March 26, 2009

During the dot-com bubble, experts pumped stocks they owned without disclosing. And during the housing bubble, hucksters like Gary Watts did it too


Gary Watts is the shamed and disgraced chief forecast hack for the Orange County Association of REALTORS on Commission, who was of course a house flipper on the side, making rosy predictions like his buddy David Lereah not because he believed his BS, but in a lame and failed attempt to pump the market to a willing REIC-supported press so he could cash in.

And no, at the time, this was not illegal. But in the future it DAMN WELL BETTER BE.

All reporters and analysts should be legally required to disclose their real estate holdings whenever reporting on anything to do with real estate in a public forum. Just as stock analysts must do today.

To recap Watts' attempted pump-and-dump (hat-tip Lasner at OC):

* In 2006, Watts forecast a 15% price jump. Instead, sales dropped 28% and prices rose a meager 2.4%.
* In 2007, Watts predicted that local house prices would increase 7%. Following the subprime mortgage meltdown, and prices ended the year down 10%.
* In 2008, he thought gains of 3-5% were conceivable for houses. By year’s end, the whole economy had tanked, and Watts had issued an apology. Home prices fell 30%.

And now? Watts is defaulting on one of the homes he evidently thought he could flip. Not because he can't make the payments (supposedly). No, he's defaulting because it's crashed in value, and hey, nobody has to honor contracts in America anymore. Especially not REIC hacks and failed housing gamblers.

Rage folks. It will build. Pure, unadulterated rage.

O.C. prognosticator defaults on rental house

In July 2005, while predicting a 15% gain in Orange County home prices, real estate prognosticator Gary Watts put about $77,000 down and bought a $765,000 rental home in Rancho Santa Margarita.

At first, he was pleased with the deal. A year later, the home’s value had jumped at least 8% to around $825,000 or more.

Today, however, Watts has defaulted on the home’s loan after the price dropped 22% from that original sale price. He’s currently in escrow, seeking his lender’s approval to sell it for nearly $93,000 less than he owes on it.

“I can make the payments. That’s not the issue. It’s a business decision,” Watts said. “I tried to work with the lender. The lender didn’t help. They said, go ahead, do a short sale. It’s strictly business.”

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

scum

Anonymous said...

It's in the bag.



The real PM

vanilla ice said...

You know what the half dozen bailout programs like the TARP Scam are supporting? Gary Watt's short selling habit. I wonder what TARP supporters say now?

vanilla ice said...

"March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor George Soros said U.S. commercial real estate will probably drop at least 30 percent in value, causing further strains on banks."

And people can't get enough banking stock

man up said...

it's strictly business. couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

LYun@realtors.org

Get him

Anonymous said...

The State of Calfornia should rescind its murder laws for one specific day. I wonder if he would survive.

Anonymous said...

vanilla said..
"March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor George Soros said U.S. commercial real estate will probably drop at least 30 percent in value, causing further strains on banks."

And people can't get enough banking stock
-----
In some areas this will be a minimum value decline for commercial props. A recent REO auction here in FLA that included a turn-key apartment building site had a minimum opening bid of $1.2 mil, or 75% off the purchase price of the land in 2006. There were NO bidders for this property, and investors interviewed indicated they have no interest until they see discounts of 90%+.

Mitesh Damania said...

Follow your masters here:

http://littlesis.org/

Anonymous said...

Keith said it would happen...

http://tinyurl.com/dlxfqb

Anonymous said...

So Gary "In A Body Bag" Watts can make his payments on his specuvestment property. Doesn't this qualify as a recourse loan? Cannot that lender go after assets this prick "owns". Then he goes on to say he can make his payments, but is choosing not to. WTF is going on this POS country?? This asshole needs to start decomposing ASAP.

Singular said...

When the people are weak and stupid, the government and people like Gary Watts will take advantage of them. Why should I hate Gary Watts? I would have done the same thing if I were in his shoes. If the laws are such that you can do this, then I think most people will. It shows what a stupid law it is - more like an honor system than a proper law.

As I have previously pointed out, the taxpayers are the slave class in America.

The above is simply another example of how the slaves are exploited in America.

Anonymous said...

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 only applies to your principal residence, so at least he'll get to pay taxes on an extra $90k of income on his 2009 return. Well assuming he pays taxes.

Markus Arelius said...

I'm so glad my increased federal income tax and increased California state income tax dollars could be of service to you, Mr. Watts.

Now go f*&% yourself.

John said...

OK, Knuckleheads you asked for it!!!

I know Gary Watts personally. I have listened to his annual economic forecasts for Orange County real estate for years, since the mid-1990's. Here is the deal, he has been doing this for about 30 years now, so he is not some fly-by-night charlatan. He is a real person, actually a very pleasant person and very professional.

He used to be referred to as Scary Gary because of his negative forecasts for real estate which incidentally came true. He is an economist by education and he does a lot of research before he gives his forecasts. His forecasts are based on facts, not whims.

Unfortunately he did not see this coming like others did, and he obviously got caught up in this personally. So what - he is not perfect and you can't have all perfect years. But keep in mind his forecasts were usually more accurate than anyone else's in the area including UCLA and Chapman College which I believe are done by Ph.d economists.

So while it is easy to diss him for his most recent calamities, his long-term track record is incredible.

The real estate agents that listened to him were not fed this information. His presentations give you the facts and you can make your own judgments from there, but all those agents which you hate so much have brains and they are as much responsible for drinking the kool-aid as anyone else.

Anyway, just my two cents. But I will not trash the man for a few mistakes, not after following his very accurate forecasts for years before this current mess we are in.

So there, how is that for a first hand account, you cretons!!!

AnonyRuss said...

"Anyway, just my two cents. But I will not trash the man for a few mistakes, not after following his very accurate forecasts for years before this current mess we are in.
So there, how is that for a first hand account, you cretons!!!"

I believe that you were attempting to type cretins.

Here is a nice Gary Watts recap from Lansner commenter lee in irvine:

10/23/2005 ~ “I only forecast off the numbers … It’s all based on pure economics.” ~ Orange County Register

02/13/2006 ~ “Fifteen percent is pretty much in the bag for Orange County in 2006 … It’s impossible for prices to go down this year.” ~ Fortune Magazine

07/21/2006 ~ “I think we probably are not going to see 15 (percent), but I think 11 or 12 (percent) is still realistic.” ~ Orange County Register

07/22/2006 ~ “”August ought to be the last month of weak appreciation numbers.” ~ Orange County Register

07/22/2006 ~ “I really think that we are pretty close to the bottom of our real estate prices … August ought to be the last month of weak appreciation numbers.” ~ Orange County Register

12/31/2006 ~ “If the un-motivated sellers stay out of the market, we could be in for a very big surprise.” ~ Orange County Register

01/01/2008 ~ “Cyclical housing downturns have always occurred. The good news is these situations do not last forever. The cycles tend to run approximately 27 to 36 months, so this cyclical downturn should run its course by summer.” ~ Impact Real Estate Jan 2008 Housing & Economic Forecast

06/23/2008 ~ “I apologize for not knowing what Wall Street did to our mortgages” … “I had no idea how Wall Street restructured these loans.” ~ Orange County Register

John said...

Here is a nice Gary Watts recap from Lansner commenter lee in irvine:

10/23/2005 ~ “I only forecast off the numbers … It’s all based on pure economics.” ~ Orange County Register

02/13/2006 ~ “Fifteen percent is pretty much in the bag for Orange County in 2006 … It’s impossible for prices to go down this year.” ~ Fortune Magazine

07/21/2006 ~ “I think we probably are not going to see 15 (percent), but I think 11 or 12 (percent) is still realistic.” ~ Orange County Register

07/22/2006 ~ “”August ought to be the last month of weak appreciation numbers.” ~ Orange County Register

07/22/2006 ~ “I really think that we are pretty close to the bottom of our real estate prices … August ought to be the last month of weak appreciation numbers.” ~ Orange County Register

12/31/2006 ~ “If the un-motivated sellers stay out of the market, we could be in for a very big surprise.” ~ Orange County Register

01/01/2008 ~ “Cyclical housing downturns have always occurred. The good news is these situations do not last forever. The cycles tend to run approximately 27 to 36 months, so this cyclical downturn should run its course by summer.” ~ Impact Real Estate Jan 2008 Housing & Economic Forecast

06/23/2008 ~ “I apologize for not knowing what Wall Street did to our mortgages” … “I had no idea how Wall Street restructured these loans.” ~ Orange County Register




Yes, he was wrong and was backpedaling and not wanting to believe the worse could happen - just like a lot of people - so what! But like I said he has a long track record of about 30 years and he just had a few bad years after drinking the Kool-Aid. He was not alone.

And thanks for correcting my spelling mistake, it was late the night I posted.