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Inventory Of Properties For Sale Is Rising And Buyers Figure They May Get Better Deals If They Hold Off

Two reports from the Globe and Mail in Canada. “The summer of economic recovery is fading away, replaced by a season of growing uncertainty as the weight of tens of billions of dollars in deferred debts bears down on consumers and businesses. Harsh decisions that have been postponed will have to be made, and the hardship will no longer be hypothetical. ‘It’s an unemployment and people-getting-thrown-out-of-their-home problem,’ says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, president Evan Siddall.”

“Dan Kelly, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says he is ‘absolutely’” certain that small-business bankruptcies will surge when the fiscal cushion provided by deferrals and subsidies disappears. In many cases, the arithmetic is already clear. ‘The business owner knows they’re dead, they just haven’t had the funeral yet.'”

“Agents who work in the family-oriented neighbourhoods of uptown Toronto were already seeing a less hectic pace in the last week of August as the return to the classroom approached. Condo owners downtown, meanwhile, were watching the start of the school term for a different reason: The Coronavirus pandemic that closed borders and put classes online has also meant that many foreign postsecondary students have not returned.”

“In downtown Toronto, agents are reporting that rents for condo units have fallen by 10 per cent or 15 per cent in recent months. In the Bay Street corridor popular with University of Toronto students, listings are swelling as units sit empty. The inventory of properties for sale is rising and, as the owners of vacant units lose out on rent, more of them are likely to become sellers, agents say. Buyers, meanwhile, figure they may get better deals if they hold off for a while.”

“Richard Fournier, a real estate agent with Re/Max Hallmark Chay Realty Inc. in Barrie, Ont., has noticed that some patches of the Greater Golden Horseshoe are a bit more tepid now. West of Toronto in Burlington, for example, sales of properties with asking prices above $1.5-million have slowed significantly in the past two or three weeks, he says. Price cuts are becoming common and some listings in upscale areas are being cancelled and then relisted.”

“Ksenia Bushmeneva, economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, says the high level of indebtedness in this country had the potential to greatly amplify the hit to the economy and slow the subsequent recovery. The economist cautions that federal government income support programs and the payment deferrals offered by financial institutions have been paramount in averting a delinquency tsunami and protecting household finances. As these support measures wane, risks to household finances still lie ahead.”

The Financial Express on India. “The slowdown in demand, which got accentuated with the pandemic, has hit the real estate sector hard because of which residential properties have seen a decline in prices of up to 15% in the national capital region. While the Delhi market, which is largely a resale market as there are hardly any new projects, has seen a decline of 10-15%, the NCR, which comprises Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, may not have seen much decline in quoted prices, but for serious buyers the drop is almost in the same range.”

“Bhushan Kapur, a real estate consultant in Mayur Vihar, said, ‘Prices corrected around 10% on an average, but there are specific cases where discount was higher. It depends on how the property is developed or is in a dispute, etc. For instance, in east Delhi, some distress sale happened in Laxmi Nagar where the discount was about 20%,’ he added.”

From Domain News in Australia. “Victorian landlords struggling to fill vacant rental properties say they face difficult financial positions or homelessness if they cannot collect rent on their investments. Hoppers Crossing landlords Olya Mancuso and Igor Propenko had been unable to fill their newly built rental through the stage four lockdown, leaving them to survive on Mr Propenko’s JobKeeper allowance alone while paying two mortgages. Their bank allowed a 50 per cent discount on their mortgage payments, which still left them in a difficult financial situation during the lockdown.”

“Although they now have a tenant, they fear the reduction of JobKeeper and the possibility of their renter not paying rent. ‘It is very callous and unjust,’ Ms Manscuso said. ‘Maybe if it was two of us it would be OK, but it is our three children as well. For some people, [JobKeeper] is a pitiful pittance that only covers mortgages and food. I’m scared. We might end up homeless. I’m very worried because [reduced JobKeeper] won’t be enough to cover expenses.'”

“Landlords also face the prospect of falling rent prices. Melbourne apartment rents fell for the first time in 15 years in the June quarter, falling 3.5 per cent in three months to a median $415 a week, on Domain data. House rents lost 2.3 per cent to a median $430. The inner city was hardest hit, with inner Melbourne apartment rents dropping 7.2 per cent in three months to a median $450.”

“AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said it was possible for landlords to become homeless if they default on their mortgages. ‘Some landlords are running at a lot of risk here,’ he said. ‘Especially if their family home is connected to the debt of the investment property.'”

This Post Has 80 Comments
  1. ‘The business owner knows they’re dead, they just haven’t had the funeral yet’

    And then:

    ‘The inventory of properties for sale is rising and, as the owners of vacant units lose out on rent, more of them are likely to become sellers, agents say. Buyers, meanwhile, figure they may get better deals if they hold off for a while’

    I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but this little mini boom is over in Toronto. I’m not sure how real it was, could just be statistic. But they did stampede some poor bashtarts into their FOMO crap. Well they are fooked now.

    1. ‘they just haven’t had the funeral yet’

      As someone said, borrowing a sh$tload of money for a shack might not be a good idea in a recession that could go depression. There’s a pizza biz FB in that article.

      1. might not be a good idea in a recession that could go depression

        Smaller cities outside the GTA had an insane summer. My SO retired and sold her house intending to buy a comparable house in either Sarnia, Bellville, Kingston, Brockville & etc. Bidding wars without a viewing, inspection, or any conditions at all. She’ll be in a nice apartment for the winter to see how this insanity sorts out.

        1. She might also rethink buying a comparable house at all and simply continue to rent.

          I know that I beat on the concept of having a paid-off house in retirement. But that’s a strategy for young people who don’t know what their financial situation will be at retirement. It’s a good hedge with a good history, considering that many a blue-collar Greatest Generation or Baby Boomer widow survived her later years comfortably on a paid-off house and her husband’s pension and/or Social Security. But at retirement, if you already know that you will be financially able to rent for 25+ years, renting is a viable option.

          1. What an odd thing to say.

            My FIL said that a mortgage was a forced savings plan, extremely inefficient, but some can save no other way.

            If she bought cash and not at mania prices, she’d be satisfied to own.

  2. ‘unable to fill their newly built rental through the stage four lockdown, leaving them to survive on Mr Propenko’s JobKeeper allowance alone while paying two mortgages’

    From the last link:

    ‘But it was better to prevent those who own no assets from financial ruin, Dr Oliver said. “Ultimately it’s best to protect [renters] from homelessness,” he said. “On one hand the investor is trying to run a business so you have to respond to that. “But we also have to allow for the impact on the economy. The social cost of [not putting in place an eviction ban] is so horrendous it’s simply not possible.”

    ‘The ban on evictions, rent rises and a lack of migration to Victoria would affect property prices, but Dr Oliver said he felt the trade-off had been worth it to avert a larger catastrophe. “It’s preventing a big rise in social tension,” he said. “It is incumbent for those in a slightly better position to help if they can.”

    So take one for the commune, I mean the team, Olya and Igor. Yer fooked too.

  3. ‘Melbourne apartment rents fell for the first time in 15 years in the June quarter’

    Yet another gargantuan REIC lie. Rents in almost all of Australia have been sinking like a turd in a well since 2017.

  4. “The summer of economic recovery is fading away, replaced by a season of growing uncertainty as the weight of tens of billions of dollars in deferred debts bears down on consumers and businesses.

    “Summer of economic recovery”? Baghdad Bob, the former Iraqi Information Minister, would blush with mortification if asked to put across such lies with a straight face.

  5. “Ksenia Bushmeneva, economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, says the high level of indebtedness in this country had the potential to greatly amplify the hit to the economy and slow the subsequent recovery.

    Ksenia just earned the big bucks with that penetrating analysis. I’d have figured that out for myself, eventually.

  6. I’m scared. We might end up homeless. I’m very worried because [reduced JobKeeper] won’t be enough to cover expenses.’”

    Sounds like you went into this “investment” despite being on very shaky financial ground, Olya. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you bought pretty close to the peak of the bubble, too.

    1. You forgot the money quote:

      There is no evidence that the suspects were motivated by politics, despite conspiracies that such an animus has fueled the fires that have burned more than a million acres, OregonLive reported.

      That statement alone should raise suspicions. The media is desperate and completely devoid of truth.

      1. lolz. You forgot the “bios” in the article of those accused.

        For supposedly being a successful investor, sure seems like Soros hires some bumbling idiots. I mean, instead of a tent along the highway, can a guy get a room at the Motel 6, ffs?

        “Winter can’t come soon enough.”

        Agreed. Most of the smoke is gone, but slight smell lingers. We get some much-needed rain this week. (Soros plans foiled again.)

        1. Back on Sep 7th we had thick blackout smoke, which was off the air quality index. Now we have black dust everywhere due to the strong wind that carried it. It’s in the car’s engine compartment, the outdoor HVAC condenser unit, the BBQ, etc., even the spider webs are black. I really should hire a power wash guy with soft water to “go to town.”

  7. Perhaps but the FED is keep interest rates artificially low and banks inventory low as well as high lumber prices putting damper on home builders not building enough affordable housing in California.

    I am recovering from a broken ankle so I am not rushing to buy anything today. If I did find the right home at the right price, yes but otherwise will just move to larger rental after ankle is healed and I can have full mobility again without risk of re-injuring or making it worse. One realtor admitted that we are headed toward a possible crash at least this person was honest unlike the liars I was dealing with previously who said that it would be a FOMO event if I did not buy right away.

    1. I’m not sure if you’re new to real estate, but it does not correct like the stock market. It is illiquid and takes years to bottom out. A massive move down in a year’s time would be something like 15%. So, you’re looking at 3+ years just to get back to something even resembling affordable. Time for some patience.

      1. @rip,

        Yes, I know this and can wait. Probably rent 2 bedroom for under 2k, and wait few years for crash unless then right home comes up. So far, all of the past realtors have been complete turds here for the most part and flaky as hell. Guess too many dumb rich suckers from bay area are buying these crapshacks up, no?

      2. The 2008 recession took 18 months to bottom out. The Great Depression took 33 months. The 2008 housing crash took ~55 months.

        3-5 years is a long time to think about living in Sacramento. By that time or you could switch jobs, or have permanent work at home. Or most likely, Sacremento will be burned to the ground.

        1. @oxide- not if you work in state government as a public sector employee and don’t plan to move due to employment. Job market is DEAD I get zero calls on Linkedin for IT jobs due to COVID. At least dead for database jobs.

    2. With 25 millon excess empty and defaulted houses out there, 4.4 million of which are in CA, there is plenty of housing… everywhere.

      Portland, OR Housing Prices Crater 12% YOY As Mortgage And Appraisal Fraud Envelops West Coast Cities

      https://www.zillow.com/portland-or-97209/home-values/

      *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

      As one broker conceded, “If you bought a house in the last 15 years, you got burned.”

  8. We had an interesting altercation across the street earlier this evening. Guy whose RV trailer has been parked there for a few weeks started kicking the driver’s side door of the SUV he uses to haul it and cursing at the top of his lungs in the process.

    The incident made me wonder how many others around the U.S. have opted to live inside their RVs instead of unaffordable stationary housing.

    1. Note the pre-covid economic collapse date on this article. I can’t imagine the situation has subsequently improved.

      The RV population is surging in the Western U.S.
      RV Living Grows as Latest Consequence of Housing Crisis
      Residents complain as streets fill with vehicles serving as homes for people who can’t afford rent
      By Jim Carlton and Will Parker
      | Photographs by Elijah Nouvelage for The Wall Street Journal
      Feb. 26, 2020 8:00 am ET

      MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—The RVs started arriving on Continental Circle about four years ago. Now they line one side of the half-mile-long street in this Silicon Valley suburb.

      Across the Western U.S., rising home prices have pushed more people who can’t afford houses or apartments to live in vehicles, including RVs. In Los Angeles, 16,500 people called a vehicle their home last year, according to local counts. In San Francisco that figure was 1,800, up 45% from 2017, and in Santa Clara County, which includes Mountain View, the number nearly tripled over that same time frame to 1,747. There are no reliable national figures on the trend.

      “We are seeing that it is cheaper to live in your car or RV than to rent,” said Candice Elder, executive director of East Oakland Collective, a local nonprofit in that city where about 1,400 people lived in recreational or other vehicles last year.

      An estimated half a million people are homeless in the U.S., with the problem most acute along the Northeastern seaboard and West Coast where housing costs are highest, White House officials said in a 2019 report. If the problem has an epicenter, it is the San Francisco Bay Area, the nation’s most expensive housing market, where median housing prices have nearly doubled to about $1 million over the past eight years, according to real-estate listing service Zillow.

      As with homeless encampments that block sidewalks, RV living is creating its own tensions. Residents on the streets where people park the large vehicles complain that sewage-tank dumping and drug use are common and that there are no parking spots left for them.

      To Read the Full Story Subscribe to The Wall Street Journal.

    2. Guy whose RV trailer has been parked there for a few weeks started kicking the driver’s side door of the SUV he uses to haul it and cursing at the top of his lungs in the process.

      DRUGS.

    3. There are thousands of, mostly employed, people living in RV’s and trailers all over the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

    4. The incident made me wonder how many others around the U.S. have opted to live inside their RVs instead of unaffordable stationary housing.

      I don’t know but as we travel around the country the difference between the high end RV parks and those favored by the people trying to live as cheaply as possible is pretty stark. As soon as you get away from the cities there are lots of places you can get away with parking for a night, but I’ve noticed that the cheap RVs tend to quickly become undriveable and basically become a very small very poor quality mobile home (as in sits in a park and never moves) very quickly. They can’t even keep moving because they can’t keep it running…and they quickly fall prey to whoever owns the location where it all stops.

  9. I have screwed up a lot of things in my life but making sure all three of my daughters and my wife knew that I loved them was not one of those things. Everyone here is pretty damn smart so this is probably the only advice I could give you, make sure the people you love know you love them.

    My wife and middle daughter shared a birthday.

    September 21

    I miss them both terribly, some days more than others. My daughter Shannon would have turned 27 today, my wife Colleen 59.

    Happy Birthday girls

    We love you and miss you every day.

    Tom Waits – Picture In A Frame

    https://youtu.be/geLohC_NzxU

    1. I’ve made my share of mistakes too, but my wife & daughters know they are loved and adored. I cannot even imagine losing any of them and then having to still go on living. Sorry for your loss, Brother Jeff.

    2. Happy Birthday Ladies!

      Do not merely mourn your loss, be thankful you were the one that got to share their wonderful lives.

      My three girls tell me all the time how much they love me back. My wife would be 67, if she is still alive.

    3. Thank you all and a special thanks to Ben Jones who allows me to send messages out to my girls on their special days the only way I know how.

  10. Not much movement downwards in the St. Pete/Tampa/Clearwater area. It seems that everything that hits the market is marked ‘pending’ the next day. Prices are still at their highest levels. Still waiting for this ‘bubble to burst’.

    1. Need to Know
      A financial crisis could surprise investors ‘sooner rather than later,’ warns Deutsche Bank
      Published: Sept. 21, 2020 at 7:02 a.m. ET
      By Barbara Kollmeyer
      Critical information for the U.S. trading day
      Referenced Symbols
      SPX
      -1.11%
      YM00
      -1.87%
      ES00
      -1.52%
      NQ00
      -1.30%
      SXXP
      -2.83%
      HSI
      -2.06%
      Stormy Monday
      nicolas tucat/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
      Excuses/reasons to sell? The stock market’s giant vat of worries is spilling over on Monday.

      Global banks are tanking over allegations of a money-laundering scandal, second-wave COVID-19 worries, and a possible delay to badly needed fiscal stimulus in the U.S., due to political tussling after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

      Our call of the day from Deutsche Bank has some good news and some not-so-great news for investors.

      Hooper expects the virus will leave lasting scars though, such as a permanent hit to the hospitality industry and automation taking jobs away forever, meaning the full recovery of the economy to before COVID-19 may never happen.

      Outside of the negatives mentioned above, the Deutsche Bank strategists also see a looming financial crisis, tipped by a “growing overvaluation of assets and mounting debt levels,” and driven by the massive fiscal and monetary policy stimulus efforts.

      “Financial crises have often been touched off in the past under such conditions by the inevitable shift from policy ease to policy tightening, which is likely still at least several years away, but could surprise sooner,” said Hooper and the team.

        1. “Deut$che Bank” … love$ dtRumpy! & dtRumpy love$ Deut$che Bank!

          Billion$ in dirty money rolled through Deut$che Bank

          When Robert Meltzer, who runs gyms for children in Los Angeles, found that more than $60,000 in payroll taxes — half a year’s worth — had gone missing in 2013, it was too late.

          When something similar happened to Stanford Media Group, a company that sold CDs and DVDs online, Mark Gilula said he was forced to lay off employees. He said the stress contributed to his heart attack.

          And when Maureen Sullivan, an architect, went looking for answers about the $111,000 that evaporated from her accounts, she said her inquiries with the police “basically went into a black hole.”

          What none of these small business owners could have known was that their losses were linked to one of the most infamous international banking scandals on record.

          The bookkeeper who handled their payroll allegedly embezzled their money and injected it into a notorious scheme used by crime bosses, terrorist financiers, and drug cartels. The participants laundered $10 billion of illicit money into nice clean cash.

          It all happened with the help of Deut$che Bank, Germany’s bigge$t financial in$titution and one of the bigge$t lender$ to Donald Trump. But when the enormou$ $candal broke, Deut$che blamed it on a few middle-level staffers in its Mo$cow office, paid a fine, and got back to busine$$.

          By Tom Warren, John Templon, Jason Leopold, Anthony Cormier, Jeremy Singer-Vine, Scott Pham, Richard Holmes, Tanya Kozyreva, and Emma Loop
          BuzzFeed News Supplied
          Posted on September 20, 2020

          This is part 2 of our FinCEN Files investigation.

          1. It all happened with the help of Deut$che Bank, Germany’s bigge$t financial in$titution and one of the bigge$t lender$ to Donald Trump.

            Hahahaha! I mean c’mon, Trump had NOTHING to do with that. Geezus the TDS is bad out there.

    2. It seems like the Megabank, Inc financial commentators who use their MSM bully pulpit to manipulate the herd are highly confident about several recurring predictions:
      1) A near-term vaccine discovery will enable the completion of the recovery phase of the V-shaped COVID-19 micro-depression by mid-2021.
      2) The lasting damage of extraordinary central banking bailouts that started in March 2020 and are ongoing will be minimal.
      3) Central bank rate tightening is just around the corner.

      It might be worth contemplating what might happen going forward if some or none of these chickens ever hatch.

      1. 3) Central bank rate tightening is just around the corner.

        Huh? The FED just came out and said they will not be raising rates until 2023 at the earliest.

    3. The Financial Times
      UK interest rates
      Bank of England upends market expectations with comments on negative rates
      Traders reassess possibility of cuts into negative territory after ‘curve ball’ from central bank
      The BoE said it would ‘begin structured engagement’ with regulators on how an unprecedented slide into sub-zero rates might work
      © Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
      Eva Szalay and Chris Giles in London
      September 18 2020

      Sterling dropped and UK government bond prices pushed higher this week after traders spotted signs that the Bank of England might be seriously considering cutting interest rates below zero — a reaction that has taken the central bank itself by surprise.

      In minutes accompanying its latest decision to keep policy on hold on Thursday, the BoE said it would “begin structured engagement” with regulators on how an unprecedented slide into sub-zero rates might work, and that rate-setters had been briefed on how to take the step “should the outlook for inflation and output warrant it at some point”.

      Several banks interpreted this as a signal that negative rates could become a reality, despite the BoE’s reluctance so far to take the step.

      “The Bank of England gave a stronger warning that cutting interest rates into negative territory is a realistic possibility,” said analysts at Bank of America. “Publishing this paragraph feels like news. It suggests to us that the BoE is more prepared to use negative rates than we thought.”

      Nomura analysts described the revelation as a “curve ball” and said that policymakers explicitly talking about negative rates made “any easing in November” more likely, while strategists at ING Bank said the minutes represented an “escalation” in the bank’s communication around the issue.

      1. The BoE’s nattering over the prospect of negative rates seems rudely discordant with the V-shaped recovery mantra.

    4. Any chance some of these banksters may finally face justice this time around?

      Business
      Banks Slide With $2 Trillion of Suspect Flows Under Scrutiny
      By Yueqi Yang, Jennifer Surane, and Yalman Onaran
      September 20, 2020, 2:14 PM PDT
      Updated on September 21, 2020, 5:29 AM PDT
      – ICIJ says bank suspicious activity reports show lapses, delays
      – JPMorgan moved $1 billion for fugitive 1MDB financier: report

      The world’s banks flag more than 2 million suspect transactions to the U.S. government every year. A cache of leaked documents suggests the scrutiny does little to stem the flow of trillions of dollars linked to suspicious activity.

      A new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists says JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc were among the global banks who “kept profiting from powerful and dangerous players” in the past two decades even after the U.S. imposed penalties on these financial institutions.

      1. – JPMorgan moved $1 billion for fugitive 1MDB financier: report

        I haven’t seen Hwy50 point out that Jamie Dimon was one of Obama’s most frequent White House guests, therefore Obama must surely be in on this.

  11. Meat Was Once in Short Supply Amid Pandemic. Now, It’s on Sale.

    After springtime shortages, supermarkets are selling meat for lower prices as supplies rebound and exports decline

    ‘Gordon Food Service Inc., one of the biggest U.S. distributors to restaurants, is selling some beef cuts for half what they cost a few months ago. SpartanNash Co., a food retailer and distributor based in Grand Rapids, Mich., recently offered low-price promotions for ground beef, ribs and sirloin steak after meat availability improved over the summer months.’

    “The supply is plentiful right now,” said Lori Raya, chief merchandising and marketing officer at SpartanNash.’

    ‘Near Minneapolis, Kan., Perry Owens’s feedlots stayed crowded with cattle as processing plants owned by Cargill Inc., JBS USA Holdings Inc. and National Beef Packing Co. closed down following infections among workers, leaving them unable to slaughter livestock. Mr. Owens’s backlog, which amounted to around 1,000 cattle, lasted through much of the summer, he said. “I’m still fighting to get rid of some cattle.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/meat-was-once-in-short-supply-amid-pandemic-now-its-on-sale-11600614000

    There never was a shortage of anything.

    1. We enjoyed some beautiful grilled fillet mignon last night at about 1/3 the restaurant price. Knowing how to cook delicious food when restaurants are shut down is a great advantage at times like these.

      1. My husband has snagged great prices on beef, pork, chicken and shrimp. Our FoodSaver vacuum sealer has gotten quite the use in 2020.

      2. Costco’s fillet mignon has been north of $30/lb for years, and I guess I’m just too Scotch and lost my appetite for it.

        1. $13/lb at the local Sams for USDA Prime

          USDA Choice as $17 earlier this year

          A tenderloin dinner at home for the price of a rubber chicken dinner at Applebee’s

    2. I’ve also noticed that the USDA Choice cuts at the supermarket are more marbled than ever, and I wonder if they really are USDA prime quality.

    3. There was never a shortage of actual food. There WAS a shortage of processing, appropriate packaging, and shipping. Looks like they figured it out.

      1. There was never a shortage of actual food. Yup. The problem was in the supply lines. That will happen again during the next crisis. I want to buy a year’s supply of my prescriptions, but am not allowed to.

        1. am not allowed to

          I get it. It’s the insurance that doesn’t “allow”. BP medication isn’t that expensive is it? Maybe your doctor can script you an advance supply that you can get filled with cash?

          I have this same concern when I go on a cruise, although it’s not for a year at a time.

          1. BP medication isn’t that expensive is it?

            No, in fact it’s free. You go for a walk every day, and eat the right foods.

    4. You are correct saying there was no shortage. The potential was there though, due to the people at the slaughterhouses and packaging plants coming down with Covid19 in large numbers.

  12. “Price cuts are becoming common and some listings in upscale areas are being cancelled and then relisted.”

    Meet the Craterons…. Episode 78,439,201.

    1. Which probably explains the rush to normalize the behavior. Witness Netflix standing its ground and refusing to pull or apologize for “Cuties”, which was the straw that broke my camel’s back and led me to cancel my subscription.

  13. $eems everyone.now ha$ a $helter.$hack$.Debacle$.$tatement!

    Outside the Box:

    Opinion: The COVID-19 lockdown is $queezing real e$tate from all side$ and threaten$ to bur$t the hou$ing and mortgage bubble$

    $ooner or later, homeowner$ in this frothy U.S. hou$ing market mu$t pay the piper

    Published: Sept. 21, 2020/ MarketWatch/ By Keith Jurow

    Recently the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) — conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — extended the moratorium for both evictions and foreclosures until the end of the year. Many homeowners breathed a sigh of relief.

    Indeed, over the past few months the number of borrowers with active forbearances has declined. But that’s no reason for optimism. The more serious matter is how many homeowners are now delinquent. By the end of 2020, several million borrowers who have received mortgage forbearance will have gone nine months without making a mortgage payment.

    What impact will this have on U.S. housing and mortgage markets?

    Let’s start with FHA-insured loans. According to HUD’s July 2020 “Neighborhood Watch” report, 17% of 8 million insured mortgages are now delinquent. This percentage includes mortgages in forbearance as well as those not in forbearance. Hard-hit metropolitan areas include New York City with 27.2%, Miami with 24.4% and Atlanta with 21%.

    Another reason for alarm is the private, non-guaranteed (non-agency) securitized mortgages that go back to the crazy bubble years and which are still active. These were the millions of sub-prime and other non-prime loans that were egregiously underwritten, many fraudulently.

    At the peak of this activity in late 2007, more than 10 million of these mortgages were outstanding with a total debt of more than $2.4 trillion. As recently as early 2018, 25% of all delinquent borrowers nationwide had not made a mortgage payment in at least five years. In New York State, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., that percentage was more than 40%.

    Keep in mind that these extremely high delinquency rates existed well-before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. Since March of this year, delinquency rates for subprime mortgages reversed a 10-year decline and climbed to 23.7% in July, according to TCW’s most recent Mortgage Market Monitor report. Other non-prime bubble-era mortgage delinquency rates also were substantially higher.

    According to Inside Mortgage Finance, mortgage servicers had eased the pain for owners of these non-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) by advancing the delinquent principle and interest to them. But in TCW’s latest report, nearly one-third of these delinquent payments had not been advanced to the owners at the end of July.

    Media reports are euphoric about the strong housing-market recovery over the past few months. In truth, home sales in the U.S. were just 5% higher in July than a year earlier, according to online broker Redfin. In New York City, sales in July collapsed by 35% from July 2019. Even worse for New York, listings soared by 65% in July as residents continued to flee the lockdown calamity in the Big Apple.

    A telling figure is the percentage of home sellers who had to drop their asking price in August. San Francisco showed the highest percentage of reduced asking prices since Redfin began tracking it — 24.5%. Other major metros including Chicago, Philadelphia and New York also saw an increased percentage of reduced listing prices compared to a year earlier.

    Denver — one of the hottest markets in the nation a few years ago – led the nation in August with 41% of home sellers compelled to reduce their asking price. Another former sizzling market — Seattle — was the second-highest at 31% along with Tampa, Fla. These are signs of weakening markets.

    How bad is it now? Online apartment broker Apartment List publishes a monthly survey of roughly 4,000 renters and homeowners. The most recent survey published in early August found that 33% of those surveyed had been unable to make a full rent or mortgage payment the first week of August. That was up from 21% in April. Heading into August, 32% of those surveyed had unpaid housing bills left over from previous months. For homeowners with mortgage arrears, 13% of them owed more than $2,000.

    By extending the foreclosure moratorium until the end of 2020, the FHFA seemed to indicate that it is not prepared to open the foreclosure floodgates. This may be true; they are unwilling to let servicers foreclose while the pandemic is still with us. Yet COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations have been steadily declining around the nation for almost four months. If this trend continues, it is hard to see how states with the most draconian lockdowns — including New York and California — can clamp down much longer.

    What could happen when states finally lift their lockdowns? First, the apparent strength of the housing market in most major metros has been caused more by the plunge in active home listings than by low interest rates.

    Declining interest rates have led to a record amount of refinancing.

    Second, small landlords have been devastated by the lockdowns. The results of the latest survey published by the National Association of Independent Landlords (NAIL) revealed that the percentage of respondents who received a full rent payment from their tenants plunged to 55% in June from 83% in February. Almost 20% had vacant rental properties due to COVID-19, while 60% were in a financial position to offer some kind of payment plan for tenants to pay back rent.

    Keep in mind that there are at least 15 million properties owned by these small landlords nationwide. Many were in a precarious financial situation even before the lockdowns began. Unless the job situation of their tenants improves, millions of these investors could be wiped out and compelled to throw their properties onto the market. Sooner or later, … thee piper must be paid

    1. It’s interesting the MSM has approved B word people. I’m glad they publish his stuff, but it’s a fraction of the ground covered here.

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