The 213 foreclosure deeds recorded in August of this year is a decrease of 24% from August of 2012 and a nearly identical number to those recorded in the prior month (July 2013). The cumulative total for the first eight months of 2013 is 26% below the total for the same period in 2012, and lower than the first eight month total in any year since 2007. At the current pace, 2013 will end the year with fewer foreclosures than any of the prior five years. We estimate this number to be fewer than 2,800 foreclosure deeds, a decline of 25% from year end 2012.
There are more than 770,000 homes in foreclosure in the U.S. According to the latest data provided by RealtyTrac, roughly one in five of these, more than 150,000 in all, has been abandoned by its owners but remains unclaimed. These properties are referred to by the industry as “zombie” homes.
Unfortunately, both the Fed and the government want out of the mortgage market at the same time. The Fed wants to taper, and President Obama wants to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance companies taken over by the government a few years back. These entities, along with government agencies, guarantee 90 per cent of all mortgages, as US banks say they can't make money from the low interest rate environment, and provide products like the very low rate 30-year fixed mortgage popular with homebuyers.
Obamacare’s early problems could recast the debate about mortgage market reform. What does health care have to do with housing prices? A lot, actually. The stumbles with the Healthcare.gov website and the individual policy cancellations may or may not get resolved soon. But they have served a purpose. They have highlighted the extent to which health care reform is a “kludge,” as Paul Krugman recently wrote, a jury-rigged and complicated structure that extends social insurance largely through private sector means, leavened by a passel of government regulations and subsidies.
Even in corporate crime, women hit the glass ceiling. Just nine percent of those who commit major corporate fraud are women, according to a recent study published in the American Sociological Review. And when they team up with men to commit the fraud, they reap less of a profit than their male co-conspirators. Far less, based on the study’s review of several years of corporate fraud cases.
Initial foreclosure filings climbed 144 percent from August in Fairfax County, Virginia, and more than doubled in Prince William, Loudoun and Fauquier counties, the real estate research firm said today. Fairfax’s jump was the biggest in the U.S. among counties with populations of 1 million or more. This year’s across-the-board budget reductions have led to “sequester pain” including work furloughs that began in June, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Homeowners may be hurt further by the partial government shutdown as President Barack Obama and House Republicans wrangle over spending, said Brian O’Reilly, president of Collingwood Group LLC.
Five years after Washington bailed out more than 700 banks, the money has become a burden for more than 100 community banks that can't seem to repay it. About a dozen of those are in California, and they are facing increasing pressure as the federal government looks to close out the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. The banks will soon face a big increase in the annual dividend they must pay the government on its investment — to 9% from 5%. Some of the banks will have to sell out or bring in new shareholders — who might demand control of the institution in exchange for the cash infusion.
Home prices grew by 1% month-over-month in August 2013, according to the latest Corelogic home price index, after growing 1.7% in July. This figure excludes distressed home sales transactions. which include short sales and REO transactions, in which a lender takes possession of a property following an unsuccessful foreclosure auction.
As if rising mortgage rates aren’t scary enough, analysts have identified a lurking threat to housing: “vampire” properties. These “vampire” properties are bank-owned foreclosed homes in which prior owners continue to live, as defined by RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace. Former owners live in 47% of U.S. bank-owned properties, according to RealtyTrac. These properties are “sucking the life out of the housing market,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace.
Signs of "foreclosure" and "owned by bank" are still common throughout Sin City, and some parts of Nevada, as the silver state is once again taking the lead as the nation's highest in foreclosures. Realtytrac.com, a website of foreclosure listings, reports that the state of Nevada has an average foreclosure rate of 28 percent that is higher than the national average of 1 percent. The unemployment rate is at 9.9 percent.