Is a Next Wave of Foreclosure on the Horizon?

Industry experts have been closely monitoring and trying to predict if and when the next wave of foreclosure will hit. Many fear that a second wave of foreclosures is poised to hit the market and potentially undermine much of the housing recovery efforts as more homes add to the glut of inventory and drive down prices.

Many of the housing recovery efforts by the Obama administration have targeted homeowners in financial distress. The Making Home Affordable program was intended to have hundreds of thousands of financially devastated homeowners stay in their homes via a mortgage modification or avoid foreclosure by doing a short sale. These housing recovery efforts have delayed thousands of foreclosures.

It is estimated that  about 7 million properties are destined to go into foreclosure in 2010 compared to 1.27 million properties in early 2005, according to a September study by Amherst Securities Group.

There is a significant lag time between a borrower going deliquent and the bank taking the home via foreclosure. Here’s why:

1. Moratoriums. New state laws imposing short-term moratoriums have slowed the timeline from delinquency to foreclosure.

2. Overwhelmed lenders. Banks dealing with a surge in refinancing, mortgage modifications and defaults are overwhelmed with demand, so it can take longer to initiate a foreclosure sale.

3. Modifications. Many loans now are first examined to see if they might qualify for a modification. This drags out the timeline and means it is taking longer for homes to go into foreclosure.

4. Asset write-downs. Banks may in part be waiting to liquidate homes through foreclosure because they don’t want to write down the value of the asset. Lenders can keep homes on the books at a higher value until they are sold at foreclosure.

If the projections are correct this could have a significant impact on home prices across the country. We will keep an eye on how this will impact Walton, Okaloosa and Bay Counties.

Research: Real Estate Market Analysis, May 2009

Every month Team Baranowski will post an in-depth analysis of the Real Estate Market. Over a period of several weeks critical events occur that shape and change the Real Estate Market on a nation and local level. Click here to read and download a complimentary copy of the report.

This report looks at the National Real Estate Market. If you are interested in our South Walton market or specific areas including Grayton Beach, Seagrove Beach, Destin, Sandestin, Rosemary Beach, WaterColor or WaterSound, please call or email Craig or Tracy @ Team Baranowski 850.259.1788 or 850.259.4270.

Most homeowners think real estate market has hit bottom

Many homeowners have a clear understanding of what has happened to the values of their own homes over the past year. A majority (60 percent) believes their home lost value during the past 12 months, according to the Zillow Q1 Homeowner Confidence Survey. The truth is that 80 percent of homes across the country have lost value during the past 12 months, according to Zillow’s first quarter Real Estate Market Reports. Analysis of home values in Walton and Bay County including areas of South Walton, Panama City Beach, Destin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Grayton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach and Seagrove Beach also support these numbers.

Another interesting point is that 18 percent of owners believe their home had gained value in the past 12 months, and 22 percent believe its value remained the same.  .

It appears that there is hope for the future as most homeowners – 74 percent – believe their home will not decline in value in the coming six months, effectively calling a bottom to their own home’s housing slide. Many experts in South Walton have also suggested that we are finally reaching are flattening out at the bottom of our market. We are seeing prices stabilize in key areas including WaterColor, Seaside, Rosemary Beach and Santa Rosa Beach. Inventory of aggressively priced distressed properties in Walton, Okaloosa and Bay County are being quickly snatched up and moved out of inventory.  More optimism with the market shows that one in four homeowners (27 percent) think their home’s value will increase in the next six months, while nearly half (47 percent) believe their home’s value will remain the same. Homeowners were similarly optimistic when it came to predicting home values in their local markets. About two-thirds of homeowners believe home values in their local markets will increase (26 percent) or stay the same (37 percent) over the next six months. Thirty-seven percent believe home values will decrease.

The survey results also suggest that many Americans would like to sell their home but are waiting for a market turnaround to do so. When asked about future plans to sell, 31 percent of homeowners said they would be at least “somewhat likely” to put their homes on the market in the next 12 months if they saw signs of a real estate market turnaround.

“The perception of American homeowners is finally catching up to reality, which is that 80 percent of all homes in the country lost value during this past year,” says Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s vice president of data and analytics. “While homeowners are now more realistic when looking backward, they are still pretty starry-eyed when looking forward, with three out of four homeowners believing that their own homes’ prices will increase or be flat over the next six months. Unfortunately, there are few markets we expect to perform this well.

“Also interesting is the information we have for the first time this quarter on the levels of ‘shadow inventory’ – homes that people would like to sell but that aren’t currently on the market, and thus aren’t captured in the official number of homes on the market,” Humphries says. “With almost a third of homeowners poised to jump into the market at the first sign of stabilization, this could create a steady stream of new inventory, adding to already record-high inventory levels, thus keeping downward pressure on home prices.”

Download a copy of the Q1 2009 Homeowner Confidence Survey by Zillow.com