Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thursday January 17 Housing and Economic stories


Payback time, Florida homeowners foreclosing on banks - ( Since the housing bubble burst in Florida five years ago, more than 400,000 borrowers have had their homes foreclosed on by their lenders. But for some, it's payback time. Hundreds of homeowners and condo associations are foreclosing on banks that have failed to pay dues and other expenses on the properties they've repossessed. When banks foreclose on a home they become responsible for paying fees to the homeowners association -- both any unpaid fees going back as far as 12 months and all expenses going forward. In many cases, however, banks are failing to pay, leaving these associations short on cash, according to Miami-based attorney Ben Solomon. But now, homeowners groups are putting liens on the properties until banks pay up and foreclosing on them if they don't.

Dust Bowl Wilting U.S. Wheat as Funds Turn Bearish: Commodities - ( The worst U.S. drought since the 1930s Dust Bowl is damaging wheat crops across the world’s biggest supplier, at a time when hedge funds are the most bearish on prices in seven months. About 61 percent of the country is mired in a dry spell that the government says will last at least until March in states growing the most winter wheat. With dormant crops already in the worst condition since records began in 1985 and global inventories headed for a third annual drop, Chicago futures may rise as much as 25 percent to $9.50 a bushel this year, the median of 32 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg shows. That raises the prospect of prices reversing their 20 percent drop since a July peak, a retreat that spurred hedge funds to start betting on more declines in December. The prolonged drought is increasing concern that supplies will tighten because there is also dry weather in Argentina and Australia. 

Risk Seen in Some Mortgage Bonds - ( After a surge in bonds backed by mortgages on commercial properties, some investors are finding cracks in the foundations. Investors piled into these bonds, which are made up of pools of loans linked to properties such as shopping malls and hotels, because of the relatively high yields they offered. But that demand has sent prices soaring, and yields tumbling to record lows. As well, some investors remain worried that defaults on these loans remain at historically high rates.

Did Generation X Cause the Housing Crisis? - ( The largest percentage of households in foreclosure belonged to those in Generation X—in particular, Gen-Xers who had high average household income ($59,500) and years of education (14.8 years). It seems counter intuitive that a well-educated and affluent group of families would lead the foreclosure charge. Yet this group of households made up more than 1 in 10 foreclosures. How do affluent families end up in foreclosure? Luckily, the researchers provided statistics about the types of mortgages that were in foreclosure. Mortgages with High Loan-to-Value. The size of the down payment at closing can vary greatly. FHA loans can require as little as 2.5 percent of the purchase price. A review of mortgages in foreclosure found that the median mortgage had a loan-to-value of about 65 percent. Mortgages in foreclosure had a median of 96 percent.

What is actually going on in Iceland - ( Why are these myths being spread about Iceland? Why do people think that Iceland is a progressive paradise …. ? Why is Iceland being paraded by the occupy movement as an example of how things should be done? I don’t know. My theory, born out by the names of those who seem to be the sources of the biggest myths, is that there is a group of Icelanders who are blatantly lying to foreigners. Possibly they are doing this to balm their wounded nationalistic pride, have convinced themselves that it’s true and that Iceland really is great and unique. Possibly its because they see profit in lying to gullible foreigners. The latter was a national sport during the banking bubble and has been a standard Icelandic tactic throughout the ages, but I can’t rule out the role of idiotic nationalism in this nonsense. I don’t know. The only thing I know is that you are being lied to and that Icelanders are very good at lying to themselves. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

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