Another Take on the Housing Industry from Bill Gross at PIMCO
Below is another take on the credit markets for mortgages from Bill Gross at PIMCO, both CDOs and residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS), and the effect it will have on the housing industry. Once again there is more bad news ahead for the consumer.
. . . . Those that point to a crisis averted (Bear Stearns) and a return to normalcy are really looking for contagion in all the wrong places. Because the problem lies not in a Bear Stearns hedge fund that can be papered over with 100 cents on the dollar marks. . . . The flaw, dear readers, lies in the homes that were financed with cheap and in some cases gratuitous money in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Because while the Bear hedge funds are now primarily history, those millions and millions of homes are not. They’re not going anywhere…except for their mortgages that is. Mortgage payments are going up, up, and up…and so are delinquencies and defaults. A recent research piece by Bank of America estimates that approximately $500 billion of adjustable rate mortgages are scheduled to reset skyward in 2007 by an average of over 200 basis points. 2008 holds even more surprises with nearly $700 billion ARMS subject to reset, nearly ¾ of which are subprimes.
The right places to look for contagion are therefore not in the white-washed Bear Stearns hedge funds, but in the subprime resets to come and the ultimate effect they will have on the prices of homes – the collateral that’s so critical in this asset-backed, and therefore interest-sensitive financed-based economy of 2007 and beyond. If delinquencies lead to defaults and then to lower home prices, then we have problems. . . .