Thursday, July 1, 2010

Foreclosed Homes Sell at 27% Discount as Supply Grows

From a story by Dan Levy - Jun 30, 2010 on Bloomberg News, excerpts below

"Homes in the foreclosure process sold at an average 27 percent discount in the first quarter as almost a third of all U.S. transactions involved properties in some stage of mortgage distress, according to RealtyTrac Inc."

"The average price of a distressed property was $171,971, according to the Irvine, California-based data seller."

“The discount will probably stay between 25 percent and 30 percent as lenders carefully manage the number of new foreclosure actions in order to avoid flooding the market,” Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s senior vice president for marketing, said in an interview.

"The discount reflects the average sales price of homes in the foreclosure process compared with the average sales price of properties not in distress. About 31 percent of all U.S. sales in the quarter were of homes in some stage of foreclosure, RealtyTrac said. "

"Home foreclosures set a record for the second straight month in May, with increases in every state, as lenders stepped up property seizures, RealtyTrac said earlier this month. Bank repossessions climbed 44 percent from a year earlier and will probably set a record in the second quarter, the company said."

You have to ask yourself: are economic conditions that much worse or have banks found another outlet to dispose of these distressed properties?

Do I smell the stink of vulture investors again? How about buying a property for a third or so less than it is worth, slapping on a coat of paint and reselling it at a 50% profit (still way below what its market value might be)? And you dont even have to watch This Old House to find out how, or even get your hands dirty...there is an unlimited supply of undocumented workers literally dying to work for less than minimum wage paid in cash under the table to do the dirty work.

Who has the kind of resources to do this? Those dastardly hedge funds? Wilbur Ross ( owner of a mortgage servicer empire with inside access to the cherries of distressed homes) Carl Icahn? George Soros ( who undoubtedly has the ear of the Administration)?

And of course, those banks are being paid by the Government (TARP remember) using our tax dollars and servicers and banks are being given free money incentives to "try" and modify mortgages. These are the same banks that bought insurance against default on these mortgages from AIG.

And they were paid out 100% by the NY Federal Reserve under Tim Geithner, on these contracts so that they possibly have already been made whole on these home mortgages that they are now foreclosing.Do they even own them anymore? Shouldnt AIG have been given the collateral?

Double dipping, nay triple dipping comes to mind. The mortgage crisis was caused by irresponsible lending...but it was legal lending for the most part.

Today it appears that a nasty unintended consequence of the bailout of the banks is very likely a collusion between Government (in its burocratic ignorance), the Too Big To Fail crowd,the uber-Rich, those nasty Wall Street Types and compliant Politicians creating legislation written by lobbyists for those same beneficiaries that is setting up another scandalous rip off of the helpless populace.

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