Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It takes a brave man to climb out on that limb, put a noose around your neck, and jump because you're sure the rope will break. Looks to me like what Dana Brattan just did. So either he is a genius who can parse the numbers like no one else, or he made the most ridiculous prediction of his career.

But wouldn't it be great if he was right? Hey all you potential customers, you've just been assured the housing market is on the verge of a turnaround. The light is at the end of the tunnel. Our long national nightmare is over.

Please extract as much equity as possible and spend, spend, spend! Please buy an extra house or two! You only have 60 days...yeah, that's it, 60 days...to buy! It's the Best Time to Buy in 20 Years!

But these blogs aren't any fun if everyone just agrees. We need this guy from Forbes to tell us we're all wrong and the housing market not only hasn't declined, but is on the upswing:

"Don't buy it. For months now the debate has been over whether America will have a hard landing or soft landing, the answer hinging on how big 2007's housing disaster turns out to be. Well, there won't be any housing disaster. We won't have a landing at all, soft or hard. Right now the U.S. and global economies are both accelerating.

Did you know that housing sales are up in the last few months, not down, and that inventories are lower than six months ago? We're accelerating, not landing. This is true not just in housing but also pretty much across the board."

- Kenneth L. Fisher
Forbes, 02.26.07

(NOTE: It has been pointed out that this is from a YEAR ago. So...nevermind. Fools, then, him for saying it, and me for repeating it. Still, someone posted that with the intent of trying to convince people that everything is fine....)

I'm assuming this quote if for real, and not some made up piece that someone put onto the Bend Economy Bulletin Board. It seems to me that everything he says is contradicted by actual facts.

So there you have it. Two lone voices in the wilderness.

I know how they feel. I used to be there, from the other side.

Every bubble I've had come through my store started somewhere else, usually California and Washington, usually in the bigger cities like San Fran and Seattle; and they usually ended there also. That is, if you were paying attention, you could see it coming, and you could see it going.

It's one of the few marketing advantages to living in a backwater.

So....you for fun, go read couple of days worth of the national blog called, The Housing Bubble Blog. This isn't some crank, merely someone who takes clippings out of mainstream publications (like the Bulletin and the Oregonian) and strings them together.

Then come back and read Dan Bratton's comments. If you can withstand the whiplash, remember that one site is reporting the NEWS and the other is reporting a PREDICTION. (To be fair, we bubble busters were doing the same thing a year or two ago, and saying the news is not the future.)

The housing bust is nearly over. Dana says so.

If he's right, he ought to be congratulated for his prescience. He should be showered in kudo's. He should be nominated for the FED.

What's amazing is that this is a guy's career. I can make all the wild-eyed predictions I want, and it's just me, comic store owner.

But he must believe people have short memories, even if he's wrong.

Besides, if you're having your house appraised, wouldn't you go to HIM! He believes houses are or will be worth MORE!

But, if you read the comments he made, he's more like that drunk friend who is urging you to jump off the bridge into the river, never mind the rocks. Why not! Yahoo!


Anonymous said...


People paid good money for these meetings. They're ALL INHERENTLY CHEERLEADERS.

The RE crowd was telling their flock in 2005 that it would 25%/yr APR forever for Bend RE. Then in 2006 it slowed down, and they said it would come back, then in Jan 2007, it really slowed down and they said it would come back in the Spring of 2007. ( It didn't come back )

Now we're sitting just like Last Feb, and they're saying "Its going to come back this spring".

What is coming back?? You can't get money anymore, there is NO jumbo ( bend ), they want 20% now.

A vast number of Bend propertys are speculative, becuase RE insiders could buy four homes legally with nothing down. The bleeding has now gone on for two years.

Two more years just to hit bottom.

They're selling hope, but also all these clubs like COAR, COBA, BEND-NAR, ... they're still clubs, they have membership fees, they want members to renew, they want people to show up for $25 breakfast, and $30 beer, and $75 dinners, and they'll have speakers promise a better day.

There is ONLY one sad element to any of this, and that is the Realtor or MTG broker who is living in his car, that takes his last $20, and gets his clothes cleaned, and gets a bath, and goes to these meetings and prays for "RAIN" just like everyone else there. Its religion pure & simple, and they were all sold "Heaven on Earth".

So here's my prediction during the NEXT two years. People will quit paying dues to these clubs, and people who run these clubs will have to find REAL jobs. Thats goes for the 100's of Bend Clubs COVA,COBA,COAR,...

It always was a CON-GAME, it always was a fraud. Dunc you know, and I know its IMPOSSIBLE for it to come back this spring, for the simple reason the easy-money is GONE.

The easy-money for COMM-RE is GONE, the easy-money for FLIPPING is GONE.

Without easy-money the game is over.

The CLUBS ( COVA,COAR,COBA ) helped make BEND the #1 over-valued RE in America, and now these clubs are going to see the worst RE loss in America. Do you honestly think that many of the faces will stick around for cleaning up the party??

Duncan McGeary said...

I was just afraid that his comments were so blatant, so brassy, that no one would challenge them.

I mean, I thought, just let his talk sit there like a big turd, and be proved wrong.

But people believe the big lie if it's repeated enough.

Anonymous said...

I mean, I thought, just let his talk sit there like a big turd, and be proved wrong.

But people believe the big lie if it's repeated enough.


Everyone there PAID for the lie. In BEND, the land of fairy tales, lies work.

Trouble is it took REAL MONEY to inflate the BEND-BUBBLE. It took real money to pay for the Sushi, Cocaine, Wine, Tents@Drake-Park, Bend-Film ( more cocaine ), ...

Bubbles can be filled with Hope ( MONEY ).

Now the money is gone, so the last few dollars will be harvested by those that RUN COAR,COBA,COVA,...EDCO,..

Over the next two years this City will be scrapped to the bone of stupid money.

Folks right NOW hold on to your money.

No amount of 'positive thinking' can bring back 2005, cuz the cocaine money is gone, the city of bend can no longer fund the party's that brought the beautiful people here that made Bend into a CONDO Flipper's paradise.

Now the only thing a Tourist will see is poverty, begging, ... and they'll RUN, they'll NOT stop to buy a condo time-share.

Let's say 200 people paid $25 to hear 'HOPE", that's $5,000, not a bad haul, no different than telling a client that BEND RE will gross you 25% APR forever.

BEND is all about FRAUD ( & drugs & wine ), paying for lies & liars, is SOOOO BEND.

Bend Economy Man said...

When I read his quotes I thought his business must be on the brink of folding and he must be ready to quit real estate.

Otherwise he'd care about his credibility, right? If he cared about being right he'd say hang on, everybody. Would have been a safe thing to say. Based on today's numbers he could've gone up there and said that Bend real estate is a dead man walking, but like Bilbo said, that's not what people paid to hear.

But I think he decided to go out with a bang. Sounds like he got a lot of applause. The way it was described in the article, it seemed almost like the tent revival of some apocalyptic cult.

But of course there's no factual basis for anything he said. Bend's not going to have a net 3,000 person population growth this year, and even if we do, they can easily be housed in the inventory on the market today, without anything at all being built all year long.

Duncan McGeary said...

Funny, I had the same thought: He was thinking, "Yahoo, here comes retirement!"

Unknown said...

I think that he, along with every other real estate professional out there, feels there's more risk to his career in not being optimistic/promotional than in being wrong. If they, collectively, can't manufacture a bottom here over the next 6 months or so we're gonna see some serious blood in the streets...

Anonymous said...

Bike thinks that Jesse hit the nail on the head. It's the old risk / reward relationship. Why should Bratton risk alienating those who pay him money when outrageous positive forecasts made during the last number of RE Breakfasts didn't apparently hurt his appraisal business. Besides, Bratton publicly admitted he borrowed $1M (that recently reset he said) to "invest" in Central Oregon's RE market so he NEEDS the 2008 RE market to be "robust" or his retirement might have to be put off for a long, long time.

MissTrade said...

It will take 2-5 years of dredge before Mr. Bratton sees upside. Where are the contractors going? They will be leaving Bend as Jesse has stated, the Just Arrived Here or JAH set will be turning around fast as they can't afford the lifestyle in Bend slinging burgers. Its just the natural progression of bubbles, last in are the first out and the tails are turning and you think the Knife river folks can find a replacement job tomorrow to get them a working wage? Nah, they are moving on also. Contractors done, game over, the competition alone will kill them. Forget it, game over. Back to sleepy tourist town, the jig is up for years.