Better Dwelling Goes Off The Reservation Citing Tainted Paper

Canadian real estate site Better Dwelling covers some of the more interesting developments in the Canadian housing market, but their latest piece isn't one of their finest moments. While I generally like the BD site, the authors apparently jumped the reservation citing a new scapegoat for the U.S. (global) housing crisis. Citing a working paper on NBER, Credit Growth and the Financial Crisis: A New Narrative, BD goes with the theme that this working paper changes everything when it in fact changes nothing. Even worse, BD apparently falls for the ruse that mom & pop [...]

Taylor Morrison Sees Sluggish Home Sales In Q4 2015

Taylor Morrison Home Corp reported fourth quarter earnings today, and the numbers were tepid at best. The Arizona-based home builder reported home closing revenue that was 3 percent lower YoY. Profit and revenue were essentially supported by higher average sales prices and a much larger community count after Taylor Morrison's absorption of Darling. Taylor Morrison's average closed home price for the quarter was $452,000. Taylor Morrison's average community count was up 30 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. That makes the net sales orders increase of only 11 percent look pretty weak indeed. [...]

The Ghost Of Liar Loans Past Comes Back To U.S. Housing Market

This weekend I was reading a fascinating account of Bank of Internet USA on the NY Times. It's a great read about Gregory Garrabants and the impressive growth the company has been able to achieve issuing mortgages to high-income clients who may not meet traditional underwriting guidelines for a home loan. According to the NY Times piece, BofI's loans have increased fivefold in the past 5 years to a total of $5 billion, and the bank's stock has risen 1600 percent. Those are impressive gains for sure, but that also raises some questions of the [...]

By | 2015-08-24T17:55:51+00:00 August 24th, 2015|In the Press, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate, Regulation|0 Comments

Mortgage Credit Gimmicks Grow As Home Affordability Dwindles

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest."  Thomas Jefferson There has been an increasing amount of talk about expanding credit standards in the mortgage space to help more borrowers qualify for expensive homes. Rarely, if ever, do you hear about the problem of inflated home prices being the real cause for concern. Realtors and mortgage lenders don't mind expensive home prices because they generally benefit from larger commissions. As anyone who has read my blog knows, I'm not most Realtors. That being the case, I don't mind sharing important information from [...]

Infomercial On “American Dream” Encourages Underwater Homeownership

Enticing mortgage programs offering the opportunity to buy a home with little or no money down are now being offered as the new savior for the U.S. housing market. Sound familiar? It should. Creative financing programs help stimulate home sales, and the real estate industry loves additional sales volume. Mortgage professionals also have a vested interest in originating more loans. The problem occurs when these mortgage programs end up creating a whole new crop of underwater homeowners. Rather than have a frank discussion about the lack of affordability of homes, the housing and finance industries [...]

By | 2016-11-20T15:43:15+00:00 January 29th, 2015|Economy, Housing Policy, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Pressure On Real Estate Appraisers To Inflate Values On The Rise

What do you do when you are trying to assess the value of a home in a real estate market you know to be artificially inflated by central bank monetary intervention? That question is difficult in itself to answer, but the pressure for real estate appraisers to hit a number when home value appreciation is already stagnating can make the situation even more difficult. As the Wall Street Journal notes, dodgy appraisals that plagued the last sub-prime real estate bust appear to be making a comeback now that home values are beginning to stagnate. The [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:57:13+00:00 December 2nd, 2014|Housing Policy, Mortgage Rates, Politics, Real Estate|1 Comment

New Home Sales Disappoint At 458,000 Annual Rate In October

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales for October posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 for October. This was below expectations of a 470,000 rate. More interestingly, July, August and September sales numbers were revised down. September was revised down from 467 thousand to 455 thousand. August was revised down from 466,000 to 453,000, and July was revised down to 399 thousand. The median price of a new home sold in October was $305,000 and the average sales price was $401,100, both sharp increases from the same month a year ago. [...]

Refinance Index Soars But Purchase Applications Fall 5%, Now Down 9% YoY

The Mortgage Bankers Association today reported a 23 percent surge in the refinance index from the previous week. Unfortunately, home buyers were not impressed by the short-lived drop in mortgage rates, because the mortgage purchase application index actually dropped 5 percent from the previous week. The purchase application index is now down 9 percent year-over-year. If anyone at the FHFA or HUD is listening, tight mortgage credit is NOT the problem. The problems is stagnant incomes and high home prices. In related news, oil prices dipped back toward $80 this afternoon, dropping more than 2 [...]

By | 2016-09-29T21:42:11+00:00 October 22nd, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Is Mortgage Credit Too Tight? In A Word….No!

Housing apologists and regulators continue to clamor about what to do with a stagnating real estate market. Last week, a major home builder again brought up the myth of tight mortgage markets as one of the headwinds restricting home sales growth. There's just one tiny problem regarding the excuse of poor access to mortgage credit...It's Not True! As Professor of Real Estate Finance Anthony Sanders, recently explained to some federal regulators, the data show that mortgage credit is readily obtainable...if you have a decent income. Looking at the FHA's Single Family Origination Trends for June [...]