Robert J. Samuelson: Housing market has moved from bubble to bottleneck

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  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    When will today's social engineers learn that private citizens change their behavior in order to avoid being harmed by adverse policy? Why are they always surprised by the fact that their actions have consequences?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    There's a real hidden element to this and that is banks have not just tightened up credit standards but have drastically improved their bottom line by turning their processing centers into box checking robots. There is no authority housed in the bureaucracy, all authority lies in the forms. I personally know of loan that was declined (temporally) because the borrower (worth well over 100million dollars) didn't write no on a line that only asked for an explanation if certain circumstances were present.

    Like we always say don't let a good crisis go unused. Money flows one direction, up.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:49 p.m.

    By returning to the time-tested rule of putting down 25% for a new home and looking at the ability of the borrower to repay the loan makes for a better base of home owners. What happend when the housing market imploded was unrealisticly unqualified people getting loans they couldn't support over the lifetime of the loan as well as their ability to understand the terms of the loan. This combined with government intervention when the then Attorney General Janet Reno stated she would have any bank or mortgage company investigated who did not encourage or loan money and Congress's concept that everyone in American is entitled to own a home put us where we are now.

    It's no wonder in retrospect that banks are now gun shy after being burned with massive loan defaults.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    My wife and I are building a new home. With my 'average' credit rating the only way I qualified for our loan was to put nearly 60% down on the home and the only way I was able to do that is from the sale of our existing home. My advise for young couples is to keep a squeaky clean credit rating otherwise owning a home may be out of reach going forward. An average or below average credit rating would have been a non-starter for us without the big down payment.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Has anyone asked why, with middle-class and lower-class incomes shrinking, the housing industry insists on building larger and larger houses? Drive through the older neighborhoods in any city, and you'll see modest homes. Drive through newer developments, and you'll see houses that the majority of families cannot afford. This is part of the mystery of why the housing market has failed to completely to rebound, even with low interest rates.

    Interestingly, it is also a pretty good analogy to the health-care market.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Just got through going through the process of getting a loan (VA) for a home. My impression was that the lenders really don't like lending money at such low rates due to low return. Especially over 30 years. Makes sense. So if you are in the market and looking for the funding, prepare yourself for a battle to get approved, because every discouraging thing you can imagine will be put in your way. And the credit score requirements are getting beyond reality. 850 is the highest score possible and that is achievable only if you have perfect credit from about 18 years old to 60. It is said that even Bill Gates does not have an 850. I think the basic thing going on here is the banks are holding onto money until they can get more interest on it before letting it go.