Daily Archives: June 25, 2010

Well this is funny – now it’s realtors who are the (secret?) realists

Compared to home sellers, anyway.

The real estate business seems to attract born optimists, or at least folks who can put on a good act in that regard.

So the latest HomeGain survey of market attitudes among real estate agents and homeowners is revealing.

A survey of 900 Realtors across the country found that 75 percent of the homeowners they are working with are haggling over their recommended listing prices, arguing their homes are worth more. Oh my, how things have changed.

But there is an even bigger divide when it comes to the direction of home prices over the next several months.

Nearly a third of 3,500 homeowners polled believe prices will go up in the next six months, compared to just 20 percent of agents and brokers, HomeGain reports.

By contrast, 33 percent of agents and brokers expect home prices to fall in the next six months, compared to just 23 percent of homeowners. The numbers, when broken down regionally, are even more telling, with 37 percent of real estate professionals in the Northeast betting on further price declines, significantly above the national average.

All this is interesting – and it’s quite a role reversal.

Still, I wonder how many agents are sharing this newfound realism about the market with their clients instead of putting on the old happy face?

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Well it’s summer time at last and doesn’t that bring back memories!

Giving new meaning to the term "snow cone"

Who among us can forget “Angelo”, the charming, gentle man who toured Riverside and Old Greenwich during the sixties, dispensing snow cones, popsicles and fatherly advice, all with a twinkle and a smile. We all adored Angelo, we lined up to hand him our nickles and dimes and we were devastated when he was busted: turns out, he’d been moving heroin from the Bronx to Bridgeport in that truck of his, hiding kilos of the stuff  underneath the fudgicles and rainbow rockets.

But he never made a mistake: you ordered a vanilla/chocolate bar, you got a vanilla/chocolate bar, not an eightball. Angelo was careful like that.

Anyway, in tribute to Angelo and summers long past, I thought I’d dig up Tom Lehrer’s paean to his own neighborhood’s hero, “The Old Dope Peddler”

When the shades of night are falling,
Comes a fellow ev’ryone knows,
It’s the old dope peddler,
Spreading joy wherever he goes.
Ev’ry evening you will find him,
Around our neighborhood.
It’s the old dope peddler
Doing well by doing good.

He gives the kids free samples,
Because he knows full well
That today’s young innocent faces
Will be tomorrow’s clientele.
Here’s a cure for all your troubles,
Here’s an end to all distress.
It’s the old dope peddler
With his powdered ha-happiness.

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/tom_lehrer/#share

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Another bank bites the dust

Employees at  USA Bank (Port Chester, Fred Decaro’s project) have been instructed to appear for mandatory staff meeting at 5:00 PM today and to bring their files with them. Bye bye.

(Update: apparently not true, or at least, the staff meeting was NOT for the purpose of meeting with the FDIC – stay tuned)

UPDATE II: Thanks to a reader, here’s a link to the FDIC’s findings of fact: I stand by my source, and this pretty much confirms the dire straits in which USA Bank is foundering:

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Fortunately. our Hartford legislators are of the fiscal discipline school

Bloomberg: 46 states are in deep, deep trouble.

Even as the U.S. appears to be on the mend — gross domestic product has climbed three straight quarters — finances in Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and other states show few signs of improvement. Forty-six states face budget shortfalls that add up to $112 billion for the fiscal year ending next June, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington research institution. State spending is 12 percent of U.S. GDP.

“States are going to have to cut back spending and raise taxes the same way Greece and Spain are,” says Dean Baker, co- director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “That runs counter to stimulating the economy and will put a big damper on the recovery in the latter half of this year.”

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