Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Thoughts on the "Doomed" Housing Market: Listen When "Dr. Doom" Speaks

According to this CNBC article, US Economy Facing 'Death by a Thousand Cuts': Roubini, Nouriel Roubini says "more banks will fail and residential real estate prices have more room to decline."  According to Roubini, the economy faces a real threat of a "double dip" recession due to the severely damaged financial system and a lack of consumer spending.  Roubini says "the securitization market is all but dead, the credit markets are still frozen and consumers will continue to save more rather than spend and boost growth."  He predicts that by the time this financial and economic crisis is all over the following will happen:
  • More than 1,000 financial institutions could fail.
  • Housing prices will likely to fall another 12 percent in the next year making the total decline approximately 40 percent since the market began its steep decline. This will result in nearly one half of all homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their houses are worth.
Regarding housing construction, Roubini states "The gap between supply and demand is so huge we could stop producing new homes for a year to get rid of all the inventory  This price adjustment, in my opinion, is going to continue for another year."

Regarding commercial real estate, he warns that regulators are repeating some of the same mistakes made during the financial crisis. He states "Allowing forbearance in the deeply troubled sector will mask underlying problems that will come back and bite the economy".

While I do have a BA degree with a major in Economics from an Ivy League University, I am not a professor or professional economist.  However, I have been saying much of the same for months now.  That is that housing prices are still too high and there is still too much new construction.  We do not need new construction reduced to such and such levels - we need all new spec construction to come to a halt for at least a year.  Of course, that will not happen.  Instead new homes will be built, housing will continue to decline, more short sales and foreclosures will occur and more bailouts will be doled out to foolish banks and lenders.  It's an endless cycle of disaster.

With respect to the Middle Tennessee real estate market:
  • Rutherford County Tennessee: Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN and La Vergne TN (LaVergne TN)
  • Williamson County Tennessee: Brentwood TN and Franklin TN
  • Davidson County Tennessee: Nashville TN and Belle Meade TN
I have been saying since I moved here in September 2008 that the Middle Tennessee housing and commercial real estate market is significantly over built and that housing prices are still too high.  Since the peak of the real estate market in Middle Tennessee occurred in late 2007/early 2008 (i.e. 2 years later than most places) the market here will decline for a few more years.  Also, a large portion of the homes sold with 95-100% subprime and FHA financing which have high default rates so short sales and foreclosures will be high in Middle Tennessee.  Therefore, I predict that the Middle Tennessee real estate market will do worse than the US average over the next few years.