Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Dollargeddon - Gold Price to Soar Above $6,000 - P_Radomski_CFA
2.Is Gold Price On Verge Of A Bottom, See For Yourself - Chris_Vermeulen
3.Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2018 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Gold Price to Plunge Below $1000 - Key Factors for Gold & Silver Investors - P_Radomski_CFA
5.Why The Uranium Price Must Go Up - Richard_Mills
6.Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2018 - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Jim Rogers on Gold, Silver, Bitcoin and Blockchain’s “Spectacular Future” - GoldCore
8.More Signs That the Stock Market Will Rally Until 2019 - Troy_Bombardia
9.It's Time for A New Economic Strategy in Turkey - Steve_H_Hanke
10.Fiat Currency Inflation, And Collapse Insurance - Raymond_Matison
Last 7 days
China Is Building the World’s Largest Innovation Economy - 21st Sep 18
How Can New Companies Succeed in the Overcrowded Online Gambling Market? - 21st Sep 18
Golden Sunsets in the Land of U.S. Dollar Hegemony - 20th Sep 18
5 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Luxury Car in Dubai - 20th Sep 18
Gold Price Seasonal Trend Analysis - Video - 20th Sep 18
The Stealth Reason Why the Stock Market Keeps On Rising - 20th Sep 18
Sheffield School Applications Crisis Eased by New Secondary Schools Places - 20th Sep 18
Precious Metals Sector: It’s 2013 All Over Again - 19th Sep 18
US Dollar Head & Shoulders Triggered. What's Next? - 19th Sep 18
Prepare for the Stock Market’s Volatility to Increase - 19th Sep 18
The Beginning of the End of the Dollar - 19th Sep 18
Land Rover Discovery Sport 'Approved Used' Bad Paint Job - Inchcape Chester - 19th Sep 18
Are Technology and FANG Stocks Bottoming? - 18th Sep 18
Predictive Trading Model Suggests Falling Stock Prices During US Elections - 18th Sep 18
Lehman Brothers Financial Collapse - Ten Years Later - 18th Sep 18
Financial Crisis Markets Reality Check Now in Progress - 18th Sep 18
Gold’s Ultimate Confirmation - 18th Sep 18
Omanization: a 20-year Process to Fight Volatile Oil Prices  - 18th Sep 18
Sheffield Best Secondary Schools Rankings and Trend Trajectory for Applications 2018 - 18th Sep 18
Gold / US Dollar Inverse Correlation - 17th Sep 18
The Apple Story - Trump Tariffs Penalize US Multinationals - 17th Sep 18
Wall Street Created Financial Crash Catastrophe Ten Years Later - 17th Sep 18
Trade Wars Are Going To Crash This Stock Market - 17th Sep 18
Why Is Apple Giving This Tiny Stock A $900 Million Opportunity? - 17th Sep 18
Financial Markets Macro/Micro View: Waves and Cycles - 17th Sep 18
Stock Market Bulls Prevail – for Now! - 17th Sep 18
GBPUSD Set to Explode Higher - 17th Sep 18
The China Threat - Global Crisis Hot Spots & Pressure Points - 17th Sep 18 - Jim_Willie_CB
Silver's Relationship with Gold Reaching Historical Extremes - 16th Sep 18
Emerging Markets to Follow and Those to Avoid - 16th Sep 18
Investing - Look at the Facts to Find the Truth - 16th Sep 18
Gold Stocks Forced Capitulation - 15th Sep 18
Hindenburg Omen & Consumer Confidence: More Signs of Stock Market Trouble in 2019 - 15th Sep 18
Trading The Global Future - Bad Consequences - 15th Sep 18
Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk - 15th Sep 18
Gold Price Seasonal Trend Analysis - 14th Sep 18
Growing Number of Small Businesses Opening – and Closing – In the UK - 14th Sep 18
Gold Price Trend Analysis - Video - 14th Sep 18
Esports Is Exploding—Here’s 3 Best Stocks to Profit From - 13th Sep 18
The Four Steel Men Behind Trump’s Trade War - 13th Sep 18
How Trump Tariffs Could Double America’s Trade Losses - 13th Sep 18
Next Financial Crisis Is Already Here! John Lewis 99% Profits CRASH - Retail Sector Collapse - 13th Sep 18
Trading Cryptocurrencies: To Win, You Must Know Where You're Wrong - 13th Sep 18
Gold, Silver, and USD Index - Three Important “Nothings” - 13th Sep 18
Precious Metals Sector On a Long-term SELL Signal - 13th Sep 18
Does Gambling Regulation Work - A Case Study - 13th Sep 18
The Ritual Burial of the US Constitution - 12th Sep 18
Stock Market Final Probe Higher ... Then the PANIC! - 12th Sep 18
Gold Nuggets And Silver Bullets - 12th Sep 18
Bitcoin Trading - SEC Strikes Again - 12th Sep 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Trading Any Market

U.S. Housing Market Crash Next leg Down Signaled by Bulging Inventory

Housing-Market / US Housing Jun 15, 2010 - 05:35 AM GMT

By: Mike_Whitney

Housing-Market

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDid the Federal Reserve collude with the big banks to hold millions of houses off the market until the Fed finished adding $1.25 trillion to the banks reserves?  Did the Fed do this to make it appear that its bond purchasing plan (quantitative easing) was stabilizing prices when, in fact, it was the reduction in supply that stopped prices from plunging? It sure looks that way. This is from Bloomberg News: 


  "U.S. home foreclosures reached a record for the second consecutive month in May, with increases in every state, as lenders stepped up property seizures, according to RealtyTrac.Inc.

Bank repossessions climbed 44 percent from May 2009 to 93,777, the Irvine, California-based data company said today in a statement. Foreclosure filings, including default and auction notices, rose about 1 percent to 322,920. One out of every 400 U.S. households received a filing." (Bloomberg)

Inventory steadily declined during the period the Fed was exchanging cash-for-trash (toxic assets and non performing loans for reserves) with the banks. Now inventories have begun to rise again as the banks get back to business as usual, in other words, throwing people out of their homes.  The sudden uptick in repossessions and property seizures coincides perfectly with the ending of the Fed's giant "no bankster left behind" program. Clearly, there must have been a quid pro quo.

 What's so impressive about Bernanke's trillion dollar sleight-of-hand operation; is its utter simplicity. We're just talking "supply and demand" here, not rocket science. The banks agreed to cut supply (by temporarily stockpiling homes) while the Fed loaded them up with a cold trillion-plus in reserves. Meanwhile, John Q. Public assumed (incorrectly) that Bernanke's program helped to stabilize prices. It's a very ingenious deception worthy of a professional conman.

Readers may remember that quantitative easing (QE)  was promoted as a way to increase lending to consumers and to keep interest rates on mortgages low. But that was all just public relations hype. Consumer lending contracted in the last year while interest rates on the 30-year mortgage have fallen since Bernanke's QE program ended at the end of March.
 
So what does it all mean? It means the public was snookered yet again. It also means that housing prices will fall further as banks dump more inventory on the market. How far prices drop will depend on how quickly the banks clear their shadow inventory which, in turn, depends on (secret) agreements they've made with the Fed and the other banks. Housing inventory is being released in drips and drabs according to an unknown plan.  Some would call it price-fixing. Here's an excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal that says that there's a 9-year backlog of distressed homes:

"How much should we worry about a new leg down in the housing market? If the number of foreclosed homes piling up at banks is any indication, there’s ample reason for concern. As of March, banks had an inventory of about 1.1 million foreclosed homes, up 20% from a year earlier....

Another 4.8 million mortgage holders were at least 60 days behind on their payments or in the foreclosure process, meaning their homes were well on their way to the inventory pile. That “shadow inventory” was up 30% from a year earlier. Based on the rate at which banks have been selling those foreclosed homes over the past few months, all that inventory, real and shadow, would take 103 months to unload. That’s nearly nine years. Of course, banks could pick up the pace of sales, but the added supply of distressed homes would weigh heavily on prices — and thus boost their losses." ("Number of the Week: 103 Months to Clear Housing Inventory" Mark Whitehouse, Wall Street Journal)

Here's a clip from Housing Wire with a slightly different perspective:

.ExternalClass .ecxhmmessage P {padding:0px;} .ExternalClass body.ecxhmmessage {font-size:10pt;font-family:Verd "The amount of REO property held by the banks is also known as the “shadow inventory” of foreclosures. According to Morgan Stanley, it would take 47 months for the market to clear the roughly 7.5m first-lien mortgages in danger or already in foreclosure." ("Foreclosed Properties Held by Banks Up 12.4% in Q110: SNL Financial," Jon Prior, Housingwire.com)


No matter how you look at it, housing will be in a funk for the next 5 to 10 years. There's just too much product and too few buyers. Austerity measures by the Obama team will only put more pressure on sales and prices.


Now that the government's homebuyer credits, subsidies and incentives have ended; demand for housing is drying up fast. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that new mortgage purchase applications have tumbled nearly 40 percent to their lowest level since April of 1997. Sales are in freefall.  Prices have already slipped 30 percent from their peak in 2006. Another 10 percent could be the straw that breaks the camels back, as Whitney Tilson explains in a recent article titled  "The Housing Non Recovery". Here's an excerpt:

"Today about 17.2% of homeowners are underwater. But if home prices drop 10% from here, 27% of homeowners would go underwater. In other words, a 10% drop in home prices would cause a 56% increase in the number of people underwater…which would almost certainly lead to another surge in defaults." ("The Housing Non Recovery", The Daily Reckoning)

This excerpt deserves a second reading. The next 10 percent plunge in prices will be more painful  than the first 30 percent. The market is on a knife's edge and one false move could be deadly.  More than 7 million homeowners have already stopped paying their mortgages which means that the inventory-pipeline will be bulging for years to come. The administration needs to get on top of this problem before the downward spiral begins and the next disaster becomes unavoidable.

By Mike Whitney

Email: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Mike is a well respected freelance writer living in Washington state, interested in politics and economics from a libertarian perspective.

© 2010 Copyright Mike Whitney - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Mike Whitney Archive

© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

frank Louis
24 Aug 10, 16:15
this article

WouldMike like to be a guest on my radio program. in RI?


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules