Monday, November 10, 2008

"This year is playing out like one of Aesop’s fables"

From the Sacramento Bee:

In a vivid example of the Wall Street financial crisis hitting home, development plans for a Placer County golf course community called Bickford Ranch crashed Friday in federal bankruptcy court. Bickford Ranch, a 1,942-acre residential project in the Sierra foothills between Penryn and Lincoln, collapsed after its sole source of cash – Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers – imploded in September, developers said.
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
New Faze Development Inc. had ambitious plans to build housing in Sacramento’s struggling neighborhoods, from hip, urban projects to those aimed at fixed-­income seniors, but lately the company has had struggles of its own. Three New Faze subsidiaries have filed for bankruptcy protection, actions the company says were necessary to avoid foreclosure by lenders that were unwilling to rework loans and, in some cases, unwilling to even return phone calls.

The latest New Faze company to seek protection was Alchemy at R LLC, which built a signature project of the same name on the 2600 block of R Street aimed at the trendy set looking to live in midtown. It filed a Chapter 11 petition to reorganize on Oct. 31 after lender PFF Bank & Trust sought a foreclosure sale of the eight condos and 15 apartment units. The project now sits empty even though the company found willing buyers for some of the condo units, said Terence Kilpatrick, in-house counsel for New Faze.
From the Appeal Democrat:
Yuba City may use a pot of redevelopment money to get into the real estate game by buying foreclosed homes...The City Council briefly talked about the idea at Tuesday's meeting and directed the city administration to look into it. Council members all said they favored the idea. [Kash] Gill said the city could use money to take distressed homes off the market, helping the housing market and increasing the city's stock of low-income housing. And because its a buyer's market for homes right now, the price would be right. "Right now is a perfect time, it's definitely a buyer's market," Gill said at the council meeting.
From the Manteca Bulletin:
Dori Beck [a mortgage planner with Guild Mortgage Co.] was singing the praises of the City of Manteca's first-time homebuyers program...."For some families who are lower income and working, this could be the last time they can ever afford to own their own home in Manteca," Beck said of home prices that have dropped off as much as 50 percent in some segments of the local market.
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
Beth Harrington, president of Benefit Resources Inc. in Sacramento, also has seen an increase in 401(k) hardship withdrawals. “I have two on my desk right now,” she said, referring to hardship distribution requests. “Some are people who got home equity loans, maybe three years ago, and now they have no equity in their home. Unfortunately, these people are moving their stock out into cash at the bottom of the market. This will have a tremendous impact on their retirement goals, so it’s disappointing.”
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
When times get tough, the tough go to thrift shops...“We’re just overwhelmed,” said Judy deCesare, manager of All Things Right & Relevant in Davis. “We’re taking in so much merchandise, and better quality merchandise. Things that people might have held onto, they’re giving up.”...People have been bringing in so much stuff to sell, deCesare said, that she has had to cut down the hours the store will accept merchandise.
...
People buying “Tuscan-style, cookie-cutter homes” during the housing bubble, especially people in their 20s and 30s, seemed to have an appetite for new furniture, [Scott] Schneider said...[W]ith the impacts of recession hitting home, more people are walking into...Taber Furniture...to sell pieces they bought brand-new, Schneider said. Frequently, those people are trying to recoup the price they paid when the furniture was new, and the prices they demand are too high. Schneider said he’ll advise people to try selling their wares on eBay or craigslist.org, and they’ll tell him they’ve already tried.
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
For some of Sacramento’s local banks, this year is playing out like one of Aesop’s fables. The banks that didn’t lower their standards were laughed at during the subprime lending spree. Today they are feeling perky while their party-going competitors are nursing financial hangovers.
From the Sacramento Bee:
The Sacramento City Unified School District has arrived at a threshold that other urban, slow-growth districts have crossed recently: closing schools, consolidating campuses and renting out district property. The budget crisis, built-out neighborhoods and stagnant enrollment have pushed the district to explore how to cut costs and get more out of hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of property.
...
In the past six years, San Juan Unified School District's declining enrollment has led it to close nine schools. Don Myers, San Juan's director of facilities and planning, said the suburban district is now discussing additional closures. Enrollment dropped another 1,000 students this year and Myers said the decline hasn't hit bottom.

10 comments:

Diggin Deeper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diggin Deeper said...

Gov't to announce new loan aid effort

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/ap_on_bi_ge/meltdown_mortgages_2

Loved this tidbit...too little to late for Sacramento????

"To qualify, borrowers would have to be at least three months behind on their home loans, and would need to have home loans worth at least 90 percent their house's value. The interest rate or principal amount of the loan would be reduced so that borrowers would not pay more than 38 percent of their income on housing expenses, the industry official said"

sacramentia said...

And once the loans are reduced to 38% of income, they will have enough money left to go buy a new car!

Who in their right mind will make a house payment knowing if they don't the balance could be reduced?

patient renter said...

would need to have home loans worth at least 90 percent their house's value

This seems different than requiring that the value is at least 90 percent of the loan, no?

And once the loans are reduced to 38% of income

What's 38% of liar loan income?

Deflationary Jane said...

There is no principle reduction in that package. You just need to be 90 days late, your "new" payment" will have to be 38% of your gross income, and your house need to be just a little bit underwater.

This will help who? No one in California that I know.

Diggin Deeper said...

Exactly, when there's incentive to keep you whole, you'd be a fool not to get yourself into the biggest financial jam you could...All risk in RE is now off the table. The feds will come to the rescue if you don't like your loan terms....

It really must be as bad as we're hearing...never seen the govt in such a panic...

Wouldn't be surprised to see the final bill in the $3-5 Trillion range...all financed with new crisp Treasury bonds laced with premium interest rates...which will further aggravate the problem...

Diggin Deeper said...

DJ...I hope that's the case...unless they'll finance up to 90% of the present value of the home?

Any way you cut it...all those with 800 credit scores and above...congratulations, you can borrow money....the rest of you get a check in the mail.....

What a concept...

patient renter said...

laced with premium interest rates

So I take it that the question of inflation versus deflation is not necessarily tied to the potential for rising bond rates.

Diggin Deeper said...

PR....I guess it all comes back to supply and demand...double or triple the supply of Treasuries, and you need double or triple the demand of buyers...I can't help but think that 4% interest for 10-20-30 years is the proper risk considering all the problems we're facing. Top grade corporate bonds with good companies that are not involved with derivative schemes are commanding high single digits to to low double digit rates...

Something has to give and I'm sticking with higher treasury rates and lower bond values...we are not Japan and cannot finance our debt from public savings or positive balance of trade...We are the opposite and therefore have to attract capital to survive...

Deflationary Jane said...

OK this is classic!
MLS #: 80101597

Please tell me they heloc'ed themselves crazy and that's why they priced it like they did?