One month ago, we said that “it is not looking good for the US housing market”, when in the latest red flag for the US luxury real estate market, we reported that sales in the Hamptons plunged by half and home prices fell sharply in the second quarter in the ultra-wealthy enclave, New York’s favorite weekend haunt for the 1%-ers.
Reuters blamed this on “stock market jitters earlier in the year” which damped the appetite to buy, however one can also blame the halt of offshore money laundering, a slowing global economy, the collapse of the petrodollar, and the drastic drop in Wall Street bonuses. In short: a sudden loss of confidence that a greater fool may emerge just around the corner, which in turn has frozen buyer interest.
A beachfront residence is seen in East Hampton, New York, March 16, 2016.
We concluded this is just the beginning, and sure enough, several weeks later a similar collapse in the luxury housing segment was reported in a different part of the country. As the Denver Post reported recently, high-end sales that fuel Aspen’s $2 billion-a-year real estate market are evaporating, pushing Pitkin County’s sales volume down more than 42 percent to $546.45 million for the first half of the year from $939.91 million in the same period of 2015. Continue reading »
The failures of government intervention in the economy have made headlines yet again. Recent stress tests by the Federal Housing Finance Agency found something sinister brewing under the surface at notorious mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The results show that these puppet companies could need up to a $126 billion bailout if the economy continues to deteriorate.
That’s right — the two companies that were taken over by the government and that sucked $187 billion from the treasury could be entitled to more taxpayer money. The toxic home loans bought during the last crisis coupled with a lack of liquidity have suddenly become serious risk factors. The so-called “recovery” that has been trumpeted for years by countless politicians and economists is falling apart in plain view. The media will do just about anything to assure the public that this is all isolated and overblown, but the canary in the coal mine has just dropped dead. Continue reading »
When a week ago we reported that in a long-overdue decision, the British Columbia government finally cracked down on Vancouver’s unprecedented “Chinese hot money” driven housing bubble by implementing a 15% property tax (which we had advocated for one month earlier), we said that “with today’s tax, Vancouver’s real estate nightmare in which local housing had become the “new normal” anonymous Swiss bank account, and also made real estate virtually unaffordable to local, hard working Canadians, is finally set to end.”
However, not even we were confident that a 15% tax would be “prove to be a sufficient deterrent to future Chinese buyers.” Now thanks to the Financial Post we now know that not only was the tax sufficient, but it has led to the prompt, much anticipated, and generally welcome bursting of the Vancouver housing bubble. Continue reading »
The percentage of Americans that own a home has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded. During the second quarter of 2016, the non-seasonally adjusted homeownership rate fell to just 62.9 percent, which was exactly where it was at when the U.S. Census began publishing this measurement back in 1965. This is not what a “recovery” looks like. All throughout the Obama years, the percentage of Americans that own a home has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller. The reason for this, of course, is that the middle class in America is dying. Last year, we learned that middle class Americans now make up a minority of the population for the first time ever. In order to have a high rate of homeownership, you need a thriving middle class, and you can’t have a thriving middle class without good paying middle class jobs. This is why I write about the evisceration of the middle class so extensively, because the U.S. economy is systematically being hollowed out and most Americans don’t understand what is happening. Continue reading »
The pending Brexit has, not surprisingly, caused a shake-up in the investment world, particularly in the UK. Of particular note is that, recently, asset management firms in Britain began refusing their clients the right to cash out of their mutual funds. Of the £35 billion invested in such funds, just under £20 billion has been affected. Continue reading »
The mind-numbing Case-Shiller regional charts below are presented without too much comment. As MHanson.com’s Mark Hanson adds,the visual says it all.
Q: If 2006/07 was the peak of the largest housing bubble in history with affordability never better vis a’ vis exotic loans; easy availability of credit; unemployment in the 4%’s; the total workforce at record highs; and growing wages, then what do you call “now” with house prices at or above 2006 levels; worse affordability; tighter credit; higher unemployment; a weakening total workforce; and shrinking wages?
A: Whatever you call it, it’s a greater thing than the Bubble 1.0 peak.
1) Funny (and Demented) Seattle area Realtor anecdote regarding the potential for another housing Bubble: “House prices can’t be in a bubble because they are only 10% greater than the 2006 peak, meaning growth of only 1% per year since 2006. And 1% per year is not the Bubble type gains we saw back in the mid-2000’s”. Continue reading »
Things just went from worst to worst-er in Britain’s property market. Having detailed the numerous ‘dominoes’ that have begun to fall, and most recently the start of forced real asset liquidations, the hard data from Britain’s Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors suggests Brexit just killed the British housing market.
Having previously shown the following chart as an example of the ‘liquidity gap’ between fund-level liquidations and the exuberant UK real estate market, things could get ugly very quickly…
But things are about to get a lot worse… Here are three charts that no UK Property fund manager wants their investors to see… Continue reading »
Here come dominoes #8 and #9.
As we reported yesterday in the latest twist of the post-Brexit “falling dominoes” where UK property funds have frozen assets and suspended redemptions, which has so far seen over half of the the £25bn in UK property sector suspend trading including such names as M&G Investments, Standard Life and Threadneedle, UK’s asset management giant Aberdeen not only halted redemption requests, but triggered a 17% cut to its asset values for anyone who wants to withdraw their money. Continue reading »
Real Vision TV’s Grant Williams offers a true look into what is known as an absurd debt level and unimaginable central bank manipulation. Less than a week ago we highlighted Grant’s comments on commodities. Although the information contained in the video below is nothing new to Zero Hedge, we do enjoy the way the information is presented. Set aside some time to listen as Grant tells a story about debt and the current investment landscape.
Grant sees people “with more power than you can possibly imagine” as the ones responsible for experimental economics that led the world down a path of self destruction.
“I don’t think there is any argument about whether or not the central bankers of the world should have done something in 2008. The question is ‘should they still be doing it 8 years later‘?”
We recommend viewing the entire clip
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“When a country embarks on deficit financing (Obamanomics) and inflationism (Quantitative easing) you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the middle class and the poor to the rich.”
– Ron Paul
“Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hikers.”
– Ron Paul
“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
– John Maynard Keynes
“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
– Alan Greenspan
“Capital must protect itself in every way… Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd.”
– J. P. Morgan
“We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, hereinafter called the FED. They are not government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers.”
– Louis McFadden
“It was not accidental [the 1929 stock-market “crash”]. It was a carefully contrived occurrence. … The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so that they might emerge as rulers of us all.”
– Louis McFadden
“What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.”
– Adolf Hitler
Tags: Bank of England, Banking, Bonds, Collapse, Debt, Economy, EU, Europe, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Government, Housing, Housing Bubble, Housing market, IMF, Politics, Quantitative Easing, Real Estate, U.K., U.S.
Instead of suspending trading and implicitly disallowing redemptions, giant fund manager Aberdeen, also known as Domino #7 if the UK ok commercial real estate collapse, has forced investors in its UK Property fund to take a 17% haircut wiping hundreds of millions of dollars off its value. The fund stated that shareholders wishing to redeem will do so at a reduced price in order to reflect the current market environment and the fact that short term trading in the property market has “relatively penal consequences.” Continue reading »
Does ‘4’ make a trend? First Standard Life, then Aviva, followed by M&G and now this morning, due to “exceptional liquidity pressures” Henderson has suspended trading in its $5bn UK property fund and all of its feeders. Is it time to panic yet?
Things are getting bad fast in Britain… Continue reading »
Things are getting bad fast in Britain…
Domino #1: *STANDARD LIFE INV PROPERTY DROPS 15%; TRADING IN FUND SUSPENDED
In a stark flashback to the catalytic event that ultimately brought down Bear Stearns in 2008, and subsequently unleashed the greatest financial crisis in history, last night we reported that Standard Life, has been forced to stop retail investors selling out of one of the UK’s largest property funds for at least 28 days after rapid cash outflows were sparked by fears over falling real estate values. Continue reading »
As first reported last night, and following up this morning, in an episode painfully reminiscent of the Bear hedge fund “freezes” that preceded the bank’s 2008 collapse and the great financial crisis, first the UK’s Standard Life halted trading in its property fund, followed hours later by both Aviva and M&G which likewise announced they are suspending trading in their own portfolio funds. And, as Bloomberg summarizes, three of the U.K.’s largest real estate funds have frozen almost 9.1 billion pounds ($12 billion) of assets after Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union sparked a flurry of redemptions.
These were the first major dominoes to fall as a result of the confusion resulting from the Brexit vote. M&G Investments, Aviva Investors and Standard Life Investments halted withdrawals because they don’t have enough cash to immediately repay investors. About 24.5 billion pounds is allocated to U.K. real estate funds, according to the Investment Association. Continue reading »
From the very beginning of Vancouver’s housing boom episode courtesy of an invasion of shady Chinese hot-money laundering home buyers, which has now officially driven the average list price of Vancouver single homes above $4 million…
For the first time ever, the average list price of a single family house in the City of Vancouver is now over $4,000,000.
— Vancouver Market (@vancouvermrkt) June 25, 2016
… we have wondered how long before the Chinese government and financial institutions, if not Canada’s local authorities which apparently have no problem with a soaring housing bubble in their midst, finally crack down on these flagrant violators of China’s capital controls, whose children have been so openly flaunting their parent’s illicit wealth as reported in “My Daddy’s Rich And My Lamborghini’s Good-Looking”: Meet The Rich Chinese Kids Of Vancouver.”
We now have the answer. Continue reading »
“The ultimate bubble signal.”
The most expensive home listed for sale globally is in Bel Air, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Its main house is a 74,000-square-foot monstrosity. Among the special attributes: a 30-car garage. The compound, being erected by speculative builder Nile Niami, has an asking price of $500 million.
Seven of the world’s 10 most expensive listings are in the US. Four of them are in Los Angeles, including lesser abodes, such as a 38,000-square-foot mansion with a 5,300-square-foot master suite, several guesthouses, and staff housing, for $150 million.
Other countries have cool stuff for sale too, such as Pierre Cardin’s 13,000-square-foot “Le Palais Bulles” (“the Bubble Palace”) on the French Riviera, listed for about $450 million. Continue reading »
In April we pointed out that due to an already abundant supply of condos on the market, luxury real estate developer Extell Development Co couldn’t sell luxury condo’s at its One57 tower, in the heart of New York’s premier ultra luxury destination.
Extell decided that instead of leasing luxury apartments, it would sell the units as higher end apartments in order to fill vacancies and generate cash. As a reminder, Bill Ackman paid $91.5 million for a condo in One57 in April of 2015 just “for fun” in hopes of flipping the unit at some point. Continue reading »
Everybody loves a good Vancouver real estate horror story. Here is a great one.
In the endless series of reports about wealthy Chinese oligarchs, billionaires, money launderers, or mere criminals, never have we encountered anything quite like this yet, because according to The Province, the majority owner of this Point Grey mansion located at 4833 Belmont Avenue and which was recently ranked 16th among the most expensive homes in Vancouver, was sold earlier this year by Canaccord founder Peter Brown for a record $31.1 million is a “student,” property records show. A Chinese “student”… of course.
Land title documents list Tian Yu Zhou as having a 99-per-cent interest in the five-bedroom, eight-bathroom, 14,600 square-foot mansion on a 1.7-acre lot at 4833 Belmont Ave. Zhou’s occupation is listed as a “student.” Continue reading »
Many of you will be intimately familiar with the massive real estate bubble still in the process of inflating in certain parts of Canada, particularly Vancouver.
The insanity of it all recently received a great deal of public attention when the following home was listed for $2.4 million earlier this year (it has since sold).
If you’ve been following this story, you’ll also be aware that the primary driver behind the bubble is foreign investment, particularly Chinese. Of course, this isn’t a phenomenon unique to Canada, and as I noted in last year’s post, Welcome to Arcadia – The California Suburb Where Wealthy Chinese Criminals are Building Mansions to Stash Cash: Continue reading »