A lot of people are nervous about what they are reading in the newspaper and hearing on TV. But how can you blame them?
The media is bombarding people with reports about the housing decline and the sub-prime mortgage mess.
However, Chief ECONOMIST for the National Mortgage Bankers Association, Doug Duncan decided last week to set the record straight. In a private interview, Doug said that , "people have nothing to worry about in Texas." Some of his defenses were:
- The foreclosure problem in this country is really a story about 7 states
- The biggest foreclosure problem is in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. These are predominantly manufacturing states. Since 2001, Michigan has lost 300,000+ jobs
- The other 4 states are California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. In each of these states there has been significant overbuilding. 25% of the foreclosures in these states are on properties that are held by investors who were speculating
- 35% of the homes in the USA do not have a mortgage
- 98% of the mortgages in the USA are performing
- Only 9% of all mortgages are sub-prime and 75% of all sub-prime mortgages are performing
- In the other 43 states, foreclosures have dropped in 2007 relative to 2006
- As for Texas, right now, our local inventory levels are half the national average and well-priced homes are selling fast.
There's no doubt that our market is tough right now due to a confidence crisis amongst investors on the secondary market. Liquidity in mortgage backed securities are at an all time low, and over 160 major US lenders have experience some type of implosion or lay-offs.
Remember, the most IMPORTANT thing you can focus on as a loan officer is your marketing. When others are pulling back, and even exiting the business, it's time to increase your visibility with your past clients and referral sources. Be the voice of confidence and reassure your circle of influence that the present state of the market is only temporary. Reassure them that you will be around to help service their future mortgage related needs.
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