Credit markets are still a mess, they aren’t showing much sign of improvement, and the Fed seems to be running out of cards. Noah Rosenblatt over at Urban Digs analyzes the current state of affairs on Wall Street. If I seem to be obsessing on the global credit situation, forgive me, but it can’t be ignored as it all affects the ability for buyers to borrow money to buy homes here and elsewhere.
The RGJ was a little glum yesterday, I’d say, when they ran that piece about the housing slump persisting. But two things caught my eye. One was near the bottom when Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group declared that "the worst of the hemorrhaging is behind us" which might be possible on a national scale, but I’m not convinced that holds here where we had such a dramatic run-up. The other thing I noticed is that Mark Vitner of Wachovia called the bottom of the market for late this year or early next year, which is awfully close to Smarten’s January 11, 2009 birthday bottom prediction. (Still hoping he’s wrong so that we can cash in on that free dinner at the Lone Eagle Grill…. mmmm, love that place!)
Today the RGJ seemed a little more upbeat with the news that foreclosure filings had dropped by 10% in June, which is of course, positive. (Though Mike McGonagle scooped that news right here on the blog a few days ago.) But is it seasonal, tied to spring homebuying patterns? A dead cat bounce before the Alt-A onslaught looming on the horizon? Or with notice of defaults down, are we seriously working through the foreclosure problem here in Washoe County?
Bloomberg doesn’t seem to think the worst is over yet, but I’m sure some will simply blast them as being the negative media. Still, a million foreclosures is tough to ignore and something our markets will have to deal with.
BTW, did anyone notice that ad on page 6D the paper ran back on July 3? The one with the list of 68 properties destined to go to auction due non-payment of Reno Special Assessments? Just eyeballing the list, I’d say about half were in Somersett, though the online list is much shorter, so I guess owners are finding ways to pony up the cash necessary to bring their accounts current. I’m sure the list will shorten as the day of reckoning approaches. The sale is scheduled for 1:30 pm on Tuesday, July 15 at the Reno City Hall Council Chambers, 1 East First Street, and starting bids are low. I wonder how this works. Do the banks show up to bid on these properties to retain title, or do people just buy them for whatever price, the city transfers title, and that’s the end of it? Or do buyers end up with clouded titles that require a lengthy, expensive process to clear?
On another note, be sure to check out our cool new Zillow mortgage widget right below the Zestimate box (scroll down, middle column). It’s a quick and easy way to get a quote without being hassled by salespeople who eat their young. Enjoy!