Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jersey Foreclosures

Foreclosures hurt everyone. Of course the people getting their homes foreclosed are feeling the most pain, but the surrounding neighborhood, the township and the state all have experience some disruptions when a home is foreclosed. There are levels that are where everything can still function normally, some level of foreclosure is part of the status quo, but the higher the levels increase the higher the pains.

The full housing market can only absorb a certain number.This article in the Star Ledger titled Housing Report Hints of Hope describes current state of foreclosure levels of New Jersey individually and the United States in aggregate.

[A] report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association yesterday showed although home foreclosures and late payments continued to set records across the country during the first three months of the year, fewer New Jerseyans were falling behind on their mortgages and losing their homes.

"It will be a couple of more months before we can say for sure if the housing correction has ended and the market is in recovery mode, but there are a growing number of indicators which suggest the housing market is no longer worsening," said Jeffrey Otteau, president of the Otteau Valuation Group.

According to that report, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on residential properties in New Jersey actually fell to 4.87 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2008, a decrease of 0.52 percentage points. The delinquency rate excludes loans in the process of foreclosure.

The percentage of loans in New Jersey in the foreclosure process at the end of the first quarter rose to 2.31 percent, compared to 1.89 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007. But the number is still below the state record set in the early 1990s, when New Jersey had the highest rate of mortgage foreclosures in the country.

Today, the state ranks 29th in the nation in terms of delinquencies and 14th in terms of foreclosure, the MBA said.

In New Jersey, a growing list of positive factors -- increased housing affordability due to lower home prices, low mortgage interest rates and massive pent-up demand due to reduced purchase activity -- all bode well for the real estate market.

Let's hope these predictions are correct for the state and that we are just not in the eye fo the storm. The fall out from the West Coast is so huge that there will be reverberations throughout the entire country for years to come. It will take some time for the gigantic losses to be incorporated within the marketplace and the economy.

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