Okay, so I open with an admonition, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. That man may be me, but I will let you be the judge. I was just sitting back enjoying the brisk 35 degree morning, having a cup of coffee on my porch and a thought hit me.
O.K., maybe a question came to mind, but something made me put the coffee down and start typing.
It was only 6 months ago that I was having a chat with my son about golf equipment. He swore up and down that if I could go out and buy a new set of Mizuno clubs, my game would improve tremendously. I did to out and price the clubs. A brand new set would cost well over one thousand dollars. A used set would be close to eight hundred. I did the quick math and figured I could play over a years worth of golf with the clubs I owned and spend the same amount of money.
Then a friend mentioned some fancy on-line site where I could probably find the clubs at a much better price. I went on-line and was amazed at the prices.
I bought the clubs. Last week, I was attending a golf products show and saw the same clubs and they still cost over $800. Hmmm, I checked this Ebay thing again and they still had some left at $200. Hmmmm. I suppose that was the genisis for this post.
Is the illusion of home values going down created soley by short sales and foreclosures? Should the pied piper of falling housing prices (local appraisers or media spin doctors…take your pick) be so focused on distressed properties or should someone stop the madness.
I realize the latest group on Capital Hill have their collective hands full. New programs are announced daily to jump start whichever segment of the industry is squeeking the loudest that day. I don’t have to mention that they seem to dance all around the biggest problem. Sure, they offer a $8,000 tax credit. Why yes, they have advocated that judges have the authority to jam prices during bankruptcy. Oh, I read where they are going to help those in distress re-finance their personal mess.
The 10,000 lb Gorilla in the Room.
There can be no resolution until the problem with negative equity is addressed across the board. Rather than continue to toss money into untraceable black holes, all the people that are upside down must be given some relief. People will not continue to re-finance and toss good money after bad. The first payment failure rate on upside down re-fi’s is going through the roof. The only people getting relief are the lenders. Short sales are not going smoothly. Properties are decaying in neighborhoods everywhere. There is no amount of money available that will maintain empty houses ad infinitum.
It is time the powers stop listening to pied pipers and begin addressing that large ape in the room.