News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 22-23, 2014

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Continuing My Chats With Noah Smith – Ludwig von Mises Institute Canada

2) The Realities of Real Estate: The pros and cons of a pool – CapitalGazette . com: Realities Real Estate

3) CARY: Agents say school caps hurting local real estate | Wake County | NewsObserver . com

4) Typhoon Rammasun incurs huge economic losses in China – Xinhua | English . news . cn

5) [Good advice:] ReZamp Real Estate: It is a scientific fact! – Better photos sell homes quicker

6) Investigators say overloaded bins on roof of Omaha plant caused deadly building collapse | Fox Business

7) AXIOMETRICS: Concession Rate Lower While Apartment Market Remains Strong

8) 7 Tips for Landlords When It's Time to Raise Tenant Rents

9) Subsidized Housing by the Numbers – Housing Finance

10) Wilmington couple charged with arson, insurance fraud – WECT TV6-WECT . com: News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

11) Canandaigua man convicted of arson, more in Saltonstall Street fire – News – Victor Post – Victor, NY

12) Missouri man pleads to lightning rod scam | KOMU . com | Columbia, MO

13) Chandler owners of Greer cabins in hot water with state real estate regulators – Phoenix Business Journal

14) Steve Keen's take on BIS report & Barry Eichengreen talks Fed & regulation – YouTube

15) Earthquakes: nature's most destructive force – Market News – Lloyd's

16) Who's Watching the Watchmen? RMBS Trustees Come Under Fire as Investors Launch Next Wave of Lawsuits | The Subprime Shakeout

17) UK house prices fall for the first time this year – Telegraph

18) Despite Successes, Blight Still Threatens Detroit's Future – Urban Land Magazine

19) Four years after passage, House keeps trying to kill Dodd-Frank | Center for Public Integrity

  1.    Continuing My Chats With Noah Smith – Ludwig von Mises Institute Canada

    Interesting point by Robert P. Murphy:

    The one main idea of Noah's critique is that (he alleges) Austrian economics was wedded to the prediction of large consumer price inflation, and since that hasn't happened, it means honest Austrians must admit their theories are either wrong or vacuous. Yet as I and others have repeatedly tried to explain to Noah, there was nothing about "Austrian economics" per se that predicted large consumer price hikes. Indeed, as Noah himself admits in other contexts, Austrian economics per se doesn't make empirical predictions—that's either its virtue or its vice, depending on your methodological views.

    This really isn't a desperate ex post attempt to deal with a failed prediction. Plenty of prominent fans of the Austrian School were arguing with me (and others) in the early days of QE, for example, saying I (and Peter Schiff et al.) were wrong about our warnings of imminent consumer price inflation.

    We think the "plenty" there might not represent a significant percentage, but the point that Austrians don't do empirical predictions is perhaps well-taken.

    That said, we still think anarchy is ultimately really chaotic. Robert P. Murphy fancies himself an anarcho-capitalist.

    As for the asset bubbles, they are real. The Austerians do see them because of their Austrianism. Obviously, we see them too but aren't Austrians, not even close. Our prescriptions differ greatly.

    Add your comment.


  2.    The Realities of Real Estate: The pros and cons of a pool – CapitalGazette.com: Realities Real Estate

    When we moved from Eastport to West River in 2013, our new home came with an in-ground pool. The pool hadn't been in service for many years, so it needed to be repaired and rejuvenated. We didn't have any burning desire for a pool, but given the hot, humid summers around here, there was some appeal to experiencing this aspect of home ownership. So we decided to fix it, rather than fill it in.

    Since neither of us had previously owned a house with a pool, there was a lot to learn. We have had some previous encounters with pools in helping buyers and sellers on property that included a pool, but now that we had one in our own backyard, it was necessary to take the deep dive on exactly how one would fit into our lifestyle.

    So, we thought it would be helpful to give people thinking about building a pool or buying a house that includes one, the benefit of our experience.

    Add your comment.


  3.    CARY: Agents say school caps hurting local real estate | Wake County | NewsObserver.com

    Bob and Mary Patel became more fond of a 2,300-square-foot house in Morrisville the more a real estate agent showed them around.

    The living room was spacious, the kitchen had nice countertops, and a back deck offered seclusion from an otherwise dense neighborhood.

    Then they found out about the local school situation.

    Cedar Fork Elementary, a mile down the street from the house, is capped because of crowding. Students who move in would likely be sent to Carpenter or Weatherstone elementaries, which are a little farther away.

    The Patels don't have young children. But the cap was a dealbreaker nonetheless.

    Add your comment.


  4.    Typhoon Rammasun incurs huge economic losses in China – Xinhua | English.news.cn

    Direct economic losses caused by super typhoon Rammasun amounted to 26.55 billion yuan (4.32 billion U.S. dollars) in south China, official figures showed on Sunday.

    Add your comment.


  5.    [Good advice:] ReZamp Real Estate: It is a scientific fact! – Better photos sell homes quicker

    Do you use a great camera and quality software plus have the knowhow to produce rental stills and videos, or do you hire a pro?

    Better photos sell a home quicker and there is also a higher perceived value for the home.

    On homes priced under $300k, I take photos myself using a DSLR camera with HDR functionality. These cameras cost around $500+, but they are well worth it. You will also need HDR editing software which starts about $100.

    Here is an example of a shot BEFORE doing HDR.

    Behind the Scenes Twilight Photography from Bryan Schiele on Vimeo.

    Add your comment.


  6.    Investigators say overloaded bins on roof of Omaha plant caused deadly building collapse | Fox Business

    Ownership and management is responsible for plant safety. We don't know the facts here. We only know what's alleged. Be sure you don't cut safety corners in your business!

    Overloaded storage bins on the roof of an Omaha livestock feed manufacturer's plant caused the building collapse that killed two people in January, federal investigators said Monday.

    Add your comment.


  7.    AXIOMETRICS: Concession Rate Lower While Apartment Market Remains Strong

    With homeownership out of reach for so many and so many choosing a renter's lifestyle anyway, apartments are rather hot even with more construction. However, how long can this keep up without higher wages?

    IN THIS ISSUE

    YTD Effective Rent Growth Still Strongest of Recovery

    Higher Rents, More Revenue

    Rents Soar in San Jose

    Add your comment.


  8.    7 Tips for Landlords When It's Time to Raise Tenant Rents

    …let us suggest some things for you to consider when rent increases are in order that might help minimize the risk of driving out your tenants.

    Add your comment.


  9.    Subsidized Housing by the Numbers – Housing Finance

    There were 5.2 million units subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), serving 10 million people in 2013, according to a new HUD report.

    Add your comment.


  10.    Wilmington couple charged with arson, insurance fraud – WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

    WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A Wilmington couple is facing arson and insurance fraud charges after investigators say they intentionally set fire to their home on May 12.

    Add your comment.


  11.    Canandaigua man convicted of arson, more in Saltonstall Street fire – News – Victor Post – Victor, NY

    Canandaigua, N.Y.
    CANANDAIGUA — Samuel Crawford of Canandaigua was convicted of three counts of arson, one count of attempting insurance fraud and one count of conspiracy Thursday afternoon in Ontario County Court. According to testimony in the trial — including a taped confession — Crawford conspired with his wife and a friend to burn a Saltonstall Street home his wife owned.

    Add your comment.


  12.    Missouri man pleads to lightning rod scam | KOMU.com | Columbia, MO |

    Beware the door-to-door lightening-rod insurance salesman.

    A 52-year-old Missouri man has been sentenced to probation in a lightning rod insurance scam that targeted elderly residents.

    Add your comment.


  13.    Chandler owners of Greer cabins in hot water with state real estate regulators – Phoenix Business Journal

    A Chandler couple has received a cease and desist order from the Arizona Department of Real Estate for allegedly conducting unlicensed property management activities involving cabin rentals in Greer, Arizona.

    The state real department alleges the Diepstratens are running afoul of state real estate regulations because they are not licensed real estate brokers and property managers.

    Add your comment.


  14.    [164] Steve Keen's take on BIS report & Barry Eichengreen talks Fed & regulation – YouTube

    [@ 4:24] Erin sits down with Steve Keen to get his take on the latest BIS report and their criticism of monetarist solutions to our economic woes.
    [@ 15:16] Erin brings you part two of her interview with Dr. Barry Eichengreen. They discuss the Chinese yuan, capital controls, and the Federal Reserve and regulation.

    Add your comment.


  15.    Earthquakes: nature's most destructive force – Market News – Lloyd's

    They're a daily occurrence, and while the mildest tremors go unnoticed, the most violent tear the countryside apart, reduce cities to rubble and generate terrible personal and economic losses. Better buildings, infrastructure and emergency responses all play a key role in mitigating earthquake risk.

    Statistics show the deadliest ten earthquakes between 1980 and 2012 killed more than three quarters of a million people, while the ten costliest over this period generated losses of $557bn. Less than 15% of this was insured. What is perhaps most concerning about these figures, is the difference between where the biggest fatalities and the highest costs arise.

    Although three of the costliest temblors happened in New Zealand, they resulted in relatively few fatalities. In one of the earthquakes no one died, in the second one person died, and in the third 185 people lost their lives. The 2004 earthquake in Haiti, however, saw 222,570 fatalities — but did not feature in the top ten costliest earthquakes. Not only do the least developed countries bear the heaviest human toll — they also have the least cover in place to get them back on their feet. Swiss Re estimates the insurance contribution to the Haiti quake was 1% of the total loss, while the industry covered 81% of the losses in the 2010 earthquake in New Zealand.

    Add your comment.


  16.    Who's Watching the Watchmen? RMBS Trustees Come Under Fire as Investors Launch Next Wave of Lawsuits | The Subprime Shakeout

    Isaac Gradman:

    The face of RMBS litigation took a dramatic turn last month when the focus of aggrieved mortgage bondholders moved beyond seeking recompense from the large banks who packaged and sold defective mortgage loans, and began targeting the other large banks that were hired to protect investors from such wrongdoing. On June 18, 2014, a large group of investors that includes BlackRock and PIMCO filed six largely identical lawsuits in New York State Supreme Court against the six most prominent mortgage bond Trustees: Bank of New York Mellon ("BNYM"), U.S. Bank ("USB"), Wells Fargo, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC. The lawsuits collectively target over 2,200 residential mortgage-backed securities Trusts with an aggregate original principal balance of over $2 trillion, and alleged losses of over $250 billion.

    The article goes on to discuss the background in great detail for a blog post.

    Add your comment.


  17.    UK house prices fall for the first time this year – Telegraph

    Asking prices in Britain have fallen for the first time this year as stricter lending rules, looming interest rate rises, and the distraction of the World Cup cool the rampant housing market.

    This house price wobble is seen by the property portal as a seasonal dip during a traditionally quiet time of the year, that will pick back up in September, driven by a lack of housing stock.

    But development across the UK has slowed in the last few months due to a lack of available land. "When they [good quality sites] do become available there is now a stampede of both domestic and overseas developers wanting to buy…Often overseas investors who don't know the market so well, overbid for the site, so the domestic developer misses out," said David Galman, director at Galliard Homes.

    Add your comment.


  18.    Despite Successes, Blight Still Threatens Detroit's Future – Urban Land Magazine

    "There is no way that this downtown and midtown momentum can continue . . . and great stuff [keep] happening if the vast majority of Detroit's neighborhoods continue to die," Gilbert said. "It's going to collapse. . . . This thing will start going the other way again if we don't get the entire city involved."

    Blight is certainly not unique to Detroit; but perhaps nowhere else in the country is the situation as severe. The national media have so popularized photos of abandoned and burnt homes in Detroit that such images are now known as "ruin porn," Gilbert said. Before jobs creation, education, and crime can be addressed, Detroit needs to engage in serious blight removal, which the task force estimates will cost the city $850 million.

    "It's very similar to a malignant cancer," he said. "You can't remove part of it or it grows back. You have to take the entire thing out. If you don't take it all out, it will absolutely grow back. It's demoralizing."

    Add your comment.


  19.    Four years after passage, House keeps trying to kill Dodd-Frank | Center for Public Integrity

    In 2013, Scott Talbott, then-chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, likened the signing of sweeping financial reforms under Dodd-Frank in 2010 to "halftime."

    Even now, on the fourth anniversary of President Obama's signing of Dodd-Frank into law, bank lobbyists and a core group of lawmakers dubbed by the Center for Public Integrity in April as the "banking caucus," have made it clear that there is still time left on the clock to undermine key provisions in the financial reform law.

    We don't think Dodd-Frank was very good legislation in the face of the Great Recession and the deregulation that caused it. That said, the problem with undermining it is that those who are seeking to do so are bent upon ultimately nothing to replace it but, well, deregulation, which would put us right back where we started. They want as much laissez-faire capitalism (that is anarchy capitalistic style) as they can get others to go along with. It's a terrible idea because the sociopathic among us couldn't care less about ethics or morals standing in the way of them gaining greater wealth, power, and control at the expense of everyone else and while setting the whole system up for complete ruination while claiming the opposite economic schools of thought would do that: ruin the global and domestic economies.

    Add your comment.


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