March foreclosures skyrocket to new monthly record!

Managing Real Estate Broker with Alta Realty Company, LLC RB 21961

I just finished reading an article titled "March foreclosures skyrocket to new monthly record" which was in an online publication I subscribe to called "Valuation Review".

The numbers put forth are staggering! The article quotes "RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report" as one of its sources.

The article states:"RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for the first quarter shows that foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 932,234 properties, a 7 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 16 percent increase from the first quarter of 2009. One in every 138 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in March, an increase of nearly 19 percent from the previous month, an increase of nearly 8 percent from March 2009 and the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005."

You can read the article for yourself at the link above.

I don't know about you, but those numbers tell me we are so deep into this mess that any claims that market values have stabelized by the so called "experts" are purely speculative at best. Until we wade through and absorb the huge numbers of distressed properties that are continually being created by this economy I think the real estate market will remain in turmoil.

As a Real Estate Broker and State Licensed Appraiser my research into my local marketplace continues to show a market in turmoil. The simple market theory of supply and demand coupled with high unemployement and tight lending practices seems to be what is directing the trends.

A simple analysis I did of one of our local Portland, Oregon metro areas helps paint picture. For my example I am using the City of Gresham, Oregon which is located just east of Portland. Estimated population 101,015.

As of 4/21/10 there were 453 active, detached residential listings in the city of Gresham, Oregon shown in the Regional Multiple Listing Service.

27 of the listed homes show as being bank owned (REO) foreclosures. 105 of the listed homes show as being short sales, where more is owed on the home than the anticipated market value. These statistics reflect that distressed properties compose approximately 29.14% of the listed market in Gresham, Oregon. By the way, I had just run this analysis yesterday for another blog I did and the number was 28.57%.

Now lets see what the actual sales statistics are for the last 12 months. There were 586 detached residential sales in Gresham in the period between 04/21/2009 to 04/20/2010. Of the sold homes 175 show as being bank owned (REO) foreclosures. 33 of the sold homes show as being short sales, where more is owed on the home than the anticipated market value. These statistics reflect that distressed properties composed approximately 35.49% of the actual sales market in Gresham, Oregon.

But what is more shocking than the higher 35.49% actual sales vs 29.14% listed distress properties is the complete flip flop of numbers for foreclosures vs short sales!

Get the picture? There appears to be almost a complete failure in the industry to help owners in the less stressful short sale process versus the traumatic and life changing foreclosure.

These numbers speak for themselves. I just hope the government's latest Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) will help flip these numbers back in the other direction.

Here is a link to the government's Making Home Affordable website.

Best Regards,

Donn Rasch
Real Estate Broker, CDPE
State Licensed Appraiser
RE/MAX Equity Group, Inc.


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