housing market http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10613/all en-US The 4 Most Overpriced U.S. Housing Markets http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-overpriced-us-housing-markets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-4-most-overpriced-us-housing-markets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-buying-house-Dollarphotoclub_72606391.jpg" alt="couple buying house" title="couple buying house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A great deal has changed since the housing bust of last decade. No longer are many markets in the Southwest hugely underpriced due to high foreclosure rates. Instead, most of the country has since normalized &mdash; and in some big-city markets, home prices are back at pre-recession peaks. While the average American home is still <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-most-overvalued-and-undervalued-housing-markets-2014-10-01">undervalued by approximately 3%</a>, homes in some of the biggest metropolitan areas are actually overvalued by up to 19%. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-shouldn-t-buy-a-home-if?ref=seealso">You Shouldn't Buy a Home If&hellip;</a>)</p> <p>If you're considering purchasing a home in the coming months, it behooves you to know which markets are overpriced. Here's a look at the four most overpriced U.S. housing markets.</p> <h2>Denver, Colorado</h2> <p>While Denver's home market is only overpriced by about 7%, it's <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_26289384/price-hikes-slowing-but-denver-housings-verge-unaffordable">nearing unaffordable</a> for many of the city's residents. In May, housing in Denver cost, on average, 33.64% of income. In a balanced market, that number is closer to 30%. This means that residents are spending more money on housing, so they are spending less on other things, like food and entertainment. Denver isn't yet <em>unaffordable</em>, but you may find it hard to purchase a home there unless your income is well above average for the area.</p> <h2>Honolulu, Hawaii</h2> <p>While <a href="http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/02/honolulu-ties-new-york-as-most-overpriced-us-city/">Honolulu no longer ties with New York</a> as the most overpriced city in America when it comes to housing, homes there are still overvalued by about 10%. Hawaii is known for its high cost of housing, caused in part by the fact that there is a limited amount of land available for construction. In addition, nearly all building and repair materials must be imported, which makes it more expensive to build and maintain homes. If you're buying a home in Honolulu, keep in mind that you're likely to pay inflated local prices.</p> <h2>California</h2> <p>While it's an oversimplification to say that all homes in California are overvalued, most of the large metropolitan areas have significantly overpriced housing. Los Angeles and Orange County tie at the top of the list, with houses overvalued at 15%. San Francisco is next, at 12%, followed by Riverside-San Bernardino at 11%, San Jose at 10%, and Oakland at 7%. California has long been known for its high cost of living, and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon.</p> <h2>Texas</h2> <p>Texas is a state with some significant disparity when it comes to home value. Homes in at least a couple of metropolitan areas, though, are overvalued. In fact, Austin topped Trulia's most recent list, with houses there overpriced by 19%. Houston also made the top 10, though homes there are only overvalued by 8%. These two cities are growing quickly &mdash; some may even say that they are experiencing something of a renaissance. Growth like that almost always causes home prices to go up, but when it happens this fast (especially in Austin), there may come a time when <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/top-best-most/overpriced-housing-markets%E2%80%94headed-for-a-bubble-165358921.html">the bubble has to burst</a>.</p> <h2>Does It Matter?</h2> <p>Whether your local housing market is overvalued may matter more to certain types of buyers. If you're planning to live in a home for a long time, for example, you may be willing to pay a bit more. Or, if it's cheaper to buy a house than to rent one, then whether your housing market is overpriced will be less of a concern.</p> <p>If, on the other hand, you're getting into real estate as an investment (or you hope to resell within a few years), you'll care a lot more about what's happening in your housing market.</p> <p>In general, however, if you're ready to buy a home and can comfortably afford to do so, then go ahead &mdash; interest rates are low and it may yet be possible to score a great deal.</p> <p><em>Are you looking to buy a home in one of the overpriced markets? How do you think about your home's value as you consider the future?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-overpriced-us-housing-markets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/growin-home-how-much-house-do-you-really-need">Growin&#039; Home: How Much House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-home-sale-horror-stories">The 8 Worst Home Sale Horror Stories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-the-house-you-want-to-buy-is-a-money-pit">5 Signs the House You Want to Buy Is a Money Pit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denied-a-mortgage-heres-how-to-fix-it-fast">Denied a Mortgage? Here&#039;s How to Fix It Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-real-estate-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">8 Things Real Estate Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing home buying home ownership home prices housing market rental prices Tue, 13 Jan 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1277861 at http://www.wisebread.com The Housing Market Is Finally Rebounding http://www.wisebread.com/the-housing-market-is-finally-rebounding <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-housing-market-is-finally-rebounding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4629169207_05751fefb6_z.jpg" alt="sale sign" title="sale sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The housing market is rebounding. Really.</p> <p>After many premature predictions and optimistic announcements, the housing market has indeed turned a corner. Home prices and sales are up. Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies are down.</p> <p>Average home prices in the top 20 metro areas were up 1.6% in July from a year ago, according to the S&amp;P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices. All 20 cities in the index reported rising home prices for the third month in a row.</p> <p>&quot;All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue,&quot; said David M. Blitzer at S&amp;P Dow Jones Indices.</p> <p>The median existing-home price, including all housing types, was $183,900 in September, up 11.3% from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. The year-over-year monthly home prices have increased for seven months in a row. The last time that happened was from November 2005 to May 2006.</p> <p>&quot;Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we're experiencing a genuine recovery,&quot; said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. &quot;More people are attempting to buy homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-really-costs-to-own-a-home">What It Really&nbsp;Costs to&nbsp;Own a Home</a>)</p> <h2>The Buyer's Market Is Over</h2> <p>What's more, the buyer's market may be coming to an end as sentiment begins to favor sellers. A survey by RedFin, a technology-based real estate brokerage firm, showed that homebuyers believe the market may be shifting against them. Out of 982 homebuyers polled this summer, 46% said they believe that now is a good time to buy. That was down from 56% in the first quarter and 48% in the second quarter. Thirty-two percent think now is a good time to sell, up from 13% in the first quarter and 28% in the second quarter.</p> <p>Importantly, many homebuyers, 61%, believe home prices will increase, up from 32% in the first quarter. More buyers are coming across competition or even bidding wars for a limited number of homes being sold &mdash; 71% of respondents reported encountering competition on at least one offer.</p> <p>Homes are also selling faster. The median time on the market in September dropped 30.7% from 101 days in September 2011, another indication that housing has strengthened.</p> <h2>Too Many Buyers for Homes</h2> <p>The problem for home buyers is the shortage of homes being sold. In parts of the West, the shortage is especially acute, Yun said. The number of existing homes listed for sale fell 3.3% to 2.32 million at the end of September. That's down 20% from a year ago.</p> <p>Fewer homes being sold means rising prices, a trend that will accelerate unless home builders ramp up construction fast, Yun said.</p> <p>Why the shortage? Homeowners who bought their homes before the housing bubble bust are unwilling to sell now and take a loss. Homebuilders all but stopped home construction during the recession, and a wave of foreclosures hitting the market has failed to materialize.</p> <h2>Home Buying Is for the Fast and Ready</h2> <p>Real estate agents advise home buyers &mdash; don't fret about home price trends. If you love a house and are comfortable with the mortgage payments, make an offer.</p> <p>If you want to buy a home, don't keep waiting in an attempt to &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-again-safe-as-houses">wait for the bottom</a>.&quot; By the time you've concluded home prices have hit bottom, they'll probably already be rising. And even if prices do fall in your area, interest rates may rise. That will make mortgages more expensive, defeating the purpose of seeking affordable housing.</p> <p>Don't be too picky. You might not find your dream house, especially with fewer homes on the market than potential home buyers. Don't worry about appliances, colors of the walls, or weeds in the yard. You can always replace a refrigerator and paint walls latter.</p> <p>Be ready and fast. Obtain <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-first-home/home-loans">mortgage preapproval</a>. Submit your financial documentation to a lender to get preapproval for a maximum home loan amount. Get to know the neighborhood where you're house hunting. Learn about multiple-offer situations and plan out what you'll do.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Should You Buy a House Now?</h2> <p>So should you should you rush to by a home before home prices increase even more? It depends.</p> <p>Because real estate is local, prices in your area might not follow national trends or the trend in a nearby metro area. Examine local home values when you're home shopping, not national or regional price indexes.</p> <p>Regardless of the home price outlook, before you jump into home buying, your personal and career situation should be settled enough for you to stay put for at least a few years. Buying a home is not like speculating in gold or stocks. You can sell a commodity like a stock fairly easily, but when you buy real estate, you pay an assortment of mortgage closing costs and fees. When you sell, you pay the real estate agent a commission. For that reason, you should plan to keep the property for at least several years to make the investment worthwhile.</p> <p>Your financial house, so to speak, should be in order, your credit good enough to obtain a favorable home loan rate, and a savings large enough for a down payment &mdash; ideally at least 10% but ideally 20% to avoid private mortgage insurance, which insures the lender and brings no benefit to you.</p> <p>You should be ready to pay for maintenance and repairs or to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for">fix things yourself</a>. Unlike a renter who calls the landlord when a faucet leaks, you'll be responsible for mowing the lawn and fixing anything that breaks.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-housing-market-is-finally-rebounding">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-process-for-purchasing-a-house-with-cash">The Process for Purchasing a House With Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-into-a-good-school-district-for-less">How to Get Into a Good School District for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy">How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-overpriced-us-housing-markets">The 4 Most Overpriced U.S. Housing Markets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-a-free-ride-why-not-to-use-a-buyers-agent-submitted-by-ken-rick">The cost of a free ride - why not to use a buyer&#039;s agent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Real Estate and Housing buying a house foreclosures housing market Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:36:50 +0000 Michael Kling 955599 at http://www.wisebread.com Once Again Safe as Houses? http://www.wisebread.com/once-again-safe-as-houses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/once-again-safe-as-houses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/allerton-mansion-large.jpg" alt="Allerton Mansion across the pond" title="Allerton Mansion across the Pond" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A good reason to buy a house: It's affordable, and you want to live in it. A bad reason to buy a house: You're worried about &quot;missing the bottom&quot; in the housing market. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-equity-was-always-imaginary">Your Equity Was Always Imaginary</a>)</p> <p>As soon as housing prices made their initial leg down, I started seeing people thinking that it was time to buy. But very few of those people were saying, &quot;I just saw this perfect house!&quot; Most of them were saying, &quot;Maybe I'd better buy now, before prices go back up.&quot;</p> <p>I saw so many people talking that way, I wrote a post &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-worry-about-missing-the-bottom-in-houses">Don't Worry About Missing the Bottom in Houses</a>. My point was that &mdash; unlike the stock market, where prices turn on a dime and zoom back up so fast that it's hazardous to your wealth to try to time the market &mdash; the housing market turns very slowly. After the bottom is long past, there will still be houses whose owners didn't sell as prices were falling. Some of them will move to sell at the first sign of rising prices. And, of course, there will always be the occasional motivated seller who simply has to sell.</p> <p>You never need to rush to buy after a housing crash &mdash; house prices will stay down for years. But now, it's been years.</p> <p>One never knows the future, of course, but sometimes the trends are so strong and so obvious it seems safe to make a prediction. That's how I saw the housing market back in March of 2009, when I wrote that post.</p> <p>Having done so, I figured I was obliged to mention when it's no longer the case.</p> <p>I'm certainly not calling a bottom in the housing market. I'm not predicting that prices will go up soon.</p> <p>All I'm saying is that the abnormal situation where you really can predict a market is coming to an end. Three years ago, I was willing to bet that there was no reason to rush into the housing market. There was no danger of &quot;missing the bottom.&quot;</p> <p>Now things are returning to normal. I don't know that prices will head back up any time soon. But after years in which they really couldn't, I've begun to figure that now they could.</p> <p>I still think that the only good reason to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-process-for-purchasing-a-house-with-cash">buy a house</a> is that you've found one you really want to live in, and you're able to get it at a price you can comfortably afford. And when that's the case, you don't really need to worry about whether the market is at the bottom or not.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-again-safe-as-houses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-things-new-homeowners-dont-prepare-for">9 Costly Things New Homeowners Don&#039;t Prepare For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy">How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-overpriced-us-housing-markets">The 4 Most Overpriced U.S. Housing Markets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-really-costs-to-own-a-home">What It Really Costs to Own a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-hire-a-real-estate-agent">How to Find and Hire a Real Estate Agent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing first time home buyer housing bubble housing market recession Tue, 24 Jul 2012 09:37:00 +0000 Philip Brewer 943654 at http://www.wisebread.com U.S. Banks and the Tokyo Drift http://www.wisebread.com/us-banks-and-the-tokyo-drift <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/us-banks-and-the-tokyo-drift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3134995846_f6b734b24c.jpg" alt="yen" title="yen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You already know the story, but perhaps it may happen again. It's <em>that</em> familiar.</p> <p>A nation reeling from popped real estate and financial collapse mopes through a recession and struggles with a crisis of confidence, its president making pledges that everything will be okay.</p> <p>It sounds like a broken record, doesn't it?</p> <p>Well, except I'm talking about Japan and the president in question is not Barack Obama but Junichiro Koizumi, and the year in question was 2001, not 2010.</p> <p>But it <em>is</em> 2010, and parallels to <a href="http://www.aei.org/outlook/27568">Japanese banking</a> in the 1990s and our banks in the &quot;oughts&quot; now abound.</p> <p>Four words: bad loans and deflation risk.</p> <p>That's five words, but it's important to note that recently, U.S. banks such as BB&amp;T and Sun Trust both set up special panels to explore potential exposure to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE69B2AU20101012">deflation</a>.</p> <p>Deflation is the general decrease in the price level of goods and services across the board, usually due to a systemic downturn and the resulting desperate effort to cut prices to compete. Deflation also sometimes results from monetary policy that overdoes it in an effort to avoid inflation. Ironic, isn't it?</p> <p>According to <em>Reuters:</em></p> <blockquote><p>BB&amp;T ran its books through a stress test to gauge the bank's performance in a scenario in which there is deflation for the next 10 years, as part of the bank's own internal projections of various economic scenarios, Chief Financial Officer Daryl Bible said.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <h3>Why does Japan in the 1990s keeps coming up?</h3> <p>At the outset of the U.S. crisis in early 2008, the American Enterprise Institute examined Japan's lost decade, about which the think tank says that an &quot;economic cycle driven by a collapse in the market for an asset &mdash; such as land or housing &mdash; to which the banking system is heavily exposed is a dangerous beast.&quot;</p> <p>That &quot;dangerous beast&quot; was Japan 20 years ago and it ended just 10 years ago. That dangerous beast could also loom here in the U.S. today. The common denominator: bad bank loans were, by and large, the culprit.</p> <p>As the Reuters piece points out, Japanese banks discovered what is now known as the &quot;lost decade&quot;; deflation means that loan collateral values decline, exacerbating already under-performing loans.</p> <p>The article goes on to say:</p> <blockquote><p>Loans may become more likely to fail, as borrowers tire of paying high rates of interest to finance assets that are worth much less than they had been previously. A second credit crisis could emerge.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>If regional powerhouse U.S. banks such as Sun Trust and BB&amp;T &mdash; both of which received TARP money and both of which are present in areas hit by rising foreclosures &mdash; are either thinking about or hedging against deflation, then it's only a matter of time before cheap money and sluggish economic growth increases the possibility of making widespread deflation an actual reality.</p> <p>Indeed, the risk of continued deterioration of already bad loans continue to scare U.S. banks, which have a danger of falling further into hock on outstanding loans to say nothing of the continued &quot;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/10/07/130408926/quantitative-easing-explained">quantitative easing</a>&quot; at the U.S. Federal Reserve and currently low Treasury yield curves.</p> <p>Who better to explain what might happen than Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's largest bank and &quot;lost decade&ndash;bad loan&quot; poster child?</p> <p>According to a <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-22/treasury-curve-to-flatten-on-economic-lost-decade-mitsubishi-ufj-says.html">Bloomberg</a> piece earlier this summer, the bank's proprietary trading chief <a target="_blank" title="Search News" href="http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Kenichi%20Imai&amp;site=wnews&amp;client=wnews&amp;proxystylesheet=wnews&amp;output=xml_no_dtd&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8&amp;filter=p&amp;getfields=wnnis&amp;sort=date:D:S:d1&amp;partialfields=-wnnis:NOAVSYND&amp;lr=-lang_ja">Kenichi Imai</a> had this to say:</p> <blockquote><p>With the effect of government stimulus measures wearing off, the U.S. economy may face a prolonged soft patch, rather than a double bottom.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Soft Patch? Opposite of a hard patch? Flaccid? Sounds maybe a little bit, I don't know...deflated, even.</p> <p>Let's hope not.</p> <p>As Bill Isaac, chairman of LECG Global Financial Services and a former FDIC chairman, points out, deflation is not good given that U.S. banks are still assessing non-performing and under-performing loans and testing their balance sheets against deflationary scenarios.</p> <p>Think you've heard this already? Just wait.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/us-banks-and-the-tokyo-drift">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bank-based-small-dollar-loans-an-alternative-to-payday-loans">Bank-Based Small-Dollar Loans: An Alternative to Payday Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-unions-vs-banks-whats-the-difference">Credit Unions vs. Banks: What&#039;s the Difference?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-options-if-youre-underwater-on-your-mortgage">6 Options if You&#039;re Underwater on Your Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-switch-banks">How to Switch Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citimortage-told-me-to-default-on-my-loan-if-i-want-their-help">CitiMortgage Told Me to Default on My Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Financial News bank loans banking strategies currency rates deflation dollar value housing market international japan yen Thu, 21 Oct 2010 12:00:10 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 266327 at http://www.wisebread.com What's in Store for the Economy? http://www.wisebread.com/whats-in-store-for-the-economy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/whats-in-store-for-the-economy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000005556364XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="269" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So does anybody really know where the economy is headed? For a little while there, things seemed to be looking up, thanks to improved stock prices. But with the market having slipped again and unemployment continuing to brew, it's hard to feel confident about the economy these days. Not to mention that we seem to be heading into round two of a stubborn recession, due to uncertain financial conditions in Europe.</p> <p>How we perceive this economy is completely dependent on the needs of the politician that&rsquo;s reporting it. What few people realize is that the Federal Reserve, the Secretary of the Treasury, and all those other economists and talking heads all have an agenda, whether it&rsquo;s to bolster the confidence of the American people in the current Administration or to shake that confidence down to the core.</p> <p>The truth is that the economy, just like a most other things in life, simply can&rsquo;t be measured in straight line gains and losses. The economy is so much more than a line graph on a chart. It&rsquo;s beyond stock and options trading and big corporations. It&rsquo;s more than just mom and pop stores and consumers. It&rsquo;s almost a living, breathing organism. The housing market, the stock market, the banks, the consumers, and the government all have a small but significant role to play in the equation and the contributions of each simply can&rsquo;t be measured in finite terms.</p> <p><strong>For instance, let&rsquo;s look at the housing market.</strong> Even though there seems to be more activity in the housing market when it comes to house sales, there is still an overwhelming number of houses falling into foreclosure. Does this mean that the housing market is recovering or that it&rsquo;s still in dire straits? Big banks are finally showing signs of stability and their recovering stock prices prove it. But maybe it's because of the huge subsidies they've received. And is our economy really on the mend when small bank after small bank (somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-50 or more a month) continues to shut its doors?</p> <p><strong>And what about the stock market?</strong> Are we as consumers supposed to be comforted by the fact that the stock market has recovered nicely from its lows? If you notice the market's behavior, there have been equally as many &quot;up&quot; days as there are &quot;down&quot; days, and this is the normal ebb and flow of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-cares-about-where-the-stock-market-is-headed">ever-volatile stock market</a>. We haven't really made as much progress as it seems.</p> <p>And while the credit card industry looks to be recovering after a tough period of tight credit, issuers are still keeping an eye on the kind of customers they extend credit to. Getting approved for a prime credit card may be just a tad bit easier than it was a couple of years ago, but things certainly haven&rsquo;t returned to those days of yore when subprime loans, easy credit and quick cash ruled the day. Those days won&rsquo;t be back anytime soon, if at all.</p> <p>So as far as the economic recovery is concerned, the truth is that we don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s going on and where this economy will be in the near term. I believe that the so-called financial &ldquo;experts&rdquo; are just as in the dark as we are. Sure they can look at their statistical data and make some educated guesses, but in the end, it&rsquo;s really no more accurate or scientific than predicting tomorrow&rsquo;s weather. Sometimes they get lucky and get some things right, but, more often than not, they&rsquo;re nowhere even close.</p> <p>So, I&rsquo;ve vowed to take a step back from the overwhelming wave of &ldquo;knowledge&rdquo; and information being floated around out there about the state of our economy, and I've decided to make sound financial decisions based on what works for me. I&rsquo;m no longer listening to the people who once told me that debt and leverage were the ways to get what I wanted out of life five years ago, but who are now telling me (in an about face) that no debt is good debt.</p> <p>It would be nice to have that peace of mind of knowing that you can pay your mortgage with only one income if you have to. And wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to worry about losing your car because you hold the title to it? But here's the irony &mdash; if we work to minimize our credit card debt, cut down on spending, and make a commitment to live within our means, would we be influencing the course of our economy for the better? While becoming more financially responsible and putting a lid on spending may be what's good for our family budget, who knows what kind of collective impact such changes would have on our economy. After all, doesn't the economy rely on a spending, consumerist base? If we become a nation of hard-core savers, where does this leave the economy?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silicon-valley-blogger">Silicon Valley Blogger</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-in-store-for-the-economy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-reasons-why-the-us-economy-is-kicking-the-worlds-butt">9 Reasons Why the U.S. Economy Is Kicking the World&#039;s Butt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-8-things-to-profit-from-the-improving-economy">Do These 8 Things to Profit From the Improving Economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-inflation">Why Inflation?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-gdp-still-important">Is GDP Still Important?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peak-debt">Peak Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Economy finance housing market stock market Thu, 22 Jul 2010 12:00:09 +0000 Silicon Valley Blogger 181548 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't worry about missing the bottom in houses http://www.wisebread.com/dont-worry-about-missing-the-bottom-in-houses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-worry-about-missing-the-bottom-in-houses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gutted-house.jpg" alt="Gutted house" title="Gutted House" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've recently heard from several people who want to buy a house and are thinking that now may be the time.&nbsp; In particular, they're worried that waiting might cause them to &quot;miss the bottom&quot; and lose the chance to get a great house cheap.&nbsp; In housing (unlike, for example, the stock market) you don't need to worry about that.</p> <p>It's a real issue in the stock market.&nbsp; One reason that people recommend keeping your money in the market through downturns is that, when the market does turn up, it tends to turn up sharply.&nbsp; More than one study has shown that having your money out of the market for just a few days a year--if they're the few days with the biggest gains--can cut your total return by half or more.</p> <p>This is not, however, true for houses.&nbsp; There is absolutely no need to try to catch the bottom in the market for houses, because of all those individual sellers out there.</p> <p>Take a house that has been sitting on the market for years, with the owners cutting their asking price repeatedly--from what they <strong>hoped</strong> to make to what their <strong>realtor said</strong> they could make to just enough to <strong>break even</strong> to just enough to <strong>cover the mortgage</strong> to just enough that the sales price plus <strong>all their savings</strong> could cover the mortgage--but the house still hasn't sold.&nbsp; When you make an offer on this house, the owner is going to take it unless the bank won't let him.&nbsp; He's going to take it even if the market has &quot;hit bottom;&quot; even if his neighbors' houses have started selling; even if there are rumors that some buyers aren't low-balling every offer.&nbsp; He's been waiting too long to risk letting a firm offer slip through his fingers.</p> <p>Of course, for any particular house you can miss your chance to buy.&nbsp; Once someone else makes an offer for that house you won't be able to get it with a low-ball offer.&nbsp; But there will still be all those other houses out there that the owners have been trying to sell for years.</p> <p>Don't worry about catching the bottom.&nbsp; Even a year or two after the bottom there will still be houses that haven't sold, and they'll still be available for rock-bottom prices.&nbsp; It's completely different from the stock market.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-worry-about-missing-the-bottom-in-houses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-does-the-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac-bailout-affect-you">How does the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout affect you?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-speculative-bubble-and-profit">How to create a speculative bubble and profit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-appraisals-ten-things-most-people-just-dont-understand-about-them">Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don&#039;t understand about them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-overpriced-us-housing-markets">The 4 Most Overpriced U.S. Housing Markets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Real Estate and Housing bottom housing housing market low-ball market market bottom Thu, 26 Mar 2009 15:39:19 +0000 Philip Brewer 2978 at http://www.wisebread.com