Ah spring! The green shoots are just everywhere they say, even in down beaten real estate. Come the month of May, hope springs eternal.
At least that is what has struck National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Charles McMillan. He has the spring fever up to his eyeballs and then some.
Not surprisingly, he says now is the best time to buy a house. Go figure.
Is there ever a bad time I wonder?
“We have record low mortgage interest rates, a wide selection of homes and affordable prices in most areas,” McMillan said earlier this week. “When you add the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit, it’s hard to imagine a better time to make an investment in your future through homeownership.”
Yada, Yada, Yada….
Of course that is something of a tough sell to the folks that fell for the “buy now or get priced out forever” pitch that was peddled them over two years ago. For a lot of them, home ownership turned out to be nothing more than a trip to the court house steps.
Sadly, the odds are you know a few of them.
From Reuters by Lynn Adler entitled: About 12 percent of U.S. homeowners late paying or foreclosed
“One of eight U.S. households with a mortgage ended the first quarter late on loan payments or in the foreclosure process in a crisis that will persist for at least another year until unemployment peaks, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.
U.S. unemployment in April reached its highest rate in more than a quarter century and is still rising, helping propel mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures to record highs.
Such economic weakness drove up foreclosures of prime fixed-rate loans, which are made to the most creditworthy borrowers. The foreclosure rate on those loans doubled in the last year and represented the largest share of new foreclosures in the first three months of this year.
“We clearly haven’t hit the top yet in terms of delinquencies or the bottom of the housing market,” Jay Brinkmann, the association’s chief economist, said in an interview.
A record 12.07 percent of loans on one-to-four unit residences were at least one payment late or in the foreclosure process, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.”
That spring in real estate is no where in sight.
By the way, rising interest rates will easily punish home prices by another 10-15%.
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