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Posts Tagged ‘Harvard JCHS’

Bloomberg View Column: Costly City Housing Is an Economic Drag

June 3, 2015 | 6:12 pm | | Charts |


Read my latest Bloomberg View column Costly City Housing Is an Economic Drag.



Here’s an excerpt…

It’s tough living in a big city — the people, the traffic, the noise. Oh, and did we mention the cost of housing? Contrary to conventional wisdom, high and rising housing costs in the U.S.’s biggest cities are not ideal for an economic recovery. Just the opposite: When housing costs take a big bite out of incomes, it diverts money that could be spent on local goods and services or invested in new businesses that stimulate growth…

[read more]

My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

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[The Housing Helix Podcast] Nicholas Retsinas, Director, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

June 21, 2010 | 12:07 pm | Podcasts |

I have a great conversation with Nicholas Retsinas, Director, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. He and his staff just released The State of the Nation’s Housing 2010, a must read overview of the challenges facing the US housing market.

Here are other resources published by JCHS.

Check out the podcast.

The Housing Helix Podcast Interview List

You can subscribe on iTunes or simply listen to the podcast on my other blog The Housing Helix.


[Interview] Nicholas Retsinas, Director, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

June 21, 2010 | 11:57 am | Podcasts |

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[Harvard Study] Jobs Needed For Housing To Recover

June 14, 2010 | 2:00 pm | |

At first glance, the headline on coverage of the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report issued today by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies:

U.S. Housing Recovery Dependent on Jobs, Harvard Report Says:

…and an Ivy League degree will get you a ham sandwich:

Ok thats way too harsh, but in reality, job creation is THE important point – since we lost sight of that during the credit/housing boom (when consumers didn’t need to have a job to get a mortgage). In other words, job creation will be needed to carry the torch from the federal tax credit stimulus. Job creation as an offset to the rising foreclosure problem is the key.

Even as the worst housing market correction in more than 60 years appeared to turn a corner in 2009, the fallout from sharply lower home prices and highunemployment continued. Byyear’s end, about one in sevenhomeowners owed more ontheir mortgages than their homeswere worth, seriously delinquentloans were at record highs, and foreclosures exceeded twomillion. Meanwhile, the share ofhouseholds spending more thanhalf their incomes on housing waspoised to reach new heights asincomes slid. The strength of job growth is now key to how quickly loan distress subsides and how fully housing markets recover.

Right now, feedback I’m being in various housing markets across the US suggests home sales are falling sharply in the post-stimulus housing world.

We’d better get back to work.

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[Getting A Read On Matrix] Wednesday September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009 | 12:01 am | |

Was a bit a bit crazed yesterday with the Madoff Montauk US Marshal video and I recorded two new podcasts for today and tomorrow (Marketing Guru, Fed Economist) so I didn’t get a chance to blog.

Here are a few things that caught my eye as something I would have expanded on in Matrix and are worth reading, especially the last two on a single regulator.


[The Housing Helix Podcast] Nicholas Retsinas, Director, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

July 8, 2009 | 11:29 pm | Podcasts |

My guest is Nicholas Retsinas, Director, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. I’ve followed his work for many years and I am grateful he agreed to be interviewed for this podcast.

The interview focuses on the report recently released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies called The State of the Nation’s Housing.

Check out the podcast.

You can subscribe on iTunes or simply listen to the podcast on my other blog The Housing Helix.


[Interview] Nicholas Retsinas, Director, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

July 8, 2009 | 6:12 pm | Podcasts |


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[Harvard JCHS] The State of the Nation’s Housing 2009

June 23, 2009 | 12:03 am |

The Joint Center for Housing Studies just released their annual The State of the Nation’s Housing for 2009.

The report is quite extensive and topics include Housing Markets, Demographic Drivers, Homeownership, Rental Housing and Housing Challenges.

Nicolas P. Retsinas Director for the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University will be appearing on The Housing Helix Podcast in the near future to discuss the release. I’m a fan of his research and had the pleasure to share a split screen with him on CNBC a few years ago.

From their quarterly peaks during the housing boom to the last quarter of 2008, real home equity was down 41 percent, existing median home prices 27 percent (and at least 40 percent in 26 metropolitan areas), new home sales 70 percent, and existing home sales 33 percent. Homeowners also pulled back on home improvement projects, with spending off 13 percent in real terms in 2008 and even larger declines expected in 2009. The cutbacks in home building and remodeling shaved a full percentage point off economic growth in 2007 and nearly another point in 2008.

Here’s a sampling of some of the charts in the report – especially the one below – loan volume is half the levels of 2003 and there is virtually no non-prime lending. That leaves a lot of people without mortgage options, that are facing payment stress.

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[Park The House In Securitization’s Yard] Raineri Lectures At Harvard

October 9, 2008 | 12:36 pm |

Sorry about my absence this week. It’s been crazy busy at Miller Samuel and I am taking a long weekend (in about an hour). Be back in full force next week.

A few months ago I wrote about Lewis Ranieri, the father of securitization.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University just released the October 1, 2008 lecture that featured Lew Ranieri. It was released today so the stream is agonizingly slow, but he provides good insight into the process and intention, and suggests that the mortgage market was built on sand.

JCHS Lecture: Lewis Ranieri, creator of mortgage securitization


[Social Mortgaging] Using Social Capital To Seek Out Information

June 4, 2008 | 12:01 am |

In a recently released paper called The Use of Social Capital in Borrower Decision-Making by a doctoral student at Harvard, Cassi Pittman, with the support of the NeighborWorks America’s Emerging Leaders in Community and Economic Development Fellowship and the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. This research focuses exclusively on black borrowers’ search for and obtaining of mortgage financing.

Because of wide variations on mortgage borrowing patterns based on race, this study looks at mortgage patterns from the demand perspective. In other words: how do individuals decide to go with a particular lender or mortgage product?

The preliminary findings indicate that borrowers’ preferences and subsequent demands for mortgage products were shaped by the informal and formal advice they received. Those borrowers who consulted the most diverse sources of information had loans with lower interest rates. Those borrowers who received advice only from family and friends did not fare as well as those who received help from credit counselors. Thus, arguably, their loan outcomes varied not just based on if they consulted others, but especially whom they consulted. When given the right advice, potential homebuyers make better decisions in choosing both a lender and a loan.

The report sample size is arguably small and because of the quickly changing environment, feels a little dated (ie 65% of origination is via mortgage brokers – it must be half that market share or less right now), but its well written, presented and even better…it’s interesting, covering such on an abstract subject.

Just sitting through a closing, illustrates the futility of federally mandated mortgage disclosures. Not only are the volumes of documents cumbersome and lack clarity, but it serves to confuse borrowers even more. When borrowers do not understand the terms of their mortgage and the fees associated with the transaction, they are more likely to be victims of lending abuses and to be charged “fees that far exceeded what would be expected justified based on economic grounds”. The mortgage rates charged were as high as 16% in a low mortgage rate environment. 2-28 (2 years fixed, 28 years adjustable) were among the most popular.

Of course, conventional mortgage denial rates played a role in fueling demand for subprime products.

Obtaining a mortgage in today’s mortgage market is a complicated process. When reaching a decision on a home loan, borrowers might feel compelled to use their social networks for information and guidance. Loan products have become increasingly complex. Federally mandated mortgage disclosure forms, instituted to display the cost of the mortgage transac- tion and to prevent “the uninformed use of credit,” have been found to poorly convey the true cost of borrowing.

With all the talk about social networks, the social network that influences a mortgage decision is particularly powerful and the financial stakes are high.

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Re-think, Re-move, Re-place, Re-market, But Not Re-model

April 22, 2008 | 12:01 am |

As evidence of weakening economic conditions, remodeling activity is not expected to rebound until 2009 according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Home renovation volume boomed along with housing sales in recent years. Buyers of new homes had access to cheap money to finance renovations and existing homeowners were able to renovate as a cheaper alternative to purchasing a home.

It has been a good time to be a contractor. The decline in home equity and rising financing costs have had tempered demand for re-modeling:

“Spending on home improvements continues to be sluggish, as homeowners respond to falling home prices,” notes Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “The fall-off in pending home sales suggests a long and slow recovery.”

The report result is not something unexpected, but a 4.8% annualized decline, is particularly telling of the extent of the overall economic slow down.


[In The Media] CNBC Squawk Box and Bloomberg On The Economy Clips for 11-30-07

December 1, 2007 | 2:51 pm | | Public |

My new venture Radar Logic released the September 2007 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report on Friday at 9 AM.

Mark Haines & Erin Burnett, hosts of CNBCs Squawk Box interviewed me at the New York Stock Exchange about the release of the report. Its a tight fit on the balcony, overlooking the exchange with about a dozen people within about 6 feet of me off camera. I have been interviewed by each of them from a remote location but this was the first time I have met them in person. A lot of cheering and yelling was going on behind me on the floor of the exchange.

CNBC Squawk Box Interview

Kathleen Hays, who hosts one the leading news programs On The Economy, and who is one of my favorite anchors at Bloomberg, interviewed me regarding our report release. She is a moderator at this monday’s OTS’ National Housing Forum.

I was joined by Nicolas Retsinas, Director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. I did a split screen with Nicholas once before on another program and have always enjoyed his insights.

Bloomberg On The Economy Interview

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