Foreclosures fell by a fifth says CoreLogic
The latest data on foreclosures from CoreLogic shows a drop of 21.8 per cent in the inventory for November 2015 compared to a year earlier while completed foreclosures fell by 18.8 per cent in the same period. There were 33,000 completed foreclosures in the month.
“After peaking at 3.6 percent in January 2011, the foreclosure rate currently stands at 1.2 percent—a remarkable improvement,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While there are still pockets of areas with high foreclosure activity, 30 states have foreclosure rates below the national average which is evidence of the solid improvement.”
Florida, Michigan, Texas, California and Georgia had the highest rates of completed foreclosures while DC, North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia and Hawaii had the lowest.
Builders welcome House decision on WOTUS rule
The decision by the House of Representatives to overturn the EPA’s Waters of the US rule has been welcomed by the National Association of Home Builders. Its chair, Tom Woods has urged the President to sign the resolution when it reaches his desk. He said: "By dramatically extending the areas in which home builders are required to get permits, the rule will lead to bureaucratic delays, increase project costs and mitigation fees, and harm housing affordability.” He noted that the EPA rule had been rejected by two courts as likely to be illegal which he says highlights that it has “serious problems.”
Houston market ended 2015 on a high
The housing market in Houston ended 2015 on a near-record high. The Houston Association of Realtors reports that despite challenges for the market it followed 2014’s record-breaking year with strong activity. The total number of 2015 single-family home sales as well as sales of all property types achieved the second-highest levels of all time, behind 2014.
"With oil dropping to levels around $30 a barrel, I think it’s fair to say that the Houston housing market is going to remain cooler for at least a little while,” said HAR Chairman Mario Arriaga with First Group. “The good news is the local economy is vastly more diversified than it was during the oil bust of the 80s and other industries are continuing to hire, so it really is going to come down to consumer confidence."
The latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) shows a total of 5,879 single-family home sales compared to 6,507 a year earlier. The sales slowdown did allow inventory to grow from a 2.5-months’ supply, the lowest level of all time, to 3.2 months. Homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000 saw flat year-over-year sales, while homes below $150,000 and above $500,000 experienced declines.