REO listings have increased lately around NSDCC, though they are still a small fraction of the overall marketplace (there have been 2,238 detached-home sales closed this year between Carlsbad and La Jolla).
The short-sale listings coming to market haven’t changed much all year, which would be the first place you would see the effect of mortgage servicers getting tougher with deadbeats:
Type of Listing
Jan 1 – June 30
July 1 – present
This guy borrowed $3.75 million to do a spectacular remodel on this Del Mar home (the house with the glass-bottom pool), but he wasn’t going to give it away. The original list price was $6,750,000 in October, 2013, and dropped to $5,950,000 before getting foreclosed in June. The bank promptly listed for $5,495,000, and sold it for $5,210,000 last month:
There is some hope that lenders and servicers are increasing the flow now that prices are so much higher than before, and it would make sense that they would cherry-pick the properties on which they could make a profit.
The use of third parties to help Fannie Mae sell its REO properties is coming to an end.
Fannie Mae notified remaining vendors that the government-sponsored enterprise will transition all REO sales work completely to Fannie Mae’s in-house teams over the course of the next several months.
In the past, Fannie Mae used in-house sales teams and external vendors to dispose of REO properties.
“We have reduced our REO inventory from 162,489 properties at the start of 2011 to 109,266 as of June 30, 2012,” said an email from Fannie Mae to HousingWire. “With a reduced inventory of properties, Fannie Mae’s in-house teams now have sufficient capacity to manage our REO properties without the assistance of third party asset management providers.”
Fannie Mae said the third party vendors, firms such as Vendor Resource Management and 24 Asset Management were notified of the move with enough time to make any necessary adjustments.
Some aspects of REO sales will remain the same.
“We will continue to engage local real estate professionals to market our properties,” Fannie Mae said. “Fannie Mae’s goal is to help neighborhoods recover by selling as many properties as possible to owner occupants at competitive prices.”
They deliberately brought the REO operation in-house because of “reduced inventory”. But now it’s revealed that in the same month, September, 2012, they had 8x that number which were 90 days late?
Keeping their current staff busy with a limited supply of REOs allows the defaulters to skate longer – how can Fannie keep processing the defaulters if they scaled back their REO operation?
This smells bad.
Letting deadbeats skate for months and years erodes what is left of the moral fiber of this country.
Because their lender is applying pressure to either make payments, short-sale, or be foreclosed. At least that is the old-fashioned way of banking.
It’s possible that, after months or years of delinquency, some might start making their payments again if they receive that magical loan-mod/principal reduction package. I just haven’t met anybody who has.
Maybe I’m a skeptic, but these stats make it appear that the banks aren’t applying much pressure – distressed listings are 1/3 of last year’s total:
NSDCC Detached-Home Listings, First Quarter
It might make sense for banks to be lenient in depressed areas where sales and prices are struggling, but around here we are starved for inventory. The policy is working so well that it may last a long time – the ultimate can-kicker!
Meanwhile, another 85 new listings hit the MLS since our last reading, and we had 81 new pendings with a few cancelled/withdrawns – demand is raging:
NSDCC Active Listings
Avg. LP $$/sf
This is the most important indicator to watch – if the active inventory starts to grow, it means buyers are backing off.
Wouldn’t it make sense for banks to be unloading REOs when all we see are bidding wars everywhere?
Initially we thought that the drop-off in foreclosures was because banks were pushing people to short sale instead. With this being the last year of debt-tax exemptions, wouldn’t we be seeing a surge of new short-sale listings?
Nope, instead it appears that they have shut down the foreclosure machine:
San Diego County New Listings between Jan 1 and Feb 28:
Defaulting homeowners are going to squat as long as possible because they really don’t want to move – besides, rents are high and their credit is shot.
For short sales to occur, banks have to threaten to foreclose in order to keep the pressure on, otherwise defaulters will just keeping living for free.
But both short-sales and REO listings have plummeted.
Pollyanna thinks that people are making their payments again, or that the foreclosure settlement caused enough loan-mods that the problems are solved. No way. Filings are down, and cancellations are up because that has become policy now.
REO sales will peak when the banks decide to peak them. FromHW:
The sale of properties repossessed through foreclosure may not peak until 2013, keeping home prices from a meaningful recovery for some time, analysts estimated Monday.
Nearly half of the more than 552,000 REO properties liquidated in the first half of 2011 were held by private banks. In the years ahead, the government — including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — will begin taking a majority of the activity.
In 2013, REO sales could reach 1.48 million properties, according to estimates from Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts, a 10% increase from projected amount in 2012.
“We do not expect to see anywhere near the downward pressure on home prices that we had back in 2008, since the expected percent changes in liquidation volumes are so much smaller,” BofAML analysts said. “But home prices are starting from a negative point, so the implication is that home prices will continue to decline as the foreclosures transition through the pipeline.”
Most of the projected increase will come as the government begins to unload its backlog. The government-sponsored enterprises and HUD, analysts estimate, will liquidate roughly 595,000 properties in 2013 alone.
Total REO liquidations wouldn’t drop below 1 million until 2015, according to BofAML.
The Obama administration began work last month developing new strategies for selling this mass of properties, which may involve renting more of them. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is also working on a way to refinance more underwater borrowers to entice them from walking away.
“I would essentially rent the house back to those who are living in them now,” said Susan Woodward, an economist with Sand Hill Econometrics. “I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to push 4 million people out of their homes when they’re victims of a slower economy they had nothing to do with.”
Other analysts were skeptical of anyone who could predict accurately what the GSEs or Washington would do, especially after the elections in 2012.
“Do they really think that the government under any administration would let 500,000 homes hit the mark and crash prices all over again, six years after the first crash?” said Scott Sambucci, chief analyst at Altos Research.
He said even if unemployment improved by a full percentage point or two — which he said would be a stretch — the market would still struggle to meet such a supply influx.
“It would crash the market, so no, it’ll never happen,” Sambucci said.
Daren Blomquist at RealtyTrac, which monitors foreclosure filings across the country, said the sale of REO is on track to reach 825,000 by the end of 2011.
“We do expect the REOs to pick back up in 2012 as lenders push through some of the foreclosures delayed by processing and paperwork issues,” Blomquist said, adding the inventory needed to be sold could reach well into the millions.
Five major lenders made announcements last week that they would be suspending certain foreclosure activities in various states. These lenders included Ally (GMAC), JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Litton and PNC.
While this report is primarily focused on September foreclosure activity, it is important to note that we have yet to see any impact to foreclosure sales within our coverage area through Friday, October 8, 2010 by these lenders.
“We regularly see lenders make minor mistakes in foreclosure filings” says Sean O’Toole, CEO and Founder of ForeclosureRadar.com. “But the reality is that far more homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments than are even in foreclosure. The clear problem in the housing market today is not foreclosures, but negative equity; and as long as the focus remains on the symptom rather than the disease we will see little progress towards real solutions and this crisis will drag on for years to come.”
These days, every time you read the news you’ll see another expert talking about the shadow inventory coming home to roost. Depending on the guesser, there will be somewhere between 3 million and 8 million homes that get foreclosed in America over the next 1-10 years. Can we narrow that down a bit?
The shadow inventory that is hardest to count are the borrowers who are not making their payments, but aren’t on the foreclosure rolls yet. LPS came out with this chart (below), so let’s use their numbers and envision what would happen if banks/servicers change course, and ramp up the foreclosure machine:
The chart shows 17,800 defaults (today the NOD and NOT count is 14,435 on foreclosureradar), and 34,200 properties in San Diego County that are at least 90-days late, for a total of 52,000.
How would it look in your area if EVERY ONE of these were foreclosed in next 12 months?
To estimate the total number of defaulters plus 90-day late borrowers for each area, let’s use the multiplier formula here: 17,800 x 2.92 = 52,000.
Let’s multiply 3x the current defaults in each area/zip code:
Area or Zip Code
NODs/NOTs x 3
# of Homes
1 REO per # homes
Foreclosed since 1/1/07
West RB 92127
If servicers crack down and foreclose on every 90-day late property, we’ll see one flipper or REO listing on virtually every block in areas like Spring Valley. But with all the foreclosure activity over the last few years, would it bother buyers to see 1 out of 40 or 50 homes getting foreclosed? I don’t think so, and this is probably the worst-case scenario over the next year. The current SD default list is split 65% SFRs, and 35% condos/others, so spread it around as you visualize what might happen in your area over the next 12-18 months.
In areas like Carmel Valley, where we’re estimating 237 SFRs and condos on the NOD/NOT/90-day list, it would bring relief to buyers starved for well-priced inventory. We know some defaulters will get their loan mod or be short-sold, but if not, and 15-20 foreclosures per month came on the market, it wouldn’t overwhelm the market – 71 homes sold there last month. Hopefully, it might scare some of the elective sellers back to the sidelines, to be replaced by bank-owned inventory.
In Carlsbad, if you divide the current NOD/NOT/90-day list by 12, it would mean roughly 56 REO or flipper listings per month, and 124 sold there in August.
We’ve expected that we’d be in a heavy bank-inventory environment by now, yet the ‘delay-and-pray’ strategy has been employed instead. If 30% to 50% of the for-sale inventory was well-priced bank deals (flippers are retail-plus) it could boost sales. If servicers insist on the extend-and-pretend strategy, sales are going to slow down, unless elective sellers get more realistic.
Servicers, please foreclose on every defaulter in the next 12 months – homebuyers would appreciate the well-priced inventory!
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