The Great Middle Class Extinction: “95% of New Homes Built for Rich or Poor”

by | Mar 9, 2015 | Commodities, Experts | 72 comments

Do you LOVE America?



    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times all over again.

    “Since 2000, 95 percent of new households in King County have been either rich or poor. A mere 5 percent could be considered middle income.”

    That is a statistic reportedly true of Seattle – the heart of King County in Washington state – but which may well be a window into what is happening across much of the rest of the country.

    The Seattle Times provided a data map illustrating the disappearance of the middle class in terms of new homes purchased:

    Between 2000 and 2012, King County grew by 85,000 households — what Constantine referred to in his speech as “new households.” Data show that more than 40,000 of these households are low-income, earning less than half the King County median income (or about $35,000 in 2012). Roughly the same number are high-income, with earnings at more than 180 percent of the median (or about $125,000 in 2012).

    That means, of course, that there was barely any growth in the middle-income group — just 3,500 households earning between $35,000 and $125,000.

    Speaking to a New York Times reporter, Constantine put a Seattle spin on this redistribution of wealth toward the extremes: “It’s people doing really well, and people making espresso for people who are doing really well.”

    How the better off are buying new houses is straightforward enough. On the other hand, how can so many poor households – making less than $35,000 per year – be in such a better position that they are able to outpace the middle class in purchasing new homes 10-to-1?

    It either indicates the pace with which the middle class is shrinking in raw numbers, or indicates the level of government assistance so many have come to rely upon. Modern communities are often planned from top-down, giving builders incentives, grants and fee waivers to build low income single-family homes and “mixed-use” developments, with no incentive or even negative incentives (higher costs, increased zoning fees and permit paperwork) to build homes for those statistically stuck in the middle class.

    Between HUD home assistance programs, the Homeownership Voucher Program (which helps some to pay monthly mortgages) and other government subsidies for things like health care and food stamps, there is an increasing incentive for families on-or-near the line of poverty to fall below and take government help because staying above the line could mean drowning – or at best, treading water.

    As an informed commenter using the handle “Chandler the Demographer” noted:

    King County’s population seems to be in the process of dividing into two income classes: well-off households, and economically struggling households, with little recent net growth in the middle, except in a few neighborhoods. Yes, the income thresholds are arbitrary, but few would dispute that the broad range between $35k and $125k could be considered “middle income”, and it’s not good to see so little growth there.

    The middle class is becoming a no man’s land in the desert stretching across the vast wealth gap between the rich and poor, as Seattle has now seen in its recent housing trends.

    Certainly, a lot has been reported about the drastic decline of the middle class. Only a few weeks ago, SHTF reported how the home ownership level is at its lowest point since the 1980s, and the middle class is being the hardest hit:

    The American Dream is dissipating at a record pace, Wolf Richter argues:

    Homeownership in the fourth quarter dropped to 63.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest level since Q3 1994, according to the Commerce Department. In all of 2014, homeownership plunged by 1.2 percentage points, the largest annual drop in the history of the data series going back to 1980.

    That’s because home owners, particularly first time buyers, are being priced out and pushed way, while renters – in both apartments and homes – are rising.

    Since 2008, homeownership has been fading in all age groups. But in these two age groups, it plunged respectively 6 points and 7.9 points!

    And the bitter irony in the report? The vacancy rate in the rental market dropped to 7.0%, the lowest since 1993. America is turning into a country of renters.

    Worse, the wolves on Wall Street have pushed this trend deliberately.

    A host of speculators, private equity firms and Great White sharks have taken their free and cheap money – printed and handed over to them by the Federal Reserve – and used it not only to drive up single family home prices, but to buy them up and force more and more people to choose renting instead of owning!

    Now, Zero Hedge published a report seconding that with data showing that even that low figure has been fudged, and the that the real rate of homeownership is even lower than previously thought!

    As Bank of America summarizes, “this suggests that the decline in the homeownership rate thus far has been even more dramatic than the published data suggest.

    It does indeed, and as the chart below shows, when stripping away the now traditional assumption fudges which have flooded every single data set and made virtually all the New Paranormal data meaningless due to its reliance on pre-Lehman crash demographic and labor participation assumptions, the reality is that not only is the American Dream now completely over, but that the American Nightmare has never been worse, because as BofA just calculated, the real US homeownership rate has never been lower!


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      1. If you want to see the future the PTB (the real ones, not the ones you can see) look at Mexico or maybe the Philippines.

        • Sharon,
          the us is headed to that level very fast, maybe faster if it collapses soon.

          • The government cares not whether we have
            home or hearth as long as they are able
            to extract the last coin of the realm
            from our clutched fingers for tribute.

        • You don’t need to go Mexico or Philippines to see your future. They are coming to you.

          • Sharon didn’t say “GO” dumbass. Try paying attention. Difficult as that may be for you.

        • I don’t think ANY OF YOU GET IT,they plan to herd ALL the losers to america and THEN BOMB THIS COUNTRY OFF THE MAP….


        • Just more proof that the NWO plan is working. In a few years, the low income side will be losing their new homes to the banks, leaving only the well off with any success rate.

          These low income people are just being set up to fail.

          • And a few years after that the NWO PTB GB will be pushing for “person hood” for androids; who, working 24/7, will make just enough money of their own to buy their own closet with a Telsa plug in, solar panel, and spare battery pack.

            The future does not bode well for those without skills or ownership of the means of production. Get some. 🙁

            • Like Bender on Futurama…

              To tptb, Benders favorite saying, “Bite my shiny metal ass”…

              • You reference a cartoon… Then complain… Nuff said…

                • Sorry Orion, had a double meaning for DK. But I but guess no one got it.???

                  • People got it Eppster

                  • Thanks for the thought eppe, but I don’t watch TV much. From time to time I will catch FOX or MSNBC while at the LA Fitness. Its a wasteland and for the most part, so are they.

                    But Bender sounds like my kind of guy. 🙂

        • well said

      3. Even McMansions are built crappy…

        • Three houses up the street a neighbor is doing a $100,000 addition to his home. It’s entirely sheathed in mushboard, including the roof. Not a single piece of plywood.

      4. Karl Marx always favored the destruction of the middle class, and having a two class society. We’re headed that way here in the USA.

        • You mean marxism isnt puting on a mustache like Graucho marx?

        • not headed there, we are there

        • “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Thatcher

          • And in it lay its own destruction.

      5. In my miserable state, the state of socialism if I owned 5000 acres and wanted to build a industrial park and create 5000 jobs, they would have me in zoning red tape for f-ing ever. however if I wanted to build 5000 LOW income houses or apartments the would be tripping over them selves giving me permits and grants!!

        • Exactly java junkie… that’s exactly it! The system is built to create dependent classes, and they are building new houses to keep them that way.

          • The way things are going they will soon create a whole lot more non productive folks out of a group that is just barely eeking out a living,
            But none of us will be counted as unemployed even though our livlihoods are being strippe from us by government red tape

            • they have to have people they can control and if you control the food and housing then you control MOST of the people. or should i say SHEEPLE!

          • I learned a long time ago to be dependent upon yourself……So Far So Good!

      6. Greed, Greed, Greed.. Homes are unfordable and rent is getting there! Soon you will see lots of tent’s and boxes as people try to survive the outrageous prices.. We didn’t need Affordable Health Care, we needed Affordable Housing!

        • I have seen people living out of their cars. That’s what you’ll be seeing more and more until the lightbulb goes off and realize how badly they’ve been f**ked by those in charge.

          “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it, folks” – George Carlin

        • If you stay away from the big cities, there are affordable homes. I can’t believe what city apartments cost to rent these days when a rural home with 10% down is a fraction of that rent. There are some 2 bedroom nice homes selling for $28,300 to $37,000 in my area near fishing lakes and wildlife areas, and near several towns for jobs. Mortgage would be $163 to $205/a month with 10% down.

          Those who lost their homes also lost their credit ratings from foreclosure and are a poor candidate for a home loan. This is one reason they will have to rent for many years to be trusted again and build up their credit again.

        • I’ve been trying to find a place a little farther out than I currently am, and I went to look at one yesterday. It was one 10X10 room with a small toilet/shower/sink in one corner and a corner with a stove/refer/sink…They wanted $575 a month for it, utilities not included. I’m telling you, this thing looked like it belonged on a trailer. It looked like a remodeled hunting cabin.

          I could just about fit that whole structure in my living room. It was just about big enough to fit my preps in, as long as I gave up either my bed or my loveseat.

      7. IMHO the only way that we have left is STOP FEEDING THE BEAST, make them SHIT or get off the POT.

        • What do you suggest, that wouldn’t get us imprisoned or visited by the local SWAT team?

      8. People give up their life-force, WORK, to earn money. Some people live the high life and spend money easily throughout their lives – the result is that many of them don’t become homeowners. Other people spend money very carefully (tightwads) and some scrimp & save and eventually become homeowners. Career choices and efforts to excel at a job often result in more pay. Fast food preparation will not help a great percentage of those honorable workers to become homeowners. CHOICES are important. It should not be the role of govt. to guarantee everyone resides in the same level of home. Communism doesn’t work because you eventually run out of other people’s money (Margaret Thatcher). Think about it.

      9. In Snohomish County (the county just north of King County), the “middle class” housing boom is continuing. However, try buying a house for less than $300,000 – ain’t gonna happen. All the new tract housing STARTS at $350,000 and there are SQUARE MILES of them. They have shoddy construction, tiny rooms and no yard at all. If it weren’t for Boeing, Microsoft, etc none of these houses would sell. Even crappy built, unkempt properties with an acre lot are selling for $400,000. Snohomish County is also the “bedroom” community for Seattle – folks that work in Seattle and Bellevue buy houses out here because they can’t afford to buy in those cities. So they take it in the shorts with a 2+ hour commute every day.

        • I wonder what the prices are like on Whidbey Island now, around Deception Pass.

          • A bit better than SnohCo.

            You can still get affordable housing in Skagit County, if you work in Snohomish County the commute isn’t bad.

            • Thanks, I lived most of my time on Whidbey, on the base. BAQ was much less than civilian rent.

            • Hey Smokey, that is why I am selling out in snohco and semi-retiring to Skagit county up in the mountains. Already bought the place with cash and moving my business up there too. Cost of living is MUCH lower than snohco and Seattle metro area.

      10. Look at the price of the home you want an expensive home. Do you want to live in a hood not me. Homes are expensive damn right they are. My house is a 1family in a suburban neighborhood the homes are $200,000 average not a rich area. If my property didn’t increase in value over time that would mean the people that are lower income would buy around here. I didn’t choose this area to live with the welfare people. So for me this is good news maybe my place will go up in value. There are a lot of 100 year old textile factory buildings around here that are being restored and turned into upscale apartments in the $250,000 range. This is what is going on now. But I can see this not working out and the buildings owners going to the gov and saying they will take in subsidies. When this happens these buildings will be projects and attract the worst of society. This will bring the value of houses in nice ares up. You know what kind of people live in mobile home parks. I can live in structures that have other families on the other side of the wall. I tried it my kids make too much noise. In the end it’s just a dwelling if you don’t like where your neighborhood is heading put the sign out and move somewhere safer I think this is the hardest thing the future holds for housing houses of comparable square footage will sell for vastly different prices due to the demographics of the area. I’d rather pay the extra to live in better area. It’s worth it bite the bullet and pay up. The poor areas are high crime it’s a fact.

        • Agree: mixed income areas sound nice on paper but in reality, they can end up skewing heavily towards being overloaded with low-income, no-income people. Once governments realize they can dump people into the area, it accelerates, and soon you are stuck with hundreds of single mothers, just-released paedophiles/prisoners, drug addicts, Somali immigrants, etc. It is like this in the UK: you will see vast public housing estates filled with immigrants and the unemployed/unemployable with a handful of Victorian houses on the streets nearby. What happens is this: the Victorian houses trade for a million or more but the poor hipster saps who move into these places then become the prey for home thefts by the people in the subsidized housing across the street.

          It is much better to live in a neighborhood where everyone is middle class and up. Do a geographical assessment and make sure there is a large distance between where your house is and the subsidized housing. The good thing is many of these people have limited imaginations and do not stray too far from their ‘hoods, so the further you are away, the less likely they will come and rob you.

          • Did you really just group ‘single mothers’ in with pedophiles, prisoners, drug addicts, etc??

        • If you want to escape these high prices you have to be willing to move, find a new job and community. Small towns and rural areas are the best. I relocated from those areas you speak of in Eastern Pa. to the northern Midwest. I realized staying in eastern Pa was unaffordable after my divorce.

          I went from a $1200 mortgage to a $220 mortgage. I went from bad neighbors to two neighbors who are nice, but far away from me. I have thousands of acres of national forest as my back yard, and surrounding me are thousands of acres of lakes. The cost of food was cut in half at the grocery stores, the property taxes went from $5,000 to $350 a year. There is less crime here than in a higher populated area. The median income is lower, but the sacrifice is worth it. Most trailer parks in the area are for retired people on the lakes or at resorts. If you do move to affordable places and a nice bug out location, choose wisely.

          • I was just going to reply to ass hat about those “mobile home parks”, which are very different from your average trailer parks full of trash. I was just touring a “mobile estate” yesterday. It was clean and well kept. Everyone there was 55 or older, retired, decent people who worked for what they have. It was just too many of them in the same place for me.

      11. Ha ha copperhead my mother used to say shit or get off the pot. Funny is this a southern saying she’s from KY I’ve only heard it from you since nobody says that around here but I do. Any way I agree with the crane rigger CHOICES mcdonalds ain’t gonna cut it folks. Look at home prices working in fast food pays enough to live in your car. Myself I’m a combination of scrimp and save and tightwad. If you are getting free housing and you don’t like your neighbors move out and get your own place. My wife says quit being cheap I said why I earned it and besides look at all the people I bail out with my taxes. Uncle Sam forces me to pay for useless eaters so I’m doing my part.

      12. The rents are also escalating rapidly, to the point of being unaffordable on a low fixed income. The stated inflation rate is completely bogus like the unemployment numbers. There is’nt a shred of truth out of the mouth’s of these greedy warmongers. This country is nearly finished off and the evil proliferation of nuclear power and it’s depleting uranium weapons (half a billion years) is poisoning all of humanity, with those at the top apparently having an antidote. It is total insanity! I’m glad I am getting old and have lived the majority of my lifespan. The future looks bleak in America.

        • aljamo

          Getting old and feeling your limitations. Priorities will change and the best you can hope for is a video of you on the show, “Seniors Going Wild”, Hahaha!

          • The best that I personally hope for, is to die peacefully in my sleep, warm, fed and dreaming of better days.

      13. Where is the housing being built for the poor in America? I don’t see it anywhere. Homelessness is being criminalized. A horde of homeless people should smash the Georgia guidestones to rubble. The means TPTB are using to softkill our citizen’s are lengthy. Rise up and we will be nuked en masse. Any action to reverse the direction is likely futile. Right about now would be a good time to loudly voice our displeasure, maybe set off a spark to awaken a majority.

      14. On a lighter note, had my new well dug and installed a hand pump on the old one!! Woohoo!!

      15. rebound nest egg fund

        it will all just continue to erode and eventually implode.

        the trick of it , is to get out of it’s way and make money by any means from the downward collapse to grow your rebound emergency nest egg fund.

        having that financial buffer will be the difference between sinking or swimming upon the final collapse.

        it’s a good thing having financial wiggle room in emergencies.

      16. Live like your poor now so you wont realize it when you have no choice.

        • I live like I’m poor, BECAUSE I AM POOR.

      17. Here’s a few things I learn lately…just sharing.

        1. Middle age guy who is not happily married…don’t divorce…CHEAT! Divorce fucks up the kids and so on. Log onto online dating and go have fun.

        2. If you do NOT get along with your wife… convert your basement to a man cave and it’s like you are not married to her.

        3. To the young guys… NEVER MARRY…IT’S SLAVERY.
        4. Fuck stocks…silver and gold. I have etrade stock that is worthless. If I would have bought gold, I’d have $15k today.
        5. If you buy MREs..they sell you shit that is two years old. you only have a year with them. Beware. Just tossed out two cases. I ate some and got sick.
        6. Electric blanket… love it.
        7. Think about it.. if your wife is not the type to divorce you….go for an open marriage and go have fun. All she wants is the lawn mowed, to be treated well and you get her coffee in the am. Sure beats alimony.
        8. Spare me the marriage vow shit bible thumpers. My wife doubled in size and stinks. The tv is warmer than the stove and the place is always a mess.



        Date many women…you can promise them all forever.
        This will land you tons of sex.
        Let them break it off from lack of commitment.

        NEVER talk of work and never text during work hours.
        They angry bitches go after your job. Give them nothing.
        Leave a trail of broken hearts.

        Milfs… So many, so little time.

        Forget eating out.. bring over a box of spag. and a bottle of wine, a video… she loves the “family time” you get your pole smoked.

        OK… let the negative comments fly….

        • See….giving up is an option.

          Once over 50 the veil is lifted and you will have some peace in your life.

        • Very funny! Everyone has that moment in life where they realize it is nothing like what people tell you, or what the feminists say.

          If you are a white man these days, you need to be very careful how you organize your life or you will be massively screwed over. Most large organizations will discriminate against you when it comes to new hires so you need to factor this in to your plans. Play nice in your words, but be very strategic in your actions. Use a balance of power approach, pitting the black workers off against Asians. Works every time.

          When it comes to women, be very careful who you spend your time with. A majority of women in North America were raised to be very selfish. This means they manipulate and scheme to ensnare a man (and a house), and then they go to hell once they think they have him. But women around the world are not all the same. Spend your time with women who have different values and take good care of themselves and are not selfish.

          Always treat women with respect because to do otherwise will just harm you. But operate a three rule: if the woman does not behave well despite your polite behavior, then freeze them out of your life.

          • Seven ways to earn respect and honor:

            1. Go fishing with him, avoid chattering constantly, and bait your own hook. Learn to do things together, even if it means watching that sappy movie or drying the dishes while she washes.

            2. Have a beer WITH HIM, instead of banishing him to the local bar for a cold one. Never let the bar be more comfortable than your home.

            3. Women who only dress nicely and put on make-up when they’re going somewhere, probably ain’t doing it for their spouse. Let him know you’re doing it just for him, by also doing it just for him. Same for him. Let her know she’s your one and only.

            4. Being “equal partners” doesn’t mean you pout or cry when you don’t get your way. It means you both need to give AND take…and share.

            5. The world has a tendency to ‘divide and conquer’. Show your unwavering loyalty to each other, especially in public…save arguments for the privacy of your own home and let no one or nothing come between you.

            6. A decision is only ‘final’ when you both agree to it. Never use ultimatums or blackmail to get your way.

            7. Respect and Honor only comes through TRUST.

        • A couple of things I learned…..from your post.

          #1: Some men only think with their “junk”.
          #2: Some men only think with their “junk”.

          • the only reality is sex.

            In the end….that’s all there is.

        • Electric blankets emit a magnetic field that ADVERSELY affects the magnetic field of the human body.

          Skip number six. 🙂

          • Nice and warm though.

            I’ll die first of a heart attack shoveling snow. ha

            Live in the northeast.

      18. Low income housing is subsidized by the government. If not for that it would be the wealthy alone doing the building.

      19. If the minimum wage was adjusted where it should be it would be $25 an hour. The globalist have got what they wanted a rich class and a “poor”middle class. The “hated’ unions were right about NAFTA 18 years ago when they said the wages in this country would drop to third world standards with its passage. No one listened look at us now. The unions said that safety standards and environmental standards would be ignored when all of our jobs were sent overseas. Now economist agree.

      20. True couple things bitches are a pain in the ass. You get married your lucky if you get sex any more. To women the vagina is a tool to manipulate men that’s it. They act like they like sex but a lot of them don’t really wanna have it often. Any that wanna fuck too much are straight up pigs. Find a decent girl that takes care of herself . When a woman gets comfortable in a marriage they tend to get fatter and lazy. It’s tough but once you have kids your life is really over. Do not have kids with anyone get vasectomy immediately do not ever tell women you got vasectomy. This will put you out of getting sex. I don’t care what anyone says if she finds out you can’t have kids she will leave especially if your broke. All the whores on the porn sites are making$ they are not gonna just be a pig for no$ . It really doesn’t go by looks for bitches they know they can get fucked if they want. It how manipulative she is . They are smarter and more devious than us fellas.

        • been married over 40 years. same girl. got her when she was 14 and raised her up to suit me. She had our first child at 15. She has a pretty face and big tits. and still enjoys sex. She was a excellent mother to our children. and a good cook to boot. and can hit what she aims at with a gun. Only bad thing she tends to nag me about honey do jobs. I tell her I know about that stuff that needs doing. and I will get right on it. She don’t need to keep reminding me of it every 6 months. they are out there it just they are few and far between.

      21. Part time, low paid workers don’t buy homes. Thus, I predict another real estate collapse very soon. I suspect the government is going to own almost all mortgages and then they will redistribute the homes to the people who vote the proper way. This follows the current socialist logic in D.C.

        • Agreed. It’s not the wealthy being foreclosed on. It’s the poor who are trying to own something, that the govt already knows will fail.

          I wonder how many times any one home has been bought and paid for, more than once. Sell it, collect enough payments to ALMOST buy the property, then foreclose on it…sell it again, collect a substantial amount of payments, foreclose on it and sell it again.

          What a racket.

          • People bring foreclosure upon themselves by not making their housepayments–it doesn’t matter what the reason is, if you don’t pay, you’re eventually kicked to the curb.

      22. Too much sun,Arizona

      23. I can tell you this .in MA the food stamps are going to illegal aliens while middle class Americans can starve or freeze to death.I’ve heard of new arrivals receiving cash to furnish their sec 8 homes, heat them and food stamps. Meantime Americans go begging having lost their homes,jobs and hope.

      24. Is This The End?

      25. Since when is a gross income of $125,000 considered rich? Maybe in some areas, but if you’re anywhere near any major city, $125,000 a year is far, far, from rich.

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