Housing News

February Foreclosure Numbers Show No Improvement

It may be too early to spot effects of the rescue plan.

The latest foreclosure totals from RealtyTrac speak of a weaker housing market. In its press release, James Saccacio, chief executive officer, said, “The increase in foreclosure activity from January to February is somewhat surprising, given that many of the foreclosure prevention efforts and moratoria in place in January were extended through most of February as well. There were some notable exceptions to this: a 45-day voluntary moratorium in Florida expired at the end of January, and foreclosure activity there was up 14 percent from the previous month; and many New York foreclosure proceedings delayed by a new law for an extra 90 days appear to have hit the system in February, when the state’s foreclosure activity increased 23 percent from the previous month.”

Here are a few observations that we’ve made based on the report from the foreclosure tracking website:

The five states with the highest foreclosure totals account for 60 percent. This includes California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Illinois. Including the next 5 states namely Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Georgia and Virginia, the total share balloons to 77 percent.

The states with the least foreclosure records include Montana with 54 units, North Dakota: 37, South Dakota: 32, Nebraska: 13 and Vermont: 11. These states didn’t experience immense property market growth during the real estate boom but are not suffering from plummeting sales compared to other states.

Half of the total foreclosures come from 35 counties alone. That’s just one percent of the entire county population that was surveyed.

Nebraska posted the biggest improvement in month-over-month (MoM) rates with a -58.06 percent change. This can be attributed to its very low exposure to ARMs. On the other hand, the biggest jump MoM was registered at New Mexico with 127.44 percent mainly due to the overbuilding of houses to accommodate investors and buyers with zero-down payment mortgages and other high risk loans that went into default.

In Riverside, CA, the foreclosure rate stands at 1 in every 77 housing units. In Levy, FA, it was recorded at 1 in every 641 housing units. In Navajo, AZ, it stands at 1 in every 1,343 housing units. Areas with more housing units but experience a high foreclosure incidence relative to its total housing population can experience more debilitation in its local market.

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