Hello again Record-Eagle readers,
Home foreclosures are plummeting nationwide, and that is great news for both the Traverse City real estate market and local homeowners.
According to both the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and RealtyTrac, a real estate market analyst, foreclosures fell in nearly two-thirds of the country’s largest metropolitan areas last year, with significant drops in the second half of the year.
In major cities like San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego the number of foreclosures fell by double-digit percentages, some by 25% or more! Across the country, the number of homes being foreclosed upon is falling significantly, with only a few exceptions.
That is great news for property owners in the Grand Traverse area for a number of reasons. First and foremost, these statistics mean far fewer families are losing their homes to foreclosure, suggesting that their economic situations are becoming generally stronger and more stable, too. Few economic events are as traumatic as losing your home, and the fact that foreclosure rates are in steep decline means respite from disaster for thousands of people across the U.S.
Second, with the sharp decline in the number of foreclosure properties entering real estate markets, those markets are getting healthier, and property values are stabilizing, even growing in some areas. That means that your home’s value may be rising, with fewer price-slashed foreclosure properties to compete against.
There are shortages of clean properties in good condition in most segments of the Traverse City real estate market. As buyer competition grows keener for the shrinking number of good candidates, sales prices climb and so does your home’s equity.
Third, the sharp decline in home foreclosures suggests that lending institutions are finally understanding that foreclosure is a terrible waste for all parties. If there are any other options available (and there almost always are, like short sales or loan modifications), both lender and borrower stand a far better chance of success, with far smaller losses, if foreclosure can be avoided.
These numbers indicate that for most of the nation’s housing markets, we are past the worst of the foreclosure problem. The number of foreclosed upon and seriously distressed properties have fallen from its peak in 2009, and their percentage of real estate markets as a whole is now below 25% nationally, with that figure expected to drop into single digits by 2014.
While there are still states seriously struggling with foreclosure problems, like Florida and Nevada, most markets, including those in the Grand Traverse area, are experiencing a receding tide of property distress. And that’s good news for all of us.
Like procrastinating a frank discussion with your doctor about a physical ill, waiting to talk to a Realtor about your tough real estate situation won’t make it any easier. If you find yourself in a tight spot with your home, contact me today. There are almost always options to improve or correct trouble, and time spent idle almost always works against you. Client confidentiality is one of the underlying principles of Realtor service, so do not let that prevent you from contacting someone who can answer your questions and help guide you through the process.
As always, I invite your comments and questions, particularly those pertaining to real estate in the Traverse City area, and look forward to hearing from you.
Re/Max Bayshore Properties