Foreclosures down substantially
According to CoreLogic’s October National Foreclosure Report, completed foreclosures fell 30 percent year-over-year. There were 48,000 completed foreclosures in October 2013, down from 68,000 in October 2012, dropping 25.6 percent from September 2013. October was a good month.
CoreLogic notes that there have been 4.6 million completed foreclosures since housing crashed in September 2008, with completed foreclosures averaging 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006.
As of October 2013, approximately 879,000 homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.3 million in October 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 31 percent. The foreclosure inventory as of October 2013 represented 2.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3.1 percent in October 2012. The foreclosure inventory was down 2.9 percent from September 2013 to October 2013.
Foreclosures continue to decrease
“Year over year, the foreclosure inventory, as a percentage of all homes with a mortgage, has declined almost a full percentage point to 2.2 percent,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This is good news for the housing and mortgage finance markets, but the rate remains elevated relative to the pre-crisis level of about 0.6 percent. There are almost 900,000 properties still in foreclosure, but a normal level would be only a quarter of the current stock.”
“The scourge of an elevated foreclosure inventory is easing. In October, every state posted a year-over-year decline in completed foreclosures, which is positive news,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Additionally, the rate of serious delinquencies, which fell more than 25 percent year over year, is at the lowest level in nearly five years, which is great news as we head into a new year.”
Regional performance varied
Florida, Michigan, California, Texas, and Georgia had the most foreclosures in the 12 months ending in October 2013, while the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Hawaii, West Virginia, and Wyoming had the least.
The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Florida (7.1 percent), New Jersey (6.7 percent), New York (4.9 percent), Maine (3.8 percent) and Connecticut (3.7 percent). The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.6 percent), Nebraska (0.6 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent) and Colorado (0.7 percent).
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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