Monday, May 07, 2007

Defaults To Weight On Prices In Rhode Island

The Providence Journal reports from Rhode Island. "Rising home foreclosures in Rhode Island could claim a new casualty, house prices. Of all the ways to sell a house, a foreclosure generally yields the lowest price. Mortgage lenders looking to unload a property seized from borrowers who fell behind on their payments can expect to get back only enough to cover the loan, if that."

"In 2005, house sales in Rhode Island outnumbered foreclosure auctions advertised in The Providence Journal by 14 to 1. Now, that ratio has narrowed to less than 3 to 1."

"'That’s the possible storm cloud on the horizon,' said Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. 'There’s a threat that those distressed properties, whether they sell at auction or are dealt with another way, could have an impact on the market.'"

"Even one foreclosure in a neighborhood can drive down property values of nearby houses an estimated 0.9 percent to 1.36 percent, according to one study. On a $255,000 house, that amounts to a decline of $2,300 to $9,200."

"The median price of a single-family house in Rhode Island this year has already fallen nearly 3 percent, or $7,000, to $255,000, compared with $262,000 during the first-quarter of last year, according to The Warren Group."

"'The steady increases in house prices in some ways covered up the potential of foreclosures in the past,' said Ren Essene, a research analyst at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies."

"Paul Talkowski, president of Daniel J. Flynn & Co. Inc. of Quincy, Mass., waits for bidders to arrive at the home of Kenneth and Lisa DeVoy at 6 Anawan Ave. in Bristol, before selling the house at a foreclosure auction. When no bidders registered, Talkowski accepted a pre-submitted bid from the bank for $174,583.02."

"Lenders advertised 678 houses in Rhode Island for foreclosure auction during the first quarter, up 122 percent from the same period last year, according to a Journal analysis of newspaper legal ads. The pace is on track to exceed last year, when just over 1,850 homes were advertised for foreclosure sale, which was more than twice as many as in 2005."

"'There’s a lot less credit available for borrowers, and a lot more foreclosed property being sold at a discount,' said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s 'I think this will put a pall over the spring market.'"

"During the 1990s real-estate crash, Richard August managed the residential portfolio of foreclosed properties for Fleet Bank. Part of his job was to go to foreclosure auctions for houses where the bank’s subsidiary, Fleet Mortgage Corp., was the lender. If the bids were too low, he was to buy the property back."

"'Investors are bottom feeders and would come up and they’d be looking for a real killing,' said August, who is retired. 'When they saw me driving up they’d say, 'Oh, Fleet’s here again!' They’d know they wouldn’t get a bargain.'"

"To lenders who got burned in the last real-estate downturn, the latest rise in foreclosures is no surprise. 'When mortgage lenders start offering zero-interest loans and start saying to people you don’t even have to have a down payment — we’ll write a separate loan you can defer for several years… you know this problem is coming,' August said. 'It’s absolutely inevitable.'"

"Mortgage lenders, he said, knew this. 'In every group of deals,' August said, 'there’s a built-in assumption that some are going to fail.'"

"In 2005, nearly 11,979 houses were sold in Rhode Island, according to The Warren Group. That year, 829 houses were advertised in The Providence Journal for foreclosure auction. So the ratio of houses sold to foreclosure ads was 14 to 1."

"Last year, house sales in the state dipped to 10,358, while foreclosure ads in the Journal climbed to 1,852, narrowing the ratio to about 6 to 1. Foreclosure impact on the market now is even more acute, with just under 2,000 houses sold in Rhode Island during the first quarter of this year, and 678 advertised for foreclosure, a ratio of 3 to 1."

"In previous real-estate downturns, most of the loans were made by banks and government-insured lenders. Now, more than half of all outstanding loans have been packaged into mortgage-backed securities financed by Wall Street investors. So if there is no return on these investments, the money to finance such loans dries up. That means less money available for homeowners to refinance their way out of debt — and less to loan to new buyers."

"There were 5,639 single-family houses on the market in Rhode Island as of the end of March, the largest number for that time of year since 1997, according to data provided by the statewide MLS to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors."


At 7:26 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

I have an ARM...which will take place in 4/08!! I am afraid!!!
I have not been late on anything, including my mortgage! But, come 4/08 my mortgage payment will increase $400 per month!! This is not manageable!! I need to do something soon!!! I read an article that stated certain lenders have new closing fees and all they are basically doing is rewriting your current loan... Have you heard of this??? If so, who are they??? I do not want to be one these people who loose everything they have worked soooooo hard for and it is lost in a matter of months!!! Please Help!!!!!

At 9:32 AM, Blogger linda said...

Let me know if I can help


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