As the Fresno real estate downturn is in its first innings, it appears Bee reporters are getting more optimistic about an early turnaround.
The Sept. 27 front-page article, "Fresno far from default line," compares Fresno with Stockton and concludes that we are in better shape. It is like a "D"-grade student comparing his grade with an "F" student, and patting himself on the back.
What caused the unrealistic real estate boom of yesteryears is the irresponsible lending practices fostered by mortgage brokers. Anyone with a pulse got a mortgage loan and jumped onto the real estate bandwagon.
Now the days of easy money are long gone. Even those with good credit and a job find it harder to get a loan. So as buyers become an endangered species, the real estate fault line will widen, and even those thought to be at a safer distance will get sucked right in.
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Just take a look at "new home sales" numbers released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. We have a long way to go to purge the stupidity of the boom years. It would be wise for The Bee to hold back any optimistic view at this time.