What share of all U.S. mortgages written last year were subprime? Quick, quick, is it:
(a) 0.5 percent
(b) 5 percent
(c) 20 percent
(d) 50 percent
The correct answer is c – 20 percent, which might be somewhat lower than you might have guessed just judging by the exhaustive media coverage of subprime. This is just one of the six questions that Jonathan Lansner, a columnist for the Orange County (Calif.) Register, compiled in a short quiz on the subprime market that is titled “Take a Test on Mortgage Mess.” To see how much you know about subprime, click here.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.