Browsing Posts In: Economist Commentaries

November 30, 2011 Posted by: scott

Heading into the traditional holiday season, the economy is looking for some sparkle. While the third quarter brought some positive news, it does not add up to a bountiful season. With unemployment still high, and European issues continuing to weigh on financial markets, economic concerns slowed commercial real estate markets. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose […]

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November 29, 2011 Posted by: scott

Last time we discussed shadow inventory, we focused on the large build up in the seriously delinquent category of distressed inventory. Since then, many of the 90+ days-late loans have progressed into foreclosure inventory.  Along with the improvement among  new delinquencies, the seriously delinquent inventory has fallen. Still, the size of the shadow inventory has […]

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November 28, 2011 Posted by: scott

Each month Realtors® provide data and comments in responding to the Realtors® Confidence Index Survey. The November edition, with data current as of late October, summarizes a number of major issues mentioned by Realtors®, mainly focused on mortgage availability and lending standards, appraisals, and foreclosures. Of particular interest was the Realtor® experience in the closing […]

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November 21, 2011 Posted by: scott

The total homes listed for sale continue to move downward.  The latest decline in October to 3.33 million was partly seasonal, as autumn and winter months nearly always have fewer listings in comparison with spring and summer months.  Still, examining listings only in the month of October (so as to get an apple-to-apple comparison), this […]

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November 18, 2011 Posted by: scott

Inflation is a hidden tax.  The government’s ability to print money and the subsequent inflation results in lower purchasing power for consumers – just as if direct taxes were imposed. In the past 30-years, prices of just about everything have risen.  The first table below shows that college tuition expenses in particular have been skyrocketing.  […]

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November 16, 2011 Posted by: scott

The October 1st decline in the conforming and FHA loan limits reduced the size of loans that the FHA as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can finance. This change was made in an attempt to stimulate the private sector and to reduce the government’s footprint in the mortgage market. However, concerns linger that […]

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Posted by: scott

Aside from North Dakota and the Washington D.C. metro region, home prices have yet to show definitive and consistent upward movement.  Though there has been no meaningful change in the 20-metro Case-Shiller home price index for the past three years, farm land prices in the Midwest have been soaring. Farm land prices in Illinois, Indiana, […]

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November 4, 2011 Posted by: scott

Home prices took a rough ride in the past decade. The past 10 years were  an anomaly fueled by easy credit availability. Those days are over – and for the better. Most Americans believe in hard work (and not easy credit) before being able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The chart below shows […]

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November 2, 2011 Posted by: scott

The U.S. homeownership rate rose a notch in the third quarter, with 66.1 percent of households owning a home – up from 66.0 percent in the prior quarter. However, the trend has clearly been downward since the bubble situation of several years ago. Just maybe, however, we’re starting to venture into sustainable homeownership, since the […]

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October 28, 2011 Posted by: scott

The total number of rental households has increased to 38 million in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 1.4 million renters in the past 12 months.  Because there has not been an overproduction in multifamily units in the past decade, higher demand for rental units has directly resulted in falling vacancy rates.  […]

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