Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Housing news from the past week

Fannie Mae is getting tough on strategic defaulters:
Defaulting borrowers who walk-away and had the capacity to pay or did not complete a workout alternative in good faith will be ineligible for a new Fannie Mae-backed mortgage loan for a period of seven years from the date of foreclosure. Borrowers who have extenuating circumstances may be eligible for new loan in a shorter timeframe. ...

Fannie Mae will also take legal action to recoup the outstanding mortgage debt from borrowers who strategically default on their loans in jurisdictions that allow for deficiency judgments. In an announcement next month, the company will be instructing its servicers to monitor delinquent loans facing foreclosure and put forth recommendations for cases that warrant the pursuit of deficiency judgments.
The government's home buyer tax credit has been subject to fraud. (Duh!)
More than 1,200 prison inmates, including 241 serving life sentences, defrauded the government of $9.1 million in tax credits reserved for first-time homebuyers, according to a Treasury Department report released Wednesday.

Treasury's inspector general also found that thousands of people filed multiple claims or made claims outside the allotted time period. In all, more than $28 million was improperly doled out.
The federal government is doling out more money to help homeowners (but not renters, of course, because they are second-class citizens):
The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday it had approved five states' plans to aid homeowners in the hope of thwarting foreclosures in communities hit hard by the recession.

State housing agencies in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada will receive a total of $1.5 billion from the Obama administration's "Hardest Hit Fund." ...

Arizona is set to receive $125.1 million, California $699.6 million, Florida $418 million, Michigan $154.5 million and Nevada $102.8 million.

Five other hard-hit states have plans that are pending. If the plans are approved, those states could get a total of $600 million: North Carolina ($159 million), Ohio ($172 million), Oregon ($88 million), Rhode Island ($43 million) and South Carolina ($138 million).


  1. The government will do all it can to support housing. But the time is near when the political desire and funds will be exhausted. Housing cannot survive on government support forever. As evidenced by the House voting to extend the tax credit for three months, housing is on its last legs. The National Association of Realtors says the tax credit has generated 1 million new home sales that wouldn't have happened otherwise. If that's true, the edge of the cliff is a few steps away.

  2. "New Case Shiller numbers are out. DC is up 2.4% MOM and 7.3% YOY."

    Yet another crippling blow to the doomers - you know who I am talking about... They are the ones who back in late 2008, at the very bottom said we "are only in the 3rd inning of this downturn"

    LOL! Wonder what happened to those idiots?

  3. "Yet another crippling blow to the doomers"

    Price increases that are clearly attributable to the temporary and expiring homebuyer tax credit are a "crippling blow" to those who said that price declines aren't over? You're grasping at straws.

  4. Don't get too excited about price increases in DC. Further examination of the statistics will show that a significant portion of the DC sales were high priced homes which brought the MOM and YOY values up. So don't throw that "crippling blow" party!

  5. "LOL! Wonder what happened to those idiots?"

    You are still here. Its only the 4th inning now. The government brought its best batter this year, but they have a long line of no hitters coming up. We have 20 years of stagnation and declines ahead of us here in the DC area.

    A blip up, you post, a blip down you disappear...see you next year...and the year after....and the year after

    The owner of this blog picked the perfect topic for longevity, he must have lived in Japan.


  6. Yet another crippling blow to the doomers - you know who I am talking about... They are the ones who back in late 2008, at the very bottom said we "are only in the 3rd inning of this downturn"

    well I dont know about "crippling blow" but yes, I am surprised by the resilence of this market. It has been up for the better part of a year now, and even with the tax credit expiring, the houses I like are still moving at list price.

    Perhaps you will get the last laugh as it is increasingly looking like I have been bearish for too long. Still, spare us your childish "crippling blow" remarks.

  7. Resilence? Tell that to the poor chap who bought this home which has lost more than $130,000 in value according to Zillow. And this house is located in one of the finest zip codes in Alexandria!!!


  8. Yes resilience. I could have bought that POS at the beginning of the decade for 400K. Im a bear, im pissed off it worked out this way. You should be too.

  9. But let's get back to the facts. The chap in the example above bought in 2005 so he and anyone else who bought thereafter are out of luck. So that begs the question, are general values in the DC area below 2005 values or are they lower? So here we are in 2010, five years later and values are not moving beyond 2005. In fact, they are significantly lower.

  10. I agree. Prices are below 2005 levels. Unfortunately, they arent below 2002 levels when I decided it was a bubble and a bad time to buy. Thats why I am pissed off... and you should be too.

  11. You were the fool to believe it was a bubble in 2002. In fact, I don't believe you. You are another homeowner on this blog worried about your equity. And that must be a bummer!

  12. You were the fool to believe it was a bubble in 2002.

    Really? So prices going up 15% YOY in 2002 is perfectly normal to you?

  13. "I could have bought that POS at the beginning of the decade for 400K."

    Must suck to be in your late 40s and not own a home.

    However it also sucks to be in your late 20s and know prices wont be affordable in this area until Im your age. Japan took this long too.

  14. Such unbridled anger on this blog! Its hard to tell whose bullish and whose bearish anymore.

  15. "It must suck to be you!...Yes, it must suck to be an insecure and frustrated homeowner."

    Im not a homeowner. Im a person in their late 20s that didnt have a chance to buy a home before the bubble because I was a minor in highschool. Now I make $120K a year and cant buy anything unless its a 1 bedroom condo or a house PG county.

    It DOES suck to be me. Read what I said again you idiot.

  16. "However it also sucks to be in your late 20s and know prices wont be affordable in this area until Im your age."

    So while "buy now or be priced out forever" was false, the realtors cry in the early 2000s should have been "buy now or be priced out for 2 decades"!!!

  17. "Late 20s and on this blog? Junior, either your priorities are screwed up or you are just a geek."

    WTF? I have a wife and a kid and we rent. I have a gov job and would like to buy a home close enough for work and big enough to have a room for my kid too. Why does that make my priorities screwed?

  18. Junior, with all of those wonderful things (wife, kid, 120k government job) why are you defining your existence by home ownership. You see, you should be focusing your energies on your wife and kid and not some silly housing blog frequented by realtors and frustrated renters. Take the kid for an ice cream and stop wallowing in housing despair.

  19. Actually, I dont think his priorities are screwed up by wanting to buy a house for his family. That in and of itself is a worthwile enough goal.

    The screwed up priorities is spending countless amounts of time posting venomous entries about how you cant get what you want, when you want it.

  20. One question. When you are about to die, is your last thought "I wish I had more time to spend in my home"?

  21. No, that probably wont be my last question. It will probably be something like "Will my wife and children have a place to live and be ok now that Im dying?" But the answer is almost the same regardless of the question.

  22. Anonymous said...
    You were the fool to believe it was a bubble in 2002."

    It was a bubble in 2002. Try looking at a graph of housing prices.

    Identifying a bubble is easy. Figuring out how long it will last is the hard part. This bubble lasted longer than most.