By Doug French, Casey Research: In March, 2009, under pressure from Congress, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, a private-sector organization, motivated banks to become the worst slumlords and neighbors imaginable.
Entries in Housing (36)
By Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner: Is the long running US housing bubble saga coming to an end? From the way the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales had a year to year decline in September, you’d think so. But they compared two seasonally adjusted numbers. In unadjusted terms, the index rose (a still lousy) 1.1%.
By Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com: Property developers in the US, aware that land value jumps as soon as mineral deposits are found in the area, have begun to retain oil and natural gas extraction rights beneath the houses they sell – to sell those rights to oil and gas companies in the future. In many cases they don’t even advise property buyers.
You can’t get away from it. The media fawn over it. Rational neighbors drool unexpectedly. Ads flood the airwaves. "Learn our simple three-step system on how to flip homes," the announcer says. Everyone knows: untold riches are waiting for you. "Right here in the Bay Area," he says. It’s hot, so hot that people will get burned. And banks will get hit (again).
By Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner: New home sales remain depressed, near historic lows despite the biggest August sales increase in 7 years. Housing may not be a drag on the economy, but it’s not making a positive contribution either. Yet housing inflation rages, with new home prices above the peak of the 2006 bubble. If that was a bubble, what’s this?
Oaktree Capital and Carrington Mortgage are trying to dump a portfolio of 500 single-family homes they’d bought out of foreclosure. They’re trying to get the heck out of the once hot buy-to-rent trade. Blackstone, which gobbled up 32,000 of these homes, is trying to get its money out. They all are. That trade is turning sour. Trouble in the housing market!
When the Fed shied away from tapering its $85 billion a month in asset purchases, while simultaneously downgrading the economy for the third time this year, it gave the impression of being mired in fear. It has many reasons to be afraid. But one in particular.
While Texas hadn’t experienced the crazy run-ups in home prices that other cities had seen during the housing bubble, it did experience a collapse in demand for new homes. For builders the story was bloody. In Dallas, half of them didn’t make it. But now, prices in the delayed Texas housing bubble hit all-time highs. Builders are giddy. And cracks are forming.
By Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner: There’s been a lot of talk over the past year about the housing “recovery.” But the fact of the matter is that in terms of new single-family homes, there’s no genuine recovery, but there’s certainly a bubble in prices.
Home prices have jumped around the country, in some cities over 20% on an annual basis. “Recovery of the housing market,” is what this phenomenon is called. Everyone from President Obama on down has taken credit for it, particularly the Fed, whose handiwork this is. But there is a very ugly fly in this illusory ointment.
By Michael Lombardi for Profit Confidential: Homebuilder stocks are heading into dangerous territory; investors need to take note, even if they don’t own these stocks. The move to the downside for this barometer of activity in the U.S. housing market is significant.
By Lee Adler, of The Wall Street Examiner: By now it’s clear to everybody, even the Fed, that QE does absolutely nothing to stimulate economic growth while fomenting bubbles in housing and stock prices. The Fed will disingenuously use steady job growth as an excuse to begin cutting back on QE soon. But its real reason lies elsewhere.
Wall Street engineering is back in the housing market. Its newest product is one heck of a contraption, a synthetic structured security of the type that helped blow up the financial system back in 2008. It’s like those triple-A rated mortgage-backed securities that became toxic waste in your “money-market-equivalent” bond fund – only worse.
We do get into serious econ topics ... the bloodbath in Real Estate Investment Trusts, the negative feedback loop that their high leverage and forced sales of mortgage-backed securities have triggered, its impact on the housing market.... (video).
The asset bubbles the Fed’s money-printing and bond-buying binge has created are spectacular, the risk-taking on Wall Street with other people’s money a sight to behold. Big winners were mortgage Real Estate Investment Trusts – and those who got fat on extracting fees. But now the pendulum is swinging back, and the bloodletting has started.
Contributed by Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential: The US housing market recovery took it on the chin this week. While most investors were focused on the collapsing stock market, courtesy of the Fed’s announcement that it would "taper" its money-printing program later this year, bond yields rose sharply. And mortgage rates followed.
Contributed by Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential: It’s almost as if the mainstream media is defining the U.S. housing market as being “hot,” while some economists are calling for robust growth ahead. But the reality is that we are far from a recovery in the housing market and more troubles could follow.
The good old days are back. Those days when money grew on trees: home prices jumped 10.9% year over year, based on data through March 2013. The usual suspects: Phoenix soared 22.5%, San Francisco 22.2%, Las Vegas 20.6%. You can’t lose money in real estate. I’m already hearing it again.
Unlike Detroit, which will run out of cash next month, Japan prints its own money, so bankruptcy in the Detroit sense is not in the cards. But they do have two things in common: depopulation and a ballooning stock of abandoned houses. For Japan, it’s an issue that even the most prodigious money-printing binge cannot resolve.
We have seen it for several years: foreclosure sales have become the hunting grounds for investors with two goals: hanging on to these homes until the Fed’s flood of money drives up their value; and renting them out. Thousands of smaller investors have piled into the game. And so have the giants. But now the second half of the equation is collapsing.