Category Archives: Housing Finance & Policy

Share of Underwater Loans Ticks Up

RealtyTrac®  reported today that the percentage U.S. residential properties that are seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value — ticked up to 13.2% percent of all properties with a mortgage in the 2015 first quarter from 12.7% in the […]

Underwater Properties Decreasing as Equity Rises

RealtyTrac®  released today its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the fourth quarter of 2014, showing that at the end of the year there were 7,052,570 U.S. residential properties seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value — representing […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How High is Your Property Tax?

Brookings Institute, a well known Washington think tank, has published an interactive  map on the web (HERE) which lets you roll your mouse over any county in the United States and see the average home value, average property tax and average ratio of taxes to values, along with how the county ranks nationally.  New York […]

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 […]

Economic Update: Some Progress But Little Resolution

Across the Pond

As the US continues to discuss what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and how to reframe housing policy so we don’t have another boom and bust, there are similar debates in England, as explained by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times.  If this sounds a bit like the US story some ten […]

U.S. Mortgages Hot Topics Seminar

Please join us on Thursday, June 27, 2013 to discuss hot topics in the U.S. mortgages sector. Speakers will include senior analysts from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ Structured Finance commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities, U.S. Public Finance Housing and Financial Institutions ratings teams. Our program also features notable guest speakers from the industry. Register […]

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