With rising unemployment in June, a Alt-A mortgages expected to add new fuel for to the fire things don’t look very good for the “green shoots” and I don’t even know if it looks good for the Obama administration’s positive outlook for recovery by next year.
Amid rising unemployment and falling home prices, mortgage defaults have surged to record levels this year. Until recently, many banks have put off launching foreclosure action on the troubled properties, in part because they had signed up for the Obama administration’s home-stability plan, which required them to consider the alternative of modifying loans to make it easier for borrowers to make payments.
[…] But rising foreclosures will depress home values, pushing more homeowners underwater. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com estimates that 15.4 million homeowners — or about 1 in 5 of those with first mortgages — owe more on their homes than they are worth.
Also, consumer confidence is already exceedingly low, and another jolt to the housing market could further crimp spending, which has been pummeled by the deep recession and persistent weakness in the job market. The latest unemployment rate, for June, rose to 9.5%, and many analysts predict that it will keep rising until the middle of next year.
Don Lee, LA Times, 7/4/2009
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