Investors Pushing to Buy Housing Other Than Foreclosed Properties

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 9:10 am

Tom Lawler pulls out an interesting piece of data from the latest housing statistics. Foreclosures have been dropping in 2012, mainly because of the rise of short sales as a foreclosure alternative. This appears to be changing – the repossession rate in November was 11% above that of October and even up 5% year-over-year – [...]

Study: High Frequency Trading Robs From Smaller Investors

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 10:45 am

A new study confirms that high frequency trading, which already has declined in terms of its yield if not its use, endangers investors and basically turns stock markets into automated casinos where the average Joe can do little but get hurt. The chief economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Andrei Kirilenko, reports in a [...]

Yes, Banks Are Paying “Penalties” in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement With Other People’s Money

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 8:30 am

This one offers a bit of vindication. I cannot tell you how much grief I got from “official sources” over the clear reality that banks would be able to pay off their penalties in the foreclosure fraud settlement with investor money. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan flat-out said it, and then had to backtrack and obfuscate. [...]

The True Story of the Housing Recovery, Cont’d

By: Tuesday October 23, 2012 11:38 am

Zillow, the housing website for some reason seen as a credible analyst of housing prices, reports today that US home values have increased by the most since 2006, the year before the housing collapse. This sounds like a breakthrough until you recognize that the price gain in the third quarter being lauded here is a [...]

Existing Home Sales Data Reinforces Artificial Supply Constraint

By: Friday October 19, 2012 9:15 am

Existing home sales fell last month, but prices continued to rise year-over-year regardless (prices actually fell month-to-month by 0.5%). And this data point reinforces the story of the housing market, which is “recovering” based on constrained supply, in some cases artificially constrained supply. Total housing inventory fell 20% year-over-year, and now stands at 5.9 months [...]

Investor Purchases of Foreclosed Properties Continue

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 11:00 am

Yestreday, Fannie Mae sold off another chunk of its foreclosed properties as part of a pilot program to process bulk sales to investors who will rent them out in the short term. The beneficiary was a private equity firm. The Cogsville Group, a New York-based firm led by former professional soccer player Donald Cogsville, reached [...]

Mark Zandi Doesn’t Understand Housing Very Well

By: Monday October 1, 2012 8:32 am

Court jester economist for power Mark Zandi tried to pull a fast one by readers of the Washington Post, by actually making the argument, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that the Obama Administration successfully fixed the foreclosure crisis. He has to make a mental leap in order to do this, claiming [...]

New Home Sales, Home Price Statistics Continue to Fuel Optimism on Housing

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 10:59 am

New home sales stayed flat in August, a modest miss from expectations. Still, new home sales are on track for a 16% increase year-over-year. This still puts annual sales at the third-lowest on record, but it’s a boost from the bottomed-out years of 2010 and 2011. The recovery is sluggish, but it’s moving in an upward direction.

News Leaks of $1 Billion Blackstone Investment in Foreclosed Properties… Just in Tampa Bay

By: Monday September 24, 2012 8:20 am

I’ve been obsessed lately with the growing evidence of the next speculative housing bubble – the mass quantities of distressed and foreclosed properties being scooped up by hedge funds and other institutional investors, who plan to rent them out for a few years. We see the shift to single-family home rentals in the American Community [...]

More Positive Stats for Housing Ignores Realities on the Ground

By: Wednesday September 19, 2012 11:36 am

The housing analyst community is enthralled again today by good topline news reports. Housing starts increased according to the Census Bureau, though there’s substantial margin for error in that report, plus or minus 10%. The estimate of 750,000 seasonally adjusted annual housing starts was actually below expectations of 768,000, but up year over year. Then [...]

BofA Begins “Pay Settlement With Other People’s Money” Scheme

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 6:17 am

Bank of America says they have begun mailing notices to their borrowers about principal reduction opportunities under the foreclosure fraud settlement. You may recall that BofA inked a side deal on the settlement that would allow them to extinguish an additional $850 million of the cash penalties by reducing loan balances more deeply than called [...]

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