Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mozilo Utters 'Great Depression'

From the Sacramento Business Journal (hat tip Jeff):

Countrywide Financial Corp. CEO Angelo Mozilo told those attending the California Mortgage Bankers Association conference in San Francisco this week that he expects more trouble for the mortgage industry this year and next. He sees a rebound in 2009, marking a retreat from his prior comments this year that the industry would start turning around in 2008.
From Bloomberg:
"We are experiencing home price depreciation almost like never before, with the exception of the Great Depression,'' Mozilo said during the call. He said it would take all of next year for the mortgage market to "turn this battleship around,'' before demand rebounds in 2009.

The median U.S. home price probably will fall 1.4 percent to $218,800 a year, the first national decline since the Great Depression in the 1930s, according to Lawrence Yun, a National Association of Realtors economist.
From CBS 13 (also video):
The number of vacant building has more than doubled in Sacramento in the last three years. Many of them are deteriorated and some have become a magnet for criminal activity.

Despite putting up bars on the windows, one woman's home has been broken into. She believes the homeless are attracted to vacant homes nearby.

The sharp rise in vacant homes is tied to the growing number of foreclosures. Homeowners who can't afford their homes simply walk away, but neighbors can't do that.
Hat tip: Ben Jones

UPDATE: From News 10 (also video):
Sacramento code enforcement officers say a third of their cases now involve vacant homes lost to foreclosure. The city council has streamlined the process aimed at preventing vacant homes from becoming a neighborhood nuisance.

The council Tuesday unanimously approved an updated ordinance allowing vacant homes and commercial buildings to be declared a nuisance within 30 days...The updated ordinance also sets minimum standards for boarded-up buildings and imposes stiff fines for noncompliance. Property owners face a $1,000 fine for the first violation and $5,000 every 30 days thereafter. Owners of vacant buildings will also be required to pay $150 per month for city monitoring.


anon1137 said...

At least someone is making use of these empty houses. Now, if we could just get the homeless to keep the pools clean so the mosquitoes can't breed in them . . .

Isn't there some old state law that says if you take up residence on a property for a certain period of time and pay the taxes, it's yours?

Lander said...

More from Business Week:

Mozilo says he was blindsided. “Nobody saw this coming," he told investors in a conference call. "S&P and Moody's didn't, but they simply downgrade bonds. They don't take hits. Bear Stearns certainly didn't."

buying time said...

I like it Anon1137....Squatters rights? Quite fitting for the town where gold was first discovered!

I will have to treck over to some of those pricy homes, all sitting vacant, near the golf couse in Serrano and set up shop.

smf said...

"Mozilo says he was blindsided. “Nobody saw this coming," he told investors in a conference call."

Everybody wanted to play dumb, the money was too good. But some of us did see it coming years ago.

"I will have to treck over to some of those pricy homes, all sitting vacant, near the golf couse in Serrano and set up shop."

Yeah...one of my dad's friends convinced him it was a great investment to build a spec mansion (7000 sq.ft.) there...ugh...

That'll be a bloodbath.

Diggin Deeper said...

Just make sure you turn pool pump at least 4 hours a day. Might keep the algae down to just thin green slime...

Mozilo is as much a huckster as the rest of them. The last interview I saw with him, he viewed the subprime lender implosion as an opportunity for Countrywide to gain market share....what market share????? Even his best customers are going bellyup

Gwynster said...

I was thinking about that too 1137. I had a neighbor off Waller and Stiener who talked about people squatting in homes in Haight in the early 60's and getting homestead titles.

I looked for details but all I can is reference to SFs disasterous ubran renewal issues during the late 50s.

Apparently, the hippies came to the Haight because it was cheap and easy to squat. This does make a certain amount of sense.

norcaljeff said...

Anon, how's the county gonna get the tax bill to the homeless guy in the vancant house? I guess if he checks the mail each day and has a checking account he's good to go. If you find a way lemme know, there's about 20 vacant, big homes on hilltop I wouldn't mind living in.

Brian said...

lookup 'adverse possession' in regards to squatting.... its not that simple, but given the right combination of circumstances.... better to just hang back and enjoy the view, then jump in in 2-3 years and do it the old fashioned way.

HappyinSF said...

"adverse possession"
Thanks Brian, I love google.

It reminded me that when Jello Biafra ran for mayor of San Francisco in 1979 part of his platform was legalizing squatting.. Another issue he tried to push was making downtown business men wear clown suits from 9 to 5. He received 3.5% of the vote.

Brian said...

no problem....
my fiancee is in the middle of taking the CA Bar right now so I've got random bits of legalese flying around. Property was the first year of Law school though, so I only remember bits and pieces of my vicarious law school training. Thursday at 5pm my nightmare of being the supportive bf during law school and especially bar review will be over!

buying time said...

"Property owners face a $1,000 fine for the first violation and $5,000 every 30 days thereafter."

Tthese fees are good for the housing market since they will seriously increase the carrying cost of the vacant inventory.

Gwynster said...

Congrats Brian and his tired GF,

You have the patience of a saint.