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Americans’ equity in their homes near a record low Sinking prices taking a big bite out of home equity; average American now owns just 38 percent.
WASHINGTON — Falling real estate prices are eating away at home equity. The percentage of their homes that Americans own is near its lowest point since World War II, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. The average homeowner now has 38 percent equity, down from 61 percent a decade ago.
The latest bleak snapshot of the housing market came as mortgage rates hit a new a low for the year, falling below 4.5 percent for a 30-year fixed loan. But even alluring rates have failed to deliver any lift to the depressed housing industry.
The Fed report is based on data from the first quarter of this year. Another report last week found that home prices in big cities have fallen to 2002 levels.
Normally, home equity rises as you pay off the mortgage. But home values have fallen dramatically since the bubble in prices burst in 2006. So many homeowners are losing equity even though the outstanding balance on the loan is getting smaller.
Nicole Rosen’s home in tiny Spanaway, Wash., just outside the military base where her husband works, has lost $150,000 in value since she paid $275,000 for it in 2006. She has battled mortgage lenders in court for two years to stay out of foreclosure. In the meantime, the couple are paying off credit cards, figuring it’s the only “positive thing we could do.”
“We’re paying off all our debt. We only have $200 left on our credit cards. But we’re stuck in our house,” Rosen said.
Home equity is important for the economy because it has a lot to do with how wealthy people feel. If they feel swamped by a mortgage loan, they’re less likely to spend freely on other things. Home equity also serves as collateral for some loans.
There are 74.5 million homeowners in the United States. An estimated 60 percent have a mortgage. The rest have either paid off the loan or bought with cash.
Of the people who have mortgages, 23 percent are “under water,” meaning they owe more on the mortgage than their home is worth, according to the private real estate research firm CoreLogic. An additional 5 percent are nearing that point. Read More >>>
Thursday, June 9, 2011
By Morpheus of www.50kview.com
These same Home flippers are at it again competing in the open market with actual home buyers and helping the BANKERS to run up prices of otherwise reduced price FORECLOSED HOMES. When you buy a home form a Home Flipper, you are in fact working to again run up FORECLOSED HOME prices which would otherwise remain a bargain to YOU the ACTUAL HOME BUYER!
In addition the BANKERS are again unappreciative to the People of the United States who have BAILED them out. The Bankers are displaying contempt for buyers with delayed responses to offers, requiring perspective bidders to sign unconstitutional documents relinquishing all consumer rights and the Bankers are trying their best to not give any buyer the lower purchase prices reflective of a foreclosed home a deal.
With this in mind Morpheus of http://www.50kview.com is calling on all perspective buyers to BOYCOTT the BANK FORECLOSURES and Boycott the Puchase of any Home which has been purchased by Home Flippers for resale to you the actual HOME BUYER.
Posted by Morpheus
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pending sales of existing U.S. homes dropped far more than expected in April to touch a seven-month low, a trade group said on Friday, dealing a blow to hopes of a recovery in the housing market.
U.S. consumer sentiment improved in May as job gains offset high gasoline prices, while inflation expectations diminished, a survey released on Friday showed.
MARC PADO, U.S. MARKET STRATEGIST, CANTOR FITZGERALD & CO. IN SAN FRANCISCO
“The bigger picture is that housing isn’t really at the heart of the economic recovery in the first place so to see a down number like this while disappointing is probably not critical to the bigger picture in the economy.”
PIERRE ELLIS, SENIOR ECONOMIST, DECISION ECONOMICS, NEW YORK
“The pending home sales figure is very negative when taken at face value, but it’s not clear that this is a valid reading. Compared to government releases, it’s a small survey and still a bit experimental. Taken at face value, it’s an indication that people have become unwilling to buy houses. Last month pending sales were relatively strong, but the actual existing home closings that occurred a month later were flat so a lot of contracts apparently were not financed. This month it looks like the willingness to buy at all seems to have evaporated.
“The sentiment numbers were good. The inflation expectations were also a good result. The number from late in May declined from the early month reading for both the near-term and longer-term inflation expectations.
“The five- to 10-year expectations are of great importance to the Fed because they amount to a vote of confidence in the Fed’s ability to control inflation. We’re finding out that the short-term inflation developments do impact short-term inflation expectations, but don’t seem to be impacting longer-term inflation expectations.”
JACOB OUBINA, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK
“Pending home sales saw a sizable increase earlier this year as people were front running the increase in PMI insurance. Now we are seeing some payback from that. This is a testament to the spring selling season and what we have at hand is pretty horrendous.”
“This paints a picture for existing home sales to fall back below the 5 million mark as pending home sales lead existing home sales by one to two months. There was absolutely nothing positive in this report. Housing remains in a depression right now. People are talking about a double-dip, but we never even recovered.”
SEAN INCREMONA, ECONOMIST, 4CAST LTD, NEW YORK
“Very disappointing. We kind of had a base-case scenario that housing was going to improve in the second quarter but now it looks like things are not getting off the floor at all.
“This would offset any positive outlook for the economy. The Fed knows housing’s weak, the Fed’s still on the dovish side of the game. This is unlikely to affect policy, especially if this does turn out to be below the other data.”
RUDY NARVAS, SENIOR ECONOMIST, SOCIETE GENERALE, NEW YORK
“Pending home sales were pretty much a disaster, well below market expectations. They are saying this had to do with inclement weather, but overall the headline does not look good and this points to pretty dismal new homes sales and existing homes sales for May.”
GUS FAUCHER, DIRECTOR OF MACROECONOMICS, MOODY’S ANALYTICS, WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA
“There may some temporary factors like bad weather in the Southeast. Higher gasoline may be making potential home buyers a bit cautious. It is signaling further weakness in housing, but we do expect housing to turn around later this year. It just hasn’t happened yet.”
“Lending has loosened up a bit. It’s a not a good sign it’s not happening yet. To get a really strong rebound in the economy, you really need some pickup in housing.”
DAVID ADER, HEAD OF GOVERNMENT BOND STRATEGY AT CRT CAPITAL GROUP, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT
“U.S. April pending home sales fell 11.6 percent from previous month, led by 17 percent drop in the South. Weather surely had an impact. March pending sales rose 3.5 percent, revised from a 5.1 percent gain. The (Treasury bond) market firms further.”
VIMOMBI NSHOM, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS:
“After March’s unexpected 5.1% increase (now a softer rise of 3.5%), pending home sales sank by 11.6% in April to an index score of 81.9, more confirmation that surprise monthly readings reflecting the housing data eventually level out to general trend of a flat market at a depressed level.
“While April’s decrease is nearly four times that of March’s gain, sales activity — measured by signed contracts — still reflects scores seen in the summer of 2010 just after the expiration of the tax credit, thus despite the magnitude of the decline, we’ve seen this weak level of activity before.
“Pending home sales had indicated a positive existing home sales performance in April — that didn’t materialize — so it would be safe to say that forthcoming sales data will post on the down side. Three of the four regions experienced lower activity, led by the South — the largest home market– with only Northeastern sales rising.” Read Story >>
There is a three-year inventory of homes in foreclosure for sale, and that’s devastating home prices.
Las Vegas has so many foreclosures that 53% of all the homes sold in Nevada are in some stage of foreclosure, according to a report from RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosed properties. Foreclosures represent 45% of sales in California and Arizona, and 28% of all existing home sales during the first three months of 2011.
“This is very bad for the economy,” said Rick Sharga, a spokesman for RealtyTrac. What’s more, the homes are selling at steep discounts, especially so-called REOs, bank-owned homes that have been taken in foreclosure procedures.
The average REO cost on average about 35% less than comparable properties, according to RealtyTrac. But in some areas, the discounts were ever greater: In New York State, the discount for REOs was 53% during the first quarter. And it was nearly 50% in Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Also weighing on market prices are “short sales,” homes where the selling price is less than what is owed by the borrowers. These sales sold at an average 9% discount. Including both REOs and short sales, Ohio had the biggest discount of any state, at 41%. There were 158,000 deals involving distressed properties nationwide during the first quarter, less than half the nearly 350,000 during the same period two years earlier.
With the slowed sales pace, it will take three years to just to burn through the existing inventory of 1.9 million distressed properties, according to Sharga. “Even if you look at REOs alone, it will take 24 months to clear them and that’s without any new foreclosures at all coming into the system,” said Sharga. House prices will continue to decline in the near term. Read Article
May 23 (Bloomberg) — Jane King summarizes the top stories this morning on the Bloomberg Business Report. (Source: Bloomberg)
Newly released data by the Commerce Department showed that the number of new homes built in April plummeted 10.6% on the previous month.
The seasonally adjusted rate fell to 523,000 homes per year, which is nearly 25% down a year ago.
“We’re still struggling to find the bottom here for the housing market,” said Michael Woolfolk, a senior currency strategist at BNY Mellon in New York.
“It does not bode well for construction in the near term, and there’s a good deal of overhang in terms of inventory.”
The disappointing construction data contributed to a sell-off on Wall Street.
Meanwhile several local Western Mass Realtors have indicated to WMASSLOCAL.WORDPRESS.COM that they have been sitting on a very large backlog of NEW BANK FORECLOSED properties which have yet to be listed in the MLS and are waiting to flood the local housing markets.
These BANK FORECLOSURES which are “in process” are a ticking time bomb which will further lower the local housing values. Those who buy now will see their investment loose equity.
Those who have held their homes for many years and are now ready to sell as they ease into their retirement will experience much lower returns on their “NEST EGG” sale.
The South Florida market is still experiencing much lower values than the preceding six month period. All house and condo values have fallen propitiously. As an example condos which were listed for sale at $208,000 in 2005 are now plentifully listed for sale at $60,000 with “NO BUYERS”.
A depressed housing market stagnates the economy. People can not get what they had hoped to gain from the sale of their current home so they feel stuck in their current situation and stay put. This will go on until the housing market backlog is totally removed from the market.