"The Charles Goyette Show"
INTERVIEW: MISH MASH: The state of the economy...
Fri Aug 4, 2006 14:41


8/4/06 "The Charles Goyette Show" 6 - 9 AM KFNX 1100 AM RADIO
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis
The state of the economy... borrow short lind long...!!!
The houseing bubble has bust!!!

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Thoughts on the great inflation/deflation/stagflation debate as well as discussions on commodities, currencies, interest rates, and policy decisions that affect the global markets.

Is Housing Bottoming Out?
The question (and answer) of the day comes from Mike Morgan at MorganFlorida. Morgan asks himself Is Housing Bottoming Out?

Here is Morgan's answer:

Some might be thinking that the housing market has bottomed out based on today’s mortgage apps. We’re at a 4 year low for mortgage applications. Is this the bottom?

Not a chance. No way. No how. Well, maybe in a sweet dream. But realistically this is just the start of the decline in the numbers that will reported for the next 6-8 months (at least). I am in the field everyday with buyers, sellers, flippers, homeowners, builders, the subs that are out of work, and the mortgage brokers and title companies that are slow as molasses. I see it. I hear it. I live it, and now I am sweating it. We are in more trouble than I thought a month or two ago.

For those of you that have not been on a tour of the real estate market with me, now is the time. In the past 3 weeks things have started to crumble on the outside, meaning builders are publicly making deals and “accepting offers”. Since when do home builders wheel and deal like used car salesmen?

Private sellers are becoming desperate and slashing prices, as well as accepting low ball offers. Flippers are dead. These people have mortgage their primary residences to buy flip houses that are now driving them to bankruptcy.

Things can only worsen as more inventory comes on line and more flippers walk from contracts AND homes they bought and cannot afford to continue to carry. Builders and flippers are in a horrific dogfight over prices. Some builders are giving homes away just to get them off the books. How about a $490,000 home sold at $315,000. The contract read $490,000 top line, but within the contract are "builder’s incentives" of $275,000. Not sure how they get away with this, but they do.

And for those of you that don’t realize sales for all Florida builders are off 50-100%, I will kindly nudge you gently to wake you up.


Thanks to Mike Morgan for his interpretation of today's numbers.
There are those that think a pause will fix this problem.
I do not think so and neither does Morgan.
It's time for a game. Mish says "Let's play 10 questions".

Ten Questions for Optimists:

1. How will a pause help flippers stuck in "Soft Market Debris" that they can not sell? Where is pent up demand?
2. How will a pause help homebuilders who can not sell current inventory let alone the stuff they keep building?
3. How will a pause help lenders who keep throwing money down this sinkhole?
4. What would a rate cut of even a full point do? Would rate cuts necessarily drive down mortgage rates when bankruptcies and foreclosures are soaring?
5. Will a pause or even a series of cuts change consumer psychology? If so why?
6. Even if prices stabilize where is job growth going to come from?
7. Where is wage growth going to come from?
8. What are real estate agents going to do if prices level off but sales do not pick up?
9. What is everyone going to do with all those second homes they do not need?
10. What will REOs do to prices when lenders dump them on the market?

I have a bonus question: How prepared is the housing industry for the "Big R" that is about ready to hit? I am of course referring to a recession. It is coming. For many real estate agents it is right here right now (and it might last for years).


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