According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey, mortgage delinquencies dropped to 7.4 percent of all loans outstanding as of the end of the first quarter 2012, a decrease of 18 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2011, but a decrease of 92 basis points from one year ago.
The combined percentage of loans in foreclosure or at least one payment past due was 11.33 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, a 120 basis point decrease from last quarter and was 98 basis points lower than a year ago. This was the lowest that this measure has been since 2008.
The percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were started during the fourth quarter was 0.96 percent, down 3.0 basis points from last quarter and down 12 basis points from one year ago. The MBA reports that the delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due but does not include loans in the process of foreclosure.
The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the first quarter was 4.39 percent, up one basis point from the fourth quarter and 13 basis points lower than one year ago. The serious delinquency rate (90+ days past due) was 7.44 percent, a decrease of 29 basis points from last quarter, and a decrease of 66 basis points from the first quarter of last year.
Inventory rates, foreclosure starts
The MBA notes that “Given the challenges in interpreting the true seasonal effects in these data when comparing quarter to quarter changes, it is important to highlight the year over year changes of the non-seasonally adjusted results.”
Compared with the first quarter of 2011, the foreclosure inventory rate: decreased 77 basis points for prime ARM loans, remained unchanged prime fixed loans, decreased five basis points for subprime fixed, decreased 71 basis points for subprime ARM loans, increased 48 basis points for FHA loans and increased seven basis points for VA loans.
Over the past year, the non-seasonally adjusted foreclosure starts rate: decreased six basis points for prime fixed loans, decreased 21 basis points for prime ARM loans, decreased 43 basis points for subprime fixed, decreased 45 basis points for subprime ARM loans, increased three basis points for FHA loans and decreased eight basis points for VA loans.
Greater declines than expected
“Mortgage delinquencies normally fall during the first quarter of the year, but the declines we saw were even greater than the normal seasonal adjustments would predict, so delinquencies are clearly continuing to improve,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Newer delinquencies, loans one payment past due as of March 31, are down to the lowest level since the middle of 2007, indicating fewer new problems we will need to deal with in the future. The percentage of loans three payments or more past due, the loans that represent the backlog of problems that still need to be handled, is down to the lowest level since the end of 2008. Foreclosure starts are at their lowest level since the end of 2007.”
“The improvement in loan performance was widespread: only four states (Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Washington) experienced increases in their 90+ day delinquency rates. Forty one states had decreases in foreclosure starts and 22 states had decreases in the percentage of loans in foreclosure,” added Fratantoni.
Fratantoni continued, “The problem continues to be the slow-moving judicial foreclosure systems in some of the largest states. While the rate of foreclosure starts is essentially the same in judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states, the percent of loans in the foreclosure process has reached another all-time high in the judicial states, 6.9 percent. In contrast, that rate has fallen to 2.8 percent in non-judicial states, the lowest since early 2009. As the foreclosure starts rate is essentially the same in both groups of states, that difference is due entirely to the systems some states have in place that effectively block timely resolution of non-performing loans and is not an indicator of the fundamental health of the housing market or the economy. In fact, hard-hit markets like Arizona that have moved through their foreclosure backlog quickly are seeing home price gains this spring.”
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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