The Next U.S. Housing Crisis Has Arrived: Existing Home Sales Post Their Biggest Decline In 4 Years

Things just continue to get even worse for the U.S. housing industry.  New homes sales have been absolutely plummeting, homebuilder stocks have lost over a third of their value, and existing home sales just posted their biggest decline since 2014.  For years, we had been witnessing a real estate boom in the United States, but now that has officially ended.  It is starting to feel like 2008 all over again, and many of those that work in the industry are really starting to freak out.  The Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising interest rates, and it is having the exact same effect on the housing industry that it did just before the last recession. (Read More...)

The Last Housing Crash Is Not Even Over But Bernanke Is Already Setting The Stage For The Next One

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is determined to push mortgage rates to record low levels and he is encouraging the banks that the Fed regulates to make home loans more freely.  Wait a second – isn’t that exactly what caused the last housing bubble?  After 9/11, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and this caused mortgage rates to steadily fall.  Financial institutions were urged to help “expand home ownership” in America, and many of them started making home loans to people who never, ever should have gotten home loans.  When mortgage rates started to go back up, millions of families with adjustable rate mortgages discovered that they could not make their monthly payments.  Mortgage delinquencies absolutely soared and large numbers of mortgage-backed securities suddenly turned into garbage.  So what is the Fed doing about it?  The Fed recently announced another round of quantitative easing in which it will buy 40 billion dollars worth of these mortgage-backed securities a month.  Essentially the Fed is clearing the bad financial paper out of the system and is creating the conditions for another housing bubble.  But will we really fix our problems by going back and doing the same things that got us into trouble in the first place? (Read More...)

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