Using Veritas to Construct the "Per…

29-04-2017 Hits:93234 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Using Veritas to Construct the "Perfect" Digital Investment Portfolio" & How to Value "Hard to Value" tokens, Pt 1

The golden grail of investing is to find that investable asset that provides the greatest reward with the least risk. Alas, despite how commonsensical that precept seems to be, many...

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The Veritas 2017 Token Offering Summary …

15-04-2017 Hits:84510 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Veritas 2017 Token Offering Summary Available For Download and Sharing

The Veritas Offering Summary is now available for download, which packs all the information about Veritas in a single page. A step by step guide to purchasing Veritas can be downloaded here.

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What Happens When the Fund Fee Fight Hit…

10-04-2017 Hits:84423 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What Happens When the Fund Fee Fight Hits the Blockchain

A hedge fund recently made news by securitizing its LP units as Ethereum-based tokens and selling them as tradeable (thereby liquid) assets. This brings technology to the VC industry that...

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Veritaseum: The ICO That's Ushering in t…

07-04-2017 Hits:88981 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Veritaseum: The ICO That's Ushering in the Era of P2P Capital Markets

Veritaseum is in the process of building peer-to-peer capital markets that enable financial and value market participants to deal directly with each other on a counterparty risk-free basis in lieu...

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This Is Ground Zero for the 2017 Veritas…

03-04-2017 Hits:87467 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

This Is Ground Zero for the 2017 Veritas Offering. Are You Ready to Get Your Key to the P2P Capital Markets?

This is the link to the Veritas Crowdsale landing page. Here is where you will be able to buy the Veritas ICO when it is launched in mid-April. Below, please...

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What is the Value Proposition For Verita…

01-04-2017 Hits:87274 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What is the Value Proposition For Veritas, Veritaseum's Software Token?

 A YouTube commenter asked a very good question that we will like to take some time to answer. The question was, verbatim: I've watched your video and gone through the slides. The exchange...

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This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relat…

28-03-2017 Hits:58442 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relationships, Is Complicated...

CNBC reports US home prices rise 5.9 percent to 31-month high in January according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. This puts the 20 city index close to an all time high, including...

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Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As …

28-03-2017 Hits:86808 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As Landlords Offer First Time Ever Concessions to Retail Renters

Over the last quarter I've been warning about the significant weakness in retailers and the retail real estate that most occupy (links supplied below). Now, Bloomberg reports: Manhattan Landlords Are Offering...

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Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Comp…

27-03-2017 Hits:86424 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Company Is Not What Most Think It IS

We will releasing our Apple forensic analysis and valuation this week for subscribers (click here to subscribe - lowest tier is the same as a Netflix subscription). As can be...

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The Country's First Newly Elected Lame D…

27-03-2017 Hits:86775 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Country's First Newly Elected Lame Duck President Will Cause Massive Reversal Of Speculative Gains

Note: Subscribers should reference  the paywall material here for stocks that should give a good risk/reward scenario for bearish trades. The Trump administration's legislative outlook is effectively a political desert, with...

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Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactl…

22-03-2017 Hits:93066 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactly When I Predicted "has ‘substantial doubt’ about its future"

My prediction of Sears collapsing once interest rates started ticking upwards was absolutely on point.

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The Transformation of Television in Amer…

21-03-2017 Hits:90408 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Transformation of Television in America and Worldwide

TV has changed more in the past 10 years than it has since it's inception nearly 100 years ago This change is profound, and the primary benefactors look and act...

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I read Diana Olick's Realty Check blog on on occasion. I must admit that she is considerably more credible and serious than the vast majority of personalities to be found over there. In her latest piece she questions the validity of the sales bump seen in the last three existing home sales reports. She queries Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. He volunteered,

"We have seen some bulk purchases by investors, but we are not picking up that data through the Multiple Listing Service or through our release data, but we do know that there is some bulk purchases by investors who plan on releasing those properties within a year's time, when they see a better market condition."

I don't believe "better" market conditions are coming any time soon. We are just coming off of the best market conditions anyone will see in their lifetime. Those market conditions were predicated upon unsustainable conditions, hence they came crashing down. They are crashing down, not crashed - as in past tense. I believe we have some ways to go. That is why I am not buying real estate, and I believe that those that are jumping in now are jumping in prematurely.

Personally, I don't consider Mr. Yun to be a credible source, either. He may be smart and capable, but the extreme bias of his employer (the ultimate real property perma-bull) and the incredibly biased reports of his predecessor color his opinions by default. He is not nearly as bad as David Lereah (who was literally sensationalist-style perma-bullish) was, but he is still not objective. See  The Reggie Middleton Real Estate IQ Test - Who believes the NAR?

This is an excerpt from that post on Tuesday, 08 January 2008


Home Sales Seen Holding Steady In Coming Months

Pending sales of existing U.S. homes inched lower in November and should hold  steady over the next few months, a real estate trade group said. (I ask, "Why should they do that? Credit is tighter, recession evidence is stronger. Supply is greater, and demand is lower. Hmmm, let me consult the book written by that ex-NAR guru for the answer." )

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in November, dropped 2.6% in November, to 87.6 from an upwardly revised 89.9 in October.

Economists polled by Reuters ahead of the report were expecting pending home sales to decline by 0.5 percent from October's originally reported 87.2.

The November number was down 20% from a year earlier.

The pending homes sales data suggests that the volume of sales will hold steady for a while before turning upwards before the end of the year, said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

 With all due respect to Mr. Yun, Mr. Lereah and the NAR, anyone swift enough to complete the registration form for this blog should know, by now, to discount this association's data and opinions. They do not do the industry justice with this nonsense. Realtors should actually be the first in the protest line. It is their credibility that is being called into question, for this is THEIR trade group. Credibility is the key!


Notice how accurate that prediction was for 2008! From my blog post that day in 2008:

My take: I believe that my blog's readers are considerably above average in financial acumen and common sense. The NAR is simply not an entity to be taken too seriously, due to the obvious conflict of interest exemplified by their ex-economist, [[David Lereah]], who published some of the most absurd BS I have ever seen come from a nationally reknown organization. Examples of his work from Wikipedia: Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?: Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments Will Climb Through The End of The Decade, And How to Profit From Them was published in February 2005 at just about the tippy top of the bubble (that takes some talent). One year later in February 2006, as the market is already on it's way down, Lereah retitled his book Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust and How You Can Profit from It. Lereah's previous book The Rules for Growing Rich: Making Money in the New Information Economy touting investment in technology company equities was published in June 2000 at the onset of the collapse of the dot-com bubble.  This extreme cheerleading has died down substantially, but the overly optimistic spin is still evident with their new economist, Lawrence Yun.

I actually believe the Case Shiller graph above to be misleadingly optimistic due to my doubts about seasonality filtering and the exclusion of investor related properties (flips, see A reminder concerning popular housing indices) which are dominating the lower end of the market.  On this note, Ms. Olick consults someone who I feel is considerably more credible and who I have dealt with personally...

  I found that so interesting that I emailed over to Mark Hanson, a housing and mortgage expert out in California. He says the bulk buying was much bigger last year than it is now, and in fact there is no shadow inventory around to buy in California today. Yun says the same: "Interestingly what I hear from Las Vegas, San Diego, Riverside and other areas is they are really desperate for inventory in the lower price range....and even though they have buyers that want to buy there's not enough inventory." Yun put it out there to banks to release anything they have. [Reggie note: Which brings us to the logical argument that supply must meet demand, and pricing must come down significantly to meet the demand at the lower price points. The demand and credit/liquidity at the higher prices points is very, very low.]

But in my chat with Hanson, he said I should be focusing on something else: "Flip Adjusted Sales.'

This is adjusting total sales to back out flips....

"Buy and hold is not the top strategy of these investors," claims Hanson. "It is buy and sell quickly. So unlike any other time in history, the exact same house is being counted twice within a 2-6 month period of time, skewing the numbers. These investors were especially motivated to sell before the end of the tax credit on Nov. 30th -- or thought to be the end -- which is why median and average prices keep falling." [Reggie note: this will not skew the Case Shiller numbers though, for they use an econometric model that filters for just such events, although this filtering introduces other unrealistic biases as well.]

Ms. Olick goes on to state:

"When the investor flips the property, it is not listed as a distressed sale, but as an organic sale [Reggie note: Nearly all flippers buy from distressed owners, so this can be misleading as well]. I don't know if anyone could ever figure out the real "Flip Adjusted Sales" numbers, but as we see more foreclosures come to market in the coming months, we shouldn't underestimate the trend. Right now there are about seven million homes somewhere in the foreclosure process, and banks are moving borrowers through the modification more quickly than ever. No question we will see rising distressed inventory come 2010, and investors will undoubtedly be poised to take advantage."

 Well, I agree with Mark (who really, really knows his stuff - he busted Lehman with their overstated inventory very early on as Mr. Mortgage on YouTube), and Diana. As for the ability to find the "flips", it can be done by literally performing the opposite of the Case Shiller index. Look for properties that were held for less than one year, and have different and/or dissimilar names in the most recent transaction in the chain of title - usually from an LLC to personal names. The vast majority of these will most likely be flips. Back those out and you will get a much clearer picture of the organic sales numbers. In terms of the Case Shiller index, add those in and adjust for seasonality, etc. and you will bet a much clearer picture of the direction of actual pricing. 

If the flippers and investors are the ones involved in most of the action on the lower end, and most of the action is on the lower end, then the sales price increases reflected by the Case Shiller index are quite misleading.