Monday, August 03, 2009

The Seattle Times“Burst bubble spatters San Diego: High-end, high-rise condo market collapses” (8-2-09)

“Downtown San Diego, a 2.2-square-mile area, is now awash in condos. About 400 new and occupied ones are listed for sale, and more than 450 are in some stage of foreclosure and eventually will be put on the market. An additional 1,000 units that were under construction when the market soured are slated to be completed this year, adding to the glut and putting further downward pressure on prices.”

The Signal“Tim Myers: Good news, bad news, or just news?” (8-2-09)

“Median price: The median price fell year on year from $450K to $410K or 9 percent. When compared with peak median prices, the SCV now stands between 30-percent to 35-percent below the peak, or about where professors Case and Shiller predicted home prices would fall from their national peak in their now-ubiquitous S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index.”

Bloomberg “Construction Spending in the U.S. Increased in June” (8-3-09)

“Spending on U.S. construction projects unexpectedly rose in June, led by an improvement in residential real estate and gains in government projects. The 0.3 percent increase to $965.7 billion followed a revised 0.8 percent drop the prior month, according to data from the Commerce Department today in Washington. Private residential projects rose for the second time in three months and spending by the Federal government increased by the most this year.”

Bloomberg “Mortgage-Bond Rally May End on Housing Reality, Barclays Says” (8-3-09)

Investors should be ‘cautious’ about buying U.S. home-loan bonds because a rally stoked by cash ‘spilling in from the sidelines’ may fizzle within months, according to Barclays Capital Inc. That’s partly because the housing slump hasn’t eased as much as suggested by home-price data, analysts at the bank including Ajay Rajadhyaksha and Glenn Boyd wrote in a July 31 report. While an S&P/Case-Shiller index for May showed the first month-over-month price increase since 2006 and a 2 percent seasonally adjusted annualized drop, a more-accurate reading probably would have been an annualized decline of 10 percent to 15 percent, they wrote.”

Orange County Register“Realtor economist not ready to call bottom” (8-3-09)

“The chief economist for the California Association of Realtors told Orange County agents Friday that while the biggest jolt to the economy is over, ‘I’m still not ready to call a bottom yet.’”

Orange County Register“Fannie Mae issues 44% more mortgage securities” (8-3-09)

“Fannie Mae issuance of mortgage-backed securities jumped 44% in June from the previous month but the mortgage giant did not report its monthly purchases of refinanced loans. Fannie saw new MBS issuance of $97.7 billion in June, up from $67.7 billion in May. This jump is most likely due to high refinancing volumes, but there are no numbers to support this as the mortgage giant omitted data on its purchases of refinanced loans in its monthly report.”

Orange County Register“Which Irvine ZIP’s median home price dropped 45%?” (8-3-09)

“Citywide sales totaled 241 – that’s +28% vs. a year ago. Countywide, sales were +14% vs. a year ago. Of Irvine’s 8 ZIP codes, 6 had sales gains vs. a year ago while 3 had a gain in their median selling price vs. a year ago. 5 of these 8 ZIP codes beat the -10.7%overall performance of the countywide median for the past year.”

Orange County Register“How accurate is that home appraisal?” (8-3-09)

“appraising a property is part scientific, part mathematics, part experience and part subjective. Note that three ordinary appraisers can appraise the same property and arrive at three different values; three excellent appraisers with knowledge of a local area may arrive at three different values but the differences would be very slight. The main part of an appraisal is obviously the subject property. The appraiser inspects the property, measuring the gross living area, and creates a sketch of any structures. He notes the location, any adverse elements that may impact value such as flight paths, busy roads or abutting commercial developments.”

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