Monday, March 22, 2010

More of the same

Nothing new. Markets held their bid all day despite little news that wasn't Healthcare related. Talk of prospective Al Qaeda attacks in the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden/Suez Canal shipping lanes pushed oil up further again today to a little over $81/barrel.

* This story on the crashing 2nd home market in Nevada is pretty interesting to anyone long waterfront/vacation property in NNY. Things never got as bubbly up here as they did down South and out West, but it's pretty clear that assessed values have at least doubled in the past 7 yrs in NNY for waterfront property and these trends tend to revert to the mean over time.

"Incline is also a Mecca for libertarian millionaires drawn by the absence of a state income tax. Unfortunately, they also possessed the financial sophistication to buy trophy waterfront homes, extract cash-out refi’s all the way up, invest the proceeds in the stock market, and lose it all in the subsequent crash.

The result has been a meltdown of Biblical proportions in the housing market. Of the 8,000 homes in the village, 400 are for sale at distressed prices and another 400 or more discouraged sellers hang over the market. Brokers report a brisk business in short sales, foreclosures, and sales on the Washoe County Court House steps at prices down 60%-70% from the 2006 peak.

Jumbo financing is now an extinct species, unless you’re happy to pay a 250 basis pint premium over conventional loans. So the high end market has ceased to exist. One fabulous property on tony Lakeshore Drive, with every imaginable upgrade (a heated driveway, beveled glass windows, an elevator, and a fireplace in the bathroom?), originally listed at $14 million and sold for $4 million.

Some properties have been on the market so long that snow drifts have collapsed balconies, the local wildlife have moved in, and prospective buyers are scared away by offensive odors. Break-ins by black bears have become a serious problem. Abandoned homes see their pipes freeze and burst, causing irreparable damage."

I'd really like to have a home with a heated driveway at some point --- or maybe live in a climate that laughs at such a concept.

* Another day, another police spending spree - Phoenix gets $4 million plane.

"The pressurized plane, which has a capacity for nine passengers and two pilots, is in a hangar at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport. In the next few months, a few seats will come out and it will be fitted for a special camera and a viewing monitor that will allow officers to conduct surveillance above 9,000 feet. The additional equipment will cost about $600,000, also coming from bond proceeds."

* Weird news of the day - another reason to stay married - Wife wins $9 mil from alleged mistress.

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