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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. housing market’

Housing Double Dip Represents ‘Patient’ Opportunity

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 1st, 2011 9:30 AM |

While various and sundry soothsayers have been touting the relative merits of our housing market for the last few years, I did not have a constructive comment about housing until just six weeks ago when I wrote, Is It Getting Time To Buy a House?. Housing price data released yesterday confirmed that our nations’ housing market has, in fact, suffered a double dip.

Is my positive commentary on housing premature and akin to ‘catching a falling knife’? Why was I negative for so long? Why do I think the bottoming process will be prolonged? What do I see as a compelling reason why homeownership is becoming increasingly attractive? Let’s navigate.

1. Why was I negative for so long? (more…)

Mortgage Meltdown Continues

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 21st, 2009 1:22 PM |

While the equity market continues its ascent into the heavens, our housing market continues its descent into hell.

How long can these two indicators continue their contradictory movements? It is extremely hard to believe that the price actions and underlying dynamics in these indices can continue for an extended period. While Uncle Sam’s liquidity has been phenomenal in generating support for the equity markets, it has been decidedly less supportive to the housing market.

The Wall Street Journal addresses the ongoing meltdown in the housing and mortgage markets in writing, Mortgage Markets Continued to Falter in 3rd Quarter:

The U.S. housing market continued to deteriorate in the third quarter as even the most credit-worthy borrowers increasingly fell behind on their mortgages, highlighting the problems policy makers have faced in trying to address the problem.

A new report from the Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found that the percentage of current and performing mortgages dropped for the sixth consecutive quarter, as foreclosures in process topped 1 million mortgages at the end of September. The report covers roughly 34 million loans totaling $6 trillion in principal balances, or approximately 65% of the U.S. mortgage market.

The regulators said that serious delinquencies, loans that are at least 60 days past due, increased across all loan categories and climbed to 6.2% of the loans in the portfolio during the third quarter. The report said that just 67.7% of option adjustable-rate mortgages were considered current at the end of the third quarter, while 27.9% were either seriously delinquent or in the process of foreclosure. (more…)

U.S. Mortgage/Housing Market Has Split Personality

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 11th, 2009 11:52 AM |

To speak of the United States housing market in singular terms would be a huge mistake. The different regions of the country have their own housing dynamics. The strengths and weaknesses within the local economies have a huge impact on the strength or weakness of housing.

All this said, there is no doubt that the number 417 has the greatest impact on housing in the United States. Why and how?  417k is the cutoff for individuals looking to receive a conforming mortgage. Above that level, individuals enter the realm of the Jumbo market where rates are appreciably higher and credit standards are significantly tighter. Additionally, Jumbo product is not typically eligible to be underwritten or purchased by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. That restriction was waived and Freddie and Fannie have purchased some Jumbo product, but it has had no meaningful impact on the dynamics within the Jumbo space. Overall, the 417k level remains an enormous line of demarcation.

That line of demarcation is further defined by the ability to modify loans. Loan modifications for Jumbo mortgages are significantly more challenging to accomplish. On top of that, mortgage servicers are now under ENORMOUS pressure by Uncle Sam to produce increased numbers of mortgage modifications. Where is Uncle Sam targeting? Conforming mortgages.

While market analysts may believe housing is turning, they are not looking at the total picture. The Jumbo market remains under real pressure while the conforming market is showing signs of stability. Under the heading of ‘a picture speaks a thousand words,’ high five to our friends at 12th St. Capital (the leading mortgage broker-dealer on Wall Street) for providing an overview of the housing market in Los Angeles. One can see the ‘split personality’ based on sales volumes between the downtown neighborhoods and those in the upper incomes. Please click on the map to view year over year sales volumes in respective Los Angeles neighborhoods. A few miles makes a world of difference.

Would welcome insights and perspectives from people in other regions of the country on the split personality of their local housing markets as well.

LD






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