Property Grunt

Friday, June 05, 2009

Roll Call: More of the same

Here is another roll call folks.

Geithner Rents Westchester Home After Failing to Sell

June 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is renting his home in Westchester County, New York, for $7,500 a month after failing to find a buyer, according to data on the Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service Inc.

Geithner, 47, was trying to sell the brick and stucco Tudor-style home, the listing shows. The house on Maple Hill Drive has five bedrooms, about 3,600 square feet, and an eat-in kitchen with Siematic cabinetry and black granite countertops.

“Careful attention has been paid to the design of every feature of this sophisticated home,” according to the listing.

Larchmont is a suburb of Westchester and from what I understand it does not have the brand recognition of Scarsdale or Rye, however what has happening to Geithner is indicative of what is happening to all of Westchester.

That is why I take the following message from NAR with a grain of saly.

Pending Home Sales Up for Three Months in a Row

Barry Ritholtz begs to differ and he has good reason to.

Leave it to the NAR to focus on the wrong portion of their own data: As we have seen since Housing peaked some 4 years or so ago, the more significant data is the year over year changes in contract signings. The index is based on sales contracts on existing homes (mostly excluding REOs and foreclosures).

And in April, the PHSI actually improved 3.2% from April 2008. To be certain, this is a step in the right direction.

In the past, we have mostly ignored the monthly improvement when the overall number was negative. As the NAR note themselves, “There is a closer relationship between annual index changes (from the same month a year earlier) and year-ago changes in sales performance than with month-to-month comparisons.”

However, take the the PHSI up 3 months in a row, and the positive annual change as a positive incremental improvement. Not the beginning of a new bull market for houses, but a potential signs things are stabilizing.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an NAR release if there wasn’t something nonsensical in it — this month, the emphasis is on the “NAR’s Housing Affordability Index being is in record territory.”

As we so conclusively demonstrated some time ago, the NAR’s Housing Affordability Index is rather useless.

When I was at the Edge Party, I remember seeing the Mr. Knakal talking shop. Someone asked how the market was, I don't remember his response, however the expression his face pretty much summed up this report.

Chairman Commentary: 1Q09 NYC Investment Sales Extraordinarily Abysmal

I’ve been selling investment properties in New York City for 25 years and have never seen anything like the low level of sales that the market experienced in the first quarter of 2009.

The argument is that there is someone other with money who needs to park it somewhere. But will it be in New York City? I think eventually it will happen. For you investors out there, keep watching and looking for bargains, but I hope you have a lot of capital on hand because mortgage standards have tightened up.

It appears that bankruptcy is the new black.

Bankruptcy filings rise to 6,000 a day as job losses take toll

The guy who took the role that was supposed to go to Bruce Lee has passed away. In a sense it may have been a good thing since that was one of the straws that broke the camel's back and convinced Bruce to go back to Hong Kong and the rest is martial arts superstar history.

Is this too soon?

They don't think so


We at blacklava give much love and respect to David Carradine as a fellow actor and human being.

In light of David Carradine’s recent passing, we realize that the Poser shirt can be interpreted in many different ways. I know this because of various discussions with friends about the positive (creating new possibilities) /negative (dwelling) perception of the design especially with his recent death. I’ve chosen to leave the shirt up on the site because, from where I stand, at this moment, I feel that the shirt holds true to my viewpoint independent of his passing. Having said this, I would like to offer some clarity on my intention with the design so there is an understanding that I do not think David Carradine is evil or wrong in his choice to play the character nor am trying to disrespect him in anyway. He did what he did. It really could have been anyone. The intention of the shirt was to create a tongue-in-cheek visual commentary on the choice to use a Caucasian man in a role of an Asian or Half Asian character. Yellowface. This was the 1970s. It’s what happened and simply a reminder. With this reminder, we place it in the past where it belongs and can now move forward and create new possibilities for Asian Americans and minorities in all aspects of entertainment.

Rest in peace David.

Ryan Suda
Blacklava Clothing