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Beobachtungen zum US Immobilienmarkt:
Hier handelt es sich lediglich um meine subjektive Sichtweise und nicht um eine objektive Betrachtung.
Mein erster Besuch in den USA liegt bereits 13 Jahre zurück. Seinerzeit bin ich zum Studium nach San Diego gereist und habe die wohl beste Zeit meines Lebens dort verbracht. Eben das typische Studentenleben am Strand ohne Sorgen und Verpflichtungen gegenüber Dritten. Es war der Beginn des Internetboom. Bill Clinton hatte gerade den Aufbau der Datenautobahn (konnte mir wenig darunter vorstellen) zum wichtigsten wirtschaftlichen Ziel der nahen Zukunft erklärt. Der Boom am Aktienmarkt sollte kurz bevorstehen und der Immobilienmarkt lag mehr oder minder am Boden. Obwohl ich seinerzeit die Preise für „Holzhäuser“ schon für recht ambitioniert gehalten habe, hat man mir von allen Seiten versichert um welche Schnäppchenpreise es sich handeln würde. Aus heutiger Sicht kann ich nur sagen: Hätte ich doch gehört.
Einführung und Hintergrund zu meiner aktuellen Einschätzung:
Die Magie und Bewunderung, welche ich für dieses Land empfunden habe und welche dieses Land auf mich ausgestrahlt hat sind der Ernüchterung gewichen.
Meine Reise hat mich von Südkalifornien bis nach Oregon, Nevada und Arizona geführt. Hierbei habe ich versucht eine Momentaufnahme zur wirtschaftlichen Lage und zum Immobilienmarkt an der Westküste zu erlangen. Meine Informationsquellen sind nicht offizieller Natur sondern beruhen auf Gesprächen mit Freunden, Bekannten, Verwandten und Geschäftspartnern die in den unterschiedlichsten Branchen –Bauwesen, Software, Finanz- beschäftigt sind.
Die aktuelle Einschätzung wird im nächsten Posting folgen. Die Zeit ist der begrenzende Faktor. Mein Büro muss nach einigen Wochen der Abwesenheit zunächst wieder auf den aktuellen Stand gebracht werden. Dieser Zustand wird wohl den meisten hier bekannt sein.
|HANDELSBLATT, Dienstag, 24. Juli 2007, 14:30 Uhr|
Faule Kredite belasten American Express
|Krise auf dem US-Hypothekenmarkt: Finanzdienstleister stellen sich auf Zahlungsausfälle ein. Foto: ap |
|HANDELSBLATT, Samstag, 4. August 2007, 11:00 Uhr|
Nirgendwo wohnt es sich teurer
Foreclosures Come to McMansion CountryHOUSING REAL ESTATE MCMANSION FORECLOSUREBy ReutersReuters| 07 Apr 2008 | 08:31 AM ET
Million-dollar fixer-upper for sale: five bedrooms, four baths, three-car garage, cavernous living room. Big holes above fireplace where flat-screen TV used to hang.
The U.S. housing crisis has come to McMansion country.
Just as the foreclosure crisis has hollowed out poorer neighborhoods, "for sale" signs are sprouting in upscale developments so new they don't show up on GPS navigation screens.
Poor people weren't the only ones who took out risky, high-interest loans during the housing boom.
The sharp increase in housing costs -- and the desire to live in brand-new, spacious houses with modern features -- led many affluent buyers to take out loans they couldn't afford.
"People had in their head, 'I need a mud room, I need giant columns, I need a media room, and I'm going to do anything to get it,"' said Robert Lang, co-director of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, a research organization that focuses on real estate and development.
The crisis has hit especially hard here in Loudoun County, Virginia, where upscale developments have supplanted horse farms over the past fifteen years.
About an hour's drive from Washington, Loudoun is one of the nation's most affluent counties, with a median household income of $98,000, more than double the national figure.
The county has also ranked as one of the nation's fastest growing in recent years as developers built thousands of super-sized, amenity-laden houses to keep pace with the booming high-tech economy.
These houses are sometimes nicknamed "McMansions," disparaging both their extravagance and their look of mass production -- like hamburgers from a McDonald's restaurant.
Between 1990 and 2005, the county's population tripled to 272,000. Many of those moving here relied on risky, high-interest loans to buy the house of their dreams.
"People pushed the limits to be able to buy. They couldn't afford to buy there otherwise," said Virginia Tech consumer-affairs professor Irene Leach.
High-interest loans accounted for 16 percent of the total during the height of the mortgage boom in 2005, less than other outer-ring suburban counties in the region but more than neighboring counties closer to Washington.
Now the bill has come due. One out of every 69 households in the county was in foreclosure in the last three months of 2008, well above the national average of one filing for every 555 households, according to RealtyTrac.
Most of these have been concentrated in the county's poorer neighborhoods, but local realtor Danilo Bogdanovic says he is increasingly seeing more foreclosures on properties worth more than $800,000 as affluent borrowers burn through savings in a vain attempt to stay in houses they can't afford.
"They've just prolonged the pain," Bogdanovic said. "I don't think they're immune to it." At the end of 2007, 20 of the 25 houses for sale for more than $850,000 in Loudoun County appeared to be foreclosures, according to Tony Arko, his partner.
These can take years to sell, as they must compete with brand-new developments still coming online.
Housing prices in the county plummeted 8 percent in 2007, the sharpest drop in the region, according to the Washington Post.
New home starts plummeted by 50 percent.
Bogdanovic and Arko have sold many foreclosed properties to investors looking to rent them out. But there's no market for a million-dollar rental property, they say.
In the Beacon Hill development, a golf course snakes among large houses and gazebos set on rolling hills. Residents keep their horses at an equestrian center.
A 7,300-square-foot mansion on Spectacular Bid Place features three chandeliers, a spiral staircase and a state-of-the-art kitchen. The owner offered it at $1.35 million in January 2006, before foreclosing in August 2007. The house found a buyer in January 2008 -- for $963,000.
Several miles away, the million-dollar fixer-upper with the holes in the walls has been on the market since December. It is still unsold.
US Home Values Slump for 7th Straight QuarterHOMES, MORTGAGES, REAL ESTATE, US, INTEREST RATESReuters| 12 Nov 2008 | 04:38 AM ET
Home values in the United States posted their seventh consecutive quarterly decline, with nearly one-third of Americans who sold in the past year losing money, real estate website Zillow.com said Wednesday.
Home values fell 9.7 percent year-over-year in the third quarter to a Zillow Home Value Index of $202,966, according to the third quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, which encompass 163 metropolitan areas.
Home values have dropped a total 12.8 percent since the market peaked in 2006.
Year-over-year declines in the second quarter were 8.8 percent, indicating that price drops continued to accelerate in the third quarter, the reports showed.
The continued declines in value are causing more homeowners to sell their homes for less than the original purchase price.
Over the past 12 months, 30.2 percent of homes sold were sold for a loss, up from 23.7 percent at the end of the second quarter.
In 17 markets -- 14 of them in California -- more than half of homes sold in the past year were sold for a loss, the reports showed.
The percentage of homeowners with negative equity remained fairly steady from the second to the third quarter, however, as more foreclosures were completed and as median down payments rose in 61 markets.
One in seven, or 14.3 percent, of all homeowners across the country has negative equity, and of homeowners who bought in the last five years, almost one-third, or 29.5 percent, are 'under water', the reports showed.
"The fact that one-quarter of markets in Zillow's third quarter reports show negative or relatively flat annualized change over five years is an indication of the enormous amount of value that has been taken out of the real estate market through home value depreciation in the past few years," Stan Humphries, Zillow vice president of data and analytics, said in a statement.
"It's clear we are at a unique point in history; we've had seven consecutive quarters of decline, and we expect that to continue until at least the middle of next year. Most markets are still seeing five-year annualized returns, but we will see more markets slip into flat or negative long-term change as the economy continues to suffer, factors like job losses begin to further affect foreclosure rates and home values continue to decline," he said.
Foreclosures made up almost one in five, or 18.6 percent, of all transactions in the past 12 months and areas with the highest foreclosure rates are the markets with some of the greatest home value declines.
In California's Central Valley, 57.6 percent of transactions in Merced were foreclosures, and in Stockton, foreclosures made up 56.4 percent of transactions.
The New York metro area continued to have the lowest rate of foreclosures, with only 3.5 percent of all transactions being foreclosures, the reports showed.
New U.S. single-family home sales fell slightly in October and the government revised sharply lower its estimate for the prior month's sales, casting a small shadow over what has been one of the brighter spots in the U.S. economy.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales dropped 0.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted 368,000-unit annual rate.
Government data for new home sales are subject to substantial revisions. Indeed, the Commerce Department cut its estimate for sales in September by 20,000 to a 369,000-unit rate.
The data leaves the pace of new home sales just below the pace reported in May, suggesting little upward momentum the market for new homes.
Still, the report gave some upbeat signals that reinforced the housing sector as a point of strength in an economy beset by flagging business confidence and cooling demand abroad. The median home price of a new home rose 5.7 percent from a year ago.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales rising to a 390,000-unit rate last month from the previously reported 389,000-unit rate.
The Commerce Department said superstorm Sandy at the end of last month probably had a "minimal" effect on sales activity, and did not affect collection of data