Saturday, February 12, 2011

Everything you need to know in one headline

You might also consider this a Footnote to the preceding.

RealtyTrac, which tracks mortgage default and foreclosure data, reported recently that
foreclosure activity jumped in 149 of the country's 206 largest metropolitan areas last year.
It said the foreclosure crisis is getting worse and has entered a new phase:
"We've actually had a sea change in what's causing foreclosures, from the overheated home prices and bad loans to a second wave of foreclosures actually caused by unemployment and economic displacement," says Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
Meanwhile, the percentage of mortgagees who are underwater, that is, who owe more on their mortgage than the property is worth, rose from 23.2% in the third quarter of 2010 to 27% at the end of the year, largely due to the continuing crash in house prices, which is largely driven in turn by the continuing bad economy.

So how does the Wall Street Journal approach that? With an article headlined
Home Affordability Returns to Pre-Bubble Levels
Because, y'see, housing prices have dropped so much that the ratio of median home prices to annual household incomes in something over half of the markets followed by Moody's Analytics is now below what it was in 2003.

Woo-hoo! Let the good times roll!

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