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Finally, Some Realtors Are Admitting There’s a Problem

But they continue to soft pedal, saying prices will decline by a few percentage points – one study saying Massachusetts prices will drop 10% over the next 3 years. I’m sure many people are just crossing their fingers. Certainly a lot of buyers are running for the hills – and losing deposits (better than ruining your credit with a foreclosure in a few months!)

How about this quote regarding a report from ForeclosuresMass.com:

“2006 has been a very unhappy year for thousands of Massachusetts homeowners, and as the holidays approach we are seeing a massive increase in foreclosure filings,” said Jeremy Shapiro, president and co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com. “By October 31st of 2006 every county in Massachusetts already had more foreclosure filings than the entire 2005 calendar year. Unfortunately, the holiday season will be difficult for many homeowners.” Shapiro also noted that the cold months of the year are just setting in, and increased home heating costs will put additional pressure on household budgets. [Thanks to Millie for this find.]

The biggest “doom” stories seem to be sneaking out of Florida, where an overheated speculative condo market has just gone POOF! One realtor is telling clients to dump land at 50% what it was valued a year ago. Yikes.

But what I really love is the wrong word used in this sentence in Miami Herald (Freudian?):

Affordable housing, exasperated by insurance costs, is so out of reach that many South Floridians are giving up and moving out, as The Miami Herald reported in August .

I’m pretty sure they meant “exacerbated” – but hey, I’m sure those realtors and f$%*d borrowers are feeling pretty exasperated.

Original source: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/special_packages/business_monday/16199276.htm

A very good synopsis of the situation comes from Forbes writer James Grant

And this article from the Washington Times will make your hair curl. I just wonder if any of these banks giving highly questionaable liar loans to people who clearly can’t afford the payments will get their come-uppance.

Somehow I doubt it.

And then I love this use of “the perfect storm” to describe Las Vegas real estate. Note the section on a new form of loan/buyer fraud – holy moly!

And the phrase “death spiral” in this article – big diff from the way they were reporting a few months ago! Homebuilders are also ringing the death knell of housing. Inventories are up, buyers are laying low, and some are putting houses on the land just to sell it – easier to sell something with a house on it, even if you have to sell it cheap.

I’m still holding to my earlier prediction that prices will drop 40% in some areas.

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