It’s been one hell of a non-recovery in housing, smack in the face of now-expiring $8,000 home tax credits that have proven to be as stimulative and futile as attacking fire ants with a BB-Gun.
Please consider Foreclosure Filings Rise in 75% of U.S. Metro Areas
Foreclosure filings climbed in three-quarters of U.S. metropolitan areas in the first half as high unemployment left many homeowners unable to pay their mortgages, according to RealtyTrac Inc.
The number of properties receiving a filing more than doubled from a year earlier in Baltimore, Oklahoma City and Albuquerque, New Mexico, the mortgage-data company said today in a report. Notices of default, auction or bank seizure rose more than 50 per cent in areas including Salt Lake City; Savannah, Georgia; and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Foreclosures are spreading out from areas that had been hardest hit,” Rick Sharga, senior vice president for marketing at Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in a telephone interview. “We’re dealing with underlying economic weakness as opposed to unsustainable home prices and bad loans.”
Continued weakness in employment and efforts to prevent foreclosure may “delay the inevitable” and weigh on home prices, RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said in a statement.
The company said 154 of 206 U.S. metro areas with populations of more than 200,000 had increases in households with filings from January through June.
Cities in Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona accounted for the 20 highest foreclosure rates. Nine of the top 10 metro areas had decreases in the total properties receiving filings, a sign that foreclosures may have peaked in the states hurt the most by the housing market’s collapse, RealtyTrac said.
Video with Rick Sharga Senior Vice President of RealtyTrac
Bloomberg has an interesting Video Interview with Rick Sharga that inquiring minds will want to play.
Partial Transcript: “There is a pretty direct correlation between job loss and foreclosure. Until the unemployment rates start to go down, and until we actually see net job creation, and importantly until consumer confidence comes back, the housing market has really slim chances of recovery. That coupled with the huge overhang of distressed property, really suggests the housing market is not going to turn around for the next few years.”
Cycle Excesses Greatest In History
The excesses of the current cycle have never been greater in history. The odds are strong that we have seen secular as opposed to cyclical peaks in housing starts and new single family home construction. With that in mind it is highly unlikely we merely return to the trend. If history repeats, and there is every reason it will, we are going to undercut those long term trendlines.
There will be additional pressures a few years down the road when empty nesters and retired boomers start looking to downsize. Who will be buying those McMansions? Immigration also comes into play. If immigration policies and protectionism get excessively restrictive, that can also lengthen the decline.
Finally, note that the current boom has lasted well over twice as long as any other. If the bust lasts twice as long as any other, 1012 just might be a rather optimist target for a bottom.
The Last Bubble is Not Reblown
In a few locations, the bottom may be close at hand but certainly not everywhere. More importantly, think of tech stocks and remember the creed “the last bubble is not reblown”. 10 years after the tech bust, the Nasdaq is still down over 50%.
The recovery in housing will be even slower. There is no need to rush into housing at this point even IF the bottom was at hand.
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