Monday, March 21, 2011

A Frightening Satellite Tour Of America's Foreclosure Wastelands

Although in my last post I said I was hanging up my Realtor shingle I find the following blog post I did on my personal blog site should be posted here as well, to both inform and enlighten those of you contemplating either buying or selling property in the near future. Caveat emptor.

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Gus Lubin

RealtyTrac is out with the total foreclosure numbers for 2010. On the whole things are getting worse.

72 percent of major metro areas saw an increase in foreclosure volume. Although some of the worst hit areas in Nevada, California and Florida improved from 2009, the foreclosure rate in these areas remains shockingly high. If not for some foreclosure suspensions due to the robosigning scandal, these numbers would have been higher.

For a frightening way to visualize the foreclosure crisis, we're borrowing a Google maps technique described by Barry Ritholtz.

Click here for a satellite tour of the foreclosure crisis >

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Note: If the above 'reality check' isn't scary enough for Canadians knowing as we do how dependent we are on the states for buying our exports (especially Alberta) i.e. if they aren't buying then we ain't spending... or as it has been said, "when they sneeze, we catch the cold", the following story makes the case that the national home price decline has further to run... possibly as much as 15%-20%, before real prices reach the long-run trend and a level more in-line with fundamentals. What's even more mind boggling is that in real terms, home prices today are comparable to 120 years ago.

Home prices falling to level of 1890s

With all the above in mind, I find it both strange and disturbing how almost nightly the evening news has story after story about how great both our economy and the housing market are here in Canada? When in fact, many believe as I do that it is nothing more than government initiated propaganda and that in all likelihood we will soon be heading into another recession). With respect to our housing market, pundits and many indicators alike show we are living within a housing bubble that could soon burst, resulting in major price reductions, as we have seen and continue to see happening with our neighbours down south.

Who's fooling who when we continue to see internet news stories coming from our financial institutions, such as this one...

Canadian home prices to rise modestly: Scotiabank

UPDATE: March 29, 2011
U.S. Housing Prices Fell Again in January for the sixth month in a row.

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