Category Archives: Real-Estate


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Want to see a financial instrument that’s been carving out a series of higher highs and higher lows later, and has enjoyed a 15% appreciation since early August? Believe it or not, it’s that poor old battered beast we haven’t spoken about in years, the double-bearish ETF SRS:


To be sure, SRS has been viciously destroyed for years now, having peaked on a split-adjusted basis at $16,408.77 (yes, I’m serious) and presently trading at a level 99.8% lower than that. All the same, as my post earlier today about softening Palo Alto house prices suggested, we may well be past the peak of this particular bubble.

Compound W

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I haven’t done many real estate posts lately, although, as an update to this one (in which an empty dirt lot was being offered for $10 million) I’ll mention that although the For Sale sign seemed to linger longer than usual, it was supplemented with a SOLD sign yesterday. So I guess the Chinese are still buying.

I’ve become quite inured to the lunacy of Silicon Valley real estate, so not much surprises me anymore, but I saw a full page color ad this morning in Gentry magazine (which is a free magazine they distribute around here, packed with a combination of real estate ads, for the tech zillionaires, and plastic surgery ads, for their vain spouses) that demands a post. So I’m writing it, you lucky so-and-so.

The color photographs of this nearly $5 million property featured the most blase, ordinary, McMansion style place you could imagine, but the headline was……. (more…)

Ten. Million. Dollars.

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I have written about my town, Palo Alto, many times here on the Slope of Hope (a sampling can be found by clicking here), and these posts tend to focus on its rapidly-escalating real estate prices. I personally think we’re past the top at this point, since I’ve noticed the For Sale signs in my neighborhood are actually just sitting there. It used to be that houses sold instantly. At this point, I’m noticing the signs lingering for weeks. Something has changed.

In spite of this, I noticed something on my regular early morning dog walk that I wanted to mention. In the twilight of 5:30 a.m., I noticed a small home around the corner from mine had a For Sale sign. I had long noticed this little house, because it was on a surprisingly large lot, almost completely devoid of anything but squirrels, and it was a cute little cottage. Having seen the sign, I was curious what they were asking. Two million? Three million, perhaps?