Josh, I fired off an email as well. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This guy has about as an adept a command of the facts as your average Soviet “news” reporter from the 1970s.
I hope you don’t consider this email to be hate mail, but I do have to say that I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed in your North County Times article on housing. As the events of this week have shown, there is something fundamentally wrong with the housing market in various geographies throughout the country and most especially those in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and parts of the Northeast.
While you cite a government study discussing an impending crisis based on a shortfall of housing, you completely ignore the larger issue of affordability. The reason that housing is in the fix it is in has literally nothing to do with supply and demand, but rather the complete lack of affordability found in the California market. The lending market tried to respond with the creation of loans that enabled people with poor credit and insufficient income(s) to buy homes completely out of their price range. At some point, the bill always comes due, and that is what we are confronting right now.
The housing market, like all other markets, is responsive to market forces. The implosion of the credit markets and the repricing of risk will now have a significant impact. This, coupled with the massive tide of foreclosures, is what will drive pricing in housing for the foreseeable future, not some misplaced sentiment or the public’s inability to comprehend the true nature of the situation. When the FED and ECB are forced to inject billions of dollars and euros into the market in order to maintain liquidity, it bespeaks a larger problem than “97.4% of people paying their mortgage on time” and the problems being confined to the sub-prime market. We are literally on the cusp of what potentially might be the biggest housing crisis since the Great Depression.
I am hard pressed to imagine someone of your financial acumen is failing to grasp the totality of this situation. There is a huge overhang of inventory, loans are either nearly impossible to secure or very expensive to secure, foreclosures are at their highest rate since the early 1990s and we are seeing mortgage lenders fail on a daily basis. To say that bloggers are somehow wholly responsible for this situation strains credulity. It also suggests that these selfsame bloggers, who are really the only voice of reason and have been for quite some time, are somehow propagandizing the public at large. This is Orwellian to say the least, and it unfortunately does cause one to question either your objectivity or your honesty. Not to be rude, but after listening to Lawrence Yun of the NAR, and his predecessor David Lereah, pontificate about real estate appreciating ad infinitum, I think the general public has finally wised up to where the true propaganda is coming from.
Perhaps in your next column you might discuss the various market factors at play now, as well as what impact tens of thousands of foreclosures and a rapidly tightening credit market will have on home pricing. While I’m sure that government study is a fascinating read, I am not sure what, if anything, it has to do with the reality right outside our front door.
Allan R. Mangold