Louisville KY Real Estate Blog

US Foreclosures Down 30% in Past Year!

US Foreclosures Down 30% from October of 2012!

There were 48,000 foreclosures completed in the U.S. in October 2013, down from 68,000 in October 2012 -- a “month over month last year” decrease of 30 percent.

There have been approximately 4.6 million completed foreclosures across the country since the financial crisis began in late 2008. As a comparison to the numbers shown above, there were only about 21,000 completed foreclosures each month in the US between 2000 and 2006.

In October, 2013, 879,000 homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure (1.) loan in default, 2.) active foreclosure lawsuit or 3.) owned by a lender), compared to 1.3 million in October 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 31 percent. In other words, open foreclosures as of October 2013 represented 2.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3.1 percent in October 2012 – a substantial drop.

Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, recently said “This is good news for the housing and mortgage finance markets, but the rate remains elevated relative to the pre-crisis level of about 0.6 percent. There are almost 900,000 properties still in foreclosure, but a normal level would be only a quarter of that.”

Highest percentage of all mortgages in foreclosure is Florida, with 7.1%, while the lowest percentage of any state is Wyoming at just .4 %.

Foreclosures are difficult for the families and owners involved, but also create stresses for ALL homeowners.  These homes tend to sit vacant and (often) poorly maintained for many months while the foreclosure process trudges forward, and too many foreclosures or short sales in a neighborhood can “drag down” home values – thus affecting all owners in the neighborhood or city where foreclosure levels are high.

If you have any questions about foreclosed...

Over 55 Buyers Showing Strong Confidence in Housing Market

Good News About Over-55 Home Buyers!

Since the economic meltdown of 2008, many seniors have postponed plans to sell their existing homes and move into smaller or more senior-friendly quarters.  As a general rule, seniors are looking for homes with the following characteristics:

  • Manageable size -- Most want room for returning kids, grandchildren or guests, but for many, the McMansion days are over!
  • Low energy costs - In many cases, retirement income will be more "fixed" than pre-retirement.  Who wants to risk having variable energy costs eating up a larger part of the pie?
  • Newer Homes - Newer often means more energy efficient, lower-maintenance and more "functional" housing.  In other words, less maintenance = more time and money to enjoy life!
  • Leisure and Services - Many seniors would like access to golf, social club, dining and other facilities in the neighborhoods where they settle.  Proximity to retail services is also a "Plus"!
  • Last but definitely not least -- fewer steps.  Builders have understood this for years, and senior-friendly communities often boast no-step garages, slab floors at the same level as front/rear sidewalks and more.  This design allows seniors to buy a property knowing that it will allow them to "age in place" for as long as possible.

The National Association of HomeBuilders manages an "Over 55 Confidence Index", which measures interest among over 55 buyers.  This index is currently at the highest level since it was established. This is due in no small part to the overall improvements in the housing market in the past few years.  For several years since the recession began, seniors were constrained from moving because of weak demand for their existing homes and not wanting to sell their largest asset while the market was "soft".

So, good news for seniors reflects general improvements in the housing market,...

Should you Buy or Sell in the Winter Months?

Winter Home Sales in Louisville, Ky.  -- Good or Bad Thing?

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The KCM Blog noted this morning that over 14,000 homes are being sold EVERY DAY in the US -- right now.

Some people think that the winter months are "slow" for home sales, and to a certain extent, this is true.  The weather is colder, some folks don't like being out in the "weather" as much in the winter, and the holidays always take the focus off of buying or selling a home.

However, if you're thinking of selling your home, you should know that Buyers who are out in the winter are SERIOUS -- they're not just passing time or "looky-Lous" as the industry calls them.  They want a home and need to move. Some are relocations, and others are people for whom the time has come and they want a new home. So, there may not be as many people looking at homes in the winter, but those who are looking are focused!  With over 95% of home searches now starting on the Internet (as we hope yours does, on LouisvilleHomeScape.com!), the weather doesn't really matter -- you can still review existing "inventory" of homes from your desk or sofa.  There are fewer Buyers and also fewer Sellers in the winter, so the market stays sort of "balanced".

If you're considering Buying, the real estate industry has several observations this fall: 1) Home values/prices are rising, so buying now may avoid faster price increases which are sure to come in the Spring, 2) Interest rates are also rising.  A 1% increase in interest rates increases mortgage payments by about 10%, so lower is, of course, better.  Experts think that...

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