Foreclosures Were Up 57% and Repossessions Were Up 90% In January
In case you have some illusion (or should I use delusion) that the housing market is going to turn around in the second half of 2008, it looks like the “the beat goes on”. Text in bold is my emphasis. Text in bold is my emphasis. From Bloomberg:
Bank seizures of U.S. homes almost doubled in January as property owners failed to make higher payments on adjustable-rate mortgages.
Repossessions rose 90 percent to 45,327 last month from the same period a year ago, RealtyTrac Inc. said today in a statement. Total foreclosure filings, which include default and auction notices as well as bank seizures, increased 57 percent.
``The most troubling thing is that we are seeing more and more of these properties actually going all the way through the process and going back to the banks,'' Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in an interview.
Defaults among subprime borrowers and those unable to meet rising payments on adjustable-rate loans drove foreclosure filings to the highest since August and the second-highest since RealtyTrac started keeping records. About $460 billion of adjustable mortgages are scheduled to reset this year, raising minimum payments for borrowers, according to New York-based analysts at Citigroup Inc.
More than 233,000 properties were in some stage of default last month. Total foreclosure filings increased 8 percent in January from December, RealtyTrac said.
Nevada, California and Florida recorded the highest foreclosure rates among the 50 states, said RealtyTrac, a seller of U.S. foreclosure statistics with a database of more than 1 million properties.
The rate of foreclosure filings in Nevada continued to lead the nation, with 6,087 properties in default or having been repossessed. That's 95 percent more than in January 2007 and 45 percent less than in December.
California had the highest total number of default and foreclosures with 57,158 properties facing possible seizure last month. That was more than double the year-earlier figure and was up 7 percent from December.
Florida had the second-highest number of homes in default or foreclosure with 30,178 in January, more than double the figure for the prior year and 3 percent less than in December.
Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, Ohio and Michigan rounded out the top 10 states worst off in terms of missed payments and property seizures, RealtyTrac said. . . . .
. . . . . U.S. home prices fell last year for the first time since the Great Depression. That made it more difficult for homeowners to sell or refinance properties encumbered by mortgages that may be higher than the value of the houses themselves. Sales of existing homes fell last month to the lowest in at least nine years, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday.
The median price of an existing home fell 4.6 percent to $201,100 from January 2007. The median for a single-family home dropped 5.1 percent to $198,700, and condominium and co-op prices fell 1 percent to $220,400.
Banks may be forced to resell as many as 1 million foreclosed properties this year, adding to a glut of inventory and forcing prices down even further, Sharga said.
January was the sixth straight month with more than 200,000 foreclosure filings, RealtyTrac said. The fourth-quarter total of 642,150 filings was the most since the company began records in January 2005. More than 1 percent of U.S. households were in some stage of foreclosure during 2007.