Housing Market Tracker - Foreclosure Outlook

by: Judy Weil

Quote of the Day

“The dream that Martin Luther King Jr. once spoke of has been foreclosed.” - Boston-based United for a Fair Economy wrote in a report set for release to coincide with Wednesday's 79th anniversary of King’s birth. The report finds that black and Hispanic homeowners are disproportionately affected by the subprime crisis. (Boston Herald, Jan. 16th)

Foreclosure Data

Baltimore Finds Subprime Crisis Snags Women "After a double homicide in September... one [Maryland] community leader said the recent spikes in crime were a result of instability in the housing market, with outside investors scooping up foreclosed properties and renting them to transients. In 2007 181 foreclosures were initiated... in the neighborhood, or 1/35, according to the Community Law Center. This represents a slight drop from 211 initial filings in 2006, even as foreclosures rose elsewhere in the city and state. Roy A. Miller, who provides homeownership/foreclosure counseling... for the nonprofit Belair-Edison Neighborhood Initiative, described his typical client as "single, female, with two children, in her first house." (NY Times, Jan. 15th)

Foreclosures Jump in California "ForeclosureRadar foreclosure report: There was a “gargantuan jump” in Notice of Default filings in December and “we’re already observing a record pace of auction sales in January,” ... December 2007 saw a 45.4% jump in the notices of default (NOD), the initial notice that a homeowner receives once they fail to pay their mortgage, over November. The number of NODs in December was 32,948 compared to 22,665 in November, it says. December auction sales increased by 4.1% from November, to a total of 12,783 properties with a loan value of $5.18 billion." (Central Valley Business Times, Jan. 15th)

Foreclosures: Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You "Soon, foreclosure may be seen as an easy way out of the trap. Certainly it is a good option for anyone who bought with no money down and is now $50,000 or more in the hole. Heaven help us if the masses decide that walking away from a home is a socially acceptable thing for someone with a job to do. Even if that doesn't happen, banks will eventually be forced to dump the properties they own. This will further suppress prices... When Will Housing Bottom? I am looking for a possible bottom in 2012. I can easily be an optimist." (Michael Shedlock in Seeking Alpha, Jan. 14th)

Foreclosures, Tax Liens Risky As Investment Alternatives "Using self-directed individual retirement accounts, investors are buying depressed real estate, making loans to private companies and buying up tax lien certificates on properties, which give the investors a government-determined yield that the homeowner pays to release the lien... The downturn will provide more opportunities to invest in foreclosed properties and other distressed investments, said David Nilssen, CEO, Guidant Financial Group, a provider of self-directed IRAs... [However,] the investments can be costly in a number of ways, including high fees attached to the underlying investments and huge tax penalties if mistakes are made in setting them up." (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 13th)

Mayors Face Test of Spreading Foreclosures Trenton, NJ: "The latest crisis threatens to derail years of revitalization under Mayor Douglas Palmer, a four-term incumbent and the first black mayor in a predominantly black city of 85,000 people. Like many U.S. cities, it has seen foreclosures surge as... mortgage payments reset to higher rates [homeowners] cannot afford. More than 600 properties went into foreclosure or came under threat of imminent foreclosure last year, up from 421 in 2006, according to the mayor's office... Those numbers are set to grow this year. As of December, the sheriff's office had identified 260 properties in danger." (Reuters, Jan. 13th)

Broker Specializes In Big-Deal Bargains "Ed Bonkowski, head of Florida real estate consultants Ed Bonkowski Inc.: Our office receives calls daily from past and potential new clients who realize the upcoming real estate opportunities... [Investors] may have to watch a drastic market downturn as the loans begin to fail more frequently. A major investment emphasis will be in the form of foreclosures, where as many as 1,500 per month are now taking place in Lee County alone. Unfortunately, a record number of these foreclosures are owner-occupied units, rather than those of speculators. This record percentage number is unprecedented in Southwest Florida." (News Press, Jan. 13th)

Wisconsin Foreclosures Up 27.5 Percent In 2007 "ForeclosuresWI.com, a provider of Wisconsin foreclosure resources and statistics, said there were 20,995 foreclosure filings in Wisconsin in 2007, compared with 16,473 a year ago, 27.5% higher. Compared with the 12,311 foreclosures in 2005, filings shot up 70.5%. As it has just about all year, Milwaukee County's rate of foreclosures ran 50% ahead of a year ago, ForeclosuresWI.com said. Milwaukee County posted the highest totals with 5,687 homes entering the foreclosure process in 2007, compared with 3,755 a year earlier." (Milwaukee Business Journal, Jan. 11th)

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