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San Diego County housing values rose 0.1% from November to December, according to the Standard & Poor/s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released today (Feb. 23). Of the top 20 metro markets, San Diego was one of only four to register a gain in December. However, values had gained 0.4% in November from October. For the last year, San Diego home prices have risen 2.7%. Only 6 of the 20 metro areas can say that. "Housing is definitely in better shape than it was this time last year," says S&P's David Blitzer, but "the rate of improvement seen during the summer of 2009 has not been sustained."

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MondoGrapes Feb. 24, 2010 @ 8:25 a.m.

I know this is more from a national perspective than from SD, but from the Zero Hedge blog this morning:

The housing sector just went back from critical to comatose - U.S. new-home sales plunged in January, setting a record low and erasing all gains made in the market during the past year. Well, if new homes can't sell now with all the current bells and whistles, they pretty much never will. One idea - lower prices. Oh wait, that would go against the first directive of the Federal Reserve. Equities still a little shell shocked, and unable to fathom that the double dip is now official.

To read the rest(http://www.zerohedge.com/article/new-home-sales-plunge-all-time-record-low-309k-saar-huge-112-sequential-drop-355k-estimates).

And this from the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Lending Falls at Epic Pace. U.S. banks posted last year their sharpest decline in lending since 1942, suggesting that the industry's continued slide is making it harder for the economy to recover."

This simply confirms what I've been thinking since all this subsidizing and propping up began: 1.) These "official" numbers are totally getting goosed, and 2). What good are all the perks, bells, and whistles going to do if the banks simply aren't lending money?

When this all started, everyone said the days of 5 or 10 percent down were over. You needed at least 20 percent to put down. Now, the banks won't even look at you if you don't have 30 percent to put down. I believe this is going to go up to 40 very soon.

Home prices still have a ways to go (down) in my opinion. Here in New York, they've barely been scratched (moreso in the outer boroughs then in Manhattan). But I can tell you that where my wife and I live, in the Rockaway Beach section of the borough of Queens, there has been a ton of building going on the past 10 years or so and there are a WHOLE LOT of empty condos and apartment buildings. Still, the developers really aren't budging on their prices. Some have bitten the bullet and started renting. That's how we wound up with our current apartment. But many are still trying to hold out.

Manhattan has not been entirely unscathed either. With the commercial real estate crash just beginning in earnest, a brand new building full of empty co-ops on Leonard Street near the Financial Sector has been repossessed by it's creditors and the largest real estate deal in history just went bust when Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village were foreclosed upon when Tishman-Speyer couldn't make the monthly $16 million dollar payment.

I think this is just the beginning (sorry for rambling on and on.)


Don Bauder Feb. 24, 2010 @ 2:22 p.m.

Response to post #1: You are right: the commercial real estate debacle is just gaining downhill steam. I see a double-dip, too. The housing recovery was a funny-money recovery and the central bank can only print money for so long while the federal government tries to stall foreclosures. From everything I read in the NY Times, New York is a disaster zone. I believe the Stuyvesant failure made front page. The Fed, wanting banks to build up their reserves, has kept interest rates at zero or near zero so the banks can borrow for nothing and gamble. They have done so, pushing up stocks, commodities, bonds. Notice today: Bernanke, even while two-facedly saying the economy is recovering, pledged to keep interest rates at zero; stocks knee-jerked upward. But every funny money recovery in history has flopped. It's like that old saying, "Kissin' don't last. Cookery do." (Meredith, I believe.) The economy needs some meat and potatoes, not froth. Best, Don Bauder


MondoGrapes Feb. 25, 2010 @ 7:04 a.m.

You're absolutely right Don and there won't be any meat and potatoes until there are some real jobs created in this country. Unfortunately I just don't see that anywhere on the horizon. Maybe a few years down the line, when no one wants our debt, we'll start making things in this country again. Either that or people are going to have to remember how to grow, catch, and prepare their own food and make their own clothes.

The Stuyvesant failure was very big news here in New York (headlines, top stories). I don't know if it made any headlines elsewhere in the country.


Don Bauder Feb. 25, 2010 @ 7:37 a.m.

Response to post #3: A basic problem is that greed is entrenched in U.S. law. Citing certain legal precedents, corporations consider shareholders as their only constituency. So they have no qualms about moving manufacturing to countries that pay essentially slave labor wages. This bolsters short term profits, but is economically ruinous long term. High-paying jobs disappear. People who were making $30 an hour are now flipping burgers for $7. You can see the effects in the personal income statistics and unemployment numbers. Then the very corporations that sent manufacturing overseas scratch their heads and wonder why their consumer markets are drying up. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Feb. 25, 2010 @ 11:36 a.m.

Funny, I have been saying exactly what Mondo posted in #1 since talk of "recovery" was started by the gov, so I am glad to see the big shots validate my thoughts saying the same thing in print.

No jobs = no recovery.

As for Ben Bernanke, all the regulars here know my thoughts on him. Here is Uncle Ben talking about housing in 2005, just classic. The joy of video (for extra fun, please look at what level the DOW was trading at in this July 2005 vid);


SurfPuppy619 Feb. 25, 2010 @ 11:57 a.m.

Here is a GOOD read;

Buffet's Partner Says America Is Finished Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Charlie Munger (pictured left with Buffet), Warren Buffett's longtime business partner in Berkshire Hathaway, warns in a new column that the U.S. economic empire is crumbling before our eyes, thanks to federal debt and poor planning. In an article penned for Slate.com, Munger uses the form of a parable to explain how Wall Street's love affair with gambling has destroyed America's Main Street. The article leads with this headline: "Basically, It's Over."



Don Bauder Feb. 25, 2010 @ 4:02 p.m.

Response to post #5: Bernanke was wrong on a host of things. His claims that the housing crisis was in the past and the economy on a sound footing were wrong. The Fed's role in B of A's takeover of Merrill Lynch was disagraceful. Even more so was the New York Fed's role in the saving of AIG, which may have been in actuality a rescue of Goldman Sachs. Best, Don Bauder


valueinvestingisdead March 2, 2010 @ 9:02 p.m.

I cannot believe this story hasn't hit this site. Anyways, anyone think this won't create problems for Carlsbad Real Estate? Should change name to Cancerbad.



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