Category Archives: Financial Markets

Housing Bubbles Around the World

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), best known for bailing out over-indebted countries, is worried about housing bubbles around the world. In a recent speech (here) Martin Zhu, the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, notes that housing prices are climbing in numerous countries. Citing the experience here in the U.S. with the housing boom and […]

Foreclosure Activity Continues to Wind Down

RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for April 2014 today showing foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 115,830 U.S. properties in April, a 1% decrease from the previous month and down 20% from April 2013. The report also shows one in every 1,137 U.S. housing […]

Affordable Housing Hot Topics Event

Please save Tuesday, June 10, for Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ Affordable Housing Hot Topics Event in New York. Senior credit analysts from S&P Ratings’ Housing Enterprises and Structured Securities group along with our financial services, corporate and RMBS ratings teams will discuss mortgage finance and housing industry trends. Our cross-sector topics will include: U.S. […]

Housing Looking for Good Old Days

Rising Home Prices are boosting property taxes while mortgage lenders may be getting more generous. Bloomberg reports that property tax collections are rising at the fastest pace since the financial crisis with gains spread across the country. Among cities cited as enjoying renewed revenue gains were San Jose CA, Nashville TN, Houston TX and Washington […]

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 […]

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