May 4th, 2009, posted by Brandon
I’m returning to DC after having met with an asset manager of a quasi government organization that buys most of the mortgages in the country. We went to lunch and discussed the future of the REO business (bank foreclosures) and it is clear there are several more waives of foreclosures to come before we’ve flushed out the challenges in the real estate market. There are essentially four areas of REO assets and we have really only cleared through one.
1. Subprime mortgages – we’re mostly done with the bulk of these
2. Prime mortgages – moving through this inventory now, unemployment is causing this to increase
3. ARMS –resets coming in the next couple years which will put more inventory on the market
4. Commercial – the damage has just begun
Additionally, lenders are holding back huge stock piles of inventory known as the “ghost market” and releasing it slowly.
The good news for sellers though is I think most of the price declines have stopped in the DC area. We are now seeing many multiple contracts (as many as 20) on foreclosures and the prices in several cases have fallen to below the material cost of constructing the home itself and sometimes below the land value! (not in Dupont Circle though) Just as prices could not remain unsustainably high, they cannot remain unsustainably low either.
Buyers: you’ve missed the best time to buy which I think was last fall, yet now is still an AMAZING time to buy. My question to you is – what in the world are you waiting for?