January 8, 2008

64 on Game Farm Road

This morning's Journal reports unseasonable temperatures, a January spring. It peaked at 62 at the airport yesterday and 64 on Game Farm Road, and we'll see similar temperatures today.

There was a closed hearing in the Manos murder case yesterday, most likely about evidence.

TC3 President Carl Haynes will be receiving the Chair Academy's Paul A. Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award.

The opinion page is largely about state issues. The editorial is a wishlist for Governor Spitzer's "State of the State" address. Jay Gallagher provides a lot of comparisons of New York with other states.

There's also a guest column calling on Governor Spitzer to address subprime lending, but I'm kind of confused. New York seems generally to have had fewer problems than many states, notably Ohio to our west. The article specifically mentions foreclosure "rates in Ithaca spiking to 17.8 percent in the last year". If 17.8% of mortgaged houses in Ithaca were being foreclosed on, I'd expect to be hearing about a complete crash in the local housing market. It's possible that foreclosure rates are up 17.8%, but from what base, I don't know. (I also don't know if that's the City of Ithaca, or the metropolitan area, or the county.)

It would be nice to see some real data on this. The New York Times had a map of the state showing the impact a while ago, but I'm pretty certain that's out of date. Update: This map showing data through September also doesn't show much dreadfulness in New York State.

Posted by simon at January 8, 2008 8:50 AM in , , , ,
Note on photos


Dave said:

I did some rough numbers on this increase - and I have no idea how many homes are foreclosed in "Ithaca" each year - but I would hope it is less than 100 total (though I don't know how many homes there are 'total' or anyone who has foreclosed this year).

To get a 17.8 percentage, about 1 out of 5 homes had to have been foreclosed on this year.

To get a 17.8 percent 'increase' (to work in as whole numbers as possible) here are some possibilities:
|2006|2007| % | Homes |
| 96| 113|17.70| +17 |
| 79| 93|17.72| +14 |
| 90| 106|17.77| +16 |
| 45| 53|17.77| +8 |
| 73| 86|17.80| +13 |
| 84| 99|17.85| +15 |
| 56| 66|17.85| +10 |
| 28| 33|17.85| +5 |
| 95| 112|17.89| +17 |

|2006|2007| % | Homes |

If we aim directly for 17.8% then in 2006 there were 73 homes, in 2007 there were 86 homes, a 13 home increase (17.8%). While a 13 home increase is bad, what were we doing when there were 73 homes being foreclosed in 2006? That seems like a very high number.

The lowest number pair that calculates close to 17.8% is going from 28 foreclosures to 33 foreclosures (5 home increase = 17.8%). If this is the case, we still should try to find out why we had 28 last year, but also why the Ithaca Journal wants us to think 1 out of 5 homes is being forclosed, when it looks like perhaps as few as five additional homes in "Ithaca" were foreclosed from one year to the next.

As Simon said, it would be nice to see some real data. Percentages, especially percentage increases, can be construed too many ways to have a positive effect on the problem.

Craig said:

I should probably post this over at your garden site. If you haven't discovered it already, the Game Farm Rd. weather logger is online here:


Looks like the high today was 67.

The most helpful part of this logger is the soil temps. When you get the itch to put stuff in the ground in spring, it's a good reminder how far the soil temps lag behind the air temps.

NYCO said:

That stuff about Ithaca and "spiking foreclosure" doesn't make any sense, at least in the context of subprime. In fact, most national media stories I've seen have pointed out Ithaca (and other college towns) as being especially untouched by all the housing problems (bubbles, subprime, etc) being faced elsewhere in the country.