real estate bust

Ah! So there is where the shadow inventory lies

Normally people post either news articles or rants here. This time I want to post a personal story.

I just got a call from my brother. He lives in the Sacramento area, and is looking to move out of his apartment and rent a house. So he called up a realtor this morning. After telling the realtor what he wanted, the realtor directed him to their web site and told him how to set up an account to look at their listing.

Then things got interesting.

Mortgage delinquencies jump

Before a house is foreclosed on, the mortgage goes delinquent. If one leads to another then the real estate bust is about to get a lot worse.

The percentage of current and performing mortgages fell to 86.4 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009, down 0.9 percent from the previous three months, marking a decline for the seventh consecutive quarter, the report by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision said.
The decline was attributable to a 21.1 percent jump in mortgages 90 or more days past due, to 4.7 percent of all mortgages in the portfolio at the end of 2009.

Housing "shadow inventory" rises

It was only last week that the real estate industry was celebrating the good news.

The number of home listings within 27 major U.S. metropolitan areas slipped 2.42 percent in November 2009, compared to a month prior, and is down 27.64 percent compared to a year ago, according to a monthly report of homes listed for sale on Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in the markets surveyed by ZipRealty, a national real estate brokerage.

Fewer homes for sale means the supply and demand dynamics have turned up, which means that the housing market is bottoming, right?

So this is what passes for "Good News" these days?

It's almost embarrassing what they will try to spin as "good" economic news these days.

(Bloomberg) -- Home prices saw a “striking improvement in the rate of decline” in April and trading in funds launched today indicates investors believe the U.S. housing slump is nearing a bottom, said Yale University economist Robert Shiller.

“At this point, people are thinking the fall is over,” Shiller, co-founder of the home price index that bears his name, said in a Bloomberg Radio interview today. “The market is predicting the declines are over.”

“My guess would be that home prices are going to level off -- they’re not going to keep falling,” Shiller said in a separate interview with Bloomberg Television.

Wow! That sounds wonderful!