"Altruistica": Seeking a return to full financial disclosure and regulatory oversight. A financial market analysis blog for "entertainment purposes" only by an experienced CFA seeking new hedge fund engagements for investment writing and analysis. The author has experience investing internationally, running a hedge fund, making angel investments, and helping launch five startup companies. Investors should do their own due diligence.

25 January 2007

BBB Crashes while NAR Deletes Criticism of shill David Lereah on Wikipedia

This story really cuts into the housing cheerleading going on.
The NAR is getting more desperate. Someone who is a Wikipedia user sent this information to me: You'll like this. Someone at a NAR IP address, deleted criticisms of David Lereah from his Wikipedia page, Here are the diffs: I restored the deleted material. Basically, someone from the National association of Realtors deleted from Wikipedia's David Lereah page the part that read: Lereah has been criticized for encouraging the rise of the United States housing bubble. According to an interview in the Chicago Tribune, "In October 2005 Lereah was busy calling the bubble believers `Chicken Littles.' Many of the predictions espoused by the `Chicken Littles' are fast becoming closer to reality. David Lereah has lost credibility because of his irresponsible cheerleading."[4] Lereah said that he has been forecasting a decline in sales for some time: "For three years, I've said, `This is the year that sales will come down.'" It is a real low to delete legitimate criticism of Mr. Lereah from Wikipedia. If you type in David Lereah into Google the third hit is this blog. Take that Lereah! The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is an organization that is out to help Realtors receive more money from transactions of housing units. It's stated interest is to help Realtors. They are not here to help the public. They use deception and cheerleading by paid shills like Mr. Lereah to promote their harmful agenda.

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease reddit
Source:Calculated Risk (CalculatedRisk) Jan 24, 2007 1:50 p.m. -
Rate spike not likely to help these guys- MBI Begins to Collapse, CORS Next??
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports: Mortgage Refinance Applications and Purchase Applications Both Decrease (UPDATE: link added) Click on graph for larger image. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 611.3, a decrease of 8.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 667.2 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5.7 percent compared with the previous week and was up 3.8 percent compared with the same week one year earlier. The Refinance Index decreased by 9.6 percent to 1848.8 from 2045.8 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 8.4 percent to 402.7 from 439.7 one week earlier. Mortgage rates increased: The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.22 from 6.19 percent ... The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 5.91 percent from 5.85

And now the NAR claims prices are UP YEAR OVER YEAR- Who are they kidding???
Existing-Home Sales Ease, Supplies Tighten In December; 2006 Historically High
Existing-home sales eased but prices stabilized as inventories tightened in December, while 2006 was the third-highest sales year on record, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Total existing-home sales – Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – eased 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.22 million units in December from a level of 6.27 million in November. Sales were 7.9 percent lower than a 6.75 million-unit pace in December 2005. There were 6,480,000 existing-home sales in all of 2006, down 8.4 percent from a record 7,075,000 in 2005. The second highest total was 6,779,000 in 2004; NAR began tracking home sales in 1968.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said home sales remain historically high. “Despite all of the doom-and-gloom stories and dire predictions over the last year, 2006 was the third strongest year on record for existing-home sales,” he said. “It looks like we’re moving beyond the low for the housing cycle last fall, and buyers are responding to historically low interest rates and competitive pricing by home sellers. In addition, a tightening inventory of homes on the market is supporting prices.”
Total housing inventory levels fell 7.9 percent at the end of December to 3.51 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.8-month supply at the current sales pace – down from a 7.3-month supply in November. The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $222,000 in December, which is unchanged from December 2005. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. For all of 2006, the median price was also $222,000, up 1.1 percent from a median of $219,600 in 2005.
We're getting kinda nervous and here's the new NAR Prezzie to Pump:
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.14 percent in December, down from 6.24 percent in November. The December rate was the lowest since October 2005 when it averaged 6.07 percent. NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs, from Grand Rapids, Mich., and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt, said the market has clearly settled with some minor monthly fluctuations. “We expect home sales to rise modestly over the course of this year,” said Combs. “Although local markets vary, price appreciation will be below normal in most of the country this year, but we’re looking for slow, steady gains in both home sales and prices through 2008.”

Single-family home sales slipped 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in December from 5.51 million in November, and were 7.2 percent lower than the 5.86 million-unit pace in December 2005. In all of 2006, single-family sales declined 8.1 percent to 5.68 million, the third strongest total on record. The median existing single-family home price was $221,600 in December, which was unchanged from a year ago. For all of 2006, the median single-family price was $222,000, up 1.4 percent from 2005. Existing condominium and cooperative housing sales rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 777,000 units in December from an upwardly revised level of 761,000 in November.

Even condo prices are up, according to NAR????? IN what world?
Last month’s sales activity was 12.2 percent lower than the 885,000-unit pace in December 2005. After setting 10 consecutive annual records, condo sales for all of 2006 fell 10.4 percent to 803,000 units, the third highest year on record. The median existing condo price was $227,000 in December, which was 0.3 percent above a year ago. In all of 2006, the median condo price was $221,800, down 0.9 percent from 2005


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