The more things change...

Rick Moran
Some of the very same conditions that led to the housing meltdown in 2007 are reappearing as big investors snatch up homes in depressed markets, creating a real estate bubble that could burst again. Reuters: Michael Marchillo, a plumber, has been trying and failing for months to buy a bigger home for his family here in Sin City. He was pre-qualified by a bank for a $130,000 mortgage, which a year ago would have landed a typical three-bedroom home in the area. No more. Now, the 36-year-old says, it's hard to compete with "greedy investors" who come to the table flush with cash for quick deals. Local real-estate broker Fafie Moore says private-equity firms and hedge funds have largely "crowded out" local buyers like Marchillo. That's because the investment firms have broadened beyond their initial focus - buying homes at foreclosure auctions. Now, they are also bidding for homes listed by private owners and banks. In a sign of how freely the money is flowing, Moore...(Read Full Post)

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