Thursday, April 23, 2009

Government Meddling and Banks' Incompetence Will Cause More Home Price Declines

According to this RISMEDIA article, Are Banks Withholding Foreclosed Homes to Prop Sales?, banks are only marketing 30%-50% of the foreclosed homes they have on their books.  The article cites the possible reasons for this including government intervention in the form of foreclosure moratoria, banks' hopes that the government will offer them more than the foreclosed homes are worth and banks' unwillingness to take the losses now.  Unfortunately, I predict that the result of all of this is ultimately going to be a flood of these foreclosed homes coming on the market all at once whent eh pressure finally builds up to a peak, or a continued foreclosure problem for years to come as these homes keep coming onto the market even after the foreclosure problem has subsided.  The fact is you cannot escape reality forever.

Prices Still Need to Decline to Make Homes Affordable Again

According to this article, How Low Will Real Estate Go?, home prices need to decline substantially in or der to bring them in line with median incomes, especially given the rising unemployment and increasing foreclosures environment.  Predictably, the article lists the top 10 (or worst 10) markets as being in Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada.  However, even outside these devastated markets other markets in the US will still decline with may seeing double digit declines.  This will result in more homeowners being underwater (i.e. negative equity), which has been shown to increase foreclosures, which in turn increase the rate of home price decline thus creating a nasty cycle of home price declines.  This will continue to get worse for the next 1-2 years.