The Reasons Why We Do Not Have High REO Inventories
The business head lines today read, “US Labor Participation Rate at Lowest Level in 30 Years” or “US Labor Participation Rate at Lowest Rate Since Carter Administration” and yet, I am trying to figure out why my REO inventory this year has shrunk to pre 2007 bubble bursting levels. To make this point a little more pointed, let me share a little statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Our current unemployment rate is 7.3% and the last time we were at 7.3% was December of 2008. Now, think back to December of 2008, think of your REO inventory….are you at that level today? I would venture to say, likely not. Are you still confused as to what my point is? Well, let me say it this way. If you add in the participation rate with the unemployment numbers, you get a “real” unemployment number of 9.4% and the last time we were at 9.4% or higher was May of 2009 thru November 2010 so, think back to you REO inventory then….are you at those same levels today? Once again, I venture to say….likely not.
So, how is it that we have a “real” unemployment rate at or higher than the worse unemployment we have had accordingly to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the past 4-5 years and yet, we don’t have a correlated REO inventory?
Well, I am no economist however, I have some speculative theories, let me share.
- Obama Administration Homeowner Assistance Programs: Obama has directed HUD and the US Department of Treasury to stop the foreclosure crisis by implementing several foreclosure avoidance programs through joint department efforts like the Making Home Affordable programs. Do you know how many entitlement programs there are? Likely you don’t so, let me share…..
- HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program)
- PRA (Principal Reduction Alternative)
- 2MP (Second Lien Modification Program)
- HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program)
- FHA2LP (Treasury / FHA Second Lien Program)
- UP (Home Affordable Unemployment Program)
- EHLP (Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program)
- FHA Forbearance
- HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage)
So, you had no idea…did you? Granted, my blog isn’t long enough to go into details on each of these programs with you however, for more information you can call the NSC at 1-877-622-8525. The Obama administration has used all of these foreclosure avoidance strategies in a very similar way the Community Reinvestment Act set up , built up and ultimately collapsed our economy in 2007 with the bursting of the real estate bubble. Oooops, “did I say that?” HELL yes, I did.
That’s right, the reason we don’t have REO inventory as REO Professionals is because our President has decimated our industry by artificially and manipulatively used foreclosures as a political tool for re-election of himself and his party. Sadly, most of the American public don’t understand what this does to home values……so, let me explain. It artificially inflates home prices by restricting legitimate inventory from hitting the market place. It sets up our country for a 10(+) year trickling of these vacant, distressed, properties to the market place. Ok..sure, it can be argued that by doing this we are stabilizing the housing market and sure, I will relent and say….it does however, only for the short term. In fact, it makes things a little worse because, we end up sitting on inventory and God forbid, another economic crisis hits or the current one drags on for longer than expected and we end up with more and more and more and more water behind an aging, over burdened, crippled, dilapidated damn that is ready to blow.
Think of the housing crisis as a man mad lake with one side plugged up by a huge damn. Think of the water in the lake as all of the houses that are distressed, under water, risk of foreclosure. Right now, our lake is so full, we have foreclosures literally spilling over the top. Our economy…the damn, is barely holding and with a growing “Shadow” inventory of REO homes, high unemployment, high “real” unemployment and these continuing foreclosure avoidance / rescue programs……we will have a seriously problem, eventually.