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Tag Archives: Housing

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My Mercatus Center colleague Adam Thierer rightly lambastes absurd restrictions on commerce in liquor – and celebrates the entrepreneurship that evades these restrictions. A slice: When governments pass laws that defy common sense, people often find ways to work around them. That is a major theme explored in my latest book, Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance: How Innovation Improves Economies and Governments. America’s crazy quilt of liquor laws, many of which are...

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Mortgage Delinquencies Soar

Last week we reported on a looming wave of evictions on the horizon as the economic consequences of the coronavirus-induced government economic shutdowns begin to rear their ugly heads. Now for more gloomy news, there are also signs of trouble in the mortgage markets.Mortgage delinquencies soared at a record pace in April. And that was toward the beginning of the pandemic’s economic impact.According to property data and analytics company CoreLogic, the share of all mortgages that were past...

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Some Links

Bruce Yandle is correct: no “stimulus” will stimulate to the extent that the economy remains in lockdown. Speaking of Bruce Yandle, a new collection of original papers, all written in the Yandle tradition, has just been published by Mercatus. This collection is edited by Roger Meiners and me. (Roger and I are especially grateful to Stefanie Haeffele for her expert help in making this project a reality.) My Mercatus Center colleagues Dan Griswold and Jack Salmon explains that “Trump’s new...

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No, Homes Did Not Sell Like Hotcakes: “Pending Home Sales” Plunged 34% in April, a Preview of “Closed Sales” in May

The housing market faces ferocious headwinds. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Pending sales of existing homes of all types in April – contracts on houses, condos, etc., that were signed in April but that haven’t closed yet – collapsed by 33.8% from April last year, after having plunged 16.3% year-over-year in March, with the index plunging to 69, according to the National Association of Realtors today. An index value of 100 represents the pending sales level of January 2001. Pending...

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Despite Record-Low Mortgage Rates, New House Prices Drop to Lowest April since 2015, Sales to Lowest April since 2017

More than plenty of supply: 6.3 Months’ unsold inventory of speculative houses. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Sales of new single-family houses in April dropped 6.2% from a year ago, after having dropped 11.6% in March, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000 houses, down nearly 20% from the peak in January: This decline in sales has occurred despite record low mortgage rates in April, with the average 30-year fixed rate dropping to 3.23% in the week ended April 30, the...

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Catastrophic Plunge in Jobs & Labor Force in Los Angeles, San Francisco/Silicon Valley Smacks into Housing Bubbles

Holy cow, Los Angeles. The economy is gradually opening up. But the exodus has started hard and heavy. And the influx has stopped. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. A little anecdotal thingy before we get into the horrifying data: I was on a call with a guy from Google – they want my WOLF STREET media mogul empire to spend money advertising on Google. He was working from home, and since he no longer has to go to Google’s office in Redwood City, he moved home to his parents in St. Louis,...

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Median Home Price Does Classic Head-Fake as Home Sales Plunge and Condo Sales Collapse

Turmoil in the housing market and its impact on the “median price.” By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Across the US, despite record low mortgage rates, sales of “existing homes” – closed transactions of previously owned single-family houses, townhouses, condos, and co-ops – plunged 17.8% in April from March, after having already plunged 8.5% in March from February, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million homes, last seen in September 2011 (also 4.33 million). The last time...

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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Systemic trouble”

In my June 3rd, 2009, column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I – influenced in part by Thomas Sowell – blamed much of the Great Recession that started in 2008 on imprudent government interventions into the economy. You can read  You can read my column beneath the fold. Systemic trouble Every day, some businesses fail. Every day, some households discover they are too deeply in debt. Every day, some workers make mistakes. Every day, some other workers lose their jobs. Every day, some...

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“Pent-up Supply” is Building up in the Housing Market: Example of San Francisco Bay Area’s North Bay

“The next big shoe to drop will be when appraisers call a declining market in early August.” By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The Virus has thrown the housing market into turmoil. Housing moves slowly. It took the last housing bust four years to play out. But the underlying dynamics can change quickly. So here are some of the underlying dynamics from the four counties that form the North Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area: Marin (just north of the Golden Gate Bridge), Sonoma and Napa...

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Mortgage Forbearance Balloons, Home Sales Plunge

In addition to logistical difficulties of selling a home in the era of social distancing, there is the explosion of a historic unemployment crisis. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. By the end of April, there will be 4.2 million mortgages in forbearance, or 7.6% of all mortgages, the American Enterprise Institute estimated in a note, based on forbearance data through April 19 released by the Mortgage Bankers Association yesterday. These homeowners whose mortgages are in forbearance will...

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