Friday, February 1, 2013

Noodling January 2013

I know it’s the first of February and not the last Friday of January when I usually post my Noodling, but last Friday was crazy and besides I wasn’t interested in posting it. So here are a few interesting things that have passed through my door, they are all wide ranging and far afield.

San Francisco Bay Area Housing:
Housing values for resale homes are up over 25% for all the counties in the region. Here is the report form KCBS on the increase in values, multiple offers over asking, and buyer’s remorse when there is nothing on the market to buy after selling. GO HERE  

And homes that have sold for more than a million buckeroos are also up. For the curious thrill seekers GO HERE.

All of this points to an increasing problem I have noted in previous posts, there is NO forward planning going on in the housing market, especially California. New homes are being built, that’s true, the public builders are building and selling at rates not seen in years – but this is all out of existing mapped lots and finished house pads (some five years old). The problem will become acute in nine to twelve months when these run out. Prices will escalate significantly, and if interest rates are kept artificially low (see Feds), then they will explode. Be warned.

Electric Cars
I have supported the idea of electric cars, especially in the urban market. But I don’t support the Fed’s and their Robin Hood dreams of using tax incentives, grants, and loans to “make” us want a product. Sales are lack luster to say the most GO HERE, and even after throwing together all the hybrids, plug-ins, and all-electric into one stat, they only amount to 3.3% of total automobile sales. Someone get a clue. Every major industry has their hands out for federal money (incipient socialism), recipients of grants and loans are failing and declaring bankruptcy (guess who pays?), airports are canceling free parking for electrics, and gas prices are (temporarily) falling. The market is a tough place to understand – but it always speaks the truth, whether you like it or not. If the Feds were to get out of the way and let the market actually react to the product, it might have a chance.

And lastly:
A cool urban video, enjoy.
Toronto: City Rising

And an interesting one on high speed trains in Europe with a very good narrative – Barcelona to Paris, my guess is that it was sponsored by the California High Speed Rail Authority!

Stay Tuned . . . . . . .

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