Housing Crisis News on the Ilyce Glink Show July 24, 2011:
What passes for good news in the fifth year of the housing crisis?
- Countrywide Mortgage Gives $108 Million to Homeowners Who Were Overcharged.
- Building permits issued in June 2011 were up 2.5 percent from May, and up a whopping 6.7 percent from June 2010.
- Housing starts, meaning the shovel is in the ground, are up 17 percent versus a year ago at this time.
- Housing completions, or homes where a certificate of occupancy have been pulled, are down 2 percent between May and June of this year, and a notable 39 percent from June 2010, when the last of the home-buyer tax credits expired.
- Existing home contract cancellations are on the rise, particularly in the Northeast, West and within the condo sector.
- Are sellers still overpricing their properties? According to the National Association of Realtors, they may be doing so by as much as 10 to 15 percent.
- And have the Realtors been over-counting the number of homes that have sold?
It’s hard to know what to make of such a mixed bag, but this is what passes for good housing crisis news as we enter our fifth year of the catastrophe.
On this week’s show, my callers and I also wonder what is going to happen with the debt ceiling negotiations. Is Congress going to let us default? It’s unbelievable that we’ve gotten this far down the path. Greece seems to have been rescued but is going to do a strategic default of some of its debts. Is this where our country is headed?