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Where Did The Risk Go?

Some housing bubble news from Wall Street and Washington, MarketWatch. “Sales of newly-constructed homes swooned to the lowest since December 2016. September’s selling pace of 553,000 was 5.5% lower than in August, and 13.2% lower than a year ago. Sales badly missed the MarketWatch consensus forecast of a 620,000 pace, and revisions to prior months were all downward.”

“The median selling price in September was $320,000, 3.5% lower than a year ago. At the current pace of sales, it would take 7.1 months to exhaust available supply, a 6-year high. The BTIG/HomeSphere September survey, released about a week before the government report, found that conditions for respondents ‘deteriorated markedly’ this month.”

“About one-third of survey respondents — small and mid-sized builders across the country — said sales were worse than they had expected. Some 22% said sales rates were lower than in September 2017, more than the 15% who reported lower sales than year-ago levels in August.”

The Review Journal in Nevada. “Amid high prices, Las Vegas house hunters are gravitating toward more affordable projects, and sales are slumping in some communities. Builders reported fewer net sales in the third quarter compared to the same period last year in half of the valley’s top 10 selling communities, including Summerlin, Inspirada and Cadence, according to Home Builders Research.”

“‘Are new home sales softening? Overall, yes, we are seeing a dip in average sales per project per week,’ said the report.”

The Dallas Business Journal in Texas. “More Dallas-area buyers are looking for luxury properties, according to a new report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. But while more buyers were looking for luxury homes, they paid less for those properties, Coldwell Banker found. The median sales price during Q3 declined 6.1 percent to $1,394,258. That’s compared to a median price of $1,485,000 during the same period last year.”

“‘The Dallas luxury housing market saw a strong improvement in overall sales throughout the third quarter,’ said Apryl Jolas with Coldwell Banker. ‘Buyers enjoyed a brief cooling off in luxury home prices as the supply of inventory increased slightly compared to last year.'”

From Yahoo Finance. “One of the nation’s top bank regulators says the banking system is safe, but worries about risks at non-bank financial institutions, particularly mortgage servicers. The remarks from Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Jelena McWilliams come days after regulators freed the last ‘too big to fail’ non-bank from extra regulation.”

“Jelena McWilliams, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, told a banking conference Tuesday that post-crisis regulatory reform helped make the banking system safer but could have pushed risky activity to non-bank lenders. Those lenders, McWilliams feared, are not regulated by the FDIC or the other two banking regulators: the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.”

“‘The question is: If we have reduced systemic risk in the banking sector, where did it go? It did not just disappear, it is not ether now,’ McWilliams said.”

“McWilliams added that she sees a problem in the fact that eight out of the 10 largest mortgage servicers in the country are non-banks.”

“Quicken Loans, which offers its popular Rocket Mortgage product, became the largest residential mortgage lender in the United States in February 2018, edging out traditional banks like Wells Fargo. The company, which has no branches, uses its online platform to originate its loans and relies on wholesale funding to support its lending.”

“Alluding to the 2008 crisis, McWilliams said the non-bank mortgage lenders worry her because of the possibility of foreclosure. She also expressed concern that a lot of mortgages end up with the two government-sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

From UPI. “A decade after the subprime mortgage crisis, thousands of potential home buyers with poor credit are lining up for zero down, low interest home loans — backed by one of the biggest banks in the business.”

“Throughout this year, Bank of America and Boston-based non-profit brokerage Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America are holding events nationwide offering mortgages to low and moderate income people and minority home buyers.”

“After the subprime lending market had largely cooled in the years following the housing crisis of the early 2000s, banks have slowly begun making these kinds of loans again with a greater focus on ensuring they can be repaid.”

“NACA and Bank of America offer 15- or 30-year fixed loans with interest rates below market average, coming in at about 4.5 percent. They also offer no-down payment, no closing costs, no fees and no requirement for a credit score to initiate the loan.”

“Rather than focusing on a borrower’s credit score, NACA CEO Bruce Marks said NACA engages in ‘character-based’ lending.”

“‘We don’t consider people’s credit score, we look at their payment history that they control. So that means that if someone has a low credit score because they’re late on their medical bills and they can’t control it because they have to go to the emergency room or things out of their control, we don’t consider that,’ Marks said.”

“Faber said although standardizing interest rates over the life of a mortgage can mitigate much of the risk associated with subprime loans, the housing crisis shows their value is still at the mercy of the housing market.”

“‘The plummeting value of people’s homes and the homes around them was a bigger driver of foreclosures than either borrower characteristics or loan characteristics,’ said NYU Asst. Professor of Sociology and Public Service Jacob Faber. ‘We have to acknowledge the fact that these large financial risks are tied to a lot of things that we may not be able to anticipate.'”

This Post Has 24 Comments
  1. ‘The plummeting value of people’s homes and the homes around them was a bigger driver of foreclosures than either borrower characteristics or loan characteristics’

    Jacob exposed the big lie about the housing bubble. It wasn’t subprime. 90% plus of defaults were prime loans. The single defining characteristic of foreclosures was when they borrowed the money, meaning it was the highest prices that went into foreclosure. Many were underwater and just walked away. The REIC wants people to forget that.

    How many people in Sonoma are underwater this morning?

  2. ‘non-bank lenders…McWilliams feared, are not regulated by the FDIC or the other two banking regulators: the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’

    ‘The question is: If we have reduced systemic risk in the banking sector, where did it go? It did not just disappear, it is not ether now’

    Paging Mel Watt.

  3. “About one-third of survey respondents — small and mid-sized builders across the country — said sales were worse than they had expected.

    So maybe you builders need to read the HBB and re-calibrate your expectations.

  4. The remarks from Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Jelena McWilliams come days after regulators freed the last ‘too big to fail’ non-bank from extra regulation.”

    The epic incompetence of the Fed’s economic prognosticators is exceeded only by those of the FDIC.

    1. I’m starting to see more pendings revert to “Back on Market”. I guess the earnest money deposit looks trivial in comparison to the risk if they’re reading the headlines. Homebuilders here are starting to cut prices and offer closing cost incentives, not much yet though. I suspect these numbers are going to motivate builders to do deeper price cuts. Hopefully no rioting recent home-buyers at the local park.

  5. Other than the bubble (2008-2010) new home inventory is higher than anytime since the 1991 recessions….let that sink in!

    1. Yeah, what happened to the worker shortage? The lot shortage? Cost of materials?

      ‘Structural panel prices plunged as mills searched for trading levels to alleviate buildups. Prices of OSB finished the week lower, but strong sales in the second half of the week allowed producers to bounce quotes off their lows in some regions. Southern Pine plywood trading nearly reached a standstill amid languishing demand. Mills struggled to find levels to entice buyers off the sidelines. A lack of sales, and offerings stacking up at mills, forced western Fir plywood producers to probe for trading levels.’

      ‘This Week in the “Through a Knothole” Section of Random Lengths: As the framing lumber market tries to find a bottom to the record-setting plummet, traders are trying to get a handle on why they didn’t see this epic price collapse coming. Traders looking for answers to the third-quarter meltdown in wood products prices can now credibly add a slowdown in U.S. housing starts to the list of factors.’

      http://www.randomlengths.com/Woodwire/RL-Lbr-Pnl/

      1. As the framing lumber market tries to find a bottom to the record-setting plummet, traders are trying to get a handle on why they didn’t see this epic price collapse coming.

        No one could’ve seen this coming. Our MSM border collies said so.

        /sarc

      2. Here’s some new construction:

        PMG scores $39M condo inventory loan for Muse Sunny Isles
        The Real Deal-22 hours ago
        Property Markets Group just closed on a $39 million inventory loan for Muse Residences in Sunny Isles. Pebb Capital, a Boca Raton-based real estate and …

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