High-End Foreclosures Are Next
I heard a startling statistic from the National Association of Realtors this morning…no not that home sales are actually increasing, but something about the high end of the market.
Chief economist Lawrence Yun said that the supply of existing homes for sale over $750,000 has reached a forty-month supply. Yep, that means it would take well over three years at the current place to sell off all of those homes.
Single-Regulator Plan for Banks Now Close
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON -- Top Obama administration officials are close to recommending that Congress create a single regulator to oversee the entire banking sector, people familiar with the matter said, a departure from the hodgepodge of federal agencies that failed to contain the financial crisis as it ballooned out of control last year.
The new agency is expected to be a major plank in a proposal that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House officials send Capitol Hill in a few weeks with the goal of overhauling supervision of financial markets.
Number of Home Sales Rises, but Prices Keep Plummeting
The Washington Post
Bargain hunters drove home sales up slightly in April, but prices plunged and do not appear close to stabilizing, according to industry data released yesterday.
Existing-home sales rose 2.9 percent from March, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was slightly better than analysts expected. The April numbers represented a 3.5 percent drop in sales compared with April 2008.
$1M Mortgage Buybacks Seen
The New York Post
Smart-money investors are betting that the Obama administration will start leaning more on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to kick-start the housing market by giving them the OK to buy mortgages worth up to $1 million.
Current law prohibits the two government-run mortgage giants from buying home loans valued at more than $417,000 nationally, or up to $729,000 in areas where home prices are high. But some mortgage traders and analysts think that could soon change.
More Small Banks Ailing as Recession Toll Mounts
The New York Times
Despite signs that the nation’s biggest banks are stabilizing, more small and midsize institutions are coming under stress as the recession continues.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said Wednesday that the number of banks on its list of “problem” institutions had grown to 305 in the first quarter, the most since 1994, and up from 252 at the end of 2008. From January through March, 21 small or medium-sized banks failed, and 15 more have gone in the second quarter.
The Housing Hurricane Will Howl Again
WE'RE OUT OF THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE, but here comes the back half of the storm. A lot of people think that we've seen the worst of the housing crisis. They're talking about green shoots and glimmers of hope, when they should be back in the storm shelter, preparing for a flood of inventory that will overwhelm the markets and produce another round of falling prices
For the past few months there has been a semi-moratorium on foreclosures. Most institutions with delinquent mortgages didn't foreclose. The signs that blanket many neighborhoods have been posted by a fraction of the lenders. Now the rest of the banks are rushing to get their properties on the market.
Plan to Buy Banks' Bad Loans Founders
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON -- A government program designed to rid banks of bad loans, part of a broader effort once viewed as central to tackling the financial crisis, is stalling and may soon be put on hold, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Legacy Loans Program, being crafted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., is part of the $1 trillion Public Private Investment Program the Obama administration announced in March as a way to encourage banks to sell securities and loans weighing on their balance sheets to willing investors.