A Second Housing Bubble?

This blog has written a few times over the last months on the influx of foreign capital into the U.S. housing market. This weekend, the major news sources are covering that again, because of the new statistic that almost 50% of these purchases are all cash. But, what is actually happening to the market as a whole? Adam Taggart did a fairly thoughtful analysis on the market as a whole in the context of supply, demand, and the global economy. I don’t know how reliable a forecaster he is, never having followed his stuff before, but it makes for a very interesting read.

Are You Under-Insulated?

First, two caveats: with current prices down, probably not many of you are worried about the cost of energy; and consider the source (the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association contributed a lot to the article). That said,, Dr. Jonathan Levy, professor of environmental health at Boston University School of Public Health, believes that nationally we could cut electricity by 5% and natural gas by 10% if homes were properly insulated. When was the last time you checked your insulation?

Death to Zombies!

OK, we’re as excited as everyone else for the season premier of The Walking Dead this Sunday; but there’s another kind of zombie we don’t love as much: the zombie foreclosure. What’s a zombie foreclosure? It’s a property where the lender entered the foreclosure process, the homeowner moved out, and then the bank stopped the process — never taking the title, and effectively leaving the property abandoned. These abandoned properties can quickly deteriorate, and have a negative effect on surrounding property values. Thankfully, they’re on the decline.