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The U.S. housing market and any economic recovery are confronting a brick wall, and no one is discussing it. Like a speeding train, the housing market and our economy are heading over a cliff with no bridge. Yet no one in Washington wants to discuss this very real and approaching danger.
Recently, Salon ran an article on the conflicting, confusing and ineffective nature of housing policy to date. The article traced the conflicting narratives and debate associated with principal reduction and the Obama Administration’s efforts in this arena.
Andrew Leonard states that there is a “nightmare scenario” in which Congress fails to extend essential legislation before it expires at the end of this year. If Congress does not act, we will almost inevitably see a further collapse in the housing market, with a ripple effect that has the potential to destroy vital consumer confidence, stop any economic recovery or even cause an economic catastrophe.
Any housing recovery is almost unquestionably dependent on the continued growth of short sales. If Congress fails to act, short sales will almost certainly return to an anemic level. We are playing fire, and the chances of serious burns are not slim.
America deserves better than silence. If there is a reasonable rationale for failing to extend this critical tax exemption, let’s have it. But, this is a clear case, where the failure to discuss our options and act rationally, could set-off a domino effect destroying everything our nation has sought to avoid over the past 5 years.
We are on a speeding train approaching a cliff with no bridge across it. Our conductors are either unaware of the danger, of for some unknown reason, want to keep the passengers calm as we sail over the precipice.
We ain’t even close to the bottom -
Homes in some stage of foreclosure accounted for more than one in four home sales during the first three months of the year, according to a report Thursday.
Distressed properties that were either in default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned accounted for 26% of all residential sales during the first quarter, up from 22% in the previous quarter and 25% a year earlier, RealtyTrac said.
Altogether, 233,299 distressed properties were purchased during the quarter, an 8% increase from the previous quarter. Those homes sold for an average of $161,214, 27% below the average price of a home not in foreclosure.
The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes fell in April by the most in a year, indicating the U.S. housing recovery remains uneven.
We ain’t even close to the bottom yet: Home prices lowest since 2002
Home prices hit new post-bubble lows in March, according to a report out Tuesday.
Average home prices were down 2.6% from 12 months earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major markets. Home prices have not been this low since mid-2002.
If it has slipped your mind, there’s quite a bit of evidence in the public record of systematic fraud in the Rocket Scientists’ of Finance creation of the home equity bubble. Neither Obama nor the Democratic Party leadership on the Hill seem particularly concerned. So to, it appears, with our State and District Attorneys.
We’re not even close to the bottom yet. Zerohedge: In what appears to be surprising news for some, Reuters has an article titled “Americans brace for next foreclosure wave” whose key premise is that “a painful part two of the [housing] slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.”
Thank the robosettlement, where in exchange for a few wrist slaps, contract law was thoroughly trampled by America’s attorneys general, but far more importantly to the country’s crony capitalist system, the foreclosure pipeline was once again unclogged, and whether one does or does not have a legal title on a given house, the banks are now fully in their right to foreclose on it. What this means also is that America’s record shadow housing inventory, which is far greater than any fabricated number the NAR reports on a monthly basis, is about to get unleashed on buyers, shifting the supply curve much further to the right, as up to 9 million new properties slowly but surely appear on the market. And while many will no longer be able to live mortgage free, forcing them to go out and rent (and no longer be able to afford incremental iGizmos), it also means that the prevalent price of homes is about to take another major tumble, making buffoons out of all those who, once again, called for a housing bottom in early 2012.
We’re not even close to the bottom. CNNMoney:
The housing market started off the new year with a thud. Home prices dropped for the fifth consecutive month in January, reaching their lowest point since the end of 2002.
The average home sold in that month lost 0.8% of its value, compared with a month earlier, and prices were down 3.8% from 12 months earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major markets.
Home prices have fallen a whopping 34.4% from the peak set in July, 2006.
We’re not even close to the bottom: Economic Recovery? What Recovery?
Reporting it doesn’t make it so. In fact, it’s more illusion than fact, but that doesn’t surprise half of US households impoverished or bordering on it, according to recent US Census data.
Nor are independent analysts and economists fooled. Last summer, economist Richard Wolff called “so-called economic ‘recovery’ since mid-2009….chiefly hype, a veneer of good news (benefitting corporations and elitists) to disguise and minimize the awful underlying economic realities.”
Since crisis conditions began in fall 2007, most people experienced pain without gain. For them, current conditions are worse, not better, with no policies proposed to help them. That’s today’s grim reality, especially across America and Europe.
So here’s what needs to be said about the latest [jobs] numbers: yes, we’re doing a bit better, but no, things are not O.K. — not remotely O.K. This is still a terrible economy, and policy makers [i.e. Republican] should be doing much more than they are to make it better.
We’re not even close to the bottom: The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the nation’s homeownership rate fell to 66% in the fourth quarter, continuing a seven-year drop from a fourth-quarter peak of 69.2% in 2004.
At the same time, U.S. home prices fell 1.3% in November from October and were 3.7% below 2010 levels, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index indicates.
Falling homeownership — and prices — reflect the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression. And while there are signs that the housing industry’s downturn may at least be nearing a bottom, the impact of the collapse will be evident for years to come, economists say.