Archive for November 2011

Those Foreclosure Activity Numbers Don't Mean What You Think They Mean

Those Foreclosure Activity Numbers Don't Mean What You Think They Mean
Every month the media, and I as well, dutifully report on foreclosure activity as tracked by RealtyTrac. And although the numbers are clearly qualified, I suspect that we all tend to vaguely interpret them as representing the number of properties entering the foreclosure process. But that’s not what the numbers really mean at all. In... Read more »

Second Price Reduction For Playboy Mansion Condo

Second Price Reduction For Playboy Mansion Condo
Hugh Hefner moved out of the famous Chicago Playboy Mansion at 1340 N State St. in 1974 to spend all his time at the Playboy Mansion West, donating the Chicago mansion to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Then in 1993 a developer restored the mansion and converted it into 7 condos. Unit... Read more »

Winning A Trump Tower Condo Not So Great For Staff Assistant

Winning A Trump Tower Condo Not So Great For Staff Assistant
I just read the Tribune article about Deborah Robertson, a Baltimore staff assistant for the Social Security Administration, that just won a condo in the Trump Tower in an HGTV contest. My first thought was that her excitement is very short lived. Of course she is delighted right now. After all, the Trump Tower is a... Read more »
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Proof That Capitalism Has Failed

I originally got the idea for this graph from an email sent to me by a friend. I later learned that the graph came from Erick Brockway’s blog. He had plotted the S&P 500 but I decided that GDP per capita was more meaningful and that data was available over a longer time period. During... Read more »

Fiserv Outlook: Home Prices To Decline Slightly Until Second Half 2012

Fiserv, a financial services technology company that generates the Case Shiller Home Price Index, released their Home Price Insights yesterday. In a nutshell the release had two main points: They are forecasting that home prices, at a national level, will fall 3.6% during the year ending in mid-2012 and will then rebound by 2.4% over... Read more »

Chicago Foreclosure Activity Not That Bad - Relatively

Realty Trac just released their October foreclosure report and, although it shows a slight month-over-month uptick for Chicago and the nation – 7% for both, it’s really insignificant. As you can see in the graph below, these numbers bounce around quite a bit and Chicago foreclosure activity in 2011 remains well below the levels of... Read more »
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Will Record Low Home Inventory Levels Support Prices In Chicago?

As I’ve said before, there is only so much pain that Chicago home sellers can take. At some point they just give up and stay put – or become reluctant landlords. Based upon recent inventory trends it sure looks like that time is here. At the end of October the months of supply of 2... Read more »

Underwater Mortgages And Higher Delinquency Rates

Underwater Mortgages And Higher Delinquency Rates
In case you needed to hear more bad news about the Chicago real estate market two reports came out yesterday that continue to paint a rather grim picture of area homeowners.   46.2% Of Chicago Area Homes Are Underwater Zillow issued their 3rd quarter home value report and it showed that nationally 28.6% of homes... Read more »

October Another Weak Month Of Home Sales In Chicago

In two weeks the Illinois Association of Realtors will release their home sales stats for Chicago for the month of October and they will once again trumpet the increase – this time 8.7% – over last year. But the truth of course sounds like a broken record: last year at this time sales had been... Read more »
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Government Price Controls Mandate Higher Compensation For Loan Officers

Government Price Controls Mandate Higher Compensation For Loan Officers
It seems that the damn government just can’t keep their hands off the economy. Of course, with such a great track record, can you blame them? The bureaucrats love to believe that they can micromanage any aspect of any industry but in reality there’s no getting around the laws of economics or the law of... Read more »