Boy, can you get stucco in real estate investments

Sales of new homes came in disappointingly low in February…again. They were at levels not seen for nearly seven years.

And Florida has become the foreclosure capital of the United States. The Sunshine State has already gone from boom to bust many times. In the 20s, speculators bought and sold lots until they went broke in the 30s.

“You can get a house in wood…you can get brick…you can get stucco,” said Groucho Marx, playing a shyster land developer in the movie Coconuts, “…boy, can you get stucco.” Many people have gotten stucco in Florida property in the last few years.

“There’s something about Florida residential real estate that attracts speculators like an alligator to an easy meal,” says an AP story.

“As the market stalled, buyers were scarce and expenses rose, and they were forced to sell… There are for-sale signs on almost every other property on the most desirable road that embraces the graceful, white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Local newspapers carry four or more sections of real- estate advertising.

“Like so many formerly torrid markets, southwest Florida home prices are in retreat. Prices fell 2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year in the Naples area and more than 1 percent in Fort Myers after more than doubling in value over a five-year period, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the watchdog agency for the mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

“[A] combination of slower sales, higher mortgage rates, large inventories and cash-strapped flippers being forced to sell is tilting the balance to buyers now.”

Bill Bonner
Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

Latest posts by Bill Bonner (see all)

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Boy, can you get stucco in real estate investments"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Chuck Cobb

In southeast Florida in 2005, we had sales of 1 home for every 4-5 available. Today, we are now seeing 1 sale for every 18 to 25 homes available. Until this inventory can be absorbed, the housing market is going to continue to be slow.

Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to