Monday, March 31, 2008

BubbleSphere Roundup

Local Buyers Find Foreclosures Via Tour Bus at DCist.

The upcoming MRIS numbers for March will be probably lay to rest the notion of spring RE recovery in the DC area.

Numbers for March 31st, 2008 from the VirginiaMLS show that the active listings are up 22% in Northern Virginia compared to last year.

Stop the Mortgage Bailout! whose "site is dedicated to stopping the government's planned bailout of the housing market. A bailout requires responsible Americans to pay for the acts of greedy bankers, mortgage brokers, flippers, and over-extended homeowners."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Open Question for Blogger

Here is your chance to ask questions. Please post questions that you may have regarding the housing market. I will answer the top 8 questions in a post over the weekend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bubble Sphere Roundup

Housing prices sharply declining in California. (Housing Panic)

Interview with Lawrence Yun. (Hot Property)

Some people are looking for alternatives to standard real estate agents. Redfin could be the answer. What about Ziprealty?

Housing Watch tracks housing numbers in many metro areas. Solid info!

Where in the World is David Lereah?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Major Price Declines in Case Shiller Housing Price Index

The majority of bubble markets are experiencing large prices declines. In general price declines continue to accelerate. Hat tip to HousingPanic. Indeed, Money Magazine reports that:

Residential real estate has posted another record decline.

The S&P Case/Shiller Home Price index of 20 key markets, released Tuesday, shows that home prices plunged 10.7% in the 12 months ending January. That marks their lowest level since the index launched in 2000.

Of those 20 metro areas, 16 reported record annual declines. Ten of those cities posted double digit declines through the 12 months that ended in January. The survey's 10-city index fell 11.4% year-over-year, its steepest decline since its inception in 1987.

Las Vegas and Miami reported the weakest markets in January, with each city posting an annual decline of 19.3%. Phoenix was the second worst with a decline
of 18.2%.

The Washington, DC area an average housing unit is down 10.9% from January 2007 to January 2008. I'm sure Lance will say that his desirable rowhouse hasn't decline that much during that time period. He probably is correct. However, in general, prices are declining precipitously in the outer suburbs and certain condo developments, strongly in the inner suburbs, and slowly in desirable neighborhoods in DC.

Prices will fall further in the Washington, DC area. Despite the paid spinners at the NAR who think this is around the bottom.

A real estate agent that I have worked with, just said that "sales are up 3% in the area and we are really seeing the market make a change. Prices will continue to be high in our area, and I'm not sure that will ever change. "

Monday, March 24, 2008

A History Of Wrong Predictions By The Chief Economists of the National Assocation of Realtors

A History Of Wrong Predictions By The Chief Economists of the National Association of Realtors. This would be the discredited David Lereah and Lawrence Yun.

Click on the image for a larger version.
David Lereah left the NAR in May 2007.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

WashingtonPost: N.Virginia, Foreclosures Form 'Ring of Fire'

Foreclosures are increasing rapidly in the Washington area. The WashingtonPost reports that:
When foreclosure specialist John Thompson looks at a map of Northern Virginia, he sees a flaming archipelago that stretches from Dumfries to Sterling. Parts of Dale City, Woodbridge and Herndon are engulfed; Manassas and Manassas Park are "a volcano."

Thompson calls this the "ring of fire," Northern Virginia's foreclosure belt. And although hardly a scientific model, it illustrates the geographic pattern of the region's housing distress.

But drive with Thompson through the hardest-hit areas of Prince William County -- the epicenter of the region's foreclosure trouble -- and the loss of value has been precipitous.

"That one's listed at $125,000," Thompson said one recent afternoon, sizing up a dowdy green rambler in Manassas Park that had been foreclosed on. It wasn't the fanciest house on the block, but it wasn't a shack. Two years ago, homes in the neighborhood were selling for $300,000 to $400,000, Thompson said.

The rising number of foreclosures are contributing significantly to declining prices in the outer suburbs.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tent Cities in the USA Due to Foreclosures

Tent Cities in the USA Due to Foreclosures. Hat tip to The Mess That Greenspan Made

BubbleSphere Roundup

Marin Real Estate asks: Are We There Yet?

The Lawrence Yun Watch makes #1 on Google when searching for 'Lawrence Yun'. Take that Yun, you discredited paid spinner.

Single Family Housing Starts Lowest Since Jan 1991 at Calculated Risk. Excellent.

Flickr: Realtor - Images of Realtor Stuff.

Baltimore: February 2008 Housing Data . Using Google Docs. Note to self: figure out how to embed a Google Doc into this blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ridiculous: USA Today Names Lawrence Yun as Top Economic Forecaster

The USA Today named Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors as its fifth top economic forecaster.

The National Association of Realtors(R) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has been named among the top 10 economic forecasters by USA Today. Yun is ranked fifth on the list and is responsible for NAR's real estate statistics and economic forecasting. The annual list recognizes accuracy in forecasting.

I'm honored to be recognized among some of the best economists in the country," said Yun. "The economy and housing industry are facing many challenging issues at this time, which makes this an interesting and stimulating position

USA Today certainly did not do its homework. Have they read the Lawrence Yun Watch?

In September 2005 Yun predicted "The chance of a housing price decline in the DC area is close to zero, in my view. I anticipate that prices in DC will outpace the national average price growth. DC prices will rise at close to a 7 to 10 % rate of appreciation. "

As we know prices have declined significantly in the DC area since Yun's wrong prediction. According to the S&P Case Shiller Index, since September 2005 DC area prices have fallen 8.4%.

Do not trust Lawrence Yun. Yun even recently admitted that "It is also fine for people to point the finger at me. In a fast changing market conditions, I too have been off on my forecast."

The general public and media need to be aware of his spins, predictions that have proven very wrong, and his contradictory statements. Mr Yun is a paid spinner who has lost his credibility. The USA Today should be ashamed of its shoddy work.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Real Estate Number from MRIS February 2008

The new monthly numbers for February 2008 are out from the MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems) the multiple listing service for the area. YoY = Year over Year, that is the comparison between February 2008 and February 2007. These numbers include all housing units ( not just single family residences but also condos and co-ops). These are for housing units listed on the MRIS's MLS (and thus do not include some foreclosures or private sales, or many new home sales).

The housing market in the Washington and Baltimore area has been declining in the Washington, DC for about 2 years. Thus the year over year comparisons only represent a portion of the declining housing market.

Northern Virginia (Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Arlington County, Alexandria City, & Falls Church City, VA (NVAR))

* Median Price: $411K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -8.6%
* Average Sales Price YoY: -5.1%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -37%
* Average Days on Market YoY: 7%
* Active Listings YoY: 40%

Baltimore City Area (Anne Arundel, Baltimore City/County, Carroll, Harford, Howard (BALT AREA) )

* Median Price: $263k
* Median Sales Price YoY: -2.5%
* Average Sales Price YoY: -4.4%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -36%
* Average Days on Market YoY: 43%
* Active Listings YoY: 24%

Washington, DC (just the District of Columbia, no suburbs)

* Median Price: $414k
* Median Sales Price YoY: 6.4%
* Average Sales Price YoY: 3.6%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -32%
* Average Days on Market YoY: 14%
* Active Listings YoY: 27%

Prince George's County, MD

* Median Price: $290K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -12.4%
* Average Sales Price YoY: -14%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -63%
* Average Days on Market YoY: 60.5%
* Active Listings YoY: 71%

Montgomery County, MD

* Median Price: $415K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -3.4%
* Average Sales Price YoY: 9.9%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -37%
* Average Days on Market YoY: 26%
* Active Listings YoY: 53%

Loudoun County, VA

* Median Price: $375K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -10.7%
* Average Sales Price YoY: -12.3%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -29%
* Average Days on Market YoY: -11%
* Active Listings YoY: 15%

Arlington County, VA

* Median Price: $425K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -9.6&
* Average Sales Price YoY: -3.1%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -33%
* Average Days on Market YoY: -6%
* Active Listings YoY: 30%

Frederick County, MD

* Median Price: $295K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -3.2%
* Average Sales Price YoY: -1.3%
* Total Units Sold YoY: - 41%
* Average Days on Market YoY: 23%
* Active Listings YoY: 23%

Fairfax County, VA

* Median Price: $405K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -9.8%
* Average Sales Price YoY: -8%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -38%
* Average Days on Market YoY: 9%
* Active Listings YoY: 45%

Prince William County, VA

* Median Price: $275K
* Median Sales Price YoY: -25.7%
* Average Sales Price YoY: -24.9%
* Total Units Sold YoY: -6.4%
* Average Days on Market YoY: -2%
* Active Listings YoY: 42%

For more numbers on jurisdictions not mentioned here please go to MRIS Market Statistics.

These numbers show a declining housing market in the Washington - Baltimore area compared to last year. For every jurisdiction listed inventory remains elevated and sales remain low.

The Washington - Baltimore area is not recovering from the housing decline. Prices continue to fall. Far out suburbs and condos are experiencing larger price declines. In the metropolitan area a declining housing market is reality. For real estate, this spring's real estate season will not see increasing prices. Housing busts usually last many, many years. Further price declines are coming this year.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lawrence Yun Proposes Federal Dollars to Grease Home Buying

Lawrence Yun proposes federal government dollars to grease home buying:
What is critically needed at this important point in the housing cycle is a measure to assuredly and quickly raise home buying activity. This can be accomplished by providing a homebuyer tax-credit. A nationwide $5,000 tax credit (the same amount currently in existence for homebuyers in Washington, D.C.) will cost the federal government $40 billion. If factoring in rising economic activity and accompanying rising tax revenue, then the true cost could be minimal or even positively favorable. A reversal in the weakness in the housing market, which has been subtracting about one percentage point off GDP growth, can add $40 billion to the U.S. Treasury - essentially offsetting the cost of the tax credit. If the initial $40 billion cost is harder to swallow than a more targeted tax credit for only the first-time homebuyers will cost the government about $15 billion.
No way! This discredited Realtor hack's proposal is ridiculous. The US Government should not give out more incentives for people to purchase overpriced housing units. The US Government already has a large deficit and enormous debt. It would be unwise to spend needed money to assist and encourage people to buy depreciating assets.

Major Price Declines Expected in Washington, DC Area This Year

Major price declines are expected this year in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Why? The supply demand curve continues to weaken. January's weak sales were sales were NOT an anomaly. Rather, weak sales continued into February.

Meanwhile the inventory in the Washington area is much higher then last year at this time. In Montgomery County, MD, in February 2007 inventory stood at 3736, but in 2008 that number had increased to a bloated 5722 an increase of over 50%.

In the Washington, DC area, in February there were 34,978 housing units available through the MRIS . This includes Washington, DC, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Arlington, County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Alexandria City, Prince William's County, Loudoun County, Manasses City, and Manasses Park City. In these jurisdictions sales totaled a measly 2781. This represents a 12.6 months supply of housing units. The number include condos and single family residences from the MRIS. According to the knowledgeable Calculated Risk "Usually 6 to 8 months of inventory starts causing pricing problems, and over 8 months a significant problem." By 'pricing problems' , Calculated Risk means declining prices. Washington, DC area is at a 12.6 months of supply (well above the 'significant problems' 8 month threshold) . Expect major price declines in the Washington, DC area this year. In 2008, expected nominal price declines should range between 7% - 16% in most part parts of the Washington, DC area.

Some areas have of a much larger months of supply then others. Prince George's County has an astonishing 23 months supply, whereas Washington, DC has an elevated 8.6 months supply.

For more numbers please go to MRIS Market Statistics.

The Washington area is not recovering from the housing decline. Prices continue to fall. For real estate, this spring's real estate season will not be a recovery time in the DC area. Housing busts usually last many, many years. We still have many, many months to go before bottom in the Washington, DC area.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Inventory Is High In Northern Virginia

Total active listings in Northern Virgina remain at a high level going into the spring. Total active listings in Northern Virgina stood at 17,382 on March 3rd which is 32% greater then one year earlier when inventory was 13,081.

At the beginning of 2008 inventory stood at 17,062 or 1.8% higher then the beginning of the year. In 2007, inventory had decreased ever so slightly from 13,104 on January 1st to 13,081 on March 3rd. The inventory continues to increase at faster rater then last year. (VirginiaMLS). With January 2008 sales much weaker then January 2007 sales the spring is shaping up to be another disappointment for those in the real estate industrial complex (REIC). Oh don't forget the current general economic downturn.

Fairfax County, VA: Notice how inventory in Jan 08 is much higher then Jan o7.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Desperate Bernanke Begs Banks To Lower Principal Amount

A desperate Ben Bernanke begs the banks to lower principal amount owed to them by desperate homedebtors. AP Reports:
Battling a dangerous wave of home foreclosures, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called Tuesday for additional relief and urged lenders to help distressed owners by lowering the amount of their loans.

This situation calls for a vigorous response," Bernanke said in a speech to a banking group meeting in Orlando, Fla. Even with some relief efforts under way by industry and government, foreclosures and late payments on home mortgages are likely to rise "for a while longer," Bernanke warned.

This is an act of desperation. The Feds know there will much pain as the economy falls firmly into a recession.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tom Adkins: Real Estate Hack

Tom Adkins: Real Estate Hack on You Tube. Tom Adkins is caught lying ON AIR!!