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strbear

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Posts posted by strbear

  1. Fair Investment surveyed its users and found that 86 per cent of participants had received warning that their endowment policy would not be enough to pay off the mortgage.

    Of those expecting a shortfall, 41 per cent said it could be as much as 25 per cent of their mortgage and a worrying 23 per cent of people said it would be a huge 50 per cent – meaning a bill of several thousand pounds. Just 6 per cent were expecting a surplus.

    Full article at http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle3962126.ece

    Enjoy

    SB

    ;)

  2. Here's one to make me feel better - just gone up from 499,950 to 570,000!

    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-713...11&tr_t=buy

    19th May 2008

    * Price changed: from '£499,950' to '£570,000'

    16th May 2008

    * Price changed: from '£570,000' to '£499,950'

    * Subtitle changed: from '5 bedroom flat' to '5 bedroom detached'

    29th Apr 2008

    * Subtitle changed: from '5 bedroom detached' to '5 bedroom flat'

    17th Feb 2008

    * Initial entry found.

    TMT

    At the risk of bringing you down from your high - technically it was at £570K and still is apart from a brief window when the vendor/agent had a moment of doubt - not that I want to shatter you whilst you're on a roll.

    I do admit however that you have a remarkable ability to spot the homes of Krusty followers making six bedrooms into two threes and a flat into a detached

    SB

  3. Hi

    I've posted on here a few times about the withdrawal of Home Equity Lines of Credit - basically cash advances made by the lender secured on the value of the house.

    We'll whilst in the past there has been some cutting back on these (and the associated problems of people having to repay them on the spot) Washington Mutual has gone all the way and cut $6Bn worth in one go!!!!!!!!

    I think this will have a major impact on US consumer spending and force even more in to foreclosure - your thoughts please?

    Read the article at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2008/05/6-billion-in-cu.html ://http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lal...ion-in-cu.html

    Regards

    SB

    ;)

  4. Kier, one of Britain's biggest construction and house building companies, today gave warning of a slowdown in public sector spending across the country.

    Chief executive John Dodds, said the housebuilding plunge is now starting to spread into the multi-billion-pound public sector construction market for new schools, hospitals and roads.

    Mr Dodds said: "We think the economic slowdown is everywhere. Construction ultimately can not avoid in my opinion some sort of slowdown. I do not however see that yet in the south. The key is the public sector and if it begins to slow and if it does happen it will not be via a public announcement. The government will withdraw money and will not be available as it was."

    Mr Dodds said that based on the trading outlook across the housebuilding and construction sector it was very likely that these could see a repeat of the early 1990s when about half a million jobs, from bricklayers to kitchen fitters, were lost over a five year period.

    Read more at http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle3944254.ece

    I think we're starting to sink . . . . . . .

    Regards

    SB

    ;)

  5. Though the national real estate market remains bleak--in some neighborhoods vacant homes outnumber those that are occupied and sellers are being forced to lower asking prices in a bid to lure bargain hunters--it's assumed that when housing dips to a point where buyers think it represents a bargain, they'll buy back in.

    The problem is many of the markets that experienced steep 2007 price drops are still a long way from recovery.

    That's based on a Moody's Economy.com report prepared for Forbes.com. It predicts that 2008 isn't going to be any gentler than last year on slumping markets like Los Angeles, Sacramento, Calif., Las Vegas and Tampa, Fla., where market weakness is expected to cause 10% to 25% drops over the next year.

    Thats makes it best part of 35% to 50% drops - Wonder when the UK press will realise what happens there happens here too.

    Sleep tight

    SB

  6. From a front-page story in today's LATimes about the impact of the slowing economy on younger workers: "Dulce Maya is worried that she won't be able to squeeze by much longer. The 27-year-old restaurant manager bought a three-bedroom, two-bath house in Fontana for $350,000 two years ago with a $5,000 down payment and an adjustable-rate mortgage.

    "This year, her $2,300 monthly payment will probably rise to $3,300 and her work hours were recently cut because business is slow. Maya has asked her bank to lower her payments so she can keep her house, which is now valued at $200,000, and expects to hear back in the next few weeks. If it doesn't agree, she says, she may have no choice but to hand the bank the keys.

    "'I don't know what happens next,' Maya said. 'I may try and rent an apartment for around what I'm paying, but rents are going up too.'

    Jason Liebrecht used to write about his motorcycle adventures on his blog. But since early this month, the 36-year-old San Diego computer software engineer's daily musings have been about a less thrilling new experience: unemployment.

    "Do I find a job, or do I head to Central and South America on the motorcycle?" he wrote on Day 4. By Day 7, he had become more realistic: "So far in the last week I've made $1,245 off of EBay sales. Mostly stuff I wasn't using, or don't need much. Nice way to clean the house up!"

    After selling some stock and applying for unemployment, Liebrecht figures he can pay his $2,300-a-month mortgage and other bills for just two months. When his company health insurance runs out in a few weeks, he'll go uncovered because he can't afford the premiums.

    Of course its different this time and the economy is strong so house prices won't crash - just like in California!

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ge...51.story?page=1

    Enjoy,

    Regards

    SB

  7. The investment bank Credit Suisse is now predicting that 6.5 million American homeowners -- that's one out of every eight that has a mortgage -- will end up in foreclosure over the next five years.

    In a report this week titled "Foreclosure Trends: A sobering reality," Credit Suisse predicts home prices will continue to fall throughout 2008 and 2009, causing a huge wave of foreclosures.

    "... We estimate a total of 6.5 million loans will fall into foreclosure over the next five years, with the peak in 2008," the report says. "That estimate includes about 1.2 million loans currently already in foreclosure ... The coming flood of new foreclosures could put 8.4% of total homeowners, or 12.7% of homeowners with mortgages, out of their homes."

    By 2009, the report predicts, 63% of sub-prime borrowers will be "underwater" on their mortgages -- owing more than their homes are worth.

    I sometime wonder if this is really going to get a lot worse than we all imagine?

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/200...oming-tida.html

    Sleep tight

    SB

    ;)

  8. Sorry, back online after having a life....

    I think you're rigtht!

    My original post was based on scant research. Jeesh, I've only got a chavvy Nicolas Feuillatte in the house for tomorrow morning. Damn, too short notice to celebrate properly. Must check out what time the Harrods Oyster and Champagne bar opens tomorrow.....

    Its 11:00 till 20:00 hours - try a glass of Oenothèque from Dom Pérignon - Fionnula is worth it!

    Enjoy

    SB

  9. The number of California homes lost to foreclosure in the first quarter surged 327% from year-ago levels -- reaching an average of more than 500 foreclosures per day -- DataQuick said in a report, warning that the widening foreclosure problem could "spread beyond the current categories of dicey mortgages, and into mainstream home loans."

    From DataQuick's report on California foreclosures in the first three months of 2008: "Trustees Deeds recorded, or the actual loss of a home to foreclosure, totaled 47,171 during the first quarter. ... Last quarter's total rose 48.9 percent from 31,676 in the previous quarter, and jumped 327.6 percent from 11,032 in first quarter 2007." That translates into 517 foreclosures every day in the first quarter of 2008.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/200...ornia-fo-1.html

    Enjoy

    SB

  10. In this Time's article it looks like Merv accepts house prices need to fall and this isn't designed to prop them up at all

    He also stressed that the scheme could not be used to prop up a failing bank, nor to underpin the sliding housing market. "It is not available to a failing institution," he said.

    "There needs to be some adjustment to the housing market," he added: "This scheme is designed not to impede that."

    I think the impact on the mortgage market will be little to none.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle3789615.ece

    Regards

    SB

  11. In this Time's article it looks like Merv accepts house prices need to fall and this isn't designed to prop them up at all

    He also stressed that the scheme could not be used to prop up a failing bank, nor to underpin the sliding housing market. "It is not available to a failing institution," he said.

    "There needs to be some adjustment to the housing market," he added: "This scheme is designed not to impede that."

    I think the impact on the mortgage market will be little to none.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle3789615.ece

    Regards

    SB

  12. Some folks celebrate their last home mortgage payment by setting fire to their loan agreement. Lately, some people behind on their mortgages are simply setting fire to their homes.

    In what appears to be the latest symptom of the nation's mortgage meltdown and credit crisis, insurers, law enforcement officials and state agencies nationwide report a jump in home and automobile fires in the last year believed to have been set by owners unable to pay their debts. The numbers are small, but they're leading the insurance industry to scrutinize more closely what seem to be accidental blazes.

    "We've seen a dramatic increase in this kind of fraud," said Dan Bales, director of fraud investigations at Mercury Insurance. "People upside-down on their house with variable-interest-rate loans, or upside-down on their cars, are pretty quick to burn their property right now."

    You couldn't make it up if you tried! But with foreclosures up 75% this year they have to do something - surely Jinglemail is easier than this?

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-arso...1,4460977.story

    Enjoy the rest of the day,

    Regards

    SB

  13. Median listing prices in Greater Los Angeles fell another $5,000 in the past week, and have now declined $130,000 from their bubble peak, according to Housing Tracker's analysis of MLS listings. Highlights:

    --Median listing price fell to $450,000, a decline of 17.4% over the past year and 22.4% from the April 2006 peak of $579,666.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/200...ing-prices.html

    Njoy,

    SB

  14. And it looks like they are taking it out on customers too - this is from the LA Times

    I reported back in December that Washington Mutual had confirmed it was lowering the amount of some home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. Judging from my e-mail in-box, WaMu is continuing to squeeze its customers.

    This came in tonight: "I just received the notice today of the reduction on our HELOC from WaMu ... As a customer I can verify that the amount they lowered it to is much less than the amount we currently have as a balance. On 4/2/08 our balance was $69,778.47. Today, 4/9/08, we received notice via mail that our limit was to be lowered to $64,900. In addition to this change, which I should mention the letter was written on 4/3/08, the bank charged us an overlimit fee on 4/4/08."

    Last week a Realtor in San Diego wrote, "Just after I made a large payment of $10K (only $350 payment was due), they took away all of my credit line. This is putting me in a panic and possible bad situation. I have been with WaMu for many years and have had many home loans with them, and never missed a payment, and have always had bank accounts with them, in addition, my credit is great. I had no notice or warning whatsoever, of course if I had, I would not have given them $10,000 that I did not need to."

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/

    Regards

    SB

  15. Ah, to get back to the original question, I think I may be able to explain.

    One of the South American countries that produces 30+ % of the worlds beef has just had a major health scam exposed and the number of abatoirs has gone from 200 to 3 about 2 months ago = supply down 30% worldwide hence prices going through the roof and likely to stay there.

    Regards

    SB

  16. CITIGROUP and Merrill Lynch will heap further pain on Wall Street this week as they reveal additional sub-prime write-downs totalling $15 billion (£7.6 billion) or more.

    In another sign of the intense pressure on leading banks, Deutsche Bank is attempting to offload some of its €35 billion (£28 billion) of toxic debt to a consortium of private-equity firms.

    Huge exposure to American mortgages is expected to result in Citi taking a $10 billion hit to its accounts, dragging the bank to a first-quarter loss of almost $3 billion. Some analysts believe Citi’s write-downs could stretch to as much as $12 billion.

    Merrill will suffer $5 billion of write-downs, analysts say, which would push the bank $2.7 billion into the red. It is expected to knock a further 20% from the value of its sub-prime holdings, in spite of the fact that it announced $18 billion of write-downs only three months ago.

    The new rash of Wall Street losses and write-downs come in addition to the billions that have already been recorded.

    From the Sunday Times . . . http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle3671568.ece

    Sleep tight!

    SB

  17. In Today's LA Times

    A four-bedroom house in Palm Springs that had previously sold for $1.2 million went for $625,000. A two-bedroom cottage in Los Angeles' trendy Silver Lake neighborhood that had traded hands two years ago for $887,000 got picked up for $285,000. ... Edwin Beeks, retired from the U.S. Navy after being wounded in Iraq, picked up a four-bedroom ranch house in Lancaster, Calif., with a bid of $95,000. The previous owner paid $255,000 in 2005..."

    Let's run those discounts from peak pricing quickly: That's 47.9% off of peak pricing in Palm Springs, 67% in Silver Lake, and 63% in Lancaster.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/

    Of course the banks don't have to accept but to me its an indicator that 50% drops are going to be possible. Comments?

    And if that's not enough, the MLS for LA now shows a 21.6% drop since the peak in April 06 - see the same URL for more details.

    And if you think I'm too LA centric - what about Las Vegas -

    The housing slump has fattened the inventory of unsold homes throughout the country, and a staggering 51% of them in Las Vegas are vacant.

    See more on this at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-vega...0,3236506.story

    Regards

    SB

  18. 'Perversity' in Calabasas: More $$$ for Countrywide bigs

    News item from the L.A. Times: "The top two executives of beleaguered Countrywide Financial Corp. will pocket $19 million in stock next week, according to a regulatory filing. It's the start of a series of multimillion-dollar payments expected to go to the pair before and after the company's pending takeover by Bank of America Corp."

    More: "The largesse for Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and President David Sambol drew immediate fire from Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, whose members have been debating the merits of a government bailout of consumers and mortgage lenders caught in the sub-prime meltdown.

    "It's perverse [emphasis added] for Bank of America to reward the principal architects of the bad business practices that caused this housing crisis," Schumer said in a statement. "Bank of America will hopefully correct the bad practices Countrywide put in place. But enriching people who specialized in deceiving borrowers for the sake of their bottom line will not help that cause."

    Also: "Bank of America Corp. will pay $28 million to Countrywide Financial Corp. to chief operating officer David Sambol to retain him as head of the merging companies' consumer mortgage operations."

    The headline is a cheap shot, I'll admit -- anytime you're quoting Chuck Schumer in a headline, it's a low blow. But in all seriousness: Do you mean to tell me David Sambol is uniquely qualified to lead Countrywide after Bank of America buys it? I mean, I'm sure he's good at his job. So was Karl Dorrell, but UCLA found another football coach. So was Grady Little, but the Dodgers found another manager.

    This is the Countrywide management team that says no one predicted the mortgage crisis; these are the guys who said last summer that Countrywide would benefit from the mortgage meltdown. Then they went out and lost $1.2 billion in the third quarter, lost $442 million in the fourth and sold the company for a fraction of its previous value. And this is the very best management team Bank of America can find?

    Perhaps the concept of paying more to get good talent is being exposed for the sham it is?

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/200...rsity-in-c.html

    Enjoy

    SB

    ;)

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