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Friday, June 20, 2008

Housing/Subprime/Credit Roundup — June 20, 2008

Items of Interest:

Diana Olick / CNBC Realty Check blog
A Plus Side To The Housing Market After All
-- I like to think I know everything about home prices, but I learned a few things from Prof. Chip Case at a conference yesterday (one of the men behind the Case-Shiller Home Price Index). Case is this fascinating guy whose brain is so swimming with numbers that you can almost see them crawling across his forehead.

Prof. Case showed me a chart of home prices for the top twenty markets in the country---all the numbers I’m used to reporting, but one column I hadn’t seen. The first column was percentage price drops from the peak in 2005-6, the –28 in Las Vegas, the –26 in San Diego, the –25 in Miami.

But the new column was percentage price increases from March of 2000 to March of 2008. Every single market was in the positive, except Detroit, which has its own, non-housing bubble issues. Miami prices are still up 109 percent from 2000. Los Angeles home prices are still up 107 percent from 2000...

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CBS4Denver.com:
Colorado Among Worst For Mortgage Fraud -- The Denver District Attorney's Office receives a new report of mortgage fraud everyday, making Colorado one of the top ten worst states hit by these types of scams, according to the U.S. Justice Department...
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Six Quotes from Fannie Mae on the Mortgage Industry --
  1. Upheavals in the market create opportunities across business lines.
  2. Recent capital injection frees FNM to seize opportunities
  3. Time will heal all wounds
  4. Four Steps to kick-start recovery
  5. OFHEO Eases Up the Pressure
  6. Still (primarily) a Traditional Portfolio
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Housing Wire:
Bipartisan Support for Housing Bill Still Strong in Senate, Despite Growing Discontent -- A wide-ranging housing and foreclosure assistance package now making its way through the Senate floor has surprisingly resilient support, as sources told Housing Wire Friday that despite growing questions over Congressional ties to special mortgages offered by Countrywide Financial Corp. (CFC: 4.73, -2.07%) and the threat of a Presidential veto, the package remains broadly supported by most Republicans and Democrats....
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Courant.com [Conn.]:
Sen. Dodd's Negligence -- Call it Sen. Christopher J. Dodd's sin of omission.

The senator and his wife, Jackie, got a very good deal when they refinanced their East Haddam and Washington, D.C., homes through Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2003. Actually, it was an extraordinarily good deal.

Conde Nast Portfolio magazine reports that the Dodds received a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage on their Washington townhouse of $506,000 at 4.25 percent and a $275,000, 10-year adjustable-rate loan on their East Haddam home at 4.5 percent...
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Forbes:
Smart Ways To Profit From Foreclosures -- With 700,000 bank-owned homes on the market, and another one million in some state of foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., provider of foreclosure listings, you might be tempted to add a distressed property to your portfolio.

Beware. Buying a home in foreclosure is not for the meek. Those with an appetite for risk, however, will find the tumultuous market stocked with plenty of investment opportunities.

These may include the sale of brand new luxury homes in an upscale Nashville community for half their marked value or a bank giving away a foreclosed property in a poor Detroit neighborhood for back maintenance...
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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