What is happening? Many folks, some who have lost jobs and even some who have not are leaving these homes.
Remember that fake equity many thought they had when they purchased their homes? Well, their mortgage payments cost more than what the house is actually worth.
Wake up call, for real.
More than 2.3 million American homeowners faced foreclosure proceedings last year, an 81 percent increase from 2007, with the worst yet to come as consumers grapple with layoffs, shrinking investment portfolios and falling home prices.
Nationwide, more than 860,000 properties were actually repossessed by lenders, more than double the 2007 level, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure listing firm based in Irvine, Calif., which compiled the figures.
States heavy hit are California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. California homes were always overpriced, but many got caught up in the fake equity meme, plus that Writers Strike in Hollywood is still being felt, many in those swanky homes walked away from them due to no salaries. And the reality is that California has a high unemployment rate at 8.4% and rising, not good news.
Nevada was a real boom state for some time now, many communities were built with the population growing, the casino industry was solid. Well, not now.
In one of the more ominous signs of Las Vegas' crumbling housing market, foreclosures nearly tripled in 2008 from the previous year, Sacramento, Calif.-based Foreclosures.com reported Wednesday.
Lenders took back 31,416 homes in Clark County during the year, compared with 11,509 in 2007. Preforeclosure filings nearly doubled to 67,314 from 33,953 during the period. It's by far the highest numbers since Foreclosures.com began tracking the information.
Nevada was No. 8 in the nation with 37,043 foreclosures, far behind California (260,709), Florida (107,833) and Texas (70,037). However, Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate at 4.99 percent.
Since the country is going through massive job losses, wages slashed, who has money for Las Vegas? So, that means that the easy jobs to get at the casinos are not so easy anymore. It means that many have lost jobs, hours cut to the bone and these home owners can not afford to keep up mortgage payments.
Florida was always a quagmire. My father lives there and since he retired, moved, built his home, survived Hurricane Ivan, he wished he was back in Chicago. Why? The home owners insurance is so expensive, some folks are paying MORE for insurance than their actual mortgage payments. For many this state is becoming too, expensive to live in.
Florida also is a tourist state, much like Nevada, when the country is hurting so is Florida. It means that many with these jobs are laid off, hours cut, wages cut, etc. It means mortgages for these workers homes can not be paid. It is a vicious circle. Florida is number two in foreclosures.
Nationally, 3.2 million foreclosures were filed in 2008, an 81 percent increase from 2007 and a 225 percent increase from 2006. Nevada had the nation's highest foreclosure rate, and Florida was second with one in 22 of its houses and condominiums falling into foreclosure last year.
The question is this, "Has the foreclosure of homes stablized?"
Still, foreclosures — which keep breaking records going back 30 years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association — are likely to remain well above normal levels for years to come, and that will continue to keep home prices from rebounding.
In other words, expect record number of foreclosures for 2009 and possibly going into 2010.
Finally, what is up with prices rebounding? How the hell can prices rebound when these home prices were inflated from the start? As my mother-in-law, who is a mortgage broker always said, "Your home is only worth, what someone wants to pay for it."
Ain't that the truth.
.....and jobless claims? Bad news....