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Crisis Watch

Wells Circles the Wagons

Wells

Growing concern over the faltering housing recovery has inspired an unusual vote of confidence for housing’s fundamentals from two of Wells Fargo’s top economists. In a “special commentary” published in the bank’s web site, senior economists Mark Vitner and Anika R. Khan argue that too much progress has been made restoring growth to the overall economy for the recovery to ... Read More »

Distress Sales Ride into the Sunset

cowboy+into+the+sunset

Some of us will even miss ‘em…but not for long.  Foreclosures and short sales introduced a new way of thinking about real estate and new ways to make a living, like short sales, broker price options and rental property management.  Now they have faded away in most markets. Distressed sales (REO and short sales) accounted for only 11.1 percent of ... Read More »

Clear Capital: Welcome Back to 2004

Bush-vs-Kerry

  National home prices have been nominally unchanged for a lost decade and we’re back to 2004 levels without even accounting for inflation, leaving many homeowners with no more equity than when they bought.  That’s the grim assessment by Clear Capitol in its September market report. If national home price growth continues to diminish, the lost decade will drag out. August home price ... Read More »

One State Leads the Foreclosure Marathon

Florida-two

As the Foreclosure Era enters its final months, completed foreclosures are increasingly concentrating in a handful of states and one state reports three times as many as the next runner-up.  Regions of the nation have virtually returned to normal as their foreclosure inventories dry up and are not refilled. Five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures in ... Read More »

Spring Price Increases Barely Budge Underwater Homes

teaparty

Price increases slowed so much in the second quarter that the numbers of seriously underwater homes and the percentage of equity rich properties barely increased over the first quarter of 2014. The second quarter of 2014 saw only a small percentage decline in the percentage homes that were seriously underwater, 17.2 percent versus 17.4 percent in the first quarter of ... Read More »

Foreclosures Fall in March

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  By Octavio Nuiry                                                                                                 Home prices continue to rise in many major ... Read More »

Is L.A. the Next Detroit?

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Is L.A. the Next Detroit? By Octavio Nuiry   According to the latest UCLA Anderson School of Management study, Los Angeles, Detroit and Cleveland share the dubious distinction of cities with the weakest job growth since 1990. The researchers at UCLA say Los Angeles has lost 3.1 percent of its employment base since 1990, more than Detroit (-2.8 percent) and ... Read More »

More than Half of Foreclosures Still Occupied

Portrait

Even though it takes an average of 19 months to complete a foreclosure today, at least half of the bank-owned REOs in a recent RealtyTrac survey were still occupied by the former homeowner or a tenant.  Many of the owners who stayed in their homes did so rent-free for as much as two years or more since they made their ... Read More »

Shadow Inventory Down 23 Percent, Foreclosure Inventory Shrinks 35 Percent

shadow inventory

The numbers of foreclosures and potential foreclosures have fallen dramatically over the past 12 months as the foreclosure picture rapidly returns to pre-2006 levels.  The decline in foreclosures in the pipeline has important ramifications for real estate investors and local markets that are returning to health as they recover from the foreclosure flood that produced 4.9 million foreclosures since 2008. ... Read More »

Student Loan Debt is Torpedoing Home Sales

A crowd of college students at the 2007 Pittsburgh University Commencement.

  The combination of tough new rules denying qualified mortgages to applicants without the ability to repay and soaring study loan debt may be doing more than anything else to shut an entire generation out of homeownership. First-time buyer market share has fallen to 27 percent in recent months.  Rising prices, thin inventories of starter homes, rising down payment requirements ... Read More »