July 14, 2007

Associated Press lead: "Housing market may be worse than stats reveal". HP: "No duh. Glad we could help"



Here's the AP version of HP's thread the other day "FLASH: Lennar tells us what new homes are REALLY selling for, and it's ugly. Really ugly"

NEW YORK (AP) - Here's a scary thought about the housing market: Things may be far worse than what's already being revealed by the troubling government and industry statistics.

At issue is what goes into sales price data and what does not. When those numbers are crunched, many of the incentives that sellers are using to lure buyers - including cash rebates - aren't being included.

That suggests prices may be falling faster in many markets than is now being reported. The same goes for how the mortgage-application indexes don't account for the implosion of lenders. That could have the effect of masking a slowdown in demand, which is why the housing market could be in for rough sailing much longer than most anyone anticipates.

There certainly has been plenty of bad news, but it might not even be giving a full picture of how difficult things really are.

For instance, the Commerce Department reported last week that the median sales price of new homes fell 0.9 percent in May from a year ago, after tumbling 10.9 percent in April.

But those numbers don't include the thousands of dollars in lavish incentives like plasma televisions, pool installation and closing costs that sellers are increasingly using to woo buyers. That means a home selling for $600,000 gets reported for that price even though all those extras technically are reducing the net sale price.

Sales incentives at Lennar Corp., one of the nation's biggest builders, averaged $43,700 a home in its fiscal second quarter, up from $24,700 in the same quarter last year. And it isn't just builders piling on the incentives - it's spilling over to the existing-home and foreclosure market, too.

"In effect, they are reducing the new sales price but that is not showing up anywhere in the actual sales data," said Peter Schiff, who runs the investment firm Euro Pacific Capital Inc. in Darien, Conn.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

.
.
lies lies and more lies

home sellers now know the truth though

Anonymous said...

Hey but at least the state taxes on the listed price therefore making more money.... that's all that matters.

gWK said...

I am waiting for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to go into foreclosure!

shakster said...

If AP is the "on the Ball",the Sharp,and professional" inestigative,unbiased news watchdog that they proclaim themselves to be then They are in collusion with the NAR,The US,Wall STREET,and the CBs.
........or They are dumber than a bag of hammer handles.
In either case I wish a Ghastly demise for all of them.

Anonymous said...

Banks don't care either.

Yesterday, I went to Fremont Bank here in the bay area to inquire on their CD rates. I spoke directly with the Bank Supervisor, and we had a very nice and interesting conversation.

I asked him if Fremont Bank kept their home loans since they were a small privately owned bank, and (the reason I was there in the first place), he told me that Fremont bank sells ALL their loans, because that's how they make money! I then asked him what the reserves were in the bank, and he replied that he should know, but that he didnt know what they were. He did mention that they were FDIC Insured, but when I asked how long it would take to get my money back if the bank suddenly closed, and he again said he didn't know.

Mind you, I was speaking directly with the Supervisor who has worked in banking for 30 years and he was so nonshaulant and told me straight out that they do stated income loans and said they don't care if buyers have the means of paying them back or not because they don't keep them their loans. Lastly, I asked if he knew any banks that do keep their loans, and he replied he couldnt think of any.

He asked me why I was so concerned about all of this, and I told him why, he said, there is no reason to worry because the federal government will not let anything happen to the banking system...

If selling loans are the only way banks make money (unless he is not telling me everything) Where is this whole thing going?!?!

Remember the S&L scandle where depositors lost lots of money? At least this bank supervisor did confirm that.

Will FDIC fix everything if banks start folding like decks of cards?

Anonymous said...

I am guessing buyers accepting the incentives because that money is charged towards the mortgage loan, interest on which is tax deductible. Where as if they buy these items (plasma TV, etc...) it becomes non-tax deductible. But they will end up paying higher taxes and higher PMI etc....???

City-by-da-Bay said...

I think Shawano Ave in Green Bay has more signs than your picture does.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and the actual value of the dollar is overstated as well.

At a 50% loss since '01, did the housing bubble ever really happen? Think about it: an $800,000 house now is really only worth $400,000 in 2001 dollars.

Anonymous said...

"gWK said...
I am waiting for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to go into foreclosure!"


He's gonna flee to paraguay.

K.W. - Southern Ca. said...

There should be no suprise.

This is only the beginning of a much bigger fall-out across the nation.

Unfortunately, many false stats have been trumpeted to the public as truth - when in fact, they've been fudged heavily.

bickerer said...

...every bit of data is scrutinized for hints of whether a recovery is near or more trouble lies ahead.

Uh...Not exactly. Seems to me more like every bit of data is completely ignored while the swine on wall street plan how they'll spend their year end bonuses again.

christiangustafson said...

Embrace the crash!

Celebrate deflation!

We shall cleanse the world!

burn baby burn said...

Anonymous said...
"But they will end up paying higher taxes and higher PMI etc....???"

Exactly also they are going to be paying that plasma off over 30 years makes no sense. I guess it has something to do with fools and their money.

Anonymous said...

maybe global warming has made the sunlight to glaring...and the air to hard to gasp......

Anonymous said...

Good to see the AP rip off HP

Anonymous said...

Open Message to the Media:

The REIC has spun and twisted each step of the way on the way up in this housing market , so it's of little surprise the same is happening on the way down...

That the AP (and the rest of the MSM) is just waking up to the story-behind-the-story is not surprising. Few editors, reporters, publishers, etc., have the chops (or the time, energy, resources and expertise) to navigate complex financial and economic data like the housing market. Hence the fox-in-the-henhouse, feeding them lies and statistics. It's easy, it's quick, and if the media can't do the digging into the numbers... no one else is out there to challenge it, either.

Kudos to this reporter for pulling back the curtain even a little bit.

To the media: vet the numbers and turn over the coin to discover the anecdotal evidence in your communities re: the housing market. There are 1,000 stories out there waiting to be told...anecdotal stories of local families, economic troubles, foreclosures, struggling businesses, frustrated realtors and mortgage pros and housing inspectors and appraisers willing to take you behind the scenes... Carve out a beat to follow this issue to the end...

They say that all politics is local. So too is real estate. Dig a little bit and tell the stories.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Yes, and the actual value of the dollar is overstated as well.

At a 50% loss since '01, did the housing bubble ever really happen? Think about it: an $800,000 house now is really only worth $400,000 in 2001 dollars.

July 14, 2007 3:11 PM

------------------

Yes, it happenned. The dollar may have gone into the toilet vs. gold and even other paper money, but wages have only been going up 3-4% a year, if that. So price to rent and price to income are in historically uncharted (bubble) territory.