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In a presentation to Wall Street yesterday David Bigelow, Countrywide’s director of investor relations, gave an update on the company’s latest numbers.
In October the company made $22 billion in new mortgae loans. It sounds like a lot, but that was nearly half as much as the company made a year ago in October. When it comes to the much-maligned subprime loans made to borrowers with bad credit, Countrywide made $42 million worth of them in October, down from $3 billion during the same month of the previous year. Past due loans have rised from 4.4% of all loans to 5.9%. Foreclosures have gone from .56% to .89%.
The company says it expects continued weakness in housing prices. Bigelow showed a chart that suggested price could decline nationally as much 8% next year. In the hardest hit markets of Arizona and Nevada prices could decline 15% next year. Price appreciation wasn’t expected to return until the fourth quarter of 2009. In the long run, the company expects a return to 3% growth.
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.