Tag Archives: foreclosures

Another 2020 contender: Bill de Blasio says “There’s plenty of money in NYC, it’s just in the wrong hands”

The mantra of every elite socialist and ill-informed, government-educated proggie.

From NY Post: Burnishing his progressive credentials, Mayor Bill de Blasio portrayed himself as a protector of the working class on Thursday — while proposing a redistribution of wealth — in his sixth State of the City address.

“Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands,” said de Blasio, who owns two homes and collects $258,750 a year as mayor.

“You haven’t been paid what you deserve for all the hard work. You haven’t been given the time you deserve. You’re not living the life you deserve. And here is the cold, hard truth: It’s no accident. It’s an agenda,” he continued, blaming Republican presidential administrations from Reagan to Trump.

The mayor proposed initiatives to level the playing field between the haves and have-nots — such as seizing buildings from bad landlords, expanding the Department of Consumer Affairs to include “worker protection” and offering medical care to 300,000 illegal aliens.

But critics pointed out the mayor’s corporate handouts.

“I thought there was something a little contradictory when he talks about having a city with a whole lot of money where workers don’t get their fair share and how we’re going to start to be more fair and more equitable,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said.

“The irony there is that you’re giving $3 billion away to Amazon [in city and state subsidies],” Diaz continued, adding that he supports the online retail giant’s plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, but not the financial incentives offered to it.

Hizzoner also promised to confiscate land from scofflaw landlords and turn the seized properties over to nonprofits under a newly created Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.

“When the city’s worst landlords cheat their tenants, we will take their buildings away from them,” he said in the 67-minute speech at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side.

“If fines and penalties don’t cut it, we will seize buildings and put them into the hands of a nonprofit that will treat tenants with the respect they deserve.”

The details were not announced, but the plan is modeled on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Third Party Transfer program, which forecloses on properties that have fallen into serious disrepair or are behind on taxes.

It was one of many mayoral ideas that recycled existing programs or proposals de Blasio couldn’t push through during his first five years at City Hall.

The Department of Consumer Affairs will be renamed the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to help freelancers and contract workers get paid quicker while enforcing paid-sick-leave laws and worker vacation requirements. Such activities already largely fall under its purview.

He also re-upped a 2016 proposal to create a public retirement system for the 2 million New Yorkers who do not have employer-sponsored savings programs. The plan stalled three years ago due to federal rule changes, but the city is taking another stab at it now that Oregon got one up and running and Seattle is moving in that direction, city officials said.

The city’s version would require employers to either offer retirement to all employees or auto-enroll them in a city-run retirement system.

De Blasio also pledged to expand pre-K for 3-year-olds to 20,000 by 2019 instead of 19,000 by 2021, while also extending a program that gives free vision checks and glasses to 5- and 6-year-old schoolchildren.

The city expects about 33,000 kids to get the glasses, supplied free by the eyeglass-making company Warby Parker.
The mayor, whose own eye has shifted outside New York as he seeks to raise his national profile, plugged his previously announced plan to expand the city’s MetroPlus public health care system as proof that New York is a progressive bastion battling a regressive national current.

“This country has spent decades taking from working people and giving to the 1 percent. This city has spent the last five years doing it the other way around,” he said.

He also took shots at Albany over the state of the city’s subways, although his gripes may have fallen on dead ears.
“I am not listening to it right now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told WNYC on Thursday. “I’m in Albany.”


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Attn sheeple: U.S. economy is NOT improving

Design by Anthony Freda

Yesterday, I woke up to the news that Obama’s approval numbers are risen to 50% — 1 of every 2 Americans! The reporter attributes it to the improved economy.
What improved economy?
I know most Americans mainly rely on the MSM for their news, if they do even that. But sometimes I want to tear out my hair for their sheeple-ness (with apologies to sheep).
The plain truth is that the U.S. economy is NOT improving. Here are the reasons why:
1. That much ballyhooed news last week that U.S. unemployment has decreased to 8.3% in January (from 9%) is deceptive. See why, here. The 8.3% jobless rate also doesn’t include those 88 million (!) working-age Americans who are long-time unemployed and who no longer even try to find a job. Fewer and fewer Americans now work. The percentage of people participating in the labor market fell to 63.7% last month, the lowest level since May 1983. (H/t Joseph)
2. Foreclosures are on the rise again. A new report from RealtyTrac says 1 in every 624 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing in January, up 3% from the previous month.  Foreclosure activity froze in many states in 2011, due to processing delays after fraud, or so-called “Robo-signing,” were uncovered in the fall of 2010.  The thaw is now on.
3. Another city in California, Hercules, just went broke. The Hercules Redevelopment Agency, which as of February 1, 2012 no longer exists, went into technical default on its February 1 bond interest payment of approximately $2.4 million. Earlier in 2008, Vallejo, the largest city in Solano County of the S.F. Bay Area, had filed for bankruptcy. San Diego, San Jose and other California cities are on the verge–or already there but refuse to admit it.  LA and San Fran are running up a one billion deficit over 3-4 years.
4. The most troubling indicator of a not-improving economy is the drop in U.S. gasoline and other energy consumption. As pointed out by astute analyst Charles Hugh Smith:
“The basic thesis here is that petroleum consumption is a key proxy of economic activity. In periods of economic expansion, energy consumption rises. In periods of contraction, consumption levels off or declines.
This common sense correlation calls into question the Status Quo’s insistence that the U.S. economy has decoupled from the global ecoomy and is still growing. This growth will create more jobs, the story goes, and expand corporate profits which will power the stock market ever higher.”
But the chart below “shows the U.S. consumed about 21 million barrels a day (MBD) at the recent peak of economic activity 2005-07; from that peak, ‘product supplied’ has fallen to 18 MBD. The current decline is very steep and has not bottomed.
This recent drop mirrors the decline registered in 2009 as the wheels fell off the global debt-based bubble. Those arguing that the U.S. economy is growing smartly and sustainably have to explain why petroleum consumption looks like 2009 when the economy tipped into a sharp contraction…. [G]asoline has declined about 700,000 barrels per day from 2007, from 9.2 MBD to 8.5 MBD in November 2011. This represents about a 13% decline.

Consumption of other energy has also tanked. As seen in the chart below, “Not only has electrical consumption never recovered the levels of mid-2008, it peaked in mid-2011 and has begun a sharp decline in late 2011.”

Smith concludes: “Clearly, electrical consumption is in a downtrend with no recent historical precedent. Those claiming that U.S. growth is sustainable and the Dow is heading for 15,000 must square their rosy projections with sharply declining energy consumption. The two simply don’t match up.”
Which leads to the question of why the ginned-up rose-tinted view? Here’s Smith:
The task of the financial/political/media Status Quo is to convince Americans to overlook the abundant evidence of economic deterioration and focus on heavily juiced “evidence” of robust “growth.”
The game plan is this: if the Status Quo can convince you that the economy has righted itself and from here on in everything will get better and better, every day and in every way, then we will abandon financial rationality and start buying homes we can’t afford on credit, cars we can’t afford on credit and boatloads of stuff from China that we don’t need on credit….”
So there you have it:

  • 88 million Americans have dropped out of the job market and are not even included in the Obama administration’s unemployment statistics.
  • Home foreclosures are on the rise, again.
  • Another city in California has gone belly up.
  • America’s energy consumption is tanking.

That is not a picture of an improving economy!
See also “Many of You Will Not Believe Some of the Things Americans Are Doing Just to Survive.”

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U.S. housing crash worse than we were told

The bursting of the U.S. housing bubble began the Great Recession of 2007 — a recession that continues to this day, despite the ever-obliging media’s trumpeting of a small improvement in unemployment numbers, an improvement that will turn out to be seasonal from Christmas retail hires. Now comes news that the housing crash is actually much worse than what we’ve been led to believe.

Homes under water

Reuters reports Dec. 13, 2011, that data on sales of previously owned U.S. homes from 2007 through October 2011 will be revised down because of double counting, indicating a much weaker housing market than previously thought.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) spokesman Walter Malony told Reuters, “All the sales and inventory data that have been reported since January 2007 are being downwardly revised. Sales were weaker than people thought. We’re capturing some new home data that should have been filtered out and we also discovered that some properties were being listed in more than one list.”
California-based real estate analysis firm CoreLogic says sales could have been overstated by as much as 20%.
On December 23, 2011, the Wall Street Journal reports that the NAR said that, due to shifts in the housing market that weren’t detected until this year, it had over-estimated home sales by 14.3% between 2007 and 2010, meaning that 2.9 million fewer homes sold during those years than thought earlier. But the NAR insists that there are fresh signs that housing is improving.
Alas, four days later on Dec. 27, 2011, Julie Schmit of USA Today reports that U.S. home prices continue to fall. Home prices were down 3.4% in October from the same time last year, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index of 20 leading U.S. cities. Prices were also down from September, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, in 19 of the 20 cities the index covers.
And those prices are expected to continue to fall. A Zillow survey of 109 top housing experts indicates that U.S. home prices will decline until late next year or early 2013.
Economists have identified at least two factors hampering home prices:

  • Negative equity. About 22% of homeowners with a mortgage owe more on their homes than they are worth. Those people are not likely to move and buy another home, says Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics.
  • Foreclosures. Nationwide, more than 6 million homeowners were late on their home mortgage payment or were already in foreclosure at the end of the third quarter. As more people lose their homes, the distressed sales will put downward pressure on home prices, Newport says. James Saccacio, the co-founder of foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac, expects a “new set of incoming foreclosure waves,” which may roll into the market early next year.

The S&P data shows Atlanta faring the worst among major metropolitan areas with prices off almost 12% year over year, likely caused by foreclosures. Of the 20 cities, only Detroit and Washington posted positive annual returns of 2.5% and 1.3% respectively.
An oversupply of unsold homes on the market continues to stifle the housing sector. Until the housing market improves, America’s economic recovery will remain a chimera.

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New Housing Construction Down 10.6%

The U.S. housing market continues to tank.
The Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the dismal news that privately-owned housing starts last month, April, were 10.6% below March, and 23.9% below the same time last year, April 2010.

Homes under water, the new American Gothic.

The decline in new housing construction is due to so many homes being underwater and in foreclosure.
Supply and demand.
According to data from the real estate information company Zillow, as many as 1 of every 4 homes in America have negative equity, that is, the mortgage owed on the house is more than what the house is worth.
All of which has a depressing effect on home prices: Average home prices in the U.S. are down 8% from a year ago and are falling at about 1% every month.

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27% of US Homes Under Water

Due to declining home prices, more than a quarter of all homes in the United States are under water, i.e., the homeowners owe more on their mortgages than what their homes are worth.
John Gittlesohn of Bloomberg reports on February 8, 2011, that about 15.7 million homeowners had negative equity at the end of the year, up from 13.9 million in the previous three months, the real estate information company Zillow said in a report. The total represented 27% of mortgaged single-family homes.
Tom Lawler, a real estate economist and former risk policy veep at Fannie Mae, issued a warning of a 300% increase in foreclosures “coming soon.” (H/t Joseph)
Here’s a list of counties with the highest percentage of mortgages under water as of September 30, 2010. Leading the nation is Clark County (Las Vegas) in Nevada, where 71.1% of homes are under water. 7 of the worst 20 counties are in Florida; 6 of the worst 20 counties are in California. (source: USA Today):

Rank County State
Mortgages under water
1 Clark Nev.
2 Osceola Fla.
3 Merced Calif.
4 St Lucie Fla.
5 San Joaquin Calif.
6 Stanislaus Calif.
7 Clayton Ga.
8 Orange Fla.
9 Solano Calif.
10 Maricopa Ariz.
11 Washoe Nev.
12 Pinal Ariz.
13 Flagler Fla.
14 Pasco Fla.
15 Riverside Calif.
16 Kern Calif.
17 Broward Fla.
18 Lee Fla.
19 Canyon Idaho
20 Henry Ga.
21 Polk Fla.
22 Hillsborough Fla.
23 Dade Fla.
24 Sacramento Calif.
25 Paulding Ga.
26 Prince William Va.
27 San Bernardino Calif.
28 Brevard Fla.
29 Wayne Mich.
30 Hernando Fla.
Source: CoreLogic


U.S. counties with the lowest percentage of homeowners whose mortgages were under water as of Sept. 30:
Rank County State
Mortgages under water
357 Shawnee Kan.
358 Washington R.I.
359 Buncombe N.C.
360 Boulder Colo.
361 Bucks Pa.
362 Boone Ky.
363 Tulsa Okla.
364 Staten Island (Richmond) N.Y.
365 Linn Iowa
366 Hennepin Minn.
367 Chester Pa.
368 Montgomery Pa.
369 Berkshire County Mass.
370 El Paso Texas
371 Nueces Texas
372 Monroe N.Y.
373 Hampshire County Mass.
374 Sangamon Ill.
375 Oklahoma Okla.
376 Lancaster Pa.
377 Yellowstone Mont.
378 Allegheny Pa.
379 Madison Ala.
380 Benton Wash.
381 Cleveland Okla.
382 Cumberland N.C.
383 Erie N.Y.
384 Manhattan N.Y.
385 Suffolk N.Y.
386 Orange N.Y.
Source: CoreLogic


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11% of U.S. Houses Sit Empty

Sure doesn’t look at an economic recovery to me!
But then I don’t work for the Fraud’s administration.  😉

Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty
By Diana Olick – CNBC – Jan 31, 2011

America’s home ownership rate, after holding steady for a while, took a pretty big plunge in Q4, from 66.9 percent to 66.5 percent. That’s down from the 2004 peak of 69.2 percent and the lowest level since 1998.
Homeownership is falling at an alarming pace, despite the fact that home prices have fallen, affordability is much improved and inventories of new and existing homes are still running quite high.
Bargains abound, but few are interested or eligible to take advantage.
More concerning than the home ownership rate is the vacancy rate. The Census tables don’t tell the entire story, but they tell a lot of it. Of the nearly 131 million housing units in this country, 112.5 million are occupied. 74.8 million are owned, and that’s only dropped by about 30 thousand in the past year. 38 million are rented, but that’s up by over a million year over year. That means more new households are choosing to rent.
Now to vacancies. There were 18.4 million vacant homes in the U.S. in Q4 ’10 (11 percent of all housing units vacant all year round), which is actually an improvement of 427,000 from a year ago, but not for the reasons you’d think.
The number of vacant homes for rent fell by 493 thousand, as rental demand rose. 471,000 homes are listed as “Held off Market” about half for temporary use, but the other half are likely foreclosures. And no, the shadow inventory isn’t just 200,000, it’s far higher than that.
So think about it. Eleven percent of the houses in America are empty. This as builders start to get more bullish, and renting apartments becomes ever more popular. Vacancies in the apartment sector have been falling steadily and dramatically, why? Because we’re still recovering emotionally from the toll of the housing crash.
Younger Americans have seen what home ownership has done to their friends and families, and many want no part of it. Credit has become very nearly elitist. Home prices, whatever your particular data provider preference might be, are still falling.

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