Thursday, July 5, 2007

My Predictions: July 5, 2007

1. When will the housing slump end in FL and in the US? (sarcasm: Lawrence Yun can forecast this globally )

2. In your opinion, what will the median price of a home be in the US and FL at the time when the market hits the bottom?

3. Will the country go into a recession by the end of the year?

I'm curious about how everyone would answer these questions, as well!!! The answers are time stamped, so we can look back and say, "Yep, NYCF was completely wrong!" or vice-versa.

I'm not a RE pro, but here's my answers, based on my kajillion hours of research (and gut feeling) so far:

1. When will the housing slump end in FL and in the US?

Answer: There'll be spikes both statewide and nationwide, but the bottom won't happen in FL until at least 2009 (or probably later). That doesn't mean I'm willing to wait that long to buy a house. If I (or anyone, for that matter) find a house that matches what I'm looking for at the right price, I'll buy it. Nationwide, the US as a whole will recover quicker, with the exceptions of states like CA, FL and AZ. That being said, with the upcoming reset of ARMs, the sluggish economy and current stagflation, the nation won't recover until at least 2009, too.

2. In your opinion, what will the median price of a home be in the US and FL at the time when the market hits the bottom?

Answer: The median household income for Florida (based on a 3 year avgerage, ironically during the housing boom years of 2003-05) was $42,079. According to Century 21, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income. So if the median Florida salary is $42k, then they can afford a home that's worth between $84k and $126k.

This answer ties into question 1:
This slump will continue until people can afford homes!!!

The FL median for home prices probably won't drop that low, but should end up somewhere around $140-$160k when it bottoms. The US median should be a little lower.

3. Will the country go into a recession by the end of the year?

Answer: This answer ties into question 2. If people overspent on housing, then there's less money to spend in the economy. Factor in the people with $42k household incomes that are tied into ARM's right now. If we were to go into a recession, the most likely time would be the 1st two quarters of next year, as the slump continues to wear on consumer confidence and the housing market. It could be earlier (but I doubt it) and it could be later (more likely).

Sunday, July 1, 2007

This housing BUST is here for a LONG time

This is no longer a housing slump. It's officially a housing bust. The economy is taking a dump, yet people like the Fed's Chairman, Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson continue to view the housing market through their rose colored glasses.

Let's face it, statistically, by looking at the indicators. The stock market has dropped 263 points in the last 11 days. The price of gold is rising. Consumer confidence is as poor as the new home builder's confidence. Existing home sales have screeched to a crawl. Interest rates have increased. The US dollar has lost 30% against all major currencies.

And I haven't even mentioned the kajillion resets in ARM's in the next few months.

The real estate business is trying to scare people into buying homes right now, stating that the market can turn quickly and there's still a lot of inventory to choose from. This market is not going to turn quickly, period. Incomes are not in accordance with housing prices. If they were, then incomes would have doubled or tripled in the last 5 years.

I'm currently tracking 58 homes in 3 different cities, but mainly concentrating on one city in general.

24 of the 58 homes were bought between 2000-2004 for less than $200k.
All of them had an existing in-ground pool, 4 BR and over 2000sf.

The median price of these homes is $299,500
The median year they were bought was 2002
The average asking price is $295,170
The average price the current sellers bought them for was $167,927
Average SF is 2202 sf
Average Asking Price per SF: $134.32

I sampled the first 25 out of 388 houses sold between July 1 thru July 31, 2005 in the one main area that I'm looking to buy, as per the Hillsborough County's Property Appraiser's "Sales Search".

Here are the numbers from July 2005:

The median price of these homes were $276,000
The average asking price is $272,876
The average price the current sellers bought them for was $167,927
Average SF is 2392 sf
Average Asking Price per SF: $114.05

One of the houses I'm tracking was bought in 1991 for $108k. It has a Just Market Value of $203k and is on the market for $287k. Its idiots like this that are so greedy, in thinking their house has appreciated $179k in 16 years, that there's such a glut in the market. If the house was being sold at market value, I might consider it. Apparently, the seller must think there's a moron out there dumb enough to overpay that much for his home.

There are too many houses on the market for the price of houses to rise. That won't happen anytime soon in the Tampa area, and I'd bet just about everything I own on it, if I were a betting man.

MY PREDICTION: This slump will take its toll on the existing home market, due to:
1. the increasing amount of preforeclosures, foreclosures and REO's.
2. new home builders slashing their prices
3. lowering of the comparable market value due to foreclosures.
4. Increase in interest rates.

There's not a glimmer of hope anywhere on the horizon for this housing bust to end in the near future, or even within the next year.

If you see this as a sign of the RE market improving, then you may be Lawrence Yun in disguise.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Why do you think just about every real estate agent tells you, "NOW"S the time to buy!!!" ???

Here's an intersting statistic:

The total dollar volume for residential sales in Hillsborough County year to date is: $1,072,751,028
2006 YTD = $1,680,712,457

YTD difference = $607,961,429
times 6% commission = $36,477,685.74

Realtors are making $36,477,685.74 less in commissions this year versus last year's YTD numbers.

That's just in Hillsborough County!!!

Tell me they're not feeling the crunch.

But now's the time to buy.....

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Housing Slump Predictions

Here's my shot at prognosticating the housing slump. If anyone else cares to give it a shot, let it rip!


1. Will the housing slump see the "bottom" by the end of December 2007 or has it not arrived? Predict the "bottom" arrival.

2. How do you think the new home and existing home inventories will fare by the end of December 2007?

3. Will existing home owners remain firm in their asking prices or will they start dropping their prices a little bit more?

4. Will the economy fare better or will be still be heading toward a recession?

5. Where will the interest rates go? Up, down or remain the same?


1. The bottom is no where in sight, IMO. The earliest sign of the "bottom" might be March 2008, but if inventories continue to climb, it'll be much later. Of course, according to the NAR's Lawrence Yun and David Lereah, the bottom hit in 5/2006 and has hit every month since then! LOL

2. There may be a small spike in overall sales in July and perhaps August, but nothing dramatic. More likely than not, the houses will continue to accumulate with the addition of failed ARMS and existing home owners being stubborn in their asking price, further bloating the market.

3. New home builders will continue to offer great deals, but existing home owners will still remain fairly firm in their asking price but are starting to crumble, knowing that not many people are going to be thinking about buying a house with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner.

4. The Fed will eventually have to step in if the slump continues. There's a graph that indicates that after every housing boom, there is a recession. It's only a matter of time.

5. Interest rates will continue to climb through the summer, but as mentioned, the Fed will need to step in and drop the rates to increase the sales of homes to prevent the economy from going into an inevitable recession.

That's how I see it. The writing is on the wall for those who read it. I may be completely wrong, but I'd bet against it if I were a betting man.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


It's amazing how many times we've hit the "bottom"!!!!!

5/25/06 “This may be the bottom. It appears May is a little better.” David Lereah

7/25/06 "I hope we are hitting bottom," said David Lereah, chief economist for the NAR, which is predicting sales of about 6.60 million this year.

10/25/06 "The worst is behind us as far as a market correction," David Lereah, the NAR's chief economist, said in a statement.

12/28/06 ``It appears we've hit bottom,'' David Lereah, chief economist of the Realtors' group, said at a briefing in Washington.

12/29/06 "Maybe we've hit bottom," Lereah said. "I'll need another month before I can get comfortable with that statement."

1/25/07 David Lereah, chief economist for the Realtors, said that even with the December setback, he still believes that sales of existing homes have hit bottom and will start to gradually improve.

2/1/07 It's unlikely interest rates are going back down in the short term and housing economists are calling for a bottom, but the most important consideration is that other buyers may start driving the market again.

2/7/07 David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, is looking for a steady rise in existing-home sales. "After reaching what appears to be the bottom in the fourth quarter of 2006, we expect existing-home sales to gradually rise all this year and well into 2008," he said.

2/15/07 David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said it appears the fourth quarter was the bottom for the current housing cycle. “This information confirms 2006 was the year of contraction, and hopefully the fourth quarter was the bottom of this current business cycle,” he said.

4/26/07 Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson delivered an upbeat assessment of the slumping real estate market on Friday saying, "All the signs I look at" show "the housing market is at or near the bottom.”

5/24/06 Gary Bigg, an economist at Bank of America, said it looked increasingly likely "that sales bottomed last quarter" and were set to improve.

5/25/07 “We may look back and realize that April was the lowpoint,” Yun said. “Our forecast is that, by the second half of the year, existing home sales will pick up and prices will come around by late this year or early next year.”

5/25/07 David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, said on Friday, "Most of the decline is likely behind us, but we probably have till later in the year to see fundamental stabilization or any improvement in housing starts ."

5/25/07 "The housing market seems to be bottoming out. The worst is clearly behind us in terms of the decline in home sales and construction activity," said Mark Vitner, senior economists with Wachovia Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

5/25/07 Robert Niblock, chief executive of home-improvement retailer Lowe's Cos., said on a May 21 conference call that the housing market is ``at or near the bottom.''

5/25/07 Indraneel Karlekar, senior vice president of UBS realty, said, the market is "near the bottom" with some "stabilization in the deterioration in home prices" expected later this year. “

5/25/07 Wells Fargo economist Scott Anderson wrote in a research note., “On balance, this report supports our view that home sales are nearing a bottom,” he wrote, “and the adjustments in the housing market going forward are going to be centered more on home price declines than in further declines in sales and starts.”

INTERPRETATION: Everyone sees a recession in the near future and these people of power are trying to influence the public into buying NOW, because we've hit the "bottom".

THE TRUTH: THE NAR doesn't want the finger pointed at them when people place blame on an impending recession. Their logic is to try to convince the public that the housing boom is back and running strong.

THE VARIABLES: They didn't take into account that most of the people who still want to buy homes, wanted to buy homes several years ago, but were intelligent enough to see the end of the housing boom. The suckers who bought at the end of the boom don't have any leverage in their listing price.