Archive for February, 2012

Last week, I covered the community of San Remo, and the week prior the community of Cortona in the Village of Laguna Altura. Before that, I provided an overview of Laguna Altura in the post on Toscana: Laguna Altura is an Irvine Company Village located at the intersection of Highway 133 (Laguna Canyon Road) and Interstate 405. The proximity to the Irvine Spectrum and nearby offices are ideal for local workers who desire a short commute. The ease of access to Interstate 405 and Interstate 5 cuts down the commute time of anyone working at a greater distance. This adjacency to the freeways does make the community a bit noisy despite efforts to buffer the sound. Further, the main entrance…[READ MORE]

There is a consensus that something needs to be done to fix the US Housing market. Of course, this consensus opinion is wrong, but everyone seems to have their pet idea on what form of market manipulation will produce a desired outcome -- ostensibly to reflate the housing bubble. I argue the pundits are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Sure banks, loan owners and true owners of real estate want to see prices stablize and go up because they want money. For them the current state of the housing market is a problem, but is it really something the rest of us should pay for though tax subsidies or higher real estate prices when it's our turn…[READ MORE]

This is a miserable time to be a realtor. Over the last five years, 21% have let their licenses lapse, total commissions are down over 40%, and 12% of realtors have reported losing homes. It's hard to feel too sorry for many of them. This is the same crowd that pushed homes on people as great investments in 2006. Conditions may be tough on realtors, but it has been more tough on their bubble-era clients. 1 in 5 gave up real estate license Published: Jan. 24, 2012 Updated: 12:25 p.m. -- posted by Jeff Collins California has 21% fewer people holding a real estate license than it did five years ago when the tally peaked at just under 550,000 licensees,…[READ MORE]

The bearish arguments for real estate boil down to two points: (1) overhead supply will overwhelm demand, and (2) rising interest rates will lower loan balances. These are two very different arguments. The supply argument is is based on the total number of homes demanded through household formation. The interest rate argument is based on the total amount those new households can borrow. I believe the first argument is compelling. There are too many houses to be absorbed by current demand. We know lenders are trying to match the rate they obtain foreclosures to the rate they sell them. In the process they have amassed a huge shadow inventory they are now planning to sell to private equity groups to…[READ MORE]

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