Friday, May 4, 2007

"Marketplace": meltdown spreading

The lead story on NPR's "Marketplace" today was "Mortgage meltdown keeps spreading":

GM reported today that the subprime mortgage mess has dealt a huge blow to its bottom line. And there may be more losses to come. Some analysts are predicting almost 2 million home foreclosures by the end of the year. ...

And from Washington,

Today, Chuck Schumer, New York's Democratic Senator, unveiled a two-part plan to try and deal with this foreclosure crisis.

Part one: Give community groups $300 million in federal money to counsel troubled borrowers and help them find ways to refinance. Part two: Legislate new codes of conduct for mortgage brokers and lenders. ...

Despite this, there's concern Schumer's bill may not be going anywhere. In the Senate, any changes in banking regulation have to get past the chairman of the Banking committee, Senator Christopher Dodd. Dodd, who's running for president this year, would like banks and brokers to agree to regulate themselves.

Let's see, divide $300M by 2M foreclosures = a whole $150 each! Or nothing. That sure won't prop anything up.

See a great riff on GM at Housing Panic and analysis by Mish.


Craig said...

I think I have found a potential loss situation on 26th, just north of Wilshire. The address is: 1143 26th #C

This 2/1 condo sales record per zillow is:
06/01/2006: $681,000
11/09/2005: $515,000
09/14/1988: $159,000

So we see it bought for $681K in the middle of last year. Per listing found on yahoo real estate, this unit has been put up for sale and the listing went active on 12/15/06. The asking price from the listing on yahoo is $625,000

So if they get their asking price they will have lost $56K plus fees, etc. Why did this person put the place up for sale 6 months after buying? What was the original asking price? Have they been chasing the market down?

Westside Bubble can you dig some more info on this place? I don't have MLS access but if there is a way I can get access please let me know. Thanks

Craig said...

UPDATE: after looking around a bit on yahoo foreclosure listings, I found a unit that matches the sqaure footage (896) and I believe it may be the unit listed for a loss that I mentioned above. For some reason, yahoo has it as notice of default with a loan balance of only 16,441. Also, if you look at the sale in late 05 and then the sale in mid 06, it makes it seem like this may have been some sort of fraud because the sale price in 06 is so much higher after such a short period of time, and now there seems to be a default here as well...looks like the westside is not immune from fraud or declines.

Wish I could get some more info...anyone able to get some specs here?

Westside Bubble said...

I bet you're right about an early default there, but I don't have data to help more. Others?

I use the MLS and Zip Realty for my data, keeping one Excel line per listing. Orginial LP is from my recording changes over time, not from access to that data now. Alas, I haven't been tracking condos, only SFRs. And I haven't paid for data on recorded loans, foreclosures, etc.

Have you tried How does's foreclosures compare?

Craig said...

I think I see why you aren't focusing on condos at all, however I am looking at them because I think that they will show some of the first significant declines and I believe their declines will be huge. Lots of condos have recently been purchased at over $1 million in crappy locations...these places are absolutely going to get hammered.

yahoo's foreclosure feature seems limited but I think there is more info you can get if you sign up or something.

excuse my ignorance, but how does one get access to the MLS and does it cost anything? I know zip realty is free but what is the deal with MLS? Any better content, etc?

dwr said...

"Also, if you look at the sale in late 05 and then the sale in mid 06, it makes it seem like this may have been some sort of fraud because the sale price in 06 is so much higher after such a short period of time, and now there seems to be a default here as well..."

The buyer in 2005 listed his home address as Valintine, AZ, he most likely bought the place as a flip, fixed it (on Zip Realty the pictures show it was recently updated) and sold it to the sucker in June '06. Incidentally, the buyer in June put down about $140K, so I doubt there was any fraud here, just stupidity.

Anonymous said...

So i just got a flyer from Century21 offering a house in Sunset Park at 2511 25th St now reduced to $1,095,000. No details given regarding beds/baths, but lot size is "large lot." ;-)

ps - what was selling price for 1714 Pier?

Craig said...


thanks for the info. i guess i read oc's blog too much and always assume fraud instead of sheer stupidity. anyways, can i ask where you got all the info from? i would love to be able to pull up that kind of detail.

also, the irony here is arizona investor flipping in los angeles. i thought it was always supposed to be the other way around...all those california equity locust investors...

So this person is going to be losing a hell of a lot on this considering a $140K down payment. i wonder why/how it happened so quickly after they bought. unbelievable...heres to many more

Westside Bubble said...

Anon, 2511 25th is 3 bed/1.5 bath. It's pretty tiny inside, especially the kitchen, and little changed since it was built in the '40s.

Zillow just added 1714 Pier. It closed 3/20 for $1,450K. LP was $1,520K.

Craig, there is a guest interface to the MLS (use my MLS link). But it's the same stuff you see on Zip Realty or other Realtors' web interfaces to the MLS, not all the inside content.

Craig said...

Found another pending loss on a 1/1 condo. Address is 2621 Centinela #16

Sale History
09/08/2006: $390,000
02/18/2003: $220,000
08/15/2000: $119,000

Currently listed for sale at $375K.

Assuming they get their asking price or just below and including commission, this will be a $50K+ loss. Most people who rent one bedroom units probably don't make much more than that in a year...this thing needs to come down at least $100K to get anywhere near cash flow break even (and this is the metric to use since this is basically just an apartment unit).

Hopefully it will get easier and easier to find examples of condos taking losses and then it will spill over into SFHs...

Anonymous said...

So what about the pressure on the Westside RE market from Playa Vista? What's happening with condos there? Are the properties selling at last year's prices or stalling or have prices been reduced?

Waiting for my coffee, I overheard talk about comparison shopping Playa condos to what's available in surrounding areas. SM was still preferred by the family man.

dwr said...

"anyways, can i ask where you got all the info from? i would love to be able to pull up that kind of detail."

I have access to Lexis, it gives all of the sales and mortgage information.

Anonymous said...

This comment is for Craig. Please continue the good work you are doing. I am also primarily looking at condos. -- AJ

Anonymous said...

1143 26th #C
Santa Monica, CA 90403
RSFR $549,000 TBD, TBD Call Trustee

This property is a Notice of Foreclosure Sale. A notice was filed at the recorder's office by the lender's attorney signifying a public auction. This N/A square foot property has TBD bedrooms and TBD baths. The minimum bid amount is $549,000. This property will be auctioned at public sale on 5/3/2007.

I got it off Realtytrac - yes I am paying. Thanks for your blog.


Craig said...

Yet another UPDATE on 1143 26th #C:

DWR said that the previous buyer had almost $140K down...well I found out that this is incorrect and that the buyer had $0 down...

1st mortgage: $544,800 with Ownit at 7.37%

2nd mortgage: $136,200 with Ownit (as a "stand alone second")

So what have we learned here? This could still very well be a fraudulent purchase because there is absolutely no skin in the game. Also it will be interesting to see if this sells at the auction that anon mentioned.

Anonymous said...


how do you get your data on the mortgages?

Anonymous said...

Look up Valentine, AZ on Google maps...and then you'll see it's clearly fraud

Anonymous said...

Specific to your post topic on rumblings in Washington, I actually wrote to my representatives (Boxer, Feinstein, and Harman) strongly discouraging government intervention in the real estate fiasco. See the form letter response below.

Dear [name omitted]:

Thank you for contacting me about subprime mortgages, which are loans that are marketed to borrowers with weak or imperfect credit. I appreciate hearing from you.

In order to purchase a home during the recent housing boom, millions of Americans turned to lenders offering alternative mortgage products such as interest-only and adjustable-rate mortgages. Lured by low interest rates and easy access to credit from predatory subprime lenders, millions of Americans purchased homes they cannot afford.

Though subprime loans have initial monthly payments lower than standard mortgage loans, the payments are structured to increase either suddenly or slowly over time. As a result of recent interest rate hikes coupled with abusive loan terms, payments often grow beyond what borrowers can afford to pay, forcing many families into delinquency or even foreclosure.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is currently holding hearings on this matter in an effort to gain more information about unscrupulous lending practices and the current crash of the subprime mortgage market.

Please know that I am monitoring this situation closely and will
keep your views in mind should pertinent legislation come before the Senate.

Again thank you for writing to me.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Please visit my website at

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