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Real Estate News - August 2007

The following news stories are those which are most important for understanding the house price crash and the impact on house prices going forward...

August 31

£9bn consumer debts written off by banks

Sub-prime lender says problems are on scale of Great Depression

Barclays forced to arrange £1.6bn BoE emergency loan

August 30

How much will the credit crunch hurt the world economy?

Freddie Mac posted a 45 per cent plunge in second-quarter profits on Thursday, fuelling market fears about the US housing downturn and a liquidity crunch

Britain's Housing Lenders Tighten Subprime Credit

August 29

Financial Times: SIVs set for $43bn asset ‘firesales’

August 28

US house prices fall worst for 20 years

Serious Credit Collapse Could Strengthen Dollar and Hit Gold

Housing prices across the U.S. fell 3.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier -- the largest decline in at least 20 years, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index

August 27

Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell in July for a fifth consecutive month, adding to the inventory of unsold properties and showing the housing slump that triggered a collapse in credit markets will drag on

August 26

The median price of American homes is expected to fall this year for the first time since federal housing agencies began keeping statistics in 1950

A Psychology Lesson From the Markets

August 24

In a clear sign that the credit crunch is still affecting the nation's largest financial institutions, the Federal Reserve agreed this week to bend key banking regulations to help out Citigroup and Bank of America

Worries over Bank of China's exposure to sub-prime mortgages sent its shares sharply down overnight

August 23

Northern Rock initiates moves to retreat from UK sub-prime mortgages by escalating interest rates on fixed-rate loans

Lehman Closes Subprime Unit and Lays Off 1,200

August 22

The European Central Bank announced it would add an additional €40bn into the three-month money market where interest rates have shot higher during the recent financial turmoil

Credit crunch takes toll as HBOS steps in at Grampian

First Magnus Financial, one of the largest independent U.S. mortgage lenders, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, the latest home loan provider to collapse as the housing market slumps and credit crisis widens. It said it laid off most of its nearly 6,000 employees

HBOS bails out own fund as effect of credit crisis spreads

August 21

The number of home repossessions in the US soared in July, figures suggest, underlining the woes facing the sector

HBOS will provide emergency funding to Grampian, its $35bn credit investment vehicle, as credit markets prove too costly

Woes mount as Countrywide dumps 500 jobs

The Bank of England said its emergency lending facility was tapped for the first time since the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis prompted other central banks to inject liquidity into financial markets

The $1.1 trillion market for commercial paper used to buy assets from mortgages to car loans has seized up just as more than half of that amount comes due in the next 90 days, according to the Federal Reserve

THORNBURG Mortgage said overnight it had sold $US20.5 billion ($25 bilion) of assets as it seeks to weather the financial storm buffeting the troubled US housing industry

August 20

London house prices fell for the first time in a year this month, a sign higher interest rates are cooling Britain's property boom

Victoria Mortgages has repriced its entire mortgage product range, with near-prime products rising by 1.25% and sub-prime products going up by 2.5%...The lender cites the global liquidity 'crunch' of the last few weeks has now created a position, "where there is effectively no bid for UK sub-prime mortgage securitised paper"

August 17

Anxious customers jammed the phone lines and website of Countrywide Bank and crowded its branch offices to pull out their savings because of concerns about the financial problems of the mortgage lender that owns the bank

Fed Cuts Discount Rate to 5.75 Percent to Ease Credit Crunch

August 16

Spanish fund March Monetario Dinamico has limited withdrawals for its around 3,000 investors due to knock-on effects from the world-wide credit squeeze

Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, borrowed the entire $11.5 billion available in bank credit lines as the global financial crisis curbed access to short-term financing

Moody's Investors Service has cut its debt rating for Countrywide Financial Corp. to the lowest rung of investment-grade and said it may cut again

August 15

Countrywide tumbles 19% on financing rumors

Countrywide Falls; Merrill Cites Bankruptcy Prospect

Northern Rock tumbled over 9 percent to hit a 3-year low on Wednesday as fresh signs of credit market deterioration sparked concern over its earnings and speculation it could issue a fresh profit warning

August 13

Goldman Sachs is to use $2bn of its own money to bail out its Global Equity Opportunities hedge fund in an embarrassing admission that its highly regarded computerised funds malfunctioned last week. The investment bank has raised a further $1bn from outside investors to support the $3.6bn GEO fund, which lost about $1.5bn when computer models failed to predict market turbulence

August 10

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s $8 billion Global Alpha hedge fund has fallen 26 percent so far this year, a decline that may prompt more investors to withdraw their money, according to people familiar with the fund

August 9

A wing of German giant Deutsche Bank yanked its UK sub-prime mortgages from the market, adding to fears of a worldwide credit squeeze

ECB injects €95bn to help markets

BNP Paribas SA, France's biggest bank, said it froze three asset-backed securities funds because it's no longer possible to ``fairly'' value their holdings, as concern over U.S. subprime mortgage losses roils credit markets

August 8

Toll Brothers' home-building revenue slips 21%

August 6

American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. filed for bankruptcy, becoming the second-biggest residential lender in the U.S. to close down this year

August 4

Stocks Fall Sharply Amid Credit Fears

August 3

Wells Fargo & Co, Wachovia Corp and other lenders are limiting mortgages to some of their more creditworthy borrowers as worries about U.S. homeowner defaults widen

The number of home repossessions rose by almost an annual 30 percent in the first half of the year, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders published on Friday. Repossessions rose 17.6 percent on the previous six months to 14,000 at a time when house price inflation is still running at double-digit levels

August 2

American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. plans to halt operations, becoming the second-biggest residential lender to fail this year as bad loans spread to people with good credit records

August 1

Signs that the crisis in the US subprime mortgage market is spreading to higher-quality mortgage loans contributed to a dramatic sell-off in credit and equity markets this week, as lenders reported significantly lower second-quarter earnings and investors ran aground on mortgage-related losses

The subprime virus has gone global. Starting as a localised outbreak in the US market for risky subprime mortgages, it has spread into the supposedly safer “Alt-A” tier and even into prime mortgages. Meanwhile, it has crossed into other loan species – particularly leveraged lending, where ballooning spreads have rattled the market and left banks holding big chunks of debt

Mortgage exit fees on scrapheap

FTSE falls sharply as credit fears return




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