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Friday, April 11, 2008

Housing/Subprime Roundup — April 11, 2008

Items of Interest:

MSNBC:
Senate passes bill to ease housing crisis -- The Senate on Thursday passed a bipartisan package of tax breaks and other steps designed to help businesses and homeowners weather the housing crisis...

Housing Wire:
Senate Passes Housing Bill, But Support Seen as Problematic
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Minyanville:
Sin City Slowdown -- Betting on Vegas real estate? You might want to reconsider.

The slowing economy and credit crisis has jeopardized a number of casino projects in Las Vegas, according to Reuters. Among the many casinos facing difficulty are The Cosmopolitan and Boyd's Echelon, a $4.8 billion project unable to secure over $950 million necessary for part of its construction. Existing casino operators like Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) are readying for a recession...
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Bespoke Investment Group:
A Tale of Two Coasts -- The CME has housing futures that track the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices. These futures allow big investors to trade or hedge against real estate prices nationwide. Since last September, the Composite 10-City futures contract that expires in February 2009 has fallen 12.56%, meaning investors have gotten more bearish on the outlook for real estate prices early next year.

There is a big discrepancy between the outlook for Los Angeles and New York, however. As shown, the February '09 contract for median home prices in Los Angeles has fallen nearly 28% over the last seven months, while the contract for New York has barely budged...
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Mark B. Rasmussen / Financial Sense Univ.
The American Dream? -- Home ownership has long been considered “The AMERICAN DREAM” and with the recent paradigms of the “WEALTH AFFECT” and the “OWNERSHIP SOCIATY”……..(Really fraud and myths I have written about earlier on this site)…..See “Debunked Myths of 2007”.

It is estimated that 8 - 10 Million Americans owe more than their home is worth today, as the rate of housing price decline accelerates and the economy slows…(actually early recession). According to Paul Kasriel and Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust, APX. 43% Of jobs created during the “Boom” were Real Estate related (Financial professionals of all stripes and huge numbers, realtors, appraisers, self employed contractors, appliance/ carpet/ window/ door/ concrete/ frame/ roofing manufacturers, sales people and installers, architects, landscape architects etc, etc.) What many of these people have in common is that they were self employed and independent contractors (Do not show up in unemployment data). Due to the job mix of the “Boom”, real unemployment is most likely understated by a record amount. Now that the housing market is declining the most since “The Great Depression”, one must wonder what is to become of all those housing related jobs. Perhaps it is not a good idea to have such an extremely unbalanced and single source economy…… (think Detroit and autos). Time will tell. Is there another bubble to replace all those jobs, income and wealth? ...
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India eNews:
Global realty investment expected to be down by 30 percent -- The global real estate investment market volumes for 2008 are expected to be down by over 30 percent as compared to 2007, a leading real estate consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle, has said in its latest report Thursday.

The Global Real Estate Capital Flow report suggests that the American and European investment markets will see a material decline in full year volumes and, although Asia may be more resilient, volumes will not achieve the heights of 2007...
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zero hedge

Calculated Risk

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

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