News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Aug. 2, 2014

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Burlington begins tracking 'nuisance properties'

2) Why China's Economy Can't Pop Its Real Estate Bubble

3) Is the housing boom over? UK property prices rise by smallest increase in 15 months | UK | News | Daily Express

4) Why Real Estate Market Data May Obscure Real U.S. Trends – Investors com

5) Are apartments taking over the Triangle? Real estate pros talk it out at Tomorrow's Real Estate – Triangle Business Journal

6) Bond markets face the heat – YouTube

7) Multifamily Mid-year Outlook 2014 – Finding a New Normal – YouTube

8) The Employment Situation – July 2014 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

9) [Recommended] The Chinese housing bubble deniers are wrong – OC Housing News

10) Middle class poorer than in 1984: Housing wealth has crash, debt has risen.

11) Housing: The New Risk Factor – The Capital Spectator

12) The Case For Higher Rates Looks Weak… Again – The Capital Spectator

13) July Employment Report – Tim Duy's Fed Watch

14) Austin hottest real estate market in the US | KXAN com

15) London rents squeeze young people – YouTube

  1.    Burlington begins tracking 'nuisance properties'

    Burlington began a new strategy this summer for tackling possible nuisance rental properties, Code Enforcement Director William Ward said Thursday.

    Ward's office created a list of twelve rental properties with a high number of police calls for "noise, disorderly conduct and alcohol offenses" in the past two years.

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  2.    Why China's Economy Can't Pop Its Real Estate Bubble

    In the short-term, the Chinese government's speedy move to correct falling housing prices represents good news for an economy that depends, to a great degree, on the sector: Real estate fuels between 16 and 20 percent of GDP growth. But China's unwillingness — or inability — to let all the air out of its real estate bubble raises questions about the long-term health of the world's second-largest economy.

    It sure does.

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  3.    Is the housing boom over? UK property prices rise by smallest increase in 15 months | UK | News | Daily Express

    "More stretched house prices-to-earnings ratios, the prospect that interest rates will soon start to rise, albeit gradually, and tighter checking of prospective mortgage borrowers by lenders will likely have some dampening impact on buyer interest.

    "Even so, with the economy seen holding up pretty well going forward, employment high and rising, consumer confidence elevated and earnings growth likely to improve, and with housing supply remaining tight in many areas, house price growth will probably slow gradually."

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  4.    Why Real Estate Market Data May Obscure Real U.S. Trends – Investors.com

    The NAR [National Association of Realtors] is an industry trade group and dependable cheerleader for the residential housing market. Its index has a 30-day lag time, the shortest of the various real estate market reports. It also has the advantage of reporting the number of contracts signed on existing homes, as opposed to prices.

    The NAR has long described the index as a "forward-looking indicator." In reality, the index is simply less backward-looking than any other national housing index.

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  5.    Are apartments taking over the Triangle? Real estate pros talk it out at Tomorrow's Real Estate – Triangle Business Journal

    Are there too many apartment complexes rising into the Triangle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Tr iangle skies?

    It was a hot topic at the Triangle Business Journal's Tomorrow's Real Estate panel, held today at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.

    And panelists didn't have an easy answer.

    Add your comment.


  6.    Bond markets face the heat – YouTube

    This is good analysis given the current circumstances.

    German Bund yields are the lowest in 200 years. Stephen Cohen, chief investment strategist for BlackRock International Fixed Income, discusses with capital markets editor Ralph Atkins the risks of a smooth or sharp exit from easy money regimes.

    Why should you care? Historically, low Treasury yields have led low mortgage rates have led economic recovery: construction employment, etc.

    Add your comment.


  7.    Multifamily Mid-year Outlook 2014 – Finding a New Normal – YouTube

    The multifamily rental housing market is strong. But for how long? Hear what Freddie Mac Multifamily Economist Steve Guggenmos has to say.

    They still aren't building enough.

    Add your comment.


  8.    The Employment Situation – July 2014 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

    The good news is that there isn't any really bad news. The Employment Situation — July 2014 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics):

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction.

    Changes to the Establishment Survey

    Effective with the release of July 2014 data in this news release, the establishment survey began implementing new sample units into production on a quarterly basis, replacing the practice of implementing new sample units annually. There was no change to the establishment survey sample design. More information about the quarterly sample implementation is available at www.bls.gov/ces/cesqsi.htm.

    Household Survey Data

    Both the unemployment rate (6.2 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (9.7 million) changed little in July. Over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons have declined by 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)

    Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women increased to 5.7 percent and the rate for blacks edged up to 11.4 percent in July, following declines for both groups in the prior month. The rates for adult men (5.7 percent), teenagers (20.2 percent), whites (5.3 percent), and Hispanics (7.8 percent) showed little or no change in July. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

    The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.2 million in July. These individuals accounted for 32.9 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.1 mil lion. (See table A-12.)

    The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, changed little in July. The participation rate has been essentially unchanged since April. The employment-population ratio, at 59.0 percent, was unchanged over the month but has edged up by 0.3 percentage point over the past 12 months. (See table A-1.)

    The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 7.5 million, was unchanged in July. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

    In July, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 236,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

    Among the marginally attached, there were 741,000 discouraged workers in July, down by 247,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

    Establishment Survey Data

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, the same as its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. In July, employment grew in professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction. (See table B-1.)

    Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in July and has added 648,000 jobs over the past 12 months. In July, employment continued to trend up across much of the industry, including a gain of 9,000 jobs in architectural and engineering services. Employment in temporary help services changed little over the month.

    Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in July. Job gains occurred in motor vehicles and parts (+15,000) and in furniture and related products (+3,000). Over the prior 12 months, manufacturing had added an average of 12,000 jobs per month, primarily in durable goods industries.

    In July, retail trade employment rose by 27,000. Employment continued to trend up in automobile dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores. Over the past year, retail trade has added 298,000 jobs.

    Employment in construction increased by 22,000 in July. Within the industry, employment continued to trend up in residential building and in residential specialty trade contractors. Over the year, construction has added 211,000 jobs.

    Social assistance added 18,000 jobs over the month and 110,000 over the year. (The social assistance industry includes child day care and services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.) Employment in health care changed little over the month, with job gains in ambulatory health care services (+21,000) largely offset by losses in hospitals (-7,000) and nursing care facilities (-6,000).

    Mining added 8,000 jobs in July, with the bulk of the increase occurring in support activities for mining (+6,000). Over the year, mining employment has risen by 46,000.

    Employment in leisure and hospitality changed little in July but has added 375,000 jobs over the year, primarily in food services and drinking places.

    Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change in July.

    In July, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours for the fifth straight month. The manufacturing workweek decreased by 0.2 hour in July to 40.9 hours, and fac tory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.7 hours for the fifth consecutive month. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

    In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 1 cent to $24.45. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0 percent. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.61. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +224,000 to +229,000, and the change for June was revised from +288,000 to +298,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June were 15,000 higher than previously reported.

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  9.    [Recommended] The Chinese housing bubble deniers are wrong – OC Housing News

    This is going to end badly. I am more convinced than ever that the Chinese real estate market is going to implode into one of the most devastating financial disasters ever recorded.

    We wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be completely correct.

    Add your comment.


  10.    Middle class poorer than in 1984: Housing wealth has crash, debt has risen.

    You're probably aware that a great chunk of America is poorer today than before the housing crash. But recently, the Russel Sage Foundation delivered a reminder that middle-class wealth is in fact still lower than it was a generation ago.

    Add your comment.


  11.    Housing: The New Risk Factor – The Capital Spectator

    James Picerno:

    Housing remains a weak spot for the US economy, as suggested in yesterday's news of a surprisingly large decline in new home sales for June. The report follows last week's update on new residential construction, which also slumped more than expected last month. On a brighter note, existing home sales, which constitute the lion's share of transactions for residential housing, posted a sharper-than-predicted gain for June. Nonetheless, housing's overall profile looks mixed at best. Given this sector's influential link with the business cycle, it's fair to say that housing is a leading risk factor at the moment.

    People can't buy houses on low wages, and the mortgage industry can't churn out junk anymore (at least not until the wild Ponzi scheme/deregulation artists take over again).

    Add your comment.


  12.    The Case For Higher Rates Looks Weak… Again – The Capital Spectator

    James Hamilton:

    …the economic profile is still too weak to support higher rates. You can argue, as many do, that it's all a mirage and that the Fed is artificially holding down long rates. Maybe, but that argument is weak once you consider that private holders of Treasuries include investors the world over and Fed policy doesn't preclude those investors from selling and driving up rates.

    True.

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  13.    July Employment Report – Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Tim Duy:

    If these numbers can hold up for the next several months, you will see the year-over-year number gradually converge to the Fed's target, clearing the way for the Fed's first rate hike in the middle of next year (my preference remains the second quarter over the third).

    That's provided there aren't any major geopolitical or other problems and provided housing and construction become truly solid (very questionable).

    We think wage rates matter most while reducing slack.

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  14.    Austin hottest real estate market in the US | KXAN.com

    New numbers provide further proof, Austin is the hottest real estate market in the country.

    The capital city is now No. 1 in the country for fast home sales, with 40 percent of homes selling within seven days. The average is 10.

    Average sale prices are cresting too, running about $60,000 more than Texas cities like Dallas, Houston and San Antonio with no significant slowdown in sight.

    Add your comment.


  15.    London rents squeeze young people – YouTube

    The soaring cost of London living is pushing the finances of young people to the brink. Katie Morley reports on how a number are now starting to question how much longer they will be able to call the UK capital their home.

    Add your comment.


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