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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NorCo Real Estate Market Worse Now Than Last Year

Though the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors painted a rosy forecast for the housing industry in 2014, the truth has been far worse. It's bad, perhaps at its lowest point in decades. Let me give you the raw numbers in Northampton County.

In 2013, the first three months were pretty bad. Only 1,485 deeds were recorded in Northampton County. But this year, when the boom is supposed to return, the bottom has instead fallen out. During the first three months, only 1,348 deeds were recorded.

But that's nothing compared to mortgages and mortgage-related instruments. During the first three months in 2013, there were 8,127 documents recorded. But this year, it's just 4,948.

Not only are people buying fewer homes, but the credit market is much worse no than it was at this time last year.

The severe winter played a role, according to Greater Pa. Abstract's Tom Castellano. But he also points to new banking regulations. Designed to reel in predatory lending practices, they seem to have hurt people who simply want to buy a home.

It is at times like these that unscrupulous practices begin. I'll have more about that soon.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's browns fault

Anonymous said...

Nobody should be surprised. The govt controlled media paints a rosier picture than actually exists in the US. Those falling off the unemployment system because benefits have expired are no longer counted. Homeless increases. Prices on everything goes up while wages remain stagnant. Taxes and fees increase. Fuel costs eat into expendable income that would drive the economy. Corporations get fat while the workers get fucked.

Anonymous said...

The only new residential development occuring is for apartment buildings and senior/age restricted housing and these projects are few and far between. The housing boom in the Valley is over and has been over for years. It is not coming back. The Valley has become too expensive and congested and not worth the drive to NYC and Philly any more. Couple that with $4/gallon gasoline and you can see how nothing in this area is attractive to that Philly NYC commuter as it was in the late 80's and late 90's through early 2000's. I think it is hillarious how municipalities still treat developers with disdain and contempt and try to extort fees and improvements out of them and then wonder why the area is not growing! Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Banks should have never gotten a bailout. It was the workers tax dollars going to the fat CEOs that preyed on consumers to make more money. Once the bailout happened they then stuck it to the tax payer as loan regulations tighten and now working people who have dents on their credit cannot get a loan for anything.

The people of this country need to wake up from the iPhone coma and get educated to what really is going on here. The mainstream media is total propaganda by the .1% running this country into a facist state.

Time to hold out elected officials accountable to improve our lives. Let's start by not voting for any state congressman against the elimination of property tax!

Anonymous said...

Every single mortgage under $400,000 is a federal loan. Whatever the government touches, it screws up royally. Name the ten most inefficient enterprises in American life and each one is either government run or heavily regulated. Now, the government has taken over health care. That's going real well already.

Anonymous said...

It is probably a good thing that less people are getting loans. Now, the real issue is wage stagnation. People need to earn and save more but those days are over, I'm afraid. People are content to accept the "tough economic" times nonsense business owners are selling them.

Anonymous said...


Every single mortgage under $400,000 is a federal loan. Whatever the government touches, it screws up royally. Name the ten most inefficient enterprises in American life and each one is either government run or heavily regulated. Now, the government has taken over health care. That's going real well already.


Yes, Medicare is a total disaster. The federal highway system, horrible. The US military - weak and powerless. In other words, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

We had the WORST winter in many years, don't you think this had a tiny bit to do with home sales?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sure. But that does not explain a near 50% drop in mtg activity. Also, I've been thrilled bad winters that did not have this effect on housing for this long. I believe that a few are living in la la land. Butost of us are still in a recession.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Butost shoul be "but most". Sorry.

Anonymous said...

The recession, technically speaking, was over in June 2009.

Any pain you are feeling is either your business not rebounding or your business holding profits and not distributing them.

Anonymous said...

the banks ruined the market and are still continuning so. I still believe a lot of folks are still upside down on their mortgages and the banks are not willing to really work with anyone which is a major reason why so many forclosures yet. I have to agree with 6:28

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:14, I believe there is a disconnect in the meaning of the word recession. The housing industry, which is the basis for many other industries, is on the tank. I see it daily. I see people going out of business. I see how little work there is, and on many levels. So I think something is wrong with the definition. It is no longer realistic.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, Medicare is a total disaster. The federal highway system, horrible. The US military - weak and powerless."

Medicare is being gutted to pay for the expansion of Medicaid that is Obamacare, which is an unmitigated disaster. Highways have never been in worse shape and Obama wants to toll them. Our military is a drone throwing paper tiger that's being gutted. Try to keep up and don't believe the sunshine your government keepers are blowing up your ass.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I agree with your first two points about Obamacare and our roads, but we still have the strongest military in the world. That won't last, however, if Obama's plans to gut it are enacted.

Anonymous said...

i find it ironic that the left is the first to blame business for the wealth to the 1% but in actuality, it is the easy monetary policy of the fed under the Obama administration that has allowed all that free cash to flow into the equity markets that allows generation of wealth for the top tier with little or no trickle down.

Small to mid sized businesses are hurting because they are not able to participate in that easy money, yet are saddled with higher regulatory costs via obamacare etc.

mitchell

Anonymous said...

Northampton County made Abe Atiyeh and Jim Gentile very, very happy.

If you can hook up with an elected official who can set you up the money is there.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:46 Wall Street??

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:44 as of this minute, the U.S. military is better funded than the next ten nations militaries put together.

Please turn off Fox and step away form the TV.

As angry as you are at President Obama, it is a smokescreen to hide the fact that America's overall decline really stared with Reagannomics and the idea that you could have all things, the rich could get obscenely rich with no real obligation to society as a whole and all this accomplished with much lower taxes.

He was the father of dumbing down America. he would be proud of you.

Reagannomics destroyed the core of America long before Obamacare came along.

Anonymous said...

"Highways have never been in worse shape and Obama wants to toll them"

Fixing highways costs money, so0mething you teabaggers have said is not allowed.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Obama is Reagan's fault. I think Gerald Ford bears some responsibility as well. And don't get me started on James K. Polk. Everyone knows Obama is the best thing since sex and the air-conditioner. Somebody had to make Jimmy Carter look good, eventually.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:04, did you eat the complimentary mushrooms from the Sean Hannity fan club. Clive Bundy forever!

Anonymous said...

Did you eat the complimentary clams from the Rachel Maddow fan club? That's what happens when you eat shellfish in months that end in R. You start to think Reagan and Millard Fillmore are at fault for Obama's mess. Progress!

Anonymous said...

Friggin' FDR with his Socialist job creation plans!

So many to blame. So few fingers to point with.

Anonymous said...

Annual property taxes pushing $8,000-$10,000+ for the standard 2,500-3,000 sq. ft. 4BR "family" type home on a small lot that sells for ~$325,000 in places like Palmer or Forks sure aren't helping things. Not really cheaper than Warren county NJ anymore. The generation of people currently under age 30 or so doesn't want these houses, I don't know who will.

Anonymous said...

This blog is a lot more lively before 4:00 PM, when the county goldbricks run for the exits after blogging all day in lieu of the work they were supposed to be performing.

Anonymous said...

Not arguing the health of the RE market Bernie, you have a point there.

A big part of the decline in mortgage filings was that mortgage rates rose and refinancing activity plummeted. Here's a good article on it:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-home-loans-20140426,0,4288446.story#axzz30QbNEErM

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks, I guess the point here is to acknowledge that we have a problem. My simplistic identification of cause is inadequate.

Anonymous said...

The golden age of America was the Progressive era of the early 20th century.

The saddest chapter is the new corporate oligarchy of power supported by people who have no sense of history. They have been brainwashed by hate filled media and opinions held out as facts.

Anonymous said...

The elimination of glass steegle in the 90 s under Clinton and a republican Congress allowed investment banks into the housing game coupled with cheap money from the fed and the community reinvestment act and a shaky job market due to Nafta it was bound to blow. Now they tried to fix it and its too hard to get a mortgage. But they left the investment banks in place. We be screwed.

tom cooper said...

The saleable properties, while living sometimes get damaged due to repair of plumbing, electric repairs and weather etc. In such condition it is difficult to sell the property. Foreclosed homes in nj, have a team that can offer solutions to one who is having damaged property.

Anonymous said...

the banks ruined the market and are still continuning so. I still believe a lot of folks are still upside down on their mortgages and the banks are not willing to really work with anyone which is a major reason why so many forclosures yet. I have to agree with 6:28

The "upside down" mortgage is only an issue if you are looking to sell or trying to make a house an investment. If someone stays in a house for a reasonable amount of time, the mortgage will get paid down and the value will rise. I don't see this as an issue. The buyer agreed to pay a price and that burden doesn't change simply because comparable houses are selling for less.

Anonymous said...

11:14, I believe there is a disconnect in the meaning of the word recession. The housing industry, which is the basis for many other industries, is on the tank. I see it daily. I see people going out of business. I see how little work there is, and on many levels. So I think something is wrong with the definition. It is no longer realistic.

An economic recession is a measure of the increase in economic growth in the economy as a whole. The economy is growing - why that doesn't translate to home sales can be any number of factors - mainly that business owners are holding profits and not increasing wages.

Anonymous said...

@ 842 But the question was --the market is worse than last year--So why? My belief is the banks have a lot to do with it due to the new lending issues that they now have to abide by which is causing less Buyers to qualify -hence -Seller's have to lower they're asking prices to try and sell. All kinds of reasons why the Sellers are selling but its my belief that if the banks were lending -Buyer's would be buying and values would increase. Thats NOT happening-hence-Real Estate Market is definity worse than last year

Anonymous said...

Here is a real wild speculation. Maybe it is because there are not many "real" jobs out there. Most minimum wage jobs are held by people 34 years old and older. The folks in many "good" jobs are nervous as the social compact between employer and employee is no longer in existence. Money talks, everyone else walks.
Part-time jobs are in, fulltime jobs are pout.

In the new American economy of the 21st century many people fear a 20-30 year commitment on a mortgage when you can be dumped from work without notice. Also when many people are getting by , by juggling two or three part=-time jobs.

Welcome to the new America.

Anonymous said...

Years ago my husband worked 2 jobs and I worked part time while he stayed with our children. Our one charge card was for energies. Real ones. Cash only and home cooked meals. We didn't take a penny from the taxpayer and never thought to. We knew we would eventually do better because we weren't stupid or entitled and we were willing to work for whatever the pay was at the time. It is expensive to stay home and live on entitlements. They have more then we did with all of our jobs and hate those who pay their bill because they might have more.

Right now any job is scarce. Owners are hoarding because they are Leary of the future. I don't blame them. Things are bad out there. I see what BO sees.

And our military is paying the price as are our veterans. But you keep thinking they just have it all....

Also did a poor person ever hire any one of you who complain about business owners. Their first duty is to themselves and should be. Bring back Glass Stegall.

Anonymous said...

Years ago my husband worked 2 jobs and I worked part time while he stayed with our children. Our one charge card was for energies. Real ones. Cash only and home cooked meals. We didn't take a penny from the taxpayer and never thought to. We knew we would eventually do better because we weren't stupid or entitled and we were willing to work for whatever the pay was at the time. It is expensive to stay home and live on entitlements. They have more then we did with all of our jobs and hate those who pay their bill because they might have more.

Right now any job is scarce. Owners are hoarding because they are Leary of the future. I don't blame them. Things are bad out there. I see what BO sees.

And our military is paying the price as are our veterans. But you keep thinking they just have it all....

Also did a poor person ever hire any one of you who complain about business owners. Their first duty is to themselves and should be. Bring back Glass Stegall.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie , I'll go on your record here: I EXPECT TATAMY to surpass almost any venue in the 2 years for increase of sales. OLD PETER> I will even wager.

Anonymous said...

Im sick and tired of all you dems and repubs blaming one party or the other. We are all here because of both party's bad policies over the last 40 yrs.Just stop the nonsense.Nothing will ever change as long as you have a two party system in this country.And both of these party's will never let a third party to be formed.There needs to be term limits and that will never happen.So guess what ho hum, ho hum.Until you have a revolution by the people in this country nothing is ever going to change.

Anonymous said...

Im sick and tired of all you dems and repubs blaming one party or the other. We are all here because of both party's bad policies over the last 40 yrs.Just stop the nonsense.Nothing will ever change as long as you have a two party system in this country.And both of these party's will never let a third party to be formed.There needs to be term limits and that will never happen.So guess what ho hum, ho hum.Until you have a revolution by the people in this country nothing is ever going to change.