Foreclosures shatter records
Last year, the number of homes that received foreclosure notices hit 2.8 million, crushing the number of notices from previous years, bringing the total up 21% from 2008 and a heartbreaking 120% from 2007, according to RealtyTrac.com
RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio noted that “as bad as the 2009 numbers are, they probably would have been worse if not for legislative and industry-related delays in processing delinquent loans. After peaking in July with over 361,000 homes receiving a foreclosure notice, we saw four straight monthly decreases driven primarily by short-term factors: trial loan modifications, state legislation extending the foreclosure process and an overwhelming volume of inventory clogging the foreclosure pipeline.”
Although RealtyTrac’s CEO appears to attempt optimism in one press release that things could have been worse, the Senior Vice President Rick Sharga tells the Wall Street Journal in the video below that it has been a brutal year for foreclosure activity and that there’s “no end in sight.” Sharga noted that “we’re setting new records almost every day,” later stating that “everybody keeps looking for a quick fix to this. There really isn’t one.”
The hardest hit areas
The midwest fared the best with foreclosure rates while the coasts were most hard hit. Florida, California, Arozona and Illinois combined to make up more than 50% of the national total in 2009.
Why agents are shifting focus
Although homeowners are not faring as well as in past years and the number of Realtors are declining, the remaining agents are adjusting to the market- many practicing in areas hard hit by foreclosures have shifted toward focusing on short sales. Some areas are so hard hit that having short sale knowledge is becoming unavoidable.
The good news is that there are a great deal of information sources out there, designations, continuing education for agents to establish a solid foundation for agents. Just today, we announced the addition of short sale expert Melissa Zavala to AG who will focus on sharing her knowledge of the practice to help the agents who are having to adjust to a market with a rising demand for short sale agents.