Bank of America to Start Demolishing Foreclosures
Posted by Brittany Stepniak - Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
The housing industry is in a seemingly never-ending rut, facing a glut of foreclosure as unwanted houses are sitting and wasting away. The abandoned, decrepit homes that can't sell will soon see a new fate: demolition.
Bank of America Corp. is trying to trim the fat, planning to use bulldozers to destroy thousands of empty homes.
The project is intended to ease a lot of problems for lenders in the United States, where disposing repossesed homes proves to be a huge hassle that's becoming all too commonplace.
In this country 1,679,125 - one out of 77 - were in various stages of foreclosure as of June 2011. Unfortunately, those properties only aid in depressing house prices and scaring off potential buyers, worried that home values will only continue to fall...
According to Bloomberg:
Bank of America had 40,000 foreclosures in the first quarter, saddling the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender with taxes and maintenance costs. The bank announced the Cleveland program last month, has committed as many as 100 properties in Detroit and 150 in Chicago, and may add 10 cities by the end of the year, said Rick Simon, a company spokesman.
The lender will pay as much as $7,500 for demolition or $3,500 in areas eligible to receive funds through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Uses for the land include development, open space and urban farming, according to the statement. Simon declined to say how many foreclosed properties Bank of America holds.... “No one needs these homes, no one is going to buy them,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner at the Los Angeles office of Beacon Economics LLC, a forecasting firm.
“Bank of America is not going to be able to cover its losses, so it might as well give them away and get a little write-off and some nice public relations. ”Donating a house may create an income-tax deduction, said Robert Willens, an independent accounting analyst based in New York. A bank might deduct as much as the fair market value if a home wasn’t acquired with the explicit intent of knocking it down, he said.
Last year, Warren Buffet, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hataway Inc., said that the solution to the oversupply of houses was to "blow up a lot of houses."
Looks like somebody - or everybody - was certainly listening. Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan, Chase&Co., and Citigroup are all considering similar tactics to combat complications of oversupply, inaugurated by Bank of America.
by Wealth Wire - Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
James Altucher at MarketWatch thinks Google is on its way to $1500 plus, even if Google+ doesn't kill Facebook.
• 1] Google+ has entered the scene. Everyone knew that Google Buzz wouldn’t be anything. And Google’s integration of Twitter search results was sloppy and not meaningful (the beauty of Twitter search is the real-time value, and somehow Google forgot that).
• 2]Facebook is going to go public next year. When it comes out, it will be worth over $100 billion. How do I know this? For one thing, it’s going to keep growing despite the challenge from Google+. I don’t think Google+ is a Facebook killer or a Twitter killer.
• 3]Twitter is a very clean, tight news reader in the worst case, rather than a social-media platform. I can follow the 1,000 or so of the most important people in my worldview and pay attention to their thoughts, links, news, etc. This is very useful for me. G+ does not replace that.
• 4]Friends on Facebook are by mutual consent. This mutual consent makes the value of “friendship” very high. G+ is not by mutual consent. I can add anyone to a circle. I think the differences in the value of friendship mean that people will continue to use and add to Facebook even if they also use G+.
• 5] G+ is more like Twitter — but with conversations, images, videos, blog posts added to the feed. So this is not a situation akin to Facebook killing MySpace. This is just a new, valuable addition to the social-media landscape.
So why then, would that be so good for Google stock?
"Now simply add that to Google’s market cap of $200 billion, because I think within the next year Google+ will be as valuable as Facebook. They have the user base already; it’s just a matter of converting them, which they will do, and then monetizing them, which they have the tools to easily do.
So at market cap of $250 billion, add 25% to Google’s share price of $600. Or about $750.
Even that’s too cheap. Back out Google’s $31 billion in net cash, and that leaves you with a forward earnings multiple of approximately 11.50. With 26% year-over-year earnings growth last quarter, Google can be more accurately valued at around 25 times earnings. Let’s cut that back a little and be conservative. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to see Google trading for $1,500 within the next 12 months."