This Had To Happen Sometime And It Seems That Time Is Now

A report from the Daily Local News in Pennsylvania. “‘What am telling my buyers is that (demand for houses) may never cool off in this area,’ said Steve Laret who heads up the Steve Laret Team with Vanguard Realty Alliance in West Chester. ‘I know that’s a bold statement. But for every home we create, we have two people who are moving into this area. We are in an unrecoverable spin.'”

“In March, Chester County home prices increased 9.6 percent compared to last year, selling for a median price of $460,000. Houses in housing development off Route 303 near the Boot Road exit in West Goshen were selling in the $450,000 range two years ago. Today, it’s $650,000. And buyers, anticipating their house will quickly appreciate, are overpaying.”

“Like other realtors, Laret is urging prospective owners to take action now, if they can, before they get locked out of the market due to skyrocketing prices. ‘Get anything you can, literally that is the advice I am giving my friends and family,’ Laret said. ‘Get an $80,000 house in Pottstown, it doesn’t matter. It will be worth 150 grand in no time.'”

The Beaver County Times in Pennsylvania. “A typical Beaver County home listed for $174,900 in March, down 2.8% from a month earlier, an analysis of data from Realtor.com shows. The median list home price in March was down about 19.6% from March 2021. Beaver County’s median home was 1,517 square feet for a listed price of $125 per square foot. Allegheny County’s home prices fell 20.1%, to a median $232,450, from a year earlier.”

From KVVU Las Vegas in Nevada. “LVR President Brandon Roberts said in the report that existing home prices in the Las Vegas Valley have now quadrupled since hitting their post-recession bottom in Jan. 2012, when the median single-family home price in Southern Nevada was $118,000. ‘With mortgage interest rates going up in recent months and so few homes available for sale, it’s no wonder we’re selling fewer homes,’ Roberts said. ‘Although local home prices are still increasing, we expect the rate of appreciation to start slowing down at some point as these trends continue. At least we had more homes available for sale than we had the previous month and the previous year.'”

“LVR notes that by the end of April, 2,441 single-family homes were listed for sale without any offer, up 33.6% from the same time last year.”

The Pagosa Daily Post in Colorado. “Now for the latest real estate news. Overall sales are down 34% from last year. Home sales are down 24%, condo sales are down 3%, and land sales down 42%. The two segments showing the biggest change are condo inventory, which has jumped up from 2 available a year ago to 15 today, and homes priced above $1 million which are up 59%, from 17 last year to 27 today.”

“Overall, I see the real estate market starting to soften. I think prices have peaked. The typical three bedroom, two bath, two car garage, 1600 square foot home in Pagosa is priced around $600,000. If you are getting a standard mortgage with 20% down, your payments have gone up a whopping $694.30 per month. I’m expecting rates to continue to rise. We may see 6% in the near future. We have been spoiled for many years.”

The Puget Sound Business Journal in Washington. “Across the 26-county MLS there were were about three-quarters of a month of supply of homes and condos when April ended. That is the highest level in almost 18 months. Rising interest rates could present more opportunities for buyers, said Gary O’ Levar, designated broker-owner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties in Seattle. ‘We are seeing signs that the peak ‘zeal’ of the competitive offer frenzy may be leveling off a bit,’ he said. ‘While we might have seen 10 offers on an active listing, now we may see only five, or sometimes fewer.'”

The Associated Press. “The share of home sellers who dropped their asking price shot up to a six-month-high of 15% for the four weeks ending May 1, according to Redfin. That’s up from 9% a year earlier, and represents the largest annual gain on record in Redfin’s weekly housing data back through 2015.”

The Globe and Mail. “What was striking about the speech this week from the Bank of Canada’s No. 2 official on the importance of central-bank independence wasn’t what she had to say. It was that the bank felt compelled to say it at all. Senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers’s address Tuesday largely amounted to a civics lesson on how Canada’s central bank is structured to operate: independently from the elected federal government that ultimately oversees it.”

“If the Bank of Canada was succeeding in its most important responsibility – to keep inflation low and stable around a 2-per-cent target – there likely wouldn’t be much public concern about who is ultimately pulling the policy strings. But inflation is running at more than triple the target, and the bank is scrambling to douse the fire with alarmingly steep and rapid interest-rate increases.”

“There’s an audience for questioning the competence, and even the motives, of a central bank that appears to have dropped the ball on its only job that most voters care about. You can trace this problem back two years to a moment in mid-March of 2020: Then-Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz took a press conference podium side by side with then-finance minister Bill Morneau in a very conscious public display that they were co-ordinating policy efforts in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.”

“That was the moment that the central bank decided to sacrifice its independence in the name of staving off an economic catastrophe. It has never entirely gotten it back. It all played into a sense that the government had launched into what amounted to an experiment in ‘modern monetary theory’ – the notion, essentially, that government can spend vast sums and incur large debts, which is to be financed by the central bank as the issuer of its own currency. Despite denials by the bank and the government that MMT was ever part of their strategy, it’s been a hard charge to shake.”

The Financial Post. “‘Consumer spending and some sectors of housing investment will face some important headwinds in the coming years,’ Charles St-Arnaud, chief economist at Alberta Central and a former Bank of Canada staffer, said in a report last month. ‘As a result, there is a risk that growth will be weaker than currently expected. For the overall growth outlook, the question is whether business investment and exports can grow sufficiently to compensate for this weakness.'”

“Routledge’s confidence that the financial system will remain a firewall against worst-case scenarios shouldn’t be confused with complacency. The superintendent said during the interview that he ‘kind of’ agrees with former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz’s contention that worries over high debt levels are rooted in attitudes that haven’t changed since the Great Depression, and therefore discount the extent to which financial innovations — and more sophisticated approaches to regulation — have made it possible for households to live off credit.”

From Bloomberg. “When a bellwether Chinese property developer reportedly sought buyers for $12bn of assets to repay debt this year, the move sparked hopes of a liquidity boost for the nation’s embattled real estate firms. But since January, only about three of 34 assets listed by Shimao Group Holdings Ltd – one of the biggest issuers of dollar bonds in the sector – have been sold, according to exchange filings.”

“‘I haven’t seen any developer successfully lifting itself out of distress through M&A,’ Shen Chen, a partner at Shanghai Maoliang Investment Management LLP, who trades high-yield bonds. ‘Buyers are slashing prices hard. Both sides refuse to budge.'”

“In January, Sunac China Holdings Ltd sold its stake in a project in central Wuhan covering an area equivalent to 19 football fields to a unit of state-owned Beijing Capital Land Ltd. at a 59% discount, according to people familiar with the matter. In late April, Guangzhou R&F Properties Co agreed to sell its stake in a property project by the River Thames in London at a HK$1.84bn ($234mn) loss.”

“Shimao, known for its portfolio of five-star hotels in prime locations, in January sold Hyatt on the Bund in the centre of Shanghai for about 20% less than the appraised value, a person familiar said.
The previous month, Shimao recognised a loss of HK$770mn from offloading a stake in a Hong Kong residential project to repay debt.”

“‘It would be great news if state-owned firms stabilise private property companies by buying 20-30% of their shareholdings,’ said Dhiraj Bajaj, head of Asia credit at Lombard Odier, a top 10 investor in China’s junk property bonds. ‘Unfortunately, we are not seeing that trend. Frankly, it is too late for most privately owned developers now.'”

From Games Radar. “Star Wars Day has come back around, and that means offers on all kinds of Star Wars merch. In celebration of the event, we’ve rounded up the most tempting discounts here. Chief among them would be the massive saving on Galactic Snackin’ Grogu. This particular piece of Star Wars merch has tumbled from $84.99 to just $27.99, which is a drop of well over 60%. Considering how hot it was over the Christmas period (and how freakin’ adorable it is, never mind anything else), that’s an impressive reduction.”

“Another noteworthy saving is this price cut for the first volume of From a Certain Point of View, the collection of short stories set during the original Star Wars movie. That’s fallen by 20%.”

From Motor Trend News. “A five point plan to help dealers maximise the effectiveness of their online presence has been issued by iVendi as the used car market finally starts to lose growth momentum. Darren Sinclair, CCO, said that while the sector remained quite buoyant, the market peak had now probably been passed, caused by factors such as the cost of living crisis and more competition for spending as the pandemic hopefully came to an end.”

“‘We’re hearing a chorus of voices – ranging from industry experts to anecdotal evidence from dealers – stating that values and prices are falling after several years of growth. This had to happen sometime and it seems that time is now.'”

This Had To Happen Sometime And It Seems That Time Is Now