Housing Collapse Threatens World Financial System

1 de may de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Housing Collapse Threatens World Financial System</h1><p>May 1 (EIRNS)--In the latest developments:</p><p>** The National Association of Realtors' "Pending Home Sales Index" for March registered 104.3, down 10.5% from March 2006, falling to its lowest level in four years, the NAR reported May 1. The index is based on homes for which an agreement/contract has been signed, but for which there has not been a closing, (i.e., the deal has not been finally consummated with an exchange of money).</p><p>** Three of America's five leading home-builders are reeling: Dallas-based Centex, the third largest U.S. homebuilder, announced April 30, that for the first quarter of 2007, it lost $22.3 million, compared to a profit of $391.8 million during the first quarter of a year earlier. (Centex stated that if the sales receipt from its March sale of its construction division is included, it recorded a $199 million profit during the 1Q 2007. However, this represents a one-time desperation sale to raise cash, and does not represent a profit from Centex's continuing operations). Last week, Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc., the nation's second largest home builder, reported that its profits for 1Q 2007 plunged 85% from the comparable period a year earlier. No. 4 builder Pulte Homes reported that it experienced a lQ 2007 loss.</p><p>** Two more mortgage lending institutions gave up the ghost over the past 48 hours: Indianapolis-based Millennium Funding Group, a major regional subprime lender; and Irvine, California-based Dana Capital Group, a wholesale mortgage lender. This brings to 64 the number of mortgage lending institutions that have folded since late 2006.</p><p>** National Association of Realtors' chief economist David Lereah, the undisputed spinmeister for the real estate bubble, and author of the book, <em>Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?</em> , announced May 1 that he will leave NAR. Years attempting to spin a disaster can be exhausting.</p></div></body>