Foreclosures filings continue at recent record levels in States already recording the highest levels in years. Nationally, the foreclosure rate at the end of April 2007, of one for every 783 households was slightly down on March 2007 (one for every 775) and 38% ahead of April 2006 at 1 for every 1268 households as reported this week by ForeclosureDatabank.com an online foreclosures listing service.
In previous years investors have noted a trend toward lower filings in the second quarter. Any dip noted in the coming month will hardly obscure the rate of increase year to date nationwide over the same period in 2006, around.62%. Foreclosure filings in most States remain well above last year’s levels and are expected to do so for much of 2007.
The indicator rate per household in foreclosure activity is used to highlight the trend in a market which is of increasing interest to both investors, hoping to maximise ROI without inefficient use of capital, and home buyers continuing searching in their neighbourhood of choice or near by for extra value for their available funds.
Before we all get hooked on the hyperbole which flows in the media following the publishing of such robust percentages, lets remind ourselves that foreclosures filings absolute numbers in states other than the top ten are actually quite small, and in the special opportunity market of bank foreclosures, small indeed.
Bank foreclosures are in the last of three main stages in the foreclosure process, and are lumped in with REO numbers and statistics in readily available data, you can see why when in most cases numbers per metro or county are low.
Compare these REO foreclosures rates and numbers in April with those from the States with existing track records of high foreclosures filings over the last two years;
o In April 2007 California had 2,000 REO filings, compares with 177 in April 2006 out of a total of 30,505 foreclosures filed in the state, which in turn represented 21% of the national total of 147,708 for the month.
o Ohio listed Reo filings of 3,545, compared with 2,424 in April 2006, and out of a total of 11,431 in filings for the month, nearly 8% of the national total.
o Texas recorded 3,375 REO filings compared with 3,371 same period last year, out of a total of 11,424 or 7.7%
o Georgia reported 1,899 (1,354 4/2006) from a total 7,151 or just under 5% of the national total.
After these the April 2007 numbers fall to 1,606 for Michigan, 1002 for Colorado, 858 for Tennessee, 806 for Indiana and 757 for North Carolina
Florida, Illinois, Arizona are all in the range under 660.
REO is the institutional name for Real Estate Owned property, realty that lenders have had to repossess because of mortgage delinquencies. Not all REO’s are bank foreclosures but by definition all bank foreclosures are REO.
April housing statistics and permits are down, but with the pipeline of more real estate to enter the market full, it is not unrealistic to assume a glut of unsold property, especially single family homes, in all price ranges, in the geographical areas where foreclosures filings have been the highest in percentage terms in the last 12 months.
Banks and other lenders forced to foreclose on properties this year face inventories well above past year levels.
Expect some flexibility in financing on offer to help clear these bank owned homes, expect pressure on pricing, and pressure to clear property inventories where all unsold homes sit on the market for 90 days or more. The range on offer of bank foreclosure property will not be great in most areas and the much smaller pool of addresses could mean more bidding competition. Time to ensure those analytical tools so readily available now on the Internet are at your fingertips.
This year, 2007, could be the year of the alert investor and home buyer opportunities for excellent deals in bank foreclosures.