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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: BofA mortgage woes piling up

Nonbanks under the gun; Homebuyers getting older

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news crossing HousingWire's weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

Zillow’s (Z) survey of 104 economists for their home price expectation report show a strong belief that home values will end this year, despite its troubles, up an average 4.6% over 2013, hitting a media value of about $178,000.

The Zillow survey is conducted quarterly by Pulsenomics.

Among other findings, 85% of those surveyed expect the median age of homebuyers to rise to 32 over the next 10 years, up from the average of 31 years old in 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The survey also found that within two years, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed will hit about 5.3%. 

“Because of its huge size and great diversity of housing preferences and opinions, the Millennial generation will have enormous influence in coming years, especially as they hold off on getting married and having children, the two biggest reasons for first-time home purchases,” said Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries. “A lower homeownership rate because of these demographic shifts will have a ripple effect, keeping rents high and potentially impacting the broader economy if substantially fewer people pay property taxes and buy fewer home goods.

“But while the age of first-time homebuyers may rise, it is dangerous to assume Millennials don’t want to buy at all. Recent Zillow research concluded that millions of current renters do want to buy soon, despite headwinds that may end up delaying their purchase. And when they do, policymakers, planners and developers will need to ensure that housing is accessible, affordable and desirable to this new generation of homeowners,” Humphries said.

Notably, panelists were asked what they thought the homeownership rate would be in five years. Among those expressing an opinion, 57% said they thought the rate would be lower than the first quarter 2014 seasonally adjusted rate of 64.8%. After the survey was completed, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the seasonally adjusted U.S. homeownership rate fell to 64.7% in the second quarter, the lowest rate since the second quarter of 1995

Here’s a look at the blood all over one of the HousingWire SeekingAlpha weekend alerts we get.

BAC -1.77%, CLGX -0.88%, JPM -2.06%, NONEY n/a, NSM -1.51%, OCN -8.25%, TRLA +0.00%, WAC -2.07%, WFC -1.08%

Part of this is attributable to where the market went – way south – late last week, part to the decline in mortgage banking, and part is due to the challenges faced by nonbanks in this harsh regulatory environment. Check out what Ocwen Financial (OCN) and Nationstar (NSM) are dealing with here and here, respectively.

Speaking of troubles, Bank of America (BAC) is in the midst of negotiations with the Department of Justice over at least a $14 billion settlement related to DOJ's mortgage securities probes.

A new thorn in its side as negotiation continue is the $1.3 billion fine imposed last week by a judge with regards to the dealings of Countrywide Financial in particular, which BAC acquired at the cusp of the financial crisis.

In BAC's second-quarter earnings, the bank stated that it had already recorded $60 billion in mortgage-related costs, including a $6.3 billion payout to the Federal Housing Finance Agency from a lawsuit made on behalf of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

As noted by this analyst, BAC acknowledges that it needs to pay for previous wrongdoings, but believes the fines that DOJ are demanding in the settlement are overly punitive, and wants most of the fine to be allocated to consumer assistance instead of hard-money fines, allowing for less impact on the bank's financials.

There are plenty of good writers at Business Insider, even if the general vapid content and empty click-bait links make it hard to find them.

And yes, most of us who work at the Internet are guilty of pushing listicles that are more about fun than about depth. But BI, come on. The graphics in this list of the most expensive homes in the finance world looks like someone let their six-year-old use Photoshop for the first time. Get it together, Wiesenthal.

Here’s a far more useful list – the most affordable housing markets for those age 20 to 35, and the least affordable. (We are temporarily boycotting the word “Millennial” for at least a week.)

While we’re on the subject of media criticism, if one wants to go to HuffPo for peer-reviewed political opinions and a general echo chamber of progressive politics, that’s fine. We all go to weird places with our weird politics. If one goes to HuffPo for business insight – one should probably have to disclose that to protect clients. Here’s a great example of why. Submitted with little commentary, because it is its own indictment. (If one needs translation to English, “sprawl” = people living where they want to live, away from urban cores and urban bores, with nice yards, good schools and homes big enough for families, and without the approval of the urban density thought police.)

How myopic is HuffPo on housing? Well, they call refer to "supersized houses of 3,000 square feet" -- or, as we call it outside Manhattan, a home big enough for a family of four or five. 

Here’s a great rejoinder and palate cleanser – In Defense of Sprawl.

State Farm’s use of doctored images of a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy in a State Farm commercial has ruffled the feathers of the home’s owner, who isn’t even a State Farm customer.

The owner, who never had a policy with State Farm, is perplexed as to why and how footage of his home made it into the commercial. He worries that the image will affect the sale of his home, which is now almost fully renovated.

“I’ve had to explain to people repeatedly that my house wasn’t that bad,” he said. “It’s not good advertising.”

The owner admits it’s possible he’s being oversensitive, but he just doesn’t want any more bad luck as he focuses on selling his house.

“I’ve been here 40 years,” he said. “I’ve seen enough ocean.”

According to the FDIC, no banks failed the week ending August 1.

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