Housing Market Shifting Into Dangerous Equilibrium

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 7:08 am

Existing-home sales rose slightly in July, and while the numbers are still at a historical low, this has spurred a new round of optimism over the housing market. At the same time, the fragility of the market can be seen in the report by the National Association of Realtors that applications for home mortgages fell [...]

The Housing Recovery Debate Should Not Just Focus on Prices

By: Thursday August 16, 2012 10:25 am

Nick Timiraos, a housing reporter at the Wall Street Journal who I respect, has posted a couple articles about shadow inventory. As we have seen, banks have intentionally kept the houses they own outright through the foreclosure process off the market, constricting supply and artificially propping up home prices. Some housing analysts look to the [...]

While Eminent Domain Proposal Discussed, LA Tries to Make Foreclosure Cost-Prohibitive

By: Wednesday July 18, 2012 7:35 am

Dean Baker has a generally positive story out about the proposal in San Bernardino County, California to use eminent domain to condemn, write down and return to the owner a lower-cost mortgage that is no longer underwater. I have discussed with Rep. Brad Miller the concept of an eminent domain-based mortgage debt relief plan and [...]

South Florida Investigation Reveals Bad Neighbor Banks

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 9:02 am

The Sun-Sentinel in Palm Beach, Florida has been running an excellent series on so-called bad-neighbor banks. They detailed over ten thousand bank-owned properties in ten South Florida cities, most of them acquired in foreclosure proceedings, with major property code violations. Their reporting uncovered that 40% of the bank-owned homes in this area had been cited [...]

More Terrible Media Stories About Housing

By: Tuesday April 10, 2012 10:31 am

I’ve noted before that one of the reasons we don’t get good housing policy in this country, to the detriment of the larger economy, is that the media by and large doesn’t understand it. When Ed Henry shows that he doesn’t know how home loans work, it means more than just a commentary about the [...]

Will the Housing Bust End the Emergence of Suburban Sprawl?

By: Thursday April 5, 2012 11:50 am

Kaid Benfield from the Natural Resources Defense Council takes a look on the bright side in regards to the foreclosure crisis, postulating that it will sound the death knell for exurban communities and sprawl: The subject of the Great Recession came up, and I volunteered that I thought the persistent economic slump had hurt both [...]

Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Docs (II): Giving Homes to Charity as a Penalty

By: Tuesday March 13, 2012 8:37 am

Here’s the second installment in the review of the foreclosure fraud settlement documents. Exhibit D in this document lays out the menu for credits toward the settlement. When we talk about credits, the federal government and state AGs want you to assume that means a set amount of principal reductions that the banks will grant. [...]

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