Foreclosures are rising in 21 states, but don’t panic yet

foreclosures in states

Source: Washingtonpost.com | March 15, 2012

Nationally, foreclosures are creeping downward: The total number of new foreclosure filings dropped 2 percent from January to February, according to RealtyTrac and that’s an 8 percent decrease from February 2011. Completed foreclosures fell 13 percent in January over the previous year. That said, new foreclosures are still rising in more than 20 states mostly in the Midwest and on the East Coast and that’s a trend that’s expected to continue in the coming months.

Why? It’s in large part due to the recent $25 billion settlement over faulty foreclosure practices. Foreclosure proceedings had been stalled while the deal was being worked out, and states are moving to clear the backlog now that the settlement has provided a clear roadmap for moving forward, according to Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac, the foreclosure sales company that conducted the survey.

In the short term, the new foreclosures could risk depressing housing prices, which just increased in February for the first time in 18 months. But the national trend suggests that the foreclosure crisis is finally showing signs of abating.

[Read this article]

More Buyers, Fewer Homes For Sale

More-Buyers-Fewer-Homes

Source: Bankrate.com | March 14, 2012

Homebuyers are out there, but they’re finding fewer homes for sale than they were a year ago, according to the latest data from Realtor.com. In February, the number of homes listed for sale rose a meager 0.5 percent from January, but fell 22 percent from the same time last year. The median time a home spent on the market fell nearly 10 percent to 111 days, indicating they’re selling faster. Demand for homes typically ramps up toward spring, when many buyers want to complete the transaction and be settled in by the time school starts. Prices also rose to reflect demand. Of the 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com, 106 of them saw an increase in asking price of 6.8 percent overall since last year. The median asking price of the 1.78 million homes nationwide is $188,000.

[Read this article]