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concrete guy

concrete guy
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  • Builders Prepare For A Blowout Spring Selling Season [View article]
    I'm deeply concerned that Obamacare with its huge "tax" increases on the middle class (mainly large premium and deductible increases) will slow, if not stop, the mean reversion in housing. The coming fallout from implementation of the employer mandate is, in my opinion, under-appreciated by most economic prognosticators.
    Jan 18, 2014. 01:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Housing Recovery Will Be Lucrative In 2014 [View article]
    In my view the fly in the ointment is the massive "tax" increase the middle class will see in 2014 as a result of Obamacare. Less disposable income will equate to fewer home and car purchases. The economic shock coming when the employer mandate hits is underappreciated by most pundits.
    Dec 23, 2013. 08:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weak Housing Starts Don't Signal The End Of The Housing Recovery [View article]
    SF starts were roughly unchanged. MF starts fell dramatically.

    Based on personal experience, it's my opinion that it wasn't the rain, but rather the extreme difficulty getting new tracts of land zoned for apartments that caused the decline. Virtually all of the projects zoned for MF that were sitting idle in 2008 and 2009 have been fully developed. Attempting to get portions of SF developments rezoned to allow MF development will bring out 200 neighbors with pitch forks to city council meetings.

    Take my hometown (Bloomington, IL) as an example. There were at least 800 apartment units constructed in the last 4 years on land that had the proper zoning issued prior to 2008. Today there is only one small lot left in the entire town with the proper zoning. The local paper has reported at least a dozen failed attempts by local developers to rezone business tracts or SF tracts to MF in just the last year.
    Jul 17, 2013. 03:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is New Home Construction Lagging? [View article]
    There's a simple reason for the lag in new construction.......the banks won't loan for spec homes. If a builder doesn't have a ready buyer with good credit, a large down payment and a house plan that appraises, then he won't be building anything.
    Jun 20, 2013. 02:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Starts And Building Permits Disappoint [View article]
    Note that starts were down in the Northeast and Midwest regions only, not the south and west. In May, the Northeast and Midwest regions received record or near-record rainfall.

    I'm in the residential foundation construction business in Central Illinois. The rains delayed numerous starts for my company.

    On a side note...I'm happy to report that we have the largest backlog of work since the spring of 2008. Look for starts to jump back up in June.
    Jun 19, 2013. 12:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Still Bullish On Housing [View article]
    I anticipate that the very modest "recovery" will be killed by Obamacare and the vastly higher health insurance premiums that will follow its implementation. Housing, especially new construction, is all about employment and disposable income, both of which are about to take a big hit.
    Apr 11, 2013. 04:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economic Significance Of Avoiding The 'Cliff' [View article] don't know your history. It was an instrument of government (The Community Reinvestment Act) that shredded 100 years of sound mortgage underwriting practices that caused the the great housing bust. The government hardly "got out of the way". They distorted the housing market by encouraging banks to give out mortgages no self-respecting banker would ever keep in-house. They created the system whereby banks could hand all that bad paper to the taxpayers. That is not how the free market works.
    Jan 8, 2013. 02:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economic Significance Of Avoiding The 'Cliff' [View article]
    Elliott: Do you really believe that more government malinvestment and crony capitalism (Solyndra is what is needed now? I for one have a very serious problem with the government flushing my grand-kids money down a toilet in the name of "stimulus". If the government wants to stimulate the economy it simply needs to get the hell out of the way and let the free markets work.
    Jan 8, 2013. 11:06 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking The Housing Recovery [View article]
    The only statistic that matters, the only one that can't be manipulated, is the workforce participation rate (the percentage of Americans of working age that are working). The participation rate is at its lowest level in almost 50 years.
    Dec 18, 2012. 01:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking The Housing Recovery [View article]
    Benny....The free market is always the answer. I operate in Central Illinois, but can't purchase insurance coverage from a company in Indiana or Texas (or anywhere across state lines) because of past protectionist legislation. The government never attempted rein in lotto size malpractice awards, which exploded the number of defensive medical procedures being performed, along with provider malpractice insurance rates (and rates for everyone else). The government never allowed the free market to work, then justified Obamacare as a cure for free market failures. It's a ruse that you appear to have signed on to.
    Dec 18, 2012. 08:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking The Housing Recovery [View article]
    Benny.....I'm not making a political statement, just a statement of fact. I've already been notified by my health insurance carrier that the cost of coverage of my 72 employees will double next year. There are tens of thousands of businesses like mine that are actively planning to restructure to avoid the worst aspects of this legislation.

    Obamacare is a nuclear bomb about to go off in the middle of our economy. It will dramatically increase the cost of living for the middle class and America's youth (read first time home buyers). The effects will cascade throughout our economy, affecting both the public and private sectors alike. Even the 1700 or so well-connected Democrat donors who were issued waivers to this monstrous legislation will not escape dramatically escalating insurance costs. Just imagine what this will do to municipal and state budgets which are already straining under the weight of millions of retirees that have been promised free heath insurance for life.
    Dec 17, 2012. 04:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking The Housing Recovery [View article]
    Anecdotally, I'm seeing an alarming number of contract cancellations on lot purchases and new home build jobs since this last election. With the specter of Obamacare on the horizon, and the job losses and dramatic rise in out-of-pocket health insurance costs that will accompany it's implementation, I expect the pace of new home construction to slow to a crawl.
    Dec 17, 2012. 02:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On The Front Lines, The Housing Recovery Is Visible But Needlessly Slow [View article]
    Increasingly, and unfortunately, strategic defaults are a sign of our changing cultural values. Call me a dinosaur, but I was raised to believe that when you make a deal you keep it. If it turns out bad it's no ones fault but your own. It's appalling to see financial counselors coaching people on the methods and benefits of strategic defaults. It won't be long before individual states, and then the entire country, do the same damn thing to their debt holders.
    Dec 14, 2012. 03:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 3 Most Potent Forces Underpinning The Real Estate Recovery [View article]
    Rentals have a very bright future, assuming you pick the right renters. The wrong renter in a SFH can, in a matter of months, strip you of your annual ROI and trash your appraised value.
    Dec 13, 2012. 10:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The 3 Most Potent Forces Underpinning The Real Estate Recovery [View article]
    Most prognosticators are completely overlooking the impact that Obamacare will have on this market and the economy in general. As an employer with 72 employees (all of whom I provide health insurance for) I can confidently tell you that Obamacare is a nuclear bomb about to go off in the middle of our economy. It will massively increase insurance costs for the middle class and young Americans (read first-time home buyers). It's the economic wildcard that most economists are actively ignoring. Here's a prognostication for you.....your insurance rates will double in 2013, and will double again in 2014. Still feel like buying that house?
    Dec 13, 2012. 08:06 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment