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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Housing/Subprime/Credit Roundup — June 2, 2008

Items of Interest:

Wall Street Journal:
Construction Crisis May Be Building -- While Wachovia Corp.'s residential-mortgage woes have gotten most of the blame for the ouster of Chief Executive G. Kennedy Thompson, another real-estate specter looms.

Wachovia has been the country's second-largest maker of construction loans after Bank of America Corp., with $23.9 billion of debt outstanding to developers of single-family homes, condominiums, office buildings, stores and other commercial projects at the end of the first quarter, according to Foresight Analytics, a research company based in Oakland, Calif.

At the end of the first quarter, its delinquencies -- which stood at 7.7% -- were already above the industry average of 7.2%, Foresight said....

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MSNBC:
Foreclosure capital Stockton has odd market -- In some areas of California, so many foreclosed homes are available to buy on the cheap that real estate agents are discouraging prospective sellers from even putting their houses on the market...
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Housing Wire:
Real Price Declines Swamping Nominal Home Price Trends: First American -- That inflation monster investors are worried about? It may prove to have a strong bite on housing just yet, according to data released Monday morning by First American CoreLogic. A look at data spanning 957 core-based statistical areas nationwide, part of the Loan Performance Housing Price Index series, found that an overwhelming number of metropolitan areas are feeling inflation’s growing pinch...
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Joe Mysak / Bloomberg:
Subprime Finds New Victim as Muni Defaults Triple -- The amount of municipal bonds that have defaulted this year is already more than triple what it was for all of 2007.

And who could doubt there's more bad news on the way?

So far this year, $736 million in municipal bonds have defaulted. That doesn't necessarily mean they didn't pay investors; they may have just drawn down reserves. That's what happens just before they stop making payments to bondholders.

During all of 2007, only $226 million in municipal bonds defaulted...
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