Friday, September 30, 2016

Another year of bogus housing forecasts begins

Forecasters begin their yearly extrapolation of existing trends and pass it off as a genuine forecast.

A few weeks ago I announced that I began a new position as Market InSite’s Chief Economist. When people hear about what I do, one of the first questions they ask is “what’s...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Will permitting mother-in-law suites ruin good neighborhoods?

Permitting mother-in-law suites will increase supply, but it also brings more potential problems to neighborhoods that allow it.

There goes the neighborhood. Most homeowners fear what might happen if their neighbors rent out rooms or convert their garages to makeshift apartments. These new...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

People leave California because house prices are too high

It costs so much to live in California that many people flee the state in search of lower cost housing and a better quality of life.

California is an expensive place to live. Due to the chronic shortage of housing supply that inflates California house prices and rents, many people can’t a...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Are high home prices in Silicon Valley stifling start ups?

Many new companies form in Silicon Valley because they gain access to capital and a large well-trained workforce. But high housing costs forces wages up to attract talent, raising the start-up costs, and reducing the number of start-ups funded.

Many entrepreneurs with great ideas for new...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Top 10 states for long-term delinquent mortgage squatting

Hawaii tops the list of the states with the highest percentage of borrowers who refuse to pay their mortgages for three years or more. A free house in Hawaii handsomely rewards bad behavior, doesn’t it?

Millions of Americans borrowed money under unstable loan terms during the housing...

Friday, September 23, 2016

Housing will no longer cycle like it has over the last 40 years


To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
The Byrds (and Ecclesiastes 3)
Prior to...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Is the American Dream dead to the Millennial generation?

Do Millennials reject the American dream of home Ownership, or does it reject them?

When the Baby Boomers and Generation X entered the workforce, their student loan debt was manageable, they found good jobs, and when they wanted to buy a family home, prices were affordable. Those generations...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Millennials operate personal Ponzi schemes like Bernie Madoff


The Millennial Generation was too young to participate in the housing bubble of the early 00s. Instead, Baby Boomers and Generation Xers were the sophisticated financial geniuses who over-borrowed and overpaid for housing on a grand scale. What’s the main reason they did this? They...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The down payment barrier at the conforming loan limit

Higher priced houses are affordable to many families with high incomes, but they lack the hefty down payments necessary to close the deal.

Last year I reported that Housing inventory is abundant at prices buyers can’t afford. The constant refrain in the financial media is that home sales are w...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Is suburban sprawl a positive feature we should embrace?

Suburban sprawl doesn’t create affordability. Instead, it’s a sign of community policies that encourage production of all kinds of housing. Affordability is a function of the quantity of housing, not housing type.

Most urban planners and landscape architects dislike suburban ...

Friday, September 16, 2016

California house prices will never fall (rapidly) ever again

The next housing bust will preserve prices at the expense of home sales volume.

Real estate only goes up, right? The idea that real estate only goes up was the erroneous belief shared by every participant in the housing mania. Everyone who believed in this fallacy threw caution to the wind and...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Will "try before you buy" succeed in residential real estate?

Would you like to rent a home for a year or more to decide if you really wanted it? You can.

Many companies will allow potential customers to try their products for some period of time before the customer buys it. If the customer doesn’t like the product, the customer may return the...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Most effective measure of housing market value is rental parity analysis

Rental parity analysis provides a benchmark of value that enables buyers and sellers to anticipate changes in the market.

People who invest in stocks often use the price-to-earnings ratio among others to estimate value. People who trade stocks use a variety of technical indicators to both...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Wells Fargo fraud ensures survival of the CFPB

Since its inception, the CFPB has been under attack by the financial industry. The huge Wells Fargo fraud ensures it’s survival.

The financial elites in the United States hate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) because the CFPB opposes to those who want to rape and pillage...

Monday, September 12, 2016

How hedge funds clean up the trash from the housing bust

Hedge funds act as the garbage scows of the housing bust cleaning up bad loans and distressed properties using a variety of tactics.

Prior to the housing bust, mom and pop investors and professional property rehabbers acquired most distressed residential properties. However, since the housing...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Experian warns lenders to prepare to can-kick recasting HELOCs

The wave of HELOC recasts is upon us, and lenders must cut deals with borrowers or face another wave of delinquencies and foreclosures.

Since last night was the kickoff of the NFL regular season, it’s only fitting that lenders prepare for another long season of can-kicking bad loans. This...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Why do people buy McMansions?

Some people like extra living space, others like to show off. Buying a McMansion appeals to both types of buyers.

For years urban planners worked to change public attitudes toward smaller houses near public transit stops. The tiny home movement ties into the revulsion many people feel for the...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Will the next president and Congress reform housing finance?

 Until they are forced to by a crisis, it’s unlikely the next president or Congress will pass meaningful housing finance reform.

Between the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and the FHA, the government directly backs more than 80% of loan originations in the United States. Legislators ...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rich cities prosper while poor cities languish

High wage growth and nimby behavior that unduly restricts housing supply is a combination that inflates house prices in major cities.

For whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Jesus Christ — Mark 4:25
The rich get richer...

Friday, September 2, 2016

Liquidity risk: what happens when home sellers can"t get their asking price?

When sellers can’t get their asking price, their alternatives are not great, but if they bought below rental parity, at least they have an option that isn’t financially devastating.

My first job out of school was with a retirement community developer in Leesburg, Florida. Since I...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Homeowner bailouts benefited lenders far more than homeowners

While some underwater homeowners were saved by federal reserve policy, the main beneficiaries of this stealth bailout were the banks.

The populace was sold on quantitative easing and mortgage interest rate stimulus as a measure to save “Main Street.” It was said this money pumped...