New housing starts fell dramatically in February as the cold, protracted winter froze new construction in the Midwest and Northeast.
Ben Bernanke began his tenure as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board just as the housing bubble was peaking in February 2006.
He exited the post in February of this year after supposedly shepherding the country out of the Great Recession the mortgage crisis spawned.
He recently admitted the housing recovery is hitting a wall.
But this time, it's personal... Full Story
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a widely followed benchmark for home prices, showed a slow growth in home prices amid an unimpressive housing recovery.
But given the factors underlying this recovery, and the activity in the housing market, this should come as no surprise.
Private equity shops and institutional players are buying and packaging nonperforming mortgages from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and selling those mortgages to mutual funds and themselves.
On the surface, the HUD wants to minimize the cost to taxpayers. That's really nice of HUD and the FHA, thinking about us taxpayers.
This month's Housing Market Index (HMI) numbers would have you believe that this so-called housing recovery is picking up steam.
Figures released yesterday (Monday) show that home builders are both more confident in the current housing market, and are more optimistic for the six months ahead.
The U.S. housing market is in trouble... again.
Why are there still dark clouds over our supposed economic recovery? We're five years on from the mortgage meltdown, and housing prices have bounced back dramatically and interest rates are at near-record lows.
Get ready. There's more trouble ahead for home buyers, home builders, and especially homeowners who took out home-equity lines of credit before the housing crisis. Those heydays have turned into haymakers.
What's already started to happen might not only knock out the formerly aspiring but now petering-out housing recovery, but also might knock the already weak economy to the ground.
Back in the good old days, when banks and mortgage shops were selling mortgage money and home-equity credit lines like carnival barkers wowing crowds into the big top, millions of homeowners stepped right in.
That circus tent was nothing but a trap, however. And now I'm going to tell you what that trap means for those borrowers - and the rest of the economy... Full Story
Get ready. There's more trouble ahead for home buyers, home builders, and especially homeowners who took out home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs) before the housing crisis.
What's already started to happen might not only knock out the formerly aspiring but now petering-out market recovery, but also might knock the already weak economy to the ground.
You can call it a bailout, a rakeover - I mean, takeover - or socialism for cash.
But, whatever you call it, it's not going to last.
The $187.5 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in 2008 was absolutely necessary.
Yes, we had to do it.
Today's mixed numbers from the Case-Shiller price index have some prognosticators wondering if the housing market has plateaued.
U.S. home prices posted their largest annual gain since 2005 and increased 11.3% in Q4 compared to the previous year. However, growth slowed toward the end of the year, particularly in December.
The housing market is bracing for another shock. Thousands of borrowers who took out home equity loans during the bubble years are now getting alarming news - their monthly payment will soon triple. And as more bubble-era home equity loans reach their 10th birthday, more homeowners will be affected.
Today, in New York, investors will be pitched the first-ever REO-to-rental securitization deal. The $500 million deal bundles foreclosed single-family homes, "real-estate-owned" by Blackstone Group, into securities that pass-through rental payments to investors.
The new securitization of rental properties comes at a time when home prices have rebounded dramatically across the country. But rather than confirming a bull market in housing, the "trade," as Reuters calls the transaction, likely heralds a coming double-dip.
The upward trajectory of housing prices, fueled by private equity companies and hedge funds' cash purchases, now faces institutional liquidity demands - and their potential exit.
Here's what the Blackstone deal is all about, why its structure is problematic, how the ratings agencies will view it, and what it portends for the future.
Unless you own a home in each of America's 20 biggest cities - or you're an economist - a 12.4% increase in the S&P/Case-Shiller Index doesn't mean much.
You can't make money from a nationwide statistic. Not in real estate...
Cleveland, for example, may have seen a 3.4% increase from July 2012 to July 2013. But that's nothing compared to Los Angeles, where prices jumped 20.8%. Or San Francisco, which posted a 24% year-over-year increase.
Las Vegas prices jumped even higher, up more than 27%.
And then there's New York, where you can make a killing on some prime Manhattan real estate right now...
There's a hassle-free way to do it, too. So you'll never have to worry about tenants, taxes, insurance, maintenance...
You won't need a million-dollar down payment, either.
Everyone knows the U.S. housing "recovery" has been resurrected on slippery ground. But now that we're finally about to slip - big time - no one sees it coming...
Then again, how could they?
The numbers are incredibly misleading...
According to the Commerce Department, new residential home sales in July fell a whopping 13.4% from their June sales pace. And sales in April, May, and June were all revised significantly lower.
Yet according to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales (completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops) increased 6.5%... to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July, from a downwardly revised 5.06 million in June.
On the surface, the divergence is confusing. But not when you look below the surface, where the real money gets made.
As you'll see (before anyone else), the housing "recovery" is just one giant "short squeeze."
Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani talked with FOX Business' "Varney & Co." today (Tuesday) about a huge red flag in the housing recovery.
Shah has found that we may be on the cusp of a double-dip in home prices.