Saturday, September 30, 2006

Newsday - "As market slows, cracks appear in the local real estate sector" (9-29-06)

"As housing boomed, homeowners benefited - but they weren't alone. Real estate agents, furniture sellers, mortgage bankers, construction workers and a host of others reaped the rewards, too, as jobs were plentiful, wages rose and business grew."
Market Watch - "Lenders Gone Wild" (9-29-06)

"Can U.S. curb the 'exotic mortgages' frenzy that puts homeowners at risk?"
CNN - "New worry: A hard 'soft landing'" (9-30-06)

"Everyone agrees the economy is slowing but recent reports have some analysts concerned about recession."
Market Watch - "Decline seen for Aug. pending home sales" (9-29-06)

"Banc of America Securities said Friday it expects pending home sales to decline between 3% and 4% in August from the previous month after its monthly survey of real estate agents revealed disappointing traffic trends."
Bloomberg - "Think Housing's Stabilized? See Cancellations: Caroline Baum" (9-29-06)

"House prices will have to fall -- more than the 1.3 percent and 1.7 percent year-over-year decline in the median price of new and existing homes, respectively, in August -- in order to work off the current inventory glut. And builders will have to curtail residential construction until buyers chip away at the backlog."
CS Monitor - "Risky mortgages threaten a squeeze" (9-29-06)

"The overall impact is muted, but some 500,000 homeowners are projected to face foreclosure."
MSN - "Home auctions are going, going, gone online" (9-28-06)

"Buyers and sellers are moving more real estate on the Internet"

Friday, September 29, 2006

Mail Tribune - "Short-term investors run for cover" (9-29-06)

"Those who saw real estate as an alternative to the stock market find patience is a virtue"
Inman - "Regulators tighten guidelines for 'exotic' mortgages" (9-29-06)

"New rules clamp down on underwriting, disclosure requirements"

"Federal banking regulators today published new guidelines for banks to follow when originating and underwriting "nontraditional" or "exotic" mortgages that carry potential payment shock for borrowers."

"Many in the loan industry cite these mortgages as major contributors to the nation's home-ownership boom as they have enabled many borrowers to purchase in high-priced markets where traditional mortgages were out of reach."

"The new guidelines retain disclosure and underwriting provisions that some banks had objected to as too restrictive, including a requirement that lenders qualify borrowers at the fully indexed rate for interest-only and payment-option loans."

"As Inman News reported last week, the new guidelines will require lenders to analyze a borrower's ability to repay not only the initial loan amount, but also any additional principal that may accrue in the case of a payment-option loan with negative amortization."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

LA Times - "UCLA Group Predicts Flat Home Prices" (9-28-06)

"The Anderson Forecast backs away from its dire projections last year but says things could worsen based on recent data."
LA Times - "Data Offer Mixed View of Economy" (9-28-06)

"Sales of new U.S. homes unexpectedly rose in August but sales in July were weaker than first thought, while new orders for durable goods fell, according to government reports Wednesday giving mixed indications about the economy's direction."
OC Register - "Housing dip isn't media's fault" (9-27-06)

"Too many people in the housing business think negative news about market conditions – both local and national – is scaring off potential buyers."

"Gary Watts, the Orange County industry's widely watched forecaster, cites news coverage as a major, depressing market force in his latest outlook."
Real Estate Journal - "Homeowners Expect Home Values To Rise Despite Cooling Market" (9-28-06)

"Although housing prices nationwide are falling, nearly half of all homeowners still expect the value of their homes to rise at least 5% a year, according to a recent survey of 1,003 Americans by RBC Capital Markets, a corporate banking and investment banking firm. Our homes are still our nest eggs: About 80% of homeowners surveyed estimated that they have at least $50,000 of equity in their homes, and 60% said they have at least $100,000. Surprisingly, many of those polled are immune to worries about interest-rate hikes, since they've already paid off their mortgages. But those who got risky variable-rate and interest-only mortgages are getting worried: Nearly four out of 10 such borrowers are concerned about how they'll meet higher payments."
CBIA - "Housing Production Drops in July, CBIA Reports" (9-28-06)

"Homebuilders Predict Market to Stabilize by End of Year, Cite Critical Need for Lower-Cost Homes and Condos"

"Although overall housing starts fell nearly 43 percent since June, residential construction is still on target for production of 180,000 units in 2006, the California Building Industry Association announced today."
Inman - "Rates fall sharply, borrowers fail to take advantage" (9-27-06)

"Home purchase index nears 3-year low"

"Despite a sharp decline in interest rates, overall mortgage applications were down 4.9 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today."
NAHB - "The Housing Downswing Will Not Drag The Economy Into Recession" (9-28-06)

"Looking a bit rougher than the soft landing housing analysts had been expecting, the current housing downswing is unlikely to lead to economic calamity. That is largely because interest rates are historically low, the overall economy still is moving ahead, and builders are stepping up efforts to get their unsold inventories under control, according to economists participating in a teleconference hosted yesterday by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)." - "5 tips: Selling a house in a buyer's market" (9-28-06)

"1. Play the cards you're dealt."
"2. Scope out other houses for sale."
"3. Make it a turnkey, not a turkey."
"4. Offer incentives."
"5. Price realistically."
Market Watch - "The aftermath of condo fever" (9-28-06)

"How to cope with a condo-investment hangover"
Bloomberg - "Homebuilders Offer Garages, Sod to Lure Buyers Amid U.S. Slump " (9-27-06)

" U.S. homebuilders including Pulte Homes Inc., Lennar Corp. and D.R. Horton Inc. are cutting prices and throwing in a lot more than the kitchen sink to stem a record build-up of unsold houses -- even as their profits and shares tumble. The median price of a new home this year may fall for the first time in 15 years as sales drop the most since 1990, says Doug Duncan, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington."
Market Watch - "New home sales rise 4.1% to 1.05 million pace" (9-27-06)

"Median sales price down 1.3%, first yearly decline in three years"

"Sales of new homes unexpectedly increased 4.1% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.05 million from a three-year low in July, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday." - "Aug. Home Sales Gains Seen As Temporary" (9-27-06)

"Sales of new homes, after falling for three months, rose in August. But the gain was expected to be temporary as the battered housing industry struggles with a near-record level of unsold homes."
USA Today - "Home prices likely to fall more" (9-26-06)

"Home prices are projected to fall for the rest of the year, the National Association of Realtors said Monday, with sellers being forced to accept a new reality: Buyers now wield the power, with the supply of homes for sale at a 13-year high."
Market Watch - "Lowe's cuts profit estimate to lower end of forecast" (9-26-06)

"Home-improvement-goods retailer Lowe's Cos. said it now expects profit for the year that's toward the lower end of its prior view, citing consumer pressures such as a lackluster housing market and high energy costs, and it conceded Tuesday that it expects weakness to continue into next year."
Market Watch - "Lennar's net income drops 39%" (9-26-06)

"Residential builder warns again, says market still deteriorating"
CNN - "Lennar: Market's not hit bottom yet" (9-26-06)

"No. 3 homebuilder's profits fall, cuts outlook, CEO says market still looking for a floor."
Business Press - "Builders sell land to boost balance sheets" (9-25-06)

"Softening home sales are causing some publicly traded builders to divest land holdings to better improve their balance sheets and quarterly earnings. The consequences could be significant for the Las Vegas real estate market."
Daily News - "Housing boom wimps out" (9-25-06)

"Experts anticipate that Valley home prices will stabilize, not plunge"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

OC Register - "Housing's real problem: The media?" (9-26-06)

"O.C. broker/economist Gary "Up 15% in '06" Watts has a fresh housing outlook on his Web site. One thing's missing, a forecast for home prices for '07."

"'Newspapers are losing subscribers and television is losing viewers. Consultants have advised them that if they want to hold their viewers’ or readers’ attention, they have no alternative but to portray fearful impending events and instill anxiety in their audiences! This raw emotion will help to keep people tuning in, thus possibly preserving precious advertising dollars.'"
LA Times - "Data on Homes Cause Jitters" (9-26-06)

"Housing prices decline nationally for the first time since 1995 and inventory sets a record. The slump poses two big threats to the economy."

"The 1.7% decline in the median price of existing homes sold in August was the first year-over-year drop since April 1995, the National Assn. of Realtors said Monday. Also, the number of houses sold fell for a fifth straight month and the supply of unsold homes on the market rose to a record."

"About 10 million jobs are tied directly to residential real estate, from construction workers to escrow agents to the clerks at the local hardware store, Goldman Sachs estimates. That's about 7% of total U.S. employment. Some analysts believe the total is closer to 10%."

Real Estate Journal - "Key Indicators to Examine When Measuring the Housing Slowdown" (9-26-06)
Real Estate Journal - "Key Indicators to Examine When Measuring the Housing Slowdown" (9-26-06)
MSN - "Lennar posts lower profit" (9-25-06)

"A steeper-than-expected drop in the U.S. housing market pushed Lennar Corp.'s quarterly profit down 39 percent and prompted the home builder on Tuesday to slash its forecast for the current period." - "Your Landlord's in Trouble If the Grass Is Long" (9-25-06)

"Soon, renters may get tangled up in that market correction -- if landlords start going into foreclosure on their investment properties and have to kick out the tenants without much warning. And while most analysts agree that's a long-shot scenario for most real estate investors, the heated market inspired a lot of novices to jump onto the landlord scene. And those people often had little, if any, understanding of what might happen if the market stopped appreciating so dramatically."
SignOnSanDiego - "For renters, it's all about the waiting" (9-25-06)

"As the rush to convert apartments to condominiums winds down, some renters are wondering what has become of the projects that threatened to push them out of their homes."
SignOnSanDiego - "For renters, it's all about the waiting" (9-25-06)

"As the rush to convert apartments to condominiums winds down, some renters are wondering what has become of the projects that threatened to push them out of their homes."

Monday, September 25, 2006

CAR - "C.A.R. reports sales decrease 30.1 percent in August, median price of a home in California at $576,360, up 1.6 percent from year ago" (9-25-06)

Home sales decreased 30.1 percent in August in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home increased 1.6 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today."
OC Register - "Orange County Home Prices and Sales" (9-20-06)
NAR - "Existing-Home Sales Holding At A Sustainable Pace" (9-25-06)

"Existing-home sales stabilized at a sustainable pace in August, while home prices showed an anticipated decline, according to the National Association of Realtors®."

"Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – slipped 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.30 million units in August from a level of 6.33 million Ju1y, and were 12.6 percent lower than the 7.21 million-unit pace in August 2005, which was the second highest on record."
NAHB - "Media Advisory: News Teleconference On The Housing Downswing And Its Implications For The US Economy" (9-25-06)

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006
2:00 p.m. EDT

To participate, dial toll free 1-800-860-2442 and ask for the “NAHB Housing Downswing”, 10 minutes before the teleconference begins.
call. For your convenience, presentations and reference materials will be available for download at
Market Watch - "Existing-home prices fall for 1st time in 11 years" (9-25-06)

"Sales drop 0.5% in August to lowest pace since January 2004"

"The collapsing U.S. housing market crossed another milestone in August, as the median sales price of existing homes fell for the first time in 11 years and for just the sixth time in the past 38 years, the National Association of Realtors said Monday" - "Condo conversion craze grinds to halt" (9-25-06)

"Oversupply of units hurts prices, leaves investors in limbo"

"By the end of June, the number of converted units ready for occupancy or earmarked for sale later had grown to 6,922 in 111 projects, according to the Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors. There was little change in July, and statistics for August have not been tallied." - "Speculators jack up prices in Calif. desert" (9-24-06)

"As analysts debate whether the real estate slowdown will result in a soft landing or a crash, investors are trolling for bargains - and a big score - in the middle of nowhere. One such hot spot is Newberry Springs, a vast, unincorporated area in the Mojave Desert that's home to just a few thousand people spread out in homes on large parcels." - "Speculators jack up prices in Calif. desert" (9-24-06)

"As analysts debate whether the real estate slowdown will result in a soft landing or a crash, investors are trolling for bargains - and a big score - in the middle of nowhere. One such hot spot is Newberry Springs, a vast, unincorporated area in the Mojave Desert that's home to just a few thousand people spread out in homes on large parcels."
SacBee - "Housing outlook? Spin the wheel" (9-24-06)

"The slowing local market is full of theories, and each one has different implications for buyers and sellers"

Sunday, September 24, 2006

OC Register - "Fed wants more disclosure about new kinds of mortgage" (9-24-06)

"It is considering revising the Truth in Lending rules."

"The U.S. Federal Reserve, responding to growing bank and consumer risks from 'non-traditional"'mortgages, is considering revising Truth in Lending disclosures to require clearer information for customers seeking mortgages."
LA Times - "Don't get stuck with high rates" (9-24-06)

"More lenders are allowing homeowners to convert credit lines to fixed rates -- without much bother."
LA Times - "Buyers, now's the time to plan and be patient" (9-24-06)

"This new, more balanced housing market calls for a different set of operating instructions for home buyers. No longer must people bid over the asking price just to have a house. In today's market, home buyers need to be prepared, plan carefully, negotiate and exercise patience."
LA Times - "Waning Home Sales Take Further Toll on the Industry" (9-22-06)

"Countrywide may cut thousands of jobs. KB's revenue growth slows in its latest quarter."

"The weakening housing market continued to take its toll on the industry Thursday as mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. disclosed the possibility of thousands of layoffs and builder KB Home reported slowing revenue growth."
Real Estate Journal - "Home-Appraisal Red Flags In a Cooling Housing Market" (9-22-06)

"Appraisals are a key part of just about any residential real-estate deal, but the world of appraisals is not without its scandals. Phony appraisals are often a problem in mortgage-fraud cases, where a group of scammers will pose as legitimate real-estate professionals, hiking up a property's price to turn a quick profit."
Real Estate Journal - "Midwest Job Losses May Trigger A Sharper Housing Slowdown" (9-22-06)

"For months, the biggest worries over the slowing housing market in the U.S. have mainly focused on parts of the country that have seen exceptional price increases from 2000 to 2005, places with growing populations and strong economies such as California, Florida and Nevada. But recent data from the federal government and private-sector researchers point to areas in the Midwest that are witnessing a more dramatic slowdown in home prices and, in some cases, higher borrower defaults than the rest of the country."
CAR - "Governor Schwarzenegger signs AB 2429 into law; measure enhances licensing requirements in real estate industry" (9-22-06)

"California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed AB 2429 (Negrete McLeod), “Real Estate Salesperson Licensure,” into law. The measure was sponsored by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. AB 2429 will require salesperson applicants, after Sept. 30, 2007, to complete all three of the Department of Real Estate-mandated pre-license courses prior to taking the license examination."
CAR/Inman - "Housing, confidence slow economy" (9-22-06)

"U.S. leading index falls for second month"
St. Petersburg Online - "Finally sold! Well, maybe" (9-23-06)

"Frustrated home sellers are turning to auctions. While the gavels are hot, the prices often aren't, and some houses still fail to sell."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Press Enterprise - "Delaying Interest" (9-21-06)

"Rates for 30-year mortgage rates dropped this week to the lowest level in six months, but the break for homebuyers may not be enough to buoy sagging sales in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, according to some real estate agents, mortgage lenders and a university economist."
Maimi Herald - "Long immune to national downturn, Calif home market finally falls" (9-23-06)

"The housing market throughout the state, particularly along the coast, appeared steady earlier this year, despite pronounced downturns in parts of the industrial Midwest and the South. But fresh data show that California's market is not immune - and may be on the cusp of a long-feared correction."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Real Estate Journal - "Federal Reserve Cites Declines In Housing For Holding Rates" (9-22-06)

"The Federal Reserve left its short-term interest rate target at 5.25% for a second consecutive meeting. It also warned that it remains concerned about inflation, and thus if it changes rates soon, it is more likely to raise them than lower them."
Realty Times - "Homeowner Feels Cheated with Negative Amortized Loan Program" (9-21-06)
Santa Cruz Sentinel - "Median home price edges down to $755,000" (9-21-06)
Daily Bulletin - "Housing sales drop 20 percent: Prices in San Bernardino County rise at slowest rate in 4 years" (9-21-06)

Globeand - "U.S. real estate crash could cause global ripples" (9-21-06)

"There is a serious risk of worldwide recession coming up in the next couple of years because of the turning of the real estate market," said Mr. Shiller, speaking at the annual congress of the International Union for Housing Finance (IUHF) in Vancouver.

"And housing finance people should be thinking creatively now about what to do about this," Mr. Shiller added.

Contra Costa Times - "For first time in years, price of homes falls" (9-21-06)

"East Bay sales also are down, reflecting that neither buyers nor sellers will compromise on costs"
Washington Post - "Sinking housing market creates a ripple effect" (9-21-06)
USA Today - "Soft market teaches flippers an ever-so-humble lesson" (9-21-06)

"Investing in real estate looked so sexy. Like the tech-stock bubble that turned college kids and housewives into day traders, the real estate boom turned insurance brokers, doctors and bicycle mechanics into real estate flippers, who would buy and then quickly sell homes for easy profits."

"Now those profits are shrinking fast. Nearly one in five flippers who sold from April to June actually lost money on the deal, the highest level in 2½ years, according to, which today will release a report on flipping activity in 147 metro areas."

Charles Schwab - "Housing: ARMed and Dangerous" (9-21-06)

"Risks to the economy, stocks and your net worth"

"As cited by many a homebuilder CEO lately, there is something very unique about this cycle: It’s the first time in American history that a severe housing downturn has been led not by rising unemployment or falling incomes, but by too much inventory and speculation. For the past century, home prices adjusted for inflation have been relatively stable, with long cyclical swings but no long-term trend. The major anomaly was the sharp spike in home prices over the last decade (up over 80% since 1997), which was totally out of line with the long-term experience. Fundamentals can’t fully explain this spike, so what can?

There are other lags still working through the system, many of which relate to the nature of lending that fueled the boom. As reported in the August 21 issue of Barron’s (“The No-Money-Down Disaster”):

• 32.6% of new mortgages and home equity loans in 2005 were interest-only, up from 0.6% in 2000.
• 43% of first-time home buyers (25% of all buyers) in 2005 put no money down.
• 15.2% of 2005 buyers owe at least 10% more than their home is worth.
• 10% of all homeowners with mortgages have no equity in their homes.
• $2.7 trillion in loans will adjust to higher rates in 2006 and 2007.

In addition:

• By July the ratio of house prices to incomes had risen 30% above its prior peak in the early 1980s.
• A recent Fed study shows non-prime mortgages made up nearly 25% of conventional home purchase loans in 2005, compared to 11.5% in 2004.
• Real estate as a percentage of household net worth has jumped from under 25% in 2000 to 38% today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dataquick - "California August Home Sales" (9-20-06)

"A total of 49,800 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That's up 12.5 percent from 44,250 for July and down 25.1 percent from a revised 66,500 for August 2005."
LA Times - "Home Price Appreciation Slackens" (9-20-06)

"The Southland median rose 2.7% in August, the smallest year-over-year increase since 1999."
Yahoo - "Fed Keeps Interest Rates at 5.25 Percent" (9-20-06)

Federal Reserve Holds Interest Rates Steady for Second Straight Month at 5.25 Percent"
CIOVACC0 Capital - "Housing Poses A Significant Threat to GDP & Stocks" (9-19-06)
Business Week - "Confessions of an Ex-Mortgage Lender" (9-20-06)

"Former loan officer Ted Janusz spills the secrets on this calculated practice of ripping borrowers off"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Inman - "Southern California home sales plunge 25%" (9-19-06)

"Home sales in Southern California fell for the ninth straight month in August, as price levels appeared to be nearing a plateau, a real estate information service reported today."

"A total of 25,628 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month, down 25.3 percent from 34,292 sales in August 2005, but up 12.8 percent from 22,712 sales in July, according to DataQuick Information Systems."

"The median price paid for a Southland home was $489,000 last month, up 2.7 percent from $476,000 in August 2005, but down 0.6 percent from July's $492,000. Last month's increase was the smallest since July 1999, when the $193,000 median also rose 2.7 percent from $188,000 a year earlier."

Market Watch - "Housing starts fall more than expected" (9-19-06)

"New construction of homes falls to 1.665 million rate, a 3-year low"
CNN - "Home futures: Price-drop seen for 10 top markets" (9-19-06)

"Trading in residential housing futures is more evidence that housing markets may be in decline."
Inman - "Risk of home-price declines increases" (9-19-06)

"Rapidly slowing home-price appreciation and declining affordability contributed to a marked increase in the risk of home price declines in cities across the country, according to a report released today."

"According to PMI Mortgage Insurance Co.'s latest risk index, there's a 32.8 percent chance that home prices will decline in the next two years. Risk index scores increased for all of the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas and 18 of these metros face a greater than 50 percent chance that home prices will decline, up from 13 last quarter."

Real Estate Journal - "To Get You Into a New House, Builders Help Sell the Old One" (9-19-06)

"Faced with falling sales, some builders are helping would-be buyers spruce up their current home by bringing in professionals who advise them on what furniture to get rid of and tell them whether they should rip off the wallpaper. Others are offering to make payments on the buyer's old mortgage (or the new one) in an effort to close the deal."
Market Watch - "Housing starts expected to fall again" (9-17-06)

"The fragile U.S. housing market probably weakened further in August and early September, economists said, looking ahead to the coming week's economic data."
Market Watch - "Fannie Mae could be hit hard by housing bust" (9-18-06)

"Mortgage giant could lose $29 bln, long-term bear argues in investor letter"
NAHB - "Builder Confidence Slips Further in September" (9-18-06)

"Reflecting increasing builder concerns about conditions in the market for new single-family homes, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) declined for an eighth consecutive month to a level of 30 in September. This amounted to a three-point drop from an upwardly revised 33 reading in August, and is the lowest level the index has reached since February of 1991."
Bloomberg - "Housing Slump in U.S. May Lead to First Drop Since Depression" (9-18-06)

"The sharpest slowdown in U.S. home-price growth in three decades is trapping owners with mortgages they can't afford, pushing unsold homes to a record 4.42 million and gutting profits for builders such as Lennar Corp. and Toll Brothers Inc. The U.S. median home price next year may fall for the first time since the Great Depression, says Gabriel Stein, chief international economist with Lombard Street Research in London."

"Economists such as Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz warn that the reduced sales may push the world's largest economy into recession, and concern is mounting over economic growth in Europe and Canada. The Federal Reserve will reduce its U.S. benchmark lending rate, says Jan Hatzius, chief U.S. economist with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Last month, the central bank ended a two-year streak of 17 increases that pushed the rate to 5.25 percent, citing cooling home sales."
MSN - "Jump ship or pink slip for some realtors" (9-17-06)

"They are jumping ship or receiving the pink slip. America's real estate agents and mortgage lenders, that is."

"Real estate industry job cut announcements totaled 3,033 year-to-date through August, a nearly 96 percent surge over the same period in 2005, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., an employment consulting firm based in Chicago."

"The mortgage lending industry has not fared much better, with layoff announcements totaling 8,513 during the same period, a rise of over 70 percent year-over-year, according to data provided by the company."
Inside Bay Area - "Homes sales slow, buyer incentives soar" (9-17-06)

"Builders offering perks — from discount mortgage payments to Mercedes-Benzes"

"Home builders are offering buyers $100,000 in incentives to buy into their new subdivisions, while real estate agents are staring at relatively flat median home price increase over last year as the number of homes sold has slowed."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

LA Times - "It's harder these days to pin down a truly comparable value" (9-17-06)

"It's a hot question in a cooling real estate market: How do you put a value on a specific property when local home sales are down, inventories of unsold homes have ballooned and all the trend lines are pointing negative?"
NAR - "Younger Home Buyers Showing An Increased Influence in Real Estate Markets" (9-15-06)

"As they begin to enter the housing market, many consumers in their 20s are more likely to buy a home at a younger age than their older brothers and sisters as well as their baby boomer parents, and are not necessarily waiting for marriage or even a long-term relationship before becoming homeowners."
NAR - "Commercial Real Estate Sector Is Strong - Don't Mess With It" (9-15-06)

"Government regulations, if not properly set, could reduce the flow of capital to commercial real estate and weaken a robust commercial real estate market, according to testimony submitted yesterday by the National Association of Realtors® to a House panel."

"In a letter to the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the Financial Services Committee, NAR expressed concern that the proposed Basel regulations and the proposed guidance on commercial real estate lending 'underestimate the strength and stability of the commercial real estate market and do not sufficiently recognize the diverse performance traits of commercial real estate.'"
The Santa Clarita Valley - "Home Sellers Turn Creative" (9-16-06)

"In stark contrast to the bidding wars and buying frenzy that drove house prices up last August, home sellers now can wait months for an offer and it is usually below their already reduced asking price. After five years of rabid real estate speculation that pushed the average person out of the housing market, savvy homebuyers are now playing a waiting game while scanning the multiples to find the best house for the lowest price."
Washington Post - "Valuation Gets Tough When Sales Slide" (9-16-06)

"In cooling real estate markets, it's one of the hottest questions: How do you value a specific piece of property when local home sales are down 20 percent to 40 percent from last year, inventories of unsold homes have ballooned by 200 percent or more, and all the trend lines are pointing negative?"
BYU - "Utah Housing Market Defies NationalTrend" (9-13-06)

"In Utah County the price of homes continues to rise, despite a national housing market decline."

Friday, September 15, 2006

CNN - "After the pause: The Fed's kindest cut?" (9-15-06)

"The Fed probably won't raise interest rates when it meets next week. But Bernanke & Co. may soon start thinking about lowering rates in 2007." - "$2 Trillion ARM Adjustments Trigger Foreclosures for Many Homeowners" (9-15-06)

"With the economy moving strongly forward, inflation is on the rise – which also means that home loan rates are on the rise. And over $2 trillion dollars in Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) loans are set to start adjusting in the next two years, facing higher interest rates, and dramatic monthly payment increases."

"Most consumers are unaware of the fact that their rate and their payments are getting ready to increase dramatically. And unfortunately, there are also cases where the consumer may be unaware that they even have an ARM, let alone that it is getting ready to adjust very soon. Many economists are concerned that when the payments start to increase, it will have a massive impact on consumer spending…which in turn, will impact the US economy as a whole."
Real Estate Journal - "Foreclosure Figures Suggest Homeowners in for Rocky Ride" (9-15-06)
SFGate - "Out, Out Damn Spot" (9-15-06)

"To hear the off-the-cuff remarks of real estate agents is enough to inspire a new horror genre."

"The numbers from a month ago show mixed reviews from ZIP code to ZIP code. Sales in San Francisco's 94105 area were up 31 percent, but they were down 52 percent in the neighboring 94107 area in comparison with July 2005. The median home price jumped by 23.4 percent over the past year in the 94108 area, while dropping by 17.8 percent in the 94118 area."
OC Register - "Home analyst has eye for risk" (9-13-06)

"Mike Ela says he knows which O.C. neighborhoods are diciest for homebuyers."
OC Register - "Builders fight for every sale" (9-14-06)

"New-home builders today are facing challenges unlike any they’ve experienced in recent years ... Over the past few years, home builders have often been in an order-taking mode, enjoying record closings and enthusiastic buyers. However, as the market softens and inventories rise, builders now find themselves in more of a selling mode, forcing them to negotiate prices and offer incentives at the same time they struggle with labor issues and increasing building material costs. As builders fight for every sale they close in this downturned market, a reputation for customer satisfaction becomes more important than ever, as it helps builders differentiate themselves from the competition."
LA Times - "L.A. County Home Prices Post Their Lowest Gain in Six Years" (9-14-06)

"The 4.7% year-over-year rise is below the area's historical average growth. San Diego's median drops again."

"Fewer buyers entered the market in August compared with a year earlier, eroding sales to levels not seen in a decade. In Los Angeles County, 9,193 homes were sold last month, the fewest since August 1997 and a 21% drop from year-earlier volumes, according to DataQuick. August was the county's ninth straight month of plunging year-over-year sales rates."

"Slow sales pulled down price growth in Los Angeles County, where the median price rose 4.7% year over year to $517,000 in August. That was the slowest rate of appreciation since the housing boom began six years ago and was below the county's historical average growth rate of 7%, according to DataQuick."
Voice of San Diego - "Flippers Flee, Long-Term Investors Hold On" (9-14-06)

"As prices have declined, sales have slowed, and inventory levels have risen in recent months, the get-rich-quick, house-flipping days seem to be over for a while. But that doesn't mean all forms of real estate investing are dead in San Diego -- they've just changed."

"A little more than a year ago, when Money magazine wanted to investigate the booming culture of real estate investing, reporter Stephen Gandel looked to San Diego as the poster child for the phenomenon. Designated "America's scariest housing market" on the June 2005 cover, San Diego was touted as a place where real estate "makes everybody rich" due to annual property value appreciation of 15, 20, 25 percent in some places -- a trend that proved too good to continue. Gandel spoke with six San Diego investors, all of whom had stumbled into real estate investing and found it to be the best bet of their lives."
Daily Bulletin - "Inland Empire foreclosures on rise" (9-14-06)

Riverside County has the highest foreclosure rate in California, although there's some disagreement about what that means."

"When RealtyTrac released its August 2006 foreclosure numbers Wednesday, California had the most new foreclosure filings of any state in the country. Some of that was obviously because of size, because the statewide rate -- one foreclosure for every 977 households -- was only slightly above the national average."

"Both Riverside County and San Bernardino County were worse off than the state as a whole. One of every 359 households in Riverside went into foreclosure in August, while the corresponding number in San Bernardino was one of every 552."

Washington Post - "Housing not facing bust, just normalcy: experts" (9-13-06)

"While the U.S. housing market is drifting down from stratospheric levels, the sector is just returning to normal and is not poised to crash, several economists and industry leaders told lawmakers on Wednesday."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

OC Register - "New O.C. home prices expected to rise" (9-13-06)

"An Irvine-based housing consultant said in a forecast released Tuesday that new home prices will go up in Orange County next year, but only by about 4.4 percent."

"'We foresee Year 2007 as being a stable year in terms of market conditions'" a report by Real Estate Economics stated."

"The firm, which advises real estate developers, forecast that sales for both new and existing homes will stabilize as consumers get used to high oil prices and international uncertainty and as mortgage rates become more constant."

Inman - "National foreclosures up 24%" (9-13-06)

"Property foreclosures nationwide increased 24 percent in August from the previous month and 53 percent from a year ago, marking the highest rate so far this year, a foreclosure service reported today.

"A total of 115,292 properties entered some stage of foreclosure during the month, according to a report from RealtyTrac. The report also shows a national foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure filing for every 1,003 U.S. households, the second-highest monthly foreclosure rate reported year to date."

Inman - "Real estate, finance experts raise red flags at 'bubble' hearing" (9-13-06)

"Economists and a representative for the National Association of Realtors, in congressional testimony today, raised red flags about 'exotic' mortgages and rising interest rates, energy prices and house prices, though they said they do not expect a doomsday scenario for the nation's housing market."

"Stevens said a gradual slowdown for the housing market 'is certainly possible and under the right circumstances likely, but that a soft landing is critically dependent upon policies that support a transition to a more normalized market and mitigate changes in local markets in the availability of mortgage financing and other essential elements to home ownership.'"

"Economists for the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and National Association of Home Builders also offered testimony during a hearing today, titled The Housing Bubble and Its Implications for the Economy."


"The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) told Congress today that the current downswing in home sales and housing production following the record housing boom of 2004-2005 is expected to bottom out around the middle of next year and gradually move back up toward trend by late 2008."

"Testifying before the Senate Economic Policy and Housing and Transportation Subcommittees, NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders said that while the housing downswing still has some distance to go, 'various economic and financial market fundamentals figure to be supportive of housing demand for the foreseeable future.'”

"These fundamentals include the following:

  • Payroll employment is proceeding at a decent and sustainable pace.
  • Household income growth is strengthening as the economic expansion proceeds.
  • The interest rate structure is favorable, mortgage credit is readily available and monetary policy has stabilized following a long run of upward rate adjustments.
  • Energy prices have receded from record highs earlier this year."
CNN - "Foreclosures spiked in August" (9-13-06)

"Rising payments on adjustable-rate mortgages contribute to 53% jump in foreclosures."

"California foreclosures are increasing at an even faster annual rate, up 160 percent since last year to 12,506. And the formerly red-hot Nevada market recorded a spike of 24 percent compared with July and a whopping 255 percent increase from August 2005."
MSNBC - "U.S. Cities With Biggest Housing Inventories" (9-13-06)

"Record-high inventory levels are forcing price cuts and buyer incentives in metro markets around the country"
American Chronicle - "You Can Sell Your Home in a Slowing Real Estate Market" (9-13-06)

"Remember the days when a home would go up for sale and within hours the homeowner would be popping open a bottle of champagne, dancing on the front lawn, and celebrating the substantially-over-the-asking-price offer they received? Then, they are gone so quick you only learn of their exit when you notice a new family working in the yard. Then, they put the very same home on market a year later, get a substantially-over-the-asking-price offer, and they disappear like smoke in a high wind. Remember those days?"

"Guess, what? Those days are over! Gone are the days of twenty and thirty percent appreciation rates. No longer is the agent you select unimportant because anyone can sell a home. No longer can your agent take a listing, go back to office, and kick his or her feet up on his desk with a hot cup of coffee because he knows an offer will be on his desk by the end of the day. Yes, in case you might have missed it, the real estate market has cooled considerably and is no longer moving at its once normal frenzied state."

Wall Street Journal - "Rising Inventories Weigh on Home Prices" (9-13-06)

"A continued rise in inventories of unsold homes in August signals further downward pressure on home prices in many parts of the U.S."

"Inventories of homes in 18 large metropolitan areas expanded by 3.5% in August, according to data compiled by ZipRealty Inc., a real-estate brokerage firm based in Emeryville, Calif. The data are based on single-family homes and condos included in local multiple-listing services of homes for sale."

"The biggest increases included 8% in Orlando, 6.4% in Seattle, 6.1% in San Francisco and 5.6% in Miami."

"Home sales have plunged over the past year in many areas where prices had soared over the preceding five years. The persistent weakness has prompted housing experts to say prices will have to decline more to revive sales."

"Compared with last month's chart, the data for Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles have been reconfigured to reflect a change in the areas tracked."

Daily News - "Slippery slope for Valley home sales continues" (9-12-06)

August sees annual 33% drop; median price up by just 2%" - "House prices drop for first time in years" (9-12-06)

For the first time in recent memory, the median price for an existing house selling in North County has declined year over year, according to a report released Monday by the North San Diego County Association of Realtors."
Market Watch - "Greed, speculation helped overheat housing market: Toll CEO" (9-12-06)

"Toll Brothers Inc. Chief Executive Robert Toll said the U.S. housing market got ahead of itself due to greed on the part of buyers and sellers, and that it now likely faces the highest level of speculative inventory ever. Toll said the current downturn is unique in his experience because it wasn't driven by a "macro-event" although interest rates have risen steadily. "Every day there's an article about how lousy housing is now and how dumb you have to be to buy a house now," the CEO said Tuesday at the Credit Suisse Homebuilders Symposium. "I don't know what it will take to turn this market -- it could take two years, or it could take someone getting quoted in the New York Times saying the market has hit bottom."
Market Watch - "D.R. Horton CEO says 2007 will be worse than 2006" (9-12-06)

Don Tomnitz, chief executive of D.R. Horton Inc. Tuesday said the company is preparing itself for a tougher housing market in 2007 compared to 2006, with prices finally stabilizing in 2008. "We have never seen housing prices and demand slow as quickly as they have during this downcycle," said the CEO of the nation's largest home builder when measured by 2005 deliveries. "Demand has evaporated to the extent of about 20% to 30% for the industry, and in a tighter timeframe than we've seen before." The use of incentives by builders to move homes in a slower sales environment will continue for the next three to four quarters, Tomnitz estimated at the Credit Suisse Homebuilders Symposium.
CNN - "IMF concerned about oil, U.S. housing" (9-12-06)

"Organization's chief says global expansion could become derailed by slowdown in U.S. housing market, sudden oil supply disruption."
Mail Tribune - "It's a 'candy store' for homebuyers" (9-12-06)

"Median price in Jackson County falls for first time since 1984; 'People are waiting around'"

"The median price backtracked 2 percent in August over the same month last year, spurred by declines on both sides of Medford. High inventories, fewer first-time buyers and a wait-and-see attitude on the part of newcomers to the market pulled the plug on the heretofore relentless price increases, representatives in the housing industry say."
NY Sun - "Real Estate Recession Coming" (9-12-06)

Some realtors and economists now argue that the decline in home prices will be modest and is nearly complete."

"They are very likely to be mistaken.This decline is just beginning and will become more severe because of a recession that will be triggered by the falling home prices. This in turn will lead to a surge in unemployment and many of the newly-unemployed will no longer be able to afford their homes."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

NAR - "Most Commercial Real Estate Sectors Continue to Improve" (9-12-06)

"Most commercial real estate markets can expect tightening vacancy rates and rising rents, and large investors are pouring funds into commercial sectors, according to the latest COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK of the National Association of Realtors®."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Inman - "Real estate market is weak, but won't crash" (9-11-06)

"An economic report by the American Express Bank Ltd. concludes that a crash in U.S. house prices and an economic recession are unlikely, though the housing market 'is particularly weak.'"

"While the report states that 'it would be brave to buy residential property in the U.S. today in the face of a slowing market,' it also notes that some real estate markets are going strong. Nine states that had below-average price gains over the past five years are now experiencing year-over-year price increases of 12 percent or more from second-quarter 2005 to second-quarter 2006: Idaho (20 percent), Oregon (19 percent), Washington state (17 percent), New Mexico (15 percent), Utah (15 percent), Wyoming (14 percent), Alaska (13 percent), Montana (13 percent) and Louisiana (12 percent)." - "Five Ways to Recession-proof Your Portfolio" (9-11-06)

"1. Go Big; Buy Quality"
"2. Defense: Consumer Staples"
"3. Defense: Healthcare"
"4. Take It to the Bank"
"5. Leave Home"
Realty Times - "Why NAR Expects Home Sales To Lift From Temporary Dip" (9-11-06)

"That's significant because housing has never receded on a national scale since the NAR began keeping records back in 1968. However, let's have a little perspective. There's also not been a period of double-digit appreciation on a national scale lasting a record five years, either. In that case, some pullback in prices should be expected as buyers realize they no longer have to compete at the top of their respective markets."

“This is a normal pattern during a market correction, but home prices should return to positive territory within a few months and annual appreciation will be slower than historic norms,” Lereah said. “Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points -- buyers in most of the country who plan to stay in their home for a normal period of homeownership can pretty well bank on those historic averages, but people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned.”

"California will take the longest to correct. It could be another 12 months. Southern Florida could be another 12 months -- but I doubt it. If sellers reduce prices, sales will come back. This is not a contraction due to a poor economy and lost jobs. Households and investors have the financial wherewithal to purchase property- but they have lost confidence and need prices to correct to come back into the market. Inventories will begin to decline by the end of the year and sales will flatten out."
KTLA - "An Investors' Dream or Just a Mirage?" (9-11-06)

Time will tell if those buying dirt-cheap in Newberry Springs really had the smart money."
NY Sun - "Futures Signal Housing Losses" (9-11-06)

This impending and frightening development is based on a recently launched indicator of the direction of American home prices, which is currently flashing signals that housing prices nationally could finally bite the bullet and begin to actually go down as early as November and fall 6% by May."

"As noted by Standard & Poor's, the indicator — a futures contract traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange — is based on the S&P/Case-Shiller Composite Home Price Index, a weighted index of 10 major metropolitan indexes around the country. Embracing such areas as New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., the futures contract, based on recent prices, shows that traders are pricing in a 2.3% decline in nationwide home prices in November and an additional 1.3% dip by February before reaching the expected 6.3% decrease in May." - "5 ways to assess risk of your option ARM" (9-11-06)
Sun-Sentinel - "The housing boom is over, but creative investors still make profits" (9-11-06)

"Over the past few years, South Florida's housing boom has spoiled real estate investors, many of whom unabashedly brag about the killing they made flipping preconstruction condominiums, rehabilitating foreclosed properties or buying apartment complexes to convert to condos. But now that the housing market has tanked -- the inventory of unsold homes skyrocketed and sales have screeched to a virtual halt -- investors are becoming creative, segueing into new types of deals and properties in an effort to wring out profits in a challenging market."
Seeking Alpha - "Housing Bubble and Real Estate Market Tracker" (9-11-06)

"David Jackson submits: Here's our summary of articles and data points on the housing market. It's part of Seeking Alpha's coverage of the real estate market and homebuilder stocks. Like all other topics and stock coverage from Seeking Alpha, you can get this sent to your blackberry or desktop email by signing up for our no-spam free email subscription service."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

LA Downtown News - "Planned Condo Complex Flips to Rentals and Gets a New Name" (9-10-06)

"Standard Pacific Corp. announced last week that it is backing out of the Axis at Union Station condominium project, citing construction delays and a slowing market in Downtown. The company had a deal with the project's owner, Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co., to turn the 272 units into condos."
OC Register - Lasner with Builder Consultant John Burns (9-9-06)

"The shaky housing market isn't good news for builders. To better understand the new-home market, we contacted John Burns, who runs a real estate consultancy in Irvine that bears his name. John's got as good an eye for builder pysche across the nation as anybody. And I'm sure a recent report by Burns didn't cheer up his builder clients: It suggests that homes in 84% of the major U.S. markets are overvalued ..."
OC Register - "Homebuilders buying 14 acres in Orange" (9-10-06)

"Homebuilders Centex Corp. and Lennar Corp. bought 14 acres in Orange from Irvine's SunCal Cos. to build 257 homes, said O'Donnell/Atkins, which brokered the sale."
OC Register - "More using subprime loans to buy homes" (9-9-06)

"Proportion of those with higher-cost loans rose across board in Orange County and the country in 2005."

"Rising home costs have forced more borrowers to pay higher loan rates in Orange County as they stretch to bridge the gap between prices and what they can afford, federal home loan data released Friday shows."
Bloomberg - "Krugman Video on Housing Bubble" (9-9-06)

Paul Krugman (Princeton Univeristy Professor and Mew York Times columnist) chimes in on the current martket conditions.
Bloomberg - "U.S. Stocks Fall This Week; Housing Slump Stokes Growth Concern" (9-9-06)

U.S. stocks declined this week on concern a deepening housing-market slump will slow the economic expansion and limit increases in corporate profits."
In Business Las Vegas - "Incentives for resale homes? Sellers get creative" (9-9-06)

"In this market, we are competing head to head in a big way with new home inventory," said Linda Rheinberger, president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. "We are responding directly to competitive conditions and assisting the buyer where it counts, which is the wallet."

"Some larger builders are now offering interest rate buydowns and no payment for six months to a year, Smith said. Their incentives average about 6 percent and reach as high as 10 percent. They can be worth $30,000 to $40,000 to buyers in some cases, he said."
Washington Post - "A Humbling Lesson for Realtors' President" (9-9-06)

"He, of all people, should have known better."

"The president of the National Association of Realtors, Thomas M. Stevens of Vienna, admits he didn't follow his agents' advice when the real estate market started to cool. That, he says, is why his old house in Great Falls has now been on the market for a year at the price of $1.45 million."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Voice of San Diego - "If They Build It, Will Buyers Come?" (9-8-06)

"If you want to know how a home building company is holding up in an uncertain housing market, just peek in its break room. That's been the most apparent symbol of belt-tightening seen by Travis Carter, an intern in the land acquisition department at home builder Lennar Corp., since he started working there just six months ago."
MarketWatch - "Builder Lennar slashes quarterly outlook" (9-8-06)

"Lennar Corp. became the latest residential builder to lower its profit outlook Friday when the Miami company knocked down its third-quarter estimate because of a weakening market for residential homes."
Business Weekly - "Builders Brace for a Housing Downturn" (9-8-06)

"Even this typically sunny sector is expecting prices to fall as prelude to a prolonged downturn"
Real Estate Journal - "Home Builders See Weak Results As the Housing Market Slows" (9-8-06)

"New home sales this year are expected to fall 16.1% to 1.08 million and existing home sales to dip 7.6% to 6.54 million, as the market works through an inventory backlog, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR's latest projections released Thursday also have housing starts dropping 9.6% to 1.87 million."
The Tribune - "1 in 6 homes in San Loius Obisbo County pure investments" (9-7-06)

"Housing market to be focus of Ventura conference"
The Tribune - "1 in 6 homes in San Loius Obisbo County pure investments" (9-7-06)

"Housing market to be focus of Ventura conference"
NY Times - "Home Prices Fall in Nearly One-Fourth of Metropolitan Regions" (9-6-06)

"Prices of traditional single-family dwellings fell in 87 of the nation’s 379 major metropolitan areas from the first quarter to the second, the government reported yesterday, as the overall value of homes leveled off across the country." - "Boom to bust, almost overnight" (9-7-06)

"Home sales cool dramatically and prices begin to fall, finally confirming what we all knew: It couldn't last forever. See how prices in 275 metro areas are faring."
Voice of San Diego - "More Job Dissection" (9/06)

"Construction is up 3 percent from last year. This makes sense -- as housing demand erodes, developers are scrambling to finish their construction projects sooner rather than later."

"Finance and real estate is pretty much flat. This is actually somewhat surprising, as the dropoff in home sales and refinancings must be hurting the sector. I suspect that the pain is taking the form of reduced income rather than outright attrition."
Market Watch - "Hot real estate market gets chilly in Bakersfield" (9-5-06)

"Just 12 months ago, this sun-baked Southern California city was one of the hottest real-estate markets in the country. With inventories at razor-thin levels, properties would sell in a matter of days, sometimes even hours, as multiple bids poured in on each home. "For Sale" signs were almost nowhere to be found."

"Those days now are dust in Bakersfield's gusty winds. The housing stock nearly has quintupled and prices are virtually flat when compared to last year's levels. Home sale time-frames now are measured in months, not days."

Seeking Alpha - "What's The Real Cause of Housing Softness?" (9-7-06)

"Marc Gerstein (Director of Investor Research, submits: Toll Brothers (TOL) CEO Robert Toll acknowledged in an interview with Reuters that the housing market is experiencing something "harder than a soft landing" but attributes it, not to macroeconomic factors, but to the impact of global issues such as Iraq, terrorism and the slow U.S. response to Hurricane Katrina on the psyche of the American consumer. The National Association of Realtors [NAR] Housing Affordability Index suggests a different explanation: that homes in some parts of the United States have become so expensive, even a decline in interest rates won't help much."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

CAR - "C.A.R.-sponsored legislation heads to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desk for signature; measures would enhance licensing requirements in real estate industry, amend Permit Streamlining Act" (9-06)

Three pieces of legislation sponsored by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) are on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk for signature: AB 1963 (Leslie), Real Estate Brokers License; AB 2429 (Negrete-McLeod), Real Estate Salesperson Licensure; and AB 2511 (Jones), Land Use Housing. Two of the C.A.R.-sponsored bills will enhance the licensing requirements for new real estate licenses, while a third will amend the Permit Streamlining Act and rename the “anti-NIMBY” law the “Housing Accountability Act.”
LA Times - "Glum Outlook Is Offered by Home Builders" (9-7-06)

"KB cuts a profit forecast, Hovnanian posts lower earnings and Toll's CEO sees a parallel with a steep 1980s downturn."

"Citing weaker-than-expected demand, Los Angeles-based KB Home cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time in three months. Separately, Red Bluff, N.J.-based Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. said quarterly profit dropped 36%."

"And Robert Toll, chief executive of Horsham, Pa.-based Toll Bros. Inc., told Reuters that the current national housing slump was worse than the 'soft landing' predicted by some."
NAR - "Home Sales Forecast Lowered, Prices To Dip Temporarily" (9-7-06)

"Home sales during the rest of the year will be lower than earlier projections as the market works its way through an inventory and price imbalance, according to the National Association of Realtors®."

“This is a normal pattern during a market correction, but home prices should return to positive territory within a few months and annual appreciation will be slower than historic norms,” Lereah said. “Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points – buyers in most of the country who plan to stay in their home for a normal period of homeownership can pretty well bank on those historic averages, but people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned.”

Existing-home sales are forecast to fall 7.6 percent this year to 6.54 million, while new-home sales are forecast to drop 16.1 percent to 1.08 million compared to the previous year. In the NAR's new release in August, existing-home sales were expected to fall 6.5 percent this year while new-home sales were projected to fall 12.8 percent.

NAR - "Home Sales Forecast Lowered, Prices To Dip Temporarily" (9-7-06)

"Home sales during the rest of the year will be lower than earlier projections as the market works its way through an inventory and price imbalance, according to the National Association of Realtors®."

“This is a normal pattern during a market correction, but home prices should return to positive territory within a few months and annual appreciation will be slower than historic norms,” Lereah said. “Keep in mind that over time, home prices rise at the rate of inflation plus one-to-two percentage points – buyers in most of the country who plan to stay in their home for a normal period of homeownership can pretty well bank on those historic averages, but people who purchased last year with the intent of flipping are likely to get burned.”

Existing-home sales are forecast to fall 7.6 percent this year to 6.54 million, while new-home sales are forecast to drop 16.1 percent to 1.08 million compared to the previous year. In the NAR's new release in August, existing-home sales were expected to fall 6.5 percent this year while new-home sales were projected to fall 12.8 percent.