Skip to comments.Where Have All Our Houses Gone
Posted on 02/03/2013 7:18:30 AM PST by Kaslin
Did you read the story home prices are up due to falling inventory? Case-Shiller just reported home prices were up in their 20 city index 5.5% in November all the way back to 2003 levels.
Regarding these price increases one must put them into perspective. As reported at the BusinessInsider, Quinn Eddins at RadarLogic argue the recent rise in home prices reflects the weakness in 2011 home prices more than the strength of 2012 home prices. I concur.
The reason for prices rising? According to the WSJ: Economists see the report as a sign of the housing market gaining strength. The house price rally still has a long way to go. The most important driver will be the dwindling supply of new homes. Thanks to a combination of an extended period of under construction and a fewer foreclosures, the inventory-to-sales ratio fell in December to the lowest level since May 2005, said Harm Bandholz of UniCredit Research.
This is a mystery when just in July of 2012 Bloomberg reported the following:
The shadow inventory of homes those in foreclosure plus those 90 days late on mortgage payments is on the rise again, a further indication that the supply side has not yet healed. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure starts jumped 6 percent on a year ago basis in the second quarter, the first year-over-year increase since 2009. There are roughly 4.16 million homes that could begin to flow to market.
Once one takes the number of homeowners 30- to 90-days late on their mortgage payments and includes the likely default of those that have negative equity on their homes, there is a strong possibility more than 6.5 million additional foreclosures will enter the pipeline. The addition of homes that banks may be holding back suggests a much larger number. Laurie Goodman of Amherst Securities Group has testified before Congress that it could be as high as between 8 and 10 million.
The Bloomberg report came four months before the FHA announced conveniently the week after the election that they have 789,000 homes in foreclosure or coming soon.
Where have all the houses gone? Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but do you think the big banks who were the recipients of government largesse with bail outs, or the risk free money making turnstile between the Fed loaning them money at near zero to buy treasuries returning 2.5% provided the capital necessary to hold foreclosed properties off the market?
Inventory will be one of the keys to how housing prices perform in 2013, however the three biggest factors remains jobs, jobs, and jobs. Followed by interest rates. Pent up demand drove sales in 2012 because it sure wasnt due to job growth not able to even match new entrants into the job market. Investors also added to demand accounting for an estimated 28% of all home sales.
The stage is now set for the 2013 housing market and it remains cloaked behind a curtain not yet raised. Will millions of foreclosures mysteriously begin to appear? Will the phantom job market miraculously begin to add to demand?
Release of more foreclosed homes is more probable than job creation adding to demand.
As bad as Q4 GDP falling into negative territory was the collapse in Consumer Confidence. The media wants to blame falling confidence on the expiration of the payroll tax holiday. That is certainly a part of the reason, however that doesnt give consumers enough credit.
Is it possible the collective wisdom of the consumer after listening to Obamas inaugural dead left progressive edicts, including Climate Change that has driven up their costs of necessities could have contributed to a crisis in confidence? Could dysfunctional government be a cause?
Sure thats possibly part of the decline in confidence, but in my opinion they are simply scared. People dont see or are living any recovery. They see Washington DC and Wall Street thriving while they languish. What a better boost to confidence could there be if main street actually saw jobs being created?
Since jobs are the key to housing sales my outlook is for more of the same. The media will continue to report a non-recovery as recovery, banks will withhold inventory, jobs will languish, and confidence will remain low.
Why? Because only liberal pundits, academia, economists, media, and the new Collectivist Party, formerly known as Democratic, could possibly say that what Obama is doing is working.
Isn't this the group that admitted they had been inflating their numbers for years?
I’m a Realtor in VA and have 8 to 10 eager buyers but no inventory. Every time a home comes on the market (priced well, good schools) it gets multiple offers. I think a lot of people are still “under water” and can’t or haven’t recovered from the 2008-2009 dip in prices. Better to hang on than go to foreclosure.
These foreclosed houses will be used by the Collectivist to infiltrate all suburbia with those needing housing vouchers. This will distribute those ChiCongo crime rates right to your middleclass front door. Better wake up and fight die-versity and the anti-white ghouls of government.
What I’m hearing in Florida is that investors are snapping up many of the foreclosures at sheriff sales so they never hit the market for individual buyers to take a crack at. I believe they’re hoping to flip them at some point or rent them out if they can’t flip.
Things are about to get really ugly.
I think “home” prices being up probably reflects this. It’s not that prices for a particular size, quality, and location of home are up. Rather, the particular homes going on the market are probably up in value. Low end homes are easiest to move and easiest to move into, so this gradual recovery will work its way slowly from the entry-level homes over several slow and gradual steps. As people hunker down in jobs that they would leave in a better economy, desirable homes will be slow to enter the market, and housing liquidity will work up to mid-range homes very slowly.
I think that's true, but I have to admit to being pretty confused. Things are going in the wrong direction and have been doing so for a long time. Japan, Europe, the US, even China -- it all looks like a house of cards. And the can keeps getting kicked down the road.
People say Inflation will destroy us. People say Deflation will destroy us. And the can keeps getting kicked down the road.
We are right on the edge. About to fall over. We have been for a very long time. And all the "experts" seem filled with happy talk -- things are looking up! And we're not falling off the edge, and the "experts" aren't being laughed off stage.
I do think we're in trouble. But I don't know why the world isn't falling down around my ears right this very moment. Apparently the game can keep going on and on and on.
I’ve kept an eye on the local market with the thought of getting out from under my mortgage and more mobile when the time is right.
The absolute bottom here in my observation actually was 2011. There were decent, maintained older brick ranches with basement and garage on an acre, 3/2, about 1800 sq ft, going for $110,000, in OK locations. Best school district never got that cheap, more like twice that for similar if you could find it, bad school district or crime problem areas were cheaper still, in the eighties.
Unemployment is still not good locally, pushing 9%, so something else is moving houses. It wasn’t unusual to see quite a few houses with a sheriff’s notice posted on the door and the yard gone to seed, now there aren’t many or they’re not so obvious if there are.
Some poor sap inherited a thirties brick two story cottage near me, then went on a remodeling spree to transform it into a craftsman, adding porches, stuccoed the exterior, new top of the line roof, top of the line windows and doors, the works. Don’t like the color myself, but it’s nice, what is finished is nice at least. An architect clearly had a hand in it. The detail and proportion are right.
He went bust, lost his job, lost his savings, apparently financed the remodel with a renovation/perm note. Foreclosed, unfinished interior, much landscaping needs to be done. $65,000 and it’s yours, might be less than that by now, haven’t checked in a while. If I were unencumbered and certain of my financial future, I’d seriously consider taking it on.
It’s the cheap interest rates that have pulled prices off rock bottom. They’re still nowhere near 2007 highs. I don’t trust it at all.
We live in a bubble in NoVA. It is far from being representative of the rest of the country.
Let me explain.
Home building is way down.
Before the bubble burst, there were homes being built everywhere. Financing was cheap and very easy. Not just the buyer, but the builder too.
Builders are leary to build, plus they can't get the financing to build like they once could.
I don’t believe this crap is over, by a long shot. The banks get away with holding the houses at their old (i.e., higher) values as long as they actually don’t sell them. This makes their balance sheets look respectable. But once sold, the loss has to be taken.
There’s no reason to put them on the market until one of two things happen - people get a lot wealthier, or a lot more people get interested in buy houses (i.e., Amnesty).
I visited DC and NoVa last spring.
It looked like America used to look, before Baraq.
You didn’t see 50% of the commercial buildings with a “for lease” sign on them.
I’m from NoVa and Richmond is a far cry from it. I have friends who are agents up there and they’re making a fortune. Eventually, this will all catch up with them as well.
If this catches up with us, it will mean the rest of the country is already down the toliet.
There are places where home prices are good at all times...I think that there are probably more good places now than there were several years ago...but, I would not call real estate a safe bet by any means nor would I suggest that the downturn for real estate is over.
All I know is that in my home town in Tennessee I can get a mortgage on a decent house that costs less that what I’m paying for a couple of small storage spaces here in the big city. I’m thinking that it’s about time for “Marco Polo” to find his way back to Venice!
When it comes to economics the "experts" are expert at only one thing, telling you what they want you to believe. Reality goes its own way.