Thursday, July 10, 2008

Foreclosure Activity Map

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I've basically stopped commenting on these foreclosure statistics and sales statistics in housing because all this "trying to find a glimmer of hope" in line item 23.1-b is just so silly, not to mention way too early. But Barry Ritholtz over @ The Big Picture has some nice eye candy for us, and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. In case you were wondering, foreclosures are up 53% year over year (yawn)

[click to enlarge]

This is nice because it shows us the intensity / location of the foreclosures in an easy to identify format

Some quick comments
  • Look at that US wind corridor from TX to North Dakota - almost foreclosure free except for areas around big cities. Go rural America. (also benefitting from the fact they did not have huge spikes up in values in the 2002-2006 time frame)
  • All the usual suspects make their appearance - the 6 Horsemen (CA, NV, AZ, FL, MI, OH) - note the latter two are starting to "lighten" to a softer shade of pink now since we've been suffering through this for far longer than the rest of the country.
  • Northern VA has super high cost of housing, and the results to match
Surprises?
  • northern CO? I assume that is Denver or north of it?
  • Tennessee looks to be in quite bad shape - just as bad as Ohio. I wonder why that is - it spans the entire state.
  • Northern GA is in bad shape and North Carolina was supposed to be the epitome of stability but seems to be having a lot of issues
  • The northeast corridor between New Jersey and New Hampshire is in pretty tough shape but the cost of living is so intense there, and some serious high taxes - so perhaps not quite the surprise.
  • Indiana worse than I thought, Pennsylvania better than I thought
Please note some states have now put in laws to slow down the foreclosure process so that obviously would retard the natural progression and improve their current statistics
  • While foreclosures continue to rise nationwide, efforts in some states to give borrowers more time before losing their homes appear to be working. In Maryland, where a new law has increased the time to finalize a foreclosure to 150 days from just 15, foreclosure filings dropped almost 18% from last year's levels. In Massachusetts, which last year passed a similar law, filings dropped almost 3%.
So all in all, this is all new inventory that will come onto the market, and cause a "spike in sales" (the seals will clap and cheer and tell us about the housing rebound) We on the other hand, in between dismissive chuckles, will check back in 2010-2011 for the true bottom. If oil goes to $200+ and sticks, see you in 2013.

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