Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Foreclosures rising again

The number of foreclosures increased in February, compared with January:
The number of foreclosures started in February rose to 243,000 from 217,000 in January. About 87,000 homes were repossessed by banks during February, a 28% jump from the 68,000 foreclosures completed in January. ...

February was the second straight month of sharply higher foreclosures; prior to January, the problem appeared to be easing.
Again, month-over-month numbers tend to be highly volatile, but these numbers are a countercurrent to the rosy month-over-month spin we got a lot of last week. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index numbers that come out today should help provide a clearer view of the short-term housing trend.


  1. Pension insurer shifted to stocks
    Concern increases as losses mount;
    Failing plans could overwhelm agency

    By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | March 30, 2009

    WASHINGTON - Just months before the start of last year's stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.

    Switching from a heavy reliance on bonds, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation decided to pour billions of dollars into speculative investments such as stocks in emerging foreign markets,
    real estate, and private equity funds.

  2. Isnt it funny how they said sales went up 5% in Feb. "This thing is near the bottom!!!!"....but they dont add in "foreclosures rising again" to explain why the sales are up 5%.

    Good news guys! Sales will keep increasing as long as foreclosures keep happening!

  3. Wow. I wonder why the lull in January?

  4. I'm a fairly regular follower of this blog, and enjoyed the "overshooting" entry and the lively conversation on the topic. I'm awake this late out of nervousness. I've been watching a particular NoVa location and just yesterday put in an offer on a 4 BR/3 FB foreclosure that needs a little - but not too much - work (paint, floors, some appliances mostly). Last Friday, the REO company dropped the price to 40% of its most recent tax assessment (2008). I hope this is an overshoot rather than a harbinger, but long term affordability has been my goal. I've been looking for something to purchase that's readily adaptable for a disabled family member at these low rates because my philosophy about buying a house is the 30 year guaranteed "rent" - with reasonable assumptions about increases in taxes, HOA fees and maintenance - is the best inflation protection available - especially important for folks on fixed income.

    One other person made an offer yesterday as well, so here's hoping....