Bad news sometimes looks like good, in this economy. Payrolls fell by 345,000, the least in eight months, after a revised 504,000 loss in April, the Labor Department said. The jobless rate increased to 9.4 percent, the highest since 1983. The dollar rallied and Treasuries fell as optimism grew that the economy’s slump will soon end. Still, figures showing a drop in hours worked and slowdown in earnings indicate any recovery will be muted.
Nearly one in four U.S. homes for sale on June 1 had their prices sliced at least once since landing on the market, data compiled by real estate website Trulia.com showed. A total of 23.6 percent of houses have seen their price cut. The average reduction was 10.6 percent of the original price.
Mortgage rates are now at their highest level this year hitting 5.29 percent in the last week. While that's historically low, people looking to refinance or buy a home were thrown for a loop by the sudden spike in rates. So if you've been sitting on the sidelines waiting for rates to fall lower, PBS' Scott Gurvey reports it may be time to get off the couch.
The owners of soon-to-be shuttered brokerage Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy bid a tear-soaked farewell to agents and well-wishers during a goodbye party at the company's headquarters on the 12th floor of 555 Madison Avenue.
Yale economist Robert Schiller pens an opinion piece where he try's his hand at moving from economic analysis to psychoanalysis: "...long, steady housing price declines seem to defy both common sense and the traditional laws of economics, which assume that people act rationally and that markets are efficient."
The panic in the Manhattan real estate market of the winter of 2009 lifted in the last few weeks, brokers say, as more and more buyers and sellers have found the courage and the comfort level to sign on the dotted line. A bidding war has even occasionally broken out.
Despite the jump in the unemployment rate, today’s jobs report qualifies as very good news. The economy lost 345,000 jobs in May, the smallest loss since October and a significantly smaller one than economists were expecting. The monthly job loss has now declined for four straight months, after a peak decline of 741,000 jobs in January.
A continuing steep drop in home prices combined with rising unemployment is powering a new wave of foreclosures. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence, so far, that the Obama administration’s anti-foreclosure plan will be able to stop it.
The media mogul Barry Diller and the fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg have made a $10 million challenge grant to the High Line, the former elevated railway along the Hudson River that is being converted into a landscaped walkway... The gift, which was to be announced at an event on the High Line on Monday night, brings the fundraising to $34 million in a $50 million capital campaign. It will be allotted in $2 million annual increments over five years with Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit group that manages the project, required to match each installment.
London luxury-home prices fell about 20 percent in May from a year ago and probably won’t return to their 2008 highs for another five years.
Paul Krugman writes, "the more one looks into the origins of the current disaster, the clearer it becomes that the key wrong turn... took place in the early 1980s, during the Reagan years."
The Conference Board's consumer-confidence index rose to 54.9 in May from April's 40.8, its highest level in eight months. The bulk of the rise was due to a rise in consumers' assessment of economic conditions over the next six months. Meanwhile, there was new evidence that the housing sector is still weakening. The S&P/Case-Shiller national home-price index fell 19.1% in the first quarter versus a year earlier.
So you think we are out of the foreclosure woods? Don't bet on it. Option ARMs allow the borrower to pay less than the amount of interest on the loan early in the mortgage life, with the difference being added to the principal of the mortgage. Even in a flat housing price environment, this would cause the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio to rise over time. In a falling home price environment, with both the loan growing and the value falling, it happens much more quickly.
While 17 financial institutions have repaid TARP funds, two have come to terms with the U.S. on the value of the rights to buy stock that taxpayers received for the risk of recapitalizing the industry. The first was Old National Bancorp in Evansville, Indiana, which gave the Treasury Department $1.2 million last week for warrants that may have been worth $5.81 million.
As job losses rise, growing numbers of American homeowners with once solid credit are falling behind on their mortgages, amplifying a wave of foreclosures. The nation’s real estate disaster is shifting from subprime loans to prime loans issued to those with decent financial histories.
While some observers had hoped for an uptick, this seems to me to be the marketplace working, as the new housing development pipeline restricts due to excess inventory. While it means the recovery for the construction industry is a way off, it also means that supply is stabilizing allowing a bottom to come into the market, and give values a shot to begin a recovery. New home construction fell to its lowest pace on record in April, the government reported. Building permits fell to record lows and construction on new multi-family units plunged.
A global housing recovery begins? U.K. home sellers raised asking prices in May by the most in more than a year as buyers’ access to mortgages improved and the number of properties for sale dwindled, Rightmove Plc said. The average cost of a home climbed 2.4 percent from April to 227,441 pounds ($347,000) and the number of new properties for sale in London dropped by a third from a year earlier to 11,478 the operator of the biggest U.K. residential property Web site said today.
Providing further evidence that the housing slump that started in 2006 may be closer to a bottom, confidence among U.S. homebuilders in May increased to the highest level since September.
The scene seems shocking in its ordinariness. Troops are prepared to inflict deadly damage on a large, surging enemy. But the setting in May 1933 was Main Street. We are in fact in Le Mars, Iowa, 76 years ago. Farmers had just attacked Judge C. C. Bradley in his courtroom because he refused to stop signing foreclosure orders.
Pending sales of previously owned homes rose for a second month in March, while construction spending edged higher, according to reports on Monday that suggested moderation in the long housing slump. The reports lent support to the view that the recession, now in its 17th month, was close to finding a bottom.