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."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

NAR - "Pending Home Sales Show Leveling Trend" (11-1-06)

"Home sales are expected to hold fairly steady in the months ahead, according to the latest reading on pending home sales published by the National Association of Realtors®."
Market Watch - "Weekly mortgage applications fall" (11-1-06)

"Applications for mortgage loans dropped last week by 3% compared to the prior week, as consumers shrugged at lower interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday."
CNN - "Construction spending posts surprise drop" (11-1-06)

"Outlays sank 0.3 percent in September, hurt by sixth straight decline in home building."
Market Watch - "Pending home sales fall 1.1% in Sept." (11-1-06)
CNN - "Can the economy survive the housing bust?" (11-1-06)

"Real estate downturns have a way of leading to recessions and stock market slumps. So far the damage has been limited, but the numbers keep getting worse, says Fortune's Jon Birger."
OC Register - "As buyers balk, builders carry on" (11-1-06)

"Big developers take long-term view, hoping slump wanes as projects end."
MSNBC - "Mortgage applications fall sharply" (11-1-06)

"Rising interest rates seen a factor"
Market Watch - "Rich Dad and The Donald's reveal 'the secret'" (10-30-06)

Sorry folks, everything I've been saying about investing is wrong. At least that's the message in Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki's new book, "Why We Want You To Be Rich:"

"If you believe that working hard, saving money, investing for the long-term in mutual funds and diversifying is good advice then this book may not be for you."
LA Times - "Home-valuation site said to mislead consumers" (10-30-06)

"Since the home-valuation website had its well-publicized launch eight months ago, it has taken a lot of flak from its users for being frequently wrong. Now, the Seattle-based site, which allows you to look up the estimated value of your house for free, is accused of purposely being misleading."
Washington Times - "U.S. spending binge may be ending" (10-30-06)
OC Register - "Orange County home prices and sales" (10-30-06)

"For the 22 business days ending October 12, sales for all types of Orange County home sales decreased 33.6 percent. The median sales price rose 2.3 percent. The median is where half the homes sold for more and half for less. Types of homes selling, as well as home value changes, cause the median to change."
LA Times - "Thinking of buying? Median price likely to dip next year" (10-29-06)

"After years of steep increases, homeowners can expect a modest decline in price appreciation next year, according to the California Assn. of Realtors' 2007 California Housing Market Forecast, which was released Oct. 18 at the trade group's annual expo in Long Beach. The sales pace is expected to continue to slow as well."
ABCLocal - "Valley Foreclosures Up 112%" (10-29-06)
LA Times - "Housing production drops 47%" (10-28-06)

"Builders obtained permits for 11,590 houses, condominiums and apartments in September, according to statistics compiled by the Burbank-based Construction Industry Research Board. By comparison, 21,717 permits were issued in the year-earlier period."
OC Register - "Broker association calls for better borrowing" (10-27-06)

"State mortgage broker association calls for consumer education, increased license standards for some loan officers."