Friday, January 18, 2013

Foreclosures Down in 2012, Increases Due for 2013

Foreclosures declined in 2012 compared with the previous year, but RealtyTrac expects this year to be “book-ended by two discrete jumps in foreclosure activity,” according to the firm’s latest report released Thursday.
Foreclosure filings were doled out to 1.84 million homes in 2012, which is 3 percent fewer homes than in 2011 and 36 percent below the foreclosure peak in 2010 when 2.9 million properties received foreclosure filings.
In December, foreclosure activity fell 10 percent month-over-month to a 68-month low.
While down overall in 2012, foreclosure activity increased in the majority of judicial states, prompting RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist to call 2012 “the year of the judicial foreclosure.” Of the 26 judicial states, foreclosures rose in 20.
At the same time, foreclosures declined over the year in 19 of the 24 states that do not rely on the judicial process to complete a foreclosure. However, Blomquist said these states could begin to experience their own foreclosure backlogs due to recent state legislation that could slow the foreclosure process.
“We expect to see continued increases in judicial foreclosure states near the beginning of the year as lenders finish catching up with the backlogs in those states, and another set of increases in some non-judicial states near the end of the year as
lenders adjust to the new laws and process some deferred foreclosures in those states,” Blomquist said.
Currently, the national time to foreclose is 414 days, according to ReatlyTrac’s fourth-quarter data. The timeline continues to rise and is up from 382 days in the third quarter. In fact, the fourth-quarter timeline is the longest recorded since RealtyTrac began observing in 2007.
The longest foreclosure timeline in any state is 1,089 days in New York, followed by New Jersey with 987 days. Florida experienced a decrease in its foreclosure timeline, but with 853 days, it still ranks third in the nation.
Texas has the shortest foreclosure timeline at 113 days, but even its timeline rose in the fourth quarter, up 17 percent from the third quarter.
Florida reigned in the highest foreclosure ranking in 2012 with 2.11 percent of homes receiving a foreclosure filing during the year—well above the national average of 1.39 percent.
Florida was followed by Nevada (2.7 percent), Arizona (2.69 percent), Georgia 2.58 percent), and Illinois (2.58 percent).
While foreclosure activity declined in 2012, foreclosure inventory ended the year 9 percent above the level recorded at the end of 2011. In total, more than 1.5 million houses were either bank-owned or in the foreclosure process.
Again ranking at the top, Florida claimed 20 percent of the nation’s foreclosure inventory. California ranked second with 14 percent and was followed by Illinois at 9 percent, and Ohio and Illinois both with 5 percent.
The lower foreclosure inventory over the year contributed to a seller’s market in which sellers received 99 percent of their asking price on average.
Markets that experienced rising foreclosures in 2012 are likely to see an increase in foreclosure inventory, which “could result in some short-term weakness in home prices,” according to Blomquist.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Home equity is growing again

WASHINGTON —With all the nail biting over fiscal policy and the economy in the closing weeks of 2012, you might have missed some of the positive trends under way for real estate.

Start with home equity. It's growing again significantly after five years of declines and stagnation. This is a huge piece of good news that hasn't received much attention. After hitting a low of $6.45 trillion in the final three months of 2011, Americans' combined home equity jumped nearly $1.3 trillion during the next nine months to $7.71 trillion — a 20% gain — according to the "flow of funds" quarterly estimate released in December by the Federal Reserve.

A homeowner's equity is the difference between the market value of his or her house and the amount of mortgage debt it is carrying. If your real estate would sell for $400,000 and you have a mortgage balance of $200,000, your equity is $200,000.

Equity is a key measure of wealth — often the largest single item on a family's financial balance sheet — and the Federal Reserve tracks the estimated equity holdings of millions of owners to come up with its quarterly numbers. As recently as 2007, homeowners' collective equity exceeded $10.2 trillion. Between that year and late 2011, owners lost nearly $4 trillion in real estate wealth.
So the $1.3-trillion turnaround during the first nine months of 2012 was a big deal. It reflected the first sustained rebound in home prices in a long time in many — though not all — local real estate markets. In a study released just before Christmas, researchers at found that of 177 major metropolitan markets, 135 had experienced net increases in cumulative home values during 2012.

These are big numbers and hard to grasp, but think of it this way: The odds are good that even if you own a home in a market that experienced severe price declines during the housing bust, the value of your home rose last year, at least modestly. Even if you have negative equity, it's likely that, thanks to appreciation in your area and your continuing payment of principal on your mortgage, your equity position improved.

Some of the most impressive gains in values were in areas that suffered the deepest price plunges — and the most painful losses in owners' equity — between 2007 and 2011. According to a study by, list prices of houses in Phoenix were 21.4% higher in November than they were 12 months earlier. In the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area, prices were up 13.3%; in Las Vegas 10.6%; and in Miami 10%.

What's causing price surges like these in cities that cratered just a few years back? Part of it is a recognition by buyers, including investors, that prices hit bottom and won't drop any further. The intrinsic economic value of houses and land simply exceeded the near-giveaway, foreclosure-sale prices prevalent in the post-recession years. Now prices are correcting upward as buyers come back into the market.

But something else has been at work: Virtually all major real estate markets across the country have seen declines in the availability of homes for sale, in part because some sellers still fear that they won't get a good price, and because in some areas large numbers of potential sellers are still underwater on their mortgages. In Seattle, there were 43% fewer homes listed for sale toward the end of 2012 than at the same time the year before. In San Francisco, the deficit was 415; in Los Angeles 37.5%; and in metropolitan Washington around 28%.

Fewer listings mean more competition for what's available for sale. That can bring multiple offers, higher prices and even the return of escalation clauses in contracts, where buyers' offers contain automatic increases in multiple bid situations. That's already well underway in parts of California, the Pacific Northwest and Washington, D.C., among other areas.

Ultimately, higher prices should begin to convince more sellers that they should list their homes, pushing inventory higher and creating a healthier, more balanced real estate environment for 2013.

Ready?  Call Paul Antonelli 321-443-4028

Monday, January 7, 2013

20 Metros Where Foreclosure Listings Should Rise in 2013

Foreclosure inventory may be decreasing, but certain metros showed high levels of foreclosure activity in 2012, which means they might also be places where foreclosure listings-short sales or REOs—could increase, according to an article from RealtyTrac.
After assessing foreclosure activity across the country, the foreclosure data provider released a list of 20 metros where for-sale foreclosures are expected to rise in 2013. RealtyTrac selected metros based on the annual percent change in foreclosure activity and the number of foreclosure starts and completions through November 2012.
All metros had at least 2,000 foreclosure starts and REOs and experienced at least a 20 percent increase in foreclosure activity, or starts and REOs.
Among the list of 20 metros, eight were based in Florida, with Palm Bay leading with the highest annual percent change in foreclosure activity. Over a one-year period, Palm Bay has seen its foreclosure activity increase by 110 percent. Other Florida metros on the list included Lakeland, Tampa, Panama City, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Ocala.
Among those metros, Tampa and Orlando were notable for their high number of foreclosure starts, which numbered 22,594 and 17,429, respectively.
North Carolina had four metros on the list: Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro. In Raleigh, foreclosure activity increased 62 percent in 2012.
Two Connecticut metros, New Haven and Bridgeport, also made the list.
New York, which is known for its long foreclosure timeline, was listed as having 30,455 foreclosure starts.
The remaining metros where foreclosure listings are expected to rise were Omaha, Nebraska; Rockford, Illinois; Pittsburgh; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Cleveland, Ohio.

Florida may relaunch rocket docket

By Christina Mlynski
 • January 4, 2013 • 5:46pm

The so-called rocket docket bill, HB 87, resurfaced this week by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples,  offering sped-up modifications and foreclosures.
Currently, the foreclosure process takes more than 600 days to run its course in judicial Florida. The bill is making its way back at a time when banks are looking to begin the foreclosure process again after a two-year break as a result of the "robo-signing" scandal.
Last year, foreclosure filings jumped 20% in Florida, which currenlty has the nation's highest foreclosure rate, but processing times remain slow.
For example, Miami-Dade, Fla. remains an epicenter for foreclosures with one in every 201 homes receiving some type of foreclosure filing, comparing with one in every 728 homes nationally, according to a report by RealtyTrac.
As a result, Florida’s busiest circuit court is conducting hundreds of foreclosure trials a week.
With about $626,000 in special funds for the fiscal year, the court added two senior judge slots and a staff of case managers to help clear the backlog of more than 53,000 foreclosure cases.
To solve a backlog of 40,000 civil and foreclosure cases, theFlorida Supreme Court ordered the lower court to establish a system to work through the growing backlog of foreclosure cases in July 2010.
According to the high court order, foreclosures could only spend 12 months in the system from "filing to final disposition."
However, in July 2011, a Florida appellate court denied a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to keep a property seizure case out of an accelerated foreclosure system, known as the "rocket docket."
The program was scheduled to close at the end of June as funding was running out.
With the attemped ressurection of the rocket docket, only time will tell if the bill will successfully pass this time or if distressed homeowners are back to square one.

Friday, January 4, 2013



Here's a video of my WDBO Radio ad spot for Orlando Short Sales and helping people short sale in Central Florida.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hey Honey Boo Boo: Stay Out Of Our Neighborhood!

Would you like to live next door to Honey Boo Boo and her family? Well, consider yourself to be in a very lonely minority: The rambunctious kiddie beauty pageant star and her lumpy family topped Zillow's sixth annual survey of the least desirable celebrity neighbors.

More than one in five surveyed Americans (21%) found the cast of the reality show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" to be the most undesirable celebrity neighbors of 2012. Following close behind were the couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at 18% and Donald Trump at 12%. Lance Armstrong and Clint Eastwood trailed at 2%, respectively, followed by Taylor Swift and Kristen Stewart (either solo or with on-again/off-again beau Robert Pattinson) at 1% each.

"This year we noticed a trend on the worst-neighbor side; for three years in a row now, the casts of reality television shows have dominated the top of our worst celebrity neighbor list," says Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Amy Bohutinsky. "Not surprisingly, celebrities with full-time camera crews, in addition to paparazzi, aren't America's top choices to live next door."

Meanwhile, 45% of the 1,006 adults surveyed for this story said they would not want to live next to any celebrities listed in the poll. This is up slightly from 42% in last year’s poll.