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September 25th, 2017 Total archive posts: 984
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The Housing Market

I remember when, about a year before the stock market blew up in the dotcom era, I used to see doomsday posts like these that foretold an imminent market correction. Now it's the housing market, and the scuttlebutt is that there are a lot more loans out there that are in trouble--and they're not the 'sub-prime' you hear about in the news.

One final thought. How can any of this get repaired unless home values stabilize? And how will that happen? In Northern California, a household income of $90,000 per year could legitimately pay the minimum monthly payment on an Option ARM on a million home for the past several years. Most Option ARMs allowed zero to 5% down. Therefore, given the average income of the Bay Area, most families could buy that million dollar home. A home seller had a vast pool of available buyers.

Now, with all the exotic programs gone, a household income of $175,000 is needed to buy that same home, which is about 10% of the Bay Area households. And, inventories are up 500%. So, in a nutshell we have 90% fewer qualified buyers for five-times the number of homes. To get housing moving again in Northern California, either all the exotic programs must come back, everyone must get a 100% raise or home prices have to fall 50%. None, except the last sound remotely possible.

What I am telling you is not speculation. I sold BILLIONs of these very loans over the past five years. I saw the borrowers we considered ‘prime’. I always wondered ‘what WILL happen when these things adjust is values don’t go up 10% per year’.

Sage clairvoyance, or overblown hype? Only time will tell.

by Christopher Heiser on December 10 01:48
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