Foreclosure Inventory Down 31% in 2013, Slow Progress Expected in 2014

Author: Krista Franks-Brock January 29, 2014 0

Foreclosure Inventory Down 31% in 2013, Slow Progress Expected in 2014

National foreclosure inventory fell 31 percent year-over-year in December, with 2.1 percent of all homes with a mortgage in some stage of foreclosure, according to CoreLogic’s December National Foreclosure Report.

Completed foreclosures also declined year-over-year in December, though at a somewhat lower rate of 14 percent, according to CoreLogic.

Despite declines, foreclosures remain elevated compared to historical norms. From 2000 through 2006, about 21,000 foreclosures were completed each month.

In December 45,000 foreclosures were completed, down from 47,000 in November and 52,000 in December 2012.

“Clearly, 2013 was a transitional year for residential property in the United States,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

“Higher home prices and lower shadow inventory levels, together with a slowly improving economy, are hopeful signals that we are turning a long-awaited corner,” Nallathambi said.

However, he anticipates “progress to remain very slow” this year.

Five states accounted for nearly half of all completed foreclosures in 2013. Those states included Florida with 119,000 foreclosures, Michigan with 53,000 foreclosures, California with 39,000 foreclosures, Texas with 39,000 foreclosures, and Georgia with 35,000 foreclosures completed over the year.

At the other end of the spectrum, the five states with the fewest foreclosures completed in 2013 were the District of Columbia with 63 foreclosures, North Dakota with 417 foreclosures, Hawaii with 493 foreclosures, West Virginia with 505 foreclosures, and Wyoming with 759 foreclosures.

The states ranking highest for the percentage of foreclosure inventory as of year-end is not consistent with the list of states with the highest numbers of completed foreclosures over the year, except that Florida ranked highest in both categories.

In Florida, 6.7 percent of all homes with a mortgage are in some stage of foreclosure.

Florida is followed by New Jersey (6.5 percent), New York (4.9 percent), Connecticut (3.6 percent), and Maine (3.6 percent).

States with the smallest foreclosure inventory rates in December were Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.5 percent), North Dakota (0.6 percent), Colorado (0.6 percent), and Nebraska (0.6 percent).

In total, 4.8 million foreclosures have been completed since the start of the housing crisis in September 2008, according to CoreLogic.


Housing and Mortgage Outlook: Expect Declines in 2014

Housing and Mortgage Outlook: Expect Declines in 2014

Authors: Krista Franks-Brock January 22, 2014 0

Housing and Mortgage Outlook: Expect Declines in 2014

Following a year of fast-paced appreciation, Fitch Ratings expects home price gains to slow to a more moderate pace in 2014 in the United States, according to its Global Housing and Mortgage Outlook released Tuesday. The ratings agency also predicts mortgage volume will decline and delinquencies and shadow inventory will decrease, albeit slowly, while liquidation timelines continue to rise.

Home prices will continue to rise on the winds of “market momentum, the effects of inflation, the improving economy, and a return of buyers attracted by signs of stabilization,” according to Fitch.

However, rising mortgage rates and increasing inventory will temper price gains this year, the ratings agency said in its report.

At a national level, prices are about 15 percent overvalued, according to Fitch. A few markets in western states are leading this trend with home price growth outpacing income and other economic factors. For example, price-to-rent and price-to-income ratios in San Francisco have risen almost 25 percent since early 2012, Fitch explained.

Because of these trends, “Fitch remains concerned about regional overvaluation,” the ratings agency stated in its report.

While affordability remains high overall, Fitch says affordability will slip somewhat this year. One contributing factor is rising mortgage rates, which will likely reach 5 percent in 2014, according to Fitch’s predictions. The ratings agency says rising interest rates will also contribute to “a substantial decrease” in lending this year.

Prepayments will “remain at lower levels than historical averages for the next several years” as interest rates rise and refinances become less favorable, according to the ratings agency.

On the other hand, purchase loans will grow over the next few years, Fitch said, adding that the government will “continue to dominate market issuance through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Although “a return to historic levels of arrears is not expected in the near future,” Fitch noted that recently-originated loans are performing strongly.

Long liquidation timelines, especially in judicial states, mean today’s shadow inventory will be slow to dissipate. While the industry’s shadow inventory will continue its current pace of decline for several years, Fitch says it will take about five years to work through the current volume of homes that make up the shadow inventory.

Housing starts have begun to pick up, and Fitch expects them to continue to rise, but they will be vulnerable to price corrections.

While U.S. prices will continue to rise this year, Fitch expects home prices in its northern neighbor to remain flat or fall slightly. This is due to Canada’s “cautious lending policies driven by government measures,” the ratings agency explained.

Fitch harbors a mostly favorable outlook for the housing markets in all 17 countries covered in its Global Housing and Mortgage Outlook.

Are ‘Tortoise’ Markets Beating ‘Hares’ In Home Price Recovery?

After observing a “first in, first out” recovery over the past year in which markets hardest hit during the housing downturn experienced the fastest-paced recovery, Clear Capital is now examining whether the housing market, in fact, follows the allegory of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The analytics firm observed price movement and offered its predictions for the new year in its Home Data Index released Monday.

Nationally, Clear Capital expects a major deceleration in home price gains this year. After rising 11.3 percent in 2013, Clear Capital expects prices to rise just 3.4 percent in 2014 – “a sign of calibration toward long-run historical average rates of growth.”

This slowdown “is a healthy move for the broader housing recovery as gains move back into a more sustainable, historical range,” said Alex Villacorta, VP of research and analytics at Clear Capital.

Nine of the 50 largest metro areas are poised for price declines this year, while 34 should reach price gains of up to 5 percent, according to Clear Capital.

Seven markets will experience price gains higher than 5 percent, according to Villacorta.

Of the top 50 markets, Chicago is expected to experience the greatest home price increase this year – an 11.2 percent rise.

Atlanta, Georgia (7.5 percent), San Francisco, California (6.5 percent), Fresno, California (6.1 percent), and Tampa, Florida (5.5 percent) fall in line next at the top of the list.

At the other end of the spectrum, the greatest price decline is expected to take place in Richmond, Virginia, where prices are expected to fall 3.6 percent this year.

Next in line at the bottom of the list are Seattle Washington (-3.1 percent), Hartford, Connecticut (-3 percent), Virginia Beach, Virginia (-2.7 percent), and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (-2.5 percent).

In the tortoise versus hare analogy, Villacorta points to Phoenix as an obvious hare in the recent recovery.

Phoenix’s prices have swung drastically over the past several years, rising 98.5 percent during bubble years from 2002 through 2006, and then plummeting 61.6 percent from their peak by 2011.

Since then, home prices in Phoenix have climbed 56.4 percent.

“In this first heat of the recovery from the run-up in mid-2002 to the trough in 2011, you could call the hares [such as Phoenix] the winners,” Clear Capital stated in its report.

In stark contrast to Phoenix, Denver, Colorado, deemed one of the tortoises, charted the slowest growth during the bubble years. From 2002 through 2006, home prices in Denver rose just 2.2 percent compared to Phoenix’s 98.5 percent and a national 46.2 percent.

When prices began to plummet across the nation, Denver was not exempt. Its prices fell 22.4 percent from their peak.

Since their bottom in 2008, Denver’s home prices have risen 28.9 percent.

With much more moderate valleys and peaks, “Denver is one of the only few markets to see current prices higher than 2006 levels,” Clear Capital reported.

Thus, it would appear slow and steady may win the race after all.

Furthermore, “[a]s observed over the last several years, skyrocketing gains followed by decimating declines don’t benefit long-term market participants who like slow and steady gains,” Villacorta said.

Looking forward, Villacorta also predicts “the homebuyer mix may shift more toward non-investor homebuyers” this year.


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