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Crisis Watch

1.8 Million Bubble-Era HELOCS Could Bust

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More than half, 56 percent, of the 3.3 million Home Equity Lines of Credit scheduled to reset over the next four years with fully amortizing monthly payments replacing interest-only payments are on properties that are seriously underwater, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. With no equity remaining in the Bubble-era HRLOCs, the risk is high that the resets will ... Read More »

Concern over Inventory Shortages Escalates

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A fourth national market report has added to the evidence that winter inventories are extraordinarily—even dangerously—low.  Realtor.com has joined RE/MAX, NAR and Zillow in reporting levels significantly below last year. (See Tight Inventories Propel Prices and Winter Inventories Plant Seeds for Spring Surprises). The realtor.com January National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory has decreased 6.7 percent month over month ... Read More »

Foreclosure Inventory Fell 34 Percent in 2014, but January Repos Add New Starts

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  Foreclosures in the national inventory fell to about 550,000 in December, a 38 month decline, but the New Year may break that pattern as banks ended their traditional holiday grace periods with a 55 percent increase in repossessions. The national foreclosure inventory fell by 34.3 percent year over year in December 2014 to approximately 552,000 homes, or 1.4 percent ... Read More »

Nearly Ten Million Homeowners Still Lack the Equity to Sell or Buy

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Almost 273,000 U.S. homes returned to positive equity in the third quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity to approximately 44.6 million, or 90 percent of all mortgaged properties, according to the latest report from CoreLogic. Borrower equity increased year over year by approximately $800 billion in Q3 2014. The CoreLogic analysis indicates that approximately ... Read More »

Can Traditional Buyers Save the Recovery?

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  The recovery is at a tipping point because traditional buyers are not making up for the decline in sales to investors, who cannot find enough houses to buy profitably.  Cash buyers competing for distressed and low-tier inventory who helped to jump start the overall recovery now are fading from the market.  They have fallen to just 16.8% of all sales, suggesting ... Read More »

Wells Circles the Wagons

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Growing concern over the faltering housing recovery has inspired an unusual vote of confidence for housing’s fundamentals from two of Wells Fargo’s top economists. In a “special commentary” published in the bank’s web site, senior economists Mark Vitner and Anika R. Khan argue that too much progress has been made restoring growth to the overall economy for the recovery to ... Read More »

Distress Sales Ride into the Sunset

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Some of us will even miss ‘em…but not for long.  Foreclosures and short sales introduced a new way of thinking about real estate and new ways to make a living, like short sales, broker price options and rental property management.  Now they have faded away in most markets. Distressed sales (REO and short sales) accounted for only 11.1 percent of ... Read More »

Clear Capital: Welcome Back to 2004

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  National home prices have been nominally unchanged for a lost decade and we’re back to 2004 levels without even accounting for inflation, leaving many homeowners with no more equity than when they bought.  That’s the grim assessment by Clear Capitol in its September market report. If national home price growth continues to diminish, the lost decade will drag out. August home price ... Read More »

One State Leads the Foreclosure Marathon

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As the Foreclosure Era enters its final months, completed foreclosures are increasingly concentrating in a handful of states and one state reports three times as many as the next runner-up.  Regions of the nation have virtually returned to normal as their foreclosure inventories dry up and are not refilled. Five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures in ... Read More »

Spring Price Increases Barely Budge Underwater Homes

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Price increases slowed so much in the second quarter that the numbers of seriously underwater homes and the percentage of equity rich properties barely increased over the first quarter of 2014. The second quarter of 2014 saw only a small percentage decline in the percentage homes that were seriously underwater, 17.2 percent versus 17.4 percent in the first quarter of ... Read More »