Banks Wising Up? Short Sales Increase [Housing Tracker]

by: Judy Weil

Quote Of The Day 

“If you are selling on a street where there is a foreclosure or in a neighborhood where there are several foreclosures, you’ve got serious competitive problems because people say that house is 350, what makes this house 700? Well, it’s tough to give an answer, that this one isn’t coming out of foreclosure -- who cares? So I wouldn’t say the competitive situation has eased up.” - Robert I. Toll, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Toll Brothers homebuilder. (Toll Brothers F3Q08 Outlook Conference Call Transcript in Seeking Alpha, Aug. 13)

Foreclosure Data

Foreclosure Filings Rise in July As Credit Woes Continue. “RealtyTrac: Property foreclosure filings for July rose 8% from June and 55% from a year earlier… There were foreclosure filings on 272,171 properties last month, or one for every 464 households. Bank repossessions, or real-estate-owned properties (REOs), continued to be the fastest-growing segment... The number of REOs nearly tripled from July 2007, while default notices jumped 53% and auction notices rose 11%. RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio: RealtyTrac now [has] more than 750,000 properties in its active REO database, or about 17% of the inventory of existing homes for sale.” (WSJ, Aug. 14)

Riverside County Foreclosures Edge Up. RealtyTrac: A total 8,272 mortgage default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions were recorded in Riverside County in July, 2% more than in June, and 123% more than in July 2007... The county held the fourth-highest rank in the state for foreclosure activity… For the eighth straight month, California ranked second in the nation in foreclosure volume, just behind Nevada and just ahead of Arizona.” (Sign on San Diego, Aug. 14)

Housing Prices Tumble in U.S. Cities on Bank Foreclosure Sales. National Association of Realtors: The median price for a single-family home in the U.S. dropped 7.6% in Q2 as bank sales of foreclosed homes caused values to tumble in three-quarters of U.S. cities. The median was $206,500, down from $223,500 a year ago… Foreclosures and “short sales” …accounted for a third of all housing sales in the quarter. People who live near a home repossessed by a lender will see their property values drop an average of $5,000, according to the Center for Responsible Lending.” (Bloomberg, Aug. 14)

NY Foreclosures Up 44% In July. “RealtyTrac: Home foreclosure filings in New York increased 44% in July compared to a year ago. The number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process was 6,167… New York ranked 30th on the list of foreclosure filings, based on a per-capita total of one foreclosure for every 1,282 housing units. The number of filings increased 15% compared to June of this year.”  (Albany Business Review, Aug. 14)

NJ Foreclosure Filings Rises 11.2 Percent. “RealtyTrac: Foreclosure filings in New Jersey rose 11.2% last month compared to July 2007… The increase was less than the national rate, where foreclosure notices jumped 55% from last July as the dramatic decline in the U.S. housing market continued. New Jersey ranked 19th among the states in foreclosure activity, with one filing for every 751 households. The national pace is one for every 464 households.” (Newsday, Aug. 14)

Dallas-Fort Worth Foreclosure Postings Rise 7%. Foreclosure Listing Service: Only a 7% increase in foreclosures [in] the Dallas-Fort Worth area from a year ago. But more than 3,700 homes are scheduled for foreclosure sale in September… The biggest gain in September foreclosures is in Collin County, where the number of homes facing forced sale jumped 38% from a year ago. Foreclosure totals were unchanged in Dallas and Tarrant counties. The period ending with September's foreclosure auctions will be the second quarter in a row that total postings in the area have declined.” (Dallas News, Aug. 14)

Foreclosure Pain Rises. “Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors: The number of foreclosed and other bank-controlled homes on the market in the Twin Cities area has nearly doubled from last year, while the number of traditional listings has fallen 16%. The report focuses on homes in the Regional Multiple Listing Service that have been foreclosed or… “short sales.” More than 20% of all houses on the market in the metro area are foreclosures or short sales, up from a little more than 10% a year ago.” (Minnesota Star Tribune, Aug. 14)

Foreclosure Sales Dominate. Colorado: “Boulder economist Michael Kone: One out of every four previously owned homes purchased in the Denver area during the heart of the summer sales season was a foreclosure. And in Adams County, one out of every two homes closed from mid-June to the end of July was a foreclosure sold by a bank or other lender… The median price of a home sold in July was $229,200, down from $255,000 a year earlier, according to… Metrolist data. Much of the decline is based on foreclosures.” (Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 11) 

At Gillette, They Were Tackling Foreclosures.“Hundreds of homeowners from around New England, some with children in tow, waited in the midday sun outside Gillette Stadium shortly before 1 p.m. yesterday for the chance to meet face- to-face with a representative of their mortgage company in hopes of saving their home from foreclosure. By 5 p.m., the number of people who had registered for the foreclosure-prevention workshop had climbed into the "thousands," said Gillette Stadium spokesman Jeff Cournoyer, and organizers had decided to extend the workshop until 9:30 p.m… The free event -- organized by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston -- was similar to others around the country.” (Providence Journal via Big Builder Online, Aug. 13)


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