All the Real Estate News That’s Fit to RE-Print™
Welcome to our weekly edition of Real Estate Investing News This Week. Highlights this week include:
- U.S. Foreclosure Activity Edges Up in Third Quarter
- Zombie Foreclosures – Millions of Delinquent Tax Revenue Dollars
- Home Builder Confidence Drops 5 Points
- Distressed Sales – Only 11 Percent of Total Home Sales
- And more…
We hope these real estate news items help you stay up-to-date with your real estate investing strategies and inspire some profitable real estate deals for you.
RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for September shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 317,171 U.S. properties in the third quarter, down 16 percent from a year ago.
A total of 106,866 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings in September, down 9 percent from the previous month and down 19 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2006 — a 98-month low. September marked the 48th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis.
By Brian Honea
“So-called ‘zombie’ foreclosures have been known to lower property values of surrounding homes. But they also present another problem: property tax revenue lost, RealtyTrac recently reported.”
[A zombie foreclosure is a property that has been deserted by the owner but the title is still in the owner’s name because the foreclosure process has not been completed.]
“According to RealtyTrac’s most recent data on zombie foreclosures, about 21 percent of the 141,406 total foreclosures reported in Q2 were of the zombie variety. With the owner having deserted the distressed property, not only is there no one to maintain the property’s outward appearance, but there is no one paying taxes on the property.
RealtyTrac estimates near $400 million in delinquent property tax revenue as a result of zombie foreclosures in Q2.”
After four consecutive monthly gains, builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell five points to a level of 54 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
“We are seeing a return to the mid-50s index level trend established earlier in the summer, which is in line with the gradual pace of the housing recovery,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.
For the third time this year, nationwide housing starts surpassed the million-mark, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Total housing production in September rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million units.
Single-family housing starts were up 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in August, while multifamily production climbed 16.7 percent to 371,000 units.
Issuance of building permits registered a 1.5 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.018 million units in September. Multifamily permits rose 4.8 percent to 394,000 units while single-family permits decreased 0.5 percent to 624,000 units.
–Lowest Since December 2007–
Distressed sales (REO and short sales) accounted for 11.2 percent of total home sales in August 2014, the lowest share since December 2007 and a strong improvement from the same time a year ago when this category made up 15 percent of total sales.
Within this category, REO sales made up 7.2 percent of total home sales in August, and short sales made up 4 percent. At its peak, the distressed sales share totaled 32.4 percent of all sales in January 2009, with REO sales making up 28 percent of that share.
On Thursday, RealtyTrac® released its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the third quarter of 2014. 8.1 million U.S. residential properties were seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value — representing 15 percent of all properties with a mortgage and an estimated $1.4 trillion in negative equity.
The universe of equity-rich properties — those with at least 50 percent equity — grew to 10.8 million representing 20 percent of all properties with a mortgage in the third quarter, up from 9.9 million representing 19 percent.