Friday, July 23, 2010

Real estate deflation hits most large California counties

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Assessed property values in California are likely to decline for the second year running, according to a Bond Buyer review of data from the state’s larger counties.

Even though the state’s tax assessment system has the effect of muting the volatility of property assessments, 11 of the state’s 12 largest counties experienced a decline in their property tax roll this year.

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Even the center of the Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, was unable to avoid a shrinking roll.

“This is far worse than anyone had expected,” County Assessor Larry Stone said in the news release announcing the tax roll. The roll dropped 2.44%, by $7.4 billion.

“This county has not experienced such a devastating drop in property values since the Great Depression,” he said.

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The data show this isn't a typical real estate correction cycle in which prices fall back to earth following a boom. They're actually falling into a deflationary hole in much of California, which along with Nevada has suffered some of the steepest declines in real estate value in the nation.

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently wrote that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who studied the Depression of the 1930s for his doctoral dissertation, so fears deflation that he reportedly said he'd toss sacks of $100 bills out helicopters to prevent it. Memo to the Chairman: deploy a squadron of black helicopters bearing bags of Benjamins to California, starting in my ZIP Code.


Anonymous said...

> he'd toss sacks of $100 bills out helicopters Memo to the Chairman: deploy a squadron of
> black helicopters bearing bags of Benjamins to California, starting in my ZIP Code.


Check your CC&Rs. I think the attorneys have first right to any money falling from the airspace over HOAs, followed by the property management company. Whatever a homeowner manages to catch is "common interest cash," and must be turned over to the HOA corporation, because the airspace is a common element.

Fred Pilot said...

No CC&Rs here. Thank God I'm a country boy.

Anonymous said...

One of the mantras of Republican/conservative/libertarian pundits over the past several decades has been

"What you tax you get less of. What you subsidize you get more of."

This was usually in the context of taxing work and business and subsidizing unemployment and welfare.

Jerry Pournelle recently repeated that mantra, but with an unintentional twist that he is probably not aware of

"If you want less of some human activity, fine them for doing that. Fining people for buying things and owning property always works to reduce buying and owning."

Regular readers of this blog should appreciate the implication of "fining people for...owning property."