Foreclosure News

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on July 30, 2009

Foreclosures around the country continue to be a problem, but many of the hardest hit cities are starting to see some improvement according to a report released today by RealtyTrac.

Some of the nation’s largest cities, which had high foreclosure rates over the past few years, have finally seen a year over year decrease. New York dropped 23.5% in the first half of 2009 compared to 2008. Boston saw a 40.7% decrease and Washington D.C. fell 9.6%.

What might cause some alarm with local folks is the percentage increase in markets closer to home. Seattle, for example, experienced the largest percentage gain of any U.S. city – increasing 72%. That figure might be shocking on its face, but pulling back the curtain reveals a number that is relatively tame; just 1 in 107 properties received a foreclosure notice. By comparison, Las Vegas, one of the worst foreclosure spots, had 1 in 13 properties issued a foreclosure filing.

It is also important to remember that the Pacific Northwest’s housing market remained strong well after the rest of the nation started correcting. So while other parts of the country will start to report positive upward ticks before our area will. We should expect to see our negative foreclosure numbers continue for another 9-12 months before they begin to swing the other way.

Even over the next year we don’t expect to see a downward correction as steep as those hard-hit Sun Belt states. Those places experienced much higher highs and thus had further to correct. See related post on December 3, 2008.

Locally, Thurston County has had 1,114 foreclosure filings in 2009 (through July 24th). The county has more than 100,000 housing units, so our number, like Seattle’s, is relatively low. But at nearly 40 filings a week, our levels are twice as much as we’d expect in a balanced market.

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Bank owned and short sale homes accounted for 22% of all Thurston County existing single family home sales in the month of June. That was the lowest percentage since last October.

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Statistics compiled by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. from the NWMLS database. Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS.

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