I gave the NYT props the other day for an epecially good issue; I almost never do that for the WSJ (because its a given).

But I did mean to get up a post on the Journal’s Real Estate triple play this past Wednesday, along with their usual terrific graphics:


Pending Home Sales Decline, Pointing to Market Slowdown



Investors Retreat From Housing Market
click for larger table


And lastly, Prices Take Off for San Francisco Office Buildings
click for larger table

Are you telling me you still do not have a online WSJ subscription? Its not like I get paid for this endorsement, its simply must read Financial Journalism at a reasonable price.


Pending Home Sales Decline, Pointing to Market Slowdown
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, December 7, 2005; Page A2

Investors Retreat From Housing Market
Inventories Rise as Speculative Buying Slows
In Once-Hot Markets Like Phoenix and San Diego

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, December 7, 2005; Page D1

Prices Take Off for San Francisco Office Buildings
Fallout From Dot-Com Bust Proves Less Than Expected;
Testing the Fundamentals

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, December 7, 2005; Page B6

Category: Financial Press, Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “WSJ Real Estate Triple Play”

  1. nate says:

    My computer got hit with a bunch of malicious stuff around Q4 of 2004. I cleaned up the overwhelming majority of this, and now run Spybot and Symantec and take other precuations.

    However, ever since this Q4 blitz on my PC, i have not been able to access my on-line WSJ subscription from my home broadband connection. No joke. I tried to figure this out and was stumped.

    So i still read the WSJ online, only through Factiva (which also has other publications available on-line).

  2. nate says:

    I did not see Illinois in the list of states where people buy homes for an investment. How should I interpret this?

  3. You must have lost password that was set

  4. nate says:

    that is not it. i could log into the on-line wsj from a kiosk PC using the password and username.

    it is something in my pc. someone or something “got me”

  5. fatbear says:

    best: delete ALL cookies, and rebuild cookies – but only do if you know all your login names and passwords

    2nd best: clean out any cookies from wsj – this will take time, as some will not have wsj domain – their help desk should be able to guide you

  6. John says:

    I refuse to support the rididulous and mendacious editorial page

  7. cm says:

    nate: Another thing you may want to try is to physically delete your browser cache. I know cases where people (including myself) had corrupted cached Javascript or other files, which prevented certain websites from operating properly.

    How to do this depends on your browser. A first step you may want to try is to go to your browser options and clean the cache(s) from the browser.

    I don’t know the applications you are alluding to; they may install an HTTP proxy that filters your content, and happens to render files from WSJ inoperable.

  8. Bruce Sherman says:

    “I refuse to support the rididulous and mendacious editorial page”

    “growingly hostile attitude worldwide. He who sows wind will harvest a storm and no sane soul outside the US still thinks of this president as a savior of democracy but as an oil-warrior for the juice that keeps the military machine humming.”

    Why is it that when a conservative makes a political comment on this site, he or she gets slammed, but NO ONE says a thing about these ravings from the loony Left???

    Bruce Sherman
    Oakland, Oregon

  9. Bruce,

    I have no idea what you are talking about

  10. Bruce Sherman says:


    I am NOT referring to you, but to some of your readers. If you would like an example, within the last month you made a posting about a NY Times article concerning a professor’s conclusion that tax cuts actually hurt the “rich”. Take a look at the comments that followed and then compare to the silence which followed some of the recent quotes I cited from some of your readers. It seems as if some of your readers think that a political comment from a conservative is horribly off-base, but have no objection to even the most outrageous comments from those on the left.



  11. angryinch says:

    We’ve owned a portfolio of small comm bldgs in SF for many, many years and they formed the bulk of our assets.

    We’ve sold 75% of our holdings into this runup in prices. As have many of the largest, private players in SF (like the Shorensteins, for eg.) While we’re hardly in the Shorenstein’s league, we agree with their thinking: “If we wouldn’t dream of buying at these prices, then it makes sense to sell instead.”

    What’s interesting is that we tried to sell back in 1999-2000 when rents were double or triple what they are now, but no one was interested at less than half the price we sold them for in late 2004 and early 2005.

    Most of the current buyers for the big props are REITs, pension funds and large institutional players who appear to have to “put money to work.”

    At these prices, I wish them good luck. Rents seem to be stabilizing, but there are no signs of an imminent rise. I suppose if you have a 10-20 year time horizon, you might do OK buying today. Otherwise, fuhgettaboutit.

    We are small investors who require income. That’s why they use to call it “income property.” Today’s prices in SF eliminate the possibility of positive cash flow for most comm RE.

    I’m not sure how these REITs are going to support their dividend yields when they are buying cash-flow neg (or infinitesimiley pos) RE. Looks to me as if they are now the proud owners of some very expensive builders that will throw off next-to-no-income for the foreseeable future.

    In the aftermath of booms/bubbles, like we had in SF with the dotcom daze, prices usually fall quite precipitously and then trough for a period of time. Not this time. Though income (via rents) has fallen to 1996-1997 levels, prices are at least double (and sometimes higher) than what they were at the height of the dotcom bubble.

    Try as I might, I can’t figure out how this makes sense. So I conclude it doesn’t. That’s why we sold.

    Reminds me of 1998-99 when I was trying to get VC funding for my small $5M SF firm and was told that I needed to show at least $1B rev potential by 2005. This firm had recently funded drkoop.com and they had penciled in $5B in revs by 2005. I didn’t think that made any sense either. I didn’t get the funding primarily because I told the truth. Drkoop got funded, though they shouldn’t have.

  12. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale says:

    Why is it that when a conservative makes a political comment on this site, he or she gets slammed, but NO ONE says a thing about these ravings from the loony Left???

    Bruce Sherman
    Oakland, Oregon

    Bruce: Make a biased favorable post on the NY Yankees and you will see SLAMMED.

    angryinch : I too am from San Francisco. However, I do not recall a time when you could get positive cash-flow at the time of a SFR purchase. The “trade-off” was always the upside. Hasn’t this been the case for 65 years? Has anything changed there?

  13. angryinch says:


    I was referring to comm prop—multifam and office. Every bldg we’ve bought in SF since the 60s—some purchased by my father—were cash-flow positive, though we haven’t bought anything since the early 90s.

    As far as SFR goes, you may be right. Although I remember buying a couple of SFRs in the Bay Area in the late 70s which were cash-flow pos. That’s probably the last time you could do that in the heart of the Bay Area.