Amherst’s Goodman: One in five distressed homeowners at risk of losing home

Media coverage can exacerbate trends one way or the other and it now seems that media could have a positive influence on prices. Real estate companies are also on this bandwagon. Like in all the US distressed housing markets, recent official stats seem to point to a decline in supply which, combined with the late 2009 tax-credit induced demand.

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Laurie Goodman, senior managing director at Amherst Securities, believes one in five distressed homeowners in the U.S. are facing, or may face, foreclosure.

 · Calabria points out that principal reduction, unlike a break on an interest rate, offers a lasting reward in the form of increased home equity. And, he added, debt forgiveness also puts a homeowner closer to having a home value that exceeds his or her loan, which makes it much easier for a borrower to sell.

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Tough new regulations forced lenders into high-risk areas where they had no choice but to lower lending standards to make the loans that sound business practices had previously guarded against making..

In her October report, "The Housing Crisis – Sizing the Problem, Proposing Solutions," Ms. Goodman comes to the dark conclusion that more than 11 million borrowers are in danger of losing their homes, or roughly one out of five borrowers. What is under reported is the number of defaulting owners who are doing so strategically.

Fewer banks tighten mortgage underwriting standards For national banks, underwriting refers to the terms and conditions under which they extend or renew credit, such as financial and collateral requirements, repayment programs, maturities, pricing, and covenants. Banks may tighten standards in response to economic conditions while still continuing to extend credit in commercial and retail loan products.

Removing that many people as potential home buyers amounts to a a huge reduction in demand. Its not a surprise that Goodman is not expecting a quick housing recovery. She notes an “L” shaped recovery is the most likely outcome. In hr opinion, Home prices have 3-5% more price downside. The, and are likely to stay flat for another 3-5 years.