Wow. And the National Association of Realtors is still telling everyone that it's a great time to buy a home. Check it out:
Well, even the NAR goons can't keep this rancid news from hitting the front pages nationally:
OC Register report:
Orange County foreclosures up 128% January 2008 over January 2007.
9.5% from previous month December 2007.
California state wide foreclosures up 120% January 2008 over January 2007.
(Data courtesy of RealtyTrac)
CNN Money Report:
National foreclosures up 57% (courtesy of RealtyTrac report).
And one of the nation's most well-known financial houses, Merrill Lynch is forecasting home prices will fall by 15% in 2008 and another 10% in 2009. That will likely continue to fuel high foreclosure rates.
So why are realtors nationally telling people to buy a house now? Two main reasons.
1.) How else are they to earn commissions without sales transactions? They need transactions to earn 6% and they need buyers and sellers to believe in making such transactions now.
2.) The N.A.R.'s argument is that going into debt for a home is the smartest investment a family can make over the long run.
(Under "normal" circumstances, I might agree, given all things being equal, prices were somewhat in alignment to real incomes and to all other economic fundamentals that have guided housing values over time. Except housing market circumstances in Orange County are anything but normal, and prices are completely out of synch with incomes, and for that matter, reality.)
Yes, the market has crashed and bubble has burst, but I have this crazy song still in my head: