Good News for Real Estate

Ponte Vedra Beach

Today I’m sharing national real estate news instead of local for a change. Looking at the big picture we have some good news. The U.S. has hit a 4 – year low for late payments on mortgages.

The percent of mortgage holders who are at least 2 months behind fell from 6.01 to 5.19 in the 4th quarter, the lowest rate since December of 2008. The article makes a few good points; pointing out that rising home prices and increased sales has helped borrowers to refinance their mortgages or sell their homes.  The statistics from the article stick out to me though. “Home loans taken out in 2008 or earlier account for 60 percent of all U.S. mortgages, and they make up 90 percent of all mortgages that are at least two months late, said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing for TransUnion.”

They also discuss the delays in the foreclosure process, stating that in some parts of the country it can take as long as 3 years. We, in Florida, are one of those states. Actually, Florida led the nation with an astounding 12.47% fourth quarter delinquency rate. I’m sure many of you have seen that first hand, wondering how long the house next to you will sit vacant and un-kept.

We still have a ways to go before delinquency rates return to their historical average of 1-2 percent. They point out lenders tightening the criteria needed to qualify for a loan, including larger down payments and mortgage rates hovering near all-time lows, as reasons for the improvements.

Not discussed in this article, but that goes hand – in – hand, is the release of foreclosed property onto the market. We still have a very high number of foreclosed properties that haven’t been put up for sale yet or are still in the foreclosure process. With that said the opportunity to take advantage of distressed properties like bank owned foreclosures and REO’s will still be available for years to come.

Here’s the link to the article: