Friday, April 14, 2006

What's another name for asticky illiquid?

Stickiness -used- to apply because real estate -used- to be illiquid. Just like every other economic function liquidity brings volatility. There’s absolutley no reason prices cannot fall at least as fast as they have risen. The real issue with fast rises (and declines) is that all property is priced at the margin. Just as not every property had to sell at the top for all property to be valued at the top, the cheapest house that manages to sell takes out the comps. There’s a double danger in a declining market. Not all the comparable transactions will be “arms length sales.” In a rising market there’s little doubt the highest and best price is a market transaction but if you are either trying to transfer assets or you are in financial trouble the possibility of the “sales price” being lower than the honest price increases. Back to velocity. Lenders are far less likely to delay action given their exposure. They can’t be patient as the borrower tries to catch up because there is no equity cushion for the borrower to deplete. Thus as 1.7 trillion with a "t" dollars in exotic mortgages reset in the next 18 months we can expect more letters like that form our friends at Ownyourdebt Mortgage Services below.


Anonymous said...

Robert, honestly, I am in no way intending insult or disrespect here, but that is one of the most profoundly naive and ignorant (in it's true definition) opinions I've ever read.

Rob Dawg said...

Anon, that's okay. I wouldn't publish controversial opinions if I weren't prepared for honest criticism. I'd prefer a name attached but you might have your reasons. Anyway, I don't see what's wrong with declaring stickiness to be an obsolete concept. Seems to me all the old factors that contributed to it are gone or diminished. The biggest as I mentioned is that there are clearly some extremely dangerous combinations of particular houses and loans. 30 year old generic tract homes for $700,000 where the construction value is maybe $150,000 are not going to be sticky just because the last person paid $700,000. This is another outmoded aspect of sticky, replacement costs as downside resistance.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough.