Market Conditions: September Sales Fall 8.7%; Median Price Rises Again

401 n wabash #1

The September home sales data is out. Sales fell again while the median price also rose again.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw an 8.7 percent year-over-year decrease in home sales in September 2014 with 2,187 sales, down from 2,395 in September 2013. The median price rose to $250,000 versus $230,000 in September 2013, an annual increase of 8.7 percent.

September sales for the last 8 years:

  • 2007: 2172 sales
  • 2008: 1816 sales
  • 2009: 1918 sales
  • 2010: 1403 sales
  • 2011: 1498 sales
  • 2012: 1845 sales
  • 2013: 2395 sales
  • 2014: 2187 sales

Median prices for the last 8 years:

  • 2007: $267,750
  • 2008: $268,600
  • 2009: $225,000
  • 2010: $180,000
  • 2011: $190,000
  • 2012: $188,900
  • 2013: $230,000
  • 2014: $250,000

“Chicago’s fall housing market features bright spots for both buyers and sellers,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “Buyers can be encouraged by a rise in the number of homes available for sale this fall to give them a broader selection. Sellers also continue to be in a strong position with median sales prices posting year-over-year gains and homes selling more quickly.”

“As the housing market enters a normally slow season, the trend of the last few months of declining sales on a month-to-month basis is expected to continue, but with gains on a year-over-year basis for the remainder of 2014,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.  “However, prices are still forecast to increase and inventories are slowly expanding.”

The headline on the press release touted the median price increase as, statewide, sales also dropped.

But just because the median price is rising, that doesn’t mean home prices are rising. The median price only tells you the mix of what is selling. If it’s rising, that’s because more of the expensive homes are selling.

One bright spot was the average mortgage rate. It declined to an average of 4.1% from 4.5% in 2013 which should help make housing more affordable.

There was nothing surprising in this report given anecdotal information from buyers and sellers.

Will it simply be more of the same (i.e. declining sales) for October, November and December?

Illinois median home prices increase 4.5 percent in September; Statewide home sales down 4.4 percent [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, October 21, 2014]

111 Responses to “Market Conditions: September Sales Fall 8.7%; Median Price Rises Again”

  1. Nationally, existing home sales were down about 1% year over year. The first time homebuyer is also just 29% of buyers, well below the historical level of 40% to 45%.

    Chicago was weak, but that’s no surprise to anyone who is trying to sell right now.

    Inventory remains low but is not as low as a year ago. But it’s still well below where buyers would like it to be.

    I talked with some realtors at various open houses over the weekend about what they see happening with inventory. All of them told me that they had sellers who were waiting until next spring to list. Apparently, most feel the market will be “better” then.

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  2. This doesn’t even make sense

    “WASHINGTON (October 21, 2014) – After a modest decline last month, existing-home sales bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest experienced gains in September.

    Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million in September from 5.05 million in August. Sales are now at their highest pace of 2014, but still remain 1.7 percent below the 5.26 million-unit level from last September.

    http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2014/10/existing-home-sales-rebound-in-september

    what?

    how can we be 90k homes less than last september but be up 2.4%? Oh they are counting month over month increases… lol damn that propaganda is tricky!

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  3. Still more sales in 2014 than 2007. That’s not bad.

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  4. “Still more sales in 2014 than 2007. That’s not bad.”

    Yes. The people who dismissed the YoY gains because they were coming off low numbers now want to trumpet the YoY declines off the recent highs.

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  5. I’m starting to learn that CC is the Zero Hedge of real estate. Literal September sales for 2013/2014 come in higher than the bubble in 2007/2008 and Sabrina is painting doom and gloom.

    /rolls eyes

    This isn’t 2010 people.

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  6. Mortgage rates are still low, unemployment is below 6% now, and we had almost 250k jobs created last month. The idea that housing prices are going to fall like they did after the housing tax credit ended a couple of years ago is hilarious. That said, we are unlikely to see huge price gains year over year like we have seen in the recent past. That may have to do with the fact that there are thousands of additional rental units coming on the market now and in the near future. If millenials are struggling to find a downpayment, then they may just continue to rent in the near future. Until the costs to own pass the costs to rent, I don’t think we are in a bubble.

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  7. gringozecarioca on October 22nd, 2014 at 6:13 am

    “This isn’t 2010 people.”

    I still keep writing 1984 on my checks..

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  8. “The idea that housing prices are going to fall like they did after the housing tax credit ended a couple of years ago is hilarious.”

    Prices are already falling in Phoenix. I guess that’s “hilarious”?

    You can’t get blood from a stone. Prices can only go so high. Only low rates can keep it “affordable” for 90% of Americans. When rates rose even 1% last year, sales went into the crapper and price increases stopped. We’ve been flat to slightly lower for most of this year (depending on location/type of housing you’re buying.)

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  9. “I’m starting to learn that CC is the Zero Hedge of real estate. Literal September sales for 2013/2014 come in higher than the bubble in 2007/2008 and Sabrina is painting doom and gloom.”

    Are you trying to sell right now and STILL losing money even though you bought in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012? Heck, even some 2013 are already losing money (but they deserve to for only selling a year after they bought- but sometimes it can’t be helped with job transfers etc.)

    I guess there’s SO MUCH to celebrate.

    When sales go DOWN month after month- you think that’s a good sign? With unemployment the lowest in 5 years and stocks at record highs? And mortgage rates the lowest EVER?

    What will it take to make sales actually go UP then?

    I’m just asking the question. Plenty of frustrated sellers out there right now who thought they’d make money and they’re not – even in Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Lakeview etc.

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  10. Here’s some new mortgage data for last week. Why aren’t people buying with the rates so darn low? Mortgage purchase apps down again.

    It’s really interesting that they’re refinancing higher and higher levels as housing prices continue to climb. That’s not the middle class refinancing. That’s the upper middle class refinancing. So the lower mortgage rates aren’t doing crap to help the middle class. Ugh.

    “The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 23.3 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, fell 4.8 percent.

    “Mortgage rates have fallen close to 30 basis points over the last four weeks,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, in a release.

    “Refinance application volume reached the highest level since November 2013 as a result, and the average loan balance for refinance applications increased to $306,400, the highest level in the survey’s history.””

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  11. “When rates rose even 1% last year, sales went into the crapper and price increases stopped.”

    Proof?

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  12. “When sales go DOWN month after month- you think that’s a good sign? With unemployment the lowest in 5 years and stocks at record highs? And mortgage rates the lowest EVER?
    What will it take to make sales actually go UP then?”

    What world do you live in?

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  13. Mortgage applications were actually down 9% year over year even though rates were significantly lower than a year ago. Mortgage applications are still indicating lower sales for the next several months (than a year ago.)

    Refi applications have been running higher over the last 4 weeks but even those are only at highs seen last November.

    Realtors know what is going on out there. The market has changed. The bidding wars are gone. Inventory is starting to creep up.

    “The NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said sentiment among real estate agents was at its lowest level of the year, suggesting that sales may be weaker going forward.

    “It’s turned into what I think is really a classic buyers’ market,” said Sherry Spinelli, a real estate agent with Long and Foster in Northern Virginia. “More days on market, prices are coming down, the offers are even lower and there are just a lot of houses out there, so it’s a challenge for sellers. I think you have to lower the price in order to sell it.””

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  14. “Realtors know what is going on out there. The market has changed. The bidding wars are gone. Inventory is starting to creep up.”

    The housing market is not simply bubbles and busts. The majority of the time the market just acts normally. Just because prices don’t go up, doesn’t mean they are going to crash. The problem is, your experience with housing is limited to these boom/bust years so you think that’s all there is.

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  15. “I’m starting to learn that CC is the Zero Hedge of real estate. Literal September sales for 2013/2014 come in higher than the bubble in 2007/2008 and Sabrina is painting doom and gloom”

    i completely agree with this. i read zero hedge also but it is mostly for entertainment value. had i listened to zero hedge, i wouldve missed out on on a ~250% rally in the S&P over the last 6 years. unfortunately, cribchatter is any better. if i had ascribed to the doom and gloom posted here, i wouldnt have bought in 2011 and wouldnt have realtors begging me to list my condo with them for 25% more than i paid.

    at the end of the day, this blog’s (and Zero Hedge’s) refusal to admit it may be wrong completely destroys any shred of credibility.

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  16. “at the end of the day, this blog’s (and Zero Hedge’s) refusal to admit it may be wrong completely destroys any shred of credibility.”

    That is what perma-bears do. They keep repeating the same thing over and over until it is true. Then when it finally happens, they pat themselves on the back and tell everyone how right they were. I’ve seen people remain bearish on AMZN as it went from 8 to 400. Then when it falls from 400 to 300, they say “SEE!!!! I was right!!!!”.

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  17. Yeah zerohedge is amazing, so many geniuses there with all that money they made from their “smarts”

    You’d think with all the money they made from being so smart about the markets they would be too busy counting their billions LOL

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  18. “I’ve seen people remain bearish on AMZN as it went from 8 to 400?

    Heh, just had a convo about my negative sentiment on AMZN from ’98 to ’01, but that I would have needed to sell a kidney to not go broke 10x over in the first 30 months of that.

    That the adjusted starting point is 8 bucks makes it harder for the AMZN perma-bears to be right even in the long term, but if they turned bearish at 300+, that’s still in play.

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  19. Most of the people who participate in this blog do not live in Northern Virginia or Phoenix so I’m not clear on why we are bringing those areas into a discussion about Chicago real estate.

    And I explained what happened to September sales 2 weeks ago.

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  20. Boy, would I be PISSED OFF right now if I had listened to the bears.

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  21. “Boy, would I be PISSED OFF right now if I had listened to the bears.”

    The real value I get out of this board and zerohedge is what NOT to do. I try to identify the people that have no idea what they are talking about, and use them as a contrarian indicator. I’ve always found it easier in markets to find out what the clueless people are doing and just do the opposite. It’s much harder to find out what the smart people are doing.

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  22. “The real value I get out of this board and zerohedge is what NOT to do. I try to identify the people that have no idea what they are talking about, and use them as a contrarian indicator. I’ve always found it easier in markets to find out what the clueless people are doing and just do the opposite. It’s much harder to find out what the smart people are doing.”

    you sound like an old pit trader :)

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  23. gringozecarioca on October 22nd, 2014 at 10:45 am

    “The real value I get out of this board and zerohedge is what NOT to do. I try to identify the people that have no idea what they are talking about, and use them as a contrarian indicator.”

    Yep, I miss Bob too.

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  24. I am no bear, perma or otherwise

    Stats are usually lagging indicators and/or molded into what you want them to be

    we know how much psychology plays into the markets, any market

    the facts are, like a dying patient there is usual a shot of life in them after the disaster hits and before the end

    thats where we are at in the market

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  25. Does no one here read The Housing Bubble Blog? I’m sure alla youse bulls would have a party in the comment threads over there.

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  26. “I’m sure alla youse bulls”

    I see no one still here expressing bullish sentiments.

    Unless you define “bullish” as anything more positive than “rather bearish”.

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  27. I’m more bullish than bearish. I see prices rising 3 – 5% in the next 12 months. I’m only talking about Chicago here. Couldn’t care less about the rest of the country.

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  28. “I see prices rising 3 – 5% in the next 12 months. ”

    What’s your inflation forecast, Gary?

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  29. 2%

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  30. yes, rather than talking anecdotally about phoenix homes, i wish cribchatter would expand to some of the Chicago suburbs. i think it is interesting to ponder what will happen to older demographic burbs like those on the North Shore over the next 5-10 years. you have millenials who a) dont want to move to the suburbs; b) cant afford the down payment/mortgage on a 2/2 LP condo, let alone a $1.5mm home in Winnetka. how many can afford a $750k “starter” home up there?

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  31. My take is that a lot of millenials, even if they’re not getting a lot of parental support right now, or at least not enough to buy the places they want, will still see mid six figure sums or more coming their way as their parents die or get old enough that they feel comfortable giving part of their net worth to their kids. Especially as they want grandkids and their millenial kids “need” a “proper house” to raise these kids in. They’ll also get better jobs and probably some sort of student loan bailout is inevitable. So there will be some delayed waves of buying, both of the 2/2s as their first places, just into their 30s rather than their 20s, and of the SFHs, just into their 40s instead of their 30s.

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  32. “2%”

    So, your range is from ‘neutral’ (ie, basically historically average price growth) to up slightly. Which constitutes bullish (to me) only in a black and white world (not the Costello sort; one where everyone must be a bull or a bear)–seems more ‘neutral with a positive outlook’ to me.

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  33. “My take is that a lot of millenials, even if they’re not getting a lot of parental support right now, or at least not enough to buy the places they want, will still see mid six figure sums or more coming their way as their parents die or get old enough that they feel comfortable giving part of their net worth to their kids. Especially as they want grandkids and their millenial kids “need” a “proper house” to raise these kids in. They’ll also get better jobs and probably some sort of student loan bailout is inevitable. So there will be some delayed waves of buying, both of the 2/2s as their first places, just into their 30s rather than their 20s, and of the SFHs, just into their 40s instead of their 30s.”

    idk if i agree with this. if this were true, youd see more millenials getting tax free gifts ($13k/yr/parent=$26k) from parents and becoming first time homebuyers. we arent seeing this.

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  34. Im not a permabear but walk around certain areas and you see some buildings with empty units going back 5 and 6 years. Maybe there are legal problems, I dont know. Then there is the condo market where all I read about is shortages and good news but then hear about friends not being able to sell, no showings, no buyers etc. A lot of condos have turned rental in the last 4 years and the prices are still stuck at 2004 levels or worse for those that remain for sale.

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  35. “You have millenials who a) dont want to move to the suburbs; b) can’t afford the down payment/mortgage on a 2/2 LP condo, let alone a $1.5mm home in Winnetka. how many can afford a $750k “starter” home up there?”

    Trust me. That 750-1 million starter home in Winnetka looks good when you compare it to paying city property taxes which will rise significantly after the next election and 2-3 kids in private school. We have lost many friends to the North Shore when their second hit school. People realize that the city publics look good on paper (good test scores at Blaine, Burley et al) until they realize what having 30-35 kids in a class actually means. Then they compare taxes plus 2-3 in private school and realize that staying in the city in a 400K condo costs the same as moving to the 800K house in the burbs where you get free school with great test scores and small classes (20-21), and high school stress eliminated.

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  36. gringozecarioca on October 22nd, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    “I see no one still here expressing bullish sentiments.
    Unless you define “bullish” as anything more positive than “rather bearish”.”

    Nah, Ze is almost always optomishtick. I just don’t post much cause the math confuses me.

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  37. “idk if i agree with this. if this were true, youd see more millenials getting tax free gifts ($13k/yr/parent=$26k) from parents and becoming first time homebuyers. we arent seeing this.”

    So, I’m guessing, have not looked at data on this (probably, there is none, because it’s not too trackable, there is probably little or nor surveying on it, and people lie about it anyway), but how do you know that we’re not seeing this? Isn’t this happening all the time with all the 20 and 30 year olds who are getting a bunch of support from their parents? And plenty of people get support from their parents on home purchases, these kids have never known differently. Right now it’s with rent on luxury apartments, in the future it will be with bigger chunks to do downpayments and more on purchases. Especially as that go-go portfolio from the last decade is moved to cash to lock in gains and be more age-appropriate for aging boomers and even post-boomers. All that money is coming to the kids eventually, in a lot of cases. Anyway, I don’t think that there’s much enforcement of the gift tax laws – outside of the truly wealthy who are using trust funds and other traditional methods to avoid gift tax enforcement and really estate tax issues, aren’t there a lot of people giving their non-dependent kids cash far in excess of the gift tax limit (actually $14k) without repercussions?

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  38. “2-3 kids in private school”

    If you have say 2-3 kids in a $25k+ type private school, and tuition is not entirely comfortable, then that’s going to dominate any kind of affordability comparison. Taxes etc. don’t really matter. A little hard to fathom paying that much for private when it’s even a bit of a stretch, but maybe that’s just me.

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  39. DZ – and this is why the starter home in Winnetka looks attractive. The North Shore is no longer where the wealthiest will go. They will stay downtown and spend 25K per year at private school. However, the North Shore will be attractive for larger families and people for whom 25K per kids is less comfortable. They may be able to swing it, but its tight. This is upper middle class professionals — doctors and lawyers — but not hedge fund, private equity etc.. Thus, the 700K-1.2 million home range won’t suffer. That is the same as a 3 bedroom condo (600K-800K) plus private school. However, the really large mansions that the ultra wealthy live in will be empty in the next generation becuase that segment of the populatin will remain downtown. You already see segmenation of the market. Homes from 700K-1.2 that are new sell immediately. Houses under 2 million that are walkable to train and new builds sell fairly quikly. Everything over 2 million languishes, especially if its far from the train and walkable areas (again people liking a slightly more urban feel even in the suburbs)or in need of renovation.

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  40. “However, the North Shore will be attractive for larger families and people for whom 25K per kids is less comfortable.”

    I have no doubt of that, but CPS works pretty well for a lot of folks I know, some of whom could do the north shore thing. People on the couple blocks here seem generally content. Granted most of the kids are in elementary at the moment. Not sure if it will hold through high school though the couple of kids who are at that age have managed.

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  41. Sabrina,

    Sales increased so dramatically in 2013 because prices were really cheap. Now that prices have returned to closer to fmv the market has slowed a bit. Bottom feeders and distressed properties are out of the market so now we are back to just good old fashioned buyers.

    Remember, buy in the city and all will be fine. The burbs are full of cemeteries and lots of dead people. Just my 2 cents…

    Maybe current interest rates represent deflatiation in the economy more than any government intervention. Was the government involved with the 10 year rallying to 1.82 percent last week? Interest rates will go up when incomes rise. Housing prices will also go up when incomes and interest rates go up.

    You need an Econ class Sabrina!

    Is normalized really that strange.

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  42. hahhaha y’ll a bunch of fools. this media price rising, sales falling is the classic plateau pattern from 2007/2008 that so many of you missed. it’s history repeating itself.

    my buddy who makes $100+ is looking for a suburban house after 14 years in the city. he says the suburban market feels like 2006 pricing without the frenetic pace of sales. a lot of overpriced homes, most sit for 30+ days without going under contract. he can’t find anything reasonable at these crazy listing prices. and it seems that most of what’s on the market is all picked over – busy streets, small, or extensive rehabbing needed.

    that being said, prices aren’t going to crash but they’re gonna fall a bit again. when families with kids and professional parents are cramming into $500k split levels with granite countertops in glenview et al, you know there’s a top in the market ahead. that’s an indicator to me of where prices are headed.

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  43. “Im not a permabear but walk around certain areas and you see some buildings with empty units going back 5 and 6 years. Maybe there are legal problems, I dont know. Then there is the condo market where all I read about is shortages and good news but then hear about friends not being able to sell, no showings, no buyers etc. A lot of condos have turned rental in the last 4 years and the prices are still stuck at 2004 levels or worse for those that remain for sale.”

    Nico: You’re talking about the real world, outside the Green Zone. The bloggers here only care about the green zone. (The real GZ in Iraq got hit by ISIS today, btw)

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  44. PS The millennials sure have a thing going these days for the Chicago flag with its 4 stars. You see it everywhere… like it’s a badge of pride or something. Maybe as compared to other outposts like Brooklyn etc.? Millennials and the GenY,X types, or whatever we’re called, are definitely pro-city. (or pro-GZ, bascially). I think Google is really pushing up values and hipness factor for West Loop, Uk village, River West, East Village. When is the last time you heard a milennial brag about SoPo?

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  45. The one thing about urban living that hipsters and millennials fail to understand is that density is expensive and in general leads to upscale. englewood and humboldt are the opposite of dense with vacant buildings and low rises everywhere, compared to the rest of the GZ. They wanted dense, and they got it, at a price beyond what they can afford to pay.

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  46. I wouldn’t want to be living in one of the cheapest homes in Winnetka, I can imagine the shaming one would receive from being a gentile/athiest alone, but then a POOR ONE? Ugh, I wouldn’t want to put my kids through that no way. And dealing with those hyper type A helicopter parents at PTA meetings and shit? Add a nice hour+ commute each way and just shoot me.

    And yeah the chicago flag thing is wierd, I see so many people with that TATTOO’d on themselves. Idiots IMO. Darn kids, get off my lawn!

    You want urban setting with lots of space, move to Detriot, you can get a frickin Mansion (like a nice old timey one, not a mcshitbox) for 700k there!

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  47. gringozecarioca on October 23rd, 2014 at 9:55 am

    “you can get a frickin Mansion (like a nice old timey one, not a mcshitbox) for 700k there!”

    If you are going to pull out Detroit, why not just think what you can get for 700k, beachfront, in Sierra Leone these days.

    …and screw lag… since when is 2 times 7 = 14??? took me an hour to post this.

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  48. “since when is 2 times 7 = 14???”

    You’ve adopted base 12 now?

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  49. gringozecarioca on October 23rd, 2014 at 10:40 am

    “You’ve adopted base 12 now?”

    Several years ago I decided to answer ? for everything… I think it has something to do with my refusal to accept negative numbers.

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  50. gringozecarioca on October 23rd, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hey… cc turned the pi symbol into a question mark!!

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  51. “why not just think what you can get for 700k, beachfront, in Sierra Leone these days.”

    A house made out of blood diamonds? kewl!

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  52. People are paying $600K-700K for Glenview split levels now, especially in well located areas near the train. Northbrook is one suburb that is having a hard time overall. There just aren’t that many families with kids moving there. They are talking about redrawing the GBN and GBS high school boundaries to reflect the significant loss in GBN enrollment over time compared to the increase in GBS.

    “that being said, prices aren’t going to crash but they’re gonna fall a bit again. when families with kids and professional parents are cramming into $500k split levels with granite countertops in glenview et al, you know there’s a top in the market ahead. that’s an indicator to me of where prices are headed.”

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  53. and actually sierra leone real estate is shockingly overpriced… would rather live in detroit for my money lol

    http://www.mondinion.com/Real_Estate/country/Sierra_Leone/

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  54. And yes, I would never want to be poor in Winnetka, which is going to be the fact of life for anyone with HH income under $250,000, and in some parts of the area under $400,000. There’s a significant chance of those “poor” kids getting bullied, and then private school must be considered at that point. Not worth it.

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  55. “I would never want to be poor in Winnetka, which is going to be the fact of life for anyone with HH income under $250,000”

    Isn’t that part of Winnekta (the part for the sub-250 HHI, without substantial wealth) called “Wilmette”?

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  56. Dave M:

    WHy are families moving to Glenview but not northbrook? I didn’t know that was happening. I know barrington has taken a hit with enrollment but northbrook?

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  57. what ive always thought interesting about Winnetka is the median income is ~$167k but the median sales price is $1.9mm. i know it is difficult to compare the two when you have $10mm+ homes on the lake, but how does the “average” family making $175k afford “just” a $1mm home with a $20-25k tax bill there, as that seems to be the price point that gets you something “decent”?

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  58. To that point, this is a perfectly nice little house, that’s much more affordable (even counting the higher taxes) than most anything of comparable size in a good CPS attendance area:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Wilmette/1611-Lake-Ave-60091/home/13776293

    Pro: Walkable to the train; Con: on Lake Ave.

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  59. “what ive always thought interesting about Winnetka is the median income is ~$167k but the median sales price is $1.9mm”

    It is interesting.

    There are a lot of longer-term owners who (1) have far, far lower cost basis, and (2) may have retired and have lowered incomes, and also there are a lot of people whose income is more lumpy so they might be well over the median over a 10 year period, but each individual year they are closer to the median, and I suspect that that median is pretty close to the minimum HHI–that the 50% below median are mostly bunched from $125 to $167, and the 50% above range up to Rauner (whose current house was “only” $830k) and above.

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  60. Don’t forget the old money who has muni bond or stock income or business owners who have low reported incomes as well

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  61. “There are a lot of longer-term owners who (1) have far, far lower cost basis, and (2) may have retired and have lowered incomes, and also there are a lot of people whose income is more lumpy so they might be well over the median over a 10 year period, but each individual year they are closer to the median, and I suspect that that median is pretty close to the minimum HHI–that the 50% below median are mostly bunched from $125 to $167, and the 50% above range up to Rauner (whose current house was “only” $830k) and above.”

    and therein lies the problem of using a median. i think a much more interesting question would be what the average income is for owners of homes priced $750-$1.25mm. if the vast majority of residents are between say $125k and $200k, are they really buying $1mm homes?

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  62. “There just aren’t that many families with kids moving there.”

    This is because NBK has a reputation of being Jewish, so gentiles prefer Glenview and shun NBK. And Jews are no longer flocking to NBK as in the past, because many of the 70’s – 80’s houses have small ungliztzy master bathrooms, and 8 ft. ceilings, and many from this ethnicity are moving instead up to Half Day Rd. and using Stevenson HS in lieu of GBN.

    I’d bet that fully 1/2 of all Winnetka homes and PINs are on smallish lots. It’s not all mansions. half of the housing stock is on 50-60 ft. wide lots along Asbury-ish streets In Hubbard Woods, and along Cherry, Oak, Elm, Pine, etc. in Crow Island area.

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  63. “I’d bet that fully 1/2 of all Winnetka homes and PINs are on smallish lots. It’s not all mansions. half of the housing stock is on 50-60 ft. wide lots along Asbury-ish streets In Hubbard Woods, and along Cherry, Oak, Elm, Pine, etc. in Crow Island area.”

    yes, but they are all upper 6 to low 7 figure homes….

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  64. GBN enrollment has been declining for close to 20 years and is now just under 2,100 students. GBS is close to 2,800 students now and is projected to grow to over 3,200 in the next 3 years. They want to alter the boundaries in order to prevent having to expand the facilities at GBS as both high schools are in the same overall district.

    In terms of Winnetka and median HH income looking low, it is lower mainly due to the retiree incomes on average being less, and also due to family money, as many families moving to that area have larger personal balance sheets compared to their annual earnings. I would like to see the median HH income of homebuyers in Winnetka in 2014, which I suspect would be much much higher than the median HH income of the community overall.

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  65. Just curious but is the median HH income based on AGI? Taxable income? Or total earnings before any of the various deductions for insurance, 401k, etc? That could make a big difference.

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  66. “Just curious but is the median HH income based on …?”

    Most uses, it is likely the census definition, which appears to currently be:

    http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/affordablehousing/training/web/calculator/definitions/census

    Note that this *EXCLUDES*:

    –Profit of incorporated businesses
    –Capital gains

    So, for example, Rauner–with his $61m income in ’13, and $53m in ’12–could have counted as a ZERO for determination of the HHI median in Winnetka in those years.

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  67. Does this mean northbrook is an underrated value?

    Also who the heck wants to commute downtown from north of half day road? That’s far!

    I always liked gbn vs gbs anyway

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  68. It’s about an hour on Metra from Fort Sheridan, which is not too bad by Metra standards. I know people who work in the Loop and live in Oswego, Sugar Grove, and Manhattan.

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  69. In terms of median HH income, if it excludes capital gains, it implies that carried interest is excluded as well as it is traded as a capital gain for tax purposes. So anyone in the hedge fund and private equity world will have almost all of their income excluded. Also, it would appear that private investors and really any person with significant income from incorporated business ownership would have much of their income excluded. So median HH income using the census definition is pretty much worthless in wealthier areas as the true HH inocme would be much much higher with all of those income numbers actually included.

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  70. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-24/fed-s-4-trillion-holdings-keep-boosting-growth-beyond-end-of-qe.html

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  71. gringozecarioca on October 24th, 2014 at 7:36 am

    “http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-24/fed-s-4-trillion-holdings-keep-boosting-growth-beyond-end-of-qe.html”

    ROFLMAO.. of course they are going to hold them. That was the intent of buying underwater assets from someone else’s balance sheet…

    Funnier is that people truly believe that these guys can actually stimulate anything beyond confusion and friction..

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  72. “Funnier is that people truly believe that these guys can actually stimulate anything beyond confusion and friction AND THE STOCK MARKET..”

    fixed that for you….

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  73. I’m just pointing out that I don’t believe interest rates are going to materially rise any time soon and so the buyers mortgage out of pocket and how much house they can buy will remain steady

    On a different topic, lots of talk on exporting deflation for the past couple of years. I wonder how much US interest rates would have gone up if not for QE???

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  74. gringozecarioca on October 25th, 2014 at 6:17 am

    “I’m just pointing out that I don’t believe interest rates are going to materially rise any time soon and so the buyers mortgage out of pocket and how much house they can buy will remain steady”

    Funny, I keep thinking that a short bond position is a great hedge against long equities right now. go from the standard 60/40 to 60/-40??

    “On a different topic, lots of talk on exporting deflation for the past couple of years. ”

    Not possible. I have concluded economists are the kids that had no direction in college (like me), didn’t want to do any hard work (like me), and became economists (not me). All these guys do is bicker in theory and cite works from 1927 as though those theories are factual. It’s like lawyers citing precedent, but with law it makes sense.They never show their work, cause they don’t do any.

    “I wonder how much US interest rates would have gone up if not for QE???”

    Take change in money supply over desired time period. calculate what i would have been required to achieve the same thing. If the desired end result is to achieve where we are now? Although CPI would now be higher had it been done this way.

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  75. “Anyway, I don’t think that there’s much enforcement of the gift tax laws – outside of the truly wealthy who are using trust funds and other traditional methods to avoid gift tax enforcement and really estate tax issues, aren’t there a lot of people giving their non-dependent kids cash far in excess of the gift tax limit (actually $14k) without repercussions?”

    There is a yearly exclusion and a lifetime one:

    http://wills.about.com/od/understandingestatetaxes/qt/Gift-Tax-Exclusion-Annual-Exclusion-Vs-Lifetime-Exemption.htm

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  76. I understand, but the point is, people are not reporting these gifts (in excess of $14k per giver per receiver per year), they are not filing Form 709, they are just giving their kids money without any regard to the fact that it may be taxable.

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  77. “I understand, but the point is, people are not reporting these gifts (in excess of $14k per giver per receiver per year), they are not filing Form 709, they are just giving their kids money without any regard to the fact that it may be taxable.”

    Are there really that many people giving their kids significantly in excess of $14K/year who don’t have the means to plan around this and do things legitly? (Also, isn’t it really $28K given that both parents can gift, or really $56K if there’s a spouse who can be gifted too?)

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  78. $56,000 annually (14k from each parent to both the child and the child’spouse) is quite a bit of money. You can also do it at the end of the year and beginning of the next year making it $112,000. Don’t the banks track large dollar transfers between individuals? I would think this could show up on an audit at some point, of which the wealthy are much more likely to be audited. I highly doubt there are tons of parents cutting $200,000 checks at closing for their kid’s down payment money, but 10,000 to 25,000 is much more common.

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  79. I actually have rarely encountered people whose parents are kicking in money for the down payment. If they do it has to be done several months prior to closing. The money has to “season”.

    From an estate planning perspective…you don’t really need to be trying to deplete your estate unless you have more than $10 MM (for a married couple).

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  80. This is not the condition of all places still the prime locations and metro cities came with high rate of property & land . The facts provided above are well observed. Real estate investment is really nice way to make money.

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  81. “I highly doubt there are tons of parents cutting $200,000 checks at closing for their kid’s down payment money, but 10,000 to 25,000 is much more common.”

    I haven’t seen the parents gifting it so much as simply putting their names on the deed so they co-own it. Yes- helicopter parenting at its best. You’re 33 years old and you don’t even own your own property. Mom and Dad have to be involved in that too.

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  82. “Funnier is that people truly believe that these guys can actually stimulate anything beyond confusion and friction.”

    You honestly think that the record high levels of nearly every speculative asset class is NOT the result of the Central Banks pumping trillions in liquidity into the system?

    Bill Ackman just admitted that he bought a $90 million NYC penthouse with no intention of living in it simply so he can flip it to another buyer in a few years. You think he’s doing that if the Fed doesn’t have $4 trillion (and counting) on its balance sheet?

    What we have witnessed over the last 6 years has been unprecedented.

    No one knows how it will all turn out.

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  83. I’ve been out of the country over the last week. Did I miss anything?

    I’ll have a new post up tomorrow. But from what I’ve seen it’s still completely dead out there. It looks like we’re already in the winter selling season (just a little earlier this year.) I’m expecting very little new inventory until Jan/Feb from here on out.

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  84. “I haven’t seen the parents gifting it so much as simply putting their names on the deed so they co-own it. Yes- helicopter parenting at its best. You’re 33 years old and you don’t even own your own property. Mom and Dad have to be involved in that too.”

    When I sold my co-op in Brooklyn practically all my potential buyers had parents who were going to gift them the down-payment. I had to ask for these details because I had to choose the best qualified applicant who would pass the co-op board’s intense scrutiny. Most of these buyers had excellent salaries but zero liquid cash. I had to ding some excellent offers over list price because the buyers didn’t really have the funds to back up the offers.

    Then at the closing when I bought my house in Queens, the seller’s attorney commented that I was the only buyer he had met in a long time who was doing it all on her own. He said most of them were buying with mommy and daddy’s money, and a lot of them were paying all cash. Most of these were for properties in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Then he said the Williamsburg sellers for the most part were old timers who were taking advantage of the high prices to cash out and buy a nicer property in a further out area like Middle Village, Queens.

    Not to say that Middle Village is cheap. My rough guesstimate is that prices have probably doubled there over the past 5 years.

    Then the other day I went to visit a friend who owns a pet supply and grooming business in the old hood in da BK and he told me practically everyone was moving because they couldn’t afford to live there anymore as was my case. That’s what happened in my building. After I sold, about 10 of my neighbors in the 30 unit co-op also sold.

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  85. All I can say is I’m pleased that I was able to unload my condo this fall without bringing money to the table. Chitowngal helped me buy it, Gary Lucido helped me sell it. Some of you ripped it on Cribchatter!

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  86. People who move when the prices go up above what they would be willing to pay today are smart. It doesn’t matter what you paid for something but what it’s worth today.

    I don’t think we should be living in a million dollar home. It’s a waste – especially if interest rates go up someday. So if my home goes up above $1 MM someday I want to sell and move somewhere cheaper. Of course, my wife doesn’t share my economic view of the world.

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  87. “Bill Ackman just admitted that he bought a $90 million NYC penthouse with no intention of living in it simply so he can flip it to another buyer in a few years.”

    Bill Ackman bought a retailer as a real estate investment. Bill Ackman does things that don’t compute from a traditional investment perspective.

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  88. “People who move when the prices go up above what they would be willing to pay today are smart. It doesn’t matter what you paid for something but what it’s worth today. ”

    Indeed

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  89. gringozecarioca on October 30th, 2014 at 11:07 am

    “You honestly think that the record high levels of nearly every speculative asset class is NOT the result of the Central Banks pumping trillions in liquidity into the system?”

    I can’t even figure out if the stock market is up 300% since 09, 30% since 07, or 30% since 2000.

    But yes, it is clearly at a record high.

    I never said they couldn’t force transference, I said creating money can not create real growth. It’s the idiots in traffic at 6:30 am doing that.

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  90. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20141030/CRED03/141029746/more-choice-for-homebuyers-as-chicago-listings-rise?utm_source=CRED03&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chicagobusiness&utm_reader=feedly

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  91. “He said most of them were buying with mommy and daddy’s money, and a lot of them were paying all cash.”

    Well that’s the truth. When a younger person buys a property in a nicer area of the city (or rents an expensive apartment), I just automatically assume that they’re getting financial help from the parents or another family member. Actually, I can’t think of a single example of where the adult children of my friends or even family members, haven’t been helped substantially with the purchase of a home.

    A good friend of mine is a financial planner in NYC who deals with a lot of higher end clients, and he’s amazed by the amount of those clients who have jeopardized their own financial health/retirement in order to give their *grown* children the good life – from apartments, cars, living expenses, private schools for the grandkids, on and on. While there’s certainly those who will still have plenty of money for themselves, in reality, many parents don’t have that kind of money to be helping their kids like they do. So cheer up folks, not everyone you see actually worked for what they “own”.

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  92. “I haven’t seen the parents gifting it so much as simply putting their names on the deed so they co-own it. Yes- helicopter parenting at its best. You’re 33 years old and you don’t even own your own property. Mom and Dad have to be involved in that too.”

    If someone is giving you the money, it is fair that they dictate the terms. I irk at the abuse of helicopter parenting in this country. Basically, you’re supposed to 100% support every BS your kids from toddler age to mid forties do, not to be labeled.

    BTW, we got $100K down payment support form one set of parents and $15K support from the others to buy furniture we like and they did not put their name on the deed : )

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  93. “I don’t think we should be living in a million dollar home. It’s a waste – especially if interest rates go up someday. So if my home goes up above $1 MM someday I want to sell and move somewhere cheaper. Of course, my wife doesn’t share my economic view of the world.”

    Well not everyone views housing as a pure investment. I for one, care where I live and spend my time. My car depreciates, my clothes and shoes are worth noting as soon I wear them even once; buying houses is still much better ways of spending money. One gets joy and peace of mind that not all the money is going to evaporate (at least most of the time…lol).

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  94. I have received no assistance from parental units in buying my first place (FHA, not really necessary) and am now buying my 2nd place with 20% down with no assistance again. Its not that hard, just have to make a few sacrifices and be a little cheap once in a while. Not missing out on a thing. I would HATE to be in debt to my parents from something like that, HATE. Wtf is wrong with kids today, GET OFF MY LAWN!

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  95. I definitely do not view housing as an investment. I view it as an opportunity cost subject to entropy. Therefore, I don’t want too much money tied up in it.

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  96. “Then the other day I went to visit a friend who owns a pet supply and grooming business in the old hood in da BK and he told me practically everyone was moving because they couldn’t afford to live there anymore as was my case. That’s what happened in my building. After I sold, about 10 of my neighbors in the 30 unit co-op also sold.”

    Milkster, if they are already owners why cannot they afford the place? The taxes are up a huge amount? It cannot be the interest rates on the mortgages as they are low as it ever was.

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  97. lol Sonies, I don’t feel particularly indebted. I would do the same in a heart beat for my child. It might be a cultural thing : )

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  98. “Milkster, if they are already owners why cannot they afford the place? The taxes are up a huge amount?”

    Even if taxes are not up, which they probably are, if you bought a place for $200K and you are a person of modest means and your home is worth $1 MM now why would you live there? I would sell the damn thing and move some place cheaper and put the money to work.

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  99. “Milkster, if they are already owners why cannot they afford the place? The taxes are up a huge amount?”

    Hi Miu –

    Yes, the taxes went up, and also the operating costs. My monthly maintenance fee went from $900 in 2001 to $1600 in 2014 along with several large special assessments. It was more than I could afford. It didn’t seem like a big deal to the new type who is moving into the area.

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  100. Gary – The problem with your plan is the sacrifices necessary to do it. You’ll have to give up some combination of location and space to get bring your costs back down.

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  101. No doubt. But if I was in the market today I would have to factor in those same tradeoffs and there is no way I would pay over $1 MM for a house. Just because I bought at a lower price doesn’t mean my opportunity cost is any lower. And when Chicago becomes too expensive to live in conveniently then it’s time to move to a different city.

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  102. “Even if taxes are not up, which they probably are, if you bought a place for $200K and you are a person of modest means and your home is worth $1 MM now why would you live there? I would sell the damn thing and move some place cheaper and put the money to work.”

    But that means that New Yorkers would have to leave their beloved New York. And where would they GO? They don’t want to live anywhere else in the country. Same with Californians (maybe even more so.) California is a really isolated state. I knew people there who never left the state except to go to Las Vegas and Hawaii. It’s not like other states where you routinely cross state lines so it’s not weird to suddenly be in Indiana or Wisconsin. They feel like they live in paradise (and it sure IS pretty.) Where will they go when they cash out? Texas or Florida? (the horror!)

    So they sit there with all their wealth wrapped up in their houses. They take out home equity loans to pay for things (and to help their children also buy overpriced homes so they too can remain in “paradise.”)

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  103. “Its not that hard, just have to make a few sacrifices and be a little cheap once in a while.”

    If you are 28 years old and have a job that pays enough for you to buy a $400,000 place (let’s say $100,000 a year), with 20% down you’d still need $80,000. It would take a LONG time to save that. 3 or 4 years most likely- maybe longer (and that would be aggressive saving and assuming you don’t have student loans or anything else.)

    So instead of buying at 28 you are buying at 32. Is the 20-something willing to wait that long in order to buy?

    Obviously- that’s why we’ve seen the luxury rentals become so popular. That 28-year old can now rent a luxury apartment in River North or Streeterville and not worry about the $80,000. It’s still nice and in the location they want to be in.

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  104. I just have to share.
    This is what 875K buys in Queens next to a cloverleaf of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Long Island Expressway:
    http://www.trulia.com/property/3147993273-50-68-43rd-St-Queens-NY-11104?ecampaign=con_day_propertysearchforsale_bk&eurl=www.trulia.com%2Fproperty%2F3147993273-50-68-43rd-St-Queens-NY-11104#photo-7

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  105. Can I just say I love Chicago?
    Let’s all be grateful today that we can live like we actually live in America and not some third world slum!

    But yes, Sabrina is right.
    I am addicted to NY.
    It’s in my blood.
    It’s a disease I can’t kick.

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  106. reminds me of this from coming to america lol
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyRKjXuWYE0

    I do love how in that listing they claim its a “beautiful legal 3 family”

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  107. “Where will [Cali’ans] go when they cash out?”

    They’ve been invading OR, WA, ID, NV and AZ for *decades*. And f’ing up those housing markets in the process.

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  108. gringozecarioca on October 31st, 2014 at 11:19 am

    “Let’s all be grateful today that we can live like we actually live in America and not some third world slum!”

    I’m offended.

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  109. “One Wall Street firm has an idea that’s raising eyebrows: forgive some student debt for first-time homebuyers.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/31/news/economy/student-debt-forgiveness-wall-street/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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  110. Good grief apparently anything goes right before elections… ANYTHING!

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  111. gringozecarioca on October 31st, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    That’s fantastic.. Go all the way and instead of spending 15-20k a yr for a dorm room. give each kid entering school a half million dollar home and a mortgage. Teach him he can flip it for a profit to the upcoming class.

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