Sunday, May 01, 2005

If You Dial 911, It May Be Long-Distance

One of the reasons this blog exists is because of stories like this, which indicate the bubble will collapse under it's own weight. "Of the 867 firefighters covered by the study, 207 live in Montgomery, while 208 call Frederick County home."

"The numbers are even worse than they appear, county officials said. 'If you look at the 24 percent who live in the county, I think you will find a lot of them live with their parents.'"

"John J. Sparks, president of the firefighters association, said basic math is causing most of his members to live as much as two hours' drive from their fire stations."

"The county's security suffers if its emergency workers live too far away to get to work quickly during a catastrophic event. 'They really can't afford to live in the county they work in. The prices are outrageous and they continue to go through the roof.'"


At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont see the problem. Just start paying the fireman more and they'll be able to afford to live closer to the fires.

Besides, nobody ever said anyone had a "right" to live close to their jobs.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Van Housing Blogger said...

Hi anonymous,

If that happened, that would be exactly how high house prices feed into inflation. If that started to happen, then inflation would really start to take off. High inflation, high oil prices . . . 1978 all over again.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger deb said...

hello??? I think the fire fighter's situation is a symptom of a much greater problem.

Real wages are DECLINING and housing prices in my area have gone up over 200% since 1995. I think there might be a disconnect, ya' think?

I find it frightening that affordability is at all time historic lows, while interest rates are too. At least in the 90's rates were falling along with housing prices, making homes more affordable and conceivably softening the blow.

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that affordability is driving home prices upward due to historically low interest rates.

The Fed announces on Tuesday. I hope they remove "measured" from their stupid statements and announce that inflation will be fought at all costs. I'd love to see 50 bps, but what are the chances ? Zero.

A ton of houses are going to go on the market when interest rates move up.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The markets go up, they go down, then up, then down and so on. Sometimes they go higher than other times, and sometimes lower, Usually they take longer to go higher than they do to go lower.

Thats my take on it.

If money is the root of all evil, then debt is the all powerful fertilizer. Stay away from the fertilizer.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Greenlander said...

"I hope they remove "measured" from their stupid statements and announce that inflation will be fought at all costs."

I agree... although in the short term this would only have the effect of flattening the yield curve by driving down long rates even further... :(

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what year was it, 1994? when greenspan dropped interest rates with less than 2 minutes until the options triple expiration happened..

the dow went up 300 points in 60 seconds, and several large banks made billions in a split second- because as payment for bailing out LTCM, they were given the heads up about the interest rate change. they were able to buy up billions of dollars worth of options about to expire worthless for literally pennies.

and the rest, is history.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, anon 4:48, are you sayin that you think they may go the other way.

I don't think so, this time, but maybe no change. The Fed can't figure out whether to fight inflation, or deflation. They are both happening at the same time.

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Bay Area, this has been the case since the 1980's. Cops and firefighters live in towns like Vacaville and Fairfield, 50 miles north of San Francisco.

If another big earthquake occurs (like 1989) and knocks out a bridge, they'll be little emergency personnel within the city to control the chaos. it's probably worse now than 1989, the cops and firefighter probably live in Tracy and Modesto!

At 6:30 PM, Blogger goleta said...

The same thing applies to nurses and young doctors. These days many young medical graduates owe something like 300K of student loan from 8 years of college and medical education when they get their MDs.

The average college tuition has been going up like 10% annually for probably 15 years. Another key expense in addition to RE never been factored in counting inflation. So expect most health care personnel, especially the young ones to be far away from the expensive areas.


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