While most business news sources are taking time off until Monday, each weekend, HW will highlight key real estate and mortgage-related coverage appearing in op-ed and other media outlets. We’ll also be providing insight into the best insight from the past week in the blogosphere, keeping you up-to-date with the industry. We call our weekend coverage the Kitchen Sink, so check this post throughout the weekend for updates. Let’s get started: Saturday, 1/6/06:
- “Some home sellers settle in for a long wait,” The Arizona Republic (Gleb Creno; 1/6) This is an interesting story looking at the psyche of the home seller, and the effect longer DOM has on the overall real estate value cycle. I wonder how many borrowers, however, really are holding out for housing-boom level prices.
- “Mortgage lenders predict steady 2007,” The Wichita Eagle (Jerry Siebenmark; 1/6) Mortgage lenders in America’s heartland aren’t throwing in the towel, yet. In spite of the housing downturn, many say 2006 wasn’t horrible and they expect more of the same in 2007. So long as someone’s out there to fund their loans, I can’t say I’d disagree with the sentiment.
- “Homeowners move away from ARMs,” Associated Press (Eileen Alt Powell, 1/6) The AP weekend real estate coverage offers a timely look at lending trends, even if it’s something most mortgage bankers already know — ARMs are falling out of favor with borrowers. That’s kept refinancings propped up for the last quarter; but this editor wonders when the momentum stops and app volume falls through the floor.
- “Bank of America tests no-fee mortgage,” St. Louis Business Journal A story from earlier in the week, but good weekend reading nonetheless. Don’t write this off as another no-fee marketing ploy — BofA’s got an entirely new concept they’re testing in Washington state. Part of what will determine the future of the mortgage industry is new product innovation — and this is just one such idea among many out there.
- Blogspotting: As a news source and not a traditional blog, here at HW we get to watch the two factions of the real estate blogosphere go at each other from time to time — housing bears vs. housing bulls. But by far the most enjoyable exchange took place earlier this week between Housing Doom and the realtor-led BloodhoundBlog. Apparently, the row between the two started when a senior BusinessWeek editor affiliated with their fine Hot Property blog posted some analysis by the Doom folks (see this), which managed to touch a nerve with some realtors who felt the numbers were incorrect. We may not have a dog in the fight, but watching a statistician go up against a realtor sure beats anything else going on in the blogos. Except, of course, for the REBAs.