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Judy Weil  

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  • NAHB May Be On Its Way To Irrelevance [View article]
    Hi Bill and Dave,

    I really enjoyed doing the Housing Tracker. I liked the fact that Seeking Alpha gave me a mandate to quote from articles and not to analyze. That way people got an objective view of what's going on in the marketplace and could make their own judgments.

    But I also think people are not that interested in it anymore. There's no question that the housing market has to stabilize for the economy to recover, but the focus right now seems to be on what's happening in the general economy and not necessarily in housing.

    I don't think the story is over. I agree that the alt-A and option ARMs are still lurking out there. I've been reading a lot of financials' conference call transcripts (that are free on SA, by the way!) and it's been interesting to see how different banks deal with those loans still on their books. I'm trying to cover it from this angle now.

    I'll do my best to post updates on things like commercial markets and price/sales shifts around the country as well.

    Looking forward to your comments,

    All the best,


    Nov 9, 2008. 02:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Amdocs Says about Billing and Cable Co.'s [View article]
    Oops. Thanks for catching that!
    Nov 8, 2008. 03:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NAHB May Be On Its Way To Irrelevance [View article]
    Hi Bill and Dave,

    Thanks for the kind words and Bill, especially for your regular insightful comments. I'm happy to hear that the Housing Tracker has been useful to you both.

    We made an editorial decision to slim down on in-house coverage of the housing market for several reasons. The two main ones are that our contributors do a remarkable job in analyzing and keeping abreast of what's going on in the housing market and the other is, well, because the real estate bubble has pretty much popped.

    I'll probably be posting one or two weekly posts on a narrower field of interest in the housing market. I'd be interested to hear from you both which housing topics you'd like to continue reading about.

    If I do come across anyone who does the same kind of research on the housing market I'll be happy to post it here for anyone who is interested. Of course I'm always happy to answer your questions at any time.

    All the best,
    Nov 3, 2008. 03:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Timber REITs: Above Vicissitudes of Cycles [View article]

    Just keeping you on your toes...
    Oct 31, 2008. 07:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Local Bank Hints Seattle's Economy Facing Headwinds [View article]
    Dear Closetothefray,

    Since Seattle has been a relatively strong housing market until now, investors are likely looking for signs of its health or lack of it as an indicator for national trends. Maybe you could give us some insight on the Seattle market?


    Oct 30, 2008. 01:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wachovia Hints at What's in Store for Wells Fargo [View article]
    Hi Bill,

    Since California was one of the first to get hit, do you think it presages a bottom for all?
    Oct 24, 2008. 02:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • California's House Sales Continue Strong Growth [View article]
    Hi Tim,
    Thought you might be interested in this article in today's WSJ: ("California Home Sales Revive, But Not Without Intense Pain")
    All the best,
    Oct 22, 2008. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Homebuilder News [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Dear Peppio,

    SoCal is a tough housing market, so it's interesting that any homebuilder would be doing even relatively well there.
    Thanks for the info,

    Oct 17, 2008. 04:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Homebuilder News [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Hi Peppio,
    Where do you live? I'm sure readers would like to know which markets are picking up for Beazer.
    Oct 16, 2008. 07:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Homebuilder Update [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Thanks Bill, as always, for your insight.
    - Judy
    Oct 14, 2008. 01:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgages and Lending In The Subprime Meltdown [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Dear Curbs-In,

    Sadly, this phenomenon isn't new. Barry Ritholtz pointed out months ago that Michigan houses were selling for a dollar, as did the NY Times back in May

    I suspect that there are many who would pay you to buy their house right now, if you could just get the millstone off their necks!

    The point is, these kinds of crazy asking prices have been around for awhile. The house mentioned in the Chicago Sun Times article is a foreclosed property, which means the rights to the property don't necessarily come with just $1.75. Back taxes, liens, fines for upkeep, etc. can reach in to the thousands.

    Michigan's macro environment is poor, and is likely to get poorer as the credit crunch hits automobile manufacturers even harder. Michigan's high homeownership rate is also clogging the market on its way down. See Mark Perry:
    High unemployment, poor job market prospects and mobility; the list is pretty long. I don't know much about Saginaw, but i haven't noticed anyone touting the solution to Michigan's problems recently.

    On the other hand, that may be the clearest contrarian signal that the market is in absolute despair, and so it's time to jump on those crazy offers.

    I'd like to say there's a bright side to this: Like maybe the market is actually moving up. After all, if back in May the headlines were about $1 houses, maybe prices have risen 75% and are now $1.75, indicating a positive trend??? Or maybe your half joke about putting in a $5 bid is an indication that, even in jest, buyers are looking for bargains and so may be moving back in to the markets.
    Somehow, I have the feeling that this isn't the case. But you have to trust your instincts!
    All the best,

    - Judy
    Oct 5, 2008. 05:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Are Homebuilders Up On Lousy Earnings? [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Oct 2, 2008. 07:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Subprime Is Truly Global Now [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Thanks H.O.!
    To 'Who'-- Got any tips on where I can find out more info on Hong Kong banks et al. I've found a little bit on the fallout from Lehman for Asian banks, but I'm not so familiar with Chinese sources and I suspect you are right about this being the tip of the iceberg for them.
    Oct 1, 2008. 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Billion $ Question: What Will Mortgage Backed Securities Be Worth? [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Thanks Bill,
    I haven't seen a $5T figure yet, but who knows where this will all end??
    Sometimes when I read some of this stuff, I can't believe the numbers being thrown around. $1T. It boggles the mind.

    What do you think about the bailout plan?
    Oct 1, 2008. 01:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Macro: How Bankrupt Financials Will Impact Connecticut, NJ [Housing Tracker] [View article]
    Hi Helpless Observer,
    Canadian financial blogger Larry MacDonald posted an interesting article on the same subject of refunding excessive bonuses:
    Interesting idea. Maybe its the start of a grass roots movement.
    What do you think of his idea?
    Sep 23, 2008. 01:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment