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FORECLOSURE RATES

Foreclosure rates are at their highest since the Great Depression in the 1930's and expected to continue for a number of years.  One October 2007 report by RealtyTrac, which publishes a database that tracks foreclosures, indicates 223,538 foreclosures and related filings were reported in September; about one in every 557 households.  According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, some 5% of all mortgages are delinquent and nearly 15% for “subprime” mortgages—those lent to people with shaky credit histories. Find out what's on your credit history using the resources at ApartmentStores Moving and Relocation.

A number of factors have created America's property crisis.  There are some 2 million plus adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) that are due to be reset to higher rates within the next year.  ARMs offer low introductory rates that expire after two to three years creating a sharp jump in monthly payments that are unaffordable and can overwhelm household budgets.  For example someone might buy a house where the initial monthly payments are $1,200 dollars a month and then after 2 years, the payments reset overnight to $2,000 a month.  If you have an ARM and are concerned about your payments when it is reset, consider refinancing now.

Another factor in this crisis was the bubble in housing prices.  In the last 10 years, house prices have risen 70% faster than inflation.  And with the high housing prices came a burst of home building.  The number of unsold houses more than doubled from 2001 to today.  There got to be so many unsold houses on the market that prices just couldn't keep up.  So homeowners ended up with a mortgage they couldn't afford and for amounts that were more than the house was worth.  They might owe $400,000 on their home but if they tried to sell it, could get maybe $200,000 for it.  Find unsold homes and properties in your neighborhood.

Like all things real estate, location is key.  The level of foreclosure activity varies greatly depending on location, and the highest rates of foreclosure continue to be concentrated in a relatively few states.  California, Nevada, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana are amongst those hardest-hit.  California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona have more than one-third of the nation's subprime ARMs, more than one-third of the foreclosure starts on subprime ARMs, and are responsible for most of the nationwide increase in foreclosure actions.  If your home/property is at risk for foreclosure or you're interested in acquiring foreclosed properties for investment, use the resources at ApartmentStores Moving and Relocation to take action.