Author Archives | David Lereah

David Lereah – This author has written 109 posts on RealEstateEconomyWatch.com.

David A. Lereah, president of Reecon Advisors, is a recognized economic expert in the real estate and financial services industries.

Dr. Lereah and his research staff were responsible for creating two of the nation’s most powerful real estate indicators—the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Application Indexes and the National Association of Realtor’s Pending Home Sales Index.

Dr. Lereah was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors where he served as the association’s spokesman on the U.S. economy, the housing and real estate markets as well as other economic and policy issues affecting the real estate industry in the U.S. and abroad. He directed the Association’s Research Division, the Regulatory and Industry Relations Division, the Real Estate Services Group and Strategic Planning activities for the Association.

Prior to NAR, he was Chief Economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and acted as its Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for the Association’s Research, Business Development, Industry Technology, Education, Marketing, Public Affairs and Meetings divisions. He also had responsibility for the Association’s Research Institute for Housing America and Societas, an international lending institute. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lender Technologies Corporation – a wholly owned subsidiary of the MBA which specializes in technology and information solutions for the mortgage lending industry.

Lereah was Managing Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Vantage Financial Group, Inc., a consulting company focusing on financial and investment management for the banking and real estate industries. He also was the Chief Economist of Sovran Bank (predecessor of NationsBank and BankAmerica) in Richmond, Virginia, and served on the Asset/Liability and Investment Committees for the holding company. Lereah spent several years as a bank regulator and a Financial Economist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He also was a member of the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Council.

Dr. Lereah began his career on the faculties at the University of Virginia and the Graduate School of Management at Rutgers University, where he specialized in banking issues, market information problems and financial market research. To provide insight and advice to professionals and companies involved in the real estate sector, Lereah founded Reecon Advisors in 2007. Reecon Advisors publishes the Reecon Advisory Report, a weekly newsletter providing insight and intelligence on the residential real estate markets. The company also provides real estate content packages for company web sites throughout the nation. In addition, Dr. Lereah is available to conduct customized research projects and advisory consultation.


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Housing Recovery is Real but Risks Remain

Fri, Mar 8, 2013

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The U.S. housing recovery is real and underway according to year-end numbers.

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The Power of Publicity for Real Estate Agents

Fri, Feb 22, 2013

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Have you ever wondered why some real estate agents seem to get in the local newspaper or on local TV more than others?

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Establishing a Client Relationship

Tue, Feb 12, 2013

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For real estate agents, establishing a professional relationship with clients is particularly important since they are assisting in one of the largest financial and emotional transactions people make.

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Converting Customers and Prospects into Clients

Thu, Jan 24, 2013

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There are two ways for real estate agents to obtain a client: (1) convert an existing customer into a client; or (2) convert a prospect into a client.

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Clients are Worth More than Customers

Tue, Jan 15, 2013

1 Comment

The fact that a client-based approach creates self-generating referrals is a bonanza for today’s ambitious agents.

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Real Estate Investment Outlook

Fri, Mar 23, 2012

14 Comments

It is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. economy is improving, creating a more favorable backdrop for residential real estate investment.

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A Client-Based Sales Approach for Agents

Wed, Nov 9, 2011

5 Comments

It’s more important than ever that real estate agents deliver value to consumers who have a negative view of real estate due to the real estate bust and are also empowered with a range of real estate information available on the World Wide Web.

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When Will It Get Better?

Tue, Jun 28, 2011

2 Comments

The nation’s housing sector is having trouble lifting itself out of the enormous hole it has been in since the real estate bust began several years ago.

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Housing Markets Continue to Struggle

Mon, Apr 18, 2011

3 Comments

The U.S. housing sector is struggling to gain upward momentum…

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Caution and Hope for the New Year

Sun, Jan 9, 2011

2 Comments

As we begin the New Year, let’s look back before looking forward. Not since the Great Depression has America experienced such economic and financial deterioration in such a relatively short period of time.

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Housing at the Brink

Thu, Sep 9, 2010

3 Comments

Now that the homebuyer tax credit is no longer able to prop up home sales, risks facing the housing market are heavily weighted to the downside.

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At Long Last- Good News for Housing

Fri, Apr 9, 2010

2 Comments

Housing activity has slipped considerably during these past several months but help may be on its way. A primary obstacle to a long term housing recovery has been a lack of hiring. But recent gains in the job market portends favorably for a needed boost in housing demand.

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Housing Outlook: A Mixed Bag

Wed, Mar 17, 2010

2 Comments

Looking forward, expect downward pressure on home values, as measured by the Case-Shiller index, due to mounting foreclosures, supply imbalances and relatively weak housing demand.

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A Sputtering Housing Market

Thu, Mar 4, 2010

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Housing activity is sputtering even though there are government subsidy programs in place to support housing demand.

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Observations on the Economy and Housing Market

Wed, Feb 10, 2010

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At a cursory glance, the U.S. economy is improving, while the status of the housing market remains uncertain.

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Mounting Foreclosures Impede Housing Recovery

Mon, Feb 1, 2010

1 Comment

It is painfully clear that the number one obstacle preventing a complete housing recovery is the foreclosure crisis.

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Falling Home Values: The Worst may be Over

Mon, Jan 25, 2010

2 Comments

During the past several years, the nation’s housing sector has been weighed down with a disturbing trend that had been absent since the Great Depression: falling home values.

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Contracts to Purchase Homes Plummet

Tue, Jan 5, 2010

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There was a large drop-off in the number of households signing home sales contracts in November…

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The New Year Begins with Uncertain Housing Outlook

Mon, Jan 4, 2010

2 Comments

Housing data released this past month suggest a more uncertain housing outlook than the month before.

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Home Sales Continue to Surge

Tue, Dec 22, 2009

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After soaring in October, sales of previously owned homes rose sharply again in November, climbing to their strongest pace since early 2007.

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Mortgage Giant Predicts Strong Housing Recovery Next Year

Thu, Dec 17, 2009

1 Comment

Housing activity is expected to be brisk in the New Year according to Fannie Mae’s recently released December Housing Forecast.

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Housing Industry Poised to Recover in 2010

Thu, Dec 17, 2009

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As we approach the New Year, we are more hopeful about prospects for 2010 compared to the dismal performance of 2009.

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A Web of Housing Subsidies Threatens the Recovery

Thu, Dec 10, 2009

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Don’t let recent good news about the nation’s housing sector lull you into believing that the housing market is firmly on the road to recovery-because it isn’t.

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Rise in Mortgage Applications Favors Housing Recovery

Thu, Dec 3, 2009

2 Comments

More people applied for mortgage loans to either purchase a home or to refinance their existing mortgage loan according to a survey of mortgage lenders released yesterday morning. A weekly survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that in the week ending November 27, mortgage applications to purchase homes increased 4.1 percent from a week […]

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Contracts to Purchase Homes Continue to Climb

Tue, Dec 1, 2009

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The index of pending home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors, climbed 3.7 percent in October compared to the previous month, marking the ninth consecutive month that the index has increased.

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Is the Expanded Homebuyer Tax Credit Overkill?

Tue, Nov 24, 2009

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Wild swings in the housing data released this past week indicate that both homebuilders and households were heavily influenced by the tax credit extension debate.

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Data Suggests Housing Recovery Has Stalled, Temporarily

Thu, Nov 19, 2009

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Today’s housing recovery is having a difficult time settling into a steady trajectory.

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Homebuyer Tax Credit Overly Generous

Wed, Nov 4, 2009

7 Comments

The great debate surrounding the fate of the first-time homebuyer tax credit appears to have ended on a good note; at least for the millions of households ready to purchase a home.

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Real Estate Intelligence Stream

Fri, Oct 30, 2009

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ANNOUNCING A NEW PRODUCT FROM REECON ADVISORS! REAL ESTATE I-STREAM Subscribers receive a steady flow of comprehensive intelligence reports about the real estate markets including: Market Alerts (real time); Market Commentaries; Policy Reports; Forecasts; Investment Reports; Metro Reports and Comprehensive Real Estate Outlook (Power Point) presentations… and participate in monthly conference calls about the U.S. Housing Outlook with David Lereah. Sign Up for a One-Month Free Trial Period Now:  info@reeconadvisors.com

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New Home Sales Report Disappoints

Wed, Oct 28, 2009

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Sales of new homes fell in September after rising for five consecutive months, a government report said Wednesday.

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Home Price Improvements May Be Short-Lived

Tue, Oct 27, 2009

1 Comment

Home values, as measured by the popular S&P Case-Shiller home price index of 20 cities rose a non-seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent in August compared to a month earlier.

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Obama’s Refinancing Program Fails to Reach Troubled Homeowners

Mon, Oct 26, 2009

1 Comment

According to a recent report,  the refinancing part of Obama’s Home Affordable program has failed miserably.

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Home Sales Climb to Highest Level in Two Years

Fri, Oct 23, 2009

1 Comment

Sales of previously owned homes rose sharply in September to their highest level in two year, according to a report from a leading trade association released Friday. Existing home sales rose 9.4 percent in September to 5.57 annualized units from a 5.09 annualized pace in August according to a report issued by the National Association of […]

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Record Budget Deficit Casts Dark Shadow over Economy and Housing

Thu, Oct 22, 2009

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The Office of Management and Budget announced last week that the federal budget deficit soared to an all-time record $1.42 trillion in fiscal year 2009.

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Homebuilding May be Losing Momentum

Tue, Oct 20, 2009

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Housing construction of new homes in the U.S. increased slightly in September, disappointing housing analysts

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Borrowing Costs for Home Mortgage Inch Up

Fri, Oct 16, 2009

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Borrowing costs for households seeking to purchase a home or refinance their mortgage loan rose slightly during the week ending October 15

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Rise in Mortgage Rates Slows Mortgage Applications

Thu, Oct 15, 2009

0 Comments

Less people applied for mortgage loans to either purchase a home or to refinance their existing mortgage loan according to a survey of mortgage lenders released yesterday morning.

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Homebuyers Overly Optimistic about Future Home Values

Thu, Oct 15, 2009

3 Comments

There has been a sharp reversal in home prices in recent months-home values are now going up, rather than down and a rise in buyer optimism may have something to do with it.

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Mortgage Lending Business Expected to Sink Next Year

Wed, Oct 14, 2009

1 Comment

The mortgage lending business is expected to take a turn for the worse in 2010 according to the industry’s leading trade group. Mortgage origination volume is expected to plunge by almost 21 percent to $1.56 trillion next year compared to an estimated $1.96 trillion in originations in 2009 according to a new forecast released yesterday by […]

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Freddie Mac’s Closing Cost Assistance Expires at End of Month

Tue, Oct 13, 2009

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Homebuyers have less than a month left to take advantage of a program that pays a significant part of a buyer’s closing costs…

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Housing Organizations Predict Expansion in 2010

Mon, Oct 12, 2009

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The consensus forecast among major real estate organizations is for the housing downturn to come to a close in 2009 and for the expansion to begin in 2010.   THE NEW HOUSING FORECASTS ARE AVAILABLE NOW!   http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2009/10/market-forecastindustry-forecast/

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Housing Turning Corner and Helping Economy

Mon, Oct 12, 2009

1 Comment

Both the economy and the housing markets have displayed concrete signs of improvement during the past several months.

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Extend the Homebuyer Tax Credit

Sun, Oct 11, 2009

3 Comments

With the expiration date rapidly approaching, supporters of the first-time homebuyer tax credit fear that the housing recovery may stumble in the absence of this housing subsidy.

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Borrowing Costs for Home Mortgages Continue to Drop

Fri, Oct 9, 2009

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Borrowing costs for households seeking to purchase a home or refinance their mortgage loan fell to near historic low levels during the week ending October 8

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Data Confirms Government Dominated the U.S. Mortgage Business Last Year

Thu, Oct 8, 2009

1 Comment

Just released mortgage data for 2008 confirm that the federal government effectively took over the housing credit markets last year.

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Reverse Mortgages Could Become a Fiasco for Senior Citizens

Wed, Oct 7, 2009

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Senior households may become the next group of consumers harmed by irresponsible marketing and selling practices according to a report released by a major consumer organization released yesterday.

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Surge in Weekly Mortgage Applications Encouraging

Wed, Oct 7, 2009

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More people are applying for mortgage loans to either purchase a home or to refinance their existing mortgage loan according to a survey of mortgage lenders released this morning.

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The Rich and Famous are Buying Homes Again

Tue, Oct 6, 2009

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The rich and famous are buying again according to a report on home prices in the Hamptons, an exclusive summer retreat in Long Island, New York.

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Residential and Commercial Real Estate Headed in Different Directions

Fri, Oct 2, 2009

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A government report on construction spending in August underscored the divergence of residential and commercial real estate activity.

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Households Signed More Home Sales Contracts in August

Thu, Oct 1, 2009

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Households rushed to sign more home sales contracts in August that at any other month this year according to a recent housing report.

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Borrowing Costs for Home Mortgages Holding Steady

Thu, Oct 1, 2009

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Borrowing costs for households seeking to purchase a home or refinance their mortgage loan held steady during the week of September 24.

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Efforts to Keep Households in their Homes is on the Rise

Wed, Sep 30, 2009

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Government efforts to keep people in their homes are working according to a government report released this week.

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Mortgage Applications Drop Despite Lower Mortgage Rates

Wed, Sep 30, 2009

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Less people are applying for mortgage loans to either purchase a home or to refinance their existing mortgage loan according to a survey of mortgage lenders released this morning.

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Home Price Report Offers Encouraging News

Tue, Sep 29, 2009

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Home prices rose for the third consecutive month in July according to a report released Tuesday by S&P Case-Shiller.

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A Green House is Born After Tragedy

Mon, Sep 28, 2009

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A Long Island family has turned a tragedy into an opportunity-a green opportunity that is. And the family might live happily ever after.

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New Home Sales Increase to Highest Level this Year

Fri, Sep 25, 2009

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New home sales have increased 5 consecutive months.

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Existing Home Sales Drop Unexpectedly

Thu, Sep 24, 2009

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Existing home sales decreased in August, after a four-month stretch of increases, according to a release issued on Thursday.

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Federal Reserve Extends Bailout for Housing

Thu, Sep 24, 2009

1 Comment

Federal Reserve policymakers announced yesterday that although the economy and housing markets have improved, they are not yet ready to remove monetary support for growth. This was good news for both the economy and housing markets.

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Rise in Household Wealth Could Bolster Home Buying

Wed, Sep 23, 2009

1 Comment

U.S. households were $2 trillion wealthier at the end of the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2009 according to a report recently released by the Federal Reserve. This was the first time in two years that household net worth increased.

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Rising Mortgage Applications Encouraging Sign for Housing Markets

Wed, Sep 23, 2009

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More people are applying for mortgage loans to either purchase a home or to refinance their existing mortgage loan according to a survey of mortgage lenders released this morning.

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Home Prices Continue to Decline but at a Slower Pace

Tue, Sep 22, 2009

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Home values continue to drop across the nation but at an increasingly slower pace according to new price data released by Zillow.com. The news was an encouraging sign for the housing sector.

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Analyst Sees Further Upside to Homebuilder Stock Rally

Mon, Sep 21, 2009

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J.P. Morgan analyst Michael Rehaut on Friday elevated his outlook on the homebuilding industry, stating that the housing sector has made it through the worst of the correction.

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New Housing Construction at Nine-Month High

Sun, Sep 20, 2009

1 Comment

New housing construction in the U.S. rose to the highest level in nine months according to a government report released Thursday.

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The Home Affordability Paradox

Sat, Sep 19, 2009

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The housing recovery has been modest at best even though home affordability is hovering near record levels. Housing is more affordable today because of historically low mortgage rates and falling home values. But affordability measures have become less relevant in today’s real estate marketplace.

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Housing Recovery: Built on Bricks or Sticks?

Thu, Sep 17, 2009

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Recent housing indicators such as existing home sales, new home sales and housing starts, suggest a recovery is underway in the nation’s housing sector. But is the recovery sustainable?

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Will Inflation Rear Its Ugly Head?

Mon, Sep 7, 2009

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Eventually, the piper has to get paid. Excessive government spending and money supply growth have left an aftermath of conditions that portend unfavorably for the inflation outlook. 

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Home Sales Up; Home Prices Down

Wed, Aug 26, 2009

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It is becoming increasingly clear that a two-headed housing recovery is underway. Unfortunately, unlike Siamese twins, the heads will not be arriving at the same time.

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Slowly but Surely Economy, Housing Improving

Mon, Aug 17, 2009

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Slowly but surely, progress is being made for both the economy and the housing sector.

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Housing Demand Faces Overwhelming Obstacles

Thu, Aug 13, 2009

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There are some harsh realities at work that promise to inhibit housing demand into the foreseeable future, assuring only a modest recovery in the nation’s housing sector, at best.   See our new Housing Forecast; go to: http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/category/housing-forecasts/forecasts/

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The Two Headed Housing Recovery

Thu, Aug 6, 2009

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Both home sales/construction and home prices have fallen precipitously during today’s housing recession. Thus, for us to proclaim a complete recovery in the today’s housing sector, both home sales/construction and home prices must stabilize and begin their ascent.

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Housing Data Point to Sales Recovery

Mon, Jul 27, 2009

1 Comment

Just a half year ago, the U.S. financial system was on the brink of collapse; the economy was headed towards a Depression; and the housing sector was in disrepair. Today, everything seems to be nervously falling into place for both the economy and the housing sector.

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The Housing Downturn and Homeownership

Mon, Jul 27, 2009

3 Comments

Sometimes you need to get a broader picture of market trends and the U.S. Census Bureau’s recently released report on residential vacancies and homeownership provides us that opportunity. It is clear that the housing downturn has had a severe negative impact on homeownership rates, particularly for low income and minority households.

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The Incredible Shrinking Housing Market

Fri, Jul 17, 2009

2 Comments

Nearly three and a half years into a spiraling downturn, our nation’s housing sector looks like a mere shadow of itself.  It is a housing market that has shrunk by almost 40 percent in home sales during the past several years and has partly closed its door on low income and minority households.

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Don’t Judge the Housing Market by its Cover

Wed, Jul 8, 2009

0 Comments

A cursory glance at the U.S. housing markets suggests that the worst is over and the recovery is on its way. But before we declare victory, we must consider the possibility of a false start.

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Homeowner Bailout Program Expands

Wed, Jul 1, 2009

0 Comments

The Obama administration is expanding its Home Affordable program to permit more borrowers who hold underwater mortgages to participate in refinancings. The program could end up costing taxpayers.

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Survey Shows Homeownership Dream Fading

Tue, Jun 30, 2009

0 Comments

Although some major measures of housing activity have trended modestly upward during the past several months, confidence in the nation”s housing sector remains shaken.

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Financial Regulatory Reform is Necessary for Economic Recovery

Thu, Jun 25, 2009

2 Comments

Even though recent economic reports have indicated that the worst may be over, the U.S. economy and housing markets remain in a fragile state. Recovery is tenuous at best and reform of our financial system is a necessary ingredient for a successful economic recovery.

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How Can We Stabilize Home Values?

Mon, Jun 15, 2009

3 Comments

The decline in residential real estate prices over the past several years has inflicted severe damage to the U.S. economy and housing markets. Policymakers have made attempts to stem the tide of plummeting home values, but to date, no government program has been meaningfully successful. Until home prices stabilize, it is difficult to imagine a housing sector in recovery.    

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The Bumpy Road to Recovery

Mon, Jun 15, 2009

0 Comments

Investors are anticipating a recovery for the economy in the second half of this year as evidenced by recent upward pressures on long term interest rates and advances in equity values. But the road to recovery is anything but smooth.

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Digesting This Week’s Housing Data

Thu, Jun 4, 2009

4 Comments

There has been a great deal of housing data released this past week to digest; some good news and some bad news. Since many believe that the housing sector may have already bottomed out, we are particularly focused on any new information that can either confirm or deny this claim.

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Home Price Indices Disappoint

Wed, May 27, 2009

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The recent release of the Case-Shiller home price index for March was disappointing news for the housing markets. Unfortunately, other recent home price measures– the FHFA purchase-only home price index and the median price for existing homes also disappointed the markets.

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Purchase Applications Indicate Weak Housing Demand

Thu, May 21, 2009

0 Comments

With most housing measures showing improvement in recent months, there is one measure that is bucking the trend- mortgage applications to purchase homes.

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Difficult Housing Recovery Ahead

Sat, May 16, 2009

0 Comments

Recent data suggest the worst may be over for the  housing markets. But only when home values stabilize will there be a true recovery in housing.

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Housing Recovery May Be in Sight

Tue, May 12, 2009

0 Comments

There are more than subtle signs that the housing markets may be recovering and the worst may be over. Recent data releases support this notion.

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Rising Mortgage Rates May Be Good for Housing

Mon, May 11, 2009

4 Comments

The economy is showing signs of improving and that may help an anemic housing sector recover.

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Foreclosure Filings: Top 15 Markets

Thu, May 7, 2009

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Top 15 Foreclosure Markets (As of May 7, 2009)   Market Foreclosure Filings Las Vegas, NV 34,673 Phoenix, AZ 19,988 Chicago, IL 16,602 Los Angeles 11,693 Sacramento, CA 9,752 Miami, FL 8,517 San Diego, CA 8,506 Bakersfield, CA 7,500 North Las Vegas, NV 7,403 Indianapolis, IN 6,830 Tampa, FL 6,791 San Jose, CA 6,306 Stockton, CA 6,113 Riverside, CA 5,741 Henderson, NV 5,514  Source: Trulia.com

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Purchase/Refi Origination Shares

Thu, May 7, 2009

0 Comments

Purchase/Refi Origination Shares (As of June 4, 2009) Month Purchase Share Refinance Share Jan 08 54 46 Feb 08 50 50 Mar 08 48 52 Apr 08 46 54 May 08 51 49 Jun 08 62 38 Jul 08 62 38 Aug 08 66 34 Sep 08 55 45 Oct 08 58 42 Nov 08 44 56 Dec 08 31 69 Jan 09 21 79 Feb 09 27 73 Mar 09 19 81 Apr 09 22 78         Source:Freddie Mac

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Raising Your Real Estate IQ

Sun, May 3, 2009

1 Comment

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Homeownership Rates

Wed, Apr 29, 2009

0 Comments

In the era of relaxed underwriting our nation’s homeownership rate climbed to 69.2 percent at the peak in 2004. Today, a sharp downturn and tight underwriting conditions have exerted downward pressure on the homeownership rate which is currently hovering around 68 percent and falling. A reasonable question is: what should the nation’s homeownership rate be?

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Housing Markets Searching for a Bottom

Mon, Apr 27, 2009

0 Comments

Our nation’s housing sector has experienced a great deal of pain during these past two years. The bursting of the housing bubble has not …

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Commercial Property Faces Crisis

Wed, Mar 25, 2009

6 Comments

Commercial real-estate loans are going sour at an accelerating pace, threatening to cause tens of billions of dollars in losses to banks already hurt by the housing downturn. The delinquency rate on about $700 billion in securitized loans backed by office buildings, hotels, stores and other investment property has more than doubled since September to 1.8% this month, according to data provided to The Wall Street Journal by Deutsche Bank AG. While that’s low compared with the home-mortgage delinquency rate, it’s just short of the highest rate during the last downturn early this decade. Some experts say it now looks as if the current commercial real-estate slump will rival or even exceed the one in the early 1990s, when bad commercial-property debt played a big role in dragging the economy into a recession. Then, close to 1,000 U.S. banks and savings institutions failed. Lenders took about $48.5 billion in charges on commercial real-estate debt between 1990 and 1995, representing 7.9% of such debt outstanding.

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Bailout Fatigue

Tue, Mar 24, 2009

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A wave of public rage erupted this past week when reports that American International Group, AIG, paid $165 million in retention bonuses to…

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The Fuel for Home Buying

Tue, Mar 24, 2009

0 Comments

Although housing demand is primarily weak today because of non-population factors such as falling home prices, job losses, decreased wealth and declining consumer confidence, population factors are also contributing to sluggish demand. Today’s recession has influenced population changes that are negatively impacting housing demand

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Tue, Mar 17, 2009

0 Comments

Good news about the economy and housing markets has been rare this past year so when something positive…

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The Economics of Foreclosure

Tue, Mar 17, 2009

0 Comments

The Obama foreclosure mitigation plan offers hope for the future but the present foreclosure situation illustrates the magnitude of the problem it faces. Foreclosure filings in February were 290,000, up 6 percent from a month earlier and up nearly 30 percent from a year earlier. With the economy contracting and shedding a large number of jobs on a monthly basis, it is likely that the grim foreclosure situation will continue throughout the remaining months of this year

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A Sinking Feeling

Tue, Mar 10, 2009

0 Comments

The mounting dismal data are too overwhelming to deny any longer—the glass is half empty. The economy is…

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Bank Problems and the Housing Sector

Tue, Mar 3, 2009

0 Comments

The U.S. banking system is ailing and further deterioration could have serious negative implications for the economy and housing sector. To date, the Treasury has injected $196 billion into the nation’s top banks by purchasing preferred bank stock. In addition, the Federal Reserve has increased its lending facilities, including the Term Auction Facility, which offers $150 billion in secured loans to banks per auction.  And now the government has increased its ownership of Citigroup.

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Housing Recovery Slowed by Economy

Tue, Mar 3, 2009

1 Comment

Recovery in our nation’s housing sector has taken a step backward. Most economic and housing …

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All Eyes on Government Rescue Efforts

Tue, Feb 24, 2009

1 Comment

There is a growing frustration among investors these days as incoming reports on economic activity remain dreary and conditions in the financial markets have soured. All eyes are on government rescue efforts to revive an economy headed in the wrong direction. Un­fortunately, recent policy pronouncements have been unsuccessful in arousing investor confidence as evi­denced by the underperformance of the equity and bond markets.

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Drama on Capitol Hill

Tue, Feb 17, 2009

0 Comments

The drama surrounding the long awaited stimulus package and the highly anticipated rollout of the Trea¬sury bailout plan took center stage this past week. After much heated debate and some give and take, the House of Representatives and the Senate approved a compro¬mise $787 billion stimulus package late Friday. The package is designed to jump start an economy deep in recession with a mix of government spending programs and tax cuts/benefits. Specifically, it aims to create mil¬lions of jobs through massive new investments in en¬ergy, transportation, education and health-care projects, while reviving social safety net programs that have been shrinking for nearly three decades.

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Another Blow to the Economy and Housing

Tue, Feb 10, 2009

0 Comments

The nation’s battered labor market took another hit this past week as employers cut another 598,000 jobs off of U.S. payrolls in January.

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Cloudy Housing Data

Tue, Feb 10, 2009

1 Comment

As the nation’s housing sector continues to sink, we are becoming increasingly preoccupied with monitoring and interpreting housing data. We are looking for any positive sign that the housing markets are turning the corner and recovery is within sight.

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Struggling to Recover

Tue, Feb 3, 2009

0 Comments

Like a tired heavyweight boxer receiving blows to the head, some crushing economic reports released this past week kept the economy and housing markets in retreat and further away from recovery. The first blow was the December new home sales release which saw new home sales plummet 14.7 percent to an unimagi­nable 333,000 annualized units.

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A Growing Confidence Problem

Tue, Jan 27, 2009

0 Comments

It is not an overstatement to say that confidence has played a significant role during the past decade with regard to the performance of the economy and hous­ing markets. Who could forget the day when America shook after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and consumer and investor confidence plummeted?

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Harbingers for a Better Housing Market

Tue, Jan 20, 2009

0 Comments

Here are some signs that are likely to signal a market turnaround for the housing market. We define a turn­around as a steady increase in home sales from a trough.

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Indicators Signal Same Old Story

Tue, Jan 20, 2009

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Economic and housing indicators for this past week re­veal the same old story—the recession is getting deeper and a recovery for the housing sector is not yet close. Retail sales for December fell 2.7 percent, worse than expected. This report suggests an even more severe re­treat in consumer spending than previously expected. Excluding automobiles, retail sales fell by a whopping 3.1 percent for the month. This report does not bode well for future consumer spending and suggests that we are likely in the depths of the recession.

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Commercial Real Estate Headed for Downturn

Tue, Jan 13, 2009

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Commercial real estate is finally joining the party. Even though there has been no meaningful overbuilding in commercial real estate, the outlook for the industry has seriously dimmed. The retail and office sectors have turned down with vacancies rising. And the industrial sector is not far behind. A tightened credit market and a slumping economy are to blame.

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Caution and Hope for the New Year

Tue, Jan 6, 2009

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As we begin the New Year, we look back before we look forward. Not since the Great Depression has America experienced such economic and financial deterioration. The U.S. financial system collapsed in 2008 with the flow of credit virtually frozen throughout the financial markets. Two of the nation’s most respected investment banks–Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns failed and the nation’s largest mortgage lender–Countrywide–went belly up. The two mortgage funding giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were taken over by the Federal government and are now under conservatorship. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley sought safer harbor by becoming bank holding companies. The government bailed out our nation’s largest insurer, AIG, and then handed a bailout package to two of our largest automakers, General Motors and Chrysler.

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Indicators Do Not Bode Well for First Half of 2009

Tue, Jan 6, 2009

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The U.S. economy enters the New Year with momen­tum of a recession getting deeper not shallower. Most economic indicators reflect an economy contracting at an accelerating pace.

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