Archive for January, 2012

Ordinarily, housing market pricing gets pushed up to the limit of affordability. Chronic shortages of housing keep prices high, and homebuilders respond by providing new homes to meet the demand. In short, demand nearly always outpaced supply. In the aftermath of the housing bubble, that is no longer the case. Many of the houses built during the rally of the housing bubble were a response to artificial demand caused by unstable loans being given to people who didn't have the capacity to repay the debt. As a result, homebuilders produced many homes that were not necessary, and to make matters worse, the people to whom these houses were sold now have bad credit, so demand is curtailed until their credit…[READ MORE]

Three recent news stories strongly suggest the GSEs have too many REOs, and they are working feverishly to prevent their REO inventory from growing out of control. First, the federal reserve has identified markets to sell bulk REOs to companies willing to convert them to rentals and hold them until the market recovers to sell off their REO inventory in bulk. Second, the FHA has waived the anti-flipping rule again to help them clear out their REO inventory. Third, Freddie Mac has extended the forbearance for jobless borrowers so they don't have to add to their REO inventory. These stories paint a picture of a federal government desperate to manage an REO inventory which must be growing out of control.…[READ MORE]

I often get emails or comments from people sharing their homebuying experiences. Sometimes, they allow me to share these with everyone on the blog. Next weekend, I will report on a borrower's experience with Farmer's and Merchant's Bank. Today, I will share a story posted in the thoughtful remarks this week by mofa. Real experiences from real people mofa says: January 6, 2012 at 9:23 am (Edit) I’ve been meaning to follow up on the short sale I was trying to purchase in south Redondo Beach in the spring. It went through, and no one was strangled, which I believe should be the criterion for “successful” short sales. It was visible as an active listing for about twelve hours on…[READ MORE]

Today's post comes out of the conspiracy theory vaults, but it supports a contention I have been making for the last few years: shadow inventory is much larger than most housing analysts believe. CoreLogic reports shadow inventory at 1.6 million units. With nearly 10 million loan owners underwater and prices falling, hope is fading for the middle class hanging on to their dreams of equity. Many of these people will strategically default, and if the featured article today is accurate, perhaps many of them already have. Michael Olenick: Is Shadow Housing Inventory Vastly Larger Than Widely Believed? By Michael Olenick, founder and CEO of Legalprise, and creator of FindtheFraud, a crowd sourced foreclosure document review system (still in alpha). You…[READ MORE]

When house prices were going up, everyone wanted to own to capture appreciation. When house prices started going down, those who recognized the trend wisely chose to rent instead. As the bust drags on even the most kool aid intoxicated are beginning to see the wisdom in renting. Better to throw your money away on rent than to throw it away on interest to support a depreciating asset. 6 Reasons Why Buying A Home Is Like Throwing Away Money Girls Just Wanna Have Funds | Jan. 1, 2012, 10:04 AM Most people see buying a home as a part of the “American Dream”, well for most it’s become a nightmare.Buying a home is pretty much the best way to throw…[READ MORE]

Hope springs eternal. People are prone to believe what they want to believe, and with a little bullshit from the the National Association of realtors buyer sentiment toward housing has barely declined at all since the housing bubble catastrophically burst six years ago. Take a careful look at the chart below, and marvel over the foolish optimism of potential homebuyers. Most homebuyers over the last 10 years are currently either underwater or the value of their home is worth less than they paid for it. Homebuyer sentiment during the housing bubble was high, but that isn't surprising given the strength of the kool aid. What shocks me is how well homebuying sentiment has held up during the crash. Sellers on…[READ MORE]

When I first started writing about the housing market in 2007, I gained attention by making some outlandish predictions about the housing market. I was one of the few who publicly made the case for a crash in housing prices. I laid out the case, provided my reasoning, and stood by my predictions. I reviewed my results in early 2011 in Predictions versus reality: Irvine Renter’s track record. Today, I want to take a another stroll down memory lane and make new predictions for 2012. 2007 In 2007, I said house prices would crash in Predictions for the Irvine Housing Market (2007). Below is a chart I created to demonstrate what I believe will occur in the Irvine Housing market…[READ MORE]

A new study from Office of the Comptroller of the Currency showed mortgage delinquencies at major banks at 12% when it is normally less than 1%. Many of these mortgages are shadow inventory where banks have been allowing delinquent mortgage squatters to stay rent-free for years. Also, foreclosures are increasing rapidly as the banks are finally accepting rising prices will not bail them out, so they are going to have to clear out the delinquent borrowers on their own. Amend, extend, pretend is dead. Mortgage Default Is A Financial Bonanza For Many Homeowners As Foreclosure Crisis Continues December 22, 2011 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) painted a gloomy picture for the housing markets with its release…[READ MORE]

Monthly Housing Report

In Memoriam: Tony Bliss 1966-2012