We have been waiting almost 18 months for the government to allow housing prices to fall to their natural market-clearing levels. First, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates and directly purchased mortgage-backed securities, then the federal government began providing tax incentives and credits to further prop up prices, even California got into the tax credit act. And for what? Prices are still going to fall.
Existing-home sales were sharply lower in July following expiration of the home buyer tax credit but home prices continued to gain, according to the National Association of realtors®.Notice how carefully the NAr spins this disastrous headline. First, they fail to mention that the sales fell to a record low. Second, they suggest that a decline of this magnitude was expected. And third, they add that prices[READ MORE]
In an acknowledgment that the foreclosure crisis is far from over, the Obama administration on Wednesday pumped $3 billion into programs intended to stop the unemployed from losing their homes.So what has he done to provide aid to unemployed renters? Unemployed loan owners already get to squat in relative comfort, eat three meals a day, and surround themselves with creature comforts whereas renters double up with friends or sleep in their cars. Yet, despite this obvious unfairness and disparity of benefits, the government sees fit to provide even more aid to homedebtors while unemployed renters get to sleep in shelters. And how about you working renters who[READ MORE]
Some people ain't no damn good. You're going to meet some of them in today's post. For those of us who didn't participate in the housing bubble, no good deed goes unpunished. I have been the whippin' boy for kool aid intoxicated fools who can't deal with the inconvenient truths I display on a daily basis. I've had that pleasure for years and years. Second best is all we seem to get by playing by the rules. Irresponsible homedebtors get loan modifications, no-interest loans, and principal forgiveness, and we have to pay for it! And the irresponsible get to walk away from their debts with no repercussions, and many don't think they did anything wrong. They're victims of circumstance so they say. Everyone else did it, so it must be okay. I say screw them. Get the lazy squatters the hell out of our houses! What the lenders lifted[READ MORE]
Every homeowner loves their property. As the foreclosures pile up and homeowners are forced into a life of rentership, many will come to question their love affair with homeownership. Was it really about owning the home, or was it about having their own private ATM machine? Whatever the reason, these properties are a source of pain, and may just want the pain to end.
The National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) reported results of its latest Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions Friday, stating the industry is on the rise, improving in all four indices surveyed and setting an index average record for the second quarter in a row. The results show a shift in consumer mentality toward short-term rental agreements and away from long-term[READ MORE]
When the Clash wrote their smash hit about a relationship on the rocks, they had no idea they would be speaking to the fortunes of millions of homeowners in the aftermath of the housing bubble. The question posed by this song, "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" is on every struggling homeowner's mind. If they go there will be trouble, but if they stay it could be double. With the fate of so many borrowers now in the hands of their lenders, most just want to know, "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"
Tens of thousands of Bay Area homeowners are trapped in a bizarre real estate limbo, living in houses but no longer paying for them, waiting and[READ MORE]
The FHA has to navigate the waters between qualifying enough borrowers to absorb the foreclosure inventory and qualifying too many borrowers who fail to make their payments and end up as foreclosures. If they error to the conservative, house prices fall because demand is curtailed. If they error to the permissive, the government is going to pay for a huge bailout. The FHA stabilized the housing market by providing low-interest and low down payment loans to buyers when private institutions were unable and unwilling to do so. The FHA's market share typically runs from 8%-10% of the market, but it fell to 2% during the housing bubble as asset-backed security (ABS) loans took its market share. In the aftermath of the credit crunch and the withdrawal of private investment from unbacked mrtgages, the FHA's market share has climbed to over one-third of the mortgage loan market. The FHA and the GSEs insure[READ MORE]
For someone who writes bearishly about real estate almost daily, it will surprise some to hear me be completely and unabashedly bullish. I am very bullish on Las Vegas. I will put my money down there, and let it ride.
Over the weekend, your California editor jumped the border into Nevada. He took a spur-of-the-moment road trip to Las Vegas with his co-editor, Joel Bowman. During their two-day romp in Sin City, neither editor engaged in any activities that needed to “stay in Vegas.” No drunken debauchery to report…or not report. No big-ticket gambling losses…or small-ticket moral lapses. Just the same old wholesome living with which they routinely bore themselves. While most of the tourists were busy losing their money and sleeping off hangovers, your editors were busy gathering macro-economic data points. After all, Las Vegas may be famous[READ MORE]
Americans in the second quarter tapped the smallest amount of home equity in a decade, showing households are focused on repairing tattered finances.No. It shows that households don't have any home equity left and that the housing ATM has been turned off. The writer of this article is implying the lack of mortgage equity withdrawal is a prudent choice of wise financial managers. Do any of you believe that?
Owners took out $8.3 billion while refinancing prime home loans as borrowing costs dropped from April through June, down from[READ MORE]