In most of the markets I am in, resale home prices have steady or slightly sluggish so far this year while builders are struggling a bit more. And of cource REO's are low and will continue to remain low for the foreseeable future.
NEW YORK, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- ForeclosureDataOnline.com reports more dark days ahead for the housing market and for homeowners concerned about losing their homes. The data collected by the site shows that foreclosure levels continue to rise and are reaching record highs, particularly in states such as Michigan, California, and Florida.
The Mortgage Bankers Association released the National Delinquency Survey last week. The survey reported that the increase in foreclosure rates between quarters has reached its highest point since 1972 when the records were first kept. The increase in foreclosures on first time mortgages increased by 36% between the first quarter 2008 and first quarter 2009. Foreclosure rates have also increased in many major cities around the country, including Dallas (7.75%), Fort Worth (6.16%), Detroit (4%), and Cleveland (3%). Throughout the country, more than 600,000 mortgages have been affected by foreclosure actions.
In related news, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were given authorization by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to refinance mortgages through the Home Affordable Refinance Program for properties that are now worth a great deal less than what is owed on the property. The difference between value and outstanding debt can now be as high as 25% even though the program was originally only for homes valued at 5% less than their outstanding mortgage debt.
This change in policy comes at a time when home prices have plummeted. According to ForeclosureDatonline.com, nationally, prices have fallen by one-third since 2006. In key cities, prices have dropped significantly in just the last month: Chicago (1.8%), Atlanta (less than 1%), Houston (less than 1%), and Denver (3.7%).
While the change may provide some temporary relief for homeowners, the continuing economic problems facing the country, such as the 9.5% unemployment rate, may lead millions of foreclosures over the next 4 or 5 years.
I think if we havent hit the bottom, then we are near it. One large factor I base this on is the % change month to month on foreclosures and national, state, and local levels. This is easily attainable public information. The process of foreclosures and how long it takes for such homes to then be transfered to new owners after banks assume them, I believe that once we start seeing a 0% or positive percent change, you would be wise to add another 12 to 18 months on that before saying that the worst has come and gone.
I think that buying this winter will present better deals that buying next winter, but that is strictly with my mindset of buying short sale and bank owned property.
I know that is not a direct answer, but hopefully you see that as a way to come to your own conclusions.