Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Florida Home Sales Increase for 15th Month, Southern California Homes for 17th Month

1. Florida’s existing home sales rose in November, marking 15 months that sales activity has increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors.

2. Southern California’s housing market continued its step-by-step climb up from the January-February bottom as both sales and prices saw gains last month. A total of 19,181 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 13.3 percent from October’s 22,132, and up 14.7 percent from 16,720 for November 2008, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego. The year-over-year increase was the 17th in a row.


At 12/23/2009 1:55 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well theoretically home sales could still be good in Florida since there are still a lot of empty places going back to the bank...

Florida Foreclosures for Sale, Underwater Loans Still High

December 2nd, 2009 by Peter Vernon

The number of Florida foreclosures for sale in the residential sector is still high because of the high number of underwater borrowers defaulting on their loans.

According to a research firm, almost 50 percent of the 4.5 million mortgage loans in Florida were underwater, putting the state second in a ranking of states based on percentage of underwater mortgages. In the July-September quarter, another 180,178 mortgages became underwater. (there's a bit more)

At 12/23/2009 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the collapse in real estate prices, the weak economy, and the epidemic of foreclosures, banks are acting with more caution than before. They now commonly require home buyers to make down payments of 20 percent to qualify for a loan. But the FHA often requires only 3.5 percent.

That's the equivalent of playing pool with a guy named Snake, and it's had two predictable effects. The first is that the agency is insuring about four times as many home loans as it did just three years ago. The other is that the number of FHA-approved borrowers who are not repaying their loans is climbing. Since last year, the default rate has jumped by 76 percent.

Another likely consequence looms: you and I eating the losses. A former executive of mortgage giant Fannie Mae told a congressional subcommittee that the FHA "appears destined for a taxpayer bailout in the next 24 to 36 months." Commissioner David Stevens had to assure the subcommittee that it would not need help—well, unless there is a "catastrophic home price decline."

But who says there won't be? It's not as though anyone at the FHA foresaw the housing bubble or the housing bust. Yet now it feels confident betting its $30 billion cash reserve that prices won't fall.


SAN FRANCISCO -- In January, Mike Rowland was so broke that he had to raid his retirement savings to move here from Boston.

A week ago, he and a couple of buddies bought a two-unit apartment building for nearly a million dollars. They had only a little cash to bring to the table but, with the federal government insuring the transaction, a large down payment was not necessary.

"It was kind of crazy we could get this big a loan," said Mr. Rowland, 27. "If a government official came out here, I would slap him a high-five."

In its efforts to prop up a shattered housing market, the government is greatly extending its traditional support of real estate, including guaranteeing the mortgages of middle-class and even upper-class buyers against default.

New York Times

Obama and the Democrats are simply doubling down on the bad bets that caused this crisis.

Now may, in fact, be a good time to buy a home and shift the risk to the taxpayer/sucker. It's a "no-brainer". If all goes well you capture the appreciation, if not you simply stick the taxpayer/sucker with the lousy mortgage.

Hope and Change.

At 12/23/2009 2:41 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey anon @ 12/23/2009 2:31 PM, thanks for the links in your comment...

Good stuff!!

From the Economic Times:

US new home sales slump 11.3 per cent

The Commerce Department sales sales plunged to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 355,000 from a downwardly revised 400,000 in October.

The figure was far below analyst expectations for a pace of 440,000 new home sales. (there's more)

At 12/23/2009 3:01 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, stopping the deflating of a bubble is not the same as expanding a bubble even more. There's no longer a homebuilding boom. People should be living in those excess houses.

At 12/23/2009 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no longer a homebuilding boom. People should be living in those excess houses.

The market provides a mechanism to accomplish this - it's called pricing.

The government is making it more difficult for the market to clear and dragging out what might otherwise be a short and, yes, painful process.

This is yet another transfer of wealth from one group of Americans to another. Buyers, who prudently waited out the bubble, are now forced to pay more for a home, while those who speculated on a continued rise in housing prices are having their losses mitigated by the government subsidies. Worse still, the government is once again putting taxpayer money, and the greater economy, at risk in order to achieve a short term political goal.

At 12/23/2009 4:13 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, it's much more difficult to defend the free market than promote government, because the brutal efficiency of the free market kills the weak and even many of the strong suffer over an unacceptable period of time, although it may be short.

At 12/23/2009 4:26 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Peak Trader, Your comment was truly astute and succinct. I don't think there is patience in U.S. society for short term pain to promote long term health -- as far as the economy. That would take far sighted leadership that forsake politics.

At 12/23/2009 5:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Builders Coming Back to Life in Some Markets

December 22, 2009 10:58 AM CST

Homebuilding in Southwest Florida and two metros in North Carolina are proof that growth can vary greatly from market to market...


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