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Monday, March 28, 2011

Neutron Loans hit California City

by Calculated Risk on 3/28/2011 07:24:00 PM

I'm reminded of this quote:

“All of the old-timers knew that subprime mortgages were what we called neutron loans — they killed the people and left the houses,” said Louis S. Barnes, 58, a partner at Boulder West, a mortgage banking firm in Lafayette, Colo. ... from a 2007 NY Times article (pay)

And from the O.C. Register today: Vacant homes a clue to Santa Ana's census drop

A big jump in the number of vacant homes could be a key to understanding this city's surprising drop in population as recorded by the 2010 census.
Santa Ana's drop, in raw numbers, was the largest of any California city.
The census counted 76,896 housing units in Santa Ana and determined that 3,722 of them were vacant. [CR Note: the 2000 Census showed 74,588 housing units in Santa Ana and 1,586 vacant. So the vacancy rate more than doubled]

Among cities in Orange County, Santa Ana had among the highest concentrations of mortgage defaults in 2009, which could explain why the census found so many vacant homes in 2010.

... it's unclear where the people who left behind vacant homes went, since other states didn't show big influxes of people from California, [John Malson, acting chief of the demographic research unit at the Department of Finance] said. ... "We assumed a lot of people were moving back home or doubling up," he said. "It just seems that there might be a missed population from the census."
Some probably double up. Another earlier article suggested some former residents may have moved back to Mexico. But the reason is neutron loans ...