I've been gathering real estate and mortgage information for a while now, trying to gauge the market here in California. There seems to be lots of opinions out there on where the market is headed. Of course, you always have the eternal optimists (the California Association of Realtors, for instance), and those for whom the glass is always half empty (the PrudentBear.com people). Anyway, here's a list of web sites and news articles I've collected recently, grouped by their outlook.Eternal Optimists California Association of Realtors (quote: "C.A.R.'s California Housing Market Forecast for 2005: Double-digit increases in median price to continue as sales moderate to second best year on record.") National Association of Realtors (quote: "'David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said month-to-month existing-home sales should not experience significant shifts. "In the first quarter of 2005, the trend will be a gradual ease in the sales pace with the housing market coasting at historically high levels as mortgage interest rates rise,' he said. 'At this point – with strong market fundamentals – we project next year will be the second-best overall year for the housing market.'") The Good Times Are Over
Center for Economic and Policy Research (quote: "The crash of the housing market will not be pretty. It is virtually certain to lead to a second dip to the recession. Even worse, millions of families will see the bulk of their savings disappear as homes in some of the bubble areas lose 30 percent, or more, of their value. Foreclosures, which are already at near record highs, will almost certainly soar to new peaks.") PrudentBear.com (quote: "Categorically, asset bubbles require ever-increasing quantities of credit expansion. As for housing, rising borrowings are necessary to finance booming transaction volume and maintain inflated values. This is most conspicuous currently with the hyper-bubble markets in
and along the East Coast. And liquidity emanating from the mortgage finance bubble these days fuels inflated and vulnerable financial asset prices...I today advise that the California mortgage finance bubble creates a clear and present danger to the stability of our financial system and economy, as well as the soundness of our currency.") Articles of Interest Southland Home Sales Slow but Prices Still Climb (L.A. Times: 10-15-04) The worst kind of debt: Charging the groceries (MSN: 10-14-04) Home Prices in L.A. Flatten (L.A. Times: 10-13-04) State Dominates Subprime Mortgage Lending in U.S. (L.A. Times: 10-12-04) Is the Housing Boom Over? (Fortune via mindfully.org: 09-20-04) Look Out Below, Lenders (Business Week: 06-07-04) Sites Of Interest Sacbee.com: Real Estate News RealEstateJournal.com Realestateconsulting.com Foreclosures.com U.S.