20% of Florida Homes Vacant, No Recovery Projected until 2030’s

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a career — a generational event extinguishing the expectations and hopes of millions of people. And still there are millions of Americans who actually believe that this is the result of greedy homeowners — totally discounting the birthplace and current residence of greed (WALL STREET). How did this happen? AND ARE WE REALLY GOING TO WAIT UNTIL THE YEAR 2035 AND HOPE THAT IT WILL BE OVER THEN? OR WILL EVERYTHING GET MORE MESSED UP BY THAT YEAR?

HOW? By lying to homeowners. “Liar’s loans” should include the biggest lie of all — that the property was worth more than the loan. 8,000 honest, professional appraisals warned Congress in a Petition in 2005 along with anyone else who would listen that appraisals were already inflated beyond any justifiable computation using real comparable market activity that could be sustained. They complained that an honest appraisal was not acceptable to the “lenders.” If they didn’t come in with a false appraisal under direct instructions from the investment banker or their agents, they would never be hired to do another appraisal.

Nobody listened and for sure nobody told any borrower, “you know the property is probably worth half the amount of this appraisal, so as soon as you sign those papers, somebody up-line in the securitization chain is going to be claiming more money from this debt than the house will ever be worth in your lifetime.”

Everyone at the closing knew the truth except the borrower. Everyone knew the party named as lender was neither lending its own money nor using industry standard underwriting standards because they didn’t care if the loan could or would be repaid. The loan originator was being paid to stand in and act as though it was a lender when it was merely a conduit for the undisclosed lender in a table funded transaction. Greedy homeowners had nothing to do with this mess. It was greed on Wall Street trickling down all the way to the title agents, real estate brokers, mortgage brokers and even title companies.

If Borrowers knew the truth they would not have accepted these deals, and if investors knew the truth they wouldn’t have advanced the money to fund the deals. The entire affair was a staged affair in which Wall Street, using exotic instruments, some of which are incapable of human calculation or verification, created the appearance of the movement of money — and when money moves, Wall Street charges fees. They were churning accounts on a greater scale than anyone had ever imagined possible.

So now we have varying percentages of vacant homes — many of which are on the market to be sold and many WILL be on the market to be sold. And advisers are suggesting to their clients that they hold off a year before buying because the market has still not bottomed out. How can it? Virtually every mortgage transaction in the last 10 years is at risk in one form or another. According to MERS that is a total of more than 100 million transactions, including refi’s etc. The entire marketplace has been turned upside down and banks are reporting higher profits, dividends and management compensation as they repatriate the hidden profits taken during the height of the securitization scheme.

Nearly 20% of Florida homes are vacant — Prices Still Headed Down

chart_florida_vacancy_rates.top.gif By Les Christie, staff writerMarch 18, 2011: 4:14 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — It’s not always easy to feel sorry for sunny Florida. But they just got hit with another blow.

On Thursday, the Census Bureau revealed that 18% — or 1.6 million — of the Sunshine State’s homes are sitting vacant. That’s a rise of more than 63% over the past 10 years.

Having this amount of oversupply on the market will keep home prices depressed and slow any recovery.

During the housing boom, Florida was among the hottest real estate markets in the nation. Homes were snapped up by the state’s growing population as well as hordes of investors confident that prices would continue to soar.

“You’d drive through downtown Miami and see 30 or 40 cranes sticking up in the air,” said Michael Larson, a housing market analyst for Weiss Research.

The bust brought an end to that. Development ground to a halt. Retirees stopped relocating. And prices started falling and vacancies rising.

“Housing went from being the preeminent investment of choice to toxic waste,” added Richard DeKaser, an economist with the Parthenon Group.

The vacancy problem is more dire in Florida than in any other bubble market: In California, only 8% of units were vacant, while Nevada, the state with the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, had about 14% sitting empty. Arizona had a vacancy rate of about 16%.

In Florida, the worst-hit county is Collier — home of Naples — with a whopping 32% of homes empty. In Sarasota County, 23% of the housing stock sits vacant, while Lee County (Cape Coral) has a 30% vacancy rate. And Miami-Dade County has a vacancy rate of about 12%.

The housing recovery will take years, perhaps many years, to complete, according to Ingo Winzer, a housing market analyst and founder of Local Market Monitor.

Not helping is the the fact that the state’s rate of population growth slowed in the second half of the last decade to just 5.7%. Still, the 2000s saw the state population grow overall by nearly 18%, the Census Bureau reported. I

“It will take about eight years just to put the vacancy numbers back into the single digits,” said DeKaser.

The inventory overhang has sent home prices plunging. The median price for homes sold in January was just $122,000, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. That was down 7% from 12 months earlier and less than half the price at the peak of the market.

Winzer thinks prices in Florida will drop even more, another 5% in 2011 and 3% in 2012. “Even after that, they’re not going to rebound, they’ll just sit on the bottom,” he said.

Celia Chen, a housing market analyst for Moody’s Analytics, is also downbeat in her forecasts for Florida. Not only will prices fall another 11%, she said, but the bottom won’t hit until mid-2012, about a year later than the nation as a whole. Some metro areas won’t get back to their pre-recession peaks until long after the present owners are old and gray.

She doesn’t expect Naples, for example, to come all the way back until the late 2030s. Other Florida metro areas with a 20-year wait or longer include Punta Gorda, Palm Bay and North Port.

“If you’re buying in Florida for retirement,” said Winzer, “maybe you buy next year when prices will be near the bottom. If you’re buying for investment — don’t.” To top of page

9 Responses

  1. Where are the statistics on the title companies? If MERS mortgages are irreparably tainted then no title company would want to insure a mortgage that has been through MERS. Is that playing at all into the housing bust?

  2. That vacancy number in California can’t be right. Does this include al of the properties in the names of real estate agents sitting vacant with no “Fore Sale” sign?

  3. i was a engineer in the 1970,s and lived in fla. when the “Land on the moon” program was over.
    30% of the scientific community was layed off. This caused the Fla. housing to crash. it obly took 2/3 years for it self to correct. The cheap homes was bought up by folks retireing who wanted to live in very desirable Fla.

  4. We need as many people as possible to attend this event:


    We must show these criminals that they only think they have power over us.

  5. Yes, it was the conduit for the lender. The bankrupt conduit to where you can’t get any originating documents.
    The uniform loan app. on mine was signed a month before all the other documents. Mortgage broker screwed you signing in blank claiming he or she was submitting the loan app. to get a loan pre-approval. Weather you provided taxes or W-2s the signature was that was needed to screw you.

  6. Hagens Berman handled the lawsuit.

  7. and so you see what I am saying, clearly if this was known but not acted on, they are all complicit. 5,000??? How many do they need to have before they say “whoa nelly here, we might have a problem that could lead to millions of Americans getting f***ed” The government is not going to save us. And I am increasingly worried that the rule of law may not, in the end, prevail.

  8. Anyone have the appraisers Petition to Congress??

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