before it’s too late. We must be running out of houses. Someone call Bob Toll. We need more houses built ASAP, before this becomes a crisis. But there seems to be problem with this storyline. Existing home sales are falling. Even using the NAR seasonally manipulated numbers, sales in January were lower than in November. In a country with 133 million housing units, there were 291,000 existing home sales in January. If there is an inventory shortage, why have new home sales fallen every month since May of 2012? There were a total of 10,000 completed new homes sold in December in the entire country. Housing starts plunged by 8.5% in January. Does this happen when you have a strong housing market? Do you believe the NAR inventory figure of 1.74 million homes for sale? The last time the months of supply was this low was early 2005 – during the good old days.

Let’s examine a few facts to determine the true nature of this shocking inventory shortage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • There are 133 million housing units in the United States
  • There were 115 million occupied housing units in the country, with 75 million owner occupied and 40 million renter occupied.
  • For the math challenged this means that 13.5%, or 18 million housing units, are vacant.
  • Only 4.3 million are considered summer homes, and 3.9 million are available for rent. That leaves 9.8 million homes completely vacant.
  • The Census Bureau specifically identifies 1.6 million of these vacant housing units as up for sale.

So, with 9.8 million vacant housing units in the country and 1.6 million of these identified as for sale, the NAR and media mouthpieces have the balls to report only 1.74 million homes for sale in the entire U.S. This doesn’t even take into account the massive shadow inventory stuck in the foreclosure pipeline. Of the 75 million owner-occupied housing units in the country, 50 million have a mortgage. Of these houses, a full 10.9% are either delinquent or in the foreclosure process. This totals 5.4 million households, with 1.9 million of these households already in the foreclosure process. The number of distressed households is still double the long-term average, even with historically low mortgage rates, multiple government mortgage relief programs (HARP), and Fannie, Freddie and the FHA guaranteeing 90% of all mortgages. Do you think the NAR is including any of these 5.4 million distressed houses in their inventory numbers?


Then we have the little matter of a few home occupiers still underwater on their mortgages. After this fabulous two year housing recovery touted by shills and shysters, only 27.5% of ALL mortgage holders are underwater on their mortgage. This means 13.8 million households are in a negative equity position. Those with 5% or less equity are effectively underwater since closing costs usually exceed 6% of the house’s value. That adds another 2.2 million households to the negative equity bucket. Do you think any of these 16 million households would be selling if they could?  

U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are slowly gaining equity back in their homes.

The negative equity position of millions of homeowners gets at the gist of the effort to re-inflate the housing bubble. By artificially pumping up home prices, the Wall Street titans and their co-conspirators at the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department are attempting to repair insolvent Wall Street bank balance sheets, lure unsuspecting dupes back into the housing market, reignite the economy through the old stand-by wealth effect, and of course enrich themselves and their crony capitalist friends. The artificial suppression of home inventory has been working wonders, as 2 million homeowners were freed from negative equity in 2012. If they can only lure enough suckers back into the pool, all will be well. Phoenix must have an inordinate number of chumps with home prices rising by 22.5% in 2012 as investors and flippers poured into the market with cheap debt and big dreams. Of course everything is relative, as prices are still down 44% from the peak and 40% of mortgages remain underwater. I strongly urge everyone without a functioning brain to pour their life savings into the Phoenix housing market. Larry Yun says it’s a can’t miss path to riches.  

Despite the propaganda, hyperbole, and cheerleading from the corporate media, the fact remains that national homeowner’s equity is barely above its all-time low of 38%, down from 62% in 2000 and 70% in 1980. The NAR shills, Federal Reserve drug pushers, Wall Street shysters, and pliant media lured the middle class into the false belief that housing was an asset class that could make you rich. Homes became the major portion of middle class net worth. As prices were driven higher from 2000 through 2006, the middle class took the bait hook line and sinker and borrowed billions against their ever increasing faux housing wealth. This set up the impending collapse of middle class net worth, created by the 1%ers on Wall Street, in Washington DC, and in corporate executive suites across the land.  The median American household lost 47% of its wealth between 2007 and 2010. Average household wealth, which is skewed dramatically by the richest Americans, declined by only 18%. Real estate only accounts for 30% of the net worth of the rich. For the middle 60%, housing has risen from 62% to 67% of total wealth since 1983. Middle class families’ saw their cash cushion fall from 21% in 1983 to 8% before the crash. They were convinced that living on Wall Street peddled debt was the path to prosperity. After the crash, the middle class has been left with no cash, underwater mortgages, declining real wages, less jobs, and a mountain of credit card debt. Delusions have been crushed. But an on-line degree from the University of Phoenix funded by a Federal student loan of $20,000 will surely revive the fortunes of the average unemployed middle class worker.  


Despite the destruction of middle class hopes, dreams, and net worth, the ruling plutocracy has decided the best way to revive their fortunes is to lure the ignorant masses into more student loan debt, auto debt and mortgage debt.

Don’t Look Behind the Curtain

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited

What is normal in a profoundly abnormal, manipulated, propaganda driven society? The NAR and Federal government issue their public relations announcements every month and attempt to spin straw into gold. The media then fulfill their assigned role by touting the results as unequivocal proof of an economic recovery. This is all designed to revive the animal spirits of the clueless public. Statistics in the hands of those who have no regard for the truth can be manipulated to portray any storyline that serves their corrupt purposes. When I see a story about the housing market referencing a percentage increase as proof of a recovery I know it’s time to check the charts. You see, even a fractional increase from an all-time low will generate an impressive percentage increase. So let’s go to the charts in search of this blossoming housing recovery.

The media, NAHB, and certain bloggers look at this chart and declare that new home sales are up 20% from 2011 levels. Sounds awesome. I look at this chart and note that 2011 was the lowest number of new home sales in U.S. history. I look at this chart and note that new home sales are 75% below the peak in 2005. I look at this chart and note that new home sales are lower today than at the bottom of every recession over the last fifty years. I look at this chart and note that new home sales are lower today than they were in 1963, when the population of the United States was a mere 189 million, 40% less than today’s population. Do you see any signs of a strong housing recovery in this chart?    


The housing cheerleaders look at the chart below and crow about a 75% increase in housing starts. I look at this chart and note that housing starts in 2009 were the lowest in recorded U.S. history. I look at this chart and note that total housing starts are down 60% and single family starts are down 70% from 2006 highs. I look at this chart and note the “surge” in housing starts is completely being driven by apartment construction, because the student loan indebted youth can’t afford to buy houses. I look at this chart and note that housing starts are 40% below 1968 levels. Do you see any signs of a strong housing recovery in this chart?   


Those trying to lure the gullible non-thinking masses into paying inflated prices for the “few” houses available for sale declare that existing home sales are up 50% in the last two years. Of course, the 3.3 million low in 2010 was the lowest level in decades. Existing home sales are still 30% below the 2005 high of 7.2 million and the abnormal structure of these home sales is dramatically different than the normal sales of yesteryear.


The wizards behind the curtain don’t want you to understand how the 50% increase in existing home sales has been achieved. They just want you to be convinced that a return to normalcy has happened and it’s the best time to buy. The NAR wizards and the media wizards don’t publicize the composition of these skyrocketing sales. At the end of the NAR “buy a home before it’s too late” monthly press release you find out that distressed homes (foreclosed & short sales) now make up 23% of all home sales and have accounted for well over 30% of all home sales since 2010. Another 28% of home sales are all-cash sales to investors looking to turn them into rental units or flip them for a quick buck. Lastly, 30% of homes are being bought by first time home buyer pansies who have been lured into the market by 3.5% down payment loans through the FHA, with the future losses born by middle class taxpayers who had no say in the matter. Prior to the housing crash, normal buyers who just wanted a place to live, accounted for 90% of all home purchases. Today they make up less than 30% of home buyers. Does this chart portray a normal market or a profoundly abnormal market? Does it portray a healthy housing recovery based upon sound economic fundamentals?      

 all cash buyers

The answer is NO. The contrived elevation of home sales and home prices has been engineered by the very same culprits who crashed our financial system in the first place. This has been planned, coordinated and implemented by a conspiracy of the ruling oligarchy – the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, U.S. Treasury, NAR, and the corporate media conglomerates. Ben’s job was to screw senior citizens and drive interest rates low enough that everyone in the country could refinance, attract investors & flippers into the market, and propel home prices higher. Wall Street has been the linchpin to the whole sordid plan. They were tasked with drastically limiting the foreclosure pipeline, therefore creating a fake shortage of inventory. Next, JP Morgan, Blackrock, Citi, Bank of America, and dozens of other private equity firms have partnered with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, using free money provided by Ben Bernanke, to create investment funds to buy up millions of distressed properties and convert them into rental properties, further reducing the inventory of homes for sale and driving prices higher. Only the connected crony capitalists on Wall Street are getting a piece of this action. The Wall Street big hanging dicks have screwed the American middle class coming and going. The NAR and media are tasked with what they do best – spew propaganda, misinform, lie, cheerlead and attempt to create a buying frenzy among the willfully ignorant masses. The chart below reveals the truth about the strong sustainable housing recovery. It doesn’t exist. Mortgage applications by real people who want to live in a home are no higher than they were in 2010 when home sales were 33% lower than today. Mortgage applications are lower than they were in 1997 when 4 million existing homes were sold versus the 5 million pace today. The housing recovery is just another Wall Street scam designed to bilk the American middle class of what remains of their net worth.

The multi-faceted plan to keep this teetering edifice from collapsing is being executed according to the mandates of the financial class:

  • Distribute hundreds of billions in student loans to artificially suppress the unemployment rate, while the BLS adjusts millions more out of the labor force – CHECK
  • Have Ally Financial (80% owned by Obama) and Wall Street banks dole out subprime auto loans to millions and offer 7 year financing at 0%, while GM (Government Motors) channel stuffs its dealers, to create the appearance of an auto recovery – CHECK
  • Drive mortgage rates down, restrict home supply through foreclosure market manipulation, shift the risk of losses to the taxpayer, and allow Wall Street to control the housing market – CHECK
  • Have the corporate mainstream media continuously spout optimistic, positive puff pieces designed to convince an ignorant, apathetic public that the economy is improving, jobs are being created, and housing has recovered – CHECK

Free money, government subsidies, no regulation, Wall Street hubris, get rich quick schemes, media propaganda, and an ignorant public – what could possibly go wrong?   

Here is what could and will go wrong. Everyone in the country that could refinance to a mortgage rate of 4% or lower has done so. Contrary to Bernanke’s rhetoric that “QE to Infinity” would lower mortgage rates, they have just risen to a six month high as the 10 Year Treasury rose 60 basis points from its 2012 low. If mortgage rates just rose to a modest 5% the housing market would come to a grinding halt as no one would trade a 3.5% mortgage for a 5% mortgage. As I’ve detailed earlier, there are 3.9 vacant housing units available for rent. Almost half of the new housing units under construction are apartments. The Wall Street shysters are converting millions of foreclosed homes into rental units. This avalanche of rental properties will depress rents and destroy the modeled ROI calculations of the brilliant Wall Street Ivy league MBAs. These lemmings will all attempt to exit their “investments” at the same time. The FHA is already broke. The mounting losses from their 3.5% down payment to future deadbeats program will force them to curtail this taxpayer financed debacle. There will be few first time home buyers, as young people saddled with a trillion dollars of student loan debt are incapable of buying a home.

These are the facts. But why trust facts when you can believe Baghdad Ben and the NAR? It’s always the best time to buy.


“All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.  The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well.  Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable.” – Ben Bernanke – May 17, 2007


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Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:41 | 3274724 hugovanderbubble
hugovanderbubble's picture

Excellent Post.


Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:44 | 3274730 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

"Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly."  ... Morticia Addams

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:52 | 3274741 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Doooonnnntt stop B-Leeeee-Vin......

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:58 | 3274778 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

Hold on to that Feeeeeeelin'...

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:11 | 3274829 whotookmyalias
whotookmyalias's picture

There are no American Troops anywhere near Baghdad



Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:13 | 3275124 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I don't know what happened to him, but I miss Baghdad Bob.  He should do a US tour. 

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 19:04 | 3275608 phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

One of the more concise, better written articles by platform in awhile.

My only complaint is all these articles mention the % things are down from 2005. This is LAME. The 2005 number as everyone knows was predicated on FRAUD. Stop trying to get it back. I don't want that kind of fraud back, OK? All this BULLSHIT about when are we gonna get back to 2005 is fucking BULLSHIT.

"I look at this chart and note that new home sales are 75% below the peak in 2005." It is obvious that housing starts on a four decade basis are in a positive range for the country between 600-800, during times of prosperity, and if it gets near 800 you should start getting worried. Wanting to get 2005 back is DUMB. I want 650 back, and for it to stay there, forever.

GRRRRHAAAETANGRAY Must go plant daffodils now to compensate.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 19:06 | 3275613 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Quinn is one of the Hedge's best guest writers/analysts/thinkers.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:39 | 3274885 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Headlights sheeple

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:41 | 3274725 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

You left out the "...with the biggest mortgage you can qualify for" part.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:41 | 3274727 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

It really is the time to buy!  Now!


Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:50 | 3274747 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

fkin jim almost makes me want to go short the homebuilder etf and get my face ripped off.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:57 | 3274773 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Being correct and being right are often two different discussions.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:58 | 3274779 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

hey sometimes I just want to be a sarcastic ahole with no point or positive contribution whatsoever. Okay most days I want to be that.....

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:18 | 3274853 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

What,,, you're in the club too?

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:10 | 3274822 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Timing, she ez ze Beech.  Or maybe  that's just me.  Some days I wonder which god I pissed off, and why she can't just let it go....

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 18:25 | 3275477 Blano
Blano's picture

Don't feel bad.  Whichever one I manage to piss off is usually on the other side of my trade.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:42 | 3274728 JustPrintMoreDuh
JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

Green chutes bitchez

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:45 | 3274732 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Just had inspection....hopefully not too much to "fix" and then we dump this sucker on an "educator" who is putting 3.5% down and 7K back at closing.....What could go wrong for her? We are breaking even. I'll buy here when we hit the true bottom that should be somewhere between now and 2017 or so.....

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:52 | 3274751 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Breaking even in this environment is not bad!

Take your time buying back in, no rush.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:56 | 3274763 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I wife was a little skeptical, but we have to be nimble right now for work and school and having a house tie us down ain't working. We will be saving on rent too. 

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:39 | 3275252 Lore
Lore's picture

--> "Educator" LOL

Glibness abounds...

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:45 | 3274733 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

It's always the best time to buy a bird dog puppy.

Oh wait, this is about...   Never mind.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:46 | 3274736 fourchan
fourchan's picture

its always the right time to buy pms. rip usd.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:47 | 3274737 Number 156
Number 156's picture

Muppets will buy, and be completely slaughtered.

Skip to 35 seconds in:

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:47 | 3274738 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Buy high now before it goes even lower.

Why is it that we look to purchase everything at a lower price except housing and the markets?

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:06 | 3275081 Lewshine
Lewshine's picture

Its just another Central Planners...Plan gone awry. Here's what they did in Vegas. Freddie, Fannie and Hud are selling 10, 15 and 20 thousand blocks of homes at a minimum of a 100 to 125.00 a square foot, as identified as Wall st. Hedge Fund investors - And with whose money are they using to make these purchases? Why Uncle Ben, of course. Fed QE liquidity is the bankroll of these WS investor who are paying 100 to 125 a square, in a market that couldn't get 60.00 a sq ft on a custom built resale. WHY?
Manipulation followed by a concerted batch of lies, is all they have. No upside in anything without Ben's intervention. They've done the same thing to the housing market as they've done to equities - Fluff & Dump!

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:47 | 3274739 somethingisrotten
somethingisrotten's picture

Awesome article!

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:51 | 3274748 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Allow student loans as a downpayment on a home purchase.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:16 | 3274841 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

lol ... please don't give them any ideas!

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:53 | 3274754 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

So are you saying that they are not being completely truthful?

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:54 | 3274756 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

With « ... 18 million housing units, are vacant ... »

There's the real opportunity

America could really boom and bloom, just with more immigration

Open the USA borders ! Green cards for green shoots ! Come to America and get a nice, empty, bank-foreclosed place to live !

Security provided by drone planes, police who will kill anybody, courts where you have no rights, and a prison gulag - FEMA - camp system with millions of inmates and room for millions more !

David Lereah will be seen as a prophet !

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:54 | 3274758 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

Everyone has to live somewhere. I had to move to another state last year for a job and sold my old home (of 17 yrs) and after contemplating renting (which had no benefits) I decided to purchase another home. I consider my home a place to live and not an investment. If I need to sell I will take the proceeds to purchase another similar home in another location without incurring too much of a negative delta - hopefully.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:58 | 3274776 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

you're fucked....again

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:16 | 3274840 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

"I consider my home a place to live and not an investment."


And you bought instead of renting?

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:27 | 3274894 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

Renting sucks. Landlord, psycho neighbors that live directly adjacent to you and you have no control over, can't have pets, no privacy, COSTS much more than owning in my case, ... you people are truly shortsighted. You must all be very young.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:32 | 3274923 jomama
jomama's picture

renting costs more where do you live? is that in bumfuck middle america?

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 18:33 | 3275502 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

Again, people reading and not comprehending. I stated that I purchased 17 years ago when prices were much lower than even today's discouted prices. So yeah, there is no way I can rent for under $1k/mo for 3 bedrooms and > 2k sf plus basement and attic and my own property/yard with privacy.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:54 | 3275021 skipjack
skipjack's picture

Like all economists, you aren't factoring in the costs of buying/selling when you compare it to renting...unless you don't plan on having to switch jobs for another 20 years or so.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 18:35 | 3275508 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

True, buying and selling add costs but I'm hoping not to do it very often - also my company paid those fees to move me - plus gave me bonus.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:54 | 3274759 trollin4sukrz
trollin4sukrz's picture

The baby boomers are going to be exterminated by Obama care so unless they empty all of Mexico into the states there will be a huge housing glut for 50+ years. The border jumpers should all take notice that american citizenship is worse enslavement than what they are trying to escape. the smart ones will stay illegal.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:10 | 3274820 Hughing
Hughing's picture

up for "smart ones staying illegal"

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:41 | 3274974 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I prefer the term "Freejack."

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:40 | 3274971 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

Why do you think the Mexicans are leaving?

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:20 | 3275162 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

And the LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident) aka Green Card crowd with degrees and skills is also emigrating back to China, India, Canada...

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 23:01 | 3276384 malek
malek's picture

The baby boomers are on Medicare, or will shortly be. How would they get exterminated by Obamacare?

I think you're confusing the age groups here.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:54 | 3274760 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

Everyone has to live somewhere. I had to move to another state last year for a job and sold my old home (of 17 yrs) and after contemplating renting (which had no benefits) I decided to purchase another home. I consider my home a place to live and not an investment. If I need to sell I will take the proceeds to purchase another similar home in another location without incurring too much of a negative delta - hopefully.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:57 | 3274770 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

you're fucked

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:00 | 3274784 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

No, I doubt it. You miss the point of my comment in that I will 'trade' a house for another in a different location irregardless of cost which is based on the market value at the time. Think before you comment.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:30 | 3274909 jomama
jomama's picture

think before you mash the Save button over and over.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:46 | 3274993 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I take it that velocity of housing is the only important thing in your economic model?

Krugman approves (especially of the phrase "irregardless of cost").

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 18:38 | 3275520 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

I don't thik you understand. House price does not matter to me. I simply plan to trade one for another if I need to move. 'Irregardless' is not proper english - but is used for emphasis - and this is a fuk'ing blog so what does proper english have to do with anything?

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 20:19 | 3275857 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture




You lost them with the term, 'Think', it confuses them, the same as hypnotizing a chicken.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 22:14 | 3276234 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I did think. I thought that your mouse is broken.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:00 | 3274785 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

No, I doubt it. You miss the point of my comment in that I will 'trade' a house for another in a different location irregardless of cost which is based on the market value at the time. Think before you comment.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:02 | 3274794 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Just get a teepee then, it's a place to live.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:09 | 3274816 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

I thought about that...but I didn't want to sleep with a sheep dog so I bought a house.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:09 | 3274817 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

I thought about that...but I didn't want to sleep with a sheep dog so I bought a house.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:36 | 3274950 Intoxicologist
Intoxicologist's picture

I can't get the point of any sentence that contains the conjoined letters "irregardless."

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:55 | 3274761 tempo
tempo's picture

robots and housing. robots eliminates millions of descent jobs every year which means central banks must fund entitlemens as tax revenue declines. Lower disposable income means lower housing prices unless central bank hedge funds buy up the inventory and/or states (like ca) make forclosures nearly impossible. The cycle is accelerating. Its like having a very serious form of cancer. You are treated and live, but the quality of your life declines due to the harsh treatment. There are no alternatives as asterity means social unrest. More central bank stimulus please.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:56 | 3274764 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Weekly Philly Housing Index has broken support.


You may also notice the index is way overbought.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 15:57 | 3274768 Zen Bernanke
Zen Bernanke's picture

wow, tell us how you really feel.  great article.  thanks for posting. 

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:00 | 3274782 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

There are lies, damm lies....and then there are statistics.

Then there are "statistics" quoted by BLS, NAR, CNBS, Ben Bernanke and any other goverment related propagandist.

We need LongSoupLine to properly comment on these statistics.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:00 | 3274786 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Don't forget that you get that nice mortgage deduction on your taxes, too.

Oh, wait....


Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:03 | 3274787 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

thanks for the peice...

now im off to the bar to once again shove some REAL info n the face of the ever increasing flock of mainstream propaganda controled morons....

discaimer: keep buying Physical Silver and Gold.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:01 | 3274788 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

MUST....blow....R/E Bubble!

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:06 | 3274797 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Come on DavidPierre... Get on here & tear SmokeyQuinn to pieces!...


Here's a good starting point...

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does..."

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:31 | 3275174 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

SmokeyQuinn... a 9/11MORON... is chicken-shit. 

He has neither the Balls nor the Brains to debate the openly Nazi ameriKlan terrorist-system on ZH.

He regurgitates these trite articles, cribbed from other people and which state the blindingly obvious, over and over again.

Besides I'm to busy today to waste time with people, who swallow whole, shit like this...




Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:07 | 3274798 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

The banks have mastered the art of dribbling out the shadow inventory according to their own schedule (if you're a TBTF you know how to get what you want from your good buddy, government, which means free money to carry that invetory at near-zero cost for a long time).  Every graph in the article essentially supports that- both prices and volumes.

AVERAGE prices aren't going to go shooting up anytime soon, but neither are they going to fall out of bed (opening up opportunities for first time buyers to jump in and grab a bargan).  Banks would rather see NO transaction than a transaction at a sub-market price.

Please note I said AVERAGE prices.  All real estate is local, of course, and has it's own eco-system to some extent.


Mon, 02/25/2013 - 23:12 | 3276416 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Even homes in the sand-states have to be maintained, who's paying for that?  (Please let it be some other taxpayer, pleeze!)

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:07 | 3274810 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Generational depression and debt on a scale never before seen in the past 200 years.

We are actually in much worse shape than the Great Depression of the 1930's, running on fumes.

The SNAP/Credit/3-Day supply of food house of cards is built; there won't be soup lines, we will go straight to riots and inner-city collapse with martial law.

But for now, smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:08 | 3274812 adr
adr's picture

So my house was supposed to go up in value by $14k last year? Funny, the appraiser that valued my house at $20k less than 2009 must have missed the memo.

My neighbors who are selling their house for $40k less than they bought it for in 2008 must have had their NAR shill miss the memo as well.

Same goes for my uncle and parents as well. My uncle lost his job and his house is going for $190k, three years ago he paid $225. My parents house was worth $310 in 2009, now it appraised for $220. Now I might be wrong but those all look like declines in value.

Guess we should have moved to Phoenix two years ago.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:29 | 3274907 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

your house is worth more only when you go to sell it, when you're being appraised for tax purposes, its a loss. that's the wall street model. mark to magic asset values, meanwhile you depreciate the value for tax purposes. by the way you don't have to actually sell your house to capture those wonderful gains, you go the credit equity line ATM. this is how Neil Bush did it at Silverado, though you may not want to buy a house on a toxic waste dump, and live in it, you can hide that fact and mark it to full value and move into your asset column.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:23 | 3274842 tickhound
tickhound's picture

The "best time to buy" forever meme is systemic.  It's no different in housing than it is when you're separated from a stock, or sucked in.  No different from when a consumer is duped into buying obsolete products at full price... or even a 50% off sale but still keystone for the seller.  It DRIVES everything.  It's called profit.  And when profits get scarce, the bullshit gets thicker.  Everything becomes "one of a kind" or a "last chance to benefit."

Housing "hits home" because it is home to all of us whether owning or renting. 

The "beauty" of it all is that we BLAME OURSELVES.  We wallow in guilt from "being so stupid" but applaud the system and call it "competition."  We give grand rewards to all Artists of the Dupe.  These are the annointed ones. 

The idiot who sells his gold for pennies or buys .9999 plated at spot DESERVES it, right bitchez?   Just like the dumbasses who "found" value in MFGlobal, or the morons dumb enough to buy "beef" at potentially any food chain.

Huxley and Krishnamurta are right.  It's a sick society... self-defeating and ass-backwards in so many ways.  And we WORSHIP IT.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:17 | 3274851 optimator
optimator's picture

3:18 and a few minutes away from the PPT pump........mkt. down 100 pts.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:18 | 3274852 houserich
houserich's picture

Larry's my hero.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:22 | 3274858 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

I just listened to a real estate ad on the FAN590 that described real estate as a generational wealth. Or maybe it was generational asset. probably wealth.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:27 | 3274890 Blankenstein
Blankenstein's picture

It feels like a repeat of 2005 in my area.  Asking prices aren't far off of bubble highs except for the forclosures that are slowly leaked onto the market only to be quickly bought by local specuvestors that have returned to the market.  Obviously the sheep gleaned nothing from the burst of the housing bubble and subsequent economic crisis.  

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:20 | 3275161 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

Yes, especially if you live in So Cal or some other previous bubble area. 

This is all very temporary and will not last.  This dead cat bounce is being precipitated by manipulation and fraud, just like it was last time.  The true bottom is -30% to -60% away from current prices.

There will be a time to get into RE again.  Maybe in 5 or 10 years, but not now. 

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:30 | 3274910 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

The ONLY good time to buy a house is when rates are double digit and prices are depressed. Then buy and pay cash.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:33 | 3274932 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Flawed people using flawed logic to rationalize flawed ethics. Our lives are in the hands of criminals and always have been. I'm better understanding those that pray a lot. We need hope to survive and relying on the lying bastards running things now makes it hard to hope on anyone earth bound. Let us pray that there is a higher being if for no other reason to give us something a little higher to aim for than what is before us.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:39 | 3274962 rlouis
rlouis's picture

Great article.


A few of Baghdad Bob's more memorable statements - right up there with Lereah:

"It has been rumored that we have fired scud missiles into Kuwait. I am here now to tell you, we do not have any scud missiles and I don't know why they were fired into Kuwait."

"Yes, the American troops have advanced further. This will only make it easier for us to defeat them"

"Today we slaughtered them in the airport. They are out of Saddam International Airport. The force that was in the airport, this force was destroyed."

In fact, the LA Times reported that the Iraqi military was fooled by the Information Minister too:

"After he claimed that Iraqi forces had retaken the Baghdad airport, a Gen. Daash was sent to check out a rumor that four or five American tanks had survived the Iraqi counterattack. Daash returned to headquarters in a panic. "Four or five tanks!''  he said: "Are you out of your minds? The whole damn American Army is at the airport!''

According to Baghdad Bob , "The information was correct, but the interpretations were not".  "I did my duty up to the last minute."

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:41 | 3274977 rlouis
rlouis's picture

Only out-done by GW:

''You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.''

—President George W. Bush, at the 2001 Gridiron dinner


''I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things.''

—President George W. Bush, aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003


''The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law.''

—Presidential candidate George W. Bush, Austin, Texas, Nov. 22, 2000


''They misunderestimated me.''

—George W. Bush, Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

“You’re working hard to put food on your family”

Nashua, NH Jan 27, 2000 

''See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.''

—President George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

''Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?''

—George W. Bush, Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000 

''This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base.''

—George W. Bush, at the annual Al Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, Oct. 19, 2000

''You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that.''

—President George W. Bush, to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005 

''I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.”

—President George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. June 18, 2002

''One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.''

—Presidential candidate George W. Bush, U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 3, 2000 


Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:51 | 3275319 Pejorative Requiem
Pejorative Requiem's picture

"I've visited all 54 ........ errr..... 55 states. There's a golf course in every one." Barak Obama

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:47 | 3274997 Spectre
Spectre's picture

Of all the Finance TV hosts, Expert Bloggers,Financial Advisors et al, James Quinn has always been "Wiser than a tree full of owls" in my books.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:52 | 3275013 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

The real nail in the coffin in my mind is Baby Boomers and their $40K in retirement money...even if you have $500K you will have to sell your house to eat.  This steady flow of "whatever I can get for it so I can start renting" is going to depress prices for 15 years.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:02 | 3275062 crzyhun
crzyhun's picture

How many of you bought gold last week??? Just asking...

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 20:37 | 3275930 Braverdave
Braverdave's picture

I did and do every few weeks or so.

More often if the price is dropping. Less often if it's going up.

If you have better ideas of what do with spare cash please let me know.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:39 | 3275087 JR
JR's picture

There’s none better than Jim Quinn to paint a vivid picture, creating the dramatic truth, using the broad-brush of statistics. And as a footnote, here’s supportive evidence of just how The Bernanke Recovery is working out for you, using the “info” only without the "graphic."

Says Business Insider:

The infographic below — created by College@home — illustrates the current situation:

 Graduated and Living With Mom & Dad: Reasons to move back home after college

YOU’RE BROKE – Upon graduating you will be $25,250 in debt. Total U.S. Student Loan Debt = $1 Trillion Dollars: Enough to feed every homeless person in the U.S. for 50 years.

YOU CAN’T GET A JOB: 1.5 million (53.6%) young adults with bachelor’s degrees are jobless or underemployed (highest number in 11 years). Of recent grads, more are employed as waiter/waitress + bartenders = 100,000 - than are employed as: engineers + physicists + chemists + mathematicians = 90,000.

YOU CAN’T FIND ANY WORK: 1% chance of landing a car washing job; 6% chance of getting hired at McDonald’s. Most least likely to find jobs (%=unemployment rate): clinical psychology 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%; United States history 15.1%; library science 15.0%, architecture, 10.6%.

But Don’t Worry… EVERYONE’S DOING IT: Now, Graduates Are Moving Back Home More Than Any Time Since 1950. 53% of 18-24 years olds live with their parents; 29% of 25-34 year olds live with their parents. In 1980, only 1 in 10 post-grads lived with their parents. Now, 4 in 10 move back home. 85% of College Seniors Plan to Move Back Home After Graduation.

It’s a tough world out there. You might as well stay home.

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:26 | 3275180 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Soon you too can say:  "Ich bin ein Trailer-trasher".  It's the new normal.

I knew you'd be surprised!  -F. Zappa

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 18:18 | 3275445 ejblues
ejblues's picture

Very interesting article. Well presented. My compliments.

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