Talking about foreclosure numbers, the latest FOMC minutes, NAHB on improving markets, home prices and more!
Lucky Friday the 13th…
Total Foreclosures Down for 2011
While we are still a long way from being out of the woods yet, it is good news that RealtyTrac is reporting foreclosures in 2011 were down 34% from the 2010 level. RealtyTrac is also saying that 1 in 69 homes in 2011 had a foreclosure filing.
However, some of this decrease is due to the banks slowing down the fast pace of foreclosures after the many reports of fraudulent or shady dealings regarding foreclosures. We may see an increase in the number of foreclosures hitting the market nationwide in 2012.
Fed Says Housing Market Still Depressed
The opinion of the Fed in the latest FOMC Minutes about the real estate market is enough to get most of us depressed:
Activity in the housing market continued to be depressed by the substantial inventory of foreclosed and distressed properties and by weak demand that reflected tight credit conditions for mortgage loans and uncertainty about future home prices. Starts and permits for new single-family homes in October stayed around the low levels that prevailed since the middle of last year. Sales of new and existing homes remained slow in recent months, and home prices moved down further.
Yet the truth is that at my office things are very busy. Maybe people are finally starting to realize the opportunities for buyers because of the low mortgage rates and drop in home prices.
NAHB Says Number of Improving Markets Doubled
The latest Improving Market Index from the NAHB is almost a completely different story than the depressing news from the Fed above:
“The fact that the list of improving housing markets nearly doubled this month shows that a significant, positive trend is developing, and is even more relevant when you consider the expanding geographic distribution of the list – which now includes 31 states and the District of Columbia,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
I think we are going to hear plenty of contradicting reports about housing in 2012. The real key for home buyers and sellers is to find a local source of expertise regarding their market. You need to pay attention to the national news but you must focus on real estate market conditions in Upstate SC!
Federal Reserve Beige Book on Housing and Real Estate
Another report from the Federal Reserve, the Beige Book, has some interesting tidbits for real estate:
Activity in residential real estate markets largely held steady at very low levels, with the exception of further increases in the construction of multifamily residences. The pace of single-family home sales remained quite sluggish throughout the country…
Prices were largely stable on a short-term basis in most areas but in many instances were below their levels from twelve months earlier
No real big surprises. It appears that no matter how low mortgage rates go or how affordable home prices are, some people are just not willing to take advantage of this opportunity. Sad really.
LPS Says Home Prices Down 0.8%
LPS just released their latest report on U.S. home prices through the end of October 2011. LPS said that the national average home price for transactions during October 2011 was down of 0.8% from September 2011. This is the same price level as October of 2002 according to LPS data. This is the fifth consecutive month of decreases in home prices.
While this is not pretty, you should remember they are talking about home prices for the entire U.S. and not just Upstate South Carolina. I covered home prices in Upstate SC for 2011 the other day when talking about the CoreLogic HPI, but to recap, median home prices in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens fell about 4% from 2010 to 2011.