Foreclosure Activity By Metro Area, Q3 2010
Foreclosures are a big part of the housing market, with distressed properties accounting for 35 percent of all home resales last month, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
But for as common as foreclosures can be, they remain a localized concern. Data from foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac shows that more than half of last quarter’s foreclosures came from just 19 metropolitan areas, with the Miami-Fort Lauderdale are accountable for the largest number of filings.
A “foreclosure filing” is defined as a default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession.
On a per-household basis last quarter, the Las Vegas area was hardest hit. 1 in every 25 households received some form of foreclosure notice.
The RealtyTrac report features other interesting figures, too:
- California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada account for the top 10, and19 of the top 20 metro areas for foreclosures
- Compared to Q3 2009, foreclosure activity dropped in 72 metro areas, including No. 2 Cape Coral/Fort Myers, FL
- Foreclosure activity dropped 1 percent from Q3 2009 in the nation’s 20 most-populated cities
And, despite a 27 percent increase in foreclosures from the second quarter, Utica/Rome, NY posted the lowest foreclosure rate in the nation — 1 for every 8,003 households. The next closest city, Charleston, WV, posted 1 for every 2,600 households, by comparison.
Foreclosures, like everything in real estate, are local. And buying them is “different” from buying a typical home resale. If you’re planning to buy a foreclosed home, speak with a real estate agent with specific experience with homes in foreclosure. Professional advice is helpful.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Existing Home Sales Jump; Housing Market Shows Spark. How about Bucks County?
Existing home sales jumped 10 percent in September, the biggest monthly jump on record and a signal that the housing market may be returning to a normal sales pattern post-$8,000 federal tax credit.
In my previous post, I noted that the real estate market in Bucks County, has actually seen more closings year to date, this year, than last year. We are also in the process of looking at individual local Bucks County real estate markets. We looked at Lower Makefield/Yardley in the last post.
Please keep in mind, that the 10% jump referred to, in September, is a national statistic. I can’t emphasize enough, how local real estate is. Although these national statistics are worth reviewing, every market is different. Bucks County has held up much better, through the real estate downturn, than many other parts of the country. However, even within Bucks County, you will see different trends, when looking at specific markets, and even specific neighborhoods within those markets.
In my next post, I will review current trends in the real estate market in Upper Makefield Township.
Existing Home Sales counts home resales (i.e. not new construction) and 80 percent of home resales close within 45-60 days. It’s no surprise, therefore, September’s data is strong.
Throughout the July and August, mortgage rates were in free-fall, pushing home affordability to near-record levels. Concurrently, the number of homes available for sale climbed to multi-year highs.
“Deals” were in ample supply this summer and eager Newtown home buyers snatched them up.
Some of these deals included “distressed properties”, a categorization that includes homes in various stages of foreclosure or short sale, accounted for 35 percent of all sales, an uptick of 1 percent from August.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, home resales split as follows:
- First-time buyers : 32 percent of all buyers
- Repeat home buyers : 50 percent of all buyers
- Investors : 18 percent of all buyers
By contrast, in November 2009, first-timers accounted for more than half of all resales.
For Yardley Hunt home buyers, September’s Existing Home Sales report foreshadows a more competitive housing market through the New Year. In addition to rising sales volume, home supplies are down by nearly 2 months from July.
At the current pace of sales, the complete housing stock would be depleted in 10.7 months.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
September 2010 stats-Yardley, Lower Makefield Township real estate market.
Wanted to give you another close look at our real estate market statistics, through September, in Bucks County, as well as within the various local markets that I often focus on.
Today, we will look at the Yardley, Lower Makefield Township real estate market.
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Through September 2010, the volume of houses sold has actually remained positive in Bucks County.
Year to date growth in Bucks County, was up by 2.4%. (It was up by 5.2% through August) 3622 homes have sold in Bucks County, through September 2010. Does that dispel the myth that there are no buyers?
We have seen over the past few months, that unit sales activity has slowed, based on the expiration of the tax credit.
Contrary to what would be expected, average sold prices in Bucks County have actually increased this year by 4.7%. It seems as though, in looking at the county as a whole, although the pace of sales has slowed over the past few months, prices are holding pretty well.
The best forward trend in real estate, is pending sales. Reflecting the slowing pace of sales, pending sales for the month of September 2010 in Bucks County, were down about 39% from September a year ago, and they were down by 19% from August, 2010.
Looking at the inventory of homes on the market in Bucks County, inventory rose slightly from August, but is a bit lower than it was this time last year.
Finally, the average list price of homes for sale in Bucks County, is down 4.5% from last year.
Yardley & Lower Makefield Township
- Inventory of homes for sale September 2010 210
- Inventory of homes for sale August 2010 222
- Inventory of homes for sale September 2009 219
Considering refinancing in Bucks County, rates are down by a point, since April.
30-year fixed mortgage rates rose last week, marking the first time in a month that rates failed to fall week-to-week.
The data sources from Freddie Mac, one of the government’s major mortgage securitizers and a sister entity to Fannie Mae. Each week, Freddie Mac collects mortgage rate data from more than 120 lenders nationwide and publishes the results in a report called the Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
According to this week’s PMMS, the 30-year fixed rate rose 0.02% and now averages 4.21% nationally. The average accompanying cost is 0.8 points.
1 point is equal to 1 percent of the loan size.
Note, though, that these are just averages. Just as real estate markets are local, mortgage rates can be, too. As an illustration, look how this week’s rates break down by region:
- Northeast : 4.22 with 0.8 points
- Southeast : 4.30 with 0.8 points
- N. Central : 4.19 with 0.8 points
- Southeast : 4.23 with 0.7 points
- West : 4.17 with 1.0 points
The rate-and-fee combination you’d get in your home state of Pennsylvania , in other words, is different from the rate-and-fee combination you’d get if you lived somewhere else. In the West, rates are low and fees are high; in the Southeast, it’s the opposite.
The good news is that, as a rate shopper, you can have it whichever way you prefer. If getting the absolute lowest mortgage rate is worth the extra cost to you, have your loan officer structure to structure your loan as such. Or, if you prefer higher rates and lower costs, you can go that route, too.
Banks offer multiple mortgage set-ups to meet every type of budget and, with rates down 1.00% since April 8, there’s good cause to call your loan officer about a mortgage refinance. See what set-up will work best for you.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Looking to buy real estate in Yardley, See How Credit Missteps Lower Your Credit Score
The company behind the popular FICO scoring model has published a “What If?” series for common, specific credit missteps.
If you’ve ever wondered how your credit score would be affected by a missed payment or a maxed-out credit card, now you can use a look-up guide to assess the probable damage.
As published by myFICO.com, here’s a few common financial difficulties and how they affect FICO scores.
Max-Out A Credit Card
- Starting score of 780 : 25-45 point drop
- Starting score of 680 : 10-30 point drop
- Starting score of 780 : 90-110 point drop
- Starting score of 680 : 60-80 point drop
- Starting score of 780 : 140-160 point drop
- Starting score of 680 : 85-105 point drop
Not surprisingly, the higher your starting score, the more each given difficulty can drop your FICO. This is because credit scores are meant to predict the likelihood of a loan default. People with lower FICOs are already reflecting the effects of risky credit behavior.
Also worth noting that the above is just a guide — your scores may fall by more — or less — depending on your individuak credit profile. The number and type of credit accounts you hold, plus their respective payments and balances make up your complete credit history.
Read the complete report at myFICO.com.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Housing Starts Jump In September, Buoyed By Homebuilder Confidence
According to the Commerce Department, the number of single-family Housing Starts increased to 452,000 units in September, a 19,000 improvement over August.
A “housing start” is a new home on which construction has started.
Housing Starts data is surveyed and broken-down by housing type:
- Single-Family Housing Starts
- Multi-Unit Housing Starts (2-4 Units)
- Apartment Building Housing Starts (5 or more units)
The government logs each type separately, but also lumps them into a single, comprehensive figure within its reports. For this reason, headlines surrounding the story seem contradictory.
- Marketwatch : Housing starts rise for 3rd straight month, up 0.3%
- CNN : Housing starts jump to 5-month high
It’s single-family homes that most Americans purchase, though, and that’s why single-family starts are the numbers worth watching. As 75% of the market, it’s more relevant than the joint numbers most commonly reported by the press.
In September, single-family starts did move to a 5-month high but buyers and sellers in Newtown should keep the figures in perspective. Just because starts are rising doesn’t mean the housing sector has turned around for good.
The first reason why is because, in September, starts were 75 percent less as compared to 5 years ago at the peak of housing. And if you feel that’s an unfair comparison, even as compared to the last 12 months, September’s data was tens of thousands below average.
Second, September’s Margin of Error happened to exceed its actual measurement. This means that the 4 percent in starts may actually turn out to be a loss of 4 percent (or more!) once the data is collected in full.
If there’s a reason to think the New Homes market is coming back, though, it’s that home builder confidence is also at a 5-month high. Foot traffic is rising and builders are optimistic about the next six months. This could mean higher sales prices and less chance for negotiation.
Buyers in search of new homes may find it tougher to make a deal the closer we get to 2011.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Bucks County Tools For Design : Visualize Your Home In Different Colors
In home design, the exterior is as important as the interior. The exterior are your home’s first impression while performing the double-duty of protecting living space from damage and Mother Nature.
And, occasionally, you may want to make upgrades.
For some people, visualizing changes to a home’s exterior is easy. For others, though, there’s the Better Homes and Gardens Color-a-Home tool.
Color-a-Home is a website via which homeowners can test different exterior home designs and color combinations. Using a series of drop-down menus and mix-and-match swatch colors, homeowners can build home exterior mock-ups featuring:
- New roofing
- New siding
- New windows
- New shutters and doors
Better than a mental picture of your home — get an actual picture.
The Better Homes and Gardens site requires basic site registration to use its Color This! product suite. Color This! is also available for home interiors and window treatments.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Foreclosure update for Yardley, Newtown & Bucks County.
The number of foreclosure filings rose 3 percent in September, according to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac. The term “foreclosure filing” is a catch-all word for housing, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.
September marked the 19th straight month that the number of filings topped 300,000, and the first month in which 100,000 repossessions were logged.
As usual, a small number of states dominated the national foreclosure figures, accounting for more than half of all repossessions.
- California : 17% of all repossessions
- Florida : 13% of all repossessions
- Michigan : 7% of all repossessions
- Arizona : 7% of all repossessions
- Texas : 5% of all repossessions
- Georgia : 5% of all repossessions
Thankfully for home sellers, mortgage servicers appear to be metering the pace at these newly bank-owned homes are made available to the public. RealtyTrac notes that, in doing so, servicers prevent “the further erosion of home prices”.
That said, distressed properties still sell at a steep discount.
In the second quarter of 2010, the average sale price of homes in the foreclosure process was 26 percent lower than the average sale price of homes not in the foreclosure process. It’s no surprise, therefore, that, based on RealtyTrac’s preliminary data, 31 percent of all homes sold in September were “distressed”.
There’s lot of good deals out there, in other words, but they come with certain risks.
Buying a foreclosed home is not the same as buying a non-foreclosed home. Specifically, you’re buying from a corporation and not from a “person”. Contracts may vary, and so may terms.
There is currently a great deal of uncertainty about what is going to happen with regards to homes that are going into foreclosure, and even homes that have recently been through foreclosure. I have read articles recently, in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, suggesting that there may be home owners who lost homes to foreclosure, who may look into trying to re-claim their home, in light of the current situation, with every state in the country looking into the documentation issues relating to foreclosures.
The heavy concentration of foreclosures in 6 states, highlights the point I have been making for a while, relative to our real estate market in Yardley, Newtown and all over Bucks County, which is that our market is not dominated by distressed property sales. Yes there are more of those than in the past, but for most of our local markets, distressed properties do not dominate the market.
If you have questions or thoughts about buying distressed properties, please let me know.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Bucks County Halloween Happenings, October 2010
Halloween is just a couple short weeks away. Here are a few fun local events you should not miss.
Spend a day at one the many Buck’s County fall events. There are many local farms offering great family activities. Enjoy haunted hayrides, baked goods, pumpkin picking and more!!
Shady Brook Farm – Come early in the day to take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and then stay around in the evening for the Shady Brook Farm’s “Horrorfest”. Horrorfest has four thrilling attractions such as the Hayride of Horror, Barn of Horror, Alien Encounter and Deadtime Stories Corn Maze. Hayrides, pick your own pumpkins, giant corn maze and more! visit www.shadybrookfarm.com for full details
Click here to view a video clip Active Acres Haunted Farm – The one and only Sleepy Hollow Haunted Hayride , Haunted House in the Hollow, Field of Fright, Live Entertainment, Bon Fires and More! Weekends in Oct from 7-10pm. www.activeacreshauntedfarm.com
Dog Daddy Halloween Trick or Treat – Sat, Oct 16th from 1-5pm. Children’s, Dog and Adult halloween Costume contests! Dogs get to trick or treat too! Cash prize for best adult halloween costume Dancing, Bonfires, Tarot Readers, magic counselors! www.dogdaddy.org
What a great way to spend time outside before the weather turns cold. If you need more information, please call me.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Fed Minutes Edge Mortgage Rates Higher
The Federal Reserve released its September 21, 2010 meeting minutes Tuesday afternoon. Mortgage rates in Bucks County are slightly higher today.
It’s unwelcome news for this season’s home buyers, and existing homeowners with plans to grab lower rates. Mortgage rates made new lows last week and the question could be whether they may have reached a turn-around point.
The “Fed Minutes” is published 8 times annually, and is the official meeting recap for the Federal Open Market Committee. Similar to the meeting minutes released after a corporate conference or condo association gathering, the Fed Minutes details the conversation and debate between meeting attendees.
Minutes are the lengthy companion to the Fed’s brief, post-meeting press release.
Because of its content, the Fed Minutes is closely read by Wall Street and economists. It’s insight into the talk that shapes our nation’s monetary policy and, within the text, there’s often clues about the Fed’s next move.
Here’s some of what the Fed discussed last month:
- On inflation : It’s running at lower-than-optimal levels
- On housing : Post-tax credit, housing stalled in July
- On stimulus : The Fed may intervene in open markets within the next few months
The over-riding theme within the minutes was that the U.S. economy is growing a steady pace, albeit slower than what’s optimal. The Fed is prepared to push things along if the economy slows further and news like that is helping stock markets.
Bond markets are losing. Rates are rising.
For now, mortgage rates hover near all-time lows. If you haven’t locked a mortgage rate yet, your window may be closing. Once the economy turns around for certain, mortgage rates will be among the first of the casualties.Continue Reading > Add a Comment