Monday, May 28, 2007

BubbleSphere Roundup

Man uses pigs to trash own house after foreclosure. What a stink! No, I'm not making this up! blog is putting blogging " aside for a while." He writes "I'd like to think I helped a few people get better advice about their mortgages, and not fall into the trap of interest-only loans and million-year deals." I'm sure you did. :-) Best wishes!

Check out Shadow Government Statistics.

The Florida - Paradise Lost blog has not been updated since March 9th. In one memorable sentance "In the supposedly altruistic notion of converting more people into homeowners (regardless of creditworthiness), all sorts of exotic instruments were employed over the past 5 years." Frank, it was a quality blog. :-)

Speed of subprime bust surprises lenders (CNN Money) "Michael Marriott, a panelist and managing director for Credit Suisse, said, "Last October, I predicted the subprime market would collapse and many issuers would go out of business. But the violence and speed of the market sell-off surprised people." [ Hattip to Economic Despair ]


  1. Also some very interesting data over at the housingtracker website. I like their "old" data better because, while not as complete, it goes back farther, and I think (though I don't know) it is more focused on SFHs than condos.

    Anyway, according to my reading of their data, the DC-area median asking price peaked back in September 2005. Back at the time, I would argue that prices needed to decline on the order of 50% in real terms.

    Many said that my statement was overboard. Yet if the current asking prices stay the same until September of this year, they are already down 15% nominally. In real terms, they will be down at least 20%.

    The real price declines in the DC area have been severe-- and I have the feeling that they have only begun. We still don't have waves of bankruptcies or forced selling, which may happen before all is said and done.

    A Redskins fan


    NEW YORK ( -- American men in their 30s are earning less than their father's generation did, challenging a long-held belief that each generation will be better off than the one that preceded it, according to a new study published Friday.

    The report, the first in an ongoing 18-month study The report, the first in an ongoing 18-month study on economic mobility in the United States, also revealed that the income growth of the median American household is declining.

  3. Weakest home sales since '03 hit values
    Subprime mortgage woes cuts supply of buyers, leading to weaker April than forecast, glut of homes on market and lower prices.
    By Chris Isidore, senior writer
    May 25 2007: 11:58 AM EDT

    NEW YORK ( -- Homeowners trying to sell properties found the market weaker than expected in April, as the pace of sales fell to nearly a four-year low, feeding a glut on the market that continues to cut into home values.

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Friday in its latest reading on existing home sales that the problems in the subprime mortgage market are now cutting into sales, as they limit the availability of financing for potential buyers.

  4. I still think 50% is unlikely in DC area, but I wouldn't be surprised to see something in the 33% range personally. As you have already said, housing tracker shows asking prices down about 10% YoY with inventory still climbing over last year.

    The real question now is how much credit tightens and just how many foreclosures start landing on the market, obviously the two are linked.

    If you haven't already, take a look at the northern virgiina bubble fall out blog. They regularly put up lists of houses in the area that have sold for 20%+ below their previous recorded sale. We aren't talking about 5-6 houses with unusual circumstances either.

    The next few months will be really really interesting to watch. Sharp price declines have already begun, but there is no sign yet that they are brining the market back into balance. I suspect by late summer you will see things really hit the fan.

    Of course lance won't be here at that point...

  5. Just found this blog...been searching forever. I'm in Central VA and the insane run-up in the ever-encroaching exurbs of NoVa has hit us...lots of "cash out" retirees driving up the price on land and farmlets around here...

    I hope these price corrections will help cut the sprawl and exodus...

    Thanks so much for an excellent blog!

  6. S&P released the first quarter Case-Shiller Home Price Index today.

    Here's the press release:

  7. I have decided tha this decline is going to take a while, and no one month is going to produce 20% price drops.

    I'm thinking a steady decline until about 2010.

    That said, the tightening of lending standards and the increase in foresclosures could speed up this process and prove me wrong.

  8. Mojo said...
    "I have decided tha this decline is going to take a while, and no one month is going to produce 20% price drops.

    I'm thinking a steady decline until about 2010."

    I think 2010 is very optimistic. The Japanese real estate bubble took well over a decade to fall. The very small U.S. bubble of the late 1980's took 7 years for real prices to fall. This current bubble is so big, I think real prices will still be falling slowly a decade or two from now.

  9. Yeah, someone had a chart on one of these housing bubble blogs that showed when all the various ARMs reset. A huge wave reset this year and next year, and then it's a little quiet for a couple years, and then two more years of many resets in 2011 and 2012.

    I suspect we will see a slow grind through all those years, with potential dead cats bounces in 2009 and 2010.

    But, if my reading of the housingtracker data is right, we may already have 20% real price declines from the September 2005 peak. 15-20% in a year and a half is pretty serious stuff.

    A Redskins fan


    U.S. Home Construction Bust May Last Until 2011 (Update1)
    By Bob Ivry and Brian Louis
    May 29 (Bloomberg)

    -- New home construction in the U.S. may take until 2011 to return to last year's level, said David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders in Washington.

    Monthly construction starts would need to jump by 21 percent to reach Seiders's benchmark for full recovery, which is 1.85 million. There were 1.53 million in April, the Commerce Department said. At the height of the five-year housing boom in January 2006, construction began on 2.29 million homes.

    ``We've fallen way below trend because we soared way above trend during boom times,'' Seiders said in an interview. ``The upswing will be relatively slow, unlike earlier cycles.''

  11. why is your link no longer on Ben's list?

  12. "why is your link no longer on Ben's list?"

    Not sure. Maybe cause I admitted I had blogger's fatigue.

  13. David, if you have blogger's fatigue have you considered recruiting one or two people to help you out? Perhaps look at who posts a lot of meaningful content to the comments section and ask them if they'd like to help you with the blog. Or perhaps look for someone who has a less popular, geographically-limited housing blog and ask them if they'd like to combine forces.

    The risk is that you might have to give out your blog's password to someone you don't know. To avoid this risk, perhaps they could submit their content via email, which you then copy and paste to your blog.

  14. "blogger's fatigue"

    i think Lily has a pill for that.

  15. The latest graph of Maricopa County Trustee's Sale Notices can be found here.