Category Archives: Financial Markets

Housing and Bonds: Déjà vu All Over Again

Just when people thought we were safe from creative financing applied to bonds backed by homes, a new improved approach is about to surface.  The past year has seen an increase in buying homes for rent by private equity funds and others.  The private equity buyers are funded by their fund investors, much the same […]

Home Bias

Home bias in finance means that investors prefer investing in their home country rather than in foreign countries even when they understand there may be better opportunities abroad.  Some studies point to a domestic kind of home bias – people are more likely to buy stocks of companies with offices or headquarters near where they […]

Foreclosure Filings Drop 26% in 2013 to Lowest Annual Total Since 2007

RealtyTrac® released on January 16th its Year-End 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ showing foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 1,361,795 U.S. properties in 2013, down 26 percent from 2012 and down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010. The 1.4 million […]

Got a Mortgage?

The New York Times has a long article in the January 15th Business Section on home buyer’s difficulties in finding a mortgage and the bank’s difficulties in earning a profit from offering mortgages.  For home buyers the issues are qualifying for a mortgage and the prospect of higher interest rates as the Fed backs away […]

S&P Ratings U.S. Housing And Residential Mortgage Finance: 2014 Outlook

U.S. housing made a strong comeback in 2013. Home prices nationally have risen roughly 12%, which is in line with our original forecast early in the year of 11%. Overall, we expect a 6% increase in the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index (December to December % change) in 2014. While historical annual increases are […]

Why Bubbles Aren’t as Dangerous Today

Both the surprisingly strong 2013 US stock market performance and the surging rebound in US home prices are sparking fears of another round bursting bubbles among many investors and market pundits.  While we don’t know the chances that either stocks or home prices will plunge in 2014, the collateral damage from either will be less […]

Foreclosure Activity Drops 15% in November

RealtyTrac® released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for November showing  foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 113,454 U.S. properties in November, a 15 percent decrease from the previous month and a 37 percent decrease from a year ago. The report also shows one in every 1,155 U.S. housing […]

England, Housing and Economic Recovery

One argument in the debate over what caused the financial crisis is that since other countries including England had housing booms; Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and mortgages securitization weren’t the only problems.  Recent news from England may make people reconsider a bit. The Bank  of England is curtailing its “Funding for Lending”  program and reducing […]

Houses and Stocks

When tech stocks collapsed in 2000 and the market fell 50%, investors put their faith in houses:  maybe too much faith.  Then house prices collapsed from mid-2006 as mortgage excesses took down the economy. Stocks fell 50% again.  The subsequent recovery in the economy, houses and stocks disappointed at least two of the three: the […]

The Trends Shaping U.S. Housing Finance Agencies

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