Industry News

Three ‘specters’ stalk builders

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The following is a real estate news roundup: Fitch: Three 'specters' stalk home builders The spring selling season was a bust, and the housing downturn is spreading to other sectors of the economy, analysts at Fitch Ratings said. In a report focused on home builders and new-home sales, Fitch projects further slippage in starts and new-home sales, thanks to three "specters": poor buyer psychology, falling prices and excessive inventories. Fitch analysts expect improvements in affordability will largely be offset by tightened credit standards. The market for subprime loans -- which accounted for 20 percent of loans in 2005 -- is "essentially non-existent." Only a limited number of alt-A loans that have the characteristics of prime loans are being originated (alt-A loans accounted for 13.4 percent of originations in 2006). "The highly visible problems in the housing finance system and steadily decreasing prices are contributing to a wait-and-see atti...