Let’s pause and reflect for a moment. What was the main issue that drove the U.S. economy into an economic downturn in 2008 (that is still taking its toll)? It was the collapse of the housing market. It crippled the U.S. banking system and brought a Great Recession into the U.S. economy that will be remembered for a long time to come.
Since then, the housing market in the U.S. economy has improved in small geographic pockets. But now, data are increasingly coming out suggesting more trouble ahead for the U.S. housing market.
According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures in the U.S. economy actually increased three percent in October compared to the previous month. The company also reported that one in every 706 houses in the U.S. economy was in the foreclosure filing process. (Source: RealtyTrac, November 13, 2012.)
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the agency which insures lenders against losses on their loans, is concerned about its reserves due to increasing mortgage delinquencies. The year 2013 could be the first time in 78 years that the FHA will need taxpayers’ money. The agency has 739,000 loans that are 90 days or more past due on hand—100,000 more than a year ago—representing 9.6% of all the loans it has guaranteed. The FHA has guaranteed $1.08 trillion worth of loans. (Source: Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2012.)
As I have been saying for some time now, my research shows it has been investors fuelling the housing market. Investors are buying troubled properties, fixing them up, and renting them out to tenants. The U.S. housing market, and the U.S. economy for that matter, will only start to bounce once there is an influx of real homebuyers. (Also see: Think There’s a Recovery in the Housing Market? Think Again.)
What He Said:
“I personally expect the next couple of years to be terrible for U.S. housing sales, foreclosures and the construction market. These events will dampen the U.S. economic picture significantly in the months ahead, leading to the recession I am predicting for the U.S. economy later this year.” Michael Lombardi in Profit Confidential, August 23, 2007. Michael was one of the first to predict a U.S. recession, long before Wall Street analysts and economists even thought it a possibility.