May 20

Wall Street’s Hot New Financial Product: Your Rent Check (Mother Jones, May 14, 2015):

Investment firms are playing landlord and bundling their rental homes into new securities. What could go wrong?

Toward the end of 2012, Mark Alston, a real estate broker in Los Angeles, began noticing something strange. Home prices were starting to rise, and fast—about 20 percent annually. Normally, higher home prices would signal increased demand from homebuyers and indicate that the economy was rebounding. But the home ownership rate was still dropping. Somehow, the real estate market was out of whack.

Then there were the buyers themselves. “I went two years without selling to a black family, and that wasn’t for lack of trying,” recalls Alston, whose business is concentrated in inner-city neighborhoods where the majority of residents are African American and Latino. Now all his buyers were businessmen in suits. And weirder yet, they were all paying in cash.

Over the lasttwo years, private equity firms and hedge funds have amassed an unprecedented real estate empire, snapping up Spanish revivals in Phoenix, adobes in Los Angeles, Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, and brick-faced bungalows in Chicago. In total, Wall Street investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in some of the cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown. But they’re not simply flipping these houses. Instead, they’ve started bundling some of them into a new kind of financial product that could blow up the housing market all over again. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

May 16

“Ghost towns in UK are a real problem.

People shoring up their pension funds with nice properties in quaint or popular locations have been depriving communities of continuity and business for decades, but the failure of Local and National Government to address the issue and its Social consequences has resulted in an exponential growth.

Where we live, in a picturesque part of the country, small villages have really become ‘holiday villages’ due to a large portion of the properties being let to people on vacation.
But, out of season, there’s just no one there….reminiscent of THE SHINING.”


 

chelsea
On one London street, seven out of 10 properties are second homes – and the area is rapidly becoming a ghost town

The one figure that shows the scale of London’s housing crisis (Independent, May 15, 2015):

The realities of London’s housing crisis have been made even more clear, after it has been found that seven out of 10 properties on one Kensington street are second homes.

On the 300 metre length of Ashburn Place in Kensington, West London, which has 131 residential addresses, 70 per cent of the homes are not classed as a main home, according to Kensington & Chelsea Council.

The council’s figures were obtained via a Freedom of Information request by The Steeple Times. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

May 14

 –    London Housing Bubble Watch: $630/Month For A Bed “In” A Shared Kitchen! (ZeroHedge, May 13, 2015):

You know it’s a bubble when… A listing has appeared online advertising a single bed in a house in London where the mattress is located in the kitchen.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

May 08

California-Drought-Housing-Traffic

Why the California water crisis will lead to a housing collapse, municipal bankruptcies and a mass exodus of climate refugees (Natural News, May 7, 2015):

The only proof you need that many Californians are still living in a water fairy tale is the fact that California real estate prices haven’t yet collapsed. Even as the California Governor has declared a state of emergency — and emergency water rationing is under way — there are still people purchasing commercial and residential real estate in precisely the areas that will be hardest hit by that rationing.

What is the value of a home or business that has no functioning connection to a water system? Essentially ZERO.

How many California homes and businesses are headed for a zero-water future? Many millions. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

May 07

Versailles-House

The 90,000 Square Foot, 100 Million Dollar Home That Is A Metaphor For America (Economic Collapse, May 7, 2015):

Just like “America’s time-share king”, America just keeps on making the same mistakes over and over again.  Prior to the financial collapse of 2008, time-share mogul David Siegel and his wife Jackie began construction on their “dream home” near Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  This dream home would be approximately 90,000 square feet in size, would be worth $100 million when completed, and would be named “Versailles” after the French palace that inspired it.  In fact, you may remember David and Jackie from an excellent 2012 documentary entitled “The Queen of Versailles”.  That film documented how the Siegels almost lost everything after the financial collapse of 2008 devastated the U.S. economy because they were overleveraged and drowning in debt.  But since that time, David’s time-share company has bounced back, and the Siegels now plan to finally finish construction on their dream home and make it bigger and better than ever before.  But before you pass judgment on the Siegels, it is important to keep in mind that we are behaving exactly the same way as a nation.  Instead of addressing our fundamental problems after the last financial crisis, we have just continued to make the exact same mistakes that we made before.  And ultimately, things are going to end very, very badly for us. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Apr 28

–  Death Of The Middle Class: Homeownership Rate Drops To 29 Year Low As Average Rent Hits Record High (ZeroHedge, April 28, 2015):

Earlier today the US Census released its latest quarterly data, which confirmed that for what is left of America’s middle class, owning a home has become virtually impossible, with the homeownership rate tumbling from 64.0% to 63.7%, which is tied for the lowest historic print since the first quarter of 1986, with the only difference that then the trendline was higher. Now, as can be seen on the chart below, it isn’t. At this rate, by the end of the 2015 and certainly by the end of Obama’s second term, the US homeownership rate will drop to the lowest in modern US history.

Tags: , , , ,

Apr 18

Why The Record Drop In Chinese House Prices Suggests Beijing Is Already In A Recession (ZeroHedge, April 18, 2015):

If one compares the history of the Chinese and US housing bubbles, one observes that it was when US housing had dropped by about 6% following their all time highs in November 2005, that the US entered a recession. This is precisely where China is now: a 6.1% drop following the all time high peak in January of 2014. If the last US recession is any indication, the Chinese economy is now contracting! So much for hopes of 7% GDP growth this year.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Apr 12

for sale uk

From the article:

As the FT reports, “sales of homes worth more than £2m have dropped by 80 per cent in the past year.”… “It is like the 1970s again, when waves of wealthy people left Britain and it was a disaster.”


UK Housing Bubble Bursts: Sales Of Luxury Homes Crash By 80%; “Waves Of Wealthy People Are Leaving” (ZeroHedge, April 12, 2015):

About a year ago, when the Chinese housing bubble had just begun to burst (as a reminder Chinese house prices are now crashing at a faster pace than in the US after Lehman) and forcing the real estate bubble blowers to consider a different venue, namely the stock market, another housing bubble several thousand miles away was in full blown escape velocity mode – that of the UK. In fact, as we showed in the following table from last June, the appreciation in UK home prices had surpassed that of China as recently as 10 months ago. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 30

Broke? You May Now Be Entitled To a Free Home (ZeroHedge, March 30, 2015):

It’s been seven years since the epic collapse of the US housing market, and there’s never been a better time to buy your first home. In Denmark for instance, the bank will tax depositors in order to pay you to take out a home loan. But before you move to a European country operating in NIRP-dom, consider Florida and New Jersey first because as Susan Rudolfi recently discovered, you can actually get a house for free by simply not making your mortgage payments.

Here’s more via NY Times:

She is like a ghost of the housing market’s painful past, one of thousands of Americans who have skipped years of mortgage payments and are still living in their homes.

Now a legal quirk could bring a surreal ending to her foreclosure case and many others around the country: They may get to keep their homes without ever having to pay another dime. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 19

Crash Landing: China Home Prices Plunge At Fastest Pace On Record, Surpass Post-Lehman Collapse (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2015):

Less than three weeks ago, when the PBOC proceeded with its latest “surprise” rate cut, we showed a chart that should scare everyone who is hoping that China will avoid a hard-landing would prefer would never have been revealed: the annual collapse in Chinese home prices is now so sharp and so widespread, that it has surpassed the housing collapse in the aftermath of the Lehman collapse.” Overnight things went from bad to worse, when China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that contrary to hopes for a modest rebound, China’s average new home prices fell at the fastest pace on record in February from a year earlier.

 …

Tags: , , , , , ,

Feb 24

Existing Home Sales Plunge (and Don’t Blame The Weather) (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015):

With homebuilder sentiment slipping,blamed on the weather (despite improvement in the Northeast), Architecture billings down, and lumber prices down, it should not be totally surprising that existing home sales collapsed in January (-4.9% against expectations of -1.8% to a worse than expected 4.82 million SAAR). This is the lowest existing home sales since April. Oh – and before the talking heads blame the weather – the biggest drop in home sales was in The West (with its warm, dry, sunny home-buying climate). Considering that existing home sales most recent peak in 2014 failed to take out the previous government-sponsored peak in 2013 and remains 30% or more below the 2005 peak, and claims that the housing recovery is in tact are greatly exaggerated.

Tags: , , , , ,

Feb 03

This Housing Chart Destroys The Arguments Of The Economic Optimists (ZeroHedge, Feb 2, 2015):

Did you know that the rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen to a 20 year low?  Did you know that it has been falling consistently for an entire decadeFor the past couple of years, the economic optimists have been telling us that the economy has been getting better.  Well, if the economy really has been getting better, why does the homeownership rate keep going down?

Yes, the ultra-wealthy have received a temporary financial windfall thanks to the reckless money printing the Federal Reserve has been doing, but for most Americans economic conditions have not been improving.  This is clearly demonstrated by the housing chart that I am about to share with you.

If the economy really was healthy, more people would be getting good jobs and thus would be able to buy homes.  But instead, the homeownership rate has continued to plummet throughout the entire “Obama recovery”.  I think that this chart speaks for itself…

Of course this homeownership collapse began well before Barack Obama entered the White House.  Our economic problems are the result of decades of incredibly bad decisions.  But anyone that believes that things have “turned around” for the middle class under Barack Obama is just being delusional. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Jan 19

traders brokers hands on face stock market collapse

Market Wrap: Chinese Stocks Crash As Financials Suffer Record Drop; Commodities Resume Decline; US Closed (ZeroHedge, Jan 19, 2015):

For all those who alleged the Chinese stock move in recent months, was nothing but another investing mania, i.e., bubble, benefiting a select few, because as we showed in July, unlike the US where 70% of household wealth is in financial assets, in China it is the other way around, with three quarters of “net worth” parked in real estate which is merely the latest bubble to pop…

China vs US Real Estate

… congratulations, you were right. 

This was once again confirmed last night when the Chinese stock market waterfalled into the biggest market crash in over 6 years, with the SHCOMP closing down nearly 8% and in the process triggering various circuit breakers, most notably the CSI 300 index which fell by the 10% daily limit and the Chinese financial index (-9.9%) posting its biggest 1-day drop on record after China cracked down on continuing margin-finance and securities lending violations. In other words, the entire run up was thanks to speculation-enabling margin trading, and massive investor leverage; leverage which may or may not disappear. If the SHCOMP crash accelerates in coming days, wtch as Citic, Haitong et al once again flout regulations with the secret blessing of the PBOC, because an uncontrollable market crash is no longer acceptable to anyone.

Details on the Chinese crash from Bloomberg:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jan 15

Canada Crude Contagion: Calgary Home Prices Drop Most In 2 Years (ZeroHedge, Jan 14, 2015):

For the 2nd month in a row, home prices in Calgary – corporate hub of Canada’s oil industry – have fallen. This is the biggest 2-month-drop in almost 2 years (and comes on the heels of yesterday’s news that Suncor is slashing jobs and capex). As Bloomberg reports, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Tim Lane said yesterday development of the more expensive deposits are threatened by lower crude oil prices. “The dive in energy prices will put pressure on house prices in the Western provinces in the coming months,” warns one economist and as the following chart shows, more pain is likely...

 …

Tags: , , , ,

Jan 15

“Russian Buyer Is A Thing Of The Past” – Oligarchs Rush To Sell US Real Estate (ZeroHedge, Jan 14, 2015):

For uber-wealthy Russians, “an apartment in Miami, even the most glorious beachfront apartment, is not a priority right now,” warns one real estate attorney, as The New York Observer reports Russian buyers no longer felt they had the liquid assets to carry on with the transaction and were looking to break closed real estate contracts. “Your average Russian buyer tends to be someone who works in the $5, $10, $15 million range. Obviously very wealthy people, but also people who are much more likely to feel a pinch given the economic situation and the exchange rate,” and with maintenance costs sky-high, the trophy apartments have shifted from ‘safe-deposit-boxes’ out of reach of sanctions to burdensome drains.

As The New York Observer reports,

Just before the holidays, a handful of unusual business proposals made their way to the desk of Marlen Kruzhkov, an attorney at New York’s Gusrae Kaplan: Russian buyers were looking to flip closed real estate contracts. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Jan 06

Prepare for Property Prices to Fall Globally

Prepare for Property Prices to Fall Globally (GoldCore, Jan 5, 2015):

At the start of the New Year, there are increasing signs that the recovery seen in property prices in many cities in western countries — namely New York and other U.S. cities, and Dublin, London and other UK cities — is beginning to peter out.

Many cities have seen speculative frenzies return in recent months which led to price surges which would appear to be unsustainable – especially given the uncertain and poor geopolitical and economic backdrop.

This has been the case in the UK and Ireland, the U.S. and indeed in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few other markets.

The question at the start of 2015, is whether we are likely to see continued price gains or falls. There are all the hallmarks of an echo bubble akin to the one that burst so painfully in the noughties. Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Dec 08

Did Blackstone Just Call The Top In Commercial Real Estate? (ZeroHedge, Dec 8, 2014):

Blackstone’s well-timed IPO in 2007 was almost the perfect top-tick indicator as ‘the smart money’ private-equity guys cashed out into the public markets at peak euphoria. Earlier this year we noted that, among others, Blackstone was drastically ratcheting down purchases (and in fact selling what it could) US residential real estate – and with it withdrew the only pillar holding up the housing market. And now, in the biggest deal in 7 years, Blackstone is dumping a $3.5 billion commercial real estate portfolio. Given the recent declines in CMBX pricing, perhaps, once again, Blackstone is calling the top in another bubble…

 …

Tags: , ,

Nov 14

–  “World’s Richest Restaurateur” Sees An Imminent Crash In America’s “Crazy” Real-Estate Market (ZeroHedge, Nov 13, 2014):

When it comes to the fair value of assets, especially cash-flow generating real estate, few are as qualified to opine as the man dubbed “World’s Richest Restaurateur”, billionaire Tilman Fertitta, chairman of Landry’s Restaurants which counts among its properties such brand names as Morton’s, Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., McCormick & Schmick’s, Saltgrass Steak House, Claim Jumper, Chart House, The Oceanaire, Mastro’s Restaurants, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse and many more.

Which is why his dire warning about the state of the “crazy” US real estate market, which he believes set for an imminent crash, are likely worth keeping in mind as all the panglossian permabulls see nothing but a 4th dead housing cat rebound ahead. That, and his take on inflation: “There is huge inflation going on right now.” 

From his interview on Bloomberg TV yesterday: Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Nov 08

The 10 Most Expensive Homes In The World (ZeroHedge, Nov 6, 2014):

There’s an odd-looking building in South Mumbai in India that looks like it’s under construction, only that it’s finished and furnished. And by how much. Called the Antilia, after mythical island in the Atlantic, the building is famous not for its odd structures of extra high ceilings and protruding floors; it’s the second most expensive house today at $1 billion. Barring the Buckingham Palace, which is valued at $1.55 billion, it would have been our most expensive house in our list, as Forbes.com has named it in 2014. In fact, Forbes cited that it’s the first house (other than palaces) to breach the $1 billion range.

Our infographic of the world’s most expensive houses compares the home values against the British Royal’s residence. Interestingly, the palace is not the most ornate or opulent among palaces; Saudi royals and sheiks are known to live more lavishly, beating their European counterparts. But property value is not just about what the house is, but who lives in it. The Queen of England lends to the palace a value higher than the structure’s worth. Continue reading »

Tags: ,

Nov 04

Why Housing Is Dead: First-Time Buyers Collapse To 27-Year Lows (ZeroHedge, Nov 3, 2014):

The Millennials (one of the biggest generations in US history) are just not getting with the status quo program. As we detailed previously, with lower credit scores, less disposable income, and a soaring number of people living with their parents; so it should be no surprise that The National Association of Realtors (NAR) today admitted that first-time homebuyers plunged to the lowest level in 27 years. The blame – of course – rather than low/no-growth fiscal policies, student debt servitude, and inequality-driving cheap-funding monetary policy, is price comnpettion from ‘investors’ and too “stringent credit standards,” perfectly mirroring FHFA’s Mel Watt’s Einsteinian insanity desire to dramatically ease lending standards and slash minimum down-payments (as we noted previously). Perhaps NAR accidentally stumbles on the biggest reason no one is buying in their profiling: the typical first-time buyer was 31-years-old, while the typical repeat buyer was 53 – smack in the middle of the Millennial collapse.

Tags: , , , , ,