"Perfect Storm" In Housing?

Washington Mutual Sees "Perfect Storm" In Housing


Washington Mutual Inc said on Monday that most U.S. housing markets are weakening, creating a "near perfect storm" that may force the largest U.S. savings and loan to set aside more money for bad loans.

Chief Executive Kerry Killinger said the thrift may set aside $500 million more for loan losses than the $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion it had forecast in July. Any increase would be Washington Mutual's fourth this year.

Speaking at a Lehman Brothers Inc. financial services conference, Killinger said the housing market faces rising delinquencies and foreclosures, higher borrowing costs, tighter underwriting standards and tough capital markets, "creating what we call a near-perfect storm for housing.

"Most housing markets appear to be weakening, to us," Killinger said. "We would not be surprised to see declines in housing prices in many regions of the country ... for the next few quarters." He said corrections in the housing and credit markets will last longer than the thrift expected.

Comments: A bad time to have to sell a house. A great time to buy one! This is much like the S & L crisis in the late 80s!

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