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Quadruple Dip: Housing Relapses As "March Is Turning Out To Be The Weakest Month Since Last October Re: Buyer interest"

Tyler Durden's picture


For months we have been saying that there is no housing recovery, and what little buying interest there was was driven purely by abnormally warm weather and still record low interest rates. Well, the seasonal aberrations are now over, and normalcy can return, but not before much demand was pulled forward (Cash for Caravans? Money for McMansions? Shekels for Shacks? Dough for Dumps?) to December-February courtesy of "April in January" and mortgage rates soaring to well over 4%, leading to a major tumble in MBA new home and refi mortgage applications (as noted here "So Long Housing - Mortgage Applications Collapse, And Sentiment Update"). So we won't repeat ourselves, intead we will give the podium to CNBC's Diana Olick who now finds empirical evidence of what we have been saying all along. From Olick:  "Housing was charging back. Spring sprung early. Sentiment among home builders doubled in six months. Any talk that the fundamentals might not be supporting the sentiment was met with harsh criticism. And then suddenly it wasn’t. A slew of new housing data last week disappointed the analysts and the stock market, and all of a sudden you started to hear concern that maybe housing wasn’t exactly in a robust recovery. From home builder sentiment to housing starts, to home builder earnings right through to sales of newly built homes, there was not one hopeful headline in any of it (except perhaps if you invest in rentals, as multi-family housing starts made more gains, but that is a contrary indicator to housing recovery)." And from the ground:"And then an email from a Realtor in New Jersey: “Just reviewed March buyer clicks, Google’s analytics on all the sites we monitor – March is turning out to be the weakest month since last October re: Buyer interest."

Speaking of rentals, recall: "The "New Normal" American Dream Of Renting Is About To Become Very Expensive" and so it is - rentals being one of the very few things in the CPI that actually are surging in price, expect Fed's inflationary beancounting to show price pressure, but luckily it will be more than offset as homes for sales quadruple dip and the housing sector relapses all over again.

More from CNBC on what has been paifully obvious to all those who live in the real economy instead of making their deliberations based on Suez Canal canoe indices, or Architecture billings or what not:

Now we start another week with another disappointment. Pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts for existing homes, not closings, fell half a percentage point month-to-month.


That may not seem like a big deal, but the analysts were looking for a small gain. No doubt the Realtors will point to the solid 9% gain from a year ago, but so much of that gain is based on a change in the foreclosure pipeline.


Last year the foreclosure process stalled. The “robo-signing” mess brought everything to a standstill, and that left investors with little to buy on the distressed side. Foreclosures began ramping up again in the late fall, and that led to a surge in investor buying. Was that the “recovery” we were seeing?


Investors are still rushing into the market, with distressed sales making up a near-record 48.7 percent of sales in February on a three month moving average, according to a new report today from Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance.


Investors are now a full quarter of the market, and they are increasing their activity in short sales (when a lender allows the home to be sold for less than the value of the mortgage).


Don’t get me wrong, investors buying up the distress is necessary to cleanse the market, but it is not real recovery. Mortgage originations are at a 12-year low, despite record low rates. Normal, “organic” home buyers, move-up owner occupants, are not flooding back into this market. Rents are still rising.


Mortgage analyst Mark Hanson runs some disturbing numbers to back up his contention that Q2 will disappoint: “Investor sales volume up 37 percent YY for a whopper 69 percent of all YY existing home sales gains. First-timers are starting to look weak in Feb. The gains in first-timer and repeat sales can easily be explained by historic rates and weather and can easily reverse in a single month.”

Judging by the market reaction today, we expect everything to be limit up tomorrow as Case-Shiller posts the 7th consecutive drop in home prices. Or is it 8th? Frankly, it doesn't matter. All that does matter is how much more currency debasement will the USD sustain before it loses its reserve status.


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Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:14 | 2291057 FOC 1183
FOC 1183's picture

Where's Brusca??

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:27 | 2291110 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

Leave Bob alone.  He's busy applying for Larry Yun's job....

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:45 | 2291191 Kayman
Kayman's picture

You mean Leo Brusca ?

Come on People, put on your happy shoes; everything is peachy. Pass the hookah....

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:16 | 2291065 malikai
malikai's picture

Gross is probably having the biggest orgasm ever in the history of mankind right now.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:53 | 2291120 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

We have some money trapped in a 401K with limited mutual fund options, so I put a third of it into Gross' PTTRX last month because it seemed like he knew what he was talking about. Hopefully that corrupt crony Gross has our rehypothecated retirement frontrunning some sweet, sweet Ctrl-P.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:29 | 2291123 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

So does this mean that Obama is actually OVERPAYING for Peggy Joseph's mortgage?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:17 | 2291067 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

This is clearly the bottom! That means bullish!

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:12 | 2291543 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

If I had a hundred bucks for everytime someone has tried to call a bottom on this market from 2007-present....

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:16 | 2291820 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

... You would be the person to whom all that stimulus spending went.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:20 | 2291078 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Speaking of rentals, recall: "The "New Normal" American Dream Of Renting Is About To Become Very Expensive" and so it is - rentals being one of the very few things in the CPI that actually are surging in price, expect Fed's inflationary beancounting to show price pressure, but luckily it will be more than offset as homes for sales quadruple dip and the housing sector relapses all over again.

Well, time to buy a rental property while rates are still relatively low then....

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:22 | 2291090 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Bingo, just make sure your tenants are gainfully employed first.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:30 | 2291126 Mercury
Mercury's picture

There’s the obvious future uncertainty of how  your municipality is going to treat you as a property owner but:


a crappy real estate market + relatively low fixed  mortgage rates + inflating rents = an attractive capitalization rate for prospective landlords


– especially if they chose to live in the building as well.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:40 | 2291175 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

No jobs means no houses means no sales. You can buy every mortgage up and it doesn't matter if J6P is unemployed. Rents will fall since they seem to continue building there.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:15 | 2291307 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Exactly.  I'm dipping my hand in the landlord market locally, but it's with the understanding that not only will RE fall in price, but rents will follow.  This is why only a very, very select few purchases ever get made...  I'm looking at a 25% drop in housing prices and 25% drop in rent and if I can still make solid scratch, then I pull the trigger.  In the end, it's a simple question of diversification as well as converting ethereal dollars into something tangible...  [it really hasn't been too many decades since people paid rent in barter...  whether it be hogs, chickens, jewelry, or even labor].

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 20:05 | 2292934 lazarus
lazarus's picture

Just last year Craigslist in Boston had a woman offering titf*cks for rent . . .

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:43 | 2291177 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes,  I have been considering rentals in college towns, especially those with strong funding prospectives for "re-re-educating" America.

What happens when the water/sewer/security/municipal pensions all go bust is another matter that insures printing at some level and higher local taxation.  The difference between local taxation and federal taxation is when your local taxation goes up (at least on my neck of the woods) it is easy to find the county commisioner and local representatives and call them out on to the carpet.  these people know they will be hung at some point, hence they are very willing to "keep it real" as it were.  So to reiterate your point, being local is the key because it has been my eperience that if you don't keep pushing back on your local commissioners and reps, the will eventually screw you.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:19 | 2291325 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

These facts are what hedge fund managers...  and even the federal government does not understand.  Real estate is local...  and the wanna be landlords out there are going to get a rude awakening when they get yokeled.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 16:06 | 2292200 Curt W
Curt W's picture

Property tax rates are skyrocketing as counties adjust their revenue streams.  My property tax doubled from 2005 to 2011

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:28 | 2291117 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture CPI formula = "ex" food, energy & OER

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:20 | 2291083 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

Shekels for Shitholes works for me.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:22 | 2291087 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The spin the MSM trys to put on this should be entertaining.  popcorn anyone?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:21 | 2291089 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

The local real estate people agree there is no housing recovery around here. One new house under construction in the last year and the buyer is having trouble making his next payment on the construction loan.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:23 | 2291095 asteroids
asteroids's picture

Housing. The Death of the American Dream. Worse, it'll turn into a nightmare before this is over.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:11 | 2291542 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Entitlement.  The Death of the American Dream.  Worse, it'll turn into a nightmare before this is over.

Fixed it for you

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:21 | 2291838 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Entitlement.  The Lunesta-induced version of the American Dream. 

There, fixed it for both of you.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:37 | 2291897 TeresaE
TeresaE's picture

Obesity, the Death of Health Care Insurance

Hurricanes and inflation, the Death of House Insurance and FEMA flood insurance.


The list goes on and on.  They are killing everything.  Simply everything, including our will to stop them.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:31 | 2291129 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Certainly not what I'm hearing and seeing here in the DC area. Good houses all have bidding wars on them with 4 and 5 contracts and people with so-so credit are being approved for loans. Just saying..

Of course my hood isn't included in that due to highillegal alien and section 8 residency. Good old murphy...

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:51 | 2291215 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Umm, DC is not representative of the rest of the country. It has the lowest unemployment rate and highest median salary due to so many people working for the govt.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:24 | 2291860 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

DC ... Can you be any closer to Apartheid in the modern world?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:51 | 2291221 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

location, location, location.  Real estate, no matter what the national trends, still has a local flavor.  But don't' let the DC area fool you.  There is no aggregate recovery... there won't be an aggregate recovery under our current monetary system.  Post collapse and the next thing... who knows.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:57 | 2291244 Kayman
Kayman's picture

"Certainly not what I'm hearing and seeing here in the DC area."

Best indicator of all that the economy sucks; housing is booming for those that receive government checks. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:32 | 2291137 shushup
shushup's picture

Why would anyone sink their money in housing when the government is so openly proping up the stock market? You can get rich buy AAPL,PCLN, CMG and ISRG. Why put your money in a house that will not appreciate at all?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:34 | 2291147 shushup
shushup's picture

I don't know how they expect housing to recover when they are encouraging stock market investment.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:39 | 2291166 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Shit for sheeple

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:39 | 2291168 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

this data is yet one more reason why the fed will launch Fedomatic, the print at home money solution used by fed agents nationwide. Now you, too, can print money with the same software which fed banksters use to create trillions of dollars in stock index saving funds....Now you can stay at home to monetize whatever you like....Have excess trash? monetize it with Fedomatic....Need a new McMansion? Fedomatic is your first choice to create tranched mbs for immediate bank approval....yes folks, the days of limited money are long your patriotic duty and buy fedomatic today so that you too can start bailing out yet another another national security treasure like aig, goldman sachs, or your next president's campaign fund!! only your imagination limits what you can do with home security monetization. now, for a very limited time, fedomatic is free to the first 1 million buyers of our fabulous housing collection....blah blah blah

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:40 | 2291174 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Wake me when the average American has $50-100K in cash lying around for the NEW NORMAL in down payments.

May have something to do with a yet-to-be-realized significant uptick in disposable personal income per capita, net of punitive charges for utilities, state fees, etc.


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:09 | 2291288 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

simply not true. Friend just bought a 300k house on 70 income with about 8% total closing costs. Why are you making stuff up?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:13 | 2291554 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

This.  I'm not seeing any decrease in the ability of most to borrow the shit out of money...  especially if you already have a lot borrowed ;)

The simple fact is that the banks can't give money away...  most people know better.  Maybe if rates were -5% you might get some takers?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:37 | 2291656 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

@ riphowardkatz, I agree. 

Just put an offer on a short sale for 326,000k with 30k down.  Agreement states bank has to pay total closing costs or no deal. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:28 | 2291873 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, DTI >4x ... Seems like happy days are here again.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:42 | 2291182 RagnarDanneskjold
RagnarDanneskjold's picture

China's housing market is more important, it will determine whether the global economy continues mild growth or falls into recession. 

Chinese luxury home prices continue to decline, reaching nearly 50%; Aoyuan project faces cash crunch?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:36 | 2291187 Village Smithy
Village Smithy's picture

Diana Olick is a) hot, and b) one of the few people at CNBS who is not a complete shill. No doubt she will soon be fired at which point I'm sure Ivy Zelman would be happy to hire her. Good luck Diana!

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:28 | 2291878 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

She's no Lauren Lyster.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:46 | 2291194 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

"Buy now....or be priced out FOREVER!!"

A public service announcement brought to you by your friendly neighborhood realtor

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:46 | 2291196 digalert
digalert's picture

How many good people have been screwed by MSM propaganda since 2009? The Bamster and the Bernank saved us from the brink, prices never lower, interest at historic lows, buy now!!!

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:33 | 2291883 TeresaE
TeresaE's picture

 Good call, but it started in earnest during the dotcom/Y2K temporary insanity and boom years.  TPTB are just getting much better at delivering their messages to a more distracted, apathetic and stressed populace.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:49 | 2291203 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

What dip?  There has been no crash for RE to even begin to find a bottom.  We've had zero price discovery in housing for 4 years of fraud selling to bury the Inc. fraud-shit under the rug.

Only suckers are buying homes -- no matter what "deal" you think you're getting it's nothing compared to the bag you will be holding.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:58 | 2291246 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

Because the Widowmaker said so, dammit! Please let us know when the coast is clear. Thanks widowmaker your insights are invaluable or are they without any value? Haven't decided yet.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:15 | 2291561 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

What bag?  If the home is bought without any leverage...  and is a simple matter of portfolio diversification...  and all title issues are good to go...  I don't see the problem...

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:53 | 2291227 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

im going to convert my basement into bedrooms and rent it out to 4 students at 900 a pop . Why work whe i can let Japan co. support me

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 21:39 | 2293111 Marc_W
Marc_W's picture

$900 is the going rate for a basement "apartment" in certain parts of the U.S.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:53 | 2291228 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

This is just funny

"Don’t get me wrong, investors buying up the distress is necessary to cleanse the market, but it is not real recovery.  "

Market clearing is recovery. Good lord. If it isn;t then what the f' is? Of course the dude writing this never defines what recovery means so we will never now how he defines it

Investors (mostly smart money) are finding value that means a bottom is in the process of forming.  That is what creates a recovery.

-New homes available at an all time low
-Home builders not building as much further lowering available inventory
-Cash owners not selling until they can get their price
-Foreclosures clearing
-B of A talking about removing more foreclosures through rent programs
-Land Banks
-Near record low mortgage rates
-inflation at 5%
-very few tangible assets
-rents going up and back to pre bubble ratios with 30 year mortgage
-higher taxes coming more desire for deductions
-boomers looking for income opportunities


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:22 | 2291334 Kayman
Kayman's picture


1. Outsourced Middle Class manufacturing jobs gone to China

2. Federal deficit/debt heading to the moon.  Future taxes = reduced net incomes

3. Housing stock overbuilt during last decade; enough housing stock for another decade.

4. Marginal buyers already burned; credit destroyed. Household formation shrunk.

5. The myth that your home is the best investment you will ever make is destroyed. Been replaced with buying a house could destroy you forever.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:50 | 2291451 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

ah... I just figured out what riphowardkatz does for a living.  Had I read his other posts I would have passed on responding to his critique of my original post.  He's either a realtor or employed by one (perhaps an economist for NAR).

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:13 | 2291553 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

Nope, I derive 0 income from real estate and I have no vested interest in real estate except for a very modest home that I am not backwards on.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:21 | 2291585 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

1. the fed is debasing the dollar to fix this problem

2. federal deicit spending ends up in someones pocket. its a wealth transfer, the people's pockets it ends up in buy homes

3.  housing stock overbuilt...ZH just posted how new homes available is at a record low. this article specifically mentions how foreclosures are clearing.

4. immigration, credit matters? you think freddie and fannie care about credit? they didnt before but they do now? 

5. there are no good investments in this world. we are in a speculative world. there are very few places to store value or save. Greenspan" absent the gold standard there are no safe stres of value" Gold and some other commidities are probably the best but they offer no utility and are tax problems. Housing has done pretty good at storing value and are one of the best places to borrow (short) the dollar 


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:54 | 2291231 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Deflation in the things you own (real estate) and inflation in the things you need (rent and food and energy).  The beatings will continue until moral improves.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:01 | 2291260 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

Except you are using an elementary defintion of inflation and deflation that won't help you understand what is going on. Go ahead and use inflation and deflation to mean rising and falling prices and you will be forever confused and left behind.

Inflation and deflation are rising or falling prices caused by increasing or decreasing money supply. You cannot have both inflation and deflation they are mututally exculsive. Prices can rise and fall for many reasons if you mislabel those reasons as inflation and deflation you wont be able to understand what is really happening.


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:42 | 2291414 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

First... I didn't down vote you.  You can feel however you would like about what I wrote.  But to respond... I think I've got a pretty good idea about what is going on.  We have a system of credit money where virtually all "money" is loaned into existence with interest that begins to accumulate. But the system doesn't have enough "money" to pay both interest and principle, so to roll debt forward, new debt must be created.  In the aggregate, debt must be in a state of constant expansion (consumer, business, gov't).  The system doesn't really care who takes on the debt, only that it expands. 

So from here, the system (i.e. the central banks) must create new bubbles of debt (i.e. increase the money/debt supply).  This is inflation.  Now perhaps I got lazy and went layman on inflation vs. deflation with respect to what we must pay for goods and services... but the truth is... "inflation" will not impact all things equally.  There is a tension where all things really want to collapse right now, but the central banks are trying to prop those things up.  The predicament... they can't control where the money goes.  That's why "inflation in what we need and deflation in what we own"... no matter how non-academic or distasteful you may find my words to be, is EXACTLY what we are experiencing. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:47 | 2291435 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Zynga, Google, and Apple employees are all going to buy several thousand houses each.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:05 | 2291504 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

and fed workers and gov contractors and defense dept workers and commodity producers and state workers, and GM subsidized car makers, and GE subsidized employee workers and Canadians and Chinese immigrants and many millions more. 2x the money in existence it will flow to lots of different places over time. 


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:30 | 2291624 LucasATX
LucasATX's picture

Well instead of spending all of your time here pumping the real estate market, why don't you go out and buy a couple of fucking houses if they are such a great investment right now?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:18 | 2291826 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

Couldnt I say the same thing about you? Why arent you shorting the home builders and REITs?

To answer your question I am waiting for something to complete and was bored. I have other places I think I can get a better return on my time. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:31 | 2291629 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

well... why not 4x the money in existence then?  Or 8x or 16x?  Money loses all meaning in your scenario.  I would posit that money has already lost all meaning minus the rapidly fading illusion that keeps the system together.  And long before the "GE subsidized employee workers and Canadians and Chinese immigrants and many millions more" benefit from your trickle-down theory of prosperity through inflation, the wheels will come off. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:42 | 2291685 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

I never said there was anything prosperous about it. It is the opposite. Producers are being robbed and the money is going to non producers at both ends of the wealth spectrum (poor producers robbed and rich producers robbed)

This only adds to my point that in a less productive world houses are one thing you can  put the money (which hasn't lost any meaning it still buys stuff) into that has utility. 

I would also look for strip clubs, sports teams, megablockbuster movies, video games and tatoo parlors to outperform.


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:52 | 2291722 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

well, you sure seemed to imply something prosperous... aren't a bunch of Gov't subsidized GE employees and Chines immigrants going to buying up the remaining housing inventory, or did I misread what you wrote?

But we can find common ground.  If someone has the means to purchase property outright, in a less productive world, you are better of than holding cash, if that was the point you are making. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:14 | 2291808 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

yes they will buy up the inventory with essentially other people's money. it isnt prosperous and I am not claiming they are wealth generators they are wealth consumers but that doesn't take away from the fact they will have wealth to buy homes.

Yes I am saying that an outright purchase is a place to store value but borrowing also may make sense because it is a short of the dollar with minimal recourse if you can't pay(right or wrong) 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:26 | 2291607 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

"they can't control where the money goes."

So the fed didn't inflate the housing bubble?

You have multiple contradictions in your post.  

"So from here, the system (i.e. the central banks) must create new bubbles of debt (i.e. increase the money/debt supply).  This is inflation. "

So they can create bubbles but they can't? Which is it? 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:44 | 2291691 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Have we digressed to where you create straw men and argue against a ghost? 

I mean, "So they can create bubbles but they can't? Which is it?" - really? 

Of course the fed can (and historically has been proven to be quite adept at) creating bubbles.  And they can certainly try to direct those bubbles... but ultimately, No... they don't have absolute control where all of the money goes.  They can't for example, keep inflation from driving up prices at the pump while they try like hell to re-inflate housing.  If they did, this things would have happened already.  There are no contradictions in anything I have written, but there is plenty of evidence all around us in support.  You should check some of it out.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:07 | 2291785 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

Ok let me ask you a direct question...Was it the federal governments and federal reserves goal to create a "wealth effect" in housing? Did their actions to keep this going make prices move up? If so why can't they do it again? 

Also ...They can't direct where the money goes? They are funding the deficit. That sure seems to be directing where the money goes.  Some of those treasuries are going to support a couple of agencies called freddie and fannie do you think they are unaware of this? Some of the other money they are creating are buying MBS that again sure seems to be controlling where the money goes?

I do not disagree that they cant force anyone to do anything and the money will flow where it will flow but they sure can create a lot of incentives and essentialy make it a very attractive proposition. These things take time, people are shaken from the 2008 crash, we are getting sufficient distance from that to think that their efforts will start having effects.

(see the gaps between previous bottoms to prices appreciating again, in nominal terms.)  

And as I have pointed out there are lots of reasons to believe it is happening right now. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:59 | 2291976 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

"Ok let me ask you a direct question...Was it the federal governments and federal reserves goal to create a "wealth effect" in housing? Did their actions to keep this going make prices move up? If so why can't they do it again?"  My answers: I don't think that the goal is to create a "wealth effect"... though that may be a by-product.  The goal/need is for the credit market to expand...i.e. for aggregate debt to increase.  If aggregate debt doesn't increase, you run the risk of cascading defaults and a deflationary depression. Yes... this worked like a charm.  Of course there were lots of other factors... liar loans, interest only loans, etc... but yes... a fed induced bubble. 

"Why can't they do it again?".... to start, ZIRP isn't something that keeps on giving.  They've lost those arrows.  Likewise, I think they shot their wad (so to speak) with their other giveaways and incentives.  They likely did little more than pull through most future demand.  Wages have stagnated (optimistically), employment has stagnated (optimistically).  Why can't they do it again?  Because they've been trying like hell for 3 years now and have FAILED.  Period.  End of sentence.

Also ...They can't direct where the money goes? They are funding the deficit. That sure seems to be directing where the money goes.  The gov't can only control where gov't money goes.  But they can't, for example, force people to bid up the cost of homes or not bid the cost of gas. YES... the gov't is running huge deficits... why?  Because the consumer is tapped out and business is primarily tapped out (though there has been some data pointing towards the US consumer ramping their side up a bit... likely in survival mode, but who knows. 

I think we are fairly fully saturated... I don't think there is a lot of room.  I think gov't debt is the last big "bubble" before the final collapse. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 15:00 | 2291979 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The Fed and the Feds wanted to create a wealth-effect, yes.  They have been trying to prevent housing prices from declining TOO much by devaluing the dollar.

How well have they done?  In some areas, prices are relatively stable, and in other places, you've seen massive declines.

They may be able to "freeze" real-estate valuations in nominal terms by continuing to kill the dollar, but as they do so, the number of potential buyers will DECLINE because they won't be able to to come up with a $20K downpayment when bread's $8-12 a loaf.

I personally don't think they have a prayer in hell of INCREASING real-estate valuations (even in nominal terms), but even if they did, it wouldn't make real-estate into an attractive investment.  I'd say it's always been a mistake to think of a primary residence as an "investment" in the first place, but the bubble sure did convince most people.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:55 | 2291234 monopoly
monopoly's picture

"All that does matter is how much more currency debasement will the USD sustain before it loses its reserve status."

This is the crux of the entire post. How long before it all comes together. How long before it matters. How long before this farce is over. Patience.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:04 | 2291270 Blue Horshoe Lo...
Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

Good news = bullish

Bad news = bullish (it could be worse)

Neutral news = bullish (at least it's not bad)

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:26 | 2291355 Kayman
Kayman's picture

For every buyer, there is a seller.  Both think they are right.

Realtors don't give a damn, so long as they collect their fee.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:26 | 2291351 ekm
ekm's picture

Now that Benny B publickly accepted that he is experimenting and he was forced (by whom?) to just do something, the only thing remaining is a margin call for a Primary Dealer (that's who).

Who will be MFGlobablized next? Merryll Lynch?

Minimum 1000 pts dow drop in one day, once that margin call occurs.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:36 | 2291391 Campagnolo
Campagnolo's picture

the real state business is dead, just go to Detroit.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:49 | 2291446 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

My wife is a fairly active realtor in our smallish market, accounting last year for around 10% of our market.


What I see from that, as I am very actively involved in her business for various reasons.

Buyers this year have shit for credit, and by that I mean in the 500's.  She has a sub 100k 3/2 in a decent area, making for a nice "starter home".  Lots of interest from people who couldn't get a loan if you gave them 50 free points.

Second point, our market is now pushing on close to 40% investor purchasing in the single family home market.  The money guys now are even up to purchasing high end rentals for the area.  Before this year the market had never seen $150k+ homes purchased for rentals, and two above this price sold last week that needed $20k+ of work.

Third, our area/town is eligible for USDA loans, meaning 100%+ financing if you meet the income criteria.  It is our third year of these loans, and without them our market for homes below $150k would be 90% investor driven, as even with FHA loans low 3.5% downpayment, few $120k buyers have $5k in the bank, which is a sad thing to think about.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:55 | 2291475 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

The first two times I read your post I read, "my wife is a fairly attractive realtor in our smallish market"... I figured, meh... can't hurt.  A sober post.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:19 | 2291574 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

She is.  Was "shown" a house last night!

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:21 | 2291582 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

LOL... You were thinking CNBC Anchorette stacked blonde...

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:03 | 2291498 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

They are buying iPads instead with the little money they have in the bank...

Just a little longer ZH'ers and you will all see the whole bag of fecal matter explode in their faces!! Our day has arrived!

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:26 | 2291599 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

This.  It is incredibly clear in my market (arguably one of the best non-DC markets in the U.S. % wise) that there is a ceiling of general affordability.  That cap around here is about $150-170k.  Which is about 4x the average family salary.  Past that and it's going to sit on the market unless literally everything is perfect about it.  As a result, investors are only throwing down scratch from this point and lower... 

prices are going to have to go down on the mcmansions (which here only cost $400k) before anyone is going to bite the weenie and purchase.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:33 | 2291642 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

You aren't in the carolina's, are you?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:16 | 2291818 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Nein.  Arkansas...  although many similarities with appalachia.  Although, most of the state has taken a giant shit on real estate (not sure how it could fall lower, but it has and will)...  my little pocket has, thus far *knocks on wood* been mainly unaffected...  it's also my understanding we've been adding jobs since 07...  we simply didn't have a lot of the build-up other places did...  and we also have a really diverse local economy...  I suspect though that we will get our comeuppance soon enough. 

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:43 | 2291914 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

I'm in arkansas also.  In my area of the state prices have never been higher, only price growth has been slowed in the last three years.  Increases still averaging around 2-3% yearly on the sub $250k homes, less on the higher end.  We never had a building boom.

Rents are also at all time highs.  One of our homes is $50 away from being double its 03 rent, which it was profitable at also.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:05 | 2291511 r101958
r101958's picture

Hey! Let's not get too cynical. There ARE more people buying survival retreats these days.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:09 | 2291534 Stock Tips Inve...
Stock Tips Investment's picture

While there is a stock of unsold homes so big, there will be a pressure on pricespermanently. Banks and government forces are measured. The loser will take the brunt ofthe loss by the fall in prices. But both know that this tremendous stock causing the problem.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:27 | 2291573 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

There IS No Housing Recovery

No McMansions for TeeVee watching Amerikan McMorons...

Until the clueless Amerikan public wakes up, fires every incumbent politician in sight, liquidates the corrupt bribe taking US professional political class, then prosecutes the Wall Street banksters and ships Jamie & Lloyd et al off to Bernie Madoff Gulag...

Nothing will change on the road to serfdom...

Or as Jesse likes to say:

"The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance between individuals and the corporations restored to the economy, before there can be any sustained recovery."

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 20:44 | 2293009 lazarus
lazarus's picture

James, Ventura or Jackson?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:35 | 2291651 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

back to 1997............Stop fighting it Bitchez !!!!......

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 13:38 | 2291657 Good To Great
Good To Great's picture

Housing markets are very local.  I have a contract on a house in the DC area, finally, after losing several in bidding wars.  There is very little on the market here and prices are going back up.  I hate to say that.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:01 | 2291763 Village Smithy
Village Smithy's picture

I was shocked that prices ever fell in the DC area.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:08 | 2291789 j0nx
j0nx's picture

It's madness out there I agree. Unfortunately I live in the park of manassas where section 8 renters and illegal aliens took over en masse so my house value is forever fucked. There's only two ways anyone who bought a house here in manassas park in the past decade gets out of it: 1. in a pine box or 2. in foreclosure. There are little to no traditional home sales here, only short sales and foreclosures. The illegals really raped this place good when they all stopped paying their mortgages back in 2007. We still haven't recovered from that shit.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 00:50 | 2293451 Marc_W
Marc_W's picture

Most of Manassas is a completely shit hole.  Shitty old neighborhoods full of illegals and blacks.


There are a few nice newer developments on the outskirts though.


I always laugh when I'm driving through Manassas and I see that sign, "Welcome to Historic Manassas."  Then I look around, nothing but shiny new strip malls, Best Buy, Applebees like restaurants, etc.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 16:13 | 2292230 Curt W
Curt W's picture

The new Homesteading Act of 2013 find a vacant home that has been deserted for over a year, move in and claim it as yours.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 21:20 | 2293043 Dermasolarapate...
Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture
Giant, nine-pound Gambian rats invading Florida Keys

"...a breed of giant, Gambian rats have been rapidly reproducing in the Florida Keys despite a decade-long effort to wipe them out. KeysNet reports the invasive, African native species first began showing up between 1999-2001 after a local exotic animal breeder released eight of the rats into the wild."

"The rodents, officially known as the Gambian pouched rat, are the largest known breed of rats in the world. They can grow up to three feet in length and weigh as much as nine pounds. Wildlife officials fear that if the large-sized rodents make it to the Florida mainland..."


Oh Honey, maybe we shouldn't move down to Florida, after all.

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 21:22 | 2293070 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

could be good eating.  organic.  no pink slime.  low carbs.


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 21:23 | 2293072 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

tastes just like chicken.  (well, dark meat, but that's moister)


Mon, 03/26/2012 - 22:02 | 2293164 Marc_W
Marc_W's picture

We already have infestation in the American mainland of the most savage and deadly animal in Africa.  Although the blight is largely confined to the East Coast and Gulf Coast.


I don't see what some African rats can do that will even compare to the damage done by African Americans to this country.

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