Earth to Washington, D.C. Earth to Washington, D.C. Come in Washington, this is Earth. Over.
Calculated Risk quotes Campbell Surveys on plunging house sales
According to the survey firm, Campbell Communications, buy-side agents responding to the survey indicated a 19% drop in completed transactions between the months of September and October. Declines were especially severe for sales of non-distressed properties in states where home prices have fallen rapidly during the past year, agents indicated. For example, buy-side agents indicated a 22% decline in non-distressed sales in Florida, a 32% drop in California, and a 51% drop in Michigan.
Washington, D.C., we’ve got a situation here.
The Columbian reports that foreclosures have spiked again in Clark County, which had previously (sorta kinda) weathered the storm okay.
Local foreclosure rates had appeared to be leveling off in September, when 144 foreclosures were filed in Clark County, up just 3 from the same month the year before. But the lull — down from more than 290 foreclosures filed here in August — was short-lived.
The number of Clark County homes in foreclosure in October jumped by more than 63 percent over September numbers.
The county’s foreclosures in October accounted for 5.5 percent of the 4,278 foreclosures filed statewide. Washington had the 17th-highest foreclosure rate out of 50 states, according to RealtyTrac, which incorporates data filed during several stages of foreclosure. Oregon ranked No. 16.
Washington, D.C., you need to stop fooling around now. You there, Washington, D.C.?
Naomi Klein spells things out in an article for Rolling Stone.
Unfortunately, many of the banks appear to have no intention of wasting the money on loans. “At least for the next quarter, it’s just going to be a cushion,” said John Thain, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch. Gary Crittenden, chief financial officer of Citigroup, had an even better idea: He hinted that his company would use its share of the cash — $25 billion — to buy up competitors and swell even bigger. The handout, he told analysts, “does present the possibility of taking advantage of opportunities that might otherwise be closed to us.”
And the folks at Morgan Stanley? They’re planning to pay themselves $10.7 billion this year, much of it in bonuses — almost exactly the amount they are receiving in the first phase of the bailout. “You can imagine the devilish grins on the faces of Morgan Stanley employees,” writes Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Weil. “Not only did we, the taxpayers, save their company…we funded their 2008 bonus pool.”
Uh, Washington, D.C., we got a lot of citizens starting to turn blue here. Copy?
Reuters reports on higher than expected job losses.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week to 516,000, the highest level since the weeks following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
U.S. imports fell by a record 5.6 percent in September and exports suffered their steepest drop since September 2001, narrowing the monthly trade deficit slightly more than expected, a U.S. Commerce Department report showed on Thursday.
Come in, D.C. Don’t know if you copy but it looks like people are starting to think about taking matters into their own hands. Situation critical. Repeat. Situation critical.
What would happen if a bunch of people just stopped paying their mortgages in order to get a better deal? Irvine Housing Blog relays admittedly anecdotal evidence from an acquaintance who is a real estate agent:
My friend, a very smart person, math thesis of the year award winner in college, with a masters degree in math, vice principle at a high school making excellent money, expresses to his neighbor that he is upset that his home is worth $100,000 less than he paid for it, however his neighbor then explains that he received a $100,000 principle write down by not paying his mortgage and negotiating a loan modification. Stopping by his house a few weeks ago on the way back from Las Vegas my friend explained this to me and said he thinks that he is going to get a modification as well.
I hope you copy D.C.
Everyone on board, prepare for impact.