Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Stock Investors What to do if Trump Bans TikTok - 5th Aug 20
Gold Trifecta of Key Signals for Gold Mining Stocks - 5th Aug 20
ARE YOU LOVING YOUR SERVITUDE? - 5th Aug 20
Stock Market Uptrend Continues? - 4th Aug 20
The Dimensions of Covid-19: The Hong Kong Flu Redux - 4th Aug 20
High Yield Junk Bonds Are Hot Again -- Despite Warning Signs - 4th Aug 20
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

US Real Estate Another Bottom in Sight?

Housing-Market / US Housing Aug 29, 2008 - 12:12 PM GMT

By: Peter_Schiff

Housing-Market
Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleOnce again, real estate market watchers have pounced on a shred of seemingly positive news to proclaim that the long sought “bottom” is in sight. The routine is becoming extremely stale, but somehow the media never seems to tire of it. This time the “good” news was that the percentage declines in national home prices (according to Case Shiller) in July where not as large as they were in June. Although the report contained many other negative data points, including increased inventories and a spike in foreclosure sales, it was the slowing declines that got spotlight. Talk about grasping at straws.


The truth is that real estate has been grossly overvalued for years, and the adjustment process back to realistic pricing has only just begun. The problem is few among us seem to appreciate the magnitude of this adjustment and its implication for an economy dependant on inflated assets values.

By most accounts, the decade long housing boom began in 1996 and finally went poof in mid-2006. In January 1996, the Case Shiller 10 city composite home price index stood at 76. By June 2006 it had tripled to 226, by far the largest increase in U.S. history. Since then, the index has pulled back by 20% to 180. For those who believed that home prices could never retreat nationally, this 20% correction is more than enough. In reality, it’s just the down payment.

When real estate prices were expected to rise in perpetuity, the price of a house had two components, one representing shelter and the other investment. The shelter component was the actual utility and desirability of the house and the investment component was the expected future appreciation. My guess is that at the peak of the real estate mania, a $500,000 house might have been comprised of $250,000 for the shelter component and $250,000 for the investment component.

In effect, the appreciation potential, and the ability of the homeowner to tap into it though refinancing and home equity loans, offset the real costs of home ownership, such as mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. So the main reason a buyer would commit to a mortgage that would soak up 50% of his disposable income was that he expected to recover most of that outlay through future appreciation. Absent the expectation of that windfall, buyers would not have been willing to pay such staggering prices for houses or commit to burdensome mortgage payments.

Lenders were caught in the same delusion. Since they too believed prices could only rise, lending standards were thrown out the window. If the collateral (the house) were to always rise in value, what difference would it make if the buyer made the payments? In effect, instead of relying on the borrower’s ability to pay to mitigate its risk, lenders merely relied on the house’s ability to appreciate.

However, now that real estate prices are falling, lenders are beginning to rely solely on the borrower’s ability to pay. As this trend continues, lending standards will tighten and mortgages will be brought back into line with the incomes of borrowers. In addition, down payments will be larger to reflect the greater likelihood of losses should loans end up in foreclosure. When prices were rising the foreclosure risk was negligible. However, now that foreclosures are soaring and recovery rates are less than 50 cents on the dollar, those risks are enormous.

So with falling real estate prices, mortgages are much less appealing to both borrowers and lenders. The only solution is for home prices to fall to where they are cheap enough for buyers to afford the mortgage payments (both interest and principal) without relying on appreciation, teaser rates, or negative amortization, and save enough for a down payment that would protect a lender in the event of default. In addition, the collapse of the mortgage securitization market means houses must be cheap enough for our limited pool of domestic savings to supply the funding, as we will likely lose access to much of the foreign funding that fueled the bubble.

Of course we need to be honest about the winners and losers of this credit crunch. Just because mortgage money becomes scarce and lending standards tighten does not mean people will not be able to buy houses --it simply means they will pay a lot less for them and that fewer new houses will be built. Therefore it is sellers, builders and those holding or insuring existing mortgages who lose, while buyers win big. That is because despite higher interest rates and larger down payments, they end up borrowing a lot less money. In the end they will become true homeowners rather than indentured servants. If home ownership is truly is the American dream that so many realtors profess, then the ongoing collapse in home prices will be a dream come true.

For a more in depth analysis of our financial problems and the inherent dangers they pose for the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar denominated investments, read my new book “Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.” Click here to order a copy today.

By Peter Schiff
Euro Pacific Capital
http://www.europac.net/

More importantly make sure to protect your wealth and preserve your purchasing power before it's too late. Discover the best way to buy gold at www.goldyoucanfold.com , download my free research report on the powerful case for investing in foreign equities available at www.researchreportone.com , and subscribe to my free, on-line investment newsletter at http://www.europac.net/newsletter/newsletter.asp

Peter Schiff Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules