Friday, March 09, 2007

It Does Not Appear Things Have Hit Bottom

The Capital Times reports from Wisconsin. "There were 69 property foreclosure filings in Dane County in January and 66 in February, the firm reported. The total of 135 is 17.3 percent more than in February last year and double 2005. Foreclosures totaled 752 in Dane County in 2006 and 477 in 2005."

"Statewide, foreclosures are up 27 percent this year, to 3,240 in January and February of this year from 2,549 in January and February of 2006. Sixty-three percent of state counties are seeing more foreclosure filings this year, 11 percent the same amount, and 26 percent fewer."

The Ann Arbor News from Michigan. "In 2006, 1,944 homes were sold in the county compared with 2,707 the previous year, according to information from the Livingston County Association of Realtors. Listings are up 3.6 percent from the previous year, the average sales price has dropped by about 3.3 percent and sales volume is down by nearly one third from 2005."

"Michelle Brant, executive director of the Livingston County Association of Realtors, said the county faces many of the same pressures that other counties are seeing around the state. 'We're all in the same boat,' she said."

"The average sale price for Livingston County in 2006 was $242,043, compared with Oakland County's $226,879 and Wayne County's $126,904, according to Brant."

"Livingston County Register of Deeds Sally Reynolds personally handles foreclosures that arrive at her office. 'I'm definitely seeing an increase,' she said. 'It's been steadily growing each year, but 2006 is when it really jumped.'"

"Total foreclosures, which include mostly residential homes, have increased substantially since 2000 when there were 85 total for the year. In 2005 there were 280 and in 2006 the number jumped to 614."

"She speculates that the increase is due not only to a down economy, but that so many people have little home equity and thus no cushion when tough times hit. Tougher federal bankruptcy laws also have contributed, she said."

"It does not appear that things have hit bottom yet. January saw 72 foreclosures compared with 38 in the same month in 2006 and 22 in 2005. 'I'd like to say that we have (seen an improvement), but we haven't,' she added."

"But where some people are losing their properties, Reynolds added, another market is opening up for those looking to buy."


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