Property Grunt

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Taking a step back.

If you are looking to me for an analysis of the current credit crisis, I suggest you go this link on Curbed. There are far more knowlegeable people than I am who can give you the run down on what is going on.

It appears things have steadied according to this article. But then again it depends on your perspective.

One of the mantras of finance is that the stock market goes up and the real estate market goes down and vice versa. But it appears that these two markets are so intertwined and it has become a whole new ball game where the imploding real estate market is harshing the stock market's mellow.

I have read commentors relishing the fact there maybe a huge round of layoffs in Wall Street and there maybe rent reductions if people break their leases and there are too many vacancies.

First of all the last thing you want is for people in Wall Street to get laid off. If that were to occur it would create a chain reaction that would have negative consequences for everyone. I will give you an example.

Let's say you are a fresh faced kid who has finished up a Masters degree. You decide you want to become a corporate trainer and mold the greenhorns coming in from business school on how to be polite corporate raiders in order to avoid lawsuits. So you email your cover letter and resumes to all of the big corporations in town. In response you get jack diddly squat.

But why did that happen in a town brimming with capitalism? Simple. None of the companies are hiring anyone to train. In fact some of them are planning a huge round of layoffs. What are they going to do? Spend money to teach employees how how to be unemployed?

Rents going down? I don't think so. First of all if a landlord has rent stabilized apartments in their portfolio, they are going to take every effort to raise rents. Because once they break $2000, they are no longer shacked by rent stabilization rules and can charge market rates. If there is a massive exodus of residential tenants, I can see landlords giving concessions like a free month of rent, but I hardly see them lowering the rent because the lower the rent, the harder it is to make the mortgage payment.

Alot of you are wondering where is that ascerbic wit? Where is the tirade? Getting soft Grunt?

There is nothing to gain for me to rehash my previous entries about how screwed we are and crazy the real estate market is. We have already hit the proverbial iceberg and at this point we have to figure out whether to abandon ship or somehow salvage what we have. Bottomline, we need a new firing solution because what is happening now is not working.

Am I scared? When the Fed and a bunch of other governments of the world begin to dump gobs of cash to stabilize the markets, I think it would be stupid not to be a little concerned.