No Sale: Bank Wrecks New Houses
Wall Street Journal
A Texas bank is about done demolishing 16 new and partially built houses acquired in Southern California through foreclosure, figuring it was better to knock them down than to try selling them in the depressed housing market. Guaranty Bank of Austin is wrecking the structures to provide a "safe environment" for neighbors of the abandoned housing tract in Victorville, a high-desert city about 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles, a bank spokesman said.
Wall Street Journal
The home-foreclosure crisis, which began in cities and suburbs, has spread to rural America. When the mortgage mess erupted, some economists believed that rural America wouldn't be heavily affected. Farms were prospering. The housing boom largely bypassed small rural towns. And exotic, new mortgages at first were seen as an urban and suburban phenomenon.
But rural homeowners, it turns out, were just as susceptible to subprime loans and easy lending as the rest of the country, often refinancing existing mortgages to take out cash or pay off debts.
Where Home Prices Crashed Early, Signs of a Rebound
New York Times
Is this what a bottom looks like? This city was among the first in the nation to fall victim to the real estate collapse. Now it seems to be in the earliest stages of a recovery, a hopeful sign for an economy mired in trouble and anxiety. Investors and first-time buyers, the traditional harbingers of a housing rebound, are out in force here, competing for bargain-price foreclosures. With sales up 45 percent from last year, the vast backlog of inventory has diminished.
Despite Signs to the Contrary, Real Estate Will Get Worse
Except for low home prices and very low mortgage rates, all of the elements for a recover in housing are missing. Those two things should be enough, but balanced against them are shrinking access to credit, an inability of Americans to get higher wages, and crippling unemployment.
Bernanke Expects Economic Growth by Year's End
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today that the nation's rate of economic contraction may be slowing and that he expects growth to resume later this year, but he also suggested that the economy could perform well below its potential for years to come.