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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Housing/Subprime/Credit Roundup — May 13, 2008

Items of Interest:

CNN Money:
Home prices continue sharp descent -- Steep drops in West. Heartland prices stabilize. Bottom line: 7.7% decline in first quarter.

Single-family home prices dropped 7.7% in the first quarter in the largest year-over-year decline since the National Association of Realtors began reporting prices in 1982.

The median sales price fell to $196,300, down 4.8% compared with the last three months of 2007...

In February, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the government sponsored enterprises that guarantee a market for conforming loans, have raised the $417,000 cap to include mortgages of up to $729,750, but lenders were still charging much higher rates for these "conforming jumbos," between 1% and 1.5% more than ordinary conforming loans. The higher rates are discouraging sales in higher price ranges and so skewed NAR's median price results...

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Stackable Modular Housing Units Built from Used SUVsKevin Depew / Minyanville:
Five Things You Need to Know: Themes Converge Into Possible Housing Solution -- There are several themes at play in today's Five Things that we believe could potentially converge into a singular, overarching housing solution: Foreclosures and Economic Hardship, High Gasoline Prices, Diminishing SUV Demand, Self-Storage Units, Shipping Container Shortages, Emergency Modular Housing Units.

The answer? Stackable Modular Housing Units Built from Used SUV's. I believe that one day in the not-so-distant future, the unwanted steel carcasses of four-wheel drive sport utility vehicles will be converted into stackable, modular low-income housing units. Think about it. They have nice seats, power windows, built in radio/cd players. Some things just make too much sense.
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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