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September 14, 2006

Today's Housing Bubble Post

-- by Dave Johnson

SignOnSanDiego.com - Housing still cooling,

San Diego County's residential real estate market continued to cool last month, with overall prices down 2.2 percent from August 2005.

It was the third straight month of year-over-year price declines, the research firm DataQuick Information Systems reported yesterday. It also was the slowest August in terms of sales volume since 1997.

An example of the ripple effect is beginning -- fewer rail cars are transporting lumber. Housing slowdown hits RailAmerica August carloads,
RailAmerica said lumber and forest products carloads were affected by the continued slowdown in the housing market.
Mortgage delinquencies ticking upward,

Faced with higher mortgage rates and deteriorating housing markets, more Americans are having trouble paying off their mortgages this year, according to the latest quarterly report on delinquencies from the Mortgage Bankers Association released Wednesday.

The report examined the delinquency rate - the proportion of borrowers at least 30 days late with a payment - for all mortgages held on residential properties of one to four units.

It revealed that though the overall rate in the second quarter ticked up only slightly, the picture was worse for adjustable rate mortgages, which constitute about 25 percent of all loans.

The delinquency rate for ARMs, climbed 0.51 percentage points compared with the second quarter of 2005, to 2.70 percent. That represents an increase of 23 percent in the number of borrowers in this category who are falling behind.

And the bulk of the ARMs don't start "hitting" - the payment increases when the "initial rate" goes away - until later this year and next year.

When will the tsunami of foreclosures hit?,

Those easy-mortgage chickens are coming home to roost.

This fall the adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) that millions of Americans took out during the recent housing boom will be reset, and many homeowners will see their monthly mortgage payments shoot up by as much as 20%.

A wave of housing foreclosures set for this fall,With the housing market cooling off from just about every conceivable consumer angle, so rests the hundreds of thousands of risky loans that sprang up in the last four years as housing prices crept up.

Posted by Dave Johnson at September 14, 2006 9:02 AM

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Comments

Those adjustable rate mortgages are really going to hurt, especially considering how many of those who hold them are already overextended. To what extent do the falling housing prices depend of what part of the country being looked at? In much of the south prices didn't rise as much as they did in places like California anyway so they may not have as far to fall. Here in NYC prices aren't falling as fast as they should because so much of what's on sale consists of condos and co-ops built for speculation by huge national firms now warehousing apartments rather than sell them for what they'd now sell for. One result in my neighborhood is unfinished apartment towers just sitting there, and finished ones more than half-empty because they're not selling. These firms are also dumping older holdings, hoping the city will help their tenants buy them. Met Life is doing that right now with two of the largest middle-class complexes in the country.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 14, 2006 3:13 PM

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