They’re not even trying to blame the weather this time. “Housing affordability is really taking a bite out of the market,” is how the chief economist for the California Association of Realtors explained the March home sales fiasco. “We haven’t seen this issue since 2007.”
Giant PE firms and REITs have become the largest landlords in the country over the last two years because “there was a moment in time where it made sense,” but now home prices are too high, the business model has collapsed, and buyers evaporate.
This winter, polar vortices sent the price of natural gas into dizzying spikes and plunges, head fakes, and whiplash-inducing turnarounds. But now winter is petering out, and we’re left with a peculiar situation.
It starts here: evictions in San Francisco hit the highest level since 2001, when the dotcom bubble was disintegrating. Everything these days gets benchmarked against the last bubbles: the dotcom bubble that blew up in 2000, the housing bubble that blew up in 2007.
I’m a coffee lover, and this is getting personal: our latte, espresso, or just plain good coffee is going to bite fiercely into our already mauled pocket book. In one crazy chart.
California is at it again. It released its employment and jobs reports today, in parallel with the national reports released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What a doozie. Is the California boom already over?
Teachers are a symbol of the middle class. In California, they earn on average $69,300 annually, fifth highest in the country. Not exactly a pittance. But it is a ludicrous pittance if they’re trying to buy a home.
The cynic in me says the dizzying jump in foreclosure starts in January in much of the country, after years of sharp and consistent declines, must be some kind of data problem. Maybe RealtyTrac’s computers got hacked, or something. But that’s wishful thinking.
My beloved state of California, whose $2 trillion economy is the eight largest in the world ahead of Italy and Russia, has a new problem: it’s awash in cash. It’s projecting multi-billion dollar surpluses for years to come. The feeding frenzy in Sacramento is a sight to behold.
It’s “a technology everyone is going to have,” said a Bay Area real estate broker as he explained why realtors use drones to shoot aerial videos of high-end properties. And it’s illegal. But no one is going to be able to stop it, he implied.