Category: Residential

Foreclosure starts fall to lowest level in 20 years

Falls 26% in one year

Foreclosure starts are now at the lowest level of the millennium, according to a new report from Black Knight.

November’s foreclosure starts marked a 26% decline from last year’s total. This is the lowest monthly volume since Black Knight began recording the metric in 2000, the company said.

Nationally, the foreclosure rate fell 3% from October, hitting its lowest level since 2005.

In November, there were 49,898 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, ATTOM Data Solutions reported. The company also reported that foreclosure starts were up 13% in October then completely made a u-turn and went down 13% in November.

Although in November, delinquencies rose, they still remain around 5% lower than last year’s level.

Prepayment activity also fell 19% from October’s six-year high.

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Americans are cashing-out home equity with higher rates

Almost 60% of cash-out refis last year came with higher rates

Americans are cashing out home equity by refinancing their mortgages, even if it means they’re paying higher interest rates.

Nearly 60% of cash-out refinancings in 2018 came with higher interest rates, the biggest share since before the financial crisis, according to a Wall Street Journal story citing mortgage-data firm Black Knight.

“For some homeowners, the trade-off is worth it,” the Journal story said. “While mortgage rates have crept up, they are still lower than what borrowers would pay if they tapped a credit-card or home-equity line of credit.”

Boosted by refis, lenders originated $700 billion in mortgages in the third quarter, the most since before the financial crisis, according to industry research group Inside Mortgage Finance.

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Millennials want green homes, but aren’t willing to pay for it

Almost a quarter of those surveyed admitted they don’t care about the environment

While many claim they care about the environment and their impact, just a small share admit they are willing to pay extra for greener features on their homes.

A report from the National Association of Home Builders, for example, found that Millennials desire an environmentally-friendly home, but don’t necessarily want to pay for the features.

In fact, 83% of Millennials surveyed said they are concerned about the impact of building a home on the environment, yet only 16% would pay for an environmentally friendly home. That includes a willingness to pay for green features that provide energy efficiency and cost-saving benefits over time.

Another 33% said they would like an environment-friendly home, but would not pay more; 34% said they are concerned about the environment, but it’s not a consideration in a home purchase; and 18% reported they are not concerned about the environment.

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Top 10 U.S. Counties with Highest Foreclosure Rates in November 2019

Just off the heels of ATTOM Data Solutions’ November 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Activity analysis released this week, which reveals the top states and metros with the highest foreclosure rates, this advance #FiguresFriday post dives deeper into the data to disclose where foreclosures are the most concentrated at the county level.

There were 49,898 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in November 2019, down 10 percent from October 2019 and down 6 percent from a year ago, according to the latest ATTOM Data Solutions U.S. Foreclosure Activity Report.

The report noted that at the national level, one in every 2,713 U.S. properties had a foreclosure filing in November 2019. At the state level, those with the highest foreclosure rates in November were Delaware (one in every 1,112 housing units); New Jersey (one in every 1,278 housing units); Maryland (one in every 1,476 housing units); Illinois (one in every 1,535 housing units); and Florida (one in every 1,607 housing units).

Also included in the report, among the 220 metro areas with at least 200,000 people, those with the highest foreclosure rates in November were Buffalo, NY (one in every 798 housing units); Atlantic City, NJ (one in every 968 housing units); Columbia, SC (one in every 1,082 housing units); and Fayetteville, NC (one in every 1,134 housing units); and Trenton, NJ (on in every 1,146 housing units).

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The median age of homebuyers is now 47. How did that happen?

Median age of homebuyers has risen 8 years in the last decade

Despite recent data that younger generations are beginning to buy houses, on the whole, those same generations are waiting far longer than their parents did to buy their first house.

There are various reasons for that delay, including a dramatic increase in student loan debt and a general shifting of attitudes towards the traditional homebuyer cycle. Put simply, people are waiting longer to marry, have kids, and buy houses.

But just how much longer are people waiting to a buy house than they used to? Quite a long time, as it turns out.

As more members of the younger generation are postponing homeownership and homes are becoming multi-generational, the median age of U.S. homebuyers is now 47.

That figure has gone up eight years in just the last decade.

According to Realtor.com, the median age has increased by eight years since the financial crisis. But the trend goes back further than that.

A new report from Deutsche Bank Research shows that the median age of homebuyers in 1981 was 31. Since then, it’s gone up 16 years and now sits at 47.

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Top 10 U.S. States Where Homebuyers Are Most Likely Thankful They Bought During the Winter

In this special #FiguresFriday post on the eve of Thanksgiving, ATTOM Data Solutions ranks the top 10 U.S. states where homebuyers are most likely thankful they bought during the winter months.

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ annual analysis of the best time to buy a home issued this week, winter is the best time to buy given the discounts homebuyers are realizing below estimated market value during the winter months.

ATTOM’s new report notes the analysis of more than 23 million single family home and condo sales over the past six years is evidence of the continuation of a hot sellers’ market. The study highlights the three days of the year that offer the most significant discounts below estimated market value — all falling in the month of December.

The data shows that buyers willing to close on a home purchase the day after Christmas realize the biggest discounts below full market value of any day in the year.

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Top 10 Major Metros Increasing in Foreclosure Starts

In October 2019, foreclosure filings climbed upward, increasing 13 percent from the previous month, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ newly released October 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Activity Report.

The report featured the rise of foreclosure completions (or REOs) in October, which reached the highest point in 2019. Lenders repossessed 13,484 U.S. properties through REOs in October, up 14 percent from the previous month.

ATTOM’s October foreclosure report also noted that foreclosure starts increased monthly in 36 states. Lenders started the foreclosure process on 28,667 U.S. properties in October, up 17 percent from last month but down 1 percent from a year ago — the first double-digit month-over-month increase since February 2018.

On the state level, states that saw double digit increases from last month included: Arizona (up 52 percent); Ohio (up 52 percent); Florida (up 48 percent); New Jersey (up 47 percent); and California (up 36 percent).

On the other hand, 13 states including Washington, DC posted month-over-month decreases in foreclosure starts in October, including Maryland (down 42 percent); Idaho (down 36 percent); Delaware (down 32 percent); Nebraska (down 26 percent); and Utah (down 25 percent).

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Top 10 Housing Markets with Highest Share of Properties Seriously Underwater

ATTOM Data Solutions’ new Q3 2019 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report issued this week revealed that homeowners were found far more likely to be equity rich than seriously underwater.

According to the report, in the third quarter of 2019, 14.4 million residential properties in the U.S. were considered equity rich, meaning the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50 percent or less of their estimated market value. The count of equity rich properties in Q3 represented 26.7 percent, or about one in four, of 54 million mortgaged homes.

ATTOM’s Chief Product Officer Todd Teta stated in the report, “There are notable equity gaps between regions and market segments. But as home values keep climbing, homeowners are seeing their equity building more and more, while those with properties still worth a lot less than their mortgages represent just a small segment of the market.”

The report primarily focused on the equity rich areas; however, the report also noted that just 3.5 million, or one in 15, mortgaged homes in Q3 2019 were considered seriously underwater, with a combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property at least 25 percent more than the property’s estimated market value. That figure represented 6.5 percent of all properties with a mortgage.

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Top 10 Major Metros with Highest Home Seller Gains

The ATTOM Data Solutions’ recently released Q3 2019 Home Sales Report cited that U.S. median home prices have reached a new high. According to the report, single-family homes and condos sold for a median price of $270,000 in Q3 2019, up 2.9 percent from Q2 2019 and up 8.3 percent from Q3 2018.

The report also noted that homeowners who sold in Q3 2019 earned a median profit that ticked up to a post-recession high of 34.5 percent, up from 34.4 percent last quarter and 34.3 percent from a year ago.

Homeowners who sold in Q3 2019 realized an average home price gain since purchase of $68,686, up from an average gain of $66,995 from last quarter and up from an average gain of $63,750 a year ago. The average home seller gain of $68,686 in the third quarter represented an average 34.5 percent return as a percentage of original purchase price.

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Top 10 U.S. Housing Markets with Highest Foreclosure Rates in Q3 2019

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ recently released Q3 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Report, there were 143,105 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the third quarter. That number is down 6 percent from Q2 2019 and down 19 percent from Q3 2018, to the lowest level since Q2 2005 — a more than 13-year low.

The report noted that U.S. foreclosure activity in the third quarter was 49 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings per quarter between Q1 2006 and Q3 2007 — the 12th consecutive quarter where U.S. foreclosure activity has registered below the pre-recession average.

The report also featured Q3 2019 foreclosure rate data. Nationwide one in every 946 properties had a foreclosure filing in the third quarter. States with the highest foreclosure rates in Q3 2019 were Delaware (one in every 415 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 436); Maryland (one in every 500); Illinois (one in every 517); and Florida (one in every 577).

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