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  • United States housing bubble


    Fig. 1: Robert Shiller's plot of U.S. home prices, population, building costs, and bond yields, from Irrational Exuberance, 2nd ed. Shiller shows that inflation-adjusted U.S. home prices increased 0.4% per year from 1890 to 2004 and 0.7% per year from 1940 to 2004, whereas U.S. census data from 1940 to 2004 shows that the self-assessed value increased 2% per year. The United States housing bubble was a real estate bubble affecting over half of the U.S. states. Housing prices peaked in early 2006, started to decline in 2006 and 2007, and reached new lows in 2012. On December 30, 2008, the Case–Shiller home price index reported its largest price drop in its history. The credit crisis resulting from the bursting of the housing bubble is an important cause of the 2007–2009 recession in the United States. Increased foreclosure rates in 2006–2007 among U.S. homeowners led to a crisis in August 2008 for the subprime, Alt-A, collateralized debt obligation (CDO), mortgage, credit, hedge fund, and foreign bank markets. In October 2007, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury called the bursting housing bubble "the most significant risk to our economy". Any collapse of the U.S. housing bubble has a direct impact not only on home valuations, but mortgage markets, home builders, real estate, home supply retail outlets, Wall Street hedge funds held by large institutional investors, and foreign banks, increasing the risk of a nationwide recession. Concerns about the impact of the collapsing housing and credit markets on the larger U.S. economy caused President George W. Bush and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke to announce a limited bailout of the U.S. housing market for homeowners who were unable to pay their mortgage debts. In 2008 alone, the United States government allocated over $900 billion to special loans and rescues related to the U.S. housing bubble. This was shared between the public sector and the private sector. Because of the large market share of Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (both of which are government-sponsored enterprises) as well as the Federal Housing Administration, they received a substantial share of government support, even though their mortgages were more conservatively underwritten and actually performed better than those of the private sector. The financial sector bailout ultimately proved profitable for the U.S. government, especially its nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • United States housing market correction


    United States housing prices experienced a major market correction after the housing bubble that peaked in early 2006. Prices of real estate then adjusted downwards in late 2006, causing a loss of market liquidity and subprime defaults A real estate bubble is a type of economic bubble that occurs periodically in local, regional, national or global real estate markets. A housing bubble is characterized by rapid and sustained increases in the price of real property, such as housing' usually due to some combination of over-confidence and emotion, fraud, the synthetic offloading of risk using mortgage-backed securities, the ability to repackage conforming debt via government-sponsored enterprises, public and central bank policy availability of credit, and speculation. Housing bubbles tend to distort valuations upward relative to historic, sustainable, and statistical norms as described by economists Karl Case and Robert Shiller in their book, Irrational Exuberance. As early as 2003 Shiller questioned whether or not there was, "a bubble in the housing market" that might in the near future correct.

  • Foreclosure


    House in Salinas, California, under foreclosure, following the bursting of the U.S. real estate bubbleForeclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments to the lender by forcing the sale of the asset used as the collateral for the loan. Formally, a mortgage lender (mortgagee), or other lienholder, obtains a termination of a mortgage borrower (mortgagor)'s equitable right of redemption, either by court order or by operation of law (after following a specific statutory procedure). Usually a lender obtains a security interest from a borrower who mortgages or pledges an asset like a house to secure the loan. If the borrower defaults and the lender tries to repossess the property, courts of equity can grant the borrower the equitable right of redemption if the borrower repays the debt. While this equitable right exists, it is a cloud on title and the lender cannot be sure that they can repossess the property. Therefore, through the process of foreclosure, the lender seeks to immediately terminate the equitable right of redemption and take both legal and equitable title to the property in fee simple.

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