RBC Homeowner’s Survey

Via Barron’s (print ed) comes this fascinating survey by RBC Capital. They asked over 1,000 U.S. Homeowners numerous questions. Here are some of the more interesting answers:

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75.6%: see their Home’s value climbing over the next few years

46%: expect a gain of 5% or more annually

30%: foresee a rise of 10% to 15% a year

70%: said their home’s value has risen 10% or more in the past 3 years

6%  think their home’s value will sink in the next few years

7.8%: worry that their mortgage might exceed the value of their home
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Any similarities between home owners and equity investors circa 2000 is strictly coincidental…

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UPDATE 2 October 8, 2006 10:07am

OK, you guys are getting crazy in comments. Its a full blown smackdown, and I am staying out of it Over 100 comments in a day. That may also be a BP record.

In the spirit of full RE disclosure, I wanted to reveal this: We had looked at a house back in the Spring — we were literally the first ones to see it. Big property, a rather odd flag lot (100 yards off the road), built in the 50s (not our usual preference).

It was all original, and needed everything: Kitchen, baths, roof, major landscaping, garage doors, gutter and leaders. I figured it needed $100 -150k worth of work.  Which means it was probably closer to $200k in renovations.

Since then, Mrs. BP saw it on MLS, some 20% below prior asking price. She called our agent, thinking it was a typo. It wasn’t.

We made an offer 11% below that. Turns out we were the 2nd highest bidder. A year ago, we might have been drawn into a bidding war. Not this time. Patience remains the operative word in RE.

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UPDATE October 7, 2006 1:17pm

Wow!  57 comments in 3 1/2 hours. That’s some kind of BP record. I am posting somethng else above to encourage the debate to move on, but I will leave comments open for those of you still interested.

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Source:
Review & Preview
Barron’s, page 14
October 9, 2006

Category: Markets, Psychology, Real Estate

Getting Closer to the Top

Category: RR&A

Dow Channel

Category: Investing, Markets, Psychology, Technical Analysis

NFP Day!

Category: Economy, Employment

Blog Spotlight: Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis

Another edition of our new series:  Blog Spotlight.

We put together a short list of excellent but somewhat overlooked
blog that deserves a greater audience. Expect to see a post from a
different featured blogger here every Tuesday and Thursday evening,
around 7pm.

Second up in our Blogger Spotlight:  Michael Shedlock and Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis. Mike is one of the editors of The Survival Report, covering stocks and the economy. He also writes for the Daily Reckoning, and co-edits Whiskey & Gunpowder. He also runs stock boards on the Motley Fool, Silicon Investor, and TheMarketTraders. He is an avid photographer, when not writing about stocks or the economy, with over 80 magazine and book covers to his credit.

Mish_geta

Today’s focus commentary is called Falling Dominoes and addresses the impact of Housing’s decline on the economy:

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The Sentinel is reporting State targeting abusive lenders.

The [Massachusetts] state Division of Banks is cracking down this month on what it sees as abusive business practices by mortgage lenders and brokers.

The agency issued a series of new emergency regulations earlier this month, requiring better documentation from lenders and prohibiting them from pressuring consumers into taking out mortgages they can’t afford or working without their own independent lawyers. It also forced four companies — two of them located Worcester — to close immediately and place all pending mortgages with another, more established lender.

Commissioner of Banks Steven L. Antonakes said in a recent interview that division examiners found a pattern of deceptive business practices by some lenders during their most recent round of company inspections.

"We want to spell out in very plain English to send a message to lenders and brokers that these specific acts, whether they’re very obviously unfair or deceptive, or more subtle, they weren’t going to be tolerated," he said. "And you would put your license at risk by engaging in this kind of activity."

Abusive lending practices can destabilize the entire real-estate market. As an example, he described a hypothetical street containing 10 homes, each worth a certain amount of money.

"If loans were originated for two of those homes, in which the loan was made that the broker knows the consumer has no hope of repaying those loans, very likely the borrower will become delinquent," he said. "In the worst case, the home will be foreclosed upon, and that kind of activity could result in the home being sold for less than its value and before you know it, you have a domino effect."

But the slowdown has also put lenders in a tough position, said Christopher J. Iosua, president of the Mortgage Connection Inc. "When business slows down the way it has in the past six to nine months, new loan originators and those without a strong base of customers do things they probably wouldn’t normally do," he said.

The idea that lenders are doing things they may not have done in "normal conditions" may have some merit for some lenders but when 40% of the loans sold in California before the bust were either stated income loans or pay option arms, I think the idea if more fiction than fact. Anything and everything was done to keep the bubble booming, and that was as I said happening well before the bust.

With every bubble comes fraud. The two go hand in hand and housing is not unique in this respect. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the fraud that supported this bubble. Lending standards are going to tighten as a result, and will continue to tighten as more and more of the fraudulent activity is exposed. I consider fraud and tightening of lending standards to be two big dominoes that are now falling. Tightening of lending standards was previously discussed in Lending Guidelines / Credit Squeeze and The Blame Game.

Read More

Category: Blog Spotlight, Corporate Management, Economy, Real Estate, Retail, Weblogs

The Return of Goldilocks?

Category: Economy, Federal Reserve, Markets

Stockpickr.com

Category: Data Analysis, Investing

Light Posts Due to Fast Laps

Due to a very thoughtful birthday present from Mrs. Big Picture, there will be somewhat lighter posting the today and tomorrow due to travel — mostly in broad and curvy circles: > Lime Rock CT / Skip Barber UPDATE:  October 5th, 11:14pm This was an awesome trip — I’ll try to do a full update…Read More

Category: Weblogs

Dow Components

Category: Technical Analysis

Blog Spotlight: The Mess That Greenspan Made

Today we start a new series:  Blog Spotlight.

We put together a short list of excellent but somewhat overlooked blog that deserves a greater audience. Expect to see a post from a different featured blogger here every Tuesday and Thursday evening, around 7pm.

First up in our Blogger Spotlight:  Tim Iacono and The Mess That Greenspan Made. Tim is a software engineer in his mid-forties, living in Southern California. He calls his blog is a "vain attempt to stave off a mid-life crisis, and here’s hoping that it’s going to work."

Tmtgm

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Today’s focus commentary is called Friends in High Places? and it address the controversey we discussed last week.

 

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Friends in High Places?

Life is always much more fun when there’s a good
conspiracy theory to kick around. When the New York Times starts kicking it
around too, then it can really be
enjoyable.

Such is the case with the recent plunge
in the price paid for gasoline by formerly dour consumers leading up to an
election where the party in power is clearly having difficulty wooing the
electorate. It just so happens that the newly appointed Treasury Secretary used
to run the investment bank that controls the world’s most important commodity
index, which seven weeks ago cut the weighting of unleaded gasoline by nearly 75
percent, causing all commodity investments based on this index to sell their
unleaded gasoline futures.

For the same number of buyers, a glut of
sellers means lower prices, and voila! Prices at the pump drop precipitously,
consumer confidence rebounds, and the electorate develops a new spring in their
step.

Or at least, that’s what some would have you believe. . .

Read More

Category: Blog Spotlight, Commodities, Corporate Management, Federal Reserve, Finance, Politics