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  • Sun, Dec 19 2010
  • 11:59 PM » Apartments: Inflection Point
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    I try to pass on what I'm hearing. It was back in June that I I spoke with a large apartment owner in Texas who told me they are seeing effective rents rising over the last few months. I've also heard that the mood really changed at the NMHC meeting in May compared to the January meeting. There is a growing consensus among large apartment owners that rents have bottomed and the industry will rebound in 2011. I'll be attending the NMHC meeting in January 2011 (Palm Springs), and I'll report on what I hear. I think we are past the inflection point for apartments (vacancy rate has peaked, rents and construction have bottomed). There was an interesting interview by Jeff Collins at the OC Register today with a Los Angeles area architect Thomas Cox: Us: When did things start picking up? How busy are you now? Tom: For us at TCA, we really felt the housing industry slide in mid-2008 and it was significant. 2009 was the worst. ... Jan. 5, I received a call that we won [a] design competition. This was a major turning point for us. Several months later, we landed another large multifamily project with a local developer for a 1,000-unit apartment project. ... Then, in April, we started getting calls from clients we had previously done work for on “dead” projects that they wanted to bring back to life, so to speak. They thought they could secure funding and many of these were permit-ready, so it made sense. Other clients started coming out of the woodwork, wanting to get something going, so we’ve been very busy. We have doubled our staff in the past six months. ... Us: To what do you attribute this turnaround? Does this mean that housing construction is rebounding? Tom: Construction is rebounding in certain segments, especially multifamily. Single-family is lagging, but multifamily is definitely showing signs of recovery, especially as more financing for developers becomes available. I think the turnaround boils down to a few factors: Number 1, there is a huge demand...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:59 PM » Lawler: November Existing Home sales estimate of 4.61 million SAAR
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: Obama is signing the tax legislation right now. CR Note: This is from housing economist Tom Lawler: "Based on data received so far, I have revised upward my estimate for existing home sales in November, and I now expect a seasonally adjusted annual rate of around 4.61 million for November." CR Note: Earlier Tom estimated 4.57 million SAAR, so this is a minor change. Existing home sales for November will be released on Wednesday December 22nd at 10 AM ET.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:59 PM » Ten Economic Questions for 2011
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Just some questions looking forward to next year: 1) House Prices: How much further will house prices fall on the national repeat sales indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic)? Will house prices bottom in 2011? 2) Residential Investment: It appears residential investment (RI) bottomed in 2010, and will probably make a positive contribution to GDP growth in 2011 for the first time since 2005. RI is mostly investment in new single family structures, multifamily structures, home improvement and commissions on existing home sales. Historically RI has been the best leading indicator for the economy, but the growth in RI will probably be modest because of the large overhang of excess housing units. How much will RI grow in 2011? 3) Distressed house sales: Foreclosure activity is very high, although activity has slowed recently - probably because of "foreclosure gate" issues. The number of REOs (Real Estate Owned by lenders) is increasing again, although still below the levels of late 2008. How much will foreclosure activity pick up in 2011? Will the number of REOs peak in 2011 and start to decline? 4) Economic growth: After I took the "over" for 2011 back in November, a number of analysts have upgraded their forecasts. As an example, Goldman Sachs noted Friday: The US economic outlook for 2011 has improved further with enactment of the fiscal compromise, as well as a stronger trend in recent data. As we forewarned, we are revising up our forecasts to incorporate this news and now expect real GDP to rise 3.4% in 2011 and 3.8% in 2012 (up from 2.7% and 3.6%) ... It does appear GDP growth will increase in 2011, although GDP growth will probably still be sluggish relative to the slack in the system. How much will the economy grow in 2011? 5) Employment: The U.S. economy added about 87 thousands payroll jobs per month in 2010 through November. This was extremely weak payroll growth for a recovery. How many payroll jobs will be added in 2011? 6) Unemployment Rate:...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:59 PM » Why You Should Really Be Angry About Fannie/Freddie
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by The Big Picture
    One of the reasons I chastise idealogues like Peter Wallison is that while they are busy chasing their white whales, they ignore real issues. Important things that don’t fit neatly into their dogmatic driven narratives. While they are fantasizing about laying the blame for the credit crisis on the GSEs, they are missing all the really bad stuff that is actually happening with them: The banks have been selling their near junk loans and bad debt to Fannie/Freddie at full price, then having the GSEs take the write down. In other words, the GSEs have become a backdoor bailout for failed bank policies. I will have more on Monday, but in the meantime, have a gander at these prior posts: > • (May 12, 2010) • (Jun 14, 2010) • (Mar 6, 2009) • (Dec 3, 2010) • (Sep 22, 2010) Always remember when investigating these things: Follow the money !
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 11:59 PM » An inconvenient housing sector
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wall Street banks have been gripped by a certain euphoria in recent weeks, with their economists touting a modest improvement in U.S. data as an omen of more robust growth to...
  • 11:59 PM » Congressman Paul says Fed transparency is his goal
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Congressman Ron Paul, the new head of the subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve, said on Sunday he will seek greater transparency but will not be sending...
  • 11:59 PM » Online holiday spending up 12 percent
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. online sales are up 12 percent to $27.5 billion so far this holiday shopping season compared with a year ago, according to research firm comScore.
  • 11:59 PM » Irish divided on bailout, say sovereignty lost: poll
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Reuters
    DUBLIN (Reuters) - Just over half of Irish people support a multi-billion euro EU/IMF rescue package but 56 percent believe the country has surrendered its sovereignty by accepting the assistance, a...
  • 11:59 PM » Weak Get Weaker as Muni Bonds Fall
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by WSJ
    Investors are increasingly differentiating between U.S. state and local governments with strong finances and those facing big fiscal woes. The growing interest-rate spreads bring echoes of the European debt crisis.
  • 11:59 PM » Housing-Finance Head Unlikely to be Confirmed
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by WSJ
    The White House's pick to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appears unlikely to win Senate confirmation before Congress adjourns.
  • 11:59 PM » Mortgages: Hiring a Lawyer for Loan-Modification Help
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by NY Times
    Lawyers typically know the ins and outs of the welter of government homeowner-assistance programs.
  • 11:59 PM » The European crisis: When banks get bigger than nations
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by Washington Post
    Ireland's economic collapse is rewriting the rules for how international regulators and investors evaluate the health of national economies and banking systems, while raising the risk that Europe's troubles may run deeper and last longer than expected.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 11:59 PM » EU leaders plan to create a permanent crisis-management mechanism
    Published Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:59 PM by www.smartbrief.com
    While continuing to struggle with the sovereign-debt crisis, EU leaders agreed to establish a permanent crisis-management mec --
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.smartbrief.com
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