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Fed Trying to Stabilize Mortgage Market – December 2014

As the Fed was feverishly trying to stabilize the mortgage market today, we checked in with South Bay Realtor Leo Nordine, who sells a lot of houses but is among the most bearish industry players we know. His take:
“I couldn’t have concocted a more perfect storm if I tried. First sub-prime knocked out 100 percent financing which absolutely killed lower priced areas like San Bernardino and Riverside. Now you’ve got a new Alt-A credit crunch. Wells Fargo and other lenders jumped their rates so much, that means people trying to buy million-dollar houses are in trouble now. It’s just going to be a disaster…. Buyers looking a $1 million house, their potential rate went from

6.75% to 8%, they’re not going to buy. The high end is gonna die now.” “Mortgage brokers are going crazy. Their hands are tied. They’re looking for jobs. It’s a disaster.”
“I”m selling bank foreclosures that are the best-priced homes in the market, and it’s very tough going right now.” Nordine says he has about 50 active listings, more than that in eviction now and coming soon. He says he is not looking for more listings.
“When the time is right, I’m not negative. In ’95 I was scraping every penny I could find to buy as much as I could, like a gambler in Vegas. I’m not always like this.”
“The next two years are going to be brutal. … The buyers are wise. They know where the market’s headed. There’s no reason for them to jump — they can sit there and watch the market go down.”
“It’s gonna take a couple of years. I don’t think there’s much the government can do right now.” Nordine does support simpler mortgage loan disclosures: “When you sign loan docs, there ought to be one page on the front that has all the terms. They need to make this stuff really simple. Put it all in the front so buyers know what they’re getting into when they buy a house.”
Tough stuff from Leo. As we said, he is among the most bearish industry players we know, but he is a straight shooter and he sells a lot of houses.