Metro Denver homeowners aren’t in a selling mood as new listings plunge

New listings drop by nearly a third from October

By ALDO SVALDI | asvaldi@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: December 4, 2019

If buyers were expecting a bounty of homes to choose from this holiday season, they are going to be sorely disappointed. Sellers are playing the grinch as 2019 draws to a close.

New listings for single-family homes in metro Denver last month plunged by a third from October, dropping to 2,500 from 3,768, according to the latest Market Trends Report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

New condo listings also fell to 1,151 in November from 1,657in October, a 30.5% decline. And while activity drops with the temperatures, the declines are beyond those typically seen this time of year.

“The seller psyche is shifting,” said Nicole Rueth, producing branch manager with the Fairway Independent Mortgage in Englewood and a member of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee.

Sellers may be hearing a message that now might not be the right time to sell, she said, and to wait until spring, when there will be more listings and activity.

New listings were so paltry that the active inventory of homes and condos that buyers had to choose from at the end of November was down 18.3% month-over-month and 7.2% year over year.

In February, the inventory had surged 52% year-over-year. Now it is shrinking again, which is a troubling development for buyers.

The inventory decline would have been worse if sales also hadn’t taken a big tumble. They dropped 22.8% from October and 5.9% year-over-year.

Although affordability is weighing on buyers, it is hard to know what is keeping sellers on the sidelines. Consumer confidence is holding up, unemployment remains low, layoffs are restrained and wages are rising, Rueth said.

The Plan, Run The Financial System Over The Edge To Drain The Financial Swamp: Bix Weir

Today's Guest: Bix Weir

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How’s That Alternative Reality Working Out For You?

Robert Gore Posted on December 6, 2019

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Two plus two equals four. Epstein didn’t kill himself.

At the end of 1984, Slavery is Freedom, two plus two equals five, and Winston Smith loves Big Brother. The Party has destroyed Smith’s mind, he embraces whatever narratives it promulgates. The fictive Party has solved the conundrum that bedevils any individual or organization seeking to exercise power: coercion can exact physical compliance and the desired verbalizations, but how do you compel the subjugated to think and believe as you want them to think and believe?

Our Party, the confederation of powerful people who promulgate the narratives that always point the same direction—more government and power for the powerful, less freedom for the subjugated—has yet to reach the mind control of Orwell’s Party, but not for want of desire or effort. We know the Party’s narratives: globalism, climate change, surveillance, incarceration, political correctness, open borders, free migration, fiat debt, central economic planning, socialized education and medical care, and wars on terrorism, drugs, poverty, any regime that refuses to toe the Party line, hydrocarbons, private firearms, individual rights, privacy, precious metals and cash, and socialized education and medical care. We know the Party’s institutions: governments, central banks and their central banks, intelligence agencies, military forces, police, permanent bureaucracies, multinational corporations, multilateral economic, political, and financial institutions, foundations, universities, nonprofits, and NGOs. We know the Party’s overlapping mouthpieces: the mainstream media, think tanks, government and intelligence agency propaganda organs, crony executives and their companies, Hollywood, and academia. And we know the figureheads who stock governments and their allied institutions, and the Party puppeteers who pull their strings.

We also know the Party is not omnipotent. Just as Orwell’s Party went to all that trouble to ensure Winston Smith thought the right thoughts, our Party wants our belief, acceptance, and consent. Control is far easier to exercise on a population that accepts being controlled and gives carte blanche to its controllers. That Donald Trump, who occasionally tells inconvenient truths but has done precious little to actually change the way the government operates, elicits paroxysms of spastic rage shows just how important it is to the Party that we all think the right thoughts.

There are two problems with the Party’s narrative management: the people who don’t believe it, and the people who do. In the Party’s perfect world, it would have a monopoly on information and interpretation. However, it’s battling a trend that began with the invention of writing: the ever-increasing availability and dispersion of information. The latest untoward development is the Internet, which allows virtually anyone to disclose a secret, reveal a lie, express an opinion, satirize, post a photograph or video, or otherwise challenge Party narratives. The many that wither under Internet scrutiny reveal the Party for what it is: a serial, unrepentant liar.

Looking at threats to or from the Internet—intelligence agency surveillance, state censorship, and social media companies’ exclusion and elimination of disfavored political views—there is cause for concern. The threats are certainly threatening, but looking at what the Internet has already wrought argues against total despair.

Twenty years ago, the whole concept of a Deep State was fringe, a notion embraced only by kooks and so-called conspiracy theorists. There was an American Deep State with international connections and it had been running the country since at least WWII, but it really was deep, few people on the outside were aware of it. Now, the phrase is routinely cited by the president, deployed every day in the alternative media, and even the mainstream media occasionally use it.

In fact, the mainstream media has gone from denying the Deep State to telling us what a great thing it is, the last bulwark against a Trump dictatorship. So the witnesses against Trump in the House impeachment hearings aren’t State Department bureaucrats in love with their own deeply flawed Ukraine policies, protecting themselves and their Democratic cronies from revelations of involvement in Ukraine’s rampant corruption, and using second-, third-, and fourth-hand conversations in an attempt to depose the elected President. No, they’re heroes.

However, unlike the not too distant past when both bureaucrats and mainstream media commanded a certain respect among most of the populace, the House impeachment hearings got shredded in real time by the alternative media. Somewhere between 45 to 50 percent of the population refuses to believe what they’re told to believe, and that percentage is always growing (once you understand the con you don’t go back to believing it). Even a few Democrats recognized that the hearings flopped and have suggested a face-saving motion to censure Trump rather than refer the case to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it would be a nonstop embarrassment.

To counter the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme that’s run riot on the Internet, Attorney General William Barr recently restated the official conclusion that Jeffrey Epstein’s death was suicide by hanging, resulting from “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”

The Rest of the Story Here

A Deplorable Strategy Beyond 2020

In 2016 and since, we have learned that our ruling class has amassed the power and developed the taste to revel in making us miserable. We have also learned that to avoid this, we must undo or separate ourselves from them, their structures, and priorities.

Angelo Codevilla – December 2nd, 2019

Regardless of who wins in 2020, the mega-issue that drove the 2016 elections will grip the country more intensely than ever.

From President Obama on down, the political, educational, media, and corporate establishment had long since taken for granted that placing the opinions, interests, tastes, and the rights of the rest of America on the same plane as their own amounts to “false equality.” They had come to regard us as lower beings. No matter whether they attributed our purported inferiority to our alleged racism, sexism, etc., or just plain stupidity, they negated the possibility of common citizenship with us. The moment that Hillary Clinton’s reference to those disinclined to vote for her as “deplorables” and “irredeemables” made this unmistakable, Donald Trump’s victory became possible.

The people who voted for Trump, many despite reservations about him, did so seeking a shield against insult and injury from above. But the 2016 results confirmed the ruling class in its judgment, and emboldened it to act in “resistance” and in ways no one had ever imagined.

Ordinary Americans in voting for Trump got a loud voice on their behalf, but no shield. Between 2016 and 2020, we have been pressed as never before to bow to the ruling class’s ever-escalating demands for conformity to its whims—such as to pretend that we join them in accepting that men can be women, and women can be men, on pain of dire social and economic consequences.

Not even the monsters depicted in Darkness At Noon, in Nineteen Eighty-Four or in Animal Farm, never mind Stalin’s Soviet Union or Mao’s China, or Hitler’s Germany, ever demanded such subrational submission.

Superficially, the ruling class’s “resistance” since 2016 has focused on Trump. Our temptation to focus on fights regarding Trump has obscured the fact that their objection is to us. The instant after the 2020 elections, whatever happens, there will be no excuse for not paying due attention to the real question: What will become of us? What can we, what must we, do for ourselves?

Dreadful Prospects, Regardless of the Outcome
Were Donald Trump to be reelected in 2020, as is likely, there is no reason to think his second administration would loosen the ruling class’s tightening grip on our lives any more than the first did. Were any Democrat to win, we can be certain that the demands on us would escalate, and the government’s choke hold on education, speech, religion, medicine, law, and all manner of administration would tighten further.

In either case, after the 2020 elections ordinary Americans will have to deal with the same dreadful question we faced in 2016: How do we secure and perhaps restore our fast-diminishing freedom to live as Americans? And while we may wish for help from Trump, we have to look to ourselves and to other leaders for how we may counter the ruling class’s manifold assaults now, and especially in the long term.

Since 2016, the ruling class has left no doubt that it is not merely enacting chosen policies: It is expressing its identity, an identity that has grown and solidified over more than a half century, and that it is not capable of changing.

That really does mean that restoring anything like the Founders’ United States of America is out of the question. Constitutional conservatism on behalf of a country a large part of which is absorbed in revolutionary identity; that rejects the dictionary definition of words; that rejects common citizenship, is impossible. Not even winning a bloody civil war against the ruling class could accomplish such a thing.

Going Our Separate Ways
The logical recourse is to conserve what can be conserved, and for it to be done by, of, and for those who wish to conserve it. However much force of what kind may be required to accomplish that, the objective has to be conservation of the people and ways that wish to be conserved.

That means some kind of separation.

As I argued in “The Cold Civil War,” the natural, least stressful course of events is for all sides to tolerate the others going their own ways. The ruling class has not been shy about using the powers of the state and local governments it controls to do things at variance with national policy, effectively nullifying national laws. And they get away with it.

For example, the Trump Administration has not sent federal troops to enforce national marijuana laws in Colorado and California, nor has it punished persons and governments who have defied national laws on immigration. There is no reason why the conservative states, counties, and localities should not enforce their own view of the good.

Not even President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would order troops to shoot to re-open abortion clinics were Missouri or North Dakota, or any city, to shut them down. As Francis Buckley argues in American Secession: The Looming Breakup of the United States, some kind of separation is inevitable, and the options regarding it are many.

Who Will Lead? And Lead Where?
One year hence, the practical political problem for we “deplorables” has to do with leadership, looking toward 2024. The chances that appreciable numbers of us might follow anyone like Mitt Romney are negligible. What sort of person, with what sort of attitude, with what sort of priorities shall we seek?

Since what the ruling class does is driven by its identity, whoever would lead us “deplorables” must leave no doubt that his own, at the very least, is in opposition to theirs. In other words, he has no desire to join the ruling class, or to be liked by them, that he understands the harm the ruling class has done to America, and that he is on the side of those who wish to save and repair what is possible to save and repair.

That means a combative attitude. Donald Trump has been all too combative—in generalities. But we are looking for leadership in many fields of socio-political combat. Specific leadership requires attitudes regarding specific problems, such as education and infrastructure. Whoever would be followed will have to explain at what he (or she?) is angry, why, and what kind of action he encourages.

To lead is to show the way, to explain what is to be done and how it’s to be done, and to do it passionately.

Since whoever claims to care about everything cares about nothing, we will take seriously only persons who have cared enough about causes to expose themselves to slings and arrows on their behalf—as Charles de Gaulle put it, to “pay with their own coin.”

In 2016 and since, we have learned that our ruling class has amassed the power and developed the taste to revel in making us miserable. We have also learned that to avoid this, we must undo or separate ourselves from them, their structures, and priorities. Knowing that they regard us as illegitimate, we have no choice but to return the favor. Living as we do in revolutionary times, we—and whoever would lead us—must act accordingly.

Debt Bubble to End All Bubbles – Michael Snyder

By Greg Hunter On December 4, 2019

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By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

Journalist and book author Michael Snyder says corporate debt is at record highs standing at $10 trillion. Snyder points out debt is setting records in every aspect of the economy and contends, “If you include all other forms of corporate debt not listed on the stock exchanges, that brings the total to $15.5 trillion, which is equivalent to 74% of GDP. We’ve never seen anything like this before in all of U.S. history. That is just one form of debt and how our society has grown the debt. People need to realize the only reason why we have any prosperity in this country today is because it is fueled by debt. We have been building up this bubble, and it is the bubble to end all bubbles. Look at consumers. U.S. consumers are now $14 trillion in debt, which is an all-time record. State and local governments are at all-time debt record levels. The U.S. government . . . we just hit $23 trillion in debt, more than double since the last financial meltdown. . . . We are stealing from future generations more than $100 million every single hour of every single day. This is a crime beyond comprehension, and it’s been going on more than a decade. . . .All the debt has bought for us is more time to expand the bubble for relative stability. Meanwhile, we are literally committing national suicide and literally destroying the future of this country and the future of this republic. We are destroying everything the founders built by insatiable greed in this generation.”

Snyder says you don’t have to wait for the next recession because it’s already started. Snyder says, “Eventually, this whole thing is going to come crashing down. This thing is not sustainable. Here in the United States, we are already in a manufacturing recession. We are already in a transportation recession. We’re already in a corporate earnings recession. We are already in trouble that I document regularly on my website. We are already seeing dozens of data points that an economic slowdown is already happening. This is what we will notice first. We will go into a recession, and things are going to start getting bad, but beyond that . . . we are headed for the Greatest Depression. It’s the perfect storm. . . . We are talking about the breakdown of trade with China. . . . We have witnessed the complete and total breakdown of relations between the United States and China. . . . They (China) view us (America) as their primary global enemy. So, there is not going to be any kind of comprehensive trade agreement. You can forget that, and that has been one of the only things holding this stock market up.”

Snyder says no China trade deal will cause the stock market to “lose hope for the future.” Snyder predicts stocks will “fall at least back to its long term averages, which is 40% to 50% lower than stocks are today.”

Snyder also says, “The system is failing. People that have faith in Wall Street, people that have faith in Washington, people that have faith in the Federal Reserve and in the system, ultimately, they are going to be extremely, extremely disappointed. Most Americans are going to be blindsided by this, and most people have no idea what’s coming, absolutely no idea. We’re not just talking about Mad Max. We’re not just talking about Armageddon. We’re talking about the end of America. In the long term, if you want to prepare, you need to prepare for the end of our country.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Michael Snyder, creator of The Economic Collapse Blog

Fewer choices for homebuyers in Denver this holiday season

Both the number of new listings and homes sold dropped month over month in November
The number of new listings added to the Denver-area housing inventory in November was down 32.7 percent month over month and 6.48 percent year over year. This reduction contributed to shrinking the number of active listings from 8,557 in October to 6,988 in November, an 18.34 percent drop. For comparison, in the last quarter of 2018 there was a surge in new housing inventory.

“The number of new listings was as scarce as the sweet potato casserole after the first pass around the table at Thanksgiving,” said Jill Schafer, Chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and Metro Denver REALTOR®. “The market would have gobbled up even more of our excess inventory if we hadn’t also had fewer sales.”

Closed sales were down 22.78 percent month over month, but sales were still up by 2.17 percent year to date compared to 2018. The number of homes that went under contract dropped 10.84 percent month over month which, according to Schafer, indicates the number of homes sold will likely be down next month, too.

“Fewer homes on the market means it’s tougher for homebuyers in an already expensive city to own real estate, especially in the very popular housing segment of homes priced under $400,000,” states Schafer. “Many buyers continue to have to put in multiple offers before landing a home.”

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Rick Ackerman – Mad Max Scenario Inevitable

By Greg Hunter On December 1, 2019

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Early Sunday Release)

Financial writer and professional trader Rick Ackerman says don’t expect a replay of the 2008-2009 financial crisis where the Federal Reserve bailed out almost everything in sight. Ackerman explains, “It ended up Lehman Brothers went under, and they needed a couple of sacrificial lambs, along with Bear Stearns. It could have just as easily been, and it might be the next time, Goldman Sachs. So, in that way, the Fed is kind of out of bailout bullets. We’ve already been through a bailout where it took a big hunk of the financial system. Each one takes more bailing out to get to that critical threshold of credibility where the bailout itself works.”

Ackerman sees bailout needs everywhere and gives the example of underwater state pensions across the country. Ackerman points out, “If you take just one piece of what they are going to have to bail out, which is going to start with the State of Illinois, which is probably going to be the first state that is going to collapse. It will renege on its pension obligations. So, if you picture the federal government riding to the rescue, the minute they bail out the Illinois pension system, California is there, along with New Jersey, Kentucky and a lot of other states, maybe 19 or 20 of them that have pension systems almost as insolvent as Illinois. . . . This means they are going to have to mail out checks to Illinois and then expand it to California, and all the other states that go under is to court hyperinflation. Of course, hyperinflation, in that sense, you can see where it has to collapse into deflation because . . . printing so much money that it is not going to buy the pensioner anything close to what it would have bought before the bailout. . . . So, a bailout is really self-defeating. . . . We can never inflate our way out of this abyss. . . .So, there is no bailout coming. . . . The debts will always be paid by either the borrower or the lender.”

Some people see a “Mad Max” scenario might be coming because of the enormous unpayable global debt. Ackerman contends, “I am a little more bearish than that. I see a Mad Max scenario as inevitable. . . . I try not to think about it because we’ve all got lives to live and kids to raise. . . . When you go back to the calculous of deflation and that every penny of every debt must be paid, if not by the borrower then by the lender, we have already put ourselves into a condition where Social Security is going to fail. Medicare is going to fail. All the ‘just-in-time’ deliveries are going to be in jeopardy. Food from the grocery stores, one day shipping from Amazon, I don’t see how all these thing s can continue to operate in a condition other than in the false prosperity that we have now. We are at the pinnacle of affluence.”

Home Sales: Is It 2008 Again?