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Lower Rents

By someone else follow someone else   2008 Jan 17, 12:12am 24,976 views   318 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    

for rent

Given the record level of empty housing, rents seem to be falling in most parts of the country.

But my own rent went up for the first time in 5 years recently. Though it's still lower than it was when I first moved in during the dot-com bubble. I got a good rent reduction after the crash.

Rents should respond basically to employment and salary levels, but I don't see employment or salaries improving much around me in the SF Bay Area.

Any idea what's going on? Sometimes I suspect that the press writes about rising rent, and then landlords actually do raise it just because they think they can.



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279   ozajh   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 18, 2:28pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

DinOR @ 9:22 am,

How about Pay Down Consumer Debt?

My EXACT thought as soon as I heard about the rebate proposal.

For a couple facing 20% plus rates on their credit card debt, $1600 = $25:00 a month less interest.

That's worth having, and (to reluctantly give her some credit) it's what someone like Suze Orman would recommend in a heartbeat.

Trouble is, that behaviour has a lousy multiplier.

280   ozajh   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 18, 2:35pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Also, since I've been offline for a few days, has anyone analysed how the California numbers issued by DataQuick this week change expectations about next week's Existing Home Sales data?

It seems to me that the YOY Western Region EHS Median could be a real shocker, since last year December Prices increased over November.

281   cb   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 18, 2:56pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You, on the other hand, are beyond reprehensible. Now I know why so few of the regulars seem to post anymore, with the choads and jackasses seemingly having taken over.

Thanks Randy, I really don't know why people keep responding to ex-sv renter.

282   ozajh   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 18, 3:14pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

DennisN @ 4:39,

Many, many years ago I suggested in a casual forum that a reasonable proxy for inflation would be to only pay tax on 50% of interest received.

On the other side, of course, you would only be able to deduct 50% of interest paid.

Much to and fro discussion, leading to a general consensus that this would be much fairer than the present system, but also that it would be a revolutionary change to the current business paradigm and there would be truly traumatic changeover problems.

283   Claire   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 12:47am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The problem with the proposed handout is not only do the government want people to go out and SPEND it, but let's face it, a lot of people have already spent that amount and then some on their credit cards for Christmas and just because they DESERVE it!

That money for a big number of people (at least in CA) does not even cover one months mortgage, let alone most of our rents here. So what is it really going to achieve - except maybe seem as though the government is actually doing something?

284   Claire   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 12:52am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

As for rent increases - let's face it - our landlords are going to be feeling the pain of increased gas prices/food prices etc, so of course they are going to want to increase their rents, especially if they have not increased their rents in awhile.

However, whenever my landlord increases his rent on us, we suddely have a lot of things that he needs to come and sort out and fix for us :-)

285   culady   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 12:56am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

If your collecting welfare or some type of gov. assist. are you gonna get a refund/rebate too? If thats the case then give it back to the working class in our 2007 tax refunds or reduce my balance owed!

286   anonymous   ignore (null)   2008 Jan 19, 1:11am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

RandyH - the KKK never fired on the OH state patrol. You are citing an event that never happened.

If it had, yes, that is reprehensible and the people who actually fired on the OH state patrol should be tossed into a wood chipper.

However, since it never happened, it's kind of moot, isn't it?

287   anonymous   ignore (null)   2008 Jan 19, 1:17am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Any IRS refund coming to me will go straight to my account with the IRS, so I'd not expect to see any of this.

Which is fine with me. I've got things trimmed down so far, I'm kind of hard to hurt financially.

Anyone on gov't assistance can probably expect to have taken with one hand what was given by the other, so I'll be very surprised if this windfall helps the really and truly poor.

What it DOES help is the cell phone company, the gas stations, the landlords, etc. And it's temporary, it may pay someone's rent for one month but it means they'll just be out on the street one month later than otherwise.

It does not change the fundamentals of the economy. An outright ban on Chinese made products would convulse the economy for a while, but would mean that Americans would make their own shoes and things again, which would vastly improve the fundamentals.

288   Randy H   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 2:31am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

1997, Clinton County, Ohio. Near Dayton. The gunman was suspected to be a prominent klan leader, living in New Vienna, Ohio.

Check your facts asshole. If you'd like, we can go to the cemetery in Wilmington where I'll show you the grave, fucktard. In fact, there's a whole web site dedicated to the "conspiracy" between the KKK and the Ohio State Patrol claiming it was all a gov't setup.

@Patrick, isn't this piece of flotsam worthy of banning? What value does he add, and how much does he detract and drive away anyone with half a conscious?

289   PermaRenter   ignore (20)   2008 Jan 19, 2:38am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Someone needs to say something about this!

http://www.fakepaycheckstubs.com IS THIS LEGAL? No wonder why we have the subprime mess we have when lenders USE FAKE DOCUMENTATION to help PUSH the loan through Quickly SO THAT EVERYONE DOWN THE FOOD CHAIN (from loan processor to the loan officer to the actual lender) can make the commissions they "WERE" making during the booming 90's!!! Now we are BAILING OUT THESE CROOKS....SOUNDS LIKE the good ol' 1980's Savings and Loan BAILOUT DAYS to me! http://www.fakepaycheckstubs.com see it with YOUR OWN EYES!

290   PermaRenter   ignore (20)   2008 Jan 19, 2:38am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Someone needs to say something about this!

http://www.fakepaycheckstubs.com IS THIS LEGAL? No wonder why we have the subprime mess we have when lenders USE FAKE DOCUMENTATION to help PUSH the loan through Quickly SO THAT EVERYONE DOWN THE FOOD CHAIN (from loan processor to the loan officer to the actual lender) can make the commissions they "WERE" making during the booming 90's!!! Now we are BAILING OUT THESE CROOKS....SOUNDS LIKE the good ol' 1980's Savings and Loan BAILOUT DAYS to me!

291   DinOR   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 3:10am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


292   DinOR   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 3:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


I seem to have lost a post there but if you... have to blame someone for "running off" astrid you should blame me. It was an argument over something that's already become mainstream thinking (but wasn't at the time) and she took offense to the way I handled it.

If anyone has contact w/ her I will make a $100 donation to the charity of her choosing (yes even it's PETA!) :(

293   DinOR   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 3:18am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

DennisN, Malcom FAB and others!

Thanks for your candor regarding the CGE issue.

294   Brand165   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 3:57am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

DinOR, the astrid scuffle was unfortunate. But I've been meaning to ask you, what's with... the Captain Kirk... posting thing? :o

295   PermaRenter   ignore (20)   2008 Jan 19, 5:48am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

>> the problems with the medical industry are yet another song on the ‘Boomers Rule America’ soundtrack.

Great TRUTH. Thanks for speaking out!

296   HeadSet   ignore (2)   2008 Jan 19, 5:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


Since people are asking about your old posts, exactly how did you get a blow to the head at a wedding?

297   Malcolm   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 19, 7:29am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ron Paul got 2nd place in Nevada! 13%!

298   Brand165   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 7:59am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The Original Bankster says: Also most Boomers followed a normalized life path ... I think the powers that be prefer to give them the money because they are far more predictable.

Or b), the "powers that be" are elected by this homogeneous group of people, and those representatives give their key demographic everything they want. Which is really how a democracy is supposed to work.

Generation X and Y don't have it bad. If things were bad, those "kids" would get off their asses and vote. The absence of their voting implies one of two things--either that they approve of the status quo, or that they're lazy, in which case they're getting what they deserve.

299   OO   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 8:09am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

It doesn't matter what the boomers want, cutbacks in medicare benefits is inevitable.

The same thing has already happened in Japan. When recession hits, birth rate will take a dip, we won't be an exception. This inverted population pyramid means we will have even less tax revenue to support the current Medicare benefits.

Japan is a much more seniority-centered society than us. Even so, younger generations are skipping pension payments (even the ex-prime minister himself was caught not paying into the pension system). Medicare benefits for elderly is scaled back because there is simply not enough working young to support the dying old. People's attitude towards old people changed quite a bit in Japan, elderly were originally revered and respected, now they are seen as a burden. More Japanese families than ever are sending their "useless" elderly into homes, which was seen as a disgrace in Asian culture.

We will get there, it just take a few more years.

300   OO   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 8:24am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

What really disgusts me currently is the abuse of Medicare benefits for all sorts of fancy operations on a dying population with very few years of expected residual life span while the younger generation are not even fully covered by medical insurance, this is very sickening. Worse still, after we pay for these dying population, we will have nothing left for ourselves.

The medical system can be one of the following and I will have no complaints.
1) universal coverage for catastrophic events for all age groups
2) no government coverage for all, and everyone's on his own with private insurance

but why should I be paying into a broken system that is guaranteed to go bankrupt when I retire and only benefits a certain dying age group?

For example, implantable defibrillator device (ICD) usually costs more than $20K just on the device alone. The lobby groups were publishing all sorts of papers arguing that elderly and very elderly should not be excluded from ICD implantation. But is it normal to have ICD implanted on a chronic heart failure patient who is 85 years old? The hopeful result is, his life may be prolonged by 2.5 years max, and most likely he will incur further medical and hospitalization cost in that period. Is it worthwhile to add on average several months of lifetime to a very old man with all sorts of co-existing conditions for $50-100K (device, hospital charge, follow-up consultation etc.)? My answer is NO. If that man has that kind of money and he would like to pay for it himself, kudos to him. If that man has to live on my dime, I'd rather let him go.

301   Brand165   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 9:07am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Isn't that chick worried that her ass is going to rupture if she sits down too hard? I'd be really worried about splinters, too. I really hope that's an altered photo, but unfortunately this planet has a tremendous supply of non-fictional stupidity.

TOB: Companies and politicians also pander to boomers because they have a lot more money than Generation X/Y. They're also apt to get into pissing contests with other boomers over things like granite countertops. Like my mom--so far behind in her unmatched 401(k) that she should probably never retire, yet wanting to buy granite veneers for her kitchen counters (mostly because my uncle got them, IMO).

302   SP   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 9:41am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Brand said:
I really hope that’s an altered photo

I have a plug-in on my browser which shows a list of images if there are other files with the same naming pattern. When I clicked on TOB's link, it listed Imagen016.jpg, Imagen017.jpg and Imagen018, which seem to be a series. Doesn't appear photoshopped, though you can't tell easily these days.

In any case, if the photo was not doctored, the butt was. :-) Seems to be a bit of a hack job, either way.

303   Claire   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 9:46am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Has anyone checked out RealtyTrac recently? I did for Los Altos, Mountain View and Sunnyvale - Los Altos and Mountain View are starting to show foreclosures NOD's etc, not many but probably a year ago there wouldn't have been any - of course Sunnyvale is gettting tons and the further towards East Bay the more you get.

Has anyone else been following these - you can get their website to map them all for your area and I found it heartening for those of us who have showed fiscal prudence and not taken on risky and/or fraudulent housing loans.

Of course I still hear this area is different for Mountain View and Los Altos and the rents are going up - so any further eveidence people have of this area weaking would be greatly appreciated!

304   Malcolm   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 19, 11:50am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

To correct some of Brand's misinformation:


Voter turnout has pretty much had a constant trend of about 20% less for under 30 year olds since the 70s, which were supposidly the politically active boomers. I'm gen X dead center and could only legally vote since about 1990 to put a time marker in the data.

The difference between generation participation is basically insignificant throughout the decades with only the 90s having any noticeable drop. I guess gen X has learned to be more involved since the numbers went back up since.

The middle chart has some even more telling stats for the modern day breakdowns of social participation.

While boomers always vote 53% of the time verses gen Xs 34%, WWII gen always votes 72% showing a consistent 20% difference as you move down the age brackets until you get to gen Y, roughly 10% less than X.

As you look further down the charts the other statistics are even more interesting. Basically one can conclude from the data that voting participation has remained somewhat stable throughout the decades, but for other measures of social activities comparing Boomers to the younger generations, the activities have almost no significant difference in present day. Literally single digits represent the differences. If you factor just the available time and wealth, one can argue gen X and Y are likely to be as active or even more active in social activities than their boomer parents are now or were when they were similar ages.

305   Brand165   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 12:45pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Malcolm: What you're stating is a truism. People tend to vote more as they get older. Right now the boomers are getting older, the "WWII generation" is dying out, and Generation X is (theoretically) coming into its own. I fail to see where I stated any misinformation.

I maintain that if something were systemically wrong for Generation X/Y, they would be attacking the polls en masse, creating a statistical anomaly. If anything, your graph supports my point. Everything is approximately the status quo, with no temporary or permanent deviations from mean.

Perhaps in a separate post we should discuss how absolutely pathetic the median has truly become (or has always been). If 2/3 of any eligible generation doesn't vote, how fair can any democracy truly be? Fairness in that case can only be determined by participation, not by argument.

306   Malcolm   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 19, 12:59pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

First, to be clear, I do not think you are intentionally trying to mislead anyone. I just believe your conclusion is in error.

The chart clearly supports my point in that in 2004 the same percentage of under 30s voted as in 1976. As to you point about people tending to vote more as people get older as the norm, that is my point as well. It evidently is not that a particular generation is more active than another. Ironically you're saying I'm wrong and then mirroring my conclusion.

Then, respectfully, your conclusion about attacking the polls in higher numbers if there were something systemically wrong falls short. Your generation had way more social upheavals than mine did yet the voting levels for the under 30, as mentioned, is exactly the same as some 30 years prior. In order for your logic to work you would have to conclude that boomers were satisfied with the status quo and so gen X/Ys are just as happy with the system since the voting rate is 'currently' the same as it was. By definition boomers were not satisfied with the status quo hence the proudly worn lable of the 'counter culture.'

307   Malcolm   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 19, 1:02pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

label ~sp

308   Jimbo   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 3:06pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

There are still bursts of good stuff, but it’s often drowned out by misogynistic and/or racist crap. I miss the “good old days.”

Yeah, I stopped posting and reading about that time, too. I was accused of being "bitter" the last time I posted: the only thing I have to be bitter about is the decline in this blogs quality, which for a while, was one of the best on the Net.

DinOR,. I passed your message on to astrid, she will reply if she feels like it. I still owe her some photos of the tomatoes I grew from the seeds she sent me.

309   Jimbo   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 19, 3:10pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The Chronicle today reports that Bay Area rents are up 9.4% in the area and up 14.5% in San Francisco since the end of 2006.


They might be falling in some areas, but they aren't falling here. Noe Valley rent growth as been strong, too, as far as I can tell:


310   DennisN   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 19, 4:49pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

If 2/3 of any eligible generation doesn’t vote, how fair can any democracy truly be?
Well those 2/3 people DID express their opinion: "we don't care much who wins".

I was one of the first sub-age-21 voters after the ratification of the XXVI Amendment back in 1971, and in fact ran the UC Santa Cruz students for Dick Nixon in 1972 - a thankless job if there ever was one.

The student radical types were much too busy complaining and stirring up trouble to take the time to register and then vote. How else do you explain Nixon getting 60% of the popular vote in 1972?

It's often said that Americans don't vote in the percentages of people in other countries. I suspect this is do to voter fatigue. In California people are confronted with thick books of ballot propositions and have to vote for huge numbers of positions.

I'm writing a book and therefore am doing research on politics in the UK. In the UK, the average voter only gets to vote for two guys: his member of parliament and his local town/city counselors (what we would call supervisors). Even his local MAYOR is appointed by the central government. The average UK voter would be astonished if presented with a US-style sample ballot with everything from the school board on up as a directly-elected position.

311   DennisN   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 19, 4:55pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

replace "do" with "due"

312   DennisN   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 19, 5:17pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Here's a news link from the town of Star (a 1-horse town west of Boise).


313   skibum   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 20, 1:21am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The SF Chronicle is now starting to put out those, "what to do when your house sits on the market" articles targeted to stubborn sellers:


Maybe the REIC-MSM "team" is finally starting to systematically target sellers in order to juice up sales...

314   DennisN   ignore (1)   2008 Jan 20, 2:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


That article states in regards DOM "for the Bay Areas it's hovering at 48 days as of November 2007, the most recent data from the California Association of Realtors." I wonder whether that includes only REAL SALES or just dropping/relisting etc. 48 DOM for sales sounds pretty good all things considered.

315   Randy H   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 20, 2:35am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

It ignores re-listings. Clearly. I'm not sure there's a clear way to track re-listings. Zip did it for a while, but that quit working well some time back. Zillow allowed you to deduce it before they sold out to the REIC.

I believe there's still something to creating a persistent, MLS tracking database that keys off of external identifiers not within the realtor's grasp.

316   HelloKitty   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 20, 6:31am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I know someone who manually tracks mls listings in excel for his target area. Nothing gets by this way, relistings, expired never sell, short pay, forclosure sell - if it pops up in mls you track it.

If you are serious about buying, your area would be very small and the number of 'real' new listings poping up isnt that large - very easy to to see the homes relisting 5 times, dissapear a while, and come back. But if you only check the mls every now and then you will miss this. Also you will see foreclosures disspear before the trustee sale - then MAYBE reapper as reo in a few months (somes pocket foreclosure listing sells outside mls, sometimes the bank is happy to let REO rot away vacant).

317   skibum   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 20, 8:46am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dennis (and Randy),

Yeah, relistings are a huge problem skewing DOM. It's hard for me to be able to estimate how much effect it has on the stats, but my guess is quite significant.

MLS being a "local" monopoly on information, in other parts of the country, listings can't be re-listed and called a "new" listing unless it stayed off the market (off MLS at least) for at least 30 days.

318   Randy H   ignore (0)   2008 Jan 20, 9:03am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tracking your search target area yourself is something most everyone does. But you don't come close to capturing *everything* that way. I've been following Mill Valley/Corte Madera and surrounds for almost 3 years now. And I'm very serious about buying, despite the fact realtors love to say "you're not serious about buying" whenever someone balks at bubble prices. I love that, by the way. Sort of like "bawk bawk bawk, whaddya chicken??" Sure, I'll forfeit my family's future because some realtor taunted me.

Anyway, most people search actively for a couple, few months, then take a short break, then re-engage. During those gyrations, lots of MLS shenanigans slip through your personal "Excel" filter. And, even if you managed to capture every single listing you only have data relevant to the day you start, not historically useful data so you can spy trends and regressions.

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