Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Charlotte, Time To Dump
According to this chart (click to enlarge) real estate in Charlotte, North Carolina is only down 2% from its peak.
That will certainly change with the demise of Wachovia Bank - which traded $1.26 a share yesterday and was swallowed up by Citibank for nothin'.
Everyone associates Charlotte with Bank of America but it's Wachovia that's the largest employer in the area with 20,000 workers to BoA's 13,960. (link)
Those stats don't quite tell the whole story as there are untold numbers of unofficial employees of the big banks down there. These are the *consultants*; and all the people I've met in this line of work do pretty darn well. Expect them to take healthy hourly pay cuts. And expect Charlotte real estate to join the nationwide downward spiral. Not only is the *end* of this real estate collapse *not in sight*; it's downright unimaginable.
I mean really, what's the landscape going to look like when NYC drops 30% from its peak? What's going to happen to our banking sector when nominal mortgage rates jump a couple of points to 8.5%?
Ready your bunker!
UPDATE - Today Wells Fargo has entered approximately a $7 per share bid for Wachovia.