One of the biggest unavoidable concerns for homeowners today is the seemingly ever-increasing number of foreclosures throughout the nation. 2008 was a horrible year. Foreclosure activity was up 90% nationwide from 2007. Some localized areas were far worse, such as California which saw an increase of 150% between January and February of 2008. These statistics are a little outdated, however, since as of September 2009, country-wide foreclosure statistics have seen a slight improvement. The best news is localized, however, as many of the current statistics are mixed on a nationwide level.
The main areas that real estate investors and owners look at when considering nationwide foreclosure statistics are the number of foreclosure filings in a certain area and the price of homes in those same areas. The current numbers suggest that there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel in terms of thehousing market. Five of the top markets have seen a decreased number of filings. Michigan’s figures have decreased by just over 4%, California is down by almost 5%, the number of filings in Texas has decreased by more than 7%, Florida is down by 8.5% and Arizona has 9% less filings currently than in 2008. Colorado has the most impressive improvement, seeing foreclosure rates drop an impressive 13%. Unfortunately, these promising statistics are not true nationwide. West Virginia, for example, actually had an expansion in foreclosures in excess of 17%.
Cities in the states that saw improved numbers of foreclosures are showing great improvement with a smaller number of exceptions to that fact. Phoenix showed that the number of foreclosures decreased by more than 8%. Foreclosure rates in Memphis dropped by almost 12% and Miami showed the most improvement with a 14% decline in filings. Several other cities also saw decreases in their numbers, but these are the most impressive foreclosure statistics nationwide.
The prices in the housing market are also important in evaluating the health of the country’s real estate. Four out of the top five markets in the country have seen an increase in prices. This is great news for homeowners who are looking to sell, although similarly bad news for those hoping to purchase homes at the lowest prices possible. In both states of California and Florida, the percentage of price rises is under 1%, but that amount can make a difference. Michigan, another definitive real estate market, saw home prices go up by 1.4%. Texas was the most impressive with an jump of 4.8% seen in housing prices.
To sum it up, nationwide foreclosure statistics are improving overall, but not everywhere. This rise in prices and decreases in foreclosure filings may have a lot to do with federal government intervention in the housing market. Hundreds of billions of direct aid and subsidies to homeowners and owners have directed huge resources from the rest of the economy back to the housing industry. Numerous foreclosure help programs have also been created to keep property values artificially high and foreclosure rates down. The big question is how much longer the government will be able to prop up home prices, and if there will be an even larger decline if the programs and subsidies stop.
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