RealtyTrac Looks at 2013

Recently RealtyTrac, the nation’s leading source for information on foreclosures, did a little prognostication as to how the housing market will do in 2013, particularly as it pertains to the foreclosure/short-sale market.

According to RT short sales have proven to be the avenue for the best and most efficient transition from a “distressed” market into a more normal and healthy market.  RT says there are still 12 million homeowners that are underwater, meaning they owe more on thier home than what it is worth in the market.

However, for 2013, “elevated” levels of short sales will help continue and preserve the readjustment to a healthier market environment.  Short sales accounted for 22 percent of overall home sales during the third quarter of 2012.  Q4 data was not available as of this writing, but short sales could be a larger segment of the market for 2013.

For 2013 RT says that foreclosure activity should not pose a significant threat to the housing market nationally, at least in states with relatively efficient foreclosure processes.  States with a non-judicial foreclosure process will continue to see the most trouble free transitions.

U.S. foreclosures hit peak activity in 2010 with 2.9 million properties in foreclosure.  This year (2013) will see a continued decline in foreclosure activity, but RT says that a normal level of annual foreclosure activity is around 500,000 properties per year, and this level of activity won’t be seen until 2015 or after.

RealtyTrac anticipates some potential “flare-ups” in foreclosure activity during parts of this year.  They believe that the beginning of the year could see an increase in bank owned properties (REOs) in judicial states that have a lengthy foreclosure process.  These states, which include Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New York and New Jersey, are essentially playing catch-up with homeowners that stopped making mortgage payments years ago, according to RT.

Later this year RT expects non-judicial states such as California, Oregon, Nevada and Georgia, to see increased foreclosure activity due to recent state legislation and court rulings that have changed the ground rules relative to aspects of the foreclosure process.

RealtyTrac also believes that the time line for the foreclosure process will continue to shorten throughout 2013, again the non-judicial states seeing the greatest benefit.

More on the article can be found here – Foreclosures Down In 2013