China’s curbs to cool its overheating property market have a long way to go as October home prices grew at the fastest rate since record-keeping began in 2011, despite a significant slump in property sales volume as more discriminating buyers appear to have stepped back from the recent buying frenzy.
Foreclosures suddenly spike most since the last Housing Bust
The total number of homes with foreclosure filings jumped 27% in October from September, when they’d been at the lowest level since 2006. It was the biggest jump in monthly foreclosure filings since August 2007.
Compared to October last year, homes with foreclosure filings still decreased, but this nationwide decrease is covering up what is now happening in 28 states and Washington D.C., according to the Foreclosure Report by ATTOM Data Solutions. There, the inventory of homes with foreclosure filings is beginning to rise even on a year-over year basis. And in some states it soared year-over-year:
… And the easiest way to confirm it, is to look at recent (and not so recent) home listings in Kensington and Chelsea, where we find something stunning: out of 130 pages of adverts, with 15 ads per page, nearly half of all properties, or 53 of the pages show price reductions.
In a move which many Canadians, especially those who have been persistently priced out of the housing market, welcomed with open arms, overnight Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled new measures aimed at slowing the flood of foreign money pouring into overheated housing markets like Vancouver and Toronto, a move which some dubbed an unprecedented federal intervention in the sector.
According to the revision, the government will make sure the principal-residence exemption is only available to individuals who reside in Canada in the year the home is purchased, which immediately excludes thousands of “hot money” Chinese tourists who come to Canada simply to park billions in Chinese cash. Continue reading »
“Hillary Clinton Proposes 65% Top Rate for Estate Tax” blared a headline in The Wall Street Journal. Since the current top statutory tax rate on estates is 40 percent, Clinton’s proposal is nothing if not audacious. I can’t recall Barack Obama, our most left-leaning president, ever calling for a 65 percent increase in tax rates for the rich.
Going after inheritances and estates is textbook Marxism. That is not an exaggeration. The third plank in Karl Marx’s 10-point platform for achieving socialism through democratic means — see his 1848 textbook to communism, The Communist Manifesto — was the abolition of inheritances. To repeat: it was point three in Marx’s 10-point plan.
Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, whose vast property and entertainment empire reportedly brought in $44 billion in revenue last year, appeared on CNN Wednesday to warn about what lies ahead for the country’s overheated real-estate market.
It’s the biggest bubble in history… I don’t see a good solution to this problem. The government has come up with all sorts of measures — limiting purchase or credit — but none have worked.
Jianlin pointed to the troubling fact that real estate prices just keep rising in the major cities, like Shanghai and Beijing, while falling across the rest of the country, where smaller cities are littered by properties that lie vacant. Continue reading »
Overseas buyers accounted for a paltry 0.7% of the C$6.5 billion of residential real estate purchases in August in Metro Vancouver; this represents a 96% plunge from the seven weeks prior, when foreigners were responsible for 16.5% of transactions by value.
In Palo Alto, a small town of about 67,000 souls, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, about an hour south of San Francisco, in the middle of Silicon Valley, and part of the 9 million people in the vast Bay Area, the median home value in July, according to Zillow, fell to $2.486 million.
That’s still up 103% from July 2011. These are not palaces. Median price means 50% cost more, 50% cost less. These are modest homes, in theory where the median household can settle down. Drop to $1 million, and you get the “million dollar shack.” Continue reading »
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 »
Just as the Vancouver housing bubble has burst, the “smart money”, which rode the bubble all the way up, has duly noticed, and wants out. Immediately. As Bloomberg reports, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is quietly seeking buyers for a minority stake in its C$4 billion real-estate portfolio in Vancouver, including office towers and shopping malls.
The City of Vancouver currently has an average home price of $1.1 million, down 20.7% over the last 28 days and down 24.5% over the last three months. The average detached home is $2.6 million, down 7% compared to three months ago. There were only three home sales in West Vancouver between Aug. 1 and 14 this year, compared to 52 during the same period last year. That’s a decrease of 94%.
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 »
In a shocking example of the fallout from low oil prices coupled with years of easy-money-enabled malinvestment, the collapse of Canada’s non-conventional oil production has forced a northern Alberta oil-boom-town to be put up for auction, including 1200 person accomodation work-camp, hospital, gym, running track, and waste-water treatment plant.
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 »
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 »
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 »