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Real Estate News - August 2008

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 29-30-31

FT: Merrill losses total one-quarter of 36-year profits: Merrill Lynch's losses in the past 18 months amount to about a quarter of the profits it has made in its 36 years as a listed company, according to Financial Times research that highlights the extent of the global banking crisis

FT: Bank of China flees Fannie-Freddie

FT: Subprime mortgage rates might hit 10%

FT: House of horrors

FT: UK house prices fall fuels fears for economy

August 28

FT: Crédit Agricole, France’s third largest bank, is on Thursday expected to announce further big writedowns linked to its exposure to US monoline insurers, leading to a sharp drop in profits when it issues its first-half results

FT: Property sector points to deepening downturn

FT: Inflation fears steer ECB away from rate cuts

Times: Sales at Taylor Wimpey sites slump to half a house a week

Mortgage Solutions: The latest house price report from Nationwide Building Society has revealed house prices fell by 1.9% in August, taking the annual drop to 10.5% - the largest fall since 1990

Mortgage Strategy: Number of sub-prime deals slashed by over 80%

August 27

FT: Euro slumps to six-month low

Times: Northern Rock defaults leave taxpayers facing bill

Telegraph: Sterling tumbles as markets eye interest rate cuts

Property Week: Gloom at Taylor Wimpey despite debt boost

August 26

FT: Overdue mortgage payments ‘on rise’

FT: Denmark’s central bank has taken control of the country’s eighth largest retail lender to avert a systemic financial crisis – the first such move for 15 years

FT: Retailers’ woes hit real estate investors

Marketwatch: U.S. June Case-Shiller home prices down 15.9% in past year

Marketwatch: U.S. July exisitng home sales up 3.1%, inventories rise

Wall Street Journal: Mortgage Fraud Jumped 42% in Year

Mortgage SOlutions: New BTL lending down 18%

Marketwatch: July's sales of new homes paint a mixed picture. Inventories of unsold homes improve; median sales price off 6.3%

Marketwatch: U.S. home prices fell at a record rate in June, putting more pressure on an already-fragile financial system

Reuters: The number of troubled U.S. banks rose 30 percent to 117 in the second quarter, the highest level in five years, and a top regulator warned that conditions will worsen as the housing slump and credit crisis continues to pound profitability

Marketwatch: Home prices off 1.4% in second quarter, OFHEO says

August 23-24-25

FT: Rents recede in buy-to-let

Marketwatch: Sales of existing homes rise but so do inventories

August 22

Times: E.ON and Scottish & Southern raise power prices by 30%

Reuters: US Mint suspends red-hot Eagle gold coins

Wall Street Journal: Home Magazine a Victim of Housing Woes

Reuters: Moody's ratings cut latest blow to Fannie, Freddie

Reuters: Buffett sees economy weak until 2009

August 21

Telegraph: Relief for Bank of England as wage rises slide to five-year low

Times: North Sea pipeline leak lifts gas price as fears rise over supplies

August 20

Reuters: Fannie, Freddie shares dive on bailout fears

August 19

FT: Freddie Mac plans $3bn debt issue

FT: UK homes for rent exceed demand

Times: Families forced to let homes they cannot sell

Marketwatch: Japan freezes rates, lowers economic outlook

Telegraph: Sharp US money supply contraction points to Wall Street crunch ahead

Marketwatch: Single-family housing permits fall to 26-year low, Housing starts plunge 11%

August 16-17-18

FT: More retirees look to equity release

Times: Economic slump puts 300,000 jobs on the line

Times: Sellers are asking £5,403 less for their homes than a month ago, with the typical price of a house down, on average, by 2.3 per cent at £229,816, according to a survey on Rightmove, the property search website

Reuters: U.S. likely to recapitalize Fannie, Freddie: report

August 15

FT: Higher rungs of housing ladder feel mortgage pain.

FT: Eurozone edges closer to recession.

FT: US inflation at highest since 1991.

FT: Bellway’s home sales slump.

FT: British Land hit by falling property prices.

New York Times: US domestic inflation reached a 17-year high of 5.6 per cent.

Times: Home repossessions rise 24% to 15-year high.

Wall Street Journal: NAR: Metro-Area Home Prices Slide.

August 14

FT: UK forecast punishes sterling.

Times: King opposes Treasury's liquidity plans.

Times: 20,000 jobs go in worst month since 90s recession.

FT: Subprime rescue hit by second mortgages.

August 13

Marketwatch: U.K. house prices continued their fall in July.

Telegraph: UK inflation exceeds Bank interest rate for first time since 1981.

Telegraph: Stage two of the gold bull market is just beginning.

August 12

Times: Inflation set to hit 5 per cent as goods prices surge.

Times: Water bills are next in line for a big rise.

FT: JPMorgan struck by $1.5bn writedown.

FT: Report flags UK subprime arrears.

Times: Property market grinds to a halt amid mortgage drought.

Bloomberg: Japan's Wholesale Inflation Rate Reaches 27-Year High.

Mortgage Strategy: Inflation hits 4.4% in July.

Property Week: Savills reports fall in UK property development.

August 9-10-11

Telegraph: This credit crisis is like the plague and nobody is safe yet.

August 8

Times: Barclays rebuked rival bankers and short-selling hedge fund managers yesterday for suggesting that its numbers could not be believed as it reported a 33 per cent slide in first-half pre-tax profits to an “acutely disappointing” £2.8 billion.

Reuters: Citigroup and Merrill Lynch said they would buy back billions of dollars of illiquid auction-rate securities from retail clients, and Citigroup agreed to pay a $100 million fine to settle charges it fraudulently misled investors about the debt's risk.

Mortgage Strategy: Royal Bank of Scotland has reported a pre-tax loss of £691m for the first half of 2008, a fall widely reported as the second-biggest loss in UK banking history.

Mortgage Solutions: Nearly 19,000 repossessions so far this year - CML.

Marketwatch: Fannie Mae swings to $2.3 billion loss in second quarter.

Wall Street Journal: Mortgages issued in the first part of 2007 are going bad at a pace that far outstrips the 2006 vintage, suggesting that the blow to the financial system from U.S. housing woes will be deeper than many people earlier estimated.

Times: House repossessions soar by 48% since January.

August 7

Marketwatch: American International Group reported a $5.36 billion second-quarter net loss late Wednesday as the insurance giant was hit again by write-downs and impairments on mortgage-related exposures.

Telegraph: UK consumers have been hit with a 9.5% jump in food prices in the year to July, as retailers stepped up their bid to pass on their own rising costs to customers.

Mortgage Strategy: MPC holds base rate at 5%.

Marketwatch: ECB leaves key rate unchanged.

Marketwatch: U.S. weekly initial jobless claims rise 7,000 to 455,000.

Marketwatch: US pending home sales index rises 5.3% in June.

Mortgage Strategy: Average UK house prices fall 1.7% in July.

Reuters: AIG sees up to $8.5 billion in cash losses from CDS.

August 6

Reuters: Freddie Mac, one of the major players in the U.S. mortgage market, on Wednesday posted its fourth straight quarterly loss as it braced for a prolonged housing market slump by setting aside twice as much money for bad loans and cutting its dividend by at least 80%.

FT: Fears that taxpayers will have to pay more for the Northern Rock bailout grew on Tuesday after critics attacked the government for taking on £3.4bn in extra risk because the troubled bank’s finances were far worse than previously thought.

FT: Brown considers stamp duty freeze.

FT: Inflation fears persist as Fed holds rates.

Times: Repossessions rise 40% as mortgage arrears worsen.

New York Times: Freddie Mac Loses $821 Million and Cuts Dividend.

August 5

FT: Eurozone factory prices hit record high.

August 2-3-4

New York Times: Jobless Rate Climbs to 5.7% as 51,000 Jobs Are Lost in July.

Times: US junk-bond defaults may quadruple.

Times: Manufacturers' gloom stretches across UK.

New York Times: Housing Lenders Fear Bigger Wave of Loan Defaults.

Marketwatch: The US personal consumption expenditure price index rose 0.8% in June compared with May and is up 4.1% in the past year, the largest year-over-year inflation in 17 years.

Mortgage Strategy: HSBC's pre-tax profit falls £1.98bn.

August 1

FT: Eurozone inflation surges to 4.1%.

Marketwatch: Housing slump causes more people to stay put.

Bloomberg: IndyMac Bancorp Files for Liquidation After Seizure.

New York Times: For some industry observers, Merrill Lynch’s deal to unload a portfolio of toxic mortgage investments appears similar to invisible ink: the bad investments seem to have disappeared, but in fact they’re still hanging around, waiting to be revealed.

 

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