Archive for December, 2010

foreclosures around the world

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I didn’t think anyone could be in worse shape than the U.S., but the crooks that are crippling America will bring Ireland to her knees — Spain is expected to follow on Ireland’s heels. Neither government has sufficient funds to bail out these poor people. Ireland has been bandied about so much during the centuries that this is painful to read, particularly for someone with Irish heritage.

Excerpts from International Living:

In short, the mother of all real estate and banking bubbles has imploded. The Irish government guaranteed the entire financial system’s liabilities. The extent of banking losses is breathtaking. Losses will be in the region of two to three years’ worth of the country’s total tax take.

Official statistics tell us that real estate prices have fallen by 40%. This is misleading. It hides the fact that there is no liquidity . . . no buyers whatsoever in many cases. To find a buyer you may have to drop prices by 70% or more. And if you do find a buyer, chances are the sale will fall through anyway. Financing is almost non-existent.

Let me give you an example of how bad things are. Earlier this year I met an old friend for lunch in a Dublin hotel. He just bought a new home in central Dublin. He paid $1 million. His neighbor paid $2.5 million for the same house a couple of years ago.

To clear unsold inventory of new apartments on the outer reaches of Dublin’s commuter belt, developers now need to cut prices to the $96,000 to $110,000 range. This is a fire sale. The list price on the same units would have been much higher—somewhere in the $274,000 to $356,000 range.

Before taking the plunge you need to understand the foundations that Ireland’s real estate market sits on.

In September 2008, fearing a run on the banks, the government guaranteed all deposits and liabilities of Irish banks. This put Irish taxpayers on the hook for every bad loan made and every bond issued.

After guaranteeing these loans, the government created a “bad bank” called NAMA (National Assets Management Agency). Years—maybe even decades—of inventory are now in NAMA’s hands. We have no idea what NAMA will do with it. Will NAMA offload at fire sale prices? Whatever it decides will have a dramatic impact on the market.

Foreclosures (or repossessions as they’re called in Ireland) are rare. The legal process for foreclosures is difficult. And the banks are worried about the bad publicity. But this situation may not last. This means that even more inventory could come on stream on top of excess supply. If it does, there will likely never be a level of demand that will meet current supply levels.

The ruled, yellow notepaper for the notes app, the torn-paper effect at the top of the stitched, leather-bound calendar app, and more are examples of this

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Monday, December 27th, 2010

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