Thursday, December 21, 2006

NAHB - "NAHB's Multifamily Stock Index Falls Back From Record High" (12-21-06)

"The current cooling trend in the housing market appears to have dampened investor confidence somewhat in companies whose primary business involves apartments and condos, according to the results of the latest Multifamily Stock Index (MFSI), released today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "
CNN - "10 best places to own real estate" (12-21-06)

"Even in a tough market, 63 of the 100 biggest markets are due to see a rise in 2007."
Market Watch - "Shelter in a storm" (12-20-06)

"For many residential real-estate markets in the U.S., this year started with an advantage to sellers and ended with buyers holding the upper hand. But, unlike some people had expected, the switch didn't follow the deafening "pop" of a massive real estate bubble. That spells good news for both buyers and sellers in 2007, as markets return to balance, prices moderate and, if interest rates remain subdued, sales begin to edge higher."
Realty Times - "Alarmed By Rising Defaults, NAR Educates Consumers About Exotic and Subprime Loans" (12-20-06)

"According to, its November 2006 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showed that 120,334 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure during the month. That's an increase of 4 percent from the previous month and an increase of 68 percent from November 2005."

"The report also showed a national foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure filing for every 961 U.S. households, the highest monthly foreclosure rate reported so far this year."

"Worse, the Mortgage Bankers Association delinquency survey released in November showed that more homeowners are falling behind in their monthly payments, particularly those with "subprime credit histories and scores when they applied for their loans," writes Ken Harney for Realty Times. 'Roughly one of every 20 homeowners with a mortgage -- 4.7 percent -- was at least 30 days late during the third quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's national delinquency survey released last week. The survey examined payment performances on over 42.6 million active home mortgages.' That means that 'one of every eight borrowers with subprime credit histories was late during the same quarter. Subprime borrowers who took out adjustable rate mortgages were even more likely to be behind -- one in every seven were delinquent last quarter.'"
Yahoo! - "Top Biz News of '06: Housing's Decline" (12-20-06)

"Housing Market Drop Tops the Year's Business News, Builders Nix Projects and Renters Stay Put"
Contra Costa Times - "Home construction hits wall" (12-20-06)

"As home-building fades, industries such as highway, street and bridge construction; heavy and civil engineering; and specialty trades have stepped into the spotlight, according to an analysis of state labor data."
Yahoo! - "Adviser: Worst of housing slump may over" (12-19-06)

"The White House expects the economy to log fairly solid growth for all of 2006 — just over 3 percent — despite the cooldown in the once- sizzling housing market this year. Next year, the Bush administration believes that economic growth will slow slightly to around 2.9 percent and then pick up the following year."
Responsible Lending Org - "Losing Ground:Foreclosures in the Subprime Market and Their Cost to Homeowners" (12-06)
Yahoo! - "Report Reveals 2.2 Million Borrowers Face Foreclosure on Subprime Home Loans" (12-19-06)

"Billions of Home Ownership Wealth to be Lost by Minority Americans; Chart Contains Detailed MSA-Specific Projections of Home Foreclosure Impacts"
NAR - "NAR Concerned Over Rapid Increase In Foreclosure Rates" (12-19-06)

"In a conference call today with the Center for Responsible Lending and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs urged consumers to make sure they understand the risks and rewards of all types of mortgages before they make a decision on a loan. She also advised consumers to consult with a Realto®r and to participate in mortgage education programs sponsored by Realtors® before they buy a home."
Bloomberg - "U.S. Economy: Producer Prices, Housing Starts Climb (Update3)" (12-19-06)

"Prices paid to U.S. producers jumped by the most since 1974 and a year-long housing slump showed further signs of bottoming out, strengthening the Federal Reserve's case for keeping interest rates steady."
Market Watch - "Bouncing on the bottom?" (12-19-06)

"Home builder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. said it sees a sparkle at the end of the tunnel for housing that could lead to a firming up in 2007, but many Wall Street analysts say it's too early yet to toast a market bottom." - "Homebuilder Hovnanian Reports Loss in 4Q" (12-18-06)

"After paying preferred stock dividends, the company reported a quarterly loss of $117.9 million, or $1.88 per share for the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That compared to a profit $165.4 million, or $2.53 per share, for the same period a year ago."
NAHB - "Housing Starts Up In November, Permits Continue Moderate Decline" (12-19-06)

"Unseasonably warm November weather helped boost total housing starts 6.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.588 million units for the month, according to figures released by the Commerce Department today. But builders reduced the pace of permit issuance another 3.0 percent in November to 1.506 million units, a level that was 31.3 percent below a year ago."
CNN - "10 housing markets ready for a fall" (12-19-06)

'36 of the 100 biggest markets are expected to see price declines. Here are the markets with the worst prospects in 2007."
CNN - "Housing starts rebound, but ..." (12-19-06)

"... new permits sink to lowest level in nine years as homebuilders wrestle with inventory; no bottom seen yet."
MSN - "No more bubbles to bail out the housing bubble" (12-18-06)

"The negatives keep growing, this time unchecked. The stock market, the real estate market and the economy will get in sync on the downside -- it’s just a matter of when."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Realty Times - "What Will FED's Decision To Leave Rates Alone Do To Housing?" (12-18-06)

"The Federal Reserve held short-term interest rates for federal funds at 5.25 percent, based on a wide range of data that indicate that inflation is being held in check and the economy is on a moderate growth path despite the slowing caused by the softening housing market. However, a slowing economy doesn't necessarily result in lower mortgage interest rates, although it will probably result in rising housing inventories down the road."
CNN - "Homebuilder sentiment slips in December" (12-18-06)

"Economists had expected the index would rise to 34, based on the median forecast in a Reuters survey. Just three of 31 economists polled forecast a drop, with Citigroup Inc. and 4Cast Ltd. economists predicting a jump to 37."
CNN - "6 strategies to survive the real estate bust" (12-14-06)

"Last year the question was whether the housing boom would slow down. Now it's how bad it will get. Fortune's Ellen Florian Kratz helps you navigate the market."
NAHB - "Builder Confidence Holding Steady In December" (12-18-06)

"Heading into the holidays, builders of new single-family homes continue to believe that the worst of the downswing in home buying is behind them, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for December. At 32 for the present month, the overall HMI is down a single point from November but remains above the recent low of 30 in September."
OC Register - "Economic tug of war" (12-17-06)

"Big Orange Index shows O.C. wrestling with real estate slowdown that offsets gains elsewhere."
Daily Democrat - "County home prices tumble 13.5% in November" (12-16-06)

"California home sales declined last month to the lowest level for November in eight years, and prices fell on an annual basis in eight of the most populous counties, a real estate research firm reported, with the most pronounced drops occurring in pricier markets."
LA Times - "Inland Empire's affordability takes a steep drop" (12-15-06)

"Once a haven for first-time homeowners priced out of the Los Angeles County and Orange County markets, the Inland Empire is itself fast becoming less affordable, according to a study by the Southern California Assn. of Governments released Thursday."
CNN - "Inflation is dead ... for now" (12-15-06)

"Consumer prices, 'core' reading both unchanged in November, showing far less inflation than forecast."
DQ News - "California November Home Sales" (12-15-06)

"A total of 39,200 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That's down 8.3 percent from 42,750 for October and down 23.5 percent from a 51,250 for November 2005.

"Last month's sales made for the slowest November since 1998 when 37,928 homes were sold."

"The median price paid for a home last month was $469,000. That was up 0.4 percent from October's $467,000, and up 2.4 percent from $458,000 for November a year ago."

"The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $2,181. That was down from $2,206 in October, and up from $2,140 for November a year ago."
Yahoo! - "Homebuilders Taking Big Charges to Revalue Their Land and Other Assets" (12-15-06)

"In accounting circles, it is known as the 'big bath' when companies try to wash away as much bad news as possible with the hope that charges taken all at once will make their finances look better in the quarters to come."

"That's something the nation's homebuilders could be up to lately. With their profits plunging due to a sharp drop in sales of new homes, many are taking big writedowns in their land values and other assets because they are worth less than they paid for them."
CAR - "Foreclosures to be hot niche in '07" (12-15-06)

"Adjustable-rate mortgages with interest-only options have driven much of the buying activity over the last five years. With a slowing market, some owners may find that they owe more than their property is worth. In 2007, approximately 9 million adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) will readjust. Combined with a flattening or decrease in prices, many owners will be caught in the squeeze of having higher payments and no way to pay for them."

"In 2001, only 2 percent of the ARMs were interest-only, while today more than 35 percent are of this type of loan. San Diego has the most dangerous track record in this respect. In 2006, a whopping 47 percent of the purchasers used an interest-only product. This means that these properties have no equity. Assuming a 6 percent commission and 2 percent in additional closing costs, sellers typically pay 8 percent to sell. On a $300,000 sale, the seller would have to come up with an additional $24,000 to close. If property values have decreased, the seller would have to come up with even more. In many cases, the owners simply do not have the resources to put any more money into keeping their home. As a result, expect foreclosure rates to continue to increase as the market flattens or declines. An increase in foreclosures translates into four different types of opportunities for the savvy agent."
CAR - "2006: Year of market correction" (12-14-06)

"2006 was the year that some real estate forecasters had been predicting for several years. It was the end of the boom that was characterized by historically low interest rates, frenzied sales, large-scale new construction and rapid price appreciation. But it was not a bust, as many real estate markets in the country still experienced above-average sales."
Forbes - "Real Estate Expected to Flounder in 2007" (12-14-06)

"The newest forecast by Moody's (nyse: MCO - news - people ), a private research firm, projected that the median sales price for an existing home will decline in 2007 by 3.6 percent - the first decline for an entire year in U.S. home prices since the Great Depression of the 1930s."
Sign On San Diego - "Prices countywide undergo biggest year-over-year drop on record" (12-14-06)

"San Diego County housing prices dropped by nearly 7 percent last month – the largest year-over-year decline on record – as one expert predicted prices have hit a plateau."
DQ News - "Bay Area home prices decline, sales at five-year low" (12-14-06)

"Bay Area home prices dipped below year-ago levels in November for the second time in three months as sales held steady at a five-year low, a real estate information service reported."

"The median price paid for a home in the nine-county Bay Area was $616,000 in November. That was 0.3 percent higher than $614,000 in October but down 1.4 percent from $625,000 in November last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems. "
Business Week - "Home Buyer, Beware" (12-14-06)

"Desperate sellers are paying brokers supersized commissions, which get incorporated into the price ultimately paid by buyers"

Thursday, December 14, 2006 - "OFHEO: Fannie, Freddie must follow guidelines for nontraditional loans" (12-14-06)

"James Lockhart, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, said Fannie and Freddie have until Feb. 28 to report back to OFHEO on their progress in developing policies, consumer credit quality standards and capital provisions in line with the guidelines."
OC Register - "Foreclosure rate continues to build in Orange County" (12-14-06)

"Defaults are up 11 percent from October, 125 percent from last year."
Real Estate Jounral - "First-Time Home Buyers Look at Houses Again" (12-14-06)

"High home prices have helped drive many first-time buyers out of the housing market. Now, with prices falling in many areas, there are some signs that buyers are beginning to drift back."
LA Times - "Regional home prices grow at sluggish pace" (12-14-06)

"Southern California home prices rose in November at their most sluggish pace in nearly a decade while sales remained lackluster, data released Wednesday showed."
NAR - "Growth Continues In Commercial Real Estate With Record Investment" (12-14-06)

"The commercial real estate markets are continuing to grow with record investment, and individual sectors in many areas seeing tighter vacancy rates and higher rents, according to the latest COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK of the National Association of Realtors®."
RTE Business - "World Bank fears US house crash" (12-13-06)

"The World Bank has warned that the global economy has reached a potentially dangerous 'turning point' with the US at risk of recession if the housing market crashes."

"In a report called Global Economic Prospects, the Bank also said globalisation was an unprecedented opportunity for developing nations, although income inequality and environmental damage could undermine its benefits."

"The twice-yearly report predicted growth in worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) of 3.2% in 2007, down from a projected 3.9% this year."
OC Register - "Falling prices trap new homebuyers" (12-13-06)

"Neighbors in a new Garden Grove tract say a developer's plan to slash prices by about $140,000 has left them owing more for their homes than they're now worth."
Real Estate Journal - "What's New and What's Ahead For the U.S. Housing Market" (12-13-06)

"The National Association of Realtors predicts an improved real-estate market for existing homes in 2007, with median prices rising 1.4% this year to $222,600 and another 1% next year to $224,700, says a Wall Street Journal Online article. NAR forecasts that the number of existing-home sales will top the existing quarter's total by 4.6% by the end of the fourth quarter of 2007, the article says. However, the picture for new-home sales is not as good, with the total of new homes sold falling 17.7% this year and 9.4% in 2007, Wall Street Journal Online says."
LA Times - "Housing still up in some areas" (12-13-06)

"Home values continue to increase in the county's less-expensive neighborhoods, offsetting declines in higher-end ZIP Codes."
DQ News - "Southland home sales slowest since 1997" (12-13-06)

"Southern California home sales remained at their slowest pace in nine years last month as the market continued to rebalance itself after several years of heated activity. Prices are still leveling off, a real estate information service reported."

"A total of 20,388 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 7.8 percent from 22,117 in October, and down 26.2 percent from 27,637 for November a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems."
Sign On San Diego - "Housing prices hit by biggest drop on record" (12-13-06)

"San Diego County housing prices slipped 6.9 percent last month, the biggest year-over-year drop on record, DataQuick Information Systems reported Tuesday."
Bloomberg - "U.S. MBA Mortgage Applications Index Rose 11.4%" (12-13-06)

"Mortgage applications in the U.S. jumped last week to the highest level in more than a year as lower mortgage rates spurred home purchases and refinancing."
Bloomberg - "Fannie Sues KPMG for $2 Billion Over Accounting Flaws" (12-13-06)

"Fannie Mae, the biggest U.S. mortgage finance company, sued former auditor KPMG LLP for $2 billion today, saying the accounting firm failed to serve its role as an independent watchdog and prevent $6.3 billion in accounting errors."
Market Watch - "Steady Fed still sees inflation risks" (12-13-06)

"The Federal Reserve Bank held overnight interest rates steady at 5.25% for the fourth straight meeting on Tuesday and kept the door open for further rate increases, saying inflation risks remain elevated despite a substantial cooling in the housing market."
NAHB - "It's A Great Time To Buy...And Sell!" (12-12-06)

"We all know that the economics of today’s housing market means that the advantages and opportunities are with home buyers. But in many cases, buyers are sellers as well, and often depend on selling their existing home in order to buy a new one. In this month’s NAHB HouseKeys, released today by the National Association of Home Builders, leading experts explain how consumers can buy and sell in a soft market, and still come out ahead."
Business Week - "How Bad Will the 2007 Property Market Be?" (12-12-06)

"Economists predict that next year will be tough, but some metros will hold up nicely and the future may not be as gloomy as some fear"
Contra Costa Times - "Creative Realtors turn to YouTube" (12-12-06)
CAR - "Easy credit, price cuts will keep homes selling in 2007" (12-12-06)

"Experts continue to predict correction, not collapse"
CNN - "Rent increases trump workers' income growth" (12-12-06)

"Rents for two-bedroom homes have climbed sharply in past seven years, putting affordable housing further out of reach for many low- and median-wage workers."
MSN - "Countrywide Reports November 2006 Operational Results" (12-12-06)
Business Week - "Real estate expected to flounder in 2007" (12-11-06)

"Although few experts predict that home values will fall dramatically in 2007, many economists say that prices won't improve for 12 to 18 months. And without the cushion of rising home equity -- which softened the blow of high oil prices last year and kept consumers buying big-ticket items at a rapid clip -- Americans may lose confidence in their finances, and the broader economy is likely to suffer."
Yahoo! - "Mortgage Delinquencies a Rising Threat" (12-11-06)

"Mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates are on the rise, and the impact could be greatest on low-income families that took out higher-interest loans for risky borrowers, some experts said Monday."
Contra Costa Times - "Droves cash out of Golden State" (11-12-06)

"Census data show more people are leaving than arriving, citing cost of living and quality of life"
Sign On San Diego - "'Short sales' called an emerging trend" (12-11-06)

"In a sign that San Diego County's once-soaring housing market has returned to earth, analysts say the number of homeowners seeking mortgage debt forgiveness is on the rise."
PR Newswire - "Existing-Home Sales in 2007 Expected to Recover From Cyclical Low" (12-11-06)

"Existing-home sales are expected to rise gradually in 2007 from current levels, with annual totals comparable to 2006, while new-home sales will continue to slide, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors(R)."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monterey Herald - "MORE PEOPLE SAYING 'SEE YA, GOLDEN STATE'" (12-11-06)

"Between 2004 and 2005, the migration flow into California from the other 49 states started flowing the other way. Data from the state Department of Finance show that, for the first time this decade, more people left California in 2005 for another state than the number who moved in. Mary Heim, a finance department demographer, says this particular kind of outflow will continue for the foreseeable future."
Real Estate Journal - "Realtors See Improvement Ahead For Housing Market, Home Prices" (12-12-06)

"Prospects for existing home sales may improve in the coming year, relative to this year's sluggish pace, while new home sales are expected to continue their slide into 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors Monday."
CNN - "Realtors: Home sales may keep falling in 2007" (12-10-06)

"Industry group says 2006 decline likely to continue but should level off by the end of year; increase seen for interest rates."
Bay News - "Shopping for a home could be getting easier" (12-8-06)

"After months in the gutter, the Bay area's home market is showing signs of recovery."
Real Estate Journal - "Home Equity Down, While Household Net Worth Is Up" (12-11-06)

"Homeowners had $10.9 trillion in equity stored up in their properties at the end of the third quarter, an amount that was essentially flat compared with the previous quarter and down from a nearly 3% rate of growth during the same period last year, the Fed said. Home equity -- the difference between a home's value and the amount owed on its mortgage -- fell to 53.6% of the value of household real estate, down from 54% in the second quarter and 54.6% a year ago."
OC Register - "Masked mortgages" (12-10-06)

"With the housing boom over, its dark side is coming to light, including fraud. Government data show more criminals – and more consumers – lied to sell or buy expensive homes."
LA Times - "Local markets control prices" (12-10-06)

Pick your own theory, but the latest federal report on home real estate price appreciation offers support for each of those scenarios. The third-quarter "house price index" compiled by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight examined changes underway in 275 of the largest metropolitan markets.
Real Estate Journal - "Is Now the Time to Trade In A 'Piggyback' Mortgage?" (12-8-06)

"Piggyback mortgages, which stack a smaller home-equity loan or line of credit on top of a primary mortgage, became popular in the late 1990s. These mortgages were the first in a "creative financing" wave that made homes more affordable for homebuyers and helped to fuel the recent boom in the housing market. A piggyback loan is commonly designed as a primary mortgage that covers 80% of the home's cost, paired with a second loan that usually covers 10% to 20% of the remaining cost. (Anything left over is accounted for by the down payment.) Lenders have gotten much more creative with financing options so there are many varieties of piggybacks -- such as 75%/15%/10%, for instance."
Sign On San Diego - "Folks jump on Trump's condo bandwagon" (12-8-06)

"If the real estate market is cool in San Diego and throughout the nation, it was red-hot at the downtown hotel, where an estimated $120 million in sales was toted up at Trump's latest project, Trump Ocean Resort Baja California, a three-tower, 570-unit development north of Rosarito."
Daily News - "Housing sales, prices tumble in November" (12-8-06)

"Home sales and prices in the Santa Clarita Valley continued to plunge. Sales of single-family homes fell by 22.1 percent - to 183 last month, which amounts to the lowest number of November resales since 1999, according to the monthly report issued Friday by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors."
Yahoo! - "US subprime loans face trouble" (12-8-06)

"The cost of insuring against default on securities backed by subprime mortgages rose after Ownit Mortgage Solutions, in which Merrill Lynch has a 15 per cent stake, closed its doors."
Bloomberg - "Sub-Prime Mortgage Derivatives Fall as Lenders Fail (Update4)" (12-8-06)

"Sub-prime mortgage bonds had their worst week of the year on concern about the failure of two lenders, the slowing housing market and the ability of borrowers to repay the loans, derivatives based on the securities suggest."
Forbes - "How To Sell Your Home In 2007" (12-8-06)

"Matthew Haines understands real estate. As founder of PropertyShark, a New York online real estate listings and information service, he knows the ins and outs of buying and selling in one of the quirkiest housing markets in the country. But when he put his Harlem townhouse up for sale, he still made a crucial mistake. Relying on his broker's advice, Haines priced the house at $1.675 million--too much in a softening market. 'People don't have to fool with sellers who are asking unreasonable prices,' Haines says. "
Contra Costa Times - "Brokers help borrowers untangle their mortgage options" (12-7-06)

"Mortgage brokers in California have developed a new worksheet checklist to help borrowers better understand the complicated world of home loans, including the pitfalls of interest-only and other exotic loans that can lead to financial troubles down the road."
UCLA Report (12-7-06)
Pasadena Star - "Housing market decline likely to be prolonged " (12-7-06)

"The declines in prices and sales are expected to continue in 2007, with an anticipated 2 percent decline in median home prices coupled with a 7 percent decrease in home sales, said Robert Kleinhenz, deputy chief economist for the California Association of Realtors."
Sign On San Diego - "Forecast: '07 state economy to slow" (12-7-06)

"The health of the California economy in 2007 will depend on whether the current weakness in the real estate market saps the strength of the state's retail sales, tax base or the job market, according to a report released today by the UCLA Anderson Forecast."
USA Today - "Home-building slump cuts into sawmills' income, workers as lumber prices fall" (12-7-06)

"Dozens of sawmills around the country are laying off workers, shutting down temporarily or trimming hours, as a steep drop in home building hits demand and prices."
Market Watch - "Subprime lender Ownit Mortgage shuts down" (12-7-06)

"Ownit Mortgage Solutions, a California company that described itself as one of the top 15 lenders to homeowners with weak or no credit histories, has shut down, citing 'the current unfavorable conditions of the mortgage industry.'"
CNN - "Home challenge: Make me move!" (12-7-06)

"The Web site, most known for its "Zestimate" price valuations for nearly 70 million homes, launched several new services for home sellers Thursday."
Washington Post - "An Economic Pillar on the Verge of Collapse" (12-6-06)

"It's been more than a year since we've heard from those who denied there was a housing bubble."

"Since then, the industry boosters, along with the "soft-landing" crowd over at the Federal Reserve, have coalesced around the idea that maybe the market got a bit frothy after all, but now the correction is almost complete, the unsold inventory's been worked off and the worst is behind us."
Denver Post - "Mortgage bank abruptly" (12-6-06)

"Sebring Capital Partners, a Texas-based subprime lender with a Denver-area office, falls prey to the rising rate of defaults in another sign of the industry's trouble."
Yahoo! - "HSBC warning ominous for U.S. lenders" (12-6-06)

"Experts have warned all year that a slowing U.S. economy and rising borrowing costs would lead to an increase in bad loans by homeowners and other borrowers."
Business Week - "Toll Brothers: Scraping the Bottom?" (12-6-06)

"The luxury homebuilder reports signs of a bottoming out in some markets. Wall Street hopes that will bring relief for others in the industry"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

OC Register - "O.C. office market may be taking a 'breather'" (12-6-06)

"Analyst says it's still robust, but Casden forecast indicates it's first in area to show signs of easing."
OC Register - "A builder's take on the market" (12-6-06)

"Local homebuilders are facing both skittish buyers and eager buyers who can't sell their current residences so they can afford to move. It's a tough situation. To see how builders are juggling the challenges, we asked Mike Forsum, the western regional president at Taylor Woodrow Homes, for his insight into real estate conditions. To read the full interview, go to:"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Real Estate Journal - "Pending Home Sales Tumble; Indicating Softening Market" (12-5-06)

"The National Association of Realtors' index for pending sales of existing homes decreased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.7% to 107.2 from September's 109.1, the industry group said Monday. Its index, based on signed contracts for used homes, was 13.2% below the level of October 2005."
CNN - "Late payments on high-risk loans jump" (12-5-06)

"This year is on track to be one of the worst ever for subprime loans, with 80,000 borrowers behind on payments, newspaper report says."
CNN - "Home builders see bottom of housing slump" (12-5-06)

"Luxury home builder reports sharply lower earnings, sees another plunge in fiscal '07, but says slump may be near bottom."
NAR - "Pending Home Sales Indicate Market Stabilization" (12-4-06)

"Pending home sales are hovering in a narrow range, another indication that a stabilization is occurring in the housing sector, according to the National Association of Realtors®."
Real Estate Journal - "Rate of Home-Price Increases Falls To Slowest Pace in Eight Years" (12-4-06)

"U.S. home prices grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter, the slowest rate of price appreciation seen in eight years, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight reported Thursday."
Press Enterprise - "Block's Blemish" (12-3-06)

"Foreclosures, abandonments create suburban eyesores"
Bloomberg - "Unemployment Rate Edged Up in November: U.S. Economy Preview" (12-3-06)

"The unemployment rate crept higher in November and job growth fell short of the year's average, signs of a slowing U.S. economy, according to forecasts ahead of a government release this week."
OC Register - "Housing's mixed signal no big deal" (12-3-06)

"Depending on who's counting, you read this past week that Orange County home prices are either: Down 2.9 percent in the year ended in October, or up 11.3 percent in the year ended in the third quarter."
OC Register - "Ameriquest Mortgage sale rumored" (12-3-06)

"Analysts say ACC Capital of Orange, formerly the top subprime lender, is looking to sell all mortgage operations."
Yahoo! - "Distressed Real-Estate: Priced to Sell" (12-1-06)

"Rising Home Foreclosures May Create Opportunities For Investors Buying in '07"
Yahoo! - "Construction Activity Drops in October" (12-1-06)

"October Construction Activity Plunges by Largest Amount Since 2001 Recession"
LA Times - "Optimism is rising on housing market" (12-1-06)

"Data have a growing number of analysts saying the worst may be over for the sector."
CNN - "Home prices still getting weaker" (11-30-06)

"First time in six years that any state reported prices falling over a 12-month period, government agency says." - "Housing and American Recessions" (11-30-06)

"A weak housing sector has accompanied every American recession since 1965, but not every episode of housing weakness has accompanied a recession. An annual drop in the growth rate of residential investment (a good measure of homebuilding activity) of more than 10 percent has coincided with a recession five of the seven times it has occurred since 1965. (In 1967 and in 1995, declines in residential investment occurred without a recession.) A significant drop in residential investment therefore appears to be a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition, for a U.S. recession."
North County Times - "October housing starts fall by half; San Diego, Riverside counties drive statewide construction slump" (11-30-06)

"Hoping to avoid flooding the market with a glut of new homes, builders in San Diego and Riverside counties started construction on half as many single-family houses in October as they did in the same month a year earlier, a new California Building Industry Association report shows."
CNN - "BofA: Homebuilding picture better" (11-30-06)

"Analysts cite outlook for affordability and increased buyer traffic in upgrading sector."
North County Times - "Home sales dropped 19.2 percent last month" (11-29-06)

"Home sales in the San Diego region decreased 19.2 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home was down 4.5 percent to $574,530 from $601,850 in October 2005, a Realtors group reported today."
Market Watch - "October's new-homes sales off 3.2%" (11-29-06)

"Median sales prices up 2% in the past year"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

LA Times - "U.S. growth may slow further, data suggest" (11-29-06)

"A reading of consumer sentiment, orders for durable goods and home prices all post declines." - "Mortgage Applications Fall in Latest Survey" (11-29-06)

"Overall mortgage applications last week fell 3.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, taken lower by a significant decline in refinancings, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest survey."

"The seasonally adjusted refinance index decreased by 9.6 percent to 1,749.6 from 1,935.3 the previous week, while the purchase index increased by 1.3 percent to 406.7 from 401.4 one week earlier."
CAR - "'New' loan limits fail to improve homeownership opportunities for Californians" (11-28-06)

"The cost of financing a home will remain prohibitive for many households in California in the wake of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) conforming loan limits for 2007, announced earlier today. The maximum 2007 conforming loan limit for single-family mortgages will remain at $417,000, unchanged from the 2006 level established last year. The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or guarantee."
CAR - "C.A.R. reports sales decrease 28.7 percent in October, median price of a home in California at $548,680, up 2 percent from year ago" (11-28-06)

"Home sales decreased 28.7 percent in October in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home increased 2 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today."
NAHB - "Builder Confidence In The Rental Apartment Market Surges Amid Signs Of Strong Demand" (11-28-06)

"With demand on the rise and supply still tight, builder confidence in current rental apartment market conditions jumped in the third quarter of 2006, and their expectations for the next six months are even higher, according to the latest results of the National Association of Home Builders’/Fannie Mae Multifamily Rental Market Index (MRMI), released today."
Press Enterprise - "Inland houses remain too pricey for many" (11-28-06)

"Despite a softening housing market, Inland residents are finding it tougher to buy their first house, the California Association of Realtors said Monday."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Realty Times - "National Association of Home Builders Mixes Messages About Media Interference With Home Buyers" (11-28-06)

"While the front page of its website blares that it's a great time to buy a home, seemingly in contradiction to the endless stream of negative press about how housing is crashing whether it actually is or not, the National Association of Home Builders commissions a study to find out if the press indeed is behind buyers' reluctance to buy a new home."
Yahoo! - "Existing Home Sales Rise, Prices Fall" (11-28-06)

"Sales of Existing Homes Post Small Increase but Prices Post Record Decline"
Real Estate Jounral - "What to Do in a Market That Is Headed for a Falloff" (11-18-06)

"What to do if you're in a falling market? Obviously, that's a promising climate for a bargain-hunting buyer. A savvy real-estate agent can help you craft a bid that's low enough to save you money, but realistic enough to be accepted. When one of Frank Borges LLosa's clients finds an appealing home, the Northern Virginia broker searches the history of the selling agent -- data not available to consumers -- on the local multiple listing service. If the agent frequently sells below the asking price, Mr. LLosa knows he can be aggressive."
NAR - "Existing Home Sales Rise in October, Market Stabilizing" (11-28-06)

"Sales of existing homes held steady with a modest gain last month, another indicator that the housing market is transitioning into a more normal market in contrast with unsustainable activity last year, according to the National Association of Realtors®."
Yahoo! - "2006 Subprime Loans Doing Badly" (11-06)

"Subprime loans -- or loans made to borrowers with less than perfect credit -- from 2006 aren't just performing badly. The loans, in particular those used to back mortgage bonds, could prove to be one of the worst-performing groups yet, according to UBS."
CNN - "Home prices post record drop in October" (11-28-06)

"Median price sinks 3.5 percent from a year earlier, trade group see more price declines ahead."
Sign On San Diego - "First-time buyers stay steady in County" (11-27-06)
CAR - "Housing affordability at 24 percent for first-time buyers in California" (11-27-06)

"The percentage of first-time buyers in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 24 percent in the third quarter of 2006, compared with 28 percent for the same period a year ago, according to a report released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.)."
Merced Sun Star - "Thousands in county expected to lose homes to foreclosure" (11-27-06)

"Foreclosures are soaring dramatically in the Northern San Joaquin Valley as homeowners struggle with rising mortgage rates, falling home prices and a stagnant real estate market."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Contra Costa Times - "Drop in enrollment small now, but big ripples seen for future" (11-26-06)

"California's schools will lose students and funding in coming years as baby boomers' babies grow up"
OC Register - "O.C. loan rates fall to 5.942% fixed, 4.396% adjustable" (11-26-06)

"The average rate on a 30-year fixed with a one-point fee slipped to 5.942 percent, National Financial News Services said. The introductory rate on a one-year adjustable fell to 4.396 percent with a two-point fee. The gap between the two rates narrowed to 1.55 percentage points, making fixed rates more attractive because they are less risky and don't cost much more."
The Real Estate Journal - "Economists Say the Worst Of Housing Bust Is Over" (11-22-06)

"The worst of the housing bust is over, economists said by nearly 2-to-1 in the latest economic forecasting survey. But they still predict that the average selling price of a house will fall next year." - "Sales of apartment projects slowing in North San Diego County" (11-21-06)

"Sales of apartment projects in North County and throughout San Diego County have fallen sharply this year over last, after condo-converting investors drove prices upward, according to a survey released Tuesday."
NAHB - "Multifamily Builders Still Worried About Weakness In Condo Market" (11-21-06)

“Many of these condo communities are large, urban projects or high-rise communities in resort locations, and as such, they take a long time to plan and build compared to a single-family home” said David Seiders, NAHB’s chief economist. “As a result, multifamily developers cannot simply turn off the supply overnight, so it is going to take a little while before we work through the large overhang of inventory in this sector.”
CNN - "Home builders slam on the brakes" (11-20-06)

"Housing starts hit six-year low while permits, a key sign of builder confidence, slide to the lowest since 1997."
ABC - "Top Economists Weigh In On Slumping Housing Market" (11-20-06)

"Home sales have fallen around the nation and the Bay Area is no exception. So what does this mean for the future? ABC7 gets predictions from top economists."
CBIA - "California’s Housing Affordability Remains Lowest in Nation" (11-20-06)

“We think housing prices have stabilized and we know interest rates are very favorable, so this is a great time to buy a home,” Rivinius said. “But we could make it even better by enacting needed reforms that would make it possible for our industry to build enough homes to house our growing population — especially more homes designed for first-time buyers."
NAR - "Third-Quarter Metro Home Prices & State Sales Confirm Market Transition" (11-20-06)

"Conditions for home buyers improved during the third quarter as existing single-family home prices in many metropolitan areas experienced corrections, and most states saw sales activity below a year ago which helped to build housing inventories, according to the latest quarterly surveys by the National Association of Realtors."
Press Enterprise - "Trouble in ARM's Way" (11-19-06)

"Too-good-to-be-true loans turn out to be just that for some"
The Tribune - "Housing market shows signs of a soft landing" (11-19-06)

"After significant speculation about when San Luis Obispo County home prices would decline, the year-over-year median home price recently registered its first drop in eight years, according to the California Association of Realtors."
Sign On San Diego - "From whirlwind to tailspin" (11-19-06)

"After two whirlwind years of million-dollar sales, professional accolades and hefty paydays, real estate agent John Leverson never expected to find himself selling power wheelchairs and scooters to make ends meet."
Sign on San Diego - "2 mortgage giants put on notice" (11-18-06)

"The Treasury Department is tightening its process for approving the millions of dollars of mortgage-related debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a change that could diminish the footprint of the two giants in the financial markets. The changes could take effect as early as January."
Business Week - "Housing: The Riddle of Rates and Prices" (11-17-06)

"With real estate on the skids, which matters more to potential buyers: declining mortgage rates or falling home prices?"
Washington Post - "The Ifs, Ands or Buts - Contingencies Muscle Back Into Contracts" (11-17-06)
CNN - "Help! Home for sale - Basile and Neuffer" (11-17-06)

"Two displaced Easterners get a lesson in the realities of California real estate."
CNN - "Foreclosures spike in October" (11-17-06)

"The pain continues for some hard-pressed homeowners: Foreclosure filings leaped again last month to their highest levels of the year, indicating many Americans are facing difficulties paying their mortgages."
Bloomberg - "U.S. October Housing Starts Drop to Six-Year Low (Update2)" (11-17-06)

"Housing starts in the U.S. tumbled in October to the lowest level in more than six years, as waning home sales and swollen inventories discouraged new projects."

"Builders broke ground on 1.486 million new homes at an annual rate, down 14.6 percent from September's 1.74 million pace, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Building permits dropped to a 1.535 million pace, a record ninth straight decline and the lowest since December 1997."
The Desert Sun - "Expert: Housing market drag on state until 2008" (11-16-06)

"The downturn in the housing industry will continue to depress the state's economy for most of next year before stabilizing in 2008, the Legislature's top budget analyst predicted Wednesday."

"Legislative Budget Analyst Elizabeth Hill forecast that residential construction will fall by 4.4 percent in 2006 and by an additional 13 percent in 2007."
NAHB - "Builder Confidence Improves In November" (11-16-06)

“More and more builders are seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” said NAHB President David Pressly, a home builder from Statesville, N.C. “Our members are telling us that the market is steadying after a significant downward correction. On the demand side, we look for sales to stabilize and gradually move up in the coming months.”
LA Times - "Home-sale volume still depressed" (11-16-06)

"The number of homes sold in California fell in October from a year earlier, signaling that potential buyers were waiting to see whether prices stabilize before jumping into the market, a research firm said Wednesday."
DQ News - "California October Home Sales" (11-16-06)

"A total of 42,750 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That's up 0.7 percent from 42,450 for September and down 21.7 percent from a 54,600 for October 2005."
OC Register - "Housing peak now a losing streak" (11-15-06)

"This losing streak, so to speak, stands out to me because four down months in a row has never happened before in the 19 years DataQuick has tracked this market. That includes the serious depreciation we witnessed during the great real estate depression of the early- to mid- 1990s."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Real Estate Journal - "Housing Market Show Signs Of Making a Recovery" (11-15-06)

"The median home price in California's Los Angeles County rose 4.5% in October from a year ago to $514,000, a sign that the local real-estate market may be stabilizing, according to an article by the Los Angeles Times. That rise in appreciation is greater than the 3% year-over-year increase seen in September, the article says. However, home sales continued to drop, falling 21.8% in October from October 2005's levels, the paper says. However, that decrease was less than the 28% year-over-year decrease seen in September, the Times says."
CNN - "Beware: No rate cut until 2008" (11-15-06)

"Minutes from latest Fed meeting show the central bank, still worried about inflation, might stand pat through 2007."
OC Register - "O.C. mortgage defaults at 7-year high" (11-15-06)

In October, bankers formally reminded 599 Orange Countians that they'd missed some mortgages payments. That's the highest number of "notices of default" filed here since August 1999, according to new DataQuick figures.
OC Register - "Has commercial real estate peaked?" (11-15-06)

"Real estate experts "nervous" about low returns on commercial property. Prices may fall, they say."
OC Register - "Home prices level off" (11-15-06)

"Median is up 3.1 percent from 2005, but sales dip for 12th straight month."
LA Times - "Region's home prices hold firm" (11-15-06)

"Southern California's median of $484,000 for two consecutive months could mean that the market is stabilizing."
OC Register - "Housing peak now a losing streak" (11-15-06)

"This losing streak, so to speak, stands out to me because four down months in a row has never happened before in the 19 years DataQuick has tracked this market. That includes the serious depreciation we witnessed during the great real estate depression of the early- to mid- 1990s."
DQ News - "Bay Area home sales slow, prices flat" (11-15-06)

"Bay Area home sales held steady at a five-year low in October as buyers and sellers circled each other in a game of wait-and-see. Prices remained flat, a real estate information service reported."

"A total of 7,979 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region in October. That was up 0.9 percent from 7,907 for the month before, and down 24.1 percent from 10,508 for October last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems. "
Business Week - "Housing and Home Depot: Unhappy Together" (11-15-06)

"The sector's hard times have filtered through to the large-scale retailers who supply the basic building ingredients"
CAR - "NAR changes controversial MLS policy" (11-14-06)

"Responding to antitrust actions and investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission over multiple listing service restrictions for a category of property listings, directors for the National Association of Realtors approved policy changes that allow individual MLS participants to decide whether to implement restrictions on the Internet display of property listings."
Yahoo! - "Countrywide says housing slump has a year to go" (11-14-06)

"The slowdown of the U.S. housing market will last through 2007 as inventories are pared enough to prompt a change in consumer psychology, the chief executive officer of the nation's biggest mortgage lender said on Tuesday."
DQ News - "Southland home sales slow to ten-year low" (11-14-06)

"Last month was the slowest October for Southern California home sales in a decade. Prices continued to level off, a real estate information service reported."

"A total of 22,117 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 2.4 percent from 22,654 in September, and down 22.4 percent from 28,489 for October a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems. "
Sign On San Diego - "Slide in housing prices halts, and buyers reduce inventory" (11-14-06)

"San Diego County's housing price slide reversed course last month and brought the median up $9,000 from September to $485,000, DataQuick Information Systems reported yesterday."

“Buyers can only stand on the sidelines so long when interest rates are 6.25 to 6.50 percent,” said Charles Jolly, president of the San Diego Association of Realtors. “There's been enough information in the media indicating that buyers can negotiate and prices have softened.”
Sign On San Diego - "Home sellers' profits still big" (11-14-06)

"For all the concern about declining prices, recent San Diego County home sellers are still making huge profits, nearly doubling their investment in little more than five years, according to a study by an Orange County research firm that tracks real estate transactions."
Yahoo! - "Home Depot cuts outlook amid housing downturn" (11-14-06)

"The world's largest home improvement retailer said weakness would likely continue into 2007, and its shares fell 1 percent."
CNN - "D.R. Horton's earnings fall on weak housing" (11-14-06)

"Largest U.S. homebuilder beats analyst estimates in fiscal fourth quarter, despite seeing quarterly profit drop 51 percent."
Daily Bulletin - "Real estate careers cooling off" (11-15-06)

"Everyone once wanted in the business; now those days are gone"
CNN - "Homes: Slow-market savings - the 'buy-down'" (11-13-06)

"Private sellers are starting to help buyers pay their mortgages. It's not altruism; it's good business."
NAHB - "New Poll Finds Consumers Still Confident Of Home Values" (11-13-06)

"Americans remain highly confident about the nation’s housing prospects, with more than four out of five home owners expecting the value of their home to appreciate over the next five years and nearly seven out of 10 calling it their most valuable investment, according to results from a new nationwide survey."
Market Watch - "KB Home CEO resigns after backdating probe" (11-12-06)

"KB Home CEO, President and Chairman Bruce Karatz has resigned after an internal investigation found that he backdated his own stock-option grants to increase his pay and will forfeit about $13 million in gains from the backdating, according to a media report Sunday."
Sign On San Diego - "Economic slowdown seen for early '07" (11-11-06)

"For the sixth month in a row, San Diego's index of leading economic indicators declined in September, dragged down by declines in home construction and a rise in unemployment filings, according to a report released yesterday by the University of San Diego."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

CNN - "Detroit foreclosures lead nation" (11-11-06)

"Nationally, foreclosures are way ahead of last year."
Market Watch - "Bottom fishing" (11-10-06)

"The housing market is on a "road to recovery," the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors said Friday, but just how long that road is and how difficult a trek it will be in some parts of the country is still anybody's guess."
Real Estate Joural - "Do Real-Estate Agents Have a Secret Agenda?" (11-10-06)

"Home buyers have a new reason to be wary in this weakening housing market: Real-estate agents increasingly have lucrative incentives to push one home over another."
NAR - "Changing Marketplace Complicates Home Valuation Process For Realtors® And Appraisers" (11-10-06)

"In today’s transitioning real estate marketplace, pricing a home properly is one of the biggest challenges that sellers face. Providing accurate property valuations in this environment can be complicated, as well."
NAR - "Housing Market Expected To 'Coast' Into 2007 With Modest Price Gains" (11-10-06)

Following a correction in home sales and prices in 2006, existing-home sales are expected to "coast" at roughly the same level next year, although there will be some additional decline in the new-home market, according to a forecast released today at the National Association of Realtors® Conference & Expo here.
CNN - "Realtors: slight slump, not bust" (11-10-06)

"Industry trade group says existing home sales and prices should steady in 2007."
CAR - "Mortgage rates rise on higher job numbers" (11-9-06)

"But housing still takes a toll on GDP growth"
OC Register - "Subprime loans on borrowed time" (11-8-06)

"These are not happy days in the odd home-loan game that Orange County all but perfected."
OC Register - "O.C. inventories slowly shrinking" (11-8-06)

"Slow, seasonal shrinkage in Orange County home inventories continues, according to the math of Steve Thomas at Re/Max Real Estate Services in Aliso Viejo."
OC Register - "Builders see new-home orders plunge" (11-8-06)

"As the housing market slows, customer cancellations are on the rise, they say."
LA Times - "Home sellers saw big profits in October" (11-8-06)

"Many sold for double the price they paid, suggesting the number of owners in financial distress is still low."
Voice of San Diego - "Sales Continue Downward Slide" (11-8-06)

"In October, the local Realtors association saw declines in total sales volume to the tune of nearly $200 million in attached homes like condos and townhouses, and more than $400 million for single-family, detached homes compared to the same month a year ago."
CNN - "Mortgage applications see big rise" (11-8-06)

"Demand for home loans up nearly 9% as interest rates come in mixed, trade group reports." - "Realtor ads argue now is good time for buyers" (11-8-06)

In an effort to rebut media coverage of the slumping housing market, the NAR kicked off its $40 million "Buy Now" ad campaign during the weekend.
Market Watch - "Hovnanian adds to builders' woes" (11-8-06)

"Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. said it expects to recognize impairment charges and report a fourth-quarter loss, piling more bad news on what's already been a beleaguered home-builder sector this week."
Yahoo! - "Housing Bubble to Deflate for at Least Two More Years, Despite Greenspan's Optimism" (11-8-06)

"There's a growing consensus among economic and financial experts on the rate at which the real estate bubble will deflate. It will be a slow leak, they say. But the reality is far more chilling."
MSNBC - "Big homebuilders signal more housing woe" (11-7-06)

"Toll says revenue down 10 percent; Beazer earnings drop 44 percent"
Market Watch - "UBS sees home prices down 10% in 2007" (11-6-06)

"Home prices will fall 10% on average in 2007 and it will likely take three years to clear out the huge inventory of empty unsold homes currently in the market, according to a UBS report released Monday."
Builders Online - "Home Builder Fighting for His Company's Life in Bankruptcy Court" (11-5-06)

"As the owner of Kara Homes Inc., all he ever wanted to do was sell homes and make people happy, he said more than once. He just needed the banks to work with him so that everyone could come out even."
NAR - "NAR Bullish on Housing Market, Advises Consumers to Take Action Now While Conditions Remain Favorable" (11-3-06)

"In a full-page newspaper advertisement running in six of the nation’s leading newspapers beginning today, the leadership of the National Association of Realtors® is launching a national campaign to urge home buyers who have been waiting to buy the home of their dreams to act now before the market changes. "
Yahoo! - "Rising Home Inventories Point to Ongoing Housing Slump" (11-3-06)

"Shares of many publicly traded home builders have lost half their value since peaking nearly 18 months ago, leading some financial pundits to say the housing industry has hit bottom. But a rise in home inventories in many of the nation's biggest markets has led at least two investment firms to conclude there is still no recovery in sight for the beleaguered housing industry, which could spur further declines for builders' stocks."