July Reporting Roundup

Even when we have direct access to the hard facts of the local real estate market, it’s still fun to see what kind of spin the local papers put into their report of the data. So, it is time yet again to continue our monthly tradition of rounding up all the local “mainstream” articles about last month’s housing data.

How many ways can you print “now is a great time to buy”? Read on to find out…

Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times: Homes sales, prices fall around Puget Sound

Real-estate agents increasingly are spreading the word that it’s a great time to buy, but judging from last month’s King County home-sales numbers, the message isn’t being universally received.

Scott Jarvis, director of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, was among those suggesting that the time is right to buy.

In a statement, Jarvis said excellent financing options exist for those with decent credit, including great programs for first-time homebuyers. Generally stable prices and a relatively strong economy also pointed in favor of buying, Jarvis said.

The great thing about describing the economy as “relatively strong” is that as long as things don’t get as bad as the Great Depression, you can keep calling them “relatively strong.” And as long as things are “relatively strong,” it’s a great time to buy, right?

Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I: Housing inventory might be starting to level off

Listings for all homes (houses and condos) were up 26.4 percent in the county and 27.4 percent in Seattle from a year earlier. The increases were the smallest since January 2007 in the county and December 2006 in Seattle, suggesting inventory might be starting to level off.

“I think it’s beginning to indicate that the inventory level is stabilizing, if nothing else,” said Glenn Crellin, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University.

But he noted that sales have not shown signs of picking up.

The new federal housing measure made it easier to buy smart in the current market, said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott Real Estate.

“The passing of this legislation marks the beginning phase of the next 10-year housing cycle in which prices in the more affordable markets will only continue to appreciate,” he said.

I wonder what standard Mr. Scott is using that defines the Seattle area as one of “the more affordable markets”? I would think that title would go to places like Raleigh, Minneapolis, and Austin. Also, I am curious how the recent housing bailout will “make it easier” for people to “buy smart.” Is it the $7,500 government loan?

Also check out Aubrey’s neighborhood-specific story: Southeast Seattle struggles with sluggish housing market

Mike Benbow, Everett Herald: Snohomish County home sales stronger in July

Home sales in Snohomish County appeared to improve in July as sales and prices were both stronger than they were in June, according to numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The combined median price for condominiums and single-family homes in July was $332,500, or $3,000 more than what homes sold for in June. That $332,500 figure was 4.52 percent less than prices were a year ago. In June, the median price had fallen 7.2 percent from the year-ago figures.

The numbers were lower than real estate agents had hoped. But the single-digit changes in home values remain lower than in most areas of the country.

“Considering the market adjustment because of the subprime mess, we’re doing better than expected,” said Dick Beeson, owner of Windermere/Commencement Associates in Tacoma.

Beeson’s claim that “we’re doing better than expected” is interesting, in light of this quote from him in June: “I expect both temperatures and the market to heat up as summer approaches.” I guess we’re doing so good at the temperatures heating up part that it offsets the fact that the market is still in the dumps.

Devona Wells, Tacoma News Tribune: Pierce County home prices fall again

Months of annual home-price declines in Pierce County deepened in July with a drop that neared double digits. New figures released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service showed the median price of a home in Pierce County decreased to $255,000, a change of 9.4 percent compared with the same month last year.

July’s price drop was the 10th in the last 11 months and the largest.

Windermere managing broker Wanda Coats said buyers waiting for the lowest possible price run the risk of finding higher interest rates down the road.

“If you’re trying to time it and the interest rates go up, you just negated many times over what you just saved in the long term of a 30-year loan,” she said.

I guess Wanda didn’t get the memo. “Rising interest rates” was last month’s scare tactic.

I was unable to locate a story on the July data from The Olympian. If anyone sees it let me know and I’ll add it here.

Update [08.14] – I guess Rolf Boone was on vacation or something.  The Olympian’s story finally posted: Home sales dip again in July

(Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times, 08.06.2008)
(Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I, 08.07.2008)
(Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I, 08.07.2008)
(Mike Benbow, Everett Herald, 08.07.2008)
(Devona Wells, Tacoma News Tribune, 08.07.2008)

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

42 comments:

  1. 1
    TheHulk says:

    Realtors need to earn money. They can only do this by selling homes. The more the price of the house, the greater their commission. Needless to say, comparisons to used-car salesmen can be invoked here but the point is they HAVE to deny the fact that housing market in the Puget Sound is about to collapse. Ira is a notable exception to most realtors I must say.

    Reporters need to earn money too. That money is earned by either selling papers or selling advertisements in those papers. Since most newspapers are hyper local and real estate is hyper local, there is a strong correlation between the two. Regardless of how ethical a reporter is (Aubrey @ PI has been much better than the times endless regurgitated–spin from the realtors), in any case the said reporter has to succumb to the reality of appeasing the advertisers.

    That is why you will always see a positive spin in the local papers about real estate. It keeps people in the sheeple zone a little longer (which is why we have seen declines of only 7-10%) so far. People will willingly ignore advice to the contrary, its called being in denial. We saw it all over the country a year ago, we are seeing it here now.

    Not to worry though, by x-mas I predict 15% declines and by next spring 20% from the 2007 highs.

  2. 2
    disbelief says:

    all real estate is local, when it’s not national, or even worldwide.

  3. 3
    Pegasus says:

    TheHulk…. I agree with what you say. Real estate advertising for newspapers is huge and thus no reader will ever see the truth as we know it. However there comes a time where the real estate agents realize that a sale at any price is better than no sales at higher prices. I believe the drought has been long enough for agents to realize that listing a house for 500k when comps are going for 400k is a waste of their time. I believe that many agents are now engaging in talking the sellers down before they list which will start the falling knife cascade. Then the agents can use panic to scare sellers into giving their houses away which will bring a bottom into the market while continuing to line the pockets of the agents.

  4. 4
    disbelief says:

    “Scott Jarvis, director of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, was among those suggesting that the time is right to buy.

    In a statement, Jarvis said excellent financing options exist for those with decent credit, including great programs for first-time homebuyers. Generally stable prices and a relatively strong economy also pointed in favor of buying, Jarvis said.”

    Does anyone else find it disturbing that an economist who is a public servant should be so quick to jump in bed with the RE crowd?

    So if, say, there were to be a further decline of 15 or 20% for example, would he lose his job for taking such a position now? (sad thing is he probably would be more likely to lose his job for cautioning people to think twice before buying).

  5. 5
    pfft says:

    “all real estate is local, when it’s not national, or even worldwide.”

    all real estate is local except when seattle is a world class city or foreigners will save us.

  6. 6
    Harley Lever says:

    The Hulk,

    Real Estate agents have a lot of risk when taking on a listing. They put hundreds and some times thousands of dollars into marketing a home with no guarantee of a return on their investment.

    I know many real estate agents who have turned down listings because the owners wanted unrealistic prices for their homes. I have personally seen real estate agents pay $500 for photography and have the listing later pulled from them.

    You also have a huge time investment for open houses, staging, and other marketing efforts.

    Another factor that you are forgetting is the house has to appraise for the price sold otherwise the lender will not finance it.

    At the end of the day the buyer and seller determine the sales price and nothing happens unless the back approves, ESPECIALLY NOW!.

  7. 7
    georg says:

    “Home buying: How to find sweetest deals.” Really???? No. That has to be a joke…

  8. 8
    Scotsman says:

    LSD flashbacks. That’s the only explanation that works here. For some, the Pink Ponies are very, very real.

    Could Glenn Crellin be any more discredited at this point? I don’t want to pick on the guy, but seriously? Aubrey Cohen needs to dial up a different economist. There are lots of decent colleges/universities in the area with econ profs just waiting for her call.

    And my favorite: “The new federal housing measure made it easier to buy smart in the current market, said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott Real Estate.” Pure, meaningless babble. Just say “NO!”

  9. 9
    Realist says:

    When I started buying and selling real estate many years ago a cartoon was called to my attention that I have never forgotten. It pictured a very feeble old man with a cane and a long white beard that reached nearly to his toes. The caption read “Still waiting for the price of real estate to come down”. It is just my humble opinion but it seems to me that this blog has more than it’s share of participants who are growing long beards. I would be most interested in knowing what some of the nay sayers would suggest would be the ideal market in which to buy a property.

  10. 10
    What goes up must come down says:

    Realist,

    I would say the ideal market to buy in would be no time soon, maybe end of 2009. You think the last few years have been normal?

  11. 11
    Alan says:

    I would be most interested in knowing what some of the nay sayers would suggest would be the ideal market in which to buy a property.

    Something no more than 3.5x my annual salary that I would be happy in long term.

  12. 12
    Scotsman says:

    The ideal market in which to buy a property is:

    a) when prices are at or below long term trend lines
    b) interest rates are low, and likely to fall further
    c) the economy and wages are poised to expand/increase
    d) the tax adjusted cost of owning is equal to or less than renting

    How does this ideal environment compare with today’s reality?

    a) prices are just starting to correct from all time highs relative to income and inflation adjusted norms. Not good.
    b) interest rates are low, and after a brief bump up this fall/winter will fall to new lows as the economy contracts. Very good.
    c) the economy is poised to enter a period of negative growth, followed by a long and slow recovery. Not good at all.
    d) you can easily rent for less than half the cost of owning, at least in King county. Not good.

    I’ve posted this before, but it’s such a good summary of where the U.S. is economically, and worth the time to think about. It is, IMHO, intellectually void to see the past as any kind of guide to the future when the parameters of the model are constantly changing and evolving. There is no comparable past for the future we face.

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly08/empire-debt7-08.html

    My beard won’t grow too long while waiting for this phase to pass, and when it does I can buy and be on the winning side of the trade, having acted rationally, not emotionally.

  13. 13
    Buceri says:

    It is just my humble opinion but it seems to me that this blog has more than it’s share of participants who are growing long beards.

    Hank – I don’t know about the beards; but I can guarantee you bank accounts are growing and most are sleeping soundly unlike (unfortunately) too many homeowners around the country.

    Fundamentals my friend, just fundamentals. Former Treasury Secretary R. Rubin stood in front of journalists back in 2000 and said: “I don’t have a single penny in the stock market today”. Then he talked about the “fundamentals”.

    With Real Estate going down, and every economic indicator pointing down, why would you pay a $2000 mortgage for a place you can rent for $ 1500 or less. The tax break gets eaten by the fact that the property value is going down. So, in reality, you are saving $500 a month.

    Fundamentals say (scream) “THIS IS A HORRIBLE TIME TO BUY!!!”

  14. 14

    Realist….I’ve got some tech stocks that I’d like to sell to you.

    Seriously, I think you are underestimating the readers of this site. Most opinions are well founded. WE SIMPLY HAVE TO PAY THE PIPER FOR UNSUSTAINABLE FINANCING TACTICS utilized in the early/ mid 00s.

    As a previous homeowner turned renter in 2006, I can’t tell you when I’m going to get back into the market, but I can tell you it will be at prices far less than I sold for. If you need an exact time, I will be looking for inventory to decrease substantially from these levels and remain there for at least a quarter. The pendulum never stops back in the middle….the swing to the downside will be greater than most anticipate….but most of us are certainly not losing sleep over it.

  15. 15

    Disbelief @ 4-

    good point about the economist. Think he owns a home?

    Tim, you should put up a post regarding the zillow.com survey about the number of people who still believe their house has appreciate the past 12 months….people are delusional!!!

  16. 16
    Civil Servant says:

    Government employee here, echoing Disbelief’s surprise that Jarvis would make a rah-rah statement like this. And it’s more than a statement, there’s a cringe-making press release full, including some exclamation points: http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/news/2008/jarvis_home_oped.htm.

    I have a friend who works for the State in Oly and has some dealings with this office. I’ll ask her what’s going on here. On its home page the DFI charter is given as “regulat[ing] and examin[ing] a variety of state chartered financial services. The Department also provides education and outreach to protect consumers from financial fraud.” So I am sure this press release would come under the education-and-outreach rubric, but I also think it’s dishonest.

    Nice catch, Disbelief.

  17. 17
    jcricket says:

    As someone neither bullish nor particularly bearish, I can agree that people on both sides of this debate are being delusional. Anyone who thinks we weren’t in some form of a bubble, or that their house is going to sell for more in 2008 than it would have in 2007 is fooling themselves. But anyone who believes there’s an impending global worldwide economic depression, and 80-90% drops in housing is also delusional.

    I’ve said in other threads, that level of catastrophe is certainly possible. But everything I’ve read shows instead that this these uber-bearish sentiments – “it’s the big one this time” and it’s “no longer ever a good time to buy” – have been wrong (long-term) in every one of the last 12 US recessions.

    Let me be clear: That’s not to say now is a good time to buy a house. If you have marginal finances, are worried about your job, or don’t think the market has corrected as much as it’s going to, staying on the sidelines is perfectly rational (as Scotsman said). I myself think that housing prices are going to come down a bit more in Seattle before staying flat for a while. How much and how long? I don’t presume to know, because the factors are far more complex (interest rates, incomes, local economy, US economy, global economy, population, tastes regarding various housing types, etc.) than one can analyze in a few charts.

    But the idea that we’ve entered a “new time” where it will never again be good to buy (stocks or real estate) is simply laughable.

  18. 18

    Sometimes I read posts that I very much agree with and wish I’d written. jcrickets is one of those.

  19. 19
    Olaf says:

    Hey Scotsman —

    Why don’t you send Aubrey Cohen some names of the other economists you have in mind? I’m serious! I bet Cohen is under tight deadline pressure, and it’s often hard for a reporter to find “good talkers” with the required expertise. He probably keeps going back to Crellin because he just doesn’t know of anybody else.

    Seriously, if you know of some other good market analysts out there, send Cohen a polite note (DON’T be Mr. Confrontational BubbleMan), offering a few names. If it’s done in the right spirit, you might be surprised at the reaction.

  20. 20
    ekim says:

    Ditto, Ira and JCricket.

    Over and over I read that 2009 is when the ‘timing’ is right to buy. Well, I guess I’d say the timing to buy is better before everyone else jumps in, so that must mean the ‘timing’ is just about now .

  21. 21
    Buceri says:

    But the idea that we’ve entered a “new time” where it will never again be good to buy (stocks or real estate) is simply laughable.

    I agree. If any of the bears stated that here, I missed it. “Never” is what makes the statement ridiculous.

  22. 22
    disbelief says:

    ekim,

    Did you consider that those people saying that 2009 will be a good time to buy also believe that most people will not have jumped in at this point?

    Also, I think it’s important to consider that the RE market will likely not behave as it has in the recent past when it comes to upward movement (i.e. being driven up quickly as a result of a surge in demand as people jump in).

    That kind of upward surge was a result of RE morphing into something very much like the stock market during the last run-up. This was made possible for the most part by a scam in which banks were able to make risky loans and pawn them off on unsuspecting investors. They thereby did away will any meaningfull criteria for qualifying borrowers and created and sustained an intense increase in demand for RE.

    The days of this kind of stock market-like behavior suddenly driving up the real estate market were an abberation, and are simply over.

    I think the chance of significantly “missing” the bottom of the RE market in buying a home is somewhat “slim”.

  23. 23

    I think at some point we will see a fairly rapid run up in home prices, but that may be years down the road. I agree with disbelief. I think once we hit bottom we’ll wallow there for quite a while

  24. 24
    Civil Servant says:

    Here it is from my friend in Olympia:

    “I do know that DFI’s reputation is extremely pro-consumer and they bring a ton of regulatory actions against the entities that they regulate. Because of that, my best guess is that they are (a) making sure the public is informed that mortgages with good rates are still available (a lot of news stories make it sound like no one can even get a mortgage anymore) and (b) trying to make sure that our housing market doesn’t do what, say, Florida’s did… If homes really do lose a lot of value in WA then that is really bad news for people who need to refi and people who need to sell their homes for whatever reason and it is just bad news for the economy in WA in general. So, I think it is more of a stab in the direction of people retaining confidence in the WA market, which I don’t think is totally misplaced – it’s not a ‘bargain’ time to buy, but if you’re someone who has a significant down payment, good credit, and plan to stay in your home for 10+ years I doubt that it is a very risky time to buy.”

    This “risk” meme is so pernicious and so maddening to me. Yes, (interventionist) point taken, if the above description applies to you – and if you’ve got much better employment security than, say, a white-collar Weyerhaeuser employee – you probably won’t be inviting tragedy to bring your down payment to the table and buy a house today. But if I ride my bike unhelmeted to get ice cream, through residential neighborhoods, that is also low risk; I am highly unlikely to get into an accident and fall on my head. Why *wouldn’t* I put my helmet on just in case, though, significantly reducing the possibility of serious injury? And why *wouldn’t* I wait to see how house-price declines play out, significantly reducing the possibility of losing more of my down payment now than I would at some later date? (Jcricket, essentially I see myself as in agreement with you — Answer Cloudy, Ask Again Later.)

    And how is this “greed” – an accusation I’ve received a few times – rather than common sense? Something that is low risk is not de facto a good idea.

    Argh, sorry, I am ranting. OK bye.

  25. 25
    Joel says:

    But anyone who believes there’s an impending global worldwide economic depression, and 80-90% drops in housing is also delusional….it’s “no longer ever a good time to buy”

    Does anyone here even have that view? The most bearish person I know of here is Eleua who’s looking for a 60-80% drop.

  26. 26
    Alan says:

    Expecting a global worldwide economic depression and hedging a few bets against one are completely different things.

  27. 27
    disbelief says:

    Civil Servant,

    Thanks for that insider sentiment and linked press release. I guess this public agency is officially in the propaganda business now – although ostensibly for the good of the people.

    That press release is pretty pathetic. Do you suppose that they have had any contact with lobbyists and RE / banking industry power brokers as of late?

    The best part is the quote that starts the press release:

    “The oldest and strongest emotion in mankind is fear.” – H.P. Lovecraft

    Irony anyone?

  28. 28
    explorer says:

    There is also a difference between “retaining confidence in the market,” and degrees of boosterism. Both in RE and in Stocks. Both will get the townspeople coming after you with pitchforks and torches eventually, it they beleive they were mislead.

    Those who despriately want to believe in the American Dream, will now have to pay for it with their own money. I would bet that their is a lot fewer people willing to put their money where their mouth is, especially if they don’t have the option for zero down.

    That’s a good thing.

  29. 29
    Civil Servant says:

    Based on what I’ve heard from my friend, lobbyists and State-level legislators/legislative staff are pretty tight in WA — like, if you would like to walk into a nice fat lobbyist position after a few years in government, it is probably yours for the asking. So I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the same is the case at ostensibly regulatory agencies. I am sure that DFI has plenty of non-oversight contact with lobbyists, etc. My only frame of reference here is the legislature in the state where I grew up, which was a real snake pit, so who knows if WA is extra greasy or not in this regard. I don’t know what the norm is.

    I work for the gubment now but I’ve also been a paralegal. I am just gobsmacked that press release went out. So very, very unprofessional. And — yes — the quote! OMG. I can’t imagine who thought that was a good idea.

    Agree with Joel btw re the 80-90% drop prediction comma ridiculousness thereof. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone here make a speculation in that range.

  30. 30
    Euro says:

    Excellent remarks by jcrickets.

    As a foreigner (Holland), I’ve always been amazed by America’s flexibility and willingness to take action when it is needed. It seems that, unlike Europe, America isn’t filled with nay-sayers. I’m sure the downturn will be very sharp this time, and might last for a while. It might be much worse than I ever dreamt off, but I’m counting of America’s great track record of dealing with hard times.

    I’m about to close on a house. Articles here made me very nervous, and I feel that houses are very expensive in Seattle compared with the rest of the country. The funny thing is that if I am comparing it to the Dutch housing situation (because after all, I could just move back and get a house there), I think the deal is pretty good here. You get to live in one of the prettiest, livable cities in the world. For about 30% of my income I get a detached house – in Holland I could get a semi-detached one at best for that -, that is almost twice as big in both lot and structure size, more relaxed building regulations, and I’m pretty sure lower real estate taxes. Not to mention the better pay (at least for my profession), lower taxes, and the lower mortgage interest rate atm.

    Obviously, I’ll regret it if I go through with the buy if prices keep falling sharply for a very long time and 10 years from now my property is worth half of what I bought it for. But somehow that goes against my gut-feeling. For what it is worth.

  31. 31
    being patient says:

    Euro,

    I agree with you are saying. Prices in Seattle in compared to other cities or other parts of the world aren’t that bad. It is all your prespective and what your experiences are/

  32. 32
    being patient says:

    Let me also that Seattle is more expensive then other areas as well.

  33. 33
    jcricket says:

    Does anyone here even have that view? The most bearish person I know of here is Eleua who’s looking for a 60-80% drop.

    There are two kinds of “it’ll never be good to buy”. One are the people really predicting some kind of permanent downturn in the US economy (Japan-style or worse). Again, to that I say it’s the same type of commentary that’s been wrong during every recession (12) in the last 75 years, so I’d bet it’ll be wrong again.

    Two, are the kind of people expecting all house prices to drop to some level they think is “fair” or “affordable” (based on whatever metric they think matters), despite historical evidence that houses in Seattle haven’t been at that metric for 20 or 30 years. So if a 20% fall means reversion to mean for that metric, they still won’t be satisfied if houses don’t fall 50% or 60% and it’ll still be a bad time to buy for these people. That’s another form of “never” that’s just laughable. It’s like waiting for milk to be $0.50/gallon, of for gas prices to go back to $1/gallon or saying you’ll never buy a Lexus b/c it should only cost $20,000.

    That said, whenever some asset classes bubbliciously shoots up, it usually overshoots on the way down too. So I fully expect some areas to be “more depressed” or have “fire sale prices” for some short period. The lucky will know when that is and be in a position to buy and snap up good deals.

  34. 34
    patient says:

    Good luck with your home Euro! But to compare Seattle with the 25th densest populated country in the world where cars are stacked like in a warehouse due to prices of land is kind of meaningless.

  35. 35
    patient says:

    The cars comment is about public parking in the Netherlands. Some parking garages are made with car elevators for efficient stacking.

  36. 36
    patient says:

    It’s like saying $1m for a studio in Miami is a great deal since it costs $2m in New York. It’s just meaningless.

  37. 37
    jon says:

    As long as this country and area remain attractive to immigrants with a can-do attitude like Euro, we will be fine.

  38. 38
    uptown says:

    @Euro
    Yep, land is much more plentiful here than Europe, and therefore cheaper. Which also means you can build for less. That’s also why prices stay lower for longer after a bubble (or boom if you like), builders just build new for cheaper than the old.

    @jcricket
    Where have you read remarks like that on this website? You’re just trying to make your views look reasonable by comparing them to nonexistent strawmen.

  39. 39
    Euro says:

    I understand the comparison primarily makes sense in my particular situation. I do think homes in Seattle are more expensive than they should be, and I think it would be sensible to wait with buying. However, that’s looking at the averages, and there are good individual deals out there (like the one I found I hope).

    Holland is a densely populated country, but there are several regions that have plenty of space left (Groningen for instance, or Flevoland where I grew up which was reclaimed from the sea a few decades ago). People just don’t want to live there because it is considered backcountry. In the same sense, there is plenty of space in WA, but still the amount of desirable space (where is the action, what are the commute times, etc) is limited like it is limited in Holland. As a side note, on average the Dutch find about a commute of about an hour (so 2 hours a day) acceptable, while I have to find the first Seattlelite who thinks anything about half an hour is ok. :-)

    As for comparing that 1m Miami studio with a 2m studio in NYC… surely you can make a comparison taking into account at how desirable the city/ location is, how much of your income you need to pay for it, etc… I think it is perfectly possible to conclude that the 1m Miami studio is a better deal than the 2m studio in NYC. Whether it is a sound investment is only part of the whole evaluation; I’m sure no-one wants to lose money over time, but personally I don’t care about huge gains (in the end, I’ll be paying that again when moving into another house).

  40. 40
    Euro says:

    > while I have to find the first Seattlelite who thinks anything about half an hour is ok.

    above, not about

  41. 41
    patient says:

    Euro I understand your point. I’m a born european myself and one of the greatest thing with the USA is that a normal hard working guy can buy a nice detached home for his family in a decent neighbourhood without braking the bank or I should say could. It’s not like in most of Europe when old money owns most of the desirable homes and workers are relegated to two-three bedroom appartements or live like serfs to pay the mortage of an SFH. The higher standard of living is something you gain for trading the athmosphere in the European cities.

  42. 42
    rafael says:

    There are many leading economist saying that we are in a 20 year decline. We are going to see our standard of living decline and real estate will respond accordingly.

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