Foreclosure filings in San Diego County continued their drop in May, this time by a whopping 21% (year over year), according to Jen Lebron Kuhney of The Daily Transcript. Kuhney points out that “Foreclosures had been on the rise for three months straight before May.”
1,148 trustee’s deeds were filed, a 16% drop from April, while 1,798 notices of default were also filed, a 24% decline from March, according to Kuhney. Quoting Alan Gin, professor of economics at USD, “It’s a result more of the same of what we’ve been seeing over the past few months: The housing market is improving. The economy is improving. There is less job loss.”
Gin produces the USD’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators, and said he is cautious about making future predictions on foreclosures. Although there have been warnings of a recession double dip, “…Gin said it is possible that wave may not form.”
Concluding, Gin said, “‘We’re seeing a general rebound in terms of the economy…In San Diego we added jobs in hospitality, construction and temporary jobs. These are the first steps in business picking up again.'”
Back in February, a very important story (IMHO) barely made a blip on the news radar screen.
The Washington Business Journal reported that mortgage giant Freddie Mac announced that they would no longer purchase interest-only mortgages, as of September 1. Initially, I thought this would be bad news, as both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae hold 80% of all mortgage paper in the United States (before the meltdown, it held 50% of all US loans).
The good news is that this I/O paper will find a home in the private markets which means the private mortgage market continues to improve.
Roger Showley of the U-T reported Tuesday that the San Diego County median home price is back up to $325k, again. This is up from the January low of $280k. That marked a decline of almost 46% from the all time high of $517,500, reached in November of 2005. Showley also reported that inventory is down to three months. This is welcome news to people who have been thinking about putting their homes on the market. The big questions is whether or not this will hold in the coming months.
Showley reported in another article that homebuilding looks to be making a small rebound next year in San Diego County. That could help move some of the unemployed back to the employed column, too.
The National Mortgage Professional is reporting that Citi has just announced that they are suspending foreclosures for 30 days for the holidays. Not that I’m a big fan of Citi, because I’m not, but this somewhat of a relief to many people who’s homes are in distress. Maybe it will give some people extra time to work out a loan modification or a short sale. Also, Freddie Mac is suspending evictions until Jan. 3.
Bob Willis of Bloomberg News said that overall mortgage applications were up last week. Refinances carried the day, as purchase applications were slightly down.
Finally, Brian Louis of Bloomberg reported that interest rates are slightly up from the previous week.