Market Conditions: December Sales Fall 7% As Inventory Falls and Rates Rise

Lincoln Park Zoo holiday lions 2014

We’ve finally got the “official” December sales data and as Gary has already told us, sales declined.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 7.0 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in December 2016 with 1,932 sales, down from 2,077 in December 2015. Year-end home sales totaled 28,033, a 1.9 percent increase compared to 27,513 in 2015.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2016 was $260,000, up 8.3 percent compared to December 2015 when it was $240,000. The year-end 2016 median price reached $272,000, up 4.2 percent from $261,000 in 2015.

  • December 2004: 3,719 sales and median price of $267,000
  • December 2005: 2,847 sales and median price of $283,000
  • December 2006: 2,241 sales and median price of $279,000
  • December 2007: 1,629 sales and median price of $287,000
  • December 2008: 1,263 sales and median price of $235,000
  • December 2009: 1,820 sales and median price of $208,000 (34% short/REO sales)
  • December 2010: 1,475 sales and median price of $166,000 (43% short/REO sales)
  • December 2011: 1,536 sales and median price of $156,000 (44% short/REO sales)
  • December 2012: 1806 sales and median price of $185,000 (39.7% short/REO sales- according to Gary Lucido’s data)
  • December 2013: 2137 sales and median price of $210,000
  • December 2014: 2020 sales and median price of $228,000
  • December 2015: 2077 sales and median price of $242,000
  • December 2016: 1932 sales and median price of $260,000

“The predominant trends that we’ve witnessed over the past few months continued into the winter break, and the market behaved exactly as we’d expect,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “The increase in rates coupled with a significant reduction in inventory due to the holidays, are helping to drive prices up as buyers get serious about purchasing a new home. In January, the homes that were pulled off the market for the holidays will return, and the busy season should begin in earnest.”

“Consumers appear to be waiting to see what the new President and Congress plan for the economy,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “As a result, it may be several months before there is an appreciable impact on the housing market. Prices and sales are expected to continue experiencing modest gains over the first quarter.”

Average time on the market statewide fell to 66 days, down from 74 days a year ago. If you recall, average time on the market fell to 62 days in November.

Given what the 10-year treasury did in November, it’s not surprising that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.2% in December, up from 3.77% in November and 3.95% in December of 2015.

Most who were buying in December, however, likely still had a lock on the lower, pre-election rates.

Nationwide, inventory in January is now at 18 year lows.

We are just weeks away from the start of the spring home buying season (i.e. the Super Bowl.)

Will prices soar to new highs simply due to low inventory?

How will buyers cope in 2017?

Illinois home sales dip in December, but 2016 housing market ends on a high note [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, January 24, 2017]

129 Responses to “Market Conditions: December Sales Fall 7% As Inventory Falls and Rates Rise”

  1. Low inventory and high prices make me want to list my home for sale. But where am I gonna go with my family? It’s gotten waaaaay to pricey to upgrade and it would be a complete waste of money to rent for a year or two while I try to find a ‘deal’. The idea of moving to Texas or somewhere else in the sunbelt is seeming more attractive every day but as the saying goes, where you go, there you are. Maybe my life will suddenly be better the moment I get out of the grasp of Skeletor Madigan and his terrible policies that have ruined our state, maybe it won’t. But I do know one thing – the people who leave the state do so permanently, they aren’t coming back.

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  2. I hear ya on that one HD, I can’t wait to GTFOOH

    4 years and counting!

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  3. “4 years and counting!”

    I cannot believe I’m saying this but we are seriously considering relocating to another state as well.

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  4. Its getting pretty scary out here. I’d estimate 2/3 of the people I know, young families and established professionals are actively looking at other states for job opportunities to get out. For some it’s the weather, but for most it’s cost of living ie. taxes vs. income. Chicago and Illinois until recently offered a good bargain, relatively high incomes vs. moderate taxes but thats gone and unlike say CA or WA, there’s not a lot of natural beauty or good weather to offset the high taxes. This is also happening in NJ and CT, residents are fleeing. My wife’s father just sold his NJ house for a 35% loss and was on the market for 4 years – that should be a wake up for Illinois because thats whats coming.

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  5. Hmmm. One thing Chicago has that many of the places mentioned for relocation do not have is CULTURE. Unless your idea of going out in style is a night at an “upscale casual” national chain restaurant…

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  6. There are nice restaurants in every city now… Chicago is not unique in that aspect anymore…

    now in terms of museums and shows and such, sure… but you can always travel to do such things

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  7. “One thing Chicago has that many of the places mentioned for relocation do not have is CULTURE. Unless your idea of going out in style is a night at an “upscale casual” national chain restaurant…”

    There’s a lot of gang culture in Chicago too, and if I had to choose between the two, I choose applebees.

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  8. I think HD is also on to something. I live in a very nice neighborhood but we have to suffer with a section 8 presence that’s essentially protected from recourse. Each year there’s at least one murder, there is daily drug dealing in front of my place, car break-ins and my taxes went up 30% and I cant use the local school. There’s no longer any reason to upkeep my property while the city, state and federal governments actively diminish it. Chicago had it’s opportunity to break out and instead doubled down on the failed policies and governance that almost killed it previously, its not getting a third chance. I’m also suspect of these these sales, we have multiple houses on our block not selling after 60 days and the asking prices are a little lower than 2007 peak. It all seems very fake NAR propaganda.

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  9. what nice neighborhood averages 1 murder per year?

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  10. Old Town south of North Ave. Last year we had the pleasure of 3 murders but to be fair one incident was a 2 for 1, good shot.

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  11. “There are nice restaurants in every city now… Chicago is not unique in that aspect anymore…”

    It’s not just nice restaurants, it’s the neighborhood places where Chicago shines. Sure, every city will be fine for an anniversary or birthday dinner at a nice place in the city center, but what about a random Wednesday night when you don’t feel like cooking? In Chicago you can go easily find a nice local spot with good food that isn’t a chain. That’s why it’s so ludicrous that there’s an Olive Garden at Addison/Kennedy.

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  12. Uptown also has some very nice neighborhoods suffering with section 8 presence. I don’t know the Uptown murder rate, but it’s at least 3 per year. It was already two murders on January 2 of 2017: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-two-shot-to-death-in-uptown-marks-first-homicide-of-2017-20170101-story.html

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  13. what green zone hood hasn’t had a murder in the last year is probably an easier question to answer…

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  14. “Hmmm. One thing Chicago has that many of the places mentioned for relocation do not have is CULTURE. Unless your idea of going out in style is a night at an “upscale casual” national chain restaurant…”

    I guess it depends whether one’s idea of CULTURE is primarily based upon an area’s restaurant scene. Yes, Chicago’s restaurant scene is superior to the handful of popular small to mid-size cities many people would consider leaving Chicago for, but it’s not like those cities don’t have lots of good places to eat (there are certainly more than the typical upper-middle class family has time or inclination to frequent). While such cities do have museums, art districts, plays, symphonies, etc. (some quite worthwhile), overall, none are on the level of Chicago. I think that’s the more commonly accepted measure of an area’s culture.

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  15. I’m loyal to Chicago and am not leaving. Other places have the same issues. I think the “crime” in partly in people’s heads. Inside the GZ it’s not that bad. But we’ve had the “media” narrative focusing on it in the newscycle, primarily to demonize the people and implicitly, white males and “patriarchy”. That’s why Trump’s win has enraged the anti-white elites in NYC and LA.

    You can get great food/microbrews etc. in all major metro areas now. Whole Foods is around many cities too. Museums are overrated. Today all the best information is available on the internet. You could probably get a better view of a high resolution jpg on a 27″ Mac screen than having to even go to the Art Institute. Culture is in the gutter anyway, with hip-hop crap stuff like Hamilton out there. Art itself has never been more infantile and devoid of actual skill. Most people today are watching TV series on Netflix. You can do that anywhere.

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  16. meant demonize the police

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  17. “There are nice restaurants in every city now… Chicago is not unique in that aspect anymore…
    now in terms of museums and shows and such, sure… but you can always travel to do such things”

    what a load of crap. im not going to be a chicago apologist. its crime and fiscal situation is in absolute dire straits. however, to say it is not unique in terms of restaurants really misses the point. you must not get out much. this city is easily among the top 10 food cities of the world. it ranks 9th in Michelin stars worldwide, and 3rd in the US right behind SF and it wouldnt surprise me if it passed SF in the next few years. this matters, millenials are the foodie generation. the restaurant scene here helps give chicago a young, hip vibe that draws in companies like google/uber/etc. thinking the vibrant restaurant scene chicago has adds little to the culture of the city is wildly ignorant, at best.

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  18. ” the restaurant scene here helps give chicago a young, hip vibe that draws in companies like google/uber/etc. thinking the vibrant restaurant scene chicago has adds little to the culture of the city is wildly ignorant, at best.”

    That is true, but it’s also a very DINK thing to do. And it’s becoming increasing difficult for non-DINKS to live in the city: financially, socially, educationally, etc. Just yesterday I met another young couple at the local park who left chicago and now live in the suburbs. Few stay, and those who do have incomes far in excess of the typical upper-middle class. A 250,000 HH income puts a family in the 5% nationally but isn’t even enough to buy a SFH in the GZ with a decent school. Sure a nicer condo, but with three-four kid running around like most upper middle class familiies these days, a duplex down ain’t gonna cut it.

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  19. “three-four kid[s] running around like most upper middle class familiies”

    Huh?? 3 or 4 kids is common in UMC??

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  20. Active, quick commuting time is king for our family. My husband and I both bike/walk to work from our townhouse in less than 20 minutes door to door. We have a lake house in Michigan with family nearby where we spend many weekends (2 hours away). Perhaps If I decided to stop working entirely instead of going part-time and only one of us were commuting, suburbs would make sense. But otherwise, how do you have time with your kids? Hubby lost his job during the downturn, while I have a stable job so it would make me nervous to rely on one income. The local public school near us is only so-so, but there are also a few parochial schools nearby that are reasonably priced. It’s a tough decision. But, as it stands, I don’t see the suburbs in our future.

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  21. i thought one of the criteria of GZ was the decent schools. But Marko says he cannot use his? Now I’m really confused.

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  22. “Huh?? 3 or 4 kids is common in UMC??”

    Out here in the suburbs along River Road there seems to be a baby boom going on; the more kids the better. Overcrowding in schools, everyone seems pregnant these days. in teh city it’s uncomfortable to have 3 kids in a 2/2

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  23. I just recently backed out of a short sale in Jefferson Park (home inspection was awful) – the relief was immense though, especially when we found out that the taxes were going to be $650/year higher than what our lender had quoted us (2015 rate), and that’s not including the impending tax increase coming this year. It’s getting absolutely absurd. In 2012 they were $4400 and now they’re $6200 and after the new round (plus re-assessment), it should easily be $7k/year. What we thought were going to be $1450/month payments would’ve ended up being $1660/month after property tax increases and the 75 basis point spike in mortgage interest rates.

    We’ve realized that, with prices where they are now, it’s no longer worth buying when market rents are barely that much more (and in our case, less) for a comparable property in that area. We’re going to continue renting for dirt cheap (no rent increases in 3 years because it’s not a “hot area”), save up more, and when the home prices become more in sync with the fiscal reality of Chicago, possibly buy then. The level of political irresponsibility can’t continue without dire consequences. It seems that more and more are slowly beginning to realize it.

    Homedelete – guess where the seller of this short sale moved to? Houston. He’s a doctor making $285k/year and somehow convinced the bank to take a loss of over $100k. This of course, was after he put 5% down on a 450k house in TX. Must have had one hell of a “hardship” letter!

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  24. “Homedelete – guess where the seller of this short sale moved to? Houston. He’s a doctor making $285k/year and somehow convinced the bank to take a loss of over $100k. ”

    God, Houston sucks so bad compared to chicago. That being said, Sooo many of my friends in medicine are moving to texas. I think the general mentality is, “my salary will be the same, i’ll avoid the taxes and the winter, and buy a mansion for under a million bucks.” –

    I don’t know. As I creep into my mid 30’s That mentality seems a bit more appealing. I don’t have kids that are school age, but when I do, shelling out for private schools in this city, plus taxes, plus everything else, it can be rough.

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  25. “Few stay, and those who do have incomes far in excess of the typical upper-middle class. A 250,000 HH income puts a family in the 5% nationally but isn’t even enough to buy a SFH in the GZ with a decent school.”

    For once, we agree. A house in the GZ ran me closer to 1.5 million. We had a great year financially and can afford it for now – but 10 years from now, 20 years from now, i’ll be paying this house off still. If I moved to naperville, I could have probably had the same space for half the price and paid it off much faster, my wife could have stopped working if she wanted, we could have money for nicer vacations, etc. Those of us younger couples that even do earn at that level and choose to stay – it’s with significant compromise.

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  26. “same space for half the price”

    Sure, you *could*, but if you’d have moved to N’ville, you’d probably have either gone bigger or ‘nicer’ and spent a buck and a quarter or so. Because you could.

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  27. “God, Houston sucks so bad compared to chicago. That being said, Sooo many of my friends in medicine are moving to texas. I think the general mentality is, “my salary will be the same, i’ll avoid the taxes and the winter, and buy a mansion for under a million bucks.” ”

    I think your friends have a 1997 view of Texas real estate. Prices are at new highs in most of the major cities there now. Austin is particularly awful. Chicago is likely cheaper (in the “best” neighborhoods.)

    I’m assuming your friends will want, um, certain neighborhoods and towns only. Basically upper middle class. The whole “you can get a mansion there”- is still true but you’ll be, literally, 30 to 60 miles outside of the major cities. Go 30 miles west of Chicago. You can get an enormous house for much cheaper out there (check out Wayne, for instance.) It’s really no different.

    I recently saw this article about the Highland Park area of Dallas. One of the richest areas. Think you’re getting a mansion for cheap here? Doubtful.

    In Dallas, they never really saw much of a sell off in the bust and now it’s worse than ever:

    “As for the Dallas real estate market, prices are 46.6% higher than before the housing market crash. That is a staggering number. Something to keep in mind though is that prices only went down on average of 4% in Dallas, during the recession. If you factor in inflation, the numbers may still be around pre-recession highs.”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-dallas-home-enclave-where-trumps-presidency-buoys-high-home-prices-2017-01-23

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  28. “And it’s becoming increasing difficult for non-DINKS to live in the city: financially, socially, educationally, etc.”

    If this were true, some of the “best” GZ schools wouldn’t be overcrowded.

    If this were true, you’d see more turnover in the SFH and townhouses in the “hot” non-DINK areas like Southport, Roscoe Village, North Center, Wicker Park etc.

    It’s just not happening. Hardly anything for sale there and there are kids EVERYWHERE. I can’t even believe it when I walk on Southport now.

    Sure, some have higher incomes (over $250,000) but not all of them do.

    And let’s be frank. If you’re going to live and work in America’s greatest cities (any of them) then you’d better be at the top of the game in order to pay for that. Because many people want that lifestyle. It turns out, as we can see with GZ prices, too many people want it.

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  29. “I’m loyal to Chicago and am not leaving.”

    You honestly think any of us believe you live in Chicago HH?

    Lol.

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  30. “That’s why Trump’s win has enraged the anti-white elites in NYC and LA.”

    The white elites in these cities voted for Hillary. I don’t know what data you are looking at. Trump was simply demolished in both cities. In Trump’s immediate neighborhood within 10 blocks of Trump Tower, he got crushed by like 30%. Those are all his neighbors. They are certainly elites in that city.

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  31. Sonies:

    You can find out the locations of all the shootings in the city since 2010 on this DNA info map. It’s searchable by neighborhood (zoom in and out) and by date.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150707/downtown/where-shootings-have-occurred-chicago-since-2010-map

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  32. “Its getting pretty scary out here. I’d estimate 2/3 of the people I know, young families and established professionals are actively looking at other states for job opportunities to get out.”

    Marko- where are they going? Can’t be to either coast where the taxes and cost of living are higher. As you said they are fleeing NJ and CT too.

    One of my friends was going to move to North Carolina, but the home prices were high and the summers were way too hot for her. Nashville is nice and has a shorter winter. Home prices not awful. No real city center though. Mass transit is horrible.

    Where are 2/3rds of the people you know going?

    If everyone was leaving, wouldn’t home inventory actually be rising (statewide)? I’m asking this honestly- not trying to mock you or anything. United Van Lines is showing that more people are leaving Illinois than ever before. So I believe you that they want to leave.

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  33. “I cannot believe I’m saying this but we are seriously considering relocating to another state as well.”

    Which one Icarus?

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  34. It’s definitely interesting to see Chicago’s real estate market so darn tight yet everyone is so unhappy with the city and state.

    The two don’t really go hand in hand. What am I missing? Apparently, thousands of millennials want to move here as they are building 6,000 more apartments in the next 2 years.

    I urge people to go rent My Bodyguard and compare that city with the one that is here now. It’s like night and day.

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  35. Sabrina, Cali, Colorado and Texas. One to Nashville. In California case the taxes are offset by weather. I myself have been to Socal and Norcal while i like tbe relaxed Norcal vibe it seems like it would get boring unless your in SF and Socal, unless your by the ocean whats the point? But its not stopping people thats for certain.

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  36. We’ve toyed around with moving but don’t think we can replicate what we have here in Oak Park / Chicago. It definitely won’t be any cheaper. I’m constantly looking at real estate in other cities and the prices are about the same as they are here in Chicago in comparable urban/inner suburb neighborhoods.

    Only people I’ve seen really benefit from leaving an expensive city are those moving from West Coast. I’ve known several who’ve cashed out and move to fly over country paying cash for nice properties in small towns. Selling a 2/1 for $1.5 million in San Franciso (bought for $700k 8 years earlier) and moving to Ohio paying $700k for a 5 bedroom/4 bath farm house on 5 acres type stuff.

    The one thing we’ve noticed though that really screws up the math is the schools. Most of the cities seems to have excellent elementary and middle schools but high schools suck so you have to factor in private school unless you want to live in a suburb.

    At one point, I think it was cheaper in many cities, especially the south. I recall thinking I’d move back to Atlanta 20 years ago and it was significantly cheaper than Chicago if you wanted to live in downtown Atlanta. It isn’t any more. There has been a huge influx of young professionals and they all want to live downtown.

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  37. “In California case the taxes are offset by weather.”

    What’s the upper middle class California tax now? 11%?

    Wow.

    So it’s really NOT about the cost of living in Illinois then. Housing is double or triple the price in California and state income is nearly triple. But I used to live there and I can’t dispute it’s a gorgeous state. I’d move back in a second if I had a ton of money (but not if I were middle class.) It’s really a middle class nightmare.

    Everyone’s moving to Texas. It has a strong job market, so that makes sense.

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  38. Its about what you get for the cost and 365 days of perfect weather is worth the price for a lot of people.

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  39. So many times when I read this blog, I get the impression that no one here has ever ventured south of Roosevelt. There’s a whole world of Chicago awaiting you on the South Side, folks. Here in McKinley Park, we had zero homicides in 2016, and in general the neighborhood is quite safe. I feel safer here than in the GZ neighborhoods that the robbers target.

    Have any of you folks considered Omaha, Nebraska, for your moves? It’s my hometown, it’s much cheaper to live there, culture has improved massively, and they have good schools. Jobs, too.

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  40. “Which one Icarus?”

    Tennessee or Michigan would be the prime choices because of family. Otherwise, we could move almost anywhere since our jobs are transferable.

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  41. The reason the southport corridor is so tight is because a lot of those jobs supporting those incomes are difficult to replicate in other cities. Many of the legal, financial and other professional service industries are small or don’t exist in smaller markets, and it’s tough to give up that sort of income and lifestyle to move somewhere else knowing that you cannot replicate it. It’s the same with the california market where specialized computer scientists can earn $$$ but there’s no jobs anywhere in flyover country with even a comparable income. So the turn over is low in the silicon valley; however recruitment is difficult too from outside the valley because of the cost of living, so it’s a double edged sword.

    However, the further down the income scale, it easier it becomes to replicate the income in other places. I have friends who just moved to another midwestern state. The husband got an intracompany transfer and the wife was able to quickly find a job in her area, and their income stayed about the same. Yet the $600,000 house they bought is twice the size of mine on a bigger lot in one of the nicest suburbs in the area only a 20 minute drive to work.

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  42. “[Norcal] would get boring unless your in SF and Socal, unless your by the ocean whats the point”

    re: norcal: not quite that narrow (sf or boring) but not untrue.
    re: socal: yep, if you ain’t under ~20 minutes (off-peak) to the beach, how is is different from suburban Dallas?

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  43. “What’s the upper middle class California tax now? 11%?”

    For married filing joint, it hits 10.3 over $526,444.00, which ain’t UMC.

    For singles, i’s 10.3 at $263,222.00. There’s an argument that’s still UMC-ish, but not a very good one.

    Still, CA state income tax is a bear–it’s 9.3% over 51,530.00 for singles, $103,060.00 for marrieds. Ouch!

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  44. I agree it’s hard to replicate most of the higher earning jobs. My unscientific analysis of jobs that people have who are supporting a family with young kids and a 7 figure house are:

    1.) Attorney at big law firm
    2.) Physician
    3.) Financial Services business development/relationship management, Accounting Parnter
    4.) Sales at some large company
    5.) C-level or close to c-level executive at a med to large company
    6.) Small business owner

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  45. Nevada, or Northern Arizona for me

    I love it there

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  46. “It’s the same with the california market where specialized computer scientists can earn $$$ but there’s no jobs anywhere in flyover country with even a comparable income.”

    Agreed. You can eitehr work at Tesla creating exciting automonous car AI, or make $200+ working in Chicago as a trader/developer at a prop firm where it will eat your soul away i fyou can even get the job. Or make $75k in Iowa working at some farm software company automating some feed hopper machine which will also eat your soul away.

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  47. “Many of the legal, financial and other professional service industries are small or don’t exist in smaller markets, and it’s tough to give up that sort of income and lifestyle to move somewhere else knowing that you cannot replicate it.”

    So the argument is, no one is moving from Oak Park because they can’t get their Vice President of Marketing job anywhere else in the country? Lol.

    Those large law firm lawyers in Southport routinely move around the country (if my lawyer friends are any indication.) Many are barred in NY and CA. IL and NY. IL and CA etc. etc. All those big firms have offices in cities all over. It’s easy and the jobs are transferable.

    Outside of the financial jobs, especially those related to the CME and CBOE, I can’t think of a single financial job in Chicago that you can’t do in San Francisco or New York just the same.

    Now, some cities really don’t have a big enough professional services base to support thousands moving there like Miami or Seattle. And all my lawyer friends said to forget about moving to Seattle as the job market for lawyers was too small there.

    But most of those working at McDonald’s could probably easily get a job at Chipotle in Denver or Panda Express out in Los Angeles. Why aren’t they all moving? That’s what I don’t get. We should see it with a ton of inventory on the market. We should see people DESPERATE to get out of Chicago. Instead, the housing prices continue to rise. There are bidding wars and they are building 45 high rises (commercial, apartments, condos.) That’s the most cranes in the entire COUNTRY right now.

    That doesn’t sound like a “failing” city to me. But I am not disputing that United Van Lines talks about the number of people moving out of the state. Where are they leaving? Springfield? Peoria? Champaign?

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  48. “Tennessee or Michigan would be the prime choices because of family.”

    I love both of those states. Both SO beautiful. I hope you do it!

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  49. “Its about what you get for the cost and 365 days of perfect weather is worth the price for a lot of people.”

    Who has 365 days of perfect weather? California?

    Sorry to be a bitch, but California weather SUCKS! SoCal is certainly better than NoCal but as they’ve seen this winter with a more “normal” winter, it rains cold rain every other day. Things flood. There are mudslides. You’re not walking around in shorts in the winter.

    NoCal, especially San Francisco, has really cold summers. Foggy, drizzly, yucky. Have to wear coats, sometimes winter coats, even on Fourth of July. Ugh.

    I’m having flashbacks to all the awfulness.

    On Coronado Island they call it “May Gray and June Gloom.” That’s the fog. Two months of blah-ness.

    If you go interior, you don’t have the fog (but don’t have the beaches either.) Sonoma and Napa have pretty good weather most of the year- except winter. Has been in the 30s and 40s up there in January many years. But yeah- if you give me a winery it wouldn’t be too bad.

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  50. Sabrina, it’s not common for attorneys to lateral between offices, it does happen but usually attorneys find new jobs, at least the ones I’ve known over the years. Physicians in office based practices don’t want to leave their patients. There just aren’t as many financial services jobs in other cities and small business owners aren’t walking away from their successful small business to move to a smaller market.

    The easiest are the mid and C levels executives who jump from job to job all over the country until they get as far up the ladder as they can.

    The poorest people, those working at McDonald’s at Panda Express are big city townies and they don’t ever leave.

    it’s the middle market, the couple who can make $100k+ in Chicago but watches the money evaporate in Chicago. My BIL’s sister up and moved to Ohio a few years ago because they were able to get good paying professional jobs in a different city where money goes way farther. ALL Of my college rooms have left chicago except for one. All of them, even if they were from chicago, they still left for greener pastures, and they aren’t coming back. All but 1 of my cousins have left chicago too and they aren’t coming back. Sure there are carpetbaggers moving in to capitalize on a job market that is only ‘thriving’ because so many residents are leaving.

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  51. What’s all this nonsense about ‘culture’ meaning expensive restaurants? Culture in a city means a critical mass of creative types producing quality work and making it accessible to residents. That’s not once-a-year stuff. It’s being able to knock off work and check out that gallery on the way home, then choose from an array of good music joints through the night. It’s being able to *walk* to those things, or maybe hop on cheap, readily available metro transit. It’s murals, street-art, dreamers. It’s being able to hang with your peers as a creative type.

    It’s also being able to spontaneously see top-notch chamber, orchestral, ballet and the rest. Or musical theatre if that’s your thing.

    New York offers this. San Fran used to offer it. Chicago offers it. Boston sort-of offers it. LA would offer it but it’s very spread out. Nowhere else in the US does. Certain people actually value this stuff.

    On crime, if you’re moving to Texas, there’s a bit of a shock waiting on violent crime. Just because Chicago is a political football right now doesn’t mean violent crime rates for Joe Citizen are any worse than average. It barely cracks the top 50 in violent crime.

    But if your priorities are big houses, plentiful parking, low taxes, lots of space and conservative politics, then yes, Chicago ain’t the place for you.

    You may have guessed I’m staying put.

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  52. “But if your priorities are big houses, plentiful parking, low taxes, lots of space and conservative politics, then yes, Chicago ain’t the place for you.

    You may have guessed I’m staying put.”

    There are lots of people who stay put during the Florida hurricanes too.

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  53. Hmmm. A bit late to this thread. We are actually looking for a place to retire in a few years. Spent some time in Austin and absolutely concluded it was more expensive than Chicago for a comparable location. Sure you can move a bit out but that’s like living in a suburb: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2016/04/surprise-chicago-housing-affordability-is-better-than-austin-texas/ No state income tax but I believe property taxes were around 2.1% of market value vs. Chicago’s 1.9%.

    Then we went to the Raleigh Durham area and really liked that. More affordable than Chicago too.

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  54. Gary, we’ve seriously considered Portland, Seattle, Austin, and Atlanta. Portland, Seattle, and Austin are definitely more expensive than Chicago. Atlanta is comparable now. When we run the numbers, Atlanta wouldn’t be any cheaper than where we live in Oak Park now.

    At one point, it seemed some cities were in fact cheaper, but as living in downtown areas became more popular, that window of opportunity closed. I recall looking to move back to Atlanta when I got out of b-school and it was definitely cheaper than Chicago, but you were being some what of a pioneer at the time.

    I think if you want cheaper you have to go to cities like Nashville, Charlotte, Kansas City, St. Louis, Louisville, etc.

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  55. If you want to live in a large city, Chicago is a bargain. Even Dallas and Houston are getting expensive and they completely suck. Seattle and Portland are outrageously expensive. Florida is a dump except Miami which is expensive and there are no jobs. I hate desserts and Phoenix looks like Schaumburg. We’re staying.

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  56. We moved from Chicago (48 years for myself in Chicago and 30 for my husband). The real estate taxes and no pensions for the Firemen and Police and reports that our taxes would double to make up for mismanaged funds, terrible weather, crime…to Charlotte, NC. Weather is very desirable, taxes are 1/4 of what Chicago was and although driving is treacherous, we don’t regret it.

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  57. “Then we went to the Raleigh Durham area and really liked that. More affordable than Chicago too.”

    I had a friend looking to retire there Gary. Problem was, the areas she wanted to be (near the downtown or in, say, Chapel Hill so she could walk to stores, restaurants etc.) were all the same price as her house in the Chicago suburbs. $300,000 to $400,000 range. It wasn’t “cheaper” as you’d think a retirement home should be.

    Lots of California transplants there, though. They, of course, believe it’s dirt cheap.

    My friend was also turned off by the idea of 6 months of temps over 90. She decided to retire in Minnesota instead and rent in the south during the winters. ha!

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  58. “The poorest people, those working at McDonald’s at Panda Express are big city townies and they don’t ever leave.”

    I wasn’t talking about the “poorest” people but I can see how you’d infer that from me mentioning those two companies. Basically, if you’re mid-level in marketing at McDonald’s in Oak Brook (soon to be in Chicago) you could get a job at Chipotle in Denver, Panda Express in LA, In-and-Out in LA, ShakeShack etc. etc.

    Plenty of other cities that person could go to where they have “expertise” and other companies are looking.

    Same with their attorneys. One of my attorney friends has worked at several fast food giants around the country.

    No one here is answering the question: where is the “greener” pastures? And if it was so green, why isn’t everyone who owns a home going there? There has been a steady migration of 20-somethings to Austin. A year or two ago the RedEye said something like 1,000 Chicagoans were moving to Austin every year (based on the United and other moving stats.)

    With the housing market so hot, it’s not like people can’t sell and move if they wanted to.

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  59. “Problem was, the areas she wanted to be (near the downtown or in, say, Chapel Hill so she could walk to stores, restaurants etc.) were all the same price as her house in the Chicago suburbs. $300,000 to $400,000 range. It wasn’t “cheaper” as you’d think a retirement home should be.”

    But Chicago suburbs are generally cheaper than the city so you’re comparing NC urban to Chicago suburbs. That’s a pretty good tradeoff in my opinion. A comparable house we would get in Raleigh or Durham would be at least 20% cheaper than my house in the city here. Now, it’s not nearly as urban an environment but it doesn’t nearly feel like a suburb either. We thought it was a great tradeoff.

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  60. “Still, CA state income tax is a bear–it’s 9.3% over 51,530.00 for singles, $103,060.00 for marrieds. Ouch!”

    That’s being called a “wage cuck”. You are being cuckolded and stripped of your earnings to support other people’s kids/families. Add onto that redistribution the excess cost to buy a home in an UMC area with good schools to live self-segregated from the welfare takers.

    read this one: http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/01/29/san-francisco-has-americas-lowest-percentage-of-kids-in-america/

    Comments are good.

    I wouldn’t move to Nashville. The only time I ever hear about that place is when they’re reporting some home invasion that results in a gang rape and grisly murder. No thanks. If you move to Nashville, Atlanta etc. you will probably end up buying a Glock or a shotgun.

    “It’s also being able to spontaneously see top-notch chamber, orchestral, ballet and the rest.”

    You can watch performances on the Internet. Do you realize how expensive tickets are these days to Lyric and CSO? I want to see Bellini’s Norma and went on craigslist and was shocked at what people are asking. Try it yourself. Arts are hardly accessible in Chicago. In places like Budapest the prices are 1/10th of NY, Chi and they offer more choices too.

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  61. Out of curiosity, I started looking at some Chapel Hill properties and it does appear a bit cheaper. However, surprised that they have $600K+ condos in downtown but they appear to be a bit larger than the typical fair here in Chicago at that price point.

    Of course, you could always just buy disgraced ex-Presidential candidate John Edwards estate for $6.9 million. I guess being a lawyer representing the little people pays pretty well.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1201-Old-Greensboro-Rd_Chapel-Hill_NC_27516_M66400-49462

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  62. “A comparable house we would get in Raleigh or Durham would be at least 20% cheaper than my house in the city here. Now, it’s not nearly as urban an environment but it doesn’t nearly feel like a suburb either. We thought it was a great tradeoff.”

    Yes- she is NOT in the city.

    So, to her, it wasn’t any cheaper. She wasn’t moving to Champaign or anything where housing would really be much cheaper.

    The whole point in retirement is to keep your costs down (unless you can afford otherwise.) It just wasn’t cheap enough. Actually, most major urban areas are no longer “cheap” so most people won’t be able to retire in or near one.

    You know what’s really cheap right now, though? Palm Springs. Yes, hot summers. But housing is amazingly affordable still.

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  63. “The poorest people, those working at McDonald’s at Panda Express are big city townies and they don’t ever leave”

    Uh what? Chicago’s biggest population losses are exactly that segment. Poor families are leaving Chicago in droves. It is the majority of our population losses.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-black-exodus-chicago-20160318-story.html

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  64. “Poor families are leaving Chicago in droves. ”

    And you link to an article about college educated blacks leaving?? And that talks about the precipitous drop in black households with $100k+ income. (yes, *of course* not all of the 181,000 who left have degrees or high incomes)

    Black /= poor. Though is soon might in Chicago.

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  65. The article talks about those in low income as well. If you read the article and that’s all you take from it perhaps you are the one jumping to conclusions.

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  66. “The article talks about those in low income as well”

    The article talks about BLACK people leaving Chicago.

    Yes, of course when over 15% of a cohort leaves a city, that will include poor people, too. But NOWHERE in that article you linked does it address poor people specifically–as it does with black households with $100k+ income–nor is it even broadly implied–indeed, it is the opposite.

    The article implies that the issues with the South Side are made worse bc the folks who aren’t leaving are mostly poor–that those with options are leaving, and the mooks stay behind.

    paragraph ledes:

    ‘There are troubling signs that more well-to-do blacks have forsaken the city.’
    “‘For educated folks, for people with skilled jobs to go to a place like Atlanta…'”
    “Young and educated residents are also swearing off the northern inner cities”
    “It’s a lot of younger blacks feeling, ‘I don’t want to grow up in this city neighborhood that my parents and grandparents lived in”
    ” The loss of the black middle class deprives their communities”
    “Those of us left behind must deal with the aftershocks: lessening political clout, limited public services and the creep of poverty and crime into neighborhoods like South Shore and Auburn-Gresham.”

    Really, it is an article about how it’s mostly mooks who *haven’t* left.

    Which does nothing to disprove your premise (that poor families are leaving Chicago in droves), but that article does nothing to support it, either.

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  67. “‘There are troubling signs that more well-to-do blacks have forsaken the city.’”

    Yes, it’s a disgrace that Obama never helped his own “hometown” city, and he’s going to live around rich whites and Jews in WashDC burbs.

    Now, we see today at his meeting that Trump is the only person who ever cared to solve the problem!

    F obama. False prophet. Worthless for Chicago.

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  68. Census figures clearly show that Chicago is losing low income households and gaining high income households. The statistics also show African Americans leaving at high rates, while whites, hispanics and Asians are growing.

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  69. “Now, we see today at his meeting that Trump is the only person who ever cared to solve the problem!”

    He’s “solving the problem” by not knowing who Frederick Douglas is?

    Lol!

    I have to laugh my ass off at everything happening. He totally thought Douglas was a living person.

    Lol!

    Obama’s “worthlessness” brought billions of dollars to the city that have benefited EVERYONE who lives here. Just the CTA alone has gotten billions over the last 8 years. Nearly all the redline stations have been or will be renovated. New trains. New buses.

    And the Obama Presidential Library will bring even more money to the city and to a neighborhood that needs it. It will bring another tourist destination outside of the Museum of Science and Industry. Hyde Park/Woodlawn is growing and this will only boost it.

    Trump has no clue what is going on in Chicago. He has never lived here. He needs to worry about DC’s aging water and electrical system and how they’re going to pay to fix all of that. Seems more pressing than what’s going on in a city a thousand miles away that isn’t asking him to interfere.

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  70. We just got done with MLK, now we start Black History Month. My buddy’s kid got dragged to the Skokie Holocaust Museum today, and my niece is learning about “Amelia Earhardt” but has no clue who the Wright Brothers are. The only astronaut she knows is Sally Ride, so I told her about Neil Armstrong who actually made it to the moon, you know.

    800 murders, 4300 people shot. Obama golfed and isn’t coming back to help his people.

    Gang leaders want to meet with Trump, they know that Obama was feckless, a worthless failure.

    I love it that Obama is moving to a 98% white neighborhood, that’s what all hypocrite liberals do.

    All of this putrid poz BS is why Trump was elected. Obama didn’t do anything for Chicago, and neither has Father Faker or Rahm. Now these losers are asking for more “money”. Lol. Losers.

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  71. “We just got done with MLK, now we start Black History Month. My buddy’s kid got dragged to the Skokie Holocaust Museum today, and my niece is learning about “Amelia Earhardt” but has no clue who the Wright Brothers are. The only astronaut she knows is Sally Ride, so I told her about Neil Armstrong who actually made it to the moon, you know.”

    Whine, whine, whine.

    Frederick Douglass is one of the most distinguished Americans in all of our history. And you, HH, have no idea who he is either.

    Shame!

    “Gang leaders want to meet with Trump, they know that Obama was feckless, a worthless failure.”

    To talk about what? Who gets what drug territory? Lol! Laughing my ass off at Trump having any CLUE what to do in this situation.

    It’s not about Obama anymore HH. Get over it.

    Lol.

    But, Trump’s disaster administration is certainly making the Obamas look even better. Heck, they’re saying Melania won’t even show up for the Easter Egg Roll. Lol!

    We got billions from Obama. You would know if you lived here. But you don’t.

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  72. Trump already has approval ratings below 40%. Rumors in DC are that congressional Republicans don’t expect Donnie to make it through a full term.

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  73. Tone said– Census figures clearly show that Chicago is losing low income households and gaining high income households. The statistics also show African Americans leaving at high rates, while whites, hispanics and Asians are growing.

    Tone, can you please cite your source of information?

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  74. “We got billions from Obama.”

    Oh sure, lots to show for it. We’re bankrupt, IL just got downgraded again by Fitch yesterday. The schools spend $$$, need more, and fail the students. Rahm raised property taxes and will again. Quinn said his income tax hike was “temporary”. 4,000 blacks were murdered during Obama’s 8 year term in office. Obama doesn’t even care to help his own people. Fail. Big time. Obama’s daughter is out in ND protesting a pipeline with white libtards, while her own black peers are failing and getting killed.

    “Frederick Douglass is one of the most distinguished Americans in all of our history. ”

    Oh yeah. Sure. And Hitler would have won WW2 if it wasn’t for the Tuskegee airmen. And did you see the movie “Hidden Figures”? It’s in the theaters now, but nobody goes to see it. We never would have put a man on the moon without black women! Lol. No wonder the media is failing. They should fire the execs because they put fake news and false ideology ahead of their fiduciary duty to produce profits for shareholders.

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  75. Nimesh, the source is the US Census. In 2010, there were 143K Asian households, 753K hispanic households, 859K white households and 909K black households in Chicago. In 2015, there were 160K Asian households, 790K hispanic households, 875K white households and 840K black households in Chicago.

    In 2010, 29.2% of Chicago households had incomes below $35K and 30.3% above $75K. In 2015, 28.6% of Chicago households had incomes below $35K and 33.1% above $75K.

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  76. “143K Asian households, 753K hispanic households, 859K white households and 909K black households”

    That can’t be household numbers in the city. That total looks like individuals.

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  77. anon, so sorry, the population numbers are individual people. The income levels are households.

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  78. ” It’s in the theaters now, but nobody goes to see it. We never would have put a man on the moon without black women!”

    It has done over $100 MM in the box office so far, which is not bad, and has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And the point of the movie was not that we could not have done it without these women.

    Just stop making shit up please. Like I’ve said before. You are your own worst enemy.

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  79. Oh and households making $150K+ were 8.6% in 2010 and 10.8% in 2015.

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  80. $200K+ households were 4.6% in 2010 and 5.9% in 2015.

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  81. “Just stop making shit up please. Like I’ve said before. You are your own worst enemy.”

    Who knew that DJT was a CC commenter!

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  82. Very late to the party! The people leaving are those “priced out” or coming to the realization that their dream (a SFH/TH in the GZ) is never going to happen. The natural reaction is to look at other locations where “things are better”. This could be taxes, weather, space, schools, etc. but its very hard (impossible?) to get ALL those benefits outside of Chicago. Pound for pound Chicago offers the best combination of affordability / culture / income in the US. You can pull one of those levers (cheap = second rate city, weather = expensive city, etc.) but you will generally get a negative in one of the others.
    The downtown areas of smaller cities have appreciated dramatically just like the GZ has appreciated because people want to live there just like they want to live in the GZ. Those dissatisfied w Chicago are realizing they just can’t afford to keep up with the price appreciation and are seeking alternatives. None of which (IMHO) will rival Chicago’s balance of cheapness/culture/income.
    Chicago / IL is mismanaged. But so are most other states / cities. Check out Dallas’ police pension issues.
    And CAT just announced 300 ppl moving to Chicago – more high earners looking at LP / Southport.

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  83. Sabrina posted “… You would know if you lived here. But you don’t.”
    Not surprising. Did hh return to WI to finish college? Jawohl? hh’s more likely in FL, where the sludge in America ultimately drains down to over time.

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  84. “And CAT just announced 300 ppl moving to Chicago – more high earners looking at LP / Southport.”

    Maybe. Although they haven’t yet announced an actual location. Will it be in the suburbs? Or will they do what everyone else is doing and actually move into the city?

    If they move into the city, then LP and Southport are in play, obviously.

    The international airport is a big game changer. O’Hare is one of the best positioned. It’s in the middle between Asia and Europe with more flights than any of the other centrally located airports in the US. Caterpillar does over 50% of its sales overseas now. They need that airport. Boeing also said O’Hare’s location was one of the reasons they moved here too.

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  85. “It has done over $100 MM in the box office so far”

    BS. Prove it. Liar.

    Gary, you’re an OK guy, but ultimately you’re just a lame cuck. Your daughter is a sucker, because you are an idiot father. She moves to “San Francisco” because it’s “cool” to lemmings. Didn’t you see that it has the LEAST amount of children of any major city in America? It has homosexual pervs, drug addicts, needles, homeless, and urine? Good luck with getting grandchildren, or having a decent son-in-law. Gary is just another idiot baby boomer. Fools.

    Anyone who claims that I’m not Chicago, or live here, is having an irrational breakdown like many of the anti-Trump people. Get a grip. I am a descendant of the City of Big Shoulders. It barely exists anymore, I agree with that. That’s the decline and why people are fleeing our city and state, because of people like you.

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  86. HH, you can just look online and see the stats for the movie. This sort of information is widely publicized and shared.

    You’re making up more shit and as usual it’s hard to take you seriously. You are probably just trying to incite but my daughter lives in San Francisco because that’s where there are incredible job opportunities for her. She has a really good job that pays extremely well and more than covers the cost of living differential. She absolutely loves it there and within a few mile radius of where she lives she has probably 100 friends. She doesn’t have a car because it’s easier and cheaper for her to just use public transportation or Uber. I visit there periodically and really like it, though it’s too expensive for my taste. I’m totally envious of the life she lives there.

    She really doesn’t care that they don’t have a lot of children there. Why should that matter to her? Or me for that matter? You are correct about the homeless, drug users, and urine – in parts of town – but without seeing the data I’m not prepared to claim that that problem is any worse there than NYC or Chicago. I don’t know if they track data on pervs so I don’t know where you are getting that from.

    You really should deal more in facts than in wild assumptions about social issues. Check out this map of where the drug problem really exists in the US: https://www.theguardian.com/society/ng-interactive/2016/may/25/opioid-epidemic-overdose-deaths-map It’s not where you think it is. The only time I’ve seen billboards about meth abuse wss in Montana. And on that map SF looks better than most places.

    Funny you should bring up her dating prospects. Let’s just say that we absolutely love her current boyfriend and leave it at that.

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  87. Gary, they don’t call it meth in SF, they call it ‘Tina’. And your daughter won’t stay in California, she’ll be back eventually, probably with a family when she realizes there re 17 bids on some same crappy ranch in Sunnyvale for 1,000,000.

    HH, seriously, you’ve always been unhinged, but these days you’re gone blown batshit crazy.

    Chicago is gaining high income earners and losing low and middle income.

    ” Pound for pound Chicago offers the best combination of affordability / culture / income in the US.’

    That’s not true at all, if it were, Chicago wouldn’t be losing population as it has been, more or less, since the 1920’s, when population peaked.

    I stay here because I have roots, but it won’t take much for me to leave.

    Chicago and Illinois has been very mismanaged, and basically one person – Madigan – has been there through it all. But his SW side of Chicago district is all full of people on his payroll or his gravy train and they keep voting him in the detriment of the rest of the state.

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  88. “” Pound for pound Chicago offers the best combination of affordability / culture / income in the US.’

    That’s not true at all, if it were, Chicago wouldn’t be losing population as it has been, more or less, since the 1920’s, when population peaked. ”

    Losing *poor / LMC* people. That is not a bad thing if you are UMC / 1%-er. What city offers a better combination in your opinion? It is all subjective but you have to factor in weather, housing affordability, culture, income potential, taxes, etc. Chicago lost a whopping 6k people in 2015. Not exactly a mass exodus. And the mix of high vs low earners is getting more and more favorable.

    I understand the grass is always greener but in my opinion Chicago has a great balance of everything. Of course its a compromise (worse weather for better affordability) – and you know what they say about a good compromise…everyone is unhappy.

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  89. Many, many people in the suburbs and downstate literally hate Chicago. The hate the congestion, the people, the traffic, the crime, the housing unaffordability, etc.

    I personally like Chicago but it got too expensive even for me and I’m part of the 5.9% above. After student loans, child care, mortgage, and car payments, there’s literally no money to save if you want to live in a reasonably sized home with 2+ kids in the GZ. I got lucky with a deal on my crapshack in 2012 but even today there are $500k split levels in my community for goodness sake!

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  90. I like to bring this up periodically. I guarantee you that 95% of the people in Chicago don’t understand their true housing cost if their house has substantially appreciated. If they bought it for $500K and now it’s worth $1 MM they think they only have $500K invested in their house and that’s wrong. They have $1 MM invested in their house. Would they buy that house today for $1 MM? Maybe not. That’s why people often have a bias towards staying. My wife and I often argue this point. I personally think it’s too expensive for me to live in Chicago the way I want to live today.

    I guess the logic isn’t too flawed in a low opportunity cost environment but that won’t last forever.

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  91. “Many, many people in the suburbs and downstate literally hate Chicago. The hate the congestion, the people, the traffic, the crime, the housing unaffordability, etc.”

    Go to Syracuse / Binghampton / Hudson Valley and they will say the exact same thing about NYC. That is why they don’t live in the city. Some people like the congestion, people, traffic and take the accompanying crime / unaffordability (relative to burbs and down / up state) and call it the vibrancy of the city. The shift is that more people are beginning to prefer the city and view it as vibrant vs in the past. Its a combo of demographics and they cities becoming more livable relative to the past.

    ” After student loans, child care, mortgage, and car payments, there’s literally no money to save if you want to live in a reasonably sized home with 2+ kids in the GZ.”

    And there would be even less if you were in a city like SF/LA/NYC/SD/Seattle!

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  92. “but it got too expensive even for me and I’m part of the 5.9% above. After student loans, child care, mortgage, and car payments, there’s literally no money to save if you want to live in a reasonably sized home with 2+ kids in the GZ.”

    Ain’t that the truth. Question is, with this one short life you have, do you want to live somewhere great and die (hopefully at a ripe old age) with basically nothing in the bank (having serviced your loans and a big mortgage, kept up with the Joneses in whatever upscale utopia you’ve struggled to raise the kids in, etc.), or some other, more financially conservative alternative? I’m solidly in the former camp. Despite where my income might place me relative to the rest of the national population, and despite working a lot (billed almost 250 hours in Dec – living the dream!), I feel barely middle class where we live, we’ll be lucky to find a place to buy this year, after looking for nearly a year (and it will be a dump), and we’re not saving much of anything (let alone doing any more than treading water on student loans). But if I die tomorrow, or 20 or 50 years from tomorrow, I (and my family) will have lived in a place that upper-middle class people from around the country (world?) like to visit when they can. Felt the same when we called ELP home…could’ve had another 700 square feet or so and some fancy countertops and fixtures had we lived a mile or so west, but I never spent a day with that deranged look in my at the LP Zoo I’d seen so many dads have, after they’d packed up the car and drove to the lakefront, struggled to find a spot, dragged the kids into the zoo for some required amount of time necessary to justify all of the hassle, before reversing the whole logistical process to head back home to drown their sorrows in their basement Big 10 man cave or out on the gator deck. Time to get back to work on this fine Saturday – need to keep earning an income sufficient to keep renting our current modest house and to keep paying enough in taxes to carry two or three under-performing Trump households.

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  93. anonny the difference between you and I comes down to the fact that I am living a lower cost lifestyle and putting money in the bank while you are living the dream and spending nearly it all on interest that makes bankers rich.

    I’ve done my fair share of insolvency law over the years and I’ve learned that nearly everyone will eventually go through bad times; and while some people always seem to land on their feet, many do not, and how you survive the bad times depends on how you survived the good times. The north shore suburbs are filled with former traders, consultants and high income sales and professionals who made a lot of money over the years, and now that times have slowed, all they have are $700,000 in mortgages on a 1960’s split level and a low six figure 401(k). I don’t bill 250 hours in a december (246.50 to be exact) so I can have a shorter drive to the zoo. I did it so that I can survive when the bad times come because I won’t be making $200k a year forever.

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  94. The probably annony is that you’re not making ‘real’ money. You need to make at least $500k+ or more with equity stakes and capital gains, rather than just your great biglaw W-2 salary. That’s why you’re getting screwed by the pooch. Until that day comes, and it may never come, you’re going to continue to pay such high taxes too.

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  95. The biggest mistake I’ve seen people make in their lives is assuming they will always make as much money at they do now. Then they lose their job in the 50s and can’t find another one even close.

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  96. “The biggest mistake I’ve seen people make in their lives is assuming they will always make as much money at they do now. Then they lose their job in the 50s and can’t find another one even close.”

    A late 50’s yo expecting $150k+ as a department head or whatnot can easily be replace with a subordinate for $50k less than your salary and be happy they got a promotion at all. Yes the subordinate will not be know the job or be good enough, but they’ll figure it out in time and the company will just deal with it.

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  97. “but it got too expensive even for me and I’m part of the 5.9% above. After student loans, child care, mortgage, and car payments, there’s literally no money to save if you want to live in a reasonably sized home with 2+ kids in the GZ.”

    Depends.

    Do you need to live in a house? I know plenty of people raising 2 kids in townhomes in the GZ. Yes, child care is expensive. Would be the same in the suburbs though.

    If you want to live in one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the United States, then it takes sacrifices. No, you’re not getting 4 bedrooms and a yard for your $450,000.

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  98. “I understand the grass is always greener but in my opinion Chicago has a great balance of everything. Of course its a compromise (worse weather for better affordability) – and you know what they say about a good compromise…everyone is unhappy.”

    Interesting “Vows” column this weekend in the New York Times. Couple married. Guy is 34. Woman is 27. The guy grew up in LA. His parents are in the “biz.” Mom is an actress. Dad a producer/director. Won Golden Globes. He’s in the record business.

    They decided they couldn’t make it work once they were married and wanted a house/kids.

    Where’d they move?

    Nashville.

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  99. “That’s not true at all, if it were, Chicago wouldn’t be losing population as it has been, more or less, since the 1920’s, when population peaked.”

    Like every bigger city in America, the population trends are reversing what happened from the 1950s to the 1980s.

    And if you look at the maps the urbanists have of Chicago, you will see that the middle class has taken over most of the north side versus just 20 years ago.

    If you don’t believe that there is change happening all over Chicago, then what explains middle class, college educated 20-somethings looking for homes in neighborhoods like Hermosa and McKinley Park?

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  100. “Funny you should bring up her dating prospects. Let’s just say that we absolutely love her current boyfriend and leave it at that.”

    There’s more men than women in all of the Bay Area, especially on the Peninsula. It’s been like that for about 20 years since the dot-com boom. There are simply too many male engineers at all those companies.

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  101. “Anyone who claims that I’m not Chicago, or live here, is having an irrational breakdown like many of the anti-Trump people. Get a grip. I am a descendant of the City of Big Shoulders.”

    See? That’s what I mean. No one who lives here calls it “the City of Big Shoulders” anymore. And they haven’t for probably 30 or 40 years.

    It’s like HH lives in an alternative universe. He’s 30 or 40 years behind what’s going on in Chicago now.

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  102. “Where’d they move?”

    “Nashville is a cute little town pretending to be a big city”

    They both went to high school and college in the eastern time zone. It’s not surprising that LA wore on them–wouldn’t be surprising if they stayed, too, but it’s not a place for everyone.

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  103. “There’s more men than women in all of the Bay Area… It’s been like that for about 20 years”

    In the City, it’s been like that for 50 years. But most of that ‘surplus’ isn’t dating stock for educated women.

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  104. “No one who lives here calls it “the City of Big Shoulders” anymore.”

    True, and I hate to note the following, but:

    to be fair, he claims to be a *descendant* of that. So there’s a recognition of the bygoneness of the sobriquet.

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  105. “In the City, it’s been like that for 50 years. But most of that ‘surplus’ isn’t dating stock for educated women.”

    What the hell is that supposed to mean? What’s the “dating stock” for “educated women”?

    You really haven’t ever lived out there, have you? Because no one who has lived out there in the last 20 years would talk like that.

    If you’re talking about the large gay population, that’s a 1970s and 1980s thing. There are literally thousands of straight guys everywhere. Been like that for 20 years. And yes, a bunch of them are down on the Peninsula. But everyone drives back and forth and it’s not a barrier to dating. If it was, no one would date anyone in LA (where you have to drive, sometimes an hour, even if you live just 10 miles from each other.)

    The dotcom boom brought in thousands of young, male engineers. Additionally, San Francisco itself was already filled with way more men than women in both finance and in the law. They aren’t all straight, of course, but finding a date was NEVER a problem in San Francisco for straight women. Again, this is over the last 20 years.

    And now, with even MORE engineers living in both San Francisco and down on the Peninsula, the ratio of men to women is the best except, like, Alaska.

    So- unless you’ve lived and dated there anon(tfo), you really have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s one of the best cities for straight women to date.

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  106. “The dotcom boom brought in thousands of young, male engineers.”
    “But most of that ‘surplus’ isn’t dating stock for educated women.”

    He’s talking about H1-B’s, there are tens of thousands of single, young H1-B’s living in cramped quarters for slaves wages working 80 hours a week sending all their hard earned money so that when they return they can live like the brahmin.

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  107. Just posted my January update. Sales hit a 10 year high, up 12.0% from a year ago, though IAR will tell you it’s 9.2%. But I think the moving average line tells a more consistent story than these monthly fluctuations. It’s showing us as having basically plateaued.
    http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2017/02/chicago-real-estate-market-update-highest-january-sales-in-10-years/

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  108. “What the hell is that supposed to mean? What’s the “dating stock” for “educated women”?”

    Straight, single, men who are not homeless. Duh.

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  109. “He’s talking about H1-B’s”

    No, I’m not. I’m talking about teh gayz and the crazees. And excluding the marrieds.

    AND it was ONLY in reference to the City. Not Oakland, not San Mateo, not anything outside the 49 sqmi.

    Here’s a story about it was 33 years ago (yes, of course, the numbers have changed since): http://www.nytimes.com/1984/11/23/us/san-francisco-survey-finds-40-of-single-men-to-be-homosexual.html

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  110. to put some numbers to it (using 2010 census):

    CA overall (37,253,956):
    Male 18,517,830 (49.35%)
    Female 18,736,126

    SF (805,235):
    Male 408,462
    Female 396,773

    If SF matched CA’s %age of males, there would be only 397,378–so there are 11,084 ‘extra’ men in SF.

    But, you’ll say, it’s not about “all” men, just those of a certain age.

    Fine: what age group you like?

    25 to 34?

    SF = 103.6 men per 100 women
    LA = 106.2 men per 100 women
    Diego = 109.1 men per 100 women

    So, actually, “worse” than LA or SD. Way, way higher than Chicago (97.7) or NYC (92.4!!), of course. But even Dallas is higher (104.8) than SF in the 25-34 cohort.

    Yes, SF is off the charts (124!!) for the 40-49 cohort, but you’re lying if you say you were talking about 40-somethings. And, in that cohort, I’ll stick with the contention that most of that excess (which amounts to an aggregate 13,000 more men than women ages 40-49) are gay or homeless/mentally-ill.

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  111. “If SF matched CA’s %age of males, there would be only 397,378–so there are 11,084 ‘extra’ men in SF.”

    Do all the women sit in SF and never leave the 7 mile wide peninsula? Are we so scared to go drive to, say, Burlingame?

    Lol!

    Please. Give me a break. Thousands of the women who live in San Francisco work on the peninsula with thousands of single men (like Gary’s daughter who takes the darn Google/Facebook bus!).

    Just stop now anon(tfo). You have never lived there and you know nothing about it. It’s one of the best cities in the country to be single (for ANY woman, straight or not.) It’s the men who are up the creek. Not enough women if they all want wives. Boo-hoo.

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  112. “Here’s a story about it was 33 years ago (yes, of course, the numbers have changed since):”

    1984????

    Apple was just barely in business. There wasn’t even Cisco, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and on and on.

    This is the dumbest link to prove a point I’ve ever seen on this blog.

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  113. “Straight, single, men who are not homeless. Duh.”

    An “educated woman” can’t be gay????

    I don’t understand that comment at all. Is “educated” supposed to mean “straight”????

    Jesus.

    You are REALLY out of it. San Francisco as this big gay mecca is several generations removed. You have to be in your 50s or 60s to think that it still dominates the scene in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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  114. “Just posted my January update. Sales hit a 10 year high, up 12.0% from a year ago, though IAR will tell you it’s 9.2%.”

    Thanks Gary.

    Crain’s is reporting that signed contracts soared in January (they all don’t turn into closings, of course.) But the number was the highest since January 2008 and is equal to some of the summer months.

    Seems like the housing market has started off as super hot. Is it the threat of rising rates? The mild weather?

    Inventory is AWFUL. It’s pushing prices up even higher as buyers get desperate.

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  115. I wonder if Crain’s was looking in the entire metro area. For Chicago I show contracts up only 5% over last year.

    Regarding eligible men in SF. Obviously a high percentage of those men are geeks. How do women in the their 20s view geeks in SF today? It seems like when I was that age in Dallas the jocks were popular.

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  116. I made a rather narrow point, which you intentionally misinterpreted.

    You’re acting like a Trumpkin.

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  117. Also:

    “An “educated woman” can’t be gay????”

    Is such utter bullshit. **YOU** were only talking about straight women, and about the availability of eligible men:

    “finding a date was NEVER a problem in San Francisco for straight women.”

    Tell us more about the Bowling Green Massacre, Sabrina.

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  118. ““[Hidden Figures] has done over $100 MM in the box office so far”

    BS. Prove it. Liar.”

    I suppose that Box Office Mojo is part of the conspiracy (bc Bezos controls it, natch):

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=hiddenfigures.htm

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  119. “Tell us more about the Bowling Green Massacre, Sabrina.”

    What the hell are you even talking about now?

    You’re the one who used the term “educated women.” What does that even mean? Then you explained it meant straight women. Since when is “educated” a word for “straight”?

    Maybe that is from the 1950s or 60s or something way before my time. I’ve never heard it used that way before.

    And yes- many of us straight women got married to straight men in San Francisco. Lol! No problem finding anyone to date. Ever. The men outnumber the women there (as I have been saying and saying and saying.) The poor men in the Bay Area. There just aren’t enough women for everyone who wants to get married there. Too many engineers at all the technology companies. They’re mostly men.

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  120. “Regarding eligible men in SF. Obviously a high percentage of those men are geeks. How do women in the their 20s view geeks in SF today? It seems like when I was that age in Dallas the jocks were popular.”

    The women are just as bad! Geeky women date geeky men. Ha! ha!

    If they were the cheerleaders they end up down in LA. 😉

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  121. Gary, here’s what Crain’s is reporting about Chicago contracts. The highest in 9 years:

    “In another indication of an accelerating real estate market in the city, buyers put more homes under contract last month than in any of the past nine Januaries, according to data from the Chicago Association of Realtors.

    Buyers put 1,956 houses, condos and townhouses under contract in January, according to data that CAR released yesterday. That’s a increase of 8.5 percent from the 1,803 contracts new contracts in January 2015 and more than any January since 2008.

    The figure is higher than the contracts in several of the high-season, mid- and late-summer months in 2010 and 2011.

    “That’s not what we expect in January,” said Jean-Marie Minton, a Keller Williams Chicago-O’Hare agent. She was the agent for either buyer or seller on five houses that went under contract in January, three of them in the city. More typical for her is a January with two contracts, she said.”

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  122. I don’t doubt contracts are highest in 9 years. I’m just a guy in the trenches reporting what I see. The low end of the market seems to be booming with many deals involving FHA and barely qualified buyers. I personally four people with one or more foreclosures in the previous decade who are now buying new homes now that the foreclosure has fallen off their credit report. I’m not exaggerating, four people in the last few days. These are people who haven’t saved a dime since the foreclosure, have credit scores in the 600’s and are besides themselves to overpay for some crapshack where they should’t be buying. While I’ve felt for a while that we’ve been in a bubble, I feel with certainty that we are now officially in a bubble, but things won’t start to slow down significantly until probably the final year of Trump’s presidency, which will certainly make reelection an interesting time again. We are due for a recession but it won’t be like the GFC, it’ll be a more run of the mill recession. These bubbles last longer than one would think.

    As as for my H1-B comment above, there are tens of thousands of them in SF and the valley; its just that they work 80 hours a week so you don’t seem them and they aren’t dating ‘Emma’ from Janesville, WI living in big city SF. The H1-B’s are a large percentage of the single men’ not the crazies anon(tfo) was referring to.

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  123. One last thing, I truly feel bad for these people who overpaid for their home last decade, lost it all in the bust, and here we are again, back at the trough of home ownership, overpaying again. These people learned nothing and forgot nothing. Sure, I often think my purchase at the bottom was just luck and great timing; because no one believes me when I said the bust was coming. They said I was too poor to buy when in fact I was just keeping my powder dry. But seeing these unfortunate former homeowners again paying waaaaaay too much, not more than 10 years after losing it all because they paid too much, I want to believe that it’s more than just luck, because these new homebuyers must be the unluckiest buyers in the history of the world to buy twice during bubbles.

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  124. Regarding Chicago contracts…check out my contract graph at the link above. I have the data going back several years.

    The Crain’s article is interesting because their number for January is very close to my attrition adjusted number – i.e. I didn’t think they were adjusting for attrition. But I have 1873 contracts for last January. Nevertheless, I did point out in my post that it was the highest January in 9 years. But if you look at the moving average line it’s really not that impressive. I think we’ve plateaued.

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  125. “The H1-B’s are a large percentage of the single men’ not the crazies anon(tfo) was referring to.”

    yeah the crazies are the married folks

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  126. “I don’t doubt contracts are highest in 9 years. I’m just a guy in the trenches reporting what I see. The low end of the market seems to be booming with many deals involving FHA and barely qualified buyers.”

    The lower end is definitely selling really fast. With rates low, people want to buy and not rent.

    BUT- on this blog- I cover mostly the GreenZone and properties that wouldn’t be on the lower end of the spectrum and they are going under contract just as quickly. So it’s not like those $500,000 homes aren’t selling quickly as well. Just look at areas like Portage Park. $400,000 bungalows sell fast.

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  127. “As as for my H1-B comment above, there are tens of thousands of them in SF and the valley; its just that they work 80 hours a week so you don’t seem them and they aren’t dating ‘Emma’ from Janesville, WI living in big city SF.”

    Why aren’t they dating “emma” from Janesville, WI? Wow. The racist comments on this site are astounding.

    I dated men from Germany, Australia and Britain when I was in the Bay Area. Tons of German men live there! And yes, there are plenty of Indian, Pakistani, Chinese men as well. Not all are H1-B. So the Germans wouldn’t date Emma? Lol. Pulease.

    And how many women work in the Bay Area on the H1-B visas? You’re assuming they’re all men. I work with a woman here in Chicago who was an H1-B visa so it’s pretty sexist to assume they’re all men.

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  128. “Why aren’t they dating “emma” from Janesville, WI? Wow. The racist comments on this site are astounding. ”

    Sabrina, this is not racist. It’s fact. There are tens of thousands of young indians in the SF area on H1-B visas, mostly men. Infosys HB-1’s are roughly 20% women, 80% men.

    I venture to say that there’s not much inter-dating between the midwestern transplants like Gary’s daughters and the H1-B visa crowd. Not because of race, but because of culture, and they don’t have much in common, and some of them may even have families back at home. Does it happen, sure! It is very uncommon, absolutely.

    I’m sure HH could find a truly racist comment to make but I don’t appreciate being called a racist for a comment that merely reflects the reality of the H1-B visa program.

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  129. “I’m sure HH could find a truly racist comment to make”

    He can make a racial comment out of *anything*. A discussion of aquarium fish? Why not!

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