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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

Buy and bail, the newest trend in housing shenanigans

It turns out that prices have fallen enough in some housing markets that existing homeowners can finally afford that second home -- and then promptly stop paying on the first. The Wall Street Journal gives us anecdotal evidence of the so-called "buy and bail," in which we see borrowers trading a new mortgage for a defaulted one:
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North Carolina Senator Latest to Join Foreclosure Mess

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that North Carolina state Senator Julia Boseman is involved in the foreclosure of a home she once owned with her domestic partner: Sen. Julia Boseman and Melissa Jarrell have failed to pay the $7,156 monthly payments since last August, according to evidence at a court hearing last week. The home is now scheduled to be auctioned June 25 at the county courthouse, the Star-News of Wilmington reported.
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Foreclosure listing sites have now officially jumped the shark

Foreclosures are mainstream now -- but have they become too mainstream? Evidence into the docket Tuesday comes courtesy of discount retailer, which put out a press released touting it's new foreclosure search engine. We're not making this up. Some useless chest-thumping from the press statement is always good for comedic value:
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Are pending home sales really negative?

We're not always contrarians here at HW, but some recent buzz surrounding yesterday's pending home sales report from the NAR has caught the eye of a few industry types that we know. In particular, the Calculated Risk blog weighs in with a suggesting that home sales are in much bigger trouble than Monday's surprisingly good reading might otherwise suggest.
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In San Diego, it's buy one get one free

BOGO -- buy one, get one -- isn't just for Payless Shoe Stores anymore. Reuters covers the case of Michael Crews Development, a San Diego developer that is promoting a free row house for upscale investors plucking down $1.6 million for one of its other single-family properties. From the story: "We are targeting a niche market of investors who are interested in the opportunity to buy a new home for themselves and get a free rental property or second home for family members," developer Michael Crews said in a statement.
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Well, that didn't take long

Barry Ritholtz should catch some hell for taking less than three days to be proven VERY wrong on his price of oil prediction. On June 3, he wrote the following, thanks to an Economist cover on oil prices: For those of us who believe in such things as contrary indicators, this suggests a short term top in Oil to me. I would bet we don't see new highs in Oil for the next 6 months, and perhaps even 12 months.
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Sex, lies and videotape

The New York Times' Floyd Norris has a torrid tale of a foreclosure mess that likely won't carry much currency in the "poor borrower" category. There's high finance, and there's low finance. If you like reading about the latter, be our guest. Just don't say you weren't warned.
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Holyfield caught up in foreclosure, and we don't have much sympathy

Unless his financial fortunes change, there won't be a split decision on the future of former heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield's suburban Atlanta mansion. The Associated Press reported yesterday that Holyfield's residence is set to be auctioned off on July 1: Maybe now we know why former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield wants to keep fighting at age 45. The "Real Deal" appears real broke.
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Like peas and carrots

Falling home prices equal delinquencies. A comment from one of our sources on the Street reminded us of that simple fact today -- which explains in part why our coverage of MBA's delinquency stats today didn't focus on the tired headline that delinquencies are on the way up, but instead on the more hidden trend that prime borrowers appear to be facing a wall financially. A freindly reminder:
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