Thursday, August 21, 2008

'The speed at which this thing fell apart was just unheard of'

From the Press Democrat:

Exchange Bank, one of the most visible companies in Sonoma County, is navigating through turbulent times. The Santa Rosa bank has suffered losses in two of the past three quarters -- its first in at least 50 years, according to bank officials -- and its stock has lost half its value over the past two years.
...
The bank opened its first office outside Sonoma County, a lending branch in Sacramento, as Sonoma County builders moved into the Central Valley and scrambled to develop subdivisions....Bank officials defended their lending standards and the decision to expand into the Sacramento area. "The speed at which this thing fell apart was just unheard of," [Exchange Bank's veteran Chairman C. William] Reinking said.
From Rocklin & Roseville Today:
I personally believe we have not seen the bottom yet in terms of price but increased sales volume and inventory coming down will get us there in the next 18 months. I don’t think declining prices will be very dramatic during that period but we still have a tranche of “loan resets” coming which may spike up foreclosures and unemployment increasing will not help. The key element in stabilizing prices is seeing the supply and demand start to equalize.
...
HousingTracker indicates that there are still 14,721 homes on the market. This is down over 21 percent from the same time last year but the rate of decline has slowed considerably and, in my opinion, it will take an inventory level south of 10,000 to stop the decline in prices.
From the Associated Press (via the Union Tribune - hat tip: Sold in '05):
As if the housing market wasn't scary enough, the record-setting surge in foreclosures could be distorting some of the closely watched housing data used to gauge the market's health. The foreclosure glut is making listings of homes for sale a less reliable indicator, because much of the distressed inventory might be left out.
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"The wave of foreclosures is unprecedented, making it difficult to analyze, difficult to gauge how large it will get or how bad it will make things," Deutsche Bank analyst Nishu Sood said in an interview. Sood, in a recent report, lays out a case for why the surge in foreclosures isn't being fully reflected in the resale inventory levels, as measured by the real-estate databases known as multiple listing services, or MLS. In nine of the 33 markets Sood examined, distressed inventory is significantly higher than what is found in the MLS listings.

This is most pronounced in what have been deemed “bubble” real estate markets, which saw the biggest gains during the home buying boom and are experiencing the largest declines since the pullback began more than two years ago. For instance, in Sacramento, the foreclosed inventory was 31,219 units, or more than twice the 14,913 units on the MLS listings.
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Sood attributes that gap largely to bank-owned foreclosed homes that aren't always captured in the MLS listings. He calls that the “shadow inventory,” and says the behind-the-scenes glut of properties wreaks havoc on housing-related statistics.
From the Sacramento Bee:
...[D]istricts, hit hard by the housing market crash and declining student enrollment, will struggle to keep afloat. "We tried to maintain the same programs we had the prior year, that was a strong desire for us, but still it's difficult to cut $2.9 million from a $40 million budget and not have some things felt," said Scott Leaman, superintendent of Western Placer Unified...Staff reductions will be felt in custodial services, kindergarten classes and front offices.
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In San Juan Unified, four counseling positions have been left vacant, and the equivalent of three full-time vice principal positions have been cut.
From the Sacramento News & Review:
We’re in the third year of a pronounced downturn in the housing market. And not coincidentally, Foothill Theatre Company (one of the region’s few professional theater companies) is in serious financial peril. Other performing-arts groups are also feeling the pinch.
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It’s probably going to be two (maybe three) years before things get better. So hold on tight, because performing-arts groups—which are linked to the local economy at multiple levels—are going to face some tough sledding before the economic picture starts to improve.
From the Daily Breeze:
Rep. Laura Richardson caught a break on Wednesday when code enforcement officers decided not to bill her for boarding up the garage door on her vacant Sacramento home. The city decided it would be too much trouble to determine who owned the property last month, when code enforcement officers were called out to deal with a "public nuisance."
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In a statement, Richardson, D-Long Beach, disavowed any responsibility for the current upkeep of the home, because she said it still has not been transferred back to her...Richardson's statement conflicts with available public records, which state that she has had the title to the property since June 2.

9 comments:

Patient Renter said...

it will take an inventory level south of 10,000 to stop the decline in prices.

This is a narrow-minded assessment. Inventory is just one factor that determines prices.

Rich said...

So I'm kinda sorta looking for an agent- anyone know of any local cycling agents? (local = Rocklin/Roseville/Folsom/?)

paranoid renter said...

>>>>>
For instance, in Sacramento, the foreclosed inventory was 31,219 units, or more than twice the 14,913 units on the MLS listings.
>>>>>

Wow...this explains the inventory holding steady in the housing tracker stats.

Does the median sales price reported in housing tracker reflect the prices of foreclosed homes sold or is that also only for non-foreclosed homes? If the latter, it means that the real median price is even lower than is being reported!

Cow_tipping said...

Pitiful. We all knew how fast it will fall apart ... heck ... we are surprised it took so long to fall apart.
Cool.
Cow_tipping.

Jacob said...

That's true, I expected things to fall apart by 06 and was expecting to buy in 07 or 08. But nothing happened in 06.

07 was when things really started to start to get bad, but I think 09 is when the wheels fall off. Gotta make it past the elections...

anon1137 said...

Fall apart? I don't want to spoil the fun, but there are still many zip codes across the region and the state that are firmly in bubble territory, and I mean around 150% +/- above year 2000 prices . . . selling now, like last month. Just wanted to remind you . . .

Otherwise, we wouldn't all still be here, standing around watching things, right? We'd be sitting in our fairly-valued houses, paying our mortgages, and worrying about the things normal people worry about.

anon1137 said...

By the way, not to be a stickler, but I believe she misused the term tranche:

" . . . we still have a tranche of “loan resets” coming . . . "

bubblemachine said...

The bank opened its first office outside Sonoma County, a lending branch in Sacramento...

TRANSLATION: "We better cash in on some of that liar loan activity in Sacramento."

Bank officials defended their lending standards...

Obviously, their standards were not high enough. Banks that didn't make risky loans are not suffering high losses.

Diggin Deeper said...

"I personally believe we have not seen the bottom yet in terms of price but increased sales volume and inventory coming down will get us there in the next 18 months. I don’t think declining prices will be very dramatic during that period"

"there are still many zip codes across the region and the state that are firmly in bubble territory"

All things remaining the same, I tend to believe both these statements to be correct and think the majority of any further price decreases will come off the areas that have not gotten their due. Prices in the most distressed areas probably don't go too much lower but overall average price declines will tend to go lower as "bubble" zips give back higher percentages of their original gains.

Caveat... no one really knows what affect the bail outs will have on the overalll market. Fannie and Freddie, alone, could usher in another steep leg down. But again, I would bet most of it comes off the higher end.