FROM Rick Sharga
Who’s Being Left Out of the “Housing Recovery?” The home foreclosure crisis staggered the US economy and led to the Great Recession six years ago. Now — finally -- new housing is under construction. But it's not single-family homes that are going up, but mostly apartment buildings. And Wall Street is going into the rental business. Meantime, many homeowners, especially blacks and Latinos, are still underwater. What does this new form of housing "recovery" reveal about the economy? Does it contain the seeds of another recession?
Is the US Becoming a 'Rentership' Society? Hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes look like a good investment — not for re-sale, but for rentals on a massive scale. In Riverside, California, an area hard hit by the housing crisis, one company is buying up five to seven foreclosed homes every day. Will George W. Bush's "ownership society" morph into a "rentership society?"
Is a 'Rentership Society' the Next Phase in the Housing Crisis? Major investors with lots of cash are scooping up foreclosed homes and converting them into rental properties. In Riverside, California — an area hard hit by the housing crisis — one company is buying up five to seven foreclosed homes every day. Warren Buffett says rentals are much more profitable than stocks, and he'd like to buy up "a couple hundred thousand homes." Prices are way down, mortgage credit is hard to get and the time is right to out-bid individual families. Will traditional, first-time home-buyers have a chance against private equity funds? Will home ownership be possible for fewer and fewer Americans? This story was informed in part from sources in the Public Insight Network. To find out more, see our website, http://www.kcrw.com/insight .
The Mortgage Crisis and 'Occupy Our Home' Attorney General Kamala Harris has pulled out of a state and federal settlement with big banks, calling it "insufficient." Now she's joined forces with Nevada's Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and they represent two of the states most heavily battered by problematic home mortgages. (The state bankers association wasn't available for our program, but told us that member institutions try to work with troubled borrowers whenever they can.) We speak with Harris, mortgage and redevelopment specialists and a Marine veteran and father of four who "reclaimed" his dream house in Riverside yesterday, as part of the "Occupy Our Homes" action nationwide. Photo: Art de los Santos, who re-occupied his foreclosed home in Riverside. Photo by Tracy Lee Silveria, SEIU 721
Robo-Signers, Foreclosures and the Battered Housing Market More than 100,000 home mortgages were foreclosed in the month of September, a national record. At the same time, foreclosure fraud is so widespread it threatens economic recovery.
Home Foreclosures and Economic Recovery For the first time in a single month, September saw more than 100,000 home foreclosures . Foreclosure sales are now one-third of the housing market. At the same time, the attorneys general of all 50 states are investigating claims of foreclosure fraud by the entire banking industry. Where is Washington? Is it time for a foreclosure moratorium, or would that bring a grinding halt to the housing market and a threat to economic recovery? We hear the details of foreclosure fraud and why lending practices mean that nobody knows who really own millions of houses.
Buying a Home after the Foreclosure Crisis California already leads the nation in home foreclosures, and there will be a lot more in the coming year. But that’s not putting enough cheap homes on the market to satisfy the demand. We speak with realtors, a reporter covering the housing market and a frustrated buyer.
California Housing Markets Continue to Dive Home foreclosures in California more than doubled last month compared with February of last year. Nationwide, seven of the 10 cities with the most foreclosures are in California. Rick Sharga is Vice President of RealtyTrac, a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties.
The Housing Crisis Is Eating America's Economy Home foreclosure may become an industry in itself. Today's New York Times features a California company called You Walk Away , which is looking for clients whose mortgages are now worth more than their houses, so they can't refinance to meet rising payments. For less than a thousand dollars, You Walk Away will show them how to deliver their problems back to the bank by foreclosure. Part of the problem is the idea that housing is not just a place to live, but a gold-plated investment whose value just keeps going up. What goes up must come down, leaving tens of thousands of people with increased payments on loans worth more than their houses. Are greedy banks and investors at fault? What about home buyers themselves? And what's the impact on an economy that depends on consumer spending?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.