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Friday, March 28, 2008

Housing/Subprime Roundup — March 28, 2008

Items of Interest:

Wall Street Journal:
Subprime Politics -- Donations From Industry Workers Become a Liability

Barack Obama was still plowing through his economic speech Thursday in New York when Hillary Clinton's campaign sent an email to reporters, accusing her rival of taking more campaign cash from the main players in the subprime-mortgage industry than the other two presidential candidates.

However, several measures suggest Sen. Clinton received more from major subprime companies than Sen. Obama and probable Republican nominee John McCain...

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Wall Street Journal:
Buyers' Revenge: Trash the House After Foreclosure -- Eddy Buompensiero noticed eight pairs of shoes outside the door of the modest house on Mother of Pearl Street, evidence that the former owners were still living there even though the bank had foreclosed.

Mr. Buompensiero, a gray-bearded inspector for REO Asset Services-1st Realty Group, rang the bell. When no one answered, he taped a letter to the door offering the occupants $1,000 to move out. The catch: They won't get a cent if they trash the house before they leave...
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Rasmussen Reports, a polling firm:
Only 29 Percent of Americans Approve of a Government-Led Mortgage Bailout

And 61 Percent of Americans Disapprove of a Government-Led Bailouts of Banks

Rasmussen Reports has conducted several polls that center on the mortgage crisis. Between March 19 and March 20, they surveyed 1,000 adults to see how many Americans think homeowners and banks should be helped out by the federal government. Here's what they found...
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Seeking Alpha:
Upside to Falling Prices: Housing Affordabilty Index Reaches 4-Year High -- The chart above shows the National Association of Realtors' Housing Affordability Index [HAI] from 2005 to Feburary 2008 (annual averages for 2005 and 2006, monthly in 2007 and 2008), based on the national median-priced home, median family income, and the 30-year fixed mortgage rate.

The HAI has gone from 103.6 in July 2007 to 135.6 in February 2008. A composite HAI of 135.6 means that a family earning the median family income ($59,967) in February had 135.6% of the income necessary to qualify for a conventional loan (at 5.94%) covering 80% of a median-priced existing single-family home in February ($193,900). This increase of more than 31.6 points in the HAI in just seven months, from both falling home prices and falling mortgage rates, is already starting to have a positive effect on the housing market
related:
The National Association of Realtors': Composite housing affordability index
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CNNMoney:
Welcome to subprime's ghost town -- A year ago Irvine, Calif., was still riding high on the subprime boom; then almost overnight the industry and more than 4,000 good paying jobs vanished...
From Fat City To Crisis Mode In California - Housing Bubble blog
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Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia