Browsing Posts In: Economist Commentaries

September 28, 2011 Posted by: scott

The U.S. banking system has been healing since its near-death experience in late 2008. After Lehman Brothers went belly up, a major hemorrhage of liquidity nearly took out several other big banks and financial companies. Despite this trauma, after three years the financial industry has roared back quite strongly. The most direct evidence of this is in […]

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September 23, 2011 Posted by: scott

From a parent’s point of view, teenagers never listen. From a teenager’s point of view, parents are not cool and are plainly immature.  There is as nothing as exhilarating as living the fast times at Ridgemont High and taking a slack-day off like Ferris Bueller. Being Mean Girls for a few years can also be […]

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September 22, 2011 Posted by: scott

After blowout budget deficits, it is understandable that some people want to reduce the role of government.  However, now is not the time to reduce the limit on government-backed mortgages, which is a decision set to take place at the end of this month.  A recovery in housing is the key to broader economic recovery.  […]

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September 16, 2011 Posted by: scott

For roughly three years, the FHA as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) have been doing business with portions of the housing market priced higher than they have historically dealt with. The credit crisis made it difficult for borrowers to get mortgages not backed by the government, so the government stepped in […]

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September 14, 2011 Posted by: scott

September is the beginning of tougher months for REALTORS® because fewer homes get closed during the month. The beginning of a school year focuses the minds of parents on the right clothes and supplies for their kids. Most families with school-aged children also prefer not to disrupt the school year by moving to another district, […]

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September 9, 2011 Posted by: scott

The current home sales activity is matching levels seen 12 years ago, yet the total population has increased by more than 30 million since then.  The rise in population does not always mean a proportional rise in housing demand if people double and triple-up.  That is, there is no housing demand if additional roommates are […]

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September 7, 2011 Posted by: scott

The housing market is still not yet back to normal, but the inventory component is moving in the right direction.  There were 3.6 million existing homes on the market for sale, down measurably from the peak inventory of 4.6 million in the summer months of 2008.  Taking into account the normal seasonal drop in inventory […]

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September 1, 2011 Posted by: scott

The price of newly constructed homes refuses to budge downwards.  After hitting the cyclical low of $204,000 in October of 2010, the typical transaction price of new homes has been around $220,000.  In July, the median sold price of a new home was $222,000.  Though construction workers’ wages have not changed in the past four […]

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August 31, 2011 Posted by: scott

This is a guest blog post by Lora McCray, NAR’s Manager of Housing Opportunity. Last month the NAR’s Housing Opportunity program released the findings from its 2011 Housing Pulse Survey, which is an annual survey we conduct to gain information on consumers’ attitudes and concerns about affordable housing. We wanted to get a sense, particularly […]

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August 22, 2011 Posted by: scott

It is widely believed that the rate on the 30-year fixed rate mortgage tracks the 10-year Treasury bond.  This is true, but during certain episodes the relationship between the two rates appears to weaken, which leads some to suspect that the two have become unhinged.  In fact, rational market dynamics are at work.

The 30-year fixed […]

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