The Anti-Due Process Bias of Housing Reporters and Analysts

By: Monday November 19, 2012 9:15 am

Existing-home sales rose 2.1% in October, with the number coming in slightly above expectations, although the previous month’s numbers were revised down. Inventory has decreased 21% year-over-year (in no small part due to structural factors like trapped borrowers not putting their houses on the market, as well as artificial constraints on supply from banks keeping homes off the market).

 

Administration Housing Policy in a Second Term

By: Sunday November 11, 2012 8:45 am

Of all the thumbsuckers about the second-term Obama agenda I’ve read, the ones that reflect the least contact with reality concern Administration housing policy.

It’s beyond clear that the first-term policy framework sought to protect banks and allocate losses from the collapse of the housing bubble elsewhere. That was the point behind HAMP, designed to “foam the runway” for the banks, allowing them to squeeze out a few extra payments from borrowers and absorb foreclosures more slowly. That was the point behind the foreclosure fraud settlement, reacting to the largest consumer fraud in the history of the world by immunizing the conduct in exchange for a pittance of a fine. That was the point behind a financial fraud task force that turned up precious little financial fraud and sought criminal prosecutions of no individual.

Americans Feel Better Off in Their Personal Financial Situation for First Time in Five Years

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 10:56 am

Gallup has a critical poll out today that makes no mention of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, but tells us something about the economy.

Homeowners Lost $2 Trillion in Housing Wealth By Living Near Foreclosures

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 7:36 am

“Why should we bail out the loser’s mortgages,” Rick Santelli yelled in his proto-Tea Party rant. And ever since, practically everyone in Washington has taken care to say that homeowner relief should only be available for “responsible” homeowners, as if there’s a formula to decide whether someone ripped off by a predatory lender is “responsible” or not.

But there’s actually a good answer for why you want to bail out “the loser’s mortgages,” and it’s rooted in basic economics.

White House Promises to Dump Ed DeMarco if They Only Get the Chance in a Second Term

By: Wednesday October 24, 2012 2:00 pm

In one of the more cynical campaign promises I’ve seen in a while, the Obama Administration has apparently been running around to housing advocates telling them they will fire Ed DeMarco as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency… after the election.

Romney Campaign Advisor Pinned Down on Housing Policies

By: Monday October 22, 2012 2:00 pm

Mike Konczal decided to do some sorely missed actual reporting at last week’s debate, seeking out Glenn Hubbard, one of Mitt Romney’s key economic advisers, for a discussion on housing policy.

Obama Starts to Run on the Economy

By: Friday October 19, 2012 10:10 am

Zeke Miller of Buzzfeed highlights this new wrinkle in President Obama’s stump speech: taking credit for some good economic numbers of late.

Obama Gets a HAMP Question… On The Daily Show

By: Friday October 19, 2012 6:45 am

President Obama appeared on the Daily Show last night, and Jon Stewart confronted him with the “H” word. It’s not one that comes up much in Obama’s presence; I can’t remember the last time, in fact. But last night, he had to answer for HAMP.

House Starts Balloon to “Well Below Average” from “Catastrophically Below Average”

By: Wednesday October 17, 2012 12:00 pm

The big news in housing today is that residential construction jumped above expectations in September. Housing starts rose 15% month-to-month, and permits for new construction increased 11%. Year over year, starts are over 30% up, while permits are nearly 45% up.

Puncturing the Housing Optimism Bubble

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 12:45 pm

The housing bulls have really started to run wild now. One of them planted this rose-colored story in Bloomberg arguing that consumer deleveraging points to happy times ahead for the economy. The only problem is that the deleveraging comes from defaultsrather than any paying down of debts. And these defaults are destructive for an economy, not a sign of hope.

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