Home Sales Drop Once Again

Existing home sales in the U.S. are down again.  New home sales in the U.S. are down again.  What else is new?  The U.S. housing industry just cannot seem to bounce back.  Mortgage lenders have really, really tightened up lending standards and so now there are a lot fewer qualified buyers than there used to be.  It is as if the big financial institutions have nearly shut off the flow of credit.  But without credit, the vast majority of American families don’t have a prayer of achieving the American Dream of owning a home.  Even with mortgage rates close to record lows the housing market is still languishing.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how low mortgage rates are if American families can’t get home loans approved.  With unemployment still staggeringly high and with incomes still declining, it appears that the U.S. housing market is going to continue to suffer for some time to come. (Read More...)

Mortgage Investors To Bank Of America: We’re Pissed And We Want Our 47 Billion Dollars Back

Everyone knew that the foreclosure fraud crisis was going to spawn a festival of lawsuits, and now it looks like it is already beginning.  The New York Federal Reserve Bank is part of a consortium of eight large institutional investment firms that has launched an effort to force Bank of America to repurchase $47 billion worth of mortgages packaged into bonds by its Countrywide Financial unit.  It turns out that most mortgage bond contracts explicitly require the repurchase of loans when the quality of the loans falls short of promises made by the sellers.  As most of us know by now, many of these mortgages that were packaged together into “AAA rated” securities were actually a bunch of junk.  But this is just the beginning.  There are going to be hordes of lawsuits stemming from this crisis and it is going to take years and years for this thing to work through the legal system.  All of the big players in the U.S. mortgage industry are going to be paralyzed for an extended period of time by this crisis, and that means that buying a home and achieving the American Dream is going to become a lot harder for millions of Americans.  Not only that, if mortgage lending institutions end up being forced to take back gigantic mountains of bad mortgages it could end up sinking a whole lot of them.  The implications for the U.S. financial system would be staggering.  (Read More...)

16 New Records That The American Economy Has Set During The Past 12 Months – And They Are All Bad

Over the past twelve months, the U.S. economy has continued to come apart like a 20 dollar suit.  During that time it seems like more bad economic news has been coming out nearly every single day.  Instead of getting better, the problems facing the U.S. economy only seem to be multiplying.  The U.S. government and the U.S. financial system continue to absolutely drown in debt.  Factories, jobs and massive amounts of wealth continue to fly out of the United States every month at an astounding pace.  Meanwhile, the number of Americans enrolled in anti-poverty programs continues to shatter records and the U.S. housing industry continues to set records for futility.  The truth is that less Americans are living the American Dream today than were living it twelve months ago.  The U.S. economy is in a serious state of decline, and it is time for all of us to wake up and admit the truth. (Read More...)

15 Bone Chilling Signs That Part Two Of The Double Dip Housing Crash Has Begun

These are harrowing times for anyone trying to sell a home or for anyone who is trying to make a living in the housing industry.  But unfortunately, there are a whole lot of signs that things are about to get quite a bit worse.  U.S. home sales have hit record lows in recent months.  An increasing number of sellers have started to reduce their asking prices, and there are signs that home prices are already starting to slip substantially in many areas of the country.  Meanwhile, the inventory of unsold homes in the United States continues to rapidly increase. Home foreclosures and bank repossessions of homes continue to set all-time records.  What this all means is that the U.S. housing market is being absolutely flooded with homes for sale at a time when there are very few buyers.  There is way too much supply and not nearly enough demand and as a result home prices are being pressured downward.  The home buyer tax credits that the U.S. government was bribing home buyers with helped stabilize the U.S. housing market for a while, but now the tax credits have expired and things are getting scary out there. (Read More...)

Turn Out The Lights – The Party Is Over: 20 Signs That American Consumers Are Completely And Totally Tapped Out

Many economists have been mystified that even though the recession is “over”, American consumers have not opened their wallets and started spending again like they normally do at the end of a recession.  News report after news report has encouraged Americans to grab their credit cards and to head out to the stores and start spending again, but it just is not happening.  So why are things different this time?  Well, for one thing there is a lot of fear in the air.  Poll after poll after poll shows that faith in the economy has collapsed and that large numbers of Americans fear that things are going to get even worse for the economy soon.  But for millions of other Americans there is another problem – they couldn’t spend more money if they wanted to.  The truth is that living on credit for decades has caught up with us as a nation.  Americans are absolutely drowning in mortgage debt, car loans, credit card debt and student loan debt.  As wages have stagnated, credit has enabled many of us to pursue the American Dream and to live far beyond our means, but that doesn’t last forever.  Now tens of millions of Americans are completely and totally tapped out.  But without the return of the voracious American “consumer” there is not going to be a full economic “recovery”. (Read More...)

15 Signs That The U.S. Housing Market Is Headed For Complete And Total Collapse

The U.S. housing market is dying.  You will only hear hints of this on the mainstream news and from the politicians in Washington D.C., but as statistic after statistic continues to roll in, the reality of what is happening is becoming very difficult to deny.  Up until the end of April, the giant tax credit that the U.S. government was bribing home buyers with helped stabilize the real estate market, but now that the tax credit has expired the decline of the U.S. housing market has resumed.  Mortgage defaults continue to set new records.  Foreclosures continue to set new records.  Home repossessions by banks continue to set new records.  The number of homes being constructed and the number of Americans applying for home loans is at stunningly low levels.  For decades, owning a home has been touted as the very heart of “the American Dream”, but today that dream is out of reach for an increasing number of Americans.  Why?  It is because there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone.  Without a jobs recovery, there simply is not going to be a housing recovery.  Unfortunately, as the U.S. economy continues to come apart like a 20 dollar suit, even more Americans are going to lose their jobs and the U.S. housing industry will continue to experience a very painful decline. (Read More...)

Living The Dream: What Do You Own – Really?

If someone came up to you and asked you what you own, what would you say?  It may seem like an obvious question, but it is actually a lot more complicated than you might think.  We live in a very materialistic society.  In fact, a large percentage of Americans today define their lives by what they “own”, and a large percentage of Americans consider “living the American Dream” to be about accumulating a house, several cars and a massive pile of possessions.  But what does it mean to “own” something anyway?  Does it mean to have something in your possession?  Well, if that was the case then someone leasing a car for three years could be considered the owner.  But that obviously is not the case.  Does “owning” something mean that nobody can legally take that thing away from you?  Well, if that is the case then perhaps we all “own” a lot less than we think we do.  (Read More...)