Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
"and still charged 6% when home prices doubled and you could sell homes in a weekend."That's when I noticed "help-U-sell" and FSBO. Do the work or pay for the service. I don't have the accounting but likely, it's costing a lot more than 6% to close down my RE investment. But then, it's a complicated deal to unwind.
a pair of credit card articles from CR: Default rates soarSome Banks willing to write off most of some balances in order to get anything at all from delinquent borrowersNot that this will effect NoVa. Just the world economy through bank solvency issues. That's all. Nothing to see here.(Cara, in a foul mood because one of the places I would have been interested in buying if we had been ready went under contract in 12 days, meh, good for the continued health of the complex, bad for my future purchase price).
Cara-Although 12 days is a quick enough time frame you are not likely to get it way below list it is at least enough time that if you like the place you can see it and put a reasonable bid in. As I said earlier in early May a lot of places we were looking at went on the market on a Friday and were under contract by Monday. In 3 days you barely have enough time to write up the contract.
housebuyer,Indeed, this complex has been taking between 12 days and 30 days to sell (except for the one where I know you'll be asking for tons of concessions after the inspection.... which is still available, surprise, surprise. It's my least favorite layout though...)Anyway, yes, this pace is at least manageable. It just means that I don't think the banks of the two short sales will accept offers at the list prices on those with these quick sales as comps. But this one was well updated (not overly so, just appropriately so) and move-in ready, so for that in June, 12 days is kinda long actually.I just found out a friend of mine at work has had a bid in on a short for 3 months! Sigh. He has to go month-to-month next month on his lease too, and their charging him $400/month to do so (and I thought the $300 threatened by my complex was bad). I have no idea the likely viablility of the offer, either, I don't know him that well (obviously).
Good luck if you were hoping to buy a 4 Bedroom TH in the Springfield/Burke/Fairfax area...Right now, there are 30 listings at or below $375k, and all but 3 are under contract. The only 3 that are available are short sales, with one for 270k, one for 279k and one for 289k. All 14 that were at/above 300k are under contract. All 16 below 300k are under contract except for those 3 short sales.When I see those numbers, it does make me sort of wish I was putting mine on the market now. Virtually zero competition for a regular sale under $375k, except from those 3 BR w/ 3 levels, which are good competition.I'm glad it is water under the bridge for me, but I still can't hope but wonder how much more I could have gotten for it, considering it would have been THE ONLY regular sale 4 BR TH in 22015, 22153, 22152 and 22032 that is under 375k. I realize the piece of mind of having sold for what I thought to be a fair price and to have turned a substantial profit from when I purchased back in 2002 is hard to price.But it reiterates the fact that now is a good time to be a seller, not a buyer, for decent TH that are reasonable priced. I have not checked 3 BR ones for a while, but I would be surprised if the state of inventory was not slightly worse (for buyers) than it was a couple weeks back when I last checked.
Urban Infill strategies and consequencesfor CRT in particular, though he/she probably already knows this stuff.
TI just checked for 3 bdrm ACTIVES under 300 for 22015, 22032 and there are only 23 of which all but 7 are shorts, and some of them are very un-desirable.Move it up to $400k and you get 11 more listings (of which 2 are shorts). Pickings are slim, even for 3bdrms.Your former neighbor realized that indeed they don't have as many bedrooms as you did and dropped price to $279k though. So, I would still say you did very well. You might have gotten 10k more, but that's about it. I know, that's not chump change, but you really couldn't have known.
Yeah there is very little inventory for 4br TH under 400K near the orange line. I looked at basically all of Vienna, Oakton, Tysons, and part of falls church and there were 2 places under 400K. One was a REO and looked dingy so it may have mold damage.
housebuyer,Can I ask a dumb question? Why are you looking for 4 bedrooms? Do you have specific plans for that space or do you feel that 4 is the new 3 and thus that the 4 bedroom places will hold value better going forward? (being less of a dime a dozen commodity)Both are valid reasons, I'm just curious. And you might have a different reason entirely.
Regarding "inventory"Does anyone have any real info on the number of shorts showing "active" that are actually under contract? Why are some allowing "back-ups" and others not?I know that my last short showed "active" for the entire 5+ months and I have another one that is showing "active" a month after contract.I'm trying to get a truer picture of inventory.Cara, on the ones you cited, do you know for a fact that there is no contract on them? Are you just going by MLS status or have you inquired further?
Va_investor,I know that one of the shorts does have an offer in. That's all I've got. Frankly can't do the sort by date yet, so I can't do the comparison for days on market with respect to the shorts that are marked as "under contract" to get an estimate of how many have offers.What I can say is that 8 of the 20 active shorts have been listed for less than 30 days, and one of the longest time listings keeps changing it's price, so who knows what that means.Sometimes the leaving the listing "active" is legitimate in the sense that the bank will indeed accept new offers on the listing. The one that I know that's "under contract" but still active the RE listing agent didn't want to show it... but that may be because they don't want to scuttle the current deal (kind of them). Sorry I don't have firmer information. When we start looking in earnest we will be getting this info from Jeff.
Cara-I was mostly just commenting that it was not just the areas you and T were looking that don't have 4 bedrooms. Right now we are under contract so we are only occasionally looking for a place. We actually did look at some 4 bedroom places with the idea of knocking out a wall to make it a 3 bedroom with 2 master sweets. We really don't like how most 3 bedrooms have 1 master sweet and the other 2 bed rooms can barely fit a bed.
T: I thought 4br townhouses were as rare as hen's teeth in Burke.
housebuyer,Agreed the tiny 2nd and 3rd bedrooms are frustrating. That's part of where we get out minimum square footage requirement. If it has over 1300 sq ft, the two small bedrooms are likely to be livable. Anything less and at least one of those bedrooms is usually a shoebox (8x9, 7x10 or so).
@J@,Yes, there are times when it's necessary to pay the full 6% and others, like 2003-2005, when it's not necessary.Some agents will negotiate, others won't. Their argument now, so it seems, is that prices are much lower and so they have had a pay cut. You've, pretty much, always had to offer the full 3% to the selling agent (or your house won't get shown).In the old days, a selling agent "bonus" used to be effective. I don't know about now as buyers may be able to see the bonus and demand a rebate.
Novawatcher,They are. Hence the scarcity. But I'm pretty sure he's including houses in those numbers. There aren't that many 4 bedroom houses either, not under 400k.
Cara,Without actually calling each Lister, I think it's impossible to know whether there is a contract or not. DOM did not stop on either of my shorts. There is an "active" now that I would have wanted. The "remarks" have said for weeks "NO more showings please" and DOM keeps running.The new practice of greatly increasing the price on the one's that fall-out (up to 30% anecdotally), is frustrating, to say yhte least. Some of this will probably lead to a drop in investor demand. I, myself, am at the what the @#$% point on these places.
Va_Investor:Agree, current inventory numbers are inflated by the practice of leaving the status 'available', when, in essence, the home is under contract.
Re: Fourth bedroomCould have something to do with the advent of the true home office.Many people want a guest room AND a home office.
Va_investor,Yeah, the one we have knowledge of was by calling the lister. And when we start looking for real, that's what we'll have Jeff do for all the shorts "active", "under contract" or what-not, that we might really be interested in. Putting in a higher offer once the bank is already in the process of consideration is a strategy that Frank Llosa put forth. Whether it's dirty or effective is another question.
Cara,For whatever reason, I haven't been able to get a lister to take a back-up on a short. Perhaps Frank knows what's up.
p.s. tried the old escalation clause for a short yesterday. No go.It's never been good for Sellers and banks are on to this. When I was a seller getting multiples, I would just counter the best contract at their top price and ignore the whole escalation process. If they balked, I just went to the next contract and did the same thing.
p.s. escalation just tells the seller in black and white what buyer will pay. Clearly a win for the astute seller.
va_investor,Interesting. (you'd have to ask frank himself if he's had a different experience).Sigh, who knows, it might take until next spring until we find a place if inventory keeps disappearing at this rate. Can't buy now, so it's not relevant.
As for the three, 4 BR TH in those 4 zips that are the only "actives" out of 30 listings, I have no idea if there is a primary in on them or not. So I guess those numbers are a "best case" for buyers. The reality could be that there are none, out of 30, that are truly without a contract.When I bought my 4 BR, I bought it not because I needed it, but because I wanted to buy the biggest thing I could afford. There are a few "true" 4 BR in the community (the "Vangard" model), but not many. As for elsewhere in Burke, or the Springfield/Fairfax area, I don't know.To come up w/ my number of 30 listings, those were only TH and only ones claiming to have 4 BR. The truth is, I'd say a fair number really have 3 "legal" bedrooms with 1 in the basement without proper egress and/or closet to legally be a bedroom.The fact is, a townhouse with 4 true upstairs bedrooms, all of which are large enough to easily fit a bed, is rare and I tried to market it as such.In late March, many buyers loved my TH and said it was their #2, but preferred the "newer" 3 level, 3 upstairs and 1 basement bedroom configuration. Thus providing more vertical space and a more distant feel from the bottom level to the top.I never needed 4 bedrooms. The most I ever needed was 3. But for the majority of the time I owned it, I only needed 1 on a regular basis. I had one as a guest bedroom, one as my office, and one as a relaxation room complete w/ zero gravity massage chair and other relaxation items. More practical uses could be for a family of 4 who wants a guest bedroom. Or a family of 3 who might have that 4th anytime.Again, Cara may be right, I could have received an additional $10K by having it on the market now. But in the back of my mind, I wonder if that is conservative. I listed for $300 and sold for $289. I think I could have listed for $304 now, and without any competition at all due to zero competing inventory, had that number slightly bid up. Who really knows, I just am shocked at the depleted inventory, and wish I waited longer to put it on the market. In that price range, for a 3 or 4 BR Townhome, the market was distinctly different in March than it is just 3 months later. And I'm not talking "spring", I'm talking a wipeout of all inventory that occurred late April thru May. The mindset of buyers (for my TH) in mid/late March was: "I can pick and choose, now's a great time to buy, I am in the driver seat and will decide which one to buy". The mindset in mid June has to be: "I better get my purchase done now, before interest rates go even higher, and I have nothing to choose from, so whatever looks decent and might work, I better make an offer or it will be gone, and then I'll have to wait several more months until Fall or Winter to buy and I wanted something this summer at the latest."
T,That statement of current buyer sentiment is pretty darn accurate from what I can tell.However, no offense, but you're not accounting sufficiently for the outside of your TH being ugly. Those people didn't want the vertical distance (and hence terrible heating and cooling problems), they didn't care for the distinctly 70/80s styling. I would say, wait and see what the 3 bdrm sells for, add 25k for the fourth bedroom and you'll have your answer.***As I said a long time ago, there's a reason there aren't very many real 4 bedroom THs, most people who actually need 4 bedrooms (in the suburbs) also want a single-family home, so there's just not that much of a market for it, except for its competitive price.*** I never brought this up before, because you needed encouragement not discouragement, but now that you don't own it anymore, I feel more free to comment on it... No offense intended.
T,The solds I'm getting from frankly, also have been maxing out at the list price, usually with a seller subsidy, sometimes with 20k-30k off. Now, these are generally ones that went under back in April, not May, and not now. But I wouldn't assume that just because you'd get offers quickly, that that means any buyer is willing/able to pay over list on a TH these days.How exactly would you have known how to time listing your TH? And in the interim, how much would you have been paying out in the mortgage and taxes and insurance and HOA fees? If you had to wait until June to perfect your timing, and then until August to close, how much money out of pocket is that? Basically, what I'm trying to say is, in terms of net return, with the serious and dire risk that the spring market might not have been this healthy, I wouldn't beat yourself up about playing it safe.
T,Even the optimists on this board, didn't predict current inventory levels.
[Responding to comment from last night]CRT,When you are discussing the modern era you cannot really just look at Latino and Asian statistics for the area. I would guess the vast majority (60-80%) of Latinos and Asians in Northern Virginia are now either second (or third+) generation Americans or immigrants who have been here 20+ years. People meeting that description are much more likely to be affluent. And many of them like a suburban lifestyle so it's only natural many have moved to outer suburbs.Regarding Arlington and Alexandria . . . it's hard to know what the future brings. I don't think we have hard data on 2007 nor obviously 2010. I've heard plenty of anecdotes of places in Manassas that went from 10% Latino in 2000 to 50% Latino in 2006 (with most of the Latinos coming from the inner suburbs) and are now seeing those people foreclose and *move back to Arlington and Alexandria.*
TBW - move back to Arlington & Alexandria? The whole reason they left was to pursue cheaper land in the exurbs. Now that the bubble has burst, housing is that much cheaper in the exurbs. Why would they leave the really cheap priced area to go to the more expensive area?
Does the theme change from blue to green mean we've hit bottom?:)
Cara,I think your theory re TH may be right, but I think it was rare for even SFH built in the 1950s-80s to have four real bedrooms. I've seen some dubious claims to four bedrooms (really more 3.5 BRs) in homes from that era.I didn't see large townhouses in this area until the 1990s. They came at the same time the huge SFHs came about. I think large THs might not be from a change in the pool of TH buyers but instead developers felt just as you needed to make McMansions you sorta needed to make McTownhomes.Unfortunately that mindset did not carry over to condos. Old 1 BR condos often are 1,000 sq ft whereas new 1 BR condos often are 600-800 sq ft. (And same with old versus new apartments)
Robert/T,Exactly. That is the other salient point, while some accurately predicted that PWC would be drying up inventory-wise, no one predicted it for Fairfax. And even the real-estate pumpers outside of this blog were wary this spring, only issueing their usual mantra of now's a great time to buy or sell (and sounding pretty desperate). It didn't become clear that inventory was starting to dry up until April, which was after you had an accepted contract.So, really, I can't think of what voices or indicators you could have used to have stealed yourself to wait until May to list, during the doldrums of February March where buyers were acting as if they were in the driver's seat.It really is obvious in hindsight that an $8k incentive combined with historic low rates (that we didn't know how long those would last) and the first spring where prices were even vaguely affordable would decimate inventory in desirable suburbs in FFX county. But for some reason it wasn't obvious ahead of time. Should have been, but here at least, we all resisted it, because it was so counter to our wishes and the "momentum" of the market. But given these conditions, prices haven't been going up either, not as much as one would expect, so it's really never that simple.T,on building trends. Yes, I think that's about right for when developers started making 4 bedrooms at all.
The Anonymous,The Washington Post has had plenty of articles on this. There were some unscrupulous (often Latino as well) mortgage brokers who took advantage of these people to make money. While ultimately these people should have made sure they understood what they were getting into, many of them did not. They would have $40-80k in annual wages (many with jobs in industries related to the housing market) and the mortgage brokers would give them approval for $500k loans for McMansions out in the exurbs. They just could not afford it. Even worse, some made even less than $40k-80k and only qualified because they planned on having more than their family living in the home. That did not make for happy neighbors and there have been a zillion articles about that.So those with multiple families often were forced to end that with zoning regulation enforcement. Many lost their jobs as they were painters, did construction, etc and those jobs dried up when the bubble burst. Also, people making $60k cannot pay for a $500k home EVER. So when the ARMs reset they were screwed as well. They foreclosed and so their credit is now shot and they are not going to buy a home again anytime soon. Who would approve them? And it's still pretty affordable to get a rental off of Columbia Pike -- those never exploded in cost like something in Clarendon. They'd rather live where there are a lot of mass transit options. Also, many feel Prince William County is hostile to them whereas Arlington County is not.
Robert: and was we've seen in my analyses, inventory apparently means nothing.Low inventory, low prices, seller subsidies...all low inventory seems to be doing is affect DOM and choice/selection
Latinos definitely aren't moving back into Arlington -- they can't afford it.One very good result is the illegal population in Arlington has dropped greatly and is still doing so.
Tom,You are in denial. I can assure you that the residents at this place look nothing like the ads on the website:http://www.carmelapartments.com/windsor-towers-apartments/and there are plenty of apartment complexes in Arlington that are even cheaper and don't even have a website.
Regarding Arlington/Alexandria,I (of course I can say this as I plan to buy soonish) am having a change of heart on how to view Arlington/Alexandria prices. My new perspective on it is this. The only thing keeping THs in Burke near the 300k level, when you could buy recent SFH (that looks just like a TH) out in Manassas for 250k, is that you'd find it hard to get a 1 bedroom condo in Arlington/Alexandria for that price (that you'd actually like). The high prices closer in are all that's standing in the way of another huge leg-down in FFX County when interest rates go up. i.e. if there is more serious pain to come further in? There'll be a lot more pain further out to go along with it. So, be careful what you wish for. Historical norms for price to income do not define the bottom. Norms, medians, and averages all are mid-points of some sort, with some time spent with prices both above and below them. So, just because we may have reached historical price to income ratios doesn't mean we can't fall further. And if Arl/Alex start to become truly available price-wise, get ready for a big whooshing sound as the air gets sucked out of the FFX County market.
Tom also would hope you forget Arlington County allowed more homeowners to create "accessory units" http://www.sungazette.net/articles/2008/07/19/arlington/news/nws09.txtCritics say the accessory-dwelling proposal essentially ends single-family zoning in Arlington, putting homeowners at risk of deteriorating neighborhoods and falling housing prices. Critics also contend that the county government has done an abysmal job enforcing current rules, leading to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of illegal accessory units countywide.
Cara,Unless stuff has "closed" we have no way to gauge prices. Looking back, it appears the lows have come and gone. Absent some tremendous market changing events, we may have seen the lows in the lower-tier.Just info - from someone out there.I doubt there is some huge conspiracy to "hold back" inventory. I imagine they are working as hard as they can to clear the books.
tbw,I live in a rental along Columbia Pike in Arlington. For the first time in years, they are advertising specials, and it seems to be that way all along the Pike. If there was this migration of hispanics back to Arlington, my building and those like it would be where they'd end up, and I just don't see that happening. In fact, most of the people I've seen move in recently are white kids right out of college.Somewhat related thing happening in 22042 Falls Church. I really focused on this area early on because I temporarily rented there when I just got to town in '04, and I liked the neighborhood. I went so far to map the neighborhoods and stats about each place, including the surnames of the owners. Turns out, almost all of the owners who were foreclosed on had Hispanic surnames, and almost all of the recent buyers of these foreclosures have Caucasian-sounding names (a few Asians, also). So, where are the foreclosed upon Hispanics moving to? I have no idea.
I hate to get off-topic, but is the change to green in support of the protesters in Iran? I have been completely incapable of focusing on anything else (including housing) with all the details spilling out of there. Truly unbelievable.
Fred,I appreciate that you are at least giving me some soft data. Tom just gives a blanket statement that it's not happening because of price which is silly because not everything is Ballston or Pentagon City prices.I will be interested to see the hard data when it comes out.
Cara-I still don't think it was obvious that inventory would be killed by low rates and the 8K. Around here 8K doesn't really get you much. It is ~2% seeing that houses were falling at a 2%/month rate that is not compelling. It also was not clear that the low rates would impact inventory quickly. Everyone was claiming the low rates would last for months if not a year so this should not have effected inventory that quickly. I still don't think these were as important as the turn in the stock market. People finally started to feel better about the economy and less worried about their jobs. There really was no way in March or April to have predicted how quickly the market and peopls sentiments would turn around.
I know from the outside, the unit structure (4 units grouped together) rather than a straight row, as well as each house looking identical to the next, is not as appealing as some other options. And yes, the thought crossed my mind as I was waiting for the right offer to come in. Which is one reason I thought the offer I got was great and didn't counter. The other main reason being that, as you all have said, in mid April, it was too soon to tell what was going on w/ the inventory, and I did wonder if we were going to see alot more people and banks putting properties out there. Hindsight is 20/20, which is why I am not upset about what occurred, primarily because I believe I got a great price on it. But sitting here today, I am slightly envious of anyone who is putting their TH on the market. But Cara you are right - If I waited until early June to put it up, got a contract mid June, closed 1Aug (45 days) then I would have closed a full 2 months later than I did. That is 2 months of all utilities and mortgage, plus the uncomfortable feeling of having that house vacant while living in my new one. Always wondering if it was "safe and sound". Having to visit once a week to mow the lawn and more than once to water the plants. Yes, you could deal w/ all of that for 5+ grand, but at the same time, its nice not to have to worry about it.Main point of it all is inventory is very low now, and sellers of those properties have to be more in the drivers seat than they were just a short time ago. While I was glad to be a buyer back in Feb, I would not want to be a buyer for a TH right now. I'd much rather be a seller right now. So you could say my view of the strength of each position has completely reversed in the last 2 months. And it's not a position of "mild" strength, either. Buyers really were driving things back in Feb, driving hardcore. I wouldn't say sellers are driving hardcore now, but they definitely are doing much better than the desperate buyers are for these entry level properties.
It is amazing hearing about bankers being tight and not lending. I just talked to one of my office workers and he was just approved to buy places up to 5 times his income. They said as long as his debt to income was below 50% he could get the place.Granted he has a good credit score, but really 50% of his gross salary. Once you add in fed taxes, state taxes, medicare, social security, 401K he is left with about 20-25% of his base. Maybe I am too conservative, but that just sounds nuts too me. (Luckily he is not looking to buy something in that range he is looking more like 3-3.5X, which is high but doable at current interest rates)
housebuyer,Stock market! That may indeed be it! Definitely couldn't have predicted that the effect of a bear rally would be so widespread. Indeed.Va_investor,The prices I was referring to were closes. The most recent I can get. It's possible that now people are bidding over list, when they didn't have to a month ago. But we won't know for at least another month... (people have pretty much always been bidding over list for the outlier good "deals").T, good to hear that you're okay with your decision. Sorry if I overstepped in trying to quell any of your non-existant doubts. I over-react sometimes. So, the question is, if you look at this current stock market rally, it fits really well with a rough sphere that seems to be tangentially flat right now, and may therefor go negative soon, making for another big leg down. If sentiment was bouyed by the stock market so much, will the converse be true? And everyone left listed without a buyer, left high and dry?
TBW - lets be clear. We absolutely do have data. Hundreds of data sets for you to compare down in some cases to invidual census tracts (2000-2007 and before)http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/users_guide/2005_2007/index.htmRegarding migration patterns, we know that from 1980 to say 96-97 we had a increasing minority percentage in the core areas. It is true 2nd & 3rd generation immigrants were becoming more prosperous and moving out, but the were replaced by subsequent generations of new immigrants, thus immigrant figures were rising.That all changed sometime around the late 90s. Census data notes latino & asian populations generally stayed the same in the core, but now exploded in the suburban & exurban areas. Thus it now seems while the core is still somewhat of a gateway to middle class prosperity, (latino & asian numbers slowed significantly but never reversed in DC) its position as a dominant entrypoint has how faded significantly. Instead, immigration to the burbs is now twofold (a) newly middle class minorities from the core and (b) direct migrants from abroad. A has always, been at play. B is a newer trend, and that was my whole point.Now, regarding Asians and Latinos moving back to the core, that is certainly is possible, but unlikely to be of any real significance. We do know that many of the immigrant communities in Lou & PWC have left, but given that remittances are way down, the predominant theory is that they left when the jobs dried up and are moving back to their country of origin.The main reason they are not moving back in in significant numbers is in fact price. As cheap as rents are in columbia pike, they are cheaper in sterling. If they are moving back in to be closer to transportation services, it is because they have the means to price out the less wealthy immigrants who are forced to seek lower rents farther away.
Contrarian - here is what I am trying to say, and really this is an exercise in intellectual honesty for everyone here:"This whole bubble can end in __________."The answer to the blank above is either (a) Inflation or (b) Deflation. If you can make a case for either (a) or (b) then its clear you have an open mind and am willing to consider new data as it comes in. That said, it appears there are some people here that say this can ONLY end in Inflation or ONLY end in Deflation. This is where I think you run into trouble.You can have a heavily weighted position - thats fine. For example if you take the evidence around you to assign a 90% chance of deflation and a 10% chance of inflation, you are admitting that you cannot predict the future. Moreover, you are free to change your mind as circumstances change. That said, if you are 100% certain this will end in Inflation or Deflation, you need to understand that many here are unwilling to take you seriously. You are in essence saying you know what will happen in the future which is a very dubious claim we are all entitled to doubt.
CRT, contrarian,Given that my friends who are thinking about buying now are taking inflation as a given, I, for one, think it's nice to have around someone who's looking at the information as it comes in and is seeing deflation. Yes, it also fits his pet theories but, he's giving you tons of real-life instances, and given how many people who are buying now are doing so under the assumption that their rent would otherwise go up each year, and their pay will go up making the housing cost less onerous, I'd say contrarian provides a nice healthy dose of, "don't be so sure!"That's just me.
What ever, what ever...If you can't stomach a 10% swing in prices ( or more), then stay on the sideline's ; just like stocks or anything else.You all, as far as I can tell, only look at 5 yr time spans.It's just not the way I look at thingd
kevin,yes, one does wonder if this is a show of support for Moussavi.
CRT,We do not have hard data on 2007-10 (obviously not 2010 since it's not even 2010 yet :)I don't think it's true that price per square foot is lower in Sterling than the worst parts of Arlington. It all depends on what you are looking at. Shiny, new apartment complexes with a pool, W/D in unit, gym, fancy kitchen countertops (etc) in Loudoun County cost more to rent than an old, garden style, no amenities, w/d for entire building not in unit, outdated appliances in South Arlington apartments.I agree that some (not all) lower income communities were displaced in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor. And I don't think they are going to be able to come back. But there's still plenty of less expensive housing stock in Arlington. A few fresh out of college students might need to save money and live off of Columbia Pike. Most well to do people though are never going to take a bus to work. If anyone wants to dispute that I am going to ask for hard data and not some anecdote about your time on the Circulator bus. I'm sure any hard statistic will show that the vast majority of well to do people in this area commute by car and rail.
"DEFLATION IS THE COLLAPSE OF CREDIT"NO WONDER I can't connect with much of anything you say.First of all, deflation isn't the collapse of credit. Deflation is the velocity of money slowing drastically, perhaps to near zero.For that, you need some combination of these:-- Massive unemployment (not yet, so far)-- Refusal of government to stimulate (NO WAY)-- No banks having anything to lend (NOPE, not with Helicopter Ben)-- Consumers thinking prices will get so much better they are foolish to buy now (not happening widely now, although housing took a big hit this way.)-- Producers having no reason to produce because no one is buying and/or they already have plenty of inventory (this hasn't really taken hold either, partly because the U.S. is such a non-manufacturing service economy.)Deflation is the absence of COMMERCE, or perhaps the absence of WEALTH, but not the absence of credit!Furthermore, your premise is wrong--credit is RELAXING again already, not collapsing.TED Spread has gone from a raging-panic 4.0 to a nice, warm and fuzzy 0.5.And that is why stocks are way up this spring.And it's why houses are up in some places this spring.And it's why commodities are somewhat firmed up.And it's why bonds and the dollar are holding up.UP+UP+UP+UP+... DOES *NOT* equal deflation!!What we've experienced is price shocks and price corrections.You better go look at the TED Spread graph soon.Sure the stock market, housing market, commodities could head down again in the next month, and continue down until October. It's STILL not collapsing credit, and it's still not deflation.Sure, a bunch more banks could fail. Let's check the progress on that: In the 30's about 700 failed, without an FDIC, and without a Bank of America or Citigroup being so dominant. I think about 40 have failed so far in the last couple of years, fully protected by the FDIC as far as I know, and I don't think the monthly rate has gone up any lately. Be sure and let us know if it EVER does.And we're already supposedly seeing "green shoots" and the return of consumer spending, investment, and housebuying, AND the Fed and govt is on the case. I'm still hoping we'll see another lower buying opportunity in stocks this fall, and real cracking in the close-in DC housing price per sq ft, but my hope has NOT increased any since February, and it's NOT "deflation" if it DOES happen.
Scott (and others),I think some of you are getting too wrapped up in whether contrarian is correctly defining deflation. The fact of the matter is he is right that there have been a lot of layoffs and wage cuts. Other than Robert, I think most of us have admitted knowing people who were laid off and/or took a paycut.We also know retail is hurting. Some chains have gone out of business and many more are likely to come. I hear that Sbarros and Krispy Kreme are facing real problems. It also seems only a matter of time before one or two high end clothing stores go out of business.
tbw, Scott,I second tbw. My beautiful comment got lost. Meh.relevant links:"In another report, the government said that prices received by producers for finished goods rose a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent in May, hinting that Wall Street’s fears of inflation may be exaggerated. Still, energy prices rose the most since January, with gasoline prices up nearly 14 percent for the month.So-called core producer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, fell 0.1 percent, indicating broad pressure on prices because of lower demand across the economy." NY Times indicators CR industrial production
Cara said... The solds I'm getting from frankly, also have been maxing out at the list price, usually with a seller subsidy, sometimes with 20k-30k off.I’ve never seen the asking price above sold price. Realtors simply match the asking to the sold and/or contract price. Kinda skews the “Avg Sale Price as a percentage of Avg List Price”.
robert,never? really, want me to go grab some for you?But yes, I have seen a ridiculous number of homes that change their list price on the day before or day of going "under contract". It does indeed make a mockery of the % of list as a "metric" of anything.
Cara said... never? really, want me to go grab some for you?Really Really. Yep, shoot me a link.
Green Shoots?According to realtytrac, if you can trust their numbers, January through May 2009 Notice of Trustee sales were higher than ever in Virginia. People were wondering why we aren’t seeing more foreclosures and REO as a result. I found these explanations. I’m not saying I subscribe to these theories, but I thought I would post them.Experts say foreclosure moratoriums, ironing out federal regulations and other mangled mortgage market-in-transition conditions may be masking the true level of foreclosures.We expect REO activity to spike in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoria implemented by various state laws come to an end," said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac CEO. So, why aren’t foreclosures up 200% - 300% from March and back to all-time highs, as the March through May Notice-of-Trustee Sales surge would indicate? It’s because of capacity and timing.We know for a fact the GSE’s and several servicers came off moratorium around the time that Obama made public the Home Affordable mod and refi programs at the end of March. From there the servicers had to make the decision to participate, integrate the new borrower modification and loan decisioning and slotting technology and train staff. If this took 6 weeks, which would be incredibly fast, then in the second week of May they would have started re-qualifying and contacting the back log of distressed borrowers with the new loan mod, workout and refi offers. Then they have to give the borrowers a reasonable time to accept or deny. It is only June 11th — there simply has not been enough time. But early foreclosure numbers for June show the foreclosure ramp remains intact.
http://franklymls.com/FX7015344 http://franklymls.com/FX6954232 http://franklymls.com/FX7019623 Just 3 that I got in my inbox this past week. All closed for above list price including all subsidies.
As for the other end of things:http://franklymls.com/FX7006298 http://franklymls.com/FX6928091 http://franklymls.com/FX6991015 All 3 were sold for less than the list price.
Kevin: I think we have reached common ground on Iran. I spent 1967 and 1968 in Iran while the Shah was still in power, and have great affection for the country and the people. I still think the great hope for Iran is that after the revolution they did not stop educating women. I have heard about 75% of the physicians are women and more than half of the college graduates are women. At some point, I think the women are just going to say enough and get rid of the craziness and restore some normalcy to the country.
Lenders 'doing everything possible to delay foreclosure'Lenders 'doing everything possible to delay foreclosure'ForeclosureRadar, the online seller of mortgage default data, has more evidence of a foreclosure backlog in its monthly data, released today:In May, a record 111,824 California homes were scheduled for foreclosure sales, but just 16% were auctioned. By comparison, last May, sales were held for 49% of homes slated for foreclosure.Of last month's postponed foreclosures, 40% were delayed at the request of the lender; an additional 33% were postponed by agreement between the lender and borrower.ForeclosureRadar CEO Sean O'Toole's take on this: “The data actually shows that lenders are doing everything possible to delay foreclosure. The reality is that we have very few homeowners being foreclosed on when viewed as a percentage of those scheduled to be foreclosed on, in default, delinquent, or upside down in their mortgage."
tbw said"Most well to do people though are never going to take a bus to work."man i feel like the lowest of the low now, thanks.i'm also throwing money away on rent.
anielarke said... "Kevin: I think we have reached common ground on Iran. I spent 1967 and 1968 in Iran while the Shah was still in power, and have great affection for the country and the people. I still think the great hope for Iran is that after the revolution they did not stop educating women. I have heard about 75% of the physicians are women and more than half of the college graduates are women. At some point, I think the women are just going to say enough and get rid of the craziness and restore some normalcy to the country."I'm considering putting a green ribbon on my car or something like that in support. I'm reading all the details coming out of there and it is just the most shocking and unbelievable thing in the world. The people there are awesome, and they are not so stupid as to allow this sham of an election to pass. Glad we have this common ground. Those must have been two pretty interesting years living there.
Interesting news report from NBC4:http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/TC_Williams__Dropout_Rate_Among_Highest_in_Virginia__Study_Washington_DC.html
GT,Oh calm down. I rent as well. Someone earlier brought up "stuff white people like" and this pithy comment from the most recent post is on point:Within white culture, your choice of transportation method says a lot about you. For example a Prius says you care about the Earth, a bicycle shows you REALLY care about the earth, and a bus shows that you are probably not white. http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2009/06/02/126-vespa-scooters/
In all seriousness though, there are large demographic differences between who rides Metrobus and who rides Metrorail (limiting inner suburb gentrification in the areas not near rail):The demographic breakdown of Metro riders, published last week by the transit agency, paints a picture of the divide between who uses what is intended to be an interlocking system. The statistics date from 2007 but are the latest available. Education levels vary, with 80 percent of rail riders having at least a college degree compared with 59 percent of Metrobus riders. Similarly, the median income of Metrorail riders is $102,110, while Metrobus riders earn a median $69,620 annually. One of every five Metrobus riders does not have a car in his household. Meanwhile, only one in every 50 Metrorail riders reported being carless, with the typical rail rider reporting two vehicles per household. More than half of Metrobus riders are African-American, Latino or Asian/Pacific Islander. But only a quarter of Metrorail riders are such racial or ethnic minorities. http://www.wtopnews.com/?sid=1677783&nid=25
http://dcist.com/2009/05/metro_vs_bus_riders_haves_and_have.phpSome interesting comments here on the survey (questioning the accuracy of the average income level for rail and bus.)
robert,When you download the data from Frankly, it has not only the list price, but the original list price. So you can see what they started it at and compare that to the close, without any monkeying around with the last list price.
tbw,Per the DCist and Metro media guide link, I don't know how much you can draw on that for northern Virginia. I mean, look at the demographics for the bus riders, 43% black, 6% hispanic? That tells me that all of the numbers are heavily skewed towards the District itself. And the 66/34 female/male split probably does indicate some sort of errand running per one of the thread comments.
robert, T,Thanks for filling in for me:I have more if that's interest:http://franklymls.com/FX7027728
Fred,Fair comment. We'd have to see the ridership for ART, Fairfax Connector, CUE, etc in addition to Northern Virginia Metrobus lines to get a feel.Anecdotally, I can say that the people who wait at Farragut West/Farragut North metro stop are very different from the people I see waiting for buses on K Street and nearby roads. Also, anecdotally, the people who wait for the buses near Ballston Common Mall are very different from those that wait at the Ballston Metro.Not a judgment call on anyone (I feel so dirty discussing some of these topics some time.) But I'm just saying the gentrification so to speak that came from the Orange Line in Arlington is unlikely to come to South Arlington communities served only by buses.
Apparently I am senile and managed to put a few more comments in yesterday's post instead of here (oops). More on whether the Latino community is coming back to Arlington after going to the outer suburbs.
What about 22150. Wouldn't this be classified as 22150 as well, there seem to be plenty of 4 Bdr Houses there for under $375k
dra_2622150 is Springfield, it has some good and some very questionable areas. A good high school for most of the zip code, but very different commuting options. Basically you need to either drive or take the bus to the metro station (from most of it, a few neighborhoods are walkable). It's a good nearby substitute for some who would look in Burke, but not everyone. When we start looking in earnest this fall we will have to seriously consider which portions of it we'd be interested in, but for now we're focusing on the areas that are walkable to the VRE. (I don't like the neighborhood near that first VRE stop in Springfield, at all, and don't much care for the ones near the metro, because they fall out of the West Springfield High School district, and some of that stuff is rightly converting back to being rental SFHs).But I think I'm probably the exception here, most who would consider Burke will also be looking heavily in West Springfield, because most of Burke is not walkable to the VRE anyway.
Fred said... robert,When you download the data from Frankly, it has not only the list price, but the original list price. So you can see what they started it at and compare that to the close, without any monkeying around with the last list price.For sure, but what is reported in MRIS is closed price (realtors simply match list price to sold price if the contract price comes in below asking); mucking up the “Avg Sale Price as a percentage of Avg List Price”.Also, at least in my location anyway, closed price is reported for taxes, not net. So, if you “closed” for $300K, but had a seller subsidy of $50K, you’d be paying taxes on $300K, not $250K.
Post a Comment
Subscribe in a reader