Everyone seems to be in the giving spirit this holiday season — even lending giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. According to AGBeat, these lenders have elected to freeze foreclosures and halt evictions throughout the holiday season. The freeze started yesterday and will go through the first of the year.
In a foreclosure report released this week by CoreLogic, about 57,000 homes fell into foreclosure in September. That’s 3.4% less than the previous month with 59,000 foreclosures, and a whopping 31.3%less than September of 2011! And, compared to September of 2010, foreclosures have gone down 50%. These numbers are definitely worth celebrating.
While this is definitely encouraging news, we’ve still got a ways to go, however. Years ago, before the housing bubble burst, monthly foreclosures sat at a comparatively measly 21,000.
According to CoreLogic, Florida leads the nation in percentage of homes undergoing the foreclosure process with 11.5%. New York and New Jersey are also in the top five; with Superstorm Sandy hitting these two states hard, that number may rise in the coming months.
Homes.com asked and you told! Thank you for sharing your best and most memorable real estate success stories from our contest, “Wanted: Real Estate Success Stories Reward: $500″. Your compelling stories very much showed Homes.com the passion you have for your career and your clients and we still stand by what we said in the beginning of this contest – “Your Success is Our Success.” Homes.com wishes you more success to come and we are always ready to hear about it. Tell us more on our Facebook Timeline at Facebook.com/homesconnect.
Congratulations again to Emily Johnson with RE/MAX Preferred Associates in Raleigh, NC! This is her winning success story:
“It was one of my first transactions. My client came to me in desperation. He was a disabled veteran who had been living in an extended stay motel for over six months. His wife had died and the day she passed, he left their home with no plan of where he was going. When he came to North Carolina, he decided to stay. He worked with several agents before me to find a home, but did not get much help. He wasn’t looking at large or expensive homes and although he was qualified for a loan, there was still much work to be done. It was definitely a project.
We looked at several homes and I put him in touch with a lender who took the time to really explain everything with his finances. We discovered that he would actually benefit from a different loan package, so we cleared everything and began the qualification process again. We submitted offers on several homes only to find out during the home inspection that there were repairs that needed to be made above and beyond what my client or the sellers were willing or could afford to make. My client became more and more desperate to find a permanent home.
One day as we were out driving, we found the perfect home. He fell in love with it at first sight. I was determined that he get this house. You could see the look on his face when he saw them home. For the first time since I had met him, he looked peaceful. Unfortunately, the home was a foreclosure and I was worried that the loan appraisal would be an issue. I was right. The loan approval was contingent on some major repairs being made – here we go again, I though! We all know that foreclosures are sold as-is and my client was devastated. I wasn’t going to quit though.
I called the bank who owned the home. Despite being told many times that the bank would agree to no repairs, I continued to call until one day I worked my way up to a bank representative who happened to be a veteran. I couldn’t have done it without him. But, together, with a little creativity, we managed to get approval for the required repairs and today my client is happily beginning his life again in his new home. We all say we’re in this business to help our clients achieve the dream of home-ownership. But rarely do we get to see firsthand the profound effect we have on someone’s life. The day we closed was one of my proudest moments in my career.”
The National Association of Realtors reported that pending US existing home sales fell unexpectedly in January. According to NAR, the index of purchase agreements fell 7.6 percent in January, after a 0.8 percent increase in December.
Business Week followed up with economists speculating that there are a few reasons for the surprising drop, even though the homebuyer tax credit was extended in November. These reasons point to low buyer confidence due to the lack of jobs and mounting foreclosures, with foreclosure filings rising 15 percent in January. One reason that you may not expect is the extended winter weather experienced across the country in January. Economists report that overall shopping was down in January, due to consumers choosing to stay indoors over braving the winter weather. Continue reading →
The debate is heating up on how fast the economy will recover. Some experts point to a long road of mediocre activity before we will see growth. How long that road will be depends heavily on how quick the housing market stabilizes.
A glut of foreclosures are keeping the supply of homes ahead of the demand. Continue reading →