Things have been a little quiet in the default world for the last few weeks. However, there were some interesting stories and developments that you may find interesting. I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version...
Imminent Default Regulations for Short Sales
Fannie Mae issued a notice to their servicers detailing changes on how they should determine "imminent default" for short sales and DIL's. In a nutshell, they are now required to use the same method as is used for determining imminent default with a HAMP modification application. The borrower cannot have more than $25,000 in cash reserves, and must have experienced an "acceptable" hardship such as death of a co-borrower, long-term illness or disability, or divorce. This improvement will eliminate the guesswork that was being used prior to.
90 Day or More Lates Drop for GSE's
Seriously delinquent mortgages drop again for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last month. Fannie Mae's loans that are more than 90 days delinquent dropped 17 basis points to 4.27% in March 2011, which is down from March 2010's numbers at 5.47%. Freddie Mac's seriously delinquent loans dropped 6 basis points to 3.57% in April, down from 4.06% in April 2010. It is uncertain if the decrease is due to the fact that so many GSE defaults were foreclosed on earlier this year or if it is due to the fact that HAMP and proprietary loan modifications were also up in the first quarter.
Short Sale Numbers Spike
CoreLogic has reported that the number of short sales has tripled in the last two years, and the company estimates they will increase by another 25 percent in 2011 to about 270,000. These numbers are conservative compared to the estimates given by N.A.R. in April 2011. N.A.R. estimates short sales will increase by nearly 40% in 2011. I guess we're in the right field...
Double Dip Done?
According to the S&P/Case-Shiller index released earlier this week, national home prices dropped to a new recession low during the first quarter of this year as prices slipped another 4.2 percent.
Altos Research conducts its own analysis of price trends using active listing data to provide what the company says is more of a real-time view. The firm notes that the latest Case-Shiller findings are based on data only through the end of March. Since that time, Altos has recorded a steady uptick in prices for both major metros and mid-city markets across the country.
A separate study released this week by CoreLogic corroborates Altos' assertion that prices have risen since the double-dip timestamp. CoreLogic says based on April sales activity, just after the Case-Shiller double-dip, it has recorded an increase in home prices nationally of 0.7 percent.
These studies analyze present data and it would be good to understand that the "shadow inventory" is not accounted for. This pending 3.5 years of inventory would more than likely have a severe negative impact on home values nationwide once it is released to the marketplace.