Friday, March 16, 2007

Licensee Population Plunges 20%; Ameriquest Shutters Local Operation

From the Sacramento Bee:

The housing slowdown has had one other effect: The number of licensed real estate agents and brokers in the eight-county region has fallen. The California Department of Real Estate reported 25,625 agents and brokers in the area, down nearly 6,500 from September.
Also from The Bee:
In another indicator of the turbulence buffeting the subprime mortgage industry, as many as 300 Sacramento-area Ameriquest Mortgage Co. employees were issued pink slips Thursday.

A spokesman for Ameriquest's parent company, ACC Capital Holdings, would not say how many jobs were eliminated at its Rancho Cordova office, but several employees estimated between 250 and 300 were employed at the Mather Field location.

Locally, the hammer dropped in an e-mail sent to employees at Ameriquest's Mather Field offices about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, while mortgage specialists like Perry Mayfield were working the phones chasing leads for new loans.
"We saw it coming for a couple of weeks," said Mayfield, who's worked just six months for Ameriquest. After the e-mail announcing layoffs arrived, "Sure enough, the top guys gather us around and say, 'Unfortunately, we have some bad news.' "

By noon, the company's parking lot was nearly empty and six security guards were posted in the lobby. Visitors were immediately escorted out the front door.
The subprime industry "kept the real estate boom going longer than it should have, and the repercussions are what's happening now. It's pretty scary. It's really scary," said Bob Bader, head of Arden Mortgage in Sacramento.
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
The company a year ago had two leases for more than 180,000 square feet of office space divided into centers in Rancho Cordova and at Mather Business Park. With the announcement Thursday, the company is leaving the area for its Orange headquarters.


Sippn said...

Can you say "would you like fries with that...?"

You'll likely see the RE licenses drop for many years as they are 2-4 year terms I think. May my drive thru order will be more accurate.

SAC BEE - Wasserman's article actually did look balanced as he talked positives in the last few paragraphs (sorry, slow news day - ed)


Diggin Deeper said...

Lehman fixed income strategist concerned about subprime spillover;_ylt=AmOX2iVtBFPGOfX5qxqDcNK573QA

CPI comes in fairly tame with the exception of food and energy costs which booked in at .8% and .9% respectively. Interesting that food was up .7% in the January CPI figures.

If this trend continues, the almighty consumer might have to pull more and more money off the spending table in order to fund much higher costs for fuel and food. This is not the best way to to push the economy forward nor does it make it any easier for the marginal loan holders to make their house payments.

IMHO, the big picture tells the story and mini markets like Sacramento will follow the overall trend.

Diggin Deeper said...

This should be a better link to the Lehman article;_ylt=Aqbe3NHqIv9nYArNJRfyvmm573QA

Gwynster said...

What I wouldn't give for some raw economic data. I'm having lunch with my favorite socio-economic research professor next week. We have lots to talk about.

fishtaco said...

Comments by our former FED chairman put me at ease. Such wisdom. All we need to do to stop the subprime spillover and pending recession is... buy a house. Come on folks, let's ramp up the demand a bit and fix this thing before we have a serious problem on our hands! I am going out this weekend to buy the first POS I lay my eyes on. Or I might go on a nice bike ride.

I think it's important to recognize that what we're dealing with ... is more an issue of house prices than it is mortgage credit," Greenspan said at a Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Fla.

Greenspan said that as home prices dipped, "subprime borrowers have not been able to build up enough equity."
If home prices drop in a year, he predicted that could cause the problems to "spill over into other areas."

"At the moment, we're not seeing this," he said. "The spillover is just not there."

However, Greenspan said that if home prices "would go up 10 percent, the subprime mortgage problem would disappear."

Seriously, I think he is insane.

HighSierraGuy said...

Fish- I saw that too and swore he now writes for The Onion. Surreal, very surreal.

paranoid renter said...

The ones dropping off now are the ones who have made it big already or the ones who joined the party too late and don't have enough experience to be able to compete during the down time. (At least that's how it was with engineers after the dot com bust.)

ralphk said...

Community Group Urges Lending Reform


Poor consumers need to be protected from themselves. Left to their own poor devices, advocates say, there’s no end of financial trouble they’ll get in to. Which is why, advocates for the poor argue, tougher laws are needed to protect consumers from lenders pushing high-interest home loans.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a network of 640 groups nationwide, said federal bank regulators and members of Congress ignored warnings for several years about a potential wave of defaults in risky loans.

"We have for many years urged Congress and urged those who are responsible to take action," said John Taylor, president of the coalition, in a statement. "Frankly, it's appalling what they haven't done... Today we call on the (Bush) administration and the Congress to take back the reins."

The Bush administration's housing secretary said Wednesday that the government is preparing to punish some subprime mortgage lenders under investigation for discriminatory practices.

Ah, America - Land of the Free and Home of the Blame.

Would someone please, please save me from myself.

BubleBuster said... Craigslist find.

Closing Realestate office at the start of sizzling Spring and summer season.