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Lilac Rollbac ** Update 2 **

Dec 9th, 2007 by IrvineRenter 

This property is still on the market, and they are still chasing the market down. The price now stands at $559,900. The losses now exceed $120,000...

First Update September 3, 2007

Originally published July 13, 2007.

The price has been reduced to $599,900. Assuming this seller gets their asking price, they stand to lose $86,094 after a 6% commission.

Today's property is nothing unusual or unique, and that is what makes it so special. It is extraordinary in its ordinariness. This is a nice, Irvine property typical of many nice, Irvine properties, and it is selling for a loss. Do you get the sense this is becoming the rule rather than the exception?

Asking Price: $624,900

Purchase Price: $650,000

Purchase Date: 6/23/2005

Address: 8 Lilac, Irvine, CA 92618

Beds: 3
Baths: 2.75
Sq. Ft.: 1,525
$/Sq. Ft.: $410
Lot Size: -
Year Built: 2000
Stories: 2
Type: Condominium
View: Park or Green Belt, Peek-A-Boo
County: Orange
Neighborhood: Oak Creek
MLS#: S493537
Status: Active
On Redfin: 20 days

From Redfin, "Beautiful Oak Creek Townhome! New Plush Carpet! Popular Floorplan Features Gourmet Kitchen/Center Island! Dual Master Suites plus Mainfloor Bdrm/Den/Office w/ Bath! Quality Custom Upgrades inc/ Granite Counters/Maple Cabinets/20'' Neutral Floor Tiles/Recessed Lighting/Plantation Shutters/Designer Paint/Media Entertainment Center/Etc! Convenient Indoor Laundry Room! Spacious Patio Backs to Greenbelt! Oversized Garage w/ Cabinets! Fabulous Resort-Style Recreation Complex! Award-Winning Schools!"

Did you see the realtor got excited about a "Bath!" What is the deal with all the slashes and Title Case? I can't decide which is more annoying: Title Case or ALL CAPS? What/Do/You/Think?

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Assuming this seller gets their asking price, they stand to lose $62,594 after a 6% commission.

I can remember earlier this year when I first started blogging, it was hard to find a house with a loss. You could demonstrate a loss when you factor in commissions, and that is still a real loss, but it doesn't have the same emotional impact as when you see a true equity crushing loser. Now finding real losses are like seeing implants at Fashion Island Mall: there is no novelty because they are so common.

I hope you have enjoyed Oak Creek week here at the Irvine Housing Blog. On Monday, I have a new analysis post ready -- Land Value 101, and there are a number of rollbacks to show you.

All of this excites me. It's the weekend, so let's GET THE PARTY STARTED

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Get this party started on a Saturday night
Everybody’s waiting for me to arrive
Sending out the message to all of my friends
We’ll be looking flashy in my Mercedes Benz

GET THE PARTY STARTED by: Pink


Posted in Price Rollback

Balance

Dec 8th, 2007 by IrvineRenter 

I hear the bells
Saying Christmas is near
They ring out to tell the world
That this is the season of cheer

I hear a choir
Singing sweetly somewhere
And a glow fills my heart
I'm at peace with the world
As the sound of their singing fills the air

Oh why can't every day be like Christmas
Why can't that feeling go on endlessly
For if everyday could be just like Christmas
What a wonderful world this would be

I hear a child
Telling Santa what to bring
And the smile upon his tiny face
Is worth more to me than anything

If Every Day Was Like Christmas -- Elvis Presley
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In many ways blogs are uniquely personal things. The personalities of the contributors and commenters shapes the conversation and gives the blog a personality all its own. The Irvine Housing Blog is a community -- a community of like-minded individuals (and recovering kool-aid addicts) who have come together to make sense of the very unusual events we have witnessed in our housing market.

There are a number of great housing and real estate blogs. Calculated Risk is one of the finest, and the discussions over there are very cerebral. Quite honestly both Calculated Risk and Tanta are more intelligent and more experienced than yours truly. I go to their blog frequently to keep up on the evolving nature of the intellectual discussion of the issues surrounding housing. However, residential real estate is an emotional issue as well. A heady discussion of real estate matters is a useful part of the discourse, but the emotional aspect is equally important. This bubble we are living through was not created by logic or fundamentals: it was a perfect example of irrational exuberance.

Discussing and expressing the emotional side of the bubble is part of my mission as a blogger. I know I am not the only one with a Reservoir of Schadenfreude. I must confess that I enjoy going over to Housing Panic and reading the unbridled emotional release you find there. I couldn't maintain the level of intensity Keith does and stay sane, but there are times when letting loose is appropriate, and Housing Panic is a place to do it.

Some people come to this blog for the analysis; some come for the schadenfreude. We welcome both groups. Some would like this blog to limit itself to analysis, and some would like nothing more than daily doses of schadenfreude. When I write for the blog, I want to express myself fully. I do not want to ignore my emotions nor do I want to discard my intellect. More of one side or the other may come out during any given day, but over the course of time, I hope I achieve a balance in my posts just as I hope to achieve a balance in my life.

Life is about balance; it is about being aware of your intellectual and emotional intelligences and being able to manage both. During a financial mania people allow their emotions to override their intellect, and the results are not pretty. It is only through the interplay of the intellect and the emotions that we can gain a deeper understanding of what really happened in the Great Housing Bubble.

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Elvis’s White Christmas

Dec 7th, 2007 by IrvineRenter 

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

White Christmas -- Elvis Presley
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Asking Price: $600,000

Income Requirement: $120,000

Downpayment Needed: $150,000

Purchase Price: $700,000

Purchase Date: 3/7/2006

Address: 6 Silvermaple, Irvine, CA 92618

First Mortgage $560,000
Downpayment $140,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,600
$/Sq. Ft.: $375
Lot Size: -
Type: Condominium
Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 2000
Stories: Three or More Levels
Area: Oak Creek
County: Orange
MLS#: L23942
Status: Active
On Redfin: 121 days
Unsold in 90+ days

From Redfin, "A stunning, detached home on a culdesac in the gated Oak Creek Community of Irvine. Three generous bedrooms with 3 full baths. Elegant upgrades including designer floors, custom paint, crown molding and custom window treatments. Large, sparkling kitchen with center island and sit-up bar. Great Room style floorplan with separate living room, family room, full-size dining area and dining alcove. First floor bedroom and bath. Lushly landscaped yard with beautiful slate accents."

This description is well written. I particularly like the adjectives: stunning, generous, elegant, sparkling, lushly, beautiful...

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It is sellers like these who make me rather sad. They did what you are supposed to do; they put 20% down and got a conventional mortgage. They obviously customized the home, so I don't think they were flippers. Whatever life circumstances have caused them to need to sell, the volatility of house prices in Irvine is going to wipe them out. I know people believe real estate only goes up, but the fact is that it sometimes goes down. A stable market with boring 4% appreciation is better than the roller coaster ride we are on here in Irvine. Perhaps it is a good time to review Houses Should Not Be a Commodity.

For the record, if they get their asking price and pay a 6% commission, they stand to lose $136,000 of their $140,000 downpayment. There is probably a reason this price hasn't dropped further despite being on the market for 121 days. Do you suspect this price is as low as they can go?

For a little fun, what does this photo tell you about the occupant...


Posted in Price Rollback

Elvis’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Dec 6th, 2007 by IrvineRenter 

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents 'neath the tree

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
And you'll be in my dreams

I'll be home this Christmas, darling
I'll be coming home to you
And there's nothing in the world
Gonna get in my way

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow
And mistletoe
And presents 'neath the tree

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
And you'll be in my dreams
I'll be home for Christmas
Till then you'll be in my dreams

I'll Be Home For Christmas -- Elvis Presley
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Asking Price: $649,000

Income Requirement: $129,800

Downpayment Needed: $162,250

Purchase Price: $651,500

Purchase Date: 12/3/2004

Address: 56 Autumn, Irvine, CA 92602

Refi First Mortgage $695,400

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,858
$/Sq. Ft.: $349
Lot Size: -
Type: Condominium
Style: Traditional
Year Built: 2001
Stories: Two Levels
Area: West Irvine
County: Orange
MLS#: S494939
Status: Active
On Redfin: 158 days
Unsold in 90+ days

From Redfin, "Priced under Market! Beautiful home in Summerplace, West Irvine. Patio at entrance with French doors to kitchen. Dark hardwood flooring, granite kitchen counters, big center island, mocha cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Formal dinning room, fire place in living room, custom window blinds. Full bath downstairs near garage entrance. Computer niche upstairs. Separate laundry room. Master bedroom with large bathroom and walk in closet. Close to gated association pool."

Priced under Market! That is such BS. How can something be priced under market for 158 days? It is clearly priced over market, or it would have sold by now.

They forgot to say it is empty and burning a hole in someone's pocket.

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In the spirit of yesterday's post, this seller has already taken their profits from the deal when they refinanced early this year and brought their mortgage up to $43,900 over their purchase price. Do you think they will give this money back when the short sale happens? I am not holding my breath.

The stupidity of lenders is breathtaking. How can you do these large, cash-out refinance loans and not expect to lose money? I suppose this is now a recourse loan, so they have the ability to go after other assets, but that is assuming this seller has any -- or at least some the bank can find. Cash in a mattress is hard to find, you know.

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BTW, for those of you who do not think prices on homes in nice neighborhoods can decline 40%, I invite you to check out this property in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista I found on Piggington.


Posted in Price Rollback

Santa Claus is Back in Town

Dec 5th, 2007 by IrvineRenter 

Well, its christmas time pretty baby
And the snow is falling on the ground
Well, its christmas time pretty baby
And the snow is falling down
Well you be a real good little girl
Santa claus is back in town
Got no sleigh with reindeer
No sack on my back
Youre gonna see me comin in a big black caddilac
Oh, its christmas time pretty baby
And the snow is falling on the ground
Well you be a real good little baby
Santa claus is back in town

Hang up your pretty stockings
And turn off the light
Santa claus is comin down your chimney tonight
Oh, its christmas time pretty baby
And the snow is falling on the ground
Well you be a real good little baby
Santa claus is back in town

Santa Claus is Back in Town -- Elvis Presley
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It did not occur to me until writing this post that people can sell their houses to the bank for a profit by simply convincing the bank to make them a loan. Nice idea. I am surprised more people are not doing it.

Asking Price: $1,199,900

Income Requirement: $299,975

Downpayment Needed: $239,980

Purchase Price: $1,050,000

Purchase Date: 11/15/2004

Address: 6 Malibu, Irvine, CA 92602

First Mortgage $1,050,000
Downpayment $0
HELOC $500,000

Beds: 5
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 3,030
$/Sq. Ft.: $396
Lot Size: -
Type: Single Family Residence
Style: French
Year Built: 2000
Stories: Two Levels
Area: Northpark
County: Orange
MLS#: S485174
Status: Active
On Redfin: 221 days
Unsold in 90+ days

From Redfin, "STUNNING. .SHOWS BETTER THEN THE MODEL. .FULL 5 BEDS-COULD BE 6 W/ HUGE UPSTAIRS BONUS/OFFICE) GOURMET KITCHEN W/ BLACK GRANITE, CHERRY CABINETS W/ GLASS DISPLAY, 6 BURNER MONO STOVE. .FML LIVING W/ FIREPLACE (USED AS DINING RM)SEP. FML DINING RM. .DESIGNER PAINTS, CROWN MOLDING, WAINSCOTTING FANS, WINDOW CASINGS, CHAIR RAILS. .FP IN LIVING, FAMILY & MASTER. .HUGE ROMANTIC MASTER SUITE W/ FP. .FABULOUS LG FAMILY RM. W/ ENTERTAINMENT CENTER & FP. .EX LG PROF. LAND/HARDSCAPED PRIVATE YARD. .CUL DE SAC. . GUARD GATED. .

Between the CAPS LOCK and the abbreviations (& FP. .EX LG PROF. ), this description is practically unreadable.

"SHOWS BETTER THEN THE MODEL." This kind of BS is annoying.

GOURMET KITCHEN -- You did notice our new award, right? Thanks Shhhhh.

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At 221 days on the market, this house is obviously overpriced, but that isn't the story here. These people have already sold the house to Bank of America and made a $500,000 profit -- sort of. Bank of America issued this homeowner a $500K HELOC in July of this year. How did they get an appraisal for $1,550,000 to obtain the HELOC? WTF was Bank of America thinking?

I don't know if this HELOC has been maxed out, but if it isn't, it should be. This house is not going to sell for a profit, and Bank of America has graciously consented to give these people $500,000 for the right to foreclose in a second lien position which will probably be entirely wiped out by the first mortgage during foreclosure. These people have every incentive to take the money, go to Vanuatu (a notorious tax haven,) and hide the cash in a safe deposit box in a bank there. Yes, it is illegal and immoral, but not any more so than the others who have defaulted on their loans. If the banks are really this stupid, they deserve what is coming to them.


Posted in Price Rollback

What is a Bubble?

Dec 3rd, 2007 by IrvineRenter 

I'm dreaming dreams,
I'm scheming schemes, I'm building castles high.
They're born anew, their days are few,
Just like a sweet butterfly.
And as the daylight is dawning,
They come again in the morning!

I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams
They fade and die.
Fortune's always hiding,
I've looked everywhere,
I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.
When shadows creep,
When I'm asleep,
To lands of hope I stray!

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles -- Jaan Kenbrovin

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What is a Bubble?

A financial bubble is a temporary situation where asset prices become elevated beyond any realistic fundamental valuations because the general public believes future price increases justifies current pricing. If this belief is widespread enough to cause significant numbers of people to purchase the asset at inflated prices, then prices will continue to rise. This will convince even more people prices will continue to rise facilitating even more buying. Once begun, this reaction is self-sustaining, and the phenomenon is entirely psychological. Once the pool of buyers is exhausted and the volume of buying declines, prices stop rising, and the belief in future price increases diminishes. When the remaining potential buyers no longer believe in future price increases, the primary motivating factor to purchase is eliminated; Prices fall. The temporary rise and fall of asset prices is the defining characteristic of a bubble.

The bubble mentality is summed up in three typical beliefs:

1. The expectation of future price increases.

2. The belief that prices cannot fall.

3. The worry that failure to buy now will result in permanent inability to obtain the asset.

The Great Housing Bubble was characterized by the acceptance of these beliefs by the general public, and the exploitation of these beliefs by the entire real estate industrial complex, particularly the sales mechanism of the National Association of Realtors.

Robert Shiller, in his book Irrational Exuberance, argues that speculative bubbles are caused by “precipitating factors.” Like a spark ignites a flame, a precipitating factor serves as a catalyst to begin the initial price increases that change the psychology of market participants and activate the beliefs listed above. There is usually no single factor but rather a combination of factors that stimulates prices to begin a speculative mania. The Great Housing Bubble was precipitated by innovation in structured finance and the expansion of the secondary mortgage market, the lowering of lending standards and the growth of subprime lending, and to a lesser degree the lowering of the FED funds rate.

Real Estate Only Goes Up

The mantra of the National Association of Realtors is “real estate only goes up.” This economic fallacy fosters the belief in future price increases and the limited risk of buying real estate. In general real estate prices do increase because salaries across the country do tend to increase with the general level of inflation, and it is through wages that people make payments for real estate assets. When the economy is strong and unemployment is low, prices for residential real estate tend to rise. Therefore, the fundamental valuation of real estate does go up most of the time. However, prices can, and often do, rise faster than the fundamental valuation of real estate, and it is in these instances when there is a price bubble.

Greed is a powerful motivating factor for the purchase of assets. It is a natural response for people to desire to make money by doing nothing more than owning an asset. The only counterbalance to greed is fear. However, if a potential buyer believes the asset cannot decline in value, or if it does, it will only be by a small amount for a very short period of time, there is little fear generated to temper their greed. The belief that real estate only goes up has the effect of activating greed and diminishing fear. It is the perfect mantra for creating a price bubble.

Buy Now or Be Priced Out Forever

When prices rise faster than their wages, people can obtain less real estate with their income. The natural fear under these circumstances is to buy whatever is available before there is nothing desirable available in a particular price range. This fear of being priced out causes even more buying which drives prices higher. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course, the National Association of Realtors, the agents of sellers, is keen to exploit this fear to increase transaction volume and increase their own incomes. If empirical evidence of the recent past is confirming the idea that real estate only goes up, the fear of being priced out forever provides added impetus and urgency to the motivation to buy.

The fallacy in this reasoning is easy to identify: who exactly is pricing out whom? When a housing unit becomes available for sale, it must be purchased by someone. The potential pool of buyers will put in competing bids to obtain the property. Unless very wealthy people start wanting to live in small condominiums, there will always be a housing unit available for someone willing to put in a competitive bid. At some point, the available housing stock gets bid up so high that people choose to rent rather than own. When the quality of units available for rent at a given monthly payment far exceeds the quality of those available for sale at the same monthly payment level, people chose not to bid on the property and chose to rent instead. One sign of a housing bubble is a wide disparity between the quality of rentals and the quality of for-sale houses at a given price point.

Confirming fallacies

There are a number of fallacies also believed by the general public with respect to residential real estate that either affirm the belief in perpetually rising prices or minimize the fears of a price decline. These fallacies generally revolve around a perceived shortage of housing or a belief that the higher prices are justified by current or future economic conditions. These beliefs are not the core mechanism of an asset price bubble, but they serve to affirm the core beliefs and perpetuate the price rally.

They Aren’t Making Any More Land

All market pricing is a function of supply and demand. One of the reasons many house price bubbles get started is due to a temporary shortage of housing units. This is a particular problem in California because the entitlement process is slow and cumbersome. Supply shortages can become acute, and prices can rise very quickly. In most areas of the country, when prices rise, new supply is quickly brought to the market to meet this demand, and price increases are blunted by the rebalancing of supply and demand. Since supply is slow to the market in California, these temporary shortages can create the conditions necessary to facilitate a price bubble.

The fallacy of running-out-of-land plays on this temporary condition to convince market participants that the shortage is permanent. The idea that all land for residential development can be consumed ignores one obvious fact: people don’t live on land, they live in houses, and land can always be redeveloped to increase the number of housing units. If running-out-of-land were actually a cause of a permanent shortage of housing units, Japan and many European countries where there is very little raw land available for development would have housing prices beyond the reach of the entire population. Since this is not the case, it becomes obvious that the amount of land available for development does not create a permanent shortage of dwelling units.

Over the long term, rent, income and house prices must come into balance. If rents and house prices become very high relative to incomes, businesses find it difficult to expand because they cannot attract personnel to the area. In this circumstance one of two things will happen: businesses will be forced to raise wages to attract new hires, or business will stagnate and rents and house prices will decline to match the prevailing wage levels. During the Great Housing Bubble, many businesses in the most inflated markets experienced this phenomenon. The effect is a net outmigration of population to other areas.

Everyone Wants To Live Here

Everyone believes they live in a very desirable location, after all, they choose to live there. People who make this argument fail to understand that the place they live was just as desirable before the bubble when prices were much lower. What is it about their area that made it two or more times as desirable during the bubble? Of course, nothing did, but that doesn’t stop people from making the argument. There is a certain emotional appeal to believing the place you chose to call home is so desirable that people were willing to pay ridiculous prices to live there. The reality is prices went up because people desired to own an asset that was increasing in price. People motivated by increasing prices do not care where they live as long as prices there are going up.

Prices Are Supported By Fundamentals

In every asset bubble people will claim the prices are supported by fundamentals even at the peak of the mania. Stock analysts were issuing buy recommendations on tech stocks in March of 2000 when valuations were so extreme that the semiconductor index fell 85% over the next 3 years, and many tech companies saw their stock drop to zero as they went out of business. Analysts even invented new valuation techniques to justify market prices. One of the most absurd was the “burn rate” valuation method applied to internet stocks. Rather than value a company based on its income, analysts were valuing the company based on how fast it was spending their investor’s money. When losing is winning, something is profoundly wrong with the arguments of fundamental support. The same nonsense becomes apparent in the housing market when one sees rental rates covering less than half the cost of ownership as was common during the peak of the bubble in severely inflated markets. Of course, since housing markets are dominated by amateurs, a robust price analysis is unnecessary. Even a ridiculous analysis, like the ones produced by Gary Watts, if aggressively promoted by the self-serving real estate community provides enough emotional support to prompt the general public into buying. There is no real fundamental analysis done by the average homebuyer because so few understand the fundamental valuation of real property. Even simple concepts like comparative rental rates are ignored by bubble buyers, particularly when prices are rising dramatically and such valuation techniques look out-of-touch with the market.

When rental cashflow models fail, which they do during the rally of a housing bubble, the arguments justifying prices turn to an owner’s ability to make payments. The argument is that everyone is rich, and everyone is making enough money to support current prices. It seems people began believing the contents of their “liar loan” applications during the bubble, or perhaps they counted on the home-equity-line-of-credit spending to come from the inevitable appreciation. Even when confronted with hard data showing the everyone-is-rich argument to be fallacious, people still claim it is true. One of the unique phenomenons of the Great Housing Bubble was the exotic financing which allowed owners the temporary luxury of financing very large sums of money with small payments. There was some truth to the argument that people could afford the payments. Unfortunately, this was completely dependent upon unstable financing terms, and when these terms were eliminated, so were any reasonable arguments about affordability and sustainable fundamental valuations.

It Is Different This Time

Each time the general public creates an asset bubble, they believe the rally in prices is justifiable by fundamentals. When proven methods of valuation demonstrate otherwise, people invent new ones with the caveat, “it is different this time.” It never is. The stock market bubble had its own unique valuation methods as described above. The Great Housing Bubble had proponents of the financial innovation model. Rather than viewing the unstable loan programs of the bubbles with suspicion, most bubble participants eagerly embraced the new financing methods as a long-overdue advance in the lending industry. Of course, it is easy to ignore potential problems when everyone involved is making large amounts of money and the government regulators are encouraging the activity. Alan Greenspan, FED chairman during the bubble, endorsed the use of adjustable rate mortgages in certain circumstances, and official public policy under the last several presidential administrations was the expansion of home ownership. When everyone involved is saying things are different and when the activity is profitable to everyone involved, it is not surprising events got out of control.

Who Cares?

Why should anyone care about financial bubbles? The first and most obvious reason is the financial fallout is stressful. People buying into a financial mania too late, particularly in a residential housing market, will end up in foreclosure and most likely in a bankruptcy court. Stock market bubbles will only cause people to lose their investment. It may bruise their ego or delay their retirement, but these losses generally do not cause one to lose their home or declare bankruptcy like a housing market bubble does. In a stock market collapse, a broker will close out positions and close an account before the account goes negative. There is a safety net in the system. In a residential housing market, there is no safety net. If house prices decline, a homeowner can easily have negative equity and no ability to exit the transaction. In a housing market decline, properties become very illiquid as there simply are not enough buyers to absorb the available inventory. A property owner can quickly fall so far into negative territory that it would take a lifetime to pay back the debt. In these circumstances bankruptcy is not just preferable; it is the only realistic course of action. It is better to have credit issues for a few years than to have insurmountable debt.

The real problems for individuals and families come after the bankruptcy and foreclosure. The debt addicted will suddenly find the tools they used to maintain their artificially inflated lifestyles are no longer available. The stress of adjusting to a sustainable, cash-basis lifestyle can lead to divorces, depression and a host of related personal and family problems. One can argue this is in their best interest long-term, but that will be little comfort to these people during the transition. The problems for the market linger as well. Those who lost homes during the decline are no longer potential buyers due to their credit problems. It will take time for this group to repair their credit and become buyers again. The reduction in the size of the buyer pool keeps demand in check and limits the rate of price recovery.

Conclusion

The Great Housing Bubble, like all asset bubbles, was driven by the belief in permanent house price appreciation, an unrealistic perception of the risk involved, and the fear that waiting to buy would cause market participants to miss their opportunity to own a house. These erroneous beliefs were supported by a host of fallacious beliefs embraced by everyone involved. As with any mass delusion, it is difficult to see beyond the fallacies to the deeper truth; however, it is essential to do so because the cost in emotional and financial terms of getting caught up in the mania is very high. Foreclosure and bankruptcy are never positive outcomes.


Defaults and House Prices

Dec 2nd, 2007 by IrvineRenter 

I found this blog entry on Calculated Risk. If you did not see it, it brilliantly and concisely demonstrates the problems facing the market in the foreseeable future.

From Calculated Risk:

In the '90s, as prices fell in California, foreclosure activity (using Notice of Defaults NODs) increased. Prices bottomed in 1996, as foreclosure activity peaked.

Now imagine what will happen over the next few years as house prices fall. Foreclosure activity is already at record levels (2007 estimated on graph). Yet, as prices fall, foreclosure activity will probably continue to increase - the activity will be literally off the chart!

It is pretty difficult to but a bullish spin on that one.

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Median Sale Price Sales Volume

ZIP code

Prev. 4 weeks

change from ‘06

Prev. 4 weeks

change

from ’06

92602

$705,000

-15.8%

12

-63.6%

92603

$1,147,500

5.5%

16

-57.9%

92604

$580,000

-6.1%

20

17.6%

92606

$867,500

15.3%

13

-51.9%

92612

$472,000

-13.1%

26

13.0%

92614

$625,000

1.2%

19

5.6%

92618

$648,000

34.0%

19

11.8%

92620

$648,000

-11.2%

20

-71.0%


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