Foreclosure filings down, but does it really mean we’re on the rebound?
Are we on the rebound?
Dow Jones reports that the number of U.S. properties with foreclosure filings fell 28 percent in January from a year earlier, while foreclosure starts fell to a six-year low, according to market researcher RealtyTrac.
According to the Dow Jones report, there were 150,864 U.S. properties with default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions in January, a 7-percent decrease from December, RealtyTrac reported. One in every 869 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing in January.
New legislation in California that was effective starting this year is the reason for the change in the “foreclosure landscape,” the report attributes to RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.
The new California law extends many of the principles in the national mortgage settlement, including a prohibition on what’s referred to as dual tracking and requiring a single point of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure, to all mortgage servicers operating in California, according to the Dow Jones report, citing Blomquist. The report says the law also imposes fines of up to $7,500 per loan for filing of multiple unverified foreclosure documents.
In the report, Blomquist says “…the downward foreclosure trend in California accelerated into hyper speed in January, decisively shifting the balance of power when it comes to the nation’s foreclosure activity.”
Interestingly, my husband and I are house hunting right now and have come across many foreclosed home, one for which we are entertaining making an offer (and it’s not in California).
Properties starting the foreclosure process fell 28 percent on an annual basis to the lowest level since June 2006, according to the Dow Jones report, which also notes that the decrease was due, in a large part, to a sharp drop in California notices of default.
California often seems to lead the way in our nation. Let’s hope it’s leading the way away from foreclosures and this is signifying a rebound in the market.
We certainly need it to get the construction industry moving again. We’re starting to see some slow growth, but it’s nowhere near what we’d like it to be or need it to be.
What do you think? Is the housing market truly rebounding? Where do you think we should be by now, and how long do you think recovery will take? Economists have thrown out many different answers.