Friday, September 19, 2008

'You have a lot of sellers waiting for a healthier market'

From the Sacramento Bee (updated link):

Sacramento-area unemployment went up two-tenths of a point, to 7.4 percent, largely due to a massive decline in state government jobs. Unemployment hasn't been this high in Sacramento since January 1996.
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
The metro area lost more than 4,000 government jobs from the previous month, and others sectors lost jobs that typically grow during August, the latest data from the Employment Development Department showed Friday. The Sacramento region fell to an estimated 903,800 wage and salary jobs, down 4,500 in a month and 9,900 from August 2007.
From the Sacramento Bee:
"I've never seen anything as concerning as this," said George Hudak, a 74-year-old retiree in El Dorado Hills. "I don't know whether it's a self-fulfilling prophecy or what, and I think a good deal of the panic out there is a result of what's being publicized on TV and in print. "It just seems that since the housing market started going to hell, everything I read every day in the business section of the Sacramento Bee was bad stuff. And I don't know how much of that resulted in things getting worse."
Russ Fehr, Sacramento's city treasurer, said news is bad in just about every aspect of municipal finance -- from revenue generation to funding projects to investments. "I'm afraid, I truly am," Fehr said. "It wakes me up at four in the morning."
From the Sacramento Bee:
Today, there are almost 5,000 fewer homes for sale [on the MLS] than in August 2007. That's when the region set its newest inventory record of 16,262 for-sale signs. Analysts say it's not just sales that have done the trimming. It's the determination of sellers to wait out this market. "To me that speaks of the number of people who don't want to compete with foreclosures," said Andrew LePage, analyst with MDA DataQuick. "You have a lot of sellers waiting for a healthier market, hoping for one in the not-too-distant future," he said.

Last year, real estate agents feared inventory might reach a disastrous 25,000 this year. They got lucky so far instead.
Or maybe not.

From the Sacramento Bee:
Investors again made a big splash in the market. One in five escrows closing last month in Sacramento County were by investors, said Andrew LePage, an MDA DataQuick analyst.
Prices/Sales by County

From the Modesto Bee:
Merced County homes sold for a median $150,000 in August. That's down 47 percent in one year and 60.8 percent from the December 2005 peak...Stanislaus County median sales prices fell to $185,000 in August. That's a one-year drop of 41.3 percent. Even more depressing, it's 53.3 percent below what homes were selling for at the building boom's December 2005 peak...San Joaquin homes sold for a median $207,000 in August. That's down 44.1 percent in one year and 54.8 percent from the November 2005 peak.
From the Appeal Democrat:
Figures released Thursday by MDA DataQuick showed median price declines of more than 30 percent for homes in Yuba and Sutter counties for August compared with August 2007. Sutter County's home price dipped below $200,000 to a median $190,000 last month — well below the $275,000 figure reported for August 2007. MDA DataQuick figures showed homes in Yuba County dropped to $178,000 in August. That's down from $274,000 for August 2007.
From the Sacramento Bee:
The turmoil washing over Wall Street has created waves that reach all the way to Sacramento's locally owned banks and credit unions. Money flowing into conservative havens favored by smaller players has cheapened the value of investments such as government-backed securities. Commercial real estate loans are losing value. Credit remains tight. "All banks are struggling to some extent with credit issues," said Anker Christensen, chief financial officer of Sacramento-based River City Bank. "No one is untouched."

Still, bank executives and finance experts agree that smaller players are generally in better shape than big banks right now...[O]fficials with River City and El Dorado Savings said that they've seen an uptick in new accounts recently, although they wouldn't disclose details. Both attribute the business to disenchantment with their bigger rivals.
From the Sun Post:
A six-story office complex and bank headquarters that was supposed to dominate Manteca’s skyline has been set back at least two years due to troubles in the real estate market and financial industry. The Oak Valley Community Bank has decided to pause construction on its 96-foot-tall office building at 1455 Moffat Blvd. until the local real estate market picks up, the bank’s Executive Vice President Rick McCarty said this week.
From the New York Times:
Many Americans are discovering an unfortunate twist to the housing crisis: even after selling a home and moving away, they might have to keep paying on it for years, even decades.
[B]anks are agreeing to let some short sales go through. But instead of writing off the unpaid portion of the debt, they want homeowners to sign a note promising to pay some or all of the balance due. This was the situation confronting Mike and Linda Kelly, who needed to sell their house in the foreclosure-plagued Central Valley of California when Mr. Kelly got a new job 75 miles away.

The Kellys owe $300,000 on their house...but the best offer they could get gave the bank $220,000. CitiMortgage said it would approve a sale at that price, but at the last minute told the Kellys they needed to pay $166 a month for the next 20 years, a total of $40,000. “When you are ready to participate in the loss, feel free to call me,” a Citi loss mitigation specialist, April Easter, wrote to them in an e-mail message.


smf said...

Out of so much, I could only pick one to take apart:

Investors again made a big splash in the market. One in five escrows closing last month in Sacramento County were by investors

20% of the sales going to investors is NOT a healthy market.

Prices are going DOWN to normal, affordable levels.

It is one thing to loan 100% for a $150K starter home as opposed to the same home going at $350K in 2005.

Cmyst said...

Mr.Hudak, the 70-something year old gentleman from EDH referenced in the Bee article, also bought 3 investment properties recently in the hopes that they would appreciate 20 to 30%. And, of course, he questions whether all this bad economic stuff is happening because of negative press. I doubt if those properties are returning any current profit, since his focus seems to be on holding them and then selling them in a few years. (And by the time this all washes out, he might well have shuffled off this mortal coil at his age.)
He is photographed sitting next to what appears to be a life-sized replica of Rodan's "The Thinker" that he has in his study.
The irony.

Patient Renter said...

I think a good deal of the panic out there is a result of what's being publicized on TV and in print

More whining that this is all the media's fault. Get over it. The current panic is the result of so many companies being insolvent, something the media has no influence over.

the determination of sellers to wait out this market

I almost forgot about these guys, the patient sellers. Wonder when they'll finally jump in? It must be getting more and more obvious that things are not getting better for a while.

"When you are ready to participate in the loss, feel free to call me"


Jacob said...

20% investors instead of 50% is a step in the right direction. Are they running out of money and credit for all these great "deals"?

The news does effect people. Just like it did on the way up, making everyone want to get rich in housing, now it tells them things are bad. However, even w/o the news people would still know. Things still cost more and there are tons of layoffs. the media needs to report the news. Good and bad.

Inventory may be lower, I wonder how many sellers are waiting for the market to get better? If it is a large number, then those sellers will keep the market depressed for a while as they start to give up and put their homes on the market.

Plus banks have lots of home they are holding on to. They might be able to sell them to the government pretty soon. Hopefully they have to take a pretty big hit to do that and not just get 100% from our taxes.

It is really amazing that even with all the bad things in the market, people still expect to buy and flip a home to 10%, 20%, 50% profit in a short time.

Other areas breaking through that 50% barrier, where is Sac at now?


Another pot bust in a home, this time in a million dollar home in Lincoln!

Cmyst said...

I just love the tips that they give you that there may be a problem. Things like you notice that the neighbors have painted the windows black and that you don't see them for weeks at a time, or you hear sawing/hammering coming from their house in the middle of the night.
Geez --- ya think???

Diggin Deeper said...

Just asking a few questions:

If the government buys up all the bad mortgages, will that stop homeowners from foreclosing?

If the government buys up all the leveraged Siv's and CDO's will it stop these investments from failing?

If the bailout is good for real estate and the financials, shouldn't they also bail out the auto industry, the insurance industry, and the airlines?

If the market in Sacramento returns to an "affordable" level for real estate, how many more foreclosures will we have to endure to get to a price point where those that want to buy a home can finally afford one?

If we print up enough T Bills to cover the bailouts proposed, will interest rates remain low enough to stimulate buyers to buy again?

and last

Is $700 Billion enough or is that just today's estimate?

Patient Renter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patient Renter said...

Is $700 Billion enough or is that just today's estimate?

Is any initial government bailout estimate correct? Never.

Cow_tipping said...

“When you are ready to participate in the loss, feel free to call me,” a Citi loss mitigation specialist, April Easter, wrote to them in an e-mail message.

Yup, I like this, The other 40,000 is the baloon payment, and the bank should collect 5-10K as fees for letting them do this too. Cos in 20 years the 40K baloon aint worth 40K, Heck it should be collecting interest at the current market rate. Finally the banks are doing somehting that is right. Last minute, either do this or be stuck with the house ... booya.