The ridiculously expensive converted condos a block away from us have apparently not been able to sell many units by using the sign flipper guys, or draping a giant banner on the front of the building that is visible from the freeway. This calls for the big guns – a big ole yellow blimp flying from the top of the building, with “CONDOS!” emblazoned on the sides of it. I’ve been wondering what the next step in this war will be. I’m going to put my money on “Free Dinner at Rubio’s With Walk-through Tour!”, written on a flipped sign, thrown from a guy suspended from a blimp.
Professor Piggington lays the smack down on “Report: San Diego housing bubble a myth”, a San Diego Source story on yahoo:
“I’m not sure what I’m more confused about: why the Grinch is attending a Phish concert, or why somebody thought that would make me want to take out a mortgage.”
This LA Times story titled “Mortgages take a bigger bite”, has some choice crazy quotes:
When Rancho Cucamonga buyer Seth Rowlands qualified for a loan to purchase a three-bedroom fixer for $370,000, his lifestyle took a major hit. Because he used all of his available money to buy the home, with little cash left over, the Century 21 agent is sleeping on an air mattress and has yet to buy appliances and furniture. “For the first four months after I bought the house, I came home from work and ate dinner in my car,” Rowlands said. “I made home-buying a goal. If I have to sacrifice and struggle, it’s worth it, knowing I have a home.”
CNN Money takes a look at crazy loans:
Lenders are pushing risky loans with low payments. Desperate home buyers snap them up. Worried yet?
Even Mr Irrational Exuberance has wieghed in on the housing market:
“The housing boom will inevitably simmer down,” Greenspan said in the prepared remarks. “As part of that process, house turnover will decline from currently historic levels, while home price increases will slow and prices could even decrease.”
I give Greenspan a hard time, but he did the right thing today – keeping up the gradual raising of interest rates for the Federal Reserve. He was under pressure to slack off because of Katrina, but inflation and excess credit demand higher rates.
Update: The Economist has a good piece on the Fed’s concerns, and other central banks around the world.