All Signs Point to Lower House Prices

Unless sales volume picks up or inventory stops coming to market, prices are going to go down.

Irvine Home Address … 148 TAPESTRY Irvine, CA 92603

Resale Home Price …… $1,149,900

Oh Gravity is working against me

And gravity wants to bring me down

Oh twice as much ain't twice as good

And can't sustain like a one half could

It's wanting more

That's gonna send me to my knees

John Mayer — Gravity

Affordability is like gravity. When house prices rise far beyond what people can afford, rather than being priced out forever — which is what people fear — the force of affordability causes prices to fall. Lenders try to cheat this process with affordability products, but as we have all seen, Affordability Mortgage Products Make Prices Unaffordable. When the instability of these products causes high delinquency rates, they are removed from the market, and the gravity of the situation takes over; prices fall.

Housing Market Stumbles

Construction Slows, Inventories Build Amid Weak Job Growth, Tax-Credit End


The housing market, whose collapse pulled the economy into recession in late 2007, is stalling again.

In major markets across the country, home sales are deteriorating, inventories of unsold homes are piling up and builders are scaling back construction plans. The expiration of a federal home-buyers tax credit at the end of April is weighing on the market.

Any hopes of property appreciation have stalled for the foreseeable future. The rate of sales is 20% off historic norms and inventory continues to pile up. Buyers are finding the power that sellers enjoyed just a few months ago has reversed. It is quickly becoming a buyers market. When these changes in the market occur, expect to see even lower sales volumes as sellers initially refuse to lower prices and properties stay on the market longer. This fall, sellers will either lower their price to sell or take their properties off the market. The flippers, short sellers and banks with too much REO will lower their prices to clear their inventory. Discretionary sellers with WTF asking prices will be left behind.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau said single-family housing starts in June fell by 0.7%, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000. The U.S. started 1.47 million homes in 2006, before the housing bubble popped.

Future construction looks even weaker. Permits for single-family starts fell 3% in June, following big declines in both May and April. "We're hovering at post-World War II lows," said Ivy Zelman, president of Zelman & Associates, a research firm.

From June 2006 through last month, California lost 43% of its construction jobs, or 401,900 positions. I see the reality of this every day, and this number does not reflect that large number of people in my industry that work part time. So many people I know and have worked with are suffering right now. It is very sad.

Economists aren't singling out one reason for the stalling housing market. A variety of factors have led to flagging confidence, they say, including sluggish labor markets, global economic turmoil and falling stock prices.

While the housing downturn dragged the economy into a recession nearly three years ago, now it is the economy that is pulling down housing, says economist Patrick Newport at IHS Global Insight. Without sustained job growth, the housing market likely won't improve. That in turn will ricochet across manufacturing, retail and other trades heavily dependent on home building and consumer spending.

This is something the bulls refuse to acknowledge. The unemployed do not buy homes.

The Wall Street Journal's quarterly survey of housing-market conditions in 28 major metropolitan areas shows that inventory levels have grown in many markets. But inventory fell in some of the weakest ones, including several Florida markets, Atlanta, and Charlotte, N.C.

At the end of June, inventory was up 33% from year-ago levels in San Diego, and by 19% and 15% in Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., respectively, according to data compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Rising inventory can lead to price declines later.

We have all been watching the IHB chart of inventory go up very steeply, and it is show no signs of leveling off.

Jeff Gans, a 45-year-old engineer from Baltimore who designs software for car manufacturers, has contemplated buying a house or condo for more than a year. But concerns about job stability have kept him on the sidelines.

Even falling interest rates aren't enough to whet consumer appetites for housing. Last week, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was quoted at 4.57%, according to Freddie Mac, the lowest since its survey began in 1971. But demand for home-purchase mortgages sits near 14-year lows, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, down 44% over the past two months.

With mortgage rates at historic lows, isn't it surprising to find demand for mortgage at historic lows as well? That emphasizes how weak demand really is. If record low mortgage interest rates doesn't stimulate demand, what will?

The government last fall extended tax credits worth up to $8,000 to home buyers who signed contracts by April 30, causing sales to surge early this year. Those buyers had until June 30 to close their sales until Congress, concerned that the backlog of sales wouldn't close in time, extended the deadline through September.

Analysts long expected the withdrawal of a federal tax credit, which had juiced sales, to lead to a slower-than-usual summer.

"It's the magnitude that's been the issue,'' says Douglas Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "The drop-off in activity has surpassed expectations.''

"surpassed expectations?" LOL! That is a nice way to spin it. Will the price decline "deliver superior performance" as well?

Reports should show that completed transactions of home sales held up through June. But newly signed contracts in May and June have plunged.

To be sure, some housing markets show signs of healing. Home-sales activity in New York, Washington, D.C., and parts of California continue to improve. But other markets, including Tampa, Fla., and Chicago, face rising foreclosures and weak job growth.

Low mortgage rates and falling prices have made homes more affordable in many markets than at any time in the past decade. But those affordability gains have been offset for many buyers by tighter lending standards, particularly for "jumbo" loans that are too large for government backing. Banks are requiring down payments of 20% and more and strong credit scores because they must hold jumbo loans in their portfolios.

So when banks are risking their own money, they are concerned about getting repaid…. What an interesting idea. They charge higher interest rates too.

More broadly, the housing market faces two big problems: too many homes and falling demand. More than seven million borrowers are 30 days or more past due on their mortgage payments or in some stage of foreclosure. Rising foreclosures will keep pressure on prices as banks put more homes on the market.

Last month, nearly 39,000 borrowers received government-backed loan modifications, but more than 90,000 borrowers fell out of the program, the Obama administration said on Tuesday.

Moreover, the pool of potential buyers remains constrained by the unprecedented number of homeowners who are underwater, or who owe more than their homes are worth.

That's making it particularly hard for traditional "trade up" homeowners like Maria Billis to pull the trigger on a home purchase. Ms. Billis can't sell her townhouse in Boynton Beach, Fla., because its value has fallen by a quarter. That puts it below the $160,000 that she owes the bank.

The 31-year-old human resources consultant, who married last month and wants to start a family, found a half-dozen homes in her price range but doesn't want to sell her current home for less than the amount owed. She has considered buying the new home and renting the townhouse, but concedes, "It's a big risk."

It's not a big risk. If she had purchased a property with a cost of ownership at or below rental parity, it would be no big deal; however, that isn't what she did. And neither did anyone else during the bubble. The most obvious sign of the housing bubble, at least to me, was the fact that you couldn't rent out a property for enough to cover the cost. I remember thinking, "why would anyone do this?" I was so naive, that it never occurred to me that people might do that in order to speculate on appreciation.

The real risk is buying a property that can't be rented for enough to cover the costs. Whenever you buy a property, you have to ask yourself what happens if you can't or don't live in it. If the answer is, you lose lots of money each month, then it probably isn't a good idea to buy it. Its really just common sense.

Mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also are starting to push more repossessed homes onto the market. The companies owned 164,000 homes at the end of March, up 80% from a year ago.

Another reason inventory is rising: "Unrealistic sellers have flooded the market" after reports of bidding wars and home-price increases earlier in the year, says Steven Thomas, president of Altera Real Estate, a brokerage in Orange County. The amount of time that homes there have sat on the market there has swelled to 3.78 months, up from 2.35 months in April.

Steve Thomas managed to get his made-up numbers into national media. I suppose congratulations are in order. At least he got the trend right.

"The sellers think the market's coming back. They've tacked on an extra 5 to 10 to 15%. The buyers aren't going for it," says Jim Klinge, a real-estate agent in Carlsbad, Calif. Over the next six months, "it's going to feel like a double-dip because sellers are going to have to lower their prices."

Jim the Realtor gets it. And notice I capitalized the R with him.

Not all sellers will take that step. Jerry Anderson has listed his four-bedroom home in Dana Point, Calif., on and off the market for the last two years. He's cut the price to $1.25 million, down from $1.75 million, but hasn't had any offers on the home, which has three fireplaces and ocean views.

Mr. Anderson, who bought the home in 1987, says he'll take it off the market in December if it doesn't sell rather than cut the price.

We will undoubtedly be taking it off the market….

Matt Carney listed his Moreno Valley, Calif., home for $337,000 in February, and lowered the price on Tuesday for the third time, to $297,000. He says he can't go any lower because he owes $274,000 on the home and doesn't want to dip into savings to pay for transaction costs.

In other words, this guy is underwater and in denial.

The High end is going to be crushed

I have consistently maintained my belief that the market for properties needing loans over the $729,750 jumbo-conforming limit are going to suffer tremendous pricing pressure. The common delusion in the mainstream media is that this market has already recovered and it is a safe haven. This market is going to collapse, and the price declines will be breathtaking.

Lenders are facing delinquency rates on big mortgages at much higher rates than for smaller mortgages. Think about that — if the rich pretenders were doing well and recovering from the recession, wouldn't they be paying their mortgage? Shouldn't the delinquency rates on jumbo mortgages be much lower than on conforming?

But Orange County is diffferent, right? So we know that the high end is delinquent on their loans at a greater rate than the low end. Wouldn't it stand to reason that the high end would also have more distressed properties? Nope. The distressed inventory is being withheld from the market. So far this year, only 202 properties with estimated values of over $1,000,000 have been sold at auction. It really is a squatters paradise.

Lenders will not give away these homes even though the result of their inaction is essentially that. The jumbo market is denial on a massive scale. Lenders are somehow hoping that all these people are going to find work at a pay rate capable of making payments on these million dollar mortgages. It's not going to happen. At some point, lenders are going to realize this, and they are going to want their money back. The Ponzis, the system gamers, and other delusional loan owners are going to get wiped out, and this market will be cleared. When it happens, the carnage will be epic.

I don't know when this will happen. It should have happened already. I never thought lenders would allow so much squatting to go on for so long. They can't allow multi-year squatting in these properties without more and more borrowers opting to do the same. The lenders who wise up first and liquidate these properties will obtain the best pricing. Those that hold out with hopes the cartel will sustain unsustainable pricing will lose the most money. Let the liquidation begin.

Countrywide was really stupid

  • This property was originally purchased on 11/22/2004 for $1,002,500. The owner used a $750,000 first mortgage and a $257,500 down payment.
  • On 10/27/2005 they obtained a $172,500 HELOC.
  • On 7/26/2006 Countrywide gave this family a $1,240,000 first mortgage.
  • Total mortgage equity withdrawal is 490,000 including their down payment.
  • Total squatting time was about 1 year.

Foreclosure Record

Recording Date: 10/27/2009

Document Type: Notice of Sale

Foreclosure Record

Recording Date: 07/14/2009

Document Type: Notice of Default

I don't know how Wells Fargo ended up with this loan, but they bought the property as foreclosure auction for $1,049,700. Apparently, dropping the bid $200,000 wasn't enough. They have the property listed at the price their realtor thought they could get. I bet they don't.

Irvine Home Address … 148 TAPESTRY Irvine, CA 92603

Resale Home Price … $1,149,900

Home Purchase Price … $1,049,700

Home Purchase Date …. 3/25/2010

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $31,206

Percent Change ………. 3.0%

Annual Appreciation … 27.7%

Cost of Ownership


$1,149,900 ………. Asking Price

$229,980 ………. 20% Down Conventional

4.62% …………… Mortgage Interest Rate

$919,920 ………. 30-Year Mortgage

$227,905 ………. Income Requirement

$4,727 ………. Monthly Mortgage Payment

$997 ………. Property Tax

$250 ………. Special Taxes and Levies (Mello Roos)

$96 ………. Homeowners Insurance

$252 ………. Homeowners Association Fees


$6,321 ………. Monthly Cash Outlays

-$1271 ………. Tax Savings (% of Interest and Property Tax)

-$1185 ………. Equity Hidden in Payment

$399 ………. Lost Income to Down Payment (net of taxes)

$144 ………. Maintenance and Replacement Reserves


$4,408 ………. Monthly Cost of Ownership

Cash Acquisition Demands


$11,499 ………. Furnishing and Move In @1%

$11,499 ………. Closing Costs @1%

$9,199 ………… Interest Points @1% of Loan

$229,980 ………. Down Payment


$262,177 ………. Total Cash Costs

$67,500 ………… Emergency Cash Reserves


$329,677 ………. Total Savings Needed

Property Details for 148 TAPESTRY Irvine, CA 92603


Beds: 4

Baths: 3 full 1 part baths

Home size: 3,050 sq ft

($377 / sq ft)

Lot Size: 4,995 sq ft

Year Built: 2004

Days on Market: 9

Listing Updated: 40380

MLS Number: U10003116

Property Type: Single Family, Residential

Community: Quail Hill

Tract: Tape


According to the listing agent, this listing is a bank owned (foreclosed) property.

HIGHEST and BEST FINAL OFFER – Please include the MULTIPLE OFFER FORM that I have uploaded in the media section. We have submitted offers and are in a multiple offer situation. To be fair to your client, please have them bring in their H&B Offer. Call with any questions. From the moment you arrive you will notice the value in this home. Gorgeous curb appeal with flagstone accents and inlay in driveway. Enter into the large living room with a formal dining area to the left. Light-Bright and open kitchen area with granite countertops, pantry, upgraded appliances and cabinetry. There is a large family room with fireplace and access to rear yard. There is plenty of room upstairs with generous bedrooms. The hard scape and landscape in the rear yard is wonderful; covered patio, flagstone, double swing and a koi pond.

41 thoughts on “All Signs Point to Lower House Prices

  1. winstongator

    It’s not just the unemployed that aren’t buying homes, but like the software guy, it is also those that are concerned about the stability of their jobs.

    What I haven’t seen mentioned is that low-mortgage demand further pushes mortgage rates down. If the demand for the bonds is relatively fixed, and there is less supply, price rises, rates down.

    I see two scenarios: (1) prices continue to decline, economy still weak, fed will continue to buy either treasuries or go back to buying MBS’s, mortgage rates stay low. (2) we see some above level inflation, nominal prices rise (real prices may be flat or still fall), and at this point rates will go up.

    Is there any way for services to offer bridge financing for people buying foreclosures? LLC puts the 100% cash up, knowing that someone will buy – already be under a contingent contract. Then buyer and LLC can save a commission, and also turn the home quicker. Buyer knows LLC will make some money facilitating the deal.

    1. matt138

      I think your “lack of borrower demand suppressing interest rates” is off base. It makes sense on the surface but look at the bigger picture. The boom has come and gone, everybody leveraged. Rates are supposed to rise to curtail borrowing – that hasn’t happened due to our govt and foreign central banks. I used to think our society was “oblivion borrowers” but this low mortgage demand gives some hope, some.

      It’s low rates to create the boom and lower rates to avoid the bust. This is Kamikaze Keynesianism and completely unsustainable. Rates need to rise sharply.

  2. Chris

    Is 833 the max for this year?

    IR, perhaps you can provide more insight into why we’re still seeing demands in Irvine area.


    1. YoJoe

      Demand in Irvine will always be much stronger than the surrounding areas. Reasons:
      – Top schools
      – Low crime
      – Many jobs
      – Plenty of recreation

      These reasons (especially the first two) attract the best buyers (those with large down payments who intend to stay).

      Irvine prices will move in the same general direction as the rest of the OC market but the amount it swings to the downside will be dampened compared to its neighbors.

    2. IrvineRenter

      Demand is way down. That is why the sales rate is 20% below normal. Lenders have responded by restricting supply even more and building an enormous shadow inventory. So far, they have been successful at holding up prices, encouraging squatters, and accumulating REO. At some point they will need to liquidate.

      1. jb

        I wonder if inventory is a little less important than the actual closed sales per month right now.

        1. IrvineRenter

          The inventory numbers are somewhat misleading because so much of the inventory will never transact. If you measured closed sales to the inventory capable of transacting, the market is more balanced.

      2. Anonymous

        Why liquidate when you can borrow at nearly zero percent and just wait it out as the delinquent borrowers can take care of maintenance and taxes until the Fed prints enough money and inflation takes the homes value back up again?

        1. matt138

          Judging from our govt ineptitude, i have a feeling its not going to work out as nicely as planned. There are repercussions and unintended consequences in this economically childish way of handling things.

          I do agree with you however, because that is their chosen course.

        2. Hans

          How about a cartel-busting class-action lawsuit against “extend and pretend”? It is clearly a cartel/collusion of banks and government agreeing to not let the market work to the benefit of buyers. Can potential buyers and people who want to see orderly deleveraging come together as plaintiffs to knock them on their butt?

  3. John Neilson

    This house is highly over priced, however it will likely sell only because the comps show similar homes selling at the same price. Where do these people get their money? The house was built during the bubble (2004) so it was not built under normal market conditions. Unfortunately, people keep buying these homes so they can keep asking for higher prices. The only way to drive down prices is to boycott buying real estate for a couple of years. But then again, this will never happen.

    1. Perspective

      There are people out there, most people in fact, who don’t read IHB or any financial news and don’t treat the purchase of a home as an “investment.” They stretch every dollar possible to get into the best house/area possible as soon as possible. Life doesn’t wait for house prices to return to reason.

      My wife is in this group.

    2. BigD

      “The house was built during the bubble (2004) so it was not built under normal market conditions”

      And it was probably built with crappy/shitty materials as well, and lots of cutting coners to get it built. So going forward, this house will probably fall apart at a faster rate, and will require more money to keep it maintained. Therefore, increasing the carry cost beyond what would be the normal 10% carry cost per year to maintain…

      1. Perspective

        Whoa! 10% carry-cost for a new home? So a person who bought an average Irvine home in the past few years should be reserving $60K+ annually?

        That sounds more like “replacement cost” than “carry cost.”

  4. jb

    I essentially boycotted by selling our house earlier this year and finding a nice lease to weather the next few years. It can happen 🙂

    1. to jb

      Was your house in Irvine? Had you mentioned that your home was in a neighborhood that’s deteriorating?

      1. jb

        Our house was in Irvine, and the last couple of months have seen a lot more inventory in that neighborhood (along with all of Irvine), but no real buyer interest as of yet.

  5. lowrydr310

    With mortgage rates at historic lows, isn’t it surprising to find demand for mortgage at historic lows as well? That emphasizes how weak demand really is.

    Are people stupid? Nevermind, don’t answer that. Historically low mortgage rates are not a reason to get excited about buying a home. The only case where I could see this making sense is that if home prices held steady; ONLY THEN would it make ‘low interest rates’ a good reason to buy.

    Not all sellers will take that step. Jerry Anderson has listed his four-bedroom home in Dana Point, Calif., on and off the market for the last two years. He’s cut the price to $1.25 million, down from $1.75 million, but hasn’t had any offers on the home, which has three fireplaces and ocean views.

    For that price range, I’d take this over the hotbox featured above. Yeah it might be 17 years older, but the lot is TWICE the size, 3 car garage (not 2), ocean views (not some shady canyon), and AWESOME ROCK WATERFALLS!

    One question I have; in these nice neighborhoods full of large homes, what’s the percentage of the owners who are nearing retirement age? Does anyone know of any retirees who are living alone in a 3000 square foot home and enjoying it?

  6. ICNIC

    Can anyone tell me if this mail I got is true?

    On one hand the “people” got a 8000 “candy” for bying houses, and on the other hand they will pay it double, when thet sell……

    Here is what it sais –

    “Under the new health care bill – did you know that all real estate transactions are now subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax? The bulk of these new taxes don’t kick in until 2013 (presumably after Obama’s re-election). You can thank Nancy, Harry and Barack and your local Democrat Congressman for this one. If you sell your $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax. This bill is set to screw the retiring generation who often downsize their homes. Is this “Hope & Change” great or what? ….. “

    1. flyovercountry

      Check snopes. Not real. There is an additional tax on capital gains / investment income over a given threshold, which is where the urban legend got it’s start. But that isn’t even remotely similar to a sales tax on the price of a home.

  7. wheresthebeef

    That listing sounds strange with the multiple offer wording. If this place sells at 1.15M, it will be near 2005 peak bubble pricing. The kool-aid is still alive and well and flowing in copious amounts in Irvine. I hope the sucker buyers didn’t overlook the $1600/month property tax/Mello Roos/HOA payments either. That is insanity!

    1. IrvineRenter

      According to Redfin, this property has already gone pending. I don’t know what the price is though. I don’t know if it is kool aid or total lack of inventory at those price points. Right now lenders are selling what they can which isn’t much.

    2. so true

      That’s so true; the bubble lives on in Irvine. The uptick in prices in the last 12 months “confirmed” what the eager/anxious buyers “suspected” which is that prices are going UP, and so they’re jumping on the band wagon, and sustaining bubble pricing in Irvine.

      Don’t forget the mello roos on this house.

    3. Tom A

      Insanity is the word. The sheeple have been conditioned to over extend themselves for a house that will make themselves the envy of their peers. When people finally realize they have been had by this excessive overconsumption mentally you will see an even bigger crash come down the pike. And it is slowly happening. You aint seen nuttin yet. Just wait.

  8. Caddo

    Had a chance talk to a former IAC executive, the best for Irvine housing market is flat for next two years. His advice is, if you are looking for buying an expensive short sell property, this is the buyer’s market and buyer can cut prices more aggressively when negotiate with bank.

  9. irvine_home_owner

    This is a nice home in one of the nicest areas of Irvine, it’s not a view lot but it should get close to list price… which is still above the original 2004 price.

    Considering the first homes in this tract originally sold for $780k+ in late 2003 still makes an even $1mil list price ridiculous considering prices are supposed to drop huge in Irvine.

    I can hope that rising rates, REOs and a unicorn will make these homes go for less than $800k eventually… which one of you thinks that will happen?

    1. IrvineRenter

      I don’t know about the rising rates or the REOs, but the unicorn will certainly make prices of comps for this house drop to the $600s, probably overnight.

  10. HydroCabron

    Certainly the real estate market cannot stabilize or recover without jobs, but Irvine is uniquely situated in this regard: there are, and will continue to be, rising incomes and total job security among all Irvine residents. Forever.

    Those few Irvine residents silly enough to lose their jobs, or HELOC themselves into the 4th dimension, will return to living under rocks in Hemet and Banning, never to be spoken of again. Noble, well-bred cash buyers will take their homes. In a real sense, this housing downturn can only firm up the stability of Irvine by eliminating the few pretenders.

    Furthermore, loose interest rate policy, enacted in a vain attempt to help the formica-and-tile masses so unfortunate as to live in the outer badlands, will help only the granite, travertine, and steel residents of Irvine itself.

    Isn’t it time for all of us to admit that Irvine prices, by the very definition of the term “Irvine”, cannot possibly decline under any circumstances?

    1. wheresthebeef

      That is great. The poor serfs in the IE could only dream of living and owning in the bastion of nobility that is Irvine.

      What worries me is houses like the one profiled are selling at peak bubble pricing. Are the buyers prepared to have zero appreciation for the next decade?

      1. MovinToOC

        If the buyers like the home/area and want it to be a “forever” home, then most likely they do not care about appreciation. I think that is the main problem in this thread of comments. If people have the money and want to stay somewhere for 10+ years, who cares if the prices are flat?

        1. IrvineRenter

          That’s true. Price is not as important to a long-term owner. Payment affordability is attractive with low interest rates, and if you are not worried about selling in 3-5 years, then you could buy a home today and it will work out well for you.

          Unfortunately, many people have to more out of their “forever home” prematurely, and many overpay for that “forever home” because they worry they will be priced out or that the prices will go up and they can supplement their income with HELOC money.

          I am not against people buying homes, I just caution them not to overextend themselves and not to buy for the wrong reasons. During the bubble everyone ignored the obvious risks and did purchase for the wrong reasons. They are not very happy now.

          1. Chris

            I have no problem with price as well **as long as** the price that I bought at is the same as the price that I sold at 10+ years from now (screw inflation…at least the home price didn’t deflate).

            My fear is the deflating part.

  11. tlc8386

    Perhaps if the underlying property was not so expensive Irvine would have normal priced homes. But the pump of selling the schools/Irvine was enough for some folks to really profit off the land.

    Irvine has an invisble bottom because of this cost of land.

    1. flyovercountry

      Irvine may have an invisible base right now, but I wouldn’t call it a bottom, that implies a permanent state. Neighborhoods change, schools change, perceptions change. In a state with massive budget problems and a weak economy, low crime and good schools are not a permanent state of being.

  12. tonye

    I have a feeling that the “jumbo” limit will be raised sooner than later.

    Just two years ago, “jumbo” was anything over ~425K or so all over the country (except Hawaii and Alaska).

    When this mess started, “jumbo” got extended to $725K or so for the more “expensive locales”.

    I think the Fed will attempt to add liquidity to the market by raising the limit to $900K or so. They’ll do this regardless of whether we care or not.

    At some point, the Fed will own all mortgages.. a nice socialist way of “solving” the problem.

    1. Anonymous

      Doubt that. Everything on the administrations wish list so far ( ex limit mortgage and charitable deductions to the 28% rate, letting bush tax cuts expire for high income earners only) has been going in the other direction.

  13. Joe R

    The real question is whether we’re heading for inflation or deflation. When the banks write all of those defaulting jumbos off, that’s big time deflation. If the government takes them off the bank’s hands and pays with newly printed money, that’s inflation.

    M*V = P*Q

    Money supply times velocity equals prices times the quantity of goods and services. People who don’t spend out of fear lower V, which then (assuming M is not changing) will lower P*Q. If there is deflation ahead (like Japan), it could feed on itself and lead to a decade-long slide in real estate prices across the board. I wish I knew whether we’re going back to inflation or going into a new era of deflation. IR seems to be betting on the latter, with his prediction of a continued drop of RE prices. We should all know two years from now.

  14. John

    I’m a local Irvine real estate agent and I’m familiar with this property. I have a home listed on Weathervane one street down, for $1.1 mm. I have several offers and it is all Asian buyers with cash. Amazing but true, Schools seem to be the driving force in Irvine.

  15. William

    Wow, this is pure insanity. Only commenting because this house is the same style model as the house that I bought back in February for 155k. Granted mine is in the Inland Empire about 40 miles away from this one but I really don’t get why Irvine is so special. I’m not a parent so maybe I don’t understand it but if this is about schools then why wouldn’t you pocket the difference and send your kids to a private school?

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