Consumer Confidence: May 2012

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The Conference Board Consumer conference Index, which had declined slightly in April, fell further in May. The Index now stands at 64.9, down from 68.7 in April.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: ” Consumer Confidence fell in May, follwoing a slight decline in April. Consumers were less positive about current business and labor market conditions, and they were more pessismistic about the short term outlook. However, consumers were more upbeat about their income prospects, which should help sustain spending. Taken together, the retreat in the Present Situation Index and softening in consumer expectations suggest that the pace of economic growth in the months ahead may moderate.”

(Randy’s notes: If it’s any consolation, my 12 month averages for the past three years look like this…2009-44.96/avg., 2010-53.97/avg., 2011-58.08/avg., 2012-first 5 months 67.16/avg.)

Souce: The Conference Board

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New Home Sales in the USA

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New Home Sales

A little up-tick in new home sales… also, notice the Inventory of New Homes for Sale…record looowwwsss…markets change…so will these.

Source: Wells Fargo Securities

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Inventory Levels for Alexandria, MN: Market Date 5.23.12

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As of this morning, there are 228 lakehomes listed in Douglas County. Last year on this date, there were 238 lakehomes listed. In 2010, there were 233 lakehomes listed.

From the record year of last year to this year, the reduction represents 4.2% less inventory. Personally, we could use a 10% or more (20% would be fantastic) reduction to really help correct the market and shore up pricing.

In the residential category, there are 279 homes listed in Douglas County this morning. Last year there were 297 residential homes listed. In 2010, there were 320 homes listed at this time. 2011 was still a record year with 342 homes listed on August 9, 2011.

The current inventory is a 6.06% reduction from last year at this time. That’s a start, lets see where the market goes for the year. Typically, peak inventory times are mid-July to mid-August.

Source: Greater Alexandria, MN Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service

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Tidbits from Dick Grasso

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Listening to Dick Grasso this morning, former head of NYSE…he had this to say:

~ Biggest Issue in this election is Jobs
~ Congress is playing liars poker with fiscal cliff
~ We need Substantive Economic Reform
~ Need to cross party lines to create major structural reform
~ This will be a close presidential election

Source: CNBC Squawk Box

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Echo Press.50th Avenue Upgrade

Great news for the continued development of Alexandria, MN. Once Douglas County completes Pioneer Road, the routing will be most complete to the new high school and to Grand Arbor; and of course other development in this newly enhanced corridor.

Source: Alexandria, MN Echo Press

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Minnesota Homestead Property Tax Law EXPLAINED

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Homestead Tax Law Changes.2011

In trying to get my arms around the Homestead Law changes, I came across this tidbit in the property tax bill. Most of you had gotten it, and most of you had felt the effects of the State not sending out the money…that’s okay.

For years, we outstate folks had spent money on stuff that we did not collect the money for. The money got sent to us from the State, which collects more money from the metro folks than it did the outstate folks. So in a way, we here in outstate were kind of like the country of Greece; spending money we didn’t have.

Doing away with the revenue stream out of St. Paul to us here makes us more accountable for all that we do in regards to our budget. We the people in America should not be expecting other taxpayers to pay our bills. Now if we could only get the 40% of America that pays no taxes to get on board and pay a share instead of sucking the blood out of the hardworking taxpayers, life would be good.

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The past four and a half years!

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I started my own real estate company again-Randy Fischer Real Estate, on January 1, 2008 right before the beginning of the Great Recession. Never before had I seen a housing downturn like this one. Interest rates are under 4%, inventory levels are at record highs and sales are sub-par.

I started Counselor Realty on January 1, 1984 with my partners then, right during the other Great Recession. Home mortgage rates were near 13% then, inventory levels were high and sales were sub-par.

Why I seem compelled to start these real estate companies during these times is explainable, but not for the faint of heart. The work load and the commitment are a task that I can do. I actually welcome the long and stressful hours; the commitment…people call me, they need help and they ask me if I can help. I promise to do the best that I can do for them, irregardless of any market conditions. That’s what this is.

My hope is that my efforts have somehow guided those I have served into a better place financially and habitually.

This recession has literally punished the middle class from my view. They lost so much and continually work very hard. The middle class are the true backbone of this country. They pay the taxes, they raise families, they volunteer, they take care of their homes and they have strong moral and religious values. I hope their class survives…or this country will be a different place without them.

Randy Fischer Real Estate has been one heck of a journey…

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Lakehome Inventory for Alexandria, MN. 5.15.12

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As of this morning there are 223 lake home properties listed in the MLS for Douglas County.

Last year at this time, there were 221 listings.

It appears that we are about to go over the record highs for inventory…bummer

Source: Greater Alexandria, MN Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service

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The Oracle of Omaha

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I was watching Warren Buffet this morning on CNBC and writing down his comments. I thought that I would share the with you…

~ US financial structure makes it easier to solve our problems

~ Election will be overwhelming tied to the economy

~ It’s going to be very difficult for Europe to solve its problems

~ European elections highlight the problem of getting 17 countries to agree

~ We’ll have an economic jolt when housing construction returns.

~ Moving into cash isn’t a “risk-off” trade in my view

~ US economy has come back significantly, except for housing.

~ The proper way to buy stocks is consistently over time.

~ I don’t see Facebook as part of a bubble scenario

~ I personally find it hard to value a company like Facebook.

~ We are adding to positions we already own.

~ A productive asset will outperform a non-productive asset, like Gold, over time.

His economic insight is always enlightening; thank you Mr. Buffet for the morning thoughts.

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NEW CONSTRUCTION. 2001-2011. Douglas County, MN

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We are doing numbers below what we were doing in 2001…the change we got the last 4 years has been tough. What goes down, must come up…

New Construction Douglas County

Source: Douglas County Assessor

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