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Real Estate Lawyer Recommends Removing Mortgage Protections to Stimulate Greed

It really shouldn’t surprise me that a lawyer who “represents developers, builders, lenders, corporate and institutional property owners and real estate brokers” advocates that the very protections put into place because of the poor actions of industry he represents should be repealed, so the industry can wallow in greed to which they would “start making money in housing, and lots of it.”

Just to be clear from his opinionSeth G. Weissman says –

Rather than looking at investors as vultures or potential mortgage fraudsters, an attitudinal shift needs to occur where they are embraced as the potential saviors of the housing market that they are. Until investors start making money in housing, and lots of it, there will be no recovery in the housing market. This will only occur when disincentives to invest are eliminated. Like in any other market, when fear is replaced with greed, housing inventory will decline, prices will rise and a sense of urgency to buy will be restored to the market.

Very heady words there – including saviour. The premise argued seems to be that higher house prices should be the directed effort the industry and that would be a good thing.

But good isn’t about increasing housing values. It’s about generating fair market value of the actual product between buyer and seller. That’s not what we had during the recent boom.

Like any boom and bust cycle (all the way back to tulips), investors focused greed created immense inequity between the true value of a product and cost of the products.

Investors don’t value the idea of a fair market value of the property – they value the ability to flip a product as quickly as possible at a profit. The investor is bullish on taking a product in a boom cycle and encouraging the market to continue to increase well beyond the rate of inflation (artificially – by creating a sense of urgency, but not an actual urgency). On the flip, they also look to strip the product of any removable value converting it into their own wealth. Indeed, anything left on the table for the new purchaser is lost revenue for the investor.

The wreckage of the last boom cycle is still showing it’s scars upon the market and individuals (it really has been scant months). The damaging wake of a greedy industry is responsible for why so many properties still have mortgages greater than their value. The market hasn’t had time to correct. The burst hasn’t completed.

To call now for the removal of barriers preventing naked greed in the real estate industry, and to once again fleece the public, even before the bust completes, well, is pure greed. But what else should I expect.