Posts Tagged 'recession'

Failed banks yield rare auction booty

Banks that have gone belly-up during this year’s financial crisis have left behind some unique items that are being sold at public auctions, reports the business news service Bloomberg.

Business has been good,” said Penny Worley, who opened her [auction] firm in 1993. “This can be a daunting task, because there are so much and so many different things. There’s an occasional Dali. There are rare gold coins.”

via Marijuana-Reeking Tour Bus, Red Ferrari Are FDIC’s Crisis Booty –

A rapper’s tour bus that sold at one bank auction “smelled so bad of pot after one tour that they had to completely pull out most of the interior and replace it,” an auctioneer told Bloomberg.

Hundreds of banks have failed this year, and the FDIC has recovered millions in losses by turning over assets for auction.

While you may not find a rapper’s tour bus, you will find local auctions on this page at — including images of print display ads that are listed in the right-hand rail of the page.


Buyer’s market in real estate rages on in Asheville

The buyer’s market rages on for residential real estate in Asheville.

Fresh new data on shows fewer and fewer homes are being sold in the area — to lows not seen in more than 5 years.

The percentage of homes sold in Buncombe County in the past 12 months dropped to just 2.2% in July and 2.5% in Asheville proper. In early 2007, about 10% of all homes in the area were being sold.

Not surprisingly, given the country’s economic woes, over 90% of the homes in Asheville have declined in value over the past year. In 2005, it was under 10%.

The latest data shows about 17% of the homes being sold in Asheville are being purchased for less than the previous owner paid — and that excludes  foreclosure transactions.

Home prices are dropping about 6% every 30 days, according to Zillow’s latest data.

Now may be the time to buy, and you can check out area homes for sale on

UPDATE: 5 reasons you should buy a house now.

Buncombe-Asheville Homes Sold

Buncombe-Asheville Homes Sold

Americans are freely shedding their past

The latest Zogby interactive poll says that Americans continue to shed their material past, and are giving a lot of it away for free.

Even during economic hard times, we find Americans more likely to give things away. I don’t believe that most are doing so in order to make room for new material objects. Instead, people are moving toward a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle. I call them Secular Spiritualists because they are looking for more meaning in their lives, and will seek it through family, friends, volunteering and leisure activities that fulfill their needs.”

via Zogby International.

One of the most popular search terms on is “free” and it returns hundreds of items. You can see what people are giving away on Iwanna just by clicking here.

Poll shows Americans adopt a more frugal lifestyle

Zogby International today documented America’s trend toward a more frugal lifestyle with poll results showing that the recession is affecting more than just discretionary spending.

Pollster John Zogby said:

Increasing numbers of people have become less materialistic and more interested in other, simpler forms of personal fulfillment.

via Zogby International.

The survey asked questions about economic lifestyle changes and found that cost-cutting is prevalent in all demographic groups — even those making over $250,000 a year. Americans are not just driving and eating out less, but they are reducing their housing expenses and are purchasing more second-hand apparel.

Iwanna has been the primary source for frugal shoppers in the Carolinas for more than 30 years. Now it is the area’s largest online user-generated shopping network.

Housing prices falling in Asheville but not like Atlanta ‘zombies’

Biltmore Forest home prices

The impact of falling housing prices is illustrated in this chart showing plunging home values in Biltmore Forest. Asheville seems to be holding together comparatively well, however, and Zillow reports some North Carolina communities such as Fayetteville are actually seeing housing appreciation.

In the South, nothing may be as bad as Atlanta, where failed housing developments and failed banks have left “zombie” subdivisions forming a “ring of death” around the city, according to the local newspaper.

To say the market has been sluggish would be an understatement. The main problem is sheer volume – a staggering 150,000 vacant housing lots across metro Atlanta are available, more than a decade’s supply at current absorption rates.

via Volume of ‘subdivision’ vacant lots overwhelms banks |

There are reports that Reality TV star Lisa Wu Hartwell and husband, former Oakland Raiders linebacker Edgerton Hartwell, have lost their home to foreclosure in Atlanta.

Experts say the bottom in housing prices may still be a long way off. Analysts at Deutsche Bank in New York are saying that 48 percent of mortgaged properties will eventually be underwater as they expect prices to drop through the first quarter of 2011.

We haven’t seen a bottom in home prices, and it could take into 2011 before we see equilibrium in the market,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital in New York.

via Underwater Mortgages May Reach 30% |

The good news is for first-time home buyers and investors with liquidity. Now is probably as good a time as any to look for housing deals.

Update: Data in distressed areas is showing that most housing sales indeed involve first-time home buyers using government assistance programs and investors using cash.

How to survive without money

Books on personal finance and debt management come in all shapes and sizes — especially in tough economic times like these — and some authors have made fortunes off people who need financial guidance. In fact, a new Gallup poll that shows frugality is the new normal for many Americans.

But there’s a guy out there who could write about frugal living to the extreme. Daniel Suelo literally lives without money in a cave in the Utah wilderness.

Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit. His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo.


Like financial advice, the concept of frugal living is in the eye of the beholder. But if you’re looking for affordable housing in Asheville that’s not a cave, try the Castles and Coves section of

Recovery will be a long slog for Asheville

IHS Global Insight forecast for Asheville

A leading economic forecaster predicts Asheville will be one of the slowest metropolitan areas in the country to return to pre-recession employment — putting Western North Carolina in the same boat as Rust Belt towns such as Flint and Detroit, Mich.

IHS Global Insight estimates Asheville won’t recover fully until the third quarter of 2014.

Most of the country — 286 of 325 metro areas covered in the IHS analysis_ aren’t likely to regain their pre-recession employment levels until at least 2012. Of these areas, 112 probably won’t return to their recent peaks until 2014 or later. These include Rust Belt towns such as Cleveland, Dayton and Akron, Ohio; Detroit, Warren and Flint, Mich.; the hurricane-ravaged Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss., area and the greater Los Angeles region, where the housing bubble and high unemployment have strangled the local economy…..

via naked capitalism: Prospects for Employment Recovery: Less Than Cheery?.

The Sacramento Bee’s website has a good interactive graphic detailing the IHS data. You can find it here.

Stay on top of jobs in Western North Carolina at Iwanna’s new online Business & Agriculture section.

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July 2019
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