Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where's the Bottom?

I work for a non-profit organization that works towards affordable housing for a low-income community, so part of my job and my interest is to research the current housing market and real estate trends. I have also taken several courses in property law and estates, so it's a career interest as well. It has been very fascinating and absorbing, and a little frightening, to read about the collapse of the real estate market, particularly as a result of the alternative mortgages like subprimes, Alt-As, etc.

And this report from 60 Minutes shows that we may not be even close to the bottom when it comes to the mortgage collapse. There is a second wave of writeoffs and defaults coming. I find the economy so unique right now. It's like being stuck underground on the train tracks, and when you see the light, you think you're going to get out, but it's just another train coming at you. Put another way, when you think the worst is over, it really is not.

A few things I found striking about this report: In Miami-Dade County, one repo company (who comes and has to take things out of homes, and if necessary, people) gets assigned 20 to 30 foreclosed properties A DAY. You had anthestiaoglogists being real estate speculators. And 1 out of every 10 mortgage-holders are behind on their payments.

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