Housing Price Index Shows First Year-Over-Year Increase in 21 Months

By: Tuesday August 28, 2012 9:32 am

The housing recovery narrative got a boost today from the Case-Shiller price index, which went positive year-over-year for the first time since a first-time homebuyer’s tax credit goosed the numbers in 2010. So really, this is the first year-over-year increase since the housing bubble collapsed in 2007 2006. And the usual suspects are ecstatic. Brad [...]

The Worst Idea in the World: Securitizing Rental Revenue

By: Sunday August 26, 2012 10:20 am

The last financial crisis can be blamed in large part on runaway securitization. Wall Street giants sliced and diced mortgage loans into bonds that they sold around the world. They claimed that they diversified the mortgage pools so that even a few defaults would not undermine the value of the securities, and they offered tranches [...]

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 [...]

Housing Recovery Narrative Surges Forward, But Reasons for Price Rise More Sinister

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 7:37 am

The “housing is back” narrative got another boost with a story in the Wall street Journal that simultaneously makes an unequivocal statement about home prices, and then acknowledges wild variance in the data set. Home prices rose by their largest percentage in at least seven years during the second quarter, propelled by low inventories of [...]

Securitization, Take II: Investment Firms Seek to Securitize Rental Payments

By: Saturday July 21, 2012 9:16 am

Though this proposal to use eminent domain to buy up underwater homes and refinance them has been getting a lot of publicity in intellectual circles, the unorthodox fix for the housing market is already happening. That would be the REO-to-rental revolution, where investment firms buy up foreclosed properties in mass quantities after repossession, and flip [...]

The Great Housing Swindle: Shadow REO Artificially Boosting Prices

By: Monday July 16, 2012 7:36 am

Analysts have shown a propensity to announce that the country has hit a bottom on housing, throwing a host of facts and figures together to prove it. Many of these analysts benefit financially from the appearance of a housing recovery, and certainly banks benefit greatly as well. Earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo [...]

The Great Investor Purchase of Foreclosed Properties

By: Monday July 2, 2012 12:34 pm

For a while now, I’ve been charting the heavy investment in a narrative of the housing market springing back to life. And if you look sideways at the data long enough, you can make that case. Jared Bernstein does a good job of that here. Indeed, we’re starting to see prices on distressed sales rising, [...]

Administration Housing Policy Hampered By Fits and Starts, Half-Formed Ideas

By: Tuesday January 10, 2012 7:37 am

Ezra Klein writes this morning that mass refinancing is the “biggest thing” President Obama can do to aid the economy without the input of Congress. That’s not actually true, even in the context of housing. He could direct Treasury to use the unused $42 billion of HAMP money to provide mass principal write-downs. He could [...]

Fed Paper Acknowledges Major Housing Crisis

By: Thursday January 5, 2012 7:33 am

The Federal Reserve, upon request from the House and Senate Banking Committees, issued a white paper on housing yesterday, one which actually manages to be honest about the housing crisis and the implications for the greater economy. First off, we get an actual indication that foreclosures are bad and that losses in the system cannot [...]

The Foreclosure Glut: Hundreds of Thousands of Bank-Owned Homes Harming Housing Market

By: Monday May 23, 2011 8:05 am

The New York Times reports on the foreclosure glut – the large overhang in REO, homes owned by banks after foreclosure. The nation’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders have steadily amassed real estate empires, acquiring a glut of foreclosed homes that threatens to deepen the housing slump and create a further drag on the economic [...]

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