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Submitted by JES on August 27, 2006 - 1:47pm

Here's an interesting article from the UT today. Can someone tell me if any of these statements presented in the piece are true?

Union Tribune, SD Homes Section, Aug. 27th
By: Steve Rodgers, CEO CA Prudential, San Diego

1) Headline: Market Leveling, Still Strong
2) "There's been talk of the RE bubble bursting...but realistically that's not likely to happen"
3) "...even in a worst case scenario homeowners will lose no more than 7% of their homes values..."
4) "...an inconveinance, but not a crash by a long shot..."
5)"...so the rise we anticipate in existing home prices this year is actually a little above the high end of historic norms..."
6) Southern CA is adding 200-300,000 new residents per year.
7) SoCal will create 30-50,000 jobs in the next 2 years.
8) "...it is difficult to see a price decline in a job creating market like San Diego."
9)New home sales are showing significant gains...
10) "...real estate is GAURENTEED to remain just as solid as ever..."

Submitted by SDLaw06 on August 27, 2006 - 2:24pm.

He obviously doesn't read the board. I don;t have the data off hand but I have read on this board that SD is losing that amount of residents per year, he's trying to get you to save his job. People will the data will step up.

Submitted by Chrispy on August 27, 2006 - 2:43pm.

One look at his occupation (NOT a UT staff writer) says it all. This Prudential CEO is obviously a shill for SD real estate - and the UT most like let him write an article to thank him for his advertising dollars.

Give me a "real" paper any day - the LA / NY Times are far more credible than the UT.

Submitted by JES on August 27, 2006 - 4:33pm.

IMO he used quotes from realty insiders like a guy from dataquick to paint a rosy picture. He used data from June so that he wouldn't have to use the horrible numbers from July. Why else would he not use July numbers when they have been out for a while now. My other theory is that he wrote this same article for the press a year ago and just cut and pasted it and changed the dates!

Seriously, this is inexcusable. Anyone who buys a home this week from Prudential should have grounds to sue him if prices fall based on his gaurantee that prices will be solid. The CEO of a major realtor literally gauranteeing that prices will remain solid! What's next?

Submitted by Chris Johnston on August 27, 2006 - 4:59pm.

Chris Johnston

Do we have any attorney's out there to chime in on this. Does he have any exposure on comments like this? So many if not all of those comments are blatantly false. I continue to believe that there is going to be some political grandstanding that will go on like Spitzers skits he performs after this is said and done. The politicians are going to pick out a few people and hang them if things get really bad, just like they did with stocks in the day.

Spitzers routine has done virtually nothing but make it appear he was doing something. It will be the same with this industry with a few lenders, and brokerage guys. The Robert Tolls of the world are smart for posturing like they are, because he will avoid being a target. This guy is not listening to his attorneys I suspect.

Submitted by bubble_contagion on August 27, 2006 - 5:11pm.

In the last weeks the media has been all over the place about the housing bubble. CNN.com has this on Friday:

"But the argument that prices can't fall in a good job market doesn't make economic sense: To be sure, a strong employment picture helps demand. But if far more houses are pouring onto the market than can be absorbed by households lured by the new jobs, and if the sellers are pressured to sell, prices will fall. That's precisely what's happening now in good job markets such as San Diego and Northern Virginia."

"Builders are still pouring out near-record numbers of new homes as sales decline, assuring a further fall in prices. "Buyers" are walking away from deposits on houses that were supposedly pre-sold, forcing developers to throw them back on the market at a discount."

"A year ago, the reigning cliché was that real estate had entered a new world of "no supply." Now, a record 3.85 million homes are up for sale, and buyers are getting scarce."


Submitted by powayseller on August 27, 2006 - 5:18pm.

Every one of those statement made by Steve is false. He is either woefully undereducated, in denial, or lying. For this reason, the U-T deserves a thumbs-down. It is one thing to write your opinion in an Op-ed piece, saying "I don't think prices will go down because I believe the biotech sector will grow creating high wage jobs due to Company XYZ announcing expansion plans". But to come out and give this kind of erroneous statements as facts, is a sorry example of journalism.

No wonder people around here are disgusted with realtors. People like Steve have soured the mood, that's for sure.

Schahrzad Berkland

Submitted by jepsd on August 27, 2006 - 6:20pm.

I've always assumed that particular section of the paper was paid for by Realtors. There are only articles about Realtors in there along with their ads. I'm sure they can print whatever they want because it is likely advertising space and not considered journalism.

I have to say Steve didn't disappoint me; his article passed my test: He used the phrase "American Dream" when referring to homeownership. That is what I always look for. I usually play a game to amuse myself: I read the opening paragraphs and then guess whether or not the "American dream" phrase is on the other side. I was right today, by the way.

None of these guys will be blamed. Didn't you see Fannie Mae get away? What else can you expect from a government that has a "American Dream Downpayment Initiative"? I kid you not, this is the actual name of the federal assistance program for first time homebuyers (this initiative has existed since 2003).

I'm guessing that the "liberal media", the bloggers and the internet, and any other housing bears will be blamed for planting the seeds of the crash. The real perpetrators will likely be unblamed. Anyone who cashed out of his/her home and has a fat savings account will be sued for not participating in the American Dream. Afterall, it is un-American to be without a house and a 100% mortgage. Anyone with cash in the bank will be under scrutiny (you are already because of the new banking laws under the Patriot Act).

Submitted by SD Realtor on August 27, 2006 - 6:36pm.

jepsd NAILED IT!!

The amount of money that the real estate industry pumps into the UT is STAGGERING. Some the statements made by this guy are outright lies, or total manipulations of data.

I mean come on, even DQ stated year over year sales down by nearly 30% so this guys statements about sales are a crock.

Here is a tiny snippet about ads... My wife advertises her biz with the UT, a tiny advertisement maybe 1/6 of a page 8 times a month. This runs about 3k per month. Now think about how much real estate advertising, NOT TO MENTION entire sections of the UT devoted to housing and your head spins with the revenue they get.

Submitted by JES on August 27, 2006 - 7:47pm.

I stand corrected.

This section of the paper had a small notice on top that it is an advertising section. Not that it makes this CEOs comments true. It does provide us with some real insight to the lenghths they will go to make this market appear to be stable. It appeared to be an article, and the section appears the same as the others except for the notice.

To me this is worse than if it were an actual story and it proves that this deception goes right to the top. This is nothing less than a piece of false propaganda composed of complete lies. Skocking to see the industry strategy and tactics laid our so clearly though!

I can't resist. Here's another guy who tried the same tactics. Iraqi information minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf in 2003 during the war:

"I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they have started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly."

"We have destroyed 2 tanks, fighter planes, 2 helicopters and their shovels - We have driven them back."

"I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad."

"They're not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion ... they are trying to sell to the others an illusion."

"they are nowhere near the airport ..they are lost in the desert...they can not read a compass...they are retarded."

Question: Is Saddam Hussein still alive:
"I will only answer reasonable questions"

"Whenever we attack, they retreat. When we pound them with missiles and heavy artillery, they retreat even deeper. But when we stopped pounding, they pushed to the airport for propaganda purposes.''

Submitted by contraman on August 27, 2006 - 11:20pm.

The MISINFORMATION AGE is truly alive and well. I am an established Real Estate and Mortgage Broker in San Diego, CA. When I read articles like this from some of my fellow peers I want to call them up and ask them how they sleep at night by convincing and misinforming their buyers about the state of this housing market in California.

It reminds me of the stock ANALYSTS (the equivelant of some of today's APPRAISER'S) of the late 90's who said Commerce One amonsgst other internet stocks (went as high as 300 something per share if not higher)had no limit to how high it would go, it was the HOLY GRAIL of internet stocks, has anyone looked at the ticker symbol lately? Hint: there isn't one. How about PPRO.

I am sure we could all put a long list together of these symbols branded in some of our minds, and license plates, possibly start a whole other blog, and everyone tell their stories about how their options were worth millions AT ONE TIME and ON PAPER which doesn't mean..you guessed it...anything.

At least with this asset you could sit in front of your computer via Etrade, fingers shaking, and push the button at any time and know what your loss is going to be that instant. You could sleep at night even though you had regrets and remorse...not so, with the not as LIQUID ASSET of Real Estate.

Has anyone called up the proud owners who bought that stock after listening to this analyst on CNBC and falsely HOPED that the analyst was right and put THEIR trust in him? I wonder how they feel right now about it? Better yet, does the analyst care? I bet he exited the stock before it started it's slide into HELL (by the way, for all the fundamentalists this is translated GRAVE not an eternal abyss of damnation and punishment).

It reinforces the obvious fact that SOME people, especially prevelant in this industry, care more about making a commission than the people they have an ethical responsibility to educate and aid in making one of the BIGGEST decisions in their lives.

Hopefully, these types of people will be filtered out during this statistically reinforced inevitable downturn.

How will these peers of mine feel when in a year one of their buyer's that has a wife and 3 kids lose their house and experience the emotionally devastating and humiliating reality of a foreclosure sale. Every time I work with a client I think about these things continually. The kids stressed and confused, the probable stress on the marriage relationship and their dreams down the tubes. You just don't bounce back from an event like this...you think you will be able to call these people and ask for a referral after their wonderful experience with your services?

I, as a professional Broker have a responsibility to look out for the best interest of my clients not only short term but LONG TERM and if that means I have to reduce my office space, cut back on niceties and sacrifice for a few years, so be it. But there is not one client of mine in which I will convince and try to take advantage of in buying ANY RESIDENTIAL real estate here until:

A) The FUNDAMENTALS come back into line (please see the graphs on the home page especially SD home prices vs. per capita income. "A picture is worth a thousand words or in this case thousands of dollars".

B) Situations come up with a listing where I can move my client or buyer into an opportunity where there is SUBSTANTIAL equity and not at today's APPRAISAL prices.

C) They have substantial reserves, this is liquid money in the bank, not 401K's and Pensions to be able to ENDURE any adverse situation that may come their way in the future.

In closing this thread, I want to address my fellow peers with a few thoughts to ponder:

1)We have a responsibility to EDUCATE our clients about purchasing Real Estate in today's market and the substantial risks at this moment,not hyping them up and manipulating them through self-interest statistics for a commission check.

2) A realtor's job is not just to find a house for someone. My 10 year old nephew can get on the MLS, check a few boxes and send listings to someone. IT IS TO BE HONEST WITH YOUR BUYER'S ABOUT THE RISKS OF THIS MARKET AND LET THEM ASSESS THE RISKS AND MAKE A DECISION.

By the way, if you do this, you will have happy and satisfied customers, plenty of referrals, and a long lasting and profitable real estate business. Because at the end of the day my friends it is about people and not money.

Sincerely, Contraman

Submitted by SDLaw06 on August 27, 2006 - 11:27pm.

It would be tough to hold him liable in my opinion, because he is giving his opinion in a newspaper. He's not really guaranteeing anything. Although maybe someone could nail him for misrepresentation if he is intending to profit from this, which is certianly a possibility considering he is the CEO of Prudential. It would be fairly shaky ground to stand on and probably not worth the time, effort and money to sue unless you lost lots and lots of money.

Submitted by powayseller on August 28, 2006 - 5:49am.

contraman, you are a breath of fresh air! I'm curious, are you selling any real estate at all, or telling buyers to wait another year?

Submitted by contraman on August 28, 2006 - 9:20am.

Likewise, my friend.

Everything right now is kind of situational and is a case to case basis with me. Like I conveyed in my thread. I have Investors / some buyer's who are sitting on the sidelines for opportunities that may come along over the next few months but it would have to be at no more than 60% current appraisal value to play it safe.

I can buy duplexes in Southern Ohio for $45,000 and collect $1,000 in rents every month and have the thing PAID OFF IN FULL in less than 15 years???? Why would I put an investor in this market right now?

We ALL know or should know that the fall and winter months in San Diego are very very slow. So there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to pull the trigger on ANYTHING until early next year when the psychology factor worsens over this period....and it will. Believe me, and I know you do, there will not be a lack of inventory on the market in Feb 2007 for buyer's.

I think people underestimate or rarely understand the POWER of FEAR and the POWER of MOMENTUM. We saw those powers over the last 5 yeas in this market. People didn't buy after checking the FUNDAMENTALS they bought out of speculation and irrational thinking. Their emotions got the best of them, FEAR OF LOSS, and they made a decision.

Once again, this is not everyone but MOST people in this market.

Concerning Selling, I think everyone should sell that can make over $200,000 on their property. How long would it take a middle class worker to accumulate that much in their 401 K plan for retirement??? Put the 200,000 in a CD or ING savings account and go rent from someone who can't sell their house. If they want 2000.00, offer them 1800.00.

Sincerely, Contraman

Submitted by powayseller on August 28, 2006 - 8:21pm.

do you have a website? have you found 60% off properties?

You are the most honest realtor I have ever met! I would NOT be able to sell real estate now, and have had to close an eye to this fact, as I've made some nice friends on this forum. But I struggle with how these people can sell homes, knowing what I know, that these people are helping someone lower their net worth substantially. What a troubling business to be in, it truly is. If I were a realtor, I would have switched professions last year. I'm just too damn honest, and caring. I would feel like each deal someone is losing money for my gain. I could never do it, and I admire your principles, contraman. But I still have these dear friends who have no trouble with this, so I blink an eye to this dilemma.

Submitted by JES on August 28, 2006 - 8:30pm.

contraman, you are indeed a breath of fresh air!

Submitted by sdrealtor on August 28, 2006 - 9:38pm.

"I'm just too damn honest, and caring. I would feel like each deal someone is losing money for my gain. I could never do it, and I admire your principles."

Funny how those principles went out the window when selling her property in Lakeside. Not only could she do it, she did.

I believe this is known as Situational Ethics. The arrogance constantly amazes me.

Submitted by JES on August 28, 2006 - 10:27pm.

So long as the realtor makes the client aware of the market conditions I see no ethical problem with being a realtor. Clients should also be expected to do their own research, like logging on to a few sites like this to see what is going on in the market. And there's always the small chance that most of us here will simply be wrong in our predictions and the market will actually rise. Regardless, since there are people buying in all market conditions, it only follows that we actually need honest realtors to help with some of these transactions. We shouldn't broadly criticize all realtors and question how someone could actually live with themselves being one in this market.

Submitted by lendingbubbleco... on August 28, 2006 - 10:30pm.


never thought I'd hear myself saying this but I agree with your sentiments...PS' arrogance is becoming quite a problem. As someone who has done his own research, began discussing the strong likelihood of a bubble with people back in early 2003, and has watched this bubble go on longer than ever thought imaginable, I feel compelled to warn powayseller that she knows just enough to be dangerous, to herself and, more importantly, others.

Hearing her call Bill Miller a "goon" today made me question the value of her insight. Bill Miller (of Legg Mason Value Trust) has a remarkable track record of outperforming the S&P 500 index for close to FIFTEEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS I believe. Nothing to sneeze at. On the other hand, powayseller has a track record of selling her house in Ramona for good profit and then warning everyone to "sell now!"....time will tell if she was correct, of course, but the certainty in her messages ought to give everyone pause for thought....just who the heck is she?? I'm sure she's nice and all, but should anyone really take her advice?? Maybe...maybe not.

I mean, I know I'm an ass...many of my posts are inflammatory, but I have no idea how far prices will fall...I think it is possible they may go down more than 50% in some areas...but I have to have an ounce of doubt in my mind that I might be "missing something" here and that powayseller might be too..that is all.

Best of luck to you powayseller...I mean it. Just be careful out there.

Submitted by carlislematthew on August 29, 2006 - 8:45pm.

"I'm just too damn honest, and caring. I would feel like each deal someone is losing money for my gain. I could never do it, and I admire your principles."

Funny how those principles went out the window when selling her property in Lakeside. Not only could she do it, she did.

I believe this is known as Situational Ethics. The arrogance constantly amazes me.


Submitted by powayseller on August 30, 2006 - 5:00am.

threadskimmers, my post was about being a realtor; I just couldn't sell homes now.

sdr, you posted that you don't do double agency, because it is not in the buyer's best interest, but in your most recent sale you represented buyer and seller. Forgive my arrogance in asking how you reconcile that?

Submitted by The-Shoveler on August 30, 2006 - 6:42am.


Sounded like a written Guarantee to me !!

Submitted by JES on August 30, 2006 - 8:01am.

Powayseller: As I stated in my earlier post, there are very good reasons why good and honest people actually need to be realtors right now. Your explanation of why you could never be one right now is not just a personal stand, but also a broad attack against everyone currently in the field.

Before you attack SDR on an unrelated issue, how about defending your position that anyone practicing realty right now must be unethical.

Submitted by lamoneyguy on August 30, 2006 - 8:27am.

If they spoke this way about stocks instead of real estate, their licenses would be suspended or revoked. The only way they would be held legally liable is if it can be proven via emails, internal memos and such that they never believed any of what they are saying. I find that to be highly unlikely.


Submitted by JES on August 30, 2006 - 8:51am.

I find it unlikely as well, but I also believe that we will see more laws and regulations on the industry in the future as a result.

Submitted by PerryChase on August 30, 2006 - 9:59am.

In defense of powayseller, selling one's own property is different than selling properties for a living.

My personal view is that a realtor is not a financial advisor. That's simply not his job. His job is to sell houses to people who want to buy. If i were a realtor, i would never affirmatively say that properties will go up or down; i would simply help a buyer find a property that he can afford, or help a seller get market price for his house.

One should focus on the issue at hand and not take ethics to the nth degree. If you really think about it, everything in life could be considered a scam.

Submitted by no_such_reality on August 30, 2006 - 10:16am.

1 Job for every 12 newbies.

6) Southern CA is adding 200-300,000 new residents per year.
7) SoCal will create 30-50,000 jobs in the next 2 years.

So, 30-50K new jobs in two years, but 400-600K new residents.

That's 1 job for every 12 new residents. Hopefully it isn't true.

Submitted by JES on August 30, 2006 - 10:19am.

Are those accurate figures? I think they are both much lower than that. In fact, job growth right now is near zero and 50,000 people left San Diego last year.

Submitted by Steve Beebo on August 30, 2006 - 10:43am.

PerryChase - well said.

As far as jobs losses go, I would expect at least 1/3 of real estate agents, loan officers, appraisers, escrow company employees, home inspectors, etc. will be doing some other job in the next two years - there just isn't enough work for everybody in these fields with the real estate slowdown. I have no idea what they will be doing, though.

Submitted by no_such_reality on August 30, 2006 - 10:49am.

SB - they'll be debt collectors, repo men, property managers since so many will be trying to rent their places without the desire or skills of managing tenants.

Jes - I hope not. Zero job growth and exodus is actually better, IMHO, than substantial immigration where there aren't new jobs for 11 of 12.

Submitted by sdrealtor on August 30, 2006 - 11:00am.

RE dual agency?


Sorry but ya got the wrong guy

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