Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Metal and copper thefts get more brazen in Pennsylvania and elsewhere; Cranberry Township; SEPTA car thefts;

I have written previously about rising metal theft as an indicator of continued inflation and its impact on real estate prices.

Recent news reports indicate that metal theft not only continues unabated in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but that it has become more brazen and is being done at great risk to the thieves:

These cases are not simply an indication of rising crime due to the economic downturn. Metal theft is a specific type of crime that exists solely because inflation has pushed commodity prices higher. Metal theft goes hand-in-hand with an increase in legitimate scrap dealers, companies that offer to buy your gold on late night infomercials, rising gasoline and food prices and other commodity based activity.

Remember, commodity prices affect the economy as a whole. The real estate crash of 2006-2008 was accompanied by a major commodity price increase.

The market for commodities is robust, as the smart money flees the dollar (or defies physical and legal danger) in favor of hard assets. The desperation with which thieves now target metal provides specific evidence that inflation is out of control. All real estate investment decisions must accept this reality.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Federal foreclosure assistance; Emergency Homeowner's Loan Program (EHLP); Pennsylvania participation

From comes details of a new $ 1 billion federal program to bail out homeowners facing foreclosure. The bailout takes the form of interest free loans.

This program will have the effect of delaying the price correction that we have needed to reignite sales volume since the market crash of 2006-2008.

The program is available in 27 states, but does not include Pennsylvania. Residents of Pennsylvania may apply for PA administered assistance that draws funds from the federal program.

There are more details at The Boston Globe, including the information that in some cases, the loans might not have to be repaid at all.