Monday, May 28, 2012

It's a nasty job, but someone has to do it.

I have to post every time I see the boosterism title like the following: "Our Region's Economy Improves." So says the Sunday Bulletin's headline.

Well, not by much:

"'s nothing particularly substantial." Tim Duy says, highlighted on the same page. The Bulletin is nothing if not a split personality.

Not much to say. I keep looking at the 90% decline in housing starts. Until that number gets better, I really don't see much improvement. That's new building, not selling the excess -- of which there is more than acknowledged.

I'm not sure it matters, actually.

We were a tourist town before the boom, and we're a tourist town after the boom and that's all right by me. That's our economy, and we seem to have enough infrastructure to support that.

We seem to be at 4th Quarter 2003 level; which ironically is when Linda and I started shopping for a house and when we started The Bookmark, and when business started to see an uptick. I just never bought into the uptick as anything other than a bubble.

One other thing. On the same page, they talk about "high-end" homes not selling. I very much remember people on the Bubble Blogs coming on and saying, "Oh, the crappy cheap houses will be killed by a burst bubble, but the really nice homes will keep selling because wealthy people want to live here."

Ummm. That would seem to be wrong.


Anonymous said...

Maybe BEND-BB dunc, but all of us on BB2 always pointed out that during the last great depression the BIG-stuff took the hardest hit.

This is because the 'riche' cannot afford to maintain, I have too many friends sitting on +$5M homes in the area, and all burning $10k/month on maintenance, which is the NORM when you have to pay other people to do all, it didn't matter when their $5M was going to $10M, but now the $5M are sitting at less than $1M and just sitting and not selling and the 'owners' are getting tired of paying the maintenance burn.

This is what happened during the great depression to high-end homes and this will happen again.
In this 'greater depression'.

Lastly, new homes are being built at Highlands, ... but nobody is buying the existing, this is because you can get a custom built new home for cheaper than existing because contractors will work for almost free, and the warehouses are full of building materials that are being sold below cost. Smart rich are building custom and there's a lot of stuff going on. But pre-existing high-end homes are sitting.

Again we all pointed out 'history' on BB2, perhaps the only bubble internet dildos that believed the high-end stuff was not subject to time & gravity were the real estate whores on Bend-Housing blog. But all of us on Bend-BubbleN were quite clear that the high-end would take the biggest % drop, cuz this NORMAL historic fact.

Anonymous said...

Simple little homes for real people will always sell, today with median income of what? $30k/year, .. you can find a nice little east-side home for under $120k,

Sure they're crappy little homes, but they're no more crappy than living in a rental house, apartment, or duplex.

Anyways the POOR tend to do their own maintenance, and thus don't have the high-end burn as the rich that have to pay others to wash their windows and shit.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Oh, the crappy cheap houses will be killed by a burst bubble, but the really nice homes will keep selling because wealthy people want to live here."

ROTFLMAO! Yes, I remember that too.

Think about it: Really rich people can live anywhere in the world. Why would they buy houses in Bend?

Unless they've already got seven or eight houses elsewhere and can't think of anywhere else to buy another one.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Anyways the POOR tend to do their own maintenance"

Or do no maintenance. I'm seeing a lot of that around Bend too. And not just on the Eastside.

Anonymous said...

Unless they've already got seven or eight houses elsewhere and can't think of anywhere else to buy another one.


That's right, ... and by 2004 Bend wasn't cool anymore, and there were no buyers, ... and now today who the fuck would want to be there?

There's a few movie-stars and sport's assholes, ... I mean Hormone Adjunct consumers that buy in Bend, ... but its small enough to not matter.

2nd house is pretty much dead, these days kids are lucky to have one,... the sun-river, and the entire black-butt and all that is Bend is all built on the notion of the 2nd home from the valley, and with $10/gal fuel, .. that will be Bend-Gone(tm).

The last reason to go to Bend is all the fucking brewery's, ... well guess what PDX has more than Bend, and now all the VC money in SF has decided to start investing in Brewery's so there is going to be NO reason to go to Bend because there is nothing special. PDX is special and so is SF, but as for a place to drink or get drunk Bend is not special.

The real tourism of recent years was the Winnebago crowd, but now with it costing $1/mile or more they're going to go dinosaur, ... OH WAIT there's the golfers they're going to BUY Bend, ... don't count on it.

Long ago Bend are was about escaping the PDX rain, and finding sunshine, ... my guess is people with money will play, but when I talk with newbies in PDX at the latest trendy brewery's and I mention Bend the comment is always. "NEVER BEEN THERE AND NOT PLANNING".

Bend ain't got music, and it's too far away, ... especially just to have a pint of beer in a shitty economy.

The low end homes in Bend will go to the working poor, and the high-end will rot and go back to nature.

Duncan McGeary said...

I don't know. Add it all up, high, middle and low tourism, and we've got a lot here to attract people.

Sunriver and Black Butte aren't going anywhere, nor Eagle Crest and Mount Bachelor Village.

I think we'll stay a pretty vibrant tourism town, though people will spend too much trying to cater to that crowd. Those of us who understand you can make a living but probably not get rich off of tourism will do O.K.

We constantly teeter on the edge of making it too expensive to set up shop for the type of tourism we really have. Too fancy of a set-up, too high of rents...we make it difficult for an average tourist place to survive, and the average tourist place is the kind that would survive if the freakin' expenses of dealing with people who think Bend is Palm Springs weren't being dumped on us.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Add it all up, high, middle and low tourism, and we've got a lot here to attract people."

Where's the "high tourism"? I don't see any of it. Why would the rich come here to ski when they can go to Vail, Aspen or Gstaad? Why would they come here to fish when they can go to New Zealand, Montana or Belize? Why would they come here to ride mountain bikes when they can do that ... well, just about anywhere?

They won't come for the brewpubs and they sure as hell won't come for the cultural scene.

If Bend appealed to the high-end tourist trade you'd see five-star hotels and luxury condos here. You don't. This is strictly a middle and low-end tourist destination.

Anonymous said...

"$10k/month on maintenance"

Ummmm ... entertaining, but perhaps also the the definition of 'hyperbole'?

Bend Economy Man said...

"nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want a second home there"