I'd expect shit like this from USA Today, but not Forbes.
Fortune Magazine) -- For many house hunters, these are good times. Home prices have fallen 10% or more in once-hot markets, and interest rates on mortgages of $417,000 or less have sunk to their lowest levels in four years. Today a family with solid credit and enough cash for a 20% down payment can lock in a rate of only 5.9% on a 30-year mortgage, according to Bankrate. Thank you, Ben Bernanke!Uhm yeah, thanks Benny B. Thanks for rapid inflation. Thanks for $100 oil. Thanks for a deterioration of the dollar. Hey but as long as a family of four can buy a McMansion, that even with a 5.9% mortgage they can't afford. Yipeee!!
It gets worse...
The story is much different for well-to-do homebuyers - and not in a good way. These are dark times for jumbo mortgages - home loans of more than $417,000 - which federally chartered mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) are not permitted to purchase. Spooked investors have stopped buying bonds created from bundles of jumbos or, for that matter, from pools of any other type of mortgage not guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie.Oh no! Keeping up with the Joneses is so gosh darned tough now. Bob got a new $800K McMansion and Bob's wife was gushing about it at the club. So Joe's wife is demanding that Joe get an $850K McMansion so she can upstage Bob's wife. But those meanie bankers are saying no way Jose. And it's just so darned unfair. We need a federal govt program to help these poor people out.
And what;s this...we got one.
The positive news - at least for those seeking a smaller jumbo mortgage - is that Congress feels your pain. As part of the economic stimulus bill signed by President Bush last week, the limit for Fannie and Freddie mortgages will be temporarily raised from $417,000 to $729,750.No, you dumb fuck. It is not positive news. It is awful news. It means the government will be using my (and your) tax dollars to prop up housing prices for another ghasp at the bubble. It won't matter of course since you could raise the limit to $70,000,000 and prices are still going to fall.
And then the article goes to tips on how to get that monster loan. Gems like get an ARM. Yes, that is actually advice still being given out. Another gem of a tip is get a second mortgage. Ask mom and dad for money.
Ask mom and dad eh. This implies the asker is in his/her 20s or 30s. Why is a 20s or 30s person buying a $720,000 house? McFly? McFly? Anyone home? I'll tell you why. Because this generation, of which sadly I am a part of, is severely fucked up. This generation needs to have everything right now. $600 phone. Gotta have it. $720,000 house. Gotta have it. $80K BMW. Gotta have it. Doesn't matter if you can afford it or not, it is your right to have it. Your mommy and daddy said you were special and unique like a snowflake every day for 18 years. Your teachers cared more about your self esteem than anything else. And damn it at 30, a special and unique flower with self esteem shooting out the ass will have whatever the hell he wants.
And that is why my generation is also going ga-ga over Barack. He is promising this generation everything. "FREE" health care will un-burden todays 30 year old to afford the next generation $600 phone and the next generation $80K BMW. "FREE" retirement (AKA Social Security Ponzi Scheme) will un-burden todays 30 year old to buy those $500 jeans every 2 weeks. And I'm sure Barack will come up with some version of "FREE" mortgages so that today's 30 year old can live in the $720K condo without having to like you know, work and stuff.
Of course never in the article does it say you should rent for a fraction of the cost of buying. It's as if the past year didn't exists and we're right back to 2005/2006 thinking with housing mentality. Buy as much as you can, don't worry about affordability, get an ARM.
The question of when will the bottom hit is constantly asked. The answer is when articles like this stop being printed. When articles like this are replaced by articles saying, "buying a house is the worst mistake you will ever make", that's when it will be the right time to buy a house.
And what the hell has happened to Forbes. Is this the magazine published by Steve Forbes, the guy who ran for prez in 2000 on a flat tax platform? His idea was a flat tax with no deductions, not even mortgage interest deductions. In 8 short years he has gone from that to let's help millionaires buy houses with federal money. Come back from the Abyss Steve.