Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Housing Woes are Easing Data Shows

The number of households delinquent on mortgage payments has fallen to the lowest level since the end of 2008.
A Mortgage Bankers Association report shows 8% of mortgage borrowers were at least one month past due on their payments during the third quarter down from 8.4% in the second quarter and 9.1% one year ago.
The decline means the housing market woes aren't getting worse, but many markets must still digest an enormous backlog of bank owned foreclosures over the coming years. It's likely to keep pressure on prices for at least another year and the market remains vulnerable if the economic recovery doesn't accelerate.
The housing market has moved largely in lockstep with employment. As job growth firms up, delinquencies should continue to fall, but if borrowers lose their jobs or see their hours cut back they are more likely to fall behind on payments.
Experts say it could take at least three four years for foreclosure levels to return to more normal levels. The housing market still faces other big challenges, such as the nearly one in four homeowners with a mortgage who owe more than their homes are worth.
Florida appears to be in the worst shape for foreclosures. In the judicial-foreclosure state, more than 14% of all mortgages were in some stage of foreclosure at the end of September, the highest rate in the country.
Information Provided by: The Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Housing Picture Expected to Brighten in 2012

Daily Real Estate News Thursday, November 17, 2011

Better times are ahead for the real estate market in the new year, according to several forecasts and recent surveys.

Fiserv, a financial information services firm, predicts that 95 percent of the 384 metro areas it tracks will see prices rise in 2012.

Many surveys and economists are forecasting a very modest increase for the housing market in the new year, but after several years of dropping prices and rising foreclosures, even the slightest increase would signal a glimmer of hope for the market. In a survey by MacroMarkets of 100 economists and real estate professionals, respondents reported home values will likely rise slightly at 0.25 percent in the new year.

The real estate market still faces a large backlog of foreclosures that it must work through in many markets. As such, price gains through 2015 will likely just be around 1.1 percent, according to the survey. However, this is a reversal after a forecast of 2.8 percent decline in median home values for this year.

Foreclosures continue to weigh on many markets and are preventing home values from stabilizing, economists say.

"The water is very deep in the living room, but it's no longer getting deeper and is starting to recede,” says Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist.

Low interest rates on mortgages mixed with more affordable housing for families in the median income range are expected help the market in its rebound in 2012, economists say.
Source: “A Smaller House Will Make a Big Difference,” Money Magazine (Nov. 14, 2011)

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