Saturday, April 28, 2012


The key word is MAY.

Many economists see the easing of foreclosures as the key reason the market may be on the rise.  However, they note, “Banks still retain many foreclosed properties on their books and some analysts have predicted that housing prices could weaken again if lenders dump these properties into the recovering market.”

Lowe’s Daily Real Estate Report for first three months of 2012 says, “Foreclosure filings up in most markets.” This was for more than half of the markets tracked by RealtyTrac, “an early sign that long-dormant foreclosures are coming out of hibernation in many local markets.”

The foreclosures referred to above are only part of the shadow inventory, and more people who are “underwater” may do short sales or be foreclosed on in the near future.  Ris Media points out that one of several factors holding back a major turnaround in the housing market is, “the huge number of homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth leaving them essentially stuck in their properties.” 

One good sign is that Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index of 20 US cities shows the steady shrinking in recent months of a year-over-year decline in home values.  Ris Media says, “analysts note that prices have stablizied and sales volume has been gaining.

DataQuick of San Diego reported that, “statewide the notices of default had a 17.6% drop from the same period last year.”  One of the early callers of the housing crash, Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics said, “What are important are sales and inventory, and those are pointing in the right direction… I would say that by the end of the year, they should translate into better prices.”  As reported in this blog recently, NAR Chief Economist said that by the end of the year prices might rise by 10%.  Zillow predicts a 5%+ price rise by the end of  the year.

Some promising factors for home sales include low interest rates and the availability of bargain-priced properties, and a prevalence of investors buying up, fixing up and renting out former foreclosures.  New home sales, with last year being their worst on record, are up 16% for the first three months compared to 2011.  Now we will wait to see what happens to some or all those shadow inventory foreclosures.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Friday, April 13, 2012


Stretching from Swinton Avenue to the Intracoastal Waterway, encompassing10 city blocks, the Delray Affair will be open starting at 10 am and Fridays and Saturdays to 6pm, Sunday to 5 pm along eastern Atlantic Avenue.  

Eight hundred of the best artists, crafts persons and photographers from all over the US will be participating. Delicious foods will be available. The area will only be open to pedestrian traffic.  Included will b 5 food courts, two beer and wine gardens, live music and strolling street performers.  This is Delray’s BIGGEST PARTY, and this is the 50th anniversary of this annual event.  Admission is free.

Ora Sorenson as selected as the artist for the commemorative poster.  The landmark Colony Hotel is pictured with a stalk of pretty gladiolas.  The festival evolved from the original Gladiolas Festival.

The Downtown Roundabout Shuttle will provide free round trip service 9 am to 8 pm on Atlantic Avenue from the Congress Avenue TriRail station to the Public Library, just west of the event.  See map for parking garages.

Attendance may top 300,000 people, 66% of whom attended in past years.  Forty-five percent are over age 54, 73% are Palm Beach County residents. The event generates $21MM in economic activity and has an advertising budget of $180,000, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Yesterday, job fairs for military veterans took place in New York, Chicago and Fort Hood, Texas.  In New York the job fair was held at the Intrepid Air & Space Museum.  There, over 5000 veterans and military spouses connected with more than 100 employers.  A total of 23,000 veterans and military spouses attended Hiring Our Heroes events.

Companies came with job opportunities in hand, including rock band KISS.  They received over 500 applicants for their roadie job.  Comcast was there. NBC Universal pledge to hire 1000 veterans over the next three years.

Over 400 more job fairs are being held across the country. and are holding virtual career fairs for veterans and military spouses; over 19,000 people applied online.

The campaign was held by the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Chamber Foundation and Capital One, which has pledge $4.5MM to support job fairs and workforce training initiatives.  NBC has promoted this effort.
Andrea Mitchell reported that the veteran unemployment rate was 12.1% last year.