Manhattan: a city of empty luxury condos and overflowing homeless shelters

New York's luxury real-estate market has been in freefall for years, and now the city's super-luxe buildings are sitting empty -- even as property prices in the city remain stubbornly high, prompting 300 New Yorkers to move out of the city every day, and filling the homeless shelters to capacity and beyond. Read the rest

Everything you wanted to know about money-laundering but were afraid to ask

"If we were serious about crime, we’d take most of the cops off the streets and replace them with accountants": this, from the introduction to CZ Edwards' amazing Twitter thread about the nuts-and-bolts of money-laundering and how it applies to modern geopolitics, including Trump's assassination of an Iranian government official and the role that Trump's real-estate, failed businesses and casinos played in the global money-laundry, without which most serious crime would collapse. Read the rest

Meet Jackie Fielder, the recently homeless indigenous woman who's primarying a San Francisco Democrat in a state senate race

Until recently, Jackie Fielder was living in her van. At 25, the Stanford sociology grad couldn't afford rent in San Francisco. Read the rest

California's housing bubble is spilling over into poor and exurban neighborhoods, creating waves of crises

California has such a huge undersupply of housing -- and oversupply of housing speculators -- that affluent homebuyers have effectively rendered the state's major cities unaffordable for all but the very wealthy, even pushing into neighborhoods that were historically undesirable due to poverty, poor housing stock and crime. Read the rest

High prices and debt mean millennials don't plan to stop renting, and that's before their parents retire and become dependent on them

The percentage of millennials planning to "always rent" is up about 25% from last year, to 12.3%, based on Apartment List's annual survey; the factors behind this are primarily high house prices and high levels of indebtedness, driven primarily by student debt. Read the rest

Sand thieves believed to be behind epidemic of Chinese GPS jamming

Ship's captains and outside monitoring firms have reported waves of GPS jamming around Shanghai's ports, on a scale and of a severity never seen before: the jamming causes ships' locations to be incorrectly displayed and to jump around; the observations were confirmed via an anonymized (sic) data-set from a short-hire bike firm, whose bikes are also mysteriously appearing and disappearing at locations all through the region. The spoofing has created a massive local shipping hazard and has led to spectacular shipwrecks. Read the rest

Guillotine watch: Louis XVI's final chateau, never occupied by royalty, is for sale, just in time for the next revolution

If you have €7,000,000 you want to spend before capitalism collapses, you can scoop up Château du Bouilh, built for Louis XVI on the eve of the French Revolution, never occupied by royalty, and lovingly preserved to this day, with period interiors to match. Read the rest

Burbankers! Help put an eviction-protection measure on the 2020 ballot!

The passage of AB1482, which limits annual California rent-increases to 8%, is an important step to solving California's urgent housing crisis, but thanks to lobbyists for the massive private-equity landlord industry, the bill contains a huge loophole: if landlords evict their tenants before January 1, they can effectively escape the bill's strictures. Read the rest

Burbank! Come to an emergency City Hall meeting on 10/29 to deal with the city's eviction crisis!

On Jan 1, 2020, AB1482 comes into effect, capping rents at their rates as of March 15, 2019 plus an above-inflation; in response, the state's greediest landlords are evicting their tenants, either by raising their rents to levels they can't afford to pay between now and Jan 1, forcing them out, or by staging "no cause" evictions in cities that permit them. If those tenants are gone on Jan 1, the landlords can set a new rent floor that ignores the rates as of last March. Read the rest

Burbankers! Tell city council to enact a rent freeze between now and when statewide rent control kicks in

On Jan 1, 2020, Californians who rent will gain new protections under the law, thanks to AB 1482, which comes on the heels of the defeat of Prop 10, which was shattered by a lavishly funded dirty tricks campaign by the state's dominant private-equity landlords, who have snapped up much of the state's rental stock, driving up rents, evicting tenants, and slashing maintenance budgets. Read the rest

Across America, the average worker can't afford the median home

In 74% of US counties, the average worker can't afford the median home. It's getting worse: Six months ago, it was 71% of counties. The results come from Attom's new survey of house prices. Read the rest

A quarter of NYC's post-2013 luxury condos are unsold

The real estate bubble is in trouble: London's luxury housing market has been in freefall for years, and New York's retail vacancy has been soaring, even as global super-luxe housing is also tanking. Read the rest

Owner of Phoenix apartment building serves eviction notices to every tenant so he can turn their homes into unlicensed hotel rooms

Like many large US cities, Phoenix has a housing shortage and like many US cities, that crisis is worsened by the conversion of much of its housing stock into unlicensed hotel rooms through companies like Airbnb, VRBO, and Wanderjaunt, a new competitor in the unlicensed hotel room industry. Read the rest

After the Oliver Twist poorhouse became luxury housing with a segregated playground, London bans segregated play-areas

The world is full of corrupt oligarchs looking to smuggle their money out of their countries and put it somewhere where the rule of law that they have helped to dismantle at home still reigns; a favourite safe asset class is luxury housing in major cities, which is viewed as easy to sell on short notice due to the large supply of other money-laundering oligarchs. Read the rest

Ex-Fox & Friends host, accused of a Ponzi scheme that turned Indianapolis real-estate investors into slumlords, moves to Portugal

Clayton Morris -- a former host of Fox & Friends -- was part owner of Oceanpointe, a company that sold turnkey landlord services in Indianapolis to investors who could send Oceanpointe money, which the company would invest in properties that they would repair and rent out. Read the rest

The rent's less damned high: rents falling in most of America's most expensive cities

In all but a few of the most expensive cities in the USA, median rents on one- and two-bedroom apartments have fallen, sometimes quite sharply (for example, in NYC median asking rents on a one bedroom are down to $2940, a 12.8%/$430 decline from their peak in March 2016; while in Honolulu, rents are down 21.6% from their peak in Mar 2015, down to $1670 from $2130). Read the rest

Florida property-tax auction winner didn't realize he was bidding on a 12"-wide strip between two houses

A combination of hubris (failing to heed the stern warnings that bidders should only participate if they know what they're doing), cryptic annotations and confusing illustrations resulted in a bidder buying a 12" wide, 100' long strip between two properties in Broward County, Florida -- an odd parcel that had been formerly owned by the developer, who folded and stopped paying tax on it, sending it to the auction. Read the rest

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