Great article this past weekend in the Washington Post (maybe not as great as the six 2008 Pulitzer winners, but still great) about how the Mortgage Bankers Association is being squeezed by higher borrowing costs on its new $100 million headquarters.
Says the Post writer, Jeffrey H. Birnbaum: “Scheduled to close on the building in the coming weeks, the association will have to pay millions of dollars more than it would have a year ago when it contracted to buy the 160,000-square-foot structure — millions of dollars it is now less able to afford.”
Why is the Mortgage Bankers Association less able to afford a big mortgage now than, say, a year ago? For one thing, it has lost about 500 of its 3,000 members. Some of them blew up because they made loans that the borrowers couldn’t possibly afford to repay.
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.