Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mississippi Foreclosure Filings Dropping?

Foreclosure actions falling in Mississippi

By ALAN SAYRE , 07.14.11, 02:04 PM EDT

The number of Mississippi residents threatened by the loss of their homes dropped during the second quarter, a national tracking firm said Thursday.

Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac said that for the three months ending June 30, 840 properties were targeted by some foreclosure-related action. But for those it was largely the end of the line, as 514 were repossessed by lenders and the other 326 were scheduled for a foreclosure sale.

The total number of actions fell 22.4 percent from the first quarter of 2011 and 17.8 percent from the second quarter of 2010.

Mississippi ranked 47th in the RealtyTrac count among the states and the District of Columbia in foreclosure-related actions during the second quarter.

Over the first half of 2011, Mississippi recorded 1,872 foreclosure-related filings, affecting one in every 685 housing units. That's down 42 percent from the previous six months and 16.5 percent from the first half of 2010.

Mississippi ranked 46th in foreclosure actions for the first six months of the year.

read the entire article at

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Hampshire Foreclosures Continue to Rise

The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority said Wednesday that foreclosures in the state rose 5.3 percent in May when compared to the same month last year.

The authority announced that the state appears on track to see more than 3,500 foreclosures this year.
The authority announced that 340 foreclosure deeds were recorded in May, up from 323 in May 2010.
There were 1,757 foreclosures in the first five months of the year, down from 1,811 foreclosures recorded over the same time period in 2010.

The pace of foreclosures slowed in late 2010 and early this year due to a moratorium by several large lenders.

There were a total of 3,953 foreclosures in New Hampshire in 2010, nearly double the number recorded in 2007.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another Ridiculous Move by the Government to "Help" Homeowners

Obama admits misstep on housing, extends help to jobless homeowners

The Obama administration said Thursday it would require lenders to allow unemployed homeowners to delay their monthly payments for up to a year without threat of foreclosure.
The announcement came a day after the president made a rare admission of a policy misstep, acknowledging that his policies have failed to provide enough support to struggling homeowners and recognize the scope of the nation’s housing crisis.

The Federal Housing Administration previously required banks to allow FHA borrowers to put off their mortgage payments for a minimum of four months while lenders worked out options to keep people in their homes. The expansion of this program is needed because of “how long it takes unemployed borrowers to find a job,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who added he expects the new initiative to reach “tens of thousands of families.”

The Treasury is also asking lenders to offer a similar deal to borrowers under its primary foreclosure prevention program, but it does not have the authority to require the change, administration officials said.
Despite predictions by Obama’s advisers that the housing market would rebound by now, real estate prices are falling once again. And the administration’s past efforts to push banks to modify the mortgages of families who missed their monthly payments have been widely criticized as lacking.

Obama first raised the shortcomings of his administration’s policy Wednesday when a questioner during a town hall event asked what mistakes the president had made in handling the economy.

“The continuing decline in the housing market is something that hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected,” Obama responded.

Later, he added that his administration’s efforts to help struggling homeowners were “not enough.”
“And so we’re going back to the drawing board,” he said.

The housing issue threatens to loom over Obama’s reelection campaign, with foreclosures piling up and real estate markets in turmoil in pivotal swing states such as Florida and Nevada, which voted for him in 2008.
Obama has not often discussed the housing crisis, with much of his time in Washington and on the campaign trail focused on job creation and deficit reduction.

But the issue repeatedly came up Wednesday as Obama conducted his first ever town hall meeting via Twitter.

One person asked in a tweet: “How will admin work to help underwater homeowners who aren’t behind in payments but are trapped in homes they can’t sell?”

Later, another questioner — whose Twitter handle was @Shnaps — asked a follow-up question about whether the market could heal itself.

Obama responded that “given the size of the housing market, no federal program is going to be able to solve the housing problem.”

He later added: “Some folks just bought more home than they could afford and probably they’re going to be better off renting.”

Much of the criticism of the administration’s housing policy has focused on the Treasury Department’s foreclosure prevention initiative called the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, one of a series of measures that the administration has rolled out with mixed results.

The program was funded by the financial bailout and carved out tens of billions of dollars to pay banks to modify the mortgages of distressed homeowners, or at least lower their monthly payments.

The administration has said that HAMP helped more than a million families in this way. But critics say that the aid was not long-lasting and that the initiative’s design was too complicated for the industry to implement effectively.

From The Washington Post - to see article, click post title

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Florida County sees Foreclosures Rise In June

Lee foreclosures up in June

Permits for homes highest since March

Written by
Dick Hogan
The number of both mortgage foreclosures and permits pulled for single-family homes in Lee County both popped up in June, according to reports released Friday.
In separate reports by municipalities, a total of 126 single-family permits were pulled. It was the highest since 131 in March. Only Fort Myers Beach's number was not available.
Meanwhile, lenders filed 468 mortgage foreclosure lawsuits in Lee County in June, up from 345 in May but down from 890 in June 2010, according to statistics released by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association.
It was the highest number since 656 were reported in October.
Jeff Tumbarello, director of the investment association, said the higher number bears watching, but doesn't necessarily mean a second wave of foreclosures is coming.
"If we have another increase next month it's certainly time to start watching it," Tumbarello said. "One month doesn't make a trend."
Meanwhile, 773 foreclosed properties were sold at public auction in June, almost the same as May's 774 and sharply down from June 2010's 1,318, the report states.
Foreclosures spiked sharply after Southwest Florida's housing bubble burst at the end of 2005. The all-time high month for foreclosures was October 2008 with 2,665.
Building permits have been bumping along at a low level - usually around 100 a month - for the past two years. In the boom, there often were more than 1,000 in a month.
Roger Schutt, developer of both Calusa Ridge LLC on Pine Island and Celebration Cape in Cape Coral, said three new homes were permitted in Celebration Cape in June and one in Calusa Ridge.
Buyers tend to be looking for a vacation or retirement home, and a lot are paying cash, Schutt said. The market's looking better than it has for awhile, he added.
"I think we're starting to turn that corner. I think we're going to have a reasonably strong summer," Schutt said.
Unincorporated Lee County and the municipalities in the county issue separate reports on permits:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Debunking the Foreclosure-to-Apartment Assumption.

By Dawn Wotapka and Robbie Whelan

Apartment operators have long been considered big beneficiaries of the housing bust. But one leading industry analyst thinks that rental homes are the post-housing crash world’s real stars.
In a lengthy research note, Zelman & Associates argues foreclosures are primarily shifting occupants to single-family rental homes. “The benefit of a changing home-ownership rate may not be as directly beneficial to the multifamily sector as many believe,” the firm writes.
Five years into the housing bust, fewer Americans are homeowners, either by choice or by necessity. In the first quarter, 66.5% of Americans owned homes, down from 67.2% a year earlier, according to the Census Bureau. During the heyday, when easy credit made mortgages available with less regard for income or ability to pay, the ownership rate surged to near 70% in 2004. Each percentage point represents about 1 million households.
Many people assume that, following a foreclosure, home owners move into apartments. Indeed, the sector has seen occupancies and rents rise in recent quarters and operators expect even better times ahead. That’s put pep in shares of apartment real-estate investment trusts: Equity Residential, the largest apartment player by market capitalization, and AvalonBay Communities Inc. have gained more than 17% since January. Camden Property Trust has spiked 20% this year and nearly 60% in the last 12 months.
Apartment owners say the foreclosure crisis is sending tenants to their doors. “We have a significantly higher number of people today living in our apartments who have lost their homes than I ever remember,” says Jeffrey Friedman, chief executive of Associated Estates Realty Corp., an Ohio-based apartment owner. “They don’t put their cars in the garage, they put their belongings in the garage.”
The sector has also benefited because fewer residents are moving out and people who downsized with roommates and parents during the downturn are moving into their own pads.
But the single-family rental market has also grown rapidly in recent years, helped by families who might feel squeezed in an apartment. In the last few years, investors have been snapping up distressed and foreclosed homes and renting them out, dramatically increasing the supply of rental single-family homes. The number of single-family rental households spiked 21% from 2005 until 2010.
In Nevada, Florida and Arizona – all markets hard-hit by foreclosures – the growth of single-family residential over apartment rental is even more striking: Between 2005 and 2010 the number of families renting homes grew 47.6%, compared with a growth rate of just 0.6% in traditional apartments. About one-in-three rental units is a single-family house, the report says. Zelman’s figures come from analysis of U.S. Census data.
“Conversations about housing often settle around single-family versus multi-family and owning versus renting, and, in many cases, single-family is incorrectly associated with owning a home while multifamily is used interchangeably with renting,” Zelman writes. “Our data suggests that marriage, children and number of residents more directly determine the type of housing individuals or families choose.”
To be sure, each decision has positives and negatives. Apartments could include neighbors with loud children or blaring music. But then, single-family landlords are often investors who may or may not make good property managers. “You could get people who won’t return your call,” says Alexander Goldfarb, a REIT analyst Sandler O’Neill + Partners.