Investors Pushing to Buy Housing Other Than Foreclosed Properties

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 2:30 pm

Tom Lawler pulls out an interesting piece of data from the latest housing statistics. Foreclosures have been dropping in 2012, mainly because of the rise of short sales as a foreclosure alternative. This appears to be changing – the repossession rate in November was 11% above that of October and even up 5% year-over-year – but Lawler is looking back at data, not forward at the recent trend.

 

Yes, Banks Are Paying “Penalties” in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement With Other People’s Money

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 9:22 am

This one offers a bit of vindication. I cannot tell you how much grief I got from “official sources” over the clear reality that banks would be able to pay off their penalties in the foreclosure fraud settlement with investor money. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan flat-out said it, and then had to backtrack and obfuscate. But it was clearly set up by the terms of the settlement. Banks would get credit under the settlement for modifying loans in private label mortgage backed securities, which means the investors take the hit.

This became more clear in Bank of America’s side deal, where they would reduce their penalty through modifying loans they don’t own.

Mark Zandi Doesn’t Understand Housing Very Well

By: Monday October 1, 2012 10:17 am

Court jester economist for power Mark Zandi tried to pull a fast one by readers of the Washington Post, by actually making the argument, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that the Obama Administration successfully fixed the foreclosure crisis. He has to make a mental leap in order to do this, claiming that the state of the housing market in 2012 is directly related to foreclosure mitigation and housing market programs from 2009. Of course, we know the causes of the housing market “recovery” and they have nothing to do with those programs, and everything to do with over-speculation by institutional investors who have bought up massive amounts of foreclosed properties.

New Home Sales, Home Price Statistics Continue to Fuel Optimism on Housing

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 2:00 pm

New home sales stayed flat in August, a modest miss from expectations. Still, new home sales are on track for a 16% increase year-over-year. This still puts annual sales at the third-lowest on record, but it’s a boost from the bottomed-out years of 2010 and 2011. The recovery is sluggish, but it’s moving in an upward direction.

More analysts are excited about the continued increase in home prices, designated by the Case-Shiller index released yesterday. They particularly point to prices at the low end:

News Leaks of $1 Billion Blackstone Investment in Foreclosed Properties… Just in Tampa Bay

By: Monday September 24, 2012 11:35 am

Investors, envisioning a bottom in the market and capitalizing on public policy to sell off the inventory, have pushed into this space in a big way in 2012, providing almost the entire margin of the modest recovery this year.

Wall Street Stunned by Vanishing Investors

By: Wednesday May 9, 2012 4:35 pm

A New York Times article discusses the disappearance of retail investors and the steady decline in trading volumes since the Great Crash. They blame the usual uncertainty. But investors know the game is rigged by those sucking most of the rewards out of investing. The small investors don’t stand a chance, and they know it.

Bank of America Begins “Pay Settlement With Other People’s Money” Scheme

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 8:15 am

Bank of America says it began mailing notices to their borrowers about principal reduction opportunities under the foreclosure fraud settlement. Recall that BofA inked a side deal on the settlement that would allow them to extinguish an additional $850 million of the cash penalties by reducing loan balances more deeply than called for in the settlement. At the time it was announced, the thinking was that BofA could avoid that $850 million by reducing balances on loans it didn’t actually own, and now that seems likely to happen.

HUD Secretary Donovan Faces Questions on C-SPAN

By: Sunday April 8, 2012 12:00 pm

I read a rough transcript of this C-SPAN interview with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, and there isn’t a whole lot there that’s all that different from the PR pronouncements he’s made in the past. So this won’t be extensive. I just have a few comments…

Investor Purchases of Foreclosures Face Lots of Hurdles

By: Tuesday April 3, 2012 10:20 am

We’ve seen a few of stories, including this one in the NYT, about a surge of investors picking up foreclosed homes cheap and converting them into rental properties. Foreclosed or abandoned homes are always fixer-upper candidates, and investors have been scooping them up for decades. The difference here is that the investor groups are bigger and more institutional. Will this help or hurt the housing market?

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