Friday, July 29, 2011

Gotta clean out the inventory of unsold homes before the housing market can begin any meaningful recovery!

And, doing that will, at best, continue to be difficult, considering that financing is still difficult for many to get approved for, considering that closing costs (title insurance, appraisal costs and lender fees) have increased, and considering that lenders’ “short sale” processes are absolutely, completely, stunningly STUPID. Certainly, it is very difficult for most people to purchase a new home if they cannot sell their existing home.

I’ve copied into my Google Docs library, for your reading pleasure, an article that appeared on, yesterday, that said that, although home sales increased in June, contract cancellations have increased dramatically. The 2.4% increase in "pending" home sales is so tiny it’s hardly meaningful. And, "existing" home sales declined.

Here’s a link to access that article:

Housing Statistics

Pending Home Sales

June Index: 90.9
Monthly: Up 2.4%
Yearly: Up 19.8%

Existing-Home Sales

June Index: 4.77 mil.
Monthly: Down 0.8%
Yearly: Down 8.8%

I’ve said, many times in previous articles on this blog, that, in order for the reprographics industry to have a chance to recover and grow, there has to be a recovery underway in the residential housing market. When will we begin to see a recovery in the residential housing market? Your guess is as good as mine. And, our guesses are just as good as the opinions that have been put forth by so-called economics and finance experts.

Have I shared with you my short-sale experience? I don’t recall. But, bear with me as I do that. A couple of years ago, I put in an offer on a short-sale property. The owner of that property (a 2 BR / 2 BA condo in So. Florida), who lived in Oregon and was a realtor in Oregon, had purchased that condo, as an investment, only one year before he attempted to get out from under it. He paid around $763,000 for that condo and mortgaged it to the hilt (1st trust and 2nd trust, so two loans, not just one.) My “short-sale” offer was $360,000 cash. That offer went to the lenders right after I submitted it and it was accepted by the “seller.” It took about 6 months before the lender responded. They did not counter my offer, but, instead, said that it was a bit too low, that I should raise my offer and resubmit. I raised my offer to $375,000, but, a few weeks later (not days later, but weeks later) got the same answer as before, “raise the offer somewhat and we’ll reconsider.” Finally, after screwing around with this for 8 months, I withdrew my offer.

One year later, that condo went to foreclosure and the bank took back the property. They listed that property with a realtor at, get this, $257,000! I’m not kidding you. JFC, is that not completely stupid! And, keep in mind that the lenders, in this case, were JP Morgan Chase and B of A.

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