This week, we are starting to see the first inklings of what a post-tax credit real estate market looks like. Numbers out this week show that mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in months, mortgage applications fell to the lowest level in 13 years and new building permits were down 11.5 percent. But, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Analysts this week predicted that home prices will start to gradually recover and, at the same time, national inventory is down 22 percent. I can’t help but wonder if part of this decrease in inventory is due to the fact that the 10.06 percent of borrowers who missed a payment at the end of March and 14 percent of homeowners who have delinquent mortgages are reportedly staying in homes longer without paying as banks sort out this mess. What are your thoughts?
The Obama administration announced this week that its program to prevent foreclosures has continued to make steady progress, with the number of homeowners who have received permanently modified mortgages up about 13 percent. The number of people who are receiving permanent relief, however, is reportedly nearly equal to the number of people dropping out. Hopefully, Washington will continue to make strides to help these struggling people.
The American Dream in most cities is alive and well, but a reported 12 percent of mortgage defaults in February were strategic. We need to do our part and encourage people to see the value in owning a home. What can you do to inspire this sentiment?
In good news this week, the luxury market is reporting an uptick in buying. I am glad to see one group’s confidence has returned! Also on the good news front, people are beginning to invest in their homes again as comparable-store sales at Lowes were up 2.4 percent in its first quarter. There’s that home ownership pride we’re talking about!