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CU System
California league State housing market stabilizing
ONTARIO, Calif. (12/7/10)--California's housing market has begun to stabilize in some regions, and next year likely will see more real-estate market movement because unemployment likely will decline, according to California Credit Union League senior industry analyst Daniel Penrod. Penrod was featured in an article, "Calif. housing recovering, coast first," in the Orange County Register (Dec. 3 and 4). "Few places offer a better window into finances on Main Street than credit unions," the article began, adding it checked with Penrod "to see what these consumer-centric financial institutions see economically around the state." While credit unions have been willing and able to lend, demand for mortgages has been lean, with members either over-leveraged or concerned about future employment, Penrod noted. "Next year is likely to see more movement in the real estate market as employment will be more settled--and unemployment likely declining," Penrod told the publication. "In addition, we will know where the economy truly sits as stimulus will be a memory and the market will have a better sense of how organic the growth is and what we can expect going forward," he added. He noted credit union portfolios "remain strong" because they "didn't loosen their standards during the boom to drive loan demand, so the mortgages on their books tend to be stronger…" The fields of membership that fared better in the economy have helped credit unions remain strong. Those (memberships) that struggle more have had more impact on their credit union, he said, "but, as a whole, credit union members are more current on their obligations than their banking counterparts. In addition, credit unions have seen fewer strategic defaults." California credit unions remain well-capitalized at over 9% capital ratio, with significantly lower delinquency rates than banks have, and the outlook for the future "is solid," he said. For the entire article, use the link.
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